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Armory, Self Defense, And EDC => Firearms (Including Long Guns, Pistols) => General Ammo, Reloading, Bullet Casting, & Ammo Craft => Topic started by: SaltyHobbit on October 14, 2009, 06:17:02 PM

Title: Starter Equipment/books reccomendations
Post by: SaltyHobbit on October 14, 2009, 06:17:02 PM
I'm looking to start reloading and I am now looking for any advice y'all could lend. I have no idea what type of press, books etc... I need. I'm looking to reload for pistol: 9mm 45acp and rifle:.223 .243 30.06 7.62x39 and .308.
Any advice and references from someone more experienced then me would be greatly appreciated
Title: Re: Starter Equipment/books reccomendations
Post by: Orionblade on October 14, 2009, 06:34:03 PM
I'll let you know how it works out for 7.62x54R, but I just got an email telling me my Lee press is in the mail. It's the 30 dollar press and book combo. I'm just looking at small scale stuff, but I figure if that little bugger works for me and my 20 rounds per sitting plan for reloading my range ammo, then their more expensive/feature rich/turret style presses should be great.

I'd reccomend it just to get started - at 30 bucks, and since it takes all the standard dies and comes with the book for free, you might as well at least try a thing or two out, you know?

It's the Anniversary Kit, btw.

Title: Re: Starter Equipment/books reccomendations
Post by: vgun on October 18, 2009, 06:22:58 PM
Lee's "ABC's of Reloading" is a good book that shows all the steps and equipment you need. Then a good loading data book or 2 for loading info--Sierra,Hornaday etc. Be sure whichever book you get has the loads for the bullet you plan to use.
 As far as equipment everybody has their favorites.
I use a RCBS Rockchucker single stage press.
Finding someone to help or show you is a good thing to do and can really save you time and mistakes. Might check with a local gun store and see if they can turn you on to someone that can help you. That's what I did and it really helped and made what seemed complicated very simple
Good luck and be safe
Title: Re: Starter Equipment/books reccomendations
Post by: cohutt on October 18, 2009, 06:48:48 PM
I started with Lyman's current (at the time) reloading manual and then did a lot of reading online before i decided to take the plunge in a big way.,, all have pretty good reloading forums and are worth some browsing.

I am partial to since I was one of the misfits that helped launch it a couple years ago; some of the threads have been tagged as "articles" to make it easier to find some general how-to stuff.

The "new to reloading" primer "article" thread: (

the rest of the articles page (

and the main forum page: (

If I recall correctly you are in central or south GA(?) - there are a few folks on glockpost that are below the gnat line and might be up for helping you with some in person how-tos

I'll add that not many people reload for 7.62x39; it is average at best as far as accuracy when shot through the typical AK or SKS, and the trajectory is loopy compared to something that can be loaded extremely accurately like .308.  Most cases you'll find or collect will be steel and berdam primed (not reloadable).  With all this in the way most reloaders decide it better to just buy the imported wolf et al for this one.
Title: Re: Starter Equipment/books reccomendations
Post by: SaltyHobbit on October 18, 2009, 07:32:00 PM
Cool thanks I'm going to look into some more this week. There is a good shop right around me that I"ll stop by and check with as well.
Title: Re: Starter Equipment/books reccomendations
Post by: Orionblade on October 18, 2009, 08:34:43 PM
The handloader "Lee Loader" worked GREAT for popping out the primers and resizing the cases.

I am NOT enthused about hitting a freaking primed case with a damned hammer to seat it!

Holy crap!

*searches for 7.62x54R dies to fit a lee press*
Title: Re: Starter Equipment/books reccomendations
Post by: cohutt on October 18, 2009, 08:45:18 PM
I don't think I've ever seen a boxer primed 7.62x54R case although that doesn't mean there aren't some somewhere....  Everyone I have ever picked up is berdan primed and is only good for the scrap bucket. 

Since I've posted about berdan primed brass twice in one thread in one night, here is a link to a page that talks about the difference between berdan and boxer primers.  If you have reloaded boxer primed brass, you will appreciate what an absolute pain it would be to reload berdan.  "normal" decap dies and equipment won't work on berdan primed brass and even if it did, where are we going to find berdan primers? (

Title: Re: Starter Equipment/books reccomendations
Post by: Orionblade on October 18, 2009, 10:09:44 PM
Winchester and wolf both make brass cased boxer primed 180 grain rounds in 7.62 by 54R.

IIRC, you can use a different size of boxer primer in a berdan shell, and ream/drill the pocket to dimension and make the center flash hole required for the berdan primer.

This is for the steel cased stuff. I don't think I'd mess around with converting a brass case with a berdan primer.

Also, to resize the steel cases, you need F*** tons of lube, and they need to be annealed. It helps to use carbide dies since the steel-on-steel will wear the die out like yesterday's toilet paper.

I have yet to produce functional ammunition, but will report back as I progress. Don't go buying a ton of steel cased, berdan primed ammo and expect to reload it just because of something I recall from a conversation a year ago. THAT guy might have been full of something other than knowledge.

However, it's worth a shot. I'm not changing the headspace dimensions, nor will I seat a primer in a pocket that is too large or too small, since I fear overpressures (have experience with amateur rocketry - I know how rapidly pressure can build up with energetic propellants).

But, FWIW, winchester does make some really nice ammo for the Mosins at about a buck a round. Not bad when you consider you can reload the snot out of it. Not great when 20 rounds of romanian crap costs 6 bucks.