Author Topic: Newbie reloader, where to start??  (Read 5945 times)

Offline hbprepper

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 57
  • Karma: 3
  • I like pies!
Newbie reloader, where to start??
« on: May 08, 2014, 07:54:27 PM »
Hi Folks,

I am thinking about having a go at reloading my used rifle brass. I don't shoot a lot but I thought it would be a good skill to learn.

I am not in the US so equipment and supplies tends to be a bit more expensive and as such I don't want to blow a huge amount of money on something I may do very often (That may be famous last words!)

What's the bare minimum equipment I need? I can get a Lee 50th Anniversary Kit for the equivalent of $200 USD which, for round these parts, seems good value.

I am thinking of getting a single stage press but have seen the hand held reloaders like the Lee Breech Lock Hand Press.  Are they really any good?

I currently only have a single rifle so would it be possible to tie my self into a single calibre by mistake and have to buy  a whole new set of equipment if I bought a different rifle or would all presses be adaptable to other rifle calibers?

Cheers

HB
« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 08:03:30 PM by hbprepper »

Offline Chemsoldier

  • Pot Stirrer
  • Global Moderator
  • Survival Veteran
  • ******
  • Posts: 5882
  • Karma: 549
Re: Newbie reloader, where to start??
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2014, 08:05:09 PM »
The RCBS Rockchucker is pretty hard to go wong with. The press is tough with a nice long handle and sturdy build even when resizing big rifle cases.  Pretty simple to operate. Its bench mounted and built like a tank.  I suggest the hand primer rather than the primingc arm built into the press.

Have fun with it!

Offline hackmeister

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 406
  • Karma: 14
  • Beer, linux and prepping!
Re: Newbie reloader, where to start??
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2014, 05:54:24 AM »
Go take a class if available. I took the NRA class last year which is class, demonstration and hands on. We even got to shoot our first reloads at the end of the day.

Offline SnoHam13

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 275
  • Karma: 5
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Newbie reloader, where to start??
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2014, 06:36:56 AM »
Hi Folks,

I am thinking about having a go at reloading my used rifle brass. I don't shoot a lot but I thought it would be a good skill to learn.

I am not in the US so equipment and supplies tends to be a bit more expensive and as such I don't want to blow a huge amount of money on something I may do very often (That may be famous last words!)

What's the bare minimum equipment I need? I can get a Lee 50th Anniversary Kit for the equivalent of $200 USD which, for round these parts, seems good value.

I am thinking of getting a single stage press but have seen the hand held reloaders like the Lee Breech Lock Hand Press.  Are they really any good?

I currently only have a single rifle so would it be possible to tie my self into a single calibre by mistake and have to buy  a whole new set of equipment if I bought a different rifle or would all presses be adaptable to other rifle calibers?

Cheers

HB

Hiya HB
the first thing to get is a good reloading manual
Lyman or RCBS are good choices
what caliber are you reloading?

SnoHam13

Offline trekker111

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 916
  • Karma: 71
Re: Newbie reloader, where to start??
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2014, 07:02:22 AM »
Some of it will depend on what cartridges you want to reload for.

The Lee hand press works OK for straight wall cartridges. It does not work well for full length resizing bottleneck rifle cartridges.

I started with a Lee hand press, but I was reloading 45-70, 45 colt, 45acp, and 357mag. As soon as I added 30-06 to the mix, a bench mounted press was quickly purchased, so if you will end up reloading a bottleneck cartridge, skip the hand press.

To start out with, the Lee anniversary kit, and a set of dies for each cartridge you want to reload, and a few reloading manuals, will get you started.

My reloading equipment is a mix of brands, but other than my press, I have not felt the need to replace my original Lee equipment.

I would also recommend the Lyman reloading manuals.


Offline Smurf Hunter

  • Survival Veteran
  • ********
  • Posts: 7172
  • Karma: 334
Re: Newbie reloader, where to start??
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2014, 11:21:51 AM »
I got started with the Lyman 49th edition manual and the Lee Anniversary kit.
I've since added a various tools, like scales, RCBS hand primers and brass prep.


Offline inconel710

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 554
  • Karma: 22
  • Not-so-New TSP Forum member
    • My 13Skills Blog
Re: Newbie reloader, where to start??
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2014, 12:02:41 PM »
Absolute first purchase needs to be a reloading manual.  The Lyman 49th Edition works well for me. 

I started with a used Lee anniversary kit and a used Thumlers Tumbler.  I've tweaked a few things along the way, but I'm still using the Lee press.  Believe it or not, but Craigslist can actually be a source of reloading material - only firearms are banned.

Offline hbprepper

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 57
  • Karma: 3
  • I like pies!
Re: Newbie reloader, where to start??
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2014, 12:26:43 AM »
Thanks everyone for the advice.  I have ordered a copy of the Lyman manual. It may take a while to wing it's way around the world so might see it this month.

In response to a couple of comments.

I will initially be loading 6.5x55
I am not in the US and we don't' have craigslist here. There are some online sales sites but reloading isn't done by as many people here as the US so 2nd hand kit is a little more limited in supply.

Doing some research, I think a lee 50th kit plus some dies should get me started and then if all goes well I might start looking at improving things.

Cheers

HB

Offline SnoHam13

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 275
  • Karma: 5
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Newbie reloader, where to start??
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2014, 07:46:58 AM »
this is one of the hobbies that just keeps growing  ;D
always something new to acquire
once you get the understanding of the loading process [in the Lyman book]and some bench time in stuffing cases another good reference manual is ''One Book/One Caliber''
they do have it in 6.5x55 Swedish
it covers the published reloads from all the Mfg.
it does not cover basic reloading so you need the Lyman book first

SnoHam13 

Offline Mortblanc

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 378
  • Karma: 18
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Newbie reloader, where to start??
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2014, 11:21:21 AM »
Thanks everyone for the advice.  I have ordered a copy of the Lyman manual. It may take a while to wing it's way around the world so might see it this month.

In response to a couple of comments.

I will initially be loading 6.5x55
I am not in the US and we don't' have craigslist here. There are some online sales sites but reloading isn't done by as many people here as the US so 2nd hand kit is a little more limited in supply.

Doing some research, I think a lee 50th kit plus some dies should get me started and then if all goes well I might start looking at improving things.

Cheers

HB

If reloading is not a common activity in your area how re you going to secure primers, powder, slugs???

BTW what is your "not in the US" general location.  We do not need you specific address but your hemisphere/nation would be a useful piece of knowledge.

The 6.5x55 Swede is a good round but I do not know a single place on Earth where it is in the top 5 choices for rifle use, except possibly Sweden.  According to that line of thought you might wish to find out the top use calibers in your area.  You might be able to obtain components for those calibers more easily.

You might even be able to salvage components from loaded rounds for your use if necessary.

We do not worry much about being "locked in" on a cartridge here.  The switch from one caliber/cartridge to another is generally the cost of dies and possibly a few hundred slugs for the startup batch.  Around $50 US, and not something that would "lock one in". 


Offline hackmeister

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 406
  • Karma: 14
  • Beer, linux and prepping!
Re: Newbie reloader, where to start??
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2014, 08:13:39 PM »
I have two hunting rifles in 6.5x55 Swedish and reload for it. It's a good round.

Offline hbprepper

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 57
  • Karma: 3
  • I like pies!
Re: Newbie reloader, where to start??
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2014, 01:07:40 AM »
If reloading is not a common activity in your area how re you going to secure primers, powder, slugs???

When I say it's not that common I should probably be clearer and say that due to a lower population there are statistically less people doing it. Due to economies of scale and having to ship stuff half way round the world costs can be higher and selections a little more restricted.

I have two hunting rifles in 6.5x55 Swedish and reload for it. It's a good round.

Thanks, I like it.


HB
« Last Edit: May 11, 2014, 01:22:26 AM by hbprepper »

Offline Mortblanc

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 378
  • Karma: 18
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Newbie reloader, where to start??
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2014, 01:25:33 PM »
When I say it's not that common I should probably be clearer and say that due to a lower population there are statistically less people doing it. Due to economies of scale and having to ship stuff half way round the world costs can be higher and selections a little more restricted.

Thanks, I like it.


HB

And again, you have avoided stating what nation you are residing in so we can research the laws of your land and make a valid recommendation!

What are the most common calibers in your area, what are your possession laws, do you have dangerous game?  Some nations do not allow ownership of military calibers presently in use.  Others have minimum and maximum caliber restrictions.

Without these bits of knowledge we can make no references except to give you links to load data for the 6.5 Swede cartridge with comments like "I LUUUUV the 6.5!" tacked on. 

We most definitely can not advise on what your next step or purchase should be or how to avoid being "locked in" to the 6.5S.

Or are you one of those that simply wants to see how many answers will be logged to a query with no real interest in the outcome.

Offline hbprepper

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 57
  • Karma: 3
  • I like pies!
Re: Newbie reloader, where to start??
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2014, 04:39:03 PM »
After doing some more research, it looks like my question about locking myself in just involves a new set of dies if I buy something in a different calibre so all good.

Thanks Everyone