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This is a discussion on Reloading within the Rifles, SKS, AR, AK, Long Guns forums, part of the HandGuns, Pistols and Revolvers, Long Rifles, Shotguns, SKS, AK, AR category; I am in the Valdosta,Ga area and wanting to get into reloading. If anyone would point me in the right direction to get the best ...
I am in the Valdosta,Ga area and wanting to get into reloading. If anyone would point me in the right direction to get the best priced supplies and would like to show me how to do it. It would be appreciated.. Reloading is one of the things I am not experienced in and would like to learn the ropes.. My email is email@example.com or can call or text me at 229.232.3097.. Thanks
PrepConsultant - always glad to see someone interested in 'rolling their own'. There are some members here that pretty much know what there is to know about reloading. I’ve been building rounds for over twenty years and it's a great way to go. I'll withhold my insights and advice though and let the experts have the floor. I’m sure they’ll be happy to help.
It comes down to how deep you want to get into it. It can be done cheaply using Lee Loaders which work fine but is a very slow method of doing it. Now you can go with a single stage press but again faster than the Lee Loaders but still a bit slow in that you will need to change dies but still the best way in my mind to start. Then the turret type presses followed by progressive and with each the price goes up in equipment costs. Now you can buy Lee equipment that does the job as good as any ones for most things at reasonable prices or you can go much more expensive where the press cost you as much as whole lee kit.
Originally Posted by PrepConsultant
Now I've been loading for some time now mostly 3 pistol, 2 rifle and 2 shotgun calibers using almost excursively lee equipment. I like their prices, how they stand behind it and it does work great in some cases. Now other prefer RCBS, Lyman and others but they are a bit above my pay grade and not sure a single stage press regardless of who makes should cost more than $100 new. So basically I would do the following, buy some books on the subject such as the ABC's of reloading and read it cover to cover then you can add the Lee's Modern Reloading 2nd Edition and Lyman's 49th Reloading Handbook and read them. At that point you should have a pretty good idea of the principles of reloading, safety required and methods available to do it. Then I would add the press/presses of your choice, dies, etc followed by the components (bullets, powder, brass and primers).
Now a good press I often recommend that will work great for both a beginner and advanced is the Lee Classic Turret press. I can be operated as a single stage or a semi progress turret press. I have the Lee Classic Turret and the Lee Classic Cast (single stage) presses that I use for different things with most of my actual reloading done on the turret with side things done on the single stage.
You will also need in the case of anything other than a hand press or lee loader system a bench. I have limited space in an extra bed room so I use a Stack-On loading bench that I paid $70 for at WalMart and it has worked out very well for my needs.
The best source I've found for Lee equipment is FS Reloading that is the cheapest, reasonable shipping and very fast service. There are also many others such as Midway USA, Brownells etc that also sell all brands but not as inexpensively as FS unless on sale.
Last but not least is presses last a life time in most cases so if you can find used it is often cheaper. Brass can also be reused however primers, powder and bullets not once fired though primers it is possible to reload in a pinch but I've never tried it. For used equipment sign up for some of the reloading boards such as The Highroad, Cast Boolits etc.
Below are some pictures of my setup and presses.
Side view of the bench and storage
Lee Classic Turret Press used loading 9mm, 45 ACP, 45 Colt and 45-70 Gov.
Lee Classic Cast used for sizing and lubing cast bullets, loading 12 ga shot shell with black powder and other items.
Last edited by joec; 01-21-2013 at 04:05 PM.
I'd love to learn as well, but I'm a good distance from Valdosta. Thank you for sharing your knowledge Joec.
Lots of good information at MidwayUSA and Brownells.
The nice thing is you can start on a pretty reasonable budget, but on the down side
even reloading presses have gotten a little sold out at some places. I agree with joec
that Lee makes some fine and reasonably priced equipment.
I recently bought a 338 Lapua and since retail factory fresh rounds frun $4.50 to $6.00
each reloading is essential, but I'm able to fit them into a hand press which is only $40
at Midway - I already have one but its at my Bug Out Property so I bought another.
A rifle like this won't be fired that many times so reloading slowly like that is just fine,
but even a single stage press (under a $100) can turn you out plenty of ammo quickly.
Now interesting to note. I only reload 357, 38 and now 338. I have chosen not to reload
9mm and 223 because of an old school pet peeve. DON'T be thinking about chasing
brass when you are shooting for your life. So prsently I don't reload those cartridges
where my semi automatics kick brass all over the place.
Joec pretty much broke it down for you short and sweet.
If your just getting into it, I would read up a whole lot and hit up youtube and watch a lot of videos to get as much knowledge as you can. Then I would go out and get a reloading manual or two and study long and hard.
I would then start out with a cheap and simple Lee press, dies and powder dippers and other basic gear. This way if you cant really get into it, your not out a lot in the way of fun dollars. Once you get the hang of it and despite as slow as this route is. you will have a good idea of what you want and what kind of gear best suits you and you can go out and invest some serious dollars in top of the line stuff.
I have a lee hand loading press which I still use considerably these days despite 5 other presses mounted to benches in my shed. So its not like I wasted any money in my opinion. Yes this press and single stages can make the going slow. Thats not neccessarily a bad thing if your a beginner though. This is a hobby thats all about "attention to detail". If you set up in a way that allows for a well organized routine you would be surprised at how many rounds you can kick out in just an hours time even with a single stage press! Further more I can use my Lee hand press at the range for load development (or if I bug out and I am on the move) and at work too when I am at a boring site and aint got anything more intelligent to do. A couple of hundred rounds there and a couple of hundred more here, the numbers start to add up quickly!
Personally unless your a competitive shooter, I think the single stages are the best. The going is a bit slower than a progressive press but I feel like you can keep the tolerances tighter on your ammo making and end up with some increadibly accurate ammo. It allows you to closely monitor each and every individual aspect of the reloading process, resulting in few mistakes and with less moving parts not much can go wrong with the process. Im into quality more than I am quantity as working with explosives for 21 years (reloading for over 35 including a few wildcat cartridges) has really put me in that mode of operation and mind set to the Nth degree. Dont get me wrong its a safe hobby, but if your stupid, its also potentially a very unforgiving one too.
Build up your knowledge, start out simple and slow, and as you progress take it to the next higher level as you deem appropriate. In other words learn to walk before you try to run...equipment is no substitute for expertise!
Oh and one warning...THIS CAN BE REALLY ADDICTIVE!!!!
Another thing I find awsome about reloading other than the personal satisfaction, is right now with the ammo crunch....I aint hurting a bit, ha ha ha. I have plenty of ammo and the ability to make a whole lot more on the cheap! Further more, the gun ranges have been very lonely and very quiet of late as well making gettting a lane even during prime times a shoe in. With ranges being so slow I also have plenty of time to police the range and pick up a bucket of brass I can later reload that the previous shooters who spent 600 dollars on a 1000 rounds of 223 left behind. Think about that aspect for just a few minutes and the possibilities it now opens up for you... I would be hard pressed to recall the last time I bought Brass Cases or Shotgun Hulls to reload and thats one of the costliest components of reloading after equipment purchase.
Last edited by LunaticFringeInc; 01-21-2013 at 07:57 PM.
Thanks again guys! One question I had was- how hard are the presses to operate? Considering that men tend to have more upper body strength than women, my main concern is if I'll be able to properly work the equipment if you have to use too much 'heavy lifting' and muscle with it. I'm no weakling, but I don't exactly bench 300 lbs, if you know what I mean.
Bad time to try to get into reloading with the component drought that's going on now, but you can pick up the equipment now and start reading up on it. That way when the components become available you should be ready to get started. A lot of guys recommend the ABCs of Reloading, I've never read it but from what I've heard it sounds great. A good reloading manual (which you'll need anyway) or 2 would do you well also, both the Lyman and Speer manuals have excellent sections on the process. As for components, I use MidwayUSA usually since I've been a customer there since I started reloading. Natchez is good also and I've heard good things about Mid South but haven't used them yet. If you're looking for a local mentor you might try asking around your local gun club or maybe try one of the larger forums such as thefiringline or thehighroad.
You should have no trouble operating the press unless you stick a case in a die, they can be a bear to get out. Most presses do all the work on the down stroke so you've got a weight advantage on the handle of the press. You may want to avoid a hand press if strength is an issue though, they tend to be more work.
Last edited by Infidel; 01-21-2013 at 08:23 PM.
Thanks a lot for the info.. Seems like a lot of knowledge to go thru. I really appreciate it!!!
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Last Post: 01-02-2013, 09:58 PM
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