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Anyone here reload ammo?

Old 02-04-2009, 08:12 AM
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Default Anyone here reload ammo?

I've got a $300 gift certificate to Cabela's and decided to use it on a reloading press.
There are so many choices it's confusing. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
I have no experience reloading so user friendly is important. I would like a press that can do pistol as well as rifle ammo that has all the things needed in the kit to get started. I would also like a press that can crank out rounds as fast as possible.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-04-2009, 08:49 AM
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Default Re: Anyone here reload ammo?

You are looking for a progessive reloader. $300 is not going to get it. Several manufactures of presses. Like car rental agencies, they tend to be color coded;

Green is RCBS (Rock Chuck Bullet Swage)
Red is Lee
Orange is Lyman
Blue is Dillon

I'm green. It started out that way and I just sort of stuck to it. At some point I was given a 4-stage green press, so I stayed green. Blue is very popular with folks into progressive reloading.

Depending on the caliber you are loading, there are required steps, and perhaps required intermediate steps. Reloading is something you can learn on your own but you want to so reading BEFORE you dive in. Too much propellant, or too little propellant and your weapon becomes a grenade. So you are going to want to do it right. Not that big of a deal unless you jump into it and just slamming stuff together.

Part of the reloading process is removing the old primer and pressing in a new primer. You can get a progressive press that does those step automatically. I do not. I clean the primer pockets on my brass. So I have an intermediate step that precludes banging out rounds as fast as I can pull the lever -- unless I'm loading new brass, which I do with .32H&R and .32-20 stuff.

As much as I enjoyed shooting, when I got into reloading, I enjoyed it even more.

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Old 02-04-2009, 09:07 AM
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Default Re: Anyone here reload ammo?

I just started doing it this past summer. Bought a Lee Anniversary Kit, I believe that's what it was called. I know they have them at Cabela's. Like the poster above stated though...get one of the books and read it a couple times before you dive into it. There are also several forums out there that can help as well.

I got into it so I can start using my own recipes for greater accuracy. It really is quite satisfying when you find a load that will shoot sub MOA consistantly.
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:32 AM
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Default Re: Anyone here reload ammo?

abeal2 - 2/5/2009 1:07 AM

I got into it so I can start using my own recipes for greater accuracy. It really is quite satisfying when you find a load that will shoot sub MOA consistantly.
The reasons I reload is for greater accuracy and to have calibers that are not normally available off the shelf, e.g. .32-20 is scare in anything but cowboy rounds, and never available as anything but flat tipped rounds because it was originally used in firearms with tube magazines.

Anyone interested in access to a lot of rounds to bang off might be better off buying ammo in bulk. I do not reload shot shells but I am told by those that do there is tremendous savings in loading your own. Depending on the caliber, how you are setup, and your workflow, it can be for brass, too, but not necessarily so.

When you get into reloading some of the rifle calibers with necked brass you have to measure the brass, resize, and in some cases, trim the brass before reloading. You have to do this individually for every round. It can be very time consuming. I use a single stage press for this kind of reloading. As abeal2 mentions, the reason for doing this is the repeatable accuracy you can get.

If you are reloading straight wall pistol brass (.45acp, 9mm, ...) it can be quick and cheap with a progressive reloader. Even cheaper if you buy your bullets in bulk.
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:35 AM
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Default RE: Anyone here reload ammo?

Thanks for the replies. I looked at the Lee anniversary press.
If the only thing a progressive press does over the others is auto prime, I dont mind doing that manually. When I said I want to "crank out" rounds, I mean I would like to do say 100 rounds in say an hour or so. Mostly I want to reload .308, .45 & .380.
My Thompson M1 just eats rounds.
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:51 AM
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Default Re: Anyone here reload ammo?

A single stage press does just one function on one round at a time. It is slow but accurate. A progressive loader has a turret that carries a round to each step of the reloading process. One pull of the level does 4 or 5 or 6 things at 4 or 5 or 6 stages to 4 or 5 or 6 rounds at one time. It is faster but does not allow for inspection of every round at every step of the process.

Your two pistol calibers will be very happy on a progressive loader. That necked rifle caliber is begging for a single stage press so that it can be as accurate as possible.


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Old 02-04-2009, 11:32 AM
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Default Re: Anyone here reload ammo?

My personal feeling is start out with a single stage press. It's much easier to get started on and you can bang out quite a few rounds once you get the hang of it. The safety aspect of a single stage is that you can visually inspect each case on the charging block (tray) prior to seating the bullet.

I guess the real answer is how much shooting do you do or plan on?

I have green and it's treated me very well.
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Old 02-04-2009, 11:58 AM
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Default Re: Anyone here reload ammo?

I have a Dillon progressive reloader, and when I reload for .223 and .308, I usually use it like a single stage. I put a round in at the stage where I want to perform the action, and then do the next one the same way.
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Old 02-04-2009, 02:34 PM
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Default Re: Anyone here reload ammo?

RCBS guaranteed for life or forever whichever comes first pretty much states the facts All but one group that went into one hole came from rcbs equipment for me I had a dillion for pistol which was sold for what I paid 2 yrs and 50,000 rounds later If I were getting a progressive I would look at a Dillion For the best in accuracy a single and RCBS is not a bad place to be
One thing about firearm accessories all are well made and all have tremendous customer service You don't find shady people as a rule unlike the boating industry unfortunately Think about how many lawyers would want to help you if you got screw just in the current administration and it is clear to see why
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Old 02-04-2009, 02:39 PM
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Default Re: Anyone here reload ammo?

Marsa, reloading is a great hobby. My .02$, I'm green on the single stage (RCBS rock chucker now over 30 years old) and blue (Dillon 550, 20 years old) two completely different tools.
For getting started get a complete "kit" of the color of your choice and add to it till you get your feet wet and decide your needs. A complete progressive set up with all the equipment needed to keep it well fed adds up quick and takes a fair amount of dedicated space, add bulk brass, primers, powder, tumblers, media and you get the idea.
In order to see the benefits of a progressive you should compare component costs vs surplus (case lots).
The single stage should keep up with your 308 needs, the .380 is not worth the time involved, the .45 is a shoe in for the progressive if you shoot enough.
With the ammo/component prices we are seeing and will see for some time, any way you can put some up (store for the future) is a win win...........
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