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Author Topic: I need to learn about reloading  (Read 10284 times)

mwcoleburn

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Re: I need to learn about reloading
« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2010, 12:36:07 pm »
My work bench is currently 3/4" MDF on top of what I assume where old kitchen cabinets. This winter It will get another 3/4" layer of mdf with a layer of masonite on top of that with the exception of a 4' section of stainless I have bent up to do some "hot and dirty" work. With the thickness and the fact the the bottom of the bench is hard to access, you can see why I am looking into some kind of disconnect. I found a set of old cam locks that I think is going to work, I'll most lickly gule them to the bottiome of the bench and see how it goes
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    only1asterisk

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    Re: I need to learn about reloading
    « Reply #26 on: October 26, 2010, 12:41:30 pm »
    My work bench is currently 3/4" MDF on top of what I assume where old kitchen cabinets. This winter It will get another 3/4" layer of mdf with a layer of masonite on top of that with the exception of a 4' section of stainless I have bent up to do some "hot and dirty" work. With the thickness and the fact the the bottom of the bench is hard to access, you can see why I am looking into some kind of disconnect. I found a set of old cam locks that I think is going to work, I'll most lickly gule them to the bottiome of the bench and see how it goes

    You could try PatMarlin's ROCKDoc mount.  Very reasonable price and great to work with:

    http://www.patmarlins.com/

    mwcoleburn

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    Re: I need to learn about reloading
    « Reply #27 on: October 26, 2010, 01:44:19 pm »
    That looks pretty good, only issue is I would still be losing some space to the mount. I bet I could modify the idea thought and get to work. Thanks for the info
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    only1asterisk

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    Re: I need to learn about reloading
    « Reply #28 on: October 26, 2010, 01:52:07 pm »
    That looks pretty good, only issue is I would still be losing some space to the mount. I bet I could modify the idea thought and get to work. Thanks for the info

    You could recess it flush with your new top.

    SuperNaut

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    Re: I need to learn about reloading
    « Reply #29 on: October 26, 2010, 01:56:46 pm »
    You could recess it flush with your new top.

    That is exactly what I'm planning to do.
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    only1asterisk

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    Re: I need to learn about reloading
    « Reply #30 on: October 26, 2010, 02:27:04 pm »
    That is exactly what I'm planning to do.

    You could a step further and build a plug that would cover the entire thing if it were important to you. 
    I think the footprint is only 8.5x7.

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    Re: I need to learn about reloading
    « Reply #31 on: October 26, 2010, 02:32:00 pm »
    I just finished a second bench and I'm kind of letting the layout swish around in my head.  Once a good layout becomes apparent, it may or may not have a second use.  If it does, I'll definitely make a cover for the whole thing.
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    mwcoleburn

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    Re: I need to learn about reloading
    « Reply #32 on: October 26, 2010, 04:11:39 pm »
    You could a step further and build a plug that would cover the entire thing if it were important to you. 
    I think the footprint is only 8.5x7.

    A plug is exactly what I was thinkin of as I was eating lunch, I can recess the mount. the cut a flush fit plug.

    I dont really worry about the foot print as much as having things stick up from my bench that could damage other projects I am working on (I make Loft beds as a hobby)
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    FMJ

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    Re: I need to learn about reloading
    « Reply #33 on: October 28, 2010, 03:11:15 am »
    OK----if I plan on buying one of those very basic Lee loaders, do I have to buy all those little accessories and stuff?  I might have to reload for .303, believe it or not.  I was told that the Lee Classic Loader is the way to go.  But apparently there is also a hand press (I used to think the Lee Classic and the hand thing were the same thing)...
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    xsquidgator

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    Re: I need to learn about reloading
    « Reply #34 on: October 28, 2010, 06:53:32 am »
    OK----if I plan on buying one of those very basic Lee loaders, do I have to buy all those little accessories and stuff?  I might have to reload for .303, believe it or not.  I was told that the Lee Classic Loader is the way to go.  But apparently there is also a hand press (I used to think the Lee Classic and the hand thing were the same thing)...

    You can buy just a press and then add in all the various accessories you want, but if you're starting reloading from scratch I'd recommend some sort of reloading kit + accessories.  The kits include most of what you need, so a kit + a few accessories will get you going most easily.  Most kits include a press, some sort of scale, a reloading manual, powder measure of some kind, and a few other things.  You could probably just add dies and components to a kit and actually get going.  Depending on the kit, there are some nice-to-have things I'd tell you to get too.  Depending on your funds, might tell you to get more stuff for the convenience, although it may not strictly be required.

    I wouldn't sweat it trying to anticipate every little thing to buy in your first order.  No matter how thorough your research, once you get going you'll discover there's a better piece of equipment that does the job better than what came in your kit, or you forgot something, or whatever.  You will be making multiple purchases over time so not to worry, if you did forget something, you can add it to your next order.

    Unless you've got a local shop that's helping you out, I would buy everything over the internet.  Much better selection and better prices.

    PS- I'd definitely recommend a press, preferably one that mounts to a bench, over the Lee hand loader thing where you resize the cases by hammering the die down over the case.  Those things are cool and you can reload out in the field with them, but ... I think most people would get frustrated with the slow pace of production if that was your only means of reloading.
    « Last Edit: October 28, 2010, 10:28:51 am by xsquidgator »

    seanp

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    Re: I need to learn about reloading
    « Reply #35 on: October 28, 2010, 09:28:07 am »
    OK----if I plan on buying one of those very basic Lee loaders, do I have to buy all those little accessories and stuff?  I might have to reload for .303, believe it or not.  I was told that the Lee Classic Loader is the way to go.  But apparently there is also a hand press (I used to think the Lee Classic and the hand thing were the same thing)...

    You can buy just a press and then add in all the various accessories you want, but if you're starting reloading from scratch I'd recommend some sort of reloading kit + accessories.  The kits include most of what you need, so a kit + a few accessories will get you going most easily.  Most kits include a press, some sort of scale, a reloading manual, powder measure of some kind, and a few other things.  You could probably just add dies and components to a kit and actually get going.  Depending on the kit, there are some nice-to-have things I'd tell you to get too.  Depending on your funds, might tell you to get more stuff for the convenience, although it may not strictly be required.

    I wouldn't sweat it trying to anticipate every little thing to buy in your first order.  No matter how through your research, once you get going you'll discover there's a better piece of equipment that does the job better than what came in your kit, or you forgot something, or whatever.  You will be making multiple purchases over time so not to worry, if you did forget something, you can add it to your next order.

    Unless you've got a local shop that's helping you out, I would buy everything over the internet.  Much better selection and better prices.

    PS- I'd definitely recommend a press, preferably one that mounts to a bench, over the Lee hand loader thing where you resize the cases by hammering the die down over the case.  Those things are cool and you can reload out in the field with them, but ... I think most people would get frustrated with the slow pace of production if that was your only means of reloading.

    I think that the one FMJ is referring to is the hand squeezer press.  Those are great for reloading cartridges for your single action .44-40 around the campfire, but not so great for much else.

    FMJ, I would definitely recommend for your first set up getting:

    1.  A steel or iron O or C-frame press.  Get a good one, it will last you a lifetime.
    2.  A good scale.  Any beam balance scale that reads in grains and tenths of grains is fine.  Again, don't get the cheap Lee.  Get Hornady or RCBS, it will last you a lifetime also.
    3.  Case prep kit.  The Lyman case prep kit has every tool you need to prep cases, and it is a high quality, well made kit.  Again, it will last you your whole life.  Well, maybe except for the brushes if your father in law fluffs them up.  But that's another story.
    4.  A hand primer.  The Lee is fine for that.
    5.  Case lube pad, and case lube.  I like the RCBS case slik spray lube.
    6.  The Lyman case cleaning solution.  It can be reused and you can rinse the cases out and dry them in the oven.
    7.  As many reloading manuals as you can.

    I would not recommend getting a kit.  You do, and you will wind up with crap that you will not use, and replace later.  Most of the stuff on my list can be had used on craigslist, ebay, gunshows, what have you.  It should cost you less than $200 easily.

    You are still going to need to by case holders, and dies specific to the cartridges you want to load.
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    only1asterisk

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    Re: I need to learn about reloading
    « Reply #36 on: October 28, 2010, 09:36:56 am »
    4.  A hand primer.  The Lee is fine for that.

    The old one was a great value.  The new one sucks and is to be avoided.  Buy different one, but definitely get one.

    Quote
    5.  Case lube pad, and case lube.  I like the RCBS case slik spray lube.

    I've never used a pad for anything just a little Imperial applied with the fingers.





    xsquidgator

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    Re: I need to learn about reloading
    « Reply #37 on: October 28, 2010, 10:45:59 am »
    A number of these items are preference kinds of things, such as cleaning cases with a tumbler vs cleaning solution.  Also the type of press is kind of a personal preference thing too.  There's nothing at all wrong with an O or a C-type press, but there's also not much wrong with going a half step up and getting the Lee auto-indexing turret either (I have both C and turret presses).  If you get a C type press, I would not recommend the low-end of the Lee line of C presses, as they're just a little too light duty for my liking.  (What more do you expect or want for only $20 though?)  My Lee C-press is now relegated mostly to cast-bullet sizing duty, the better and bigger presses do the rifle case resizing for me now.

    If you are able to, I think it'd be a good idea to start by reloading a straight or taper walled pistol cartridge of some kind (basically anything except 357 Sig or anything with a bottleneck).  Fewer operations, no case lube needed if you get carbide steel dies, and no case trimming either.  I would save reloading for rifle cartridges for later after you have some experience reloading the simple stuff.  Speaking of lube, forget the execrable Lyman gooey case lube and ink-pad type stuff.  Someone here already said it, what you NEED if you're going to use case lube is Redding Imperial Sizing Wax.  I also use Hornady One-Shot in the spray can, but that's mostly just so some lube gets sprayed into the inside of the case necks.  The real lube is the Imperial wax.  I've had a number of stuck cases using Lyman and Hornady lubes of one kind or another, but never ever with the Imperial sizing wax.  In fact there have been cases that just would not size with "those" lubes, but rub on a little Imperial wax and the case not only sizes, but usually sizes pretty easily at that.

    One thing about scales, at least my experience.  I think the Lee basic beam balance scale is actually pretty decent.  It is limited in convenience by being a beam scale (slow), and the Lee one only goes up to a weight of 100 grains.  But it's built well enough if you take care of it, and it easily reads out to 0.1 grain increments.  My Lee balance scale is every bit as capable as the more expensive RCBS one I was loaned when I started out.  In this instance, the cheap one works just as well as the more expensive ones, at least if you're only weighing powder charges and don't need to weigh bullets, cases, or complete cartridges.

    The cheap ones aren't as good as the moderately priced ones when it comes to electronic scales, though.  I bought a cheapo "Smart Reloader" AAA-battery powered scale for $35 online.  It had a number of annoying issues (button bounce makes the reading go all over the place, digital scale to the tenth of a grain but it only displayed even digits in the tenth of a grain number, so it was really plus/minus 0.2 grains not 0.1 grains as the advertisement implied) and sort of worked, but it didn't simply work like I'd expected.  It died anyway after 6 months, so I got my $ back, and then bought a $100 RCBS 750 grain scale.  (I forget the model number but it's green)  I suspect that you need to get up to the $80+ level to get a decent electronic scale.  The RCBS one has been boring and reliable, which is absolutely what I wanted.  The controls/calibration is simple and intuitive, the buttons work properly without button bounce making the reading go all over the place, and it reads out in 0.1 grain precision very quickly.  FWIW the Lee balance scale I have as my backup now has always measured within 0.1 grains of the RCBS scale whenever I've tested it by comparing both scales on something weighing < 100 grains.  The balance scale will get it done, if slowly and carefully like chemistry class, and you'd be totally fine and safe just with that.  But if you have an extra $100 for the electronic scale, it's really nice to just dump whatever in the tray and get a digital readout within 0.1 grains in a second or two.


    only1asterisk

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    Re: I need to learn about reloading
    « Reply #38 on: October 28, 2010, 11:19:31 am »
    Lots of stuff.

    The Lee Reloader C frame press is light duty, but it is capable of doing everything that most people want in to do.  For a person that isn't sure they will stick with reloading or is on a really tight budget, it is a useful tool. 

    seanp

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    Re: I need to learn about reloading
    « Reply #39 on: October 28, 2010, 12:31:56 pm »
    The old one was a great value.  The new one sucks and is to be avoided.  Buy different one, but definitely get one.

    When did they change it?  The original one is great.  I notice Midway still has them for $12.99.  The new one looks very similar - anyone know how it is significantly different?
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    FMJ

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    Re: I need to learn about reloading
    « Reply #40 on: October 28, 2010, 01:05:32 pm »
    SeanP, and Xsquid---

    Another of the reasons I brought up the Lee is due to space (and possibly cost issues).  What I've come to learn about loading for .303 is that if you only shoot it out of a specific rifle:  that you only need to resize the neck of the casing and that's it.  I don't necessarily mind a slower production pace, since I believe that most of my actual shooting in the future will still be with .22 (for which I have a [relatively] nice stash of).
    CaliforniaThere are many like it, but this one is mine.

    seanp

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    Re: I need to learn about reloading
    « Reply #41 on: October 28, 2010, 01:42:48 pm »
    SeanP, and Xsquid---

    Another of the reasons I brought up the Lee is due to space (and possibly cost issues).  What I've come to learn about loading for .303 is that if you only shoot it out of a specific rifle:  that you only need to resize the neck of the casing and that's it.  I don't necessarily mind a slower production pace, since I believe that most of my actual shooting in the future will still be with .22 (for which I have a [relatively] nice stash of).

    Quite correct about the neck sizing.  However, I always full length size my brass.  Two reasons:  I shoot a lot of semi-automatic and am accustomed to it, and also, what if you ever have to shoot the ammo out of a different gun?  You may eventually have more than one  ;D

    I mention getting a good steel press used because they are practically indestructible and can be found very cheap.  My primary single stage press is an old Pacific Tool C-type that cost me $10 at a yard sale.  It uses standard shell holders, and has standard threading, so most accessories work with it.  In a hundred years, my grand children's children will still be using it.  A lot of reloading equipment comes up at garage and estate sales, you've just got to keep an eye out for it.  I avoid buying at gun shows.  Stuff seems to be priced at a premium at them.
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    FMJ

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    Re: I need to learn about reloading
    « Reply #42 on: October 28, 2010, 08:47:27 pm »
    Even when I read "ABCs of RL'ing" I'm still confused and overwhelmed at all the stuff the goes on!  :panic  I would much rather start out with the caveman simple gear just to pace myself, I guess.

    I'll be buying Privi Partizan .303 as I hear the brass is pretty good and solid.

    For someone like me, this seems OK and even comforting.


    I also watched a video of the hand press, and that also seems very doable.  Thing is I don't have a bench to mount any real press on.
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    THE NORSEMAN

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    Re: I need to learn about reloading
    « Reply #43 on: October 28, 2010, 09:08:51 pm »
    FMJ, think about it-

    It took him right at 4 minutes to load that 1 cartridge.  That translates into 3.3 hours time for one 50 round box of ammo.  A single stage set up and running will give you more precise results, and run 100 rounds an hour if you're all ready to go.

    Note his comment about setting off a primer once.  I make it a personal habit to avoid hammering on a primer for ANY reason.  A primer alone has enough force to drive a 240 grain 44 slug 3 inches into the barrel.

    As far as SHTF goes:  If you're that down and desperate for ammo, you have MUCH bigger problems.
    This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. . . . The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries

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    Re: I need to learn about reloading
    « Reply #44 on: October 28, 2010, 09:19:09 pm »
    FMJ, think about it-

    It took him right at 4 minutes to load that 1 cartridge.  That translates into 3.3 hours time for one 50 round box of ammo.  A single stage set up and running will give you more precise results, and run 100 rounds an hour if you're all ready to go.

    Note his comment about setting off a primer once.  I make it a personal habit to avoid hammering on a primer for ANY reason.  A primer alone has enough force to drive a 240 grain 44 slug 3 inches into the barrel.

    As far as SHTF goes:  If you're that down and desperate for ammo, you have MUCH bigger problems.

    NORSEMAN, what other simple set ups that don't take up any space should I be aware about?  I really don't have a bench in my small house.
    CaliforniaThere are many like it, but this one is mine.

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