Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    McDonald, Pennsylvania
    (Washington County)
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    Default How to get started reloading..

    I have decided that I want to start reloading.. When we were younger, my dad bought a reloading setup.

    My brother has it now, and I could easily buy the dyes and supplies for the .40 S&W and .45 ACP, but I really want to have my own setup, so that I can control the quality of the work.. My brother is a licensed gunsmith, and I trust him completely, but I like to have control over the process..

    If I buy the dyes and necessary pieces for his press, I will have him do it..

    If I were to buy my own press, what would I need to load my own.. Can someone please give me a list of equipment and supplies I will need to start..?

    Thanks,
    Dave

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lebanon, Pennsylvania
    (Lebanon County)
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    Default Re: How to get started reloading..

    You are in an extremely good position to get started. If your brother would be willing to reload for you, I'd think he would also be agreeable to let you buy the dies and then work with you for a little while to get the hang of it and see first hand what you need.
    If you want to load a lot of pistol ammo, you may want to get a progressive as your first press. That's generally not the first recommendation because of the "learning curve" and the ability to get a better basic understanding without having to learn to set up a multi stage press as part of your indoctrination. If you can start by working with someone competent and experienced, you have a huge advantage that may allow you to jump right into a progressive as your first setup. On the other hand, you may find that a single stage press will serve your purpose quite well.
    This has been discussed many, many times on PAFOA, but always in regard to someone starting from scratch with nobody close to give them hands-on training.
    There are as many opinions of what is "needed" as there are people who reload. The best way to find out what's best for you is to learn from someone who can be trusted. Ask questions and get advice along the way. Go into it with an open mind and accept any pointers he's willing to give. Ask about anything and everything you don't understand completely.
    He probably has some books that would be very useful to you, if he'll let you borrow one or more, that's great, or maybe he'll let you read them while at his place, some people are hesitant to lend books, and rightfully so. You'll want to have your own books anyhow, so if you can't read or borrow books from him, get one or three of your own right away. You'll find good suggestions for reading material if you follow the advice in the next sentence.
    To see what kind of advice has been given to others who want to start reloading and don't have the advantage of hands-on help like you may have, just use the search feature on this site and search reloading, you'll get more advice than you know what to do with.
    Good luck!
    Don't be afraid to ask more questions here.

    I don't have a short temper, I just have a quick reaction to bullshit.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Lancaster Area, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: How to get started reloading..

    Buy a kit, and everything else will fall into place.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Etters, Pennsylvania
    (York County)
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    Default Re: How to get started reloading..

    +1 to what sjl127 said...

    I got a Lee kit from Cabalas and i have been very happy. Yeah i know i am not reloading 1,000s of rounds on a single stage press but i can do 100 pistol rounds in a little over an hour.


    I decided that as things break or wear out I might move up to more costly equipment but for now I am happy with Lee products.

    Rob

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lebanon, Pennsylvania
    (Lebanon County)
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    Default Re: How to get started reloading..

    Quote Originally Posted by sjl127 View Post
    Buy a kit, and everything else will fall into place.
    Quote Originally Posted by RJH245 View Post
    +1 to what sjl127 said...

    I got a Lee kit from Cabalas and i have been very happy. Yeah i know i am not reloading 1,000s of rounds on a single stage press but i can do 100 pistol rounds in a little over an hour.


    I decided that as things break or wear out I might move up to more costly equipment but for now I am happy with Lee products.

    Rob
    I can't argue about with the value of a Lee kit, but I'll stand by my advice to buy the dies you need first, (they aren't included in the kit anyhow), and work with your brother to learn the basics and decide which kit you want to buy. Since you're looking to load only 2 pistol calibers you may decide that you want to go right to a progressive press, then you may regret spending money on a single stage setup.
    Take advantage of any chance to get first hand experience, it will save you money and time.
    My dad taught me how to reload a long time ago. When I started to reload on my own I bought the Lee Anniversary kit, I'm still using it. I don't regret learning from an experienced reloader, nor do I regret buying the Lee Kit. I feel like I got the best start a person can get.

    I don't have a short temper, I just have a quick reaction to bullshit.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Watsontown, Pennsylvania
    (Northumberland County)
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    Default Re: How to get started reloading..

    don't count on the equipment wearing out very soon, I am still useing an RCBS JR and RCBS dies that are over 50 years old. bought 'em new and they still work like new. with proper care, they will likely out live the loader, I know mine will. still load many boxes of ammo every year with them.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Lititz, Pennsylvania
    (Lancaster County)
    Posts
    48
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    Default Re: How to get started reloading..

    Buy a kit.

    Lee = Great
    RCBS = Even Better

    Just make sure you have a scale, a real steel caliper, and one or more loading manuals if the kit doesn't come with them.

    If you use Hodgdon powders their website counts as a reloading manual.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Port Matilda, Pennsylvania
    (Centre County)
    Age
    44
    Posts
    221
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    33

    Default Re: How to get started reloading..

    I have to agree with the other guys on the kit. I currently use RCBS equipment with a JR press (single stage), however I am going to buy one of the Lee Presses as I shoot a butt load of pistol rounds. The one thing I am finding and I wish I had taken into consideration when I bought my dies is the Lee Powder Thru Expanding Die. This is a Die that makes the process easier if using the Pro 100 Progressive press or the Turret press. All my dies are RCBS and now I will have to buy new dies for my pistols to make this process faster. (or at least the powder thru dies).

    Also Harbor Frieght usually has great deals on digital calipers which does not come in any kits I have seen and they are a neccesity. www.harborfrieght.com
    I think I paid like $15.00 for the 6 inch scale.

    Good Luck!!!!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Brandon
    ________________________
    IDPA
    NAHC

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
    (Dauphin County)
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    Default Re: How to get started reloading..

    Use the equipment you already have access to. Maybe buy one or two things that you don't already have. Spend some time with your brother.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Crawfordsville, Indiana
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    Default Re: How to get started reloading..

    Are you looking for a budget setup, or a fancier one. I can give you advice on the former, I'm taking advice on the latter
    "Never give up, never surrender!" Commander Peter Quincy Taggart

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