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Gentlemen, If I'm in the wrong forum, tell me where to go!


I'm shooting two - three times a week ifring about 200+ rounds each of the followintg per week380's, 9mm, 40 and 45's not to mention a truck load of 22lr's. Anyway, I wanted to ask your input about how and what I need to start reloading. I would like to get started on the right foot by doing it right the fiarst time.

I know a multi station is best and thats about all I know.


Where is the best place to get your brass, powder, primers, bullets, etc.?

I would guess you 've probably talked this topic to death so please indulge me with a little patience and help me out.

Thanks,

JimK
 

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My quick guide to reloading.



The machine: Buy a Dillon. There are cheaper options, there are similar options at the same price, there are things in different colors. Just buy a Dillon. If you want the details of why a Dillon, there are many that can be argued about, but almost ALL serious pistol shooters load on a Dillon. Can you load good ammo fast on different presses? Sure, but save yourself some time and buy a Dillon

From the Dillon lineup you can choose to spend as little or as much as you want. The SDB is cheaper and smaller but uses its own special dies. The 550 and 650 Are both very cool. They both support a huge number of calibers, conversion is quick. The 550 is cheaper, the 650 is a smidge better. I own a 550 and I've been very happy with it. If money is no option, buy a 1050. If you want to get a Dillon and wonder what accessories you may need go to http://www.brianenos.com/store/dillon.html and look around.



The accessories: Besides a press you are going to need a pile of small things. A powder scale can be a cheap Lee one or a $300 digital monster. They all work but some work better then others. You are going to want some form primer tray, maybe some extra primer tubes, etc. Check out the packages listed on the BrianEnos website.



Dies: I see no reason not to use Lee dies. They work, they are cheaper then anyone else, and they are easy to find. Buy the Delux kits including factory crimp dies which ROCK. They should be less then $30 per Delux set per caliber.



Loading Manuals: Get a few.



Components: Primers have gone up in price recently and they are around $25 per 1000. Some require a softer hit to go off some need a strong hit. Federals are the "softest" and very popular with competition shooters but very hard to find right now. Winchester are next best thing and easy to find. CCI are hard, and Remington are strangely unpopular. Powders are a personal choice. For a soft recoil you want faster burn rate powders but they run at higher pressure for the same velocity. I like titegroup and clays from Hodgdon and you can find them everywhere. Lots of competition shootes swear by n320 but Vihtavuori powders are kinda hard to find. Powders and Primers are shipped as hazmat and add another $20 shipping charge because of it. You can't even get them shipped togethers. I recommend you buy these localy.



Bullets are much cheaper order in bulk on the internet. I prefer precisiondelta.com for standard FMJ bullets but there are other like Zero, Montana Gold, Speer, etc. If you want cheaper bullets look at moly coated rounds like Precision Bullets and Black Bullets. It is cheaper to buy straight from the manufacturer and most including the shipping in their price. Lead is is cheaper still and sometimes really cheap localy. The more you order the cheaper they are and most get shipped in USPS flat rate boxes. The weight per bullet is a personal choice. For each caliber heavier bullets are going to give you softer recoil and less snap at the expense of a slower cycle speed.



There are the very basics. If you have more detail questions I can try to answer them. There are a few forums that have LOTS of info on reloading.
 

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See that blue reloader just left of center? That's a Dillon RL550, and that's what you need for volume reloading, it is the very best progressive reloader available, I bought mine in 1985, and I can't imagine being without it now.



 

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G56, you are my hero...........lmao




G56 said:
See that blue reloader just left of center? That's a Dillon RL550, and that's what you need for volume reloading, it is the very best progressive reloader available, I bought mine in 1985, and I can't imagine being without it now.



 

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Vlad has some excellent information there, but get a Hornaday lock-and-load AP press.



I don't see how you could light off a primer tube on the Hornaday, and I like the quick change system better, and it's cheaper than the 550, and it auto indexes.



If money is no object, don't get a Dillon 1050. Get 2 650's, or 3 Hornaday L-N-L presses. Unless you swage a lot of military brass, you don't need 25 stations.



What you NEED to get started that doesn't come with the press:



1. primer flip tray - cheapest available

2. at least 1 load book per caliber - I like loadbooks USA

3. 4 dies per caliber - full length sizer, expander, seater, and crimper (lee factory crimp is great, taper crip works great for me, if you shoot revolver, you'll want a roll crimp) lee is very good, I like the Hornaday TitaniumNitride dies because I'm poor and I don't have a tumbler yet.

4. caliper - dial is fine, cheap is fine

5. scale - If you have the money, I'd spend it here. A good electronic scale will save you time.

6. stand or workbench



What you need to make loaded ammo:



1. brass - personally, I don't buy brass. If I need more brass, I buy WWB and shoot it until I get enough brass. Also friends who shoot but don't reload, friendly range officers, local law enforcement, etc are all good places to look. I find that by the time I buy brass, I'm almost at the cost of store bought.

2. bullets - online stores (midway, leadmeister, etc, etc, etc) I like Rainier plated bullets.

3. primers - group buys. Get to know some people at your local range. You'll probably find out they do a group buy every 3-6 months. 1 haz-mat is good for a lot of primers. Our last group buy I got federal primers for $17.52/1000.

4. powder - group buys. 1 haz-mat is good for a lot of powder. Our last group buy I averaged about $18/lb.



There you have it. That's everything you need to start loading for pistol. Buy a progressive, auto indexing press and have at it. You won't save $0.01, but you'll shoot a whole lot more.
 

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The L-N-L press is the only one I would consider besides the Dillon ones. IMHO its only drawbacks are the ergonomics of feeding both brass an bullet from the same side, and the fact that it doesn't play well with the Lee factory crimp dies. Also, it used to be cheaper, but now it is about the same price as the 550, though it is fully progressive, something that doesn't matter to me. Finally the LnL system is cool but I prefer the removable toolheads. Either way, they are both fine machines. The 1050 still does some really cool things like having enough station for a primer pocket swaging and case trimming. Not important to most pistol loads, but comes in really handy if you want to load rifle ammo. For pistol only, I think the 650 is quite perfect.
 

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this is one

subject that there are gobs of discussion on..



check The glocktalk forums. the 1911forums and especially Brian Enos forums.. and if you order a dillon, which i'd recomend, get it from Enos..



One thing i've decided is that i dont' really need a digital scale, a good analog bar scale works fine and to me it's just as fast.



I got a electronic caliper, which is nice about 29 bucks..



Other thing about reloading you need to worry about is how much time you want to devote to the pursuit ? if your objective is little as possible.. a 650 or 1050.. if you don't mind a little more time a 550..



Good luck, i'm glad i started..



Mouse.
 

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There was some discussion on some other forums about the LNL, spurred by the bullet offer from Hornady, it's sad when a manufacturer has to resort to freebees to move their product. An analysis of the costs involved with the LNL shows that it's quite a bit more expensive than the Dillon, both to buy and not really any cheaper to do caliber conversions.



Midway discounts the Hornady quite a bit, so price comparisons are based on Midway's prices.



Basic rifle setup in 223

Hornady LNL $369.95

rifle dies $27.99

shell plate $25.99

Hornady total $423.93



Same thing Dillon 550

Dillon complete set up for 223 $379.95

rifle dies included

shell plate included



Now for the conversion cost to 45 acp



Hornady

shell plate $25.99

expander $8.79

powder die $15.29

pistol rotor with handgun metering insert $28.99

bushings $11.99

Hornady 45acp dies $34.99 on sale

taper crimp die $18.99

Hornady caliber conversion total $145.03



Dillon

shell plate and expander $39.95

powder die $8.95

powder measure already has both rifle and pistol slides

tool head $16.95

Dillon dies $57.95 includes taper crimp die

Dillon caliber conversion total $123.80
 

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I can't wait to get a Dillon 550 or 650.

My single stage is way too time consuming.



I have also taken a hard look at the Hornady LNL AP. A shooting friend of mine actually uses one to load a lot of .45ACP. But I feel the Dillon is a better machine.
 

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So what do you think the intial start-up cost is to begin reloading rounds like .40, .223 and .308? Or, is what John describes in RED, the actual cost? If so, that would be a little bit more than a $1000 to start with your own equipment if I did my math right. Is there any hidden or additional cost's? Sorry for the 20 questions, just very curious about this topic.
 

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On thing to keep in mind that you don't have to buy everything at once. Also you can save some money from the math above by using Lee dies.



So ..



550 setup for 223 $380

308 caliber conversion $40

.40 caliber conversion $40

2 tool heads $34

2 powder dies $18

primer tray $15

Eliminator Balance-beam Scale $50

lyman loading manual $25

speer loading manual $23

.308 Lee dies $30

.40 Lee dies $25

A case tumbler from Midway about $50



Add some small things I'm sure I'm forgeting and you are looking at about $750.



Sounds like a lot? Lets look at .40 alone, which is where you get the least savings out the 3. Lets say you buy components at a medium to high price you are looking at $135/1000 including brass. WWB from midway is $240/1000 + shipping. If you have saved brass thats about $140/1000 difference. 5000 rounds later you are saving money. On .223 the math is even better and on .308 it is spectacular.
 

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Hmmmmmmmmmm..... :wink:
 

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If you have $1000 to spend give Brian Enos a call and talk to him. He will walk you through all you need, explain all the options, and tell you what extra gear you may want. There is nothing like having one of the icons of practical shooting hand hold you with your reloading purchase.
 

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Vlad said:
On thing to keep in mind that you don't have to buy everything at once. Also you can save some money from the math above by using Lee dies.


One more thing about Lee dies, they will work on the Dillon, the head on the Hornady is too thick for Lee dies, so you can't use the Lee dies on the Hornady.



Personally I don't like Lee dies, but to each his own. If someone buys the Lee dies, you would need to get the Lee Factory Crimp die also, the standard Lee dies are set up for a roll crimp, most brands including the Hornady are that way, but you don't use a roll crimp on auto pistol calibers, you use a taper crimp, the Lee Factory Crimp isn't a taper crimp, but it will work in place of one, the Dillon dies come standard with a taper crimp die.
 

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I don't have the setup G56 has but what I do have has been working fine for me. I called Brian Enos and got the Dillon 550 EZ-buy never reloaded package that has basically everything you need to start.

The package comes with the press, 1 die set (.40s&w for me), digital calipers, brass cleaner, media seperator, size die, digital scale, and a few extra things. If you wanted to reload multiple calibers you can get additional die plates & dies so you don't have to redo you setting when changing out calibers.

The total cost for everything was about $1100 (give or take) which wasn't too bad for getting everything I needed in one shot. I only had to get some things like cleaning media and case lube elsewhere.



I picked up primers and powder at local shops and got some Berrys loads over the net. I had beed saving my brass from any purchased ammo and placing it aside, I've also been picking up the range brass. So for I haven't touched my brass stash, just the range brass, and haven't had a problem with it. Then again the place I've been going to I can be 98% sure that all the brass in the buckets at the range are once fired.









-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------



finalfusion said:
Before we go any further, that is G56's set up. I havent got into re loading yet, I was just drooling over his set up....lmao


Woops ... sorry bout that. Made the correction to my post.
 

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Before we go any further, that is G56's set up. I havent got into re loading yet, I was just drooling over his set up....lmao




greatzippy said:
I don't have the setup finalfusion has but what I do have has been working fine for me. I called Brian Enos and got the Dillon 550 EZ-buy never reloaded package that has basically everything you need to start.

The package comes with the press, 1 die set (.40s&w for me), digital calipers, brass cleaner, media seperator, size die, digital scale, and a few extra things. If you wanted to reload multiple calibers you can get additional die plates & dies so you don't have to redo you setting when changing out calibers.

The total cost for everything was about $1100 (give or take) which wasn't too bad for getting everything I needed in one shot. I only had to get some things like cleaning media and case lube elsewhere.



I picked up primers and powder at local shops and got some Berrys loads over the net. I had beed saving my brass from any purchased ammo and placing it aside, I've also been picking up the range brass. So for I haven't touched my brass stash, just the range brass, and haven't had a problem with it. Then again the place I've been going to I can be 98% sure that all the brass in the buckets at the range are once fired.





 

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I found myself in the same boat. Was shooting 200-300 rounds/wk in 9 & 40.

I recently picked up a 550 from Brian Enos with all the bells and whistles for these two calibers.

All to my door for just over $800.

Brian will not try to sell you anything you don't really need and will save you a little money vs buying direct from Dillon as he doesn't charge for shipping. Dillon's incredible warranty is also something to consider. Truly a NO BS warranty.

I'm using Dillon dies with the expection of a Redding compitition seater for the 40. I use a few different bullet types and lengths in this caliber and the micrometer head is real handy for this. I'm also thinking of going to UniqueTek's powder bar micrometer setup.











Note: My bench is not really warped like this. Some weird camera paralax thing I guess!
 

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Morgan Walker said:
So what do you think the intial start-up cost is to begin reloading rounds like .40, .223 and .308? Or, is what John describes in RED, the actual cost? If so, that would be a little bit more than a $1000 to start with your own equipment if I did my math right. Is there any hidden or additional cost's? Sorry for the 20 questions, just very curious about this topic.


The cost is just for the basic press and dies, there are lots of extra things you have to get, you need to have a scale, brass cleaning system like a vibratory tumbler from Midway and the media to go in it. there's really a long list of little stuff. You don't need a ton of stuff to start, as an example the brass trimmer is for rifle cartridges, you don't need one for pistol reloading.



At minimum you need to have these items in addition to the list I made above, you can get these items for about $100 or a little more.

Powder scale, a balance beam scale will do anything you want to do

Vernier caliper, to measure the length of the brass and the OAL of the ammo you load

Bullet puller, this is an eraser for reloading mistakes, you will make mistakes, this allows you to correct them

Primer flip tray



Beyond those you need bullets, powder and primers appropriate to the caliber, as well as empty cartridge cases.



I probably forgot something, but it's a start!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Reloading

Ok Fellows, I followed your advice and took the plunge this afternoon. I ordered a Dillon RL550B from Brian Enos with like many of you (all the bells and whistles).

He walked me through what I wanted out of a reloader and we went from there.

Ended up spending more than I had intended, but when I explained I wanted as little hastle as possible with the setup. I wanted to be able to switch calibers with minimal chance of messing up he said it's going to cost you, but you'll find it worth it and we added the 550 Delux Quick-Change Kit. This will allow me after having each caliber setup to only switch the entire unit without having to reset anything. For me that's a cool thing. I also got the conversion kits for the 380, 9mm, 40 and 45 acp. The press is coming with the 40 S&W

Anyway I just wanted to give you an update and ask about getting brass, bullets, primers and powder.

I would like to get the powder and primers locally but is Midway a good source for brass and bullets?

Thanks,

Jim
 
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