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Reloading questions

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  • Reloading questions

    Hey guys. I have recently become interested in reloading. I have yet to invest any money into the equipment, but I am itching. I guess my hesitation is as follows:

    Is it really that much cheaper after purchasing equipment and parts?
    Is it difficult? I have never attempted it, so I honestly have no idea.
    Which type of equipment is best for 45/70? 5.56? .55acp?

    I appreciate any feedback. I have done a lot with firearms but have never played with the ammunition side, so I guess it just may be time.

    Thanks in advance

  • #2
    I am surprised no one responded -- My answer to most of your questions -- It depends
    How much you shoot -- what you shoot How much time you have -
    If you spend top end and don't do much shooting -- you will likely never recover costs
    A simple single stage unit bought used - they don't wear out -- My press is from 1960 and still works fine.
    Adding dies and a few other bits and pieces will not be expensive. They can be bought used as well.
    I don't think there is really any best type, today most any will do the job -
    More money generally means less time spent per round. -
    good ammo can be produced with the simplest tooling as well as the most expensive.
    It is not difficult, but careful attention to detail is needed.

    I suggest a good reloading book as the first step - I prefer lyman or the ABC's of reloading but most others are good too.

    my tuppence -- good luck

    Comment


    • #3
      Lawman,

      Pavogrande is correct. I have reloaded since i was 12, that's 55 years. I have loaded everything from 22 hornet to 416 Rigby.
      Loaded for blasting, big game hunting, varmits, and competition. I shoot around 4000 to 5000 rounds a year. I use
      the most basic to very advanced and expensive reloading equipment. I thought initially that I was doing it to save money.
      Turns out that's not really true. I load for two reasons - control and fun. I can tailor my ammunition to the intended use
      and the shooter. I start kids with normal cartridges but lower power loads. I load plinking ammo for heavy calibers. I load
      quieter ammo for small game. I load cheap ammo for blasting. I load with the best components for big game. I load with
      the correct techniques and components for accuracy for varmits. For me it is about control. It also fills the off season with
      shooting related activity and increases the amount of time I can think of fun activities. So, its also about fun. Give it a try,
      find a qualified person to guide you, and read, read, read, read. And above all, NEVER, NEVER try for "hot" loads, and NEVER
      shoot someone else's handloads.

      Comment


      • #4
        Lawman,
        The other two members have answered your post with a good outline for reloading, cost and of coarse safety. I myself have also been reloading for around 40 years or so, and for me it saves me quite a lot of money per year with all the different rifles and pistols that I shoot. an example of comparing factory to reloads for my varmint rifle for accuracy, on a bench rest at 100 yard's the factory shells had a 5 shot group all in the black of the target about a 1 1/2 inch diameter group. The reloaded ones that i worked up for my rifle shot a 5 shot group into 1 ragged 30 caliber hole at the same distance. I've been using a RCBS rockchucker press every since I started loading and it still works like new. Once you buy you press, dies, scale and other odds and ends you need you will always have them as they hardly ever wear out. I would suggest locating a friend that reloads and set with him when he does some loading. Some times for me anyway a picture is worth a thousand words, Check and follow the manuals directions and you will do fine. Always remember when you start loading, if you are unsure or have a question just ask. There are a lot of great guys on here that have many many years of experience and would be more than happy to help. If you decide reloading is for you I wish you the best.

        Comment


        • #5
          Contact your NRA Regional rep and get a list of the NRA Certified Reloading Instructors. They have specific classes for Rifle, Shotgun, Casting, etc and they get the basics down for you really well, I know. I have been reloading for 52 years and have never had a failure of any kind and have gotten thousands of hours of enjoyment from reloading and load development. Basically there are 3 types of people reloading, those that just shoot a few boxes of shells a year prior to and during hunting season and want to save a little money might go the route of simple and basic equipment. There are those that get all caught up in starting at the "max load" making bullets go really fast, burn up barrels, and secretly strive to be able to hit the side of a large dairy barn at a 1000 yards with a PuaDoAh, these types can often be found with a hip hitched up against the gun counter at the local Walmart, spinning the cylinder on a S&W 500 while impressing the geek clerk with their knowledge. Then there are those "pine riders' that are driven to put all 5 bullets through the same hole at a 100 and sometimes need to go to family counseling after their wife finds out what happened to the cookie jar stash. Somewhere in those three areas you will find yourself. I suggest start easy with an eye to a basic press and one set of full length bottleneck rifle caliber dies and accessories to see if you actually find reloading something that you enjoy. In that manner if you do not enjoy it, you can easily unload the stuff at the likes of eBay and skip the family counseling.


          Originally posted by Lawman View Post
          Hey guys. I have recently become interested in reloading. I have yet to invest any money into the equipment, but I am itching. I guess my hesitation is as follows:

          Is it really that much cheaper after purchasing equipment and parts?
          Is it difficult? I have never attempted it, so I honestly have no idea.
          Which type of equipment is best for 45/70? 5.56? .55acp?

          I appreciate any feedback. I have done a lot with firearms but have never played with the ammunition side, so I guess it just may be time.

          Thanks in advance

          Comment


          • #6
            Lawman,
            One more piece of advise other probably all ready gave you, DO NOT start your reloading adventure with the straight-wall 3 die sets for 45-70 or the 45ACP, trust me on that. The 5.56 caliber is less intensive as it is a bottleneck two die set and will give you the basics without the crimping issues.

            Comment


            • #7
              I am one of the certified NRA Reloading Instructors, and have formal classes that I run here in Florida.

              If any of you are down this way, and want to learn, you can contact me here for details, class fee, schedule, etc.
              Administrator/Moderator - SwapArms Forum

              NRA Life Member
              NRA Certified Metallic Cartridge Reloading Instructor
              Author of a book on reloading

              Comment


              • #8
                Lawman,
                You will recoup the cost of equipment but if my experience is any indication your costs for shooting will not be lower.
                I too have been loading for a few years and find that we tend to shoot more than we would if we were buying factory ammo.
                I reload for plinking and handload for accuracy.

                Steve

                Comment


                • #9
                  I first started handloading with a Lyman 310 tong tool and a 311291 Lyman mold for 30-06 bought at a flea market for $20 40 years ago. 1 box and I was hooked. As my interest is primarily in wildcats, historical firearms and mechanical oddities, handloading is essential as the ammo is not normally available; you have to roll your own. There is enough cheap 223 ammo around that it wouldn't probably be that much of a cost savings, although you might consider buying brass cased boxer primed ammo to reload when the price goes up, as it will. But if you're after utmost accuracy, handloads will get you there.
                  I'm going to assume you meant .45ACP rather than .55; it is one caliber that can be reloaded quite cost effectively. 45-70 is another that is not only cost effective, but gives you a wide variety of potential bullet weights. Both work excellently with cast bullets, which lowers the cost of shooting considerably and gives you even more to chose from.
                  Last edited by tweedmus; 08-28-2015, 12:55 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Keep an accurate log book of what you reload so that you can identify each and every load you put together. Nothing is worse then finding a stray loaded round and wondering where it came from or what is in that load.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Reloading questions

                      Most of the guys around here double up on orders. Everyone puts their order in together and then they split the hazz fee.

                      No way around it that I know of

                      All the gun shops around here carry powder...including gander mountain and such.

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