Wanted to start reloading

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by IwasReloading, Sep 1, 2015.

  1. IwasReloading

    IwasReloading New Member

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    I've been keeping all my 45acp brass and I'm going by my local gun range to see about picking some brass up from there also. I want to start reloading my own ammo for target practice but I honestly hardly know anything about reloading. Could any of you tell me what all I would need to get started reloading and point me in the direction of some good books I could get to learn more about it.
     
  2. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    Excellent topic for a new thread!

    The best way is to have somebody show you. If you don't know anybody, you can offer somebody at the range $40 to show you.

    Having said that, there are books, of varying quality. One all time favorite, and well worth the money, is the Lyman Cast Bullet Loading Manual - 3rd Edition. It may be old, but it is the single most educational book about ALL aspects of reloading. You may not be interested in casting, or even in shooting cast bullets, but you do need to understand the mechanics of bullet behavior, and the Lyman manual is the best introduction.

    Most folks start out with a single stage press. I think it's a good idea. It's best to start with a basic model that you will be able to put to good use alongside a "pro" type press. Everybody has at least two presses, and having one Tacoma and one Mack truck is better than two Mack trucks.

    I recommend the Lee Classic Turret. It's a good strong press, and more than enough for loading straight walled pistol cartridges. You will also need a set of 45 acp Carbide Dies. Buying quality dies like the RCBS or Redding will save you from ever buying another set.

    Most seating dies also do crimping, and can be adjusted so that they crimp simultaneously with seating. DO NOT seat and crimp in one step, it is a surefire way to screw up learning how to reload! Run the seater plug all the way down and then adjust for correct seating, then remove the plug and adjust the die body to crimp. You can also buy a dedicated taper crimp die.

    The belling/expanding die should be adjusted to only open the mouth of the case just enough to allow starting the bullet in straight. Over-belling is not a big deal, but it will cause premature case mouth cracking. 45 ACP brass can be reloaded 10-20 times.

    You will also need:

    There are plenty of little nickle and dime things to spend the rest of your money on too!

    When you're all done, you should be able to load 45ACP for 15 cents or so. X-Treme plated bullets are practically indistinguishable from FMJ's in 45 ACP, and they are cheap.

    I'll add stuff to this post as I think of things. There are other reloaders here who will have their own recommendations and ideas. It's all good. It's a huge topic. It will be hard to learn without someone to show you.

    On the good side, most accidents that you make loading 45 ACP are not likely to result in any damage to you or the gun, because even an overload with Bullseye is not going to cause a kaboom unless you really are not paying attention (People who talk about a double charge with Bullseye are talking about roughly a 7 grain charge - 7 grains will wake you up, but it won't damage anything). I recommend Bullseye as your first powder. It's economical and it is a performer with the 45. 5.5 grains of Bullseye is a solid factory load.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2015

  3. IwasReloading

    IwasReloading New Member

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    Thanks for the info pokute. I'm going to take your advice and try to find someone that is reloading to show me how to do it. I found everything on Amazon that you mentioned and will be placing the order soon. I also never knew you could reload brass that many times. I'm headed to the small indoor range in my town right now to see about getting some brass and also if they can get me in touch with someone who reloads. Thanks again and I'm sure I'll be asking more questions about this soon.
     
  4. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    If you can get everything from Brownell's, you will have the option of returning any or all of it within a year. I linked to Amazon because the Amazon pages are a little easier to navigate than the Brownell's pages, which are often confusing. But Brownell's return policy is a godsend, and will save you a lot of money in the long haul.

    45 ACP brass is wayyy overbuilt. You can just use it over and over until it cracks at the mouth. There's guys on GunBroker that sell huge quantities of range brass cheap. But GunBroker sellers can be real pissers - One guy said to me, when I complained: "I said it was clean, I didn't say it was cleaned!". To him, clean meant dirty, and cleaned meant clean. Sheesh! You will have to clean and resize/deprime (done with a single step) range brass to make it usable.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2015
  5. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    I have a couple of "Pet Loads" for 45 acp. Note that "Pet Loads" often change over time, so this is sort of a "snapshot":


    • 200-230 gr bullet - 5.5 gr Bullseye
    • 200-230 gr bullet - 7.0 gr Unique

    Easy, huh?

    My current favorite bullets are any of the swaged lead bullets from ROZE (ZERO Bullets). ZERO swaged bullets are soft, and expand very well without breaking up. They also fly extremely straight, because swaged bullets have no voids, and no base bevel.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2015
  6. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    I happened to look at the Dillon Square Deal B yesterday at the range store. It is basically a one calibre only progressive press. If you only ever will be loading 45 acp, it would save you about 50% of the time required to load. The guy in the store said he can load 400/hour on it, which is about 3X what I can do using a single stage press. The little Lee turret press can probably do 200/hr.

    Personally, I would not recommend the Dillon unless you were dead certain that you were never going to wind up loading more than a couple of different cartridges, but the speed is very tempting. I spend about an hour every single day to have 300 rounds ready to go every weekend.
     
  7. CPTKILLER

    CPTKILLER Senior Member

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    Midway or many local stores have starter kits so to speak. You can always add more stuff as you need it.

    I ditto the fact that you need someone to apprentice you and give you some assistance. All is all, it isn't hard and is rewarding. However, attention to detail with any reloading activity is an absolute must. QA and check yourself often throughout each session.