Am I missing anything ?? New to reloading collecting equipment and knowledge - starting in Jan 14

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  • Am I missing anything ?? New to reloading collecting equipment and knowledge - starting in Jan 14

    Hi All,
    I have been planning on starting reloading for a while, but things have always got in the way. I have been collecting brass in 308, 303 and 30/30 and have several hundred of each caliber, as well as about 50 223. I will also be looking at loading 38 special/357 mag for my Marlin 1894 carbine.

    My rifles are
    Marlin 336CS 30/30
    Marlin 1894 .357 Mag/38 Special
    Ruger Gunsite Scout 308
    No 4 Lee Enfield 303
    Thompson Center Icon & Ruger No3 223
    Not sure if this makes a difference to any comments.

    I have been looking at YouTube videos, and reading books for a while, and it wasnt sinking in as there was so much gear to get used to. So I decided that I would start getting gear.

    I have had for a while, the reloading book, Nick Harveys Practical Reloading manual 9th edn, and have leafed through it. I have read through the first 35 pages of the lee manual, and have found it to be useful as it is covering the gear I have, but there is a very large marketing focus there as well.

    I have over the past two months purchased the items below in preperation for getting started, and have found having them in my hands has helped me get a grip on what is what, and has helped me when watching some YouTube videos. In December I will be looking at powders, primers, and projectiles, planning on playing around (safely) to see how it feels to be loading, trying to get a stable load simmilar to a factory then as I get better, and develop more of an understanding, focus on tuning the loads for my rifles.

    I want to have all the gear to start reloading in Jan, but have it before then, if you can, please have a look at what I have, and if you think that there is something I should have as part of my collection as a beginner, then can you please add something as a comment so I can research it for myself.
    My recent purchases
    Lee Breech Lock Challenger Kit
    Lee Modern Reloading Manual 2nd Edn
    Lee RGB 308 Winchester dies
    Lee RGB 303 British dies
    Lee RGB 30/30 Winchester dies
    Lee Pacesetter Dies 223 Remington
    Lee Deluxe Pistol die set 38 Special/357 Mag
    Lee Universal Shell Holder R2 (308 Winchester)
    Lee Universal Shell Holder R3 (30/30 Winchester)
    Lee Universal Shell Holder R4 (223 Remington)
    Lee Universal Shell Holder R5 (303 British)
    Lee Case Lenght Gauge/Holder 303 British
    Lee Cutter with Ball Grip
    Lee Three Jaw Chuck and Case Spinner
    Lee Decapper and Base 30 Cal
    Lee Decapper and Base 22 Cal
    Lyman E-Zee Case Trim Gauge II
    Lyman Cse Prep Kit
    Lyman Case Length/Headspace Gauge (223 Remington)
    Lyman Case Length/Headsapce Gauge (308 Winchester)
    Sierra Reloading Manual Rifle & Handgun 5th Edn
    Redding Model No 5 Powder Trickler
    MTM Mini Digital Reloading Scale
    MTM Case Guard Universal Loading Tray X2
    Hornady Digital Caliper

    Thanks in advance, any and all feedback is welcome

    Broomy

  • #2
    A hand priming tool and not a necessity, but a case tumbler and cleaning media. It's also highly recommended to have a good read of Nick Harvey's manual... Over 40 years of reloading experience. I'm currently reading it and there is a lot to get your head around being a novice. At least you're well on your way... I've only purchased the manual ,die set and case holder.

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      Thanks Shooter, I have in the past tried to read Nick Harveys book, but found it too much without a chance to actually touch and feel the gear. Having some gear, not sure if it is the right gear, but its good enough to get me started, its making more sense now. The Lee kit has a hand primer. I am studying at the moment, but in December I finish for two months, so then its hitting the reloading books, playing and getting a feel for how it works.

      I have found YouTube a fantastic resource for being able to see the gear being used.

      Cheers

      Broomy

  • #3
    A reloading Block is simply a block full of suitable sized holes to stand you shells in.
    I got a couple of styrene ones from hornady steel match boxes of fifty loads ans use them for now.
    I deally you will get some one to make you one from a solid block of alluminium and it will be really neat and smick.
    10 holes by five rows looks good and is essentiual in my thinking.
    You can make one from hard plastic if you have a bench drill press.
    I suggest avoid wood as it collects dirt and residue.
    Have the block with a smaller hole drilled inthe base so no crap collects in there.
    Dig around her and Contact "Sportco" on this forum I think he knew a bloke [ homey job at work ] that would make them for a pretty good price.
    Dobbed ya in Mike hope you don`t mind .

    [center]
    Don’t poke the snake, walk around it and come back later with a double-barrelled shotgun and blow its [email protected]#!ing head off!.

    Australia in future, the outcome is the same, a bloody dictatorship run on the whims of a very few ego-centric pathological elitists.

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      Thanks No Ferals, I have purchased a couple plastic reloading blocks from MTM as a way of getting started to hold my shell casings.

      Cheers

      Broomy

  • #4
    A bullet puller hammer is essential when you make your dummy reference rounds for later on.
    Not pricey I got one from Adelaide gun shop and it works fine.
    You simply push the bullet to be undone in from the top and a couple of good clouts on a solid surface and bingo out comes your projectile and powder all inthe hammer.
    You simply pull the empty case back out of the collet and do another whatever.
    A note in the instructions is a bit unclear but you do NOT need to take the end off the hammer and the collet is held by an O ring which appears broken but its not its made that way
    [center]
    Don’t poke the snake, walk around it and come back later with a double-barrelled shotgun and blow its [email protected]#!ing head off!.

    Australia in future, the outcome is the same, a bloody dictatorship run on the whims of a very few ego-centric pathological elitists.

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    • #5
      Broomy if you do want a bullet puller, I would suggest one of the RCBS Collet Type pullers, they just screw into your press like a die and its just a matter of turning a lever to tighten around the bullet and operate your press handle and out comes the bullet, bloody fantastic if you've done a few rounds for load testing and have discovered a load that works well and have no need to shoot the other loads.

      Very quick and easy to use, much better than the hammer type ones (I've used both and this is by far the best option).

      And the other thing to do is CHECK EVERY LOAD IN YOUR CASE BY HAVING A QUICK LOOK, IF SOMETHING LOOKS UNDER OR OVER OR NOT RIGHT, EMPTY IT OUT AND START AGAIN! an Undercharge can be just as dangerous as an overcharge possible even more so!

      THIS IS WHATS LEFT OF A SAKO WHICH HAS A UNDERCHARGED ROUND! The scope was found a few days later in some scrub about 30m away, the barrel landed on the bonnet of his vehicle and as you can see the rest is completely destroyed, the shooter didn't sustain any real injuries from memory but has since given up reloading (he was new to it and I guess didn't get in the habit of checking each case) as you can see it didn't end well.

      My advice is get in the habit of checking everything constantly, don't reload with a heap of people around, take your time and read the manuals well (Nick Harveys is great for Aussie Shooters) as it has the powders that are available here, the US versions have powders listed that aren't common here or need a conversion chart to work out what they are called here.

      If you have a friend who reloads and has done it for a while it would be good if they could come over and give you a hand to set things up correctly etc.

      Good luck mate - its a great pastime worth mastering.

      Whacking Varmints is my passion!

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        Hey Varminator,
        Thanks for the tip, I have seen it said that the Lee Powder chucker can be off at times, so was planning on checking pedantically about the grains in each load. I have never heard of or thought that undercharging could be dangerous though. Any idea of why, it causes problems ? Is it too much free space for the powder to combust in ? The picture certainly brings it home.

        I have seen a tip on youtube for marking each load so you can track what is in it, and was planning on doing that and keeping a journal of what I do and when. I like making lists

        Thanks for the tips,

        Cheers

        Broomy

    • #6
      This is how I go about reloading:-

      1. Prep all cases ie chamfer, deburr etc
      2. Prime all the cases I intend reloading
      3. Charge each case (check each one visually) then I put them in the reloading block and put a bullet in them upside down.
      4. Once they are all charged I seat the bullets (yes turn them up the right way!) :lol:

      If I'm doing load development I will do as above and once I have that load range done I seat them all and put them in a zip lock bag with the charge details on it, then I move onto the next charge range.

      If your using Beam Scales always check to make sure nothing has been bumped (get in the habit of checking each time you weigh the powder) it has happened to me on more than one occasion where the weights have moved and it could have been disastrous if I hadn't of been in the habit of checking each time!

      Same with powder throwers - make sure you do check them regularly too (this is what ol mate was using and something obviously changed and well you can see what happened!)

      Good luck and enjoy
      Whacking Varmints is my passion!

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        Hey Broomy,

        I'm not sure what a decapper is, but if it's for removing the primer then that will already be done by your dies.

        I'd recommend the Lee case length trimmers over anything else. Absolutely foolproof and fits into your drill. Very quick and easy. Dirt cheap too.

    • #7
      Hi Broomy,

      The biggest piece of advice I have for you regarding the equipment is to buy quality up front. I have been reloading for 20 years and have just about replaced a lot of the cheaper gear I bought. Lee gear is a good starting point, but for the items that count like dies and a press , invest up front. I like the Redding dies and others who are after more precision lean towards Forster, each to their own.

      Cheers
      Scott

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        Hey Scott,
        I got the lee stuff as I saw a post from Skippo here or on another forum, that said the lee stuff was ok. I have the basics and I figure that i will be keeping this gear and as my knowledge increases and I get personal preferences, that I will be getting better quality dies. One good thing for me about the lee gear is I am treating it as being expendable in use, or if I trash it, then it will be part of the learning experience, as I expect that i will be on a turret press (when I work out which one I want) in a couple years time. But by getting the lee gear, I have at least got something to start with, otherwise I would be spending a lot of time trying to work out what is what and not doing it.

        Thanks for the post, and I expect in a while after reading through all the posts in reloading that i will start to ask questions about the higher quality/better precision stuff.

        Cheers

        Broomy

    • #8
      Broomy,
      I have been reloading for at least 25 years. There is always something new, and better to buy to give you easier, better, faster results in this game!

      I just upgraded my single stage press to a Forster Co ax. ( enroute now ), so don't think you have got it "all", ever!

      Thanks,

      Oddball

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        Also I just went back over your OP & mind you I have no idea about LEE dies or equipment but why do you need a universal shell holder for each calibre??
        Then how are they universal

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        Hey Oddball,
        Thanks mate, I am wanting to do it right before I focus on new and better, will ask you a bit later about your Forster Co ax, (when I have a bit more knowledge) but at the moment have no idea of what it is, but a good quality press.

        Cheers

        Broomy
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