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Old December 29th, 2012 #1
Mr A.Anderson
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Default Ammunition Reloading Thread

Given all the concern (justified) over Civilian Disarmament and current ammunition shortages, I'm going to jump back into hand loading my own rounds.

I grew up handloading 20 ga shotgun shells and .30-30 rounds. It must be at least 20 years since I've reloaded a round, though, and really don't remember much about it. I know I'm going to need 2 presses (one for centerfire rifle and pistol ammo, and one for shotgun loads), dies, powder, bullets, shot, wads, casings/shells, primers, and a scale/grain scoop.

I've never reloaded a pistol round, and used to always work with my own (fired) brass and shells.

I'm looking into equipment right now, books, manuals, etc.

Does anybody have anything they recommend?

Please feel free to share any insights and knowledge you have on the subject. I'm going to be posting links to what I find on the net as far as equipment/pricing/availability, etc.

Hopefully this will help a few of us out.
 
Old December 29th, 2012 #2
keifer
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Dillan Presses.

http://www.dillonprecision.com/
 
Old December 29th, 2012 #3
Brooklyn Rick
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I would recommendhttp://www.grafs.com I buy a lot of stuff from them. Their catalog has everything you can think of for reloading. They also sell black powder, which is getting harder and harder to find.
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Old December 30th, 2012 #4
Mr A.Anderson
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I believe this is what I used way back when, an RCBS Single Stage Press.



I'm not looking at the ability to crank out hundreds of rounds quickly, so I'm not sure if I want one of the auto press types or not.

I think the first thing I'm going to do is buy a few books on reloading, first, and get myself re-aquainted.
 
Old December 30th, 2012 #5
M.N. Dalvez
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Pressing shotgun shells is not too difficult - it's not much harder than putting a lid on a jar full of your home produce. I imagine ammunition for rifles and handguns is much harder, though.
 
Old December 30th, 2012 #6
Mr A.Anderson
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Here is a very helpful article that covers the basic process, an explanation of the steps and tools.

http://www.gunsamerica.com/blog/how-...ng-ammunition/

After reading, I am at least going with a "Turret Press". Now when I think back to it, after reading, I remember how slow the single stage press was. It's a toss up between a turret type, and a progressive type.
 
Old January 26th, 2013 #7
Mr A.Anderson
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Just ordered some reloading equipment today.

I've been seriously searching the past few days, comparing prices, brands, types, and availability - and weighing all the options against what I wanted to spend.

I ended up ordering a Lee Precision II Anniversary Challenger Kit.



It wasn't my first choice in type or brand (would have preferred the RCBS turret press) but with all the equipment and components I need to buy, I just couldn't justify the additional cost at this time (it would have been twice as much).

I also ordered a brass tumbler and digital caliber.

Total cost was $246 (including shipping).

One of the determining factors for the single stage press is the fact that I won't be reloading thousands and thousands of rounds of multiple calibers. I also am not reloading match grade ammunition.

I only have 3 calibers I need to reload, .223, .308, and 9mm. I've been trading, selling, and buying to consolidate calibers.
 
Old January 26th, 2013 #8
N.B. Forrest
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This "rolling your own" is a good idea: I was in Walmart yesterday, and the shelves were almost completely bare of ammo. Feinschtein's big push and the goddamn feds buying up hundreds of millions of rounds is effectively doing the job of making the Second Amendment just some meaningless words from Dead White Male Racists.
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Old January 26th, 2013 #9
Mr A.Anderson
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Thanks, N.B. - here is a thread that illustrates the hardships of finding ammo to purchase, along with web listings of available ammo.

http://vnnforum.com/showthread.php?t=150133
 
Old February 3rd, 2013 #10
Mr A.Anderson
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The press kit and tumbler were delivered the other day. I've purchased the Nosler Reloading Guide (6th Edition). I'm not very impressed with it, TBH. While it has recommended loads for a wide variety of calibers, it only has a few loads per caliber, not very detailed, only covers a handful of powders, and has no conversion tables for determining a load's energy. I wouldn't recommend this guide.

I've identified the two die sets that I will be purchasing first, 9mm and .308 Winchester. As I have multiple firearms of the same caliber that I will be reloading for, I have to make sure that I have a Full Length Resizing Die. I am also opting for the Factory Crimp Die for each set.

Shopping around for the dies, but the MSRP should be around $90 for both sets.
 
Old February 3rd, 2013 #11
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Anderson, Somewhat off-topic but I spent yesterday putting my Mini-14 together with the 'ITI strifeforce-plus' that you provided the link to, and it came together well. The 'plus' refers to the fore-end handgrip. I'm more satisfied than I expected to be. It's a superior arrangement. I especially like the fact that it folds and locks, and will fire from that position.

Last edited by Bardamu; February 3rd, 2013 at 10:05 AM.
 
Old February 3rd, 2013 #12
Mr A.Anderson
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Thanks for letting me know. I'm going to purchase soon. It got bumped down on the priority list compared to my need for ammunition. I have enough now that I can provide and defend for an extended period of time. Once I get the rest of my reloading equipment and loading supplies, I want to purchase the newer stock. While mine is serviceable, it is a bit of an uncomfortable stretch to look through the sights with the butt stock extended. I just hope they are still available, but I'm sticking with my priorities instead of desires.

Glad it worked out for you, and happy that I could help.
 
Old February 8th, 2013 #13
Mr A.Anderson
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Just ordered a 3 die set for the .308 (including full length resizing die) and a 4 die set for the 9mm (including full length resizing die). I have multiple firearms in the same caliber that I am reloading for.

I was in a Gander Mountain in Ohio last week, and found a bag of Winchester brand, unprimed new brass for the 9mm. 100 count, $30. First time I've seen any reloading supplies for the 9mm anywhere.
 
Old February 24th, 2013 #14
Mr A.Anderson
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Just checked the math and availability.

$29.99 IMR 4895 smokeless powder / pound.
$53.99 Hornady .308 dia Interbond 150 gr SSTBT, 100 ct
$100 CCI #200 Large Rifle Primers, 1000 ct
$140 .308 Win brass, fired, cleaned, 500 ct

I can load Hornady .308 Win Interbond SSTBT, 150 gr loaded @ 44.5 gr of powder (99% case full) creating 2800 fps muzzle velocity, 2610 muzzle energy........for $1.12 per round, or $22.40 a box of 20.

IF, and that is a big if, you can find comparable manufactured ammo on the shelf, it is selling for around $2.50 per round, or $50 a box of 20.

Of course, that is only the component cost, and doesn't reflect the cost of physical equipment.

BTW, primers are getting real hard to find, and when you can find them, they are outrageously priced.

3 years ago, #200 Large Rifle primers were $0.02 ppr. They have gone up 500% in price, to around $0.10 ppr.
 
Old February 25th, 2013 #15
Mr A.Anderson
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Found primers local. Federal large rifle, $4.99 per 100, limited to 500 per customer per day. At $0.05 per primer, that's half the price I can get them online right now, while supplies last.
 
Old March 1st, 2013 #16
Mr A.Anderson
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Back in town, and went back to the same store to buy more primers. They are now limited to 300 per purchase, per day. I've called several friends in the area to stop by and purchase the maximum for me.

I got 300 CCI small pistol primers for $4.99 per 100.

The way I figure it, I want to have about 6,000 primers on hand divided between small pistol, large pistol, small rifle, large rifle. Add another 2,000 of shotgun primers to the mix.

With store imposed limits, it is going to take a while......if they don't run out first (which I think they will unless they have a hidden stash in the back).

Primers and Powder are the two components that we cannot manufacture or recycle ourselves (we can pour our own lead bullets and recycle used brass). Powder seems to be readily available, and hasn't had much of a markup in the past several years. Primers on the other hand......
 
Old March 9th, 2013 #17
Mr A.Anderson
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Good news.

Found a little local shop down the road that is fully stocked. Guns, ammo, reloading supplies, magazines, you name it, he has it. Unbelievable, and at NORMAL PRICES!!!! He doesn't do mail order shipping, but you can PM me if you want to work a deal on anything.

I'm clearing him out of the things I need on Monday morning.

I just placed a bid for 1,000 mixed head stamped 9mm brass (range brass), cleaned, with a current max bid for $100 (current high bid is $54.00) on Gunbroker. I also placed a bid for 500 mixed head stamped .308 Win brass.

I received notification that my 9mm and .308 Win reloading dies have been shipped today.

My local vendor actually has 9mm bullets in stock. I'm buying at least 500 Speer Gold Dot 124 gr JHP for $28.95 per box of 100. I can't believe he has those! He also has them in 115 grain (will probably buy 500 of those) at the same price.

Next weekend, I will be setting up my re-loading station, and begin loading 9mm and .308 Win. I'm excited.

I've also made a contact for free lead and tin to cast my own bullets (which I want to get into for range/practice ammo).
 
Old March 9th, 2013 #18
Mr A.Anderson
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Woooooo-Hooooooo!

Just won the bid for 1000 brass casings for 9mm for $82.00!

Add that to the 150 casings I have right now, and the additional 600 rounds of ammunition in 9mm, I'm happy.

Have another day to see about the .308 Win.
 
Old March 9th, 2013 #19
Squarehead Chris
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I've been reloading since the late 70's.
I discourage buying mixed headstamp brass.
As any experienced reloader can tell you, there are considerable variations in brass between manufacturers, and even lot numbers of same manufacturers.

I suggest you build up a stock of brass from the same manufacturer, and same lot number when possible.

Also, get yourself a good case trimmer, this is essential for consistent bullet seating, head spacing, primer sensitivity ect.
(all very important to consistent accuracy!)

I like the single stage presses myself.
I've seen questionable quality come out of the turret/progressive set-ups.

I also enjoy putting the time, attention and TLC into each and every round I make.
Knowing full well that someday that exact round may save my life or the life of a loved one.
 
Old March 10th, 2013 #20
Mr A.Anderson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squarehead Chris View Post
I've been reloading since the late 70's.
I discourage buying mixed headstamp brass.
As any experienced reloader can tell you, there are considerable variations in brass between manufacturers, and even lot numbers of same manufacturers.

I suggest you build up a stock of brass from the same manufacturer and same lot number when possible.

Also, get yourself a good case trimmer, this is essential for consistent bullet seating, head spacing, primer sensitivity ect.
(all very important to consistent accuracy!)

I like the single stage presses myself.
I've seen questionable quality come out of the turret/progressive set-ups.

I enjoy putting the time, attention and TLC into each and every round I make.
Knowing full well that someday that exact round my save my life or the life of a loved one.
Beggars can't be choosers when it comes to brass these days.

I have a full length sizing die, case trimmer, factory crimp die, and a digital caliper to measure wall thickness. It isn't my preferred buy, but in these times, it is as good a deal as one can get. Buying (if you can even find) 100 unprimed casings will cost you $30 plus tax. Out of a thousand, chances are that you will have at least 100 usable Winchester, Remington, and UMC cases each. That would be over $100 for just those 300 casings. I have an additional 700 to sort through for less price.

Of course I could be completely wrong. But I will post the results of my buy for others to make judgement upon.

Hopefully, I am right. At worst, I should break even. I don't think I will lose on this buy.
 
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