I have been collecting brass for awhile now for rifles and pistol rounds. (Mainly .308 and .9mm)
I been wanting to get into handloading my own ammunition.
The problem is I have no friggin' idea where to start. I dont know what equipment/tools I would need, or the process. All I know its cheaper than buying new ammo. Plus it would give me something to do in the winter months.
So any fellow /k/omrades here handload, and can at least give me a general idea where to start?
I have at least $1200 saved up in the bank, and I believe the local L&M supply has lead, primers and powder.
For start I recommend the Lee classic turret press kit. Everything to get you started, but I would suggest getting an electronic scale because those beam scales take forever to weigh a load.
Instructions are included and tell you everything you need to do, and dont forget the dies
this is a great place to start. i know its tempting to watch some youtube vids and then jump in but do not discount the value of this book
Ranges that just have them out in the open with no cover or whatever usually don't give a shit, since those ranges usually don't sell or load them, but rather they pay recyclers to come pick them up. I've never seen anyone do it becuase it's considered douchie.
My range has them in a big 55 gallon barrel and I cry every time they just basically pay people to throw them out.
Some people throw out fucking lapua cases. LAPUA
What are you talking about? 9mm at least can be loaded for like half off commercial (even commercial reloads). You pay off a progressive in just a few thousand rounds and loading with a progressive is fast enough that the "time is money" argument is invalid.
Powder and primer is also back and at a good price, which means you can't have to consider what you want to load. You can just load plinking ammo if you want. For the past few months primers can be found for 20 per K and powder are can be found for 18 a pound again. Of course, the best price needs to be bought in bulk, but if you shoot high volume or if you can find people to go into an order with, that shouldn't be an issue.
A Lee kit from Amazon will run you $130 bucks. Personally I don't think reloading 9mm is worth it when it's like 20 cents a round to buy it. But for 308, you'll want a 308 die set, a set of Lee breech lock quick change bushings, a 308 case length gauge and shell holder (for trimming cases. I use a drill and the length gauge otherwise you can mount it to the press), a way to clean your cases like a tumbler or vibratory thing, a reloading manual (optional) and primers, powder, and bullets.
This, but you gotta pay for an accurate electric one.
Go for the dillon scale and consider buying a new powder dispenser cause the lee one sucks, and if you are going to reload match grade ammo or military loads, get a primer pocket reamer to remove the crimp.
also, only use reloading data from an actual manufacturer or their website, I like most kommando's but some people are dicks.
While reloading is technically cheaper, I wouldn't recommend getting into it if that's the only reason you want to. There is a lot that goes into the reloading process, and if you aren't big on details you aren't likely to want to reload often enough for it to matter.
I am in the same boat as you.
I've been collecting brass, and buying bullets and primers, still need powder though.
I've been cleaning my brass with a Frankfort Arsenal wet tumbler.
REMEMBER!: A press is a LIFETIME purchase. Once you buy one, you won't need to buy another one. So save up and buy something quality.
I'm going to be buying a Dillon 650. Expensive, but very high quality and also a great press for what I'll be reloading (300 blackout first, then probably .45).
I will be able to put the Dillon case trimmer (for making 300 blackout brass from 223) right on one of the stages. This will be a dream set up for reloading 300 blackout from 223/556 brass, which makes the price per round really low.
Best recipe for 9mm I've ever found:
CCI Small Pistol Primer
9 grains of Hodgdon TITEWAD
Hornady XTP 147gr bullet
I put my brass in a socket bit chucked in my drill, then torch it while it's spinning. When I see the brass change color, I tip it into a bucket of water. The socket also helps to keep the case head from being over annealed.
I usually do this with very clean brass, so the color change is slight. I don't end up with the blue-gray case necks that most factory annealed brass has. It's more a slightly lighter brass with a bit of a red tint.
If you have $1200 to spend, I'd consider jumping right into a progressive. There really isn't a learning curve between a progressive and a single stage. You're doing the same thing, just more efficiently. Only downside is most progressive powder drops really only work well with ball or flake powders. Stick powders like 4064 will give you problems. I just use a trickler if I'm going to load stick powders. You're also going to want:
Case trimmer (little crow are a good choice but kind of pricey)
Head space gauge for each caliber (I like the Wilson gauges)
A reloading manual (latest lyman is a good choice)
A bullet puller
Powder checker die
I'm sure I'm forgetting some stuff (like a swager if you're going to load 5.56/7.62 brass with crimped primer pockets).
Lube cases (get carbide 9mm dies so you don't have to lube them)
Deprime and size
Tumble again (I actually skip this unless my primer pockets are getting nasty)
Charge with appropriate powder
Bell case mouth (only applies to pistol calibers)
Crimp (or not if you're using a bolt gun, I put a slight crimp anyway though)
If you're going to get into precision stuff with the .308 I'd suggest you treat your progressive as a single stage and trickle powder to ensure it's as accurate as possible. You start down a crazy road of measuring ogive of the bullet, case capacity, etc if you get into long range stuff.
no advice yet for dispenser, I'm working on that, lee is good for cheap shit like dies and trimmers but some of their stuff is lacking.
Hornady makes some bomb ass stuff and you can get free bullets with some of their components.
It's not cheaper though, you just get to shoot more often.
I load 9mm, foady paypah stax, and 223 with a lee pro1000 for the pistol and the breach lock kit for the rifle... It works pretty well. I actually have had great luck with the perfect powder measure after lapping the drum with car polish... 0.1gr accurate drops. The auto disk is ok, but not as precise... Biggest cost is projectile if you don't want to shoot raw lead. I like black bullets international for 40 and bought a bunch of 124gr xtreme plated 9mm before their prices got all retarded... Coated bullets are pretty neat...
Iv8888888etc has some pretty good starting out videos from the pre pawn era I believe. Buy a good scale, calipers, trimmer, and chronograph...
I would suggest multiple reloading manuals and definitely look at Hodgdon's reloading website. You can compare load data to get a better idea on what's OK to use. Different publishers with use different setups (bullets/powders/primers/rifles) and they will get different results. Some publish load data are very conservative and I can safely go beyond what they consider "max" values.
Definitely a good point. I find myself researching new loads a lot online and just using the manual as a starting point or to verify I'm not getting some information that is total BS.
Yeah Lee loaders seem more like the "Imma load one round up to shoot da durr with and reuse the same piece of brass year after year" type of thing rather than a realistic loading technique...
I load a lot of ball powder and it either leaks out of my powder measure (fucking Lee), or I have a bitch of a time getting the throws to be consistent.
I use pic related when I load. I'll dump a charge into the a case, and let it dispense for the next case while I seat the bullet. So far, it's been worth every penny.
I haven't had that issue with my Hornady case activated measure.
However, stay away from the Hornady auto charge or whatever it is called. I have one and it flat out lies to you and is slow as shit.
Calibrate... Zero powder pan... trickle powder... dump powder into case.... place pan back on scale.... -.3... WHAT?!?!
Should have spent the extra money on your pic related.
RCBS Uniflow or the Hornady clone are probably the best for the money.
The Redding benchrest are also quite good.
Whichever you buy make sure to get a pistol drum for pistol or small rifle loads (0-50grains), rifle for rifle loads (25-100 grains), and a micrometer scale.
When you calibrate a drop make sure to record the micrometer number, powder, and grains of powder. This helps so much when setting up for loading.
Please, go ahead and load up 500 rounds of 223 on a lee loader... I'll see you next year...
Anyone use IMR 4064 for .223/5.56? If so what's your load on a 55gr?
I've been offered a few lbs of hogdon clays for practically nothing but I don't load shotshells. Is there any load data for rifle or handgun cartridges that may be able to use this powder?