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Old March 8th, 2011, 10:06 PM   #1
 
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Not sure where to start

I'm going to probably open a can of worms but I do believe I need some input before making a purchase.
I have been shooting for 40 years but because I've always had kids running around the house and living in the Peoples Republic of California I never explored reloading.
I want to now but not sure how to go about it.
I figure I would start with either the rounds my Son and I shoot the most .45acp or the most expensive to shoot 45-70.
Here are my Questions.
Dillon, Lyman, RCBS are they basically the same?
Should I start with .45acp or 45-70Govt?
Do I need another safe to lock up power and primers?
Is there a kit that will give me most of the beginning equipment I need at a reasonable price?
Last question what is a reasonable price?

I appreciate any info or warnings you could pass along



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Old March 8th, 2011, 10:23 PM   #2
 
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IMHO....
Start w/45. I guess because it's smaller
RCBS is a safe choice.
Another safe?? Up to you and/or your state
startup kit? look at the Midway.com site. They have starter kits.
Price to start? A good SWAG (Scientific Wild *** Guess)
Kit: $350
Reasonable additions: $0-300
Powder; $20-$30 per pound to start
Primers: $35+ per 1000. 45ACP uses Large Pistol

Final price to get setup really depends on how many and how fancy (accurate) you want to load. If you think you'll do A LOT then I would think you'll need a turret. Basic setup will get the job done. Faster will cost extra.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 10:41 PM   #3
 
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I think spike nailed it right on the head. You can find cheaper "kits" out there but the Rcbs kits are the most complete for lowest price I believe.

If I had to buy all my reloading stuff all over again and I wanted a kit I would go with the Rcbs.


Lee is something to look into as well. Their kits are mostly bs, but with a few accessories you will ve rolling.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 11:05 PM   #4
 
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Buy a Turret press. It is in between a single stage and a progressive and they don't cost that much more. It allows you to have several dies on the press without changing them. This is especially appreciative when reloading pistols which have 3 dies. I would either go with an RCBS or a Lyman. I bought the Lyman T-Mag because it was more stout than the RCBS. I would purchase through either Cabela's or Midway, but sometimes Natchez has good sales. I bought my kit through Cabela's and it came with everything but the dies for around $300 several years ago. Considering your from California I would especially check the laws there. You can check the fire department regarding fire codes where you live. Generally everywhere else you can have up to 20 lbs of powder in no special storage and 50 lbs in a storage box either bought for the purpose or built from 1" wood( I think that is correct) with a lid that would easily blow open if combustion occurs. You NEVER want to store powder in a strong airtight container or it could go BOOM. Primers should be stored elsewhere. I believe there is a limit on primers you can have on hand. You can get on powder manufacturers websites and they will tell you either what you need to know or where to find it. Otherwise use common sense. Keep powder in original container and no powder or primers stored near water heater, furnace, direct sun etc. It sounds logical but there are idiots out there.
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Old March 9th, 2011, 03:40 AM   #5
 
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Try Lee is it is a very good reloading equipment and very reasonable.
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Old March 9th, 2011, 04:03 AM   #6
 
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Start looking at used online,write down what the start up kits contain Check at the large local gun shops. Lee, RCBS have good customer support.As a former 49 yr. res. of Ca. I feel your pain.
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Old March 9th, 2011, 01:43 PM   #7
 
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You might find more satisfaction starting with the .45acp. It's a straight-walled case, you can use a (pistol) carbide die set, the reloading process is simpler than for the .45-70 IMO, they're less expensive per reload, and as you mentioned, you shoot more of them.

The .45-70 has a tapered case, you'll need a separate die set for the caliber and some case lube; you'll have to lube each case before resizing it and then thoroughly wipe the lube off each case or you'll have issues when you shoot them. Some folks tumble the cases after they resize them to clean the lube off; asking about this makes a separate forum topic. Also, lots of folks fill the spare case volume with wadding after charging them and before seating the bullet. Reloading .45-70s for really accurate shooting can get to be an art in itself. So reloading the .45-70 can seem less automated and more time-consuming as opposed to revolver/semi- auto loads.

Last edited by ruger2; March 9th, 2011 at 01:47 PM.
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Old March 9th, 2011, 02:04 PM   #8
 
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All great advice but 2 more things. Get the ABC's of reloading or Lyman's 49th before you do anything!! Read & reread! Also if you have any friends or a LGS ask for help or tutoring. I got started in this a few months ago & love it. Just my .02 Enjoy & be safe!!
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Old March 9th, 2011, 02:14 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlsmith View Post
Try Lee is it is a very good reloading equipment and very reasonable.
I'll expand on this a bit. Since you're new to reloading, I certainly wouldn't run out there and buy "Rolls-Royce gear" any more than the *typical* 18-year-old runs out and buys an actual Rolls-Royce automobile. I would start with something more akin to a Honda Civic or Accord. Learn what you're doing, and in the course of that, you will discover whether what you've got does the job (most likely) or if your shooting needs really, actually do demand something "bigger 'n' beefier".

As an example: like many people, I've done some reloading videos. My cameralady is a new reloader and started on the little cheapie $30 "Lee Reloader Press". She loaded about 500 rounds of .38 Special before moving on to my Classic Turret Press, which she loves. That is already considerably more than enough press for her needs.

You will see and hear a lot of "brand loyalty" posts, like only RCBS/Hornady/Dillon/Lee/Whatever-That-Person-Uses will do. I and several others happen to use Lee gear because it's affordable and does a good job for us. Chief-7700 and RaymondMillbrae use Dillon XL-650's. Others prefer Rockchuckers or Redding. They all make very fine ammunition. Disregard all the "brand loyalty" minutiae for now, because that's exactly what it is (see the first paragraph of this post). Start off inexpensively.

To start out with, I personally would recommend Lee's Anniversary Kit with the Auto-Prime hand-priming tool. The only thing you'll need to add to it is a set of dies, so for $130 plus shipping, you'll be set to begin.

Last edited by Cowboy T; March 9th, 2011 at 02:18 PM. Reason: Added back paragraph marks due to JavaScript junk
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Old March 9th, 2011, 06:20 PM   #10
 
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Welcome to reloading. Thanks for asking our advice.

Go immediately to you local library and get a copy of "The ABC's of Reloading" (or bookstore or gunstore or Amazon.com, whatever).

Some of your original questions will be answered there and more questions will come up (and be answered) in your reading.

To answer your original questions:
Dillon, Lyman, RCBS are they basically the same?
Yes. Cast iron or aluminum presses, work the brass all the same. Do the same job
No. Customer service varies. Design varies in detail (e.g. some presses allow changing to left-handed operation)
Don't leave out Forster, Hornady or Lee Precision.

Should I start with .45acp or 45-70Govt?

Largely depends on you. Either cartridge is fairly easy to load, and to learn reloading with. If you want to carefully tailor loads, the 45-70, since you basically shoot those one at a time.

Do I need another safe to lock up power and primers?
I don't lock any of my stuff in a safe (but my Alaska state laws don't require it, either). But I keep all powder in their original containers and NEVER (thank you "The Rifleman") in any pressure-tight container. Smokeless powder burns fast (technically, is "Flammable" material), but does not explode like black powder does. B.P. is classified as "Explosive". However, if contained inside a strong container, smokeless powder burns VERY fast, and is tantamount to an explosion when the container finally does let go.

Is there a kit that will give me most of the beginning equipment I need at a reasonable price?

Yes, but keep in mind that every kit you find was assembled by someone else. There will be things in there that you will not find useful and things you will want will be left out. You will get up and running with less forethought, faster and cheaper with a kit, but ultimately will spend just as much money "tuning" your loading bench to your personal style within a year (my prediction). Question: Do you want to buy your stereo system already set up with all components or do you want to buy your stereo with just the "right" CD, Tuner, Amp, Speakers, etc.?

Kit, No Kit, both approaches are good. Which is better for you depends on you.

Last question what is a reasonable price?

I started a thread wherein I described a "Budget Beginner's Loading Bench You Will Never Outgrow" that lets you get started with the minimum amount of gear (but all first-class gear, nothing you will ever want to replace) to reload which you can add to as you discover your personal style of reloading. Of course, the applicability of the advice in that thread depends on you being somewhat in my class of shooting. I am a hobbyist, in it for the fun and to stay practiced in case of a defensive shooting situation. I am no 1,000 round a week shooter or bench-rest 1,000 yard match shooter.

Having said that, let me share with you some posts and threads I think you will enjoy, (after you have gotten your hands on "The ABC's of Reloading"). So get a large mug of coffee, tea, hot chocolate, whatever you keep on hand when you read and think and read through these.


The "sticky" thread at the top of TheFiringLine's reloading forum is good, entitled, "For the New Reloader: Equipment Basics -- READ THIS FIRST "
For the New Reloader: Equipment Basics -- READ THIS FIRST - TheFiringLine Forums

The "sticky" thread at the top of TheHighRoad.com's reloading forum is good, entitled, "For the New Reloader: Thinking about Reloading; Equipment Basics -- READ THIS FIRST"
For the New Reloader: Thinking about Reloading; Equipment Basics -- READ THIS FIRST - THR

"Budget Beginning bench you will never outgrow for the novice handloader". This was informed by my recent (July 2010) repopulation of my loading bench. It is what I would have done 35 years ago if I had known then what I know now.
Budget Beginning Bench you will never outgrow, for the novice handloader.

Thread entitled "Newby needs help."
Newby needs help. - TheFiringLine Forums
My post 11 is entitled "Here's my reloading setup, which I think you might want to model" November 21, 2010)
My post 13 is "10 Advices for the novice handloader" November 21, 2010)

The first draft of my "10 Advices..." is on page 2 of this thread, about halfway down.
RugerForum.com :: View topic - Interested in reloading

Minimalist minimal
RugerForum.com :: View topic - Lee Classic Loader Kit

How much to start reloading....dirt cheap! - TheFiringLine Forums

or if the links do not work, paste these into your browser

thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=230171

thehighroad.org//showthread.php?t=238214

rugerforum.net/reloading/29385-budget-beginning-bench-you-will-never-outgrow-novice-handloader.html

thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=430391
(posts are #11 and #13)


rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=13543

Minimalist minimal (the seventh post down)
rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=107332

thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=439810

Good luck. Always wear eye protection, especially when working with primers and don't pinch your fingers in your press. Be safe. Always, all ways.

Lost Sheep
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Old March 9th, 2011, 10:31 PM   #11
 
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You guys are Awesome, Thanks for the info so far.
I ordered the ABC's of reloading from Amazon this morning, $17.43 plus shipping didn't seem bad so I'll have my own copy for about $25.00.
A friend of mine in Flagstaff told me to check Pawn Shops for reloading stuff, I think I may do that this weekend.
What about Gun Shows, any good deals there? I always see primers and bullets for sale when I buying my ammo. But what about Equipment?
There is a Show end of the month in Costa Mesa I thought I might go and check it out.

Again Thanks for the info and cautions, I Love This Forum.
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Old March 10th, 2011, 11:52 AM   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1evil57 View Post
What about Gun Shows, any good deals there? I always see primers and bullets for sale when I buying my ammo. But what about Equipment?
There is a Show end of the month in Costa Mesa I thought I might go and check it out.
If you settle on what brands of equipment you're looking for, you could run into a deal. You might want to figure out what parts are supposed to be there; once the show packs up, it might be hard to follow up with the seller, if something's broken or missing. Checking some internet sites and writing down the new retail prices and used/sold prices of things you'd be interested in buying would put you in good stead when you get to the show.

Shows are generally fun; I always run into hilariously outrageous prices for the obvious, and things I'd never otherwise stumble across- really takes some self-control not to carry off a bunch of what I'd likely call worthless junk a couple weeks later.

Have fun!
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Old March 10th, 2011, 01:04 PM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1evil57 View Post
What about Gun Shows, any good deals there? I always see primers and bullets for sale when I buying my ammo. But what about Equipment? There is a Show end of the month in Costa Mesa I thought I might go and check it out.
The upcoming Crossroads Gun Show in Costa Mesa will have some vendors that will have equipment, either in kits or separate items. Suggest you get there early as they move quickly from my experience at these shows when they come to San Diego (same folks). The show is spread out across several pavillions, so it may take some searching to find what you're after. I use these shows as an opportunity to stock up on primers and powder so I don't have to worry about the hazmat fees to ship them. At the Costa Mesa show they'll be located right by the entrance.
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Old March 10th, 2011, 07:15 PM   #14
 
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Just for the fun of it I stopped at a couple of pawn shops (I do a lot of driving for work) anyway I stopped at a Pawn Shop in the Downey area and purchased a crate of Reloading Dies for $30.00.
The guy said he had them for a while and wanted them out, some look older than others Green Boxes, Red Boxes, Baggies but I got 30 Dies for $30.00 38spec, 357, 30carbine, 30-30 and so forth.
I figure if I can't use them I'll trade or sell them
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Old March 10th, 2011, 07:20 PM   #15
 
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BTW john16443

Thank for the heads up on Costa Mesa.
And also lucky you I camp at Dos Picos every October, Romona is one of my favorite small towns.
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