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Old 01-06-2017, 03:32 AM
Mikeinkaty Mikeinkaty is offline
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Default For the newbies

I are a newby too. Started 4 months ago. I load only for a S&W 686 revolver and a Henry 357 mag rifle.

Something I wanted to know when I started was how long it took to load bullets. Well, the 357 magnum is probably the easiest to load. It took me 33 minute tonight to load 50 rounds with the Lee single stage press and their 4 die set. This was working at my normal pace with no interruptions. I have loaded a little over 2000 rounds so far. If you are considering reloading, go for it!! Oh, forgot to say that the cases were already cleaned and de-primed. I also use a Lee hand primer.

Last edited by Mikeinkaty; 01-06-2017 at 03:51 AM.
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Old 01-06-2017, 04:07 AM
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Default What are you using???

What type of press? That sounds like pretty good production for a single stage when you are priming with a separate hand primer.
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Old 01-06-2017, 12:20 PM
Mikeinkaty Mikeinkaty is offline
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What type of press? That sounds like pretty good production for a single stage when you are priming with a separate hand primer.
Lee 90030, the Challenger kit. I got it on eBay for $130. I've been buying bullets from Missouri Bullet Company. I recently bought 50 lbs of lead wheel weights. Will be ordering a Lee 6 cavity mold for 158 grain RNFP bullets. Also will get Elvis Ammo's recommendation for powder coating (he's on YouTube).

Firearms were part of my youth years. Gradually getting back to firearms in my retirement. Plus I had to put my wife in a nursing home 3 years ago. Gives me something to do. Plus a new way to kill hog!!
Mike
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Old 01-06-2017, 02:15 PM
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My suggestion for a new reloader is to take off the watch and take down the wall clock. Find a relaxed pace that allows you to concentrate on the task at hand. Using this "method" you'll be much less likely to have an OOPS! that can cause rapid disassembly of yer gun...
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Old 01-06-2017, 03:02 PM
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Practical rate on a ss press from scratch is about 75rd in an hour. That is everything ready to go & using a powder measure that has the charge wt verified.
Why many of us have gone to a progressive for pistol ammo or 223. I started on a ss press 40yrs ago. Today, no way I would recommend that to a pistol shooter. A minimum would be a LCT, but even that will be outgrown once you hit like 300 a week.
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Old 01-06-2017, 07:01 PM
Mikeinkaty Mikeinkaty is offline
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I think a single stage is a good way to start; to understand the basics; to learn the 'lingo' of the endeavor. I go to the range once a week and shoot about 200 rounds. I've only timed my reloading once, just out of curiosity. Till now I have been working on my procedure with the primary concern being safety. This has become a very enjoyable hobby.
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Old 01-06-2017, 07:53 PM
iouri iouri is offline
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I've stepped on this slippery slope few years ago with a simple wish: to save few bucks and shoot more my 686. Sigh, now after these years I can admit - I'm an addict. Now I'm loading 13 pistol calibers and 6 rifle calibers. I've bought 357 Sig barrel for my M&P just because I've accumulated couple hundred cases from indoor range and decided to try and reload it I don't think it's curable
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Old 01-06-2017, 08:03 PM
Thomas15 Thomas15 is offline
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I believe that fred is correct. The main reason I put off handloading for many years was because I didn't want to spend the money for the equipment. There have been times when I simply didn't have the money and other times when I just had different financial priorities. But it has to be admitted that when you start looking at the cost of things and especially the cost of Dillon machines, it looks like a ton of money.

There is a primary reason why we all finally took the idea of handloading and converted it to a reality. At that exact point in time we opened up our wallet and made some decisions. Just how wide we opened up the wallet on that day probably had a lot to do with the primary reason we started this endeavor.

If that reason for beginning this adventure was to save money then you probably figured that the manufacturing time wasn't as important as the cost factor. So you might have settled for a low cost solution. On the other hand if you decided to compete in USPSA matches (for example) you need a lot of ammo and you probably would be looking at throughput speed.

It is easy to convince yourself that you can live with the slow speed of a single stage or turret press. But if your interest in the shooting sports grows then there is a point in most of our lives when we have to face the fact the reality is we need more speed. Of course I speak in general terms but the truth of the matter is pistol shooters that consume 500-1000+ rounds of ammo per month are very likely to have a progressive press even if they are retired and have time that those of us still working don't have. When that day came to me I made the tough decision to buy the more expensive stuff. But after the damage to my finances was done I realized that my reloading bench had less money tied up in it than my modest collection of competition guns and gear.

My main (but not only) competition gun is a S&W 929 revolver. If I add up the cost of the gun, the cost of having a pistolsmith do his thing, the cost of sights, cyl release, grips and so forth there is north of $2K there which is less than what I have on my reloading bench. My belt/holster/moonclip holders cost more than my press did. My point is a decent but stock handgun costs will exceed the cost of a good progressive press in most cases.

Is a progressive press for everyone? No it's not. However, if your ammo needs are there then nothing beats a progressive. I know because I have worked my way up the ladder from single stage to turret to progressive. Personally my advice for those who are not sure or have a small budget is to get a something like a rockchucker and skip the turret. There is always a use for a single stage and the increase production rate of the turret press is not that great over a single stage. Then save your money and get a decent progressive.

But even if you feel you must have a turret press the Lee models are very inexpensive. The amount of mental handwringing that those contemplating this purchase is amazing to me. What I don't understand and it's none of my business what anyone else does with their money, but I don't understand why some who claim poverty then go on to buy excessive amounts of dedicated accessories for inexpensive and slow by design machines. I say all this to offer an opinion on the matter only.
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Old 01-06-2017, 08:45 PM
Semper Fi 57 Semper Fi 57 is offline
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Mike,
I think you have the right idea on reloading. I started out some 60+ yrs. ago with an RCBS A2 press, a Lyman powder measure & a powder scale. Learned reloading from the many loading books & various articles in magazines. I find reloading to be more of a therapy than a race to see how many rounds I can load. I guess if I was involved in competition shooting I would have sprung for one of the Dillon beasts.
By the way, I'm envious of your location as you are a very good range facility on the West side of Harris County off State 6.
Stay safe & enjoy a wonderful hobby.
Jim
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Old 01-07-2017, 03:48 AM
Mikeinkaty Mikeinkaty is offline
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Mike,
I think you have the right idea on reloading. I started out some 60+ yrs. ago with an RCBS A2 press, a Lyman powder measure & a powder scale. Learned reloading from the many loading books & various articles in magazines. I find reloading to be more of a therapy than a race to see how many rounds I can load. I guess if I was involved in competition shooting I would have sprung for one of the Dillon beasts.
By the way, I'm envious of your location as you are a very good range facility on the West side of Harris County off State 6.
Stay safe & enjoy a wonderful hobby.
Jim
I use Hot Wells up north in the Cypress area. They have half price for seniors every Tuesday. Mike
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Old 01-07-2017, 03:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Semper Fi 57 View Post
Mike,
I think you have the right idea on reloading. I started out some 60+ yrs. ago with an RCBS A2 press, a Lyman powder measure & a powder scale. Learned reloading from the many loading books & various articles in magazines. I find reloading to be more of a therapy than a race to see how many rounds I can load. I guess if I was involved in competition shooting I would have sprung for one of the Dillon beasts.
By the way, I'm envious of your location as you are a very good range facility on the West side of Harris County off State 6.
Stay safe & enjoy a wonderful hobby.
Jim
When i bought my 1st 550 it was about number of rounds. Some 25yrs later, its about doing less work. One pull one round. Go fast, go slow, but you are doing a lot less work.
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Old 01-07-2017, 03:56 AM
Mikeinkaty Mikeinkaty is offline
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I have to approach this from the finance point of view. I have been retired since year 2000, plus I've been keeping my wife in an Alzheimer's care facility since July 2014. Now you know why I can use the clothes dryer as a bullet tumbler!!!!
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:34 AM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is offline
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I know this will sound crazy BUT: Don't buy the Lee six cavity (6c) mold! Buy the same bullet in a Lee 2 cavity (2c). The 6c verses 2c will put out such a variation of bullet weights and diameters. I junked my 115 9mm 6c after the second 1000! 2c's on the other hand put out bullet after bullet for decades! My first 2 c was a 185 swc 45 auto, bought used for $5 in 1985, I have cast at least 15,000 and by best friend cast 20,000 with it, and it is still going strong.

The Lee molds are great for the money, but there are even better molds by RCBS, Lyman, SEACO, LBT and several custom companies. The important thing is get the design of bullet you want, you and someone else will be casting with that mold for the next 100 years.

Ivan
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Old 01-07-2017, 11:16 AM
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Reloading is a tremendously satisfying hobby. Along with casting, it is the only way I can afford to target practice as much as I do. Also an addictive hobby, looking back it is amazing how much my reloading area has changed.
Then...


...and now.
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Old 01-07-2017, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikeinkaty View Post
I have to approach this from the finance point of view. I have been retired since year 2000, plus I've been keeping my wife in an Alzheimer's care facility since July 2014. Now you know why I can use the clothes dryer as a bullet tumbler!!!!
My sincere prayers for you and your wife.

Tom
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Old 01-07-2017, 07:17 PM
daniel lawecki daniel lawecki is offline
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Enjoy reloading prayers for you and your wife. Even with my Hornady LNL I don't race. My time relaxing and not making a high speed race of sorts.
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Old 01-07-2017, 09:16 PM
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I have never timed myself. I see no need.
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Old 01-08-2017, 01:58 AM
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Default I hardly ever do complete bullets.....

I hardly ever do complete bullets in one session. I size and flare about 100. Then use the hand primer on them. Powder filling can be a session by itself, though I usually like to finish bullet at the powder stage. Plunking and gauging is a operation unto itself. Some of these steps I can do in front of the TV. I also weigh a lot of my loads because I'm having trouble getting consistent charges out of my Lee Perfect Measure. The literature says it's best on rifles but it doesn't have the capacity for my 30-06 loads.
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Old 01-09-2017, 01:40 PM
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I also started it on a Lee Classic. I found it to be a very limited machine and as lucky enough to pick up a nice used 550 for about half price. When I was using my Lee loader, I was only loading 38sp and 357. I quickly moved on to 9 different calibers. Yes it is addicting! so I agree it's not a good thing to try and watch the clock, and I focus more on each pull, then the number of rounds I'm pumping out. I have noticed in general, I comfortably load around 300 an hour
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