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Thread: So if I start reloading

  1. #1
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    So if I start reloading

    And I buy something like the lee breech lock kit, what else am I likely to need to buy extra. Obviously the consumables and dies. Do I need a 2 or 3 die set?
    What measuring gear?
    Case cleaning gear? Primer pocket cleaner?
    I often hear people say to get a better set of scales.
    What about annealing. How often do you need to anneal and what is the easiest way to do this.
    I know a lot of this has been over before and I have read the old threads. Just looking at how much this will realistically cost to get going and keep going. I hear it's a bit of a can of worms.
    Appreciate any input

  2. #2
    Member Happy Jack's Avatar
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    I was lucky and my boy loaned me most of his stuff as he isn't using it. But since have bought dies for my calibre as he didn't have them, a manual primer pocket cleaner tool and a case trimming tool

  3. #3
    Member Hermitage's Avatar
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    Reloading dies - I always buy a 3 die set
    Powder dispenser/dripper - cheapest
    Powder scale - expensive digital or standard cost powder scale
    Calipers - for measuring case OAL
    Lee case trimmer tool
    Lee Priming tool
    Lube and pad
    Reloading manual/computer printouts of your cartridge load data.
    A good job and a good wife has been the ruin of many a good hunter.

  4. #4
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    I've the lee anniversary kit which works ok for my purposes. Need calipers, powder trickler and I prefer a hand primer. Forget the lee lube and get some sizing wax.
    Lee dies are ok but you have to make sure the spindle nut is tight.
    The Hornady kit is prolly a bit better if you can spring for it

  5. #5
    I hunt, therefore I am.
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    I like wet tumbling with SS media. Low effort for good result.

    Beam scales never go out of calibration nor drift. And yes, the lee ones, while functional, are teeeeny tiiiiny. So unless you like pretending you're a giant in a dollhouse, get other ones.
    I wouldn't trust any entry level electrics.

    I uniform flash holes from both directions, and clean primer pocket if I have to after tumbling. Think it's a lyman? (orange) "multi prep" tool.

    Bullet puller hammer.

    Anneal with plumbers torch in a pan of water. You shouldn't probably need to deal with this at entry level. Tag your cases and retire them after 3-5 loadings, or when proven that accuracy drops off, or you notice neck tension/sizing issues (you'll need to get a feel/hand for this in the first case, to know what's normal)


    Can of worms? Absolutely. Cost, well, if you have to ask...
    Quote Originally Posted by 308
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    Diligentia Vis Celeritas
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  6. #6
    I hunt, therefore I am.
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    LOAD MANUAL.
    Recommend getting one or three. Your die set should come with load data, but an actual paper book manual to have on the bench, and to read the intro and blurb thrice daily until you can recite it, is worth it.
    Quote Originally Posted by 308
    not smart enough to be useful
    Diligentia Vis Celeritas
    Life Advice

  7. #7
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    If you're wanting hunting rounds for 100m max distance, and the brass will be a 'cost effective' type like federal then i wouldnt bother annealing at all. Maybe on the 4th firing send them to somebody with an AMP.

    But if you're looking to get into target shooting on a budget, go to a club . Get to know the guys and shoot the club rifles. Make it known you're looking for an old second hand setup. I've seen new guys get absolute bargains that way. Thats what i would do if i was doing it again. The central thing i believe is getting a good long lasting press like an rcbs. The rest can be hodgepodge. Personally i swear by forster dies but i like chasing idiotically low runout. Reddings are great, rcbs are ok, lee have interesting ideas factored in but my methods dont seem to work with those (their o-ring fitted lock rings are worth fitting to other dies. I noticed a slight decrease in runout).

    Main point is that each manufacturer seems to shine in one department only. Just my opinion. So build up your reloading tools based on individual merit/cost. Hornady seem to make good tools and their dies are prob inbetween redding and rcbs?

  8. #8
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    Next you will need a chrony, in fact you will need two as you will probably shoot the guts out of the first one...then you load up 20 rounds and to get an average you will need to shoot off all 20...then you have no ammo left so you load up another 20, and so it goes on...way cheaper to buy factory ammo, but where's the fun in that.
    outlander and charliehorse like this.

  9. #9
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    Oh, imperial sizing WAX!!! Its magic stuff eh. Dab on a finger tips worth, size the brass then wipe it off.
    GWH likes this.

  10. #10
    Almost literate. veitnamcam's Avatar
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    I am not familiar with the breach lock kit so dont know what is in there but to answer your question as best I can.

    Two die set of full lenght sizing and seating die is fine for most situations.

    Case cleaning gear, a bronze brush caliber sized ,some cotton buds and a rag is all you really need if you must clean them but really as long as the outside isn't covered in mud or corrosion cleaning is only feel good factor.
    Cleaning, uniforming deburring flash holes is absolutely not necessary unless going for extreme accuracy.
    Same for annealing.

    You need a loading tray, you could buy one or drill some holes in a small bit of wood, plastic or whatever.
    You need a press for dies.
    You need consistant powder measuring device. Reasonable balance beams are perfectly fine just a bit slower than the auto dispensers.Powder trickeler to go with scales.
    You need measuring equipment, most didgital calipers will suffice to get started.
    You need a priming method. Nothing wrong with priming on the press ram.
    You need case lube. Get lyman or imperial sizing wax.

    A good loading manual is an asset as stated above however everything is online to learn.....one just needs to know what to learn.

    Absolutely no reason you cannot load repeatabley accurate ammo without cleaning and uniforming primer pockets, annealing every firing, tumbling till reversing global warming by reflecting the sun.

    A good load is a good load when you find it and minor variations in neck tension or powder weight or seating depth wont worry it much at all.

    Those things come into play when the rifle or owner is being stubborn and getting a load that doesnt want to shoot to shoot.


    Your biggest problem starting now will be getting components.
    "Hunting and fishing" fucking over licenced firearms owners since ages ago.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidGunn View Post
    Next you will need a chrony, in fact you will need two as you will probably shoot the guts out of the first one...then you load up 20 rounds and to get an average you will need to shoot off all 20...then you have no ammo left so you load up another 20, and so it goes on...way cheaper to buy factory ammo, but where's the fun in that.
    Three, you'll need three chronographs...
    T.FOYE likes this.

  12. #12
    Sending it Gibo's Avatar
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    If you wanted mate I could do a demo for you and explain the components and process?

    Or just buy this https://reloadingdirect.co.nz/shop/r...-boss-pro-pak/

  13. #13
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    Greetings Remmodel7,
    First step is to find a mentor who will take you through the basic handloading techniques and equipment. Mentors with grey hair are preferred as they have more time and don't get so breathless over the latest whizo bits. This last is easier on the wallet. You are blessed being in Rotorua as your area is peppered with NZDA branches, most with their own rifle range so join one of them and look for a mentor there. I wrote a series of posts last year on new and not so handloaders so you might want to look those up. As far as kit goes expect to spend around $500.00 for a basic set. Working with a mentor and likely using his kit to start with with would let you purchase yours over time and not wind up with a lot of stuff you don't need.
    If you get down to Hawkes Bay I would be glad to give you a run through the process. Don't be scared to ask specific questions. Remember the only stupid questions are the ones you don't ask.
    Regards Grandpamac.

  14. #14
    Member Tikka7mm08's Avatar
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    +1 mentor.
    Kiwi-Hunter likes this.

  15. #15
    Member zimmer's Avatar
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    Moving forward one of the continuing issues will be getting components - brass, primers, projectiles of your choice, preferred powder, some dies and so on.
    If my powder supplier is to be believed, and I am seeing similar stories coming out of the states, primers are going to be the next issue.
    The recent ADI powder delivery saw types like 2208 sold instantly with no restock to October at the earliest.

    All above may or may not affect a new hand loader who may not require larger quantities to get going.
    If seriously looking to take up the "hobby" consider getting the components sooner rather than (too) later. Tempered of course by grandpamac's advise about not winding up with a lot of stuff you don't need.

    And a pet of mine - buy a decent mechanical balance scale to start out. Just because a cheap digital scale has a digital readout doesn't make it accurate or repeatable. Look out for good second beam balances, Ohaus etc. Again the value of a mentor who can guide you thru all this.
    veitnamcam, BSA and Micky Duck like this.

 

 

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