Arkansas Hunting banner
1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,689 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got enough cash to get a lee reloading kit, dies for all my rifles (4), powder, primers and one box of bullets for each caliber.

Should I get it all at once, or start out with 1 caliber with more bullet options, work up a system and a load for that gun, then start adding calibers later?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,487 Posts
I haven't done (proper english?) much reloading, but i would work with 1 load at a time until you get the hang of it ,for safety reasons. There is a lot of room for mistakes with that many different powders, overall lengths, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,356 Posts
I haven't done (proper english?) much reloading, but i would work with 1 load at a time until you get the hang of it ,for safety reasons. There is a lot of room for mistakes with that many different powders, overall lengths, etc.
Same thoughts here. It's not hard or complicated really but for me personally I do one till you got a better handle on things. It wouldn't take much to make a mistake you might never recover from. JMHO
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,768 Posts
I like RCBS but LEE I guess would be alright.

Loading is loading to me. read the books and read them again. Take your time and ask questions.
I switch from caliber to caliber ......whatever I need.

But starting stick to one if that makes you comfortable.

One tool I will recommend is this.......
http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=570611&t=11082005

Makes your bullet seating simple and allows you to adjust the distance to the lands and grooves easily and safely.
Measures from the ogive. you'll have to buy there dummys cause they have a strange thread pattern. but you buy the calibers you need.

You'll have to buy this also to go on your calipers........
http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=231904&t=11082005

It comes the most popular inserts.

How are you gonna clean your cases? Don't laugh but when I started I cleaned them in panty hose in the washer.
Clean them to protect your dies!!!!!!!!!!


Powder measure ......I like a RCBS uniflow quick and easy but for rifles I trickle to what I want.

Scales are very important .......I have three sets but like my digitals.


OK john I'll stop...........get the point though lots to buy..........
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
636 Posts
I've got enough cash to get a lee reloading kit, dies for all my rifles (4), powder, primers and one box of bullets for each caliber.

Should I get it all at once, or start out with 1 caliber with more bullet options, work up a system and a load for that gun, then start adding calibers later?
I like the suggestion of beginning with one caliber and learning it then starting on other calibers. I think you would be wise to try a variety of components for that particular caliber and see what your particular rifle does and doesn't like.

I have always been an RCBS man myself, but I guess if you're learning a LEE will do. Just stirrin' the pot, I have several Lee Loaders for Shotshells of various guages.:hide:

Mind if I ask what Caliber you are thinking of starting with?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
81,378 Posts
What calibers are you wanting to load for? You might start off learning on the caliber that you shoot the most, then working on the others from there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
227 Posts
I like the lee kit the only thing to remember is not put too much presure on the handle or the handle linkage will break. Its cheap and easy to fix just agravateing.
I started with that kit then got another press and use the first one to seat bullets
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,689 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok here's what I've got

30-30 probably 25+ boxes of empties, but I don't shoot it much anymore. Shooting from a 1955 Marlin 336 that was my grandfathers and I rebuilt after getting a rusted out pos.

243 probably @ 15 boxes. It's my most comfortable gun to shoot. NEF handi rifle wit Nikon Pro-Staff 3-9X40

25-06 My favorite gun to shoot but only about 6 boxes of empties. H&R Ultra rifle with the same type scope.
The length of pull on this one is a little long for me, but I am the most accurate with it. That being said I can still get sub. MOA with my 243.

223 This one I got for my kids. It's an NEF super-light youth model. I've only bought 2 boxes of shells for it, sighted it in a put it up. It's got a Simmons (I think) fixed 4X32.

I'm leaning a little toward doing the 243 because it will be a little cheaper to load, I've got a lot more brass and I am more comfortable shooting that one. I would also like to work up varmit and deer loads for it and I'll just be working up deer loads for the 25. I had thought about loading the 30-30 with some pointed bullets to see what kind of down range accuracy I could get, but figured I'd better get good at the easier stuff before I tried anything like that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,413 Posts
I concur with all the other comments. You've got plenty of brass for all these cartridges handy to do a ton of load development, so I'd just pick one and go for it. Keep in mind that you may have to try 2-3 different powders before you find a load your gun likes, which also means you may need a few hundred bullets and primers at the same time. You might get lucky on the first try, but who really wants to stop there? :wink: Just a word to the wise though, store your powder cans away from your bench, and only have 1 type of powder on the bench (or in your powder thrower) at a time. Keeps you (and them) from getting mixed up.

You can hand clean all your brass just fine with a can of Nevr-Dull (Walmart, Auto Zone, O'Reilly's) - it's a roll of cotton soaked in metal polish. Just pull off a chunk, polish your brass by hand and wipe it off with a clean cloth. It'll even make new brass even shinier! It doesn't do anything for the buildup of powder residue inside the cases, but I figure the cases will wear out before you get enough buildup to really matter. Some people think tumbling is necessary, but for hunting accuracy I don't think it does. Still, if you come to Conway very often feel free to drop your brass off and I'll tumble it for you :thumb:

Those Handi Rifles typically have a long throat, so if you're gonna load for them, stick with the prescribed OAL in your manuals. You've probably been told that accuracy is best if you seat just a few thousandths off the lands, but that only works if you can keep enough of the bullet in the neck of the brass to hold it. Generally you want to seat the bullet into the neck no less than the width of the bullet (i.e. for your .243 you want at least .243" of the bullet seated into the neck of your brass). With a long throat you can't do that, especially on light-for-caliber bullets. Seating bullets really long also spikes the pressure, and will actually decrease your accuracy potential if the throat is long enough (like on my NEF .270). Anyway, I'd stick with the normal OAL for now and try seating to the lands after you've had a bit more experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,689 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Some of that stuff just went right over my head wes. I may need to come over and watch if your offering to tumble for me, I figure I might steal some info too. I ordered a Lee Challenger kit, 243 3 die lee set and a trickler today. We're going up to Bentonville in a few weeks and I figured I would go to Sportsman's warehouse and look at some books to buy before I got any bullets, powder or primer. Anyway, my shed isn't heated and I'm not about to do any work out there until it warms up.

What kind of primers would you recommend?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,689 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I like the lee kit the only thing to remember is not put too much presure on the handle or the handle linkage will break. Its cheap and easy to fix just agravateing.
I started with that kit then got another press and use the first one to seat bullets

Did you do that with the old "C" press or the new Challenger "O" press?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,413 Posts
Come on over! On 2nd thought, you might gimme a couple of weeks. I bought a cheap POS Hornady caliper and it jumped track. I can usually get it back on, but I couldn't this time and had to send it in for repair. My shop is also not heated, but the water heater is in there which helps. But, if you're in the area gimme a shout and we can at least get your brass cleaned up. It's a rotary tumbler - actually an old rock tumbler - so it's a little slow, but it gets the job done.

Primers - any standard large rifle primers will do. I've tried Winchester, Federal and CCI and haven't noticed any difference (yet). Winchester seems to be the most popular, so you might start with them and maybe try another brand later if you get the urge.

As far as reading material, I'd invest in a couple of the latest volumes of The ABC's of Reloading, or at least see if you can pick them up at the library. Not much for load data, but they have a LOT of great articles, tips and tricks and how-to's. For a load manual, the Speer, Lyman and Sierra books are good. You may also find some annual load books by Hodgdon/IMR, Accurate Arms and/or Alliant for free. You may have to ask for them, but Don's and Ft. Thompson usually have them. The same data is also on their websites, and you can probably have them mail you a copy if you can't find one. You might also check out the forum at www.reloadbench.com. The folks there can answer ANY question you could dream up about reloading - no kidding either. Just reading their daily chit chat you can learn tons about the inner workings of a reload.

I'm not a pro by any means, but I've got 3-4 years under my belt. I'll share all I know, but that may not be much!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,768 Posts
I would like to stress read as much as you can. Speer,Seirra,Nosler,Hornady and any bullet manufacter have books.
This is where a beginner needs to start. It's good information that will make you knowledgable and keep you from making costly mistakes or fatal mistakes!


Message boards are good but hey you ARE playing with explosives!


Bullet seating depth is a important factor for accuracy but it can also be hazardous. Lets say you seat a bullet just enough to chamber but the ogive is touching the lands and grooves..............high pressure!!!!!!!!!!!
Seating depth is measured from the ogive to the lands and grooves for proper clearance. I used to use the old seat a bullet slightly,paint the bullet with a permanent marker and try and chamber. Do this until you no longer have L/G marks on the bullet. slow tedious process with a poor result.
Get you a tool like I described in a previous post and this becomes EASY!

Wes is correct on the brass ......it doesnt have to be shiny and new looking BUT to protect your dies ,which are not cheap, YOU WANT CLEAN BRASS!
Dirt is the sizer dies worst enemy.
Thats why I used to run them in the dish washer in panty hose....it got them clean.......just make sure they are dry before working them.
I have a habit of prepping cases and having all prep work done and then storing them in coffee cans until I am ready to load.

Hey don't try to do it all at once take your time. Being rushed or disturbed is the reloaders worst enemy!!!


I have been loading for about 19 years and have made my share of mistakes.But never something major. You will also..............like you won't size a case correctly cause you didnt set the sizer die correctly and it won't chamber in your gun. Or you'll try and load a short action cartridge like a long as far as bullet depth seating and find it won't fit in your magazine.

You'll load some handgun rounds and have some you didnt seat the primer deep enough and find the cylinder won't close cause the primer is stinking out to far.
Or bell the mouth to much and those once fired cases crack after shooting.
Or forget to trim some rifle cases and find they won't chamber. Or overlube and find those nice dents in your neck.


If you will read the books you can avoid some of these but you will still make little boo boos. Just be sure as Wes said ..keep only one can of powder out and thats the one you are using!!!!!!!!!

When charge time comes focus all your attention on this...........this is when you can really make a major mistake. wrong powder ........to much or to little can be very bad.
It's not hard to overload a long action cartridge or a magnum because these are not compressed loads as are short action.
Handguns are not hard to overload..............the first time you drop that little say 6 grain charge in that 357 mag case you'll think "thats all that it has". stick to data!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Anyway I have rambled and I don't normally jump into reloading threads but this time I did................I reload for myself because it's fun to me and I have helped make my guns very accurate with the right loads........reloads only will not make a gun shoot good for you but combined with a good quality gun and IMO very important.........a good trigger! they can !

READ the data and READ it again............spend some money on the books and get off here for awhile and read them........thats the best way and the safest way.....................then if you have more questions that are not covered in the books then ask..........
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,689 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
All my guns are single shots except for the 30-30. Wouldn't it be just as easy to set them all the same length as factory loads.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,768 Posts
All my guns are single shots except for the 30-30. Wouldn't it be just as easy to set them all the same length as factory loads.
Sure you can seat to the cannelure that alot of manuf. have. But what about those that don't have a cannelure?

You measure with calipers but to where? From end to end?

Thats why I like the set up I referenced above.................you can get an accurate measurement from the ogive to the cartridge face for an accurate overall length.

The main reason I like using the oal tool above is that it makes it so easy to make a special load just for your gun!

I guess I may be jumping ahead a little............
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,768 Posts
Yep, your a bit over my head on, well............pretty much all of that.
Yeah take your time and learn at your pace............really I can't stress how important it is to read the stuff thats out there thats put out by the folks that know........the bullet maker.

It a little more than throwing some powder in plopping a bullet and shoot.

But I think you will enjoy it alot after you have spent all your money and a little on credit.:biggrin:

Oh and chose your equipment wisely.....don't just buy cause it's priced good. I still have my original rock chucker and it is rock solid!!!!

I have two rock chuckers actually,two uniflows,three sets of scales,posi primer and bench primer from RCBS. I don't know how many dies I have somwhere around 25 sets I think.
And bunches of other goodies.

Oh and the most important 2 different editions of speers manuals,sierra,nosler and hornady manuals .also some winchester ,remington and special data I recieved from most of the previous listed for various calibers. can't have enough though................
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,689 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So what does the manufacturer's books tell you that the lee book won't? Do any of the books conflict or is it just more bullet specific information information. If I'm not going to shoot sierra bullets is there any point in getting a sierra book. I was thinking of starting with a general 243 book I saw at Sportsman's Warehouse, a Nosler book and a Winchester book. My 243 shoots winchester super x's better than anything, so I though I would try to find some of them first and then maby get some of the combined tech stuff (is that winchester too) and then maybe move on to barnes or Nosler.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,768 Posts
So what does the manufacturer's books tell you that the lee book won't? Do any of the books conflict or is it just more bullet specific information information. If I'm not going to shoot sierra bullets is there any point in getting a sierra book. I was thinking of starting with a general 243 book I saw at Sportsman's Warehouse, a Nosler book and a Winchester book. My 243 shoots winchester super x's better than anything, so I though I would try to find some of them first and then maby get some of the combined tech stuff (is that winchester too) and then maybe move on to barnes or Nosler.
If you buy say speer's manual you not only get load data for the 243 but others some you will never use. In the book it will give case lengths ...this you need to know to determine if you need to trim the case or not prior to loading. also when you do trim what do you trim to.

It has a comprehensive section on the load process.......my hornady book covers case pressures and bullet seating depth and what it can do to pressures.
I have never seen a LEE book so I don't know what it contains but LEE doesnt manuf. bullets so I would bet it won't contain load data.
The cartridge specific books are nice but I would still recommend one of the major bullet producers books.
Also you like the winchester super x bullets well look at the cost for them and then look at the cost for lets say...........speer hot cor's. The speers may shoot better and are probably cheaper. I have been using them for years and they will do the job on a deer.
The only bullets I have right now in my supply that are not speer,seirra,nosler or harnady are the winchester fail safes and thats because I got them cheap.

The 243 you shoot I presume you shoot a 100 grain pointed soft point. Now as a reloader you can try some 105 grain hornady round nose. I started using these in my 243 and 6mm rem and love them on deer. I will swear by them but the only way you get them is to load them yourself. trust me on that:biggrin:

I better stop ....my techs call and I must go..................
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top