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Seriously contemplating getting started
#1
I know that I'll need to get at least 2 good reloading manuals but my bigger concern is should I get something like the Dillon 550b or a Rockchucker to start with? I'd be loading for .38/.357, 9mm, .45, 5.56, 7.62x39 and 7.62x51. I would probably also lean toward reloading shotshells as well. Any advice gratefully received and please, don't make this a pissing contest of brand a is better than brand b. Smile
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USAF (1976 -1986) NRA, GOA Anim_sniper2
"The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living." Dan Cofall
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#2
Find a copy of The ABCs of Handloading. I've seen it at Barnes & Nobel. Since you're just getting into reloading, it's probably a good idea to start with a single stage press. You can always upgrade and it's handy to have a single stage around for doing small lots.
Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum Europae vincendarum
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#3
+1 on starting with a single stage.

A progressive is nice once you know what you're doing. However, for a reloading noob, it provides multiple places to screw up - at the same time. Besides, even if you have a progressive, you will always find something that your old single stage just does better.

Since you're talking pistol AND rifle, I would suggest an "O" frame press like the RCBS RockChucker, Redding BigBoss, etc. Spend the $$ once. Resizing larger rifle brass (7.62x51/308WIN) will put serious stress on a "C" frame press.

Don't get stuck on having a red (Lee), orange (Lyman), metallic green (RCBS), light green (Redding), etc. bench. Get the equipment that works for you with your budget. My bench looks like a fruit salad.

As for powders - W231/HP38 (HP38 is the same powder as W231) and either of the 4895s will cover all of the calibers you listed.

Shotshell presses are a totally different animal. I don't think I have seen any metallic cartridge presses that can load shotshell (or visa versa).
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#4
One caliber at a time! Don't go out and buy dies for everything you want to load. Start slow, master a single caliber. I didn't, and in turn I never spent enough time dialing in my individual loads. Eventually I had to scrap everything and start fresh with load development one caliber at a time.
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#5
I would suggest a single stage to start out with. Get your feet wet, so to speak.

I would suggest not forgetting about those odds and ends. The ones that you go to start and say "wait a minute".

Calipers, bullet puller, a good lamp, and shell trays. Countless other things, but I won't go over everything.

I would also suggest, of you have never done it before, find a reloader and see
If they will show you the ropes.
This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins. -Ben Franklin
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#6
Another bit of advice, start your reloading with the .38/.357. It's known to be an easy round to reload for and there are literally thousands of combinations of powders and bullets you can try.
Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum Europae vincendarum
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#7
Thanks for the input everyone, I'm one of those who tends to investigate before getting started so reaching out to the more knowledgeable gang here just made sense to me. My dad has an older Lee "O" style press that I can get my hands on, bought it and never used it so guess who gets to keep it. Big Grin

On another note, which caliber would you suggest I start with? I was thinking the .38/.357 since they are straight walled but I could be wrong. Oh, and who makes a really good bullet puller? I have no doubt that I'll need one. Wink
[Image: member955.png]
USAF (1976 -1986) NRA, GOA Anim_sniper2
"The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living." Dan Cofall
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#8
billamj;21872 Wrote:Thanks for the input everyone, I'm one of those who tends to investigate before getting started so reaching out to the more knowledgeable gang here just made sense to me. My dad has an older Lee "O" style press that I can get my hands on, bought it and never used it so guess who gets to keep it. Big Grin

On another note, which caliber would you suggest I start with? I was thinking the .38/.357 since they are straight walled but I could be wrong. Oh, and who makes a really good bullet puller? I have no doubt that I'll need one. Wink

Read one post above your last Tongue
Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum Europae vincendarum
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#9
Warpt762x39;21877 Wrote:
billamj;21872 Wrote:Thanks for the input everyone, I'm one of those who tends to investigate before getting started so reaching out to the more knowledgeable gang here just made sense to me. My dad has an older Lee "O" style press that I can get my hands on, bought it and never used it so guess who gets to keep it. Big Grin

On another note, which caliber would you suggest I start with? I was thinking the .38/.357 since they are straight walled but I could be wrong. Oh, and who makes a really good bullet puller? I have no doubt that I'll need one. Wink

Read one post above your last Tongue
Saw that right after I posted. lolTongue
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USAF (1976 -1986) NRA, GOA Anim_sniper2
"The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living." Dan Cofall
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#10
Lots of good advice already posted. Start with a single stage and don't get hung up on brand. I have equipment from Lee, Lyman, RCBS, Hornady, Redding, MEC, and others. I will second the motion to go with an "O" frame rather than a "C" frame if you're going to have only one press. Some brands are better than others for particular tools but I use my Lee hand presses more than I use my RCBS Rock Ckucker or RCBS Jr.
I like the RCBS deburring tool a lot more than the Lee but they both work.
I'll take the Lee Autoprime over the RCBS hand priming tool any day.
I prefer the Forster case trimmer to all of the others.
Experience will show that your preferences will vary from mine and any one else's. Don't break the bank on startup but don't try to get by for pennies either.
Take it one step at a time, start with one easy caliber, .38/.357 is a real good place to start. Take your time and pay attention to detail. Master your technique with one caliber/cartridge first then move to another. Upgrade your equipment as you go. (The pain on your finances is less noticeable that way).
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Those who make things happen,
Those who watch things happen,
And those who wonder what happened.
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