Reloading advice

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Reloading advice

Postby Remington700 » Mon, 18 Jul 2016 09:02:27

Hey everyone new member here. I have always wanted to get into reloading however I have absolutely no experience whatsoever. And unfortunately I don't know anyone who can show me some stuff. Any advice on a setup to buy? I've seen a lot of different like starter packs are any of these worth buying? Thanks

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Re: Reloading advice

Postby jdonovan » Mon, 18 Jul 2016 18:40:42

At a high level most of the kits on the market have all the basics you need to get started.

But I'd suggest you find a class. http://www.nrainstructors.org/ You'll learn all about the tools you need, and why one setup may be better suited for your needs. You'll learn to use the tools, how to use the data in the manuals and much more.

If you're in the central VA area I hold classes when I can find 2-4 students. Home base is Fauquier co. but I'll travel (with in reason) to meet up with a group of students and conduct a class.

Generally I'm not a fan of the mechanical scales in the kits. I think for the cost of the entry mechanical scales you can get a better experience from a digital scale. A well built mechanical scale can be more accurate than a digital, but it will take 10x as long to make the measurement.

There is a section of class that is about an hour where we go over tools, so it's a bit much to try and cover it in a forum post, but if you have some specific questions I can try to answer.

and welcome to the forum!


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Re: Reloading advice

Postby kelu » Tue, 19 Jul 2016 09:31:43

Rem 700, grab 3 friends and take jdonovan class. Well worth the time and the little money.
All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns, that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party - Mao Tse Tung


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Re: Reloading advice

Postby noylj » Fri, 29 Jul 2016 02:56:38

Reading a couple of manuals is all you need. Basic reloading is quite simple--just always start at the starting load and work up.
Too many think you need the equivalent of a college degree before you relosd.
If you read a couple of manuals and still have no idea, look into class or post request for a reloader to show you at the range. YouTube can be good, but there is a lot of junk. Many manufacturrs have videos also.
Any kit will be more than good enough to start. I think too many recommend too much high end equipment for a beginner.
You could start with a $30 Lee Reloading Press, a $12 Lee Ram Prime, and Lee dippers and specfic Lee dipper loads. They will be light and often quite accurate. Most can't take it, though, and also buy a scale to weigh the charges. This is recommended, but folks have loaded using dippers and no scale since the black powder days and some continue.
It isn't rocket science or brain surgery--it is attention to detail.
Read, follow directions, and don't rush anything.

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Re: Reloading advice

Postby jdonovan » Fri, 29 Jul 2016 06:50:15

I'd been reloading, and wildcatting for 20 years before taking the reloading class, and becoming an instructor. When I took the class I learned quite a bit, not huge things, but lots of little things that filled in details that gave me a more full understanding of the subject.

After the class, and in teaching subsequent courses I had many additional opportunities to learn. I took the class, and the instructor prep from the guy that wrote the reloading course book and developed the course for the NRA. So I was able gain much insight into the why's about how the class was designed, what topics were covered and in what depth, and many other gems of knowledge that didn't make it into the book.

While you certainly don't need to take a class, not everyone learns well on their own. Some people like a more formal learning setting and want to go to a classroom setting and hear someone knowledgeable on the topic speak. Some people like a guided hands-on learning experience. And some like to self-study.


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Re: Reloading advice

Postby M1A4ME » Fri, 29 Jul 2016 07:32:38

The great thing about the reloading manuals is you have them anytime you need to reference them and (just like car manuals) one will contain information not in another one. Over the years I've bought seven reloading manuals. The older I get, the more "new" powder and new calibers come out that aren't covered in my old manuals.

You know, there is also a lot of data (data, not explanations) on the internet. Hogden has a website with load information for Hogden, Winchester and IMR powders. Ramshot has a website for their powders. Accurate Arms has a website for their powders. Alliance has a website for their powders. Some bullet manufacturers, like Nosler, have reloading data for their bullets on their website. The data is not a substitute for why and how, it's just data if you're looking for something specific about a powder or bullet.


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Re: Reloading advice

Postby noylj » Fri, 29 Jul 2016 08:07:27

>While you certainly don't need to take a class, not everyone learns well on their own. Some people like a more formal learning setting and want to go to a classroom setting and hear someone knowledgeable on the topic speak.

And my point is FIRST read a couple of manuals or "ABCs of Reloading" or "Handloading for Handgunners" and learn first and decide for yourself if you want to try to find a class or simply try your hand at it. I taught my son and S.I.L. to reload and it didn't take long to teach them all the basics, explain that there are other issues if one goes beyond basic reloading, and have them produce a bunch of reloads in less than an afternoon and go to the range and try them out.


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Re: Reloading advice

Postby kelu » Fri, 29 Jul 2016 09:15:24

noylj wrote:>I taught my son and S.I.L. to reload and it didn't take long to teach them all the basics, explain that there are other issues if one goes beyond basic reloading, and have them produce a bunch of reloads in less than an afternoon and go to the range and try them out.

So basically you had a reloading class with them, instead of pointing them to a book. QED.
For me, it was way more cost effective to just get a class, ask questions, get a lot of info in couple hours than spending several days reading books, and then wondering if I am doing it right. Plus, I consider it safer to do it first time under supervision. Mistakes have bad consequences here.
All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns, that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party - Mao Tse Tung


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Re: Reloading advice

Postby noylj » Fri, 29 Jul 2016 13:51:44

Well, my point there was that you don't need an 8-hour class or several days to learn the basics. Reading or doing is more than sufficient.
So, compare getting about 200 rounds of 9x19 loaded by a newbe, from die set-up to finished round in about 3 hours to attending a class--and do you actually get to reload in the class.
There is also my recommendation and what I do if someone wants something different. We followed a manual, so they "sort of" read one while doing.
In both cases, I was there since I gave them the reloading press and shell plates and dies and bullets and powder and primers and cases, so I was right there to help them set up. They could have done it on their own, but I was there and it was free.


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Re: Reloading advice

Postby jdonovan » Fri, 29 Jul 2016 14:11:15

noylj wrote:--and do you actually get to reload in the class.

Yes. about 2-3 hours of class are hands on.


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Re: Reloading advice

Postby noylj » Mon, 24 Oct 2016 21:38:02

Do what you want, just be safe.

Yes, since the presses and accessories were xmas presents and I was there, why wouldn't I help? They could have done it on their own, but they wanted to start NOW. Better to be there if they are impatient. This way we spent boxing day at the range shooting their own reloads.
Still told them to READ the manuals.
So, if you don't learn by reading and doing, go pay someone to show you how. But first, read a manual or two as you need to buy them any way.


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Re: Reloading advice

Postby highyellow1 » Tue, 25 Oct 2016 21:50:17

I would be interested if within 1-1.5 hrs of Fredericksburg.


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Re: Reloading advice

Postby jdonovan » Wed, 26 Oct 2016 06:32:13

I've got 2 others interested in a Warrenton class at Triune shooting sports. I'll give the others a call and see if we can get some dates that work for people.


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Re: Reloading advice

Postby bc2720 » Wed, 26 Oct 2016 10:32:22

I would like to take this class as well. Thanks!

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Re: Reloading advice

Postby highyellow1 » Wed, 26 Oct 2016 13:38:59

Sounds good. Will it focus on a particular caliber (i.e. pistol (9/40 vs rifle (.223)) or just principles that apply to all?


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Re: Reloading advice

Postby jdonovan » Wed, 26 Oct 2016 13:44:38

It will cover basic reloading knowledge and skills, for rifle and pistol. The class also includes hands-on session in which both cartridge types will be handled and reloaded.


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Re: Reloading advice

Postby highyellow1 » Mon, 21 Nov 2016 13:06:58

Any updates to this? I'll be leaving the area next week until mid-December.


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Re: Reloading advice

Postby jdonovan » Mon, 21 Nov 2016 13:25:26

just re-poked the venue scheduling person, I may have to go darken his doorway, but I'll get us an answer.


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Re: Reloading advice

Postby jdonovan » Mon, 21 Nov 2016 14:45:48



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