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Posted: 1/25/2021 5:34:50 PM EDT
Picked a great time to try my hand at reloading, what with the shortages in about every component. But I am looking to get into it, mostly for my 6.5 CM and .308.

I need a list of good equipment that will last me if I go crazy and I probably will. Calipers, scales, trimmers, presses - what is the minimum quality equipment I need to get started. I have read a lot in the Armory / Reloading, great info that has just given me more questions than answers. Any help would be appreciated, I am in the south Metro ATL

Thanks, RSB
Link Posted: 1/25/2021 6:00:35 PM EDT
I just took the plunge myself, good luck finding anything in stock. I bought a RCBS Rebel kit to get started, in stock as of now at Natchez. Should be a decent way to get started and grow into reloading.
RCBS Rebel Kit
Link Posted: 1/25/2021 10:12:27 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/25/2021 10:47:37 PM EDT
Anyone near Augusta is welcome to contact me for one-on-one reloading instruction. I myself had a man take me under his wing and mentor me so I am willing to do the same.
Link Posted: 1/26/2021 7:28:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Springer1911Fan:
I just took the plunge myself, good luck finding anything in stock. I bought a RCBS Rebel kit to get started, in stock as of now at Natchez. Should be a decent way to get started and grow into reloading.
RCBS Rebel Kit
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I have looked at this one, actually a bunch of them


Originally Posted By LoneWolf545:
One of the first questions to ask yourself is whether you're going for the most precise ammunition you can get or are you going for reasonably accurate ammunition that can be produced in bulk?  Also whether it's going to be for a single bolt rifle, multiple rifles, or in semi-automatic rifles.  These answers can influence equipment choices.

I load somewhat in bulk while going for reasonable accuracy
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My first thought is exactly this - somewhat in bulk with reasonable accuracy, for bolt actions and semis. I realize there is a difference in the process, maybe tools, but I plan on starting here.

Originally Posted By redgoat:
Anyone near Augusta is welcome to contact me for one-on-one reloading instruction. I myself had a man take me under his wing and mentor me so I am willing to do the same.
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Augusta may be doable, I appreciate the offer and others may as well.
Link Posted: 1/26/2021 9:11:32 AM EDT
For fun buy a few loading books and read them. The Lee book is one of the best written books you can read as a beginner. The other books offer options and sometimes loads not listed.
Link Posted: 1/26/2021 10:31:51 AM EDT
Occasionally Adventure Outdoors in Smyrna has a re-loading clinic with factory reps teaching. Most I've seen are 1 day clinics but there has been some 2 day events in the past. I've never been to one, just saw it in an email.
Link Posted: 1/26/2021 11:22:22 AM EDT
Start on a single stage.  There is so much to learn.  And a single stage will slow it down and give you a good understanding of what you are doing.
Link Posted: 1/26/2021 11:37:12 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By lucky_13:
Start on a single stage.  There is so much to learn.  And a single stage will slow it down and give you a good understanding of what you are doing.
View Quote


This is what I was about to say. For what you want to do a single stage would work fine. Besides, there's no components available for a new guy to reload in any quantity right now.

Keep an eye out for used equipment and get familiar with current retail prices. The press, dies, scales and tumblers are the durable and more expensive items. Little things like dispensers, trays and case cleaning tools are readily available.
Link Posted: 1/26/2021 3:48:57 PM EDT
We use a Lee progressive press.  There was no way we could afford the Dillon stuff.  We like our Lee so much we bought a second one so we don't have to keep changing out dies and stuff to load our most commonly loaded calibers.  

A single stage is fine, if not preferred, if you are only loading a relatively low amount of ammo, just have plenty of time to devote to loading or want to develop precision loads.

We shoot several different calibers and a fair bit of ammo (pre-covid at least) so a progressive press made more sense for us.  Some reloading snobs look down on Lee but I've been very impressed with their quality and value.
Link Posted: 1/26/2021 5:54:14 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/26/2021 5:58:41 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/26/2021 6:23:39 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By LoneWolf545:

Most reloading classes (including the one I've taught at GT and TruPrep) are more geared towards handgun reloading, there are some additional considerations for reloading precision rifle (measuring concentricity/runout, adjusting seating for the right jump to the lands, primer pocket uniforming, etc...).  Heck, once finances recover from this period of being out of work, I'll be looking at a better case trimming setup (Giraud possibly) and an annealing setup, after I rebuild savings.
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I'm jumping in as well.  I have a tub of reloading equipment (older RCBS single stage setup) a co-worker sold me on a great deal (dies for .357/.38, 30-30, and some oddball rifle caliber I can't recall).  I've got a couple buckets of brass.  I think for the next couple months, I'm going to get a good tumbler and a universal hand-deprimer.  Get brass deprimed, sorted, measured (will practice trimming), and just get all that organized...maybe when I'm finished powder and primers will be back in stock  I'll have to hunt around for more common dies, but I have a bunch of 357 and 38's I can get started with regardless.  I want to eventually get a progressive, but it's not good timing right now for various reasons (time being the critical factor).

ROCK6  

Link Posted: 1/26/2021 6:37:23 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By ROCK6:


I'm jumping in as well.  I have a tub of reloading equipment (older RCBS single stage setup) a co-worker sold me on a great deal (dies for .357/.38, 30-30, and some oddball rifle caliber I can't recall).  I've got a couple buckets of brass.  I think for the next couple months, I'm going to get a good tumbler and a universal hand-deprimer.  Get brass deprimed, sorted, measured (will practice trimming), and just get all that organized...maybe when I'm finished powder and primers will be back in stock  I'll have to hunt around for more common dies, but I have a bunch of 357 and 38's I can get started with regardless.  I want to eventually get a progressive, but it's not good timing right now for various reasons (time being the critical factor).

ROCK6  

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You hit the jackpot. I bought all the stuff just to load for 38/357, 30-30, and the occasional 30.06. Supplies for these are definitely hard to come by.
Link Posted: 1/26/2021 7:26:20 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Springer1911Fan:

You hit the jackpot. I bought all the stuff just to load for 38/357, 30-30, and the occasional 30.06. Supplies for these are definitely hard to come by.
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Yeah, the guy is a retired COL I've worked with before.  Somehow we got to talking about shooting and guns and he said he had some reloading stuff he was trying to sell but no takers.  He was trying to sell it for $450-500...a pretty honest assessment, but sold it to me for $250 just to get it out of the garage and to someone willing to use it.  He let me bring the tub home and go through everything, so it was definitely a good deal on my part even though I wasn't really looking at getting into reloading right now.

ROCK6
Link Posted: 1/26/2021 7:34:13 PM EDT
Rock6 - I hope I can find a friend like that

Just bought the Lyman manual, more to come I am sure. Looking at tumblers, calipers, powder scales  and single stage presses right now, holy cow this is an adventure. But I figured out fly tying and AR assembly so its just a matter of time, mistakes and a bunch of dang money

Thanks everyone
Link Posted: 1/26/2021 8:13:05 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By RSBrown:
But I figured out fly tying and AR assembly so its just a matter of time, mistakes and a bunch of dang money

Thanks everyone
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Just learn to do a bead head prince nymph and you’re set!! By far my go to fly.

If you have questions on precision stuff, I’d be happy to help with what little I know.

I just have a basic reloading setup and use the KISS method. The latest and greatest isn’t always needed. I use a RCBS rockchucker, Chargemaster 1500 and either RCBS FL or Hornady FL dies. A beam balance also works, you just need to be mindful of static charge throwing off the accuracy.

A Hornady comparator is a great addition so that you can measure shoulder bump and seating depth.

Case lube: Hornady one shot or imperial sizing wax.

Unless you’re capable of consistently shooting sub 1/4moa, an arbor press or concentricity gauge is just a waste imo. The above equipment can produce half moa capable ammo, and it can do it in large quantities if you’ve got the time. Progressives have their place, and you may can produce good shooting ammo on them, but you may be limited in the powders you can run for precision loads. H4350/RL16 are popular for 6.5creed and 4064/Varget/Rl-15 are popular for 308. From what I’ve heard, most of those powders don't meter great in progressives.
Link Posted: 1/31/2021 8:55:04 AM EDT
Well, I took the next steps - kind of....received 200 Berger .264 bullets and 200 Lapua brass and yesterday Mr Amazon dropped off my Lyman 50th year manual. Once I find powder and primers it will be time to spend a bunch of money on the tools, need the extra motivation to spend more money.

Still reading and checking the Teams reloading everyday, it's like I am back in physic's class again with all kinds of topics that I have to read 12 times to understand
Link Posted: 1/31/2021 11:33:56 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By RSBrown:
Once I find powder and primers....
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Yeah, about that...
Link Posted: 1/31/2021 1:55:56 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Extorris:

Yeah, about that...
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Originally Posted By Extorris:
Originally Posted By RSBrown:
Once I find powder and primers....

Yeah, about that...



Powder is still doable. Primers. Lol. I don't expect to see any available this year.
Link Posted: 1/31/2021 2:19:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2021 4:36:49 AM EDT by Extorris]
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Originally Posted By redgoat:
Powder is still doable. Primers. Lol. I don't expect to see any available this year.
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Yeah I actually got some powder this week but primers are the real problem. (unless you want to pay five times the regular price)
Link Posted: 1/31/2021 5:51:41 PM EDT
First - thanks again for the help and PMs, this is gonna be fun and drive my wife crazy if the first 38 years haven't.

I opened up my Lyman book this AM to start, it was bound upside down so I have to start with the back cover upside down . The content is whats important, just thought it was funny as hell
Link Posted: 2/1/2021 4:50:19 AM EDT
I started on a Dillon 550B but with the component shortage and if your just starting a single stage will be fine, picked up a used RCBS Rock Chucker the other day for $40 and it's a great one to learn on. Carbide Dies are well worth the extra few bucks, less or no lube required, according to caliber.
Link Posted: 2/1/2021 5:11:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2021 5:21:03 PM EDT by dana]
Good info already covered. I would start with a small single stage and start with pistol ammo or other straight wall stuff. I did a lot of pistol but never rifle rounds because it felt like it got more complicated.

I use a single stage and a hand primer. Size and deprime a bucket of brass. Then flair them, you will need to experiment with the flaring a little to get it just right. Get the flaring right before you prime a bunch. Then prime them while watching TV. Now you have a nice bucket of ready to load brass. I usually have a bunch like this on hand and store them in a sealed container. Then find bullets and powder. I do it different then most. I drop a powder charge with a thrower and then place that round right in the press and seat a bullet. One finished round. getting my powder thrower set right is the most time consuming part. Use some spare unprimed brass to adjust bullet seating depth just so you dont waist you primed brass.


Something like 38spl fired out of a 357 is a great starting place. You can use something like Unique powder for 38, 9mm and 45ACP if you like. Lead bullets are also cheap. Brass is also cheap. The 45 will need large primers but the other will all use small. If you do 38spl you can use the same dies for 38, 357 mag and 357 max.

getting ahead of myself but 45-70 is a good one. Factory ammo is super expensive and when you reload you can reload light rounds for fun. plus the straight wall makes it a easy one.

I use a really basic set up.
RCBS single stage
dies
RCBS triple beam
Lee powder thrower
hand primer, forget what brand
RCBS bullet puller
calipers from HD
borrowed reloading manual that i read and then you can get data from manufacturers web page.
note book to record data
later add a chrono

dont need much else for pistol stuff
Link Posted: 2/1/2021 8:23:03 PM EDT
IMR 4227 eight pound jugs in stock at Midway.

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/2185278142?pid=388430
Link Posted: 2/2/2021 6:51:28 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/4/2021 5:38:31 PM EDT
Another question - Could one of you provide me with a good recipe for a .308 hunting cartridge? This is overwhelming to say the least, I find what I think is a good load and then can't find anything. Do you start with your bullet and then look for powder?

Another question - should I cash in my 401K and buy 1000 primers and 8 pounds of powder?

I am still anxiously awaiting my Hornady single stage loader, have bullets and brass, maybe small primers for the Creedmoor, but holy cow this is like a scavenger hunt and I feel like I am buying Gamestop at 275. Sorry, kind of a rant, but I am just trying to build some hunting bullets and this is crazy
Link Posted: 2/4/2021 7:35:41 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/4/2021 10:05:01 PM EDT
Varget, RL-15 and 4064 are very popular powders for .308. RL-15 isn’t as temp stable, but it works very well and should be easier to find. I used RL15 from ~15F to 102F. For the summer months, I’d just drop the charge .2-.3gr and roll on.


Link Posted: 2/5/2021 9:43:22 AM EDT
Thanks again guys, now I just need to sit on my computer all day and wait for powder to drop, hope I am first in line and get some.

Another question - need advice on dies. I have bought the Hornady starter kit posted in Team, and am going to load 6.5 CM, .308 and 300 BO, so need three sets of dies. Any recommendations or should I stick to Hornady as that is my press? Is carbide worth it?
Link Posted: 2/5/2021 1:47:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/5/2021 1:48:17 PM EDT by LoneWolf545]
Link Posted: 2/5/2021 3:04:58 PM EDT
And Holy Cow! My Hornady reloading starter kit arrived today, after they said it could take 3 weeks. I'ts like Christmas in February!

Thanks for all the input, I am doing my best to act like a sponge, just so much to learn and have confidence
Link Posted: 2/5/2021 3:10:48 PM EDT
RCBS did a re-stock this morning, may have some or the dies your looking for.
Link Posted: 2/8/2021 12:03:53 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By RSBrown:
Another question - Could one of you provide me with a good recipe for a .308 hunting cartridge? This is overwhelming to say the least, I find what I think is a good load and then can't find anything. Do you start with your bullet and then look for powder?

Another question - should I cash in my 401K and buy 1000 primers and 8 pounds of powder?

I am still anxiously awaiting my Hornady single stage loader, have bullets and brass, maybe small primers for the Creedmoor, but holy cow this is like a scavenger hunt and I feel like I am buying Gamestop at 275. Sorry, kind of a rant, but I am just trying to build some hunting bullets and this is crazy
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Someone else’s recipe may be the most accurate thing you could ever load for your rifle(s), or a total dud.  The fun in reloading is seeing what your rifle does well with.  But it is also possible that the load data will get you 4 MOAgroups.

My pre-64 Winchester Model 70 in 30-06 isn’t impressive in any way with the more popular 165-175 grain bullets, but can pull .85 5 shot groups with 150 grain Sierra game kings if I can keep my act together.  The best place to start is finding out what twist your rifles barrels are and doing your best to match the bullet that for testing.  The projectile company websites and reloading manuals will have that info.  The short story is that the faster the twist, the heavier the bullet.  Then take your reloading manual and see what powders are recommended for the cartridges and bullet weights you are interested in testing.  Pick a medium load and give it a try.  But only sending rounds downrange from your barrel with different loads will tell the tale.

Also, if you are the type of person that can read manuals and retain the information, I would recommend the book “The ABCs of Reloading”.  There is a wealth of knowledge in the book.  Some of it is not presented in a way I like, but the principles are covered in-depth.
Link Posted: 2/8/2021 8:27:27 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By lucky_13:
Start on a single stage.  There is so much to learn.  And a single stage will slow it down and give you a good understanding of what you are doing.
View Quote


Big ditto to this.
I got into reloading around 10 years ago... only because I wanted to make subsonic 308 stuff.

I bought a Lee single stage kit and have used the hell out of it since.
I have no need or interest in cranking out thousands of rounds on a turret press when I can load more accurately (but slower) on the single stage.
Ive never "dropped" a single powder charge from a dropper.
Every single round has had the powder on a digital scale and dumped through a funnel.
Link Posted: 2/8/2021 8:32:17 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By RSBrown:
Another question - Could one of you provide me with a good recipe for a .308 hunting cartridge? This is overwhelming to say the least, I find what I think is a good load and then can't find anything. Do you start with your bullet and then look for powder?

Another question - should I cash in my 401K and buy 1000 primers and 8 pounds of powder?

I am still anxiously awaiting my Hornady single stage loader, have bullets and brass, maybe small primers for the Creedmoor, but holy cow this is like a scavenger hunt and I feel like I am buying Gamestop at 275. Sorry, kind of a rant, but I am just trying to build some hunting bullets and this is crazy
View Quote


Get yourself a couple reloading books.
No two books have the same load info.
I find myself in the Sierra book the most, and a Lyman manual if Sierra book doesnt list the combo im searching.
Link Posted: 2/18/2021 5:47:10 PM EDT
Quick update, 3 weeks in, like most things, really wish I would have started 18 months ago

Got my Hornady press kit, and thanks to this forum, EE and the ODT I have Creedmoor brass and dies, 300 BO brass and dies, a shit load of knowledge, large and small rifle primers, 308 bullets and brass. I have the Lyman and Hornady manuals on load data and have done my best to go to school on all pieces and parts that go into a cartridge.
Still looking for .308 dies and of course POWDER.

The load data is confusing as they may list two powders in common, but then 4 that are different, which has to mean that a lot WILL work, but may not work best. I am loading 135 -140 6.5 CM, 110 -120 300 BO, and 150-165 308 - so if you have a formula for a powder that works, have powder to spare, let me know what you have and how much you want for it.

AND a big thank you to the folks on here that have helped me out.....running down the rabbit hole as fast as I can

Link Posted: 2/18/2021 5:54:20 PM EDT
Glad your up and running. I still can’t bring myself to pay ODT prices for primers and powder.
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 11:44:39 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Springer1911Fan:
Glad your up and running. I still can’t bring myself to pay ODT prices for primers and powder.
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I haven't had to - yet, but things seem to be breaking loose as I have bought a few pounds of powder that I was looking for from Brownells. Of course I get up at 5 everyday and go look after I check the Teams thread. Still looking for Varget and 4064, but have good substitutes (I think)

Something I am missing and can't find anywhere are case holders for my Hornady L&L, backordered at three sites for the individuals and multi pack just to cover my bases. Anyone have Hornady #1 & #16?

Also still looking for a good 308 die set, hopefully with case holder

So much to learn, so little time, thanks for looking and helping
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