View Full Version : New to Reloading
12-25-2002, 06:41 AM
Hello,I'm a newbe to reloading and am preparing to buy my equipment.I intend to buy the basic RCBS master reloading kit.In addition to this I plan on large and small primer pocket cleaners,a caliper,two standard die sets(RCBS) in 7mm-08 and 300WSM.I also will get the two shellholders needed for these calibers.Do I need anything else in equipment to be able to start reloading(not counting primers and bullets and powder)?How do you know what primers to buy?Small or large and regular or mag.?Do I need to use primer sealant?I will be using once fired brass and wonder if I will need one of those universal decappers to unprime?Now,how do you clean this brass?Soak in a liquid or spring for a vibrator and media?The brass is in good condition and bright.I will be a small time 20 or so at a time reloader but want to start and do it right.Thanks.
12-25-2002, 09:03 AM
Do not soak your brass in any liquid,if it dont get dry it will contaminate your primer and/or powder,causing missfires,when sizing your brass in your dies use MINIMAL oil(just a light film) on the outside of the brass to keep from getting dents,oil is a must though or you wont be able to run the brass through your dies,unless they are carbide dies,and being rifle dies they wont be carbide. you dont have to have a tumbler to clean the brass,but clean inside well as you can with maybe a wire brush through the neck. DO not prime the brass until your sure all oil is removed from the shell and your fingers. Start with a good book and dont start with the max charge but also dont go with the minimum either,both minimum and maximum powder loads can cause excessive pressures,start somewhere in the middle and get a feel for reloading then work up decent loads,your rifles will use the large rifle primers,unless its a magnum then you can use the large rifle magnum primers,the difference in these primers is how hot they are,your manual will tell you what primer to use as well as powders,Dont stray from the manual,dont mix powders!! no sealant,i dont use any,anyhow. use the primer pocket cleaner sparingly as it can cut away metal and leave your primer loose in the pocket or seated to deep,just get the crud out.
unless it is military brass you will not need a decapper,the primer just pushes out at the same time you run it through the sizing dies,military brass has metal inside that has to be cut away in order to punch out the primer that is the reason for the decapper.
Being that your only going to load a few rounds here and there (yeah right) dont buy everything,eventually you will want this stuff,and will have to have a case trimmer (later) but alot of the this other equipment can wait,if it was a must it would be in the kit.
Im not hardcore handloader so others may have better or added advise but you cant go wrong with a good manual or 2,personally if i dont read it in a manual i dont do it at the bench,in other words i dont trust any loads that are posted here or elsewhere,UNLESS they fall somewhere between min and max in a manual.
I have news for you though,once you get started you will not be able to just load a box a year,you will be able to shoot cheaper and will be loading more than you will think,if it was just for a box or 2 a year reloading would be a waste of time.
12-25-2002, 11:02 AM
I meant 20 or so at a time not per year.I will load 20 or so every month probably.The kit comes with a case trimmer,How do you clean small quanties of brass without a tumbler or vibrator? I've heard using a brass cleaning cloth,does this sound right?The ammo is once fired in the guns they will be loaded for.I will be using all Nosler parition bullets at first and plan on getting the nosler reloading manual as well as the speer that comes in kit.Thanks for info so far.
12-25-2002, 03:35 PM
If you know that you are going to be reloading, I would go ahead and invest in a vibrator.
Midway has some good package deals, and their equipment is first class.
Don't plan on saving tons of money. Your ammo will cost you less per round, but you
will end up shooting more. THAT'S A GOOD THING.....
What has been said above is all good information.
Load for accuracy, not for velocity.
Only have on your bench what you are loading at that time. One can of powder, one
package of primers, and one box of bullets. Good habits will keep you from making
Double check everything, every time.
If you are shooting long range, load heavy for caliber bullets. They will carry up better.
Pop in here with questions, there is a lot of experience on this board, and they will help ad
12-25-2002, 06:16 PM
Well they do make several sized tumblers for cleaning cases,tumblers are not very expensive so yeah go ahead and get yourself one.you will want it later anyhow.
All i can say about reloading is that its a blast to go to the range and fire a box of shells into the bullseye and know that it was your work that put it there http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley-biggrin-aqua.gif
12-26-2002, 05:43 PM
Tho I prefer to use a tumbler there is a good soaking solution on the market to make your brass look like new, a friend of mine uses it on occasion and he says it works real well. It is called IOSSO,comes in a kit with some kind of container and screen.I forgot to ask him where he got it tho, probably check with Midway or another source such as.
12-26-2002, 07:24 PM
You all should check out what varmint al has to say about tumblers. I am new to reloading but this guy is the man. On his web page he makes the point that the tumbler dings up the necks and takes away from accuracy. This make a lot of sense. Neck uniformness is estentail to accuracy, shinny brass is not.
12-26-2002, 08:04 PM
Woodseye how you been miss your bear on the hood of the jeep.
First off the two calibers you mention you will not need small rifle primers both take LR, lets say your rifle is a 7mm MAG, that does not mean it will need mag LR primers that's the fun of rolling your own trying different primers both mag and standard, for my money Remington has the most consistent primers on the market I might be shooting say CCI and my groups are 1.5" switching to Rem. primers might change my group to 1" or less with all being the same except the primer, remember this for your area in Maine, you may find a real good load this summer using say 4350 and standard primers that's when it's 70 out, then on a deer hunt in Nov. when it's -5 out everything changes the powder does not burn the same, or the primer might not be hot enought, you need to do some load testing this Jan. & Feb.
YOU do not need clean cases to reload. I just like to look and feel clean cases that why I have a cases cleaner 1200 Lyman along with a Midway and IMO the Midway are not as good as the Lyman, the Midway does not turn the cases over as fast as the lyman which means they have to stay in longer, I use both fine corn cob & course with Dillon case cleaner added to the media, you can also clean your cases with some 4-oooo steel wool.
You will need a calipers to measure length of cases before and after trimming which might be every other loading, I do not clean my primer pockets but one out of 4-5 loading, I have never found it to change my accuracy in a hunting rifle I do deprime then put in cases cleaner, if you do that make sure the media is out of the primer flash hole I use a small center punch that after grinding will fit into the flash hole.
I beleive in the RCBS kit they give you a inside and outside neck reamer you will need that after trimming or if there is a burr on the case mouth.
I use hornady one shot spray some don't like it but if you only do say 20 shells in a loading block at a time it's great, the guys who have had trouble with it IMO leave the shell sitting to long before sizing and the lube drys of the cases I have also use silcone spray and it works just fine also.
These are just a few of the small things that make a differance, your loading books will take you through the big stuff.
When it comes to reloading no ??? is a stupid one. http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley-hitting-self.gif
12-27-2002, 03:00 AM
Thanks again for all the good info guys.I will go into this a little more knowledgeable and buy the right tools first time.
Dave in LB
01-01-2003, 12:20 AM
Iam sure most of this was covered but a few tips from my experience. If you get one of the package deals from MidwayUSa for the tumblers get the prospector kit and don't get wooed by that cool looking rotating brass/media seperator. the pan works just fine, takes up less space, and isn't goofy to operate. A good book is a must as Are a good scale and caliper. I am reasonably certain the kit you mentioned has both. A PACT digital scale would be a great help though, and if you get one get the one that can be plugged into the wall. Lastly for lubrication of the cases use RCBS or Dillons spray lube it works great and is a lot easier than rolling cases in silica. Be safe and have fun.
I would get a tumber if I were you. On the cheaper side Midway's Frankford Arsonal tumbler Midway Tumbler (http://www.midwayusa.com/rewriteaproduct/317981). For a "better" tumbler the Dillion CV500 is what I use Dillion Page (http://dillonprecision.com/template/p.cfm?maj=16&min=0&dyn=1&). I used the Midway tumbler for years until it burnt up.
Pay VERY careful attention to Case OAL. I don't know if the kit you are using has a trimmer or not - but it's an absolute necessity! This will also require a decent set of calipers to measure the case and bullet OAL.
For the 7mm/08 stick with standard primers. On the .300 WSM try standard rifle primers and see how they work. If you get inconsistent ingition (or excessive flameballs) then you will probably want to switch to magnum primers.
One of the best suggestions to give a newby is to not try to squeeze that last bit of power out of a cartridge. Many inexperienced reloaders want to make a .308 perform like a .30-06 or a .30-06 to perform like a .300 Mag. I've always said if you want .300 Magnum performance then why not just buy a .300 Magnum? I know this sounds very simplistic and may seem like it's talking down to you - but you wouldn't believe how many people try to do this. Especially with rounds like the .44 Magnum - because someone has convinced them their Super Redhawk cannot be blown up!
Also, get the Hodgon's #27 Reloading manual. It contains data for their powders as well as their competetiors data! Feel free to email me with any questions. I load several thousand rounds per year, and I think I can offer some suggestions to you along the way. http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley-biggrin-aqua.gif
01-02-2003, 04:47 PM
Hey Woods,Small world http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley-biggrin-aqua.gif
Your gonna love that 7-08 when you hit the ticket.Mine likes Hodgdons Varget real well,but most anything in the heat range shot better than factory stuff.
Be safe and have fun.Ron
01-06-2003, 11:16 PM
Once you get into loading you'll find there are all kinds of tools you may not be able to get along without. One I'd suggest is the RCBS decapping die. When I start to load fired cases I like to deprime and clean the primer pockets. This helps to keep a lot of burnt carbon out of you cleaning media. Not only do clean cases size easier, they don't scratch your sizing die. After sizing, I check on case length and trim if necessary. Then they go into the tumbler again. Then I load them. I hope that this is of some help. Good luck.
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