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Thread: ammo sure is expensive.....

  1. #11
    Certified Gunnut
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Deary, Ideeeeeho
    Member #
    6940 times
    Well, not to discourage you from handloading as I am a long term handloader, starting in the 60s or very early 70s.

    But, not everyone is a good handloader so just think it through before jumping in.

    30/30 ammo is one of those that usually is sold at promo prices about hunting season time and can many times be found in the bigger stores at bargain prices.

    Check that out if being able to shoot a limited amount is your only desire.

    Then buy a single stage press, preferably one with a cast iron/steel frame, and it will out last you.

    If you really going to go for it, it may soon lead to casting and shooting your own bullets which is another way to cut costs over the long term.

    Components of almost all kinds have been hard to get over the last 2 - 3 years and yes even harder to get during this second obamanation and the recovery is not fast in happening.

    Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
    Golphin, 358 Win and Ray Newman like this.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Calaveras County, CA
    Member #
    392 times
    I started on a Lee turret. The top broke and while waiting for replacement parts I bought the Lee challenger so I could keep loading. I ended up liking the challenger more for rifle.

    One of the things that I did not realize when I started is that loading bottleneck cases is pretty much a multi-step process. After you deprime and size, there are things you could be doing to prepare the cases before charging with powder and seating a bullet. These include cleaning the primer pocket, removing military crimp (if you are loading mil cases), case trimming, chamfering the inside and outside of the neck, cleaning off the sizing lube, etc.

    You don't absolutely have to do any of these, but if you choose to do even one, you pretty much don't need a turret press since you aren't going to be able to run it through in one shot.

    I did like using the turret for pistol, like 9mm and 45acp. I ended up selling all my Lee presses and I have Dillon and Redding presses now, but I'm glad I started on the Lee
    Last edited by Flyin Brian; 11-04-2014 at 02:27 PM. Reason: fixed a typo
    Efin likes this.

  3. #13
    Contributing Member
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    Mar 2013
    Rock Hill, South Carolina
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    9147 times
    I wouldn't start with a kit at all, I bought everything individually and got everything I needed for around $250 (2 years ago) right now you can still get everything you need for under $300.
    1) Lee Classic Turret press - You can run this as a single stage or auto advance.
    2)Set of 30-30 dies, mfg isn't all that important right now, they will all be "steel" but I'd recommend getting a set that includes a "full length" sizer and not just a neck sizer die...especially while learning. Lyman "M" die may become necessary if you decide to shoot cast bullets since they tend to be oversized and not many die sets will bell the mouth of your brass wide enough to accept it. Cast bullets even when gas checked are a LOT more inexpensive than most jacketed bullets.
    3) Lube for the brass (lube isn't necessary for straight walled pistol cartridges as long as you have carbide dies)
    4) Calipers (you can get electronic but I prefer regular, batteries are a pain)
    5) Case trimmer
    6) Case de-burr tool (may be included with case trimmer) mine is a little hand held job....rounds and deburs the cases quick and easy.
    7) Vigrating media tumbler for cleaning your brass
    Scale - digital is fine, just watch your batteries! I have both so I can verify my digital is working properly.
    9) 30-30 or once fired but ONLY IF you have a full length sizer(if brass wasn't fired from your rifle) or if you have a neck sizer die ONLY if it is brass that was fired out of your rifle.
    10) bullets, jacketed you will pay more but you won't need anything extra to load them, or cast bullets, non-gas checked for plinking if you shoot alot and gas checked so you can run them as fast as any jacketed bullet.
    11) Primers - you will need Large Rifle Primers
    12) Powder - use your reloading manual....and in fact take it with you when you go shopping for powder!! You never know what will be in stock or not and you DO NOT want to pick up the wrong stuff!
    13) Lee Safety Prime set
    14) ammo rack (don't remember what they are called right now) basically a place to put your brass before you load them!! It doubles as a place to put finished ammo to if not putting them directly into a box.

    Think that about covers it! Might be easier to start with a straight walled case, but it isn't necessary if you take your time!
    Good luck!
    Lots of Marlins!

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  5. #14
    Contributing Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Member #
    31792 times
    reloading is a great hobby

    first item on list of equipment would be to buy and read a good reloading manual
    Team 39 # 250, .Team 30-30 # 781, Team 32 Special # 79, Team 35 # 436, Team 1894 # 270, .Team 44-40 # 15, .22 Magnum # 40
    Team 444 # 503, .Team 45-70 # 935, Team Shotgun # 5,Team Old Pharts # 153, Team Browning # 33, Team Bikers # 47c, Team .375 # 3, Team Winchester # 5
    Patron Life Member NRA
    Life Member Texas State Rifle Association

  6. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Member #
    306 times
    I have 6 presses set to do different cals. That being said I use the same press on rifle cases, it will do all you are looking to do now. Its not that hard to change dies and it a very ecomomic set up. Try if you may love reloading and if it does not interest you later you can sell and recoup a good part of your money. ken

  7. #16
    Gun Wizard
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Near the Blue Ridge Mountains, VA
    Member #
    37034 times
    Quote Originally Posted by HILL COUNTRY SHOOTER View Post
    reloading is a great hobby

    first item on list of equipment would be to buy and read a good reloading manual
    I have 5 manuals that I consult and compare whenever I'm loading something new.
    30-30 - #1065
    35 - #569
    375 - #48
    444- #696
    39 - #340
    Never initiate force against another. That should be the underlying principle of your life. But should someone do violence to you, retaliate without hesitation, without reservation, without quarter, until you are sure that he will never wish to harm - or never be capable of harming - you or yours again.
    (Revised Eastern Sect Edition)

  8. #17
    El Kabong
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Member #
    11622 times
    Id not waste me money on any kit, let alone a lee kit. When I got back into reloading after 9/11 I went and bought all the 1960s stuff Id learned with a a boy.
    It will out last any of the Lee stuff, but then it already has

    Get yourself a Lee Classic Loader in 30-30, and makem the ole fashon way.
    tyler.burrows.5 likes this.
    “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”
    Thomas Jefferson

  9. #18
    Certified Gunnut
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    N.E. Pennsylvania
    Member #
    32445 times
    I've been loading for a long, long time. Started when I was 16 years old with adult supervision. Started out low budget and now I have five presses, two beam scales and three digital scales, two calipers, two micrometers, a progressive shot shell loader, a complete casting set up with a Lyman 450 sizer lubricator. My Forester trimmer now has the short and long base because I hand hollow point quite a few of my cast bullets after they are loaded. Also have a Dillon progressive loader set up for my 45 ACP loading. I've always liked RCBS equipment because of their customer service base. Never a hassle with the boys and girls at RCBS. They have cut dies to fit chambers in my rifles when the loaded rounds would not chamber in their minimum chambers. I reloaded so many .308 Win cartridges I wore out my first RCBS resizing die and they replaced it free of charge. Lee and Forester have great customer service also.

    If you start out low budget you will load perfectly serviceable ammo, but at some point if you find reloading to be a fascinating hobby as I do, you will upgrade so you may as well bite the bullet (no pun intended) and buy the best you can presently afford. A chronograph is a great tool for testing your loads and I've got two of them. Had three but gave one to my casting/shooting buddy. All of my oddball/not so popular type cartridges that I load for, I have doubled up on die sets in case the mfgs ever decide it's a custom shop only purchase i.e 7x57, 35 Remington, 300 Savage, .358 Win etc.

    358 Win
    Thump em with a .35 caliber and they stay
    thumped. Team 35 member #17. Team 3
    30-30 member # 98. Team .32 Special #5. NRA Life Member. USN 7/10/69 - 12/6/73. Operation Homecoming Staff, Clark Air Base, Philippines.
    Master Mason, Porter Lodge #284, 10th Masonic District.
    My proud Navajo name: T'adoh-'aash (He wanders around)

  10. #19
    Gun Wizard
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Martinsburg, WV
    Member #
    3608 times
    I have Lee classic hand loaders in .44 and .357 magnum. Very relaxing and inexpensive compared to factory loads. I plan to do a lot of reduced cost shooting and once I get loads dialed in, banking several hundred rounds of each.

  11. #20
    Contributing Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Missouri/ Mysery
    Member #
    36569 times
    I need to get my bench fixed. A good solid work bench is needed as well as the press manuals and dies.
    I made the mistake of using a desk and pulled out chunk from it.
    So solid bench is my first recommendation.
    Team 35 # 517
    Team Old Pharts # 224
    Team shotgun # 65
    Team 39 # 348
    Team 32special #139

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