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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The answer appears to be yes, but I have some questions.

I've been doing my due diligence (reading, YouTube, etc.) and have concluded that handloading is neither magical nor difficult. I want to begin loading my own 45 Colt (for my new Ruger 45 Flattop) and for my Marlin 336SS 30-30 (just to say I can). Initially I'll purchase cast bullets for the 45 (and possibly cast my own later).

Questions:

(1) Am I missing something, or is handloading pretty straightforward and uncomplicated? FYI - I can change my own oil, maintain my own lawnmower, build a small cabin, and avoid using tools when my wife wants something done around the house. Am I in the ballpark with "tool-ability?"

(2) I do not anticipate large-scale reloading, possibly adding 6.5X55 to the above-mentioned 30-30 and 45 Long Colt. It appears that I can begin with (a) a press, (b) trimmer, (c) electronic scale and case length gauge, (d) a priming tool, (e) the various necessary small tools, and (f) dies. Is there is "best" kit, or can I gather this stuff up separately? Is used equipment a good option?

(3) Any words of encouragement?

(4) Any suggestions about equipment?
 

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You can get in purdy cheap. I still use Lee's single stage $27 press for all of my reloading and I do a lot.

Dies
Shell holders
Primer tool
Powder
Primers
Bullets
One or more reloading manuals
Case lube (for rifle dies)
Scale

That will get you started.

If you just shoot during hunting season you won't realize any savings. If you shoot year round like me it is a significant price reduction and I enjoy it "almost" as much as shooting.

1895gunner
 

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I have been getting set up. I bought the Hornady Lock-In-Load Classic kit off of ebay. It will have enough to reload I guess but not everything you really need.

There were several things I added and still a few more to go.

The other thing I noticed is you need to really check the prices as they can be anywhere from full retail like the kit I bought that list at several places for over $300.00 and I purchased it for $170.00 new from a retailer in box with a rebate for 500 free Hornady bullets.

I would have most likely tried the Lee as they are much less and there are many who are very happy with Lee , but because of the price I jumped on the Hornady.

I am using Lee dies and so far they are fine.

I also have a couple of manuals and read and reread along with using Youtube videos.

You need room to set up your press and store supplies.

I enjoy doing it but it has cost me more than I thought it would. I keep finding more things I want and I am still at the beginning using a single stage press.
 

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Most any kit will have everything you need to get started; except dies and components,....Lee, Lyman, RCBS, all have good starter kits. Shop around and compare prices. You will add additional stuff as you learn and advance, but you don't have to buy a bunch of stuff at the outset. I started out several years ago with a Lyman T-mag kit and learned powder measuring with a balance beam...later I added an RCBS Chargemaster, and a few months ago I added a Dillon 550B to go along with all of the reloading stuff I've accumulated over the years. Be careful, reloading can get a bit addictive! To get off to a good start get a copy of the ABC's of Reloading and Lyman 49th edition manual...you can't never have enough reference manuals, then get after it!
 

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It's not hard. Just pay attention to what you're doing. Get the numbers right and double check them. Make sure you use the right powder, some have similar names like RL 7 and AA 7 but they are pretty far apart in burn rates. Pay attention and do it by the numbers and you'll be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone.

Reloading does seem to have that all-important "gathering of more gadgets" aspect, doesn't it? It wouldn't be fun unless there were more bits and pieces to buy.

Someone asked about my shooting. It's year-round here with the hogs. I have my 45 Flattop strapped to my hip whenever I go onto my property.

TWO MORE THINGS:

I did the funeral service for a man from Wallisville, Texas today. He dropped out of high school at 15 because his dad died and he worked 60 straight years as a heavy equipment operator, in construction, and in timber. He had a great family. He had a huge faith. I hope that can be said of me.

Any suggestions for loads for my 45 Colt? I'll wanta use a 250 grain cast hollowpoint. This is for "field/defense/whatever" use in my 5 1/2 bbl flattop.
 

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See if you can visit and watch a friend reload. That will answer quite a few of your questions right off. It will also answer a lot of questions you otherwise won't think to ask. You will see how you can reload with a minimum of equipment and you will also see tools that will make reloading easier and that you will want to have sooner or later.

It is an axiom that one doesn't reload to save money, one reloads to shoot more.
 

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No.1 is always safety, learn from quality references and have a system for reloading. The farther down the line you get the more you will learn. Start with quality brass and keep it specific to one rifle and learn everything you can about sizing, either neck or full length, and adjusting dies for proper headspace. Reloading is much more than primer, powder and bullet. As has been mentioned, pay close attention to detail, and be careful.
 

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You're gonna love it!
Got some cousins live out by Bay City - they do "maintenance" for a few ranches and take care of the hawg problem for them.
I need to get my butt over there and take care of a few myself.
 

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read the manual, there are also some good video's on the internet and you can always come here to M.O. for help
 

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Should you handload... Yes.


Q-1) Yes, it is easy and straight forward. Like just about anything, there are those who will take it to a completely different level. I drive a pickup and/or car but some people who share the road take it to a whole other level but my pickup still gets me everywhere they're going. Although the cost of a bullet is significantly cheaper when you reload, I doubt it will be much less expensive due to the liklihood you will enjoy it so much that you may well buy lots more components and shoot a great deal more than you would, shooting factory ammo.

Q-2&4) I got a RCBS Rockchucker Kit. It has just about everything you'll need at a good price. Since then, I've purchased other tools that duplicate what is in the kit because they may help speed or function but starting out, I'd recommend doing everything by hand just because it's cool and old school lessens are usually good lessons. One thing I like is one of those orgonizer drawer thingies that has 12 or 15 small pull out drawers (not the teeny weeny drawers) for little odds and ends that you collect. I like RCBS dies, shell holders and primer tool because the die box tells you what shell holder to use and the same shell holder also fits the hand priming tool. I have other more specialized tools but I still use this stuff 95% of the time. Other tools I like that I use but don't necessarily need are the RCBS Rangemaster Scale (handy but far from necessary), RCBS Trim Mate Case Prep Center (I use for primer pockets and neck brush because I've gotten lazy), Lee Case Trimmer by caliber-I think this tool is fast and easy and inexpensive (you can buy the pilot by caliber, shell holder and cutter for not a lot of money). I like Lee Factory Crimp Dies on bullets I crimp. It's an extra step but I like them none the less. Either way, if I was starting out, I'd still get the kit and wring out everything in the kit before I moved onto something different. Have at least one manual around your reloading bench. You'll use it more than you think even with the on-line references available.

Q-3) I had a friend show me how just one time and I was off and running but even though it's pretty easy, seeing it done was a big help. If you don't have a friend who reloads, there's probably a DVD from the press manufacturer that would be as good or better. Reloading is about as hard as making a fried egg sandwich but you can still mess it up don't put the butter in the pan or burn the house down if you don't turn the burner off. Watch someone else once if you can and take your time and you'll make some great loads.
 

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it will cost you the same or more to reload, you will just get to shoot more. keep lots of notes. when you start casting (you will) the savings will really kick in. all of this is great fun, i would probably do it even if it cost more. keep lots of notes. it is best to keep a notebook for each gun even if its the same caliber.
 

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when it comes to rifle cartridges, case length is VERY important. rifle cases stretch quite a bit. straight sided cases (like pistol cartridges) dont stretch as much. you WILL need a case trimmer. it is addictive but when you roll your own, its like satisfaction of a job well done. also factory loads are loaded for the weakest action of any given cartridge. you can load handloads to the strength of your action! NEVER GO OVER PUBLISHED LOADS!
 

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read the manual, there are also some good video's on the internet and you can always come here to M.O. for help
Get "Manual'S!" and read them all!, there are mistakes in them!, I have about 7 or 8 of them!, NEVER trust just one!:shot:, there are SOME good video's, and there are some that the guy that made them should be WHACKED in the skull with a base ball bat!, watch MANY of them and soon you'll learn to weed out the crap.
As for coming here for help?, your bench will look like this before you know it!:flute:
 

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Yes and agree with all of the above. And don't just read about what some one did and talk about it. Do it for yourself, with caution, after you've got some time under your belt. In the beginning, follow the book or a mentor. You need more than one book to sort out the typos and put all in perspective. You will find there is not one book that will agree with the other books on data - all because they didn't use the same gun to develop the data. Your gun will be different. Period. However, the books are a great guide and will likely keep you out of trouble. Don't bite off too much at a time. Nibble on it, suck on it a spell, then chomp down and get a good grip. You will be hooked!

Jeff
 

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Questions:

(1) Am I missing something, or is handloading pretty straightforward and uncomplicated? FYI - I can change my own oil, maintain my own lawnmower, build a small cabin, and avoid using tools when my wife wants something done around the house. Am I in the ballpark with "tool-ability?" You will be fine.. I just got back into reloading in the past year after doing it for many years in my teens with my dad not to mention the ammo shortage of a few years ago. Also the 35 rem caliber is another reason..

2) I do not anticipate large-scale reloading, possibly adding 6.5X55 to the above-mentioned 30-30 and 45 Long Colt. It appears that I can begin with (a) a press, (b) trimmer, (c) electronic scale and case length gauge, (d) a priming tool, (e) the various necessary small tools, and (f) dies. Is there is "best" kit, or can I gather this stuff up separately? Is used equipment a good option? Yes you are spot on. Get new stuff if you can.. and buy as you can. JMHO.. It takes a few $$ to get started but in the long run you will have the tools you need for the rest of your life if you reload like I do and you describe.
(3) Any words of encouragement? It is addictive... Satisfying.. rewarding and it sure is nice to walk by the sporting goods dept at wally world and not worry about ammo when the shelves are bare. Do it, you want regret it..

(4) Any suggestions about equipment? You will hear many suggestions here.. each person has a tool / equipment they prefer and its true some tools are better then others.. you will have to find the one that fits you. I have a Lee single stage press.. It works fine for me and it is simple.. I do my best to tell myself all the time to use the "KISS Method" .. "Keep it Simple Stupid" In reloading the ole method... if a little is good a whole lot more is better usually doesn't apply.. Well unless you are hording powder ..primers...bullets & brass :biggrin:
Its very addictive .. at least for me.. I myself wanting to buy any components when ever I see them whether they just go in the drawer or cabinet.. Others on here i'm sure do the same.. So my advise is embrace it and get reloading.. These guys on here are great and are willing to help when you need it..
FYI... I got started with a lee "reloading kit.". Santa brought it :biggrin: CWT
 

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The .45 Colt is a good round to learn on, due to it's straight wall and large size. Very forgiving. Good reloading manuals are a must, my personal go-to is the Lyman 49th edition, but I also have books by Hornady, Speer, Barnes, and a few from different powder manufacturers. It's always a good idea to cross reference load recipes in the unlikely event of a misprint. Also, most of the powder makers offer data online.
I bought all my gear used and don't hesitate advising others to do the same, with the exception of dies. A quality press from RCBS, LEE, Lyman, or Hornady will last a lifetime, about the only thing that can hurt them is rust. Dies are a different matter, they're fairly inexpensive so I like to buy those new. My scale, powder measure, press, and had primer are all used.
Both the .45 and .30-30 have been around for 100 years and there are bunch of components and data available for either. Good luck and welcome to the wonderful world of reloading. I find it to be relaxing, rewarding, and economical, hopefully you will as well.
GH1
 

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If your loading for the 30-30 & 45LC, you may need one more thing. Something that will play old time country & folk music. Really puts you in another world.
 
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