So You Want to Get Into Reloading

   01.25.17

So You Want to Get Into Reloading

Have you thought about reloading, but not sure where to start? I reloaded various calibers for a little over a decade and would like to share my experience.

In 1989 my supervisor, his name was Bill, was a firearms and reloading enthusiast.  At the time I was 21 years old and was interested in reloading. Bill and I talked often about various topics on shooting sports. He told me if I wanted to get into reloading he had a bunch of spare parts he would sell me.

Before Bill would sell me anything, he made me promise to get a reloading book. It was only after I bought my first book, Speer reloading manual number 11, that Bill agreed to sell me some parts. He put together a box with a Lyman turret press, RBCS scale, lube pad, and a few other odds and ends. I bought the box and everything in it for $100.

Read the Book

The very fist thing Bill told me to do was “read the book.” At the start of just about every reloading book there are a few chapters dedicated to the fundamentals. This covers safety, equipment, and the overall process.

I was instructed that if I did not have a clear understanding of each stage of the process, to either ask him a question or read the introduction to reloading chapters again.

In all, I think I read the introduction chapters 3 or 4 times before I even mounted the press to the work bench.

Reloading Safety

There was one thing Bill emphasized more than anything, and that was safety.

  • Follow the instructions in the book.
  • Keep detailed logs of everything.
  • Document brand name and type of primers.
  • Overall length.
  • Bullet brand name.
  • Check case length.
  • Look for signs of excessive pressure.
  • Do not smoke or drink alcohol.
  • Buy new reloading manuals when they are released.

Those are a few of the safety precautions. I even documented the overall length of various bullet brand names.

Reloading is nothing to play around with. This is a serious hobby and it needs your full attention.

Where to Start

If someone wants to get into this expensive and time-consuming hobby, here is my advice.

Mentor – Find a local mentor. Go to their house, look at their setup, and get some hands-on experience. Having a real person that you can call, look over their shoulder, and go over every step of the process beats anything on the Internet.

Single Stage – Experienced reloaders love progressive presses. However, beginners should start with a single stage press.

  • Progressive – The machine produces a loaded round with every pull of the handle.
  • Single stage – A single die is threaded into the press at a time. The person operating the press has to only observe one operation with each pull of the handle. It usually takes at least three stages to reload a single round.

I liked starting at single stage because it gave me time to observe each stage of the process. Each round sent through the press was checked at every phase.

 

Avatar Author ID 58 - 1580086259

Founder and owner of www.survivalistboards.com My blog - www.survivalboards.com Hobbies include fishing, hiking, hunting, blogging, sharing his politically incorrect opinion, video blogging on youtube, survivalism and spending time with his family.

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