Author Topic: Reloading - the start up.  (Read 1059 times)

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Offline papabear

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Reloading - the start up.
« on: February 06, 2018, 02:00:58 AM »
Met a young new reloader on another forum. He was a little apologetic for his setup. Had pics of his bench. Most RCBS. Looked like their starter kit w/ some more additions. Had a Lyman vibrator. RC press, 505 scale, dies, funnel, loading blocks, case trimmer, no calipers in sight. That was all he needed for a way better start up than majority of us had if you are over 50 for sure. I am 68.

I started w/ a Lee hand loader. 30-06. In the floor because I had no bench and wife was not about to let me do it on the table.  Some more memories follow.

Had a RC press given to me for helping a friend.

1st tumbler - saw an ad in sale paper. Man got a vibrator for Christmas. Wanted $10.00 for his home made one. Made it out of a 2 pound lard bucket. I barely had the $10.00. Went to see and get it. He had compassion on a young starter and gave that to me.

I dont remember what calipers cost then but there was no Harbor Freight back then. No money either. I would take 2 factory loads and lay a straight edge across the top. Seat my bullets til they would just slide under the streight edge.

I had to stick w/ the Lee dipper and that few powder choices until I got a scale and manual. RCBS 505 scale was my first new item purchase. Still have it. Used measuring spoons til I got a powder dispencer. Back to used.

Without going out and looking good I think the only things I have bought new is the scale, Trim Pro, and calipers.
Quality stuff lasts a long time.
I am thankful for what I have and it works for me.

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Offline Axxe55

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Re: Reloading - the start up.
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2018, 03:37:17 PM »
great story Papabear.  :th_thicon_idea:

i was lucky in some ways. the bulk of mine came from my father over fifteen years ago. i have added to it since. gone through three different locations in the house to do my loading. my father started reloading back in the late 1960's. i "helped" him even back then!
"A vote is like a rifle. It's usefulness depends upon the character of the user."  Teddy Roosevelt.

"Better to die on your feet, than to live on your knees." Emiliano Zapata.

Offline papabear

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Re: Reloading - the start up.
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2018, 04:07:45 PM »
On location.
I have had 3 I guess. First was there on the floor w/ my son climbing around and up my back.
2nd was a small 6x10 room in our garage.
3rd is my present. Had it little over 4yrs now. A 12x20 work shop. One whole 20 ft wall is brass, then the bench with 2 presses, a Chest of drawers w/ dies, tools, tumbler and cleaning media on bench.
I am blessed.
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Offline Axxe55

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Re: Reloading - the start up.
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2018, 10:08:11 PM »
i have heard people say they have no room to set up for reloading. i say bull crap! my father when we were little and started reloading, worked off the coffee table in our apartment. when he got done, he stored everything in the hall closet until the next time. so a person can reload just about anywhere if they really want to. lack of room is no real excuse.

my present space is dedicated reloading table i built in the garage. close by is the work bench where i work on guns and just about anything else like chainsaws and other things. it has a bench mounted large heavy duty old vise and a bench grinder. plenty of dedicated lighting over both the reloading table and the workbench. my reloading table measures 24"wX40"dX38"h. it has three single stage presses mounted on it. with two shelves underneath that i store powders, primers and bullets on. i also have an old dresser that i use for storing various stuff in, and one drawer holds all of my dies that aren't being used.
"A vote is like a rifle. It's usefulness depends upon the character of the user."  Teddy Roosevelt.

"Better to die on your feet, than to live on your knees." Emiliano Zapata.

Offline JohnnyDollar

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Re: Reloading - the start up.
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2018, 07:45:58 AM »
I started with a Hornady single stage starter kit which has worked well for me.

Offline papabear

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Re: Reloading - the start up.
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2018, 10:58:19 AM »
Like Axxe55 I tell folks there is enough room to start no matter who you are and where you live. As stated before - I started on the floor w/ a Lee hand loader.
The most compact start up I ever saw was a friend who mounted his RCBS RCer on a small "table" "bench" don't know really what to call it or hardly how to describe it.
Ply wood foundation about 24" wide. He sat on a bucket on the foundation.
small "table top" in front of him. Whole platform about 36" long. Press mounted a little left of center. He had a 2x4 brace right under the press. It was a wedge fit so was removed for storage and room under the little top.
Powder throw on the right side. Both clamped and removable. Scale was behind them. Compact but not really convenient or easy.
Setting on the bucket - on the foundation kept the little "bench top" from tipping forward w/ the downward pressure and torque of sizing.
He would set a couple of buckets upside down on either side of him w/ small containers for is bullets, brass, and loaded ammo.
When through everything he owned to start was stored in the cubby underneath the bench top.

He also taught me a lot about the multitude of uses for buckets. I don't hardly buy anything to put "stuff" in. But that is another story.
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Offline Txhillbilly

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Re: Reloading - the start up.
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2018, 11:41:09 AM »
I first started reloading 20 ga shotgun shells when I was 13 years old. My dad bought me a Mec Jr. press,and a real good friend of his,Steve,taught me how to use it. That was my first experience in the world of reloading,and I wore that Mec Jr. out loading shotgun shells.

Steve was a champion pistol shooter back then,and I would ride my bicycle over to his house to watch him load thousand's of pistol cartridges with his Dillon presses,and he would show me how and answer all the questions that I asked. When I was 15 or 16,he gave me an old single stage Pacific press and a set of Lee 30-06 dies so I could learn how to load shells for my rifle. He made sure that I did everything right,and that was the beginning of my Centerfire cartridge reloading.
It wasn't long before I wanted to load more shells in a faster manner,so I saved my money and bought my first Lyman Turret press. I used it for a while,but just never liked it. My next Turret press was the Lee Classic,and I've never looked back. I also have a Lee Deluxe Turret press that I mainly use for loading pistol cartridges with.
I presently load for 16 different cartridges,and enjoy setting out in my shop churning out precision ammo for nearly 40 years!

Offline papabear

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Re: Reloading - the start up.
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2018, 12:09:54 PM »
I guess we all remember those special mentors that helped us get started.
3 most important helpers for me were:
Herbert Guidry
Marty Groves
1 lady - Brenda Bass.
She did not know anything really about reloading but gave me the contents of her Ex son in laws reloading shack that he abandoned on her property. Thank you to all 3.
Carry 24-7 or Guess right.

Offline Axxe55

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Re: Reloading - the start up.
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2018, 05:41:14 PM »
from my own past experiences, seeing how my own father started out, and from others, if someone tells me they don't have the space or the money to reload, then they don't really intend on really getting into reloading to begin with. Lee Precision makes some damn fine reloading equipment, and it's priced decently, if you want to buy new. then there is always Ebay and Amazon to pick stuff from, as well as Craigslist, and local garage sales. also hit some estate sales, as sometimes an elderly person who shot guns and reloaded may have been the person who died that they are selling off their items.

i bought my first press over twenty years ago at a garage sale for $5, and some other misc. stuff as well. as i was gathering stuff to start reloading, i was talking with my father about getting into reloading, one evening about fifteen years ago, he asked me if i wanted all of his reloading equipment since he hadn't used it in several years. so i ended up with another press, bunch of dies, scale, and other misc. stuff for reloading. granted, i had to clean up all the stuff, and put in some sweat equity, but it was worth it. as i ended up with all the stuff from Dad, plus what i accumulated before that, and was fixing up a place in my work shed, i had to put it on hold for a few years while i went through a divorce with my second wife. stayed on hold until about fourteen years ago until we got the new house built. with a two-car garage!

moral of the story, a person can find the place and the money if they are serious enough about reloading.
"A vote is like a rifle. It's usefulness depends upon the character of the user."  Teddy Roosevelt.

"Better to die on your feet, than to live on your knees." Emiliano Zapata.

Offline papabear

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Re: Reloading - the start up.
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2018, 08:00:00 PM »
AMEN to that last statement Axxe55. For sure.
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Offline Shootshellz

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Re: Reloading - the start up.
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2018, 08:18:01 PM »
I thought I had died and gone to heaven when I was given a Dillon Square Deal B press in 9mm Luger. Sent it back to Dillon and they refurbished same for free. It now resides beside another progressive press and my Redding single stage Boss press.

Offline shiner1911

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Re: Reloading - the start up.
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2018, 07:16:44 AM »
I started on a Lyman Tru-Line junior that is still in service!  I've added a few more presses since 1972 but I still use the Tru-Line on occasion.

Offline GasGuzzler

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Re: Reloading - the start up.
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2018, 04:19:44 AM »
I only started several years ago and now I have two benches under siege.

Offline K-Texas

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Re: Reloading - the start up.
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2018, 03:52:48 PM »
I started handloading in 1986 with a LEE handtool. I made so much noise loading in the house that my wife quickly decided that I needed something quieter. Good for her! I've used tools from just about everyone along with a number of different SS presses. When I bought a REDDING Boss press over 20 years ago I discovered the merits of Top-Dead-Center and today I buy nothing but REDDING Titanium Carbide die sets for handguns and all of my rifle dies save one are REDDING as well. The other is a 2 die Hornady Custom set that I bought when REDDINGs were out of stock from my usual vendors. They are in 7mm-08 and there were a couple of bonus's. 100 free bullets didn't hurt and because I had plenty of .243, .260 and .308 brass, I found that I really like their eliptical expander design. Really great for necking up cases in the case of .243 and .260.

I really never wanted to give up the control I had using a single-stage press. While tempted to buy a progressive many times I never took the plunge. I waited until it had been out for a while, but I decided to get the LEE Classic Turret. On their classic series presses, LEE took a page from REDDING and incorporated Top-Dead-Center into the design. I didn't buy it in kit form, so I added the Safety Prime system and the Pro Auto-Disk powder measure. Didn't like the powder leaking and went back to charging with my RCBS Uniflow throwing charges into the powder through expander die I bought to run the LEE powder measure. Then I tried their new whiz-bang, last powder measure you'll ever need and it soon went back for a refund!

So, for you guys that want to stay with precision loading but want faster production, you can have both at 200 rounds per hour with precise powder drops. I know a few guys on the net that recommended this and I soon found the merits of adapting something else for my own use. First off, I do NOT use the Auto-Index feature on the Classic Turret, and for a couple of reasons. The first being that I can run the press faster by manually indexing. Plus, with the RCBS Uniflow and their case-activated powder drop system, the additional weight would likely eat up some of the unfortunate, but few, plastic parts used in the Classic Turret. I also added the RCBS Micrometer Stem for the Uniflow. I run Ramshot Silhouette quite a lot for 9 x 19mm loads and 2 marks on the Mic equates to .1 grains. Nothing could be easier and my old Uniflow still drops charges as accurately as when new. You only use the one charging die for all calibers, and then buy the expanders for specific calibers.

Now, I know this is still slow for the progressive oriented. And hey, I'm not here to tell you what I don't like about your press including the cost to make it truly automated with a case and bullet feeder. Having to manually insert a bullet and case is still the weak link in speed. 200 rounds, or more, if I hustle is just fine with me. And, the additional weight of the auto-charging Uniflow combined with Top-Dead-Center allows me to hold OACL tolerances of +/- .001" with the Everglades 124 gr. JHP made for them by Montana Gold and formerly sold by RMR, we're talking about a bullet that's very accurate and very affordable. No competition bullet seater needed. I do not have one in any caliber handgun or rifle.

Watching how all of this works together, and I've been using the system long enough now to recommend it, it just makes reloading that much more enjoyable for me! :icon_wink:
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Offline shiner1911

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Re: Reloading - the start up.
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2018, 05:34:37 PM »
I started in 1972 with a 50's vintage Lyman Tru-Line Jr.  I still have and use it on occasion when I handload for the 22R Lovell!