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I've been thinking of getting atarted with reloading for several years now. A few years back, a friend upgraded to a progresive press. I bought his old Lyman single stage for $20. I looked into getting started then, but the local "expert" at the guns store disuaded me by trying to sell me about $1000 worth of crap to get started. Today I bought a set of .223 dies and a seat. Where do I go from here? I am not interested in expiramentation or precision accuracy. I am just looking to duplicate M193 ball ammo. So I just need the bare minimum of equipment.

 

Obviously, I need a powder measure, scale, bullets, poder, primers, and brass...

I suppose I will probably need a tumbler and cleaner media as well.

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I've been thinking of getting atarted with reloading for several years now. A few years back, a friend upgraded to a progresive press. I bought his old Lyman single stage for $20. I looked into getting started then, but the local "expert" at the guns store disuaded me by trying to sell me about $1000 worth of crap to get started. Today I bought a set of .223 dies and a seat. Where do I go from here? I am not interested in expiramentation or precision accuracy. I am just looking to duplicate M193 ball ammo. So I just need the bare minimum of equipment.

 

Obviously, I need a powder measure, scale, bullets, poder, primers, and brass...

I suppose I will probably need a tumbler and cleaner media as well.

 

I would recommend a progressive loader, but I too own a single stage, it just rarely gets used when the progressive is right next to it. If I run the single stage I need to have the press, dies, shellholder, case lube, powder trickler(it is easier to drop little grains at a time with it vs other fancy equipment), scale, loading block, powder funnel, case trimmer, chamfer, swager(if using military brass to remove crimp- this is a pain in the hands if you do it by hand) and then components for the round. That is all that I can think of at the moment besides tumbler and media. It is definitely not a cheap start up regardless of what process you do. Not to mention you will shoot those rounds out so fast that it will make you sad knowing you loaded them one at a time and put all that love into them. Haha.

 

-Cams

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I would love one, but a progressive press is NOT in the cards (budget). I've been debating all afternoon whether to take the dies back and get my money back... With all of the pieces to buy, I just dont know if this is going to pay for itself... I dont shoot that much... No place to go...

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I dont shoot that much... No place to go...

 

I would have to say this is exactly the same reason I haven't gotten into reloading, at least as of yet. I have mentioned before that if I (and my wife) were going through 200-300 rounds a month then it would be worth if for me to drop the money on initial cost. Unfortunately, as it is, we go through about 200-300 rounds about every three months. On top of that, I would probably then need to reload what I shoot for more than three years before I would really start seeing any kind of savings. That's a lot of money to throw down to maybe find out that I'm not really interested in doing it in the first place.

 

I keep thinking "well maybe", but as for right now, it is much easier to replace what I shoot by buying it on sale.

Edited by CCSir

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That's kinda where I have been for the past 10 or 15 years. All of the shooting that I do is where a bunch of friends get together one weekend and go to "so and so's" land and shoot up an old dryer or something. It's not mass chaos. Everyone is safe and understands the rules. but there are no benches (other than a tailgate or two) no set ranges, or officall targets. Then picking up brass out of the grass and leaves is a chore. It's all mixed. No many of us have like firearms (I know, I know, but I wont be bugging anywhere with most of these guys) There is a public range about 50 miles from here, but shooting there is worse. the shooting tables are in a concrete trough about 8 or 10 inches deep and is pretty much full of brass at any time. Getting your own back without picking up unknown brass would be impossible!

 

How do you guys recover AR brass. .223/5.56 ( I know they are not the same) and 9mm are what I am interested in reloading. My 9mm ejects in a resonable area that I could lay down a blanket to pick them up. but every AR I have everseen sends the brass into the next zip code... I dont really want a catch bag on the side of my AR.

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That's kinda where I have been for the past 10 or 15 years. All of the shooting that I do is where a bunch of friends get together one weekend and go to "so and so's" land and shoot up an old dryer or something. It's not mass chaos. Everyone is safe and understands the rules. but there are no benches (other than a tailgate or two) no set ranges, or officall targets. Then picking up brass out of the grass and leaves is a chore. It's all mixed. No many of us have like firearms (I know, I know, but I wont be bugging anywhere with most of these guys) There is a public range about 50 miles from here, but shooting there is worse. the shooting tables are in a concrete trough about 8 or 10 inches deep and is pretty much full of brass at any time. Getting your own back without picking up unknown brass would be impossible!

 

How do you guys recover AR brass. .223/5.56 ( I know they are not the same) and 9mm are what I am interested in reloading. My 9mm ejects in a resonable area that I could lay down a blanket to pick them up. but every AR I have everseen sends the brass into the next zip code... I dont really want a catch bag on the side of my AR.

 

I always just pick up all the brass, whether it was mine or not. I live in PHX so it doesn't rain all too often so its a safe bet that you can use most of what is found. Once you become familiar with head stamps you can choose to scrap what you don't like, or are unsure of. I recently had 50lbs of spent brass scrapped and was able to get like 55 bucks. Not bad since I was already knelt down to pick up other brass.

 

I would honestly say that if you cannot afford to buy all the equipment to just forget the idea. The tools add up in cost very fast and if you are trying to make a good amount of anything, single stage will take forever. I only use single stage for making like 20 .308 rounds at a time. Then I am tired of it. Progressive I can crank a few hundred before I am bored of it.

 

When I started out I spent around a 1000 on equipment, and would say I have spent around another 500 on other things not including components the next year. But I knew I was tired of only being able to find hollow points for a dollar a piece, makes practice a rare concept at that price. FMJ's were no where to be found around election time and I decided to take the plunge. I like reloading and truly enjoy the increased volume but it is not for everyone. I assume Kraft dinner and Ramen cups wouldn't cut the food budget down enough to save money every month? Haha. I laugh but honestly when I choose a gun purchase or something I just take it out of my food costs by eating cheap cheap food for a few months.

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Haha. I dont mind the meticulous 1 by 1 operation. It will give me something to do... I can feel like I am doing something to be ready. For a long time... haha I dont mind the time spent. I also used to tye fishing flies, until I just too many to EVER use in my lifetime...

 

As for the Ramen noodles... I'd rather eat the cardboard container. Those are one of the two or three things that I will not eat. I'm not a picky eater. Lunch already only costs me about $1.50 a day. Cutting it to $1.00 day (for drink too) isn't going to pay off soon.

 

The reason for the tight budget is that I have been employed for 2 months after being unemployed for 6. Got some catching up to do on bills and such... Not that I have alot of money anyway... haha ;-)

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I am pretty sure that ramen comes in plastic bags or Styrofoam cups ;) But I hear you, I would say if you eat that cheap then you trump me most days. I work at Target, so I do not stack much extra money myself. One afterthought, If you planned to reload for survival, it is a good skill without a doubt, however for a situation of my life on the line I will carry nothing but hollows and factory rounds til none remain. A hot ball of lead seems like it would damage far less than a factory jacketed round. Lead is my practice stuff. But congrats on the job and keeping your head above water. Self sufficiency(especially in finances)is a rarity in this world.

 

-Cams

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9mm is cake. can load em up cheap. 5.56 is a pain in the butt and requires lube, then wipe it off, trimming of the cases, then deburing. I do not enjoy that so much myself. As far as 5.56vs .223, they don't make 5.56 dies that I have ever seen. I run my .223 dies on military brass too, just an extra step for it in the prep area. My barrel is for 5.56 so it can run either round. I haven't ever seen lead rounds for rifles in very fast calibers myself.

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I plan to load 9mm and 223/5.56 (yes I know they are different). I've seen lead bullets for pistol calibers, but have never seen non-jacketed for rifles... Other than some big stuff like 45-70 or something.

 

Yes, you can shoot lead bullets in some rifles. You just have to follow the reloading manual carefully. You will have more leading in the barrel but with regular cleaning the barrel will last longer.

Rick

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I started with a single stage to load 6mm rifle ammo for hunting. Once I got hooked I went overboard and have all the Dillon progressive presses. Why? Just because I could! It's fun to crank out one round a second in almost every caliber. Seriously, if you do a lot of shooting, reloading is affordable and the progressive will pay for itself. You don't have to go overboard like I did. Besides speed, you have more consistent and accurate rounds without the possibility of a mistake.

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I've been thinking of getting atarted with reloading for several years now. A few years back, a friend upgraded to a progresive press. I bought his old Lyman single stage for $20. I looked into getting started then, but the local "expert" at the guns store disuaded me by trying to sell me about $1000 worth of crap to get started. Today I bought a set of .223 dies and a seat. Where do I go from here? I am not interested in expiramentation or precision accuracy. I am just looking to duplicate M193 ball ammo. So I just need the bare minimum of equipment.

 

Obviously, I need a powder measure, scale, bullets, poder, primers, and brass...

I suppose I will probably need a tumbler and cleaner media as well.

 

You need a reloading manual, Lee has one from Natchez for about $12 I think, dirt cheap for the peace of mind. Get the manual and go from there, you would be surprised at what you can get along without. Also Natchez seemed to have the best prices,especially on Lee products. Use a spray lube on your cases, you can't beat it over the heavy case lube, clean up is a snap with a little carb cleaner on a rag.

Single stage loading can be very tedious but once you get a rythem going its not too bad . I scrounge brass at the range you would be surprised at what people will leave.

Remember that the more componets you can buy in bulk the more money you save. I hope this helps.

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Maybe your buddy will tumble your brass for you. If he did 500 rounds it would probably take awhile to load and shoot all of it. I would take the plunge and buy the accessories. You still need the scale, caliper, and assoc. stuff to check loads on a progressive press too. If you buy brass alot of times it comes tumbled and cleaned.

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I started with a hand held single stage press and still use it

 

 

I still have my hand held for the BP stuff. If it was good enough for Billy Dixon, Bat Masterson, et al I figure it's good enough for me! I don't sit around a campfire getting ready for the next day's shoot but it is still a bit of a tie to a past that seemed to have a clearer vision of right and wrong.

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