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New to hand loading ammo? Here's a shopping list for newbies.

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Old March 11th, 2013, 08:04 PM   #1
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New to hand loading ammo? Here's a shopping list for newbies.

With all the problems with people being able to locate ammunition lately, I have had more than a couple of friends contact me about getting into hand loading.

I put together a simple list of the things someone would be needing to get started. I know there's a lot of different ways to go about this but I think some might find it helpful to understand the type of gear that will be needed.

You can use this as a guide and use it to compare other items in the same category just to have a base line to start from.

I put this list of items together just to make it simple and be able to get things from one source, this being Midway USA. There are other reloading distributors like Midsouth, Natchez and Sinclair and there are also different price points for this type of gear. This is a list of items on the entry level but not quite rock bottom. You can go lower or higher in price.

_______________________________________

These are some of the things you'll be needing to get started for hand loading ammo.

Basic single stage kit. Comes with powder measure, press, priming tool, digital powder scale, case pube spray, loading tray and a powder trickler. Hornady and RCBS both make decent starter sets. The stuff I have identified in this list are examples of basic equipment. There are always more expensive options if you want them. Keep in mind there are "craftsman" or "snap-on" priced loading tools. Depends just how much you prefer to spend. I have two presses. One is a Harrell's Precision and the one at home is a larger RCBS Rockchucker permanently mounted to my loading bench. The Harrell's is portable and can clamp itself to any solid table and very well made. If you do decide that a Harrell's is for you, I suggest getting the magnum sized press. Its not really that big but its capable of loading cases up to and larger than a 30-06. The other presses they sell are mainly used for loading small BR sized cases. I don't suggest using the Harrell's for full length sizing large cases though, leave that to the Rockchucker.
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/749...tage-press-kit

Powder dispensers. The kits I recommended come with a basic powder dispenser but you can always upgrade down the line. I use a Harrell's Precision Benchrest powder measure but you can get by quite well for years with what comes in the basic kit.

You'll need calipers
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/417...tainless-steel

chamfer and deburring tools
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/211...deburring-tool
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/342...-very-low-drag
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/729...uniformer-tool

Shell holders for the press and priming tool. Lee is the cheapest of the loading tool companies but for something this basic, Lee shell holders are all you need. I don't use anything else they make. Its too cheaply made. These kits come in the most common sizes so you'll just need to buy the specific loading dies for what you intend to load for.
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/566...-package-of-11
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/786...-package-of-11
storage boxes, you'll need two of these.
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/628...e-shellholders

you'll need a method to clean your brass. Ultrasound which takes up the least space, but it also cleans brass in the smallest batches. If you intend to load a lot, I suggest going with a wet stainless steel media system. The ultra sonic can also clean gun parts with the other solution.
small
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/992...eaner-110-volt
medium
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/344...steel-110-volt

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/711...n-32-oz-liquid
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/338...lution-1-quart

Wet system I use. Requires this kit, water, dawn dish detergent and Lemishine or concentrated lemon juice. Lemon juice is cheaper and more readily available. Its great and causes much less mess and no lead dust that the dry method of tumbling in crushed walnut shells causes.
http://www.stainlesstumblingmedia.co...e-package.html

Case trimmer. you'll have to occasionally trim brass because shooting and resizing brass cases causes them to stretch..grow in length. Each caliber has a maximum serviceable length. Let them get too long and they may not chamber and will cause a pressure spike when fired.
They're generally trimmed to .010" (ten thousanths) shorter than SAAMI Specs to be safe and allows the brass to be used a few times between trimmings without having to trim them too often.
If you mount a case trimmer like this one to a 1x6 block of wood, you can C-Clamp it to your bench without having to permanently mount it leaving your work space less cluttered.
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/315...se-trimmer-kit

For making things faster some tools are powered but they get pricey.
This tool is caliber specific and uses a drill motor to power it. It works but at $70 a pop, they add up.
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/997...-223-remington

You'll need a bullet puller in case you make a mistake and need to safely disassemble a loaded round.
Kinetic
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/215...-bullet-puller

Press mounted collet puller. Uses caliber specific internal collets which are sold separately
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/680...-bullet-puller

Rifle dies....I like Redding and Hornady dies. Both are well made. Calibers like 223 are all backordered now. A standard 3 die set is just fine to start with. One die is a full length resizing die which reshapes the entire case from top to bottom. Best used when resizing fires cases from a semi-automatic or when using once fired brass fired from an unknown weapon in that caliber. Chambers can be different in dimension enough that a case fired from one 223 rifle may not fit into another rifle in the same caliber after being fired. To correct this, full length resizing brings the fired case back down to minimum specs and will fit into all chambers of that caliber provided that its also been trimmed for excess lenth.
The second die is a neck sizing only die. For brass that will be fired from the same bolt action rifle, you only need to neck size the fired case so that it will accept a new bullet. Full lengh resizing isn't necessary if the brass is going to be shot from the same gun again except for a semi-auto. Semi-Auto's are rough on ejection and often dent and ding up the brass.
Both the Full length and Neck Sizing dies both remove the old primer during the process. Both dies reqire the use of case lubricant so the brass won't get stuck in the die. You'll only make this mistake once...trust me.
The third die is the bullet seating die.
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/307...-223-remington

Case lube. My preference is for Imperial Sizing Wax. Its the simplest to use and a single tin lasts a very LONG time. If you don't lubricate a case before full length sizing...be prepared to be very frustrated with trying to remove it from the die.
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/519...izing-wax-2-oz

Loading manual.
I like the Sierra 5th Edition manual. Pick your own but this one is complete with recommended accuracy and hunting loads. That saves precious powder, primers and bullets that would normally be used up on load development. You'll be lots
Closer to having that special load right from the start.

Pistol dies. Loading pistol takes a few more steps and patience.

Scared yet...? Don't be. If you shoot enough, it'll pay for itself. Once loading supplies get back in stock, you'll be able to buy powder and primers from Powder Valley online.

Thanks from Bamban, TexIndian, tonyben and 41 others

Last edited by NYCSTRIPES; March 12th, 2013 at 12:17 PM.
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Old March 11th, 2013, 08:49 PM   #2
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I'm sure those thinking about getting into reloading will appreciate all that work, stripes. It's one of the most repeated inquiries on sites that focus on reloading, and one that is hard to answer without going to a lot of work.

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Old March 11th, 2013, 09:15 PM   #3
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THANKS! I am going to need this.

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Old March 12th, 2013, 10:33 AM   #4
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Thank you very much.

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Old March 12th, 2013, 11:08 AM   #5
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This thread should be saved for easy finding for the people who want to start reloading

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Old March 12th, 2013, 11:21 AM   #6
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Very useful thread for a substantial population here.

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Old March 12th, 2013, 11:36 AM   #7
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It will be very helpful to me in the very near future. Thank you for your time, effort, and sharing your knowledge. Now I just need some help paying for all that stuff.... any volunteers?

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Old March 12th, 2013, 11:58 AM   #8
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Thanks NYCSTRIPES for bringing this up. I have seen a large uptick in people who want to begin reloading.


My thoughts:
You can't have too many reloading manuals. Lyman and Lee are good to round things out. Data is also available at the power manufacturers' websites.

You don't have to get everything at once, just add as your need dictates.

Safety glasses are a must! If your eyes are like mine, (and even if not) you may appreciate Bifocal Safety Glasses. Looks like Lowes and other home centers may carry them.

Also don't be afraid to ask questions! There are plenty of people here and on other forums with experience and great advice.

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Old March 12th, 2013, 12:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joesig View Post
Thanks NYCSTRIPES for bringing this up. I have seen a large uptick in people who want to begin reloading.


My thoughts:
You can't have too many reloading manuals. Lyman and Lee are good to round things out. Data is also available at the power manufacturers' websites.

You don't have to get everything at once, just add as your need dictates.

Safety glasses are a must! If your eyes are like mine, (and even if not) you may appreciate Bifocal Safety Glasses. Looks like Lowes and other home centers may carry them.

Also don't be afraid to ask questions! There are plenty of people here and on other forums with experience and great advice.
It explains why most everything is on backorder with regard to loading supplies/tools.
When I started I was warned to wear goggles and hearing protection when priming. I have since stopped heeding that warning.
I have loaded tens of thousands of rounds of ammo, never had a primer pop. I also am very careful to keep the open end of a case being primed pointed away from my face.

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Old March 12th, 2013, 12:08 PM   #10
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midway max case gauges are a good addition that way you dont have to insert your reloaded round into a gun chamber to see if it will fit.

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Old March 12th, 2013, 12:09 PM   #11
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Cool

Thanks for the useful info here, NYStripes. I would recommend the the Hornady Manual over the Sierra, though. One must caution anybody that wants to presently start reloading, that the availability of components are scarce. So it might be a while before you can actually "squeeze" out some ammo. dozier

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Old March 12th, 2013, 12:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCSTRIPES View Post
It explains why most everything is on backorder with regard to loading supplies/tools.
When I started I was warned to wear goggles and hearing protection when priming. I have since stopped heeding that warning.
I have loaded tens of thousands of rounds of ammo, never had a primer pop. I also am very careful to keep the open end of a case being primed pointed away from my face.
The only thing not on back order is ammo for a slingshot and maybe some black powder supplies.

I never heard of muffs for reloading! And I thought that I was cautious!

I used "point it safely away" too but now I need the bifocal part, especially while reading the verniers or doing inspections. I put the glasses by the light switch and I can't forget to wear 'em. Ten bucks and a couple of seconds beats a trip to the ER. Then again, I am a belt and suspenders kinda guy.

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Old March 12th, 2013, 12:51 PM   #13
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Thumbs up

Good job Stripes, looks like you covered just about everything.

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Old March 21st, 2013, 09:39 AM   #14
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For those looking for top notch precision and NO damage to projectiles when seating I suggest considering getting one of these:
http://www.kmshooting.com/catalog/ca...e_6mm-338.html
These come in two sizes...one for the small calibers, the other for larger ones.
You chamfer using something else first. Then use use this after that. It's slow...but worth it when high accuracy ammo is the goal.
This tool removes the "edge" from the first chamfer and if used correctly all you feel is pressure when seating and NO shaving goes on at all.
....
One BANE of custom projectile makers is when customers take very high quality projectiles and then scrape and mar them when seating them. No matter how good they were when purchased....they won't fly well if they get damaged when seating.
Think about this: Manufacturers advertise jackets made to very high tolerances..then someone scrapes it all up seating it.

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Old March 21st, 2013, 09:46 AM   #15
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I love the K&M Priming tool. I've been using one for many years. Haven't seen this chamfer tool from them in person, looks interesting.

What I have been using is one from Holland. My intent is to identify what basic tools can be purchased and leave the upgraded cost tools aside.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/725...h-chamfer-tool

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