So I have know for quite a while that I wanted to start reloading. I started collecting brass almost two years ago and have had a small bucket accumulating more and more each time I go. Last week my wife and I were at an OKC outdoor chain store and there sat a few reloading kits. After some begging and promising that it would not be another project that sits unused she agreed I could have one and I do have to say very loudly THANK YOU HONEY!!
Ok so with that over the first step was to decide what I wanted to use. I knew that I wanted to clean after depriming so I was not going to go with a progressive press and I intend to load mostly pistol but also some rifle cases. I looked long and hard a a turret press and a single stage press, finally asking someone who was there what he figured would be best for someone new. He plainly stated that he has a single stage press so that each step is separate and there is much less of a chance to mess things up I was starting to lean that way anyway so I thanked him and grabbed the Lee Classic reloading kit.
So being new I also picked up the Lyman 49th edition reloading handbook, I knew that I would need a set of reloading dies since it said so on the outside of the box so I grabbed the Lee carbide 4 die pistol set for .40S&W. The wife had to run to the bathroom so I also snuck in the Lee carbide 4 die pistol set for 45ACP. And then talked her into a vibratory cleaner with a jug of walnut shell media and a sifter tray.
Getting things home I opened the boxes and got started loading... errr umm well I opened them and took an inventory. Then I cracked open the book and started reading. Figuring out that a couple more tools could make things a little more foolproof. I ended up ordering a ram prime so that it will be much easier to do a consistent priming operation each and every time and don't just have to rely on feel, some breech lock bushings since the press kit only came with one and the quick trim dies for the pistol calibers as well as dies for .223 so I can load for my AR15 and the quick trim die for it. Oh, and I grabbed a dial caliper as well. The one thing I still plan to pick up is a swagger tool for the crimped primer pockets on the .223/5.56 brass since a lot of the factory ammo seems to be crimped. Otherwise most everything is in the mail so to speak and should show up tomorrow. I got some great prices too over at FS Reloading, if you are thinking about reloading the prices are hard to beat if you buy new.
I could have gotten a few things at a lower cost but one thing I like to do is try and be precise, the quick trim dies will make another step in the press operation process but should reduce the chance for the human error factor, and while pistol cases should be fairly good without trimming from my reading in the reloading book as well as online this will make the factory crimp operation more repeatable which should make things more accurate and reliable. The press kit actually came with two different prime systems as well one on the press with a little swing arm and the other is a hand prime tool but I would like repeatability and a solid stop rather than going by "feel" so once the ram primer is set it should not need changing unless I change caliber. The same goes with the swagger tool, I could just trim the brass from the primer pocket but remove too much and the case is worthless, same goes if its uneven.
Since I am literally starting from scratch and learning this will probably have some points where I mess up or don't know just the right trick that an old hand will know but my intention is to learn and hopefully allow someone else who is new or wanting to start follow along and see what I learn. I can say that I have learned to set the dies to deprime and size for the .40 and .45 and I was able to deprime all the other brass I have and get everything nice and clean. So I have a TON of clean brass sorted and sitting in margarine tubs ready to go. I will still need to get primers, powder and bullets but I will get those when I am certain that I am doing things right. No need to jump in and mess something up before I am ready.
So once things start to show up and I get down to it all I will be adding more.
Stay safe out there America. The crazies are always out on the prowl.