Friday, June 29, 2012

Get Your Reloader Runnin'...

So, tomorrow's a big day for me. I'm packing up all of my reloading equipment and heading north, where Wally, gunsmith extraordinaire and evil genius of the AK-54 has graciously offered to give me a primer (ha!) on reloading. Quite some time ago, he kindly gifted me with a single stage press, some dies, and enough powder and primers to start reloading on my own, and with the recent receipt of bullets from the good folks at SNS Casting (thanks again guys!), I've decided that it is time to start rolling my own.

Wally's going to walk me through the process using his set-up, then get my press all ready for action and start cranking out some rounds. Ideally, I'd like to get a hundred rounds of 9mm and .45 ACP set up, but we'll see what we can get through in the time we have available. I'd like to get to the point where the process is more or less engrained; although that will most likely require extra time at home.

Which means, of course, that I'm going to need to clear out a corner of my basement to set up as a reloading station. Gee, that's tough, isn't it? (Well, if you'd seen my basement you'd know it is a rather daunting undertaking, actually...). I figure I'll get a rudimentary bench set up for now, and refine it later - if I continue to wait until the time is right to start, I never will, so...

I've been saving brass for years - I've probably got 2-3 thousand pieces of 9mm and .45 ACP saved up over the years, with easily another 1K .38 Special and .357 Magnum. With the very reasonable prices at SNS Casting, I expect to reload these pretty faithfully, with 9mm and .45 ACP being a close second (especially if some expected T&E material comes through...). I know there's a bunch more I need to pick up to get started, like a good pair of calipers, a scale (will a postal scale suffice), more boxes, etc. - but I'm eager to get started.

The time has come, and not a moment too soon...

That is all.

15 comments:

Reub said...

I'd skip the postal scale. For ease of use, you'll want a scale graduated in Grains and specifically designed for reloading. All of the major manufactures make a decent, inexpensive beam scale. Look at Midway or your favorite shooting supply store and you should find several scale options. I'd recommend avoiding the temptation to buy a digital scale.

Wally said...

Start with the corner of the basement that doesn't have the hornets.

We'll have a little sidebar on scales tomorrow.

(and that AK-54 probably needs some exercise too!)

UGA Wino said...

Yep. I've been saving .38. .357, .45 ACP, 9mm and .30-06 brass for years. One of these days I'm going to have to buy some equipment and start filling those empties back up.

Let us know how it goes!

ZerCool said...

Postal scale will not work. A grain is 1/7000 of a pound. Reloading is done in the tenth-grain realm.

ZerCool said...

Postal scale will not work. A grain is 1/7000 of a pound. Reloading is done in the tenth-grain realm.

ZerCool said...

Postal scale will not work. A grain is 1/7000 of a pound. Reloading is done in the tenth-grain realm.

Dave H said...

Lee's cheap beam scale is like $25 from MidwayUSA. Lyman and RCBS scales are $50 or so.

Since I started buying reloading stuff the dealer discount at MidwayUSA has paid for my C&R license.

ZerCool said...

Apparently I'm practicing the Mozambique drill on your comment thread...

Bubblehead Les. said...

Say, while you're up there, I could use about 500 rounds of 8mm Mauser, oh and about the same in 6.5 Swede. I'll pay you the next time I see you.

What, Wally didn't tell you about the "Good Buddy" part of Reloading? It's kinda like winning the Lottery. All of a sudden, when people find out you're Reloading..... ; )

Miguel said...

Get a digital scale. Plenty out there that are inexpensive. If you are gonna go hot loads for 9 or full power .357, you may want to gas check the bullets or be ready for lots of barrel leading.

Ritchie said...

If you simply must have a digital scale, recommend you avoid the small "pocket" scales. A vibratory case cleaner/polisher is in fact worth the money. Mine is in the closet hanging on bungee cords to prevent noise transmission. That last bit sounds odd to me, too.

lee n. field said...

a scale (will a postal scale suffice),

No.

Lee Safety scale is OK, but low capacity. Lyman or RCBS balance beam scales are much better. You might get lucky on ebay (probably not).

You didn't mention a powder measure. Surely you're not going to be measuring each and every cartridge's charge of powder on that scale?

If you don't have one, get yourself a good manual.

I've noticed that after the basic stuff, all my reloading purchases were for labor or time saving, and all were well worth the money spent.

The Jack said...

Yeah, talk with Wally on scales.

This is something where a cheap pocket digital will just be wasting money.

You'll also want something quality if you get to any progressive or turret press and have a case activated powder measure.

Those things should really be calibrated via a statistically significant number of "throws".

Wally said...

Watch out Les, I am up to my eyeballs in 8mm... Should bring some to NEBS ?

I am slim on 6.5x55, but I do have dies here :-)

TinCan Assassin said...

Y'know, if you'r gonna be shooting cast lead projectiles, you can cast your own, right? They sell pots, molds, bullet lube and even lead. Bring a box of ammo down to $2.50 a box that way...