Here's some good gunnie math.
(plus some other stuff like powder and primers)
Thanks to the patient and observant eye of Wally, the maestro of metal (more on this Friday, BTW), I was able to turn some used brass and the cast lead bullets I received from SNS Casting into real, honest-to-goodness ammunition. Now, as folks rightfully pointed out, the real proof is in the pudding - I'll have to wait until the Fourth to find out if they actually work. I've got a shiny new 10" steel plate that I'm itching to shoot, and I figure that a few of my own rounds ringing that steel is more than appropriate for Independence Day...
I used to think that Wally was evil because he kept making lowers for me. Now I know he's evil because he's gotten me hooked on reloading... I think one of the biggest things holding me back before was that the only introduction I'd had to reloading was through a well-meaning friend who showed me his progressive press - while it's a great setup for cranking out lots of rounds, it's rather intimidating for someone just starting out. Seeing the single stage setup, and how each step works one at a time, made a difference.
Wally is a great teacher, BTW. He ran through the setup once using his press, dies, and materials - I made a dozen or so rounds of 9mm, then about the same in 300 BLK. We took a break to do some shooting (including the 300 BLK, more on *that* later as well), and then we returned to the reloading bench. Wally set up my press (which he gave me quite some time ago and has been egging me on to get crackin') and had me run through the procedure from start to finish while he watched.
It wasn't until he stopped watching that I had my one and only screw-up. I deprimed a bunch of brass, and got it all loaded up to find out that I had 47 rounds. Well, I brought along an empty box, and having three holes empty just didn't seem right, so I thought I'd fill it in with three more rounds. And then Wally suggested making a magazine's worth to test, so I set up to make 13 more rounds. I only missed one step - five rounds into the seating process, I realized that I had forgotten to re-prime the rounds... Powder leaking into the box was the first indication...
So, now I'm looking to embark on my reloading path. The hardest part is going to be clearing a spot in the basement and making a suitable bench for all the gear. To get started, though, I'm going to need a few very basic tools: a scale (digital or analog?), a tumbler, a manual(s), a caliper(s) a log book, and some more dies - I've got .45 ACP and .223 Remington; I'll need 9mm and .38/.357 at a minimum, with .44 Magnum/Special as a close third. I'll probably stick with pistol calibers initially until I get more comfortable with the whole process.
So, for the reloaders out there, what are some good scales/tumblers/dies/etc.?
That is all.