What's the minimum cash outlay needed to get started handloading?

Discussion in 'General Reloading' started by d_p_holland, Sep 14, 2020.

  1. Ranger4

    Ranger4 G&G Evangelist

    Tip: Do not know if anybody already mentioned it but for your pistol and any straight wall case, get the "carbide" dies. They cost a little more, but you can get by with little or no case lube. It will also save that case stuck in the die problem that will happen sooner or later.
    PaleHawkDown, K75RT and TXplt like this.
  2. redcaddy51

    redcaddy51 G&G Evangelist

    I haven't seen it said here yet, but, the method I used, a long time ago, in a land far away, was to hang out at the local ranges and talk to people.
    Most shooters are people people too, they will hand you their prized possession to shoot, share ammo, let you try their pet reloads, in your gun, and give lots of advise, that you might want to take advantage of.

    If you make a friend of an old handloader, he/she might just let you use their equipment, while you pick out the stuff you want/need. Friend first, then student usually works best.

    I've been lucky enough to help many beginning loaders get set up and enjoy the hobby, ya just can't come off like a dick. Make a friend, you both might prosper.

    The NRA publishes several books about just the process you are asking about, might be worth a read.

    Look around, there might be a gunshop local to you that has evening reloading classes, a good place to pick up used equipment fer cheap.

    Check out the loading manuals published by Lee, Speer and Hornady, read them several times, cover to cover, absorb the process, then pick out the tools that work best for YOU. Start slow, pay attention, enjoy the process.

    Pretty soon, you'll be an old hand, giving advise.


  3. noylj

    noylj G&G Enthusiast

    SW USA
    K75RT likes this.
  4. TXplt

    TXplt Gun Toting Boeing Driver Forum Contributor

    It can be way costly if you screw it up.

    All things considered, I think a person needs to address their long term objectives (especially in light of world events) and get something that is quality and lasts. Dillon's stuff is a bit pricey but I can't say enough good things about their SDB. So you need a decent scale and decent equipment. Especially if you're going to be reloading ALOT (which can be very time consuming; your time has value). A quality progressive (like the SDB or 550) with decent micrometer and scale is probably a good investment if you're going to be reloading alot of brass. For me, the auto-indexing has value (especially if doing a large run where fatigue might come into play). But others like manual indexing.

    On the other hand, to complement the SDB, I got a lee hand press kit which is ALSO a quality item (at a low cost) to reload 45-70 and 450 Marlin. Using the decent quality Digital scale I got with the SDB to adjust and verify weights thrown by the charge bar. I can use the dippers with the Lee to get pretty close and trickle to an exact charge when I'm reloading the rifle rounds. It's significantly slower than other more advanced presses but then again I don't shoot HUGE quantities of either the 45-70 or the 450.
    K75RT likes this.
  5. Huey Rider

    Huey Rider G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    The LEE reloading manual has a good introduction to reloading in it.

    Almost every reloader has a copy of The ABC’S of Reloading by Rodney James (I highly recommend it).
    K75RT and TXplt like this.
  6. Junction15

    Junction15 G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    For rifle cartridge reloading, sooner of later, a "stuck case remover" will come in handy.
    After 40 years of reloading, I've only stuck about 4 or 5 cases but I finally bought a RCBS case remover kit.

    However, before that, I used a 1/4-20 tap with a 13/64 drill. I used a socket that was about the same OD as the die. Add a bolt and washer, and you have a stuck case remover.

    Getting a stuck case out of your die reminds you to pay closer attention to the process so you don't do it again. That dry metal-on-metal squeak is the tell tale that you forgot the lube again.
    K75RT, Huey Rider and TXplt like this.
  7. Rite of passage. We've all done it, it's like the idiot scratch on your 1911 that you learn all about metal polishing getting rid of.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2020
  8. noylj

    noylj G&G Enthusiast

    SW USA
    >We've all done it

    I haven't. Almost 50 years reloading and my old RCBS lube pad and RCBS case lube has never failed me.
    K75RT and austinjoe13 like this.
  9. gsbuickman

    gsbuickman G&G Evangelist

    I don't know what the local gun Grapevine in your area looks like but as another option you may want to check out your local classifieds to see what's available in the firearms/Reloading to see whats available. You may be able to do something similar to what I did to get started in handloading. I was able to pick up a complete reloading setup at a good price which save me some $. I went through it and decided what I wanted to keep and everything else went into selling and trading for other components and accessories to expand my reloading bench for what I need it for.
    Huey Rider and K75RT like this.