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Jackpine Savage
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Discussion Starter #1
The only reloading I've done is with a little Lee Loader. Did a few rounds each of .38spl and .45acp to be sure I knew how to do it if I ever needed too. I have powder, bullets, brass, and primers to do this if things ever go wahooni shaped. Along with a Hornady book that is a bit older, but I'm sure servicable for anything I would be shooting.

My dad called me the other day panicking that Biden is going to start banning stuff and he can't find ammo anywhere. Then he called the next day having ordered some $1200 full reloading kit, and called again yesterday saying he may buy a Lee pistol press that someone he knows is selling. It will only do pistol not rifle bullets is what I was told.

Now that you guys have the background it comes down to this. I want to start buying dies for stuff that I own. I know it's the wrong time, but still see stuff not too bad on the used market. What I don't know is if brands of dies are interchangeable. Let's say I buy Lee pistol dies, will they thread into other brands presses? If I buy Hornady dies will they fit into a Lee press?
 

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Jackpine Savage
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Discussion Starter #8
if he got the low end lee progressive it might only do pistol and .223

won't matter, if the doesn't have component's now he won't be able to find any
That actually sounds like what he might be buying. The one he ordered should do everything.

Another question since I have never bought just dies. Do or have Lee dies come with a scoop? I saw a set of 7mm-08 dies on THR (if anybody hangs out there) but the picture of the set showed a scoop with it. Makes me a little concerned that it may be a Lee Loader rather than an actual die set.

I don't even have the rifle for it, but my mom does so I was thinking of sending a PM, but don't want to sound too ignorant to the seller.
 

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Most of the dies are interchangeable, and I have had really good luck with RCBS dies. For pistol you definitely want to spend a little extra and get the carbide dies, you don't have to lube the cases with carbide dies so it makes loading a lot easier especially on a progressive press.

I have been loading 40 years on the same RCBS rockchocker press, and 20 plus on a Dillon Progressive. The start out is not cheap but most of the equipment you buy will last for years. The down side now is trying to find components.
 

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Lee dies come with a scoop. I use the Lee hand press for my 10mm. Works great and is rather relaxing to do a box now and then.
I have an assortment of tin cans (the Costco chicken cans are great) plastic dishes and funnels to handle brass and powder. I also have a scale to periodically check the scoop.
I also took a piece of 2x8 and drilled 50 1/2 inch holes in it. I put the primed shells in the holes and then add the powder. After that it is to the press for bullet seating.
 

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if he got the low end lee progressive it might only do pistol and .223

won't matter, if the doesn't have component's now he won't be able to find any
It will be challenging, however components are available. Just not at reasonable pricing.

However, said component pricing may be agreeable for some folks ATM. Consider, as a broadly & grossly oversimplified example: manufactured 9mm range ammo at $1 per round vs component costs.

Even gastly exorbitant small pistol primers at auction of $300/K, no idea on powder going rate assume $100/lb, range pickup brass at $40 (if you have to buy it), projectiles - again no true idea on going rates, ill throw out $200/K for plinkers.

The "new" reloader is looking at $600/thousand.

"Savings" of $400 / thousand.

Time - depends on the setup, progressive figure 2 hours. Processing brass figure 2 to 6 hours, again depending if / how one processes & how clean (or not) they want their range brass. Lets call it a generous 12 hours (again using a progressive tho) for a new reloader.

That's $33/hour in "time", using that $400 "savings". Adjust self "time" rate accordingly to actual component expense vs manufactured ammunition current rate.

Don't forget to deduct tumble time, as you can do something else (or not). Etc.

So, IMHO, savings may still be there at today's exorbitant pricing for the new reloader. Better still is the ability to continue to shoot!...
 

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I think if I was looking for reloading equipment and components, I'd be checking local gun club new letters that have classifieds. Online forums that are local in your area for face to face sales...in my AO the prices are not what you see on gunbroker...they're a little bit better. Just bring the cash.
 

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Many folks envision reloading ammunition as something akin to a gum ball machine....you just pour in the components, pull the handle, and a loaded round drops out. Some very expensive and sophisticated presses can do that but you are very far away from that point.
The main thing for you now is to start slow and learn the tools and processes.
The first chapters of your Hornady manual cover the basic principles of reloading. Read it all several times learn about using the equipment you have in hand.
Above all, do not get discouraged. Reloading is a mixture of mechanical engineering and common sense. It requires a lot of trials, failures, and success to become competent enough to reload successfully for many calibers across the board. But, after you understand the process, it all becomes second nature.
Find a mentor that reloads. Understand the process of using single-stage reloaders first, then the progressive reloaders If you get one. Jumping right into progressive reloading versus single-stage is like the difference between driving a car versus driving at NASCAR.
Right now, do not expect to find all the various equipment and components needed in one place. Buy what you find as you can find it. Eventually it will all come together.
Powder scoops are mostly worthless in the real world of producing safe, quality ammo. You need to get a name-brand powder scale and measure and learn how to use both. Stick with low-end and mid-range published loading data from the manual and Never use someone else’s load concoction without checking it against a loading manual.
There are many competent reloaders on this forum, and all could write books about what you are asking, but this is not the place to teach details.
Milk the wealth of information on forums as well as find people that actually load to show you the ropes. As mentioned here, shooting clubs is a great place to start or ask your local gun shops about folks they might know.
Be serious, be cautious, be persistent in the pursuit, and have fun.
 

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Jackpine Savage
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Discussion Starter #17
Many folks envision reloading ammunition as something akin to a gum ball machine....you just pour in the components, pull the handle, and a loaded round drops out. Some very expensive and sophisticated presses can do that but you are very far away from that point.
The main thing for you now is to start slow and learn the tools and processes.
The first chapters of your Hornady manual cover the basic principles of reloading. Read it all several times learn about using the equipment you have in hand.
Above all, do not get discouraged. Reloading is a mixture of mechanical engineering and common sense. It requires a lot of trials, failures, and success to become competent enough to reload successfully for many calibers across the board. But, after you understand the process, it all becomes second nature.
Find a mentor that reloads. Understand the process of using single-stage reloaders first, then the progressive reloaders If you get one. Jumping right into progressive reloading versus single-stage is like the difference between driving a car versus driving at NASCAR.
Right now, do not expect to find all the various equipment and components needed in one place. Buy what you find as you can find it. Eventually it will all come together.
Powder scoops are mostly worthless in the real world of producing safe, quality ammo. You need to get a name-brand powder scale and measure and learn how to use both. Stick with low-end and mid-range published loading data from the manual and Never use someone else’s load concoction without checking it against a loading manual.
There are many competent reloaders on this forum, and all could write books about what you are asking, but this is not the place to teach details.
Milk the wealth of information on forums as well as find people that actually load to show you the ropes. As mentioned here, shooting clubs is a great place to start or ask your local gun shops about folks they might know.
Be serious, be cautious, be persistent in the pursuit, and have fun.
Really good post for a person that is thinking of getting into reloading. Thankfully I do know what we will be getting into and neither of us expects to just be pulling out levers and having awesome almost free ammo popping out.

We have relatives that reload just about everything including oddball match stuff for their long range rifles (6.5x284) comes to mind. So once his stuff comes in they will help him get it all set up and then we will have a weekend where we all get together and dad and I can do some learning. I'm just looking to get dies for stuff that my wife and I own and pick up a few for mom and dad if I run into them.

I know it's hard to find stuff right now, but since I have the components for .38spl, .357mag, and .9mm, and .45acp we will have some easy stuff to learn on. didn't mention 9mm above because while I have the components I never got around to buying the Lee loader for it. It's not something I shoot often.
 

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Really good post for a person that is thinking of getting into reloading. Thankfully I do know what we will be getting into and neither of us expects to just be pulling out levers and having awesome almost free ammo popping out.

We have relatives that reload just about everything including oddball match stuff for their long range rifles (6.5x284) comes to mind. So once his stuff comes in they will help him get it all set up and then we will have a weekend where we all get together and dad and I can do some learning. I'm just looking to get dies for stuff that my wife and I own and pick up a few for mom and dad if I run into them.

I know it's hard to find stuff right now, but since I have the components for .38spl, .357mag, and .9mm, and .45acp we will have some easy stuff to learn on. didn't mention 9mm above because while I have the components I never got around to buying the Lee loader for it. It's not something I shoot often.
Having someone there the first couple times you reload is a great idea. It helps ease the nerves and gives a second pair of eyes to watch out.

The nice thing about reloading is that you can stay simple of get really into great detail. I spent well over a decade as a competitive shooter. I would go to the Nationals at Camp Perry every and shoot either smallbore, Highpower ( shot at 200,300 and 600 yards), or longrange. I have a small library on reloading and the shooting sports and more in reloading equipment than I have ever spent on a car. Then I have a friend who has a simple Lee single stage press and cranks out accurate hunting ammo for himself and his family. Have fun getting going
 

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Learning All the Time
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205 Posts
Most competitive pistol shooters end up with a mixed set of dies on their progressive presses especially if they are using Glock fired brass:
  1. A Lee U resizing die which is .001" undersized and has a carbide ring. Even better is the EGW version that is ground down so the carbide ring can get further down the case. Gets rid of most of the Glock buldge.
  2. A micrometer seating die from Redding or Forester to make life easier.
  3. A Lee taper crimp die with a carbide ring, gets rid of most of the Glock buldge. I had several hundred rounds I had loaded that wouldn't pass a drop gauge test, ran them through this die and then they all tested good.
Use Hornady one shot case lube and don't worry about lube build up in the dies.
 

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Another question since I have never bought just dies. Do or have Lee dies come with a scoop?
Some Lee dies DON’T.
The Lee RGB two die set comes with no shell holder and no dipper. They can be found for $25. They come in a green translucent box. The red and yellow box sets should come with all the extras. One caveat...make sure which set you’re looking at. Some Pacesetter dies have a crimp die, in a red box. They’re for rifles with bottlenecks. But OTHER Pacesetter dies have no crimp, instead they have an expander/powder through die, usually for straight case cartridges.
There’s also a Pacesetter 2 die set that is an RGB set, with a scoop and shell holder. Red box.
The yellow box Ultimate die set has 4 dies, basically a Pacesetter 3 die set with a collet neck sizer die added in.
Then there are the yellow box Collet die sets. Like the Pacesetter 2 die, but using a collet neck sizer instead of a Full length.

So...clear as mud?
There are also the pistol die sets. Get carbide.

saw a set of 7mm-08 dies on THR (if anybody hangs out there) but the picture of the set showed a scoop with it. Makes me a little concerned that it may be a Lee Loader rather than an actual die set.
It’s easy to tell the difference. Dies have threaded ends and a shell holder in a shelf directly under the dipper. The Loader has a threaded middle, the dipper isn’t on top of a shell holder, and the long rod of the Deprimer tool is dead giveaway.

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