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OK Reloading Gods,

So I think it's safe to say it now....I got bit by the reloading bug hard. I didn't realize just how quickly I'd find myself looking at all these additional pieces of gear that I told myself I wouldn't need for "at least a year since I just started rolling my own only a couple of months ago." Yeah, and I said the same thing about golf years ago.

As for the "peace of mind" thing, I now realize that buying reloading equipment is like buying motorcycle tires; you'll go cheap once, and when something happens (or was about to happen) because you skimped on your rubber, you never make that same mistake again. I found that out the hard way with a certain powder dispenser. Despite my better judgment, I went with it because it was cheaper and "could get the job done." Thankfully I still weigh each and every charge due of my regular use of dippers, because with this cheaper powder dispenser the charges were all over the place. I definitely did not feel safe using it without checking every charge which, of course, defeated my attempt at incrementally speeding up my reloading process.

So today, I dropped some more hard-earned $$ on a much better quality powder dispenser that should last me for life. As I was buying it, all I could hear in my head (and directly from the guy at my LGS) were these famous four words: "I told you so." But, as I ate my crow I also gained something - peace of mind. Knowing that I can incrementally gain speed with my reloading process without sacrificing safety is priceless. Yes, I'll still have to check the dropped charges, but now I can do so every fifth charge or so and feel confident that my charges won't be off by anywhere from .5 to 2 grains or more between drops.

Rant off.
 

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I will add this little comment because it is relative to the OP's post and may be beneficial to those considering or new to reloading.

There was an automotive speed shop in Chicago, the town where I was born and raised, and this shop had a sign above the counter that read "Speed costs money, how fast do YOU want to go!". This is just as appropriate to reloading as it is to motorsports. Good stuff costs money. It is not always a tremendous amount more than lesser parts or equipment, but sometimes so. In reloading, equipment that reloads faster with less hassle costs more than equipment that doesn't. So when you are looking at equipment when thinking about getting into reloading the first thing you should think about is "how fast do YOU want to go". How many rounds per week, per month, or per year do you think you will need. Once you begin reloading your round count will almost always go UP... sometimes double in a short time because ammo is now available and you want to test things or just shoot more because it's cheaper. So plan on it... you will shoot more than you do now and probably more than you think you will, especially if a good range or even an old quarry is available to you. If you get into the action pistol sports, or heaven forbid, three gun, your need for ammo will skyrocket.

So don't skimp. Save up a little longer if you have to, but buy at least one level higher than you think you need, because as sure as you're reading this, your desire for more ammo will grow as your experience with reloading grows. How fast YOU want to go may indeed be faster than cheap equipment can take you.
 

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I try to steer noobs to buy the best gear they can afford. Why, well, you know why. The cost of top of the line gear is cheap compared to the mount of ammo a dedicated shooter will shoot in just one year. Better tools make any job easier & safer. Doesn't matter if its reloading, wood working, cars or anything else, good tools, used with skill & knowledge, just makes things so much easier. Sounds like your learning fast, safe reloading.
 

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Be aware that even the best powder measures can exhibit an uncomfortable degree of variation with some powders. My measure of choice is an RCBS Competition measure with both large and small powder drums. With a great metering powder such as Accurate #5 a Standard Deviation of 0.035 is expected. This means that the 6 Sigma distribution is just +/- 1/10 grain. However with a poor metering powder such as Unique or Longshot the Standard Deviation is 0.075 grain so the 6 Sigma distribution is a bit more than +/- 0.2 grains. As a result I hand weigh my charges any time I am loading with Unique or Longshot. It's why one item on my Want List is an RCBS powder trickler and scale, sometimes even the best measures can fail with some powders.
 
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