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Discussion Starter #1
Alright so I've got a little play money. I'd like to setup a reloading bench. I've never reloaded.

My dad bought a RCBS rock chucker "kit" a few years back. IF I remember correctly it has the press, case trimmer, powder measure, old school scale... can't remember anything else.

My question is what is needed to do this correctly...without having t have the latest toys and the price tag that goes with them.

My basic plan is to purchase a Lee 100 Pro for reloading the handguns and leave the single stage to the milsurps etc. Yes I know I should get a Dillon but I can't justify that money right now.

I think I'm going to go with the tumbler style cleaner that is suggested in the surplusrifle.com site.

I will get a bullet puller if there isn't one in Dad's kit.

Obviously I need a good manual. I think the kit came with one but its probably a bit out dated. Can anyone suggest one? If it covered milsurp/rifles and handguns I'd be a happy man.

Is a chronograph critical? With the rifles I'd like to play around and build the most accurate reloads I can. Does a Chronograph help in that or is it simply a matter of if the group is smaller use it?

Also how do you determine case pressure? and again would I need a chrono to do that or is there some fancy math that will get me the same answer?

Thanks guys!
 

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For a case cleaner, go to www.midwayusa.com they have some cheap ones that work dandy.

for loading info, go to www.handloads.com

bullet puller? I have reloaded for 13 years without one.

Chrono? Just got one this past year

Digital calipers? Must have

Get a current load manual too. As far as accuracy, try different loads and try varying your bullet seating depth several thousands with each load. Rifle loading can be alot more technical than pistol. Its all on how extreme you want to take it. There are too many variables to discuss here, read up ALOT.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thats why I'm thinking of loading for extreme accuracy. Mostly on the K31 and Swede. I can't afford to shoot them often. So This was I have an excuse :)

thanks again for the help guys.

One last question...until I'm ready to start. Does anyone use lead bullets in their XD? Any dissadvantage? I know it could lead to more cleaning. Does the leading increase the interval of cleaning (I clean after almost every use anyway) or just mke it a little longer of a job?
 

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Get the manual first.
Lee has some good how-to information.
Sierra is also very good.

Once you have the manual, you will develope a better idea of what equipment you might want to add.

I'd recommend waiting to buy a chrono.
It may be a good prospect down the road, but not necessary until you have some particular loads you want to compare. sab
 

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if your just loading pistol, go with the dillon square deal b. I couldn't afford the larger 500 series's, and am very happy with this one.

Book: serria has a binder that is the most complete, always have 2 on hand.

chrono is nice for comp, i got a great deal on a used one, thats the only reason I have mine.

I stay away from lead, just a pita to clean the pistol, and the reloading dies.
Midway sells rainer bullets cheap if you buy them in bulk.


I use dial calipers, just cause I'm a machinest, and still remember how to use them.

Case pressure can be read from the primer often times, and I don't load max anyway. Most of the time your get the most accurate load in a mid to low powder/pressure range anyway. Heck, I'm only shooting 1k fps out of my 40 with 155's.

I also just use the old school scale. I load precision rifle loads with a hightec trickler and scale, and can't see the reason to use it on pistols when my dillon is spot on.
 

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I'd save the $$ on the chrono and use it to buy a RCBS, Hornady LNL or Dillon progressive. All are good presses that will stand a lot of use and have good "residual" value should you ever decide to sell. I don't think you can say that about the Lee progressives

When I was researching progressives, Lee didn't come out on top. I bought the LNL and have been very pleased. I've loaded around 4,000 rounds on it in less than a year with no problems.

I shoot a lot of cast lead bullets in my XD40SC. Several thousand by now. They are probably around half power loads and I have had zero problems with leading. I use a Lee 6 cavity mold and wheel weights, water dropped. If you figure the brass as free, I reload for around $1.50/50.

WyoBob

Here's a pick of groups shot with the Lee cast bullet at 7 yards
 

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Where to start.I use my bullet puller alot seems when I change bullet types I never back off the seating die enough.Cailpers yes.Tumbler later you can buy clean brass cheap.Beam scale is fine zero it and be sure you don't have a fan in my case furnace blowing on you.My is worth exactly 2 grains.Lead bullets are fine but the lube smokes.
Take a look at these haven't tried any yet but the guy's at www.brianenos.com really like them http://www.precisionbullets.com/
Good luck remember start low and wear eye protection :D
 

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beardman2 said:
Does anyone use lead bullets in their XD? Any dissadvantage? I know it could lead to more cleaning. Does the leading increase the interval of cleaning (I clean after almost every use anyway) or just mke it a little longer of a job?
I use a locally manufactured lead bullet for practice and Precision moly coated bullets for match. Sure there will be a bit of leading but it's not a big deal. A few strokes with a bronze brush and Hoppes #9 and it's gone. I do a top end clean and lube about every 1000 rounds and a through cleaning every 5000 or so. Since I shoot lead and moly, I have to clean the deposits more often than if I shoot jacketed. It's a tradeoff I'm willing to accept.

I'm a firm believer that more guns are damaged by overcleaning than by leaving well enough alone. If you're an active shooter, 1000 rounds a month or more, then wipe off the big chunks and put it in the safe. Give it a top end clean every 1000 rounds and move on. An inactive shooter who may have the gun sit around for weeks or months probably should clean before putting it up. You really don't want the gunk sitting for a long time.

I'm not alone in this. Many IPSC shooters go as long as I do. If you shoot nothing but jacketed with clean powders, you can go even longer. Just lube up the top end as required. Wil Schuemann manufactures some of the best match barrels on the market. He doesn't clean his barrels. Here's a page from his website concerning barrel cleaning.
 

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Rainer bullets are cheap and are copper plated, Ive got 10,000 of them through my guns wthout any issues.

For rifle loading, read some articles or books written by Rick Jamison, he is a marvel with accurately loading rifle rounds and is the most knowlegeable reloading author I have ever come across.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I lucked out at christmas my wife gave me dies, primers, powder, brass, and bullets for my Swede (6.5x55)!

I finally did the math and barry's plated bullets from cabelas are about as cheap as you can get unless I found a bunch of free lead.
 

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beardman2 said:
I lucked out at christmas my wife gave me dies, primers, powder, brass, and bullets for my Swede (6.5x55)!

I finally did the math and barry's plated bullets from cabelas are about as cheap as you can get unless I found a bunch of free lead.
Thats where I have been buying all of mine cheap shipping also :D
 

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Discussion Starter #16
My father-in-law, brother-in-law and I went up to Dillion HQ the other day. The Square deal B was very stongly built. But after seeing one next to the 550 I'd have to say the 550 would pay for itself in no time. They were all very strongly built. However it just didn't seem worth the money. By the time I bought all the stuff for a bunch of calibers for a dillion you could buy a machine in every caliber of the Lee and still have plenty of money for spare parts.

I ended up blowing my cash on some cleaning supplies and range time with the father-in-law so I'll have to wait a little while to decide anyway.
 
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