Finally getting into the game...first reloading setup

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Finally getting into the game...first reloading setup

Postby jcat » Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:07 am

I had a pistol I didn't need that I was having some trouble selling, so I went and did some wheeling and dealing like I always do, and now have my first reloading setup on the way.

Here's what's on the way:

-Hornady Lock N Load AP Progressive press (comes with Lock-N-Load powder measure, rifle and pistol metering assemblies, case activated powder drop and linkage, cartridge catcher, large and small primer pick-up tubes, 5 Lock-N-Load Bushings)

-Hornady shell plates #8 (9mm), #16 (.223), #45 (.45acp)

-Hornady custom grade die sets: 9mm taper crimp 3 piece, 45acp 3 piece, .223 2 piece

I'll still need to buy the following before I'm 100% up and running:

-Hornady powder cop die
-Primer flip trays (maybe)
-Hornady LNL AP Primer Swage Tool (223/556)
-10 more Hornady LNL bushings
-Inline Fab ultra mount to get it up off the bench
-Bullet puller (one inertia and eventually a collet puller die)
-Scale
-Calipers
-Trays
-Lube


That's everything I'll need to get started for every caliber I own minus 12ga. No case feeder or bullet feeder yet, but that will come as funds free up. Primary objective once I get the equipment in hand is going to be powder, then bullets and primers. Brass seems to be pretty plentiful, add to that I've got 2k 45 brass and 2k 9mm brass in hand. I'll have to get most of the pistol brass cleaned up and start sourcing some .223/5.56 brass also.

The nice thing about this press is for any new caliber I need a $35 shell plate, a $40 set of dies, $9 or $12 for bushings, for a grand total of well under $100 per caliber. It's a little cheaper than a Dillon, in that you don't need a new toolhead for each caliber. That's the beauty of the quick change dies, and was a major selling point for me on why I chose the Hornady. The other is the option for die conversion bushings that let you run just about anyone's bushings in the LNL press.

I'm pretty excited, and glad I went straight to a progressive vs. buying a single stage or turret first, then going progressive etc. as that can get really expensive. Eventually I'll probably get a cheap single stage for bullet pull/decap/resize or precision duty if I get there.

Now, in the meantime, I've got lots of reading to do and I need to get cracking on getting the kid's playroom set up so I can get all her junk out of my gun room that turned into a temp storage space :lol:
Last edited by jcat on Sun Nov 30, 2014 5:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Finally getting into the game...first reloading setup

Postby newportri » Sun Nov 30, 2014 3:11 pm

I don't see a scale listed, but you need that. I have a RCBS beam scale and a digital scale, but I only use the digital since it is so much easier.
You will also need a micrometer, tumbler, and a bullet puller since everyone makes mistakes.
You will also need a lube tray and lube for rifle.
You should also get a flip tray, they are about $5. I also got a Vibra-Prime that I love.
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/890424/frankford-arsenal-vibra-prime-automatic-primer-tube-filler
I had some problems with it when using brass primers, but with a new battery and the "other" primers (the shiny ones) it is really quick.
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Re: Finally getting into the game...first reloading setup

Postby Blast54 » Sun Nov 30, 2014 4:48 pm

Jcat, I use multiple flip trays of different colors. I label them for contents as if I have to, I would rather leave unused primers in a tray than primer tubes.

Newpt, do you have the "re designed" Vibra prime?
I had one of the older ones ( ten years ago?) and it wasn't very good... I notice the new one is redesigned and on sale for $25 !! Works good????
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Re: Finally getting into the game...first reloading setup

Postby jcat » Sun Nov 30, 2014 5:08 pm

thanks for the reminder guys. I updated the list with the remaining items. I had put together a list of little ancillaries like that but can't find it.

The thing that makes me iffy about the vibra prime is that it seems to me the primers might be able to flip on their way down the tube. The hornady pickup tube isn't bad to use, and I think (at least at first) getting the primers right is something I'll want to go slow on and really pay attention to. That and the charges, of course.
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Re: Finally getting into the game...first reloading setup

Postby newportri » Sun Nov 30, 2014 5:59 pm

Yeah, it is the new redesigned vibra-prime. It works really well with Federal primers, which is what I use the most. I always hated loading the primer tube, so I was glad when the vibra-prime was made available again. I never had problems with primers flipping and don't see how that can be more of a problem in this than in a regular pickup tube.

Since there seems to be a lot of interest in this topic, maybe RIFOL should sponsor a reloading class?? Anyone interested, especially in hosting it? It could also be a little bit more specialized against precision rifle loading since there is a lot more to that than in pistol. It could be both meant as an introduction as well as showing some of the various equipment that people use to reload with?
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Re: Finally getting into the game...first reloading setup

Postby Blast54 » Sun Nov 30, 2014 7:18 pm

I did a NRA reloading class a few years back. The money was donated to CRAL.
It was pretty well attended. I think I had about 10 or 12 show up. I just did another one a few weeks ago for a gun club in CT. It is a lot of work getting everything organized, presses set up, components and all the rest of the gear. I also arranged lunch, coffee etc.

I would be willing to help out but am kind of burnt out as far as instruction right now. Let's see where it goes.

Bill
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Re: Finally getting into the game...first reloading setup

Postby newportri » Sun Nov 30, 2014 7:50 pm

Thanks Bill.
We could do an informal class and it doesn't have to be a full day since that's a lot for many to commit to. Most people will be pretty busy until after xmas now I think , so there is no rush. Maybe we could do it some time January-March, hopefully before the gun bills are have a hearing..
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Re: Finally getting into the game...first reloading setup

Postby demjones » Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:01 pm

If nothing else, a get-together to just jawbone about reloading process/materials/etc would be good. Some shooting wouldn't hurt either...just sayin'.

jcat, your setup looks really good. You'll likely need to think about a trimmer sooner than later. Trimmers can range from the Giraud Power Trimmer to the Lee tools that fit on a power drill to hand-turned trimmers. I use a Giraud for .223, .308 & 30-06. For everything else I use the Lee tools. YMMV. I find that I don't need to trim every time I load, and use an OAL headspace gauge for bottleneck cases after sizing to make that determination.

I second Dave's scale recommendation. Franklin Arsenal makes a nice, simple electronic one that I've used for years, both as primary and as a double-check on the LNL's powder measure. Mechanical scales work great, too. Depending on how much you load, you might eventually consider a digital measure like the Lyman DPS. While I'm seating a round in my Rock Chucker it's measuring out my next round's charge, accurate to a tenth of a grain.

While you're set up for multiple calibers, I recommend starting out with just one until you've developed a good workflow and physical setup. I began with .30 Carbine. You'll know when you're ready to move on...it's really a question of comfort.
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Re: Finally getting into the game...first reloading setup

Postby jcat » Sun Nov 30, 2014 10:20 pm

Thanks for that, I appreciate the advice.

I likely will start with 9mm only because that's what I have the majority of components for already, sans powder. Need to get my hands on some. But I've already got bullets, primers, and brass for it.

I'll need to figure out what to do for a tumbler and media eventually, but until then I can probably just drop all my brass off to my uncle and have him do it for me. I've been looking at the case prep center type tools but don't know if I'll go quite that deep yet, rather likely getting a hand crank trimmer and primer pocket brush for my drill, at least at first.

Another idea I'm thinking I'll go with is picking up a beef jerky drier to allow quicker drying after wet tumbling.
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Re: Finally getting into the game...first reloading setup

Postby Thib » Sun Nov 30, 2014 11:00 pm

Another idea I'm thinking I'll go with is picking up a beef jerky drier to allow quicker drying after wet tumbling.


I thought of this too, but then just aluminum foiled a cookie sheet and tossed em in at 180 degrees for 30 mins or so. I eventually will probably get a dehydrator, but there are so many other things I'd like to get, it's far down the list.

Add the 9mm bullet feeder die and PTX (cant remember but I think the PTX rig for the powder drop was pretty cheap) Then you can ghetto feed with tubes like I do.

edit: yup... it is cheap ($6.99). The actual expander comes with feeder die. http://www.midwayusa.com/product/959962/hornady-quick-change-powder-through-expander-linkage
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