When to start reloading? - MP-Pistol Forum

When to start reloading?

This is a discussion on When to start reloading? within the MP Reloading forums, part of the Smith & Wesson MP Forum category; At which point did you decide to start reloading? What was the deciding factor? I am currently contemplating buying some dies & other parts. I ...


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Old November 8th, 2014, 04:35 PM   #1
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When to start reloading?

At which point did you decide to start reloading? What was the deciding factor? I am currently contemplating buying some dies & other parts. I shoot 100 rounds a week (.40 S&W) which I would shoot more and other calibers if $ allowed. But I am also limited to an indoor range with paper targets for testing rounds. I do not have my own spot to compare different grain rounds in different types of targets.
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Old November 8th, 2014, 04:45 PM   #2
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I started when I bought a 223 rifle during the 2007/2008 frenzy when ammo was even more scarce than now.

If you're at 100 rounds per week, I'd say reloading is right up your alley!
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Old November 8th, 2014, 07:23 PM   #3
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When you are thinking, I could shoot more if I had more ammo, you are ready to reload, but at 100 rounds a week, you are already there.

There is a pretty good investment in equipment to start reloading, but decent equipment will last you for your lifetime, and can even be handed down to the next generation if they desire.

One thing is important, don't buy the cheapest thing you can get, its the classic rookie mistake, I made it myself, and it almost ran me off reloading altogether, luckily I didn't give up, no handy internet for advice back in the 1960's, and I've been reloading ever since.

Here's a starting point: MidwayUSA ? Shooting Supplies, Reloading, Gunsmithing, Hunting, Ammunition, Gun Parts & Rifle Scopes

Keep in mind when you ask for help on internet message boards, the advice you get varies from worthless to solid gold, and sometimes you have to sort through the chaff to get to the wheat.
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Old November 9th, 2014, 07:11 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Josey Welz View Post
I do not have my own spot to compare different grain rounds in different types of targets.
From the volume you are shooting I agree, you are already at a level where reloading makes economic sense and can be enjoyable in its own right. I'll further agree with the advice not to underbuy in both quality and ease of use.

However your statement I quoted above puzzles me. What do you want to "compare" and in what ways?
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Old November 9th, 2014, 08:04 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone. I'll start doing some more aggressive research on different types of setups & parts.

Smith, in the past, I've heard some talk about making hotter" rounds, comparing velocities & different penetrations when it comes to reloading. Perhaps that is more for those that reload for hunting purposes.
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Old November 9th, 2014, 08:37 AM   #6
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One has to decide if they are going to be a Reloader or Handloader there is a difference. A Reloader normally is interested in volume to fit a need for their shooting endeavor. A Handloader enjoys the process and its like a hobby thus on occasion experimentation.

I've been a Reloader for 35yrs plus. I find no enjoyment in the process. The process serves a need ammunition volume to shoot with.

There is an adage which applies "Don't Buy Cheap" when acquiring equipment quality matters. I have three Dillon progressive units and a Redding single stage press. RCBS and Hornady also produce quality products
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Old November 9th, 2014, 08:48 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Josey Welz View Post
At which point did you decide to start reloading? What was the deciding factor? I am currently contemplating buying some dies & other parts. I shoot 100 rounds a week (.40 S&W) which I would shoot more and other calibers if $ allowed. But I am also limited to an indoor range with paper targets for testing rounds. I do not have my own spot to compare different grain rounds in different types of targets.
IMHO... if your shooting 100 rounds of 40 s&w a week your crazy not too. I know I can reload 9mm at half the price it is to buy, at least in my area as well as when ammo was hard to get, I was still practicing. I just recently upgraded to a Dillon 650, till you get it completely set up, VERY expensive. But for the money I can casually load 600 rounds an hour, just set the projectile and run the handle. But you don't have to spend a ton of money either to reload quality ammo. You can find good deals on used presses from guys that upgraded, I have my Hornady Pro-Jector press in the classifieds for sale. It's a great machine and served me well for years but I could only load about a 100 rounds an hour on it. It's not a sales pitch just a point, most guys I feel make the mistake of buying a single stage press to "start" reloading on, which is painfully slow. If your loading rifle rounds I would suggest a single stage to start on, but hand gun rounds, progressive for sure. You can recoup your investment pretty quick. Don't over think the testing thing either, precision rifle rounds and practice hand gun rounds are two completely different animals. I run Bayou lead cast bullets for cheap practice rounds, I just look in my reloading manual to see whats suggested for lead cast bullets at the weight I'm using and the powder spread for my powder and go to middle. I never run hot rounds nor try to load light loads, the middle always gives me 100% reliability in my M&P's. I'm not saying or suggesting that playing around with different bullets and powder can't result in a more accurate hand gun rounds, just stating that for practice and everything I shoot competition wise it works for me.
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Old November 9th, 2014, 08:51 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by dennis40x View Post
One has to decide if they are going to be a Reloader or Handloader there is a difference. A Reloader normally is interested in volume to fit a need for their shooting endeavor. A Handloader enjoys the process and its like a hobby thus on occasion experimentation.

I've been a Reloader for 35yrs plus. I find no enjoyment in the process. The process serves a need ammunition volume to shoot with.

There is an adage which applies "Don't Buy Cheap" when acquiring equipment quality matters. I have three Dillon progressive units and a Redding single stage press. RCBS and Hornady also produce quality products
Totally agree... I'm a relaoder as well, I need volumes of cheap, reliable ammo.
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Old December 16th, 2014, 11:42 PM   #9
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I'm shooting anywhere from 200 to 400 rounds a week, sometimes more. It's time for a progressive reloader but I won't be able to get it until march when I get tax money back. I continue to research reloading equipment and everything is leading me to buy a Dillon 650. Any thoughts on the Dillion?

Thanks
Chuck
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Old December 17th, 2014, 02:50 AM   #10
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Do like I do, scrounge for brass. I started reloading the first day I bought my first firearm 30 years ago. I have a single stage press, and I find it relaxing to reload. 10 yrs ago I lost almost all my reloading gear, thousands of dollars worth of stuff, in a flood, and now I am getting some stuff a little at a time. Great deals on ebay, but you must know a good deal when you see it. Good luck in your quest. You will also find you can produce better ammo too. You must have complete dedication with NO interruptions when reloading.
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Old December 17th, 2014, 02:55 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by D.O.A.F.S. View Post
Totally agree... I'm a relaoder as well, I need volumes of cheap, reliable ammo.
I have RCBS equipment......I told the I lost some stuff in a flood (parts for reloading equipment) and they shipped me the parts free of charge. GREAT warranty. I too will own a Dillon some day.
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Old December 17th, 2014, 04:19 AM   #12
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I restarted reloading (after 50 years) after I had cleaned my gun for the 207th time in two weeks and realized that I needed something to do on those days when I couldn't go to the range.

I found that I needed to clear my mind and concentrate on something which required a high degree of precision and had enough mechanical complexity to be satisfying to the "tool guy" inside me.

I can sit down at the reloading bench and lose myself in the job. It's immensely therapeutic and at the end of the day I have several hundred new rounds for the next range trip, which will then justify cleaning my guns again. And it generates empty casings which have to be de-primed and cleaned and.....
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Old December 17th, 2014, 04:43 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Scooterpilot View Post
I continue to research reloading equipment and everything is leading me to buy a Dillon 650. Any thoughts on the Dillion?
As is common, I started with a single stage press, which was very soon too slow and laborious for any real volume of rounds.

My next reloader was a Dillon Square Deal B which is more than adequate if you are reloading only pistol rounds. It's sufficiently fast and convenient, makes high quality ammunition and is durable. I also has Dillon's no-questions lifetime warranty. The downside is it has no empty case feeder and uses specific dies (which are included), not standard 7/8-14 threaded ones.

I finally went to a Dillon XL 650 which is obviously more expensive but it's faster, more convenient and more versatile as it will do all standard pistol and rifle rounds. If the initial cost isn't a big issue start with the 650 and save yourself the wasted money getting to that point.

Now, Dillon isn't the only game in town as both RCBS and Hornady make good progressive loaders and support their products well but Dillon is the standard of the industry for good reason.
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Old December 17th, 2014, 07:03 AM   #14
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I started about two weeks after I bought my first gun.
Unless you REALLY need a case collator, I would recommend the Hornady. If you do get a 650, be sure to get the case collator. Trying to feed cases with your right hand or loading 20-25 cases into a plastic tube gets old real fast.
Lots of up front money for a Dillon and a lot of money for cartridge conversion kits compared to Hornady.
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Old December 17th, 2014, 08:55 AM   #15
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Unless you REALLY need a case collator, I would recommend the Hornady. If you do get a 650, be sure to get the case collator. Trying to feed cases with your right hand or loading 20-25 cases into a plastic tube gets old real fast.
Lots of up front money for a Dillon and a lot of money for cartridge conversion kits compared to Hornady.
You are correct the 650 is not nearly as convenient without the case feeder and if you are sure you don't need one you can save a lot of money by buying the Dillon RL 550 instead. There is a case feeder available for the 550 but it's not as essential for ease of operation. The 550 is just as versatile as the 650 but not as fast.

Note Hornady offers an optional case feeder assembly and I recommend one for any volume reloading. Similarly equipped, the Hornady Lock-N-Load is as expensive as the 550 or 650 and the caliber conversions are about the same cost when set up the same way.
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