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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy, I think I need to start reloading. These .45 Colt are not cheap. Much more fun than .38 tho. Looking for a single stage. I will not be mass reloading, just for plinking here at the house. Thanks.
 

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Santa01, Reloading for cost saving is based on high volume shooting needs, but reloading as a hobby and enjoyment is a different story. I started out on a single stage setup and it fits my requirements very well. I reload for three reasons 1- Its a hobby and I enjoy reloading , 2 - my bench rest load development enables me to tailor and customize ammo to my needs.. AND.. 3- I reload 9mm handgun as a secondary cost benefit because I have all the equipment, plus get good quality loads and it saves 50% over questionable factory ammo.
If your starting from scratch, with low volume , single caliber I would go for single stage press and equipment. Any reloading is going to consume your time, and most likely not save money if you include you labor cost. However excluding labor you can end up with high quality ammo at close to 50% of factory cost. Once you get moving on a single stage setup you can do about 100 loads an hour working at a nice comfortable pace. Front end costs for a press kit, dies, loading manual and set of calipers would run you about $250.00, supplies save you a LOT of money when bought in bulk, preferably on line. Figure another $250 for supplies (bullets,powder, primer and brass cases) you get multiple uses from the brass if you pick them up after shooting. The front end equipment cost will probably get payed back after about 750-1000 rounds, after that your cost is supplies only and that's where the 50% saving kicks in. Lots of people out on the internet there are going to recommend high end equipment and progressive presses, etc. my thought is the learn on a single stage setup and then make your equipment decisions.
A couple of other forums out there 'Reloaders Nest' and 'Lee Loader' have some good people that will answer questions. Also 'Sniperforums' ,'The High Road' and other shooting forums have reloading sections with a wealth of info. I personally like the Lymans manual for a starter read, its old stuff but covers the reloading process steps in depth. Available on Amazon for $21.
 

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In santa's case it's based on ammo that's higher than hell.
Yeah, .45 Colt is what got me started reloading. It's one of those rounds that is pretty dang expensive when purchased commercially, but is pretty cheap to reload. I also like that the brass doesn't tend to get abused/stretched like bottleneck cartridges can tend to be. (due to straight wall and low pressure design)
 

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Yep, I load .45 Colt also, and there's some fun things you can do with the Ruger Blackhawk. As far as a press, a Lee Turret is pretty handy, and if you take off the auto index you can manual index it and get some pretty decent production.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Zetor, howdy. I'm loading for a Cimarron (Colt replica) so I can't load anything to heavy for it. I'm looking for a lever action so I will be loading some heavier hunting loads for her when that time comes. I would love a Winchester without the tang safety (Japanese), or a Rossi.
 

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I started reloading 45ACP with the Lee Anniversary kit. It gave me everything, was cheap and reliable, and the dies did not require assembly lube - though they supply a tube of it. Still have her today and load 380 and 9 as well. You could do worse at twice the price and I paid about $120 at peak Obama scare. Single stage is a good place to start.
 

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MarcR will probably reply also... I purchased the Lee Breech Lock Challenger kit and use it for 9mm (and .308 ). I think it's a great starter kit and very constant and reliable for handgun reloading. Not finicky at all IMHO. I also purchased the 4- Carbide Die set and extra breech lock bushings. You screw a bushing onto each die, insert the die-bushing as a unit into the press, perform a one time adjustment. From then on you just insert each die-bushing as a unit when needed. That makes changing dies very easy, eliminates any adjustment requirements. You will also need a brass tumbler/cleaner if you use previously fired brass, and as I mentioned a caliper to verify ammo measurements.
I will say reloading accurate rifle (.308 ) is a very different story, more tools and equipment required, extra brass sizing,trimming,prep required, powder measurement, bullet seating, etc.. a very entailed and more $$$ investment. So be sure to filter handgun comments from rifle comments when viewing or reading info.
 

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Santa01,
If you were to begin reloading more calibers (especially the magnum cartridges), then another good option is the Lee Classic Turret. You can disconnect the turret index rod and do everything in single stage mode. Once you get comfortable with the process, you can put the index rod back in place and increase the rate significantly.
 

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I've found disconnecting the indexing on the Classic Turret, I can short stroke it, not have to work the lever the entire range of motion, and can manually turn the turret, especially handy if I've got empty stations in the turret. I prefer to prime by hand as a separate operation, when I first started reloading I had a few high primers, that's annoying in a revolver, and downright dangerous in other actions.
A word on case cleaning- vibratory tumblers, I use the stainless steel media in the Frankford wet tumbler, but honestly, other than swishing the brass around in a bucket with soapy water and rinsing a few times, then leaving it in the sun to dry, that's really all you need. I like my brass all shiny and pretty, but it doesn't affect either the accuracy, reliability or safety of the finished product. If you are just starting out, investing in a few reloading manuals or components would probably be better than case cleaning equipment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Done and done!

Well, I picked up a reconditioned Lee Classic Turret Kit from Lee.
The price couldn't be beat. $170.00 for the complete kit. I'm still struggling with the powder thingamagigy and getting the safety primer to feed reliably but I'll get her done.
Thanks for all the input. You guys are great.:eek:ldtimer:
 

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A confession on my part I never could get the Safety Prime to work for me, and always ended up with primers spilling all over the floor. The powder thingamiggy takes some getting used to but works well, and is accurate, but you should weigh every throw until you have confidence in it. Welcome to the hobby, I should of mentioned that it's only slightly less addicting than synthetic opiods. It's a fun hobby.
 
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