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Newbie starting out reloading

Reloading components and gear for sale or trade

Newbie starting out reloading

Postby djfred » Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:23 am


Hey guys,

I have been doing some homework in terms of the equipment to get for reloading ammo. I have come up with these tools.

  • Lee Pacesetter Three-Die Sets 7.62x54R Russian 90731
    Part#: LEE-R6-90731
  • Lee Breech Lock Challenger Kit
    Part#: LEE-GT-90030
  • DS-750 Digital Reloading Scale
    Part#: FN-BL-205205

My question is as follows, is reloading your ammo cheaper now a days than buying the surplus stuff. I am aware when you are in control of your ammo the accuracy goes up.
I am not going out to hunt, i am mainly target shooting.
I have seen lots of videos on YouTube to know what goes into making an ammo, but i have not done the math to find out what it costs per ammo to do it yourself compared to surplus ammo.
I am trying to compare to $0.19-$0.25/Ammo

I wanted to get some expert advise from you guys.

  • Also where would one get the powder and the bullet?
  • Can you also reuse the surplus shell that you fire with?
  • What is the purpose of the tumblers?

Thank you
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Re: Newbie starting out reloading

Postby ShootnMathews » Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:04 am

I get most of my bullets from MidwayUSA and Graf & Sons.

It is always cheaper to buy you powder and primers locally because there is a $27 hazmat fee on top of the regular shipping.

I do not use the surplus cases to reload for two reasons, they are steel cases instead of brass and they are Berdan primed instead of Boxer primed.

Reloading premium ammo is cheaper than buying premium ammo, but you'll never load plinking ammo as cheap as the surplus stuff. The main reason for reloading is for better accuracy. Some calibers there is no cheap plinking ammo, therefore reloading is cheaper all around but with all the cheap surplus Mosin feed out there I would not reload just to plink around at less than 100 yards.

The tumbler is for cleaning brass. You'll get carbon buildup inside and outside on the brass, and dirt and who knows what else. Tumbling it cleans all that off which not only makes your brass load better, it makes your die last longer, reduces risk of sticking a case in a die, and gives you a more consistent powder burn.

Jared

Oh, If you are set on a digital scale, then buy an expensive one. I have used a couple cheap ones and they are not very accurate at all. If you're going to go cheap then buy a balance type scale.
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Re: Newbie starting out reloading

Postby Shepard » Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:44 pm

I agree with Jared -- if your just screwing around short range plinking [under 200 yd] surplus will give you all the fun you'll ever need. If you want to be a serious target shooter - skilled and accomplished shootist - hand loading is part of that. I have to be careful saying this -- there is no ammo on the market that will shoot better then what you can load yourself. You'll experiment hopefully to develop the perfect load for your gun. Not all data works in all guns. What I mean is this -- I can tell you what I use 52 -- 56gr IMR 4350 -- I use 54gr even but you may find that your guns sweet spot likes 52.9gr. Thats why store bought ammo can't measure up to hand loads after you find your magic number. Start on the low side and work your way up and you will find a point where it performs the most accurately.

Caring for your brass will improve its life and performance. Tumbling with an abrasive media like corn cob or walnut hulls works great. Sonic cleaner work to - but I've never seen the end results to say how good they work. Some one else here may be able to get in on this part.

How you handle your brass is important to me as I've bought Lapua brass and its very expensive unless someone can hook you up. We were fortunate that Iridium hooked us up one time in the past. Lapua brass is the best on the market -- then Norma brass -- they run over a dollar apiece not loaded.
When you go out shooting -- load one round at a time. If you fill up the magazine -- the cycling of the bolt will put scratches on your brass. When you eject a case - never let it hit the bench and God forbid the ground. I know a guy who pulled the ejector and interrupter so the brass had to be picked up out of the rifle. When you tumble clean your brass -- don't make it shine like a mirror. It needs just a little bit of coarseness, just a little. Read as much as you can take in. Reloading can be a lot of fun and has its rewards. It also can be very dangerous if you don't follow the rules. Never take anyones word about unpublished data. Search it out and most of all be safe and have fun shooting your hand loads. Practice practice practice!!!!!!!!!!!!
I walk in the foot steps of Carlos Hathcock -- to my end.
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Re: Newbie starting out reloading

Postby djfred » Sat Jan 18, 2014 5:59 pm

Hey guys,

Thank you thank you thank you
All that information is perfect and makes complete sense.

And your question about plinking no i will not be doing that. As fun as it sounds, I am more into the long range target shooting.

There is a range near by that supports 100+ Yards, so ill be taking advantage of it when i find the correct measurements of ammo. Here in California well In LA there isn't that many local places that you can just go and shoot your gun in the open.

Is the "IMR 4350" powder the popular one or the one that works well?
I hear that name a lot.
Also is there a book that you recommend that has the measurements.
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Re: Newbie starting out reloading

Postby Grimstod » Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:07 pm

The Lyman catalog and loading book is the best for new guys to loading. It is externally complete and has some good loads.
IMR does work great in Mosins only because of its burn rate. There are other powders that have almost identical burn rates and will work just as well.

I have been making reloading videos just for the Mosin that you can watch here.
Watch on youtube.com
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Re: Newbie starting out reloading

Postby Shepard » Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:00 pm

Is the "IMR 4350" powder the popular one or the one that works well?
I hear that name a lot.

There are a lot of different types of powder on the market -- trouble is getting it. Doesn't really matter what you want -- it's scare. Trying to find it on the net is hit and miss. I just found some at a supply house in SD. When you find it buy it cause it won't last long. IMR 4350 is one of the better and for me the best powder for 762x54r. Its been around forever and is a very stable powder. There are guys here that shoot Hodgdon's Varget and they have fantastic results. Like I said read up on the subject. ImR 4350 would be a good place to start and when you can afford to experiment -- your wallet will be your only barrier.
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Re: Newbie starting out reloading

Postby ShootnMathews » Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:54 am

I shoot Varget in mine but Varget is an extremely popular powder because it work great in a wide range of calibers. Which makes it nearly impossible to find. I've seen IMR 4350 and a few other powders around here for sale but Varget has been unseen for almost 2 years.

Also about the reloading data. There is a thread on here where a bunch of us just recently posted data pages from several reloading books.

Here is a link to the thread with all the load data from books.
viewtopic.php?f=97&t=5270
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