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Im purchasing some reloading equipment with a friend this weekend. I dont know details about brand or any other info, i just know its all complete including tons of brass.

Im looking for any tips or advice that anyone that would have to a new reloader. I plan on mainly reloading, .40, .45, and 5.56.
 

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find someone in your area to teach you how to do it. There are a lot of small tips and tricks that will make life easier when you are shown how to do them.
 

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Get a few books, Lee, HOrnady, lyman are all good. Watch some vids, if you have a friend that can show you the ropes, even better. Get either a turret or progressive for the hand gun stuff, 223 is a bit more involved, trimming and primer pocket reaming, you may want to get your feet wet with the hand gun stuff first.
 

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Don't just look at the charts in the reloading manuals, READ the reloading manuals - those first 25 pages or so will teach you a lot if you have never reloaded. I recommend reading at least two reloading manuals before attempting to reload.
 

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+1..... The opening of any reloading manual will show the basics... If you can get an experienced reloader in your area to show you the basics...
 

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Not a bad peice of advice in the comments here

when you think you have read enough...read some more. Keep your head in the game and reload when you won't be distracted
 

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read a lot. make it a point to understand concepts like OAL (over all length) of both cases & seating depth. just these two concepts make a big difference both in function & safety. the term "start with reduced loads" is there for a reason. go slow and if doubt ask questions. great care is needed in choosing a powder for the job and making sure the correct amount is used. for the most part i choose middle of the road velocities, later you can tweak for a better load. i would say 2 books minimal for load reference. there's much more to it than just cranking out ammo. be safe and have fun. it's rewarding to produce your own round.
 

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+1 to the reading of reloading info it will help you get started and keep you on the strait and narrow as far as safety goes. Talk to as many people as you can about it and use the info you get from them to find what works the best for you. And remember STUPID HURTS! Have fun.
 

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reload when you won't be distracted
That is some great advice. Don't reload while you are visiting with someone or somebody is asking you about something other than what you are doing on the press. Not paying attention can and will lead to bad things happening. Don't ask how I know this. :(
 

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Most loads published anywhere, online, in books, etc, are maximum loads. But they rarely say that for some reason. So when you go to Alliant's website and see they say that they recommend 7.4gr of Power Pistol with a 230gr .45 ACP bullet, that is a MAXIMUM. You can have excellent results using much less than that.

I personally take the published load, subtract 10% of the powder, and use it. I have shot thousands of rounds loaded with this philosophy. They are accurate, and don't feel noticeably different than factory FMJ or defense loads. Additionally, they are wearing my guns slower and there is a 10% margin of error built-in if my powder thrower is having a bad day. In my opinion, there is no reason to use a maximum load, particularly in handguns.

For safety, a few tricks I've picked up. Never leave the bench if there is a case in the process of being loaded. So if the cell phone rings, I finish the current round before I answer it. You don't want to come back and repeat a step. Watch the case once you put powder in it, you will get used to what it looks like filled, and a double charge should jump out at you. This is doubly important if you are loading formerly black powder cartridges, like .38spl, where you could fit 6 or 7 loads worth of smokeless powder in there.

Label your powder measure(s) so you don't end up putting pistol powder in a rifle case. If I ran two measures, one for rifle and one for pistol, I would physically disable the one not in use.

All that said, I think people sometimes make reloading sound more dangerous than it is. Don't be stupid and don't get distracted and you will be fine. The worst things you can really do are double charge a case or put in the wrong kind of powder. Minor differences in OAL with non-maximum loads aren't a big deal, in my experience. But definitely be careful and pay attention to what you're doing, especially when first starting.
 

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Excelelnt points, Scotchman. Reminds me of one thing I try to so when selecting what powder to use for my rifles. I jst started at the begining of the year and was probably overly worried and nervous. I selected posder that I read had good results but also one that filled over half the case volume. My Lee Manual gives starting and max loads and I have shot most of the rounds at the starting loads (as Scotchman said) but with the case being over half full at the starting load......it is very evident if a second charge is thrown.

Develop a routine. when my cleaned, sized and primed cases are ready for powder I use two loading blocks. I move one case from block one to block 2. place funnel and load powder. repeat. You will develop your own. write everything in a log and label all loaded rounds so you know what they are.

Have fun!! I enjoy loading ...almost.....as much as the shooting.
 

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I purchase the manufacturers manuals since their suggested powders are a good starting point. Nosler, Hornady,Barnes, Sierra and Speer all sell them and if your lucky they use the same twist. Bullet rpm should be reviewed.
 
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