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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi guys
I have been reloading for about 35 years and I have reloaded shotgun, pistol and rifle rounds. I have used a single stage press as well as a progressive but first I want to talk about the Lee loader.
The lee loader is a hand tool to reload almost any caliber from shotshells and pistols to rifles as big as 45-70. Here is Lee's site:
Lee Loader Pistol - Lee Precision
It should take you about 1/2 hour to reload 20 rounds with the Lee loader. The bad with the Lee tool is there is a lot of hammering and noise but my wife has never complained so it must not be that bad or she is one in a million.

Here is a youtube video that shows how ez this tool is:
Lee classic loader - YouTube

My buddy that taught me purposely put a primer in wrong so it would fire to show me it wasn't going to kill me. If you have ever taken a whole roll of caps and hit it with a hammer it is about the same.
I started reloading for the 30-30 and at the time I owned no 30-30 but my buddy was letting me borrow his. My cousin built me a small table (about 2x3 feet) and I had a small corner area in the bedroom to reload ,I have used this table for all my reloading since and it has been very usable as long as I keep it clean after each reloading job.
The Lee tool resizes just the neck of your rifle cases and that is good and bad at the same time, the bad is you should only use these reloads in the same rifle they were first fired in, the good is neck-sized reloads should be more accurate than full length sized reloads and when only the neck is being resized the brass cases last for many more times being reloaded.
Get a good reloading book, I have about 15 books and still need to search the net for different loads, overalllengths (OAL) and other tidbits of info, here is my new favorite book:
Reloading and Shooting Supplies, Tools and Equipment | Midsouth Shooters Supply
With the Lee tool you really only need a fiberglass hammer, primers, powder and bullets. Then you want to slowly aquire a dial caliper, I have used this one for all my reloading.
https://www.10ring.com/reloading/re...e-amp-cartridge-length/dial-caliper-6-plastic
Next you will want a case neck chamfer/deburring tool and without getting too fancy this tool works very nicely:
Lyman Chamfer Deburring Tool 22 to 45 Cal

You will find yourself taking more and more time doing case preparation like cleaning primer pockests and cleaning your cases. I never cleaned my cases when using the Lee loader as the only cases I reloaded were shot by me then carefully put back in the box to be reloaded but you can clean them in a lot of different ways including putting them in a sock and throw them in the washing machine with a load of clothes.
Midsouth shooters supply is my favorite site for reloading tools or components but I haven't ordered primers or powder from them because the hazmat fee makes the cost too high (I am in this to make more amm not to feed the stupid government's pockets).

I am sure I forgot something and someone will correct me but my last thought is when you reload check that you have the correct powder, bullet weight load info and primer then check everything twice then check them again as it only takes a few seconds and it will pay benifits in that you can shoot your reloads with confidence. As you reload more and more calibers you will aquire more components so like I said check you stuff before you reload and take everything off your bench other than the components you need for the cartridge you are reloading at that time.

I knew I would forget something, make sure to visually and mechanically check your overall length AND check your fist couple of reloads in the gun's action by cycling them thru. You can visually check if you have a bullet cannelure.

Next is Reloading 102 - reloading with a single stage press.
 

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A max case gauge and a trimmer are critical to keep you from having problems clambering your reloads. Not all cases will need to be trimmed each time you reload, but checking each case could make the difference between a god time and frustration at the range.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
A max case gauge and a trimmer are critical to keep you from having problems clambering your reloads. Not all cases will need to be trimmed each time you reload, but checking each case could make the difference between a god time and frustration at the range.
Sorry I disagree as my reloads have never had trimmed cases and I have never had a problem with any of my reloads including .38's reloaded 8 times but I am almost positive you are talking about shooting semi automatics like AR's. My reloading experience has mostly been with everything but semi's as my SKS's were cheaper to just buy ammo rather than reload.
 

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I'd avoid cleaning cases in a sock with your clothes, esp. if you have small children in the same household. Lead, even if residual, can cause severe developmental problems and/or poisoning. I like your write up though!
 

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Sorry I disagree as my reloads have never had trimmed cases and I have never had a problem with any of my reloads including .38's reloaded 8 times but I am almost positive you are talking about shooting semi automatics like AR's. My reloading experience has mostly been with everything but semi's as my SKS's were cheaper to just buy ammo rather than reload.
like you I have been shooting and reloading for decades. I found the problem is prevelant when shooting semi auto rifles and sometimes semi auto pistols. If you are only firing a bolt gun or a revolver you may never run into the problem. IMO all cases should be checked for max length no matter what you shoot. I have had to trim all cartridges I reload from .380 to 30-06.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
like you I have been shooting and reloading for decades. I found the problem is prevelant when shooting semi auto rifles and sometimes semi auto pistols. If you are only firing a bolt gun or a revolver you may never run into the problem. IMO all cases should be checked for max length no matter what you shoot. I have had to trim all cartridges I reload from .380 to 30-06.
BTW I think if you are reloading for a semi with a Lee loader you have a long row to hoe, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'd avoid cleaning cases in a sock with your clothes, esp. if you have small children in the same household. Lead, even if residual, can cause severe developmental problems and/or poisoning. I like your write up though!
I understand where you are coming from but this is part of our problem. Do you really think a little lead residual from a fired case will have any effect on anything? I guess you believe in second hand smoke and climate change as well?
On the last one, lets say we screwed up and there is a big hole in the atmosphere, does anyone think that we could fix it? All by ourselves with the rest of the world cheering us on while doing nothing themselves while we fall back into third world status?
WAKE UP PEOPLE !!!
 

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As you state; check and double check your components and data. I was doing research for a new load yesterday and finally settled on what I thought I wanted to load. The powder charge was a little different at the max end and a lot different on the starting end between the two reloading books I have. I started looking harder trying to figure out why there was such a big difference between the starting loads and I noticed one book was turned to the 30-06 Ackley Improved and the other was turned to 30-06 Springfield. The Ackley Improved starting load is about the mid range load for the Springfield. Always good to check anomalies when you spot them.

BTW I think if you are reloading for a semi with a Lee loader you have a long row to hoe, lol.
And a lot of time on your hand.
 

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straight wall pistol and revlover cases are not prone to stretching like bottle neck rifle casings. I trim all my handgun brass one time and have not had to do it since, this way all bullets are seated the same and all crimps are the same place on the bullet. Rifle cases get trimmed initally and checked after 4 firings and trimmed if need be.
 

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Well I've only been reloading a little over 40 years but... If I load for target I rarely have to trim or push the shoulder back...If I'm loading for woodchucks I load HOT to assure they do not suffer as much as my wifes horses when they break their legs in a gopher hole. Never made it past 4 reloads without trimming, the primer pockets are loose by the 8th reload but I can afford some extra brass in search of the red mist.
 

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I understand where you are coming from but this is part of our problem. Do you really think a little lead residual from a fired case will have any effect on anything? I guess you believe in second hand smoke and climate change as well?
On the last one, lets say we screwed up and there is a big hole in the atmosphere, does anyone think that we could fix it? All by ourselves with the rest of the world cheering us on while doing nothing themselves while we fall back into third world status?
WAKE UP PEOPLE !!!
Yeah, I guess you got me. I'm all that and more... do whatever you want bro.

I have spent a lot of time in the insurance industry and have settled a bunch of lead cases. Most are seven figures. But yeah, lead dust is probably fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #12

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Bottleneck cases stretch and need OAL to be checked regularly and trimmed to minimum when necessary.

Lead ingested in any form is not good for humans or animals.

Since everyone is telling, I've been reloading since 1967. Do the math.
 

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I never trim my pistol brass (not even the 1st time) and always trim my rifle brass. When I FL resize I get close to max case length each time, so I just trim them all each reload.
 

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It is always good to check case OAL. When I load for pistol I have to crimp. The crimp is more consistant if the cases are all the same length.
 

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My excitement re: checking case length and OAL varies a LOT. There was a time in my youth when I loaded 357 Sig by the Folger's can one by one with a Hornady single stage; I don't do that any more. In general, necked rifle cases stretch, though this is far more pronounced with small angle tapers (think .260 Rem) than large ones (think 6.5 Creedmoor); both will stretch and eventually require trimming. I haven't observed stretching in Pistol cases, whether straight wall or necked, and in general I am less concerned with precision and more concerned with volume. I am getting into 7.62x40 WT (an elongated .300 BLK that can't do subsonic), and I am curious to see if I observe stretching there. I anticipate that the blasting ammo cases will remain within safe limits without trimming while I may well opt to trim the cases used for hunting ammo.

As far as lead goes, I've become a strong proponent of lead free primers and wet SS pin tumbling. That way I have a bunch of liquid that goes down the drain, with rinsed cases that have negligible lead lead on them. With lead free primers, even fired cases have no soluble surface lead (I realize that promoting specialty small pistol primers right now seems ludicrous, but Ballistic Products carries them - Fiocchio makes them. I can't tell a difference between the lead free and leaded, and my oldest ones are several years old).
 
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