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Discussion Starter #1
I’ve decided to start reloading because
1. ammo is scarce and when I’m able to find some, it’s soooo expensive.
2. I don’t see it getting any better for a long time
3. I don’t trust the yahoo’s in DC

So, I bought a Hornady Lock n Load classic deluxe reloading kit.
It contains:
  • Lock-N-Load Classic single stage press
  • Lock-N-Load Powder Measure
  • Digital Scale
  • Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading
  • Primer Catcher
  • Positive Priming System
  • Handheld Priming Tool
  • Universal Reloading Block
  • Chamfering and Deburing Tool
  • Powder Trickler and Funnel
  • One Shot Case Lube
  • Three Lock-N-Load Die Bushings
  • Sure-Loc Lock Ring 6 Pack
  • Powder Measure Stand
  • Shellholder Pack 1,2,5,16,35
  • Kinetic Bullet Puller
  • Lock-N-Load OAL (Overall Length) Gauge Straight
  • Vintage Tin Sign
  • Pistol Rotor & Metering Assembly
  • Steel Dial Caliper
Finding powder and primers is probably as bad as finding factory-new ammo.

A friend told me to get the following - and I’m checking on here to get your opinions. Here’s the shopping list:

Dies (duh)
Pistol caliber shell holders
Hornady die bushings - one for each die
Hornady microjust for powder throw
“” bullet seating stem
Case trimmer (for rifle rounds)
Case prep center (RCBS)
Quick trickler

This is all new to me, and it’s gonna be really slow-going at first.

Do you see anything on the list that’s unnecessary - or is there something else I should add?

Appreciate your input.
 

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This is a very unfortunate time to get into reloading because of the scarcity and extremely inflated 2nd hand cost of the cartridge's components
Ammoseek.com is a free price checking tool and helps with some of the components.... I suggest sticking by the biggers stores (incl online) because some of them are fly by night - there's a lot of incentive right now. You can sign up and create alerts for when there are primers or bullets at a price point you like and have it send you emails for when an item for sale that you're looking for comes up. Ammoseek still works well-enough for bullets. Might even help with powder once in a while. But primer is so competitive... supposedly cases on GB for 4 figures (should be 2) ... Part of the problem is ... people have web crawlers that are Faster than Ammoseek so you get last pickings (better than the usual nothing these days).

It's also very hard to get dies. If you are picky you probably have to wait months to get the backorder dies you want (I've been having to).

Make some friends ... join a shooting league ... I was able to build some stock of components by the generosity of gents paying it forward.

I suggest starting with only a couple different cartridges. Straitwall pistol is simpler than rifle.

I suggest getting a 0.00grain balance or scale to understand how consistent your powder drops are.

Definitely get slotted ammunition gauges. I like Sheridan's.

If you're trimming rifle brass you'll need a deburr tool etc to clean it up.

Are you planning to clean brass or acquire new?

There is sooo much to talk about here. And that is not on your list :) I fell over $5K into this rabbit hole less than a year ago
 

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While I and surely we applaud your heart and mind's decision to embrace the art and science of rollin' ya'own ammo, still there's this. The current situation bodes as well for your "ingredients" as it does for factory rolled ammo. Fortunately there are some reloading wizards and gurus in the forum's collective mind. Once components become readily available and affordable again you should possess the knowledge to press with the masters.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yep. I was way late on pulling the trigger on this project. I have a buddy who works at one of the big stores and asked him to put certain items on the shelf in the back room for me.

I plan to reload 9 mm because my favorite carry gun is my Sig P239.
I’m not hurting for ammo.
But I don’t like what I’m seeing right now.
In fact, this is the worst I’ve ever seen things. And they’ve got control of both houses and the WH. I don’t trust the Supreme Court either.
 

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Of all cartridges I believe 9mm you will see the least benefit in reloading yourself
 
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Of all cartridges I believe 9mm you will see the least benefit in reloading yourself
During non-panic times I would agree with you as it costs me about $.18 a round to reload a round of 9mm. There are plenty of cheaper brands that have about that same cost during normal times. Where loading 9mm pays off is that I am still loading it for $.18 a round today, and to buy 9mm when you can find it is $.50 a round at the very low end. Most of the times $.60 a round or more. Reloading is as much about availability as it is about price. It was a lot easier to stock up on reloading supplies the last 4 years as those same supplies will work for multiple calibers.
 

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Good press - the type/brand is up to you. Usually, stating out, a single stage press will get you more involved and help you observe/learn as the pace is slower and you handle the brass, bullets, more. Set up dies more, too (can be a PITB). I reloaded on a single stage press from about 1978 to about 3 years ago. Finally got a Lee Turret press - but still use it as a single stage press. The benefits (to me) are I set the dies up in a disk one time and I can change steps by turn the disk or change calibers by replacing the disk and shell holder so much quicker than a standard single stage press.

The dies - all my pistol dies have carbide sizing dies. And I do not use any lube on pistol cases. I lube rifle cases and then have to clean the lube off before storing them away for that later shooting date. It's a step I don't have to do with carbide sizing dies on straight walled pistol cases (which, truthfully, a 9MM is not straight walled, but it's close enough) Some people due lube pistol cases while using carbide dies and will tell you why they do. I bought carbide so I wouldn't have to lube.

Good powder measure - I've got three. The RCBS Uniflow is the best of the three. Much more consistent charge weights than the Lyman 55B or the little Lee unit.

The shell holders you mentioned.

I use the old plastic tray from boxes of store bought ammo to hold my brass during the preparation and loading stages. Make is easy to count and easy to visually check primers, case mouths, etc.

For many years I used the bullet seating die to also crimp the case mouth (doesn't really take much on 9MM/.40/.45) but that .357 SIG finally got the best of me and I bought a separate crimping die for it. That, in turn, led me to buy separate crimping dies for the other pistol cases.

How consistent your powder charge weights will be depends a lot on the powder you use. A ball powder or a small flake powder will give you very consistent charge weights vs. the larger/fluffier flake powders. Consistency is important for accuracy and also important if you load towards the upper limit of the pressure range (I do not - always find my best groups at 8 to 12% below the max loads - true for rifle loads, too). I don't think you'll use a trickler much on pistol powders/loads - unless you load something like 800X (I hate that stuff, used up the last of it and won't buy more.)

You need a way to sort/store brass as you take it through the inspection, sorting, cleaning, sizing, priming, powder charging, bullet seating/crimping steps. I use old plastic coffee containers with the lids on them.

A lot of people use small rifle primers for pistol ammo. They say the small rifle primers are very similar to magnum small pistol primers.

If you can't find jacketed bullets then take a look at plated and coated lead bullets. I shoot a lot of coated lead bullets for practice and they work/shoot just fine.

Buy a couple/three reloading manuals. You can also check out on line reloading data as well. You can get a lot of advice from experienced reloaders on forums. You'll see/read different data. Reasons for that are - different lots of powder burn different. Different brass, different seating depths of the bullets, different primers and shooting that ammo in different guns well change chamber pressures, velocities and accuracy. Got load data? Start down in the lower range of powder charges and work you way up testing accuracy, watching group size and functioning. Yes, you can blow up your pistol and injure yourself if you don't do it right. So go slow, learn, be careful, don't get distracted while loading, check your work often and be safe.

One last thing here in this long post - check your cartridges in your pistol barrel. Read up on the "plunk test" and do it. I've seen you tube videos of how to do it. You want the cartridges to chamber correctly. Too long and the bullet can make contact with the metal in the barrel - before the primer/powder forces it out of the case. That could mean the pistol won't fire (if not fully chambered) or it could mean higher pressures if it does fire. Too short is bad, too. The deeper a bullet is seated the higher the pressure will be. Deeper seating (like I have to do for the Beretta 90-Two vs. my CZ P07) means I have to reduce the powder charge.

Good luck.

Oh, one more piece of advice. Do not wait till you need reloading components to buy them. Buy them when you see a good price on them. They don't go bad. I've used primers over 25 years old, powder over 30 years old. No issues with any of that. My shelves are pretty well stocked. Last time I bought .223 bullets I bought one of those big Hornady 6,000 bullet boxes. Nobody needs to know how many primers you have, how many bullets you have, how much powder you have or how many guns you have.
 

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You can do it but the difficulty level acquiring the ingredients may differ region to region. I decided to venture in to reloading end of February. I was able to purchase most of the equipment ( press, auto primer, etc. ) off Amazon. Die sets from Ebay and a local outfitters store. Primers from academy. Bullets from a local reloading supply store. Powder local store.
It can be done. So far I’ve been able to load 1,000 rounds of 5.7x28. All at normal retail price. You just have to invest more leg work and time. Time is money. Your neck of the woods the hunt may be easier or it may be harder. Good luck.
 
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