I Want to Reload What Do I Need? Part 2

We started our series with reloading and what you need over here if you missed it.

The items covered in that article include:

  1. Reloader Manual
  2. Workspace
  3. Reloading Press
  4. Reloading Dies
  5. Caliper

It is our goal to complete the list of required items in this article. Those items include:

  1. Shell Holder
  2. Powder Measure
  3. Components = Brass, Bullets, Powder, Primers
  4. Case Trimmer
  5. Brass Tumbler

Shell Holder

Shell holders are used at the base of the press to hold the shell into the press while loading. While many of them are  shared among calibers there is limitations. If you plan on loading several sized rounds and especially if switching between revolver, rifle and ACP style rounds you will need several.

You can buy an entire kit like this one for very little money:

Price: 24.99

Powder Measure

Powder measures are one of the items you do not want to go cheap on. When I say cheap I am not referring to price. Quality is the real issue here. There are some inexpensive options for these but the fact is you want to take a serious look at the types of powder you are working with when deciding on a powder measure.

There is a few types of powder measures. The original method and my recommended method for the beginner is to use a scale to measure out your powder. Even if you upgrade down the road to a more advanced hopper based measure you will need to have a scale to verify your loads.

Here is a great video on how to zero out your electronic scale and get an idea of what the measurements are like for reloading.

Here is a scale like the one used in the video:

Price: 31.99

This is a good second step as you get ready to move to a hopper.

Here is some advanced information on setting up your hopper if you go that route.

Price: 71.99

Components = Brass, Bullets, Powder, Primers

Components are the items you will be using up during the reloading process. These are all the parts required to actually manufacture a round. You will need to buy powder, primers and likely bullets unless your going to cast your own lead bullets. While that is an option I would suggest against it until you become a seasoned reloader if ever.  Brass can either be purchased or in most cases you will re-use brass that you have shot in the past.
Buying pre-cleaned, prepped and inspected brass is more expensive but worth it when you first start out. My first time through I started with brass my buddy had prepped for me from rounds I had saved up. It’s just one less thing to worry about when starting out.
Make sure that you are buying powders that work with the reloading manual you purchased earlier. Also be aware of the various bullet weights and how that affects your loads and pressures. You want to make sure when you buy and load you are following instructions exactly. This is like baking not cooking all measurements must be precise.
We will expand on how to store these items in the future but cool dry place and not in a confined space like a safe are all good general rules to follow.

There is many reputable dealers for these items I have found that Brownells has a good stock and variety at a great price. Get $5 Shipping on all orders over $125. Use Code DUT

If you have a favorite place to buy these items please leave a note in the comments we are always looking to expand this section.

Case Trimmer

As you will shoot and reload your ammo it will begin to stretch. When this happens the ammo can get longer than the specifications and needs to be trimmed down. Trimmer kits range from $20 to $300. For those starting out the Lee case trimmer is a very affordable option. Once you have reloaded a few times this tool becomes a necessity.

You can see a short video on this here:

Price: 14.99

Brass Tumbler

A brass tumbler is used to clean dirty brass. Like a Case Trimmer if you are reloading spent ammunition you will need one of these. I like the vibrating tumblers as opposed to the sidewinders due to pricing but if you can afford it the RCBS sidewinder is a top of the line tool.

There has been much discussion on the medium used in tumblers and whether or not to us extra additives. There has also been a move towards wet tumblers though I have no experience with them and can not speak to those. We will cover these options in future installments.

To get started the Hornady M-2 Case Tumbler is a great introductory option with either your choice of medium.

Hopefully these articles have given you a good idea of what you need to buy to begin reloading as well as a cost range to budget for. We will expand in the coming weeks on how to actually reload the steps to complete as well as some sample setups.

Charles is the editor for 248 Shooter a midwest based gun news and gear review site as well as Online Content Director for On Target Magazine. He is an avid student taking classes from top tier trainers around the country. Charles shares his love for training as well as experience and opinions on some of the most talked about gear and products used by competitive shooters, military, leo and civilians.