Once you have decided that you want to reload there is much to do. Other than reading up on the topic like you are now the next step is to start pricing out and designing your reloading room. Here is a list of the items you will need to begin.
- Reloader Manual
- Reloading Press
- Reloading Dies
- Shell Holder
- Powder Measure
- Components = Brass, Bullets, Powder, Primers
- Case Trimmer
- Brass Tumbler
I have tried to list these in order of importance and need. Your mileage may vary so take this as a rough guideline only.
This is one of the single most important things to have especially for a beginner. I mention this first as it will be a help in deciding what other tools you buy. There are more great reloading books than I could ever highlight here. One of the best suggestion I have heard is to not buy one right away. Go to your local library and see if they have any available. This will allow you read several and decide what style of writing you prefer.
This is one of the books in my collection.
- Sturdy Bench – You will be working at this bench and at times exerting some force on it. You want a stable platform that is level so that items like primers and shells do not start rolling around on.Here is an easy to build inexpensive setup 2x4basics 90164 Workbench and Shelving Storage System
- Lighting I am a younger guy but staring at little parts for over an hour puts some serious strain on my eyes. Making sure you are working in a properly lit area will make the entire process more enjoyable.
- Electricity In most cases this is not an absolute need but it does make life easier. Things like your tumbler and scale are likely often electric.
- Comfortable Stool- This is one of the most often cheeped out on items in the batch. However if you are uncomfortable you will not enjoy reloading. Make sure you get a good quality stool with at least some cushion on it. A shop stool like these that has springs and is made for rugged use would be ideal. Just make sure the height works for the bench you built or bought.
Like the AR-15 reloading is available in ready to go out the box or ala carte. You can buy an entire kit like :
Or you can buy just a press like this
Turret style presses will allow 3 or more actions with a single press of the lever. As such you are performing actions on 3 or more shells at the same time. This is faster than a single stage press but for a beginner it can greatly increase the chance of a mistake. While many people swear by a turret press I do not use one yet. It would be my recommendation that if you are just getting started to use a single stage press. Down the road when you are comfortable you can upgrade to a turret press and use the same dies and accessories you bought already for your single stage kit.
Reloading is more like baking then BBQing. It is a precise science the requires exact measurements of gunpowder as well as proper sizing of the cases, bullets and finished shells. You will want to have a caliper to test your finished ammunition as well as to measure and assure proper set up as you change dies. Calipers can range in price from $30-300 or more. Depending on what caliber’s you are reloading will greatly affect the cost of the caliper you will need to measure it.
This one is similar to the one I use and found at a very affordable price.
This article is already getting very long so we will continue the list in our next part.