Stupid question from a newby

friendswoodmatt

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I am just getting into reloading— just found and bought a RCBS supreme kit — I have been around it, but it didnt really intrest me so I did not pay attention— please forgive my ignorance but if I dont ask— I may not know
I am shopping for dies right now for the calibers I want to load — those are (not sure if this matters)
22-250
308-
7mm-08
300 win
270 win
375 hh
416r
I see some dies have a micrometer and some dont — is this important?
Some die sets have 2 some have 3 and some have 4 — is one better than another?
I also see electronic powder scales— seems like a good idea— i remember how tedious it was sitting next to my dad when he did this— seems like a small price for automation — are the accurate? Is the green better than the red?
I know I need some trays
A wet cleaner with metal rod media

Assuming I have powder and primers and brass — what else do i need?
Sorry if these questions appear stupid - Please just skip the post if it offends you. Thanks
 

Andrew Short

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I would recommend an RCBS charge master lite. It helps meter exact charges and is very quick. It’s not necessary not I’ve found that it helps me.

Also small things: case lube, primer pocket reamer, and an accurate caliper are must haves. Extra recapping pins for 223!
 

arizonajake

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Unless you plan on developing and making loads for long-range target shooting, dies with micrometer seating stems are a waste of money.

You will also need 2 shell holders. one for the 22-250 through 308, and another for 300 Win, 375 and 416.

I recommend you also buy a loading manual, since manuals contain a lot of useful information on setting up your dies, case preparation and recommended load data.
 

Shootist43

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You've opened up a can of worms my friend. One of the first things you should do is to purchase a copy of The Guide to Practical Reloading by Nathan Foster. He discusses all of these questions and a lot more. Get the hard copy as well as the electronic copy. Remember some "guys" prefer blonds while others prefer brunets.
 

Uncle Sauce

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Ahhh....the rabbit hole runs deep!
I would recommend to start out fairly basic and add to your gear as you go. Plus I think it will give you a deeper better understanding of each process and also an appreciation for better tools such as an electronic scale (although I would never give mine up!), powder drop, case trimmers, etc. Just about the time I think I have all the tools I need I find something else to add.
As some mentioned at least a good reloading book or two and really read all the steps, processes and details up front in them. Then be ready for years of learning the craft!
 

425SCHADE

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I am just getting into reloading— just found and bought a RCBS supreme kit — I have been around it, but it didnt really intrest me so I did not pay attention— please forgive my ignorance but if I dont ask— I may not know
I am shopping for dies right now for the calibers I want to load — those are (not sure if this matters)
22-250
308-
7mm-08
300 win
270 win
375 hh
416r
I see some dies have a micrometer and some dont — is this important?
Some die sets have 2 some have 3 and some have 4 — is one better than another?
I also see electronic powder scales— seems like a good idea— i remember how tedious it was sitting next to my dad when he did this— seems like a small price for automation — are the accurate? Is the green better than the red?
I know I need some trays
A wet cleaner with metal rod media

Assuming I have powder and primers and brass — what else do i need?
Sorry if these questions appear stupid - Please just skip the post if it offends you. Thanks
Don't forget the projectiles :)
 

meigsbucks

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To me, the most important things to invest in initially are reloading manuals. Yes, we’re all intrigued by the data but the info about reloading methodology, safety and ballistics is what you should concentrate on when starting out. It’s also a good thing to review now and then. I like the Sierra and Norma manuals best.
As far as equipment or supplies: Hornady One Shot case lube, an electronic powder throw and scale (mine’s a Hornady but your choice) and a case trimmer (mine’s a Lyman Brass Smith Case Trim Xpress that I think is great).
 

shootist~

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I can say the Speer manual has good instructions on the process of reloading.

This. Or there are some excellent online instructional videos. You cannot cover reloading in a brief post. Not even close.

Gunblue490 is a good place to start:

Until then, just step away from the reloading equipment, Grasshopper. :)
 

JimP

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I know that manuals have been mentioned so if someone has suggested this ignore me.

Decide on a bullet manufacture and pick up their reloading manual. They all have them and they all have some great reading in them. My first manual was a Lyman that came with my first press, but I also picked up a Speer since those were the bullets that I planned on loading. That Lyman book had a lot of information in it and when I left it out one time my cousin saw it and took it home.
 

Shootist43

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Like I said previously you will get different answers depending on who you ask. Regarding dies, years ago I had trouble with RCBS dies, even with one caliber that was custom made to my chamber. The press manufacturer suggested that I use Redding Dies. I did, the problems went away. Now I only buy Redding dies. If you have only one rifle in a specific caliber, you can most often get away with just neck sizing the brass. But even then, every once in a while you will have to full length resize. For Magnums and larger calibers I full length resize every time. Nathan Foster recommends full length resizing NEW as well as DONOR (range) brass. So for me the choice is simple, buy three die sets AND a Lee Taper or a Lee Factory crimping die.
 

Hogpatrol

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For newbies, I recommend the Lyman manual. For smartphones, the Sierra app has a lot of information.
 

fourfive8

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Load manuals, data and data books... the more the better. Maybe start loading for one caliber. Of your list, the 308 or 7-08 seem like logical choices to start with. Pick a load middle of the road. You'll see various powders listed for each caliber and bullet weight. Pick a middle of the road powder and start 10% under max. for that powder and bullet weight. Buy and use a chronograph. Read up on case trimming and why it is important. Pay attention to bullet seating depth and cartridge OAL.

Just for example: I'm looking at some data right now for the 308. I recommend starting with a 150 gr bullet. In the Lyman manual it shows several tested powders for the 150 gr bullet in the 308. The middle of the road powders that jump out at me are "common" powders like IMR 4895 and IMR 4064. I see 48 gr is max load for 150 gr bullet with IMR 4064. Subtract 10% or 4.8 gr from 48 gr = 43.2 gr. I would round down to an even 43 for simplicity and start there. Shoot 5-10 through the chronograph. Check for pressure signs (read up on that) and velocity and standard deviation of velocity. You should see no pressure signs and the mean velocity should be about 2650 fps. If the chronograph is set up right and the velocity is out of whack or shows extreme variations something is wrong... maybe seating depth or case trimming. Pay attention to seating depth and case trimming! If the standard deviation of velocity is less than about 20 fps and there are no pressure signs and load shows reasonable accuracy... you are off to the races. Slowly work up, paying attention to what the load manuals show for max loads.... but edging into high pressures searching for higher velocities does not pay dividends.

Right now components, especially primers and powders, are extremely tough to come by. Don't try to "cheat" and extrapolate loads for some powder that is not shown in published data. Interpolation is fine, extrapolation is not. Good luck!
 
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friendswoodmatt

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My goal isn’t to dial in loads at this point - rather to recreate factory loads our guns like — like 165 and 168 gr loads for our 308’s, if I have a specific bullet or ammo my guns like - I plan to research and re-create that load— For the vast majority of the time (99.5%) 200 yards and under is where we hunt. It’s only for this trip I am trying to get the wife to stretch her comfort zone out to 300 and do it on sticks as well. I live in a really small town, and as such ammo and components are normally in short supply— not just because of covid.
The second reason is to ensure a quality load without supply chain interruptions, that wont happen for a while, but eventually components will come out of the stratosphere and Ill be able to get some and not be beholden to either buddies who can help me out by loading what I cannot buy- or stores who it seems more and more dont want to stock firearms, ammo and related products—
 

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