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Thread: What is really need to make ammo?

  1. #1
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    What is really need to make ammo?

    Yeah, I know, I ask a lot of questions, I just figure this is the best place to ask.

    I have got the thought to venture into making my own ammo for target practice. I have seen the "sales" at certain stores. But I want to know from you all out here, what would be the "best kit" to buy for a novice such as myself? No, I'm not looking to make a million rounds a year. But I would estimate I probably would make around 6,000-10,000 rounds a year.

    I love to shoot, I been out of the militray for sometime now and I want to get back into shooting again (well I have). But I never really thought about reloading.

    So any real info will be great before I plunk down about a grand on something that I might not need in the first place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firedawg314 View Post
    Yeah, I know, I ask a lot of questions, I just figure this is the best place to ask.

    I have got the thought to venture into making my own ammo for target practice. I have seen the "sales" at certain stores. But I want to know from you all out here, what would be the "best kit" to buy for a novice such as myself? No, I'm not looking to make a million rounds a year. But I would estimate I probably would make around 6,000-10,000 rounds a year.

    I love to shoot, I been out of the militray for sometime now and I want to get back into shooting again (well I have). But I never really thought about reloading.

    So any real info will be great before I plunk down about a grand on something that I might not need in the first place.
    You won't need anywhere near a grand. The basic components of reloading are dies and presses, powder, cases, primers, and bullets. There are of course a plethora of accessories that will make the job easier and gadgets that are just cool. I must also add to the list of needed, a good reloading manual, to give you good tips and loads for the most common rounds.

    When it comes to presses everyone has their own preference. There are many manufacturers, Lee, Dillion, Hornady, RCBS are some of the most prominent. I admit Lee is my preferred brand. They offer a great selection of different presses and dies and even have package deals that give you the press and dies for a specific cal.. Here's a link to their web site.

    http://leeprecision.com/xcart/home.php

    I would suggest either a simple turret press or a progressive press. The progressive press does all the functions at once and basically spits out a bullet ready to fire with each pull of the lever. Some beginners feel a little apprehensive with these, but the learning curve is very gentle.

    As to the powder, cases, and bullets you can either get them at any decent gun store or you can order them. Gun shows can also have some decent deals(though true deals are getting harder to find). If you choose mail order I would recommend Natchez Shooters Supplies

    http://www.natchezss.com/

    I will warn you their website is a horror to find anything, but keep looking it's worth it. Here's a link to the Lee Pro 1000s offered by Natchez. You will see that a full press set up in any of the most common cal. is around $150. You should be looking at around $300 total(depending on what accessories you choose) to start. I have in no way given you all the things you can get, just a quick overview of what you will need. Hope it helps.

    http://www.natchezss.com/product.cfm...e%20pro%201000


    P.S.

    It's usually better to buy your powder and primers at a store, if you mail order them they will charge you a hazmat fee in addition to the price and shipping.
    Last edited by SavageOne; 11-22-2011 at 11:20 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SavageOne View Post
    You won't need anywhere near a grand. The basic components of reloading are dies and presses, powder, cases, primers, and bullets. There are of course a plethora of accessories that will make the job easier and gadgets that are just cool. I must also add to the list of needed, a good reloading manual, to give you good tips and loads for the most common rounds.

    When it comes to presses everyone has their own preference. There are many manufacturers, Lee, Dillion, Hornady, RCBS are some of the most prominent. I admit Lee is my preferred brand. They offer a great selection of different presses and dies and even have package deals that give you the press and dies for a specific cal.. Here's a link to their web site.

    http://leeprecision.com/xcart/home.php

    I would suggest either a simple turret press or a progressive press. The progressive press does all the functions at once and basically spits out a bullet ready to fire with each pull of the lever. Some beginners feel a little apprehensive with these, but the learning curve is very gentle.

    As to the powder, cases, and bullets you can either get them at any decent gun store or you can order them. Gun shows can also have some decent deals(though true deals are getting harder to find). If you choose mail order I would recommend Natchez Shooters Supplies

    http://www.natchezss.com/

    I will warn you their website is a horror to find anything, but keep looking it's worth it. Here's a link to the Lee Pro 1000s offered by Natchez. You will see that a full press set up in any of the most common cal. is around $150. You should be looking at around $300 total(depending on what accessories you choose) to start. I have in no way given you all the things you can get, just a quick overview of what you will need. Hope it helps.

    http://www.natchezss.com/product.cfm...e%20pro%201000


    P.S.

    It's usually better to buy your powder and primers at a store, if you mail order them they will charge you a hazmat fee in addition to the price and shipping.
    thanks for the info, I will look into this!

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    Dont reload, myself, as of yet- but I've seen some of the tools and materials for doing so at Gander Mtn. Whole bins full of brass for cartidges, and whole cases of raw (right term, or no? ) not-loaded bullets in a wide range of calibers and types.
    Not sure if less/more expensive then getting the bulk buys at other places or not though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firedawg314 View Post
    Yeah, I know, I ask a lot of questions, I just figure this is the best place to ask.

    I have got the thought to venture into making my own ammo for target practice. I have seen the "sales" at certain stores. But I want to know from you all out here, what would be the "best kit" to buy for a novice such as myself? No, I'm not looking to make a million rounds a year. But I would estimate I probably would make around 6,000-10,000 rounds a year.

    I love to shoot, I been out of the militray for sometime now and I want to get back into shooting again (well I have). But I never really thought about reloading.

    So any real info will be great before I plunk down about a grand on something that I might not need in the first place.
    I have a question in kind: what calibers are you interested in loading, and what sort of target practice are you engaged in? The reason I ask is this: a hammer and a nail gun both accomplish roughly the same thing, but they're always well suited to the performing the job the other excels in, if you get what I mean.

    If you're interested in long range, match-grade accuracy, or loading many different cartridges on a budget, a single stage or turret press is probably where your quest will start and end.

    If you're interested in pumping out large volumes of a few select calibers with minimal time investment, and also have reasonable mechanical and intuitive ability, a progressive press is where it's at.

    I do both.

    For single stage, a simple Lee press is hard to beat. In fact, I started out with a Dillon 650, and later got a Lee Classic Turret to load small volumes of shells the Dillon wouldn't accommodate--and I think it's a well crafted piece with clever features. Not a bad place to start, really... For around $100. Add a nice digital scale and a Lee powder measure, dies, calipers and a loading book...For around $300 plus supplies, you could be making great ammo--and most of that equipment is still useful if you want to go progressive in the future.

    The two big progressive presses are Dillon 550 or 650 and Hornady LNL AP. Do you ultimately want case feeding? Go with the Dillon 650 or LNL. It looks like once you add a case feeder, the two balance out cost wise. Both are well made, well supported, and cost about the same, but I have no experience with the Hornady loader--though I dig their dies. Caliber conversion kits for the Dillon will run you about $85 each, plus the cost of dies and extra tool holders if you so desire. The "conversion kit" for a single stage/turret press consists of a shell holder, and runs about $6

    Can't think of much to add at this point, but if you have questions, I'll do my best

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    I have a Lee progressive press that I have yet to use because of time constraints. I bought it through the site below. It was 1/2 the cost of a Dillion and you can reload just about any caliber with the right dies.

    This is a Lee website.

    http://factorysales.com

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    The lee progressive is the best bang for the buck. I load 400-600 rounds in an evening. I do this 2-3 times a week. Good therapy. You can also bring up once fired brass casings on line and get your brass at a portion of what you would pay for new. I buy different calibers 3000 at a time. Go to midwayusa for rainer bullets. Hit the local gun range or gun show for some primers and powder...shipping charges online can be pricey for powder. Make sure you buy a case tumbler to shine that brass. I shine my brass before and after loading. Midway has everything you need at a fair price. It becomes addicting....one side of my garage is dedicated to reloading and i have 10000-to 15000 rounds at any given time in my house. When we go to the range we fire a minimum of 300 to 500 rounds. There are limits to the amount of powder and primers you are allowed to have but not if it's in bullet form. 10000 primers and somewhere around 20 lbs of powder I believe. I'm sure someone here will correct me soon on that matter. There are other things you may want to consider but get started with the press and a impact bullet puller... trust me, you'll need it


    Just checked midway.... 149.99 for lee 1000 w/ handgun dies
    11.99 bullet puller
    40.00+ case tumbler
    Last edited by Starrman; 11-25-2011 at 04:48 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starrman View Post
    There are limits to the amount of powder and primers you are allowed to have but not if it's in bullet form. 10000 primers and somewhere around 26 lbs of powder I believe.
    do you have a citation on that figure. inquiring minds want to know the facts.

    i myself use a single stage RCBS press. sure, it takes longer but it's nice to close the door to the reloading room and keep the little woman "out of my hair" for a bit of time. the word, therapy, comes to my mind as well.

    whatever press you decide on getting, please be safe about reloading. and one can never have TOO MANY books on the subject. i, myself, bought this book http://www.amazon.com/ABCs-Reloading...241561&sr=8-13 and did a lot of reading before i spent another dime to see if reloading was going to be for me. also, if you do start up, get everybody's reloading manual....Lyman, Speer, whoever. i also reference Hogdon/Winchester's powder website for even more info.

    there is one source of load info i will not trust though. "the other guy". nothing personal towards any other reloaders but if a load is not in print from a reputable source, i wont touch it. there are just tooooo many variables to start playing around. tips, tricks and advice are all great though. bring that stuff on!

    also, don't sell any of your reloads unless you happen to score a manufacturers license. hell, i won't even let a friend run any of my loads through their firearm. here come those pesky variables again, but who's to say his firearm is in good enough condition to handle the pressures of my personally worked up load? if it goes BOOM in a bad way i am now liable.

    these are just some CYA points to consider. but reloading is fun, therapeutic, and cost effective. using my own brass and store bought bullets i can load a 50rd box of 9x19 for about $7. that beats $16-18 for the same box in a store.
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    Regular Member Starrman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Broondog View Post
    do you have a citation on that figure. inquiring minds want to know the facts.
    Yeah, i kinda knew that was coming. I only know what some poindexter behind me was quoting at the gun show and then it was reconfirmed by another poindexter. 10000 primers and maybe it was 20lbs of powder. Wasn't really listening. It was like they were scolding me for buying too much. I never listen to my wife either and these guys were like having two of her standing behind me. Ignore and move on. I'm sure if anyone is curious just look up your local fire codes. I'm guessing...don't really know...or care.
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  11. #11
    Regular Member Broondog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starrman View Post
    Yeah, i kinda knew that was coming. I only know what some poindexter behind me was quoting at the gun show and then it was reconfirmed by another poindexter. 10000 primers and maybe it was 20lbs of powder. Wasn't really listening. It was like they were scolding me for buying too much. I never listen to my wife either and these guys were like having two of her standing behind me. Ignore and move on. I'm sure if anyone is curious just look up your local fire codes. I'm guessing...don't really know...or care.
    poindexter was probably just jealous. besides, most of the stuff i hear at shows and shops is trash talk anyway. i just shake my head and move on.

    but if it really does turn out to be 10,000 and 20......well that's ummm.....that's just too low of a limit IMO.
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    The Lee Classic cast turret is a solid unit and much easier for a newbie to start on. The Lee Progressives need a bit of "tweaking" to run properly.
    In God I trust. Everyone else needs to keep your hands where I can see them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oak1971 View Post
    The Lee Classic cast turret is a solid unit and much easier for a newbie to start on. The Lee Progressives need a bit of "tweaking" to run properly.
    True but the difference is loading 100-200 bullets to 300- 600 in a couple of hours. Once the progressive is set up there is no comparison. The only real tweaking is making sure the primer sets or you end up with powder everywhere. Once you learn the feel of of it you'll know immediately. I have both and admit I will set my primers with the classic at times. Plus more equipment is needed for the classic to start when it comes to weighing powder. Which should be one of your other first purchases. I never trust the charts. Weigh your own powder loads and work from there with the dippers or disks supplied by lee. Cabelas makes a decent scale.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Broondog View Post
    do you have a citation on that figure. inquiring minds want to know the facts.
    Some countries do have limits on the amount of primers and powder one may own, but I don't think the US does, at least not at a federal level. The National Fire Protection Association publishes a guideline on the storage of powder and primers, so maybe that's where these guys got their info. They're not a government entity though, and aren't responsible for making laws or enforcement.

    It's very possible that one's local zoning regulations may be based on the above recommendations, however. That would be a place to check.

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    Regular Member Starrman's Avatar
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    SAAMI

    Smokeless powder properties and storage

    Chapter 11
    Small Arms Ammunition and Primers, Smokeless Propellants,
    and Black Powder Propellants

    11-3.7 Smokeless propellants intended for personal use in quantities
    not exceeding 20 lb. (9.1 kg) shall be permitted to be stored in original
    containers in residences. Quantities exceeding 20 lb. (9.1 kg), but not
    exceeding 50 lb. (22.7 kg), shall be permitted to be stored in residences where kept in a wooden box or cabinet having walls of at least
    1 in. (25.4 mm) nominal thickness.

    Nothing on primers yet


    http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/i.../t-535639.html
    Last edited by Starrman; 11-26-2011 at 05:29 PM.
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    Regular Member Starrman's Avatar
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    Origin and Development of NFPA 495

    Chapter 11

    Small Arms Ammunition and Primers, Smokeless Propellants, and Black Powder Propellants

    11-5.4 No more than 10,000 small arms primers may be stored in residences.


    http://www.beartoothbullets.com/tech...h_notes.htm/60
    Last edited by Starrman; 11-26-2011 at 05:30 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starrman View Post
    True but the difference is loading 100-200 bullets to 300- 600 in a couple of hours. Once the progressive is set up there is no comparison. The only real tweaking is making sure the primer sets or you end up with powder everywhere. Once you learn the feel of of it you'll know immediately. I have both and admit I will set my primers with the classic at times. Plus more equipment is needed for the classic to start when it comes to weighing powder. Which should be one of your other first purchases. I never trust the charts. Weigh your own powder loads and work from there with the dippers or disks supplied by lee. Cabelas makes a decent scale.
    A turret is slower but its easier to deal with if things get fouled up. I don't go as fast as I can even on the progressive because I like to check things often. I have the on board pro disk measure on my Classic. I have a Hornady LNL AP (comes with its own measure) that replaced the Lee progressive. I use a RCBS 1500 digital scale to check my powder throws for both. I gave the Lee progressive to a friend in need.

    Some day I will automate the case feed and bullet feed on the LNL AP.
    In God I trust. Everyone else needs to keep your hands where I can see them.

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    Regular Member Starrman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oak1971 View Post
    A turret is slower but its easier to deal with if things get fouled up. I don't go as fast as I can even on the progressive because I like to check things often. I have the on board pro disk measure on my Classic. I have a Hornady LNL AP (comes with its own measure) that replaced the Lee progressive. I use a RCBS 1500 digital scale to check my powder throws for both. I gave the Lee progressive to a friend in need.

    Some day I will automate the case feed and bullet feed on the LNL AP.
    Hornady is definitely a nice setup ..A little pricey for the same results
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starrman View Post
    Origin and Development of NFPA 495

    Chapter 11

    Small Arms Ammunition and Primers, Smokeless Propellants, and Black Powder Propellants

    11-5.4 No more than 10,000 small arms primers may be stored in residences.


    http://www.beartoothbullets.com/tech...h_notes.htm/60
    Again, to avoid any confusion: these NFPA...guidelines...were writ as if they were law, but this is not the case. They have no force of law unless states adopt them. Counties/municipalities can also bundle them up into zoning regulations, as most states do with the National Electric Code, which is in fact an NFPA guideline--and if you know anything about that, you also know there are also often regional variations, and various states apply earlier versions of code, and so on.

    Unfortunately, these 'uniform' codes are basically universally non-uniform, so it's a matter of finding out the situation where you live. It's not like the fire police are gonna bust down your door because you have too many primers in your garage--but say your domicile is in an apartment complex, it catches fire, and the fire investigators figure your propellents and primers contributed to the fire, even though it didn't necessarily start there--you also had more than the recommended amount. Even if there was no actual zoning code in force, you might be civilly liable, and the plaintiff's attorney is going to point to these guidelines.

    edit: so, it's probably a good idea to follow the guidelines if you do store larger amounts of powder, but most loaders would never have to worry about it.
    Last edited by CO-Joe; 11-27-2011 at 02:39 AM.

  20. #20
    Regular Member Starrman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Broondog View Post
    do you have a citation on that figure. inquiring minds want to know the facts.
    I was asked and had time on my hands so did a little research. It amazes me how much information is just floating around out there. Did you know that in Norfolk Virginia, Spitting on a sea gull is not tolerated. I didn't, but do now. In Pennsylvania it's illegal to sleep on top of a refrigerator outdoors.
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    Regular Member Broondog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starrman View Post
    I was asked and had time on my hands so did a little research. It amazes me how much information is just floating around out there. Did you know that in Norfolk Virginia, Spitting on a sea gull is not tolerated. I didn't, but do now. In Pennsylvania it's illegal to sleep on top of a refrigerator outdoors.
    thanks for doing all of that legwork!

    i originally asked thinking you may have had the cite handy. i keep stuff like that bookmarked for just such occasions. i'll look at my local codes and see what i can see but i am in a very rural county so they may not have thought of such a thing.

    the whole conversation came to mind today though as i was standing in the powder/primer aisle looking for some Unique and small pistol magnum primers. not that the purchase would have affected any limits at my house. i had all of that stuff with me when i was fishing once this past summer. of course it all fell out of the boat and floated downstream. i did save the beer though!
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    Reloading as Therapy

    Quote Originally Posted by Broondog View Post
    the word, therapy, comes to my mind as well.
    Brings back fond memories when I was a kid - one of my friends dad was a WWII vet and liked to hum while he reloaded 30.06 cartridges.
    He also liked to smoke a pipe but I noticed he never did them at the same time.....humming while smoking....
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