First time reloader help.

Discussion in 'Caliber Talk: Ammunition, Reloading, and Shooting ' started by TShooter, Jun 17, 2020.

  1. TShooter

    TShooter New Member

    Jun 12, 2020
    I've read over all the benefits of reloading and I wanted to hop right in. I want to reload .45 ACP.

    I seen last night and there were about ~10 left. This morning there was only 1 left, so I bought it.

    So my question is, what else will I need with this kit? Obviously I'll need bullets, and I've went on to look for some. What should I be looking for exactly though? Is there any gotchas to buying bullets (something like steel vs brass for casings for example)?

    What are some good resources to actually learn how to use this thing. I've been researching a bit, but nothing really seems to take it from top to bottom with each detail. People just skip over different things and seem to just throw out words of what these things are, "yeah so take your die and blah blah"... well what the fudge is a die? Is it liquid? Is it literally a piece of metal you load something into, etc.

    Thanks :)
    Rizzo likes this.
  2. El Perdido

    El Perdido Fictional Western Sage

    Oct 3, 2011
    Safety glasses
    Bullet puller
    Bullets-Lead or jacketed
    LE Wilson case gage
    Hornady One-Shot case lube
    Case tumbler and cleaning media
    Digital or analog calipers
    A Lyman or other load book
    Check weights for your scale
    Dillon Precision catalog
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2020
    boatdoc, Rizzo, july19 and 5 others like this.

  3. Greg Derr

    Greg Derr Custom Pistolsmith Supporting Addict Sponsor

    Oct 3, 2011
    Lee has some good videos as well as RCBS. To start I would stick with 230 grain ball. and maybe Bullseye powder. Both are plentiful and easy to use. Get a good reloading guide like a Hornady with all the proper weights and measures. The .45 is a very easy cartridge to learn on- big and straight walled.

    Zero and Montana Gold make very good bullets and will mail them to you.
    boatdoc, Rizzo, simonp and 3 others like this.
  4. Brennerman

    Brennerman Active Member

    May 12, 2020
    It appears it does come with a reloading manual, read that first.

    For videos, I like ultimate Reloader, he does a good job of explaining what needs to be done.

    You should be looking for brass, not steel cases. You are going need to decide if you are going to use large pistol primers or small for 45acp. Be wary, some vendors will have mix batches of once fired brass. You will need to decide what size primers you will use.

    A vendor for brass I would recommend is . Now his brass is mixed headstamp, which is fine for range use. If you are going for bullseye shooting, you would want the same manufacture, not a mix.

    And you are going to need pistol powder as well and I would recommend getting a reloading manual from the maker of the powder you choose. So you can see how many grains you need to start and work your way up.

    As far as equipment other than what comes in that box. You are going to need calipers to measure the OAL (over all length), a cartridge gauge in 45 acp. Of course dies, there are sets you can get. You will need a die set for 45 acp.

    I am sure others more experienced than me, will chime in.
    Rizzo and joe45 like this.
  5. unclebuck5

    unclebuck5 Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2018
    Be careful, start low and work your way up. You've come to great place to learn. At a minimum you'll need a press, die set, scale, calipers, and the cartridge components.
    Videos on YouTube and advice from others is helpful, but should be confirmed with a good reloading manual. After a few decades you'll still be learning new things.
  6. ARKLITE881South

    ARKLITE881South New Member

    Jul 7, 2020
    Don't be afraid to ask questions, no matter how silly you might think they are. You know what they say, ''the only DUMB question is the one you don't ask" Trust me, swallow your pride and speak up ask,ask, and ask. You'll learn a lot in a short time. Be very careful using loads from the internet. There are some twisted people out there. If you know some one who reloads, check with them. Keep focused, reloading can be dangerous if you don't pay attention. And, don't volunteer to reload for a buddy, it can be a bad idea, you can be taken advantage of so fast you won't believe it.
    Mike Meints and Brennerman like this.
  7. Uncle Bob

    Uncle Bob Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2017
    Several options for a press,

    Single stage which means you have to constantly repeat process' before you change to the next.

    Turret press (strongly suggest the Lyman and NOT Lee).
    The turret holds X number of dies which means you can feed a case, size and decap the case, next station would be powder throw, then bullet seating than taper crimp.

    Progressive press makes all of the above a whole lot easier. BUT... if you're just starting and decide to go this route, but a Dillon from either the Square deal to a 500B which are fairly cheap these days. Dillon customer support is exceptional

    Then comes buying die set (multiple dies).
    Then components like:
    Bullets, most common and inexpensive bullets are lead or coated lead. Jacketed bullets are more expensive.
    Brass. You need to decide large primers or small. One you make your choice, you need to be very careful that you don't use a small primer case in a large primer set up... tends to jam things.
    Buy brass, not steel cases.

    The picture below is a single stage press and the silver thing in it is a Die. You'll need a sizing die (and decapping which is a stem in the middle of the 308 sizing die, there is not decapping pin because all my rifle ammo is decapped manually), a seating die to seat the bullet and the taper crimp die. 45acp needs to be crimped so the bullet doesn't sit back into the case

    boatdoc likes this.
  8. Uncle Bob

    Uncle Bob Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2017
    Best to get at least a couple. There is a lot of ground to cover on reloading and reloading manuals while they favor "their brand of bullet" gives you good coverage on the process and things you need to know and be aware of. Unclebuck, I'm just adding to yours.
    unclebuck5 likes this.
  9. Uncle Bob

    Uncle Bob Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2017
    Good catches, but I always have a Sierra manual around too.

    If the OP wanted to do this on a budget, Frankford sells inexpensive tumbling stuff. For Corn cob, I use a Dillon and case seperator.

    IN the beginning... LOTS! ;)
    boatdoc likes this.
  10. pscipio03

    pscipio03 Fun O' Meter on FULL

    Mar 11, 2013
    I started with a Lee Turret press and by now have graduated to the Dillon 1100 series.
    The Turret is an excellent beginner press as you can remove the indexing rod and it becomes a single stage. Then, when you're comfortable, put it back in and it becomes a turret press.

    I started by reading "The ABC's of Reloading" and used the Lee load data book for all my handloads the first year or so.
    IMO 45 is the best caliber to start with because it's the most forgiving and your margin of error is low.

    The one thing I would recommend spending good money on is an electric scale like a RCBS Charge Master. Dies you can stick with Lee and be fine.

    Other than that, what Perdido mentions above is a pretty extensive list.

    Personally, I'd get some new brass; 230 gr ball (FMJ or Plated, later you can move to coated) and Bullseye or Unique powder. They aren't the be-all-end-all powder, but they work great in a number of different calibers. That way you can use it for 9mm when you decide to start handoading that.
    boatdoc likes this.
  11. Uncle Bob

    Uncle Bob Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2017
    231 is the single most forgiving powder used in 45acp and very accurate. When I was starting on a Star without the safety mechanism on it I did a double charge early on. Cost was a pair of grips and a magazine. Seen a lot worse with other powders.

    Lyman Gen 6 is a lot less expensive and just as good. I called an old buddy that was a tech editor for the American Rifleman about buying a crimp die. First thing out of his mouth was don't think Lee, I went with Redding, simply because I'm used to the quality. RCBS aren't bad.
    boatdoc and simonp like this.
  12. pscipio03

    pscipio03 Fun O' Meter on FULL

    Mar 11, 2013
    Chargemaster Lite will run you the same and sometimes less than the Lyman. I have no experience with the Gen 6, but have loaded untold amounts of 10mm; .308; .300BLK; and .38 Super Comp with the CM with great results. I doubt you would go wrong with either brand.

    As to the Lee dies, fully disagree. I've spent thousands on dies over the years, from Lee to Dillon and everything between. The Redding comp dies are great, but way overkill for 45 ammo. My Lee 9mm dies have over 100k and they still work great. My Lee 45 dies are about 1/3 that, and working great as well. Swapped them out for Dillon Carbide dies for a hot minute and went back.
    I see no benefit to a Redding die at more cost than a Lee unless you are wad shooting and need to work up a load that/s +/- .1 for repeatability. Also, and this is the big ALSO- the Lee dies will come with the shell holders that the OP will need for each caliber. The Reddings do not. So, OP will have to buy those separately from Lee anyway.
    boatdoc likes this.
  13. unclebuck5

    unclebuck5 Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2018
    I have both Lee and Lyman dies. I prefer the Lee, although I modify the expanding die for an easier, to get perfect adjustment.
    Im not a fan of the Lee turret press. Lee should not have used aluminum for the turrets.
    boatdoc likes this.
  14. Uncle Bob

    Uncle Bob Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2017
    My Gen 6 is about 8 years old, I got it before the product release. Never skips a beat, never thrown a bad charge (Yes I do spot check it on occasion). Only trick is: Never leave powder in the plastic powder container, that pretty much holds true for most powder throwers. That holds true for the two Culver powder throwers I have that came directly from Homer Culver. I use the Gen 6 a lot for 4064 which is extruded and normal powder throwers do not always do well with extruded powders.

    Never said anyone SHOULD buy the Reddings, I did it out of habit and I get the discounts from various sources including Brownells.

    1) when someone with a lot of years in the industry that I know and worked where he has personally says something about a product I'm not sure of, I tend to listen.

    2) I've heard one to many complaints about Lee. My small experiences have not been productive and that's a big issue when I reload. I want it to work, work well and turn out ammo the way I want it. I'd go RCBS before Lee and I don't use RCBS dies. Friend handed me one of those 3 hole Lee Turret presses 5 years ago, it went into the trash. I already knew about the problems with it.

    The only Lee tool I use is the little hand press, I use it to decap brass. Matter of choice, experience or whatever. I won't use Lee
    Dub likes this.
  15. july19

    july19 Womb? Weary? He rests. He has travelled. Supporting Addict

    Sep 16, 2013
    I don’t receive compensation from any manufacturer but I recommend Redding dies. The competition seating die is relatively expensive but you’ll probably never buy another one; primers, bullets and other expendables are where the money goes.
  16. TShooter

    TShooter New Member

    Jun 12, 2020
    Just as an update, I actually ended up getting the single stage press from Lee, and have reloaded over 600 45 ACP rounds at this point with zero problems! I found my ideal build for now that feels great, which is 230gr Speer TMJ bullet, with 5.3gr of W231, 1.25 OAL, and some federal primers. I just ordered 200gr PSWC by Berrys so I will see how those bullets are when they arrive!
    Speedy396, Old Sea Dragon and Dub like this.
  17. boatdoc

    boatdoc Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2015
    in for the education--thanks to all providing it
  18. Kevin Rohrer

    Kevin Rohrer Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Jul 6, 2014
    The OP needs to do what every new reloader should do: Buy and read Lyman #50. All questions will be answered.
    Dub likes this.

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