Finally convinced I need to start reloading ...

  • I've always figured I would reload after I "retired" ... but was trying to save the time by buying factory ammo until then ... and I like the FGMM 175gr 7.62 load I've been shooting for .308 and the 190gr FGMM I've been shooting for .300WM even more (3001MV out of my 24 inch). And more recently the 155gr Berge Full-Bore (long COAL) I've been shooting out of one .308.

    But we are trying to buy some more land that came up for sale which is adjacent to ours ... once in a lifetime chance ... and my ammo budget will have to suffer ... so the driver is now cost savings, though I want round performance not suffer relative to the factory cartridges I've been shooting (if possible).

    I want to be able to reload 100-200 rds per week of .30 cal ... either .308WIN or .300WM in a short amount of time. By doing that, I could accumulate on weeks I shoot less, and at least not deplete my ammo reserve o weeks I shoot more. Continuous accumulation, has been the rule and will remain the rule, shooting oldest ammo first.

    My 30 cal brass is all "FC" or "LC" or "Lapua" currently (the "Lapua" comes from Berger 155gr "full bore" I shoot out of one .308) and each gun shoots one cartridge, so these are spread across 3 x .308s and 1 x .300WM.

    Does anyone have a "starter list' of gear I need to accomplish this ? Much appreciated. I'd like to start with the stuff I will use forever ... :)

    And I've been reading the thread about anchoring down the table, so cogitating on where best to put it to balance ease of access with solid mount and lack of eyesore for wife/visitors (like probably not in the kitchen :D )

  • @kansas I recently started reloading for the same reason, I bought a Rock Chucker supreme press, a Redding deluxe die set for .308, hornady case trimmer, RCBS Charge master 1500, Lyman case prep center, hornady comparator set and a set of Mitutoyo 500-196-30 digital calipers. I'm using the LC (lake city) brass for my practice ammo and the Lapua brass for PRS matches.
    I will be picking up a Dillon tumbler Friday, I was using a Lyman ultrasonic (I have one for cleaning gun parts) but I dont want to wait for the brass to dry. I know there are a lot of DiY recipes for case lube but I'm still using Redding Sizing wax. Oh and pick up a stuck case removal kit (like 15$).
    I'm sure others will chime in on stuff, this is just what I bought. Lots of options.

  • thx gg, I will start looking for sources for these items.

    And tips and gizmos that will speed up the process and definitely appreciated.

    [quote] ... I dont want to wait for the brass to dry ... [/quote]

  • @kansas
    A Giraud Power Trimmer or, for 1 Caliber, a Triway will trim , chamfer and deburr in one operation similar to pencil sharpening.
    Indexes off shoulder, adjustable length.

  • thx ml will add to list ...

  • If you want to load fast and precise you will spend quite a bit of money up front. I don’t believe you will gain back the cost of reloading gear in the first year and probably not in the first five years if you buy fast, precise equipment.

    That said, reloading has more benefits than just saving money per round.

    Much of my equipment was bought at the recommendation of Orkan and I have been really pleased with most every piece I have.

    Recommendations for fast AND precise:

    Forster coax press
    CPS primer seater
    Benchsource annealer (many are now using the AMP, but I have no experience with it)
    Promethius powder dispenser
    Vibratory tumbler with rice
    Imperial sizing wax (I don’t own a stuck case remover and have never needed it with imperial wax)
    Whidden dies have done well for me. Many have had trouble with them, but just check them when you get them and they will replace them if they are wrong.

    You can load just about as precise with cheaper equipment, but it will be at the cost of time.

  • What @dddoo7 listed is in my opinion about the perfect set up for fast precise accurate ammo. If annealing large batches of brass at one time then the benchsorce annealer is the ticket, I recently sold mine and moved to an AMP and have been very pleased. I simply annneal what ever I shot as soon as I get home instead of waiting to get a large batch then anneal it all at one time.

    @dddoo7 made another excellent point, you can get by with much less cost upfront and still have equally as precise and accurate ammo but you’ll spend hours loading 100 rounds. As much as you shoot I would recommend the buy once cry once approach and spend more time shooting with less time loading.

    Congratulations on the new land

  • Thanks guys, will put together spreadsheet this weekend with these items, sources and prices and try to then figure out timeframe.

  • Ok, here is the first cut at the spreadsheet to give idea of start up cost.


    The Promethus powder dispenser at $3,800 certainly has some sticker shock !!!

    My goal is 200rds per week of either 308 or 300WM ... one cartridge in a given week ... 200rds ... in one night ... do I still need the $3,800 promethus to meet that requirement ?

  • @kansas
    What is the Lyman case prep center (5 pack) ?

  • @bigfoot
    That's for five of them. A cordless drill and the single attachments work pretty good.

  • @kansas
    If you decide to get a lathe type case trimmer I would bypass the Hornady and get a Wilson but keep in mind you have to have case holders for the different cases. Some of the holders will work for several calibers like the 308 family. They run about twelve dollars each. I have had a couple of other crank trimmers and the Wilson has been the best for me. I think there are some more components necessary for the comparator set you listed. You can make your modified cases for the comparator if you buy a tap and have a drill. They are best made using a lathe but I know some guys that drilled and tapped them by hand and they worked fine. I bought a Thumler case tumbler last year and really like it. It's pretty quiet and really moves the brass around and polishes well. They are a bit more than the Dillon and the one I have is the 18 pound capacity. Might be something to look into if you like quiet.

  • You need the Hornady C1000 Overal Length Gauge and the HK55 Headspace Inserts also.

  • @bigfoot

    Hum, you could be right, but the item description talks about 5 different tool sets ... and it sounded like I wanted all 5 of the tool sets.

  • @kansas the Lyman has 5 motorized ports for attachments.i I run a debur, primer pocket cutter, primer pocket cleaner, .30 brush for case necks and a chamfer tool.

  • 200 rounds loaded in prepped brass with the promethius will take less than 20 minutes.

    200 rounds with the a&d fx120i and auto trickler will take about 45 minutes and will be less precise.

    200 rounds with a traditional tuned beam scale and manual trickler will take about 2 hours.

    It really comes down to how much time you want to spend at the bench. I would hate to load 200 rounds a week without the promethius. There is a reason you don’t see them for sale used. It is because people that have them love them.

  • Thanks for all the input !!!

    My "best case" estimate for 200 rds ... was 2 hours one night a week ... 20 mins does sound great ... but $3,800 ... hum ... if I could save 30 cents per round .. then after 13,000 rds I would be pulling ahead ...

    200 * 50 = 10,000 per year ... So actually including all the other crap ... maybe I'd be breaking even by the 3rd year ... even with the prometheus ??

  • Yes...or you will do like most others do and just start shooting more.

  • As to shooting more ... I wish !!! Early 2018 Greg told me if I wanted to learn wind calling I had to shoot 50,000 rds and then I would figure it out for myself. I calculated that to do that, with enough time left in this life to enjoy the fruits of the effort would require me to increase my weekly live fire count from 50 to 200rds.
    In 2018 from 25 Mar thru 29 Dec rd count averaged 104 per week. So despite best efforts, only 5 weeks during that period were >= 175rds in a given week.
    For 2019, up thru the end of April, ,the avg was 93 rds/week. With six weeks over 140rds/week.
    In May, I've had to cut back to my olde limit of 50rds per week as we are trying to buy another 130 acres and the downpayment is a stretch beyond a stretch.
    I'll probably have to start out with something other than the prometheus and then add it when I get my annual work bonus.
    Now to figure out how to start accumulating the reloading gear, while not decreasing my ammo supply, yet still shooting 50rds/week.

  • One strategy is to increase the percentage of .22LR I am shooting weekly. But I sure have enjoyed shooting ~100 30 cal rds per week. I do think .22LR can still help with breathing and trigger "synchronization" ... and it just might be required to reduce ammo cost while minimizing 30 cal round reserve depletion while accumulating reloading gear.

  • @kansas said in Finally convinced I need to start reloading ...:

    One strategy is to increase the percentage of .22LR I am shooting weekly. But I sure have enjoyed shooting ~100 30 cal rds per week. I do think .22LR can still help with breathing and trigger "synchronization" ... and it just might be required to reduce ammo cost while minimizing 30 cal round reserve depletion while accumulating reloading gear.

    Until last year, when I received my .204, all I have ever shot regularly is .22lr. I would occasionally get behind one of Orkan's rifles or other friends' rifles, but .22lr was/is my preferred cartridge because I am not a fan of much recoil. I would not be able to shoot my .204 as well as I do, had it not been for the decade of shooting rimfire.

  • Ok, finally finished the first 220 rd production lot. This will be for #1 shooting buddy. He will be shooting my LC brass, I will be shooting my FC brass. I still need to shoot up the 1500 rds of FGMM 7.62 175gr load I have to make brass for me to load :D


    Oh and for comparison here is the data from the first 4 lots ...

    Lot #0001 60rds, 43.5gr varget, MV 2544, SD 13

    Lot #0002 50rds, 44gr varget, MV 2586, SD 11.4

    Lot #0003 20rds, 44gr varget, MV 2573, SD 7.5

    Lot #0004 10rds, 44gr varget, MV 2576, SD 10.3

    And the FGMM 7.62 load was MV 2561, SD 18+

    All these were with REM700 SPS TAC AAC-SD 20 barrel

    And thanks to everyone for your suggestions and to Greg who said "All you need to change to break thru your 3/4 moa barrier is Ammo, ,Guns, Optics" !!! :D
    So working on the ammo now. My goals are better ammo for less and to break free of government imposed ammo outages. This will require stock piling components AND equipment. Everything required to reload must be available in several instances, in case something is no longer available. I even want a setup (or 2) I can load with zero requirements for electricity.