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2644 Views 13 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  deadeyedick
i want to learn to reload my own ammo. about how much will i need to spend on equipment? i want to reload .38s and .45 colts for practice ammo. what should i look for in a press? what other equipment will i need beside the press
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For entry level I don't think you can beat an RCBS Rock Chucker single-stage press, and they come in starter kits that include a lot of essential equipment. It is definitely more time-consuming using a single stage, but IMO it's the best way to learn, experiment and become proficient at handloading before moving to a progressive. And depending on the amount of ammo you intend to load, it may be all you really need.

I loaded all the ammo in the plastic boxes on a Rock Chucker...

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Sorry for the newb questions, but exactly what modifications can you make to cartridges besides the obvious weight and amount of propellant. Additionally, how do those modifications affect accuracy at pistol type distances(<25 yards). It just seems to me that for a given bullet weight, you either have enough propellant or you don't and that there is an acceptable range to the amount of propellant used which results in very little change over typical pistol type distances. Am I thinking off this in too simple of terms or is there more to it?

When you consider the number of different powders, varying charge levels and different bullet types and weights that can be used to assemble any given cartridge, the effect on accuracy can be significant, although not as great as with rifle cartridges. What is probably a greater concern to reloaders of pistol cartridges and competitive shooters (like myself) is Power Factor, allowing one to control the amount of recoil generated by a given cartridge by manipulating the combination of those variables (PF = bullet weight x velocity/1,000).

Lighter loads are easier to control and cause less wear and tear on guns; conversely, high power hunting loads can be created that outperform factory cartridges. For example, I load three different types of .45 ACP rounds; one is a "hardball" practice load, used to duplicate factory defensive cartridge recoil levels; second is a "softball" load, used for practice and competition; and the third is an even lighter load tailored specifically for my S&W revolver, which does not require any recoil energy to cycle.
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