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Reloading question

Bone Collector

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I have read several threads on here about reloading. One thing that sticks with me was someone on here said, if you want to reload, read about it, then read some more. 😂I have some old stuff RCBS (I think) that my FIL gave me. He had dies for his .270 Weatherby Mag, and I think .44. This stuff is from the late 70s - early 80s.

I have no idea what I have. I have not had a place to set it up until now. I admit I am afraid to blow myself or my house up (not really, but it crosses my mind). I have no idea if the equipment will work, and I have no idea (obviously) what i would need to purchase other than powder, bullets, and primers.

I reloaded some .45 and 45-70 with my buddy years ago. It didn't seem too hard, but he knew what he was doing, so he was telling me what to do.

How the heck can I tell if what I have is good enough, or if I need to buy all new stuff, or just add in certain components?

I have a .270, but it is a .270 win. and I also have the .270 Weatherby Mag here. I recently picked up a .300 win and bullets are expensive for that, though I have been able to find ammo for it, pretty easily.

If I took it on, eventually i would want to reload 9mm, .44, .270 Win, .270 WTHBY Mag, and .300 Win. I know I would need dies, but would just buy as I go.
 

Jcalder

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I’m sure someone on here lives close enough to help you figure out what you have and what you need, what’s good and what isn’t. Outside of primers and powder, it doesn’t really go bad. Things may break, and I’m sure it’s possible to wear out a press, but that would take hundreds of thousands of rounds.
 

Hunter 257W

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If you have old loading tools they are still just as good as they ever were assuming they haven't been horribly abused in storage. Even if a press has surface rust, you could clean it off and it would work as well as a new one. A beam type powder scale could get dropped or something could bend the beam but if that's not the case a 50 year old set of loading tools will work like a new set. Most of my stuff was bought in the mid to late 1970's. Do you have a press and powder scales? Since those are the essential tools along with dies and shell holders I'd assume you do.

Some loaders try to make loading ammo sound more technical than it really is and that can be intimidating to somebody outside the hobby who wants to give it a try. It's not difficult to load safe ammo really. You have to be methodical and detail oriented and follow the loading manual exactly. Setting up a new set of dies can seem confusing but the manufacturer always includes instructions in the box. One essential safety rule that I use is to store my powder on a shelf up above the loading bench - separate from the loading bench itself. When I am loading, I put the powder can I am using on the bench to give myself visual verification that I am using the correct powder. That can stays there until I'm done with that load and no other powder is ever allowed to sit on the loading bench while I'm loading. That will prevent you from ever using the wrong powder and also stop you from doubting later if you maybe used the wrong powder.

I'd recommend buying several loading manuals and reading the articles in them about basics of loading your own until you have a pretty good feel for it then ask questions here as you think of them.
 
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Specializedjon

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If you have old loading tools they are still just as good as they ever were assuming they haven't been horribly abused in storage. Even if a press has surface rust, you could clean it off and it would work as well as a new one. A beam type powder scale could get dropped or something could bend the beam but if that's not the case a 50 year old set of loading tools will work like a new set. Most of my stuff was bought in the mid to late 1970's. Do you have a press and powder scales? Since those are the essential tools along with dies and shell holders I'd assume you do.

Some loaders try to make loading ammo sound more technical than it really is and that can be intimidating to somebody outside the hobby who wants to give it a try. It's not difficult to load safe ammo really. You have to be methodical and detail oriented and follow the loading manual exactly. Setting up a new set of dies can seem confusing but the manufacturer always includes instructions in the box. One essential safety rule that I use it to store my powder on a shelf up above the loading bench - separate from the loading bench itself. When I am loading, I put the powder can ?I am using on the bench to give myself visual verification that I am using the correct powder. That can stays there until I'm done with that load and no other powder is ever allowed to sit on the loading bench while I'm loading. That will prevent you from ever using the wrong powder and also stop you from doubting later if you maybe used the wrong powder.

I'd recommend buying several loading manuals and reading the articles in them about basics of loading your own until you have a pretty good feel for it then ask questions here as you think of them.
^^^This^^^

Reloading is very relaxing to me. It's my time to unwind from the day. Agree with everything Hunter said. I like to store my powder in a metal ammo can away from any firearms (if I hadn't lost them all in a boating accident) in a locked cabinet.

Just take your time, have fun with it. YouTube can be your friend, but there are some guys on there that take it a little too far (gloves, facemask, etc.). Like anything...follow directions and common sense prevails. You'll enjoy the satisfaction of shooting YOUR rounds.
 

sll

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It doesn't hurt a bit to do all the reading up the subject that you can, but someone knowledgeable on the subject could spend an hour with you and show you more easily. Hands-on experience usually absorbs quicker than reading about it.....speaking for myself of course. Like Jcalder said I am sure there is someone near you that could help you get a good understanding on it. I know if you lived near me I would be more than happy to help you out.
 

ADR

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I’m in the boro and can help get you set up if you want help. Before internet, information on reloading was either spread by word or by book. I’m sure bad habits were easily spread by “John does it this way”. With so much reloading info available, its now sensory overload!!
 

KPH

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Like was said read some manuals on reloading and if some old manuals came with it keep them they sometime are very handy. If I had to bet I would say the equipment is OK. Lots of luck finding primers now at a good price they are just about gold right now.
 

backyardtndeer

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I'd recommend buying several loading manuals and reading the articles in them about basics of loading your own until you have a pretty good feel for it then ask questions here as you think of them.
Very good advice. Bought a hornady classic kit, the hornady manual that came with it taught me a lot. Pretty well learned on my own with the manual and what information I could find.

Never be afraid to ask questions here or elsewhere.

Good luck finding components.
 

Hunter 257W

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Yeah, it's be almost impossible to hurt yourself with reloading now with this component shortage but it's a good time to set things up and ask questions.
 

Omega

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Equipment more than likely is ok, though completeness would be the issue as sometimes not everything is included in the gift. I agree on what some have said, post some pics of what you have or an inventory list and some of us will chime in on what we think.

When I started in the mid 80's, I just followed the manual that came with my Lee Anniversary kit, which worked well for my 9mm and .270 win. Reloading is not difficult if you pay attention and follow the rules. It is relatively safe, but don't let anyone fool you, it can lead to catastrophic damage and or injuries if you make a mistake, specially when loading the powder. There are all kinds of videos out there and many give good tips on how to stay safe, and it wouldn't hurt to have an experienced reloader go through the steps with you, on your equipment, for the first few rounds. A few things that I would say are, always weigh your rifle charges, pistol I use a meter, but weigh one every now and then to make sure. Only have one type of powder out at a time, and empty your hopper after a reloading session. If you get interrupted, start over on the round you were working on, because not enough can be as bad as too much.
 

Bone Collector

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Pictures would help us to evaluate what you have.
This is all of it. You may have to zoom in or use a phone to zoom. The dies are for .44 and WTHBY .270 Mag. One doe for the WTHBY appears damaged and one for the .44 has some surface rust.

there is a scale, but I couldn’t tell you how to use it 😂.
There were about 750 pistol primers, they look new but they are from 1984 or at least that is when this stuff. Was purchased.
 

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Bone Collector

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I also found these (11 of them). .44 mag 200 gr bullets. They look good. Do you think they’re safe to shoot?
 

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Bone Collector

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It doesn't hurt a bit to do all the reading up the subject that you can, but someone knowledgeable on the subject could spend an hour with you and show you more easily. Hands-on experience usually absorbs quicker than reading about it.....speaking for myself of course. Like Jcalder said I am sure there is someone near you that could help you get a good understanding on it. I know if you lived near me I would be more than happy to help you out.
I'm right there with you.....
 

backyardtndeer

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This is all of it. You may have to zoom in or use a phone to zoom. The dies are for .44 and WTHBY .270 Mag. One doe for the WTHBY appears damaged and one for the .44 has some surface rust.

there is a scale, but I couldn’t tell you how to use it 😂.
There were about 750 pistol primers, they look new but they are from 1984 or at least that is when this stuff. Was purchased.
Looks like everything is there for the press, powder measure and scale, even the stand for the powder measure. Does not look to be in bad condition to me. Clean up the parts, I would probably spray moving parts with dry lube. Might run some graphite through the measure.
 

Omega

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Looks pretty good, I would get some evaporust and soak a few of those pieces, specially the dies. The scale is good, just need to make sure it zeros, and then maybe a check set (cheap) to make sure of it's movement. On the ammo, that is a crapshoot, I would probably pull them down and reload with my own known powder.
 

Bone Collector

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On the ammo, that is a crapshoot, I would probably pull them down and reload with my own known powder.
I should mention when he let me have the .44 he gave me some handloads from this era. That is/was the only ammo I had for it. I shot it a few times. They were fine, though one casing did split, but the others I shot were fine.
 

Jcalder

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If the inside of the dies aren’t rusty they’re most likely good to go. I think I seen the drums for the powder measure but I’m not sure. Everything looks to be in good to use after a little cleaning. One thing I did, was throw that primer catcher in the drawer and buy a 3D printed primer catcher for mine.
As far as the loaded ammo you found, do you know who loaded it and do you trust their work. If you have the notes on the ammo compare it to load data. Personally, I wouldn’t unless it came from a trusted source.
Primers should be fine if they were stored properly. Take one out and smack it with a hammer. Don’t trust that, put a primer in a case and put it in your weapon, fire it. I probably wouldn’t use them for any more than range fodder, but they’ll do fine for that.
 

Headhunter

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I can help. I have loaded for over 30 years. Nothing hard or difficult about giving you instructions. Easy.

The part that will be difficult, maybe near impossible is finding powder, bullets, and primers. If you do, I can for sure help you out.
 

Cull Buck Hunter

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The best way is to watch and load with a seasoned reloader. Once you get the basics you will be able to absorb more information. Until you have some experience you won't know what questions to ask. Keep it basic and build on that foundation when you understand the concepts.
 
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