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Old April 25th, 2014, 12:43 AM #1
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Miscellaneous Reloading Items - Please read

Miscellaneous Reloading Items

What kind of miscellaneous items will you need while reloading? In this post I'll try to list the items that are mandatory for reloading, beyond the press, dies, priming systems, and the bench. It is all about the accessories for this thread. I will do my best to include links and images to the items. In addition I am going to try to stay with one company, to make ordering easier.

JettaRed (co-editor and he helped along the way) brought up a chrony in another thread and HRDWRK asked for a misc. accessories thread to be made, that is why this is being created. I am going to make an attempt to create the most comprehensive list I can for the miscellaneous reloading items you will use while reloading. Like in past threads I've done, input is appreciated, and will be credited. In order to minimize the clutter on the thread after it is finished, please PM me suggestions, on the things I forgot to include.


************************************************** ************************************************** ***********************************

Mandatory items.

At the bare minimum the items in this section will allow you to make safe and accurate ammo at home.

Scales

Scales are a curious thing, in that some people embrace the digital, while some people embrace the beam, yet still others embrace both.

Beam scale

Lyman Pro 505 beam scale. My father has been using a Lyman 505 for more than 30 years now, and it was the scale that I learned how to reload with. There are other great beam scales out there like RCBS, Hornady, and Lee. Just look for one that will fit your requirements.



http://www.midwayusa.com/product/781...ProductFinding


Digital scales

There are a lot of digital scales on the market and the price ranges from $20 all the way to $400+. I do not recommend getting one of the $20 digital scales though. Keep in mind that the higher the price of the scale, the more settings and features it will have. There are 2 examples listed below so you can see the drastic differences in the digital scales.

Frankford Arsenal DS-750

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/175...ProductFinding



RCBS ChargeMaster 1500 Combo

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/772...ProductFinding



As you can see, the difference between the two scales are rather striking. The FA scale only weighs the powder, while the RCBS not only weighs the charge, but it also can dispense the charge too.

Powder measures (throwers), tricklers, and powder funnels

Powder dispensers are what you use to dispense specific amounts of powder, to be able to put an accurate charge load into the case. Without a powder dispenser, the are of handloading becomes incredibly dangerous, when loading larger quantities of ammo. With all powder dispensers, you can adjust the specific charge weight you wish to repeatedly throw, with a fairly high degree of accuracy with the charge weight. The powder measure I am listing below is one that I learned how to reload with and I also personally own one. It is very easy to calibrate and use.

Powder measure

Lyman #55 Powder Measure

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/703...ProductFinding

The one I currently use.



The one I learned with.




Tricklers

Tricklers allow you to throw a slightly underweight charge and then slowly add powder at your own speed to get a truly exact charge weight, without guessing how much more powder to add.

Lyman E-ZEE Flo Universal Adjustable Powder Trickler

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/750...ProductFinding




Powder funnels

Powder funnels are an essential tool when reloading. I use a funnel to put exact charge weights into cases, directly off of the scale.

Lyman E-ZEE Powder Funnel

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/137...ProductFinding






Tools.


Case length gauge

A case length gauge allows you to accurately tell if the case is too long or too short to be safely loaded and fired.

Lyman E-Zee Case Length Gage II

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/559...ProductFinding






Calipers

Calipers are needed so you can neasure the length of you brass, bullets, and the COAL/OAL (Cartridge OverAll Length/OverAll Length). If you want to make safe ammo, you have to measure it to ensure it is within the manufacturer's specs for the OAL. Calipers can be found as digital units or analog/dial units. I personally feel the most comfortable with the analog/dial calipers, because it was how I was taught. Also the analog/dial calipers don't require batteries.

Analog/dial calipers

Keep in mind that there are a lot of analog/dial calipers out there that you can use, I am just showing one example.

Hornady Dial Caliper 6"

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/822...ProductFinding




Digital Calipers

There are plenty of digital calipers out there that can be used at your reloading bench. This is just one of the many, that are available.

Hornady Electronic Caliper 6"

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/417...ProductFinding




Micrometers.

I'm going to leave this section empty for the time being.


Case lube

Case lube is a mandatory item for reloading bottleneck rifle cases or bottleneck pistol cases. It does not generally have to be used if you are reloading straight walled pistol cases. I am going to have case lube in the mandatory item area and also the case prep area, since it falls into both categories, equally. Be sure to follow the directions on the case lube container, to ensure proper use. I find it easiest to use the pump style of case lube, due to the ease of application.

Frankford Arsenal Case Lube 8 oz Pump

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/204...ProductFinding


Primer flip tray

Primer flip trays do exactly as their name implies, they flip primers over so that they are all oriented the same way. It makes it easier to put primers into the primer pickup tubes or load primers into handheld priming systems. - kstone803 edit

RCBS Primer Turning Tray

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/466...ProductFinding




Bins

Bins come in all shapes and sizes, but the best thing to use them for is holding stuff to keep your bench organized. You can use any container you want for a bin. You can use coffee cans, Gladware containers, Tupperware containers, pots, pans, whatever you can find! Let your imagination guide you to find the bin(s) that are right for you. Keep in mind that you will never have enough bins to hold bullets, brass, or other small items you need to keep on your bench.

Dillon makes/uses a bin that is stack-able and goes well with their presses, to catch completed rounds. Other manufacturers make the same bins too.

General bin link.

http://www.midwayusa.com/find?userSearchQuery=bins

Specific bin.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/837...ProductFinding






Buckets

Buckets fall under bins in regards to the fact that they hold stuff. The best thing to use buckets for is when you have a lot of brass or bullets and you don't want to try to keep the bags of brass/bullets from falling over. I use the buckets to separate virgin brass from once, second, third, fourth, and fifth fired brass. I try to keep each firing evolution in it's own bucket, so I know when a piece of brass is nearing it's expected lifespan. Any kind of bucket will do, even an empty kitty litter bucket.


Handheld bullet pullers

There are a lot of good reasons for having a bullet puller on hand, but you only need this one reason: To take apart a live round, safely, without having to discharge it. If you make a round that has too much/little of a powder charge, you put the round into the bullet puller and the inertia forces the bullet out so you can safely reclaim all of your components and start again. The bullet puller is on bar with a scale, and a set of calipers, when it comes to safety equipment when reloading. You hope you never need to use a bullet puller, but you will need one eventually. May as well get one before a dangerous situation arises. Be sure to get extra collets/chucks, so you aren't waiting on them to arrive.

General link to bullet pullers.

http://www.midwayusa.com/find?sortby...ensionid=12791

RCBS Pow'r Pull Impact Bullet Puller

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/685...ProductFinding




Ammo boxes

Ammo boxes are anything you can store your completed rounds in. Whether it be a .50 cal ammo can, Ziplok bag, or even an actual ammo box that holds 20-100 rounds. But, for this section, I will focus on caliber specific boxes.

Caliber specific ammo boxes.

http://www.midwayusa.com/find?sortby...ensionid=11531

Image of a caliber specific ammo box.




Labels

You will need something to keep track of what you loaded, so that is where labels come in. They can be as simple as a slip of paper, all the way to a sticker that you document everything. At the very least you should state the caliber, bullet type/mfg, bullet weight, primer mfg, primer type, and powder used, powder charge for each round.

Pre-made labels.

http://www.midwayusa.com/find?sortby...ensionid=11529



Books

You can never have too many books! If you are just starting your reloading journey, I recommend The ABC's of Reloading, so you can get an idea of the process, before actually reloading. In addition, the more books you have, the safe you will be and the safer your loads will be, because you have accurate load data at your fingertips. I am just going to list a few books, but the books you may need, as time goes on, is not limited to this list.

The ABC's of Reloading
Sierra 5th Edition Rifle and Pistol Manual of Reloading Data
Speer Reloading Manual #14
Lyman Reloading Handbook: 49th Edition
Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading: 9th Edition


You may also want to get a log book. You can buy an actual reloaders log book or buy a bound composition book at Staples/Office Depot/OfficeMax. When it comes to reloading you want to document everything! A log book allows you to do that, so you won't forget anything.

Lyman Log Book
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/203...ProductFinding


Flashlight or light of some kind

You may want to get a flashlight, so you can see into the cases or be able to spotlight an area for better visibility. I have a 4', 4 tube shop light over my bench and sometimes I need to see into something, but there is a shadow. Any flashlight will do. You can also use a desk lamp that has an adjustable arm.


************************************************** ************************************************** ***********************************

Not so mandatory items in the beginning

In this section, there will be a lot of other accessories that are a good idea to have, once you reach the point that you need them. I can see somebody in the back waving a pen, so hold on. "Yes, sir?" Pen waving dude - "How will I know when I need these items?". "Well, you will know when you need them, once you reach the point with reloading that you absolutely have to have them. That answer the question? No? Too bad, I'm trying to type a new post over here.".

In all seriousness, some of the items in this section you may never need in your lifetime, while other items you might use every time you sit at your bench or go to the range. Only you can decide what you need right now, given your skills and what you want to accomplish with reloading.


Chronograph

A chronograph is essential to finding the velocity of your loads. The same load may vary by 50-100fps, depending on what firearms you shoot it out of. As such it is a good idea to know what velocity you are gettign out of each firearm you load for.

Shooting Chrony F1 Chronograph

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/531...ProductFinding




Cleaning/case prep

Cleaning and case prep are being combined into one section, so it will be easier to keep track of all the information about it, should an edit have to happen.

Cleaning

Why do you want to clean your spent cases? Other than make them look shiny, what purpose is there? Well, you clean the cases so you can remove dirt, grit, and grime from your cases. You want to use clean cases, so you don't scratch your dies or even the chamber of your firearms.

Case tumblers/vibratory tumblers/cleaners are one of the easiest ways to clean your cases. I am including an example of one below. Don't feel that you have to get tumbling media from a reloading store, you can go to a pet supply store and get lizard bedding (it's the same stuff the reloading places are selling).

Page to find a tumbler.

http://www.midwayusa.com/find?sortby...ensionid=11893

Frankford Arsenal Quick-N-EZ Case Tumbler

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/212...ProductFinding



Cleaning media

http://www.petco.com/product/102881/...e-Bedding.aspx
http://www.amazon.com/Zilla-11442-Gr.../dp/B001OVGPH6
http://www.petsmart.com/reptile/subs...6-catid-500013

Ultrasonic cleaners

Ultrasonic cleaner have their place in the reloading world, just like everything else. Ultrasonic cleaners do not polish the cases, they just remove the fouling on the cases. An ultrasonic cleaner is going to run between $99 and can go well over $1100, depending on the size of the cleaner you need. Below is an example of a ultrasonic cleaner for $99. Keep in mind that most ultrasonic cleaners do not have anywhere near the capacity of a tumbler, and a tumbler is less expensive and can remove fouling and polish at the same time.

Hornady Lock-N-Load Sonic Cleaner 2L

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/586...ProductFinding




Case prep

At some point during your reloading journey, you will need to trim, chamfer, debur, or ream a primer pocket, just to name a few things. I am going to try to include some of these items so you will know what they are, when you need them.


Case trimmers

Case trimmers are just what the name implies, they trim cases that are too long. They can be purchased for anywhere between $50 and $160.

RCBS Trim Pro-2 Manual Case Trimmer Kit

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/817...ProductFinding




Case lube

Case lube is a mandatory item for reloading bottleneck rifle cases or bottleneck pistol cases. It does not generally have to be used if you are reloading straight walled pistol cases. I am going to have case lube in the mandatory item area and also the case prep area, since it falls into both categories, equally. Be sure to follow the directions on the case lube container, to ensure proper use. I find it easiest to use the pump style of case lube, due to the ease of application.

Frankford Arsenal Case Lube 8 oz Pump

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/204...ProductFinding


Chamfer and deburring tool

Chamfer and deburring tools are a good way to smooth the interior and exterior of the mouth of a case, in order to make bullet seating much easier. The tools are available for between $15 and $25, for a hand held model like I have included below.

L.E. Wilson Chamfer and Deburring Tool

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/789...ProductFinding




Flash hole tool

Flash hole tools are used to debur or smoothen out the opening of the flash hole, to allow for better ignition.

Lyman Flash Hole Uniformer Tool

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/729...ProductFinding




Primer pocket swagers

Primer pocket swagers are used to remove the primer pocket crimp found om military brass, or brass that is loaded to military specifications.

RCBS Bench Mounted Primer Pocket Swager

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/319...ProductFinding




Reloading trays

Reloading trays are a godsend when you are making more than 5 round batches. With a reloading tray, you don't have to worry about keeping your cases in proper alignment or hope they don't fall over as you manipulate the press. You just put the cases in the tray and take out and replace each case, as you complete each step of the reloading process. Each tray holds 50 cases, so if you want to do more than that, I recommend getting multiple trays. You can also make your own trays out of wood, if you have a drill press.

RCBS Universal Reloading Tray 50-Round Plastic Green

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/857...ProductFinding





************************************************** ************************************************** ***********************************

Misc. info and revision history.


Misc. Info

Just for random information/notes that I might need to remember later on.


Revision History.

1.0 - Original post partially completed - 4/24/14
1.1 - Added more items to the original post, fixed typos 4/25/14
1.2 - Still adding things 4/25/14 and 4/26/14
1.3 - Added funnel, case gauge, and chronograph 4/28/14 - Morning
1.4 - Primer flip try - kstone803 edit 4/28/14 - Evening
1.5 - Flashlight - r3t1awr3yd edit 4/29/14
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Last edited by DaemonAssassin; April 29th, 2014 at 02:32 PM.
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Old April 25th, 2014, 12:44 AM #2
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Part 2, should it ever be needed.
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Old April 25th, 2014, 05:56 AM #3
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Reloader's Log Book

I strongly recommend a reloading log of some type. Along with labels, a log is invaluable when it comes to keeping track of loads and their behavior/performance with your particular firearm.

(Each firearm will have unique outcomes from similar loads. For example, I recently measured the velocities of a particular load batch fired from a Ruger P95 and a GLOCK G19 Gen4. The GLOCK was an average of 50 fps higher than the Ruger. Also, the GLOCK was more tolerant of marginal (low velocity) loads than the Ruger. Here's a link to my results: http://glock.pro/glock-pistols/8673-...ruger-p95.html)



Lyman Reloader's Data Log


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Last edited by JettaRed; April 25th, 2014 at 09:45 AM.
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Old April 25th, 2014, 09:21 AM #4
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Non-kinetic Bullet Puller

A non-kinetic bullet puller is very nice to have, but second to the kinetic puller. The advantage to the non-kinetic type is that you usually don't have powder flying all over the place when you don't detect the bullet actually separating from the case, and decide to smack it again. The disadvantages are that you need a separate collet for each caliber and some bullets are harder to separate due to the limited grip area.

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Old April 25th, 2014, 04:50 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaemonAssassin View Post
Like in the previous ones I did, I want contributions when I'm done, so it doesn't break my train of thought. My apologies for coming across a little harsh. Don't worry about deleting them, I'll just add you as an accidental co-editor in the revision history.

When it is completed, I'll ask for it to be made into a sticky so people can use it. Recommendations on things that I missed will be credited, just like in the previous threads I've done. If only vBulletin had something akin to a Wiki feature...
you left out case trimmer? how about powder measures? priming tools? deburring? case lube? I make my own loading trays so you get a pass on that lol
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Old April 25th, 2014, 08:55 PM #6
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You have case lube in there twice

BTW, if you raid the trash cans at ranges you'll find people throw away perfectly good ammo boxes with the plastic cartridge holders in them. Some painters tape to tell you what you loaded and you're all set.
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Old April 26th, 2014, 05:37 AM #7
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DA-nice thread, very much appreciated as was your previous one. Thank you. Now if people would have let you finish before jumping in it would be much less cluttered.
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Old April 28th, 2014, 07:02 AM #8
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I don't consider some type of case cleaner or a case trimmer "not so mandatory". True you may for a time get away with not trimming or cleaning brass but if you don't clean it you risk scratched dies and stuck cases. If you don't trim bottle neck and some other cases you risk dangerous pressures if your over-length case gets forced beyond where it is supposed to end.
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Old April 28th, 2014, 07:20 AM #9
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Great Thread!
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Old April 28th, 2014, 07:29 AM #10
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I would add primer tray. Because it makes life easier and for $5 why not?

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/466...r-turning-tray
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