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  1. #1

    can anyone answer about 400 questions about reloading???

    Hi All

    I am seriously interested in reload ing. I shoot.40 S&W 165 or 180 grain FMJ and JHP.

    Here's the thing... Im a mechanical tinkering kind of guy, so I am leaning toward a LEE LOAD MASTER Progressive press. It is less costly than Dillon and I do not mind fiddling with it.

    what troubles me now is the cost of components....I pay $.27 per round of FMJ.

    Im a cheap ass...and I own that title.

    So, looking for pricing on the following:

    Brass - Yes, I know I should pick it up,but the buggers fly all over the place and I step on them...and when I shoot in the desert they get mixed in with the other 42,000,000 casings laying in the dirt

    Projectiles - nothing fancy...just 165 or 180 grain FMJ or ??? Cheap!! once I pull the trigger I will never see the bullet again

    Powder - holy crap there are tons of options. not sure what is good or bad or how much it should cost

    Primers - small pistol for 40 S&W, right???

    Im open to research and have been doing a ton. Just thought I would ask the experts here.

    Thanks for your help!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    I think we should pin one of these posts because the questions are common.

    The first thing you should purchase are a pair of reloading books. By two different publishers. Read both. At least twice if not three times.

    When it comes to a press, start with a single stage. Some will tell you it's fine to start with a progressive. Just don't do it. There is too much going on with a progressive for a new reloader to pay attention to. Besides, a good single stage press will stay with you forever. You'll find uses for it down the road even after you've started down the Dillon road (I know - you said Lee).

    When you're out shooting, collect all the brass you can get your hands on and sort it out later. You'll get to where you can spot the 9mm from the .40 from the .45 fairly easily. Some of it is usable even if it's a little crushed. Besides, it's good to keep our shooting areas clean.

    Once you have your brass, you'll need to clean it. I recommend a stainless steel cleaner. Works much better than a vibratory tumbler.

    As for bullets, there are several vendors who sell assorted types of bullets. You can get plain lead, coated lead, jacketed, plated and maybe a few others. You can get RN, WC, SWC, FMJ, JHP and a few others (look those terms up in your reloading books). I'm a fan of cheap bullets, but I like the 180's for my 40 so I can keep them subsonic for suppressor use. Are you shooting steel? Lead may be best.

    For powder, look at the reloading books. You'll see types and ranges for the bullet weight and style you select. Follow what the books tell you and start low. What ever you do, DO NOT start at the max load. Bad Things Can Happen(tm).

    You'll read there are 7,000 grains of powder per pound. Take the weight of powder you select and divide 7,000 by that number and you'll get about how many loads will come out of one pound. You can calculate the powder cost per round as well.

    You'll also see the primers listed in the reloading books. You are correct: Small Pistol for .40.

    You'll need a bunch of other things: scale, dial caliper and a bullet puller are some of them.
    Last edited by Ken; 04-12-2018 at 06:35 AM.
    Keep it clean and keep it friendly. If you need help, ask.

  3. #3
    I totally agree with the Admin post. I still have and use both of my original single stage presses, Lee and RCBS, and 25 years later they both still serve me well. They, 2 progressives, and the Load Books that came with them are still part of my setup. I personally use the single stage's for precision rifle reloading and the progressives for pistol and rifle "bulk" reloading. Read the books, read the books, and then read the books.....Good Luck.....Be safe....ENJOY....DD

  4. #4 Forums has a great section on reloading, with plenty of load data to be had. Agree on single stage to learn, but for pistol only, a Dillon SDB is hard to beat for an entry level progressive.


  5. #5
    I reload 40 as well as several other pistol and rifle calibers. I have 6 different reload manuals to cross check any load data I use. I still use my old RCBS rockchucker single stage press. For the 40 cal, i use 4.6 grains of universal powder, remington small pistole primers, and 180 grain Barry's target hollow points. Any time you go out shooting, pick up any and all brass. Keep what ever you can use and sell/trade what you can't. If younneed any hel, jjust message me. I am better with phone calls.

  6. #6
    Get a chronograph. Load development is paramount for accuracy and safety. Books and other reloaders experience does not equate to safe in your particular firearm. Unless you duplicate everything exactly as book data, your mileage will vary.

  7. #7
    Old thread, excuse my input. To get started, keep it simple. I began realoading on my Mom and Dad's kitchen table (to their distress) using powder dippers I made from filed down 9mm cases soldered to a paper clip. I was relaoding for Bullseye pistol and it worked to get me started. I ended up an internationally competitive pistol shooter, gun writer (first review of the Glock in the USA) and it went downill from there..... :-)
    Long story short ... not sure if you are starting out for revolver (easy), pistol (needs thought), rifle (somewhere between) but the single stage press is the way to go. I still use an RCBS Rockchucker I have had for 40 years....
    Educate yourself. Buy books. Don't skimp. You will pay for your education one way or another.....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    9mm cases soldered to a paper clip? I thought I started small with the Lee dippers. :-)
    Keep it clean and keep it friendly. If you need help, ask.

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    9mm cases soldered to a paper clip? I thought I started small with the Lee dippers. :-)
    Indeed. We were, however, loading 3.0 grains of Nobel Pistol powder #3, the conventional wisdom for a .38 Special WC/HBWC target load. Back in thise days, Lee didn't acommodate us.

  10. #10
    Still seeking answers?

    Once fired brass is very inexpensive at online sources. And .40 is almost free. If you want some really good ready to load brass, but still priced very reasonably, try Weatherford Reloading, I buy from them and have been very pleased.

    If you don't mind sorting, Pulled jacketed bullets can be had for very inexpensive prices, I buy from American Reloading. I recently bought 500 pulled 9mm, but there's actually closer to 600 in the bag. Cost was around 3-1/2 cents per bullet. At least half were JHP, and FN and RN FMJ accounted for most of the rest.

    Powder- I like to use slow burning powders, Longshot and HS6 in particular have been long time favorites for .40, 9mm, and 38 special. High velocities and lower peak pressures make me happy.

    Primers - I'm picky about primers, I have used CCI nearly exclusively for nearly 40 years, I have yet to experience a mis-fire.

    FYI, I don't use FC brass unless carefully inspected or if confirmed as having been manufactured 15 or more years ago.


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