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Thread: Need a little help.

  1. #1

    Need a little help.

    I am going to begin reloading .308 winchester. I would be very grateful if someone could write me a list of exactly what i need to get started. I have been to several gunshops and have been given varying information and prices. I am not mass producing, but do require consistent equipment. The rounds will be for deer not targets.

  2. #2
    The first thing you need is "Modern Reloading" by Richard Lee, Volume II because you will need to learn reloading before you can do it. It makes no sense to try and buy equipment without being very familiar with the process. Modern Reloading is my all time favorite reloading manual.

    My favorite kit for reloading is the Lee Classic reloader.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    This unit necksizes, only, but when combined with a Lee .308 trimmer and a Lee deburring tool (both very inexpensive) you have a very inexpensive, yet precise, reloading outfit that in principle is very similar to what bench rest shooters use. You may decide to "move on" ** to bench mounted equipment at some point, but can still keep this kit around. I do. I have a pretty extensive array of bench-mounted equipment but keep a Lee Classic for as many calibers as I can. I like to reload at the range and these kits are excellent in that capacity.

    Here in the US the total cost for all the equipment I mentioned would be under $50 US. All I would add is an inexpensive reloading scale with which to set powder charges should you decide not to go with the ones Lee lists in their Kit.~Muir

    ** I have a friend who started with this Kit on his .222. He now owns bench-mounted gear for handgun but will not accept my offer of a spare set of .222 dies for his rifle. "Why change what works?" was his response. He shoots half-inch groups at 100M pretty consistently....
    Last edited by Muir; 01-08-2010 at 15:28.

  3. #3


    I started off by buying the lee anniversary kit, a set of deluxe dies (full length and neck size) a case trimmer guage, primers by CCI, bullets hornady SST or Interlock soft point 150gn, and the powder I have been using has been Viht N140, but I have also got some Reloader 15 and Hodgdons Varget to try.
    I have been using Lapua brass but I wouldn't go down this avenue again, as it is very costly now.

    It is a very personal choice, and almost everyone's opinion will vary, just because I have reloaded using these bits and bobs it doesn't mean that you should not consider things which are easier for you to locally purchase.

  4. #4
    I'm pretty much a beginner as well and have been at the reloading for maybe 3 - 4 years, though taking it at a very slow pace. I found that there is an awful lot of stuff you can get but what you need is much less than that. I too reload for 308 and think that I'm doing well at it, or at least I'm pleased with my results. I now have a 150 grain load with Hornady Spire Points that is accurate and is doing about 3000fps leaving the rifle. As Muir says there are other options to a bench mounted press but I decided to go for the bench mounted one. Apart from the press and a powder funnel here is what I've been reloading with for the past few years, I'm not saying this will suit you but it might give you some ideas as to what you can get away with:

  5. #5
    SD Regular
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    East Midlands M1/M69 Junction 21
    At its most basic you can manage with very little in fact. But what you will need is a good solid permanent table (or substitute such as a "workmate")!

    At the most frugal you'll make good ammunition with just the following (despite what others may assert):

    1) Reloading press with ability to seat primers and that has a positive stop to its stroke

    2) 1 x full length 2 die set (Re-Size and Seater/Crimper) and Shellholder

    3) Scales

    4) Powder dipper - the Lee yellow plastic "Popeye's pipe" set are good

    5) A length of coathanger about three inches long

    6) Plastic pot such as the lid off a large aerosol or a plastic large yoghurt pot cut down

    7) Powder funnel to put the powder into the case

    8) A case holding block either ready made or 5/8" holes drilled through a piece of wood with a bottom then stuck on it.

    All the rest such as the deburring tool, the hand held primer seater, case length gauge etc., etc. are nice but not really immediately needed.

    I've reloaded pistol and rifle for near on just over thirty years and whilst it is nce to have all the extras for the first three or four times you reload each case you don't really need such as a case trimmer or anything like that.

    In fact I now scarcely use my RCBS Uniflow as I pour powder into the plastic aerosol lid, use a dipper to measure just below the charge I need. I tip this onto the scale pan and then take a part scoop with the dipper and gently sprinkle to top up to the correct weight.

    The length of coathanger being used to draw across the dipper to get a level fill each time. Some use an old credit card even!

    I then pour the weighed charge into the case through the funnel and place it in the case holding block.

    This is better that if you seat and finish the round as soon as soon as you charge it as a visual check can be made if the rounds are in the block that a) all cases are charged with powder and b) that all the charges look the same volume.

    You then seat the bullet to finish the round. The seater/crimper die can be adjusted to give no crimp or a crimp of desired strength.

    A lot of people use no crimp BTW.

    After about four reloadings of each case you may want a case trimmer and with it the necessary evil of an inside and outside de-burring tool.

    If you crimp a Lee Factory Crimp is by far better then any inbuilt crimp in any seater/crimper die!

    The hand held primer seaters are something I have NEVER used as I either used the press or the RCBS "automatic" tool. As for pistol use it was not unusual to load three hundred rounds at a time.

    But really - for rifle use - if you are only loading fifty rounds at a time the press is good enough.

  6. #6
    I would agree with all of the above except that I would buy a Lee Trimmer outfit. The cost is minimal and you never know! while some rifle/load/chamber combinations produce negligible stretching for the first few loadings, some darned well do. Trimming is fast and an assurance of safety. With the Lee rig there is no set up as they are caliber specific. Run it over the case: if the case is long, it is trimmed. If not, the cutter won't touch it and no harm done. JMHO ~Muir

  7. #7
    Muir is giving sound advice with the calibre specific cutters, I have .223/.270/7mm WSM, & 45/70, they are "fire & forget" jobs.
    (The Unspeakable In Pursuit Of The Uneatable.) " If I can help, I will help!." Former S.A.C.S. member!

  8. #8
    SD Regular
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    East Midlands M1/M69 Junction 21
    And one MAJOR re-sizing lubricant...or else the first case you re-size will be the last as it'll get stuck in your die forever.

    No, really! I did it once (by accident) with a 270 Winchester case in a old RCBS full length die that I had lying around and the die was scrap.

  9. #9
    try reloading solutions in kidlington oxford 01865378200 i found them very helpfull

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