The giant "Get SS3 into reloading" Thread

shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior MemberPosts: 5,378 Senior Member
Hey guys, one of the gifts under the tree this year for me was a Lee Hand Press from dear old Dad (gee, I wonder how he always knows what I want?). So, I'm set to get into reloading now! I will probably upgrade to a single stage and a turret press at some point, but while I'm still in college plus while I'm still moving around and don't have much free time during Flight School I think the hand press will do what I want perfectly.

Anyway, I will be reloading for the following cartridges, and uses:

To start:
7mm08 Remington (Deer, Elk, Antelope)
.45 ACP (Target shooting, in a revolver, 1911 later)

To add later:
.243 Winchester (Deer, Coyotes, paper punching)
.30-06 (for a Garand)
.357 Magnum (Deer, light target loads)
9x19 (Target loads)
.223 (Plinking, Deer)

I have ready access to the following:
Varget
Tite-Group
IMR 4895
120gr 7mm SGK
55gr .224 bullets
160gr LRN .45 ACP

So what kind of powder and bullets should I be looking at? I'm assuming I'll be doing stuff such as only necksizing the rifle ammo, measuring COAL off the lands, etc...

Priority right now goes to 7mm08 light hunting loads (TX deer) and .45 ACP stuff.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated, this is a relatively new game to me!
- I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
"It's far easier to start out learning to be precise and then speeding up, than it is having never "mastered" the weapon, and trying to be precise." - Dan C

Replies

  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,053 Senior Member
    That hand press is pretty darn cool for what it is. I think you will like it. I would stick with the 7/08 loads at first where you will get the best results. The 45acp loads can wait and you will get very few gains (if any) over factory.

    What twist is your 7/08? What type of bullets do you have in mind? What goals are you trying to achieve with your loads in 7/08?
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 14,834 Senior Member
    Varget will take care of the 7mm-08, the .243 and the .223

    Hornady bullets SSTs, VMaxs, and AMaxs will fill most (if not all) of your rifle needs (relatively economically too compared to other manufacturers..
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior Member Posts: 5,378 Senior Member
    My goal for the 7mm08, for now, is basically as accurate as possible, light for caliber recoil, and good for small (no heavier than 150lbs) deer. Once I get a good handle on that I'll probably start developing an elk load.
    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
    "It's far easier to start out learning to be precise and then speeding up, than it is having never "mastered" the weapon, and trying to be precise." - Dan C
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,053 Senior Member
    My goal for the 7mm08, for now, is basically as accurate as possible, light for caliber recoil, and good for small (no heavier than 150lbs) deer.

    I would say conventional bullets on the lighter end, and starting loads will do that trick but accuracy may tell you a different story. You will never find out until you try first. How about starting with 139gr. Hornady SST's? http://www.midwayusa.com/product/298933/hornady-interlock-bullets-284-caliber-7mm-284-diameter-139-grain-sst-boat-tail-box-of-100
    Using a starting load of Varget? 4895?
    http://data.hodgdon.com/main_menu.asp
  • PegasusPegasus Senior Member Posts: 2,552 Senior Member
    A few years ago, I was offered an RCBS Jr press and some other doodads when a neighbor passed away. I already had an RCBS Jr and was planning to upgrade to a Redding T-6, but I took it anyway. Now, I have two RCBS Jr single stage presses sitting idle in my loading area. You're in College Station, I'm in Spring. If ever you come this way or I go your way, you are welcome to one of my RCBS Jr presses, free of charge. If this does not happen after a while, I may just ship it to you. That's if you want it, of course. I also have some .223 dies that you can have, I think I have several sets and I only use the Redding ones anymore.
  • WeatherbyWeatherby Senior Member Posts: 4,740 Senior Member
    :up: Pegasus The kid must have some Karma
  • mkk41mkk41 Banned Posts: 1,932 Senior Member
    Just to repeat what I tell everyone starting out , get the Lee ABC's of reloading and the Lyman Handbook and read them thru carefully a time or two. I also highly recommend P.O. Ackley's Handbook for Shooters and Reloaders.

    Other than that , ya got great resources right here.
    "There are no victims , only volunteers!"
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,663 Senior Member
    Matt, I concur with the previous posts about starting with the 7/08.
    Of the powders you listed as having available, I prefer the Varget, IME it meters a little better than the IMR4895
    I haven't used the 120gr Sierras on game, so I can't comment on them, but know from my 7mmIHMSA that the 120 Nosler Ballistic Tips work well on deer sized game
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • PegasusPegasus Senior Member Posts: 2,552 Senior Member
    I just got back from my loading area and I have some good news and some bad news.

    First the bad news; I can't seem to find the other set of .223 dies. I'm pretty sure I have a set of RCBS .223 dies (I believe those were the first ones I ever bought in 1982,) but I can't find them right now. Just because I have not used them in 10+ years is not a reason for them to run away. How about a set of Bonanza .223 dies instead?

    Now for the good news; I also have a Pacific beam scale that you can have. It's old but it works fine. Hmm, the more I started digging the more stuff I came up with. I'm going to set up a box and call it my SS3 Care Box.
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,543 Senior Member
    Just start loading with what you got and don't worry about what you think you'll do in the future. As you gain experience, you'll form your own opinion as to your equipment and component preferences.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 9,663 Senior Member
    Congrats on the press. That is the press that I started off with... and well, it's the only press I have. I mostly do 10mm, .357 and .454Casull on it, but I have loaded 7.62x39 as well. It works great for what it is.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • temmitemmi Member Posts: 230 Member
    I don’t know if you have given any thought to the brand of bullets you want to use, but, I recommend getting reloading manuals to answer your questions.

    I like to use the books which are written by the bullet manufactures.

    If you are undecided you can get some good load manuals written by the Powder Manufactures which are more bullet generic.

    In my mind you are hard pressed to beat Nosler Rifle bullets.

    For the 45 ACP I use Speer.
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,702 Senior Member
    For my Tikka 7mm08 (twist is 9.5) Varget ( AR2208) and 140g sierra psp's is what I started with. After working up a load that gave me less than moa at 100 and 200 I went hunting with them. Have shot about 11 deer with them (Fallow ) and 2 hogs in 15 mths. Havent lost one yet. Ranges varied from 10 to 248yds.

    Tried some 120g sierra's and couldnt get the same accuracy as the 140's.

    My criteria for the above selection was based mostly on Bloodhounds experience plus cost considerations as components over here are expensive compared with the USA. ( I didnt want to buy a selection of projectiles )

    For my 222 and 22-250, Varget and Sierra 50g psp's also worked extremely well. Have shot 5 deer and about 15 goats with both rifles and havent lost one yet.

    Your mileage may vary...
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior Member Posts: 5,378 Senior Member
    Pegasus wrote: »
    I just got back from my loading area and I have some good news and some bad news.

    First the bad news; I can't seem to find the other set of .223 dies. I'm pretty sure I have a set of RCBS .223 dies (I believe those were the first ones I ever bought in 1982,) but I can't find them right now. Just because I have not used them in 10+ years is not a reason for them to run away. How about a set of Bonanza .223 dies instead?

    Now for the good news; I also have a Pacific beam scale that you can have. It's old but it works fine. Hmm, the more I started digging the more stuff I came up with. I'm going to set up a box and call it my SS3 Care Box.

    Pegasus, thank you very much for your kind offer. I am definitely interested. You have PM

    Everyone else, thanks for the info! Dad has some 120gr SGK loads for my 7mm08 put together already, so I'm going to shoot those today as a starting point and see how they do.
    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
    "It's far easier to start out learning to be precise and then speeding up, than it is having never "mastered" the weapon, and trying to be precise." - Dan C
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