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Discussion Starter #1
I was going to get an entirely new gun, but have now decided I will just "bite the bullet" and learn to reload. I was going to get a small caliber (25-06), but have instead decided to reload my 30-06 with 115-130 grain bullets.

So where do I start? What should I get. I know there are tons of different powders, and different types of reloading equipment.

I will have plenty of $$ to start this project with ($1200), and i dont want to buy things twice b/c the first time I went the cheap route. Then again I dont need the most expensive thing also.

Im really a deer in the head lights with this discussion. I know there are alot of parts: dies, powder, etc.

TIA!
 

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The first thing you need to get is 2 or 3 reloading manuels and start reading , some of this stuff is weary dry reading but you need to learn to crawl before you can walk

The second thing is to decide do i want to reload just rifle or pistol and rifle and how much are you going to load , this will help determine what press to get . for the person just starting out i would suggest a single stage press , that way you have to do the steps one at a time .

A lot of people like to bash lee presses and dies but for the money you can't go wrong they are good tools , the classic cast anniversary kit will have every thing you will need to get started except powder and primers and bullets.

Check the manuals to see which cal. you intend to load , choose a powder for that cal. and bullet weight . then go to a gun shop that sells reloading supplys to get powder , the primers , bullets you will need . while you are there see if they know any other reloaders in the area that might be willing to help you get started .

I have been reloading for over 20 years and still don't know every thing and never will.
 

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For $250 you can can an RCBS master reloading kit with almost everything you need except the dies (and powder, bullets and primers of course). If you want one with the electric scale and powder measure that will be $400-$450. The kit also contains the Speer manual that has plenty of reloading receipes for 30-06 as well as tutorial instructions.
 

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i started with a lee anniversary kit. it helped me learn the basics.

the rcbs kit jack mentioned can not be beat; and the speer reloading manuel is one of my favorites.
 

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Get yourself the RCBS Rock Chucker kit and the RCBS Accessory kit. That will give you everything you need to get started properly.

However, I don't think you are going to be happy with your '06 and 115 to 130 grain bullets.

From your bullet weight selection I have a feeling that you intend on doing a little varmint hunting. If so, then I would suggest one of the 6mm's and the Sierra 85 HPBT.
 

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The Lee reloading manual is made for those just starting out. It reads like an ad for Lee products, but is a good read for those starting out. As stated above, pick up a few reloading manuals and read up a bit.
 

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For starters the lightest bullet I found that will shoot good groups at long ranges is the 130 gn. Speer HP. Excellant varmint bullet. The RCBS Rock Chucker, or similar heave press is a good place to start and will probibly be all you`ll ever need. You will need a good scales, press, dies, manual and if possible find someone close that has been reloading for a while to help you get started.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
How would the Barnes TSX 130 grain work for DEER. Thats what I would want to shoot out of my 30-06....im tired of the 165 grainers blowing a huge hole through them. And will the 130s give better long range performance (less drop at longer ranges)?

TIA
 

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goose7856 said:
How would the Barnes TSX 130 grain work for DEER. Thats what I would want to shoot out of my 30-06....im tired of the 165 grainers blowing a huge hole through them. And will the 130s give better long range performance (less drop at longer ranges)?

TIA
With a 30-06 for varments, use a FMJ bullet and go about 168 gr. You will get better accuracy out of a longer bullet than one of the shorter 130 gr.

The 130 gr. Barnes TSX would not be any different on damage to deer than the 165 gr. bullets. Yes, the 130 gr. bullet would be a little flatter shooting but the heavier bullet will be better as far as accuracy, because it will buffer the wind better at longer ranges. JMHO. :D
 

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I eased into reloading and money was a priority in the beginning. I started with a Lee Challenger press and Lee dies. I still use the dies but with RCBS or Lyman lock rings. I now have a Lyman Chusher II press. Having a bit of experience with the Lee equipment and other brands too I'd say buy a cast iron press. Lee, Lyman, Redding, or RCBS have good cast iron presses. I'd not buy Lee dies again since I don't like their lock rings that come with the dies. Get a good mechanical scale and a good powder measure (especially if you're going to reload pistol ammo). I have a Lyman's reloading manual for handgun and rifle cartridges I like the best overall. It has cast and jacketed loads and a good intro on how to reload. I have other manuals too but they don't seem as good overall to me. A tumbler isn't a must have item when you start out but you'll want one sooner or later. For rifle cartridges you'll want to trim your brass so a trimmer and a caliper will be needed.
 

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I eased into reloading and money was a priority in the beginning. I started with a Lee Challenger press and Lee dies. I still use the dies but with RCBS or Lyman lock rings. I now have a Lyman Crusher II press. Having a bit of experience with the Lee equipment and other brands too I'd say buy a cast iron press. Lee, Lyman, Redding, or RCBS have good cast iron presses. I'd not buy Lee dies again since I don't like their lock rings that come with the dies. Get a good mechanical scale and a good powder measure (especially if you're going to reload pistol ammo). I have a Lyman's reloading manual for handgun and rifle cartridges I like the best overall. It has loads for cast and jacketed bullets and a good intro on how to reload. I have other manuals too but they don't seem as good overall to me. A tumbler isn't a must have item when you start out but you'll want one sooner or later. For rifle cartridges you'll want to trim your brass so a trimmer and a caliper will be needed. You don't have to buy the most expensive items but buy quality and you'll never be sorry.
 

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When I was a young man about your age......I bought a lee handloader for my first high powered rifle.......a mauser 95 in 7 X 57 mm Mauser.......this is basic kit but you'll be suprised at the quality of ammo it produces.........

If your unsure about handloading, this is a great way to start for very little money.........

That said, the RCBS Master kit is great.....and the RCBS products last at least a life time..........
 

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goose7856:

I think you will be better off going to a 200 or 220 grain bullet if you are unsatisfied with blowing big holes into your deer. It will be slower, less destructive, and will probably penetrate completely through the animal. Another possibility is to use a bullet that expands less than whatever you've been using. There's probably a bullet designed for what you want to do, but light, fast bullets are the ones that will destroy tissue. Varmint bullets won't penetrate a deer unless you hit it just right. I've used .270 varmint bullets and have some experience with them. They're designed to blow up on contact.

If the tissue destruction you are experiencing is happening at close range, then maybe you'd be happier with a bigger and slower bullet. If you want long distance trajectory for distances longer than 300 yards, then consider a boattail bullet of around 170 or 180 grains for the 30-06. Tissue destruction shouldn't be much of a problem at that range.

Fortunately, as the man says, you can't go wrong with a 30-06. But I believe you can go badly wrong with bullet selection for the 30-06.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I dont think its the bullet selection thats destroying the deer so much, b/c im using 165 grain Hornady Interbonds Light Magnums.

They are very durable bullets, stay together great, and I have had exit wounds on all my deer.

Maybe ill just have to realize that a 30-06 is a little overkill on deer, and there is no way to get around the damage. I dont want to shoot 200 or 220s b/c it wont have the long range capabilities.

The first couple rounda I load will be with really cheap bulk bullets to get the hang of things, then Ill try Barnes TSX 130 grain and a assortment of 150 grain bullets (probably Swift Scirroco and Hornady Interbond, maybe even Nosler Accubonds).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
300 is about the max i would want to shoot, maybe 350, but prob. 300.
 

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Goose, many newbys ask the same question and it does seem bewildering to get started, particularly when no one is willing to show you the ropes. Like anything else, get started by taking a small step. Before buying any hardware, get 2-3 reloading books and take the time to read them thoroughly. Once you've done that and understand the process, you will have a better idea of what you want to get and will be ready to start loading.
 

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Hey, maybe a reloading press is not what you need. When you consider that just about every deer on the planet can be taken with a 25 caliber gun, maybe what you need to do is to downsize to a 257 Roberts. I don't think its a 300 yrd. gun but my guess is that most of your shots are closer to half that anyway (unless you always shoot in wide open country). Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
You are correct.

Most of my shots are under 150 yards, but i still like having the option to shoot farther.
 

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Shoot the deer in the lungs and what difference does it make how much damage is done? It's not meat you'll be eating anyway. Shoot them in the shoulder or the gut and you have a real mess either way and will lose meat you could have eaten from the shoulder.

For deer with the '06 I really prefer the 180 grain and the old RN is great.

If you get a reloading outfit I'd stay away from Lee presses personally. I have used RCBS for many years and now use the Hornady L-N-L single stage press. I'd recommend you get either the Hornady, RCBS or Redding press. Either way it's a life time investment you'll never need to replace.

But do get the Lee Auto Prime to prime those cases. I've never found better. Also get a full box set of their Auto Prime shell holders and their press shell holders just to have when you need one not on hand.

Get a good digital scale. Mine is RCBS but back then it was the only one available.

I have dies by Lee, RCBS, Hornady, Lyman, Forster and Redding. These days new dies coming to my house are Hornady only. I won't buy Lee or Forster again. The others I might but still I prefer the Hornady. Just plain don't want to seat bullets with any other these days.

Get the Lyman reloading manual and also the manuals from whatever bullet maker you plan to use and the powder maker's manuals for all powders you will use. Yeah that might be a lot of manuals. Get them.
 
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