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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been shooting for years but recently started shooting a LOT more. I purchased a Remington 700 .308 and was looking into reloading cartridges myself so i can possibly make a longer range and more accurate bullet wondering if i purchased all the proper equipment how difficult is it to reload those shells!
 

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Nope. Not hard. First, get a basic reloading manual and read it. The Lyman Reloading Handbook #49 is out there and is clearer than other current publications, I feel. Other suggestions are out there. If you can get an experienced reloader to mentor you for an evening or two, that's the best shortcut.

Don't spend a lot of money to start. Get the Lee Anniversary kit plus a set of .308 dies for an inexpensive beginning. If you upgrade to a Forster Co-ax press later, you will still use the Lee equipment for miscellaneous tasks. If you change your mind and decide you don't care for rolling your own, you aren't out a lot. You will need primers, powder, cases, and bullets, but before choosing those, I would ask questions about the kind of shooting (targets and what kind, hunting and of what game) and the ranges you expect to be doing this at? Then you will get recommendations for those consumables to match your purposes best.

You will need a case trimmer, and the Lee is slow but at about $10 for one chambering like the .308, it is just fine for starting out. You will need a chamfering and deburring tool, and there I would rather see you spend $16 for a lyman, RCBS or Forster tool. The Lee's don't work as easily.

Finally, you will need a systematic approach to developing your loads to find what is most accurate in your gun? I like to point people to Dan Newberry's site for a good way to go about it. The only disagreements I have with Mr. Newberry are about some of the tools he finds useless. I find several of them useful, depite what he says, but he is correct to the extent that you don't need special gauges or specialty dies or fancy brass preparation tools to begin or to do quite well. You can decide whether or not you want to mess with that stuff later? Newberry's low-complexity tooling approach can get you to 1/2 moa if your rifle needs no additional work.

Keep in mind the best ammo in the world won't overcome basic gun problems. Get a box or two of Federal Gold Medal match ammo. However well you shoot with it will likely be improved on still further with your tuned hand loads. If it can't shoot the Federal at all well, and the scope and its rings are in good shape, there is a good chance that bolt lug lapping, re-inletting and or bedding, or recrowning or other gunsmithing steps will need to be taken before you can expect fabulous results from the rifle.
 

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I have been shooting for years but recently started shooting a LOT more. I purchased a Remington 700 .308 and was looking into reloading cartridges myself so i can possibly make a longer range and more accurate bullet wondering if i purchased all the proper equipment how difficult is it to reload those shells!
The .308 Win. is a fine and accurate cartridge. However it is hard to duplicate factory velocities but still you can reload and obtain excellent accuracy. The range limit on a .308, if you're hunting Deer is around 200 yards. This is with the 150 grain bullet (Factory load). I wouldn't use the 180 grain bullet as your velocity will be quite abit lower so your effective hunting range would be less also. If you are loading for varmints then I suggest you reload 125 or 130 grain spitzers plain base or boattails. I've been working with several powders and found that IMR-4064, WW-748, IMR-4320, and Hodgdon's Varget seem to be the best. I am certain there are other powders that willl work as well.
 

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If you purchase a reloading manual (recommend the Lyman 49th issue), read the introduction thoroughly and follow the loading recommendations, you will have no problem reloading centerfire cartridges. Members can expound on this forum to great extent, yet will be less than if you get the manual and read for yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the advice! where would b the best place to get the reloading manuel most books stores have it or where would I find it? sorry for asking so many questions rifle shooting is a passion of mine and like all passions I am always lookin for more info! Thanks to everyone!
 

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Most sporting goods stores that carry reloading supplies should have the book. If you cannot find it, amazon or numerous other places online carry it.

I'm going to warn you, if you get into it, it an addiction!
 

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Handloading will allow you to shoot more economically. Your expectations and your shooting activities will determine the type of handloading equipment you will need. Are you shooting organized match stuff? Are you a hunter that likes to shoot at the range to be as accurate as possible for hunting? Do you just enjoy shooting and want your groups to be small at longer ranges? How much do you shoot(rounds per session and sessions per week or month)?

Knowing these things could help in making a decision about your handloading equipment and even where your purchases of equipment are made.

Handloading is fun but time consuming. Sometimes it even cuts into time you could be shooting.
 

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While reloading is not difficult, it does require a "scientific" approach that understands how variables influence results and how to manage them carefully. It is actually quite fascinating to work towards the goals you have set for any specific load, whether that is accuracy at long range, or perhaps the combination of highest velocity and accuracy for a hunting bullet.

It is, however, getting very hard for a hand loader to make ammunition that is better than factory loads. When I started, it was easy to beat factory loads in any aspect from good bullet selection, to velocity, to accuracy potential with very little effort. Now, factory ammo is very good, and you should be prepared to study, experiment, and shoot a lot of rounds testing if you want to do better than the factories can produce. You will also need tools like computer programs, and a chronograph. You will not save money by reloading your own.

You will shoot more, and become a better shot. I also think it is just plain fascinating too. So I recommend handloading as a way to add to your enjoyment of shooting, but it is important to understand that it will require time, money, and study in order to produce superior ammunition for your guns.
 

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Sask,

When you say, "You will not save money by reloading your own." I'm not sure that is true. Depending on how much shooting a person does, and how many cartridges they wind up reloading for, I think the savings realized from loading your own, versus premium ammunition can really add up, over time. If you only shoot a box of shells a year you'll never get back the money you spent on reloading equipment. However, if you go through 200-300 rounds a year, for various calibers, you'll be close to breaking even and each subsequent year, you could be saving quite a bit. Plus, you'll get the benefit of knowing you are shooting ammo that YOUR gun really likes.

Just my two cents...
 

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Sask,

When you say, "You will not save money by reloading your own." I'm not sure that is true. Depending on how much shooting a person does, and how many cartridges they wind up reloading for, I think the savings realized from loading your own, versus premium ammunition can really add up, over time. If you only shoot a box of shells a year you'll never get back the money you spent on reloading equipment. However, if you go through 200-300 rounds a year, for various calibers, you'll be close to breaking even and each subsequent year, you could be saving quite a bit. Plus, you'll get the benefit of knowing you are shooting ammo that YOUR gun really likes.

Just my two cents...
Agreed, but many people start reloading when the see the price of factory ammo, and think they can make it cheaper themselves.

What happens to many is that they shoot maybe 60 rounds a year sighting, playing a bit, and hunting with factory ammo, and see cheaper costs per round through hand loading. What they don't see is that they will inevitably go from that 60 rounds a year to several hundred rounds a year testing, experimenting, playing around and hunting, and that the total money spent on shooting will go up a lot once they start hand loading.

I just want to make sure that anyone starting out understands you need to be doing it for all the other reasons that hand loading is fascinating, not just because you want to save money on cartridges. You won't. You will enter a really interesting hobby that will occupy many hours and provide lots of entertainment as well as superior shooting experiences, but you won't spend less on your shooting habit at all. You will likely spend much more in total. I know I sure do (my wife noticed it too.) :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thats true I started off with a .22 then got a .223 and now I got a .308
 

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We may be getting a bit off point, but if you really want to save some money reloading put a few oddballs in the safe like .225 Winchesters, .284 Winchesters, and .264 Win Mags. The savings over factory ammo then adds up quickly. I know Shooter88 has a .308 now, but every single full safe or cabinet started with just one rifle.
That's my point, exactly. Think of all the money you could save if you bought a few more rifles! ;)

To the OP, my experience has all been very positive. I think you should do it.
 
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