So you want to start loading rifle ammunition! Soon you’ll be realizing more accurate ammunition, complete control over cartridge characteristics, and also save a bunch of money. But first, there’s a bunch of information to absorb, and a bunch of things to buy. But what things to buy? That’s the reason for this article! There are certain things you’ll need, and certain things you’ll want. In this article I’ll introduce a list of the essentials and the “optionals”.
The above picture gives you an idea of the equipment and supplies that will be needed to start loading rifle ammunition, but there are some things that just didn’t fit into the picture. You’ll also need media and machinery to clean cases for instance. For reference, here’s a “complete list” of the items that you’ll need to put on your shopping list or wish list:
|Yes||1||Single stage, turret, or progressive reloading press|
|Yes||1 per cartridge (some shared)||Shellplate (if press is a progressive), Shellholder (if press is a turret or single stage)|
|Yes||1 per cartridge||Die set|
|Yes||100+||Brass, previously fired or new|
|Yes||1||Brass tumbler and media|
|Yes||5lb+ per application||Powder|
|Yes||1000+ per application||Primers|
|Yes||1||Precision scale, digital or mechanical|
|Yes||1-20 per caliber||Ammo boxes (can reuse factory ammo boxes and trays)|
|Yes||1||Digital Caliper (0-6″)|
|Yes||1 per case size||Case trimmer|
|Yes||1||Hand priming tool|
|Yes||1||Universal Reloading block|
|Yes||1||Chamfering and deburring tool|
|No||1||Bullet puller (impact type is most simple and cost effective)|
|No||1 can||Case lube and brush (required if your dies are not carbide or Titanium Nitride)|
|No||5-10lb||Case tumbling media (ground walnut shells, dried corncob)|
|No||1||Case tumbler (Vibratory cleaner or similar)|
|No||1 per primer size||Primer pocket reamer or swaging tool (if reloading crimped military brass such as 5.56x45mm or 7.62x51mm NATO)|
It sounds like a lot of things to track down and buy, but most manufacturers make rifle loading kits that come with most of what you’ll need for a bare-bones reloading setup. Examples would be the RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Master reloading kit and the Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic reloading kit. In the next post in this series, I’ll give you a video walk-through of these components and systems. Stay tuned!
Do you see anything missing from the list above? Please leave a comment!