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It appears that an advantage of reloading is that there are many different combinations of components that one may use. However, how do you decide which load to use first?

Do you buy bullets and cases and then look to see which powder is appropriate? Or begin with the powder and then get the bullets?...


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Bacchus on 2001-08-16 13:14 ]</font>
 

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Generally, don't buy anything until you have determined the intended use of your reload (target, bowling pin, self defense).

Bullet selection is usually the first thing to look at, as far as weight and profile (FMJ, LSW, etc.), as certain powders perform better with lighter bullets/higher velocities. I believe it is easier to tailor your choice of powder around a particular bullet, then to choose a powder after. YMMV.

Once you have decided on your choice of bullet, then I would gather up all your reloading manuals and look for a powder that will give you the velocity you want, ideally with a minimum of pressure. Choice of powders can get pretty subjective, and most reloaders end up with their personal favourite because of various factors (economy, cleanliness, accuracy, low muzzle flash, etc.).
 

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What Shane said.

Intended purpose is first, then bullet selection. After that, pick a powder, then hunt up some brass and primers. From my experience and what I have read/observed, brass and primers generally make a very small difference in handgun accuracy for anything other than long range target or hunting use. As long as your brass is good quality, and your press/gun like your primers, get whatever. That said, I mornally have used Winchester or Starline brass and Winchester or Remington primers.

Another thought on powder...if I can, I like to get a flexible powder that I can use in several loads or calibers. Some only work really well in narrow applications. YMMV.
 

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Absolutely determine WHAT you intend to shoot at before purchasing the components.

Then look at what propellants (powders) are used for that weight, caliber, and composition (lead vs. jacketed or plated), and in what amount. If you intend to load for a variety of calibers, look for one or two common propellants (hence my affection for Red Dot and Accurate #2).

And do NOT carry reloads for self-defense, for a number of reasons; the most important of which are:

1. The factory does a better job than you will. Why risk your life to save $2/box?

2. Do you REALLY want some district attorney looking to hang your scalp from his/her belt to describe in glowing detail to the jury how you huddled in your basement arsenal to make ammo more destructive than the hundreds of loads commercially available?

Just some thoughts....
 

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...Well...Pick something you want to reload for! Something you really like to shoot a LOT is a good place to start. Find out what amount you want to reload and what type of reloading you'll do and buy good, quality components and go for it...Buy a couple of good manuals first thing...Even if you don't reload much, the knowledge will help you in many ways. Try to find a friend that reloads and get with them...If you haven't any friends then, you're already doing the research...just keep it up!

Good Luck!!!
 
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