ill try and start again, only this time im going to split it up into a few different posts to keep from losing the long post again.
first off, let me start by saying i agree with riverrat 200% with everything he said about trying to find someone to show you whats involved before you start.
Let me be the very first here to say that
#1 - reloading rifle caliber cartridges SUCKS DELUXE!!
man do i EVER miss the days when hertenberger and radway green were $0.15 a round and portuguese was considered the lesser of the 3 ammo - back then youd be retarded to reload .308 - boy do i ever miss those days!!
i think that most people new to reloading think you can just spend a hundred or two on a reloading press and each pull of the lever results in one perfect cartridge or .308 or 06 ready to fire - i wish it were that simple
im going to break the steps down for you in order of how most people do them
#1. you need to spread case lube over each piece of brass, and with a cue tip brush the inside of the neck. ive tried every single magic concoction spray on formula like one shot, and it ruins your .308 or 06 brass - period. i switched to the one shot spray from advice on the net, and i stuck a case inside of my die in less than 10 rounds.on long cases like .308 or 06, in my experiance, you need a wax based lube like imperial sizing wax, or the lee sizing wax, or me personally i use ideal brand yellow 77 wire pulling lubricant and i resize the case wet. (im an electrician and just so happen to get the yellow 77 really cheap)
#2 after the case is wet with lube, you run it through your resizing die, and you deprime it in one step. it knocks the old primer out, and it shrinks the brass back down to a size that will reliably chamber inside of your auto loading firearm.
#3. now you want to run your cases through a media tumbler to clean the case lube off your cases, and to make the cases shiny. most people tumble with corn cob media, or walnut shell.
#4. after the cases have spent 3-4 hours in the tumbler, you are going to have to sift the media out of the inside of the cases (it fills up inside the bottle necked brass and you must get it all out). and you will take a dental pick and pick all the media out of the flash holes
#5. most people will then remove the primer crimp by swaging, or cutting the crimp out of the primer pocket next. most all military surplus brass has crimped in primer pockets so this is necessary. use a dillon super swage 600, or rcbs press mounted swager, or the L.E. wilson primer pocket cutter, or the lee chamfer tool to remove the crimp so you can insert a new primer into the pocket
#6. at this point most people uniform the primer pocket by taking a cutter and cutting the primer pocket so its exactly the same on each piece of brass with a little hand held cutter.
#7. some people also swear that the primer hole needs to be uniformed so you run a cutter on the inside of the case to remove any burrs from the flash hole inside and make them uniformed.
#8. now you have a case that has the primer crimp removed, and the primer pocket, and flash hole cleaned, now you need to trim the case to length. Each time you resize the brass, it makes the brass grow at the neck, and it absolutely must be trimmed to correct overall length or it becomes dangerous, so you break out your manual LE Wilson case trimmer and get to cranking which cuts the end of the case neck down to correct size. If you are lucky enough to own a powered trimmer, it greatly reduces this task,
#9. now you have a case that has been resized, and trimmed to the proper length, but the trimming has left a brass lip on the outside of the neck, and that must be removed, so you get out a chamfering tool of some sort and you cut the brass lip off the outside of the neck
#10. now you need to chamfer the inside of the neck slightly to allow the bullet to seat easily so you get a chamfer tool and cut a chamfer on the inside of the neck of the brass.
#11 now you need to add the primer - you can do this with a hand held priming tool that allows you to feel the seating of the primer much better, or you can do this on your press with some kind of press mounted primer seater
#12 - now you are going to add the correct charge of powder from your load data that you got by looking at load data from the powder manufacturer, and a few different reloading manuals. you can just dump powder into the case from a funnel and a powder scooper duper, or for super accurate loads you can throw light charges and trickle a few grains up to weight for each case, or go as far as getting an automatic powder dispenser that will count up the charge on a scale.
#13 - now you insert a bullet, but you need to make sure it meets the correct over all length. a bullet pressed to far into the case can cause your gun to blow up, and a bullet no pressed far enough into the case can cause your gun to blow up. you must check your over all length with a caliper, or a case gauge, or something along them lines to make certain everything is within specs.
#14 - now you are going to crimp the bullet to the case
all that for 1 round of rifle ammo utilizing a fired case - you can alot of those steps if you buy new brass, but your goal is to save money, and buying new brass isnt going to save you money.
so, you should be able to see that reloading for rifle caliber cartridges is FAR more involved than pulling the handle on a progressive press and out pops a single cartridge ready to shoot. It just dont work that way on rifle cartridges cause of the extreme case prep required.
look at this, and see that reloading APPEARS to save you money - BUT, the hidden cost is the expense of your time. If your time isnt worth much money to you and you have more time than money, reloading for rifle may well be for you. If you have more money than time, then reloading rifle aint gonna work for you and will be a huge pain in the ass to you.
so, i gotta agree 200% see if you can find someone locally to show you the ropes before offloading ANY money.
ill give you suggestions on gear next post