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Interested in starting reloading.

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by chickenfarmer, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. chickenfarmer

    chickenfarmer dayton, or Member

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    I am interested in starting reloading and wanting to get your opinions on brands of presses. Looking at the RCBS and Hornady lines. Looking at getting a basic kit and starting from there.
     
  2. evltwn

    evltwn Gold Hill Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    This has been talked to death. First, get a BOOK! Lyman's 49th, Metallic Cartridge Reloading...or any number of others. Read it cover to cover. then read it again. 2. Establish your goal, i.e. single caliber, rifle or pistol, multiple calibers, a few very accurate rounds, or are you into feeding an IDPA pistol. Once you have some firm ideas, we can be of greater value in your research.
     
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  3. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I just bought the Lyman 49th manual for a Christmas gift to be given. Cost $25 at Bi-mart.

    I think I'd start with the Rock Chucker set up (RCBS) or a Lyman turret. I started with a Lyman turret set up a bazillion years ago and still use it for my hunting rounds. Buy good quality and you will never regret it.
     
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  4. SHPD_Retired

    SHPD_Retired Saint Helens Well-Known Member

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    I just started also. I bought the RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit from Walmart. It had almost everything you need and is beefy enough that it should never give you any problems.
     
  5. Otter

    Otter Oregon - mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    I highly recommend you buy a kit. Redding, RCBS or Hornady. All of them include a reloading manual with a step-by-step reloading process. There is a lot of appeal to buy a Dillon for mass reloading for pistol or AR loads, but I always suggest people start with a single stage press. Even if you upgrade you will still have a use for the single stage press. If you decide you don't want it, you can sell it without losing much if any money. All the other items in the kit will remain useful for the most part.
     
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  6. chickenfarmer

    chickenfarmer dayton, or Member

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    Thanks guys. I understand that yes I need to read a manual. I intend to start with the basic equipment because for now I am not into mass reloading. Thank you Otter for your information. I was wondering if any of you preferred one brand over another. I am thinking of the RCBS equipment just because I can buy it local but also know I could mix and match.
     
  7. pterrell

    pterrell San Diego New Member

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    My recommendation is Lee. Inexpensive to get into and if you buy the cast turret it will outlast you (at least the old toners i know say so 100,000+ rounds later)

    Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk
     
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  8. Jammer Six

    Jammer Six North Greenlake, Seattle New Member

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    I'm a blue koolaid guy.

    I started on a Dillon Square Deal, and I'm still there.

    I'd recommend Dillon, first and last.
     
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  9. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    We don't know if he's loading rifle or pistol or both. He also stated he's not into high production.. two counts against the square deal if he's loading rifle also.
     
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  10. Ben B.

    Ben B. Eugene Member

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    I started from zero with a progressive Hornady LnL AP to supply my IPSC, IDPA, & steel shooting and I am VERY glad I ignored the "start with a single stage" advice. If I ever get into precision rifle, I'll buy a single stage. But I get low-effort 1 MOA .223 loads from my progressive for 3 gun matches and a single stage is too dern slow for much pistol shooting. I wouldn't look at anything less than a progressive turret if you plan to shoot much.
     
  11. Jammer Six

    Jammer Six North Greenlake, Seattle New Member

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    Yup, that's so.

    If I were to do it again, and if I loaded rifles, I'd use a 650. If you just load pistols, though, a Square Deal will last you a lifetime.
     
  12. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I started, just two years ago now, with the RCBS kit mentioned above. I only do hand gun at this point, wouldn't make much sense to load rifle as I don't own one! LOL I'm with the group that says "Go single stage to start" I could see a person having a real tough time starting from scratch on a progressive, too many things to get in sync. Hand loading is very easy, once you understand the little quirks of it, and single stage is the way to soak those things in IMO.

    Space would be a consideration, and a warm dry environment. You want to be sitting at the bench in 36 degree dampness in the garage, in winter? My space was limited, and my garage not heated so I'm using an extra bedroom with a small sturdy old desk with my single stage.

    Realize that any of the durable items, dies ,bullets, press, will have resale value should you decide this isn't for you after all. Lee dies are a good start, used dies from the board are still on my bench also. Used brass from the board, bullets in quantity will save, and hold value into the future. You'll need a tumbler/media. If you're needing to use a room in your house, might I suggest going to City Liquidators, they have some real sturdy old desks in their office furniture sections.

    Good Luck!

    Mike
     
  13. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    If you want to load rifle and pistol many times faster than a single stage but don't want to spend 3-4X on a progressive, the auto-indexing Lee Classic Turret cast iron press has a huge following.
    The auto indexing can be removed/disabled in five seconds for your single-stage, "O" press style pleasure.
     
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  14. cookie

    cookie THE SOCIALIST STATE OF KALI - FORNIA Well-Known Member

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    The Dillon 550 has single stage ease with progressive loader speed. buy the Deluxe quick change assembly and shell plates for each caliber . Buy once cry once. The 650 and 1050 are a bit more advanced.
     
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  15. techiej

    techiej vancouver, wa Active Member

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    A couple of things to consider is 1) how many different calibers do you think you'll be reloading; and 2) how many rounds will you reload per caliber per session. The answers to these will help guide you in terms of set-up cost analysis and options that you may want (i.e. case & bullet feeders, how many stations, etc.).

    In my case I started off knowing that I would do at least 2 rifle and 3 handgun calibers and probably about 300-500 per session with a total of 1,500-2,000 per week.

    Figuring out my fully loaded costs per set-up and how much time I was willing to spend in set-up/re-adjustment, etc. per session led me to buy a Hornady LNL with case feeder & bullet feeder.

    I'm now doing 2 rifle and 4 handgun calibers at about the rate I expected and my set-up allows for very fast switchovers (extra powder drop assemblies, micrometers for the powder dispenser, etc.).

    The only thing I would do differently today if I was to start over would be to not get the bullet feeder but use the bullet feeder dies with a fixed tube instead. Mostly because of the noise of the bullet collator.

    Also, don't forget to factor in getting a chronograph to check your loads.

    Last bit of advice is that if you're not sure that this will be a thing for you -- it is a big time commitment if you're shooting a lot -- then start off with a single stage press. You can always use it as a dedicated rifle press in the future. While I am happy doing rifles on my progressive it is not a big deal in the scheme of things to do it on a single stage due to the steps involved as you need to resize then trim/chamfer/debur then go back to the press for priming, loading charges and seating. Unless you are going all the way to a Dillon 1050 where you can install the trimmer & swager on the press you are only going to use 2 stations on the press at the most at any one time.
     
  16. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    Hey, believe me, I'm not crying. I use the Lee Classic Turret.. it's 3-4 times faster than a single stage loading pistol and costs pretty much less than any cast iron single. It's an excellent press.
     
  17. cookie

    cookie THE SOCIALIST STATE OF KALI - FORNIA Well-Known Member

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    Good to know they work well!!
     
  18. rdt

    rdt SW Portland Active Member

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    I recommend lee, spend the extra money on components or those pesky side systems like a tumbler and trimmer etc. I wish I had gone progressive right off. once i got the theory and try and load my 3rd 100 of plinking rounds on a single stage in one session I knew I nothing but a progressive would do. consider the $30 lee single stage C frame press to learn on. its small and works fine and you'll always need a single stage no matter for little tasks.

    buy used if you can. when you get dies, new or used, inspect clean and polish/tune them up.
     
  19. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    There's a member here from Yelm who has several classic cast iron quality presses for sale.. I bought a nice one from him recently for $45

    Even when you have progressives (I have two and one is a Dillon RL1050) you will find having a station with a single stage useful.. decapping/sizing/etc
     
  20. TwinStick

    TwinStick In the wind Active Member

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    I own a Lee press and dies and it works fine, but I would suggest buying a brand that all the local shops carry. RCBS seems to be popular with the Sportsman's, Fisherman's and BiMart near my house. It's harder for me to find parts and accessories for the Lee. I have to order them.