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Loading .50 bmg

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by xlsbob, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. xlsbob

    xlsbob coos county Platinum Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    Just dove into .50 bmg land and would like to know what equipment other people are using to reload for it. I'm seeing Lee stuff with press and dies in the $300-400 range and RCBS closer to 1000. I'll never be a match shooter but I don't want to be paying $5 a round either. Most of my reloading stuff is either Dillon or RCBS and I've never really used Lee so I'm wondering why it's so much cheaper. I spent the money for a good rifle and I want to make good ammo for it.
     
  2. ar-don

    ar-don kitsap New Member

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    I have the Lee press and dies. It has served me well.
    I have loaded about 300 rounds with it without any issues.
    There are a lot of people who will say the Lee stuff is crap.
    I will say its hit and miss.
     
  3. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    In this instance, it's a hit. I've heard many people say that they prefer the Lee Classic Cast press to any RCBS single stage. Do your research to find out why and it's not money. Also, dies are pretty much dies and Lee dies work as well as any other, in my opinion.
     
  4. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Buying a .50 is kinda like buying a boat... it's largely an endless money pit.

    For most people who shoot "low volume" (<1000 rds yr) the lee stuff is probably going to be just fine. The only downside is, if you want to step up to the RCBS gear, none of it is compatible with the lee equipment. To the point that they use different sized dies. However, the RCBS press you can use an adapter to use Lee dies.

    The RCBS Ammomaster is a great press, and I've done a lot of stuff with it and it's held up quite well.
    RCBS AmmoMaster 2 Single Stage Press 50 BMG Kit

    I don't know if you have any other loading gear, if you do that's all you need. It's still more than the lee kit, but you can send your dies into RCBS for polishing (or replacement) when you wear them out. Good luck trying that with lee.

    Also, you're going to need to ream the primer pockets, there are many tools out there, but I've done pretty well with a reamer I bought from mcmcaster-carr. I think it's a .315" but I will check if you're interested.
     
    bcdon and (deleted member) like this.
  5. xlsbob

    xlsbob coos county Platinum Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    Thanks for the replies. I load for everything else I own so of course I want to do my own on .50 also. I figure that a good part of research is talking to people who actually load it and see what they use or why they wont use it. Odds are I'll be in the under 1000 rounds a year group. As far as money pits go; yeah why not have another one. Selling a 20' jet boat to pay myself back for the rifle, it cant eat as much money as that boat has.
     
    bcdon and (deleted member) like this.
  6. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    One thing I might recommend either for components or more expertise on the matter is Scott over at TMI50, Tactical Manufacturing Inc. he is a serious no BS kinda guy, he's big into 50 cal machineguns and is someone I would definitely consider a "demanding customer". I've talked to him at length at SHOT this year and he had some input on one of the machines I'm working on that I took the time to integrate. I personally very much value his expertise on most matters as while he is a high priest of redneck engineering, most of what he's designed works, works well, and is completely overbuilt.

    Honestly, unless you're trying to put together something nicer, his prices are cheap enough that reloading might not be competitive. Either way, check him out.
     
  7. xlsbob

    xlsbob coos county Platinum Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    A quick look tells me I'll be dealing with TMI50 in the near future, Thanks
     
  8. Velzey

    Velzey Estacada, Oregon Gunsmith Gunsmith Bronze Vendor Bronze Supporter

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    Those are some pretty decent prices on loaded rounds!

    Just as long as he is not actually getting his stuff from TNW...:huh: SOme of that TNW stuff was real sketchy..