Question about reloading equipment

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by John H, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. John H

    John H
    Whatcom County
    Well-Known Member

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    I am considering getting into reloading, I am trying to figure out what I need.

    The calibers I would be reloading;


    How much equipment is it going to take to do all of these??

    I am still doing research, so I don't know all the questions I need to ask yet.

    Any info would be great.
  2. SigPacker

    Auburn, WA
    Active Member

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    rrojohnso and (deleted member) like this.
  3. elsie

    Way over there on the left
    Well-Known Member

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    A starter kit, like Reloader Special-5 Single Stage Press Kit, has most of what you might need. What isn't included that I would add would be a caliper and trimmer. Then you would need a die set for each caliber.

    Then the question becomes how many rounds of each do you think you will be loading at each session. If you are doing a lot, you might consider a progressive press. I'm still using a single stage press after about 25 years of reloading, but my volume has been increasing so I'm considering adding a progressive press for some of the calibers I load for.

  4. unklekippy

    In The Mountains Near Sprague River
    Well-Known Member

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    I believe everyone should start with a single stage press. Once you move on to progressive, the single stage is still very valuable to have. The problem with buying expensive items is that you may find that loading just isn't your thing. There are a lot of reloading set ups that are barely used and sitting in peoples garages, attics and closets because it was fleeting for them. I think you are best of buying a kit like the one elsie mentioned. That one can be upgraded to a progressive if that's the way you want to go. .45 ACP is in my opinion the best place for a handloader to start. Once you get going and decide it is for you, I very much recommend a powder measure as well. It cuts out time. DON'T FORGET SHELL HOLDERS!!! On the RCBS die sets(also, be sure to buy carbide for your pistol calibers. They are in the grey cases and do not require lube on straight wall pistol cases.) it will tell you the shell holder number. If an RCBS shell holder in that number is not available at the store you are at, other brands have conversion charts. I have been doing this for years and still forget the shell holder from time to time. I love reloading. It is fun, rewarding and relaxing. Remember, dedicated reloaders don't "save" money. They just shoot more for the same money. Kip
  5. ripcity

    Active Member

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    I got into reloading a few years back. I almost went with a single stage, but instead I went with the redding T-7. It's like a single stage but it holds up to 7 dies at a time. The press alone cost me 250 bucks.
  6. sheepdip

    Well-Known Member

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    rcbs rockchucker supreme, a single stage press setup, just about everything you need to get started reloading all in one box. shop around, there are some very good deals
  7. Throckmorton

    Florence,Ore ah gone
    Well-Known Member

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    start with a couple of pistol calibers,they rare easier than rifle calibers. A Dillon 550b can be run one shell at a time forever,or until you are comfortable with filling up the machine to go 'progresive.They arent cheap but they run forever,and produce good ammo.
    Even one shell at a time,you can do a complet round in under 45 seconds. I can do it faster,but I"Ve had mine for 20 years.
    The 1st thing to buy is a good book or 2. I love my Lyman's,it's my go-to book,but I have 2 others for cross checking load info.
    rifle rounds require lubing and trimming,and in the case of 5.56 primer pocket de-crimping,so it's a little more involved and takes more equiment.
  8. taylor

    Willamette Valley
    Well-Known Member

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    Dillon has a 550 basic in their new catalogue for $249 I don't know whats different than their regular 550b but it looks the same.
  9. IheartGUNS

    Well-Known Member

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    Not to sound like a douche but if you do a search on the www or on here even, you'll find lots of good info like I did.:thumbup: But I would also like to give some info. I myself am starting to reload (9mm and 45acp). After some researching I went with a hornady LnL press, rcbs dies and also hornady case feeder, shell plates, case feeder plates, digi caliper, electronic scale, etc...etc...came out to a whopping $1160. If I went with a dillon 650 add $4-500 more.
  10. rumblebee1967

    Active Member

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    You are going to need a surprisingly lot of equipment depending on how deep you get into it. Most presses that I looked at with single stage or progressive are somewhat basic units. Some of the progressives come with a powder measure but you will need many extras for each caliber you load. Your per bullet cost goes down once you have paid for the equipment, but if you don't do a lot of shooting it is really not all that cost effective, especially in some calibers. If you are match shooting it can be a benefit as you can tailor your rounds to be very precise and very alike. If you just casual target shooting occasionally its not very cost effective. Most hand loaders shoot more than they did before they started loading for themselves so even the overall cost can remain near the same or even higher. If you want to do it for a hobby then thats different also. All that being said I went with the hornady LNL and am happy with it once I got all the add ons needed for multiple calibers.
  11. xlsbob

    coos county
    Platinum Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    I recently bought a Dillon 550 for my first press and I couldnt be happier. Went back and forth between that and the Hornady LNL on which to buy and finally decided on the Dillon. I've already spent more on the accessories than I did on the press but I see it as a long term investment so it makes it more livable to me. Being a cannon shooter I already had scales and things like that so it wasnt quite so bad as buying everything.
  12. RVTECH

    Wickiup Junction
    Well-Known Member

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    This is certainly an old story line but you need to do two things before anything else - One has already been mentioned - crack a book or two on reloading. The book 'The ABCs Of Reloading' is a standard read but hit your local library - you might be surprised at how many books they have on the subject. 2nd - if you can find someone who will let you watch and help out for a few evenings. That will be the biggest help overall. You cannot beat hands on experience. And I will say I highly support starting out with a single stage system as many have already suggested.
  13. rrojohnso

    Vancouver, WA

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    Everything you've said I completely agree with. I had a friend help me get rolling once I got the gear, and boy was I thankful. Having a single stage press is a great place to start. But I think it doesn't take long to be bored of a single stage press when loading for pistol. To better understand the processes and get the feel, you can simply take a progressive press and use 1 station for each process. Personally, I don't have a progressive, but I don't really load pistol yet, either. I think, because John is loading all pistols, he may want to go the progressive route, and to proceed at a pace he is comfortable with. My Brother in law, by comparison, started with a progressive press and right out of the chute did just fine. To each his own - but getting started with a single stage press is for sure, sound advice.
  14. deadshot2

    NW Quadrant WA State
    Well-Known Member

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    I'm a fan of starting out with a single stage (turret OK too).

    Here's something for you to consider. Dillon now offers the BL550 which is called the Basic Loader. It's essentially a stripped 550B that you measure each charge separately and hand prime all cases, just like with a single stage but offers progressive like case handling. It's only $259 to start. You can have all your dies preset for each caliber and merely change the toolhead. You won't have enough space on a turret to do that and will pay just as much.

    Better yet, if you decide to upgrade, you just add the kits to make it a regular 550 with powder measure and auto priming. Start out at a minimum price and add what you want as you can or choose to afford it.

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