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Starting reloading/handloading

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by GrpCapMandrake, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. GrpCapMandrake

    GrpCapMandrake Vancouver Active Member

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    I am going to get started in reloading rifle ammunition but have been out of this part of the hobby for a very long time. Are RCBS presses still worth a damn or are there others that do a better job? I don't have a a lot of money to spend so I am walking a fine balance between price and quality. What would be top of the line, stuff to avoid and good value for starting out? Thanks.
     
  2. VarmintKiller.308

    VarmintKiller.308 Oregon Member

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    I picked-up a RCBS Rockchucker single stage press about a year ago. Great press have not had any problems. I also use primarily RCBS dies, which have been working out. I would add a little caution as to using Lee dies. They are a little bit cheaper than other manufacturer's dies but they don't have a locking screw just a o-ring so once you remove them from your press they don't really maintain the same C.O.L. setting. Which for me is a little annoying when reloading multiple calibers.
     
  3. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    I would try to find a used RCBS press that still runs smooth. For a basic, simple reloading setup, rather than a progressive setup, its hard to beat a rockchucker press...
     
  4. coosbaycreep

    coosbaycreep 9 miles South of Roseburg Active Member

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    I have a rockchucker. The screw that holds the primer arm has busted or bent twice, and the screw that screws into the primer arm that holds the primer plug has busted twice as well. It seems to be made of some kind of cheap pot metal or something. RCBS has replaced all the broken stuff at no charge though. Other than that, it's been great.

    Most of my dies are RCBS, but I like the O-ring on Lees better, and haven't had a problem with them maintaining their COL. I have had problems with the set screws on the RCBS dies stripping out though.

    A lot of people really like hornady too, and they seem to be more innovative than the other companies. RCBS has a great reputation, but they seem to be relying on their reputation (all the old reloaders I know have been using their stuff for decades) instead of innovation.

    The primer catcher thing doesn't work with a crap either, and when sizing .38spl, almost all the primers land on the floor instead.
     
  5. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

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    the Lee cast iron press gets good rviews on the 'net,and is cheaper than the rockchucker.
    I've always gotten along with Lee dies, but that O-ring 'could' make them less accurate .you can always add some lock rings wth set screws if need be.
    since yo're doing rifle,a good trimmer is required.If u can afford a powered trimmer they are very nice,manual is ok too.rcbs or Lyman will get the job done.
    very little 'junk' out there,most anything on the market will load good ammo.only the Lee challenger is questionable,but mine's still going strong.a good cast press makes rifle sizing a snap compared to my challenger,so I'd skip that one.
     
  6. olyshoots

    olyshoots Vancouver USA Member

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    Even though you are "just starting" it is worth paying some attention to where you "might finish" when starting to buy reloading equipment. It's easier to buy within one brand and have it grow, than to possibly mix brands as you grow in this hobby. So, a few Q's:

    Are you reloading rifle or handgun rounds, or both? Calibers?
    How much will you shoot? Rounds fired annually by caliber?

    With answers to those basic questions I'm sure this board can be forthcoming with lots of good advice.

    I've been reloading for nearly 30 years and it's a good hobby you're not likely to tire of.
     
  7. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    I've owned quite a few presses over the years, offerings from lee, RCBS, CH4D etc. I still like my RCBS'. If you are thinking about getting back into it, look around you should be able to find a used rock chucker, or one of it's derivatives for about $50, in most cases a little bit of lubricating oil will make even the roughest RCBS press operate like new again.

    I actually just got done replacing my RC3 with an RCBS bigmax press. and I still have one of the smaller RCBS Partner presses. If you're really worried about exhausted primer retention the partner is the best way to go, the primer catcher on the rock chucker has always been tenuous. Don't even get me started on lee presses requiring unbolting to get the primers out. Seriously, what were they thinking?!
     
  8. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

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    a while back L and L guns at dollars corner had like-new rockchucker with 30 '06 dies for sale,givee Terry a call and see if by chance it's still there.they are right on 72nd avenue now,in the old 1st Indy bldg.very neat store,HUGE gun vault.