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WTB reloading equipment? HELP!

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by slind, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. slind

    slind Seattle, WA Member

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    I have had a kind brother help invest in teaching me the basics in reloading and I have decided to try and purchase my own equipment... But I need some advise on what to get to start and all i plan on reloading for now is 9 ,40, and 45. I will not do any rifle until i am as good as my friend with the pistol. any recommendations on what to get and where to get it at? I want to make sure it will last if you know what I mean.
    all input will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. skud_dusty

    skud_dusty Salem, OR Active Member

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    I got my kit at Sportsman's Warehouse. I spent a little more than you could find the stuff for online, but I didn't have to worry about backordering anything. It was also nice to be able to sit and pick the brain of a couple of very kind gentlemen that have been reloading for longer than I've been alive.

    I haven't reloaded a whole lot, but I must pass on one piece of advice: buy once cry once. I was going to go as cheap as possible but I'm much happier now that I've sat down and used all my equipment. I went RCBS for most of my stuff and it's worked extremely well so far.

    Here's some kits that are pretty nicely priced:

    RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Master Single Stage Press Kit

    RCBS Reloader Special-5 Explorer Single Stage Press Kit

    RCBS Reloader Special-5 Single Stage Press Starter Kit
     
    slind and (deleted member) like this.
  3. NWCustomFirearms

    NWCustomFirearms Vancouver, WA Bronze Vendor Bronze Vendor

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    Any of the name brands are good. I've used my Dillon 550 for over 10 years and I love it. Little more spendy up front but I've always had great customer service. Calibers are relativly quick and easy to change. I know people who have just as good luck with their hornady lock n loads but I like my Dillons.
     
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  4. PX4WA

    PX4WA Tacoma, WA Active Member

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    get a hornady or dillon progressive
     
  5. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    While to an extent I hate chiming in on "new reloader" threads, I'll make an exception because I havn't done so in quite a while.

    First, since it seems you have some experience and background on the subject, since you're mostly going to be reloading small calibers (anything pistol is small) there are two options for press:

    Press

    The Lee Reloader press is a cheap way to start, however this press will not last forever. If you're just getting your feet wet it's a cheap way to start.
    Lee Reloader Single Stage Press
    If you're looking for something with some staying power, the RCBS Partner press, I have owned every flavor of single stage press on the market, the partner is still my favorite because it's easy to get your fingers into and out of. The Rock Chucker is a great press, but it's a bit much for pistol loading, and frankly I think the partner is a better press, it also has a longer stroke than the RC
    RCBS Partner Single Stage Press

    Chamfering Tool

    You're also going to need one of these for removing crimp on military 9mm pockets
    Lee Chamfer Deburring Tool
    You can buy the more expensive RCBS product (lyman makes one that's similar) it's better, but not $20 better if you were match prepping rifle brass I would say go for it, but in this case, don't bother.

    Scale

    A good quality scale is your most important measuring instrument, without one of these you will do nothing but make a bunch of dangerous cartridges. Most major manufacturers make good quality balance scales, I would buy any of these. DO NOT, I REPEAT DO NOT BUY THE LEE BALANCE SCALE, yes, it's cheap but zeroing it is a huge pain in the *(@#.

    RCBS: RCBS Model 502 Magnetic Powder Scale 505 Grain Capacity
    Hornady: Hornady Balance Beam Powder Scale
    Lyman: Lyman Pro 500 Magnetic Powder Scale 505 Grain Capacity
    Redding: Redding #2 Master Magnetic Powder Scale 505 Grain Capacity

    Powder Measure

    This is another product that will make your reloading faster, however quality is important. Lyman, RCBS, Hornady and others all make very similar products, again, avoid the lee equivalent, it's a pile of junk that constantly gets clogged with powder and does a bad job. However, what I suggest you do is try to find one used. These are fairly common on ebay, just make sure you don't pay more than a new one.

    Hornady: Hornady Lock-N-Load Powder Measure
    RCBS: RCBS Uniflow Powder Measure Standard Cylinder

    Shell Holders

    If you're going to spend any time reloading, you're eventually going to need every shell-holder out there. This is one of those categories where cheaper is better. In this case I recommend the lee universal set: Universal Shell Holder Set - Lee Precision

    It has nearly all of the shellholders you will ever need. Buy it once, don't lose them, they can be expensive to replace singly. Also, it seems midway doesn't carry the set, I think grafs does. BTW, BE SURE YOU ARE BUYING NORMAL PRESS SHELLHOLDERS!!!! THE RED BOX ONLY WORKS WITH THE LEE PRIMING TOOL!!!!!

    Calipers

    You're going to need a set of calipers, I prefer the dial type because the electronic ones always take funky batteries I can't replace, and are always dead when I really need them to work. They look like this:

    RCBS Dial Caliper 6 SS

    Go buy some at harbor freight, ebay, autozone. Usually about $20

    Dies

    You're obviously going to need some dies, this is mostly a matter of preference, however since you're reloading pistol you're going to want carbide dies. I personally prefer RCBS, I also personally think Lee and hornady dies are garbage and not worth buying.

    Other stuff

    There are a few other things you might need want. Among them a reloading block (something that holds all the cases), you can make one yourself from wood and a spade drill bit. You will probably want a small scoop for scooping powder (when you're doing test loads), you can take a 9mm casing, and wrap wire around the extraction groove to make a little handle. You might want a powder funnel, again, something you can make yourself with paper and tape and a pair of scissors.

    Don't think you have to buy everything at once. That's the nice thing about putting your own kit together.

    Best of luck.
     
    huthuthike, SCannon, PX4WA and 4 others like this.
  6. slind

    slind Seattle, WA Member

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    WOW, so thankful for all of the help. yes going to get the right stuff and then work my way up to maybe doing some reloads for rifles. but pistol is for now. I will make sure to get what will last and use all of this advice. thanks again!!!!
     
  7. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    If you're going to do rifle eventually, I would buy the RCBS partner over the lee reloader, the lee reloader press is made of cast zinc, while it's an OK starter press, it will eventually break in half if you have aspirations of doing .308 win or larger. It's just fine for pistol and .223, but won't stand up to more abuse than that. Also, it's a huge pain to empty the primers from the lee reloader press.
     
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  8. 2ndtimer

    2ndtimer SE Washington state Active Member

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    I also suggest RCBS. I've been running a Rockchucker press for almost 35 years and it still works great. And while I also have access to a Dillon RL-550B, I still use the Rockchucker to load .45 ACP and .357 Magnum, along with a variety of rifle calibers. Most of my dies are RCBS, but I have also used Hornady, Lee, and Redding with relative satisfaction. I would say I prefer the RCBS on a quality/Value basis. You won't find any customer service better than RCBS. They are great in resolving any issue you might have. You might check Graf & Sons for that Rockchucker Kit. They have it on sale for $20 less than Midway and only charge $6.95 handling fee. Midway will get you on shipping. Graf & Sons - RCBS PRESS ROCK CHUCKER SUP. MASTER KIT w/o DIES
     
  9. cookie

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

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    Dillon buy once cry once.
     
  10. Greenbaum

    Greenbaum Vancouver, WA Member

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    I am also getting into reloading. I bought the Lyman Reloading Handbook, 49th ed.. I have some close friends that are assisting me with my setup, but the book really helps. I am sure you already have a book!!! Best of luck!
     
  11. PX4WA

    PX4WA Tacoma, WA Active Member

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    Remember it will cost you twice or more in equipment than you think but it will be all worth it....Just budget accordingly
     
  12. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Yep. Not so if you buy the Hornady..
    Say what you want,but compare the 2 and the Dillon is worth the extra dollars easily.Probably put out 5 times the ammo with my dillon as I attempted with my Lock & load.
    Heck did 300 45acp this afternoon to fill in some time.(gotta get more brass). So 800 in 2 nights for kicks.
     
  13. tarster

    tarster Albany Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I see guys posting saying spend the money on a dillon first and when I read your first post it sounded like you were still learning, hell we are all still learning.. But that aside, I have a Dillon RL550B and I love it.. but.. I spent 3 - 4 years loading on a RCBS and I will tell you that is where everyone should start, it makes you appreciate the elegence of a Dillon down the road, Progressive presses are nice... But if you are learning its really easy to start messing things up.. and they are an expensive way to mess things up.

    Start with a RCBS rockchucker with carbide dies, rcbs scale, calipers and debur. That press will last your life if you treat it right.
     
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  14. Guilty

    Guilty Salem, Oregon Active Member

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    Sollid advice here^^^^
     
  15. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    This has to be about the 10th thread started on this subject in the last couple of years. Do a little research here and you'll see plenty of opinions.

    But, since you're askin...

    I started with a Lyman turret that I still use. I bought it as a kit with nearly everything I needed except, dies, brass, powder, primers and bullets. I prefer the turret style over the true single stage because I can set up the dies and not have to change them out for the next step.
    However, RCBS also makes a starter kit with the Rock Chucker press. It's commonly found, inexpensive and very solid. Find a complete starter kit, but a manual or two (one of the best is the Lyman Reloading Manual) and get busy.
    All but one of my handgun dies are Lee carbide. Buy carbide whenever you can for straightwall handgun. Saves the case lubing step. Lee dies are about the cheapest and I've NEVER encountered a problem or had to replace a singe part.
    Whatever you do, keep the whole process as simple as possible. You can step up to a progressive loader later once you've got a handle on the basics, but when you're first learning, it's a complicated step you should avoid.
    Good luck. And remember there are lots of fairly experienced reloaders here that are happy to help if you have more questions.
     
  16. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    And you always need the single stage to hand load those precision rifle rounds.
     
  17. cookie

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

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    Dillon 550 + all the tool heads and powder droppers buy once and cry once. I have been pleased with mine loading about 4,000 rounds per year for myself and others since 1991. Divide the cost of quality over the life of the properly maintained machine and the cost per year is really low. The warranty has so far been NO BS.
     
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  18. cookie

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

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    The Dillon loads rifle just fine.
     
  19. tarster

    tarster Albany Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    its true you can but then again you said you have been loading since 1991 so you have quite some experiance and know when things are going wrong and how hard or soft the handle should be during certian operations.. The OP is just starting.. he doesn't have all that knowledge under his belt yet.. Plus you can get much better results as far as powder measuring goes on a single stage when you take time and care with every round.. kinda like painting... or nice wine.. though neither i like.. Lol
     
  20. SCannon

    SCannon Battle Ground, WA Active Member

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    Buy a single stage to start with, it will teach you everything

    Once you master that move to the progressives.

    My RCBS Rockchuck is still my go to press, I have two Lee progressives which I load my Pistols and .223 with. But, I always work up a load on the RCBS with any caliber and then transfer. Anything bigger than .223 I will always use the single stage with.