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  #1  
Old 12-31-2009, 02:21 PM
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Reloading equipment for beginner


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I was just wondering what type of gear you veterans would reccomend for a baby reloader? I'd like to get into it, and I know that ultimately, Lee, RCBS, Dillon...just a matter of taste, but what would you folks reccomend? My only two concerns for reloading right now are my .223 Rem and my .270 WSM.
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  #2  
Old 12-31-2009, 02:26 PM
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reloading

It's a matter of budget,!!


If you want a good quality-price ratio, i would suggest lee equipment,

But in my opinion redding equipment is probably the best.



My opinion


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  #3  
Old 12-31-2009, 03:14 PM
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Reloading is one hobby that gets more interesting the more you learn. Lots of people recommend kits getting started, I'm not one of them. You can find a lot of threads in this forum that address your questions and it would serve you well to read them.

The Lee Classic Cast single stage press is a great way to start because no matter how much you end up adding to the equipment list the single stage press will always provide a valuable function on the reloading bench. The more I study the equipment choices the more I value Lee designs and the market price point they offer to the consumer. Here is a good place to buy Lee equipment ... http://www.factorysales.com/ I have both the Classic Cast single stage and the Classic Cast Turret on my bench. They are both excellent presses and the priming system works well.

I also recommend the Lee Ball Handle Cutter, Lock Stud, and Case Length Gauges for trimming. The Lee Collet Neck Dies for neck sizing your brass. And the Lee Dipper Cups for measuring/dispensing powder. A Forster Benchrest Competition Full Length Sizing Die Set with the sliding sleeve seater. The Lee reloading manual is a good choice too but I suggest you get as many manuals as you can. The aforementioned stuff and a scale and a caliper of your choosing will get you a long way down the road.
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Old 12-31-2009, 03:43 PM
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All brands work. This issue is often discussed and there are many threads if you look. Flashhole has good advice. For the $$$ Lee Precision cannot be beat. I would recommend a Classic Turret Press as opposed to the Classic Cast because it has four hole set up for your dies. You can set them up once and use them over and over as you go from one operation to the next. With a single stage (except for the Breechlock) you have to set up your dies for each operation over and over again. I recommend the loading manual "Modern Reloading" by Richard Lee especially if you are using Lee equipment. Most people recommend Lyman's manual. You can use the Four hole turret press as a "single stage" by simply disengaging the auto-index which is what I do. I also use the Lee powder dippers as they will never screw up a charge and have no moving parts. You will need a scale to weigh your first powder charge or two to make sure your powder has the right label. Once you know what powder you are using you can put away the scale. Finally, I prime with the Lee hand held Auto-Prime which is well regarded. Go to Midway USA and read customer reviews for any product you want to purchase and you will see actual customer comments/reviews which I find to be very useful. You will quickly see what not to buy. The guys on this site know so much I learn something new every day. God Bless you and you new endeavor.
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Last edited by jmortimer; 12-31-2009 at 06:56 PM.
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  #5  
Old 12-31-2009, 03:56 PM
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Happy New Year from an RCBS guy. Lee equipment makes good ammo but I like the apparent extra quality of RCBS. However it does cost a bit more, so go with your budget and you will make good ammo if you pay attention to detail.

For progressive equipment and high volume loading, I use Dillon but an expensive progressive press is not necessary for normal quantities of ammo.
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  #6  
Old 12-31-2009, 04:22 PM
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Dillon is good if you can afford it but necessary

Start out with a couple good loading manuels, Lyman and RCBS, and Read them and follow instrutions

I have a Lyman turrent press that I am very happy with. I also have an RCBS Rock chucker, bith good. Powder measure is very important. I have 3, 2 are RCB, ine with micro one without, and one custom measure very expensive. Good queslity dies are important. I have RCBS and Lyman, but Redding are also very good.

Tummbler is not needed for getting started but a nice addition.

Weight scale is possibly the most important. I prefer a balanced beam scale as opposed to electronic. Mine are RCBS. I tried a cheaper one but it was always getting stuck and was unrelaible.

Carbide reamers for primer pockets and flash holes inportant

A good quality caliper, digital or scale

these are just a start, I probably forgot thing (my head hurts )
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  #7  
Old 12-31-2009, 06:00 PM
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Quite honestly, money is of very little object here. I really hate doing things unless I do them right the first time, so I'd rather spend the money now to get good equipment then buy something that will work for a few years, and have to rebuy down the road.

My uncle (who is a reloading nut, but unfortunately our different living situations make it virtually impossible to talk except once or twice a year) was adamant that I MUST get a single stage press for learning on. He said it was the only way to be able to properly get the "feel" of the whole process. This certainly makes sense to me, but then, I have no experience...does this seem like sound advice to you folks? For this reason, as jmortimer said, I think it would be nice to have a turret press where I CAN disengage the auto indexing feature until I do get a feel to each process?

You guys do far more for me than I deserve, and I am forever greatful. I hope you all have a great new year, that God watches over you and your families, and that you all have a safe, happy, and healthy 2010.
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  #8  
Old 12-31-2009, 07:04 PM
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If you have the $$$ then any brand will do. There are some really nice turret presses out there and if I were you I would read the customer comments/reviews for each of them on Midway USA and then decide. I believe you will see that the Lee Classic Turret Press is well liked. Your plan is sound. Even though I am a dedicated Lee Precision user when and if you get a progressive go with Dillion or possibly the Hornady Lock-N-Load
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  #9  
Old 12-31-2009, 07:46 PM
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What sort of capacity scale would one be wise to purchase? I'd assume go with a balance scale?
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  #10  
Old 12-31-2009, 07:51 PM
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I use the "cheap" Lee Balance Beam Scale but I believe you might want to get a nice digital (Read reviews before you buy). As I mentioned, I use powder dippers so once I am absolutely sure what powder I am using (you cannot trust the label until you check a charge or two) then the scale gets put away. Since I am only using Unique and I am sure my container has Unique in it my scale has been gathering dust.
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  #11  
Old 12-31-2009, 07:52 PM
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Any of the scales made or sold by the people who make reloading equipment will work. They all have scales graduated in grains, not grams. There are 7000 grains to a pound and all reloading data is provided in grains. Some of the electronic scales are very sensitive to the environment so a balance scale may be a better choice for a beginner. I use a balance scale and have no desire to go to an elecronic scale. Some of the folks who use electronic scales swear by them so it just gets down to a matter of choice. Again, you want to be sure it is graduated in grains.
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  #12  
Old 12-31-2009, 08:04 PM
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Here's a photo of the Classic Cast Turret set up for 45-70. I like this press for straight wall cases. It will work fine for the bottle neck cases too but like jmortimer said, you may want to remove the auto index shaft for loading 223 and 270. I added the funnel so I could use the Lee Dipper Cups for dispensing powder. I do my case resizing on a single stage press but this one will work fine too since it has the exact same linkage as the single stage press and offers the identical mechanical advantage.

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Last edited by flashhole; 01-01-2010 at 11:42 AM.
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  #13  
Old 12-31-2009, 08:07 PM
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This is my primary reloading bench showing the Lee Classic Cast single stage press in the foreground.

I really like the single stage presses and have two Redding Ultramags mounted to the opposite side of the bench. You can begin to understand how this hobby grows on you the longer you do it. I don't have a single piece of equipment I don't use on a regular basis. The two smaller press like devices are priming tools from RCBS. I like the bench mount variety the best but others will say they like the hand held type better.

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Last edited by flashhole; 12-31-2009 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 12-31-2009, 08:11 PM
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You asked about a scale. This is my balance beam scale. It is no longer marketed but is quite handy. I suggested before that I can't recommend a "kit" because there are so many good equipment choices that allow you to mix and match to your specific style of reloading.

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Old 12-31-2009, 08:33 PM
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Nice photos - Thanks. I have Lee "Classic" press envy. I agree with you that the "kits" may not be the best way to go. I bought two kits, a Lee single stage and a 4 hole turret kit - but as far as I know Lee did not make the "Classic" presses when I bought my kits so I really have no regrets. They work just fine. We essentially use the exact same reloading method except I really like to use the hand held Auto-Prime. Otherwise we are on the same page.
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Old 12-31-2009, 11:01 PM
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I don;t think you can get any better deal than the Lee Classic line for a lifetime press. I have the Classic Cast, but I have to agree with Flashhole and Jmortimer when they recommend the Classic Turret. When the auto-index is disconnected, it is essentially a single-stage press, with the added option of having the dies set-up and adjusted, ready to drop in tot he top of the turret. I don;t own one yet, but I will eventually.

I advocate the Classic Turret Kit for you. The reason is because it comes with everything you need to get started but is not so expensive that you can;t get a nice scale or powder dispenser (not that you would need to) later. But for the time being, you'll have everything but components (brass, primers, powder, bullets) to start reloading. The Classic Turret Kit is available from only 2 sources that I'm aware of: Cabelas and Kempfgunshop. I highly recommend the latter, not only because they're small and friendly but also because their Kit is less expensive and more inclusive.

Having reloaded on three brands (Lee, which I own, and RCBS and a Hornady, I think it was, that friends have), and having toyed with many at Sportsman's Warehouse and Cabelas, I truly believe a man would be very hard pressed to find a more well-made press, let alone a better deal, than Lee's Classic line. Note that there is a difference between Classic and other Lee presses.

You'll also need a manual. Lee's Modern Reloading and Lymans 49th(?) are very good, though none that I've bought or seen are poor. You'll probably get another or three as time passes.
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  #17  
Old 01-01-2010, 07:33 AM
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Ah, I'm kind of a book nut...I might not wait for time to pass to acquire more manuals.

Thank you much, Flashhole, for the pictures. Looks like you have an awfully good setup there.

Would any of you guys reccomend the extras? Reamers, trimmers, tumblers, etc. I know they are not necessarily needed, but if you guys had a good excuse, would you be into them?

And what of these micrometer type seating dies...a frivolity?

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct...tNumber=184904
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  #18  
Old 01-01-2010, 07:42 AM
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That die is used with an arbor press, not the presses we have been discussing in this thread. It is a product more to bench rest shooters choice than a hobbiest reloader. Notice there are no threads on the die body to screw into a press.

There are seating dies that use a micrometer adjust, Hornady, RCBS, Redding, and Forster all make them. I have a few but don't reference the indexing marks when using them. For me the micrometer is a simpler way to adjust the seating depth. I make a dummy round for each different bullet I load and use it as reference when setting up the seat die. I think Forster has the best product, others will chime in and say Redding is better. Both use a sliding sleeve approach to capture both the bullet and the case that really helps to minimize runout (non axial alignment of the bullet to the bore of the barrel).
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Old 01-01-2010, 07:50 AM
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Right, gotcha! Thanks a bunch!

Edit: Just contacted Kempf Gun Shop. Their prices seem resonable, and they say they are willing to slap together a custom order kit, so we'll see what they come up with for me.
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  #20  
Old 01-01-2010, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marsms View Post
...
Would any of you guys reccomend the extras? Reamers, trimmers, tumblers, etc. I know they are not necessarily needed, but if you guys had a good excuse, would you be into them?

And what of these micrometer type seating dies...a frivolity?
Reamers: In 30 years, I've never had to ream a neck. Really only required if you convert brass from a larger caliber ro a smaller one.
I have reamed primer pockets, but only when removing the mil crimp from mil brass's primer pockets. You may need this if you use mil brass for your .223

trimmers: I do length size my brass. I like the Lyman trimmer because it holds the brass's head against a hard stop. Some of the other brands hold against the rims' OD, so if rim dia varies, the OAL will vary correspondingly. You'll need a mouth chamfering tool after length trimming http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct...tNumber=364181 .

You may want a flash hole deburring tool if you're persnickety. Get the one for .223, and don't bother with the adapter for .270. RCBS makes one that screws into a plastic handle. http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct...tNumber=650678 I just chuck it into my drill press. Flash holes only need to be trimmed once in their lifetime.

tumblers: YES. I tumble my brass 45 min in corncob to clean off grit before it gets into my dies. Then, I tumble again 45 min to clean off the die lube. This doesn't get the brass factory-shiny, but it is nicely clean to protect the dies, and to handle smoothly.

Lee dies are the only ones whose depriming pin is held on a smooth rod, held in the die with a collet. All the others have a threaded rod held in place with a locknut. I've had nothing but trouble with the Lees, 'cuz the rod slips up/down in the collet. So, I replaced with RCBS, which I think are much better dies.

I have an RCBS powder scale, which appears to be a relabled PACT. Great tool. I also have a balance, but rarely use it anymore. Don't buy an e-scale that's less than ~$90 MSRP; there's a certain price point that is required to get a reliable instrument...

micrometer type seating dies...a frivolity: In my opinion, yes.

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