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Howdy everyone. Just taking a second to introduce myself. My name is Bill and I live in San Angelo, TX. I do a lot of hunting and in between hunting seasons I spend a lot of time doing long range/distance shooting. I'm ex-army and an ex-Austin-Police Officer. Currently I am a middle age Air Force civilian employee, LOL.

I also do a lot of kayaking and fishing.

I joined the forum mainly because I want to get into reloading. I use a .308 now and am getting ready to purchase a 25-06.

I'd like to know y'all's opinions on reloading equipment, good starter kits, etc. I'll mainly be doing .308 and 25-06 but my buddy uses a .223 and .270 so I may do those rounds later on if I become competent. LOL...
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Welcome, Bill - glad to have you aboard.

Just depends on what you want to spend. Lee has a kit that's probably the most economical. RCBS is pretty good, and then Hornady and Redding.

First thing I would recommend is a reloading manual such as Lyman, Hornady, Speer, Sierra, whatever, to get started on knowing what reloading is all about. Then, you can decide on what kit to buy.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Welcome, Bill - glad to have you aboard.

Just depends on what you want to spend. Lee has a kit that's probably the most economical. RCBS is pretty good, and then Hornady and Redding.

First thing I would recommend is a reloading manual such as Lyman, Hornady, Speer, Sierra, whatever, to get started on knowing what reloading is all about. Then, you can decide on what kit to buy.

Thanks amigo.

I assume all of the manuals are about the same as far as info, equipment, etc?
 

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Some would say that is like saying all pickups are the same. But I like Fords and others like Chevys. I started with a Speer book because it has great articles on all aspects of reloading, everything from how primers work to what equipment to use. You will accumulate several I am sure. You need a couple or so just to compare data. But the Speer is hard to beat for the articles. Also, Hodgdon powder puts out an annual magazine format manual that is full of articles as well and if you use some of their powders, is a real bargain.
 

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Some would say that is like saying all pickups are the same. But I like Fords and others like Chevys. I started with a Speer book because it has great articles on all aspects of reloading, everything from how primers work to what equipment to use. You will accumulate several I am sure. You need a couple or so just to compare data. But the Speer is hard to beat for the articles. Also, Hodgdon powder puts out an annual magazine format manual that is full of articles as well and if you use some of their powders, is a real bargain.
I found the Speer manual and Richard Lee's "Modern Reloading" 2nd Edition.

I think I'll start out with those 2 and go from there. I shoot A LOT of bullets and it gets expensive. I gets even more expensive when the wife glares at me as I'm buying bulk ammo at 1000 rounds and $400 a pop.

As far as equipment, I'd like to start out with decent equipment.. Not too cheap but not top end stuff until I decide if I really enjoy the hobby.
 

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I am sort of snowed in (weird for East Texas) and didn't have to go to work today. Therefore, I am at home reloading some more .308 ammo. Took a break to fix lunch and checked the computer and saw your post. I reload lots of .308 (both jacketed and cast bullets) and .223, as well as several handgun calibers. You will really enjoy making tack driving ammo for long range shooting.
 

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The Speer book was my first and the Lee book was my second. Lots of great stuff in those two books. I started with a Lee kit and it was fine. I now use a couple of turret presses that are very convenient because I don't have to change out dies as with a single stage press. But a single stage press will always have its uses and can't be beat for some tasks.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I am sort of snowed in (weird for East Texas) and didn't have to go to work today. Therefore, I am at home reloading some more .308 ammo. Took a break to fix lunch and checked the computer and saw your post. I reload lots of .308 (both jacketed and cast bullets) and .223, as well as several handgun calibers. You will really enjoy making tack driving ammo for long range shooting.
I enjoy working with my hands. I tie flies and do a lot of wood working in my spare time. Reloading looks like a lot of fun.

My friend and I shot deer this year with everything from a 50 gr .223 to a 180 gr Nosler ballistic tip .308. We had so many management deer to kill that I ended up using 145 gr FMJ .308 because the ammo was $10/box.
 

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Just think, you will soon be able to crank out quality .308 ammo with premium bullets that all go in one hole for that same $10 a box.
 

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FMJ Ammo

I was thinking the same thing. ALthough I took a newby hunting one time and he shot a doe with a 30-06 150 FMJ in the shoulder and the deer laid right down. Probably be a different story if he just shot it thru the ribs.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
145 gr FMJ .308 How did they work?Managment deer?What do you do with them?Most states its not legal to hunt with FMJ bullets.
The 145 gr FMJ worked very well. A very small entrance wound but 3" - 4" exit wound depending on what you hit. Last week I shot a deer and the bullet entered the right shoulder, struck bone and then exited the left shoulder and nearly completely blew out the shoulder blade.

With the management deer, we kill what the Texas Parks and Wildlife biologist tells us. It's a 2000 acre ranch and we have it divided into 5 pastures, 400 acres each. We have cattle, sheep and goats out there as well as a llamas. Each pasture has 4 or 5 herds of deer. One large herd with a few smaller sub-groups. This year the biologist did the deer count via helicopter and told us you need to take out 22 doe from pasture X, 12 doe from pasture Y, 15 doe and x number of culls from pasture Z, etc. They give us land owner management permits. We don't have to use our deer tags from our license on them, we just use the management tag on them. My buddy and his 2 sons hunt, my daughter and I hunt and then buddy's father-in-law hunts it. We don't let other people hunt on the land because we have a ton of big 6 and 8 pointers on there. We have several corn feeders and protein feeders in each pasture. We're trying to keep each main herd healthy and stocked with big bucks. If we take a buck, take some pencil necked buck or other cull from the herd.

Also, I should mention that the biologist extends the season on the ranch. Hunting season ended 2 weeks ago but they gave us until March 1st to trim down the herd and use our management tags. We stopped hunting last week though. The doe are all pregnant and carrying 6" or bigger embryos now and we'll just wait and take them next season.
 

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This is the kit I would recommend
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/default.aspx?productNumber=646599
The RCBS Rock Chucker is the #1 selling single stage press. And RCBS stands behind it with a lifetime warranty, if anything goes wrong with it just call the factory and they will make it right. It is made of cast iron, so will last a forever and then some. It will easily size even large magnum rifle brass (Shy of 50 BMG). If you did not want to reload any more it would easily sell on eBay for close to what it cost new. Also it currently has a $50 rebate. I know many others on this forum recommend Lee equipment, but that is mostly because it works
( just barely) and it is cheap. The only 2 things I don’t like about this kit are, 1 the case lube, just get some Imperial sizing die wax and put some on with your fingers as you load a case for sizing, and 2 a set of calipers is not included.
Just my $.02 I know the other guys will jump all over me but you asked for my opinion.
 

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This is the kit I would recommend
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/default.aspx?productNumber=646599
The RCBS Rock Chucker is the #1 selling single stage press. And RCBS stands behind it with a lifetime warranty, if anything goes wrong with it just call the factory and they will make it right. It is made of cast iron, so will last a forever and then some. It will easily size even large magnum rifle brass (Shy of 50 BMG). If you did not want to reload any more it would easily sell on eBay for close to what it cost new. Also it currently has a $50 rebate. I know many others on this forum recommend Lee equipment, but that is mostly because it works
( just barely) and it is cheap. The only 2 things I don’t like about this kit are, 1 the case lube, just get some Imperial sizing die wax and put some on with your fingers as you load a case for sizing, and 2 a set of calipers is not included.
Just my $.02 I know the other guys will jump all over me but you asked for my opinion.
That looks great. I've budgeted $1500 to get started which includes equipment, literature, casings, powder, primers, etc....

Thanks for the info and link Wynn.
 

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It depends on how much you want to invest. I started witha Lee Anniversary kit back in 1994 and still use it. (It cost $75 at the time and is around $100 now) I usually buy Lee RGB (Really Great Buy) dies when I get a new calibre gun.

The Lee products look a little rough when compared to other brands, but the ammo you load with it is just as good for hunting purposes. (If you were into competion shooting and were going to measure runout, etc, you might want other stuff.) The only problems I've ever had was one set of dies got rusty (my fault for storring them in the wrong place) and occassionally the de-capping pin would pull out of the die while sizing brass. No big deal, just an inconvenience.

I currently load 243, 260, 270, and 308. In the past I also loaded 30-30 and 30-06, until I sold those guns.
 

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That looks great. I've budgeted $1500 to get started which includes equipment, literature, casings, powder, primers, etc....

Thanks for the info and link Wynn.

You were posting this comment while I was typing my earlier one. If I had that budget, I would have gotten the Rockchucker, too.

BTW, you should get a press-mounted bullet puller. I have the Hornady Collet. Especially as aq newbie, you'll want to pull some bullets and start over if you forgot to add powder, otherwise screwwed up, or simple load up a bunch of shells and then decide you want to try something different.
 

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Ive been happy with my Rock Chucker press. I have Lee and RCBS dies, and have been happy with them as well. I think the Lee dies are easier to adjust, and haveing the shell holder and powder scoop with each die is convenient.
 

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I recommend you go to http://www.midwayusa.com/ and http://www.cabelas.com/ and read the owner reviews for equipment you are considering. You will learn which equipment is worth buying. Modern Reloading by Richard Lee and Lyman's Reloading Manual are good choices. You will see the Lee Precision Classic Cast or Classic Cast Breechlock are the highest rated single stage presses regardless of price and the Lee Precision Classic Turret is the highest rarted turret press regardless of price. All brands work but check them out. Here are great kits to start https://kempfgunshop.com//index.php...facturer_id=0&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=41 or this http://www.cabelas.com/product/Shoo...nknown;cat104792580;cat104761080;cat104516280
 

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For < $100, you can get a Lee starter kit ("Anniversary Kit" or something like that). I highly recommend it for a new reloader. Just set one up for my b-in-law; we added an electronic scale and he was good to go. RCBS is great, but you can't beat the Lee deal for the price.
 

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Welcome to the forum -- you'll get lots of questions answered here.

I'd start with the RCBS kit that Wynn linked you to -- it's what I got when I started and it's still working fine after many years use.

One word of warning however, reloading is as fascinating as a good Clancy mystery. For every question you find an answer to, you'll think of several more questions. But you will ENJOY it.

I'm in Brownwood, Tx. My folks (passed away now) retired in San Angelo and lived happily there for over 35 years.
 
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