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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy,

As most know, there is a coming amount of extra cash, just not sure how much at this point. I'm hoping to have enough to buy a reloading setup. I researched this a LONG time ago but never got around to buying the stuff. I did decide to use a Lee Precision Classic Turret Press that has four holes for dies, that way I can use three or four hole setups or even as a single stage press. Some ammo only needs three, but others have four. It costs a bit more but it should be all I need. From what I recall, some dies will work with different brands of presses. If that is correct, is the Lee dies the best or should I use another brand that is better or lasts longer? Currently, between myself and a couple friends, I'll likely be loading in pistol: 9MM, 45 ACP and 44 magnum. While the 44 magnum is a pistol round, I actually shoot it in a rifle, deer hunting and it's a primitive weapon in my state. In rifle round, I'll need the following dies: 223/5.56MM, 308, 45-70. That may increase later but that's my starting point.

Right now, I'm not worried about powder, primers or anything. I'm just wanting to get into the press and its related accessories. Things like, dies, tools that put in the primers, powder, bullet etc. I'll get into the rest later, likely a new thread. I'll also get into scales later on too. I have one that does grains but I want to get one made just for reloading and is known to be accurate. I'm a little OCD about some things, measuring powder will likely be one of those.

What I'm looking for is a few people who do most or all of what I listed above and have learned from trial and error what to get and what is a waste of money. I don't care if some accessory is old school or something well tested but new school. I'm 53 and drive a antique car. I dread the day I have to get a new car. It works and it's paid for. Sometimes tho, new things work better, last longer, more accurate etc etc.

So far, I found a site that has some awesome deals. I can't find a site that beats this, yet anyway. If someone has a site that has better deals, please share.


Since some search sites are not gun friendly, it makes it hard to find good ones sometimes. That's just one I found while digging around for info. I'm mostly wanting to buy what works and not spend money on something that doesn't. I figure the best way to accomplish that is to see what others have figured out already. I'm disabled but don't mind spending a little extra for something that is better. After I get the press and its toys, I plan to buy primers, powders and such.

Thanks to all for any info you share.
 

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I started out 25 years ago with a Lee 25th year anniversary kit. It worked great but I now use a RCBS Rockchucker IV with a combination of Lee, Redding and RCBS dies. I love the Lee hand primer and factory crimp dies. I load for 10 calibers, mostly rifle from 45/70 to 223.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I think that link is for Lee's outlet, which would explain the good prices. Anyway.....

Most dies work in most presses. Sometimes there are issues with some of the Dillon (progressive) presses, but other than that, compatibility is pretty good across the industry.

Any die should last near forever with decent care. I can find good things about all of them, and pick nits about all of them too. My die sets are across the rainbow, in terms of the box colors.

Right now anything you can find is probably what you should get.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Anything special that works with the press for handling powder? I want to go for accuracy more than speed. At this point, I'm not even sure what process I'll use. I may get a tool that automatically measures the powder or I may do one load at a time manually with a scale. One thing about being disabled, I got time on my side. In the past, I saw a tool that measures out the powder with what looked like a worm drive screw thingy. It would spin and push out powder until it reached the measured weight. It was claimed to be very accurate but is a bit of a luxury I guess. Still, if it is really accurate, it may do a better job than me. If the price isn't to bad, I might would go for the thing. Who knows. They may not even be made anymore.

The biggest thing, I only want to buy what I need. No point buying something that is a disaster waiting to happen or will just take up space and waste money.

Magilla26: This is the press I'm looking at. What does the price of yours look like in comparison and is there anything that makes it better than the Lee?


Thanks much.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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You can buy all the powder measuring gadgets that your budget will allow, but just buying powder that meters more consistently is the simplest thing by far. In other words, can't go wrong with ball/spherical, avoid the long-stick powders like the classic IMR stuff, and flake / short stick powders are somewhat in between.

Beggars can't be choosers, and the shelves are pretty empty right now, but ball powder for handguns is the stupid-easy choice. Rifles are sometimes more picky.
 

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the breech lock kit comes with a auto primer while the 50th kit doesn't.

my first kit was a lyman turret. more often than not, i didn't use the 4 or 5 holes, i used one. i use the lee classic cast press. the incidentals(electronic powder measure and dispenser, auto prime...etc) will come in time.
 

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Dad and I started with an RCBS starter set in 1988. Still running strong. Even still using the lube pad. We have added nibs and bobs over the years, but for the most part, we got all we needed in that kit. We shot/shoot hundreds of rounds a year, not thousands. The equipment you need kind of depends on how much you shoot.

I never really liked turret presses. It is just one more thing to move, although I think a lot of people use them with great success. I have found the lock rings on the dies allow the dies to be quickly and accurately changed out, so I guess I never really saw the need for the turret.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That sounds like what I've read. Sometimes there is some nifty new tool or even some old timey tool that works better than the rest. I did find this article and it agrees with what you said about ball powder.


I figure the pistols is going to be the easiest. Since I shoot the 44 magnum in a rifle, someone may can help tweak it a bit. The biggest thing, when I get to loading and asking about powders, I'm not looking to reinvent the wheel. If someone has a 45-70 rifle and that is what I'm working to load, I'd be happy to know the brand, grains of powder and any other tips and tricks to make a cartridge shoot just like a store bought round. I don't want the bullet falling out the end of the barrel from to little powder, sort of a funny there, or blowing the barrel up from to much powder either. I'd like it 'just right'. That's for another day tho. It's looking like a 2 to 3 month backorder right now. I guess there is no need to rush. :rolleyes:

I dread the next four years. I suspect it is going to suck. Learning something new may help it suck less. One can only hope. Besides, I need to fill up ammo cans with what is supposed to be in them.
 

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Sounds like much of your reloading will be for high volume shooting. If you plan on loading hundreds of rounds at a time you might want to consider one of the Dillon setups. Almost all my loading is for rife rounds 20-40 at a time so my single stage RCBS Rockchucker is all I need.
 

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I weigh powder charges individually. I don't do high volume shooting so the extra time to process is not an issue for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Sounds like much of your reloading will be for high volume shooting. If you plan on loading hundreds of rounds at a time you might want to consider one of the Dillon setups. Almost all my loading is for rife rounds 20-40 at a time so my single stage RCBS Rockchucker is all I need.
Well, I don't shoot a lot but I do have a lot of time. If I can't sleep, I just may pull out the press and such and start loading ammo. I could end up doing that most or all of the night. It's either that or jig-saw puzzles. I'd rather make ammo since one can't buy any right now. Do that several nights a week, when I'm able to get supplies, and I end up with ammo cans full of ammo. That's one reason I plan to make notes. Once I get a round shooting like a store bought round, I'm making notes of the variables to make sure I can repeat that consistently without having to spend half a day trying to figure out what I did to get it right last time. I've read note taking is a extremely good idea. Those chronograph thingys help get it just right too.

I'm not sure what the future brings but I don't see it going well. If it does and the ammo I already have and plan to make isn't used, I got family to leave it too. I'm good at keeping my powder dry and preparing for good or bad things. I've learned tho to prepare for the worst and it ends up OK even if the worst doesn't happen.

This reminds me. I need to locate and get prices on PVC pipe. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I weigh powder charges individually. I don't do high volume shooting so the extra time to process is not an issue for me.
That may be what I do. It just depends on what is best and cost effective. I'd rather have 50 rounds of very good ammo rather than 100 rounds where even one is a dud. I don't want the duds at all.
 

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Not too long ago, Hornady's complete starter kit was on sale for a really low price. All of the equipment in it was not too bad to start with. Seems it did not come with any kind of powder measure but I thought a good deal for a starter. Don't remember if the kit had a model number or which press that it came with. By now, they may all be out of stock and if you can find one I doubt that it could be had at a reasonable price. Finding components right now is really difficult too...............................
 

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Should have looked first. It is the "lock and load" classic kit...................... on backorder and now twice the price that I had seen
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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I'd go with a Forster CoAx. I've used Lee, RCBS, Pacific, Herters and Lyman. (other folk's) and for speed of die changes and the best precision primer seater there is in the business. Mine is now 46 years old and has reloaded a bazillion rounds and according to the measurements I shared with Forster it's still as tight as a new one. Buy once, cry once.

RJ
 
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The Lee turret press is an excellent tool, but I highly recommend starting on a more basic press so you can learn all the basic/critical reloading steps rather than also having to learn the intricacies of a more complex press system. A single stage or for a much smaller investment, a hand press will suffice to learn the basics. This is money well-spent as this starter press will still be quite useful after you are zipping along with your turret press. Similarly, I recommend starting with an analog scale and charging each case manually, once again to learn the basic/critical powder handling steps. Powder measures each have their own nuances with which to deal. I realize that I suggest a very conservative approach, but handloading should not be undertaken lightly, and you mentioned that you have the time, dalek2.0. YMMV
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'd go with a Forster CoAx. I've used Lee, RCBS, Pacific, Herters and Lyman. (other folk's) and for speed of die changes and the best precision primer seater there is in the business. Mine is now 46 years old and has reloaded a bazillion rounds and according to the measurements I shared with Forster it's still as tight as a new one. Buy once, cry once.

RJ
I looked at some pics of that. That is a awesome looking press. It's pricey but still, it's nice looking. May have to think on that. In the long run, since I plan to pass this on to family when I'm gone, it may be worth the money. It's something to think on for sure.

The Lee turret press is an excellent tool, but I highly recommend starting on a more basic press so you can learn all the basic/critical reloading steps rather than also having to learn the intricacies of a more complex press system. A single stage or for a much smaller investment, a hand press will suffice to learn the basics. This is money well-spent as this starter press will still be quite useful after you are zipping along with your turret press. Similarly, I recommend starting with an analog scale and charging each case manually, once again to learn the basic/critical powder handling steps. Powder measures each have their own nuances with which to deal. I realize that I suggest a very conservative approach, but handloading should not be undertaken lightly, and you mentioned that you have the time, dalek2.0. YMMV
I've thought about that but I seem to recall I can run the Lee press in single stage mode doing one thing at a time. I'd have two pieces of equipment to learn instead of one but I'd have a backup just in case the main press failed. Lots of things to think on.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well, here's something to think on. If I want one anytime soon, I may have to buy what is available not just what I want. I have dug around a bit and found a RCBS Turret Press that is 6 stages, way to much for me. Some sites that estimate when new stock is coming isn't even trying to guess. I found one that I don't recall hearing of. Maybe it is good, maybe it isn't. It's a Frankford Arsenal M-Press Coaxial Single Stage Press. It's single stage but hey, it's also in stock.

The RCBS up there is to much. I've never heard of the Frankford one. Anyone ever heard of that? If price means anything, normal $200 but on sale for $150. It kind of resembles the Forster recoil mentioned. Sort of.

One thing I've about figured out, buy a press you like and the dies will fit about whatever. There's exceptions to that I'm sure but so far, all the ones I looked at use the same size dies.

Another thing, I sure wish I bought this setup a few years ago. The prices are knocking me out of my chair. The prices of ammo isn't helping me either, if you can find it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
If you find one you think you like it should be easy to find a youtube video on it. They are often quite helpful
That was why I picked the Lee press a good while back. It seemed to be easy to use and dependable. I watched a lot of videos on it and reloading in general. There are a lot of old ones out there still working after decades of use. Thing is, there are a lot of brands that can say the same. I like the Forster despite its price but the Frankford looks a lot like it. Right now, finding one that is in stock or will be soon is the problem. I seen a few that was estimated out past March. Some they didn't even try to estimate. I think once I get one, I'll get used to whatever I get. I was just hoping to get one press and be done. I just didn't want to pick a bad one.

Of course, when I get a press and all its buddies, finding powder, primer and such will be the next challenge.
 
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