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what's the minimum equipment required to get started?

2196 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  crookedshot
I have used a Coleman stove to melt lead for my sinkers and .490 round balls for my TC muzzleloader. Not much experience but a start. I reload .38, .357, 9mm, and will start on 44 mag. I only shoot paper and steel targets with the pistols. I am considering casting the .44's. Is it necessary to size the bullets after casting? All of my equipment is RCBS. I see that RCBS makes a sizer/lubricator for about $110. Is there any type of sizer die that will attach to my RBCS Jr. press to allow the sizing and lubricating of bullets? Investing in a lead furnace and thermometer would be useful for the sinkers and round balls, but I'm having problems justifying the cost of $110 for the sizer/lubricator. (Actually justifying this cost to the wife). Thanks for your input.
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You asked about sizing and using your existing RCBS loading press. Actually one of the best options for someone on a casting budget is to invest in one of the Lee Precision bullet sizing kits. It's a die that screws into your loading press, with a puch that fits into the ram on your press as a shell-holder would. It's a very good tool that sizes the bullets nose first which avoids much of the problems associated with mis-aligned nose punches on the RCBS and Lyman type lubrisizers, and the whole kit from Lee Precision is under fifteen bucks! Either use their liquid alox, or hand lube with a quality bullet lubricant, then size with their sizing kit. By the way it's an excellent system if using gas checked bullets as the gas check is seated while the bullet is sized eliminating a secondary step as with the lyman or RCBS sizers.

If the proper sizing diameter isn't available from Lee Precision, a custom made sizing die is available for 25.00 direct from Lee, but the easiest solution is to use an undersize die, and lap it out to your desired diameter.

Hope this helps,

God Bless,

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