Originally Posted by DoubleGobble00
Now that I am around that issue and have my $$$ ready to spend what do yal recommend. I hear alot about the Lee Aniversary Kit or Deluxe Kit or do you recommend buying everything separate.
I have a .280 and a 45 ACP that I would mainly like to reload for.
Also, which manuel is good for me to start reading? Is any manuel fine or is some better than others. I hope to buy one soon (like this week) and start reading up on it.
Since you asked ;-)
Any of the manuals are good. I have a bunch of different ones and I like the Hornady manual. Having several is always good as a way to verify things. That being said, the internet has great resources for loads and info. Hodgdon.com is the one I use most. Depending on how computer oriented you are, the quickload program is a great program for simulating loads all the powders, bullets etc, but certainly not needed in the short term.
Presses and other equipment can vary greatly in cost. Most of the presses are very good quality.
Essentially you need to do 4 things when you reload.
1) resize / deprime cases
2) reprime cases
3) Measure powder
4) seat bullets.
#1 and #4 are handled by the press/dies. #2 can be handled by the press, but I feel is done better/easier with a Lee HandPrime unit $12 MidwayUSA - Lee Auto Prime Hand Priming Tool
and the shell holder kit $13 MidwayUSA - Lee Auto Prime Hand Priming Tool Shellholder Package of 11
#3, measuring/dispensing powder requires at minimum a scale and a funnel.
The funnel I use and recommend is $17 and works great for this task MidwayUSA - Frankford Arsenal Powder Funnel with 16 Nozzles and 4" Drop Tube
A powder measure makes the task easier/faster.
There are manual and electronic/automatic measures. I like the electronic dispensers but the manuals work well but will require you to trickle the last little bit of powder into the scale to get the perfect amount.
I used a small manual scale for a long time.MidwayUSA - Lee Safety Magnetic Powder Scale 100 Grain Capacity
I then transitioned to a digital scale and automatic powder measure. I'd never go back. I used the Pact combo for a couple years and it worked great, but a little slow. I sold the pact and purchased the RCBS and it is an awesome package (albeit a little spendy at $300)
MidwayUSA - RCBS ChargeMaster 1500 Powder Scale and Dispenser Combo 110 Volt
You could always just start with the scale ($160) and get the dispenser later?
The other thing you will need is a set of calipers. I used a $5 plastic dial caliper for years and it was fine. You can get stainless dial calipers for $25 or nice digital calipers for $50-$100+. If you get a digital, make sure you get one that automatically turns off, as it will save you a lot of batteries.
Along with the calipers, I recommend 2 stoney point kits that will enable you to measure everything you need to setup your dies/reloads perfectly.
MidwayUSA - Hornady Lock-N-Load Headspace Gage 5 Bushing Set with Comparator
MidwayUSA - Hornady Lock-N-Load Bullet Comparator Basic Set with 6 Inserts
MidwayUSA - Hornady Lock-N-Load Bullet Comparator Complete Set with 14 Inserts
Later you will need a case trimmer and I recommend the Forster kit
MidwayUSA - Forster Original Case Trimmer Kit
but for the time being, you can just reload and watch your length. There are also other brass prep tools, but they are overkill for starting out.
You will need a set of dies and a shell holder for each cartridge. You can get die sets for $25-$200 depending on what type reloads you are making. For your 45acp, I'd recommend a Nitride sizing die, so you don't have to lubricate your cases (only works for straight wall cartridges). Something like this set would work
MidwayUSA - Hornady Custom Grade New Dimension Nitride 3-Die Set 45 ACP, 45 Auto Rim, 45 Win Mag
For your .280 you will need to lubricate, and the best thing I've found is Imperial sizing wax
MidwayUSA - Imperial Case Sizing Wax 2 oz
I've tried the spray stuff, the roll on stuff etc. and this wax is the best.
A die set for your .280 should be a good quality set. I use the competition Redding dies, but the standard Redding dies are great as well.
MidwayUSA - Redding 2-Die Set 280 Remington, 7mm Express
Keep in mind that dies are like pickups, the old Ford vs. Chevy debate.
Forster, Redding, Hornady, RCBS all have good dies in their lineups.
Don't forget to get a shellholder for each cartridge you are reloading. They are only a couple dollars each.
I've left the hardest choice for last. Which press?
I used a Rock Chucker original for 3 decades and it is still as good as ever. My favorites right now are the Redding 700 Ultra, Rock Chucker supreme and Lee Classic Cast. Any of them will do a great job. If you want my old Rock Chucker, make me an offer and I'll replace it with the Redding ;-).MidwayUSA - Redding 700 Ultramag Single Stage Press
MidwayUSA - Lee Classic Cast Single Stage Press
MidwayUSA - RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Single Stage Press
As far as the kits go, just look at the individual stuff you get and keep in mind the list above and the 4 things you need to do to safely reload shells and you will make good choices. A lot depends on what kind of $'s you have etc.
At minimum you need a press, shell holder, dies, lubricant, scale, funnel, calipers. Everything else just makes things go faster, easier etc.