You can't go wrong with a rockchucker..Also, if funds are an issue you may be able to get some good deals on used equipment on this site. Get a couple reloading books and read until you understand, and if you have questions,ask. This site is a good resource.
The rock chucker will be fine. It should work well for anything short of the largest mags and will still work well for pistols. Ya just need to change shell holders and dies.
I think the Redding presses are slightly better, but I am not dissapointed in my recent purchase of the rockchucker IV. I would go w/ a set like the rcbs or similar unless you want to piece stuff together. Starting out w/ a balance beam scale is fine, I prefer electronic but ya gotta start somewhere and if 200 scares you for the starter kit... you will not like the price of electronic scales.
Dies, dial calaper, shell holders, priming tool, case lube, casing trays for loading, powder funnel, press, and a good book are the bare essentials IMHO. The following will be nice: powder dispenser (lee is just fine), VLD case mouth deburring tool, Case trimmer (Lee works just fine and is cheap), Digital scale, inside primer pocket deburring tool, outside neck deburring tool (must deburr necks when you trim cases!)
start will the lowest charge and work up with caution and don't go beyond published levels. Hodgdon powders are nice and hodgdon gives lots of information on their website.
ALways use data w/ the exact same powder, similar primer, and same bullet weight that you are using.... I digress lol! ya probably know the basics so I'll shut up unless ya ask more Q's in the future.
By the way... WELCOME to the wonderfully addicting hobby of handloading. Be prepared to spend lots of time and money learning and upgrading. Just like everything else that's fun! lol!
I used to re-load but now I "hand-load".
-- Well, at least I try --
spending the monney aint to mutch of a thing as long it is worth it. I have been a mechanic (auto 16 years, heavy equipment 3 1/2,diesel 6) that makes 25 years. I own more snap on tools than a snap on truck! So I know the value of good equipment. What I am trying to do is get the right tools the first time. FYI my 1/2" drive snap on air inpack wrench WILL go through craftmans sockets like no tomarow. Just cuz a Im a mec. dont mean I am not precise and gentle I am a perfectionest I gess that is why I am starting to hand load
I am similar in that I tend to buy the best I can afford the first time and so I bought compnents seperately rather than as a package as I knew I would have to toss or sell much of the kits.
Here is what I have put together in the past year, although I am sure to forget something:
Forster Co-Ax Press Sinclair Die Collars for CO-AX dies. The Steel collars work very well. Having used these, since the Forster CoAx press is particular in the collars, I would now use these for whichever press I used as they are high quality and the hex bolt does not strip and does not damage the dies threads. Ohaus Powder Measure (No longer made but very good if you can locate) Ohaus 10-10 scale magnetic dampened ( RCBS, OHAUS and other companies used them at one time or another.) Hope to upgrade to newest RCBS electronic system but not a huge priority. Redding Powder trickler Forster Case Trimmer Dies I use the method below but others use the Redding type with buttons for sizing necks: Lee Universal Decapping Die ( for decapping all fired rifle brass) Lee Collet Die ( For the caliber you plant to reload, these are caliber specific. You will probably want to polish the mandrel down a bit to get the tighter neck tension, or once you buy the die, send it to Lee and have them take off a bit of the material for you. I also removed the primer decapping rod tip as I use the Universal decapper on the uncleaned fired brass.) Full Length Sizing Die (For the calibers you plan to reload. I have redding, but these are used on new brass and as necessary thereafter. Anywhere between 5-10 firings. Some do so every time but most feel that neck sizing only gives them more repetitive accuracy. Competition Seating Die I use Forster as Redding uses their design and the Forsters are less expensive. Caliper See the recent thread on this item. Bullet Puller RCBS DIE set along with the appropriate collets. This unit can be set up in your reloading press and is efficient way to disassemble cartridges. I also use the Kinetic hammer type, however if you look at recent thread, someone had a primer go off and it caused a bit of a grenade situation. Deburring device I use the Hornady brand but they are all very similar. Tumbler For cleaning brass. I have the Hornady version and I lock it down to my heavy reloading/work bench and it is fairly quiet and effective at cleaning. Cabelas Media Seperator I like this unit and if you rotate the brass so that the brass tumble instead of so fast that you cause the brass to be held against the case by the centrifugal force, it will clean separate the media from the brass very effectively. Media I use the Lyman Walnut media for cleaning brass. Case Lube I got mine off of Midway. It comes in a tin and you rub it on finger and lightly coat each brass. Better and longer lasting than sprays. Got rave revies so look for the stuff with lots of reviews all of them high. Primer pocket ect RCBS makes a motorized unit that is worth the cost supposedly for prepping brass. So do others and Hornady just came out with a 400 dollar version. Giraud (sp) makes what is considered the best I believe. Primer Pocket uniformer I have a custom made one, but you will need one. Flash hole Uniforner/cleaner Same as above but I would buy the Lyman or RCBS Loading Trays lots out there but I use the red MTM trays. Cartridge boxes I use large MTM cases caliber specific.
These are based upon a lot of reading and the goal I had was the best that I could afford and with that limitation, there may be others where cost was absolutely no object where other compnents would be preferred. In most cases the compnents I chose are equivelent in quality of reloads produced but it may take a few moments longer etc.
Also, I am not yet neck turning, but it is the next on my list and I think Forster/Sinclair and I believe K&M?? are the quality sources for equipment.
There are reloaders here and elsewhere like the BEnch Rest Froums that have lots of info.
__________________ When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty to throw off such governments. Jefferson
I stoped by that buddy house and checked out his reloading set up WOW he is way over what I will ever do! He got a dillon RL550 a rock chusher under the bench coverd in dust dies,brass,bullets,#s of powder of ever call. U can think of things like 45.440 44.70 I dont know. I thought I was in a ammo store. This 1 hand gun he's got costom biult. Let say take a 45 bullet and stuff in a 440 brass ( I think) All I know it is big. back to the press what about the lee challenger ever use 1. He never has