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Reloading Berger Bullets


going to start loading, thinking about presses.

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Unread 08-01-2008, 09:33 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 753
If you want to thaw out a visa card, this is certainly the place to do it.

For just getting started, I would encourage you to look at the "ammo factory in a box" setups from RCBS. It comes with a rock crusher press which will do 99% of the cartridges out there. All but the really big stuff anyways.

As for the quality of the press; I own one, Pete Pi Jr., President of Cor Bon ammo (and close personal friend) uses a couple of them for his custom load development, my best friend David Karcher, 2002 US National Highpower Service Rifle Champion and member of 2003 US Palma team uses one, Middleton Tompkins, another good friend, also uses this same press.

Oh, Dakota Arms and Nesika Bay Precision have a half dozen of them in use at the shop too.

It works and it won't put you in the market of a home equity loan.

Good luck and welcome!
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Unread 08-01-2008, 12:14 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Columbia, MO
Posts: 1,456
My neighbor has a rockchucker and loves it, but longer cartridges like my 45-120 will not work with it. The RUM's are similar lengths, not sure if they would work.
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Unread 08-01-2008, 01:01 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 179
Same Problem.

I had the same problem a couple of months ago on deciding which press to go with. He's how I remmedied it.

Bought the Lee Load-Master Progressive Press Kit 270 Winchester
($215). I load all my pistol ammo and any rifle round that I just want to shoot alot on it. And let me tell you, you can load alot of ammo in no time.

I also bought the Lee Classic Cast Single Stage Press ($75) to do my more accurate loading work with.

I got everything I need to load for around $300. Just a little about the price of some of your single stage kits. You could even go cheaper by getting the Lee Pro 1000 Progressive Press Kit 223 Remington instead of the Load-Master if you was only going to want to turn out alot of pistol and .223 ammo. It's around $135. Then you could even get a better single stage and stay around the $300 mark.
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Unread 08-01-2008, 05:13 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19
This is what I use:
  • Redding T-7 Turret Press. Not self indexing very precise. For load work-up of pistol cartridges and all rifle reloading.
  • Pistol cartridges in mass - Dillon 650 progressive with case feeder. I can easily do 600 45 ACPs an hour. Also check out for the micrometer powder bar kit for the Dillon press. Makes life very easy.
  • Electronic powder dispenser and scale - either Lyman 1200 or RCBS. I also use the 'RCBS scale check weight set' to see if the electronic scale is behaving. They are known to drift. Don't even think about a balance beam scale unless you have a lot of time on your hands.
  • Redding dies particularly the competition bullet seater if you will be trying various bullets for the same caliber. E.g., accubonds, triple-x , etc.
  • Check out for the wilson/sinclair case trimmer. Excellent product. You will need to trim your new rifle brass and maybe again if it grows. I have this case trimmer with a micrometer. It's a real luxury and not necessary. But the basic set up for $53 is really worth it.
  • You will also need a bullet puller. Kinetic (looks like a hammer) or something like the Hornady bullet puller which screws into your press. Much nicer to use and does not deform the bullet.
  • Hornady One Shot spray lubricant for resizing cases. Fast and not messy.
  • Micrometer - an absolute necessity. I use a Starrett digital another luxury but avoid the really cheap ones.
The above has the capabilities to produce really good quality ammo. If you get into target shooting then there is a whole bunch more you may want to consider such as tube micrometers etc. The above should really get your Visa card working. Payback at today's prices for ammo is very quick if you shoot a lot or if you are into buying Federal Gold Medal Match ammo or are reloading for the heavy bangers.

Look through the Midway catalog and the Sinclair catalog. They both have other useful items you will find compelling to purchase. Also call Redding, Dillon and Sinclair tech support. Ask all your questions until you become comfortable. They will stay on the phone with you for as long as you need. They are a great resource and is part of their corporate identity to help.

All most forgot. Always check your reloading recipes from more than one reloading manual. You may want to ask people online what powder bullet combination works well. Never use anything until verified by yourself from a published source. When I started I actually started with three manuals.

Good luck - reloading is a lot of fun. Particularly during snow storms or when you can't get out to shoot.

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Unread 08-01-2008, 10:34 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 668
Boomtube: Sorry but you need to do your homework on a t7. There is a spring loaded indexing ball on a t7 that take any and all slop out. Not tryint to be a smart @ss here but go yank on one at your local sportsmans wharehouse and you will know where I'm coming from. They have no slop in them period. Sinclair sell them and honestly they wouldn't sell anything with slop as they are all benchrest shooters.
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Unread 08-02-2008, 07:12 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 53
Thanks for all of the replies. Some great information here. I will probably get the RCBS Pro 2000 kit with the auto index upgrade. That kit will have almost everything I need. I will prolly also get a single stage press to go along with it. According to RCBS the newer Rock Chucker supreme has been lengthened to handle the newer ultra wizbang magnums.

CINOSBUS-- I looked on the midsouth shooters supply website and did not see the "smart reloader" single stage you mentioned. I must have passed it up.

I am assuming that RCBS and all other dies have set screws on the lock rings? Are there any that do not?
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Unread 08-02-2008, 09:11 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 53
I downloaded the midsouth catalog and saw the "Smart Reloader". Does look like a good guy. Looks VERY simaler to the Lee Breach lock Challenger press. Wonder how strong it is? I recall reading postings about some problems with the Breach lock Challenger when sizing the big cases.
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