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Reloading Berger Bullets


newb help looking for advise

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Unread 02-13-2011, 11:53 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Albany Oregon
Posts: 75
Re: newb help looking for advise

I just bought the Lee Challenger reloading kit from Midwayusa.com this week and loaded up my first 50 rounds of 25-06 yesterday. The kit is very simple and easy to use. For $89 it's a real bargain.
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Unread 02-13-2011, 12:45 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 22
Re: newb help looking for advise

I second the Lee kit if your on a budget. It had everything you need minus the ammo components, tumbler, caliper, dies and a manual. My plan was to learn on this kit and upgrade equipment as a I see fit. The first upgrade will be a better scale. Good luck and be safe.
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Unread 02-13-2011, 12:50 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: greenwood, IN
Posts: 4,061
Re: newb help looking for advise

For starters, make sure the press is made of cast iron, and is at least an O frame design. That being said you still don't have to spend a ton of money. I use a Forster, and a small RCBS. I own a couple dozen shell holders, but actually only use two or three for reloading (plus a big handfull of Lee Autoprime shell holders). As long as your staying with 30-06 and smaller cases you can get by with most of the O frame presses, but if you are thinking bigger cases then you better be thinking bigger presses. Also buy a single stage press right from the start.

I don't really like kits all that well because half the stuff will be replaced in five hundred rounds. I'd pick out a press I liked (try several cause they don't all feel the same), and buy some good dies (RCBS, Forster or whatever). The best powder measurer for the money spent is the Lyman #55 without a doubt (and can be had cheap). I like electronic scales, but some folks like beam scales. Buy a good electronic scale if that's your interest (PACT). I use a Wilson case trimmer as well as a Lyman, and a Forster. The Lyman is used for 44mag and 45LC mostly, but the Forster will do everything you want with ease. I use two priming devices, but own several others. I like the priming device on the back of my Forster press better than all the rest but with two exceptions. The Sinclair is the best by ever so slightly, and the K&M is right behind it. Rest are paper weights.

Unless your one of those guys out there swapping bullets all the time, don't buy a seater with a micrometer head. I use them, but also use several different kinds of bullets. I'm one of the guys that will tell you there is no better seater than a Forster (threaded die), but a Redding is also a very good seater. I like Forster full length dies best due to the stem setup. Bushing dies are not really for the novice, but maybe after a year or so of reloading to get yourself comfortable

I also would buy the Hornaday case gauge and seating depth gauges. These little gems will save you a lot of headaches. Get yourself a good pair of calipers, and this is one place not to go cheap. I use a 4" Mitutoyo 98% of the time. Wether you go digital or analog is up to you. I'd avoid the Starretts as they can be a pain to rezero (analog), but their digital ones are nice (as well as the B&S and Fowlers). Down the road you may want to buy a pair of micrometers (1").
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Unread 02-13-2011, 03:05 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 51
Re: newb help looking for advise

I would recommend starting with an inexpensive kit, even if you will end up replacing a lot of it. But by then you will know better what features you like and dislike, and make a better-informed purchase for more money. It is cheaper to replace cheap equipment you don't really like than more expensive equipment you don't really like.

All we can tell you is what we like and why. Your budget, taste, and tolerance levels are certain to be different. And lots of users remain perfectly satisfied with the low price kits, and don't need to upgrade anything.

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Unread 02-14-2011, 10:08 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Billings, MT
Posts: 332
Re: newb help looking for advise

My Lee is the aluminum one. Sure it grunts and groans, I bought it for reloading 300WM. I don't see that it flexes any more than cast iron. I believe aluminum actually flexes less than cast iron. Now for realoading, a nice beafy cast iron press maybe the same or just less flex than my little aluminum one.

As far as the kits, you will find some of the kit items to be indespensible, that you will get with the press. Sure you will have many of the items replaced in time. Does a kit cost that much more than buying all of the items individually?
There are only two seasons: Hunting season, and Getting Ready for Hunting season. -DAD
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