Re: Questions about reloading
there's a lot more than just going to the store and buying a new reloading press! What are you going to load should be the first topic. If it nothing but .357's and 44 mags? Then you don't need a lot of press. But if you doing things like a .378 case or long strait walled stuff, then you better be looking at a good cast iron framed press. In my latest and greatest flyer I get in the mail a big Redding goes for about $190. A Forster was selling for about $240. You don't have to buy shell holders with the Forster, but you do with the others. You buy a half dozen good shell holders, and suddenly you talking the same dollars and cents. The Forster comes with an excellent priming device built into it (better than 90% made). Another thing to contemplate is what your going to set the press ontop of. You really need a 2" thick top for the Rockchucker or the Redding backed up with steel plates top and bottom. The Forster needs about an inch thick slab (a 2x10 piece of pine or oak works great). I use two pieces of 5/8th's plywood with a 10 gauge plate top and bottom most of the time. I did build a riser for mine, and I now can't live without it! You just don't need somekind of a massive bench with the Forster to get started (a Black & Decker Workmate is a great reloading bench I might add)
Depending on what your reloading once again will dictate the dies you use. If it's a standard factry chambering, then most any of the better brands will work. I think the Forster seater is the only one to consider unless you into some odd ball wildcat. Sizers are all over the place. Redding & Forster being the best you can buy unless your using inline dies setup for an arbor press. I use all the major brands with exceptions, and most all do OK for sizers (I think a Forster full length sizer is ever so slightly better if setup correctly). I like the Redding bushing dies a little better, but dislike them for other reasons just as importantly. I still like the old Lyman strait wall dies better than the others (I think the crimp better as well as do the bell better). Still for 90% of the reloaders an RCBS is good enough.
I must own six or seven hand priming tools, and have owned a couple others as well. The best is a Sinclair, but my old hands and that one don't mix well. I now use a K&M or simply prime in my Forster press. If I could only have one it'd be the K&M
I trim cases with a Wilson trimmer, but also own a Forster and a Lyman. The Wilson is hands down the best. I turn necks with a Sinclair outfit, but if I buy another it will be a K&M or a Hart. (you probably won't be doing that anytime soon). I also recommend you buy a good pair of dial calipers (Mitutoyo 4" is what I use 90% of the time), and later on a 1" micrometer.
I throw powder with a Harrell Culver measurer most of the time, but also use a Lyman #55 a little bit. I've own several others in the past, but this is what I prefer. I weigh powder in a Pact electronic scale. It extremely accurate, and I've checked it with a lab grade one in the past. I also use a Pact BBK when I load at the range. The Lyman measurer will throw ball powder within .15 grain all day long, but the Harrell is that much better in the way it works. I can go back to settings I was using a month before and be within .1 of a grain everytime. Otherwise I see no real difference in use. I'm planning on buying a Pact electronic measurer this spring, but will still do all my ball powders with the Harrell.