I am new to reloading and have a couple of questions. I have done some reading on different websites about reloading. Seems most of the places I have found talk about reloading by quantities.
I want to start reloading for long range shooting, anywhere from 50-800+. So I was looking at Cabela's website and they have some different kits you can buy. Are these kits any good? If so which one should I get for perfecting that one load for my .308?
Really what I want to know is what do you recommend for a person new to reloading without an unlimited amount of funds?
You get more for your money with the RCBS RockChucker Supreme kit than any of the others. It is all decent equipment and will serve you well. However, I would take another approach; buy individual pieces. It will require study and anticipating your needs, but that is part of its value. You will learn a great deal in the process.
The wild card in putting a process together is the powder system. Your equipment needs will depend on the powders you find best for you, your required level of precision, and your loading quantity. For that reason, you can start with an RCBS 505 or 502 scale, a set of Lee dippers, and a Redding trickler. Later you can determine whether you need a powder measure or an RCBS ChargeMaster Combo. The powder measure would probably be a Redding.
I like Redding presses and would choose one of them over the RCBS. The Forster is popular, but carries a premium price.
A Lee AutoPrime handheld tool would be a good place to start for that function.
You will need a case trimmer, and the Wilson is considered the best of the lathe types. There are several ways to approach this function, and a Lee tool will serve initially if you are uncertain which you would prefer.
The addition of an inexpensive dial caliper, a tin of Imperial sizing lube, and a set of Redding bushing dies will enable you to produce ammunition the equal of any. There are a few other pieces you will need, and a read through the Sinclair catalog will show you the better stuff.
This approach will provide you with the equipment you need with minimal compromise or future replacement.
If the kit approach is attractive, the only real compromise is the powder measure, and that perhaps only because it is inappropriate for the chosen powders and level of precision required.
Last edited by Winchester 69; 07-08-2008 at 09:44 AM.
Location: Sagauache County, Co...3170 sq miles, not a single stop light!
i will chime in here...
as i have had experience with this recently. i lost all my reloading equip in a house fire in '05. just recently started getting set up again. i went the el-cheapo route just to get me back in the game. bought the lee kit and was surprised that it functioned well for me. it has a press, powder scale, powder measure, manual, shell holders, lee auto prime, and many misc tools. All this for about 100 bucks. i then started watching for used items that more fit my needs...found a lyman turret press for 40$ and a lyman scale for 20$....i still like the lee case trimmers the best. i use a cordless drill with mine to speed things up. got my eye peeled for a electronic powder scale/dispenser. anyway, this is my recomendation. go with a kit , then accessorize to fit your more specific needs. AJ
Good advice so far and Win69 has most of it. "This approach will provide you with the equipment you need with minimal compromise or future replacement." I agree.
A few comments. I too would carefully consider the "kit" option.
If I did it all over I'd even probably split up my purchases to the level that I don't do "die sets". It's not always a more expensive option.
I'd rather buy once (without breaking the bank) than buy a few kit type packages and be posting a lot in the "for sale" section in the near future.
I haven't looked at the options in kits and can't comment on price, but I know you can generally do better on dies with the better stuff than some of the better known manufacturer's die sets.
Get a good cast iron press that's big enough for everything. Get good dies - the Lee Collet neck sizer seems to have a following and I'll give one a try next time around. Get an inline seater - Forster / Redding even maybe Wilson (in no specific order of preference) and a body die (probably Redding although I see Forster has something now too that's some sort of combo that you could look at).
There are good things said about the Lee Perfect powder measure - and no I don't have one.
Dial calipers and not necessarily the most spendy you can find.
Look at the Wilson Trimmers - they are cheaper than most other systems and are the most accurate manual system I've used (nver used a Forster).
Get a good balance beam scale that you can use forever. Probably RCBS or Redding.
Consider a good book - I like Zediker's handloading for competition, but there's probably more in there than you will need and a lot of what's there I saw here on this site before reading it there.
You may be able to stagger your purchases to minimise the once off cost - a powder measure for example can wait.
It would have cost me less to set up better equipment knowing what I know now and buying selected items that I actually need, than most of the packaged together stuff that I did previously.
Look in the classifieds - some stuff is good and doesn't necessarily get used up. Over time most of us end up with stuff we neither need nor use anymore.
Read Jerry Theo's article in the "articles"s section on the home page on loading. He's shooting great groups with a Lee Press, Lee Collet sizer, Redding Body Bump and Lee in line seater (i.e. the Collet Die Set) as I recall.
Kirby (50) did a great post on concentricity a while back with good tips on getting great results from "standard" type equipment too.
I started with the Lee Annaverary special. 15 years later, the only thing I still use is the Powder thrower. It works, but it is minimal. RCBS has a better kit I think. But If I was going to start agian, knowing what I know now, I'd get it piece for piece. Redding BIg Boss Press, Lee Auto prime, Lee thrower, Electronic scale by RCBS or Lyman, Lyman tumber, Redding Trimmer, Redding dies. RCBS VLD neck tool.... the farther down the line you go the less significant they become...
I used to re-load but now I "hand-load".
-- Well, at least I try --