Getting Started in Reloading

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Rubber Ducky, Sep 4, 2005.

  1. Rubber Ducky

    Rubber Ducky Member

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    Feb 18, 2004
    Hi Guys,

    I was wondering if anybody could tell me the difference between the various die manufacturers? Is it worthwhile to get carbide dies or should I just get ordinary dies to start with? Is there a difference between Lee, RCBS, Redding or Lyman. I would like to get started with good quality tools, certainly not the cheapest stuff but not the Cadillac version either.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers,
    Rubber Ducky
     
  2. sniper2

    sniper2 Well-Known Member

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    Let your budget control your quality, many dies are capable of accurate ammo the human factor is the most important component of all....
     

  3. IceSniper

    IceSniper Well-Known Member

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    Mar 23, 2004
    I'm also about to buy my own reloading gear and was wondering a couple of things, like....

    I'm looking at buying RCBS dies but i was wondering if i should just buy std GroupA dies or the compatition/Gold medal dies? the comp ones are alot more money, But are they worth it?

    Also, aside from scales, dies, press, priming tool debur/chamfer tool what do i need to make long range rounds? is neck turning really necessary outside of compatition?

    Thanks guys /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif .
     
  4. wapiti13

    wapiti13 Well-Known Member

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    Competition dies are really worth the cost. Lee makes a collet die that could save you money if you must. Presses are not as critical. Technique is important. Also, the quality of your brass, your particular rifle chamber, etc. can determine how much prep is necessay to turn out quality ammo. Everything needs to be aligned to be accurate, which is way you read about bullet runout, etc. The better aligned your bullet and case necks are after loading, the better chance of having an accurate round. Of course, this is always assuming that your rifle is capable of accuracy to begin with. Nothing can help a bad bedding job, bad barrel, poor technique, etc. Good luck! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  5. LB

    LB Well-Known Member

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    First of all, carbide die(s) are used for straight wall pistol brass, and it is a convienience item, since you do not need to lube the cases, which can be messy. Otherwise, there is no advantage, but anyone that loads a lot of 9mm or 45ACP will usually pay the price and consider it worth it.

    So called (screw in) competition dies? I fail to see the need. If you want precision, get hand dies and an arbor press.

    Good hunting. LB
     
  6. Centre Punch

    Centre Punch Well-Known Member

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    There are two schools here, those that use Lee Equipment and those that dont.
    I dont want to re-open the one is better then the other debate or shall i say which loads the best ammo, there are exceptions in both cases, but stay away from LEE dies they are poorly made and of poor quality being manufactured to a price. Speaking now as a master machinist, the use of steel and aluminum components together makes me cringe /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

    RCBS re-loading equipment is good and this is what i would buy if i was starting up hand-loading, the Competition series will load you top notch ammo. I use Redding Competition Dies with interchangable Neck sizing bushings but i think you should start your handloading with fixed neck-size dies, unless of course you feel confident enough to jump in at the deep end and go for neck bushing dies right from the start. You will of course save money in the long run taking this route.

    Dies and equipment by Hornady and Forster, to name but two, are all good but again, do yourself a favour and leave LEE dies and equipment on the shelf, this is of course just my opinion. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    Ian.

    "I meant to shoot the pike but the duck got in the way"
     
  7. tpv57

    tpv57 Member

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    Look at the Warranty Lee is only 2 years others are lifetime
    RCBS will rebuild your press or give you a new one No experiance with others and RCBS customer service is great.same with all there products even if you broke or lost them (within reason)can't easlly lose a press,Dies I have Redding,Hornady,(RCBS most)all have lifetime warranty.
    Buy the best you can afford take a look on E-bay compare prices
     
  8. Jimm

    Jimm Writers Guild

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    Recent experience with Lee leads me to believe that they take care of any problems without even asking when /how old questions . The warranty is lifetime, the guarantee to not break or wear out is 2 year.However it seems that they "overlook " conditions and just take care of any problems.
    As far as accuracy , look up the 1000 yd record breaker on july 25, 1993, Robert Frey and see what he used to load his record breaking rounds ( I,ll give you a hint , Lee collet dies /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif)

    I have Rcbs dies, been using them from the beginning (30 yrs. ago )I also have Redding competition neck bushing dies and comp seater dies. I like the Redding seater die above the others. I also have LEE collet dies , they are great annnd inexpensive! As I have said in the past there are many at LRH that use and attest to the Lee collet dies low runout / accuracy potential. All of them are far more knowledgeable and experienced than me, I am glad that I listened to their advice .

    Finally , let me say that I make this post not to start a fire , but to simply share my experience / observations As someone earlier on this thread said it is the person doing the loading that is going to be a larger part of the equation.
    Jim B.
     
  9. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

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    Suggest that if you intend to load a lot of ammo to consider a progressive. I want good ammo but lots of it and not too much fussing around to get it. Went to the progressive and never looked back. Hard to beat a Dillon 550B (except for a 650...), a Hornady LockNLoad or the mighty RCBS Pro-2000.

    Just something to consider. Nice to be able to crank-off five boxes of ammo in an hour.
     
  10. Rubber Ducky

    Rubber Ducky Member

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    Feb 18, 2004
    Gentlemen;

    Thanks for the replies. I should have mentioned that I shoot a .270Win Remington Sendero and while I do get good groups with factory ammo,i.e. in the 1/2" to 1/4" @ 100yds, I would like to a) reduce the cost of shooting and b) get even better groups.

    Cheers,
    Rubber Ducky

    p.s. While I'm still a duck hunter at heart, I've been bitten hard by the long range hunting bug /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  11. wapiti13

    wapiti13 Well-Known Member

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    Carbide dies are really out of the picture for the 270. Now you must decide between neck sizing and/or full length resizing. Just another consideration! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  12. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    You will find that it pays in the long run to buy quality reloading tools. Much cheaper as they last forever and quality is good.

    I prefer either the Forester Bonanza BR die sets or the Reddings. Both have micrometer seaters but not necessary when starting.

    Buy a good large size single press for now. Rockchucker or similar. buy a good used balance beam scale RCBS 10-10 for $30 on Ebay and retails for $100. You will find with set of $10 Lee dippers can run as fast as you need.

    the Lee Auto prime works well for priming. $15

    Buy a good SS caliper

    Need a neck trimmer. Forester or Wilson are best.

    Get catalogs from Sinclair intl. www.sinclairint.com and RW Hart 800-368-3656 and Holland Shooters supply www.hollandguns.com
    Look at good primer pocket tools etc from eithe of them.

    BH
     
  13. IceSniper

    IceSniper Well-Known Member

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    Thanks alot guys, this thread has helped me out alot /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif .
    Unless the law changes and alowes me to buy a semi-auto i'll stay with a single stage O-frame press from LEE, which is only $79 comepared to nearly $300 for a Hornady or RCBS equivalant /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif .