Initial setup for handloading

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by Niet, Jan 5, 2005.

  1. Niet

    Niet Member

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    Hi, my question is really simple..How much and what I need for start to hanloading .308 (equipment and prices) ???
    (I know..I know I need learn the stuff first..but I need check my wallet /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif)
    Thanks.
    Criss
     
  2. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    You need a good book(s) on reloading from Hodgen or sierra.
    I prefer Hodgen and Vitavouri powder so I use there books and sierra a lot.

    Precision shooting at 1000 Yards book $32


    balance beam scale(RCBS 10-10) used on ebay $20

    loading blocks $5 each

    Lee auto primer $15

    used RSBS rockchucker or similar press $40 ebaby

    dies (I like redding or forester)$10-20 new or used on ebay

    good vernier caliper $25-60

    Lee powder dipper set $10 almost as fast as powder measure once you get the technique.

    case trimmer (forester, wilson, rcbs ) used ebay $25-40

    order sinclair intl catalog 260-493-2530 or support@sinclairintl.com

    sinclair also sells some nice logbook sheets to record everything about your load. item numbers tgt-15 or 12-100 are couple good ones that fit in 3 ring binder.

    neck deburring tool $5-10

    misc primer pocket tools ($10 each) from sinclair or RW Hart (catalog 800-368-3656)

    good chrono evenually (used $125 up)

    you can buy almost all of what you need to start used on ebay. Buy the catalogs and books first to read on what you want and why then buy the highest quality used you can afford. Trust me saves money in the long run.

    Good luck.

    BH
     

  3. Centre Punch

    Centre Punch Well-Known Member

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    Hi Niet,
    RCBS sells everything you need in the "Supreme Master Reloding Kit" for about $250. Firstly you get the Rockchucker press, which is one of the best single station presses in the market. You also get dies of your choice, 505 scales, Uniflow powder measure and an RCBS hand priming tool. De-burring tool,lube kit,powder funnel, loading block and a Speer reloding manual are also included. Alas there is no case trimmer, which you will have to buy seperately.
    A good quality vernier is a must, but get a 8" version it is much more versatile if you decide to load big long magnum cartridges in the future.
    I cannot reccommend, highly enough the Seirra 5th edition reloading manual, i would'nt be without mine. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    I really dont want to offend anyone who uses thier products, but stay away from Lee, they are crap and should not be mentioned amongst words like "precision" and "handloading",(steel and aluminium together, UURGH....).
    I have probably put the cat among the pigeons here and am most likely going to get it in the neck from other posters for my comments, but these are my thoughts,so come on guys shoot me down. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  4. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

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    Not at all Centre Punch! You hit the nail on the head. Lee and consistent precision do not go together. I keep trying to tell beginners that, and they just keep buying that crap! I think the wives ruin more good intentions (like buying rcbs) than not. Oh well. They usually come around and buy Redding or Rcbs later!
     
  5. thocon

    thocon Well-Known Member

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    Well sorry to here your from england,since your still there ,nothing else can be said!I think it realy depends on you,if you can tear up a anvil in a sand box with a wooden mallit,don't by bottom end products.Normally if your starting out you can buy kits ALOT cheaper.I guess e-bay is a option,if you have the time and lots of shipping and handling charges.Who cares about a crono as long as you can hit target.And last if you shoot 30 rounds a year at 200 yards,is it worth it? There is alot of great ammo out there.
     
  6. Niet

    Niet Member

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    Thanks to all the ones that respond and help to the beginners as I, now what I need is aid with my wife... <font color="red"> "Honey, that's that is dangerous and the children can take something..." </font> /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif
    Regards, Niet
     
  7. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

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    Niet

    "Honey, that's that is dangerous and the children can take something..."

    But like my old dad used to say when confronted with such statements.. "Yeah, that's true... but they'll only do it ONCE."

    I have spare reloading stuff, things I'll never use. Maybe I'll dig around and see what's available for gifting...sort of a "starter seed" and examples of things to never buy on your own.
     
  8. Mysticplayer

    Mysticplayer Writers Guild

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    Well, I am one of those guys that does put Lee and precision in the same sentence. I started my reloading career with a Lee Anniversary set and still use most of it for my LR loads. My rifles, hunting not BR, shoot consistenly 1/4MOA so making accurate ammo on this gear is not a problem.

    In the Lee set, I would keep the Auto prime and shellholders (pretty much the standard anyways), press, scale (I have found some RCBS scales to stick), powder measure (no better or worse then other brands, great with ball powders). In fact, I use the dippers more often then the powder measure. I use extruded powders most of the time and weigh my charges. The dipper and a spoon to trickle work great.

    I would pitch the lube (I use Hornady one Step or spray from Midway, no lube needed for the collet die - YEAH), deburring tool (the Lee will work to start but the RCBS is better), primer pocket cleaner (again ok to start but will wear out quickly, Dewey gator for me).

    I would get the Lee Deluxe Collet neck die set. The lee collet neck die will help you produce ammo with very little runout. equal to the BR bushing dies from Redding when used in SAAMI chambers. I have not found the seating die to cause any issues.

    I have never used the Lee case trimmer so will not comment. I use the Forster set up for trimming, and neck turning. A later toy as neck trimming is not going to be an issue with the collet die and normal pressures.

    Loading block, reloading manuals or at least data of the internet and you can start making ammo. For well under $200, you will have the gear to make some very good ammo.

    I might 'upgrade' to the new classic cast press. But then I also have way too much money going to a 50BMG.

    Jerry
     
  9. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

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    Jerry,
    You must be joking. Lee equal or better than Redding? To each his own I guess, but I think you usually get what you pay for. Beginners need to be aware of this and plan accordingly.
     
  10. Mysticplayer

    Mysticplayer Writers Guild

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    My suggestion is to try the stuff. The Lee collet die produces some of the lowest runout brass, and that is comparing with any commercially available sizing die.

    Things change as does technology. Price used to be an indicator of quality but nowadays, quality manufacturing doesn't cost a mint.

    If you look at the many posts and stuff that I have written, you will quickly see that I have the resources and interest in trying damn near everything in the marketplace. The suggestions aren't from the hip or following a 'trend'. I test my stuff by burning powder.

    If something needs to cost a bunch to work, I pay for it. If not, I save my money.

    Rangefinder: Leica, not even a debate. Bullets: Hornady SST 2/3 the price and way more consistent then most green box bullets. Binos: Nikon Monarch 1/3 the cost of the Euro brands and for most, 95% of their performance. And so it goes.

    Many in the 'precision' world poo-poo Lee. For me, I just try the stuff. Surprisingly, a lot of it works very well.

    So yes, this info should be given to novice and established shooters alike. Not everyone has the time or resources to play with new gear, I do. This is the place to get real world experiences to choose the best gear for ones application. Not what someone writes about as part of an infomercial.

    You may remember that Honda, Mazada and Toyota used to be a joke in the Auto world. Now who owns that industry?

    Jerry
     
  11. Waltech Jim

    Waltech Jim Writers Guild

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    I really don’t have a problem recommending some Lee equipment either. I really like their new cast press, and it leaves you with another $50-100 for other equipment.

    I have four sets of Lee Collet dies and use two of them quite a bit. A fairly accurate estimate for my 22-250 would be 7000 rounds so far and I haven’t had any problems. (My .223 is not far behind). The bottom of the ‘250 collet die is getting bell shaped from forming the neck, releasing, turning the case 180 degrees, and then forming again (that is roughly 14,000 neck forming operations). I guess it really doesn’t bother me that this is happening. Not too many other dies I have tried have gone this long and not needed something replaced. When it finally crashes and burns I will send it in and I know Lee will replace it free of charge. I would probably pay more than the $30 for the set. I have not seen any difference in accuracy in my sporting and benchrest (not competition) rifles compared to other dies.

    My opinion is, if your .308 is stock, go with the Lee Collet dies.


    Jim
     
  12. Niet

    Niet Member

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    Thanks by the concern about the theme, and I'm very happy that my question created a good discussion.
    Regards
    Niet.
     
  13. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

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    Does Lee make bushing sizing dies like Redding's or Wilson's?
     
  14. Mysticplayer

    Mysticplayer Writers Guild

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    No they don't but you can play around with the collet die and get pretty close.

    By changing the diameter of the sizing mandrel, you effectively change the neck tension of a sized case. Since you can buy the mandrel in a variety of cals, just turn it to whatever you want.

    They offer a very reasonable custom die service (they made by 338 Mystic dies) but will only stick to standard mandrel sizing, at least that is what they did for me.

    Because the necks are squeezed onto this mandrel by the collet, there is little chance of creating runout during sizing. That is why it works so well. For most chambers, the standard mandrel size used for the different cals, gives excellent neck tension.

    Jerry