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Discussion in 'Reloading' started by nathank, May 13, 2009.
its easy for me to get and seems pretty good for a starter kit how think you?
Kits are kits and that one's as good as any. No "kit" is fully complete.
I just helped a friend who is on a budget find a "get started" kit. It was a Lyman. The only reason he went with Lyman was that it had everything needed to "get started" but a dial caliper. The other kits did not include a case trimmer but this one does. There is nothing wrong with RCBS by the way. This particular kit just fit his needs/budget. If you search you may find it cheaper. Also if you get it with the balance beam scale it's about $60 less. All in all, this kit is a pretty good value when compared to the others for what you get vs. the dead presidents.
MidwayUSA - Lyman Crusher 2 Single Stage Press Deluxe Expert Kit 110 Volt
It is the best value in kits. With that said, the only piece of choice in the kit is the scale. And, with that said, the ChargeMaster Combo would replace the scale and powder measure if an accurate measure is desired. There are better presses and priming tools available. The assortment of accessories is of generic quality, and much better alternates are available. The kit doesn't include a case trimmer, as has been pointed out. The Wilson trimmer is the best hand-crank tool on the market; it's included in no one's kit.
My suggestion is to learn enough about reloading to determine your own anticipated set of needs. Then research the equipment alternatives and methods available to you. You will then buy equipment to satisfy your process rather than adapting process to a set of equipment. Suggested brands to investigate: Redding and Forster. Sinclair has a nice selection of accessories and gauges.
Avoid acquiring powder equipment until you have experience with powders, unless you just jump in with the ChargeMaster Combo. I'm still using a beam scale with Lee dippers and a Redding trickler; perfect every time.
If you get the kit, you'll have a very good beam scale, a loosely-fitted press, a powder measure of limited capability, a decent hand-held priming tool, and the afore-mentioned assortment of so-so accessories. It's not hard to do better. But, it is a good buy in what you get for the money.
I believe Nathank is a student on a budget. Otherwise, I agree with you on the components and brands you mentioned. There's no doubt if he sticks with it he'll be upgrading later. I've just about completely replaced everything I started with. When I started I had no idea I'd get this involved. Everybody has to start somewhere. BTW where were you when I started? You could have saved me some $$.
I started in Jan reloading....well, I started getting the items. I went with the RCBS Master kit, then got RCBS dies, forster original trimmer, forster digital caliper. I built a nice bench to do it all on...and then I couldn't find the components to start! So it all is still nice and shiny new....just waiting on the components lol Unfortunately, there is no big hunting store around here that sells reloading stuff. Seems like they are the first ones to get powder/bullets in over the small gun shops like we have here. If you live near a cabelas/sportsmans/bass pro you will probably have better luck than I have.
P.S. If this is the same thing that happens with you, be prepared that every time your wife passes it she'll make a comment on how its money well spent just sitting there Don't say I didn't warn you lol
Just started reloading myself just a few ago ... went with Lyman Expert Deluxe kit ($299 @ BassPro) and built a portable bench to go along with it. Very pleased thus ... see previous post below.
I don't know, John. When did you start? I know - rhetorical, so let's let it serve that purpose. I'm not necessarily addressing a high-budget approach. He may not get everything that's in the kit, but for close to the same money he can get what he needs with minimal replacement later. You get the right big parts up front; no replacement.
PRESS: Redding Boss. If anticipating brass reforming or long magnum calibers, the Big Boss.
SCALE: RCBS 502, 505, 10-10, or Dillon. All made be Ohaus. You get a set of the Lee dippers and a Redding trickler, and your powder measuring requirements are satisfied. If you over-throw the charges and pinch, you save the price of the Redding trickler. If you use a trickler, get the Redding for its mass.
TRIMMER: A Lee trimmer will serve just fine. The Wilson is smoother, easier to use, and allows adjusting the trim length. When the Lee's replaced, you're not sacrificing a big investment. A trimmer isn't included in the RCBS kit, so this would be purchased anyhow.
PRIMING TOOL: Again, Lee - the AutoPrime. This is the most popular tool going, and is cheap. The RCBS tool supplied is good, but their new one, the Universal, is what people are buying. Use the Lee, and replace it if you don't like it. Again, cheap.
DIES: Go ahead and spend money to get a good seating die. It's probably the biggest key to loading straight ammunition. If you're loading to magazine length (factory rifle), the standard Forster die is the one. In micrometer dies, either Forster or Redding. Again, for a factory rifle, many use the Lee collet die with a Redding body die. I prefer to use a FL bushing die. A standard sizing die is fine if you aren't trying to maximize case life and you can make it give straight case necks. These are not kit components but are critical to making good ammo.
CASE LUBE: The kit includes a pad and liquid. The RCBS is OK, but Imperial is a better option and more convenient.
CHAMFER: The rocket ship thingy is good for outside deburring, but anything that knocks the burr off can be used. Inside chamfering is important for getting good initial bullet alignment. RCBS and Lyman both have inexpenseve VLD tools. A tool steel, tapered grinding bit (20 to 30 deg.) is better, but you need to furnish the handle. These make a long inside taper.
PRIMER POCKET TOOL: The little Lee tool serves nicely, or you can just use a small screw driver. Upgrade later to a Sinclair uniforming tool if you want to go that way. I don't see much need for the brushes furnished in the kit, but some like them. Likewise for case neck cleaning: an old bore brush works fine.
LOADING BLOCKS: Battenfeld has case-specific blocks for little money. Sinclair has some nicer ones for more money.
POWDER FUNNEL: Everybody has a plastic funnel; probably all made by MTM. Satern makes very nice aluminum ones (caliber specific), available from Sinclair for quite a bit more.
RELOADING MANUAL: Lyman's is excellent. Speer and Hornady are very good.
I believe I've covered everything in RCBS's kit except for the hex key set. I guess it's for the lock rings. I wouldn't buy one until I saw the need, and certainly wouldn't get the all-in-one variety. So, we don't have need for the powder measure. The big pieces we're looking at are the press and scale. Then it's a matter of making the right selection for a bunch of lesser tools. And, when we're finished, upgrading would be in order for the case trimmer. If we ever felt the need, a ChargeMaster Combo would be nice.
For the basics, I don't see where we have ruptured a budget, we're happier with what we have, and we save money later.
Post deleted. This danged thing has a mind of its own.
Look at the redding pro packs then add on from there their gear is first class , stick with redding you wont go wrong.
This is one of those topics like "who makes the best rifle: remington, winchester, savage, tikka, etc". Everyone has their own opinion and is partial to their gear. I personally went with the RCBS because my uncle is about the only person I know that has been reloading for a long time and that is what he recommended. Shortly after I met someone that said they had an RCBS, but switched to another brand and liked it better. If you live by a Cabelas/Bass Pro/Sportsmans, or any other gun shop that has the different ones in stock, go there and look at them and see which kit (no kit is fully complete, you still have to buy the components, dies, etc.) and components would fit your space/time(i.e. digital scales vs. balance)/budget. Thats just my 2 cents though, like I said in the beginning of the post others will probably disagree with me.
Thanks for the help everyone, I'm getting some good info here! I am only 21 and on a budget as I am also building a custom riffle which is taking a lot of my money. I'm going to wholesale sports which is the canadian equivalent of cabelas.
I started with the RCBS Rockchucker kit in 2003 or 04. I've got no complaints. I did get a caliper and powder trickler pretty quickly after getting the kit. Wasn't too much longer after that when I bought a case trimmer.
I started off with the RockChucker kit. Shortly after I purchased about every reloading tool you can think of...not out of neccesity but because it's just so fun to experiment with reloading. I think it's a great starter kit though.