Need Suggestions For Picking Reloading Equipment

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by ltrmc02, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. ltrmc02

    ltrmc02 Well-Known Member

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    I have always had and interest in long range shooting and have always been interested in reloading but never have got into it other than watching some friends reload on their equipment.

    I'd like to buy a good reloading kit, as I currently have nothing other than a set of dies for a Lee press to do my 22-250s with on a friend's press. I'd like to buy some good quality equipment that I shouldn't need to upgrade later on but I don't have to have top of the line, just the best bang for the buck so to speak.

    I'm looking to load .308 Win, 22-250, .223 Rem, .280 Rem maybe one day build a .338 Edge or something but no current plans of that any time soon.

    Handgun I'd like to load .38 Spl, .357 Mag and 9mm if even cost effective?

    Of course I want to load the rifle rounds for precision and not looking for a quick progressive press for those but for the pistol rounds something fairly quick and I'm not loading for precision. I don't foresee shooting a lot of handgun rounds so if a progressive press is a lot more money and more aggravation to set up then I'd be fine with a slower method. Probably something that’s easiest to change from caliber to caliber would suit me best.

    User friendly, reliable and precise is mostly what I'm going for here.

    Please share your opinions on what you like, what to stay away from and best places to purchase.

    Thanks guys.
     
  2. acloco

    acloco Well-Known Member

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    I use the Forster CoAx as my single stage and Dillon 550B's for pistol and some rifle.

    There is an older RCBS Rock Chucker that can be pressed into service in a moments notice, if needed....
     

  3. g0rd0

    g0rd0 Well-Known Member

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    for single stage
    forster coax
    rcbs rock chucker
    hornady locknload
    Lee clasic cast
    Lyman orange crusher
    any one of these will serve you for the rest of your reloading life
    As for progressive get a couple of years experience under your belt before you make that jump. After that you will know what you want.
     
  4. rmorgan9718

    rmorgan9718 Well-Known Member

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    You can't go wrong with a Rockchucker, but I've never use the Forster CoAX, so won't compare them. My RC is about 25 yrs. young, and is backed up by a RCBS
    Reloader Special that's at least 35+ yrs and still makes perfectly great 257Robert, 243Win, 6.5Swede, 270Win, 280Rem, 308Win, and 30-06, plus 35Rem for the contender.

    Progressive - I've gotten spoiled by the Dillon 550B, but my buddies are trying to talk me into the 650 or Super 1050. I think it's because they want me to load their pistol rounds when I load mine.

    A lot of folks won't use anything progressive that doesn't say 'LEE' on the side, but I can't keep mine lined out, just too finicky.

    good luck
    Rick
     
  5. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    All of our presses are good and with reasonable care they will all last most peopl's lifetime. Pick an iron bodied press that costs enough to make you feel good, your ammo will never know the difference between any of them. If I had to replace my 26 year old Rock Chucker 2 it would be with a Lee Classic Cast, it's an equal or better press in every respect regardless of price.

    Suggest you consider Forster dies tho.
     
  6. Wachsmann

    Wachsmann Well-Known Member

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    I like the rock chucker as well for a single stage press. it will last me the rest of my life. I only try to buy redding die as I feel they are the most consistence and for regular reloading dies I have had great luck with them. I have some RCBS dies that work great as well but I had one that had a scratch inside up close to the case sholder. I really didn't care to much about the hassel of exchanging it so I tossed it and went and bought a set of readding dies. I think they are both (RCBS and Redding) good I just prefer redding. None of my dies are micrometer dies just you normal full length case resizing dies. I should start trying to neck size some, for better groups. But for now I am getting .5 inch groups with most of my rifles. U will need a tumbler. Those can be bought at midway usa, bass pro, local store that has reloading equipt. A powder scale is needed also. I really like my digital RCBS charge master. It $$$$ but it works great and I think the hornday also has good reviews as well. Either should get the job done. A good tuned drum powder dropper also works well. But they are close to 100 dollars or more so I went with the electronic charge master. I had a soup that used this method and he got sub moa groups out of his 270 right away when he started out. So if you go green on almost everything your good to go. That my 3 cents.
     
  7. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    for the pistol stuff, I'd hunt up a small turret press off ebay. What you buy is your business and not mine. But I will tell you upfront that I've never seen a die do cast bullets as well as the Lyman M series.

    For bottle necked rifle stuff, there's all sorts of heavy duty presses. Some guys like the RCBS, and others like the cast iron Lee. I use a Co-Ax, as there's nothing better. But they are a little more money (got to think about that part as well). I use a few Redding dies, but honestly I don't trust them. Mostly use Forster, and nothing but Forster seaters. I also have a few RCBS and even a couple Hornaday and Lee sets. All size well, but the Forster seater is the Cadillac

    Weighing powder or simply throwing charges is a true quagmire. I use two throwers; a Lyman #55, and a Harrell Culver style measurer. Both do ball powers extremely well, but none do long grained stuff well (I've owned or used six or eight different measurers). The Redding BR series is pretty good, but no better than the Lyman. The Harrell is a completely different animal, and I won't recommend it for a novice. Scale wise, I'd start with something like an
    RCBS 10-10. But now days I use electronic scales.

    You'll want a case trimmer, and the Wilson is the best (same as the Sinclair). Buy the Hornaday Lock & Load measuring outfit. Buy a good digital caliper (forget the Chinese stuff). Plus a good 1" micrometer and learn to use it. The caliper does not measure I.D.'s all that accurately, so down the road you might want a set of small hole gauges (great for gunsmith work as well). I like the NECO gauge.

    I have a couple cigar boxes full of priming tools, but now days only use the K&M and the one on the Forster press. The K&M should last a couple life times. The Sinclair is also very good, and also well made.

    I use the Sinclair neck turner, but the K&M is better. Nuff said there! I use the K&M primer pocket uniformers with a B&D electric screw driver. Works well for me anyway

    I use two different tools to deburr cases. The standard RCBS for the O.D., and a worn out taper pin reamer for the I.D.'s. I have several of the Forster case trimmers that I use for odd jobs like cleaning primer pockets with home brew tools. Harbor Freight has the deal on a sonic cleaner, and is the same as the Lyman and Hornaday for a lot less money. (all are Chinese)
    gary
     
  8. Sully2

    Sully2 Well-Known Member

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    Thats cause Lee makes good stuff. Ive got one of their presses I use as a wheel chock for my motorhome..!!!....:D
     
  9. flashhole

    flashhole Well-Known Member

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    The Lee Classic Turret will do everything you need and give you the option of using it as a single stage or auto indexing. It's one of the best values on the market. Just get a turret for every set of dies (rifle or pistol) and changing calibers is done in a few seconds.
     
  10. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    A block of wood (works better)......:)

    I'm not die sensitive but I really like RCBS front load competition seater dies. You can actually get one body for every caliber and change out the top thimbles and seater plugs for everything. You have to get them direct from RCBS (seater plugs and thimbles) however.

    Don't buy an ancient technology trimmer lathe. Get a WFT and trim happy....and it's cheaper.
     
  11. clemens

    clemens Well-Known Member

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    CH makes a pretty heavy duty press and components as well. I have a really old model that uses shell holder that look like bolts with reg nuts on the end. They have redone these models and offer a progressive as well, and a press designed for .50bmg. New shell holders are just like all the rest-rcbs, Lee, etc..
     
  12. clemens

    clemens Well-Known Member

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    You can google CH reloading or CH4D
     
  13. mauser 98

    mauser 98 Member

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    I use a rockchucker. Have loaded many rounds with it. Purchased in 1972.
     
  14. ltrmc02

    ltrmc02 Well-Known Member

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    Nov 23, 2011
    Thanks for all the replies, lots of info here to study on, may save me some money from buying some not so great case trimmers and powder dispensers but sounds like most iron presses are pretty equal in funtionality\durability from your replies.

    One question, does a Lee press need to use Lee dies and so on for RCBS and such? I was thinking this when I originally posted but after reading it sounds as if all presses are interchangeable with different brands of dies?

    I've just recently gotten excited about shooting again, haven't had the desire to shoot much in the past 6-7 years due to ammo prices getting so high. I've always wanted to get into reloading but know it takes a dedicated bench and workspace which has always been limited as I have so many hobbies that require so much equipment and tooling till space gets limited quickly LOL. I never seem to give up a hobbie, it'll just take the back burner to something else for awhile but sooner or later I get excited about it again. I guess recently buying a couple Rem 700s put me back in the fever to shoot. I picked up a XCR Tactical Compact and a well customized Milspec 5R from an old friend that had to move and needed the cash. Wish he'd left the reloading equipment with me too LOL. Got the fever bad as I'm now wanting to build a custom rifle but not sure what I'd want to build. This site has me wanting to build something to put under one of those Huskemaw scopes LOL.