RCBS or Redding?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by ovastafford, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. ovastafford

    ovastafford Well-Known Member

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    I'm wanting to start reloading and I'm not sure what I should do. I'm looking at either buying a kit or starting from scratch. The two brands iv been looking at are RCBS and Redding. Iv loaded quite a bit using my friends equipment so I'm not a complete rookie. The one thing I do know for sure is I'm going to get the Lyman 1200 powder scale. My buddy has one and it works pretty sweet. Other than that I'm kinda stumped. Iv heard buying it piece by piece can be better because your not buying things twice if you want to upgrade and you get exactly what your going to use, but the kits look nice cause its all there ready to go. What route do you guys think is better?
     
  2. MSLRHunter

    MSLRHunter Well-Known Member

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    I use a hand me down RCBS now, it is a little old and worn but it is a good press. When I upgrade it will probably be to the Redding or the Forester Co-Ax press. As for the kits, I personally prefer just buying piece by piece so you get exactly what you need and don't have to settle for stuff you don't need or want.
     

  3. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    I have a Redding press and love it. I wouldn't go with the kits as there's a good chance your going to eventually want to upgrade some of those components later...If you can get what you really want upfront.
     
  4. 4bycamper

    4bycamper Well-Known Member

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    RCBS makes a pretty good press. I'm still using the same one I purchased years ago.

    But the Redding dies are in a whole different class. Get the 3 die set in your caliber of choice and you won't be sorry. I sold off my RCBS dies long ago and only use Redding and Forester. The Forrester Comp seating die is hard to beat.


    JM .02
     
  5. GNERGY

    GNERGY Guest

    I bought my RCBS rockchucker press when I was 16, that was 35 yrs ago and it is still working great.
    Look on craigslist in your area for the basic stuff, I see it for sale all the time, lots of good deals too.
    Even if you find an old RCBS press and it is worn out , send it to RCBS and they will send you a new one.
    Tarey
     
  6. Winchester 69

    Winchester 69 Well-Known Member

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    You don't want a new one. The old one's are better, and RCBS can fit a new ram if needed. A new Redding press is a tighter instrument.

    If you are getting a Lyman powder meter, you won't need a scale or powder measure, arguments against a kit. Get what you need piece by piece; no kit has all of the best stuff. However, Sinclair does.
     
  7. Mike6158

    Mike6158 Well-Known Member

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    Most of the time, kits are a way for the mfg to move things that don't sell very well :)

    I would go piece by piece. Maybe buy a used press to see if you really want to reload. If you "KNOW" you will reload and continue to reload then maybe amp up the initial investment a little and get something like a Forester Co-Ax or similar press. There are other good presses... the Co-Ax is my preference.
     
  8. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    Opinions aside, current RCBS cast iron press bodies are from China. So far as I know, all of our other makers are still USA made. If I had to replace my old RCBS Rock Chucker II tomorrow, it would be with a Lee Classic Cast; it's the superiour press.

    The Redding presses are fine tools but, in my opinon, the Lee Classic Cast is as good as any but the UltraMag and that's vast over-kill for normal reloading needs.

    Kits are good in that they makes no demands on the purchaser to choose. I'm NOT blindly loyal to any brand so I choose my tools according to the specific features or functions each has.

    My suggested choices, based on known comparitive specifics of quality, function and cost:

    Dies - handgun, Lman/Redding, rifle - Foster for target/varmint, Lee for the rest.
    Neck Sizer & Bullet Crimp Dies - Lee Collet sizer, Lee FCD crimpers
    Case trimmer and debur tool - Lyman Universal
    Bullet puller - RCBS Impact type
    Stuck Case Remover - RCBS or simular
    Case Lube - Imperial Die Wax or Hornady's Unique (NO lube pad)
    Hand primer - Lee Auto Prime (plus their shell holder kit)
    Scale - Beam type, RCBS (Ohaus) or Redding
    Powder Measure - Redding BR3 and stand (plus Redding's powder trickler)
    Small tools - any brand of loading blocks, powder funnel, 6" steel dial calipers, etc
    *Case neck turner - Forster HOT-100
    *Case Measurement tools - RCBS Precision Mic OR Hornady LnL OR Innovative
    *Concentricity Gage - Sinclair, w/the cheaper dial indicator
    *Vib. Tumbler - any, and as inexpensive as possible. The type of media & polish doesn't matter either

    So, now you have a list of what's actually required and (*) helpful, as well as some well proven good choices of each tool. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
  9. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    Lee Classic Cast-the only thing I'm not crazy about is the thin metal tube for a lever handle...on Lee Classic Cast 50 BMG I've heard they've bent. Lee only comes with a 2 year warranty versus Redding's warranty is for life but they are pricey.
     
  10. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    "only thing I'm not crazy about is the thin metal tube for a lever handle..."

    Well, I like the idea of a solid handle too but, fact is, it's not very thin and it would take a tremendous load on that handle to bend it, far more than any legitimate reloading task I can think of. Suppose if someone screwed a die down couple of inches below normal and then stood on the handle it could be bent. But at that, it would serve to protect the press body and I 'spect that's why they made it that way; be cheap to replace that handle. ?? (And absolutely anything can be busted or at least bent if we try hard enough, including the Rock Chucker and Boss press top straps! That has been done, but not with legitimate reloading tasks! It would take a LOT of effort to bend or bust an Ultra Mag tho.)

    Seems any legitimate manufactoring defects should become obvious in two years. Paying the extra price, twice the cost of the Lee, to obtain a "life time warranty" is a high cost for something not likely to be needed but some do like that.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010