Reloading equipment

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Crawfish, Sep 3, 2007.

  1. Crawfish

    Crawfish New Member

    Sep 16, 2006
    I have a little experiance reloading but I always used someone elses equipment. I have since moved 960 miles from that friend and am unable to use his toy's.

    I am familar with the Wilson Hand dies (what my buddy used). He always told me that they were more accurate than using a press???

    As I am faced with purchasing my own equipment, I would like to make wise decisions. Help!!!!

    Hand Die's or Press??????
  2. HeskethPritchard

    HeskethPritchard Well-Known Member

    Nov 12, 2006

    I have only used presses so have no experience with hand dies, I guess it depends somewhat on what your using the finished article for i.e. target or hunting but I could be wrong.


  3. Boss Hoss

    Boss Hoss Well-Known Member

    Nov 10, 2005
    Use an Arbor Press with the Wilson's --- is the best option out there. I load my sporting rifles as well as my competition ones with it. I use the sinclair press but there are others.
  4. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

    Jun 13, 2007
    Hand dies are the best IF the gun is tight tolerance and you have the experience to use them. If not waste of time and money for new reloader.​

    I have numerous sets of the hand dies (wilson and custom) but they are not made for FL sizing of magnum cases (neck size only) which is a major problem with magnum cartridges. Nor will hand dies bump the shoulder which will be required. ​

    If standard factory, use the regular press and 7/8x14 dies to learn on. Plus not all calibers come in hand dies off the shelf and really costly to have custom made for regular caliber ($250-300). A press will load anything with a decent set of dies.​

    Later on for custom chambers and tighter tolerances, learn to use the hand dies.​

    Go to ebay and buy some used items to start and save dollars​

    used forester bonanza coax press or rcbs rockchucker press for 1/3 retail cost. ​

    RCBS 10-10 scale for $30 (retail new $130)​

    Buy a RCBS primer tool ​

    decent caliper​

    couple loading trays​

    sinclair seating depth tool​

    set of bullet comparators from stoney point​

    get RW hart or sinclair int. catalog for primer pocket tools, etc Robert W. Hart and Son Inc. or Sinclair International - Specializing in products designed for precision rifle ammunition reloading and shooting​

    I like the Forester bonanza BR dies, Hornady custom and the Redding.​

    Bottom line is buy the standard press, learn and later buy hand dies for the ones that warrant and can use that degree of accuracy. Anyway that is my opinion.​

    Last edited: Sep 4, 2007
  5. Winchester 69

    Winchester 69 Well-Known Member

    Mar 29, 2007
    Are you loading for a custom-barreled rifle with a tight chamber? There is no problem with using hand dies, but they are generally employed to "feel" the seating of the bullets in neck-turned cases so that you are assured of properly tensioned bullets. What volume do you anticipate loading? Unless you have a particular objective, a standard press may be more convenient. If you are loading for a factory barrel, there is no real advantage to hand dies unless you just want to use that method.

    In the end, you're the guy who has to pull the handle.
  6. Boss Hoss

    Boss Hoss Well-Known Member

    Nov 10, 2005
    I was speaking of seating dies only. Would not dream of sizing with anything but a full length sizing die.
  7. Crawfish

    Crawfish New Member

    Sep 16, 2006
    I spend as much time at the range as possible, as well as Deer and coyote hunting.

    I do not shoot any competions.....Yet......I would like to get started in a year or two.

    I shoot only factory rifles right now (Win coyote,Rem sendero, Tikka, and Savage).

    Thanks for the help

    Keep it coming
  8. 41mag

    41mag Well-Known Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    AS has been mentioned the hand dies can get expensive quick if loading for several calibers.

    I have been loading for going on 30+ years using a standard ram type press. I haven't ever shot competition, but in the course of time I have loaded thousands of loads which would easily group 1" or better generally at 100yds.

    For the most part I have used Hornady, RCBS, and Redding dies on either a Herters or RCBS Rock Chucker press. I have also done a substantial amout of range load development using a $30.00 Lee Reloader press and also a RCBS Partner press.

    I generally weigh out charges on my Uniflow powder measure and record them then simply work up loads within the range indicated for that particular powder on the stem of the measure.

    For the standard calibers, in factory hunting rifles, I would suggest going with one of the standard type presses and some good dies. Good is a realitive thing, as I have loads which shoot better when loaded with lee dies as they do with Redding dies of the same caliber. Not sure why, as they all mic out the same, but it's hard to deny the results.

    For a full competition rifle, well thats going to be your call as it will have tighter tolerances and you will want to match everything up as near perfect as possible.

    One thing to watch on those E-bay press deals is the shipping. I picked up a really nice RCBS press for $38.00 a couple years ago, however the shipping on the thing was $20 due to the weight. Just something to be aware of before bidding on one without the shipping cost listed.

    Good Luck
  9. overbore

    overbore Well-Known Member

    Oct 14, 2004
    Check out

    why the military teams use a Bonanza Co-Ax press ( new model is Co-Ax-2) for reloading. A good one time investment for all but the most demanding benchresters. Great for F-class, High Power and hunting. As an Old Timer, I ask this "When was the last time you regreted having the best?" I spent $$$ for a homoungus press "back when" and use it for 99.9% of my shooting still. Best wishes, Overbore
  10. rotorhead

    rotorhead Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2005
    I'll chime in here. I have been reloading for years and yet I'm still learning all the time. I like the arbor press and hand dies if I'm going to the range and working loads up at the range. I have all my brass ready and primer before hand. then its just put powder in seat bullet fire see result. The problem here is I haven't been able to go spend a whole day at the range for quiet some time. usually only a few hours so I like to be set up ready to go anymore. unfortunately this occasionally will cause me to have to pull some bullet from time to time. I have as of know sold off all my hand dies and simply load on the redding turret press. Moral of the story is hand dies cost alot of money and are time consuming.

    I have custom rifles for hunting not competition but all shoot .2-.3 @100 except a weatherby 300 that refuses to shoot under .6 but it is factory. I think this is good enough, I have owned the big boss and still own the ultra mag and all three are very good presses. I like the redding presses mainly because the ram stops at it highest point when the handle bottoms out. I have used RCBS and Hornady and didn't like them for this reason. No offense to anyone who loads on them. this is just my opinion. I like redding and forester dies I mix and match these to companies products. I use all micro type seaters. I use a redding trimmer and an RCBS primer seater. I also use the redding powder scale but only use it after I have established a load other wise I measure out on a redding scale and lee dippy cups. These are the methods and tools that I use this doesn't mean they are right or wrong but many years of relosding has trickled down to this.

    I know I have rattle on to long so I'll leave you with this. If you buy a good press and good dies I doubt you will ever tell the difference and you'll get finished a whole lot faster. Redding makes good presses and I know of several people that love the co-ax press made by forester. I have never used one but these guys all are very experienced and there shooting shows it. Just buy good stuff up front and you won't waste alot of money.