Reloading: What to buy?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by boovan, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. boovan

    boovan Member

    Aug 10, 2010
    I am ready to start reloading. I have no idea exactly what I need to buy.
    I'd like a list of everything, and I want to do it right the 1st time.

    I will be reloading:
    2- 300wsm
    1- 270wsm
    1- 270
    1- 30-06
    1- 35 Whelen

    I have more, but @ this time I don't really shoot the rest of them enough.

  2. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2010
    with those big bodied cases I'd want a heavyduty press. I use a Forster (same press since 1978), but there are others. I mostly use Forster dies as I've yet to see a threaded die any better. You can prime off the Forster press extremely well, and with it you'll never have to buy a shell holder. So dollar and cents wise the price tag is very close.

    I throw powder with a Harrell or a Lyman #55. Use a Pact electronice scale with an RCBS trickeler when doing long grained powders. For what your going to load the Lyman and the scale are all you'll ever need. You'll also want a stand for whatever measurer you buy (I built my own). Also buy a couple drop tubes (4" and 8"), and a good funnel. You can buy the drop tubes from Sinclair and a few others. You always need them. Lastly; if you buy the Lyman, then get the bottle adapter that Sinclair sells! Worth it's weight in gold!

    Case trimmers can be a crap shoot, but there are a couple good ones here and there. For starting out the Forster is very good. I use a Wilson, but also own a Forster, a Lyman, and a couple others.

    If your just starting out, I don't recommend neck sizing, or neck turning! But if you must, be sure to speak up when you have a question. There's a lot of people that can advise you (be selective). Buy good dies upfront, and never look back (might say buy good equipment). I was lucky as I had the chance to full length resize .308 brass in about twenty presses, and took advice from two well known reloaders (Bill Jordan and Bob Milek) that stood over me while I was going thru the motions. I bought the press on Bob's advice (he said he owned three of them!). I wish powder measurers would have been that easy! I went thru an RCBS, two Reddings, the Lyman, and now the Harrell. I should have bought a Belding & Mull and the Lyman! The same can be said of primer seaters! I must own six or eight, but 99% of the time it's either a K&M or the Forster press.

    I would also recommend buying a Black & Decker electric screw driver down the road. There are many devices out there that will work with this little gem; thus making life easier! You should at least buy a good dial caliper (I use a 4" Mitutoyo 90% of the time), and the Hornaday case gauge outfit. This will help you setup the over all length and head space much easier than just guessing.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2011

  3. Aldon

    Aldon Well-Known Member

    Sep 4, 2009
    Forster is my default.

    Their Benchrest dies are great.

    The micrometer dies are a luxury that are nice but you can get by with benchrest seaters. I have decided I actually prefer the non-Micrometer Benchrest dies for my needs.

    I use an older Ohaus manuel powder measure marketed before RCBS bought them.

    I like balance beam scale but will likely upgrade to RCBS chargemaster set up when I decide speed is a priority. I am focused on consistent from round to round....not that they are mutually exclusive, but spending budget forces priotization based on whats important to each of us.

    I will eventually get into reloading pistol but for rifle, I really like the Forster Co-Ax press, then I would consider the Redding UltraMag, then there are a multitude of others that will work well for you.

    If I were to go the route of the ultramag, I would look into if the Hornady LNL quickchange bushings would work in the press.

    The quick changing of dies and ease of set up along with strength and accuracy of the press is why I went with Forster.

    Someone with experience with the bushings will have to chime in as it might level the playing field a bit.

    Good luck and enjoy.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2011
  4. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2010
    **I'm going to buy the PACT measurer for two good reasons only
    1. made in the USA, and has a life time warranty
    2. of all made it's the easiest to clean (unlike Elmer Kieth, I'm not into duplex loads). The newer PACTs are much faster than before, and are still plenty fast enough for 98% of the reloaders

    **one thing I really don't like about the Forster is when I'm loading very short cases like a 38 special. It does OK, but my fingers are always in the way! I have a little bitty RCBS Partner press sitting right beside my CO-AX, and I will often seat bullets with it. 44mags are not a problem, and I'd hate to think about a .380!!
    ****so why did I buy the little press in the first place? I do wildcats on a regular basis, and cutting off a case 1/4" is a pain with the Forster, but simple with the Partner. Otherwise it sits there gathering dust.

    **I kinda think that bushing dies are a waste of time and money for 90% of the reloaders out there. I do use a lot of bushing dies, but most all of them are from Wilson or Ferris' shop. I use a little bitty K&M arbor press (best one out there by the way) for my neck sizing & bullet seating jobs. (Wilson die sets only)
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2011
  5. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

    Feb 27, 2006
    BRIAN - I have an rcbs rockchucker and mostly rcbs dies. i have a lyman 1200 powder measure. i would get a hornady manual and read the instructrions. also there is a free brochure from rcbs "intro to reloading" . interesting the calibers you mention could all do pretty well with H o r i4350.