Rifle reloading....getting started.

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Raven245, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. Raven245

    Raven245 New Member

    Dec 28, 2013
    What type of press would an experience rifle reloader recommend to a novice to purchase in order to get started in reloading, I have several rifles from a .308 to a .338 RUM I wish to reload. Wondering if simple is better an RCBS compared to a Dillon progressive. Any feedback is appreciated.

  2. 7magcreedmoor

    7magcreedmoor Well-Known Member

    May 23, 2012
    As a beginner, simpler is advisable. The good news is: you can do anything you need to do with a basic single stage press. All the complex rigs just let you do it faster and turn out larger quantities. For long range rifle ammo, get a starter kit from any of the usual suspects (RCBS, Lee, Hornady, Lyman- they all offer starter kits) and the die set for your caliber. You will probably decide that priming using a hand tool (not the press) works easier and faster, so a kit that includes a priming tool is better. You could spend hundreds on a digital scale/powder dispenser, but I can load individually weighed charges at a rate of one every 30 seconds using a balance beam scale and trickler (included in most kits) so I didn't want to spend the extra money. Brass cleaning is one place to go ahead and spend a little- Thumlers' Tumbler and SS media (read a review on this site) is worth every penny. Cleans brass like new INSIDE and out, which is VERY important when you repeat max loads. Hornady now handles the (old brand stony point) over-all length guage to measure your rifle's seating depth requirements. Above all- good data for your loads. The bullet maker's reloading manual or their website tables are a must have for SAFETY (never use someone else's load data unless you LITERALLY trust them with your face/life) and consistent performance of your product. A chronograph to measure the results is also on your must-have list. Sinclair has a few how-to vids on youtube that you may find helpful as well. Ultimately, loading gets to be almost as much fun as shooting...

  3. Kennibear

    Kennibear Well-Known Member

    Jul 24, 2012

    Totally agree with 7magcreedmoor's post. If you want to start cheaper if lee offers their Classic Reloader in your caliber, that, a beam scale, and a chronograph will do. Why a chronograph?" Before I would buy any reloading gear I would buy a chronograph to know what my gun is doing. Even if I only fired Factory Ammo. There is a huge difference between published velocity and what your gun does. They cost less than $100 and are the best money you will spend.

    The Lee Classic Loader uses a plastic mallet and a bread board. The beam scale will do all you need for weighing. You can load remarkably accurate ammo with that set up. When you upgrade to a single stage press the Lee Classic goes to the range to develop new loads right at the bench. One shot over the chronograph, check the primer for pressure signs and load the next step higher in powder. Repeat. Easy and least ammo spent finding max pressure on a new load.

    Used a single stage press for everything until I bought my first subgun. At 450 rpm a progressive makes sense. Still use a single stage for everything except 45 ACP. With time you will learn it is not really that slow. I load from cans and plastic bins into cans a plastic bins. Pull - press - toss and your hands learn the motions very fast. I have taught friends and 100 rounds of pistol ammo can be done in an hour. The cases only go into a loading block to charge them with powder and pre-seat the bullets. A single stage press is plenty!

    Welcome to LRH and reloading! The coolest website and the coolest hobby!

  4. flashhole

    flashhole Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    I suggest a Lee Classic Turret press. Remove the indexing rod and it becomes a single stage. I use mine to load 45-70, 25-06, 223 Rem, 221 Fireball and 40 S&W. The Lee Rifle Charging Die and Lee Funnel are a must for charging. I use dipper cups to drop powder into the case through the funnel.

    Here it is set up for 25-06.


    I use single stage for 7mm Rem Mag because Lee does not make a Rifle Charging Die that fits the case. Charging is a manual operation with the case removed from the shell holder so I just do it on the single stage.

    You could consider one each Lee Classic Cast Single Stage and Lee Classic Turret. They are not overly expensive and Factory Sales has really good prices when they are in stock.
  5. RockZ

    RockZ Well-Known Member

    Mar 10, 2006
    If you want to buy once with no regrets get the Forster Co ax press. It is more expensive though .
    I have a rockchucker supreme ,which is a great press, but I like the Forster much better.
    Heck I'll sell you my rock chucker supreme for a great price if you are interested.