Thinking of getting into reloading

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by newguru, May 17, 2008.

  1. newguru

    newguru Active Member

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    I have been checking around and this is what I"m looking at buying:

    RCBS ChargeMaster 1500 Powder Scale and Dispenser Combo 110 volt
    Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Single Stage Press
    Hornady Lock-N-Load Die Bushings Package of 10
    Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Single Stage Press Automatic Primer Feed
    Hornady Custom Grade New Dimension 2-Die Set 223 Remington
    Hornady Custom Grade New Dimension 2-Die Set 300 Remington Ultra Mag
    Hornady Chamfer and Deburring Tool
    Hornady Cartridge Catcher Large
    Hornady M-2 Case Tumbler 110 Volt

    I'm real big on just buying once and getting good stuff.

    How does this selection look for someone who is new to reloading and wanting good equipment that will last?

    Thoughts? Stuff to change? Things I'm missing?

    Reloading newbie so I'm sure there is a lot I'm not thinking about.
     
  2. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

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    Hello and welcome to the dismal science of reloading ;)
    First thing you need is a good reloading book and read it front to back several times (before even purchasing anything else). I have Speer (#11) and Nosler (#4) and both are fairly good books. I'm sure the new editions are just as good if not better.

    I am a big fan of Redding dies. I'd recomend redding or Forster bushing dies if you plan on playing with neck tension or possibly having a custom rifle built in that caliber. I also recomend getting a neck sizing die set with the body die seperate which will be an economical way to go and allow you to full length size, partial full length size, neck size, and/or partial neck size. THe set (Redding) I'm looking at would run about 175 or so in standard calibers and would consist of a micrometer adjustable compatition seating die, a standard bushing neck sizeing die and a shoulder bump die.

    A good 6 inch dial caliper ($30) accurate to .001" is a must. I also use the Hornady bullet comparators to measure the seating depth.

    I am also a fan of the RCBS Universal hand priming tool and/or the Lee AutoPrime.

    All you "need" to load is a cheap press, scale, and cheap dies. Beyond that is just going to make it easier to make good ammo.
     

  3. EddieHarren

    EddieHarren Well-Known Member

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    The most important piece of reloading equipment is a good manual. Read the "introduction to reloading" section twice. After doing so, if you have any questions, there are no shortages of experts on this, and other sites, to help you out.
     
  4. 7mmSendaro

    7mmSendaro Well-Known Member

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    Not knocking the other manuals listed here (I own them too), but I find myself using my Sierra manual more than any other. Just my opinion.
     
  5. newguru

    newguru Active Member

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    I actually bought the Sierra book yesterday and am already reading it. I have the Nosler, Lee, Hornaday and Speer on order. The Lyman I'm waiting on because a new 49th version comes out in June and no sense buying this and then having to buy another a month later IMO.

    I actually haven't bought a thing yet except for the books.

    I want to read first, twice, and then get advice from those in the know. There are a ton of reloading products out there. I want to buy once, what works well, is reliable and repeatable, and will be durable.

    Some of the stuff is on sale right now like the ChargeMaster so I want to jump on some items that are must haves even though I'm not ready to use it yet just to start packing away items I know I would need to buy anyways.

    If the powder measure, scale and press are the for sure, must have items, does everyone think that the ChargeMaster and Hornady Classic Single Stage press are good items to start with?

    I like the idea of the single stage press for a newbie like myself instead of the all in one progressive presses. I can always go that route later if I want to at a future time.
     
  6. HRstretch

    HRstretch Well-Known Member

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    The list of items you have will serve you well for a long time. The Chargemaster will diffenatly spoil you to providing accurate repeatable powder throws. read all you can and work up loads slowly.

    Safety first will keep you around for a long time.
     
  7. Winchester 69

    Winchester 69 Well-Known Member

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    For hunting ammo, what you are proposing is fine. If you are reloading for accuracy, you will find that other pieces are preferred. My suggestion is that you do your reading and perform searches on the gun forums. Then you will form opinions and develop specific questions. The education will serve you well.

    When you understand the rudiments and if your interests are in accuracy, read a book on precision reloading. It will put things into perspective for you. At that point you will know what expectations you should have for the equipment. My guess is that the only piece of your chosen equipment on that list will be the ChargeMaster, and this statement is not a derogation of Hornady equipment. While Hornady makes some equipment aimed toward the accuracy market, their primary market is elsewhere. It's no tragedy if you do buy Hornady; their equipment will do the same job as well, but you will probably want better dies (Forster or Redding). My only reservation concerning the Hornady press is that it's aluminum; cast iron makes better presses, both for stability and wear.

    Plan first, however. Decisions can be no better than the information on which they are based.
    .
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2008
  8. johnnyk

    johnnyk Well-Known Member

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    newguru,
    If the ChargeMaster is on sale, jump on it. Best reloading investment I ever made. Takes minutes/hours out of the process.
    Single stage press would probably be the best and cheapest route to start with. Like you said you can always go the progressive avenue later. I have three single stages and a Hornady L-N-L Auto Progressive. I probably haven't used the AP in almost 3 yrs!
    Dies; I like your selection. I now buy/use Hornady CGND dies exclusively. They are great dies. There may be better dies out there, but as long as I can keep turning out sub .5" ammo for all my stock rifles, I'll stick with them.
    Brass Prep; I like/use the RCBS Primer Pocket Brushes for cleaning out the primer pockets. Also, look at getting one of the Flash Hole Deburring tools. Any will do, I use the Lyman. One time operation.
    Priming; I use the Lee Auto Prime Hand Tool and the Auto Prime Shellholder Set. I have two of the AP hand tools, one for large rifle/pistol and one for small R/P (saves time). I also bought the Lee Universal Shell Holder Set for my presses. Keeps everything right there together and you don't have to dig or scramble when you want to change calibers.
    Over-all-length guage; Must have for tailored loads. Seating depth is a critical part of the reloading equation. I have the original Stoney Point guage (now Hornady) and use it for all my rifles.
    Calipers; I started out with one digital but now have two. One set up for use with Stoney Point/Hornady bullet comparator (measures seating depth of loaded round from ogive to base), and the other for general/basic measuring. Saves time not having to take comparator on/off.
    Reloading Manuals; money well spent and good reading in and out of the bathroom. Get as many as you can afford. I have Barnes, Hodgdon, Lee, Lyman, Nosler and Speer, plus I have a folder in "my favorites" called none other than "reloading". In it I have; reloadersnest.com, accuratereloading.com, handloads.com and some of the major powder/bullet companies websites (i.e., barnesbullet.com, accuratepowder.com, hodgdonpowder.com, lapua.com, nosler.com, ramshot.com). Tons of information but be cautious about using other's reloading data. Every rifle is a law unto itself.
    I have been reloading for 25 yrs. It's a constant learning process/hobby and I still thoroughly enjoy it. The more you reload the more you shoot, or is it the more you shoot the more you reload! Either way I can almost guarantee you'll become a better shot through the process.
    Good luck and have fun! JohnnyK.
     
  9. newguru

    newguru Active Member

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    Well I went ahead and bit the bullet on the ChargeMaster combo. Natchez has the combo on sale for $259! That was by far the best I could find on the net.

    I will do more research before buying any of the other components. I'm not in a rush but didn't want to miss out on a good deal on a part of the process that has garnered such good reviews.

    Also, what books dealing with Precision Loading should I check out?
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2008
  10. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

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    The other piece of equipment that I purchased a couple years ago and like is the RCBS Prep center ($100). I use a primer pocket uniformer ($15), vld champher tool ($20), outside champher tool, inside brush. Your selection of books is more than enough to get started with. I get most of my loads off of the internet published sites like nosler or hodgdon.

    I've used a Lyman 600 Turbo tumber for years to clean my brass too.
     
  11. stxhunter

    stxhunter Well-Known Member

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    i got my redding boss single stage reloading kit new in the box off ebay paid 125 plus shipping came out to a little over a 150 bucks you can find alot of reloading equipment new and used being auctioned on ebay
     
  12. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    you will need a case trimmer and a beam scale too. Wilson trimmer or someone else just came out with a micrometer version too.

    watch Ebay for a used RCBS 10-10 beam (retail $140, used for $25-40). Electronic scales are good, but a beam is needed for other things and as backup and to check the electronic.

    BH
     
  13. johnnyk

    johnnyk Well-Known Member

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    ...not!
     
  14. Winchester 69

    Winchester 69 Well-Known Member

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    Glen Zediker's "Handloading for Competition" is very comprehensive, but his writing style can be challenging. His equipment evaluations are good, except that he can be misleading in his discussion of the Harrell equipment; the Harrell stuff is special purpose. A search on this forum will get you straight word regarding the powder measure. The press is strictly for BR portability.

    Since someone mentioned Hornady's Match Grade (bushing) dies, you will still want either a Forster or Redding Competition seater; they have an alignment sleeve that other dies don't. The Hornady bushing dies have gotten favorable reception.

    Congratulations! You are well on your way.
    .