What is the best reloading kit?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by CRNA, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. CRNA

    CRNA Well-Known Member

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    I am looking at picking up some reloading equipment so I don't have to use my dads anymore. I was looking through my midway catalog at some of their reloading kits. Do you guys recommend them, or should I just buy everything separate?
    I like the efficency of the powder dispenser/scales like the chargemaster, but I can't see dropping the coin on that right now. Plus I have always just used scales anyway.
    Thanks in advance for your advice.
     
  2. ZombieHitman

    ZombieHitman Active Member

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    You'll definitely do better buying a kit. You save a bunch of money, and get the majority of the things necessary to get you started in reloading.
    That being said, let me make one thing VERY CRYSTAL CLEAR - get a couple different reloading manuals, and read them. Then read them again.
    Then, read them at least one more time.
    Understand the fundamental aspects of reloading, risks and rewards, and above all else, SAFETY.
    Ok, now, on to the kits.
    All the major manufacturers have kits of one shape or form.
    They're all good in their own rights too.
    For the budget minded, Lee is the entry level "get started and see how much I like this new adventure" type thing. It's a good setup, but the tolerances are a little wide IMHO.
    Personally, I picked up the RCBS Master Reloading Kit with the Rock Chucker Supreme press and all the fixings.
    After reading all about them, checking the reviews and forum posts I could find, talking with people that owned them, that's what I settled on.
    It's something of the "Ford vs Chevy vs Dodge" concept.
    They're all good, it's more of what works best for you.
    The Hornady set is also one I hear good things about.
    What will you be reloading?
    How much do you anticipate reloading per year?
    What tolerances are you looking for?
    If you're looking to reload massive volumes of plinking rounds, that's one consideration.
    If high precision rifle rounds are your focus, that's another consideration.
    Give us a little more information, and we'll do our best to steer you in the right direction.
    Also, if you have a budget in mind, that's important information as well.
     

  3. desertbull

    desertbull Well-Known Member

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    Cabelas had the Hornady Lock N Load kit for $250 yesterday. That's a screamin' deal.
     
  4. CRNA

    CRNA Well-Known Member

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    I won't be reloading massive amounts of ammo. I will be loading 7mmmag, 30-06, .357mag, and .243s. Nothing super accurate is needed, and I'm not looking to spend more on the setup than my nightforce! Of course, I don't want any junk either. Thanks for the help guys.
     
  5. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    the average person just sizes a case and then loads it, so you don't have to be to particular. Yet if your one of the guys doing case forming (wildcats), then you want a heavyduty press. Most folks don't have all that much need for one. I use a Forster, and I've been using it since 1978 (just as tight today as the day I took it out of the box). Guys laughed at me for paying the horrible sum of $83 when I picked it up (even the dealer did). But the dealer liked the way it worked so well that he ordered five of them and kept one for himself (the other four were gone in less than ten days).
    If your doing big long strait walled cases, the Forster is a light year better than the others. But if you just doing .223's any of them will do. I like forming wildcats, so I use the Co-Ax (I can full length size a .308 with one finger)
    gary
     
  6. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    Don't buy a kit!! Just get a good press, and whatever dies you prefer. I tell folks all the time that dollar for dollar the best powder measurer is a Lyman #55, and they can be bought cheap! I do recommend a good quality priming tool, and the Forster is the best unless you get into the Sinclairs or K&M's. You also want a scale, and get a good electronic scale (I use two different Pacts). Also a trickler (use use an RCBS). A Lyman or a Forster trimmer will do everything you want in spades. For dies you can spend a lot of money or just get something that's good enough for your needs. You'd do well with RCBS stuff or Forster, and still save money. I personally like the Lyman straitwall case dies best for things like the .357 (they seem to crimp better for my needs)

    One thing to keep in mind is the bench you'll mount the press on. If your using something like a Redding or an RCBS Rockchucker you want a pretty beefy bench top. A Forster will work just fine with 1" plywood. I recommend that you mount the press ontop a 1/4" thick steel plate with one on the bottomside of the bench as well with the bolts going thru the two plates. Also buy the powder measurer stand, or simply make one if you have a welder handy. Buy yourself a handfull of 4" c-clamps, as you find yourself using them all the time. On down the road yu might want to pick up a vibratory case cleaner (bowl type). I use a small Midway one. And last but not least, at least buy a good quality dial caliper. (I use a Mitutoyo and a Starrett along with a couple pairs of micrometers). A 4" pair is all you'll ever need
    gary
     
  7. ZombieHitman

    ZombieHitman Active Member

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    My suggestion would be a single stage type press, like the RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit.
    Midsouth RCBS RELOADING PRODUCTS ROCKCHUCKER SUPREME MASTER RELOADING KIT
    RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Single Stage Press Master Kit - MidwayUSA

    You can get it from Midway, but Midsouth has it for $30 less, and their shipping is usually less too, for whatever reason.

    Make no mistake - I love Midway for many things - I also hate paying more than necessary for the stuff I want/need.

    One thing I would add to the kit that isn't included, is a powder trickler.
    It makes getting the heavier rifle loads dialed in spot on, and reduces the risks of too much/little for your application. Real handy for the 30-06...

    I also hope you've been saving your brass...reloading is totally addictive!
    Dave
     
  8. CRNA

    CRNA Well-Known Member

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    That RCBS kit looks like what I'm looking for. Thanks for the link.
     
  9. James H

    James H Well-Known Member

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  10. cva54

    cva54 Well-Known Member

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    I was in the same boat last year. But I got lucky and found a guy getting out of it came with both dies I needed .06 & 7mm rem mag. Rock chucker it is almost all RCBS but the powder sperder is gone now it was a layman I now use a trickler. this is a hand picked setup. I think this is the beat way to go. But yes it would cost more. I was looking at the LEE but vary glad I didnt get it just go look at one. Thay wiggle and bend.
     
  11. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    you should have kept the Lyman. The only thing that throws fine grained powders more accurately is a Harrell at over five times the price (and then not by much). The only thing I've found that throws long grained stick powders fairly well is a Belding & Mull. Sooner or later you'll end up with a centerfire 22 or 6mm.

    gary
     
  12. cva54

    cva54 Well-Known Member

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    I still got my layman but the slow speed dont work any more and it makes a good mess. I should get it fixed
     
  13. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    yours must be an electronic device. I was refering to the #55 mechanical thrower. You can buy them for about $60, and are a real bargin once you learn to use them. Mine will throw H380 +/- .1 of a grain everytime. Buy the Sinclair bottle adapter, and two or three drop tubes. The bottle adapter fits the Hodgon's powder bottles, and you can also get bottles in camping supply stores that fit it as well for about one third of what Sinclair sells them for. Somebody is going to start selling the "Culver" insert for them again, and this is probably the most sought after measurer ever made. My Harrell is a "Culver" style, and how I managed to get by so without is still bugs me!
    gary
     
  14. cva54

    cva54 Well-Known Member

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    $60.00 is'nt to bad going to lookin to that. But for now going to keep using my trusty 1/8 stp spoon. And a RCBS trickler with my RCBS digital powder pro scale ya it is slow but neet and accurate.