Which Kit for First Time Reloader?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by BigDaddyKane, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. BigDaddyKane

    BigDaddyKane Well-Known Member

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    Own a 300wm looking to get into reloading finally. I don't want the top dollar kit as I simply don't have the funds for it. I'm looking at the Hornady Lock-n-Load Classic Reloading Kit ($300 @ bass pro). Includes -

    "The Hornady® Lock-N-Load® Classic™ Reloading Kit features the Lock-N-Load Classic single-stage press, Lock-N-Load™ powder measure, magnetic scale, reloading handbook, three Lock-N-Load die bushings, primer catcher, Positive Priming System™, handheld priming tool, universal reloading block, chamfering and deburring tool, primer turning plate, and One Shot™ case lube."

    Or the Lee Breech Lock Challenger Kit ($150 @ bass pro) Includes -

    Reload your own ammo at home with the Lee Breech Lock Challenger Kit. This quality single-stage press kit contains everything but the dies for reloading. Made for reloaders who like to prime off the press, the durable, single stage Breech Lock Challenger Press features a Lever Prime System and Breech Lock Quick Change die system. Giving you the strength of a strong O frame and compound leverage lever, the Challenger also comes with one Breech Lock quick-change bushing for quick and accurate die changes. The Primer pocket cleaner cleans both large and small primer pockets while the Auto Prime XR hand priming tool and Auto-Prime Shell Holders quickly prime the cartridges again. Perfect Powder Measure, Safety Scale, and Powder Funnel help you deliver perfectly sized loads every time. The cutter and lock stud tool trims cases with a base diameter less than .475, while the chamfer tool deburrs the cases after trimming for smoother and easier reloading. One tube of resizing lube for easier sizing. Comes with detailed instructions.





    I like that the Hornady comes with the digital scale already, plus the Hornady Kit has a mail in rebate for 500 free bullets. But I'm just not sure. I have a few books on reloading that I plan on reading but until then I have no knowledge of what kit I should look at. If anyone has any good suggestions please let me know. It would be a great help

    T
     
  2. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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    Started loading when I was around 16 and back then not much money. Bought one piece at a time (Herters Press) was my first, and started loading and shooting those loads. Did not load for accuracy as I do today but to save money. The learning process was pretty fast and as I learned I added things that experience told me I needed. I still have those tools today except for the press and dies which I gave to a friend.

    So what I would suggest is buy a simple kit and start loading. Then when you gain experience and need to do something with a load and don't have the proper tool go and buy what you need.
     

  3. CogburnR

    CogburnR Well-Known Member

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  4. BigDaddyKane

    BigDaddyKane Well-Known Member

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    Excellent points both of you... I did consider just buying all the components individually too and just piecing together what I need.

    I'd like to keep the purchase to basspro only because I got a gift card and so there's money to spend there anyway. :(
     
  5. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    I love my RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme press, RCBS dies, and ChargeMaster 1500 automated scale.
     
  6. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

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    I started with the LNL kit about 4 years ago. While my techniques, equipment, and anal-retentiveness have all evolved (or maybe devolved), I still use a lot of the items in that kit.

    IMO it is a reasonably priced kit that is made well enough to not have to be completely replaced if you start to get fanatical. The one thing it is missing is a trimmer - if you are not doing a ton of volume I would recommend looking at the Wilson.

    Good luck with a great hobby!
     
  7. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    All kits are for first time reloaders, no experienced old hand will be buying a kit.

    All of our makers give excellant value and few old hands who actually know much about the various tools are stuck on or against any one brand, we buy for desired features instead.
     
  8. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    I am fairly a newbie, but I built my setup, and it works exponentially better than what would have came in a kit. I still use some of the basic stuff that would have come in a kit, but mostly buying all high-end products from the get-go has really been working quite well, so far.

    Also, 3 of the best tools I can give advice to so order is a press-mounted collet puller, decapping dies, and a good high-end caliper like a Starrett 799.
     
  9. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

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    I don't disagree with Boomtube or Mudrunner. Especially regarding high-end calipers, they are a must (and can be found at reasonable prices gently used if you look). Bittom line is you need to get going so that you can determine what does (and does not) work for you.

    That being said, your initial budget and your BPro gift card probably makes a kit worthwhile as a place to get started (not to exclusively use until the end of time). I am familiar with the Hornady, so I'll use that as reference:

    Press - the Hornady press is pretty good, and will probably be "good enough" forever
    Powder throw - mine is pretty accurate, and I trickle to nominal so "good enough"
    Hand prime - not the best I have used for feel, but works and is easy.
    E-scale - junk, but not unsafe. Upgrade if you get serious. Good to weight sort.
    Trickler - commodity. Doubt any are way better or way worse, and you need one
    Funnel - commodity. Doubt any are way better or way worse, and you need one
    Chamfer/deburr - commodity. Doubt any are way better or way worse, and you need one
    Primer flipper - commodity. Doubt any are way better or way worse, and you need one
    Case block - commodity. Doubt any are way better or way worse, and you need one
    Case lube - I like the one-shot, and still use it for FL sizing
    Manual - can never have too many!

    IMO, there is not a lot of frilly BS in this kit that will end up in the landfill. Once you get rolling and determine how you like to load you can upgrade (ie beam scale vs auto dispenser and other forum-fight questions).

    Big disclaimer - there is a lot of Hornady stuff that I hate. I am not endorsing their kit so much as saying it contains mostly stuff you will need/will use over the longer term. Any of the major manufacturers who have a similar kit (without frilly BS items) will probably work equally well. I am not a "brand X is awesome and all other brands suck" guy. My bench is now so frickin colorful now it looks like a clown orgy.

    Good luck
     
  10. DocB

    DocB Well-Known Member

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    ..... and Obamarado (previously know as Colorado)!

    Doc
     
  11. D.ID

    D.ID Well-Known Member

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    "Big disclaimer - there is a lot of Hornady stuff that I hate. I am not endorsing their kit so much as saying it contains mostly stuff you will need/will use over the longer term. Any of the major manufacturers who have a similar kit (without frilly BS items) will probably work equally well. I am not a "brand X is awesome and all other brands suck" guy. My bench is now so frickin colorful now it looks like a clown orgy."

    I can not believe I am saying this but "CLOWN ORGY" is the best term to describe a good reloading station.
    Research the press and scale of each kit individually before you buy.
    These are the most significant and expensive items to replace or upgrade so if you can get "good enough" on both those you can upgrade the little stuff rather painlessly as you go if you want to. That should be easy for the press maybe not so easy for the scale.

    There are some individual things that will come up no matter what. For instance: I can not use the little chamfer tools from these kits, they kill my hands and cramp my knuckles so I need the big handled old man version.
     
  12. D.ID

    D.ID Well-Known Member

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    My God they have bean way off the rail. Colorado=waisted, Boa=waisted, Bass pro shop=waisted??? If that is the case, use up you card and then get aquatinted with midwayusa or sinclair.
     
  13. metalhead

    metalhead Well-Known Member

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    +1 to Varmint's post with the exception that I have a Lee press, powder dump and scale. They work perfectly fine.

    I'll tell you straight out DO NOT get the Lee challenger press. It's Junk! Cam over is horrific and it flexes when sizing larger cases. The classic cast, on the other hand, is as good as any single stage out there. You're going to need a trimmer as well and I used the Lee trimmers for years. A little time consuming but inexpensive and they work fine.

    Honestly you don't really "need" a powder dump. Use a small plastic measuring spoon to put powder on the scale pan and finish with a trickler. After a few times you can visually gauge to within a grain.

    Get a good press and calipers, a scale, case prep tools and components. for $200 you can be set up to load. Other things can be added as your budget/needs see fit.

    Don't be afraid to ask questions, we all were newbies at one time and most of us here are willing to help if we can.

    Good luck and welcome to the club!
     
  14. D.ID

    D.ID Well-Known Member

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    I do not even use my powder dump or trickler. Lee makes a variety pack of little plastic spoons. I use a large one to get close and a small one to tap in the rest (top it off). That is just as easy for me but I did it that way for years before even finding out what a trickler was.