Which Kit to Start with????

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by kjacko99, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. kjacko99

    kjacko99 Member

    Messages:
    6
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    I am thinking about learning to reload, and the question I have is: What kit is the best for a novice to learn on? I have seen 3 kits at the local Bass Pro. They are the RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit, Hornady Lock-NLoad Classic Kit & the Lyman T-Mag Expert Deluxe Reloading Kit.

    Would any of these be a good choice? I'm lost and need the advice from people with experience.

    Thanks
     
  2. MSLRHunter

    MSLRHunter Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    388
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    I normally try to steer new handloaders away from kits, simply because you can end up with a lot of stuff that you may not need or want. I recommend just buying a nice press, some dies, handheld primer, some type of powder measure or scale, and a few other small tools based on what you will be loading and give it a try. If you like it you can start adding all of the other stuff later. Also, for new loaders, check the classifieds on the forum and others, you can often find good deals on good reloading equipment. There are some very experienced handloaders here that will give you all the help you need.
     

  3. texan79

    texan79 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    353
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    Im sold on the rock chucker press. It seems to be the best built for the money. As far as the kit, I like the digital scales, so that didnt work for me. I have a powder drop, that sits on the bench outside, and I find my self dumping powder out of the can, cause its in the 100's in Houston garages, and the kitchen table is far cooler. I dump close and trickle to exact weights. Bottom line is I pieced it together with the components that I wanted. If your hell bent on the kit, call RCBS and see if they have any "seconds" available. It will save you big money and they still carry the lifetime warranty.

    Hope that helps.
     
  4. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,313
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    A good reloading book and the RCBS Kit is a good way to start if you have no experience
    with reloading.

    I have the original rock chucker press (over 50 years old and still use it. and for the bigger
    cases I use the newest supreme by RCBS because it is longer.
    After you realy get into it you may want to but some nicer accessories but you will never need
    a better press.

    Hornady makes quality equiptment also but I just like the RCBS.

    Just My opinion

    J E CUSTOM
     
  5. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,806
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    I started with ...

    [​IMG]

    ... (paid $299 at BassPro a little over a year ago) and the only thing I don't use is the auto primer arm accessory, use the RCBS instead ...

    [​IMG]

    I love mine and it fits my current needs and demands. :cool:

    Good luck!
     
  6. plumcrazy

    plumcrazy Member

    Messages:
    22
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
  7. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,595
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    Okay, from the kits, there is no effective difference which you might choose. All of our makers build great tools and what each one puts in a kit varies only a little. No kit is complete so the extras you would have to buy is a little different but that's no great hurdle. Pick the color you want and pay the cost.

    Now, I wonder why you are looking at kits anyway. Like MSLRH, I advise against kits because they lock you into tools of the same color (part of why the makers love to package them) and that's NEVER the ideal solution. It will cost little more, if any, to simply choose the better individual tools from the total spectrum.

    The basic item in a kit is usually the press. Turret presses seem to offer a lot more than they really do, ditto any "quick change" die bushings. It only takes a few seconds to swap dies in single stage press anyway and the die lock rings keep them properly adjusted. There is no reason to lock dies in the press with a wrench, hand tight is plenty tight and allows easy swapping too.

    Consider the inexpensive Lee Classic Cast (iron) press. It's big and strong enough to reload .50 machine gun ammo, very precisely machined, very good spent primer handling and a fully adjustable handle system. Lee stuff often gets put down on the web (unreasonably) but we can make ammo with their tools fully the equal of any. (I don't have a Classic Cast, I have a much more pricey press, but a friend does and I'm so impressed that it's what I'd replace my green press with if I needed to do so.)

    Heated personal opinions based on shiney externals and pretty knurling aside, Lee's dies load as well as any other common dies. I've found there is as much variation between dies of the same maker as there is between brands. Dies are all made to SAMMI specifications and that's a range, maximum to minimum. Die dimensions are NOT a specific point some more pricey makers might hopefully get closer to, as some people seem to presume! When we pay more for a common die we are buying surface glitter, no more. And common dies are quite good, on average. Few loaders will ever develop the skill to use the slight advantages premium dies from Redding or Forster offer.

    Digital anythings offer little to a skilled reloader and they can be quite querky. Get a beam scale and manual powder measure, any of those currently available are fine, and learn to use them properly. That'll save you money and will last three lifetimes. No digital instrument can do that.

    Bottom line, quality ammo doesn't come from using magic tools, it takes skill and that has to be developed and that takes time. I can load equal quality ammo with any press, measure, scale, etc. if I use the same dies and cases. No one can improve the quality of his ammo simply by buying tools of a specific color or price range. You can feel safe in anything you end up with, it all works great so have fun!
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2010
  8. kjacko99

    kjacko99 Member

    Messages:
    6
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Gentlemen,

    Thanks for all the great advice! I know I have a lot to learn & now I have somewhere to start from. I've read a lot about getting the best accuracy possible from working up the load my rifle likes best. I can't wait to get started & see what kind of groups I can ring out of my firearms. The people on this forum are great & a wealth of information.

    Thanks Again!!!!:D
     
  9. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,547
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    As some have mentioned, I too am not a fan of kits. Having spent money once only to spend it again...I learned to do my homework and then buy what I believe to be the very best irregardless of cost(no I'm not rich) sometimes I'd have to save a little longer. IMHO here's what I'd recommend. Start with for example...the press. Do your research, articles, reviews, forums, fellow reloaders etc then make your decision. Then go onto the next item and so on. By the time your done you'll know a whole lot more and probably will not wind up spending your money twice. Just a heads up RCBS is now made in china.
     
  10. gunrac

    gunrac Member

    Messages:
    6
    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
  11. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,313
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    The only reason I would recomend a "KIT" is because a new shooter normally does not know what is the best and also what he will want after he loads for a while.

    In a kit the basic tools are there and it is a good starting point to learn. as the re loader gets
    more familiar with reloading he may want an electronic scale and maybe a match grade set of
    dies but starting out he will normally not have the skill or experience to pick the best tool for
    his style of shooting or just the particular part he will like the best.

    The more experienced re loader knows what works best for him and as everyone knows there
    are a lot of different opinions on loading components and a kit just gets you started without
    all of the personal choices that the experienced re loaders recomend.

    We all like different tools to do the same job .I started with a kit and loaded some fine reloads
    that were competitive but now if I had to start all over I would pick and chose different brands
    for each component. Dies, press,scales, case trimmer, ETC.

    My best frend started with a Lyman Kit and I started with a RCBS kit and he still has the Lyman
    press and I still have the RCBS press and neither of us would give up our presses.

    But both have bought different Scales,die brands and Miscellaneous tools that are different
    brands and we were both very competitive even though we used different stuff.

    So I would still recomend starting with the basic tool for reloading and grow with your skills.

    Just my opinion.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  12. johnp034

    johnp034 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    626
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Look at the "Blue Press", Dillon Precision. I have the RL550B progressive. Comes with everything you need to start loadig, great instructions, plus a toll free number to call & talk to a real human, knowledgeable, being. No BS lifetime warranty. Mine is over 15 years old, and has yet to malfunction. The package runs about $400.

    www.dillonprecision.com

    Just my 2c

    JohnP
     
  13. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,806
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Well said, it is for this same reason I started with the Lyman Expert Deluxe Kit.

    Ed
     
  14. MyPocket

    MyPocket New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
    Kjack099,

    If you have a friend(s) that reload I would start with them. Ask to see their reloading bench and ask lots of questions. They will be able to steer you in the right direction and save you tons of time and money.
    CheaperThanDirt has some good deals going on right now too.
    I have a used Rockchucker, new Ohaus scale, Lee hand primer tool, Lee hand case length trimmer. I would recommend getting/borrowing a couple of reloading manuals before making an purchases. Reloading isn't cheap by any means. Components such as Bullets? Powders? Primers? Dies? You will find an infinite number of possibilites to choose from. It can be very time consuming but the rewards are well worth it for me anyway.
    I have been reloading for 40+ years and learn something new whenever I talk to friends that reload on a regular basis.
    It is a great hobby and once you start talking to other reloaders it will only increase your entheuasim to get to the bench. It's very rewarding to see your group sizes getting smaller and smaller.
    Lastly, do you have access to a range where you can test your worked up loads? You will need a rock solid bench with sand bags, targets & don't forget you cleaning kit. When I test new loads, I test several at a time. I clean the barrel after every test. Usually 8-10 rounds. I fire a couple of spotter shots with next load to be tested before starting the next test also. So in all, I load 3-4 different recipies at a time for testing. On each target, be sure to write the COL, bullet type, manufactor & weight, case brand, powder brand & weight, cross wind direction & temperature.
    Also keep a log for each rifle with the above data.

    Good luck,
    Roy