quick question about getting started

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by rocknwell, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. rocknwell

    rocknwell Well-Known Member

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    Hello, i was just wondering if anyone could provide their expert opinion(s) on all the necessary equipment i need to get started in reloading. i have a friend helping me out, but i know a lot of you here have been doing this for years and have a lot more experience in PRECISION reloading. I've compiled a list of things (all of which can be found on Cabela's website) that looks like this:

    RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading kit
    -includes
    RC Supreme Press
    5-0-5 Powder Scale
    Uniflowâ„¢ Powder Measure
    Speer No. 14 Reloading Manual
    Hand Priming Tool
    Hex Key Set
    Case Loading Block
    Case Lube Kit
    Powder Funnel and Deburring Tool.

    RCBS die set (for setting, resizing, and de-capping)
    shell holder
    Gauging tool
    case trimmer kit

    is there anything I am missing that is absolutely essential? Thanks for any input!
     
  2. diriel

    diriel Well-Known Member

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    Forster makes a case trimmer that you can add an Outside neck trimmer to.

    I would use the RCBS 1010 powder scale.

    You may wish to add in a VLD debur tool

    A Powder Funnel with drop tube would be nice. I use the Forster Forster Blue Ribbon Powder Funnel with Long Drop Tube - MidwayUSA This one to be exact.

    Redding TYPE S dies are considered some of the best there is, but RCBS are certainly good for a start.

    Lee white Paste Case lube when used with the RCBS case lube pad is just about as good as it gets. For me, Imperial Die Wax would be 2nd best by a close margin.

    Lee "Modern Reloading 2nd Edition" Reloading Manual - MidwayUSA This is one of my go to manuals.

    Lyman "Reloading Handbook: 49th Edition" Reloading Manual Softcover - MidwayUSA This is another go to manual, a lot of great info.

    You want more than one reference when reloading. The Sierra Manual is also pretty good to have.

    Have fun and be safe,
    Gary
     
  3. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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  4. youngbuck

    youngbuck Well-Known Member

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    You could get by without a tumbler, but I would hate to do it. You will like the hand primer. I would look into getting a trickler also. They are cheap. I got by for years with out one, but kick my self everytime I go to load and use it. It is so much better.
     
  5. diriel

    diriel Well-Known Member

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    Ok, so i missed a thing or two :p You are dead right about the trickler! And dial calipers...Ohhhh Yeah... a case length template gage just is NOT the same really :)

    Love this stie!
    Gary
     
  6. fj40mojo

    fj40mojo Well-Known Member

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    and to that caliper I'd add the Hornady LNL Headspace, Bullet Comparator, and COAL guages. At one time I didn't find these necessary, but recent experience has told me otherwise. I'll just say that just because your die manufacturer tells you how to adjust your die to full length size and you follow those instructions to the letter doesn't mean that your shoulder is gonna be where it is supposed to be. If you measure then you know for sure and you aren't relying on the guy that cut that sizing die too short.
     
  7. rocknwell

    rocknwell Well-Known Member

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    wow thanks guys! i really appreciate it
     
  8. rocknwell

    rocknwell Well-Known Member

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    what do you guys thing of Dillon reloading presses? especially the more delux ones that have the powder and primer attachments and all that? or is that more of a luxury than functional necessity?
     
  9. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    The RCBS thrower is a pretty good paper weight in my mind, and for less money you can buy a Lyman #55 or a Lee Perfect measurer. Buy a good priming tool, and once again you can do better than the one in the kit. Some folks like the Lee, and others like this or that. I use a standard model K&M because it works for me. The press is your call; I use something else by choice. Case trimmers are all over the place. I started with a Lyman, and soon out grew it. The Forster is probably a steal for what it does, but I like the Wilson (can be had on Ebay fairly cheap).

    I have not had an old time mechanical scale in my house for a long long time, and probably never will again. The electronic scales are the hot setup. Dies are all pretty much the same quality and spec unless you opt for Forster or Redding. Somebody sells an anti static powder funnel now, and I've been buy one for a year and a half (memory is getting short in my old age). Get one! You'll need clear drop tubes for your measurer, and once you start using them you never regret it! Sinclair sells a neat little bottle adapter for the Redding, and Lyman measurers, and this is something everybody ought to own. If you have a welder or know somebody with a welder make your own stand for your measurer. The store bought ones are over priced. Buy two MTM plates to hold your cases as you are working on a batch. That way you don't get the cases mixed up. Or better yet just makes them out of a block of hard wood and a drill press. (I must have made two dozen over the years). I like Imperial sizing wax. Deburr the case mouths with the toll that comes with the kit or buy a VLD type. I use a worn out taper pin reamer to create an inside chamfer (slight).

    Down the road you will need something to clean cases with! Goto to Harbor Freight and buy their sonic cleaner. Exactly the same as a Lyman for about half the money when on sale!!! I use a vibratory cleaner, but will make the switch next time I'm in there.

    You'll need some measuring tools. In this area you usually get what you pay for. Buy good stuff and learn how to use it and take care of it. I use a pair of 4" dial calipers from Mitutoyo, but must own seven or eight pairs up to 8". The digital ones are nice but not really needed. Buy a good quality 1" pair of mics (Starrett, Mitutoyo, Fowler, or Brown & Sharpe). A good pair will last you a lifetime. The Chinese ones are junk. I use several run out gauges, and I still like my home built ones the best. But I also use a Neco, and it's a fine tool, but it has it problems. Avoid gauges that use the big long travel indicators. Most of these have 10% lag built into them (the digital ones don't). A standard grade wand type is many times more accurate

    Now back to the press thing a bit. If your going todo those long strait walled cases (45-70 etc.), I'd be looking else where. I own three reloading presses, and would like a fourth. Plus I'm an arbor press person (we won't go there). One of my presses is a multistage press, and I load 12 gauge shotgun rounds on it when I get in the mood (not often anymore). There's a small RCBS Partner that I use for some operations that it's easier to do with. I do most of my sizing and seating with a Forster Co-Ax. Very square and absolutely the most powerfull press on the market. Works for me, and will probably be the last press I buy in this lifetime. With it you have the priming tool a,d no need for shell holder with the exception of three or four cases (45-70, 22 hornet etc). Shell holders cost money over time, and add to the error stack up. I never had a desire to own a turret press as I've never been in the machine gun business, but know several that bought them. All but two have gotten rid of them. The Rockchucker will work fine for you, but really no better than a Lee Cast, or a few others. I won't even consider one as they come from China. (like a few other brands) And that's kinda important to me these days.
    gary
     
  10. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    the Mitutoyo is better, and I own both.
    gary
     
  11. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    everybody I know or knew that bought them to load rifle ammo with hated them in the end.
    gary
     
  12. diriel

    diriel Well-Known Member

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    Tricky,

    What electronic scale do you use? I am a few years out of date. The 2 scales I own suck for powder weighing. I only use them for things like weighing brass, which is not nearly as critical.

    Just curious,
    Gary
     
  13. rocknwell

    rocknwell Well-Known Member

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    wow lots of information! if you're asking me what kind of digital scale i have, i don't have anything yet. i'm not sure if you directed that question to one of the other guys who commented or not. it seems as though the general consensus is that the manual scale is pretty accurate and if i got a kit that has one in it, it will work for me getting started. obviously, i'm a serious NEWB at this, so i'm gleaning info from everyone i can. i would really love to invest in redding and/or forster/hornady dies, but my budget may limit me starting out, so i'll have to save up for those. i'm going to be buying a 7mm rem mag (most likely) and it will be my first rifle that i own, so i'll be loading for only 1 cartridge type. it looks like after i get started i'll be able to really expand my horizons with what's out there. thanks a lot everyone for your help!
     
  14. diriel

    diriel Well-Known Member

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    @rocknwell,

    No, that was directed at Trickymissfit. My testing of electronic scales is just over 2 years old now. At the time, electronic scales sucked for making TRUE High Precision ammunition. +- .3gr. is NOT my idea of high precision. Will it do for plinking and GP? Sure!! Thing is, I am highly anal retentive when it comes to my precision reloads. I do not Lug a 16.5lb rifle out in 105 F weather and sweat my *** off with a few good friends "Just to plink". When I do that, I fully intend to warm up at 800, then move to 1k, then 1200, at a minimum. The place we go to can only reach out about 1500, and at that range, I am still very much working on my wind, and mirage reading :) When you stretch out beyond about 1200 yards.... details begin to kick you right in the teeth. Anyone who says differently, is blowing hot air. ;)

    I did leave one very important piece of kit out, IF you want to start learning to shoot Long Range. I would highly advise a good Chronograph. Guessing your ES / SD just plain sucks ***. Yes it CAN be done... but why beat yourself up?

    Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital Chronograph - MidwayUSA

    I have had real good luck with this chrono.

    As for a scale? Trust me, stick with a standard scale, not a digital. A standard is not nearly as "COOL", but it is 100% completely reliable, and repeatable. Just make sure to calibrate it with a scale calibration weight. Then again, even a digital usually comes with a calibration weight... To put it mildly...as a beginner to reloading a digital scale will do you zero favors. Period. I use both of my digital scales to weigh brass..but +- .3gr on brass is usually acceptable, as long as you follow that up by a actual Case Capacity Measurement! Which is more important to true accuracy than a weight sort.

    Have a good one, and remember Reloading CAN be fun!
    Gary