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Discussion in 'Reloading' started by doll sheep, Jan 14, 2013.
Looking to buy new reloading kit. Which one is the best under 800 dollars.
IMHO......none! The "kits" have too much stuff thats "unneeded" and lacks a few items thats really nice to have at hand.
Take a kit and list out every item it has and then go and buy them as individuals...EXCEPT at times SOME ITEMS maybe be bundled such as a press and maybe a set of good scales....which in that case go ahead and buy the packaged combo. And I prefer RCBS myself.
Wow! $800 to spend! Buy a Forster press for starters
1. Forster press $270
2. Wilson case trimmer and case holders
3. RCBS 1010 scale for starters
4. dies are all pretty much the same except for Forster and Redding ($80 a pop)
5. K&M priming tool $80
6. head space gauges to set your dies up. I use the Stoney Point stuff
7. The Stoney Point stuff to set seating depths
8. a good dial caliper and a 1" micrometer
I doubt I've spent $600 with a couple variables in measuring devices added in. Down the road you might want a powder measurer. The Lyman #55 can be had for less than a hundred dollars new in the box.
I would not buy a kit to start out with. Most of the time you end up wanting something better. Another good press to start with is the Lee cast iron press. But the Forster is the Cadillac of presses, and should last you and your kids for what seems like forever. A lot of times you can buy measuring equipment used, but in good shape. Avoid the Chinese stuff as you usually get what you paid for. I use a cheap Midway vibratory cleaners, but the Lyman is better. For revolver ammo there is really nothing better than the Lyman dies. For bottle necked stuff the Forster seater is the best period. Sizing dies all work about the same except for the Forster, and that's only in the stem. Forget all the neck dies and bushing dies to start with. Just buy full length stuff. A Redding seater is nothing but a copy of a Forster at about 33% higher price. The Forster is better quality as well. There are a few small items that can pretty much be had from anybody. Like a powder trickler and deburr tool.
Thanks great info.
I have a lee classic cast single stage for working up loads and a lee classic cast turret press once I've settled on a particular load. A trimmer, scale, dies, case prep tools, caliper, case length gauge and a couple good manuals is all you really need. A powder measure is nice and I splurged and got a rcbs trim mate. After that add things as your needs change.
You dont need high dollar stuff or fancy bench rest equiptment to make good ammo. Stick with rcbs and hornady and like was said put together what you need rather then buying a kit. Heres a list id look at
single stage press
GOOD scale, id recomend an rcbs
lee hand priming tool and shell holders
can of hornady one shot case lube spray
Case trimmer of some sorts with pilots for the calibers your going to trim
a set of dies for each caliber
a set of lee reloading press shell holders
a cheap tool to champer inside and outside of the case necks
a powder trickler
a couple loading blocks
a decent caliper, dial or electonic
2 good reloading manuals
brand on this stuff isnt so important. Personaly id stay away from alot of lees stuff other then what ive mentioned. Lee dies arent to bad either espeically there handgun dies but for rilfe i buy mostly redding. If you have some extra money and you should id also add a brass tumbler to the list and maybe some plastic ammo boxes.
no doubt some of the high end stuff is great stuff if your a bench rest shooter but middle of the road equiptment like rcbs and hornady and lyman sell will make ammo as good as most guns and shooters are capable of taking advantage of. If you decide to compete in bench rest shooting down the line you can allways buy that stuff then.
I have two or three Lee priming tools in a cigar box. At least one is broken. In that same box are two RCBS tools as well. For the amount of money invested in that box I could have bought two K&M's and a case of beer.
The Lee cast iron press is fairly decient, but has the same issues that 90% of the others have. I bought the Co-Ax in 1978, and right now it's as tight as the day I took it out of the box. And it's done a lot of long strait walled cases that are really hard on presses. Have never seen anything that comes close toit when doing heavy case forming. But I posted the press because I knew that when you started to use it there wouldn't be any issues, and it's very easy to use. Plus they hold their value unlike the others do. Also you don't need to buy any shell holders with the Co-Ax.
I mentioned the little Lyman powder measure because of it's value alone. They are very accurate with ball powders, and a good starting point. If you want the best, then buy a Harrell of coourse. But I doubt the OP really has a use for one.
I bought my Wilson off Ebay for about $25! Cuts case lips very square, and is simple to use. Just put all the others I had away, and rarely drag one out these days. I did rebuild mine later on and added a few items to it to make it easier on me, but could have lived without them except for the mounting bracket.
If you have a drill press, then goto Lowes or Menards and buy a piece of 2"x2" hardwood, and make your own loading blocks. Yes I have the MTM's and RCBS blocks as well, but like the home made ones best.
I use Sierra's Infinity loading discs and the samething from Lee. Plus I own a half dozen or more manuals. I could get by with nothing but the AA manuals and Hogdons. But do use the Hornaday a lot more than I used to.
I'm probably more frugal than 80% of the posters on these boards