Reloading "Kits" - need advice

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Billy7, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. Billy7

    Billy7 Member

    May 23, 2012
    Been shooting alot of .308 and it's getting very expensive. Need to start reloading. Looking at several reloading kits available on Midway and Brownell's but would appreciate some input on them.

    The Lee Anniversary kit seems the best value but not sure if it's a POS. The Hornady, Dillon and RC kits are at least twice as much or more.

    On a very tight budget therefore willing to make due with a lower priced system but don't want to have anything break or give me trouble because I'm very new to reloading, so need the ammo to roll-up correctly sans equipment failure.

    Another concern - do these kits really include everything needed to reload (obviously aside from dies and bullets, supplies etc)? Right now just interested in reloading 308 and have been saving all .308 brass.

    Thanks very much for any advice!!
  2. Browninglover1

    Browninglover1 Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    That Lee kit has gotten a lot of good reviews on MidwayUSA for what it's worth. It does not include everything you need unless you're lucky. Usually when I resize factory shells they become too long and need to be trimmed; the Lee kit does not include a trimmer, but I don't think any of the kits include trimmers from other manufacturers either.

    If you are trying to get into the hobby as cheap as possible, I'd look on ebay for good deals on used equipment. I have never personally used Lee presses, I've handled them and didn't love how they felt, but most guys that use them swear that everybody else pays too much money for other brands.
  3. emn83

    emn83 Well-Known Member

    Feb 11, 2012
    I have the Rockchucker Supreme Master kit. I had to buy my Dies and a shell holder in addition to the kit, but that was it. For the first 2 reloads, it was all good, since then, I have bought a Forster trimmer because of case stretch. I am reloading .308, like you and am fairly new to it. I think the RCBS kit is a great starting kit
  4. TXshooter

    TXshooter Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2012
    I got the hornady kit for the quick change for the dies. Truthfully it's well bit but the rest of the kit I thought was junk and have upgraded most of it. Also the quick changenisngetting annoying they are like 15 bucks for a pack of 3 and I don't think it's all that faster or better. If incouldndo it again I'd buy the RCBS supreme.
  5. 7 loader

    7 loader Well-Known Member

    Oct 9, 2009
    All of the kits have strong points. If your pocket is as deep as mine the lee will do you. Upgrade as needed. I do use some lee dies and I have gotten great ammo for hunting out of them. Do get the RCBS or Hornady case prep center. Either one will do. They both take time and finger pain out of the equation. My 7 mm rem mag shoots 1/2 groups at 100 and just under 1" at 200 yds.
    using Lee. And it is a Ruger m77 MKLII with a floated tube. Enjoy and have fun learning. Reloading is an addiction.gun)
  6. Joe King

    Joe King Well-Known Member

    Apr 29, 2012
    I started out with the Lee anniversary kit a long time ago. I loaded a helluva lot of ammo on it , still have an use some of it, that aluminum press still works ok but after over 15yrs it developed a little bit of flex so it got retired for the Lee cast classic. If your on a tight budget then by all means get it and don't look back, you can always upgrade this or that later. :cool:gun)
  7. Billy7

    Billy7 Member

    May 23, 2012
    Yep, I'm definitely with ya'll... living on the Lee Budget too.

    The "ya get whatch'ya pay for" law applies to so much in the shooting world, wanted to make sure LEE wasn't just a disposable product given the big price difference.

    Dang, forgot about a case trimmer, thanks emn83. As suggested I'll search for some used RCBS kit on ebay too, they do look nice and might actually be affordable that way.

    Well, thanks and keep the advice coming
  8. Gene R.

    Gene R. Well-Known Member

    Jul 9, 2011
    I've suggested the lee kit to a few guys and all have been happy as a starter kit. That being said, as mentioned above you'll probably up grade some of the equipment if you get into it and enjoy the benifits. Worse case you use the press etc. for pistol rounds once upgraded to beefer press. If ya can swing the RCBS kit I highly recommend it. My Ohlin(SP?)scale and RCBS press, dies, shell holders, are from mid 70's and still going strong. They were passed down from dad to me and probably to my youngest. Or ya can check ebay for guys that are getting out of loading.

  9. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2012
    I bought a kit for one reason and one alone. The local gun shop had the old rcbs kit with the regular rockchucker in it for under 300 with the scale, trimmer, and powder measure.
    You need a press, trimmer, scale(and dipper), and method to prime. You should also have a powder measure, caliper(or case length gauge), primer pocket cleaner(jeweler's driver will work here in a bind), and tumbler(or steel wool at a minimum) to clean brass with. From there on out it's toys to make your stuff better.

    You can find the most of the needs at gun shows and local gun shops used for 1/2 off of new or more-- it never wears out if cared for well so you aren't buying a lemon with used. The scale is the only thing I'd buy new.
    If you've really gotta buy a kit, I'd still go with rcbs or redding.
  10. Billy7

    Billy7 Member

    May 23, 2012
    Thanks for the list Lefty. Going to try and price out all the components.
  11. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2012
    Good luck man. Stay on the forum for questions as you get moving on this hobby too. Some here aren't so thrifty, but a lot of us don't have the extra cash for toys that we may not need. I'm in the latter group. I've got the pesos for a toy or two a year and enough components to keep them firing, and that's about it. I try to save with sales and buying bulk when I can.
    I've bought some blem bullets, but the last ones I got had to be sorted to get some bent tips out, so I'm not quite as froggy on that one anymore; it may be a somewhat false value. Once sorted, however, they shoot good, and they were a significant discount.
  12. stangfish

    stangfish Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2008
    For your 308 reloading. JMHO

    Press: I have done a lot of accurate reloading on a cheap lee with no complaints. If I had it to do all over again I would upgrade to a Rockchucker or even a coax style.

    Federal 210M
    CCI BR2
    Primer intalation tool. RCBS is ok there are probably better and some are mounted on your press.

    Redding Body die
    Lee Collet neck sizer or
    Redding or forester bushing dies (All case necks should be turned to same dimmension)

    Case cleaner, trimmer and assorted deburing tools.
    Optional; Tumbler. Seen some cool homemade stuff using the new stainless pin method.
    Trimmer, Most work OK
    VLD inside and outside champher tools by lyman
    Carbide primer pocket uniformer bit (use in cordless drill)
    Flash hole deburr tool.

    Powder handling
    Electronic: don't do cheap.
    Beam: RCBS 5-10 is good enough. Keep 'em clean and out of the humidity.

    Dispenser/ powder throw: Minimum RCBS
    You will need a trickler

    Extras that you will find usefull if you are looking for those tight groups.
    Hornady / Stoney point overall length gauge
    Hornady L_N_L headspace gage and bullet comparitor inserts.

    3 or 4 powders to get you going.
    IMR 4895
    IMR 4064


    Good luck
  13. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2010
    I kinda think this way:

    Buy whatever makes you feel good. Forster stocks a national match .308 die set if that matters much. I happen to think the Forster Co-Ax press is the best press money can buy, but once again others will argue that statement. If your loading a hundred rounds a year, and your press is pretty square then don't worry too much about it.

    Some guys like the Redding bushing die, and other are also not in love with it. For a factory chamber the Forster is over the top. Here's why: Most posts you see on here are from guys trying to make a bushing die do something it's not capable of doing. (OTW's a factory chamber or with a standard neck diameter).
    In otherwords unless somebody sells brass with an oversized neck diameter, you wasting time. You want a piece of brass that completely fills up the seater die in the neck area, and I don't care what brand you use. I like the Forster full length die due to the way it's made alone.But that don't make a Lee bad. You can have a perfect press and junk dies to build junk ammo.

    I use a Harrell measurer. Others like a Lee, and others yet like a Redding. All are pretty good, but for what I like I know upfront the Harrell is the Cadillac. You probably will never need one. Sinclair sells the best priming toll period. I use a K&M that's maybe 98% of what the Sinclair is for other reasons. Seaters start with a Forster and end with a Forster unles you go with a Wilson. I kinda like to think that you get what you paid for in the area of reloading.Guys will tell you to run out abnd spen five hundred dollars here and there, and see less than zero gain.

    Buy good struff from the start, and never look back. But think about it first!
  14. Daveinjax

    Daveinjax Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2012
    The Lee breach lock challenger kit for $117.39 is a great kit to start with on a tight budget. Get a set of lees deluxe rifle 3 die set with the collet neck sizer for $31.72 and you are on your way . Got the prices out of midsouth shooter supply. A dial caliper, a trickler , and hornady lock-n-load bullet comparator set and the OAL guage are also needed. The comparator was stoney point and is the only tool by hornady that I would recomend. I have had very poor performance from thier tools and dies. I can't tell you how good it feels to watch your groups shrink with the ammo you crafted. It really added to my hunting satisfaction when I started killing with my own rounds.