Want to get into reloading -- kit recommendations?

Dosh

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Aug 6, 2013
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3,601
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Arizona
Very few items in a kit you will be using a year from now. Since you are going to be hard pressed to find brass, powder, primers and perhaps bullets, piecing together a good accumulation of tools would be in order. Buy used, they hardly ever wear out and you'll save a lot $$$. Check the search box top right for info on tools, there's a lot of opinions but you'll find a overall best recommendation. Local OfferUp or Craigslist is a good place to look as well as this forum.
Good luck
 

Sdbeanfield

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Dec 1, 2018
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63
Location
Groton,South Dakota
I bought the rockchucker surpreme kit when I first started and the only thing I still use from it are the press, case loading block, and case lube pad. I would use the beam scale if I hadn't sold it. Shortly after I started I bought an electronic dispenser. I don't trust my electronic dispenser so I weigh every load on a beam scale. I feel they are more consistent although its probably not necessary. Will need a trimmer and like others said measuring tools are as important as the press. I have yet to find a priming tool I'm overly fond of. I use the press mounted lee priming tool.
 

epoletna

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Jan 10, 2015
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375
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Northern Nevada
I agree with others who say there are items in a kit that you will never use. Buy individual items, and look for used items online (shipping will be expensive, but the equipment lasts forever).

The Rockchucker is a bullet proof press, but others are good too. I have owned Lee, but consider them entry-level equipment and prefer other makers now.

Dies: I use a lot of RCBS and have been happy with them. Redding is also good. L.E.Wilson for bench rest shooting.

Weighing/metering powder: I have used RCBS (Ohaus) balance beam scales, a Dillon electronic scale, and an RCBS Chargemaster. I love the speed and convenience of electronic metering systems and scales, but you need to replace them every 3-5 years as they begin to wander.

Others have mentioned measuring equipment. Very important to repeatable results.

Also important is making good notes and referring to them. Keep good records.

A solid bench is a must-have. You can build your own with plans you can find here. Best to have a dedicated bench -- not your kitchen table.

Good luck to you!
 

docdempster65

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Oct 15, 2020
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17
Location
Northern NH
I started with simple classic Lde Loader--add inexpensive scale and a few
inexpensive Lee acccessory gadgets...all you are likely to need.


Wish Lee Precision would add 6.5 Creedmoor to Lee Loader line!

Doc D
 

Overkill338

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Sep 23, 2008
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1,582
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Virginia
The Lee Anniversary kit ($159) is the way to start. Then the money saved over the green one, buy you a digital scale. I have a Hornady kit now, and like it better than the Lee I had before. But for the price its hard to beat Lee.
 
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GunHawk

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Dec 11, 2018
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Miami
You should be calibrating the scale with standard weights. Check, calibrate, and check with different standards that "bracket" your measurements (1 weight heavier than, 1 weight lighter than).
 
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QuietTexan

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Nov 16, 2020
Messages
101
Location
Texas
Something I didn't mention when harping on buying the best calipers you can find. I've bought a Sheridan slotted gauge in every caliber I load for (that they're offered in at least):

I don't necessarily use it for the measurements that it'll do because I have other tools, but when you're starting out it's a great tool for visualization of what you're doing since you can see everything through the slot. Stand the gauge up vertically and use a straight edge and you get to see the cartridge settle on the different headspace measurements inside the chamber.

Case gauges can do different things, so you have to check each different brand to make sure it does what you want. An example is LE Wilson gauges are sized large in the body so they can be used to measure case trim length and headspacing on fired brass. Hornady is reamed to the SAAMI body size to check that a round will chamber in factory spec rifles. Very similar looking tools that do two very different things.

Here's some decent measuring stuff to start with. Higher prices really does tend to mean better quality on measuring tools, but compare part numbers across multiple vendors. You can buy top quality measuring tools from machinist supply stores. This list is the first stuff I pulled up on Midway and are middle-tier. Perfect for someone starting out that wants to get good measurements but not go insane chasing down the final 0.0005".

Calipers:

Bullet Comparator:

Headspace Gauge:

Cause Gauges:

Examples of higher quality would would be Starrett also makes a higher quality digital caliper that's $315 on Midway, $308 at Grainger, and MSRP is usually more like $285 elsewhere. AccuracyOne makes a universal digital comparator that costs $115. So basically double what's on the list above.

Edit: Links show the wrong calibers, but 300 Win Mag is in the drop down menus.
 

NATE40

Active Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2011
Messages
40
I started with simple classic Lde Loader--add inexpensive scale and a few
inexpensive Lee acccessory gadgets...all you are likely to need.


Wish Lee Precision would add 6.5 Creedmoor to Lee Loader line!

Doc D
They have the dies and a hand press you can reload at the range
 

nksmfamjp

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Joined
Jan 5, 2004
Messages
979
Get:

Dry Tumbler/wet tumbler/
Case lube
Press
Dies
She
Powder scale/dispenser/measure
***depends on volume, speed, your process
Check weights
Loading block
Case trimmer
Case chamfer/deburr tools
ammo boxes
Decent calipers
 

Lynn Holifield

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Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Messages
106
Location
Mountain Home, AR
Stay away from kits!
Don’t be a casualty of big company marketing schemes. You have waited this long. While supplies are hard to find read Top Grade Ammo by Glen Zediker and if enough time read Handloading for Competition.
Make sure the 1st thing you purchase are the primers you will need!
Read the 2 attached pages
 

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Plinker147

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Feb 7, 2015
Messages
840
Cheapest is to piece together and by used. A press is a press not much to go wrong with them as long as it is the standard thread for dies.

If you go Kit I recommend the Hornady. If you get more advanced over time Hornady has the best reasonably priced extras. It easier to keep all your equipment the same brand, the little parts are more interchangeable
 

Lynn Holifield

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Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Messages
106
Location
Mountain Home, AR
Cheapest is to piece together and by used. A press is a press not much to go wrong with them as long as it is the standard thread for dies.

If you go Kit I recommend the Hornady. If you get more advanced over time Hornady has the best reasonably priced extras. It easier to keep all your equipment the same brand, the little parts are more interchangeable

Plinker, When you go into my heated/cooled dehumidified reloading shop the only items you will see with rust will be red with Hornady stamped on it. The have the very best marketing team complimented by an awesome engineering asset. Where they fall short is using low end Chinese manufacturing. You can get good quality from China, but you have to pay for it. The L&L gauge which most of us use is a Stoney Point product.
 

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