What tools are on your bench

KSB209

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Sep 17, 2014
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355
Location
Republic of California
I’m in the process of getting all the equipment for loading and wondering what all you experienced guys have on your bench. So far I have been able to accumulate dies, press, powder scale, calipers, brass, powder, bullets, still waiting on primers (not going to pay 5x what they are worth), and a few other gadgets.

What else are “must haves” for loading?
 

Roughrice

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May 5, 2021
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329
Location
Louisiana
Chamber measurement tool, another scale to check error between the two and brass trimmer and prep tools just to name a few for accurate load development from the start. You will accumulate more tools as time goes.
 

Jud96

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Joined
Jun 30, 2013
Messages
3,090
Location
Michigan
I have tried a lot of reloading tools and equipment over the years and below is what I use and recommend. When starting out, dumping thousands into reloading can be a lot. I try to find tools and equipment that do the job without breaking the bank. I plan to upgrade things later on, but I didn’t have the money to buy a FX120i scale, AMP annealer, IDOD, Giraud trimmer etc. initially. The tools below work great for me and give me good ammo.

Reloading Equipment I use and Recommend
-Good single stage press (RCBS, Lee, Lyman etc)
-Name brand beam scale or name brand digital scale (RCBS, Bald Eagle, Hornady etc)
-Lee perfect powder measure ($30 and it’s more consistent than my $200 Redding 3BR)
-Sinclair mandrel die with mandrels for your calibers
-Lyman case Trim Xpress
-Powder trickler (Lyman, Redding, RCBS,
etc)
-Hand priming tool (Lee, RCBS, Frankford Arsenal)
-Digital calipers (Harbor freight/ brand name)
-Hornady Headspace and CBTO comparators
-MTM loading block
-Lyman VLD chamfer tool and an outside deburring tool
-Hornady die wax or Imperial sizing wax
-Nylon brushes for inside case necks

Optional/Wish List
-Annealer
-Autotrickler/ Autocharger
- 0-1” Micrometer
-Tube micrometer
-Case tumbler
-Primer pocket uniformer
-Flash hole uniformer
-Neck turning tool/lathe
-Case prep center
 
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epags

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Mar 7, 2018
Messages
436
Location
Oxnard, CA
I’m in the process of getting all the equipment for loading and wondering what all you experienced guys have on your bench. So far I have been able to accumulate dies, press, powder scale, calipers, brass, powder, bullets, still waiting on primers (not going to pay 5x what they are worth), and a few other gadgets.

What else are “must haves” for loading?
You failed to state what 'level' of reloading you were aiming for. ELR, LR or hunting to 300 yards.
Some of the remarks above may list things you do not need.
Having said that Jed96's list is at the upper end of 'good' stuff and Carlos88's is about there I am. You have to decide your 'level'. Of course it will only get worst as time goes on. LOL
 

KSB209

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2014
Messages
355
Location
Republic of California
You failed to state what 'level' of reloading you were aiming for. ELR, LR or hunting to 300 yards.
Some of the remarks above may list things you do not need.
Having said that Jed96's list is at the upper end of 'good' stuff and Carlos88's is about there I am. You have to decide your 'level'. Of course it will only get worst as time goes on. LOL
My “level” is just above stupid! But my goal for now is learning and loading Hammers for hunting. My limit for game is 400 yards until I get better at shooting. My hope is that I gain confidence with ammo that is accurate enough to one day stretch that out a little but I know my limits right now

at this time I’m focusing on loading 308 and eventually 270 and 300wm.
 

MagnumManiac

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Joined
Feb 25, 2008
Messages
3,772
You can only make ammo as good as the equipment you have.
For precision loading, you need to spend the extra cash upfront.
I use, and highly recommend, ‘Buy once, cry once’ motto.
I have bought cheap stuff only to find it lacking, and that was before I started shooting comp seriously.
I bought Hornady New Dimension dies because somebody said they make great ammo…no they don’t.
I buy Redding first and foremost, Deluxe die sets for my hunting rifles set up correctly make fantastic ammo, so do RCBS sets.
For precision, I use Forster and Redding Competition Seaters, they both make good ammo, but for sizing, I really like Forster honed neck benchrest dies with modified expanders and mandrels to get final IF size.
As to powder measures, I have and use several of them, RCBS is for general powder throwing and trickling, Redding for precision and Harrel for comp.

Cheers.
 

codyadams

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Joined
Jan 7, 2015
Messages
3,651
Location
Southwest Wyoming
Being what your current goals are, and considering your equipment, what your gonna need to start loading -

Powder thrower such as the rcbs, hornady, etc.

Powder trickler, not an absolute necessity, you can improvise, I used to dump a charge in a case and trickle up to my charge, but a dedicated trickler makes it nice. I use a Frankford arsenal, cheap, and weighted base keeps it in place when trickling.

Cartridge block. For standard, .308, 30-06 and other standard diameter cases, the plastic shell holder that comes in a box of 9mm or .40 cal rounds works. Otherwise, just get one. They are pretty cheap.

Case lube. I use Hornady one shot, always worked great, never a stuck case unless I did something wrong. But, imperial sizing wax works fantastic too. And on that note.....

Stuck case remover. This is a good one to get from the start. Might happen the first case you resize, might not happen for six months, but when it does, you will be happy you have it, and don't have to wait days/weeks on shipping or drive to a sporting goods and hope they have one. Just get it now. Saves a ton of frustration.

Case trimmer. Depending on your caliber, the Lyman E-ZEE trim works great and is cheap, and has pilots for most common cartridges, or pilots that can adapt for others. For instance, they don't make a .338 Norma trimmer pilot, but they make a .338 win mag trimmer......they are within a few thousands, so it works fine. But ya, it's way faster than using the traditional rcbs hand trimmer or others like that.

Chamfering/deburring tool. Plenty of them, they are simple tools, pick one.

Then either buy a tool to measure OAL to the lands (so your not jamming your bullets into them) or do some research on how to find your lands without special tools. There are a few, the sharpie trick, the cleaning rod trick, but my favorite that works with a lot of bolt guns is this video below. In a remington 700, you need to remove your ejector and your firing pin, but that can be done with a small hammer, punch and vice grips. Several ways to skin this cat though.


Lastly, and most importantly, a reloading manual. Not just a data book like the hogdon annual manual, but an actual reloading manual, to teach you how to make safe reloads, read pressure, and what kind of thing to think about saftey wise.

You may already have this knowledge, but if not, do a lot of reading on here. Things like fouled bores, carbon rings, temp swings, and many other circumstances can create a dangerous situation when shooting reloads, or any ammo for that matter. Just remember, there is 60,000+ PSI going off inches from your face, and your the nut that is making the pew-pews! Ha ha. Good luck, you will love it!
 

FEENIX

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LRH Team Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2008
Messages
17,203
Location
Great Falls, MT
I’m in the process of getting all the equipment for loading and wondering what all you experienced guys have on your bench. So far I have been able to accumulate dies, press, powder scale, calipers, brass, powder, bullets, still waiting on primers (not going to pay 5x what they are worth), and a few other gadgets.

What else are “must haves” for loading?
Proficiency in reloading does not happen overnight; enjoy the learning process. Do not worry about what others have; instead, concentrate on your process. As you gain experience and progress to a different level(s) of reloading/shooting goal(s), you will be able to determine what gadgetries you will need to meet your goal(s). The videos (not mine) below have excellent pointers ...


 
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ontarget7

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Joined
Jul 25, 2021
Messages
144
Location
Utah
I still have plenty to learn but these items have faired well for me
 

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Quintus

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Apr 15, 2013
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Proficiency in reloading does not happen overnight; enjoy the learning process. Do not worry about what others have; instead, concentrate on your process. As you gain experience and progress to a different level(s) of reloading/shooting goal(s), you well what gadgetries you will need to meet your goal(s). The videos (not mine) below have excellent pointers ...


^^^^

Exactly right. You can learn alot from youtube and the folks here and elsewhere. If you can't swing $250 for comp dies (as an example) that's ok, you can make very good ammo from dies in a green box. As you get some rounds made and down range you will start to understand how some of the more advanced components can help you. a couple of things to add to your loading bench. Good lighting. Patience. Consistency in your process.
 
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