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What are the essentials to begin handloading rifle ammo and how much can I expect to pay to get started? (I'm looking at loads f

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  • What are the essentials to begin handloading rifle ammo and how much can I expect to pay to get started? (I'm looking at loads f

    What are the essentials to begin handloading rifle ammo and how much can I expect to pay to get started? (I'm looking at loads for .223 Rem, .300 Win Mag, and .270).

  • #2
    Well im not sure about the prices right now but I can list the materials used.

    -Press ( usually categorized in the letter of alphabet they most resemble )

    -Dies ( 3 set dies for straight cases, 2 for bottlenecks )

    -Shellholders ( holds the case in place as it is forced into and out of the dies )


    -Priming tool

    -Powder measure

    -Bullet puller ( allows the handloader to disassemble mistakes )

    -Case trimmer ( especially bottleneck cases will stretch upon firing )

    -Primer tools

    ~Smokeless powder~
    ~Maybe some case lubricants depending on what die you use~

    Sorry i couldnt find you the prices but i hope i helped a little.


    • #3
      Don't be intimidated its cheaper and easier than you may think. I started (and still have) a Lee single stage press. Thats a fancy way of saying first you size your brass then you load. I bought the complete set (anniversary I think it was called) for $100. It comes with everything but the dies. For the dies I bought the necksize only because I'd have better accuracy and I wouldn't have to lube the cases (a real hassle), but you can never use those cartridges in a different rifle. So that may be a drawback.
      One other thing. In the kit I bought was included a balance beam scale. I didn't like it so I bought a better balance beam from Hornady ($50). I wish I'd saved my money and applied it towards a good electronic scale. Today for $100 you can get a good one. Maybe less money.
      So in reality with what I've recommended (there's more people smarter than me), total cost would be about $250. But if you start with the included scale it's $150.
      Don't forget a loading manual, better yet two different ones from the likes of Lyman, Speer, Hornady, Nosler etc. If there's a particular bullet you like see if theres a manual made.


      • #4
        I agree with Jim in Mo. Lee products are hard to beat. I really like their Collet Die sets. No lube necessary, but as Jim said cartridges loaded with them must be used in the same firearm they were originally fired in. All Lee Dies sets come with the shell holder except the RGB sets. Their case trimming tools (cutter, lock stud and case length gauge) are simple and effective. They also publish a very comprehensive reloading book "Modern Reloading" I also agree with Jim in that I don't like their scale. It is functional, but a good digital scale from Cabela's or Midway can be had for well under $100. Use the Lee scale to double check the digital.

        Check out the Lee web site,

        They have several reloading press kits available. Their web site is also educational. You can spend a lot more money on reloading tools and still not be more effective.

        Here is a list of the Lee Products I would start with as priced through Cabela's:


        PACESETTER DIES $22.99 per set. Includes shell holder, sizing, seating and crimp dies along with powder scoop and load data.

        Lee Case Length Gauge for each cartridge $4.99 to 7.99 each.

        Lee book, "Modern Reloading" $13.99

        Total $202.95 plus shipping

        Then throw in a reasonably priced digital scale! $79 to $100.


        • #5
          I agree with Jim & the Beekeeper... The one tool I would not trade for anything is my electronic scale - check eBay and other classifieds like Craigslist for these things also. I have picked up some fine equipment from Craigslist and yard sales.


          • #6
            Get on and buy a set. I use both Lee and RCBS. I love the RCBS scale/poweder dispenser its really handy. figure about 300 for the set, 30-40 dollars for dies, 20 dollars per pound of powder and 20 to 50 dollars per hundred of lead, you need primers (I haven't priced them lately) and then you get your new last year hazmat fee or 20 dollars per order for whatever you get (powders and primers) you can probably get started for less than 500, but you can spend as much as you want on a "starter kit"


            • #7
              Get the Lyman and or Lee books / manuals on reloading,read them well,then try find someone that reloads to show you 1st hand . its better than trial and errors. I knew nothing when I started or nobody that did it. Go basic and single stage press,A lee ZIP trim makes trimming easy and its cheap.You'll find if you shoot lots that one press is not enough.


              • #8
                Lee, Hornady, and RCBS all have good basic reloading kits. All of the above also make good reloading manuals. Hodgdon puts out a new soft cover manual ever year. Go to and look at all their stuff. you can buy everything above from them plus powder, brass, primers, and anything else you'll need. If you're close to a Cabelas,Gander mountain Scheels store they can set you up with what ever you need. When you get to doing a lot of shooting Dillon equipment is hard to beat, I use mine a couple of times a week. Whatever you get, read everything twice and start slow. You'll grow to love reloading and the shooting sports. GOOD LUCK!!!!


                • #9
                  never forget a scale to mesure the powder


                  • #10




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