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I want to strat reloading, is there a brand of equipment I should look at. Lee is the cheapest I've seen which means I might st

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  • I want to strat reloading, is there a brand of equipment I should look at. Lee is the cheapest I've seen which means I might st

    I want to strat reloading, is there a brand of equipment I should look at. Lee is the cheapest I've seen which means I might stay away from it. Lyman is midrange, what do you guys use? Thanks

  • #2
    ccm
    My very first loading experience came at the business end of a Lee Loader in .41 Rem Mag. That was followed by a RCBS "Jr" C frame press a friend allowed me to set up and use.
    Later, a guy I knew got his fanny in a crack and sold me his RCBS "Rock Chucker" set up (O frame press, scales, some dies, bench top priming tool and other assorted accoutrements!) for $100! Best money I ever wasted! LOL!
    Since then, I've added some "stuff". A Lyman case polisher, several sets of dies and other sundry items.
    Lately, I've been seeing some pretty good "used" items on the market.
    I recently purchased a set of absolutely pristine Redding "Powder and Bullet" scales for $20. At a gun show last weekend, I snared a set of clean RCBS 5-0-5 scales for $12!
    These items new are around a hundred bucks. Just be sure the pivot points are clean and sharp.
    Hit garage sales, gun shows and pawn shops. Lots of stuff available on the cheap.
    You can also opt for starter kits that have basic equipment.
    If you just want to keep a few rounds loaded for a handgun or bolt rifle, get yourself a Lee Loader. Slow, but inexpensive and easy.
    I've always used RCBS and my customer service experience with them is superb.
    I'm not all that sure there is a "best" brand. These days, I wouldn't be afraid to do some used "mix and match".
    Main thing is, get something you can use.

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    • #3
      BTW!
      Before you get in that mindset that sez "...I can save a butt load of money...", be aware!
      Reloading doesn't SAVE you any money! Powder, primers and bullets ain't cheap!
      BUT! You get four to five times the ammo for the same dollar you spend"
      I like to call it, "More bang for your buck!'
      Good luck!

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      • #4
        Nothing wrong with Lee dies and presses. Many of the Lee presses are not as sturdy as RCBS and others and might not last as long. I have yet to wear out one of mine.

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        • #5
          thanks, there is a flea market this weekend that I should be able to hit up.

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          • #6
            Hey WAM! Good to hear (see?) you again!

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            • #7
              I've used the same RCBS Rock Chucker press for about 50 years and I have no doubt that it will last much longer than I will. I finally developed a crack in the plastic primer catcher on mine and I called RCBS to see if I could order another one. The person I talked to was apologetic and overnight shipped one to me free of charge. They have always been like this and I respect them for it.

              LEE has great equipment but they also include very entry-level products in their line up that let you get going on light duty reloading for a low cost. Their low end components are very inexpensive but require a little more effort for each re-load. They do however also sell more expensive equipment that is as good as competitive equipment in the same price range.

              I like the RCBS dies, Rock Chucker "O" press, the RCBS powder scale and RCBS 1500 electronic powder measure and highly recommend them. I highly recommend the LEE case length trimmer and the LEE priming tool. These are high in quality and among the least expensive in their class.

              You can get a complete RCBS starter kit for about $250 and it will stand you in good stead for a lifetime, adding other gear as necessary over time. Redding equipment is very good but typically a little more expensive. Lyman is good too. I don't use their press but use a few of their tools such as primer pocket reamers, gauges, etc.

              Although reloading lets me get about three to four times as many shots for the same cash outlay, the most important reason I load is for accuracy. Each rifle has unique characteristics (e.g. bore friction, length, weight, crown contour, bedding, etc.) and when you can tune a load to those characteristics, you get the most accuracy a rifle has to offer. You have to be extremely lucky to find an off-the-shelf load that is perfectly harmonic with your rifle.

              If you want to save money on purchase, you could consider buying used gear on ebay, gunbroker, etc.

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              • #8
                Coffeecup,
                Try to look ahead and determine if you will be loading handgun or rifle,how many calibers, modest volumes or in the thousands per year. Once you pin that down, you can start looking at different set ups that will handle your needs. For instance, if you are loading several different rifle calibers, Hornady makes a progressive press that once adjusted, changes calibers with no need of additional adjustment.
                A real time saver that adds to consistancy. Speaking of time, do you have lots of time or are you on a tight time schedule. That can influence what you get.
                Beware of what you find at flea markets - some great buys possible but I have also seen junk, watch out for rust.
                Best bet is to get someone willing to show you the ropes who has been loading for several calibers for several years. Saves a lot of time and mistakes if you can find that person.
                As always the experience on this F&S site is endless and the guys are always willing to help as much as they can.
                For starters get the ABC's of Reloading by Gersham and read it cover to cover. Always follow published literature and tables - reloading is not a place to experiment on your own.
                Good luck - be safe and happy shooting

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                • #9
                  I use Lee, no problems whatsoever. I consitently turn out quality, accurate loads.
                  You won't screw up by getting Lee, RCBS, Dillon or Lyman equipment

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    ccm
                    I just stumbled into this at:

                    www.midwayusa.com

                    First off. I'm not real fond of MidwayUSA. I think they're a bit overpriced and a bit heavy on the shipping, but this looks like a pretty fair deal.

                    RCBS Reloader Special-5
                    Single Stage Press Starter Kit
                    $211.49 + shipping

                    About the only thing missing was a powder dump and a set of dies!

                    It's product #373711 - it shows "in stock - available for shipping"

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                    • #11
                      There are all kinds of good product today. I feel RCBS is hard to beat for quality and especially customer service. Have mentioned before I accidentally shared a hunting camp with a couple of their senior executives, they expressed such concern over their customers needs I was impressed.

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                      • #12
                        Also have mentioned before , if you happen to need to reload old British, long cases, Redding presses have a high arbor which makes the process easier.

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                        • #13
                          I have used RCBS for over 40 years and they are hard to beat. Their customer service is second to none. I have stuck two .223 cases in my lifetime and each time I have called them and they have sent me a new die at no charge, no questions asked, even when I told them it was probably my fault. Quality company.

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                          • #14
                            I started with Lee Loader, but tired of that quickly. In 1969, I purchased my first RCBS press and I've been relying RCBS presses since. When I relocated to the West Coast, I gave my very first press to a friend, a gentlemen who learned reloading on my bench, though I kept the die sets since he was handloading a different cartridge.
                            I haven't reloaded a cartridge longer than the .30-'06/.280/.270 nor one of great diameter than a .45-70, and most of my activity in the recent past has been varminting. There are 17-18 die sets on my shelf, and I often sell the dies with a rifle as a sales incentive, so I can't tell you with certainty how many cartridges I've cycled through in my quest for knowledge.
                            I've never worn a press out, but they do require a minimum of maintenance. Keep them free of rust and lightly lube them. They're easily disassembled and lubed, if it comes to that.
                            I still use an RCBS Rock Chucker for resizing and the lion's share of my loading, but use an RCBS Partner press as an adjacent work station to do the seating (which requires much less mechanical leverage than full-length resizing). My dies are primarily from RCBS, though I also use Redding, and Hornady dies, with no complaint about any of them. RCBS has been praiseworthy in its customer service.

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                            • #15
                              Sarge
                              Pick up the RCBS "Stuck Case Remover". Nabbed one many moons back for about $20 and it's been worth ever cent!

                              Comment

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