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Thread: Interested in starting to reload

  1. #1
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    Default Interested in starting to reload

    I was wondering if someone can give me advice on what to buy for a press. I want to reload 300 Rem Ultra Mag and have heard some press will not work. Can somebody let me know of some of the presses that will? And I don't have alot of money and a confined space to work in. Any suggestion, advice, etc will be greatly apprciated.

    Thanks
    Dono

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    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    Well I don’t know the exact COL on the ultra-mag, but if it is the same as those rounds based off of the 375H&H case then most of the “O” type presses should work fine except perhaps the “junior” presses. But to tell you the truth, If it were me and I knew what I know now, I would spend the $200 or so and buy the Redding T-7 Turret press, it has a 4 ½” opening and should work fine for the ultra-mag. I have a single stage RCBS press and I get tired of changing dies all the time. I also have an old Lyman 5 position turret press and love it, but it works so good for my 45 colt loads that I never pull the dies out because I have it set perfectly to seat and crimp both bullets I shoot and have two little dandy powder dispensers in it for both powder charges. It may not be as fast as a progressive, but it works great for me and my style of loading.
    You could always take a loaded round with you to Sportsman’s Warehouse and verify that it will fit in the press you are interested in.

    In years past I have run across good deals on presses at the various gun shows around Anchorage / Palmer etc, but this last gun show at the Wasilla High School, I only saw two presses and they were priced a tad high for me. Of course there is always E-Bay, and every now and then I see presses that go for reasonable prices but you got to make sure the shipping wont kill you.
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    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    Get a lee reloading kit. Cheap, works, all you need. Bring a piece of brass or a better yet a fullsize shell to sportsmans and give it a trial fit. Im pretty sure I reloaded 375 on a lee press though.

    Or option 2 buy the lee kit, and a different press. The lee kit is still worth it I think even if you ditch the press.

    Cant help you on the confined space thing. When I had lived in a small apartment I just mounted the press on a piece of stout board then C-clamped the works to the kitchen counter.

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    I'm happy with my RCBS RockChucker. I don't mind changing dies because I run a bunch through at once. I've also been resizing all my brass ahead of time so when it comes to loading them, I'm really just using the expander and the seater/crimper. For my 500 S&W, I have a separate seating die so I use 3 dies with it. You'll appreciate one of the O-frame presses, especially the dual-arm ones when resizing long magnum cases ...I wouldn't buy a compromise press for long case reloading. Get something with leverage and strength, then build a stout bench (1-1/2" thick in the area of the press is not too much.)

    Brian

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    I started with a little RCBS press, the smallest they make, still have it. I have reloaded .500 A-Square on it until I bought the Rockchucker. All I did was lift the bullet into the die, then place it on the case.

    I agree on the Lee kit.
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  6. #6

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    I too have a 300 RUM and I talked to one of my buddies about buying reloading equipment. He said that if he had it to do all over again he would have spent the little extra to get the dillon 550.. That's what I bought and i love it. Once you get the dies set up on the plate, you don't have to mess with them unless you use different bullets....and then you only have to mess with the bullet seating die. The only thing I don't like is the dillon powder measure for the extruded powders that the rifles use. I usually end up using a separate powder measure and weigh every charge for my rifle loads. I probably would have been fine with a good single stage press, but the dillon is great when loading my 44 ammo. I can also change calibers to reload in about 2 mins or less.

  7. #7
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    Default Advice on Reloading Equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Dono View Post
    I was wondering if someone can give me advice on what to buy for a press. I want to reload 300 Rem Ultra Mag and have heard some press will not work. Can somebody let me know of some of the presses that will? And I don't have alot of money and a confined space to work in. Any suggestion, advice, etc will be greatly apprciated.

    Thanks
    Dono
    I am guessing the reason some presses will not work is that the opening may not be tall enough to fit the length of the cartridge plus the bullet (before it is seated in the case). Make sure it will fit the largest bullet available. Other reasons some presses might not be suitable are that if it is a "C" type or Open press it might not maintain good alignment vs the "O" type press which is stiffer. And if the leverage of the press handle is not enough to force a large rifle case into the die, you would have to really lean on it. A compound lever linkage makes it easier to operate.

    The second thing I recommend to any beginning reloader is to get a single stage press, not a progressive. Get acquainted with the steps of reloading one step at a time until your are completely familiar with all the steps and the reasons why for everything. Then, if you want to move to a progressive, go for it.

    I know I may ruffle feathers of experienced loaders with that advice, but that's my opinion, for what it's worth.

    The first thing I recommend is to buy at least two reloading manuals. Most all of them have a good description of the loading process and having multiple descriptions will lead you to better understanding. Where there are (apparant or real) differences, you will think about it and ask questions until you understand completely. Do this before you ever open a can of powder.

    The two (or more) manuals' bullet/powder/load/primer data also give you an idea of the different performances you can get from different chambers and barrels. There is very little absolute about reloading and each gun is a different little physics laboratory and will perform differently. The published loads are a starting point and as you tailor your loads you will learn the characteristics of your gun's particular "personality". Some guns can be finicky. Some guns shoot everything accurately. Most guns do somewhat better with particular loads than others. It's a mystery but it's true. The reloader's job is to find that combination of powders, primers, bullets and brass that your gun likes.

    The third thing is (if possible) get a mentor to show you how to load. There is nothing like an experienced eye to keep you on track.

    The advice about buying one of those boxed kits where "everything you need is in the box" is good (in my opinion). Just read the loading manuals and make sure the kit contains everything you will need to do the steps outlined in the manuals. Expect to spend $150 to $200.

    Wear eye protection and don't pinch your fingers in your press.

    Good luck and good shooting.

    Larry (Lost Sheep)
    Last edited by Lost Sheep; 02-10-2008 at 06:16. Reason: add my name

  8. #8

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    The advice I see here is excellent. I will add that if you dont have a strong mount for your press, help your press out by putting a hand on top of the press to help stabalize the press and use good sizing lube. The O type press is better than the C but both load fine ammo if you do your part. Full length resizing takes a lot of power but I just neck size and the cases are fine. What you must prepare for is some of the most fun you ever had with your shooting sport. Factory ammo is only a source of cases, and when I had to have the cases I would bang the factory stuff off at the hip just to get those fire formed cases so I could make real ammo. When you pick up one of your custom rounds you feel much pride in your custom ammo..

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    One of the best descriptions of the reloading process and the watch-outs to watch out for, that I've seen so far, is the Hornady manual. The best one that I've seen for explaining how the DIES work, again ...from what I've seen so far (and I'm relatively new at this), is the Lyman manual on cast bullets. It's got really nice cross-sections of the dies in addition to long informative explanations of how they work and what they do. If I'd read that chapter first, I'd never have asked most of the questions that I've asked here... I think the Lyman book is worth owning even if you're not loading lead.

    Brian

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    Default Thanks

    Thanks for all the info, and advice. I have been looking at the lee kit because I think I read some where that it loads some pretty big cartridges. I was also interested in the RCBS because, correct me if I am wrong, one of the kits had a attachement to make it progressive but not sure if it will work for the 300 RUM. Currently I am reading the Lee loading manual and plan on reading more, I think the Hornaday one next. Thanks for the help guys and if their is any more please keep it coming, every little bit helps.
    Thanks
    Dono

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    I dont know the difference in length between the RUM and a WBY mag, but I have loaded a 300 WBY mag on the Lee press. The kit is a great value for the beginner, I have used one for years with no problems.

  12. #12

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    Some of the BEST advise you can get is by reading a couple of GOOD reloading manuals. Speer, Hornady, Sierra, Barnes, Nosler, just to name a few. I HIGHLY advise you to get a single-stage press before you go to a progressive.
    I personally have a, RCBS Rock Chucker single-stage and a Dillon progressive 550B. I use my Rock Chucker just as much as I always have, but if I want to crank out a lot of ammo for handgun shooting, I turn to the Dillon. I have been reloading since the middle 70's, so I have a few years experience under my belt.

    There is an excellent article in the current Shooting Times about reloading, basically telling you to crawl before you try to walk in this endeavor.
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

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    My advice would be to get a beeg hefty press, that has enough room for the OAL of that 300 Ultra Mag.

    Light, Springy presses won't always work well with beeg cartridges. There's too much flex.

    Smitty of the North
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    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Lee Handloader Kit

    Back in the ealy 70's I started on a Lee Handloader Kit.......no press no bench is needed and produced some good handloads......still have my kit plus a few more. They don't make it for the 300 Ultra but offer other cal.

    They cost less than $20.00 .....I suggest a set of RCBS scales and a good reloading book like Sierra.

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    I have a RCBS II and a dillon 550RL. I use the dillon for loading 9's 38/357 44spl/mag's 40 and 45acp. The RCBS I use for 30/06 7x57 and 45/70. Have been reloading since I was 12 (55 yrs ago). Started reloading shotgun shells with a old hand loader (there classified as a antique now). Have a lot of diffrent loading manuals, powder and primers plus bullets, cast included.I do not consider myself a guru at reloading cause I learn something diffrent all the time. Have taught close to 50 people to reload (male and female).If you can find somebody to help you get started reloading that helps a lot.
    One other thing you might consider is a good pair of calipers (steel not plastic).
    Its great to shoot something with a round you have GROWN on your bench. Plus you'll wind up shooting more.

    Gun Runner

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    I have used a Rock Chucker since the early 70's. Still using it today. But for what you want to load I would buy something taller like there AmmoMaster. Its a total pain in the butt loading up the long ones on the Rock Chucker. Sliding the bullet up in the die just gets old after awhile.
    Buy one of the taller presses and it will load anything.
    Tennessee

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    Default Let me just tell ya.

    I like some of the Lee innovations, like the Factory Crimp Dies, and the Case Trimmer tools, and I’ve no problem with Lee dies. BUT, some of his stuff I wouldn’t even consider.

    I would never buy a Lee Kit, because I’m sure I’d have some stuff I couldn’t use. If you unnerstan what’chew need, and what yer gittin, and you can save some moola, why shore, get a “Kit”, but make it something like RCBS.

    Personally, I don’t think that a beginning handloader should start off with any kind of progressive press, including a Dillon. They would need to know the basics of handloading, before getting into something like that. It’s better to think in terms of precision, than quantity.

    So much, for my perceived brilliance.

    Smitty of the North
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    I use a Redding T-7 turret press to load Ultra Mag caliber. I also use it for everything from 32 H&R to 475 #2 Nitro Express which is a 3 1/2" case. This press is made like a tank only heavier and I use it to load about 20,000 per year, almost daily use. I also have a single stage Redding press called a Big Boss, similar to the RCBS Rockchucker except with a large opening. The Turret is the most convienient press I've ever used, a can keep two or more full sets of dies in it and just dial to the step I need. A great setup. I would not suggest any press made of Aluminum as the durability isn't there. Cast Iron is the way to go.
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  19. #19
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    It works great on the lee hand press. I like the portability of the hand press.
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  20. #20

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    I use a Redding T-7 turret press to load Ultra Mag caliber.
    That's the press I use as well. It has plenty of room for the long ultra mag and you'll probably need the extra space when you dealing with a COL of 3.6 inchs.

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