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Thread: reloading for beginners.......

  1. #1
    Member aknewbie's Avatar
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    Default reloading for beginners.......

    I accidentally posted this in the shooting forum earlier- oops........I am wanting to get into reloading my own rifle/pistol ammunition (.44 Mag, 30-06 and 35 whelen). I have been looking around at the various makes and types of kits out there from RCBS, LEE, Lyman etc. There seems to be a pretty big variation in $ between Lee and everyone else. Is their stuff junk, or is everyone elses stuff a little overpriced? I am very interested in the LEE breech lock challenger kit($100), and the RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme kit($280). I have heard nothing but good things about RCBS, but I have never met someone who uses the lee stuff except for a priming tool. If there is any advice for a beginner out there I would really appretiate it. I shoot a lot of black powder so working up a load isnt chineese arithmatic to me, just a VERY different process. Thank you!!!!!

  2. #2

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    It makes me happy for each new person that gets into the joy of reloading, I like to see new shooters that join the ranks. I like to see them get good solid basic information and not be snowed under by the bigest and most expensive press and other equipment that is not necessary for the beginner. first get a couple loading manuals and let the information soak in. I din't know af any bad equipment on the market, just stronger and more expensive. Each person has a different budget and if you can afford the best go ahead and you will like it and if you must go bare bones do it and you will enjoy it. I would say to stay away from any progresive press for a while you will learn on your own what you need and want in the books or a friend who is a helper to your venture. You will need powder scale some dies a press, these come in most starter kits the books will show you what else. Yes Lee makes good stuff, I like their dies and other equipment, I would only consider their strongest press, but they also make the less expensive and good things for people who maybe can't afford to go first class and I will assure you that an experienced hand loader will load precision loads with it. Good luck in your journey to some great fun Rolling Your Own

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    Look at the length of the arm (the lever) and the linkage on the different brands. For longer cases, it's nice to have a little more leverage when resizing the brass. All of the cartridges that you list will work with Lee or the others just fine though. Just buy an O-frame type press of whoever's brand and you'll be fine.

    If you think you might be loading longer magnum cases later, i.e. 375 H&H etc, then you might want one of the larger presses since they afford you more room ...else when seating the bullet, you'll have to feed the bullet up into the seating die, place the case in the shell holder, then lower the bullet to the case etc. It's a lot easier if the press has enough room for your longest case PLUS the length of the longest bullet you might want to seat so you can place the bullet on the brass before it's in the press.

    And I agree with the old guy ...a single-stage press is fine until the day comes that you feel you need to load more than a couple hundred in a session.

    Brian

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    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Default

    The Lee kit looks great. Especially if you can get it for around $100.

    I am one of the guys who uses Lee equipment.

    I use a lee hand press as I like the portability of it.

    I use the safety powder scale and the priming tool.



    I do have a RCBS automatic powder dispenser (probably has 5 hours on it and cost $350) but it has gone tits up and I am back to using my Lee scale.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

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    Quote Originally Posted by RMiller View Post
    <snip>

    I do have a RCBS automatic powder dispenser (probably has 5 hours on it and cost $350) but it has gone belly up and I am back to using my Lee scale.
    I though RCBS had a lifetime warranty? I've never actually read the warranty, but that was my impression. For $350, I'd look into it tho'...

    Brian

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    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Yes I do have to look into it.

    When it was working I felt it was worth every penny. It is a marvel of modern engineering.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

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    Member aknewbie's Avatar
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    Default thanks a bunch!!!!!

    Thanks to everyone who has chipped in their 10 cents. I really appretiate it!!!!

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    Default RCBS stuff

    RMiller, give them a call Mon thru Thur (their closed Fri)
    1-800-553-5000
    They will probably put you in touch with Charlie, he's the head man in the shop now. I took a scale up to them couple months ago with a prob. and they gave me a new one and told me to keep it covered to keep the dust out of it. (I live 53 miles from them). Tell them what the prob is or if a part is broke/bent and they will ship it to you no charge. They may just send you a whole new unit.
    Hope this helps. There service dept. has been great to me and others over a lot of years.

    Gun Runner

  9. #9
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Rcbs

    Find someone who used to use RCBS and switched to Lee. While I own (and love) their hand press and autoprime, I can say with certainty that RCBS offers a more complete and higher quality line of products. For a new reloader, it would be a one stop shopping deal. Go to www.midwayusa.com or www.cabelas.com and you can order everything you need at one time. And it will all be that mean green RCBS is famous for. Rockchucker is a legendary press. You would not regret buying RCBS equipment. Read up on it and I am sure you will see why. Great company. Great product. Great reputation.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  10. #10
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Runner View Post
    RMiller, give them a call Mon thru Thur (their closed Fri)
    1-800-553-5000
    They will probably put you in touch with Charlie, he's the head man in the shop now. I took a scale up to them couple months ago with a prob. and they gave me a new one and told me to keep it covered to keep the dust out of it. (I live 53 miles from them). Tell them what the prob is or if a part is broke/bent and they will ship it to you no charge. They may just send you a whole new unit.
    Hope this helps. There service dept. has been great to me and others over a lot of years.

    Gun Runner
    Thanks for the info. Plan to call them Monday.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  11. #11

    Default lee stuff is good-to-go

    I bought a single stage lee press for 10 bucks at a gun show. I've picked up the auto prime (5$), powder dispenser (10$), scale and various other peices at sales and online when i couldn't find it. The dies have been the most expensive part and when you buy lee it's not too bad. The point is, you can get into reloading really cheap if you search around. Don't buy into the "more expensive is better" phenomenon. The best thing I did when I started reloading was to help a buddy of mine do his reloading. I learned a lot from him and I'm sure he enjoyed the company (and some help with case prep). I agree with the advice to get a manual or two and read up. Helped me tremendously. I have been very pleased with all things Lee and for the price, you can't beat it. I reload 30-30, 300 wsm, 223, 9 mm, 44 mag. I've made thousands of bullets with the Lee eqipment without a hitch. Check out www.midwayusa.com for gear.

  12. #12

    Default Along the same lines....Cas tumblers?

    I am also looking to get into reloading. At $45 for a box of ammo, it seems to pencil out.

    Most of the kits I see mentioned online do not include case tumblers. I'm curious how necessary a tumbler is. For me, I don't anticipate loading more than 200 rifle (and pistol) bullets a year.

    A bonus of picking up the tumbler is that I could toss my brass trolling dodgers and king spoons in there to clean them up.

  13. #13

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    When I started reloading in the late 60's my older advisors said RCBS Rock Chucker. I still have it in use. I do have a Lee 4 hole turret press that I use for pistols. I use RCBS dies for all operations. I have a t-7 Redding turret for rifles, only because I got a buy on it, other wise it would be a RCBS. I believe most reloaders started with RCBS, and there is no question that they have the best C/S. What more can I say?
    Jim

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    I would have to disagree with the last sentence. I initially began reloading to save money. But then I found it was alot of fun casting bullets for my .30 carbine, and it was off from there.

    I started with inexpensive equipment, and have since upgraded to a Rockchucker I bought off eBay which turned out to be a pristine condition machine from the late '60's if I am correct. It weighs near 30 pounds seems like. I use that now, and have since moved up yet again to a complete benchrest set-up using hand dies for my .300 Ultra and the wife's .223 WSSM.

    It all kinda grows on us.
    Last edited by Murphy; 03-02-2008 at 20:31.
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  15. #15

    Wink

    As I re-read my last post, it does sound like I'm interested in it just for the money. That's not really true. I like to tinker, and expect that I will enjoy reloading. For me, being inherently conservative financially, it helps when a new hobby will ultimately pay for itself. That and the bill is easier to explain to my wife

    Thanks for the tips guys, I'm leaning toward the RCBS kit, but I haven't totally ruled out the lyman and lee kits. I don't expect to shoot all that much, but who knows, once I start rolling my own, I'm sure I'll find more reasons to go to the range.

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    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Reloading to save money is a great reason. I am reminded of that quite a bit.

    Many of the cartridges I reload for now will pay for the dies in the first 50 rounds.

    25-20 rounds are $50 for 50. I also load for 500 s&w $50 bucks for 20, and the occasional 300 ultra mag. 300 wsm premium loads are $40+.

    I shoot more reloading because it allows me to build more ammo at the same cost.
    I like to practice mostly with cheaper bullets and load the premiums for hunting.

    It is also great fun especially during the long winters.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKJOB View Post
    As I re-read my last post, it does sound like I'm interested in it just for the money. That's not really true. I like to tinker, and expect that I will enjoy reloading. For me, being inherently conservative financially, it helps when a new hobby will ultimately pay for itself. That and the bill is easier to explain to my wife

    Thanks for the tips guys, I'm leaning toward the RCBS kit, but I haven't totally ruled out the lyman and lee kits. I don't expect to shoot all that much, but who knows, once I start rolling my own, I'm sure I'll find more reasons to go to the range.
    Ditto on the 'tinkering' ...the only downside to that scenario is that it's easy to produce ammo faster than you can shoot it. Sometimes I look longingly at the reloading bench and then I see the pile of ammo that I have yet to shoot up and sigh... . The only answer is to shoot a LOT!

    Brian

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    I reload simply becasue I can't get a steady supply of the correct ammo

  19. #19
    Member aknewbie's Avatar
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    Default Thank you all!!!!!

    There has been some really great repllies and good advice on here and I thank all of you!!!!!! I have been interested in handloading for a long time but never had much of a reason to (grew up in shotgun country). I am Military and I am a very firm believer that there is absolutely no better way to improve ones shooting that simply a lot of trigger time!!!!!! I will be posting on here more and more with questions once I get set up and started "rolling my own". Thanks again, you guys are great!!!!

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