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Thread: Beginner Equipment???

  1. #1

    Default Beginner Equipment???

    I haven't reloaded yet but am looking to get started. I was looking at theLee Breech Lock ChallengerKit. Is this kit decent for a beginner? I'll only be reloading 45 Colt, 45 ACP, 30-06 and .35 Rem. Am I much better stepping up to the RCBS Rock Chucker kit or it is unneccessary? They seem to have the same equipment in the kits.

    Thanks,
    Mike

  2. #2

    Default Good luck and welcome to reloading

    Mike,

    I havn't been reloading long myself but can tell you that the Lee Kit will be perfect to start with and you may not see a need to upgrade unless you are loading large quantities....then a progressive might be in order. Search through the stuff posted on here, there's alot of smart guys to help you out. I have a lee press that I bought at a gun show and picked up the other stuff that comes in the kit here and there. The lee stuff is great and you can't beat the price. In 2 years I havn't had a single problem with my lee stuff. I load 9 mm, 44 mag, 30-30, .223, 300 wsm with mine. Only complaint I've heard with the lee kit is that the scale isn't that great (but the guy who got me into reloading has used his for the last 20 yrs so...). There's lots of expensive stuff out there that isn't any stronger or do anything more to justify the price. Can't beat the feeling of firing, or for that matter, killing an animal with a bullet you labored over.

  3. #3

    Default

    Mike, check out the "new to reloading" thread. Fairly close to what you're asking. I think there are a few others also. If you check the "anyone have a spare rockchucker RCBS?" thread, Chrispc broke his Lee and was looking for a Rockchucker. Also there are a ton of reloading threads in this forum you might want to browse through in general which might affect your overall approach. Enjoy your hand loading, it can be real rewarding.

    Mark

  4. #4
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    Default

    My best advice is to buy the best stuff you can afford the first time around. Eventually you'll wnat to reload for more calibers and when you reload, you end up shooting more. I bought mostly Redding stuff when I first started out and haven't regretted it since. The initial outlay of cash was somewhat high, but I've never had to replace anything and the quality has been great. I've never used any of the Lee reloading equipment, but I do know it's almost impossible to wear out a quality press.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeStaten View Post
    I haven't reloaded yet but am looking to get started. I was looking at theLee Breech Lock ChallengerKit. Is this kit decent for a beginner? I'll only be reloading 45 Colt, 45 ACP, 30-06 and .35 Rem. Am I much better stepping up to the RCBS Rock Chucker kit or it is unneccessary? They seem to have the same equipment in the kits.

    Thanks,
    Mike
    I tried the "search" function and found it to be working. Maybe try it.
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  6. #6
    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rigby257 View Post
    My best advice is to buy the best stuff you can afford the first time around. Eventually you'll wnat to reload for more calibers and when you reload, you end up shooting more. I bought mostly Redding stuff when I first started out and haven't regretted it since. The initial outlay of cash was somewhat high, but I've never had to replace anything and the quality has been great. I've never used any of the Lee reloading equipment, but I do know it's almost impossible to wear out a quality press.
    I agree. IMO, there are two kinds of loading equipment ------ quality stuff and stuff NO ONE should own. I'd rather find quality equipment that's used, than run brand new equipment that's junk.

    For general metallic reloading, it's tough to beat RCBS and Redding products. Each company offers starter kits that will save you some money over buying each piece individually. For progressive machines, Dillon is an easy choice.

    Other things to consider.....
    With today's high ammo costs, it won't take you long to "pay for" your reloading equipment with the money you've saved over buying factory ammo.

    If you invest in quality equipment up front, and later decide that reloading is not to your liking, you can sell it and recover most (if not all) of your intial investment. Cheap reloading equipment, on the other hand, will always be cheap reloading equipment.

  7. #7

    Default

    I completely agree with Dan in Alaska.

    My RCBS press and my Ohaus scale are both 36 years old and both work fine. I am on my second powder measure, but as I bought the first one third hand and it was made in 1935 it's to be expected that it has a little wear.

  8. #8
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    Default

    Lee stuff has improved over the years, and the breech lock kit is fine. The breech locks are nice - I've started using the Hornady lock 'n load bushings in my Redding press and they save me a lot of setup time.

    I've had a Lee press break the linkage on an older pot metal linkage press, but that seems to be addressed in the newer Lee presses. The Lee press that I purchased 19 years ago did just fine for 17 years - I expect that the Redding press that I purchased to replace it will last longer than me. RCBS would probably be the same.

    None of the kits out there are perfect - they are entry level kits that you will be updating bits and pieces of as your needs change. I bought a Lee kit a long time ago and have replaced (or lost!) everything in it. If it was an RCBS, Hornady or Redding kit I would still have replaced (or more likely lost) everything in it...

    The search feature does work. You get what you pay for. All the cliché’s apply.

  9. #9

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    I would suggest moving up to the Lee Classic cast iron press. For less than the price of any other press and accessory kit that includes a scale, powder measure, etc. you can get both the Lee Anniversary press kit and the Lee Classic. I have had a Rock Chucker since 1972 and it is great for short action cartridges, but things get a little tight when doing longer cartridges like .375 H&H. The Lee classic has all of the power and ruggedness plus a much larger opening. I still prefer the Rock Chucker for sizing and decapping but it's nice to be able to have one press set up for sizing and another for seating when working up loads. The Lee powder measure looks cheap compared to my RBCS but it's far more accurate. I really like the Lee case trimming system and it's a lot faster than my Lyman case trimmer. Use some of the cost savings to get an inexpensive electronic scales. Don't forget to get some loading blocks, and One Shot spray lube is the best stuff I've found for lubing cases. No dents, no stuck cases, no problems. It sure beats rolling cases on a lube pad or slathering Lee lube on individual cases. Plus you don't have to worry about contaminating primers and getting misfires.


    Good luck with you new hobby. It's a lot of fun and good therapy.

  10. #10
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    Default Construction of the press

    I agree with all the previous posts are valid opinions and good advice.

    But missing a couple of points.

    Presses come primarily in two materials: Cast Iron and Cast Aluminum. Aluminum costs less, is lighter to move around and breaks. Cast iron almost never breaks.

    Buying the best hurts, but it only hurts once, when you pay for it. Buying cheap stuff hurts every time you use it. (Unless you are very wise or very lucky.)

    Lost Sheep (Larry)

    Welcome to a marvelous adjunct to the shooting sports. Loading can be a rewarding discipline in itself.

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