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Thread: Who makes the best.....?

  1. #1
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default Who makes the best.....?

    I know that it's been asked about which equipment to buy, but I want to ask the question in a little different way. I'm sure that everyone realizes that manufacures make things differently but just because you make a certain product that is the best doesn't mean that you make the best of everything. I.E. per consumer reports, I bought 2 different washer and dryer manufactures. I use to reload many years ago and lost everything in a fire and never replaced it, well the time had come and I need your help. I don't really want a progressive machine but I was really leaning towards a turret. Pros and cons? I'm a firm believer in buying once. So please help me put together the best set of reloading equipment. What make and model is the best of ........ It would be real helpful if you would share your reasonings and logic why. I.E. this model has this little gizmo or gadget and the other doesn't, this one is more accurate or reliable. Power case trimmer vs manual....You get the idea. What little tool should you have that most people don't. Any and all input would be greatly appreciated!! If you have particular knowledge about just one particular thingm please share that. If somebody says something and you disagree please speak up and share your reasonings.
    Here goes....

    Remember Make and Model

    Case tumbler
    Calipers (manual or electronic?)
    Case trimmer (manual or elec.)
    Lube
    Deburring tool
    Hand primmer ( should you use one?)
    Powder measurer
    Scale (manual or electronic?) (combo unit?)
    Press (Turret or single stage?)
    Dies
    Bullet puller
    Best manual
    Best DVD
    Trays

    Whats missing?
    Whats the best supplier (I'm using a Midway catalog)

    If we get a bunch of different answers maybe I'll put together a bunch of polls on each item and everyone can vote. Maybe we can put together the ultimate setup and post it as a sticky.

  2. #2

    Default

    How about you collecting models and makes and setting up the poll first, so no one has to retype your long list? I'll punch buttons on a poll, but I'm not going to type out the list.

  3. #3
    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    Default

    I of course have opinions and personal preference on re-loading equipment, but I really only have experience with the equipment that I own. What I am getting at is that I have not conducted any “comparison” tests on a specific item made by different manufactures. That said, I do have a very passionate and enthusiastic appreciation for my Lyman DPS III electronic powder dispenser and an equally passionate disdain for the RCBS hand primer that I own. I only own RCBS and Lyman presses and they work great. Are they better or worse than the other brands? I couldn’t say. Same goes for dies. I only have RCBS and LEE dies. Of these two, I prefer the RCBS.

    For the most part, I believe the old adage that you get what you pay for. I don’t think I would go so far as to say that the less expensive equipment is poorly constructed / designed or some how unserviceable but it may lack some of the refinements of the more expensive items.

    I have done a fair amount of business with Midway USA and have no complaints.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

  4. #4
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tboehm View Post
    I know that it's been asked about which equipment to buy, but I want to ask the question in a little different way. I'm sure that everyone realizes that manufacures make things differently but just because you make a certain product that is the best doesn't mean that you make the best of everything. I.E. per consumer reports, I bought 2 different washer and dryer manufactures. I use to reload many years ago and lost everything in a fire and never replaced it, well the time had come and I need your help. I don't really want a progressive machine but I was really leaning towards a turret. Pros and cons? I'm a firm believer in buying once. So please help me put together the best set of reloading equipment. What make and model is the best of ........ It would be real helpful if you would share your reasonings and logic why. I.E. this model has this little gizmo or gadget and the other doesn't, this one is more accurate or reliable. Power case trimmer vs manual....You get the idea. What little tool should you have that most people don't. Any and all input would be greatly appreciated!! If you have particular knowledge about just one particular thingm please share that. If somebody says something and you disagree please speak up and share your reasonings.
    Here goes....

    Remember Make and Model

    Case tumbler
    Calipers (manual or electronic?)
    Case trimmer (manual or elec.)
    Lube
    Deburring tool
    Hand primmer ( should you use one?)
    Powder measurer
    Scale (manual or electronic?) (combo unit?)
    Press (Turret or single stage?)
    Dies
    Bullet puller
    Best manual
    Best DVD
    Trays

    Whats missing?
    Whats the best supplier (I'm using a Midway catalog)

    If we get a bunch of different answers maybe I'll put together a bunch of polls on each item and everyone can vote. Maybe we can put together the ultimate setup and post it as a sticky.
    You have posted an interesting post. The key element you have left out, what level of accuracy you want to attain with your equipment? More than any other question, this is key to the type and brand of equipment you need.

    The dies you choose are the most important item you can get for the type or level you want to attain of accuracy. The press you choose has the least amount of influence on accuracy and the most influence on speed and ease of use.

    There are at least three different categories or levels to consider.

    (1) Hunting and plinking

    (2) All out accuracy.

    (3) high volume reloading for class three shooters (machine gun)

    The equipment you would use for each of these three varies greatly. You need to answer the most important question first, what are my needs, what do I want to achieve with reloading.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  5. #5
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    Default May I suggest putting the question another way?

    tboehm,

    Big Al has hit the nail on the head.

    Put in shooting terms, you can't hit what you are aiming at until you aim at something. What are you aiming at? Benchrest shooting? Volume reloading? What?

    What your original post seems (to me) to be asking is tantamount to asking a group of married guys to pick a wife for you. I don't know how much space you have for reloading, or even if you are made queasy by the sight of the color green. Likewise, a discussion of why I chose the equipment I chose would require me to give you my biography in order for you to understand my thinking behind my choices. Frankly, my choices have been determined as much by chance as by design (much like my marital choice, come to think of it).

    You probably know the general principals of equipment choice as well as any of us. You can apply your needs to the choice-making process infinitely better than the best of us. That you chose your washer and dryer independently of one another shows you choose with deep logic. As you obviously know, loading equipment choice is highly personal.

    How about we stand the question on its head and ask it this way; You tell us your shooting activities/quantities/frequency and what choices you are leaning towards (and why they appeal to you and fit your style) and we can give feedback.

    Kind of like, you are the shooter and we can be your spotter walking you into your target.

    I can get you started with a little survey;

    How do you feel about buying used equipment?
    Do you wish to make this a "buy all at once" (not a kit) setup or will you assemble your setup piece by piece?
    Do you have a dedicated loading space or will this be a setup you pack up and put away periodically (how often and how compact)?
    How much space do you have?
    Will you have one press or multiple (e.g. I have three-Rockchucker and two Lee 1000 progressives, one for large primers and one for small primers)?
    Are you "high maintenance" or "low maintenance" (that is, do you regularly change your motor oil, strip your guns and reloading equipment, sharpen lawnmower blades, etc. or tend to tinker with your gear only when it starts to squeak or behave oddly)?
    Do you load solo or have guests, helper(s), partners?
    Are there kids of other persons in the house you do not want to have access to your gear-is safety a concern?
    Non-gear, but still pertinent questions:
    Are you located where you have easy access to a large equipment store; could you make a dedicated trip to spend $1,000 in one economical mission?
    Do you enjoy the shopping experience (i.e. do you haggle, er, "negotiate" prices or do you habitually pay list)? In other words, are you comfortable saying to a manager, "I have chosen $800 worth of your equipment and $200 of factory ammo to buy. Would you heop me out by throwing in 1,000 bullets, 1,000 primers and two pounds of powder to close the deal?"

    Give us as much information as you can about your style and preferences as you can, and are comfortable with.

    Lost Sheep (Larry)
    Last edited by Lost Sheep; 06-15-2008 at 15:01. Reason: Spelling, punctuation and format.

  6. #6
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default great points

    I thought that my question was straight forward but I do understand the points that you all make. Lets start by saying, to me if you reload, maximum accuarcy is what would be most important, not bulk but thats the Marine in me but it would be for hunting. I can make the room for whatever if buy and want quality, buy it once!! Things like this, I would buy new and shopping the net or catalog will have to be the way. I would be a solo but may get the family involved and security/safety isn't an issue. I want to achieve a higher level of accuracy and save some money in the long run but have the satisfaction of harvesting game with my own loads. I'm not sure of the reasoning of having more than one press but I'm the rookie so I thought that I would start here for advice that way maybe I could eliminate some mistakes on my part.

    Brownbear = I understand your point but I wanted some input first to narrow things down a bit before making the polls

    LostSheep = Don't friend at least offer advice about potential wives, guns, boats etc.... I feel closer to the members of this forum and trust the points of view here compared to other forums.. Some of the stuff, I just don't know the right questions that I should be asking, so thanks for taking the time to rely so indepth.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tboehm View Post
    Remember Make and Model

    Case tumbler They are all made by the same co.
    Calipers (manual or electronic?) Starrett vernier
    Case trimmer (manual or elec.) The new Redding 2400
    Lube Imperial
    Deburring tool Sinclair
    Hand primmer ( should you use one?) RCBS bench mountd auto prime
    Powder measurer Redding BR models
    Scale (manual or electronic?) (combo unit?) Both a balance beam and digital Redding and Pact.
    Press (Turret or single stage?) Redding Big Boss (single) or T-7 (turret)
    Dies Redding
    Bullet puller Don't much matter.
    Best manual Nosler, Sierra, Speer, Hornady, Lapus, Vihta Vouri, Barnes, (all of them)
    Best DVD Load from a disk
    Trays Frankford Arsenal

    Whats missing? I don't know you did good.
    Whats the best supplier (I'm using a Midway catalog) Graf & Son

    If we get a bunch of different answers maybe I'll put together a bunch of polls on each item and everyone can vote. Maybe we can put together the ultimate setup and post it as a sticky.
    Here's my best guess. If I need a reason it would be becasue I do this over 300 days a year and I'm pretty good at it. Been at it since 1966.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by tboehm View Post
    Lets start by saying, to me if you reload, maximum accuarcy is what would be most important, not bulk but thats the Marine in me but it would be for hunting. I can make the room for whatever if buy and want quality, buy it once!!
    I certainly can't disagree with Murphy, however, although Redding dies are very good quality, custom dies and bullet seater will *probably* give you better accuracy and certainly longer case life. Big Al convinced me on this point a while back, and if he wants to elaborate I let him talk more about it. But...custom dies are spendy, so what are you willing to pay for accuarcy? How far might your hunting shots be? 300yds? 400yds? 500yds? 600yds? further? If you're not shooting farther than 400 yds, Redding dies will be more than enough. If you really want to reach out and touch something you might consider customs? They will give you a return on brass life and your brass (100 cases) will most likely out live your barrel, at least that's what I've been told.

    What did you leave out? Some folks use a bullet depth seating guide tool such as a Stoney Point, but I don't think Stoney Point makes them any more? But there are one or two other depth seating guides on the market. I don't think it is neccessary but some folks find them helpful.

    You didn't ask about components but I'll give you my two cents on brass and powder. If you want quality, I would recommend Norma or Lapua brass. As for powder, once again depending on far you want accuracy, I would recommend temp stable powders, such as the Hodgdon Extreme powders. They will give you a lot more consistancy in diff temperatures, If shooting less than 400 yds, it probably wont be that big of deal, but for longer shooting I would not consider anything but a temp stable powder.

    So when you say...

    to me if you reload, maximum accuarcy is what would be most important
    Just what do you mean by accuracy? MOA? 1/2 MOA? 300 yds? 600 yds? and how much do you want to spend?

  9. #9
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default some good info

    I'm thinking 500yrd because I don't think I would ever shoot anything farther than that and that what we shot in the Marine Corps. I can't give an honest answer about cost because I don't have a base line. I want things RIGHT and will pay what is necessary. I would like MOA to sub MOA if I can achieve it, again the Maine in me

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tboehm View Post
    I'm thinking 500yrd because I don't think I would ever shoot anything farther than that and that what we shot in the Marine Corps. I can't give an honest answer about cost because I don't have a base line. I want things RIGHT and will pay what is necessary. I would like MOA to sub MOA if I can achieve it, again the Maine in me
    If your handloads are sub MOA at 100 they will be at 500...well assuming all the other pertinate factors are in place, twist, bullet, etc. What I mean is that idf the handloads are good they are good all the way.

    The crappy old Redding dies I use are good enough for the 500 yard line. I do use Redding Micrometer seating dies and carbide neck expanders and primer pocket uniformers (the new Reddings are very good and come with a 1/4" hex driver attachment or can be used with a screwdrive handle). There are many little things that can be done to enhance accuracy but before purchasing the dies you'll want to price bench rest seaters, etc. if you want that level. There are many custom dies available and they are state of the art but if you shoot a common hunting caliber then there are common precision dies that will do the job and may save some money, they aren't cheap though.

    When I buy a set of high precision dies I buy a neck sizer die, a body die and a micrometer seater die. The neck die would be of the bushing type if it were for a varminter caliber or target caliber. My 6PPC, 6 XC, 6.5 BR, 6.5-284, 308 and 338 Lapua are of this type. I don't shoot 22 caliber much and varmint with the 6's or 6.5's. For all my normal hunting calibers I now buy the neck/body/micro sets. All of this is Redding and I'm telling you they ammo I make with this stuff will out shoot me and my rifles.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  11. #11
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default

    Here's my take:

    Calipers (manual or electronic?) Mitutyo 4" digital, you don't need a 6" for reloading and you'd be amazed how much more comfortable 4" are to use.

    Case trimmer (manual or elec.) I use a small 7X12 lathe, much more useful than a dedicated case trimmer.

    Lube: Imperial

    Deburring tool: I use a variety of tools, but prefer a vld style, as it makes seating bullets so much smoother.

    Hand primmer ( should you use one?) RCBS

    Powder measurer: Redding BR (haven't tried Harell, but they are supposed to be the best)

    Press (Turret or single stage?) Forster co-ax for a single stage, faster to change dies, great alignment, no shell holders. I've used a variety of single stage and turrets. I'd like to add a dillon progressive. I don't expect to ever replace the forster.

    Dies: Redding or Forster.

    Bullet puller: Go with a collet die, mine happens to be RCBS, there are others.

    Best manual: All of them, whatever bullet manufacturer you use, get their manual.

    The items I absolutely wouldn't want to load without are the Forster co-ax, Redding BR measure and Redding dies. The other items there are many workable options.

    A few further comments, RCBS gets alot of praise, but IMHO their items may be robust, but aren't manufactured to the tightest of tollerances, i.e. often over-rated and praised by those who haven't used better. Lee stuff is very inexpensive, but many of their items are very workable. I've assembled 1/2 moa ammo on Lee equiment before I upgraded, so you can get good to great results without the best tools.

  12. #12
    Member nrc's Avatar
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    Default best?

    dunno if i'd say best - but here's what I am keeping in stock today:

    Case tumbler - Midway house brand works fine.

    Calipers (manual or electronic?) - Manual. I don't have a brand preference, but a good solid case is nice to protect them from accidentally falling off the table, or getting knocked around. It is nice to be able to handle or inspect them before buying if you can.

    Case trimmer (manual or elec.). I have owned rcbs and forester. The rcbs one I've found to be easier to get collets and parts for. They both worked well. Again, I like manual better than elec.

    Lube - Case lube I like OneShot, although I have used rcbs spritzer lube in the past. I don't care much for the gel that you put on the rolling pad but that is just personal preference.

    Deburring tool - Lee. There are only a few spots where I like to save pennies and this is one of them. Again, manual.

    Hand primmer ( should you use one?) - Lee. this is another place where saving money is ok. I put 10k rounds thru my last lee priming tool. I only replaced it with an rcbs (also good) b/c that was all I could find locally on the day that I needed a new one.

    Powder measurer - Redding.

    Scale (manual or electronic?) (combo unit?) One of each. Separate units. The electric one b/c it is quicker and easier to use. The manual (single beam or triple beam) b/c it never fails and you can use it to double check your electronic one from time to time.

    Press (Turret or single stage?) - Either for starting out, but I wouldn't recommend a progressive press to anyone in the beginning. It helps to learn to walk before you run.

    Dies - Redding, RCBS, or Hornady (in that order). Nitride or Carbide if straight wall pistol calibers. Neil Jones if you have plenty of $ and compete for teeny tiny groups.

    Bullet puller - Any of the inertial (hammer-type) will do fine. Collet pullers are ok, but I reach for the hammer more often than the others.

    Best manual - Buy as many as you can afford. Buy new ones. Keep old ones. Buy from multiple bullet companies, and multiple powder companies. Read them all, even for the calibers you don't currently own.

    Best DVD - don't know. don't own any.

    Trays - One's as good as the other.

    Whats missing? - Ken Waters book "Pet Loads" is a fun read. Not as much for the reloading data as for the process and the methods he took when trying multiple loads to find a 'good one' for a given rifle or caliber.

    Whats the best supplier (I'm using a Midway catalog). Midway is good. Grafs is good. Natchez shooters supply. MidSouth Shooters supply. Your local sporting goods store is a great place to spend cash also. Keeps their doors open for those days when you find that you need something 'right now'.



    Good luck

    Nate

  13. #13
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    i looad for accuracy, not volume as I can get all the blasting ammo I want...this is what I use

    Case tumbler...the Lyman old beat up one at the shop, or I wash my cases in the dishwasher when SWMBO isn't looking

    Calipers (manual or electronic?) Manual Lymans...they were like $30 and according to our machinist, they are close to toolroom quality

    Case trimmer (manual or elec.) Lyman manual with electric screwdriver adapter

    Lube.... RCBS for when I full legnth size or do 7.65 Nagant, Hornady one shot for neck sizing

    Deburring tool ....Lyman VLD and I have probably 3 RCBS deburr tools

    Hand primmer ( should you use one?)I use the RCBS hand primer exclsuively, the one with the tray

    Powder measurer ....I rarely use but have an RCBS

    Scale (manual or electronic?) (combo unit?) Lyman DPS 1200 for production but I have an older RCBS 1010 for load development

    Press (Turret or single stage?)....RCBS

    Dies......RCBS, Hornady and Redding depending on whats being loaded, mostly Redding bushing neck sizer and seaters

    Bullet puller...RCBS Collet dies

    Best manual...The internet

    Trays...garage sale! Hornady, Sinclair, Forster, MTM

  14. #14
    Member e45colt's Avatar
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    Default Dillon

    Check out Dillon presses/dies and equipment and decide if they are right for you.

    www.Dillonprecision.com



    Ed

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