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Thread: hornady vs. RCBS reloading kit

  1. #1
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    Default hornady vs. RCBS reloading kit

    which do you think is better? i have read a few manuals, and both of these kits come with pretty much everything i need, save some components and minor other things. which is better built? can i really go wrong with either?

  2. #2

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    Both are good. I tend to have more green gear than red gear on my bench, but that's because I got started long before reloading gear was a gleam in Hornady's eye. The single up side for RCBS is their broader selection of dies and the ease of having them turn out customs, but at a price.

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    Member Akheloce's Avatar
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    I have lots of Hornady, RCBS, and Redding stuff, and the RCBS/ Hornady stuff is pretty good. It's kind of funny, but each has it's own quirks, so my stuff is all mixed together.

    I like the RCBS Press, the Hornady dies, and Redding powder measure. The cool thing about all of the major brands is that you can use the dies interchangeably in each other's presses.

    I personally don't think you can do wrong with either, but starting with a Rock Chucker kit worked great for me.

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    I started with an RCBS Master Reloading Kit a dozen or so years ago, and it got me going in the right direction. Of course, that was just the starting point of this reloading obsession for me.

    As BB said, they are both good, and I'm sure you already know that you can use dies from one to the other.

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    I don't have any thing from Horn. Most of my stuff is RCBS, although I like handgun dies from Lyman and rifle dies from Redding and bits and pieces from lots of other companies.

    RCBS really backs things up if you have a problem. I had a bullet seater turn into a bullet puller on DCM 308 match bullets. Shipped it off to RCBS and they fixed it. I had a hand primmer break...after 20-30 years or so...and they tried to send me a part for free; whole tool has changed so the new part wouldn't work but their heart was in the right place.

  6. #6

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    I have used RCBS reloading equipment for the last 23 years with out any issues. I haven't tried the Hornady equipment , but with the good experience I have had with RCBS, I doubt I would switch brands at this point.

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    I bought the Hornady Lock N Load AP. While decaping some crimped 5.56 brass I wasn't paying attention and on the up stroke ran the primer seater up into a crimped pocket where it stuck. On the next down stroke the seater tried to travel with the brass and I busted several parts of the primer seating system. I called Hornady to buy replacement parts and they wouldn't have any part in taking payment. All the parts I needed were at my house within a week at no charge. It was my mistake and I would have been more than willing to buy the parts and told them so. As they took care of this issue which was my fault I fully expect that if anything ever wears out or is damaged due to use that they will take care of it. I can't say anything about RCBS customer service they may be great also but as long as Hornady treats me this well I'll never find out.

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    Member gunbugs's Avatar
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    Generally Rcbs is more commonly available and local dealers are more likely to have replacement parts when you break something. However, both brands are good equipment. Lyman isn't bad either.

  9. #9

    Default Horandy Pacific

    "I got started long before reloading gear was a gleam in Hornady's eye. "

    Interesting, Hornady bought Pacific....and

    Pacific dates way back to the 30's: the Pacific Perfection press was an early product.

    Pacific developed the "C" press as we know it today as well.

    All before RCBS designs came about...

  10. #10
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    Default Both are good, but green is better

    I am not as old as some on this forum, but I've been reloading most of my life and have used equipment made by a vast array of manufacturers. I've no experience with Hornady's most recent additions and I understand their Lock n Load is well made, but their initial dies and equipment manufactured under their name was not of the best quality. I do not think it is ****ing with faint praise to say that RCBS makes better reloading equipment in general than does Hornady and no doubt that statement will irk some forum members. I prefer Redding products (dies, presses, powder measure) to RCBS and RCBS over Hornady, but that does not mean that Hornady will not or does not perform admirably for most reloaders. If you can save enough money by buying the red boxes so you will sleep better at night then buy Hornady and don't look back, but for the same dollar investment choose the green boxes, you'll be happy you did.

  11. #11

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    Redding, Dillon and RCBS do get my vote.

    I have owned many of the others, with varied results.

    Dillon and RCBS have provided parts I have trashed for free; I have not trashed anything Redding yet.

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    Default They all work.

    I've owned almost every brand. There is an old Pacific press that works on the up stroke that I like in certain instances, it has the shellholder milled into the top of the ram. I've never had any thing that wasn't servicable. Remember this is a start, you'll be adding to and upgrading, don't get too hungup on color. If price was not a concern I would a lot more Redding equiptment. Get started, you'll develope your own preferences. You can't go wrong with either.

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    Neither, I'd say the Forster co-ax is the best single stage press, and go Redding for everything else, including dies.

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    Go RCBS, Dillon and Redding are the only better brands than RCBS IMHO. All the makers make 'some' good stuff within their product lines. For example LEE dies are very good for the money, but much of their other stuff, even though it will work, is way on the junky side.
    Andy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Neither, I'd say the Forster co-ax is the best single stage press, and go Redding for everything else, including dies.
    No argument on the Co-Ax press from me, but he is looking to start in reloading and a kit will cost only a bit more than the Co-Ax by itself. For a beginner in reloading, one of the kits makes some sense and can save him a bit of money, though I would prefer buying individual items to tailor my equipment to my needs and expectations.

  16. #16

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    I cut my eye teeth on an old single stage Herters press. I had one set of dies for that thing (270 win) because I only had one rifle way back then.

    The last 31 years all of my reloading has been done on the same old Rock Chucker. A whole five gallon bucket of spent primers worth! No wonder my right arm is bigger than my left! Since its basicly the only one I've ever had its kind hard for me to have an opinion about the rest!

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    I cut my eye teeth on an old single stage Herters press. I had one set of dies for that thing (270 win) because I only had one rifle way back then.

    The last 31 years all of my reloading has been done on the same old Rock Chucker. A whole five gallon bucket of spent primers worth! No wonder my right arm is bigger than my left! Since its basicly the only one I've ever had its kind hard for me to have an opinion about the rest!

    Hard to beat an RCBS Rock Chucker. I now have 2 of them, I came home from laying Dad to rest in Phoenix last week with his 1960s Rock Chucker in my suitcase and shipped 200lbs of other reloading stuff.


    Very off topic here but a funny story for ya’ll.
    After Dad passed all us ‘kids’ were going through stuff and I found a pair of new spurs, well new in 1961, and still had the tag and everything. It was odd since Dad was the kind of man that used things as they were intended, not keep things in as new condition. So I went and asked my brothers what the heck and they said “no . . . they can’t be!” Well it seems as kids in 1961 they were accused of stealing spurs from the local feed store when they had done nothing but buy 2 sodapops. They got their backsides beat and were forced to pay for a pair of spurs they never even took.

    So like teen age boys they went and got even by acutely steeling the spurs they paid for, but as soon as they got home Dad was waiting for them and they took some more licks and again had to pay up. All these years they assumed Dad returned the spurs and never spoke of the event till I found the hidden loot. They now have one spur each, one with the price tag ($12.95) and the other with the label tag . . . both good conversation starters!!
    Andy
    On the web= C-lazy-F.co
    Email= Andy@C-lazy-F.co
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  18. #18
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    Default Hornady versus RCBS

    Well, I am like most on here. i got some red, green, orange at one time, blue and a few other colors here and there.
    I went from a Lyman orange crusher press in their master kit to the Redding T-7 last year. That is a great machine and I like it better than the "O-Frame" type presses because the opening is really, well, open.
    I have an RCBS hand primer and powder measure. Great stuff, very smooth.
    I had the Lyman trimmer in the kit, then got a Redding 1400, which is awful for my hands, and now have a Wilson trimmer. I feel that the Wilson unit is the best trimmer that can be had. I also went from a Lyman scale in the kit, which broke, to an RCBS unit which I like better than my Pact BBK electronic scale. I also load better rounds with the beam scale, go figure. I now use the electronic scale to test the weights on random bullets I find laying under the bench, or somewhere. I started with a Lyman trickler, then went to a Midway USA electric one, now I use a plain old RCBS unit. RCBS is just flat out exceptional with their customer service as most have stated. Same stories so I won't bore ya'll with any. I almost forgot my Hornady Progressive. I bought mine used (well used) from a friend in Virginia about 15 years back who was loading commercially for the local sherriffs dept and he didn't have the Hornady powder drop, so I got a Dillon one to use with it. He explained how to use it and how you had to buy the bushings and funnels for it. That was my first taste of Dillon, and it was GOOD. I ended up just not liking that Hornady progressive very much so I sold it a couple years back to a guy on here. I hope he likes it, but I kind of didn't, though it was an overall fine product. I just didn't need the progressive back then. I now have a RL-550 and I really like that machine. If you like cranking out a LOT of 223, and the various pistol rounds like 9, 40, and 45, then you would love one of them. It can do most all rifle ammo, but its practicality just isn't good for cranking out 20 rounds of 300 Win Mag for a moose hunt. it needs room to breathe a little bit.. It takes me more than 20 rounds to get it set up and adjusted and tweaked just right. But their customer service is awesome too. you can't hardly buy any parts and widgets from them. They just won't take any money for broken items.

    The moral of this rambling is, buy whatever you can get a good deal on, or find at a garage sale or something like that. if you can get a kit for a good deal, go for it. Sooner or later, you'll replace something you don't like as much, or your buddy will show you something that you'll end up falling in love with. Then all your stuff will look like ours! Like a rainbow of sorts.
    ... as soon as I can get the keys to my new house, and set up my stuff, I am going to post pics of it on here and ask for input on setup and layout. good luck in your search!

  19. #19
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    This is a gereat thread.

    I would love an answer to the following (possibly ignorant) question:

    I want to start out reloading for my 340 Wby. I plan/hope to reload from my used brass or brass bought from Wby or whoever. What exactly do I need (not counting bullets/powder/brass), including kit, reading material, etc... ?

    I assume I need the RCBS kit, but what else?

    What is the best source to figure out what powder type/weight works best--for example pushing a 250/300gr bullet out of a 340 Wby case?

    Thanks in advance.

  20. #20

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    Marinehawk,
    I just got into reloading myself. I think i have listed the basic necessities below. Like many, many others have said before on this forum. You probably won't save much by reloading your own but you will shoot more and appreciate it more when you shoot your own handloads.

    Reloading Manual, I have Hornady and Speer. I would get whatever bullet companies manuals that you will be using.
    Press
    Dies
    Case Lube & Pad
    Case Trimmer (Lee seems to work fine for me and they're cheap)
    Deburring/Chamfer Tool
    Neck brush for applying a little lube to inside of the neck
    Primer Pocket Uniformer
    Primer Tool (I use the RCBS Hand primer tool, works fine)
    Caliper
    Scale
    Powder Funnel
    Reloading Tray
    Powder Trickler (comes in handy)
    And then the obvious... primers, bullets, cases and powder.

    PS- Post your questions about loads on this forum, everyone has been really helpful to me. In fact, I probably wouldn't have started reloading without this forum.

    Mike
    Last edited by MikeStaten; 10-01-2009 at 07:24. Reason: typo

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