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Thread: what do I need?

  1. #1
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default what do I need?

    OK, I have several rifles that are pretty much killing my budget and ultimately necesitating that I get into reloading in order to shoot as much as I would like to.
    Here are rounds that are giving me fits:
    325WSM ($65 a box!!!)
    270 WSM (cheaper but still stupid expensive)
    10mm (not too big a deal w/ a 40s&w barrel for plinking)

    I will probably add a 6.8SPC in the fairly near future which will need to be fed and I am concidering a dyno thumper like the 416 Ruger as well.

    I keep thinking about just buying a master reloading kit from RCBS is that the way to go to get started? Are some companies better at certain things than others? What is hard to get vs what can I run down to S/W or Chimo's and pick up w/ no issue? Should I order dies now, are they hard to find?
    I havn't told him yet but I am going to bug Wholden to show me the ropes and get me started, I just figure I should start putting the hard to find stuff on order now! Given the cartriges above what primers and powder would be good to have on hand?

    You get the idea, basically I want to have everything in order so that I can start working up test loads when I get back

  2. #2
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default Getting Started Myself

    I'm just into my setup, and seriously recommend "building a custom system" vs. getting the RCBS kit which I did. Am realizing I could have done better putting it together following advice of guys here on the Handloading Forum. (check for recent threads on getting started reloading and or setting up system for excellent advisors and guys to ask for tips. We've recently been discussing this at length.

    The kit is good and I was working rounds within a few days of return from Anch (which was what I wanted to do) so bought Kit but am seeing I could have done better with just the RCBS press and getting a better digital scale/dispenser for powder than what the kit had. Also needed stuff like a Case Trimmer and other small tools right away so I am still getting stuff...(maybe a case vibrator, etc.)

    I think I could have even saved money or at least got the ideal setup piecemeal and been ahead in the end.

    I'm loading for 270WSM and dies are not hard to find, saving money BIG TIME on the $40 a box in Kodiak prices!!

    Check out recent threads on this, I'll send some to you when I get time to look around

  3. #3
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Default

    All the makers stuff works but they all have some great products and some not so great . . . kind of a case by case thing. Like Lee makes good dies but much of their other stuff is subpar, works but . . .

    I like RCBS for value and availability best myself but I use a little of everything. The kit gets you going fast but you will be swapping stuff out before long.

    The best bet is always to find a mentor to walk you through starting out. You get to use some stuff and get a much better idea what you like and don’t before you put out the cash.

    As for the press its self goes I am a firm believer that everyone needs an old standby RCBS Rockcrusher (or the same quality in another brand) press so you may as well just start out with one. A lesser press will likely be room décor at some point or become a de-priming station. So go on and get a good heavy iron “O” type press to start with, you can de-prime with a $25 Lee “C” press if you want.

    There are threads with starting equipment lists that you should read also, I’m sure someone will remember the titles but I don’t right now.
    Andy
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    Default

    Hey Lujon...do it and don't look back. Reloading is relatively easy to get started, a relaxing and healthy leisure activity, and very rewarding. It does get more complicated with time. However, fine-tuning a customized round for your rifle or pistol for optimal accuracy, and then someday actually harvesting an animal with your handload is like catching your first fish on a fly that you tied, cast by a fly-rod that you made...TIMES TEN!!

    I agree completely with Andy's comments and suggestions. I started with an RCBS Master set. Kodiak has a good point that you may end-up with an inexpensive piece or two that you may not use, but I still think it's the way to start. Then beware...there are many more gadgets and "must have" things that you will start accumulating.

    One other point...reloading your 10mm is going to be less rewarding than rifle with a single stage press (at least for me). I can shoot through a whole bunch of handgun ammo that takes a long time to produce on a single-stage press. That's why I added a Dillon progressive press to my reloading bench....like I said...beware.

    Doc

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Default

    LOL Jon. i started out with 3 cal in mind also... now have 17 set ups in the locker, you ve read enough threads to get started on equipment ... just do it.. it is a great way to while away evening time and spend all day shooting with your boys and do it again! once all the equipment is bought,, bullets are still affordable, brass is reused,,, i think i get ~ 145 rnds of .270 off a lb of RL19 @24.00 and buy seconds for shooting ~10.00 per 50

    you may Not break even this year but you will the next and can afford to shoot Way more often
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    Member AKsoldier's Avatar
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    Default

    Whichever brand you decide to go with, a kit is a good way to get started. It gives you almost everything you need at a lower price than buying each item individually. Then over time you can upgrade your setup. I started with the Lee anniversary kit and I'm still using most of the components including the press, years later. It will not only save you money over time, it will also greatly add to your enjoyment of shooting. Good luck! And WHOLDEN is a great resource - he's a good choice to help you get started.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

    Noone has a more intimate understanding of, or deeper appreciation for freedom, than a soldier who has fought for it in a country where it does not exist.

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    Default

    This is certaintly a debateable topic but I'll offer my comments as to what I would purchase if all my gear was stolen and I had to restart.

    RCBS Rock Chucker
    RCBS Hand priming tool
    RCBS or Hornady trimmer kit
    Any reasonably priced powder measure
    RCBS beam balance scale or anything similar
    Lube pad
    Funnel
    Case deburring tool
    Dies and shell holders of your choice - RCBS, Redding, or Hornady
    3-4 Reloading manuals, Hornady, Speer, Nosler, Barnes, etc. These can give you different suggestions as to loads when you are trying new components.

    Other small tools will be added later as you gain more experience.
    Tennessee

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc View Post
    One other point...reloading your 10mm is going to be less rewarding than rifle with a single stage press (at least for me). I can shoot through a whole bunch of handgun ammo that takes a long time to produce on a single-stage press. That's why I added a Dillon progressive press to my reloading bench....like I said...beware.

    Doc
    Yup and if you go with a progressive press don't bother with anything but a Dillon, they are worth every dime.


    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
    Dies and shell holders of your choice - RCBS, Redding, or Hornady
    Very good list Snowwolf and this line made me remember a good tidbit.

    Itís best to stick with shell holders made by the same manufacture as your dies. Most holders will work with most dies but not all and you can run into an occasional hitch mixing makers here. A small plus for Lee die sets is that they come with matched holders.
    Andy
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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Default

    One more thing to consider. The 325WSM is more of a challenge to find stuff for. The shell holder and neck pilot are not included in the kits. You will have to purchase a #43 shell holder for RCBS and a .323 neck pilot.

    I have both a 270wsm and 325wsm, you will find limited factory offerings, with 325wsm being the worst. All I can find for it locally is Winchester factory.

    Once you start you will not look back. PM me I have some stuff I would donate to you to get you started.

    Murphy helped me get back into reloading and saved me a bunch of money, by providing me with some great advice. Much can be learned from checking out a couple different setups.

    Steve

  10. #10
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default another thread

    LuJon, another thread with good convers. is "wanting to start reloading" you've probably found it already but, was a good one for me.

    Others: Found my reloading kit
    Neck Sizer for sure?
    Missing something? (which by the way I did find some manuals I had misplaced in reciepts pile somewhere later)
    Looking to get started
    Anyone loading 270WSM
    What will it cost me to get started reloading

    Just mentioning some that I have learned a lot from, lots of good advice, some of these are further back in archive a bit

    Go to admit I really like my RCBS rockchucker stuff, very well made and working smoothly with NO complaints as to the gear, I realize I may not have got the Master kit, worth checking to see what that has in it against these lists of equipment mentioned above, Mine was the Rockchucker supreme, Good Kit that will get you started for sure

  11. #11
    Member DanAKAL's Avatar
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    Default

    Hmmmm.........No one has said anything about a reloading manual.

    Lujon, Been meaning to tell you that I really like your avatar. But back to reloading. I believe your first reloading purchase should be a book. "Lyman's 49th" and "ABC's of Reloading" are two very good ones that quickly come to mind. Furthermore I believe that you should read one, or more, of these manuals all of the way through before you buy anything. After reading you will have a much better understanding of what you need, what you want, and what you think you might need. It seems you are away now and if you could get a manual now you would have a much better idea of what to get when you get back.

    As for which brand of equipment. It's hard to go wrong with anything from RCBS, Lyman, Hornady, or Redding. Anything from these manufacturers does its intended function and does it well. When you start thinking about a progressive press include Dillon's name in the above list. Kits can help you get most of the stuff in one box or there is nothing wrong with buying one piece at a time. When setting up a new reloading station I usually go with the kits. (I have three stations in different parts of the country. Two of them are mostly Lyman and one mostly RCBS.) RCBS is probably the most popular as well as most available. Most RCBS stuff is available at Sportsmans. There is some Lyman and Hornady gear available there but mostly RCBS. There is nothing wrong with any of this gear. Lee has a following of users and to be honest I haven't used much of their stuff. However, looking at it on display side by side with other manfacturers I will almost always opt for something other than Lee.

    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...672&id=0061189

    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...233&hasJS=true

    Dan

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    Default

    I personally would buy the peices individual but I know what works for me already. You can't really go wrong with one of the kits from rcbs lyman hornady and such but some of the pieces won't be used much if at all. Lee makes some good stuff that is some less money than the other brands but some of there stuff is very good and some is not. Some of their presses are very good (Classic Cast) others like the little open frame aluminum thing don't impress me much. I like their dies but don't care for there powder handling tools. I really like some of their case trimmer tools but understand why some wouldn't. So. Get the ABCs of reloading and a couple of other manuals and study them. Then have someone that has been at it for a while show you their setup and what works for them. I would be glad to show you through the loading process if you want. I have a Lee hand press, rcbs rock chucker two different lyman turret presses and a dillon 550b setup so you can see where you want to start. Send me a PM if you need a mentor as I enjoy getting people started reloading. I also cast bullets if thats of interest.

  13. #13
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default On Manuals

    I hung out in the Warehouse for a while comparing manuals as they tell a lot of the same stuff it seems, little differences and tips but not enough to buy all the manuals. My choice of the best there was Hornady and I am impressed with the info, detail on Neck Sizing, etc. Had a Speer one with the RCBS kit which is ok but...

    Best move was go to the library and they have a bunch of them so I can take them home, read hard, decide which I needed to buy. I think you will want different load tables to compare when figuring out powder loads on your bench

    I also just ordered newest version of the Nosler manual as I have several of their bullets to load also

    There was a good idea posted about reading some of them before buying your equipment, I agree.

    Question for you Experienced guys, sounds like most of you have either Turret Presses or several presses, so there's a lot of advice to buy the kit.... why? Just to keep starting out easy and simple or...

    I'm wondering if I had known more about what a Turret Press does if I would have sprung the extra $ to avoid changing dies so much....?

    Just read on here, something about having a dedicated depriming dies in another thread and it made a good case for yet "Another Press" on the bench?

  14. #14
    Member Alaska Bush Hunter's Avatar
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    Thumbs up RCBS RockChucker Kit

    Bought a RCBS RockChucker back in the early 70's still use it today.

    The Kit has everything U need.......except dies, brass powder, trimmer, bullets and primers.

    Sierra is the best manual that I suggest........and maybe the ABC's of Handloading.

    Lee is cheap so cheap is what you get.

    RCBS and Hornady offer so good reloading equipment as well as Lyman "Crusher" press.
    www.midwayusa.com offers good reloading equipment for sale.

  15. #15

    Default

    LuJon,

    I usually dont go for kits because many of the componants may not give me some functions I'm looking for or I may get components I just dont need. I like to buy the best component for the job at the best price, whether it's RCBS, Lyman, Lee, Redding, etc. If you can get a good price on a kit per component, then it might be worht it to add stuff you want/need and sell stuff you dont need. One good argument for buying piece meal is that you can get alot of stuff on E-bay or out of the local rag, garage sales, etc. for a good price.

    I will make a specific recommendation - look real hard at the Hornady New Dimension dies.

    Whatever you decide, welcome to the fun and rewarding world of reloading and make sure your life insurance is paid up

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    Jon,
    PM me your mailing address over there and I will send you some reading material to get you going. When you get back you can come on over and check out what I have going on and maybe get some ideas.

    When you figure out what you want I would first go to the swap and sell forum and ask there first. Most people that do a lot of reloading usually have extras because of an upgrade or whatever that they might get rid of. Next I would hit a gun show if there is one around when you get back. After that hit the internet for deals both on EBay then with Cabelas, Midway, Brownells. Boondocks, GNG, Mountain View Sports and a few others local also have some good stuff in stock (even SW now). Lots of times their prices are on par with on line when you factor in shipping and handling.

    Hurry up, come on home and lets go shopping! (I love spending other people's money LOL)

    Stay safe!

    Will

  17. #17
    Member DanAKAL's Avatar
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    Default Presses

    Kodiakrain, I'm not the most experienced but I have been loading for awhile. My primary loading set up includes a Lyman T-Mag turret press and a Lyman Crusher O-Frame press. I do most of my loading in the T-Mag and most decapping and sizing in the Crusher. I have several turret heads (the top piece of the press that holds the dies and rotates) with the dies set up and I just change out the heads for the caliber I wish to load. The Crusher more often than not has my universal decapping die installed. My sequence goes something like this.
    - When I get home from the range I decap all of my brass and put them in the vibratory cleaner.
    - After cleaning if I wish to size my brass I change the die in the Crusher and size them.
    - Next I prime the cases with a hand priming tool.
    - Move to the T-Mag and charge the cases using a powder through expander.
    - Then seat and crimp bullets.
    This set up works for me. I'm sure a fully progressive press would be faster to use but this works for me. Especially since this sequence allows me the room to have more than one caliber in each turret head.

    I have other stations where I use only an O-Frame press and change the dies as necessary. I started with the Crusher and learned the process, and at least some of the pit falls, of reloading before I decided exactly how I wanted to load. There are advantages and disadvantages to starting with an O-Frame but I believe the advantages are greater than the disadvantages. If nothing else I have an O-Frame press that I can do anything with.

    Kits vs. one piece purchase. When I bought my kit I was sort of overwhelmed with just picking out the stuff I thought I needed. When priced out seperately the kit was a good price for what was in the box. An example of how this worked was that I got my press, case trimmer, lube pad, powder measure, and most everything else I wanted all at once. An example of how this didn't work was that I soon learned that I much prefer a dedicated hand priming tool to the ones installed on the press. So it is kind of to each his own and you really won't know what you like until you start doing it.

    My recomedation is almost always to start with an O-Frame press. When you are comfortable loading on an O-Frame then look to a turret or progressive press. The primary reason for this is that until you load some you really won't know what you want. The secondary reason is that you will always find something to do with an O-Frame press regardless if you own another more convienent press.

    Dan

  18. #18
    Member raoul duke's Avatar
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    Default reloading!

    i am no expert,by any stretch, but the best advice i ever received, was to start with a straight wall round. these built my confidence with very consistent results and, they are the easiest to to load.
    Fast is fine, but accuracy is final. You need to learn to be slow in a hurry! Wyatt Earp.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    hmmm, I don't really own any straight wall cartridges! I will probably have to start w/ WSM since it is what I shoot....Or just use this as an excuse to buy a 45/70

    From looking around I am kind of tempted to get a Redding T7 turret press, Dillon D-Terminator e-scale, and a Redding 3BR powder measure. It seems that combo would make a pretty strong foundation that I could grow off of without ever needing to "upgrade" them. I really like the idea of the turret press to keep from having to re-setup the dies for each cartridge switch. Just buy extra turrets and drive on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    hmmm, I don't really own any straight wall cartridges! I will probably have to start w/ WSM since it is what I shoot....Or just use this as an excuse to buy a 45/70

    From looking around I am kind of tempted to get a Redding T7 turret press, Dillon D-Terminator e-scale, and a Redding 3BR powder measure. It seems that combo would make a pretty strong foundation that I could grow off of without ever needing to "upgrade" them. I really like the idea of the turret press to keep from having to re-setup the dies for each cartridge switch. Just buy extra turrets and drive on.
    Jon,
    That's basically what I have. Only difference is I use the RCBS Chargmaster 1500 combo. The T7 is awesome!

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