Cost of a handloading setup


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twoblink
September 12, 2008, 11:34 PM
Hey guys,

What am I looking at in terms of $$$ as far as a handloading setup?

I'd like a press, so any recommendations or links would be great.

I like the staged ones..

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Strongbad
September 12, 2008, 11:39 PM
What are you going to be loading for, and what is your budget? Just starting out, you'll want a single stage. Save the progressives for once you've got some practice under your belt. Most of the major mfg. have kits that will have you pretty well covered. RCBS, Redding, Lyman, etc. For a complete setup that'll pretty much have everything you'll need, you're probably looking at around $300. You can get away with less, but if you've got the cash, I'd drop the $300 and be done with it. :)

Lee has some less expensive kits as well. The Lee equipment is decent. Some of it's pretty good, and some of it's pretty cheesy. The compromise is the price. :) I went with an RCBS kit years ago. Now the kit contains different equipment, but it's still a good setup.

Anyway, I'm sure this will be the first response of dozens... so get your pen and paper ready. :)

benzuncle
September 13, 2008, 12:07 AM
Twoblink, share a little more info: what caliber(s) do you plan to shoot? How many rounds will you need? How much time are you wanting to spend reloading? (For some it's a process; for others it has become another hobby.)The reloading spectrum is pretty broad. If all else fails, go back through the plethora of threads on this forum and "gather ye" up some excellent info. Once you've done that, all that will be left is to decide how much $$ you are willing to part with.

jmorris
September 13, 2008, 11:04 AM
Yeah, you’re going to need a little more info. You can go low buck with a Lee classic loader at $18.99 that you might be able to load 20 rounds an hour with or you could spend $25,000 on an Ammoload/Camdex and load over 5000 rounds an hour. Most fall somewhere in between based on needs and budget.

Seafarer12
September 13, 2008, 01:15 PM
If your serious I would reccomend not getting the cheapest of everything. I have some Lee stuff and it works fine but after you work with some of the higher priced stuff you know where the extra money goes. You can get an RCBS single stage kit for about 250 and will include just about everything you need minus dies. It will mainly all depend on what your loading and how much of it you need.

RustyFN
September 13, 2008, 01:43 PM
If your serious I would reccomend not getting the cheapest of everything. I have some Lee stuff and it works fine but after you work with some of the higher priced stuff you know where the extra money goes. You can get an RCBS single stage kit for about 250 and will include just about everything you need minus dies.
I would agree with that as far as the Lee scale and some parts. Don't be afraid to start with some of the Lee presses. The Lee classic cast single stage and turret are very sturdy and built to last a lifetime. I don't have any experience with their progressives but would probably go a different brand if I was going to buy a progressive. It all depends on your needs and budget. A single stage will load around 50 to 75 per hour. A classic turret will load around 200 per hour. A progressive will load around 350 per hour and up depending on how much you want to spend. I wouldn't start will anything less than a single stage. You can start for as little as $100 and go up to $2,000 for some progressives. As others said it would be very helpful to have more information.
Rusty

Otto
September 13, 2008, 01:56 PM
....

scrat
September 13, 2008, 02:16 PM
$500 for a single stage or turret setup.
$1000 for a progressive setup.

Last edited by Otto : Today at 09:58 AM. Reason: Price increase

Where the heck did you get your figures from. Gold presses are us.



A single stage set up can be done for about $150.00

lee challenger kit $84.99 at midway
http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=423081&t=11082005
Lee turret press kit $145.99 http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/catalog/browse.cgi?1221326016.4369=/html/catalog/rlpress2.html#LeeAnniversaryPack

cost of dies average 40.00 After that you need to get powder, primers and bullets.

Marlin 45 carbine
September 13, 2008, 04:42 PM
if you get a single-stage setup think about scrounging up a used spare single and another set of shell holders.
you'd be surprised at the increased speed when you set up the process in sequence - and get a shooting buddy to run the seat/crimp die too. particular on high volume pistol rounds.

Gord
September 13, 2008, 05:13 PM
Alright, my turn. I've refrained from posting since the "how much is this gonna cost me" threads seem to be looked upon as a mild annoyance here, but since someone else already started...

What should I be looking for to do .223, 9mm and maybe .45?

RustyFN
September 13, 2008, 05:40 PM
Where the heck did you get your figures from. Gold presses are us.
That's the same thing I thought. You can buy a single stage kit for around $100 and the classic turret for around $250 including calipers and tumbler.
Tactical Ninja:
Alright, my turn. I've refrained from posting since the "how much is this gonna cost me" threads seem to be looked upon as a mild annoyance here, but since someone else already started...

What should I be looking for to do .223, 9mm and maybe .45?
We all had to start at one point. I would say most people don't look at it that way. Again it depends on your needs and budget. I load on the classic turret and load 9mm, 38/357, 45 auto and 223. It has been a great press for me over the last two years. I started shooting a lot more after I started reloading because I started shooting competition. The classic meets my needs no problem. Most people load around 200 per hour. I load 200 pistol per hour and after case prep 223 at 250 per hour. You can see some good videos of the classic on youtube or the Lee web site.
Rusty

scrat
September 13, 2008, 06:19 PM
For initial start up less than 500. now what i have is alot more but then i do a lot more than most people. i have various presses, lubrisizer, casting equipment, molds, roundballs, patches, fillers, wads, shot, hulls, various calipers, various powder measures from weight to volume for black powder. Various lubes tumblers. So i dont consider my self the average reloader. i reload smokeless rifle, handgun, shotgun. i reload black powder shotgun, handgun, i cast all my bullets including 50cal muzzle loading, round balls for cap and ball. I doubt the beginner will get into this this far. So quickly. Just getting in for rifle the classic cast is a great bargain. then turret press is another great bargain. When you get the kits all you need is the dies, powder, primers bullets and some calipers.

Otto
September 13, 2008, 06:41 PM
....

scrat
September 13, 2008, 06:50 PM
Now like i mentioned earlier depends on which one they want turret or single stage. After that they need calipers, dies case length guage, powders primer bullets. As far as the equipment. I would still recomend books. Heck if you want to talk cost. We all know its possible it works and is time consuming but the lee loaders still work i have about 8 of them. its just very time consuming and they still run for about 20.00. So i would not say good luck. I would say welcome

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q77/scratm3/50AnniversaryKit.jpg

scrat
September 13, 2008, 06:53 PM
Available kits

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q77/scratm3/hpk.jpg
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q77/scratm3/deluxeTPkit.jpg
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q77/scratm3/breechlockkit.jpg

Seafarer12
September 13, 2008, 06:53 PM
Where the heck did you get your figures from. Gold presses are us.



A single stage set up can be done for about $150.00

You can get a bare bones set up for 150.00 but you would need to tack on some extra money for other stuff you don't think about untill you start reloading and relize loading ammo with a bare bones kit is a PITA. I mean priming cases with a single stage press has got to be one of the biggest PITA's around. A hand primer is worth every penny in my book.

scrat
September 13, 2008, 06:56 PM
Seafarer12 it comes in the kit. look above the hand held primer is there. The kits now adays are awesome.

benzuncle
September 13, 2008, 07:04 PM
I went back and did a little checking.
I ordered on Jan. 12, 2008 from www.kempgunshop.com
It was delivered Jan. 18, 2008. I chose Kempf because they had everything in stock. I would have used Midway but they were backordered on some items; Kempf had'em all.
Lee Classic Turret Press Kit for 45ACP - $149.95
Upgrade to Pro Auto Disk Powder Measure - $11.95
Upgrade to Lever Prime System for Lg. & Sm. Primers - $8.00
Lee Safety Powder Scale - $ 20.95
Kinetic Bullet Puller - $14.95
SS Dial Caliper - $24.95
Thumler Tumbler Model UV-10 with cleaning media - $99.95
Kit included 6-50 round ammo boxes
Sub-Total $330.70

Workbench from COSTCO - $75.00
4ft. Fluorescent light - $31.00
TOTAL $436.70
*This price did not include bullets, brass, primers or powder*
The bench suits my needs perfectly. It resides in the corner of the Warden's sewing room. The Thumbler UV-10 Tumbler is very well put together. It has a cooling fan for the motor. I added a cheap ass timer so it won't run for 3 days. (I gleaned that idea from another loader that forgot and let his tumbler run for days instead of 3 hours.) The tumbler is stored in a 5 gal. bucket and is carried to the utility room to do its dance. I'm as pleased as can be with the Lee Classic Turret. My only complaint is that it did not come with the billiard ball that RustyFN has adorned his with. He has also installed a small light so he can see into the casing to make sure it is charged and not double charged.

So, for the price of 1 handgun, I'm paying less for 50 rounds of 45ACP than others are buying their 9m for. Fair trade for me. And adding calibers is inexpensive and very easy to do, thanks to the 4-hole turret.

Gord
September 13, 2008, 07:06 PM
Again it depends on your needs and budget.

This would just be practice/plinking ammo for the range; capability on the order of 200 rds/hr would be nice, but 100-150/hr is workable too. Budget would be $300 or under, to start.

Otto, how about some alternative suggestions or constructive input, rather than simply berating others' responses without explanation?

As an example,
And why do beginners need to start with Lee equipment in the first place?

Why not? I've heard that Lee makes fine beginner's kits.

Seafarer12
September 13, 2008, 07:09 PM
I never cared for the Lee hand primers. You need special shell holders that are only for it and they are kind of flimsy. I have an RCBS with the universal shell holder on it. I picked it up from the bargin cave at Cabelas for 10 bucks. I just took all 5 of them they had there and pieced one complete one together. Even at 40 bucks they are worth every penny.
Like I said I have nothing against Lee stuff. If your looking for cheap they are the way to go but you can tell the difference with the higher dollar stuff. And never forget about used stuff. I have a CH auto champ that I have 50 bucks in. I spent more on powder bushings and primer tubes than I spent on the press. I have two pardner presses I have about 20 each in and a Lee progressive I have about 10 bucks in but it isnt complete. Used stuff can really save you some cash.

scrat
September 13, 2008, 07:13 PM
Hey Scrat, are you some kind of Lee sales representative?
And why do beginners need to start with Lee equipment in the first place?

Nope its a matter of economics. When you first learned how to drive did your parents go out and buy you a mercedes, jaguar, bmw. Or were you the kid who was happy to drive the ford pinto. For people who start up with no experience in reloading its cost effective to get a lee. That or if you have done all your research and maybe know someone that is in to reloading then you may be able to find a used dillon or rcbs. I have rcbs as well as other makes. Its just cost effective. for a 300.00 budget then i suggest lee again.


Take a look at benzuncle. he mentioned getting the lee safety scale for 20.00 Well it comes with the kit now. Everything else he mentioned were upgrades. Thats like buying the ford pinto and putting on mag wheels, a leather steering wheel cover, chrome shifting knob. They work the upgrades may be easier but the basic kit has the essential parts needed to get someone into reloading. It will make a fellow shooter into a new reloader. Yes they will have a ton of questions and will come back here for answers. This happens all the time. i will never make fun of the guy with the lee and worship the guy with the Star. there are plenty of us here who have lee products. We all know the products are cost effective and work. Thats all im saying.

Eric F
September 13, 2008, 07:13 PM
I have 2 presses I load 6 diffrent calibers all of my equipment dies included have cost far less than $500. In fact if you shop around hit gun broker and ebay you can come up with everything you need plus some "comfert equipment" for $75-$125 starting. Also that little $30 device from lee is great for stuff you shoot once in a while.

scrat
September 13, 2008, 07:20 PM
Take a look at the reloading work benches thread look at all the red presses and equipment

Art Eatman
September 13, 2008, 07:57 PM
Twoblink is in Taiwan, so he's gonna have to work with somebody in the States if he wants to put a package together at a reasonable price...

Eric F
September 13, 2008, 07:59 PM
Huh well if you own Hornaday why recomend lee and Dillions? Strange.

But again lets review some unanswered questions.
Now what would you recomend to start out on?
Otto did you change your mind on beginner equipment since then? And Why?
IF its too cheap to start out on isnt it too cheap to maintain on?

Really I would just like to know what you would recomend starting out on and why?

Gord
September 13, 2008, 08:04 PM
Guys, take it to PM, or better yet, just ignore Otto. The thread is becoming a simple squabblefest.

I'd like to add to my previous post (http://thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=4912116&postcount=21) that I'm young and impatient, so a turret press would probably do me good.

scrat
September 13, 2008, 08:04 PM
Twoblink is in Taiwan, so he's gonna have to work with somebody in the States if he wants to put a package together at a reasonable price...
__________________

Oh gosh. Good luck. For that reason get a kit. Now he just needs to figure out who will send it.

Eric F
September 13, 2008, 08:10 PM
Tactical Ninja: Yeah I guess your right there really isnt a bunch of Squable in the reload section. But a turret press really is the best thing to get, saves time and cost about the same any way.

RustyFN
September 13, 2008, 08:10 PM
And how many here have less than $500 vested in equipment? Scrat sure doesn't.

OK Otto I'll play.
Lee classic turret loading four calibers plus a decent digital scale.
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b8da27b3127ccec398914a0e3000000010O00DZOGblm4Yg9vPhI/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D480/ry%3D320/

A decent tumbler for cleaning brass.
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b8dc36b3127ccec3368c89b69d00000010O00DZOGblm4Yg9vPhI/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D480/ry%3D320/

Dial caliper because I hate messing with batteries.
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b7ce35b3127ccec209c23f90a300000010O00DZOGblm4Yg9vPhI/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D480/ry%3D320/


RCBS hammer type puller, Lee trimmer for 223. Bench was already there just had to make half available for reloading. I'am still under $400.


A newbie comes here looking to get into reloading and 9 times out of 10 they're told to buy Lee.
Because 9 out of 10 times they are on a budget that doesn't fit a Dillon. Do you suggest everybody starts with a $1,500 Dillon 650 with a case feeder even if they are loading 200 rounds a month? I will be the first to admit I don't have a lot of experience with a lot of different presses. I have only loaded on the classic turret and a Dillon 550. I admit the Dillon was a nice press but wouldn't do anything for me that the classic does except load a little faster for a lot more money. Now if somebody wants to start and is needing to load 1,000 to 1,500 a month and money is no object I would be happy to suggest a progressive, there are a lot of good progressives out there.
Rusty

RustyFN
September 13, 2008, 08:19 PM
Twoblink is in Taiwan, so he's gonna have to work with somebody in the States if he wants to put a package together at a reasonable price...
Good catch Art, missed that.

Rusty

Eric F
September 13, 2008, 08:21 PM
Oh good greif
http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=622290
ad a set of dies $25-$30 done less than $145
Satisified now? and thats not even trying to find less expensive, and its a turret!

Northern tool has tumblers and calipers $5 for the calipers and if you look you can find tumblers for $15

scrat
September 13, 2008, 08:25 PM
thats a really good deal. it allows the new guy to get more with out spending as much. a good set of dies, caliper. tumbler your pretty much good to go.

Gord
September 13, 2008, 08:25 PM
Tactical Ninja: Yeah I guess your right there really isnt a bunch of Squable in the reload section. But a turret press really is the best thing to get, saves time and cost about the same any way.

No offense meant - I drop in here from time to time and you guys seem to be generally well-behaved.

I'd like to start off with a turret press to learn the ropes, but Midway has Lee progressive kits in a variety of calibers, including 9mm and .223, for $140. (http://www.midwayusa.com/ebrowse.exe/browse?CurrentSort=price_low&CurrentCountRet=20&CurrentManufacture=AnyCompany&CategoryString=9315***731***680***&CategoryID=8601&BrandID=&page=2&KeyWord=&TabID=1&company_select=AnyCompany&search_keywords2=&sort1=price_low&BackButton.x=6&BackButton.y=11&BackButton=back&PageSelect=2&RecordsReturned=20&PageSelect2=2&RecordsReturned2=20) I'm willing to bet they aren't exactly top-of-the-line, but for 600-800 rounds a month, what do y'all think?

scrat
September 13, 2008, 08:32 PM
thats the thing. they are not the top of the line. meaning they do not have a $400.00 paint job and chrome all over it. if you compare the classic regular press O type against rcbs, or anyone else. you will find some of the presses are really made well. Like if you were going to press an axle bearing into a hub. But we are only loading shells. the 20 dollar press will make the same quality ammo as the 300 dollar press.


Now for a progressive. Same thing they are not as fast as some of the others but once you have it set up its just as fast and will still produce quality ammo at a low price. If you spend total cost for everything less than 300 for start up. you will recoop your investment quicker. At first your cost of reloads will be higher if you think about the cost of the equipment and supplies. IF you spend a thousand dollars on a set up. How many rounds are you going to have to load in order to pay for that 1000 set up.

Eric F
September 13, 2008, 08:38 PM
Tactical Ninja pm on the way

scrat
September 13, 2008, 08:41 PM
Nothing wrong with this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCFFpHyHyB4&feature=related

XD-40 Shooter
September 13, 2008, 08:54 PM
I bought the Lee Deluxe Reloading kit, with the 4-hole turret press, 2 years ago for about $100. I've been very happy with it, I've probably got close to 13,000 rounds of 40 S&W loaded on the press, still solid and tight.:) Add my dies for 40 S&W and 357 mag, and I've got about $160 total in the set-up, works great.

Shibumi
September 13, 2008, 08:54 PM
I started out with a Lee Classic kit for about $100. All the other items needed have already been covered. This will work, and get you started in this quite enjoyable hobby.

Two days after buying the kit and using it, I bought an RCBS 5-0-5 scale for $69 to replace the Lee scale-it worked, but just felt cheap and flimsy to me.

Three days later, I bought an RCBS Uniflow powder measure for the same reason ($79).

I still have the press, and use it to load rifle cartridges.

If I did it again, I would buy the RCBS Rockcrusher Supreme kit for $279 which includes both these fine tools, as well as a press that will last a lifetime.

P.S.- After reloading for a month, I bought a Hornady Lock-n-Load Progressive AP for $379, which for the remainder of 2008 comes with 1000 free bullets in your choice of caliber FREE. This is approximately $250 retail, making the investment a net cost of $129 for an auto-indexing progressive press that will load an easy 400 rounds an hour. But don't buy it first, start out with a single-stage or turret press to learn procedures. It also uses the same dies you will already have, unlike some other progressives.

P.P.S.- Go buy "The ABC's of Reloading" and read it before you even buy a press.

P.P.P.S.- So since this has ranged far afield, you can get started with EQUIPMENT for about $150 for entry-level that works just fine, or $300 for a higher quality kit that you will keep forever. Lee would be the entry-level, the Rockcrusher would be the better quality. Pick the one your budget allows, and get started! :)

jmorris
September 14, 2008, 11:35 AM
Twoblink is in Taiwan,

and failed to add more details to his original post. You guys are pissing into the wind suggesting reloaders, when you don’t know if he wants to reload 2 or 20,000 rounds… must be raining outside.?

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