Absolutely newbie! Where to start?


November 19, 2008, 01:58 PM
I am looking into reloading for the same reason every other red-blooded American is these days. I am afraid of the stupid things that our newly elected govt. is going to do to us.:cuss: I want safe reliable, reasonably priced ammo and the ability to reuse my ammo.

ANYWAY . . . . .:banghead:
I have spent the last two weeks reading everything I can online, watching youtube how-to videos, and pricing and comparing equipment.
When I get into something, I really dig into it.
I want to do it right, and learn it correctly and thoroughly.

So I joined up here as well. . . . here is my first question and my second post.

I am looking at beginner "start-up packages" that include most all of the stuff to start right away. I have nothing, except for a couple RCBS dies I bought so my friend can reload some of my hunting rounds. . . so I will need all the startup stuff. . . .
I have been reading up on different brands etc. And talking to my reloading friends.
I am not one of those people who can spend all my money just to say I have the best reloader. . . big whoop.

I want a dependable reloader that will load around 100 rounds a month in a couple different cartridge sizes. I don't want stuff that "sort of works", will "get me by" or will break!

I have decided against a fully auto-progressive type loader based strictly on the price of them. I want a turret type loader. So I can be precise and do a lot of hunting rounds as well as punch out some plinkers for my AR15/10

Will the Lee Deluxe 4 Hole Turret Press Kit with Auto Index (cost $145.98) do that for me or not?

Will the RCBS TURRET DELUXE RELOADING KIT(cost $354.99) do it $200 BETTER than the lee kit? Is it that much better or is it a brand thing?

Is it more of a Ford has always been better designed than Chevy thing . . . or more of a Colt v. Armalite thing, Colt is better because it has a pony on the side, not a lion. . . .

I have looked at the Dillon 550b, and the rock chuckers and I think I am leaning toward one of these two aforementioned presses. (unless someone can recommend a better or middle ground press KIT to me)

I am open to all opinions, qualified or not.


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November 19, 2008, 03:10 PM
I have the Lee 4 hole turret - it does fine for my handgun plinking rounds. I also have the autodisk powder drop to go with it(Lee carbide dies). One nice thing about this press is the ability to swap out the head of it for a complete new one when changing calibers, very nice and a time saver so you don't have to setup your dies all over. I will not do rifle rounds on it, though. Do not get the auto prime system - it sucks.

I have a RCBS powder measure and a Lee "O" frame for my rifle (bottle neck) rounds. Using a Lee neck sizer die and a Forester micrometer seating die.

The Bushmaster
November 19, 2008, 03:17 PM
Rookie...Welcome to THR where all your questions will be answered a thousand times over (and then some).

But first...Read the sticky at the top of the page. Then let the questions begin...

November 19, 2008, 03:46 PM
get yourself several good reloading manuals. read ask questions on this forum I like Rcbs equipment becuse of the they will repair or replace for as long as you own it,even if its been bought used

November 19, 2008, 04:39 PM
buy the ABC's of Reloading and read it.

it's a priceless reference and you will go back to it again and again.

you'll save a lot of $ and headaches if you do so.

November 19, 2008, 05:11 PM
I think both of those turret presses would make great ammo but IMO I would go with the Lee classic cast turret. Why I would go with the Lee is because neither one will make better ammo than the other, the Lee will load faster, and the Lee will cost a lot less to get started with. I bought a Lee classic turret two years ago. I load 9mm, 38/357, 45 auto and 223. It has been a great press and has worked problem free for me. The press is built very solid and is very easy to use.

November 19, 2008, 07:57 PM
Good info guys, thanks.
I always read sticky's first, I belong to a lot of other boards.
So if I get it straight Lee has 2 yr warranty, RCBS lifetime. . . I know the blue guys have a no BS lifetime.. .
I Do like the thought of that.

November 19, 2008, 07:57 PM
Get the ABC's of reloading, and at least one manual. Two is even better. Lyman and Sierra are both good manuals. And there are others as well.
Try to get a cast iron press regardless of what brand it is. It will last forever.
And if you plan to do 100 a month you should be able to do a really picky job of loading, which is about the best way to go if you want good ammo. The most accurate ammo comes from being as consistent as possible.

November 19, 2008, 08:16 PM
The way things are going these days one more thing I think about is Lee is made In the USA and RCBS is made in China from what I understand.

November 19, 2008, 08:20 PM
Good point Rusty!
I AM one of those kinda guys.
And I am pricing manuals on ebay right now. . . .

November 19, 2008, 08:21 PM
. . . I know the blue guys have a no BS lifetime.. .
I Do like the thought of that.

Heh, heh. The "blue guys" have a way of getting to a lot of folks eventually. :)

Years back my wife bought me a used Dillon 550 that was about a million years old and they sent me all the parts to make it perfect again for free.

I'd buy the Lee as a starter because of the price and because it will make just as good ammo as anything else. (Of that style, obviously) When you do decide you need a blue press on your bench (yeah, I said "WHEN" :p), it is still mighty handy to have another simple press (my secondary press is a Lee as well) to do smaller batches or quick jobs you don't want to set up the bigger press to do.

Good luck!


November 19, 2008, 08:27 PM
and those Blue guys are about an hour south of where I live. .. . . hmmmm

The Bushmaster
November 19, 2008, 10:43 PM
Did some one mention blue koolaid?

November 20, 2008, 08:51 AM

ha ha

Jim Watson
November 20, 2008, 09:25 AM
I never have had a turret press. I started with an RCBS Rockchucker and went from there into progressives, the old C-H and later Dillon.

At 100 a month, I like the single stage. No matter what you get later, the single stage will always be useful. I loaded a box of .45ACP with three different loads on the single stage last week because I did not want to upset the adjustments on my Dillon for trial ammo.

I darned sure load rifle match and black powder ammo on the single stage, even though the Dillonistas say they do it all the time.

November 20, 2008, 11:18 AM
+1 on "The A,B,Cs of Reloading." An excellent starter manual. I also agree that if you are only loading 100 rounds/month that you can get by quite well with a single stage press. I own an RCBS but if you're determined to buy American then I am certain that there are others out there that would serve your needs just as well.


November 20, 2008, 03:57 PM
Just remember that the REAL Blue Koolaid is actually repackaged Tidybowl blended with road apples.

In addition to a couple of single stage presses, I own a 550 and the Hornady LNL AP. If you care to do concentricity testing (run out tests) on the 550, 650 and LNL, you will know from the data that the LNL produces measurably superior concentic ammo than the dillons.

If you care to search my posts, I list a multitude of reasons why the LNL AP is superior to the dillon presses, in addition to prodicing better ammo. Testing also showed that theLNL produce more concentric ammo than a mid 60's-70's Rockchucker. Pacific, and Hurters single stage presses.

Before getting the LNL, I was an official member of the blue buffoon battalion, and became guilty of spreading “lots of BS” blue RCF. I was like so many of the dishonest or blindly brand loyal people who have never owned or loaded with any other progressive, yet cluelessly advocate a single brand.

You have listed that you will be loading about 100 cartridges per month. That number will increase with time, but even if it doubles, that does not indicate the need for a progressive.

The biggest bang for your buck, and the press kit which more closely fits your need is the Lee Classic Turret Kit form Kemp's

Good Shooting!!

November 20, 2008, 08:58 PM
you can't go wrong with a Dillon. If you're excited about the Dillon and they are close by, go for it. They make great stuff.

Remember that presses are tools and some people like Snap on and others like Craftsman. I like both because I love tools.


November 20, 2008, 09:32 PM
Is Hornady made here ?? I will assume it is, I am a big fan of their stuff. and their 1000 rounds of free bullets. . . . .hmmmm

November 20, 2008, 10:55 PM
Read and keep reading....

• For the best deal on used reloading manuals go Amazon. I've picked up recent RLMs for as little as $5.

• Graf & Sons has the #13 Speer RLM for $5, brand new

• Always pick up the free powder brochures in your local gun stores

November 21, 2008, 10:57 AM
I just bought The ABC's of Reloading by Bill Chevalier (2008) on ebay this morning. Looking at a starter kit usually have the speer manual. . . . will I need more than those two?

November 21, 2008, 02:39 PM
Those two manuals can start you out, if they have the load data for the rounds you plan to build first.

Definitely collect the free mfr's manuals at the LGS, or write the mfr's for them.

Good (as in official) reloading data can be found on the Internet--but really, only at manufacturer's sites.

Not infrequently, these are simply PDFs of the printed documentation.

However, I would own at least one new manufacturer's manual, like Speer 14.

Jim H.

November 21, 2008, 10:51 PM
Ok I am really looking at the Hornady Lock-n-Load Classic™ Reloading Kit from Cabelas, it is on sale for $299
But for $294 LOCK-N-LOAD CLASSIC SINGLE STAGE PRESS KIT is available from Midsouth . . .
Cabelas has Hornady's 5th Edition Reloading Handbook
Midsouth has The Hornady Handbook ofCartridge Reloading (two volume set) as their manual . . which book/set is better??? Anyone know?

I have narrowed it down between this Hornady press kit and the RCBS turret kit.
I sold some stuff on Arfcom and now have the funds to BUY! Will be buying one in the next week!
I am a little bit excited.

So your thoughts on the $294 single or the $354 turret . . . . thats roughly $60 difference for components. . . . Which one would you buy.

November 21, 2008, 10:59 PM
Wow, Rookie.

You have almost bought just about every press out there.

Here is food for thought. Go to a local store that sells reloading equipment and take a good look at the tools.

You should also get a load manual or two, the ABC's of reloading, and the 48th or 49th Lyman are really good books. remember, You can never have enough load manuals. Read them for a month and keep researching before you buy something you saw online but have never seen in real life.

Good Luck.


November 21, 2008, 11:08 PM
Ha ha . . .
I held a rock crusher and a RCBS progressive and two dillons in my hand tonight. All brand new . . . dinked around with them at my friends house. Asked him a million questions ha ha ha.
I already ordered ABC's and will get a new book with whatever kit I buy

November 21, 2008, 11:27 PM
Keep asking the questions, Mate. I don't blame you for getting confused. They all are great. I am a tool nut. I love tools and hand loading tools and presses are by far the most fun to use. My Snap On collection is great but making bullets is so much more fun than changing an intake manifold gasket.

Have fun.


November 21, 2008, 11:47 PM
I have sure changes my share of manifolds ha ha, Dad had us rebuilding our old yamaha two-strokes before we were in 4th grade! Then we moved onto old Ford trucks! and lots of em!

I just bought Handloader's Digest: The World's Greatest Handloading Book (Handloader's Digest) - Ken Ramage and Lee Precision Modern Reloading 2Nd Edition from Amazon just now. . . . Stoked to get started!!!

November 23, 2008, 07:14 PM
ROOKIE, I was exactly where you are last December. My wife stuck a gun magazine in my Christmas stocking; it had an article about reloading in it. I read it a gazillion times and realized that reloading is "do-able" and was also the answer to my 45acp shooting habit. I stumbled on a forum or two, read the stickys (I was embarrassed to ask questions that had been answered) and lurked, lurked, lurked. Then I began asking questions on the forums and was quickly rewarded with a lot more good info. Then I went to loading sites: Dillon and Brian Enos, Lee Precision, Lock-N-Load, etc. I really wanted a Dillon but realized it was out of reach financially. I tried to make it work, sort of like wanting a certain handgun that doesn't really fit your hand. I finally walked away from it. I ended up with a Lee Classic Turret Press. It was affordable, could build a decent amount of ammo in a semi-progressive fashion but could also be used as a single-stage loader. The lifetime warranty that Dillon carries appealed to me but the price of parts and dies for the Lee equipment negated that. I've been loading since mid-January and loaded almost enough 45acp alone to pay off the equipment. Nothing has broken. I've been loading 230gr brass round nose 45acp's for $8.15 per box of 50 and 230gr lead RN's for $6.41. Talk about savings. Good luck to you in your decision. I doubt that you will be disappointed with whichever "color" you choose. And wait 'til you launch your first round! If only you could get someone out in front to take a picture of the crap-eatin' grin that will materialize! Happy Thanksgiving! :cool:

PS. My Lee Classic Turret Press Kit for the 45acp including some of the upgrade goodies and a tumbler cost $330 from www.kempfgunshop.com I used them because they had everything in stock and shipped fast. Zero regrets.

November 24, 2008, 09:05 AM
Thanks guys. . . after looking over this forum for over a week, I now see how many newbie questions are so much like mine ha ha ha. . .

"Hi I'm new . . . which machine should I start out with?" ha ha ha

I am almost set on the L-N-L classic Kit and getting 500 free bullets.
I have my gun guy checkin his best price right now to see if he can beat Cabelas sale-price of $299
if not, an hour and a half drive will get me to my new press!

Thanks for the input.
And Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

November 24, 2008, 04:07 PM
Good luck to you ROOKIE! Let us know how it plays out, and also what you change your ROOKIE handle to when you have a few rounds behind you. :D I still remember that giddy feeling I got after my first successful round found its way down range.

November 24, 2008, 08:42 PM
OK now be honest. How many here besides me aimed your gun and then turned your head when you pulled the trigger on your first round.:D

November 24, 2008, 08:47 PM
"How many here besides me aimed your gun and then turned your head...."

I didn't. I already knew my forehead was thicker than my temple, and I wear glasses with shatterproof lenses.

Jim H.

November 24, 2008, 10:25 PM
I was definitely a little concerned over my first round of loads...which were no pussy cats either (.45 colt 300gr over 10gr Unique courtesy of grandpa Butch, safe in my Blackhawk, don't try in your SAA). Stood the gun straight up after a shot, but they were very accurate and a lot of fun to shoot. Now I like 255gr LSWC over 9gr Unique as my go to .45 Colt load.

I like my Lee single stage. Slow? Yes. repeatable? yes. Inexpensive? Absolutely. I shoot maybe 100-150 centerfire a month and 500+ rimfire so a single stage is fine.

November 24, 2008, 11:19 PM
I just got a LnL Classic Kit from Cabelas a week ago. It has the 7th edition book and an electronic scale that is a pocket size and goes up to 1500 gr. If you are doing much pistol reloading, you may want to get a pistol rotor metering assembly for the powder measure - check Midway or Grafs. I am VERY happy with this setup - switching out dies is a piece of cake once they are set.

And +1 on ABCs of Reloading as well.

November 25, 2008, 09:09 AM
I ordered my Hornady L-N-L classic Kit this morning . . . . can't wait to get it in the mail!

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