Lee Challenger Anniversary Kit. What else do I need to get started?


October 25, 2009, 09:04 PM
Hey guys. I'm going to start amassing pieces for reloading. What else will I need to get started, besides what I have listed below? I'll be reloading small numbers of .41 Mag for a single S&W model 57. I appreciate all of the help!

-Lee Challenger Breech Lock Single Stage Anniversary Kit
-Lee Carbide 3 Die Set
-Boxes, trays, labels, etc.
-Bullet Pliers

What else am I going to need? Brass trimmer? Cartridge gauge?

I'm under the assumption that the Carbide dies negate the need for case lube, correct?

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Tom Henry
October 25, 2009, 10:37 PM
At present I load for 7 different pistol calibers and 3 rifle. But when I first got into the reloadiing thing I went all out and ended up with a few things that I really did not need. I have not for a moment regretted my choice in loaders. A Dillon 550b. It may or may not be better than others. It is all I have used.
But reloader aside, for pistol cartidges it's rather simple.
1) Find someone who has experience reloading who can show you how it works. All of the book learning, at least for me, was nothing compared to having someone come and show me the ropes on my own loader.I still have about 100+ rounds from this reloading session since he also likes a round with plenty of recoil. His recipe of 215 JHP's over H-110 chrono's at just over 1400 fps in my Blackhawk. Damn! That being said, a good fast burning powder like W-231 or Unique makes for some nice mellow loads.
2) A good reloading manual.
3) Dial calipers.
4) An impact bullet puller. This will be used often.Especially when setting up the OAL of the cartidge.
5) A scale. Mine is electronic.
6) Brass tumbler and media separator.
7) Media. I use walnut and corn cob with some brass polish.

I don't buy labels. I make my own.
I have never had a straight wall pistol case that needed to be trimmed.
I have yet to have to do any work on the primer pockets of pistol brass.

I am sure that I have left something out in this post. This is a great site to visit and learn. Others will fill any gaps that I left.


October 25, 2009, 10:53 PM
Thanks a lot for the help Tom! The insight on the tools will help.

The first load I'd like to try out after doing some research is N110 powder and Speer 210gr GDHP. I'm going to pick up a pound of Unique as well since it is highly praised for light loads.

October 25, 2009, 10:54 PM
Get thee some books. At least two of the following (buy one now, and one later if your $$ are short).

Lyman, Hornady, Lee, Sierra, Speer, Nosler, ABC's of Reloading.

You can get by without tumbler at first. Eventually you will get one, but if money is short you can wipe down the cases by hand.

October 25, 2009, 11:11 PM
Get thee some books.

Thanks for the reply. I plan to pick up Speer's and probably another. Any recommendations, or are they all fairly similar?

Tom Henry
October 25, 2009, 11:20 PM
I am unfamiliar with the N110 powder. Is it fast or slow? And how does it compare to others in price? Availability?


Tom Henry
October 25, 2009, 11:28 PM
By the way. I am a Hoosier also. I was born and raised in Posey County.


October 25, 2009, 11:38 PM
Any recommendations, or are they all fairly similar?

Lyman's 49th is the MOST reccomended you will find. If you search this forum you will find it is the book everyone reccomends more than all the others. Seems like the ABC's is second.

October 25, 2009, 11:38 PM
• The Lyman reloading manual is the top rated RLM in more than one thread here, and on other boards because of the huge mix of products tested. The Speer RLM only covers Speer bullets; the Hornady RLM only covers Hornady bullets.

• If you have never measured items to the diameter of a human hair before then I highly suggest an electronic readout or "digital caliper". Harbor Freight has good ones on sale once a year for $13. The same ones everybody else sells for $30 year round.

• You're going to need LOTS of empty brass. You'll have 200 or so fired. Maybe 150 in the tumbler. Maybe 100 sized and primed. Maybe 50 or so ready to crimp. There's simply a lot of ammo that's stuck "in process" somewhere on the production line. It's not like you have 75 and they are ALL loaded ALL the time. Follow?

• You'll need plastic buckets and containers of all sizes and shapes. It helps if they can stack. I started with plastic ice cream buckets. I now use Folgers 2 lb coffee cans. Hope you like ice cream and coffee. :D

• You need a bench to attach the press to, even if it's temporary. It needs to be sturdy and in a well lit place. You'll need desk lamps and a spacious area to spread out. Do a search here on "bench". I just answered this question within the last week.

• You'll need an old file cabinet or dresser to store all the supplies you aren't using. Nothing wimpy; 1000 bullets weighs a lot! If you've got small kids it needs to lock.

October 25, 2009, 11:40 PM
N110 is a powder by VihtaVuori Powders out of Finland. I've seen it praised in reviews for being very similar to 2400, along with being very clean. The chart I found from Speer for their 210gr Green Dot Hollow Point show Velocity as slower than H110 and AA #9, while being faster than Blue Dot and Unique.

Basically, I've read it's a clean powder right in the middle of the road. It's a bit pricey at $25 a pound, but that will last me quite some time with the amount of reloads I plan to do.

YMMV...Just reporting what I've gathered from my searches. (End disclaimer)

rfwobbly, thanks for all the help! I'll definitely go for the Lyman manual.

October 25, 2009, 11:51 PM
Alert your significant other. There are a thousand small items $15 for less that you also need that make nice birthday and Christmas presents. Primer trays, hand primers, cartridge gauges, case lube, case lube pads, Dillon calendar, hand reamer, scale check weights, Dillon calendar, pocket swager, Universal Decapper die, Dillon calendar, loading blocks, and a Dillon calendar.

Heck, needing that much extra stuff I suggest you get interested in Hanukkah and Kwanzaa too! :D

October 26, 2009, 03:57 PM
LOL. Agree that there is always one more little goody to buy. That Lee kit is very complete though. Nothing else you really need but oh what you will want.


October 26, 2009, 04:18 PM
I would suggest Lee's Modern Reloading Second Edition since you are using Lee's equipment and they tend to address using "their" equipment in the book.

October 26, 2009, 04:46 PM
RVenick, thanks. That will be very helpful!

October 26, 2009, 10:47 PM
There is quite an assortment of reloading stuff listed in the Trading Post (http://www.thehighroad.org/forumdisplay.php?f=50) right now. It's a good place to pick up needs and wants.


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