Single stage press?


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Atroxus
October 30, 2009, 12:45 PM
I have been wanting to get into reloading but am on a fairly limited budget. Is there anyone out there that has recently upgraded from single stage, to a progressive press? If so would you be willling to sell your (working) used single stage press at a reasonable or low price to help a fella get into reloading?

PS I am not worried about brand as long as it press that is in reasonably good working order, or that could be made into such order with small amount of work/parts.

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SteelyNirvana
October 30, 2009, 12:52 PM
Three words for you:
Lee classic cast

You can buy one new for around $80-$90, Lee has great customer service and the press is right on par (If not better) than the Rockchucker.

jem375
October 30, 2009, 01:08 PM
I have to disagree with the above poster, the RCBS Rock Chucker is the best single stage there is, Period.... If you can find one used, buy it and forget the rest.

ljnowell
October 30, 2009, 01:13 PM
Buy one of the lee kits that cost like 30 dollars. I have used that press for a long time and cranked out a lot of .45acp and 45 colt on it. Its till solid and works like new.

psyop
October 30, 2009, 01:18 PM
What are you loading?

Atroxus
October 30, 2009, 01:20 PM
If I can get the equipment I will be startin with 9mm luger, then possibly some .40 for a friend that has several guns in that caliber.


My collection so far only consists of a Beretta FS92 for home/self defense, and a Sig Mosquito for cheap target practice.

loadedround
October 30, 2009, 01:33 PM
Go with a RCBS or Redding press. Stay away from the Lee junk.

psyop
October 30, 2009, 01:33 PM
Go with a RCBS or Redding press. Stay away from the Lee junk.
LOL... I have presses from RCBS and Redding as well but I would still recommend the LCT for this application.

Lee Turret Kit...can be used as a single stage press.

Deavis
October 30, 2009, 01:54 PM
Lee isn't junk. It is a product priced for a market that wants a value in price and is willing to accept a lower quality than other buyersmay be willing to accept. I've got a Lee Classic press sitting alongside my 1050s and 650s. The Lee may be poorly finished and the linkage feels like crap compared to the Dillons but it works 100% of the time without any issue. It is a great bullet puller that takes up little space on my bench. Cheap and easy way to get into reloading.

rfwobbly
October 30, 2009, 02:06 PM
Atroxus -
There are several ways to go. All start with reading and understanding what you are getting into. Reloading is fun, makes shooting inexpensive, and will enhance your knowledge of shooting immensely, however it is not for everyone and you should first try to understand what you're getting into. Get a book called the Lyman Reloading Manual which comes in paperback and hardcover. Start by reading the first several chapters. If you can digest all the concepts there, then you're good to go.

40 and 9mm will share a great deal of primers, powders and basic concept, so it's a natural pairing that will complement each other. That will speed your learning and help you grow in the hobby. So that's a big plus.

As far as equipment, you can go inexpensive new, discounted used, or mid-to-high end new. I like the used equipment route for a first time buyer becasue of all the items that usually get thrown in to "sweeten the deal". This hobby is like motorcycling in that you can spend all your money on the motorcycle, only to find out you need a helmet, gloves, special jacket, rain suit, tank bag, etc as required extras.

In the same way, the press is just the beginning. Nothing's going to happen until you have a manual, empty brass, new primers, new powder, new bullets, scales, calipers, primer installer, a work bench, etc, etc. Some of these you may already have.

So read the book and then put together a budget for the purchase. Then you'll know how much to spend on the missing pieces. THAT will properly guide you toward a press.

Atroxus
October 30, 2009, 04:07 PM
Ya, I hear where you are coming from. And that is exactly why I am looking for used equipment. I got the idea from a buddy of mine in another state He got a really good deal on a used press and most of what he needed to start making .45 for his revolvers. I am hoping if I look enough I might find a similar deal. (I would really rather not pay full price for entry level equipment if I can possibly avoid it.) I have a basic understanding of how reloading works, and think I would find it an enjoyable hobby.(plus I am hoping to save money on ammo) But I still want to start as cheep as I can so that if after 6 months I decided I hate it I could resell the gear to some other up and coming reloader without taking a huge loss as I would if I bought all new gear. But if I enjoy it as much as I hope I can pass on the bargain entry level gear to another reloading newb cheep and use that money to help buy more advanced equipment when I have more available funds. :)

Atroxus
October 30, 2009, 04:14 PM
Lee isn't junk. It is a product priced for a market that wants a value in price and is willing to accept a lower quality than other buyersmay be willing to accept. I've got a Lee Classic press sitting alongside my 1050s and 650s. The Lee may be poorly finished and the linkage feels like crap compared to the Dillons but it works 100% of the time without any issue. It is a great bullet puller that takes up little space on my bench. Cheap and easy way to get into reloading.

Sounds like you have an "extra" single stage press?(Or do you use all 3 presses?) Any chance you would be willing to part with that Lee classic cheap? ;)

Friendly, Don't Fire!
October 30, 2009, 04:21 PM
I have an RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme IV and I have all RCBS Dies. I ran into a problem where the expander button for .380ACP was too long, as certain case manufacturers have put an internal ridge inside the cases.

I was going to grind it down myself, however, I sent RCBS an email and they are shipping a new part that will fit these oddball cases ABSOLUTELY FREE!

I have always used "GREEN" and always will!

RCBS ROCKS!


I have no affiliation with the company nor do I with anyone who works there. I simply like QUALITY tools and detest using JUNK tools.

I am not calling anyone else's equipment JUNK, as I have never used anything other than RCBS. I can tell you that RCBS IS NOT JUNK!

You get what you pay for. If you want to reload for $39.95, get a Lee Loader set and have fun!

husker
October 30, 2009, 04:50 PM
LEE 50th Anniversary kit for under $90.00 at Cabeles comes with
breech lock O frame press
safty prime & priming tool
perfect powder measure with stand
powder funnel,case trimmer,chamfer tool
priming pocket cleaner.1 tube of case sizing lube
safety powder scale
breech lock quick change bushings

this will pay for its self in know time. & any one who thinks it is junk is just a spoiled BRAT.
500+22-250
2500+5.56
2000+ 45acp
2000+ 40
2000+ 9 mm
yep its junk all right.LOL

SteelyNirvana
October 30, 2009, 05:08 PM
This is the Lee press that I mentioned:
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=317831

Read the reviews on the press, 59 of them and not one that is less than 4 stars. This press will last you a lifetime. Someone mentioned the breech-lock press, it is not as stout as the Classic cast.

husker
October 30, 2009, 05:13 PM
yes it does look a little thicker in the casting. than my O frame breach lock

Atroxus
October 30, 2009, 07:30 PM
LEE 50th Anniversary kit for under $90.00 at Cabeles comes with
breech lock O frame press
safty prime & priming tool
perfect powder measure with stand
powder funnel,case trimmer,chamfer tool
priming pocket cleaner.1 tube of case sizing lube
safety powder scale
breech lock quick change bushings

this will pay for its self in know time. & any one who thinks it is junk is just a spoiled BRAT.
500+22-250
2500+5.56
2000+ 45acp
2000+ 40
2000+ 9 mm
yep its junk all right.LOL
Well you sold me on the Lee anniversary special. I am ordering a bunch of other stuff too including ABCs of reloading through cabellas.(Its in "shopping cart" atm) I have no idea what powder to order though. Anyone suggest a good powder for loading 9mm luger?

I ordered a bunch of winchester brass, and remington 115gr FMJ bullets, along with cci sm pistol primers. (The bullets and primers are on back order though) Oh also anyone know ballpark how many pounds powder would I need to load up 1000 rounds? (no hot loads) So I know how much powder to order.

psyop
October 30, 2009, 07:36 PM
Buy Primers First

(The bullets and primers are on back order though)

Atroxus
October 30, 2009, 07:50 PM
Good idea, I took the back-ordered stuff off my order. Know anyplace that has primers by chance? Also is 162.99 a good deal for 1000 new winchester brass cases?

ranger335v
October 30, 2009, 07:58 PM
"I have to disagree with the above poster, the RCBS Rock Chucker is the best single stage there is, Period.... "

Say Lee and those who bleed green leap out. I have and use an RC II but I'm not blind. The Lee Classic Cast (all steel, not cheaper, weaker cast iron) is the superior press, regardless of cost. And the Classic Cast is entirely made in the USA, not China. Anyone who thinks the RC is the definition of a quality, massive press simply hasn't used a Forster Co-Ax or a Redding Ultra Max. Or a Lee Classic Cast.

But loading handgun ammo places little real stress on a press, anything out there will do quite nicely. Even one of the little Lee aluminum framed "Reloader" presses would be good enough, right? :D And, serously, unless someone loads tens of thousands of handgun rounds a year, the tiny "Reloader" press, which sells new for something like $30, will last a LOONG time! I have two sitting near my RC, one with a universal decapper and the other has a Lee Auto Prime 2. Love 'em.

When I got my dial indicator and magnetic base some years back, one of the first things I did was measure my RC's top deflection under the pressure of FL sizing .30-06. It sprung some .003", not much but really more than I had expected.

Then, just for fun, I repeated the test on both of the little "Reloader" presses with the same dies, same batch of cases. Wow, to my surprise, neither press moved the needle on the .001" reading dial enough to measure! And, no, I'm not saying they are stronger than my much bigger, cast iron RC, but within the limits of their strength they ARE more rigid than the RC! So, no one can truthfully say they, or their bigger red brothers, are "junk", can they?


Nor that the RCBS "Partner" presses are junk either. Or...does that matter ???

husker
October 30, 2009, 10:39 PM
i have know idea if that is a good deal or not.
i use hp-38
& i pick up old brass i dont buy it.
i am also new to reloading rifles
hand gun ammo i have reloaded lots of it in the past. but am burned out shooting hand guns & have been reloading for my friends 22-250
& have been loading for all 3 of my 5.56

RustyFN
October 30, 2009, 10:44 PM
Good post Ranger.

Atroxus if you are only going to buy one pound of powder and 1,000 primers I would suggest buying them local it will end up being cheaper. Once you find a powder you like then go on-line and buy in bulk.

Oh also anyone know ballpark how many pounds powder would I need to load up 1000 rounds?

One pound of powder is 7,000 grains. divide 7,000 by the charge weight to find out how many. For example if the charge is 5 grains you will be able to load 1,400 rounds. Lee equipment will load just as good ammo as any other brand press.

Atroxus
October 30, 2009, 11:06 PM
Cool, thanks for the info everyone. Assuming I can find some primers, bullets and powder I should be up and crawling in about 2 weeks. :) I figure about a week for my shipment to arrive, and another week maybe less to read the ABCs of reloading.

Publius1688
October 30, 2009, 11:17 PM
Would you guys be willing to comment upon the quality of the Hornady presses? Thanks.

hags
October 30, 2009, 11:55 PM
IMO, I would steer clear of anything Lee.

A Forster single stage is about as good as you can get. RCBS, Redding, Hornady and Lyman are all top notch too.
Some of the older, "vintage" single stage presses you can find are superior to what's made today.

Publius1688
October 31, 2009, 12:18 AM
Thanks for the input, hags. I'm a long-time shooter, who has been taking the slow approach to getting into handloading; I've been reading books for about six month's now, and am going to take the plunge. My thoughts are along the lines of 'buy cheap, buy twice', but getting everyone's two cents on presses is really valuable.

qajaq59
October 31, 2009, 09:05 AM
Atroxus, if there is a gun club in your area go over and ask where some of the local guys get their powder and primers. You may have to talk to a few before you find out what you need to know, as many will only order large orders on the web.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
October 31, 2009, 09:22 AM
But loading handgun ammo places little real stress on a press, anything out there will do quite nicely. Even one of the little RCBS aluminum framed "Reloader" presses would be good enough, right?


Absolutely CORRECT.
However, what happens when the person decides they are now going to load thousands of rounds of .223 ammo, because someone gave them the brass, and then they want to load 30-06 and other rifle cases? I know once a person gets into reloading, it is contagious.

Why buy something now when, down the road, you may regret it and wish you would have spent a bit more to begin with?

Just sayin!

The Bushmaster
October 31, 2009, 10:36 AM
As all of my presses are Lee Classic CAST presses I will stay out of this Lee press bashing session. BUT...If you want the best for your megger dollar. Look into Lee's Classic CAST presses, both single stage and turret press...

OrangePwrx9
October 31, 2009, 11:38 AM
You can save a little money on a press and still go first class by visiting Gunbroker or AuctionArms and looking for a used RCBS. You also have a chance to find some of their discontinued presses, some of which were sweethearts.

I started reloading in 1979 with an iron frame RCBS RS press that I've grown to love over the years. Nothing I've used gives the feel of seating a primer like that press; partly because it doesn't have the fancy toggle-link press linkage. Yet it still has enough leverage to handle the limited amount of belted magnum reloading I do...and being an iron O-frame, it's plenty strong.

Recently I found a virutally NIB RCBS JR3 on Gunbroker for about $70 and bought it. It's the same press as my old RS except with a different name. Set it up in a different location. It too is a dream to seat primers with. No messing with ram primes or hand primers and a seperate priming step; seat on the press during the size operation.

I've not been too happy with the toggle-link presses I've owned. Yeah, they make sizing a .300 Mag. case a bit easier, but the primer seating feel is very poor. The typical reloader will seat a lot more primers than he will size belted magnum cases. Unfortunately, nearly every press built today is toggle-link.

Yeah, I know....old school....
Bob

rfwobbly
October 31, 2009, 12:03 PM
Know anyplace that has primers by chance? Also is 162.99 a good deal for 1000 new winchester brass cases?

Atroxus -
Like was said... go to a local gun club meeting, shooting range, gun store, gun show, or outdoor sports store and ask around. Primers and powder are much cheaper to buy locally when you're only buying 1 lb at a time. A pound of powder will cost you somewhere around $17-$25. If you ship it through the mail, then they add a $25 hazardous material fee. I think you can add well enough to see what happens.

Order bullets from Missouri Bullets as a starter. Order something middle of the road, such as 124-125gr in 9mm. They'll be tons of loading info on that weight range. THR users get a discount from Missouri, so do a search on "Missouri discount".

On powder, stick with something common like Winchester 231 or Hodgdon HP-38, which use the exact same load data. You can get trusted load data from the Hodgdon web site. These are very common powders and very easy to find. Fairly clean and very accurate. You just can't go wrong starting there. As was said, you'll get about 1600 shots from a pound of powder, so you'll only need 1 can. Besides after 1600 shots, your right arm may have fallen off. :D


Most important of all... advertise here and at the local gun club to have someone look over your shoulder for the first couple of times. You need a local buddy in this hobby. Someone you can call, someone to swap with, someone to alert you to good local deals, someone to bounce ideas off of, someone to split powder orders with. You see how it is, over half this thread is an argument over brand loyalty and not really helping you with your questions. A buddy gives you a single trusted point of contact.


Watch where you step! Reloaders are everywhere! :rolleyes:

qajaq59
October 31, 2009, 12:19 PM
Most important of all... advertise here and at the local gun club to have someone look over your shoulder for the first couple of times. You need a local buddy in this hobby. Someone you can call, someone to swap with, someone to alert you to good local deals, someone to bounce ideas off of, someone to split powder orders with. You see how it is, over half this thread is an argument over brand loyalty and not really helping you with your questions. A buddy gives you a single trusted point of contact. Now that's a good piece of advice!!

RustyFN
October 31, 2009, 12:32 PM
IMO, I would steer clear of anything Lee.

hags I would be interested to know why you think this and what problems you had with your Lee presses.

My thoughts are along the lines of 'buy cheap, buy twice', but getting everyone's two cents on presses is really valuable.

I thought the same thing so I started with the Lee classic turret because it was what I could afford at the time. Well I have been loading on it for over three years and don't see any reason to change. I have loaded on a friends Dillon 550 and even though it was nice it's not worth the extra money for me.

However, what happens when the person decides they are now going to load thousands of rounds of .223 ammo, because someone gave them the brass, and then they want to load 30-06 and other rifle cases? I know once a person gets into reloading, it is contagious.

Not a problem. I have loaded thousands of rounds of 223 on my classic turret and have a couple of friends that have loaded thousands of 30-06 rounds on their classic turret presses. Inspector this is not aimed at you it's just a general statement. You would be surprised how many people like to say they would never own a Lee press or Lee is junk just from what they have heard and have never used a Lee press. I think if they could get past that and try the classic turret or classic cast single they would have a change of heart.

Why buy something now when, down the road, you may regret it and wish you would have spent a bit more to begin with?

How true but how do we know what to buy. I know this is very rare but I actually know someone that started with a Dillon 550. He didn't like it so he sold it and bought a Lee classic turret and said he is much happier. Spending more money isn't always the best deal.

psyop
October 31, 2009, 12:41 PM
I have been offering classes on Handloading thru the local Sporting Goods store for the last 10 years. Having someone mentor you is the best way to see how the process works , see different press configurations and build confidence and knowledge thru hands on.
As you can tell, Handloaders are very eager to help. I am sure there are more than a few around you...Seek them out
Our program familiarizes the newbie with different presses and focuses on the press set up that the student is most comfortable with and is within their budget. The quality of your ammunition is determined by knowledge and experience...Not the Press

So when you hear...IMO, I would steer clear of anything Lee.
Disregard as nonsense.

Also, getting a few to go in on orders is a real $$ saver.

BullfrogKen
October 31, 2009, 01:05 PM
So when you hear...

IMO, I would steer clear of anything Lee.

Disregard as nonsense.

Agreed.


Brand loyalty is fine. But unless you can get someone to say WHY one brand sucks, or why he prefers another product, ignore it.

I have a LOT of Lee tools. The only tools I don't use from Lee are the powder measure and scale. The powder measure is so-so for anything except ball. Ball powder leaks through the gaps and seams.

The powder scale is OK. But I prefer something more robust, and that can measure heavier weights.

flashhole
October 31, 2009, 01:08 PM
I have these on my bench, two Ultramags and one Lee Classic Cast Turret. I've also owned Forster and the Rockchucker. The Forster was a very nice press just not enough room for my ham hands with the magnum cases so I sold it. The Rockchucker was sloppy compared to all the others. I would not buy another. The Lee is a very nice press for the money. I paid $62 for mine brand new. I wish I'd picked up a Lee Classic Cast when they first came out for $54. The Redding Ultramags are rock solid. The Lee Classic Cast Turret can be used as a single stage press by removing the auto index linkage. It's also very solid.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v69/GuideGun/Reload_35_seating_die_bullet.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v69/GuideGun/FunnelforClassicPress.jpg

Atroxus
October 31, 2009, 01:14 PM
Atroxus -
Like was said... go to a local gun club meeting, shooting range, gun store, gun show, or outdoor sports store and ask around. Primers and powder are much cheaper to buy locally when you're only buying 1 lb at a time. A pound of powder will cost you somewhere around $17-$25. If you ship it through the mail, then they add a $25 hazardous material fee. I think you can add well enough to see what happens.

Order bullets from Missouri Bullets as a starter. Order something middle of the road, such as 124-125gr in 9mm. They'll be tons of loading info on that weight range. THR users get a discount from Missouri, so do a search on "Missouri discount".

On powder, stick with something common like Winchester 231 or Hodgdon HP-38, which use the exact same load data. You can get trusted load data from the Hodgdon web site. These are very common powders and very easy to find. Fairly clean and very accurate. You just can't go wrong starting there. As was said, you'll get about 1600 shots from a pound of powder, so you'll only need 1 can. Besides after 1600 shots, your right arm may have fallen off. :D


Most important of all... advertise here and at the local gun club to have someone look over your shoulder for the first couple of times. You need a local buddy in this hobby. Someone you can call, someone to swap with, someone to alert you to good local deals, someone to bounce ideas off of, someone to split powder orders with. You see how it is, over half this thread is an argument over brand loyalty and not really helping you with your questions. A buddy gives you a single trusted point of contact.


Watch where you step! Reloaders are everywhere! :rolleyes:

Ya I can see your point on the powder/primers. I don't think I will be buying in quantities large enough to off-set that hazmat fee anytime in the near future.

As to bullets thanks for the suggestion. I was planning on sticking to 115gr FMJ rounds for target ammo though. My defense ammo is 115gr and I would like to keep my target ammo characteristics similar to my defense ammo. My thinking is that if the cheaper target ammo fires similarly to my defense ammo then I don't have to use my expensive defense ammo to be confident I can hit the BG if needed. (I did put 100 rounds of my chosen defense ammo through my gun awhile back to make sure my gun would eat it reliably though.)

I wish I knew someone local to mentor me for reloading, but I don't have any friends that load their own ammo. You guys on THR sem downright helpful though, so I hope you don't mind being a substitute mentor.:D

rfwobbly
October 31, 2009, 01:23 PM
As I've said before....

• Reloading presses are like cars. Whether you drive a Yugo or a Mercedes, everyone gets where they're going. The owner simply makes his/her own choice based on the mix and quality of the features versus the price they can afford at the time. There are far too many choices, features, prices for someone else to make a single statement about what's going to be best for me next week.

• In truth, after reloading for 10+ years no reloader's bench is all one color. Eventually everyone has a smattering of red, burgundy, orange, gray, green, blue, the other green, and maybe even black and brown! Everyone seems to be trying to hit a moving quality target, which always seems to cost just a little more than I can afford right now.


Best bet is to save all the strong feelings and opinions for our elected officials who would take it all away.

rfwobbly
October 31, 2009, 01:30 PM
I wish I knew someone local to mentor me for reloading, but I don't have any friends that load their own ammo. You guys on THR sem downright helpful though, so I hope you don't mind being a substitute mentor.

I work for a small 85 person company. I put a tiny notice on the common bulletin board for reloaders to contact me. Six different people, whom I had worked with and known for years, stopped me. Another guy who was thinking about it, and who has since bought a Hornady LNL, also came by. Three more who were "gun nuts" also stopped by.


Watch where you step! Reloaders are everywhere! :rolleyes:

psyop
October 31, 2009, 01:37 PM
I don't have any friends that load their own ammo.

Seek them out..what a super way to meet new friends

Radaray
October 31, 2009, 01:53 PM
I started handloading in 1968, and my press was the RCBS Jr. You asked if anyone recently upgraded to a progressive press. I added a Dillon 550B about 7 or 8 years ago, simply to increase loading speed of commonly used handgun loads. I still use the RCBS Jr. for load development and all rifle loading. After 41 years, that little gem still works like a new one.
No, it is not for sale. But RCBS can fix you up with a good single stage loader that will last you a life time. Just my humble opinion. I've never used any Lee stuff, other than a few of their bullet moulds, which I have no problem with. They work fine and are a good bargain, if you think you might want to get into casting. I don't do much of that anymore. Have a hard enough time getting to the range to shoot, these days.
I think you'll find that handloading is an enjoyable hobbie in itself. A great thing to do on those long, cold winter nights to build up your inventory of ammo for the spring, summer, and fall. Take your time and enjoy it. There is no need to hurry. When the time comes that you shoot more than you can load, then you will know it's time for a progressive. For me, that took quite a few years.
Have fun, but be safe!

lgbloader
October 31, 2009, 02:21 PM
Hello Astroxus,

Let me start by saying that on my bench in the Man Cave, I have a Lee Classic cast, a Redding T7 Turret, a Dillon 550B, and two Dillon XL650's. I also have a RCBS Rockchucker that I used for years and years from my God father in a box (hold extreme sentimental value as he recently passed)

That said, I also have a mini bench in my family room that holds a "crappy old Lee challenger press, the one without the breech locks. I think I paid $25.00 for it new from my friend who works at a shooting range I go to.

With that crappy little press, I can safely say I would not hesitate to work brass on any caliber I presently I assemble cartridges for. It may not be as smooth as my "better" presses or as stout and I may eventually break the linkage if I continue to try and push it by using it on my magnum cases but if all you are going to do is load handgun, IMO, this would be all you need.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psyop
So when you hear...


Quote:
IMO, I would steer clear of anything Lee.

Disregard as nonsense.

Agreed.


I also agree with this 100%

If you are wanting to assemble your own ammunition and have very limited green backs in your wallet, Lee makes tools that will get the job done. Are there better tools? Absolutely but the best tools are not always neccesary.

LGB

rfwobbly
October 31, 2009, 04:29 PM
My defense ammo is 115gr and I would like to keep my target ammo characteristics similar to my defense ammo.

I agree. 115gr 9mm would also be a nice, middle of the road place to start. Good shooting and inexpensive. Maybe a little more barrel flip but nothing to complain about really. We all started on 115gr at one time.

However, before settling on your SD ammo, you might want to read this.... RAT CHEER (http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Self_Defense_Ammo_FAQ/index.htm), as we are prone to say in the South.



I wish I knew someone local to mentor me for reloading, but I don't have any friends that load their own ammo.

Best way to fix that is move South, brother. You never have control over where you were born, only over where your children are born. ;)

Arkansas Paul
October 31, 2009, 05:28 PM
I am new to reloading as well. I haven't used anything but RCBS equipment so far, but I wouldn't be opposed to trying Lee. After all, as reasonably priced as it is, if you don't like it, you're not out a lot of money. I am about to try some Lee dies because I can get them at Mid South Shooter Supply for $15 each. I have a friend who hasn't shot a factory load in ten years and he swears up and down that Lee dies are better. I guess I'll see. For the money, it's definately worth trying.

aerod1
October 31, 2009, 05:42 PM
I have a Lee Classic Cast Turret and a small Lee Reloader single stage. Both have performed perfectly. My next press will be the Lee Classic Cast single stage. Contrary to what some say, I believe you will be hard pressed to find a better value than Lee products.

Uncle Chan
October 31, 2009, 07:43 PM
I get a kick out of this whole Lee vs Anti-Lee crap. You know folks, they all do the job well. I have one of about everything and they all work fine. My Lee Challenger has loaded thousands of rounds and I've never had a problem with it. My Dillon 550B has loaded 10 of thousands of rounds, and I've had zero problems with it.

They all do as advertised.

For a starter, I'd get a Lee Anniversary kit and start reloading. If you want something bigger, better, faster later, then do so. I suspect that you'll keep the press and upgrade the accessories though.

hags
October 31, 2009, 07:47 PM
you can measure run out on a finished round from a Lee and one from a a Forster.
Let me know what you find.

Not to mention out of square trimmers, inaccurate and inconsistent powder chargers, cheapy scales, parts breakage and not so hot tolerances.

I'm not dumping on Lee, just giving my experience and opinions. This is my experience and the experiences of those I know and deal with.

Lee makes great beginner and entry level products. They are a plus to the industry and hobby.

BigJakeJ1s
October 31, 2009, 11:45 PM
The problem with single stage presses from RCBS, Hornady and Lyman is none of them have decent spent primer handling. They each send more than the occasional spent primer (and a fair amount of dirt/debris) bouncing to the bench and floor below.

Lee, Redding and Forster all make presses that do consistently herd spent primers and debris through the ram into a tube to a catch bottle or bucket/wastebasket below. The Lee Classic Cast, Redding Big Boss II and UltraMag, and the Forster Co-Ax all have this feature.

In addition, all of these presses are compatible with, or offer their own version of quick change die systems. The LCC, BBII and Ultramag are compatible with Hornady's Lock-N-Load press conversion kit that allows them to use dies equipped with LNL QC bushings. The Co-Ax has it's own snap-in/out floating die system for both convenience and enhanced accuracy.

The LCC is impossible to beat for the price, and is a solid, powerful and accurate press in its own right. Its handle and linkage are adjustable for handle and stroke length, angle of handle sweep, and left/right handedness. At almost 3X the price of the LCC, the co-ax is loaded with accuracy and convenience features, and is widely considered the best-designed, best-built single stage press available. The UltraMag is about the same price as the co-ax, and handles larger cartridges (the co-ax handles cartridges up to and including standard magnum length just fine), but lacks the co-ax's floating die system and universal shell holding jaws. The BBII is in between the LCC and Ultramag/co-ax in price, and is a very well made o-frame press.

The venerable RCBS Rockchucker press is no longer made in the US, and the quality has fallen from its once exemplary status. If you can find a used one from a couple of decades ago, that is still in good condition (i.e. well taken care of), it would be an good press, but no better than an LCC, and probably almost as expensive.

Andy

BHP FAN
November 1, 2009, 01:20 AM
I'll stick with good ol' made in the USA Lee equipment. My brother has an older RCBS,and it's good, too...but his equipment cost more,and mine came as a complete kit,and cost less.

qajaq59
November 1, 2009, 06:38 AM
I have been wanting to get into reloading but am on a fairly limited budget. Is there anyone out there that has recently upgraded from single stage, to a progressive press? If so would you be willling to sell your (working) used single stage press at a reasonable or low price to help a fella get into reloading?
Just to get back on track here.... If the lee is what you can afford, and you can't find a used press, then buy one. Period.
The end result will be reloaded cases..... which is where you are trying to got to.
At least you will be shooting while you save enough money for a different brand if you don't like it! When I started the only thing I put serious money into was my scale. A lousy press may be a pain in the neck, but it wont hurt your gun. A cheap unreliable scale could.

scythefwd
November 1, 2009, 07:02 AM
hags, what do you think of the ch tool and die presses? I have one that I got as a gift that is over 50 years old and it feels more solid than the rockchucker. It's action is also smoother and doesn't have any spots where I can feel it catch (could be just well broken in though).

Landric
November 1, 2009, 12:07 PM
I too would suggest the Lee Breech Lock Challenger kit. Its on sale as Midway right now:

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productnumber=423081

In addition to the kit, at a minimum I suggest-

A manual, Lee's is cheap and has a lot of good info, but also some Lee propaganda that needs to be sorted through. Its still a great resource as a bargain price though:

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productnumber=484416

and/or a Lyman Manual (more manuals are better, even in the age of the internet):

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=217655

or

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=277752

Extra breech locks for the press, you need one for each die to take advantage of the system, and the kit comes with three. So, if you have 4-die sets for both 9mm and .40S&W, you would need 3 additional packages, 2 additional packages if you go with 3-die sets. These also happen to be on sale right now:

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productnumber=971565

9mm die set:

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=885350

or

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=140349

A set of Calipers:

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=604242

As for components, finding them locally is best if you are buying in small volume. I never, for instance, order less than 5k primers or 8# of powder online due to shipping charges. I prefer to order primers in 10k or larger lots. However, if you do decide to order online, here are some places to look:

www.powdervalleyinc.com
www.wideners.com

As for brass, don't buy new for 9x19 or .40S&W. There is plenty of once fired brass available online (Gunbroker and the various forums), and 9x19 should be less than $40 per thousand. Plus you can reuse it multiple times.

I understand wanting to keep you loads similar to defense ammunition, but loading a 125 grain lead bullet isn't going to make much difference over loading a 115 grain bullet in felt recoil or point of impact. You are welcome to spend the extra money on jacketed bullets if you want to, but I don't really see much of an advantage. Missouri Bullet is a great source for lead 9mm bullets. www.missouribullet.com

I like HS-6 for 9mm powder, but there are a lot of options. Titegroup, 231, the list goes on. You should easily be able to get 1000 rounds from almost any powder (per pound), and often quite a bit more.

As for the Lee bashing going on here, it seems to be either based on experience with the older Lee equipment (which was not so hot a lot of the time), or lack of personal experience. I have several colors on my bench, Red, Green, and Blue. I've had a Rockchucker II since 1994 when I started handloading. I still have it, but IMO the Lee Classic Cast is a better press than the RC II. Its just as strong, plus it offers a better spent primer catcher and better on press priming system than the RC. It was also about $60 cheaper.

snuffy
November 1, 2009, 12:43 PM
I have to disagree with the above poster, the RCBS Rock Chucker is the best single stage there is, Period.... If you can find one used, buy it and forget the rest.

Saying one press is better than any other severely limits your opinion. Have you ever touched a co-ax? Apparently not!

you can measure run out on a finished round from a Lee and one from a a Forster.
Let me know what you find.


I don't have to check the runnout from my co-ax, my lee classic turret produces zero runnout on .223 match ammo. Runnout has more to do with the quality of the brass, the fl and seating dies than the press.

Loadedround says;
Go with a RCBS or Redding press. Stay away from the Lee junk.

Is that a personal opinion, or personal experience? Or just brand bias? If from personal experience, which lee products failed you, and did you contact lee to see if they'd replace/repair them?

I recently broke the sprue plate cam lever on one of my 6 cavity lee molds. I took 2 pictures of the broken part, sent lee an email with the pics attached. I got a reply the next day saying the new part(s) were being sent out that day. The addition of the pics meant they could asses the problem and take quick action. I received TWO cam levers in the mail the next day,(lee is just down the road about 60 miles)!:D

Atroxus
November 1, 2009, 02:50 PM
Order bullets from Missouri Bullets as a starter. Order something middle of the road, such as 124-125gr in 9mm. They'll be tons of loading info on that weight range. THR users get a discount from Missouri, so do a search on "Missouri discount".

I have been giving it some more thought, and with how big of a price difference there is between the FMJ and the small ball ammo I have been thinking about going with missouri bullets after all. If I were to get used to shooting with 125gr ball ammo at the range would there be enough difference between that and my 115gr defense ammo to throw off my aim if I needed to defend myself and/or my family? My defense ammo is 115gr Speer gold dot, which would be fired from a Beretta FS92.

rfwobbly
November 1, 2009, 03:19 PM
Atroxus -
I can't believe you've beat this poor horse into a 3 page thread !!! :evil:


Here's the deal. Each pistol is going to react differently to different brands of ammo, and even different loads within the same ammo brand. So the only safe thing to do, before you stake your life or your family's life on it, is to try numerous (well at least several) types of SD ammo.

For instance, my son bought a beautiful little Makerov pistol. Really great power for the size. Comfortable. Inexpensive. Well made. It ate Wolfe and Winchester practice ammo without a hiccup. So we bought a box of Hornady self defense ammo and tried that before he started carrying. Good thing we did. The Hornady would not feed in that gun. Hornady is great ammo, some of the best you can buy. So it was the way the gun interacted with that ammo that caused the problem. And that's why you do feed testing.

Now with some brands, like Speer Gold Dot, you can get several weights in 9mm. So for instance, if you decide on Gold Dots, you'd want to shoot some of each weight Gold Dots, because the point of aim is going to be different with each weight. The recovery time is going to be different. The grouping is going to be different.

The only way to answer your question for sure is to test.

Hope this helps! ;)

JoelSteinbach
November 1, 2009, 03:40 PM
I have a rockchucker in great condition am asking only $75. Also the RCBS baseplate for only $20.

ranger335v
November 1, 2009, 03:43 PM
"Would you guys be willing to comment upon the quality of the Hornady presses? Thanks. "

Hornady is good. Too. Fact is, ALL our presses of a given general design type are equal in most respects. That's what makes elitists sliming Lee so silly.

Anyone comparing a cast alum alloy frame press such as Lee's tiny Reloader and their older Challenger, the RCBS Partner and some of their older RS series, or even the current Hornady LnLs, etc, with massive cast iron or steel (Lee) presses is not being intellectually honest! But, any cast iron press, Redding, Forster, Lyman is fully the equal of the my RC. Lee's Classic Cast is superior because of it's cast steel construction, large opening - big enough to load .50 BMG, a spent primer catcher system that actually works and a fully adjustable lever design.

Any of us has a right to like what we like for whatever reason we choose. But none of us have a right to slime what someone else likes as "junk", and certainly not without any valid justification being given. (That kind of nonsense ruffles my feathers!) Nor should we attempt to guide others to buy/use our favorites if what we need is obviously different from what they will need. And there's a LOT of that kind of bad advice given on the web!

Landric
November 1, 2009, 06:10 PM
I have been giving it some more thought, and with how big of a price difference there is between the FMJ and the small ball ammo I have been thinking about going with missouri bullets after all. If I were to get used to shooting with 125gr ball ammo at the range would there be enough difference between that and my 115gr defense ammo to throw off my aim if I needed to defend myself and/or my family? My defense ammo is 115gr Speer gold dot, which would be fired from a Beretta FS92.

The short answer is no, it won't make much, if any, difference if you have to shoot in real life to defend yourself or your family. We are talking about a difference of ten grains here, not a huge thing. However, there is plenty of good 9x19mm defensive ammunition that uses a 124 grain bullet if it makes you more comfortable to use bullets closer in weight. I have a couple of Beretta 92 pistols, and I can't tell a difference in either point of impact or recoil with 115 and 125 grain loads.

In fact, given the much lower cost of Missouri Bullet's RN lead Smallball, you will probably be in a better position to use the gun in self-defense because you will have been able to afford more practice.

As an example, I use Missouri's Smallball 125 grain RN, Federal SP primer, Speer Brass, and 6.5 grains of HS-6. Average velocity is 1116fps, Average muzzle energy is 345 ft.-lbs. That is very close to what you can expect from a factory 115 grain 9x19mm (non-+P). Those figures are from my 4 1/4" Beretta 92D Centurion.

Atroxus
November 1, 2009, 07:07 PM
Atroxus -
I can't believe you've beat this poor horse into a 3 page thread !!! :evil:


Here's the deal. Each pistol is going to react differently to different brands of ammo, and even different loads within the same ammo brand. So the only safe thing to do, before you stake your life or your family's life on it, is to try numerous (well at least several) types of SD ammo.

For instance, my son bought a beautiful little Makerov pistol. Really great power for the size. Comfortable. Inexpensive. Well made. It ate Wolfe and Winchester practice ammo without a hiccup. So we bought a box of Hornady self defense ammo and tried that before he started carrying. Good thing we did. The Hornady would not feed in that gun. Hornady is great ammo, some of the best you can buy. So it was the way the gun interacted with that ammo that caused the problem. And that's why you do feed testing.

Now with some brands, like Speer Gold Dot, you can get several weights in 9mm. So for instance, if you decide on Gold Dots, you'd want to shoot some of each weight Gold Dots, because the point of aim is going to be different with each weight. The recovery time is going to be different. The grouping is going to be different.

The only way to answer your question for sure is to test.

Hope this helps! ;)

I guess you could say I am a *little* tenacious. As long as I think there is more useful information to be squeezed from this thread though, I will keep flogging the corpse so to speak...after all no sense making a new thread when I am already subscribed to this one right?:neener:

I did decide to follow someones advice and post a notice at my work looking for people to mentor me in reloading, and/or go shooting with. I have a friend who was considering reloading as well, so I offered to let him learn with me as well once I get my equipment/reloading bench setup.

I did just realize that the table I had been planning to use as a reloading bench is probably not sturdy enough though. So now I am trying to decide between buying a work bench or trying to build one myself. I found instructions in another thread for building one at a cost of about $100 in materials. Although for me that number would likely be higher as I would have to buy a few tools that I don't yet own. If I can find a decent bench for not too much more expensive I would probably go that route though. Anyone happen to know where I could get a relatively inexpensive work bench? ($100-$200 range)

The short answer is no, it won't make much, if any, difference if you have to shoot in real life to defend yourself or your family. We are talking about a difference of ten grains here, not a huge thing. However, there is plenty of good 9x19mm defensive ammunition that uses a 124 grain bullet if it makes you more comfortable to use bullets closer in weight. I have a couple of Beretta 92 pistols, and I can't tell a difference in either point of impact or recoil with 115 and 125 grain loads.

In fact, given the much lower cost of Missouri Bullet's RN lead Smallball, you will probably be in a better position to use the gun in self-defense because you will have been able to afford more practice.

Cool, that is exactly what I was hoping to hear. I was hoping to not have to spend several hundred dollars again to purchase and test fire 125gr defense ammo, and replace the 100 rounds of ammo I have sitting near my bed already. :)

psyop
November 1, 2009, 07:10 PM
Try your local lumber yard or building contractor for a cut off Lamb Beam

They all keep the ends and never do anything with them. They are 2x4s' lamenated together. ....if you like cheap
I have one 20" x 120" 4" thick..
Make Super tops 4" thick..well 33/4 nowadays

Landric
November 1, 2009, 07:14 PM
I loaded on my parents old kitchen table from 1994 until last year when I got into loading rifle ammunition. I found a regular table sturdy enough for loading handgun, its when I started with the rifle stuff that I decided to build something more sturdy. Depending on what kind of table you have, it might be just fine to start out with.

It was a huge mess in this picture, but it still worked just fine.

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c85/Landric/DSCF3155.jpg


I've since moved the huge majority of my handloading operation to a "man cave" in the climate controlled part of my detached garage. However, when I need to do something handloading related inside, its simply a matter of using my portable set up C-clamped to my desk or the kitchen table. Note the press is a Lee Breech Lock Challenger.

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c85/Landric/IMG_0307.jpg

psyop
November 1, 2009, 07:20 PM
That is Beautiful.

I give you a lot of credit, I am not man enough to show my mess..lol

Atroxus
November 1, 2009, 07:24 PM
Oh cool, I was thinking I needed some burly steel frame 3/4 inc plywood topped behemoth of a work bench for some reason. I will give my table a shot, and maybe just try adding some bracing to it for added stability. Wish me luck. ;)

Landric
November 1, 2009, 07:33 PM
That is Beautiful.

I give you a lot of credit, I am not man enough to show my mess..lol

That mess is the main reason my who works got moved to the garage. Now I have plenty of space, which means its somewhat less of a mess. Not really neat, but a lot neater than the above picture.

rfwobbly
November 1, 2009, 08:44 PM
Atroxus -
Squeeze away, buddy! :D

First look at Landric's table to learn an important lesson. There's a lot of tools and information needed in the reloading area. Landric has shown you a realistic photo of the general reloading bench top. It does require space, and as we all know... space is the final frontier.

There are several items which might be better if placed on a shelf 12-16" above the work top, then the work space need not be so deep. IMHO scales and reference books are all served better by a shelf. With a peg-board for tools behind that, you can actually reduce your work top space to the size of a card table.

On work benches, my advice is to first consider what you have before you react and spend any money. 1) Your ideas are going to change radically in the first year. 2) The table needs to be stiff, but only under the press. Obviously, spending the money to get a stiff table under the reloading manuals is foolishness. If you already have a pretty good work bench then maybe the simple insertion of a vertical 4x4 under the press is all you need. How expensive is that?

Please mail me the difference. :D

Hope this helps!

Landric
November 1, 2009, 09:19 PM
First look at Landric's table to learn an important lesson. There's a lot of tools and information needed in the reloading area. Landric has shown you a realistic photo of the general reloading bench top. It does require space, and as we all know... space is the final frontier.

Absolutely, this is a little dated picture (my bench has been reinforced under the presses since and the Breech Lock Challenger was moved to my portable set up in favor of a Classic Cast on the bench):

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c85/Landric/DSCF3401.jpg

rfwobbly
November 1, 2009, 09:36 PM
There are several items which might be better if placed on a shelf 12-16" above the work top, then the work space need not be so deep. IMHO scales and reference books are all served better by a shelf. With a peg-board for tools behind that, you can actually reduce your work top space to the size of a card table.

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c85/Landric/DSCF3401.jpg



Jezz, Lou-ezze -
I'm leaving right now to buy lottery tickets. Can I see into the future or what?


:D

rfwobbly
November 1, 2009, 09:41 PM
Landric -

That's it, buddy. The jig's up! You're user privileges are revoked for mixing red, green, and blue presses on the same bench !!

:D

Landric
November 1, 2009, 09:50 PM
I know, how can I post that any color is best when I have all three!?!

rfwobbly
November 1, 2009, 09:53 PM
I see Lee, RCBS and Hornady dies, too. That's a clear violation.

:D:D

Landric
November 1, 2009, 10:04 PM
At least one Lyman set too, plus at least one Redding. It gets worse though, since I took that pic I have gotten into casting as well. My lube-sizer is a Lyman, as are most of my molds!

Matt Dillon
November 1, 2009, 10:15 PM
+1 on the Lee Classic single stage press. If you lube it once in a while, it will outlast you!

ranger335v
November 2, 2009, 08:51 AM
"I am not calling anyone else's equipment JUNK, as I have never used anything other than RCBS. I can tell you that RCBS IS NOT JUNK! You get what you pay for."

Humerous. Someone speaking with zero experience with any color but green and knows not if anything else is it's equal - or better - and has no interest in learning. Interesting position, is it not?

Price is no indicator of anything's value. If it were we could simpy walk into any store to buy anything, pick out the most expensive and leave believing we just got the "best." Or, I could easily sell my house for twice it's current market value because that would mean it's more valuable than my neighbor's house, right?

No one has even suggested RCBS is junk. Nor Lyman, Redding, Forster, Hornady...only the blindly loyal RCBS crowd says that, and then only about Lee, with NO JUSTIFICATION GIVEN! Not anything honest anyway.

Lee IS NOT my favorite brand, but then nothing is my "favorite" across the board. I pick and choose what I buy because, with a wide range of experience with reloading tools, I know what features I want and who has them. Sometimes that means RCBS, sometimes any of the others.

When I do buy RCBS, new, and I do, I know I'm paying two or more times what it should cost. I get what I want, but I don't really get high value for my dollars do I? And for those high prices, I can get "free" repair parts? Okay, but they're not really "free" are they? And the other makers also have warrantees for valid claims, so .... isn't proclaiming that sorta pointless?

psyop
November 2, 2009, 09:47 AM
Hey...RCBS, I have sold many presses for you thru our Handloading Course over 10 years. Bragging up your quality, customer service and warranty.
However when one of our group opened up his new RC we found a porous casting and machining so poor it could only have been done in China, we had to reevaluate our loyalty.

WE WANT AMERICAN MADE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
American Castings
American Machining
American PRIDE in Workmanship
Most all presses sold now are LEE Classic Cast......Because after comparing presses this is what our students choose.

Demand American Made

SteelyNirvana
November 2, 2009, 04:14 PM
Ammosmith has done a nice review on the Lee classic turret press.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM54KBOf4IY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRn_twi9B0g

Landric
November 2, 2009, 07:25 PM
This is what my bench looked like today. I think I might have broken some kind of natural law by using a Lee push through sizer on a Rockchucker.

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c85/Landric/IMG_0310.jpg

RustyFN
November 2, 2009, 08:29 PM
Landric with all the different colors on the bench when you turn out the light and close the door can you hear them starting to fight. :D

Bear2000
November 2, 2009, 08:46 PM
I recommend the Lee Classic Turret Press, which is the most versatile for the money. I reload .380, 9mm, .223, 6.5x55, and .308 with mine. When loading semi-progressively, I can churn out 200-250 rounds/hour of handgun ammo. For rifle ammunition, I remove the indexing rod and reload single stage. Still, it's nice to be able to just turn the turret from the resizer to the bullet seating die.

This really is a great press for little money. The place to buy is:

http://www.kempfgunshop.com/

Sue will hook you up with everything you need for less than Midway and then give you amazing customer service for as long as you own your press.

Good luck, and if you need help, shoot me a pm. Two years ago Rusty and others got me going on my Classic Press and I haven't looked back yet. I've considered a Dillon or maybe a Redding single stage, but I just can't justify it.

husker
November 2, 2009, 09:00 PM
WE WANT AMERICAN MADE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
once upon a time we lead the world in manufacturing & technology
now we just simply follow.
----------------------WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?---------------------------------------
ask the next kid 25 years or younger what a Bridgeport Mill is. Or what South Bend used to make.
its sad. So its nice to hear that LEE is AMERICAN MADE.

flashhole
November 2, 2009, 09:14 PM
Landric - I agree, I think you have blasphemed. How did it work out?

Atroxus
November 2, 2009, 11:51 PM
I had to call 8 different stores but I finally found primers and powder today. :) I was wondering though how many times brass can be reloaded? And how do you tell when it is no longer safe to reload?

lgbloader
November 3, 2009, 12:00 AM
I was wondering though how many times brass can be reloaded? And how do you tell when it is no longer safe to reload?

depends on the caliber and how hot you run 'em.

POP QUIZ TO ATROXUS: How many times does your reload manual say you can load them and how do you tell when they are no longer safe to reload?

You do have a reload manual, don't you. And you have read and studied it, correct? It's okay to ask questions, but these are some you should know by reading and studying the manuals. The reason I am saying this is you really need to read and study handloading as well.

Pay your dues like we all did ;).

LGB

Atroxus
November 3, 2009, 12:17 AM
depends on the caliber and how hot you run 'em.

POP QUIZ TO ATROXUS: How many times does your reload manual say you can load them and how do you tell when they are no longer safe to reload?

You do have a reload manual, don't you. And you have read and studied it, correct? It's okay to ask questions, but these are some you should know by reading and studying the manuals. The reason I am saying this is you really need to read and study handloading as well.

Pay your dues like we all did ;).

LGB
Actually my first reloading manual is in the mail along with my press, dies, etc. I do plan on reading it thoroughly *before* I unbox my press though. If that info is generally included the manuals I guess I will get my answer in about a week.....unless I can find it on the interwebs faster. ;)

Landric
November 3, 2009, 12:33 AM
Atroxus, what equipment did you decide on?

rfwobbly
November 3, 2009, 12:44 AM
Atroxus -
I can't believe you've beat this poor horse into a 3 page thread !!!

I guess you could say I am a *little* tenacious.

Tenacious? Heck, you're going for the world record !! :D

Atroxus
November 3, 2009, 01:00 AM
World record?! Sweet! How many more pages I need to get into guiness? ;)

I ordered the Lee anniversary kit, with Lee carbide dies. It seemed the most cost effective way for me to get into reloading. I also ordered the ABCs of reloading which numerous sites have named as the ideal first reloading book. I plan on getting more books later, but my wife has allready been eyballing me over how much I have spent already, so I want to spread out some of the costs. ;)

rfwobbly
November 3, 2009, 01:24 AM
World record?! Sweet! How many more pages I need to get into Guinness?

If there's going to be any Guinness about, it's going to be YOU mailing ME a Guinness !! :D


Congrats on the press purchase. There's no argument that Lee is the best way to go for a constrained budget. May I suggest....

• Start a spread sheet of all your reloading purchases. You'll be able to easily prove your reloading is saving your family money and your wife will become a big fan fast. Marriage Hint #349: You always want your wife on your side.

• Your "ABC's" is a great book, but doesn't have much in the way of load data. You should also get the Lymans #49 RLM. Ask your wife what she's planning to get you for Thanksgiving. You can also get free load data pamphlets where you buy your powder.

• Marriage Hint #272: Try to spend at least 1 night a week away from the press and with your wife.

• Marriage Hint #195: Never try to convince the wife that they call it the "anniversary kit" because you bought it for her wedding anniversary. That's already been tried.

:rolleyes:

Atroxus
November 3, 2009, 09:37 AM
If there's going to be any Guinness about, it's going to be YOU mailing ME a Guinness !! :D


Congrats on the press purchase. There's no argument that Lee is the best way to go for a constrained budget. May I suggest....

• Start a spread sheet of all your reloading purchases. You'll be able to easily prove your reloading is saving your family money and your wife will become a big fan fast. Marriage Hint #349: You always want your wife on your side.

• Your "ABC's" is a great book, but doesn't have much in the way of load data. You should also get the Lymans #49 RLM. Ask your wife what she's planning to get you for Thanksgiving. You can also get free load data pamphlets where you buy your powder.

• Marriage Hint #272: Try to spend at least 1 night a week away from the press and with your wife.

• Marriage Hint #195: Never try to convince the wife that they call it the "anniversary kit" because you bought it for her weeding anniversary. That's already been tried.

:rolleyes:

LOL, how about if I get in Guiness book, you get Guiness in the mail?

I was planning on the spreadsheed already, but thanks for the advice all the same.

The anniversary kit comes with a "powder data manual with more than 1,000 different loads tested and recommended by Hodgdon Powder Co." I think someone else in this thread said that winchester 231 powder used the same load data as hodgdon HP-38, so I am hoping the load data that comes with the kit will be enough to get me started, if not I can always pickup another book though. ;)

Is the guy that bought the Lee kit for his wedding anniversary still married? If so how much jewelry did he have to purchase to stay that way?

The Bushmaster
November 3, 2009, 10:09 AM
Revolver cases can be loaded from once to any number of times depending on how hot you load them and when they split. Pistol cases can be reloaded from one time or until you lose them in the grass...

ranger335v
November 3, 2009, 10:16 AM
"I ordered the Lee anniversary kit, with Lee carbide dies. It seemed the most cost effective way for me to get into reloading. I also ordered the ABCs of reloading which numerous sites have named as the ideal first reloading book."

You can safely tell your wife you made wise and cost effective choices. Add a Lyman loading manual, or Lee, and a couple of case holding/loading blocks.

rfwobbly
November 3, 2009, 01:50 PM
Add a Lyman loading manual, or Lee, and a couple of case holding/loading blocks.

Might be better to go to the local hardware store and buy a 3/8 and 1/2 plug cutting drill bit, which cut a square bottomed hole. Then using a cast off piece of oak, make your own 60-position blocks as per the following thread....

Loading Blocks (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=482013&highlight=block)

Or simply buy that guy's blocks.

Atroxus
November 3, 2009, 01:57 PM
I ordered a couple with my press actually. I was wondering wouldn't left over trays from factory ammo work as well? I also have some of those along with a small amount of once fired brass.

azyogi
November 3, 2009, 02:22 PM
the holes on trays from factory ammo are too close together to use as loading blocks, you want enough room to be able to pick up the cases one at a time. Save the factory ammo trays for your reloaded ammo.

azyogi
November 3, 2009, 02:42 PM
I had to go back and reread earlier posts, to see if this was mentioned. When using a single stage press I use a batch process where i will do a tray of sizing and depriming, then inspect each for flaws, then prime that tray full, then inspect each for flaws, etc. I always leave an empty row on the loading block so I can tell the difference between which has been done for this step. You'd think this is easy, but the point is each one done right every time. Wifes, kids, dogs, cats, phones won't care if you need to concentrate on this stage they want you to stop and pet them or whatever. A space between done and not done cases is just a saftey back-up. Build these habits into every step you can. It will cut down or eliminate missed or doubled steps. You don't want to miss priming or double powder at any time. A missed primer is just an excuse to buy an impact bullet puller, a doubled powder charge could ruin your day, gun, or wifes good opinion of reloading.

Landric
November 3, 2009, 02:48 PM
Good points azyogi!

Also, when I load in batches using loading blocks, as I do on a single stage, I keep a small flashlight with me next to the cases. When I charge a batch with power I take the flashlight and look inside each one, both the make sure there is powder and to make sure the level of powder appears the same as all the others. If something looks wrong, I weight the charge to make sure, then take the action necessary to correct any problem there might be.

Atroxus
November 3, 2009, 03:19 PM
I had to go back and reread earlier posts, to see if this was mentioned. When using a single stage press I use a batch process where i will do a tray of sizing and depriming, then inspect each for flaws, then prime that tray full, then inspect each for flaws, etc. I always leave an empty row on the loading block so I can tell the difference between which has been done for this step. You'd think this is easy, but the point is each one done right every time. Wifes, kids, dogs, cats, phones won't care if you need to concentrate on this stage they want you to stop and pet them or whatever. A space between done and not done cases is just a saftey back-up. Build these habits into every step you can. It will cut down or eliminate missed or doubled steps. You don't want to miss priming or double powder at any time. A missed primer is just an excuse to buy an impact bullet puller, a doubled powder charge could ruin your day, gun, or wifes good opinion of reloading.
I am planning on using a two block method for each step. Cases in block on left side of press will be inspected and ready for whatever stage of reloading I am on. block on right of press will be where I place cases that are finished with that step. Once left tray empty and right tray full, I will inspect to make sure all are ready for next step then swap the full tray back to left side of press. Basically the equivalent of inbox/outbox. I figure that will ensure that I don't double up on powder, and hopefully allow me to avoid other errors as well if I get interrupted during reloading session.

...I keep a small flashlight with me next to the cases. When I charge a batch with power I take the flashlight and look inside each one, both the make sure there is powder and to make sure the level of powder appears the same as all the others...

Good idea on the flashlight, I am gonna do that too. :)

RandyP
November 3, 2009, 04:01 PM
I set up a small desk lamp on my reloading bench to do the same powder check with each placement of a bullet on my turret. A little extra light in just the right place works wonders.

Atroxus
November 3, 2009, 04:34 PM
I set up a small desk lamp on my reloading bench to do the same powder check with each placement of a bullet on my turret. A little extra light in just the right place works wonders.
Oh duh, now i feel stupid for not thinking of this myself sooner. I actually have a magnifying lamp that I bought for painting miniatures. I will probably end up using the same table for both hobbies. So it would make sense for me to use the same lamp for both. <smacks forehead>

Atroxus
November 10, 2009, 12:21 AM
I finally got my Lee Anniversary kit today, among other things. It seems to have all the parts needed to assemble the press. It does not have bolts to mount it to my table though. Anyone happen to know if those were supposed to be included, or if I am supposed to get my own bolts from the hardware store?

RandyP
November 10, 2009, 12:35 AM
You supply your own mounting hardware, be it lag bolts, hex head, whatever to suit the thickness of your bench top. I'd suggest you pick the largest diameter ones that will fit thru the holes in the casting. There is a surprising amount of force exerted by the ram of a reloader.

Atroxus
November 10, 2009, 12:43 AM
Good to know, thanks. I guess I will be heading to the hardware store. :)

Landric
November 10, 2009, 01:05 AM
Dude, you made page 5! :) Congrats on the press and equipment BTW.

Atroxus
November 10, 2009, 01:29 AM
Dude, you made page 5! :) Congrats on the press and equipment BTW.
Thanks. :) I haven't finished reading ABCs of reloading yet, but I figure I can at least try to get my reloading "bench" set up while I study. My goal is to start sizing my first batch of brass in 3-4 days, then start priming. I am thinking 50 round lots until I find a load that works for me. My kit was supposed to come with a powder load data manual but it seems to be missing(I contacted Cabela's and Lee but am not holding my breath), so I am either gonna have to find load data online, or buy another book before I can start throwing powder. I am eager to get started, but I figure slower=safer for now....at least in theory. ;)

flashhole
November 10, 2009, 08:04 AM
The Hodgdon website probably has the most comprehensive on-line data base for load recipies. The downside to the website is they only have data for Hodgdon, IMR, and Winchester powder because they are all one company now. There is no substitute for a data manual, more are better because you can cross reference the load data. This is especially important when you are pushing the top end of the load range.

warnerwh
November 10, 2009, 02:21 PM
The Lee load manual is an excellent one but it doesn't appear to come with your set up. At least what I could find. Be sure to get the bolts a good 1/2" to 3/4" longer than it looks like you need as well as washers. I say this because I've made that kind of mistake myself which for a maintenance mechanic isn't something I should admit.

It's good to see you are taking your time and doing this safely. It's well worth the effort and is relatively simple. As someone said before I also have a light I use to check the powder in cases on the charge blocks. I read the charge blocks like a book, from left to right on each row. It's the only way I'll feel comfortable.

twice barrel
November 10, 2009, 02:31 PM
http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp;jsessionid=KX5I3MW1IBJZVLAQBBJCCN3MCAEFGIWE?id=0003080216577a&type=product&cmCat=froogle&cm_ven=data_feed&cm_cat=froogle&cm_pla=1230301&cm_ite=0003080216577a&_requestid=66050

If this is what you bought it sure mentions getting a "powder data manual" with it.

As far as reloading references go I always liked the Hornady one. It offered the new loader a good explanation of what goes on in the chamber and its effect on cartridge cases. Plenty of data and assembly instruction too.

Hodgdon's website offers plenty of recipes and if you never use anything but Hodgdon powders you won't want for much.

You're off to a good start,

TB

Landric
November 10, 2009, 02:36 PM
The disadvantage to Lee's Breech Lock Challenger Anniversary kit is that it doesn't come with a manual. All the other kits from the other manufacturers I am aware of (RCBS, Lyman, Redding, etc.) come with manuals. The advantage of the Lee kit is that it costs at least $200 less than kits from the other guys. That is plenty of savings to buy several manuals.

Atroxus
November 10, 2009, 04:46 PM
I got a response back from Lee already saying that they stopped including the manual several years ago, and that I should contact Cabela's to have them update their web site.

I found the hodgdon site shortly after posting last night and it seems like it will work great for me for now at least. My powder is W231 and I am only going to be loading 9mm Luger at first.

Seedtick
November 11, 2009, 02:06 AM
Atroxus - My kit was supposed to come with a powder load data manual but it seems to be missing(I contacted Cabela's and Lee but am not holding my breath)...

I got a response back from Lee already saying that they stopped including the manual several years ago, and that I should contact Cabela's to have them update their web site.

The product discription does say "and powder data manual with more than 1,000 different loads tested and recommended by Hodgdon Powder Co." (http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp;jsessionid=VXZPUH0T2ZE33LAQBBJCCN3MCAEFGIWE?id=0003080216577a&type=product&cmCat=froogle&cm_ven=data_feed&cm_cat=froogle&cm_pla=1230301&cm_ite=0003080216577a&_requestid=66050&_requestid=197506)

I've had good luck with Cabela's customer service and it might be worthwhile to hit them up another time or two. Be really nice and explain how important a manual is and how loyal of a customer you are and so on.... Couldn't hurt?

Also -
There are a few manuals for sale (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=480686) in the Trading Post (http://www.thehighroad.org/forumdisplay.php?f=21) - Buy, Sell and Trade: Reloading Components and Gear (http://www.thehighroad.org/forumdisplay.php?f=50) forum now.

ST

Atroxus
November 11, 2009, 12:01 PM
Ya I am gonna see if I can wheedle a load data manual out of them for free. I am not gonna hold my breath though. Now that I know about the hodgdon site I am not overly worried about it though.

Atroxus
November 11, 2009, 10:49 PM
Well I finally got my loading table setup, and sized my first 10 cases. I wasn't brave enough to combine the sizing and priming into one operation though. Once I have my first batch of brass sized and measured to make sure none needs trimming will start putting in primers. Is all unfired brass so I am not expecting to need trimming, but I wanna get in habit early of doing everything the exact same way, all the time. Here is a pic of my loading table though. Pardon the poor image quality though it was taken on my phone. ;)

http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/5891/loadingbench1.jpg (http://img5.imageshack.us/i/loadingbench1.jpg/)

Landric
November 11, 2009, 11:45 PM
There is nothing wrong with measuring and trimming (if necessary) handgun brass, but its generally accepted that this is unnecessary for straight walled handgun cases. I've been loading for handgun for over 15 years and I have never trimmed a piece of handgun brass. It won't hurt anything if you do, but it is likely an unnecessary and time consuming step.

psyop
November 12, 2009, 02:01 PM
Awesome

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