Is this a deal?


December 18, 2009, 08:12 AM
I left the ad at work, but locally there is a guy selling a reloading setup. It includes the basic setup (press, powder measure), including a primerer, as well as a tumbler, and dies for a .357 and .38. He said he has some other stuff as well--and all for $185. I forgot to ask the brandname, but I am going to check it out this afternoon. I am new to reloading, so I do not know what to look for. When I look at the equipment, what should I check? Any info would help. Thanks, and merry CHristmas to all!

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December 18, 2009, 08:25 AM
We need more info than what you've provided, Victor1Echo. Give us a more-or-less detailed list of the press make and model / type, what brand of measure, and the die brands, and if they are carbide or steel.

It would not be a good deal for a Lee "C" press; if it is (for example) a Lee Turret set up it sounds high for used gear; and if it is a Dillon 550, it's probably a good deal.

Jim H.

December 18, 2009, 08:46 AM
As JFH states, you need more information. It could be a 20.00 or 200.00 press, The manufacturer of the powder measure and dies are most important too, Let us know.

December 18, 2009, 11:54 AM
The ad does not have any info, and I won't be able to ask him until this afternoon. But Things like knowing to ask if its steel or carbide? Or which models to avoid-- Lee C press. The ad just says case tumbler, press, powder scale, priming tool, dies, and more. If you could tell me some brands and models to avoid, that would be great.

Also, are powder scales the same for rifles?

December 18, 2009, 11:59 AM
All the brand name manufacturers make good gear. All have different features and pros and cons of course, but nobody out here makes 'junk' IMHO. Even the least expensive ($30 whack-it-with-a-hammer Lee Loader) turns out safe, reliable and accurate ammo.

Find out the makes and models of what is being offered and doubtless the folks here can offer some sound advice.

December 18, 2009, 08:54 PM
Basically what you are buying is a "kit" and there are not that many reloading kits for sale. You could look them all up on a website like Midway in about 5 minutes and get their current discounted price.

Basically you want to pay a fair price for the 1) press, 2) powder dispenser, and 3) scales... and get everything else thrown in. The latest reloading manual will tell you the last time he played with the equipment. You DO want all the books, dies, case lubes, tools to adjust the press, and all other small bits, but you do not want to pay for those. You DO NOT want to pay for powder and primers because they may be bad form poor storage, but you do want them thrown in. Basically you want everything because if he found he needed it, then eventually you will too.

You want to look for rust on the press, especially the ram. You want to see the scale "zero out". And the powder dispenser operate smooth as silk. The rust is not a show stopper unless it looks like its been sitting outside, but it will take time to get it all cleaned up and your time is worth money too.

Remember 10 years ago kits were far, far less expensive and far better made. Personally I'd rather have a 20 yo RockChucker kit than most brand-new single stage kits. I think my 1978 Made-in-the-USA RockChucker kit was $75.

December 19, 2009, 11:01 AM
I bought it! It's all Lee stuff, but there seems like alot. I was kind of planing on buying a kit. I will post a picture of it later. Also came with Hornady tumbler, and three dies. I'll post it later. Plus I liked the guy who sold it to me.

December 19, 2009, 02:27 PM
Okay- I have yet figured out how to post a picture. BUt here's what I got:
a simple Lee press
A lee's auto primer
3 three Lee dies 9mm, .357, and .38
A Lee's powder dispenser
A hornady m2 tumbler
a lee's safty powder scale
a metal funnel
4 boxes of bullets
and some platic holders for the shells
and various deburing tools

I do not think it was the deal of the century or anything, but it made me happy.;)

Okay so where to buy dies cheap?
Looking for 32 sw long
.45 auto


December 19, 2009, 05:44 PM
Hmmm. If that "simple Lee press" is a Classic Cast, (or perhaps a Challenger), and is LNIB, then you probably didn't overpay too much--if the bullet boxes are full, or nearly so. (I'll bet he had priced it to allow for a counteroffer.) At any rate--

1. You can buy Lee dies from Graf's, Midway, Midsouth, and so on. A Simple google will find the sites. Personally, I buy from Graf'''s.

2. Despite what others will say (sooner or later) about the Lee scale, they do work fine. Because you transported it home, however, be sure to go through a setup routine and to make sure it works well--i.e., the balance point could be damaged, or even just dirty.

Get the picture up, and we armchair experts can comment and guide you a bit better--

Jim H.

December 19, 2009, 06:18 PM
Sounds like you did pretty good. Pics will help though. Even if you didn't do as good as you could have, you are on your way to spending lots more money and having lots more fun. It's not too late to turn back. just so you know. :evil: Once you build the bench and bolt it down it's over. :)

As for the Lee scale, I like it and use it. Lots of other folks do too and then there are some that don't. Just like any other piece of equipment, some like it and some don't. Just like crimping, some do and some don't. Just like the Lee Factory Crimp die.......:evil:

Let the fun begin. :)

December 20, 2009, 09:51 PM
a pic.

December 20, 2009, 10:02 PM
you did just fine. youll be happy with it.

December 20, 2009, 11:05 PM
Well, you could have done worse. I have 2 of those presses and use them most of the time when I load anything. It looks like you still did pretty good all in all. Let the fun begin. :)

December 21, 2009, 06:30 AM
$185 is not a bad price for all of that. I couldnt get all that gear for double that here in France. So yes you got a deal.

December 21, 2009, 07:02 AM
That looks like it's the Lee $35 "C" press? Figure a tumbler is 'about" $60, 4-die sets are under $40 each.

Here is Lee's website if you want to check out their videos and confirm which press?

One other good source for Lee is the place just down the road from the factory. They don't always have immediate inventory but their prices are very good.:

December 21, 2009, 07:21 AM
If you can now sit down and start loading, I'd say it's the best deal you ever got. And if you shoot as much as some of us do, you'll have saved that $185 in ammo costs by the end of 2010.

Later on you can start looking for a deal on casting equipment. :D

December 21, 2009, 07:41 AM
If indeed it is the CF1391 press, or for that matter any other one, go here to free download an instruction manual:

December 21, 2009, 09:17 AM
"Okay so where to buy dies cheap?
Looking for 32 sw long
.45 auto

Do you own handguns in the 9mm,357 and .38 calibers too or did you not need those dies from the kit you bought? I only ask because you could always offer any surplus hardware for sale here or on flea-bay to help defray the new die costs?

Midway USa, Cabelas, Grafs, Factory Sales and MANY other internet resources sell Lee die sets in those other calibers.

December 21, 2009, 10:03 AM
Thanks to all.

I do not own a 9mm, 38 or 357. I figured I could sell them or buy the guns: I'm leaning toword buying the guns. However, money is tight and I would hate to see these dies sit another ten years unused. Another thing is--I am very excited about the whole process of reloading and expanding my hobby.

December 21, 2009, 10:17 AM
In that case, IMHO the deal wasn't that outstanding but it is salvageable. You do have a good $75 tumbler and Lee's giveaway C press (they give it away if you buy their reloading manual). The scale and powder measure are solid items to own.

Sell the bullets and the dies you didn't need out of the package and buy the ones you will use. Perhaps a fellow reloader will make a trade? If you don't already have a manual the Lee and Lyman's 49th edition are a good start. You will also need a set of calipers (I use the Harbor Freight digital one - about $30)

Good luck and happy reloading.

December 21, 2009, 10:32 AM
It was sort of an impluse buy, and I knew it wasn't like a DEAL!! But it has opened a door, and that's worth $185.

December 21, 2009, 02:13 PM
important first step....

take out your wallet and weigh it on the scale...

it will never again be so heavy! :)

go forth, make good ammo. and be happy...

if you get hooked you will probably want to invest in a nicer press some day.... but you'll always find a practical use for the single stage press...

December 21, 2009, 02:34 PM
I do not own a 9mm, 38 or 357. I figured I could sell them or buy the guns: I'm leaning toword buying the guns.Your gonna fit right in. :D

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