Newb with some questions


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vonscott
November 30, 2010, 03:28 PM
Hi... new here and have never reloaded before... I figured I would blow myself up. After watching a few videos of how it is done I thought it didnít look as hard as I had imagined. I have a pretty good imagination!

I am going to get the ABC's book before I get my kit to help with the decision on whether to try this or not. If I do, more than likely I will be getting a Lee breech lock challenger kit. If I like reloading I can always upgrade some things as I go. It looks like the week spots with the lee are the powder measure and the scale. No big deal on the measure as I will weigh every charge.

What is an accurate easy to use scale? The reviews I have read about most of the common scales are OK to not so good. Correct me if I am wrong but it looks like the things that would cause the most trouble would be incorrect charge or cartridge length/bullet seat depth. Any other big things to watch out for? I would like to keep my fingers right where they are. :D

Here is where it gets a little complicated. I am getting a new rifle and this will be the only cartridge that I would load for until I feel comfortable enough to load for some of my other rifles. I want something with light recoil that will be versatile and fun to shoot. It has come down to the 7mm-08 and the 6.5x55 se with modern action. My prefferance for these calibers is what sparked my interest in reloading as factory loads are a little slim and fairly expensive compared to the 270 which may be a better choice if I decide not to load. I just woud rather have a little less recoil.

I am leaning towards the 708 even though I like the 6.5 better. If I end up not taking to reloading very well there is more factory ammo available and is loaded for modern actions so I will still have a very competent rifle. I would rather have the 6.5 because it looks like with the right rounds would be fantastic for anything that I would hunt and accurate enough to fool around with some longer shots at the range. The big drawback is it looks like to get anywhere near full performance it is hand load only. Would there be any big differences in these calibers for the beginning loader?

If I sound confused it's because I am.... Thanks for any help you guys can give me.

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Grumulkin
November 30, 2010, 04:56 PM
If you like the 6.5 better than the 7mm/08 then get the 6.5. It won't be any harder to handload for one than the other.

You apparently have several guns so I'm not sure of the logic in getting a kit you anticipate having to upgrade from later. WAY back in the early 1980s, I got the RCBS kit and am still using the press, the scale and the powder measure from that kit. I added a Redding T-7 turret press several years ago and more recently got a Lee Classic Cast press when I needed to crimp 378 Weatherby rounds but I still use the RCBS press regularly.

The Lee reloading manual is good to have especially for the how to reloading section but for reloading data there are other manuals I like better like the Hornady and Nosler manuals. Speer and Barnes manuals also provide useful information for some cartridges I reload for.

oneounceload
November 30, 2010, 05:26 PM
After watching a few videos of how it is done I thought it didn’t look as hard as I had imagined.

Yikes

Personally, if you are loading for precision and not huge volume like the AR crowd does, I like RCBS, but any of the quality press makers will have good stuff. Ohaus makes most of the scales for RCBS, Hornady, Dillon, etc. and is a good product.

I have both 6.5 and 7-08 - they are about as equal as you can get (throwing in the 260 for good measure). The 7-08 is a little shorter - either will kill a deer or elk and be as accurate as you need.

The Forster CO-AX is a great press as is anything by Redding, RCBS, or even Lyman. I am personally not a fan of Lee, but that is JMO

vonscott
November 30, 2010, 05:29 PM
Grumulkin... it lets me get my feet wet without spending a lot of cash and from what I have read most of the components are pretty good. Are there some things about that kit that you don't care for?

vonscott
November 30, 2010, 06:03 PM
My brother has a RCBS kit but has never used... he bought it right about the time ammo and components got scarce.

If I like it he may be persuaded to sell me his stuff for a deal.

Hondo 60
November 30, 2010, 06:35 PM
The Breech lock kit is a good one to start with.
That's what I started with.

I now have that, a Lee Turret, a Lee pro1000 & a Dillon RL 550B.
Just got the Dillon last week for $150. (dies & conversion for 45-70 gov - sold for $80 - still had to buy conversions for 38/357/45Colt/9mm)

Anyway, I still use my single stage at times for oddball work, so it's not a waste.

The only part I didn't like was the scale - I bought a Pact electronic scale.
Nothing wrong with the scale, I just had a hard time reading it & I just wasn't used to a balance beam scale.

ABCs is a good book, as is Lyman's 49th. The Lyman's has more load recipes that any other book I've seen.

Grumulkin
November 30, 2010, 07:30 PM
Grumulkin... it lets me get my feet wet without spending a lot of cash and from what I have read most of the components are pretty good. Are there some things about that kit that you don't care for?
To be fair, I'll have to say I've never used the Lee kit you speak of. I have heard that the Lee powder measures at some point can become pretty inaccurate. Some of the Lee presses I've seen didn't impress me as being very substantial but I'm quite pleased with my Lee Classic Cast press.

If you like the Lee kit, by all means get it but look at others as well with more in mind than just price. If you get a kit you're not entirely happy with, it just means you're never going to get as much pleasure out of it as you should and later you'll lose money selling it and will buy what you really wanted in the first place.

All I can say is, I used my RCBS single stage press and other kit components and loaded thousands of rounds of ammo from 44 Magnum to 458 Lott for at least 20 years before I felt the urge to upgrade. If I had bought something less satisfactory, I wouldn't have used it that long.

By the way, I believe Lee has a 2 year warranty on their stuff while RCBS has a lifetime warranty. I once broke a decapping pin and RCBS sent me about 5 of them free. Hornady and Redding also have lifetime warranties they actually honor in a timely fashion.

vonscott
November 30, 2010, 08:06 PM
Lot's of good advice... I think I need to find someone local to show me what it's all about. If I feel comfortable with the process then get a better setup to start with.

I think single stage would take me quite a ways as I won't be going through thousands of rounds a month. I could see going through about 50 to 100 a month. I have gravel pit close that I can shoot at anytime weather permits.

Since I would only be loading for one cartrige could I set up two presses, one for shaping and one for seating and have a pretty efficient system with a good case trimmer? Then I wouldn't have to switch die's.

mcdonl
November 30, 2010, 08:17 PM
Vonscott, the Lee is quality stuff too. I too am new at this, I spent about 200-300 for everything including some casting equipment and I have loaded thousands of rounds with Lee equipment. You will find many on here who will try and push you to a particular brand, but for the most part if you are like me your wallet dictates what you purchase.

howlnmad
November 30, 2010, 08:50 PM
vonscott,
Welcome to THR. Been some good advise given and I'm sure others will be along with more. So here's mine.

1- if you can find a mentor, that's a great start.
2- the ABC's is a great read
3- don't get caught up in the whizzing match of which color is best. Each one has pros and cons.
4- shop around and compare. If you get into this addiction, you'll end up with equipment from every brand anyway.
5- with loading that few a month, a single stage will be all you need
6- when in doubt... ASK
7- safety should have been first cuz it's #1 priority

There is more but it'll come. Just shop around, high price doesn't always mean best.

PtrJack
December 1, 2010, 03:49 PM
Why not borrow or rent your brother's rig to see how you like it? Might be your best deal all around.

The ABC book was my first resource. Great for me, probably for many others, too.

Be careful to follow the steps and you might enjoy reloading as much as shooting!
Jack

Hondo 60
December 1, 2010, 04:11 PM
Rather than buy two presses, why not try Lee's Challenger Breech Lock Single Stage Press Kit?
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=121744

The dies go into a bushing so once set, you don't have to readjust every time.
Just take the bushing out to change dies.
This is the kit I started with & I still use it for some stuff, even though I have 2 progressives & a turret press.

grubbylabs
December 1, 2010, 05:37 PM
If your brother will part with the RCBS kit for 290 or less i would jump on it. Right now they are going from 270 something up to about 300 for a new kit. Any of the new kits will work fine to start out with.
I have an older RCBS single stage that I bought used and it works just fine.

I started with a perfect powder measure but it started to bug me to much. It is very flimsy and leaks pretty bad, I tried some of the stuff that people on the forums mentioned and still could not get happy with it. So I bought a used uni-flow of of ebay.

If I had the money to buy a new press right now it would be the Hornadly, after using a friends I think it is well made and I really like the die bushings. It adds to the cost but I like how quick you can change the dies.

rfwobbly
December 1, 2010, 11:15 PM
My brother has a RCBS kit but has never used... he bought it right about the time ammo and components got scarce. If I like it he may be persuaded to sell me his stuff for a deal.

There's the deal and there's the press. You'll have a LOT of trouble outgrowing that press or any of the accessories that come with it. I'm still using a Uniflow and 505 scale from 1973.

If you have a bunch of rifles, then the thing to watch out for is the cartridge length. Not all the discount presses will handle long rifle cartridges. Measure your longest cartridge first.

cfullgraf
December 2, 2010, 09:18 AM
Rather than buy two presses, why not try Lee's Challenger Breech Lock Single Stage Press Kit?
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=121744

The dies go into a bushing so once set, you don't have to readjust every time.
Just take the bushing out to change dies.


Most manufacturers of die sets, except Lee, provide a locking lock ring with their dies. So, once the die is set, the ring is locked in place and no further adjustment needed each time the die is used.

The Lee Breech Lock system, or Hornady's Lock-N-Load system have nice benefits but are not necessary to preserve the die setting if the lock ring clamps to the die.

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