Want to reload. 308


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Hunterdad
April 5, 2011, 06:50 PM
The wife bought me a Marlin XS7 in. 308 for Christmas and I am in love with this thing. It is scary accurate and I just can't get enough of it. Unfortunately, it isn't cheap to shoot and am looking to be pointed in the right direction for a "starter kit" to start reloading for it. Of course, money is always an issue and would like to get into it as cheaply as possible. Any help or insight is greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Adam

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sarge1967
April 5, 2011, 07:08 PM
Lee is the least expensive of all the companies. A starter kit is about $120.00. RCBS Rock Chucker kit is about $300 and Hornaday kit is about $350. Then you have the cost of dies usually around $25 a set. These options are all single stage which I would recommend for a new reloader. Any of the kits will work but IMHO the Hornaday is best because of the primer feeder.

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webfox
April 5, 2011, 07:37 PM
I love my Rock Chucker. Midway has it on sale for $300 this month.

Eventually, you will want a concentricity gauge, too.

Oh, and don't forget a kinetic bullet puller. Distractions happen.

Remember, you don't save money by reloading. You just shoot more for the same price.:D

rc109a
April 5, 2011, 08:04 PM
Eventually, you will want a concentricity gauge, too.

Why? Not asking to be sarcastic or anything, but I have never used one and trying to see why I would. I reload for paper punching and hunting.

Walkalong
April 5, 2011, 09:06 PM
Concenricity gauges are not really needed for routine reloading. Some mighty accurate ammo can be loaded without ever knowing how concentric it is, or isn't. (Yes, I have one, but seldom use it anymore)


A reloading book, a press, a set of dies, a way to prime if the press won't, a trimmer, a scale, case lube, and you are set to reload .308.

A good measure is something you will to buy soon, and then a tumbler.

One can buy all the little goodies later. :)

Remember, you don't save money by reloading. You just shoot more for the same priceDon't you know it.

Hunterdad
April 5, 2011, 09:49 PM
I would honestly start off with the Lee kit and go from there. I may not even like reloading, so I hate to make a big investment.

If it lets me shoot more for the same price, I'm good with that!

webfox
April 6, 2011, 01:47 AM
I wasn't trying to be a jerk or a snob or a know-it-all. If the rifle is as accurate as mentioned, one may notice that some reloading sessions produce different results. The next step, after remeasuring everything with calipers would, reasonably I think, to get a gauge. Maybe I'm too anal-ytical... who knows? :)

Everyone gets different mileage. Go with cheapest and most reliable first.

rc109a
April 6, 2011, 08:55 AM
I stared with a lee kit to see if I even liked it. Over time I either bought new equipment or upgraded. I still have a lot of lee gear that I really like..

Hunterdad
April 6, 2011, 09:11 AM
Im going to start off with this kit. What else will I need in order to get started? I already have some brass, so some recommendations on bullets, powder and primers are also welcome.

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

Thanks
Adam

mljdeckard
April 6, 2011, 09:17 AM
Is there any reason at all it's a bad idea to buy items like a press from Ebay?

rscalzo
April 6, 2011, 09:21 AM
Is there any reason at all it's a bad idea to buy items like a press from Ebay?

As long as the frame isn't sprung. Some of the later RCBS frames were in China and below the usual high RCBS quality. That has been now rectified. But you have to check the item price against what shipping costs will be. Buying new locally may be a equal or better deal. Try Craigslist for local sales or Ebay area specific site.

MtnCreek
April 6, 2011, 09:39 AM
With the Lee kit you'll need:
.308 Dies (Lee Pacesteer are cheep and work fine)
Lee .308 Trimmer Length Guage
.308 Bullets (of your choice)
Large Rifle Standard Primers (try to purchase local)
Powder (I started w/ IMR 4895, try to purchase local)

The dies will come w/ loading data, but I strongly suggest purchasing a manual from Midway.

The kit you referenced has a comes with a bushing to quick change the dies. Not required, but you may want to purchase an additional die bushing.

Walkalong
April 6, 2011, 09:51 AM
You can get by with load data from the powder companies website, but a load book has so much more invaluable information it is worth the investment. Lyman #49 seems to be the consensus best buy.

That kit will work just fine. Add dies, lube and a way to measure case length. A dial caliper will do that and is indispensable for general reloading. A wise investment. A cheap one will work fine. If you have a Harbor Freight nearby this dial caliper (http://www.harborfreight.com/6-inch-digital-caliper-47257.html) works great. It's on sale half the time.

bds
April 6, 2011, 11:15 AM
That HF caliper is on sale for $19.99 but here's a coupon for $14.99 - http://widgets.harborfreight.com/wswidgets/common/displayCoupon.do?week=1411&campaign=a_retail&page=coupon8.html&single=true&cust=78154398419&keycode=0000

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=570734&page=3

Funshooter45
April 6, 2011, 11:33 AM
The caliper is mandatory.
A loading block to hold the cases in various stages of loading is necessary.
ABCs of Reloading is a great manual. Also get a copy of Lyman #49.
Any of the Large Rifle primers seem to work just fine.
H4895 is an incredibly versatile powder. Varget and RL-15 are renowned for accuracy in the .308.
Sierra Match King 168 gr bullets have become kind of a standard for supreme accuracy at a good price. I have also had excellent luck with Hornady AMax bullets in 155 and 168 gr. Those are for target shooting. Both Sierra and Hornady make hunting bullets in 150 and 165 gr that are also very accurate.

Pendy
April 6, 2011, 03:13 PM
How often do you plan to shoot, and how many rounds each time? Before spending even $150 on the lowest cost press, I would spend $20 on a Lee Classic Loader to see if reloading is something that you really want to do. You would just need a few other essentials (powder, bullets, wood/plastic mallet, and a Lee case length gage). This setup is much cheaper, and if you do decide that you would like to continue reloading, this is a great compact setup that can be taken to the range to reload when you can't access your press at home.

Look on ebay, these kits go for ~$20. Can't go wrong with one of these.

NELSONs02
April 6, 2011, 03:31 PM
Never was a big fan of starter kits for reloading.

evan price
April 6, 2011, 03:55 PM
The Lee classic cast turret press is what I would recommend.
Get a set of Lee 308 collet size dies (and only use brass shot in YOUR rifle) or else/also a set of Lee RGB 308 Win dies (for full length resizing brass shot from another rifle).
The Lee trimmer length guage for 308 WIN, plus the cutter and lock stud.
Rifle charging die and a Pro Auto-Disk powder measure with a double disk kit.
For loading trays I use the plastic dividers from 45 ACP ammo factory boxes. Works perfect and they are free.
Lee powder scale.
Chamfer/Deburr tool- I like RCBS.
Case lube- spray is fine but follow the directions and let it dry for fifteen minutes before resizing.
Kinetic bullet puller.
Inexpensive dial caliper.
Primer tool.
Case guage (The Dillon or LE Wilson).

Siggie
April 7, 2011, 10:21 AM
I would get a digital caliper instead of a dial one. Not all that more expensive and no misreading. But thats just my 2ct.

Tim the student
April 7, 2011, 10:41 AM
I would get a digital caliper instead of a dial one. Not all that more expensive and no misreading.

And I would get a dial one and learn how to use it. It isn't difficult to do, but yeah, you do have to know how to do it.

When I first started handloading, I had a digital one. It seemed to work great for a while, but then one day it started giving me measurements that didn't make sense. (No low battery indicator or anything either, and it was properly zeroed.) Turns out the battery was dying, and giving me bad readings as a result. Changed the battery, and the goofy ass readings went away.

No problems like that with a dial one. I'm not saying they will all do that either, but some may.

dagger dog
April 7, 2011, 01:45 PM
Hunterdad,
What 308 cartridge is your new Marlin chambered in, the New 308 Marlin Express or the 308 Winchester ?

Hunterdad
April 7, 2011, 01:53 PM
.308 winchester. I think i'll give the lee classic a shot. Im only shooting maybe 20 rds every week and a half or so.

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