thinking about reloading


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marine 97-03
January 31, 2012, 06:23 AM
Is the RCBS starter kit worth it ...single stage press scale every thing but dies and bullet material 280$....how hard is it to get started ....I was only going to buy a 45 acp die to start for my pistols before moving on to other loads?

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ArchAngelCD
January 31, 2012, 06:35 AM
That's a great press and kit but if you're going to be loading only handgun ammo you might want something a little faster in the future. Don't get me wrong, a single stage press is great to learn how to load correctly and there are many reloaders who use nothing but a single stage press but I prefer a turret press for loading handgun ammo.

Quality wise RCBS is top shelf and their customer service is second to none! Which press is part of the kit for that price?

Friendly, Don't Fire!
January 31, 2012, 07:13 AM
If you have not read about the details of handloading, I would highly recommend to get some reloading manuals and instructions on reloading, as you will need them anyway if you do decide to begin reloading. If you then decide you are not that kind of person (who would like reloading), then you haven't wasted any money except for maybe what you spent on the books and literature.

kingmt
January 31, 2012, 07:39 AM
I agree with ArchAngle but I'd suggest a progressive.

More then likly you will burn yourself out on a SS & that scale. The scale that comes with the kit is less then adequate. A powder measure more then useful.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
January 31, 2012, 08:02 AM
I don't think anything other than a single stage is good for someone's first press, if they have never reloaded before.

There is enough to learn and to watch out for using the single stage and batch-method. Trying to set up a progressive may prove to be an act of frustration, if not plain carelessness without being conscious of such.

One can always use a single stage press and they can and will still use it when they feel comfortable moving onto a progressive, it's not like anything will go to waste.

Walkalong
January 31, 2012, 08:10 AM
I started on a single stage RCBS kit, then got a Lee turret press in a deal, and then bought a Hornady Projector. The single stage press always has its uses later.

If you are mechanically inclined and attentive to detail, there is no reason you cannot start with a turret press, but there may be more mistakes early on. never make a big run until you are sure of things. Pliers can pull one or two mistakes, but a big run is another thing.

cfullgraf
January 31, 2012, 08:52 AM
When I started reloading in 1980, a single stage was pretty much the only choice except for the Lee whack-o-matic and the color you wanted. Progressive presses were few and far between and very expensive.

Today, more automated presses are reasonably priced and are priced competitive with single stage presses. Hence, they become part of the equation when someone is wanting to get into reloading.

I agree that a single stage is a handy thing to have around. There are some tasks it just does better than the others. I would not be without one, actually I have two at present--and three progressives.

While I have mellowed on the need for a single stage press be one's first press, I feel strongly that a person should learn reloading in a single stage mode, basically doing one step at a time in a batch mode operation.

Once comfortable with all the operations, they can be linked together, adding one step at a time.

Unfortunately, we men have difficulty operating a piece of equipment at a rate of 2 cartridges a minute when it can do 10 cartridges a minute.

It is kind of like learning to drive in a Formula 1 Grand Prix car instead of Toyota Corolla.

777TRUTH
January 31, 2012, 08:59 AM
I started with a single stage and wish I started with a turret.

You should be able to get up to 200 rounds an hour after you master the basics.

http://www.midwayusa.com/Product/305282/lyman-t-mag-2-turret-press-expert-kit

or

https://kempfgunshop.com//index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=shop.flypage&product_id=630&category_id=190&manufacturer_id=0&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=41&vmcchk=1&Itemid=41

kingmt
January 31, 2012, 09:48 AM
I agree only 1 round at a time until you know what is going on at each station. I don't know that I would do batch mode over 1 all the way through.

I started on a SS & when I went to progressive it was like learning something completely new.

marine 97-03
January 31, 2012, 09:58 AM
With ammo prices going up and our socialist and chief in office I feel I need to know how to reload...just a lil intimidated about getting started

Geneseo1911
January 31, 2012, 10:11 AM
What I did, was look at the kits, and then buy basically the same stuff used. THR's trading post, ebay, and gunbroker supplied all of my starting setup, and it cost a lot less than the kit. Once I had it, I discovered which processes were too slow and added some stuff, like a Lee powder measure and hand priming tool. Stuff that doesn't work in your system can then usually be sold for about what you have in it. Things like presses, dies, and mechanical scales are pretty safe to buy used because they almost never wear out.

Buying pieces individually also helps you to learn about what else is out there so you don't get too "color blind". The reloading forum here is very friendly and ready to help.

Blue68f100
January 31, 2012, 10:36 AM
I always think it's best to learn on a SS press. With that said there is no reason a progressive can't be used this way. This is the way I setup the dies. Since you picked the 45acp as your first caliber load, means you may shoot quite a bit. You also need to look at how much free time you have to apply and learn to reload.The biggest mistake newbee's make is setting up the dies. And straight wall pistol ammo is as simple as it gets.

Now with that said, you may want to look at the Hornady LNL-AP. It has way fewer moving parts than most other AP out there. It a very simple design with only 1-2 pieces being plastic. Which are not in critical service. The LNL can produce 300-400/hr with ease. I had been reloading for over 30yrs when I bought mine. I ran it like a SS press till I was sure every thing was set right. Then I ran 1 round through all stations before the next, again checking for problems. Once I was comfortable I then and only then started run with all stations full.

Some of the kits are not complete and have low quality items that you will replace soon after you get it. The RCBS kits are very good and with quality items. Can't say that about the Lee. I like RCBS Rock Crusher press, it's built like a tank.

Buy quality equipment and you will only have to buy it once.....

If you make the commitment to pickup reloading it takes time. Lots of time to get comfortable with it. If you have any friends or neighbors that can help you will go a long ways. 40 yrs ago the internet was just a dream in someones mind, so learning was a linked to books and hard knocks. Now you have a wealth of info at your finger tips.

dmazur
January 31, 2012, 11:07 AM
Lots of reloaders have started with a progressive, and have had no problems.

I'm not sure I agree with the "learning to drive a Formula 1" analogy. It sounds good, equating speed with potential danger, but I just don't think it is accurately applied.

Once a progressive press is properly set up, I don't believe there is any particular danger in operating it at its design speed. I will agree that it is quite easy to make a few boxes of bad ammunition if you jump into full speed before setting it up correctly. Also, it could be argued that checking the results of each station is part of proper setup, and that if you do this you can't make bad ammo.

At least, that's what my experiences were with a progressive.

IMO, a lot depends on the quality of the instructions you get with the press. Some manufacturers do a pretty good job of this and others, well, don't.

If you follow those instructions, and that means setting up a station correctly before trying to set up the next one, you won't have trouble.

All a progressive press is is a bunch of single stage presses arranged on a common frame. Yes, some stations involve something with a little more complexity, like the powder drop at Station 2 or the primer feed at Station 1 (using Dillon 550 as an example), but each can be set up individually.

I think the problems may arise with these two stations, actually. If you are comparing a single stage technique with off-press powder dispensing into each case in batch mode, the progressive's powder-thru die has a little more going on as it combines belling with powder drop.

And, if you are comparing single stage technique with off-press priming in batch mode, the progressive auto priming mechanism has more to adjust.

So, I don't believe it is either "speed" or "multiple things going on" that is the cause of progressive press problems. It is more likely the user being forced to figure out a bunch of adjustments, and rushing to the next step in the instructions without following the first step correctly.

As following the instructions correctly isn't optional, I can't understand why they are mystified at the lack of success... :)

cfullgraf
January 31, 2012, 11:25 AM
I agree only 1 round at a time until you know what is going on at each station. I don't know that I would do batch mode over 1 all the way through.


By operating in batch mode, you do same operation at a time over and over and learn the intricacies of that operation. If and when glitches are encountered, the solutions are quickly found. Granted, resizing and mouth expanding would be learned quickly. But priming, charging and bullet seating are a little more involved. By working with these activities individually, one can concentrate on learning them.

Different folks would have different learning curves, but I do not feel most folks would need to do batch processing very long.

I started on a SS & when I went to progressive it was like learning something completely new.

I agree.

The basics of reloading are the same between a single stage and a progressive but when reloading on a progressive, things are happening fast and simultaneously. A new scan and process have to be developed for efficient, safe operation.

marine 97-03
January 31, 2012, 11:55 AM
I work 11-7 so I have mornings for learning I wasn't wanting to do much at first...:-) maybe a couple boxes a day...till I get up to speed..I'm in no hurry but I want to learn and its good to know that there is a wealth of experience right on THR

kingmt
January 31, 2012, 12:08 PM
That is why I said run 1 round through at a time so there isn't a lot going on. There just isn't a lot to putting the cartridge together. Maybe 6 seconds worth of movements. If you can't figure that much out on the first time through then assembly & probably most other things aren't for you. Now when everything is happening at the same time it is a little different. If you try to make things to simple most peoples brain just shuts down & goes into auto. They zone out & have no idea what they did. I did assembly for a long time & at about 200 pieces in a hour a lot of people zone out change that to 500 & most zone out.

marine 97-03
January 31, 2012, 12:40 PM
Now I've seen a Lee hand press ....looks like an oversized nut cracker....dose it work?

Walkalong
January 31, 2012, 01:13 PM
For anyone who is detail oriented, follows instructions well, and is mechanically inclined, the progressive press is not hard to learn on. Naturally the single stage is easier, but the progressive is not all that hard.

Redneckly33
January 31, 2012, 02:30 PM
I started reloading about 8 or 9 years ago on a Dillon Rl550B. As Kingmt. and Walkalong are telling you, it's not that hard. I make jokes about starting on a progressive. It was interesting, but not hard. After you fail to get a primer in a few rounds and powder is all over the press, or make a sqib load. You learn what to be watching and looking at. Any one can read instructions and set dies up on the press, no matter what it is. Single Stage or Proggressive. All I can tell you, if the Press is advertized at 500 rounds and Hour. That does not mean that if you ain't making that many rounds, you have failed as a Reloader. I am not in a race with anyone other than myself. Go at your own pace. Check and double check yourself. If it becomes a job to you, then reloading is not for you. I do it to save a little money on the cost of ammo and as a Hobby. I enjoy it so much, I load for rifles I no longer have. I might pick up another one for that Caliber some day. It ain't Rocket Science Do I make mistakes? Yes I do but by checking an rechecking, I catch and recorrect them. If you buy a Progressive, there are many People on this forum with many years of experience that can help you. Make a decission, go for it, be careful, research everthing, enjoy yourself and have fun.

Dnaltrop
January 31, 2012, 03:18 PM
I started with the Lee Classic turret (the cast-iron one) , the basic lee auto-disc pro, and the primer feeders ( a bit quirky but fairly consistent, I don't have to chase too many escaped primers usually) I do have a basic Lee Loader for my .45 colt on the off chance I need to load in the field.

I don't power through large flats of ammo, being new I check the powder charge every 10 pulls or so, I check the bullet seating and crimp before sessions to make sure nothing has shifted since the last time.

I could go faster, but why? it's almost a Zen state once you get the rhythm down.

Push the shell up, drop the primer, shell down all the way to seat the primer, UP for the powder, down while grabbing the Bullet, Gently keep aligned as the shell goes up again (don't get pinched!) to seat, down and back up again for the crimp, Down again and slide the shell out and drop into the case, new shell inserted on the upstroke to begin again.

Good medicine once the Missus and the kids are asleep and I can hear myself think, 25-50 rounds a night and the next weekend's shooting is covered with no feeling of it being "work" to keep the guns fed.

fallout mike
January 31, 2012, 09:47 PM
I started with a turret press. I have a rockchucker single stage that I've yet to use as I just recently bought the rockchucker kit and a rcbs trim pro off a guy for $150. Its several years old but has never been used. I have used single stage presses and they are more work than a turret. Its nothing to be intimidated over though. Its actually easy and fun. .45acp is said by many to be a great round to get your feet wet with. I also started with that round. I had no issues learning on it. There are lots of people here to get help from too.

J_McLeod
January 31, 2012, 11:22 PM
I started with a Lee Single stage and upgraded to a turret a month later. I think the turret is by far the best way to start.

marine 97-03
February 1, 2012, 12:16 AM
https://kempfgunshop.com//index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=shop.flypage&product_id=630&category_id=190&manufacturer_id=0&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=41&vmcchk=1&Itemid=41

Friendly, Don't Fire!
February 1, 2012, 01:28 AM
I agree with those who state that learning each step in batch mode helps the person to realize just what is going on and how important each and every small step is, from cleaning the cases to cleaning the primer pockets to making sure no media is stuck in the flash hole, to making sure there is no crimp on the primer pocket to making sure the case is proper length, to make sure any case mouths trimmed need chamfering to making sure primers are all seated just below flush to making sure the bell on the case mouth is just right to seat the bullet to making sure the right amount of powder goes into every case to making sure the cannelure on certain cases is tight but not overly-so, etc., etc., etc.

Don't forget, those of us who have been doing this for decades, the learning person needs to do these things many, many times to become proficient.

Can someone start on a progressive? Of course they can. Some people can also start driving a car without ever learning. That doesn't make it a good idea when one looks back at how they learned to drive, in the beginning, there are many things that are learned by doing. Sometimes only experience and occasional failure and having to re-do something are the best teachers.;)

ArchAngelCD
February 1, 2012, 02:08 AM
I also agree a single stage press is probably the best way to learn. That's why I like the Lee Classic Turret Press, the auto-index rod can be removed and then you can load just like a single stage press. I do a lot of rifle ammo reloads using the turret press as a single stage press. The only difference, the dies are already set up and when you move to the next step in the batch process all you need to do is turn the turret... (but I still like my Rock Chucker for some things!)

35 Whelen
February 1, 2012, 02:20 AM
Do NOT start with a progressive. you'd be asking for trouble. Learn each step on a single stage. A turret press is fine (Turret presses are single stage, but you can screw more than one reloading die into them at once). I have a rinky-dink old Lyman turret press that I use almost exclusively although my RCBS Rockchucker is used for loading hunting loads for rifles.

Like others have said, buy used equipment. I 100% guarentee that quality used equipment will outlast you. My RCBS press is probably 40 years old and I inherited it from my dad. It's a reliable as a new one.
Watch eBay for used stuff. Beam scales are old school and aren't "cool" anymore, so they're pretty cheap. Look for O'Haus, RCBS or most and name brand dampened scale. Likewise get a good powder measure. The RCBS Uniflow is infallible as are the old Lyman 55's.
Turret presses are handy especially when loading straight wall cases as you'll have at least three dies to screw in and out. Again, watch for Lyman's as they're usually a little less expensive.

Good luck!
35w

Lost Sheep
February 1, 2012, 02:38 AM
Let's talk about modes of operation first.

Batch mode.

You take a number (20, 50, 100) of cases and subject each one to the first step of reloading, progressing through the entire batch before moving to the step 2, then step 3 and so forth. This requires you handle each case multiple times, taking it in and out of the press and storing it while you process the entire batch.

This allows you to concentrate on each step repetitively 50 times (or 20 or 100) before moving on the the next step until you have sent the entire batch of brass through all the steps.

Very thorough, very easy to monitor, but kind of slow.

Continuous Mode.

You load each case from start to finish (from just-fired to ready-to-fire) before moving on to the next case. This allows you to leave each case in the press, putting it in once and taking it out once.

Here's why it matters to you.

Single stage presses practically require you to process in batch mode.

Progressive presses operate best in continuous mode, though can be operated in batch if you really want.

Turret presses can easily operate in either mode. To operate in batch mode, just leave the turret stationary and pretend it's a single stage.

On a turret press, continuous mode is like this: Insert case process in die station 1, rotate turret head one station, process case in die station 2, process in die station 3, etc. remove case, insert next case, repeat until your entire batch of rounds is all done.

On a turret press, batch mode is like this: Insert case, process in die station, remove case, insert next case, process through die station, remove case, repeat until the batch is done, then rotate turret to next station and repeat, etc until your entire batch of rounds is all done.

Clearly, continuous mode is faster on any turret press than using the same turret press in batch mode because you do not have to handle each case so many times.

A progressive press operates most naturally in continuous mode. You can operate in batch mode and some presses are easier to do this than others, but all are capable. The definitive characterizing feature of progressive presses is that they perform multiple operations (steps) simultaneously. To do this, they have a shell plate that holds more than one cartridge case, where single stage and turret presses have a shell holder that holds only one cartridge case.

So much for definitions.

Progressive presses are comparatively expensive, but can load a lot of rounds per hour. Can also make a lot of mistakes per hour before you notice something is wrong (and it is hard to monitor multiple operations simultaneously). Single stages are rigid, simple and slow. Turrets split the differences, but, as I mentioned before can operate exactly like a single stage very easily. Progressives can operate like a single stage only with some finessing.

The reason I jumped in with this post is because you have been inundated with suggestions for press selection and I have no idea if you apprehend the nuances of the different types. I hope this post helped.

Lost Sheep

Lost Sheep
February 1, 2012, 02:52 AM
Help us help you. Tell us something about what kind of reloading you expect to do. What your goals are. What kind of shooting you do.

You have a number of pistols and some interest in semi-auto rifles, from what I read in your posting history. I did not read far enough to figure out if you are into sniper-type ultra long distance accuracy or not, though. And I have no idea if you will be loading in the hundreds of rounds per month or thousands.

The answers to those questions will make a big difference to the relevance of our advice.

Welcome to reloading. (We know you will.)

Lost Sheep

Lost Sheep
February 1, 2012, 03:12 AM
Let me share with you some posts and threads I think you will enjoy. So get a large mug of coffee, tea, hot chocolate, whatever you keep on hand when you read and think and read through these.

The "sticky" thread at the top of TheFiringLine's reloading forum is good, entitled, "For the New Reloader: Equipment Basics -- READ THIS FIRST "
www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=230171

The "sticky" thread at the top of TheHighRoad.com's reloading forum is good, entitled, "For the New Reloader: Thinking about Reloading; Equipment Basics -- READ THIS FIRST"
www.thehighroad.org//showthread.php?t=238214

The first draft of my "10 Advices..." is on page 2 of this thread, about halfway down.
www.rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=13543

"Budget Beginning bench you will never outgrow for the novice handloader" was informed by my recent (July 2010) repopulation of my loading bench. It is what I would have done 35 years ago if I had known then what I know now.
www.rugerforum.net/reloading/29385-budget-beginning-bench-you-will-never-outgrow-novice-handloader.html

and this one, titled "Interested in reloading" and mentioning 45 ACP specifically
www.rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=13543

My post, Minimalist minimal (the seventh post down)
www.rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=107332

Thread entitled "Newby needs help."
www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=430391
My post 11 is entitled "Here's my reloading setup, which I think you might want to model" November 21, 2010)
My post 13 is "10 Advices for the novice handloader" November 21, 2010)

If you think you might go for used equipment, here is some encouragement, titled "How much to start reloading....dirt cheap! "
www.Thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=439810

Good luck and thanks for asking our advice.

marine 97-03
February 1, 2012, 05:04 AM
I'm not worried about speed...I just want to get it right ,I want to load .45 first then move to 9mm and .223 I want clean powder ....ammo is getting too expensive ....

marine 97-03
February 1, 2012, 05:12 AM
What are some good CLEAN powders?

fallout mike
February 1, 2012, 08:40 AM
I will reiterate what someone else has said. I use my turret press like a single stage. My turret holds 6 individual dies. After each stage I can just turn the turret to the next one and continue as opposed to unscrewing each die and screwing in another like you do with a single stage. You can even buy extra turrets so that you can just change it out instead of unscrewing all dies when loading another caliber.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
February 1, 2012, 09:37 AM
I agree, one could use their progressive or turret press just like a single-stage press until they get used to every little aspect of the entire reloading process, then move on to making the press function as it was designed, to crank out ammo in a rapid-manner!:cool:

I also say that even if the person buys a single stage press to start out, they will most likely STILL use that press after they get into it so much that they end up eventually buying a progressive.:eek: There might be certain case-prep's that they prefer to perform on the SS press, and, if they are loading for extreme rifle accuracy, they may also want to use that SS press they started out on!:)

I once had an RCBS Progressive (turret, whatever):rolleyes:, however I had sold most of my reloading equipment -- then decided to get back into it more "big-time" than I was:D, as a relative and I were shooting literally thousands of .357 and .44 Mag rounds per week;) (sometimes over a thousand rounds in one evening):)! For THAT volume of reloading, one really must have more than a single-stage press if they want time to do other things in their life beside sitting at the reloading bench every single minute they have free!:banghead:

marine 97-03
February 1, 2012, 09:42 AM
https://kempfgunshop.com//index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=shop.flypage&product_id=630&category_id=190&manufacturer_id=0&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=41&vmcchk=1&Itemid=41


What do you think about this?

dsb1829
February 1, 2012, 10:19 AM
If you want to start with a kit the Rock Chucker Supreme is about the best single stage kit you can get. They did not skimp on accessories. Their uniflow is a top rated powder measure and the 505 scale is also high quality. Just those alone will run up on $160. The press is a solid design with tons of leverage. Add a Hornady Lock-N-Load bushing setup to it and you can change dies just as fast as spinning a turret head.

All you need to start loading ammo is dies and supplies. I setup a couple months back and have zero regrets. I will say, for 45acp I do wish I could produce faster. 100rd is taking around 2hr. For 10mm I am fine with the pace.

fallout mike
February 1, 2012, 10:38 AM
Marine, I've never used one of those but I believe most people say that press is ok. And I'm sure it is fine to start out with. You may not like loading. I bought my lyman turret press from a guy on here used. I love it. Cast iron doesn't wear out. I also bought my beam scale used on here. I would go the same route if I had to do it over.

Sniper66
February 1, 2012, 12:40 PM
I started reloading with my brother who has old RCBS single stage press, dies, scale, powder dispenser, trimmer, .etc, all very reliable stuff after decades of use. After a time I invested in my own RCBS single stage press and thought I could buy pieces I wanted without getting the whole kit, which proved to be a waste of time. If I had it to do over again, I would just buy the kit...they are offering rebates at the moment. Since then I have added things. I now have the RCBS Chargemaster, the RCBS Case Prep Center (which I bought as a factory second for $70) and a Lyman Power Trimmer. These are really great additions. Now I need more stuff, like a carbide cutter head for my trimmer. A powder dispenser with micrometer adjutments (can't remember the brand...can someone help me out here?) when I am making small batches of tests loads, a new balance scale...and on and on. Maybe, just maybe, I'll get a progressive if I get into centerfire pistol shooting. For now, all I shoot are rifles, shotguns and rimfire pistols. I really appreciate this site for info. Thanks.

mcofboise
February 1, 2012, 02:32 PM
My opinion (like armpits, I have 2 and they both stink (to others)) is that every fledgling reloader needs a mentor. 33 years ago, I sat, newly married, constantly underfunded, on the floor of our apartment with a Lee Whack-A-Mole tool, reading the instructions as I beat the daylights out of 2 boxes of 357 mag cases and by trial and error assembled some of the most consistently poor ammo ever to be fired in utter joy. Realizing I had a poor teacher, I attended a reloading seminar hosted at a local store by the RCBS rep, learned a few of the errors of my ways and bought the RockChucker, Ammo-Crafter kit, dies for a couple of pistol and rifle calibers, etc. and launched. I still have all that gear, I still use it all. I still made mistakes, but I never stopped learning and improving, and I never made a particularly dangerous mistake, like an overcharge, or a squib. I owe that to the hands-on detail oriented methods of reloading essentially one round at a time.
Times and spouses changed, as did disposable income. USPSA/IPSC shooting entered my passions list and the necessary quantities of ammo increased exponentially. The rage at the time was the Dillon RL-450, that numeric designation hinting at the rounds-per-hour capabilities of the machine in the dextrous hands of an experienced reloader. I checked: 500 was possible, 400 was a more reasonable rate. I produced lots and lots of pretty .45 ACP ammo... as well as flipped primers, crushed brass, spilled powder, and the dreaded squibs. All entirely my fault. I'm a DIY kind of guy, so I figured it all out on my own, and of course, with the helpful hints of cohorts, gun shop groupies, manufacturers' techs and the like. I checked my need for speed at the door somewhere along the line and settled into a routine of checks and balances that allowed me to produce consistent, safe, quality ammo, and by slowing down actually got faster and more efficient.
When I got interested in casting my own bullets, I cut to the chase and found a mentor. I spent several sessions casting with his gear, learned about proper techniques and equipment choices and got a faster start down that path to success. That learning curve looks so much better.
To tie this diatribe back together, as far as equipment choices go for a newbie, I vascillate in my opinions depending on the individual's mechanical abilities, work ethic, and study habits. I personally advocate learning reloading from the basics, perhaps a single-stage press or a turret to get that real, in-your-face, hands-on experience with all the steps and components involved. That experience is invaluable when it comes to troubleshooting any form of reloading. I've never upgraded my progressive reloader beyond automatic powder and priming, because I still feel that by setting cases and bullets manually and using my fingers to index each round, I somehow have better quality control than those slot machines that poop out one round after another every time you pull the handle. And with fewer mechanical linkages, I think there's easier recovery from a somewhat catastrophic failure. That said, about ten years ago, I mentored my best friend in the ways of reloading, starting him with the slow and mundane, working up to the progressive. His first personal tool was a Dillon RL-650 with every freaking bell and whistle they offered for it and he has seldom had any real issues. I believe that's because he had a good learning foundation that familiarized him with the intricacies of reloading. You can't trade on experience. He has since mentored me in the use of that press. I guess it's okay. :)
Reloading is a lifelong endeavor, the equipment you buy will outlast you, and regardless of what you start with, will forever be useful. Several gun shops offer reloading classes or clinics, or can refer you to an experienced local who will take you under their wing. The knowledge you gain from try-before-you-buy will make your personal equipment decisions more relevant and rewarding.
My 5 cents (adjusted for inflation).

mike

Lost Sheep
February 1, 2012, 10:51 PM
https://kempfgunshop.com//index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=shop.flypage&product_id=630&category_id=190&manufacturer_id=0&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=41&vmcchk=1&Itemid=41


What do you think about this?
Probably the best value you can find in a kit anywhere. There is nothing extra (except perhaps the six MTM ammo boxes) that you will think later, "what a waste", and nothing lacking except a scale.

Sue Kempf knows her stuff and I cannot recommend her and Kempf's Gun Shop too highly.


I started reloading with my brother who has old RCBS single stage press, dies, scale, powder dispenser, trimmer, .etc, all very reliable stuff after decades of use. After a time I invested in my own RCBS single stage press and thought I could buy pieces I wanted without getting the whole kit, which proved to be a waste of time. If I had it to do over again, I would just buy the kit...they are offering rebates at the moment.
(edited for brevity)

Respectfully, Sniper66, I must disagree. I find most kits to have WAY too many things that are either not needed or stuff that the buyer will wind up trading out before long. I also have the philosophy that the thought put into the components of a self-selected kit pays dividends of increased understanding of the loading process. Of course, this is just a philosophical difference (or style) and does not make your preference for a kit any less valid than my choice.

The exception (of course, there is an exception) is Kempf's excellent Lee Classic Turret kit.

Lost Sheep

RustyFN
February 1, 2012, 11:10 PM
I'm not worried about speed...I just want to get it right ,I want to load .45 first then move to 9mm and .223 I want clean powder ....ammo is getting too expensive ....

What are some good CLEAN powders?

For 45 auto I like WST. I have found it to be very clean and accurate. For 223 it has come down to H-335, also very clean and accurate.

https://kempfgunshop.com//index.php?...hk=1&Itemid=41


What do you think about this?

I think that is a great kit. I have been loading on a classic turret six years. It's a great first press for a beginner. You can take the indexing rod out and use it like a single stage. When you want to load faster put the indexing rod back in and load 2 to 3 times faster.

marine 97-03
February 2, 2012, 03:05 AM
Great info guys....I'm going to order the kit from kempf,s....I WILL look here for info and ask questions and I will take my time and your advice thanks a bunch

RustyFN
February 2, 2012, 04:41 PM
Make sure you get the upgrade to the pro auto disk, it's well worth it.

ArchAngelCD
February 2, 2012, 04:53 PM
Make sure you get the upgrade to the pro auto disk, it's well worth it.
I agree completely, the Pro Auto-Disk is a much better tool than the standard powder measure. WELL worth the small additional cost...

Bob72
February 2, 2012, 05:06 PM
I have only been reloading pistol ammo for a few months. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS YOU GET HERE ON SAFETY, POWDER HANDLING FOR SURE. I have gotten many friendly and wise suggestions from the folks on this board. Buy the books...!!!.
Do your homework....I finally started with the Lee 4 stage Turret. I still only churn out about 200 rounds over several hours. A weigh them all....found one in five hundred that slipped by without powder. Problem waiting to happen.....Safety first.;)

BullfrogKen
February 2, 2012, 06:19 PM
Marine, the best advice I can give you is to make friends with someone who is an experienced reloader, and let him mentor you through the process.


It's how I started. And today it's how I pass on the hobby.


Semper Fi

marine 97-03
February 2, 2012, 10:38 PM
I will get the upgrade powder measure

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