New Reloading Kit Question


Savage .250
September 26, 2012, 06:13 PM
I have not reloaded in years, and am about to get back into it.

Does anyone out there have first-hand experience with using one or more of the following case prep systems, digital scales and powder dispensers?

• Hornady Lock-N-Load Auto Charge Powder Dispenser
• Hornady Lock-N-Load Case Prep Center
• Hornady Lock-N-Load Power Case Prep Center

• RCBS Chargemaster Combo Scale & Dispenser
• RCBS Trim Pro Power Case Trimmer Kit
• RCBS Trim Mate Case Prep Center

• Lyman DPS 3 digital powder system.
• Lyman Case Prep Center Xpress

I have a very large volume of rifle cases to reload and am wondering if these new devices are worth the extra investment to help me save time.

Both work and family are eating into my free time so I need something to really speed things up when reloading. I understand it will cost more to upgrade - but frankly think that I’ll just “bite the bullet” so reloading does not take as much time as before.

I’m doing everything manually now and – as you all know - it takes time – something I do not have a lot of.

If you have/use these, I’m interested in your thoughts and experiences on their utility and value added to your reloading operation and any recommendations on the items as well as their advantages/disadvantages. I currently reload rifle but may take up pistol cartridge reloading in the future.


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September 26, 2012, 07:58 PM
If you decide on a powder-weighing and -dispensing system, the RCBS is the industry standard. That being said, you might find a powder that gives you all the consistency you want and also meters through a powder drop. I mention this mostly because you are concerned about time.

I don't use a case-prep "center" or know anybody who does. All the steps that they address can be covered just as quickly--and more flexibly, at a lower cost--with a cordless drill.

September 26, 2012, 09:51 PM
I have the Lyman dps 1200 (the fisrt year they may them) I put the update kit in it, so it runs like the new ones do , it will dump a charge about as fast as you can seat a bullet, I dump the charge hit enter as it's dumping I take the case I just filled and seat it and the next charge is ready to dump , some powers dump slower like IMR4831 when useing slower power I fill 4 or 5 cases and the start seating and dumping at the same time , works great with light flake powers too like Bulleye, I have had mine since they first came out , and still works like new , I alsol got the interface for my PC to store loaddata ,but have never used it I keep all my load records the old way , in a note book , and just enter the weight and the hit enter after that and it throws the same load and keeps track of the number of loads you have dumped :cool:

October 3, 2012, 10:47 AM
hard to beleave no one else has useed any of thease other than me ? 10 days and 2 posts ?, I checked back here to see any reveiws on the prep stations , as I have been thinking about the lock-n-load anyone got one ?

Magnum Shooter
October 3, 2012, 11:43 AM
I use the Lyman xpress case prep center it cost less, works well, comes with the tools, and has a large stable footprint. A little noisy but not too bad, takes up a lot of space on the bench.

October 4, 2012, 04:27 AM
I use the Lyman xpress case prep center it cost less, works well, comes with the tools, and has a large stable footprint. A little noisy but not too bad, takes up a lot of space on the bench.
thats what I didn't like about the RCBS , loud and sounds like the gears are plastic, the Hornady looks like a nice tool but I don't need a case trimer

October 4, 2012, 07:30 AM
I have the Lyman DPS. Upgraded to the 3 when the kit came out. As smooth and faster than I am at seating bullets. My brother has the RCBS dispenser and scale kit. He had serious problems with it when he first got it. It ran like it had a mind of its own when it was on his bench but fine when he took it into his dining room. After several frustrating hours he called me in on the problem.My DPS ran fine in both places. It took me a minute to figure it out but his fluorescent lights in the reloading room were messing with the infra-red communication between the scale and dispenser. We changed the lights to incandescent in his room and the problem went away

October 4, 2012, 08:41 AM
I have both the hornady auto charge and the rcbs case prep center. I am pleases with both of them and they both save me time. I would say that the case prep center saves me the most. I have mine set up to champur inside, debur outside, clean primer pockets, and debur flash holes. I did at one time have mine set up to trim cases using a modified Lee cutter but found that using the rcbs trimmer faster. My hornady auto charge took a little playing with to keep it from throwing over charges but it is dead on with my rcbs 1010 scale. It too will throw a charge in about the time it takes to seat a bullet.

October 4, 2012, 09:30 AM
+5000 for the trim mate.

Really cant say enough good things.

I think that it is the one piece of kit that has saved me the most time and fingerwear out of any other tool I own.

Get the Primer pocket cutters from RCBS, get the rest of the tool heads you need from your maker of choice.

As long as its tapped for standard threads- the trim-mate will take it.

A lyman hand tool set becomes a trim-mate power tool set in zero time, for instance.

October 4, 2012, 01:10 PM
► The utility in fast powder measuring is going to be dependent upon the type press you have. If you use a progressive press, then you only measure the powder once, which you use to calibrate the powder measure.

► A good motorized trimmer is going to give you a huge "bang for your buck" because you never get away from trimming each case, no matter what type press you have.

October 4, 2012, 01:32 PM
I reloaded my first round in 1969. I have not used nor needed any of the tools you listed. FWIW, I reload for 2, 45 ACPs, 5, .44 Magnums, 3, .38 Specials, 1, 357 Magnum, 1, 9mm, 1, 7.62x54R, 1, 7.62x39, and 1 .223 single shot. I have 4 presses, 3 powder measures, 3 beam scales, and one didital. I reload in batches and the largest batch was 500 sized/primed/flared .38 Specials, and charged and seated as needed. I guess I'm saying I don't need all that "automatic/powered stuff".

If you have a need for speed, I'd say go with a Dillon...

October 5, 2012, 07:40 AM
The first kit I bought was the RCBS kit from Cabelas that had the RC Press, Chargemaster 1500, trim mate power prep station and case trimmer. Great kit.....have added the power unit to the trimmer and a few (LOTS) extras in the last two years. You wont go wrong with that kit.

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