Buy new or make due


PDA






Clayton86
October 11, 2012, 04:17 AM
I'm starting to reload this winter and I'm torn whether I should just use my father in laws old press and just buy a few newer things to complete the set up or just buy a new "kit" that has everything and use his as a back up.

He has a old Lyman single stage press and the cheap scoop type powder measures then the dyes and gauges for 357 Max/mag and 38 special. I would need dies for my .243 and 17rem, new powder measure and trickler, and scale I think.

Or I could just get the Lee kit and be super cheap and use his dies and buy the dies for the rifles I need and all I would need is a scale I think or maybe the Hornady kit.

If you enjoyed reading about "Buy new or make due" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
41 Mag
October 11, 2012, 04:38 AM
Personally I would think if you want to get into it on the cheap, you should use what he has to offer and simply pick up the other tools and dies.

I am still using a 60's vintage Wells press that was my pop's. It has loaded literally thousands of rounds and will still produce .5 MOA ammo. No reason not to use the older equipment to get started off and get your feet under you IMO.

If you do a bit of looking around in the classifieds here and on other sites as well as on that "bay" place you can usually pick up well cared for gently used equipment for around half the cost of new and save a bit more money. I would go with new dies myself simply to be sure I was not getting something which may or may not have scratches or bent rods. Just my .02.

Clayton86
October 11, 2012, 05:18 AM
that's the route I think I'm going to take is just use his I pretty much gotta buy everything but the press. The biggest reason I thought of getting a new kit and press is the new quick change bushings.

cfullgraf
October 11, 2012, 07:31 AM
If cared for, the single stage press should last for ever.

I would get a hand priming tool, scale and powder measure and start with what you have. As you learn reloading, you can upgrade. The scale and powder measure will work better for loading the rifle cartridges that you are planning to load than the scoops.

Single stage presses are useful to have around even after you upgrade to a progressive or turret press.

Clayton86
October 11, 2012, 07:37 AM
My FIL is anal about his stuff everything is organized and in mint condition so its been taken care of even the reloading manuals look new minus the fading of the colors on the cover.

upstech76
October 11, 2012, 07:43 AM
I purchased the lee kit several years ago and while I have no complaints I would utilize the equipment you have available to you and purchase a better scale and powder measure. I have been very happy with all my lee products except their scale. I currently use the Lee perfect powder measure and a RCBS scale. Also, I haven't seen a real use for the quick change bushings, they seem nice at first but I find it just as quick to screw the die in and out!

Clayton86
October 11, 2012, 09:54 AM
do you use a digital scale or no? the digitals seem either crappy or super expensive and I know the 17's are finicky on powder half a grain can mean a lot I heard so I want a good scale.

AABEN
October 11, 2012, 10:08 AM
I have 2 digital scales and both are very good they are Pact 110vote scales. They can be adj if needed. I check them with my old beam scales. I always turn them one about 15min before using them. In 10 years I only needed to ADJ one of them! They came with my 2 PACT high speed digital powder dispenser. They have made my reloading a lot faster.

blarby
October 11, 2012, 10:13 AM
Steel lasts far longer than folks admit.

As has been suggested above, grab a new powder measure, and a decent scale.

Those scoops are nice once you have some idea what you are doing, and/or have a good reference table to check them against.

RandyP
October 11, 2012, 10:15 AM
FWIW, the dies and other accessories will work on any press so you have nothing to lose using the older freebies for starters and see how it goes..

EMC45
October 11, 2012, 10:26 AM
"If cared for, the single stage press should last for ever.

I would get a hand priming tool, scale and powder measure and start with what you have. As you learn reloading, you can upgrade. The scale and powder measure will work better for loading the rifle cartridges that you are planning to load than the scoops.

Single stage presses are useful to have around even after you upgrade to a progressive or turret press."


Very sound advice here.

788Ham
October 11, 2012, 11:33 AM
First thing I'd do, set FIL's books aside and buy a couple of new ones!

45Frank
October 11, 2012, 12:01 PM
I bought a lee starter kid back in 1988 or 9 I think it was, still have it and still use the hand held primer everyday and the Lee perfect powder measure.
I had a Pact trickle charger that I paid hundreds ($300.00 maybe yrs. ago)for that I used for target practice, never worked from day one. I have a few metal measure that are collecting dust and the Plastic Lee is what I use still. If you just tap it on the up and down stroke it's perfect after thousands of rounds.
I do have Lyman electronic scale to check every 10 or twenty rounds. It's about 15 years old and still checks out perfect everytime.
You don't have to spend thousands to reload and be very accurate!!!

Cosmoline
October 11, 2012, 02:09 PM
That "old Lyman" should be fine, and unless something damaged it it should work very well. Maybe better than the new stuff. With steel tools older is often better. Heck I just spent two years hunting down a vintage Columbian bench vise because the new ones are all junk. The one I got is pretty rough looking, but clamps down like nothing at Home Depot. Now I just need to finish building my work bench to mount it on.

I would say just get a good quality scales to cross-check your loads on, particularly if you are going to be loading rifle rounds.

Steve C
October 11, 2012, 02:41 PM
He has a old Lyman single stage press and the cheap scoop type powder measures then the dyes and gauges for 357 Max/mag and 38 special. I would need dies for my .243 and 17rem, new powder measure and trickler, and scale I think.

Nothing wrong with using the press but Lyman used to use a smaller die than standard so make sure the press is new enough to use standard thread dies.

If you get a powder measure you don't need a trickler but you will need a good scale to set your measure and intermittently quality control check charges to make sure they're consistent. I'd suggest a good mechanical balance rather than a digital scale unless you have more faith in electronics than I do. Don't forget shell holders for your rifle dies and you may want to upgrade the .38/.357 dies to carbide if the dies happen to be steel. You could also simply buy a carbide sizer and save a few bucks.

If you buy Lee dies, they come with a powder dipper, data sheet, and shell holder in one set.

Lost Sheep
October 11, 2012, 10:17 PM
I'm starting to reload this winter and I'm torn whether I should just use my father in laws old press and just buy a few newer things to complete the set up or just buy a new "kit" that has everything and use his as a back up.

He has a old Lyman single stage press and the cheap scoop type powder measures then the dyes and gauges for 357 Max/mag and 38 special. I would need dies for my .243 and 17rem, new powder measure and trickler, and scale I think.

Or I could just get the Lee kit and be super cheap and use his dies and buy the dies for the rifles I need and all I would need is a scale I think or maybe the Hornady kit.
One: Free stuff is free stuff. Take advantage of it. It also builds good will between you and your Father-in-Law. No substitute for that.

Two: Learning with a Single Stage is far easier than on any other type press. A Turret is not much different, but a Progressive is more complex. Watching one step at a time is the best way to learn.

Three: While you are still getting your "feet wet", you will develop some judgement over what equipment you will ultimately want and will serve your particular needs best. If I knew when I started loading what I know now, I would not have wasted a lot of time and money on purchases that I found less than ideal for me. After you have loaded 6 months or a year you will have gained enough experience and knowledge about your needs to shop around with more confidence and discernment.

As far as additional gear is concerned, the scoops will do as a powder measure, used in conjuction with a scale and trickler. New dies? Perhaps. But if the old ones are in good condition, why?

The speed factor in the quick-change bushings is virtually nil. You don't pull the dies that often. The convenience factor of adjusting the dies in the bushing and not having to adjust for each re-installation is attractive, but installing and adjusting dies is not that hard. Besides, doing it often keeps your skills up and contributes to your understanding of the loading process. Also, your dies will probably need micro-adjusting every once in a while anyway. The bushings are not a big deal, in my opinion.

My advice: Use the equipment as offered, buy only those items that are absolutely essential (Current manuals to match current powders, good scale, whatever dies you don't have or upgraded versions if the old ones are not state-of-the-art) and nothing else. Add items as you find the need (trickler, for example).

Learn from the old man. He will love you for it.

Lost Sheep

Clayton86
October 11, 2012, 11:45 PM
He doesn't have much to offer sadly Iv picked his brain alot about it he simply doesn't remember he has dimensia I have to "hold his hand" threw sighting in he forgets what he just adjusted and I have to write it down each time for him to see because he won't take anyones word.

How do I tell what thread the press is will it say on his 357 dies. All he has dies for is is the 357max and mag I have my .243 to reload for and I'm picking up a 17rem also def reload for that maybe for my nephews .223 if he stops shooting steel cases.

I see Berger just came out with a manual also I'm gonna order a manual or two and have it sent here to read and study before I get home

tglazie
October 12, 2012, 12:06 AM
I agree with those who say definitely take the free press and make the most of it, for many reasons. For one, it will certainly make anyone involved feel just plain old good about the equipment getting some use, and beyond that, who couldnt find use for a good simple press no matter how fancy a setup they have? I bought my setup from soup to nuts at the beginning of the year (a present from my wife for my 40th) and part of my "dream" setup was a bare bones, $25-$30 lee C-frame press that I use as part of my rifle prep station for depriming before tumbling. I like it because it is super light and the C-frame allows for easy access.

I guess my point is, if it works, you will find a use for it. And every time you find a use for it you are going to be glad you did.

Happy loading.

Steel185
October 12, 2012, 12:10 AM
First id go with the"use his stuff" plan for all the reasons above. Ive only been reloading 8 years and you never run out of "stuff" to buy, so use free stuff where you can. You will run across new or items that "help" as long as you reload. That's how the companies stay in business.

Almost all dies, and ive never ran across any that dont but I'm sure there are some, use the same standard die size. So your 243 dies will work fine on the press.

The quick change die set up saves you about 20 seconds when you change over. If that is worth it to you some presses can be converted and hornady makes inserts to do that. I feel that for the cost its not worth it because i should run more effiecntly to limit the number I changes I do. But I work at a manufacturing plant. How many different calibers are you loading this winter? If its a rifle the you only use 2 dies.

.22-5-40
October 12, 2012, 12:16 AM
Hello, Clayton86..if those .357Max dies fit his press..your good to go..they are
std. 7/8-14 thread. The earlier dies were first designed for the old "nutcracker" 310 hand tools..these were of smaller dia.

Clayton86
October 12, 2012, 12:20 AM
The press looks like a hand press by that I mean it has two handles with finger grooves on it so you can use it that way and it also has mounting holes as well if I was back home to take a pic I would maybe I can find it on google.

Clayton86
October 12, 2012, 12:24 AM
http://photos.imageevent.com/b_cmurphy/picsforposting/websize/LilLymanMountedPress.JPG

It's this press

Nappers
October 12, 2012, 12:28 AM
I got my dads old reloading stuff. It's on older RCBS Jr 3 press and all the trimmings. I only bought a digital scale, lube pad, dies I needed (45acp & 30-06). I also got a Pacific press and rams for a few calibers.

Use it and buy what you need. I love the old press I use it for everything and learned on it (30-06) and it was great to see them hit paper.

It's very relaxing and my girlfriend supports my habit.

blarby
October 12, 2012, 12:38 AM
Two: Learning of a Single Stage is far easier than on any other type press. A Turret is not much different, but a Progressive is more complex. Watching one step at a time is the best way to learn.

Someone please make this into a bumper sticker. Or a long range tattoo bullet..or something.

ArchAngelCD
October 12, 2012, 12:41 AM
The biggest reason I thought of getting a new kit and press is the new quick change bushings.
I like and use Lee equipment along with RCBS, Forster, Hornady and a few other companies stuff but I'm not a fan of the Lee Breach Lock Bushings (http://leeprecision.com/breech-lock-quick-change-bushings.html)! To make them work for you, you need to buy one for every die you use which IMO is a needless expense. (2 for $7.50) Other than the Lee "locking rings", locking rings have a set screw so once you set them they are the same each time you screw them into the press. It takes only a few seconds to screw in dies so the minimal time savings from using bushings is a waste of money, again IMO.

If I were to buy a new Lee single stage press it would be their Classic Cast Press (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/317831/lee-classic-cast-single-stage-press), not their bushing press made of alloy. I own a Lee Classic 4 hole turret press which is cast iron instead of the Deluxe turret press. Their cast iron presses are much better tools than their other presses and for not much more money. I also use a RCBS Rockchucker with is a great press too but so is the Lee Classic Cast single stage press for less money.

Lost Sheep
October 12, 2012, 01:28 AM
He doesn't have much to offer sadly Iv picked his brain alot about it he simply doesn't remember he has dimensia I have to "hold his hand" threw sighting in he forgets what he just adjusted and I have to write it down each time for him to see because he won't take anyones word.

How do I tell what thread the press is will it say on his 357 dies. All he has dies for is is the 357max and mag I have my .243 to reload for and I'm picking up a 17rem also def reload for that maybe for my nephews .223 if he stops shooting steel cases.

I see Berger just came out with a manual also I'm gonna order a manual or two and have it sent here to read and study before I get home
So sorry to hear about his condition. I wish you and your family all the best.

The threads are virtually certain to be the same as 99% of all the other presses and dies out there. 7/8" diameter by 14 threads per inch. Seeing the picture you posted, I am 100% sure.

If you are uncertain about new dies fitting into your press, bring your old dies that do fit that press to the store. Take the lock ring from the old die and verify the threads on the lock ring fit on the new dies (or the lock ring from the new dies fit on the old dies). That is easier than dragging the press into the store, which is also a possibility.

I am not familiar with Berger, but most manuals have their early chapters devoted to the "How-to" of loading. Each having a different style of writing and different areas of emphasis, so reading several is good. What one covers thinly another will cover well and some writing styles will "speak" to you better than others. "The ABC's of Reloading" is almost universally recommended. It has no loading data in it, but put together by editors from a number of different writers, so is a useful adjunct to any loader's library. After that book, the loading manual published by the manufacturers of the powder you use and/or the bullets you use (many makers of powder and bullets publish load data in manuals). Loading equipment manufacturers also publish loading manuals. My favorite is Lyman's. After that, Lee's. You will find your own favorites.

In the meantime, your Father-in-Law's manuals, no matter how old or out-of-date the load data is, the early chapters are still applicable to the loading process. By the way, pretty much main reason the old manuals' load data should be carefully checked is because the chemical formulas of the various powders MAY have changed over the years.

Lost Sheep

Lost Sheep
October 12, 2012, 01:37 AM
Two: Learning of a Single Stage is far easier than on any other type press. A Turret is not much different, but a Progressive is more complex. Watching one step at a time is the best way to learn. Someone please make this into a bumper sticker. Or a long range tattoo bullet..or something.
Thanks for the kudo, Blarby. I wish I had typed better, or proofread better. I meant to type "Learning on a Single Stage" instead of "Learning of a Single Stage". I have changed my post (#16) to, "Learning with a Single Stage".

Grammer and spelling is important, especially if you want your bumper sticker to be taken seriously.

Lost Sheep

FROGO207
October 12, 2012, 06:35 AM
Any time you can do what you want with FREE stuff do it! Then you can watch whatever venue you choose to eventually find used upgrades for even more savings.:) The hand primer, dies, new manual, and at least a scale (I prefer balance type) of some type would be minimal investments. I would get some sort of calipers and a powder measure as well. When you get a bit of reloading under your belt there will be lots of "things" you will want to add I am sure.:D A way to trim your brass is one that will come soon I bet.:cool: I like the Lee system for inexpensive, if you do get the lock stud to be able to use on a drill.

coyotemoon
October 12, 2012, 05:07 PM
I am using a Lee Challenger press that I bought from Midway $10 back in the late 70's or early 80's and it has loaded thousands of rounds and is still going. But I did just order a new Press from Smartreloader, going to set it up for other things, it can load a 50BMG.

If you enjoyed reading about "Buy new or make due" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!