One Reloading Set-Up?


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Triumph
January 25, 2013, 09:11 PM
I wanted to pose this question a little differently. We all have different budgets and the members of this forum have all used several different models & brands of reloading equipment.

So here is the question. Knowing what you know now, if you had one reloading set up, what would it be? I want to learn from all the experience on the forum and don't want to buy a kit.

I really want the best components from each manufacturer (within reason). The best press, scale, etc...

Imagine you can only have one of each tool. So no answers to include more than one press, scale, etc.. please.

Also, interested in a "flexible" set-up (press) that I can be simple with or grow in to.

I may load occasionally, sporadically or get into it and want to crank out a bunch of ammo.

Current Calibers are: 45ACP, 9mm, 7mm-08, 308, 30-06, 5.56

I'm a newbie so I'll need separate suggestions for each piece of equipment.

Thanks for the help.

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rcmodel
January 25, 2013, 09:44 PM
RCBS Single-stage press and everything else RCBS that goes with it.

I have been using the same RCBS Rockchucker press & most of thier dies since 1970, and they are doing way better now then I am!

Nobody offers better lifetime customer support then RCBS.
But you will very seldom need it.

rc

jaysouth
January 25, 2013, 09:49 PM
I am a number one fan of RCBS but I would be hard put to say that RCBS is better than Dillon. I have gear from Lee, Lyman, Redding, RCBS, Herter, Dillon and CH. All have their strongpoint but if I were limited to just one manufacturer it would be Dillon or RCBS.

Sidewinder72
January 25, 2013, 09:52 PM
I have two Rockchucker units and about everything else is RCBS. Great people to deal with. A true no BS warranty. My single stage presses will do about anything.

ColtPythonElite
January 25, 2013, 10:01 PM
I got along fine with a Rockchucker for 20 years before buying a progressive. The RC still does my rifle rounds and is used as a "trainer" for guys wanting to get into reloading.

rcmodel
January 25, 2013, 10:06 PM
Just as an example.

I bought my RCBS press in 1970 when I got out of the Army.

About 4-5 years ago, it got to the point my old hands hurt after using the straight bicycle-grip press handle for a few hours.
I called them and inquired about buying a new style ball-end handle to fit my 35 year old press.

Four days later, there was one on my doorstep.

Free of charge!

It wasn't broke, and certainly not worn out.
It just wasn't as ergonomic as the new handle they use now, and they understood that.

Try that to get free power steering put on your 1970 Chevy, or a Lee reloading press.

Free from RCBS, Just Because you, and your press are getting older then dirt

rc

sage5907
January 25, 2013, 10:16 PM
I have a RCBS rockchucker, RCBS 10-10 manual powder scale, RCBS dies, RCBS uni-flow powder measure, RCBS powder trickler, RCBS case trimmers, etc. It doesn't make any difference if you buy new or used on eBay. If you're on a budget buy one piece every few months until you get the set-up working. RCBS products work for years without any problems, and you can buy additional items when you can afford them.

GT1
January 25, 2013, 10:18 PM
I really want the best components from each manufacturer (within reason). The best press, scale, etc...

One press, one scale, one of whatever...tough. (It looks like no one else is reading that part.)

It would be a Lee Classic Turret, outstanding flexibility, which is necessary since there is no other press. I need the speed it offers for pistol. A SS would just plain suck(I think they do anyway, slow, and.....slow.), and a progressive is not close to a jack of all trades type of press, one can do developement on a 650 or 1050 or similar, but no thanks.
I have a Dillon 650 next to my classic turret, but I'd not like it being the only press I had.

Scale, RCBS 10-10, there is no better. You'll never have to worry about batteries, or any other odd electrical weirdness that happens with digitals.

A Dillon or Giraud trimmer for the bottle neck stuff(Either is pretty expensive though).

Everything else is pretty much nominal stuff. You won't do better than Lee deluxe pistol die sets. Rifle dies... It doesn't matter, unless you can hit the 5-600 yard and out stuff you will never know any difference. I have Lee, but the Reddings are very popular from what I read.

SpringfieldM1A
January 25, 2013, 10:30 PM
For the press I would have to say the co-ax. The rock chucker is a great press but I prefer the coax. No need for case holders, the spent primer catcher is great, and quick die change.

For priming I would use the rcbs bench priming tool. The one downfall I've noticed on the co ax press.

Dies would be redding or rcbs. I use both and produce excellent results with both.

Scale would be rcbs 1010. Hands down the best scale I've ever used.

Rcbs prep center. Makes quick work of case prep but requires power. It's nice to have a backup set of hand tools for case prep in the event of power failure.

Wilson case trimmer. Solid quality product that will last a lifetime. I also use Wilson headspace gauges to set up my sizing dies.

For neck turning, if you ever decide to turn any cases, I use a product from sinclair. I'm not sure if they make it anymore but the current tools look top notch.

I have a Hornady powder measure, I don't like it. I'm looking to upgrade to a redding model.

witchhunter
January 25, 2013, 10:38 PM
RCBS Rockchucker since the 70's also. You can load anything on it. Mine has loaded several thousands of rounds. I use a lot of RCBS stuff, I like my Redding micrometer powder measure and micrometer seating dies though. I also use a lyman power trimmer and an RCBS case prep center.

Triumph
January 25, 2013, 10:59 PM
I have two Rockchucker units and about everything else is RCBS
Everything I hear about Rockchucker and RCBS is great

Free from RCBS, Just Because you, and your press are getting older then dirt
Strong Customer Service Very Important

One press, one scale, one of whatever...tough. (It looks like no one else is reading that part.)

It would be a Lee Classic Turret, outstanding flexibility, which is necessary since there is no other press. I need the speed it offers for pistol. A SS would just plain suck(I think they do anyway, slow, and.....slow.), and a progressive is not close to a jack of all trades type of press, one can do developement on a 650 or 1050 or similar, but no thanks.
I have a Dillon 650 next to my classic turret, but I'd not like it being the only press I had.
This is my conundrum. The Lee Classic Turret sounds like the most flexible option. However, several have used the Rockchucker alone for years. I guess I could by a second press later (thats if I get that much into it), just not sure which to start with.

Scale, RCBS 10-10, there is no better
This sounds like the one sure thing.

For the press I would have to say the co-ax
I don't know what a co-ax is

So how about this:
1. Press; Rockchucker or Lee Classic Turret
2. Scale RCBS 1010
3. Primer Tool?
4. Dies?
5. Case Trimmer?
6. Powder Dispenser/Measure?

Also, What am I missing from above?

Do you guys have suggestions for the ones with question marks? Remember I am a newbie so I will need model numbers as well.

Thanks Much.

viking499
January 25, 2013, 11:32 PM
Sounds like you need a Rockchucker package to start with. Everything you need. Then as you become more comfortable and knowledgable, swap some parts or equipment if you find something you don't like or buy something else and compare and sell what you don't like.

Most reloaders started on a single press and have added another single, turret or progressive as time went on. Nothing wrong with having more than one press. I have had my RC for 25+ years and am currently trying to decide between a Redding T-7 turret(I already have two straps heads for it) or a dillion or hornady progressive to load pistol and maybe some rifle. Most rifle will still be done on the RC.

FYI, Not a Lee person.

GW Staar
January 25, 2013, 11:57 PM
Everything I hear about Rockchucker and RCBS is great

Strong Customer Service Very Important


This is my conundrum. The Lee Classic Turret sounds like the most flexible option. However, several have used the Rockchucker alone for years. I guess I could by a second press later (thats if I get that much into it), just not sure which to start with.

My opinion, ok? I do like the looks of the Lee, but I don't believe it is as heavy-duty, and the two year warranty (and price) suggests that. More than that, if you become an obsessed reloader, you may very well want a progressive down the road, not a turret. You will always use a single stage press......or the turret if you prefer. Either way, the only way you'd want to replace them is if you break them. You won't ever break a Rock Chucker, unless you do it on purpose...throw it out of a second story window onto the concrete?...


This sounds like the one sure thing.


I don't know what a co-ax is
A Co-ax (http://www.forsterproducts.com/store.asp?pid=24822&catid=19938) is the press used in the Movie "Jack Reacher" (if you haven't seen that...do.) Nice press....different press....but my Rock Chucker never wore out. 40+ years and going.
So how about this:
1. Press; Rockchucker or Lee Classic Turret Fine
2. Scale RCBS 1010 Fine...but someday you'll add an RCBS 1500 digital with trickler. (add not replace, mind you)
3. Primer Tool? THIS ONE! (http://www.6mmbr.com/catalog/item/1433308/892409.htm)
4. Dies? Save your money on this and buy Lee for now. You'll know when you need something better....it won't be for a while. buy some Hornady Lock rings to replace the Lee's eventually.
5. Case Trimmer? RCBS has combined their excellent case trimmer with their excellent case prep center in one footprint....new at the 2013 shot show....RCBS Universal Case Prep Center (http://www.rcbs.com/whatsnew/#newproducts).....and do buy the 3-way cutters (trims, deburrs, and chamfers in one pass) for rifle calibers.
6. Powder Dispenser/Measure? What else? RCBS Uniflow or Hornady P.M.... same thing....or spend a lot more for a Redding....same thing but one has a test tube shaped powder cavity with the rounded bottom. Many throw slightly more consistant. With any of the three...clean the innards with degreaser, and coat with paste wax.....and buy the BAFFLE!

Also, What am I missing from above?
Reloading manuals, a good calipers....that's all that's needed to reload a storm. You could add case gauges from Wilson....that'd be very worthwhile. If you plan to reload crimped military brass, a swager or military reamer is needed. There's a nice reamer for that new Case Prep Center.


Do you guys have suggestions for the ones with question marks? Remember I am a newbie so I will need model numbers as well.

Thanks Much.

No model #'s needed so far. Models given are enough, look up the models given, and the accessories for them are usually listed, there's just too much to write in one post!:D P.M. me if you have any specific questions...am super glad to help.

Triumph
January 25, 2013, 11:58 PM
I don't know what a co-ax is
A co-ax is the press used in the Movie "Jack Reacher" (if you haven't seen that...do.) Nice press....different press....but my Rock Chucker never wore out. 40+ years and going.
So how about this:
1. Press; Rockchucker or Lee Classic Turret Fine
2. Scale RCBS 1010 Fine...but someday you'll add an RCBS 1500 digital with trickler. (add not replace, mind you)
3. Primer Tool? THIS ONE!
4. Dies? Save your money on this and buy Lee for now. You'll know when you need something better....it won't be for a while. buy some Hornady Lock rings to replace the Lee's eventually.
5. Case Trimmer? RCBS has combined their excellent case trimmer with their excellent case prep center in one footprint....new at the 2013 shot show....RCBS Universal Case Prep Center.....and do buy the 3-way cutters (trims, deburrs, and chamfers in one pass) for rifle calibers.
6. Powder Dispenser/Measure? What else? RCBS Uniflow or Hornady P.M.... same thing....or spend a lot more for a Redding....same thing but one has a test tube shaped powder cavity with the rounded bottom. Many throw slightly more consistant. With any of the three...clean the innards with degreaser, and coat with paste wax.....and buy the BAFFLE!

Also, What am I missing from above?
Reloading manuals, a good calipers....that's all that's needed to reload a storm. You could add case gauges from Wilson....that'd be very worthwhile. If you plan to reload crimped military brass, a swager or military reamer is needed. There's a nice reamer for that new Case Prep Center.


Do you guys have suggestions for the ones with question marks? Remember I am a newbie so I will need model numbers as well.

Thanks Much.
No model #'s needed so far. Models given are enough, look up the models given, and the accessories for them are usually listed, there's just too much to write in one post! P.M. me if you have any specific questions...am super glad to help.

Awesome Info Thanks - I'll PM you with the rest of the questions.

gspn
January 26, 2013, 12:02 AM
It's difficult to optimize with only one press...you will generally have under-kill or over-kill.

If you don't shoot much then a progressive is over-kill. If you shoot a lot then a single stage or auto-progressive will be under-kill.

The press is a straight up time vs money tradeoff. For high volume stuff like .45 ACP I use a Hornady LNL so I don't waste half my week at the loading bench.

For loading 100 rounds of 44 mag it's not worth the time setting it up on the LNL.

Tell us how many rounds per month and in which calibers and we can give you better advice.

rcmodel
January 26, 2013, 12:04 AM
Get one or the other RCBS hand primer tools.

You won't like press priming very long.

If you are going to go RCBS anyway?
Get RCBS dies too.

Heck, might as well get the kit!
The scale is every bit as accurtae as the 1010.

It just has a dust cover and higher capacity you don't need unless weighing .50 BMG bullets

rc

JEB
January 26, 2013, 12:17 AM
im gonna go against the grain here, but i would not buy a beam scale of any kind unless it was very cheap and i was on a serious budget. i used one when i got started but switched to a digital in a hurry. much faster and more than accurate enough for me.

GW Staar
January 26, 2013, 12:19 AM
Get one or the other RCBS hand primer tools.

You won't like press priming very long.

If you are going to go RCBS anyway?
Get RCBS dies too.

Heck, might as well get the kit!
The scale is every bit as accurtae as the 1010.

It just has a dust cover and higher capacity you don't need unless weighing .50 BMG bullets

rc

Have to second rcmodel's conclusion on the kit.....the next best hand primer is offered... and the next best scale.....but they do the job danged near as well and it's way cheaper to get the kit. RCBS kits are the best kits bar none.......ah...uh...never use the dust cover on my 10/10...gets in the way.

RCBS dies? Great of course, better machined to be sure...and thus more expensive. But here's where you can save some money and not load ammo one bit inferior. I use both RCBS dies and Lees. The Lees are fine. I do like the free factory crimp dies in the Lees 4 Die sets.....RCmodel may disagree.....and that's okay.....you'll eventually have both to compare for yourself. Allows you to crimp separately....for free.:)

I disagree with Jeb, only in that electronics break. Like computers, cell phones, etc., etc. My 10/10 is 40+ years old. Sure the digital is faster....and I have one. BUT the 10/10 is always there to to keep it honest, and to replace it when it breaks....or when the lights go out for a year or two. If I could only have one scale, it would be a beam scale.

Triumph
January 26, 2013, 12:25 AM
Tell us how many rounds per month and in which calibers and we can give you better advice.

Not a bunch of shooting. Maybe one trip per month

JEB
January 26, 2013, 01:04 AM
I disagree with Jeb, only in that electronics break. Like computers, cell phones, etc., etc. My 10/10 is 40+ years old. Sure the digital is faster....and I have one. BUT the 10/10 is always there to to keep it honest, and to replace it when it breaks....or when the lights go out for a year or two. If I could only have one scale, it would be a beam scale.

i will give ya that. you just cant argue with the rock solid reliability of a good beam scale. if you dont mind spending a little more time when weighing charges (i would prefer not to) then the 10-10 is an excellent choice. its all a matter of preferences.

ArchAngelCD
January 26, 2013, 01:10 AM
RCBS and for a second choice, RCBS!

col_temp
January 26, 2013, 02:53 AM
Hey Triumph,
Have you read the sticky thread at the top label read first.
Along with all the other great suggestions that one has a good intro fro which I think you are looking for based on your original question.

CZ223
January 26, 2013, 09:07 AM
You tend to get what you pay for.

Single stage press-RCBS, Lyman, Lee, Redding
Progressives- RCBS, Hornady LNL Stay away from cheap progressives (LEE)
Powder Measures- RCBS, Hornady, Redding Again don't go cheap here
Scales- RCBS Lyman, Redding, Hornady
Dies- I Like RCBS, Hornady, Redding and yes you can even buy Lee dies:D
Caliper- I like old school calipers, dial indicator not digital. Get something made of metal, not plastic. You can get a decent one from $30 on up.
There are lots of other things you will need down the road like a trimmer, Swager etc. Buy good quality tools and they will last you a lifetime.

thump_rrr
January 26, 2013, 10:27 AM
There is an RCBS starter kit that includes the RCBS Chargemaster combo automatic powder dispenser.
I bought the Chargemaster several months ago and wouldn't do without it now.
Buy once cry once.
Yes a beam scale is great for backup but a set of the RCBS check weights are also worth what they cost ( the bigger of the 2 sets).

RandyP
January 26, 2013, 01:39 PM
I am DEFINITELY on a tight budget (read poor-folk-lol) and for ME the Lee Classic 4-hole turret is the perfect balance between my non-existent wallet and realistic ammo needs. I can crank out 175 rounds per hour with ease, or go slowly and develop small quantities of loads. Separate turrets filled with dies are super affordable, swap out in seconds and Lee products will last my lifetime.

I use a $9 Harbor Freight digital caliper and a $30 digital scale because they are both old-guy eyeball friendly - lol I use a Lyman 1200 tumbler I found on sale at Midway.

That is the setup that works for ME. Other folks have a lot of investment in money and emotion in what they use and their stuff is fantastic for them. If you match your realistic ammo needs and budget with reloading hardware it will pay for itself in the first year of use. IMHO all the players out there make excellent gear and I defy anyone to tell the difference in the ammo any of them can make using the same components. If the reloader does their part all gear can make safe, relibale and accurate ammo, from the lowly $30 Lee whack-a-mole Loader to the $30,000 Camdex. (what Dillon owners WISH they had-lol)

THe Dove
January 26, 2013, 02:23 PM
Caliper- I like old school calipers, dial indicator not digital. Get something made of metal, not plastic. You can get a decent one from $30 on up.

CZ223, I have a poly dial caliper from RCBS and have been using it for 20 years. It's worked wonderful for me. Have you had bad experiences with poly calipers?

The Dove

Legion489
January 26, 2013, 03:01 PM
If I could have only ONE press, it would be a RCBS ROCKCHUCKER. My RC is still good after 40+ years. I can load ammo, swage bullets, load 50 cal. and do most anything else I want on it. PLUS, unlike Lee, RCBS has a LIFETIME guarantee that they actually stand behind! Lee has a 2 year warranty that they don't stand behind. Dillon has a LIFETIME warranty too, but I can't swage or load .50 Cal. on the Dillon 550B.

If I could only buy ONE brand of dies, it would be Redding. Then Forster, Dillon or RCBS in that order. Lee dies are very good for the money, but if limited to ONE brand, why not get the best, or at least one of the top three? Dillon - which has a limited number of dies, Redding which has EVERYTHING, including wildcats, Forster - again limited selection.

Being poor (meaning broke), I find that buying QUALITY is FAR cheaper than buying junk that has to be replaced sooner (usually) or later. QUALITY is remembered LONG after price is forgotten! Buying junk costs you twice, once when you buy it, and again when you buy the QUALITY part you need to replace the junk. Also quality holds it's value, while junk is junk, new or used, and worthless.

HighExpert
January 26, 2013, 03:02 PM
I am going to go entirely against the grain. I have and would buy again a Dillon 550B, Pact Electronic scale, Dillon tumbler, and Possum Hollow case trimmer. I know I will catch flack over the progressive press, but it works for me and I can load 10 times the pistol ammo and 5 times the rifle ammo you can load with the Rockchucker. While I am shooting you guys will still be reloading. The learning curve is steeper for the Dillon, the cost is higher but the service and reliability cannot be beaten.

RugerBob
January 26, 2013, 03:08 PM
I don't really know. I would like to test drive some other presses. All I have are Lee and all my friends have a Lee. I have a single, turret and a progressive.
So, without trying, I would have to say Dillon- It cost way more so it must be way better, right?

Legion489
January 26, 2013, 03:26 PM
Well you won't catch flack from me. I LOVE my Dillon presses (yes, more than one). However I can't swage on my Dillon, can't load oversize odd balls (.50 BMG, the big Brit military BP cartridges, etc), and a few other things. True the single stage is slow, which is why I went to a progressive (a Lee LoadMaster which is absolute trash) and then spent as much trying to get the junk fixed as a Dillon would cost, so I BOUGHT Dillon! JOY!! Yeah, with a RockChucker I spent so much time loading for the matches it was crazy. I would come home, spend four hours loading, go to sleep, get up, go to work, come home and load four hours a night, for a week just to shoot on Saturday. Needless to say that got old in a hurry!

The Harbor Freight $10 caliper is as good as my $75 set at work. I really LOVE case gauges after being given one to try. Before that I though they were just gimmicks, but now I keep them in my range bag and bench! The Lee PERFECT POWDER MEASURE is NOT perfect!! It is JUNK! I DO like the Lee powder disk measure however and use them all the time. Where the idea came from that I bash Lee I don't know. Sure I bash junk and trash, but I have used or own nearly everything Lee makes (and a lot of RCBS, Lyman, Dillon, etc., for that matter), so I am speaking from experience, not out my rear like so many seem to. If I had a junk Dillon product, I would say so (OK, the Dillon caliper I bought for $30 is no better, AND made in China, than the $10 Harbor Freight model, and I am not impressed with it. There! Happy?) just like I would any other product I bought with my own money that was junk.

gspn
January 26, 2013, 06:02 PM
Not a bunch of shooting. Maybe one trip per month
For that volume of shooting I would get a Lee Classic Cast, an RCBS electronic scale, and Lee dies with a turret head for each caliber.

That is the setup I used for the first few years I was into reloading. I did about the same volume you are talking about and it was perfect.

The press is perfect...it does't cost much...it cranks out 100 to 150 rounds per hour of great ammo.

Caliber changeovers take me about 30 seconds because I already have my dies set in a turret head...I set them once and never have to touch them again. They cost about $9 for the turret...I simply twist it out and put the next one in and Im off the the races.

I use a cheap Frankford Arsenal electronic caliper...there may be better but I can't imagine what they would do for me...my ammo is great...it's accurate and it always goes bang.

I have a Lymans Pop Top tumbler...it can hold a few hundred pistol rounds at a time.

With that set up I've been reloading 45 ACP, .380, .38 spcl, .357 mag, .41 mag, .44 mag, 45 colt, .243, 7mm rem mag, 10mm, .30-06, .270.

That set up will be perfect for the amount of loading you intend to do. Plus as a beginner you'll have more money left in your pocket for supplies, and the auto-index process will make it easy to learn and have a lower probability of having an error creep into your process.

When you start shooting a few hundred rounds per week you'll probably want to move up to a progressive like a Hornady LNL or Dillon 650. If you use those now you'll load a ton of ammo and then not see the machine again for months...and you will have to learn the process all over again.

gdcpony
January 26, 2013, 10:01 PM
I might get shelled for this, but here is my .02:

Being first a barracks Marine who needed a reloading kit I could get out of the barracks in one bag, yet still reload my CO's (and anyone else's) shells accurately. Then I turned into a family man with three kids who needed braces, food, a roof, etc. I ended up with a single stage press and kit to do all my reloading. It wasn't fast, or expensive, or fancy. It works to this day though.

For dies I go Lee. People may nay say them, but I have shot groups down to .1 center to center. My bulk loads are currently shooting 2" in my daughter's Rossi, .75 in my old Mauser .257, and .5-.6 in my AR. I will say that the three die kit is the best for singles, bolts, and levers, but add the Neck die for bolt guns as it is well worth it.

For a scale I use two. The Lee one has proved precise enough for me and cheap enough that I have no fear of throwing it in a bag and taking it to the range. I have an Ebay electronic one just for a second check and for measuring beyond 100gr (my archery requires that).

I use the Lee trimmers too. With a drill it is adequate. But I also have a Hornady piece I picked up at a gunshow. It is nice, but not as fast.

For a measure I again go back to my Lee measure. It throws most of my charges within .1 grain once set if I use the handle consistently. It is mounted to the same board with my trimmer.

The single stage press I use is a simple hand press from Lee. Remember I needed to be portable. With it I go to the range and can fine tune my loads right there. I am usually prepping my brass while watching TV (loading is separate from distractions). With my kids getting into it, I added a second one for them to help with. It made things faster for myself too, and was still cheap.

I use a Lee hand primer, but there are many other brands that will do the job of letting you feel the primer in.

To all this I add a set of calipers, some basic tools (pliers, adjustable wrench, screw drivers), and if possible a tumbler if you intend to pick up brass from the range. I made a ogive based OAL gauge with a drill and scrap aluminum and a piece of each type of brass gets drilled and tapped for measuring my leads. That was probably the biggest precision improvement I made and was next to free.
http://a3.ec-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/149/03979b1be3c54b11b5d799a0256851c9/l.jpghttp://a1.ec-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/117/f300d9de9e594fa58682fae86ce435ed/l.jpghttp://a2.ec-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/143/119a44f006304e42a2c7fd7f87f447a6/l.jpghttp://a1.ec-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/121/1b9b93e5c221415aac410cc3cb153887/l.jpg

My soon addition will be the RCBS prep center. I think that will be the best addition to a kit that has been unchanged in about two decades.

hueyville
January 27, 2013, 12:28 PM
The Dove, I am a machinist and no way would I use any type of polymer measuring device. How much wear has yours seen? Or stretch? My calibers go in for regular calibration. No way to do that with poly

For the OP. What are your short and long term goals for reloading?

JimKirk
January 27, 2013, 06:23 PM
Forster press ... RCBS for everything else ...

Saying that I do have Redding dies, Lyman dies, Pacific dies, CH dies...

Lee primer pocket cleaner and trimmers ...

hueyville
January 27, 2013, 11:37 PM
gdcponey, the RCBS case prep center one of the three best pieces of equipment I have ever purchased.

savanahsdad
January 28, 2013, 01:57 AM
Ok knowing what I know, and had to start over with one set up ? right ,

Press= Redding T-7

scale= Lyman DPS 1200 _______ HAVE ONE LOVE IT!

tumbler= Lyman 2500 Pro Mag ________ HAVE ONE LOVE IT

trimer= a set of lee's one for each Cal._____ no need to set anything (have them too)

Dies= Redding for rifle, Lee for Hand Gun

prep tools=, all Lyman _ flash hole tool, debure tools, primer pocket brush,

calpers= Satrett _______ mine are over 25 years old

bullet puller = Hornady (collet type) ___ have that too

primer tool = lee hand primer ______ I have two

shell holeder= set of Lee ____ cheep and they work


scale and press will run over $600.00 but you did ask "If we had to get all new, knowing what we know" well this is where I'd start and never look back

Triumph
January 28, 2013, 08:29 AM
For the OP. What are your short and long term goals for reloading?


I'm not sure about my goals yet. One thing I can say for sure is that I will not be "tuning" rifle rounds for better performance. For the rounds Ill be shooting for fun (Garand 30-06 & 308) I'll just use a standard recipe that I get from a manual or one o you guys.

I do see myself doing bulk 45ACP and 9mm for the range

hueyville
January 28, 2013, 09:12 AM
Buy the nicest 4 or 5 station turret press you can afford. A 3 station turret press is o.k. and have one for short runs of pistol ammo. Four stations allow use of 4 die pistol set or two 2-die rifle sets. Interchangeable turrets nice too. You can set up a turret then leave set up for good. A Lee press will work but if you can spring the bucks buy one of the basic Dillon machines. A square deal B would be decent choice but that being said is a bit of a bother to set up or do single operations with. If you want to spit out decent ammo at a relative quick pace and only plan on a few calibers it is in the running.

Next choice.is the Lee classic four hole turret press. At 110.00 it is most bang for money. Very simple to set up and.operate. Even with pre set turrets or caliber conversion kits, the Lee is much easier to change to next caliber as all you have to do is pop in a shell holder to hold the case.

oneounceload
January 28, 2013, 11:18 AM
I do not prefer to reload bottleneck rifle cartridges on a progressive. Personally, my rifles are hunting rifles so accuracy is paramount. They do not get fired 1000s of rounds in a weekend like folks with AR are capable of doing, so max speed is given up for max accuracy. I weigh and trickle each charge for each round. The RCBS 10-10 or whatever this Ohaus scale goes by is the best. Not affected by batteries, fluorescent lighting, etc., it is the KISS system at its best. The RC press or equal from Forster or Hornady will work perfectly. By loading using the batch method, a single stage works fine. For this I prefer the older MIDWAY USA wooden loading blocks that they used to get from a gent in Idaho (until they took his idea and went to China). Cartridge-specific, they minimize the chance of brass tipping or spilling powder. I have a Thumbler's Tumbler (vibratory style) that has worked perfect for 35 years. I have both a Lyman dial caliper and a Mitutoyo one (flea market steal). Again, no batteries to worry about. Dies for me are RCBS, Redding or Forster- all three are about the best you can get. The kinteic bullet puller that everyone has made for them works well. Case prep stuff, I like RCBS - has always worked well

ranger335v
January 28, 2013, 11:59 AM
Thing about brands is that most truly experienced reloaders will have a mixture of brands on his bench, each chosen for specific features rather than their color.

What my main press happens to be is irrelivant but it's a Rock Chucker. BUT - if Lee had made their Classic Cast when I bought the RC my main press would be red, it's a slighly better press in every respect. That said, there's precious little difference in what we can expect from any similar presses from Lee, Lyman, Hornady, Redding or RCBS; if they look alike they will work alike.

All ammo is made inside the dies and all dies are made to produce cartridges within the tolerance range of SAAMI specifications. Anyone claiming their favorite brand is made to 'tighter tolerances' is kidding themselves - and you too. The ONLY threaded die brand that has a seater which - on average - seats a little more concentric than others are Forster BR and Redding Competition and even they require a very good rifle and load and reloader to see any difference on target.

Any beam scale sold by our makers will do an excellant job for a lifetime; no digital will do that. And the value of a digital powder dumpster depends on the user; if the user is a sloppy or clumsy worker the automated gimmicks will likely be a better choice.

Bottom line, there is no "best" of anything, if there were it would have pushed everything else out of the market. What each of us suggests is best only means that's our favorite today, usually with little or no experience with competitor's products which might very well change our perceptions.

Legion489
January 28, 2013, 06:18 PM
Well speaking of "max accuracy", the Dillon 550B and 650 AND 1050 are ALL used by the US Rifle and Pistol teams! The Palma Match team uses 550B and 650 for most of their reloading. Palma shooting is 600 yards. When the US hosted the other teams (the host supplies all ammo to all teams so everyone is shooting the same ammo, including all practice ammo!), they used all three Dillon progressives to load ammo. The Dillon 1050s were going 24/7 for a month! Yes, I am serious, 30 days of the handles being pulled 24 hours a day to supply all the ammo. If the US Army (and Dutch, and German, and, and, and...) feel the Dillon 650 and 1050 are good enough presses to load for 600 and 1000 yard shooting, I sure ain't gonna disagree with them!

oneounceload
January 28, 2013, 11:06 PM
The ONLY threaded die brand that has a seater which - on average - seats a little more concentric than others are Forster BR and Redding Competition and even they require a very good rifle and load and reloader to see any difference on target.

RCBS offers that type of die as well - not cheap, but very precise and exacting

gspn
January 29, 2013, 12:24 AM
Thing about brands is that most truly experienced reloaders will have a mixture of brands on his bench, each chosen for specific features rather than their color.

What my main press happens to be is irrelivant but it's a Rock Chucker. BUT - if Lee had made their Classic Cast when I bought the RC my main press would be red, it's a slighly better press in every respect. That said, there's precious little difference in what we can expect from any similar presses from Lee, Lyman, Hornady, Redding or RCBS; if they look alike they will work alike.

All ammo is made inside the dies and all dies are made to produce cartridges within the tolerance range of SAAMI specifications. Anyone claiming their favorite brand is made to 'tighter tolerances' is kidding themselves - and you too. The ONLY threaded die brand that has a seater which - on average - seats a little more concentric than others are Forster BR and Redding Competition and even they require a very good rifle and load and reloader to see any difference on target.

Any beam scale sold by our makers will do an excellant job for a lifetime; no digital will do that. And the value of a digital powder dumpster depends on the user; if the user is a sloppy or clumsy worker the automated gimmicks will likely be a better choice.

Bottom line, there is no "best" of anything, if there were it would have pushed everything else out of the market. What each of us suggests is best only means that's our favorite today, usually with little or no experience with competitor's products which might very well change our perceptions.
There is a lot of wisdom in that post.

mineralman55
January 29, 2013, 09:31 AM
A "manual-progressive" machine is probably the greatest thing you could get. No silly linkages or contraptions on it that make it look like a Rube Goldberg production, nothing to break, easy to stop at any stage and check/QC things, and will still load any caliber up to 200 rounds/hr. Example: RCBS 4x4. RCBS doesn't make the 4x4 any more, but if you can find one used, it's a great machine. Takes any standard dies and it will last several lifetimes. IMHO, the manufacturers have really missed the boat by dropping machines like these from their lineups although they probably had good reasons to do so. I'll never give up mine.

Triumph
January 29, 2013, 07:07 PM
Hey Triumph,
Have you read the sticky thread at the top label read first.
Along with all the other great suggestions that one has a good intro fro which I think you are looking for based on your original question.

Well I did what I should have done in the beginning and read all my homework as suggested.

I thank you for all your responses:

Let me know what you think of this:

I think I would like to start cranking out pistol rounds and slowly work my way into rifle (at a later time). That being the case here is what I am leaning toward:

Lee Classic Turret Press
Lee Deluxe Pistol 4 Dye Set
RCBS 10-10
Lee Pro Auto Disk Power Measure
Lee On Press Primer
RCBS Prep Center

I like the flexibility of the Lee Classic Turret, the indexing and the ability to swap out my (4) .45 ACP dies for the 9mm dies just by swapping the 4 hole disk.

I think when I start doing rifle loads I will add the RCBS Rockchucker and do the reloading in stages.

gspn
January 29, 2013, 07:36 PM
I think that looks great.

Also remember this...you can take the "indexing rod" out of the Lee Classic cast and use it like a traditional single stage. When the rod is removed you stay on the same station after each stroke. It simply lifts out...no screws, bolts, or anything else. Very easy.

ranger335v
January 29, 2013, 08:16 PM
"Example: RCBS 4x4. RCBS doesn't make the 4x4 any more, but if you can find one used, it's a great machine."

It failed in the market. There are sound reasons for that failure.

mineralman55
January 30, 2013, 09:16 AM
And I said the manufacturers probably had their reasons. That doesn't mean the equipments wasn't sound or excellent.

RustyFN
January 30, 2013, 01:52 PM
For me it would be the Lee classic turret. To load rifle ammo you can take the auto indexing rod out and batch load just like any single stage press. When you want to load pistol ammo you can add the auto indexing rod and load 3 times faster. You never have to take a die in or out you just swap out the turret with a different one that already has the dies set up. The classic turret offers more options than a single stage press and will be close to $100 cheaper than the RCBS single stage kit.

Triumph take a look at the classic turret kit at www.kempfgunshop.com. The kit will have everything you need except scale, caliper and tumbler if you want one. It will include the safety prime, the pro auto disk is a small upgrade and one set of dies.

tcanthonyii
January 31, 2013, 01:16 AM
Press -- Lee classic turret. For the money, it's VERY hard to beat. I know you said no kits but there isn't anything in there you can't use. The auto disk rocks, so long as you don't need a super accurate charge. I'm going to get the double disk so that I can experiment a little. I wish they made smaller graduations in the disks. Especially since I load pistol with titegroup. The lee scale is adequate but rather fineky and hard to read but it gets the job done. The turret can handle nearly every case on the market today and can be used in auto rotate mode or as a single stage. How can you go wrong?

For pistol dies I'll go lee here too. They are cheap and quite good. The best? Probably not but unless you are shooting some crazy competitions they will be no more or less accurate than any other set.

I can not speak outside of this as I haven't done any rifle loading yet and all my dies are Lee that I have for Rifle. It's also my first press and was gifted to me. That said after researching presses, I'm a huge believer in the lee turret. I can guarantee there are better scales and trimmers than the Lee systems though, I just don't happen to own any.

Triumph
February 4, 2013, 10:15 PM
Lee Classic Turret Press
Lee Deluxe Pistol 4 Dye Set
RCBS 10-10
Lee Pro Auto Disk Power Measure
Lee On Press Primer
RCBS Prep Center

Guys - If I am going to start with Pistol Reloads do I need the RCBS Universal Prep Center?

gspn
February 4, 2013, 10:51 PM
No...you don't need the universal case prep center.

tcanthonyii
February 4, 2013, 11:29 PM
Agreed. For pistol no. I just tumble, look it over and reload.

THe Dove
February 24, 2013, 06:56 PM
The Dove, I am a machinist

Welp, that answers my question and I completely understand.

The Dove

James2
February 24, 2013, 08:18 PM
I have been loading over 50 years and still use my first press. A Herter's #3. I reckon any of the presses of the popular brands will outlast most of us.

I have not used a lot of the named equipment, but will say the Lyman #55 powder measure, the RCBS hand priming system, the Lyman Ohaus beam scale, the Lyman Universal case trimmer are all excellent.

I also used a Webster beam scale for years. My son now has it. Excellent.

I prefer a beam scale. You know their accuracy is machined into the beam and the provided weights. It is never going to change.

I also tried a RCBS Jr press for a while. My son now has it. I found it for $14 on eBay. That was before the current price craze. It was a good press.

As far as dies, I have some from all the major manufacturers except Dillon. They all work fine.

I load for quite a variety of handguns and rifles. It is a great hobby. What little I have spent on tools has came back to me many times over. If you don't need over a couple hundred a week a single stage or the Classic Turret would be fine. For sure, even if you step up to a progressive later there will always be a job for a single stage.

Oh ya, don't forget the first purchase should always be a manual.

11c2v
February 24, 2013, 09:01 PM
Dillon 550
PACT High Speed Digital Precision Powder Dispenser and Scale

hAkron
February 24, 2013, 10:39 PM
If I were going to get a single stage, I would go with an RCBS Rock Chucker. If I was looking for a turret press, I would get a Lee. If I needed a progressive, it would be a Dillon 650 or a Hornady, depending on my budget.

aliveisalive
February 24, 2013, 11:28 PM
I've been using a rockchucker kit with lee accessories like dies shell holders etc for a few years now. I find it to be great. If I ever upgrade it will most likely be a 550b but the cost is prohibitive. For now and likely a long time to come ill be using a rock chucker and lee dies

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