Best of Reloading Equipment


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Gunmaster
March 30, 2013, 08:11 PM
There are plenty of choices for equipment in reloading, but can we come up with a "best of best" list? Take the categories below and submit your opinion for which brand makes the best item for the given purpose.

Edit: Seemed very view liked the idea of pointing out the best in different companies. So I guess this can become the boring "post what you like and why" thread.

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Lost Sheep
March 30, 2013, 08:21 PM
If you don't need more than 4 die stations, the best Turret Press, bar none:

Lee Classic Turret

Lee is the ONLY maker offering auto-indexing turret presses

The Classic Turret's base is cast iron

Vertical opening is more than 4.5" (according to MidwayUSA).

Spent Primer Handling: The Classic drops primers down the center of the hollow ram and into a clear plastic tube which can contain a few hundred primers or be directed into a receptacle of your choice.

For every other item on your list, there is too much variation in the needs of the loaders and offerings of manufacturers to present a single, unarguable choice. What is best for me might not be best for you because our needs and temperaments are different. Much is simply a matter of style.

Lost Sheep

cfullgraf
March 30, 2013, 08:42 PM
Choose the press whose color best matches the decor in your reloading room. It will serve you well.

As far as the rest of the stuff, Lost Sheep pretty much said it.

ljnowell
March 30, 2013, 08:50 PM
Fact is, almost all of the major manufacturers (Lee, RCBS, Hornady, Dillon, etc.) all make quality products. Its all a matter of preference. I prefer Lee presses, only because I have no problems making them work, they are cheap(like me), and make quality ammo. Others will tell you they are junk and unless you buy the most expensive Dillon everything else is junk.

Basically, take everything with a grain of salt, because its all opinion based.

That being said, I prefer Lee Single Stage and Turret presses. I have a couple of each. I am also getting ready to buy a Lee Loadmaster Progressive as soon as things die down a little bit.

I prefer Lee dies. The only die I have ever bough that wasnt a Lee gave me problems, no problems out of my Lee Dies.

I like my Lee Auto Disk and Auto Disk Pro.

I do prefer the Dillon Eliminator scale over my Lee scale, however, I use my Lee scale all the time since my Dillon was lost in a move a few years ago.

I use a Frankford Arsenal tumbler, it was a great deal at like 40 bucks with the media seperator. IMO, it has a much better seperator than some of the others.

gspn
March 30, 2013, 08:57 PM
No...you will not come up with a list of the best. You will get about 10 pages of people arguing about their favorite...but you will not get a unanimous vote. I doubt you will even get a majority vote...but I'm going to have fun watching.

:D

GW Staar
March 30, 2013, 09:07 PM
The answers you already got, I concur.

All you are going to get here is opinions based on an individual's style of reloading which in turn is often decided by what he bought. It's human nature to try to self-justify our purchases whether or not they fit what we originally needed. :rolleyes:

Better questions would be what did you buy, and why? Would you buy something different if you were able to start over today, based on more experience and maybe even a little more cash to spend?

Then ask what that person uses the equipment he bought for.

I know a guy who bought a Dillon 650, and loaded 5000 rounds of 9mm, and never used it again. Asked why, he said he's got what he wanted....he's done.

I like cfullgraf's answer the best! Color.....Decor! :D

But really, each type and brand of press, for example, does something extremely well. The question is.....which one fits what you want to do, well.

Lost Sheep
March 30, 2013, 09:20 PM
Better questions would be what did you buy, and why? Would you buy something different if you were able to start over today, based on more experience and maybe even a little more cash to spend?

Then ask what that person uses the equipment he bought for.

Did that in 2010. Here's the resultant thread.

www.rugerforum.net/reloading/29385-budget-beginning-bench-you-will-never-outgrow-novice-handloader.html

After 35 years, I repopulated my entire bench, replacing everything except my RCBS 10-10 scale and RCBS Kinetic Bullet puller. And the 2x6 I mounted every press I have ever owned on when I clamped it to whatever work surface I used. It's a bit shorter now, since I had to cut off one end or the other to accommodate different hole patterns.

Lost Sheep

ranger335v
March 30, 2013, 09:58 PM
If there were a single, or even tripple, "best" of anything it would capture the market and all others would disappear. So far, that doesn't seem to be happening to anything.

The better question to "what did you buy" would be, "Now, if you have at least a little experience with other equipment, what would you prefer to buy?" And, without valid experience with at least two items of the same type, no one has any foundation to say what he even thinks may be better! (Looking at magazine articles and reading web posts does not substitute for experience.)

Kevin Rohrer
March 30, 2013, 10:03 PM
You will get about 10 pages of people arguing about their favorite

Starting with message #2.

Pass

Otto
March 30, 2013, 10:12 PM
Single Stage Press...Hollywood Sr.

Turret Press....Redding T7

Progressive Press....Dillon 1050

Press Mount....Custom fabricated

Handgun Die Set....Redding Comp Pro

Handgun Sizing Die....Redding Comp Pro

Handgun Bullet Seater....Redding Competition

Powder Die...Dillon

Crimp Die...Redding

Decapping Die....Lee universal

Rifle Die Set....Redding FL Type "S" bushing

Rifle Sizing Die...Redding

Rifle Neck Sizing Die...Redding

Rifle Bullet Seater...Redding Competition

Case Lube...Imperial

Case Trimmer...Giruad

Manual Powder Measure...Belding and Mull

Auto Powder Measure...None

Manual Scale....RCBS 10-10

Electronic Scale...None

Hand Primer....RCBS Universal

Brass Cleaner/Polish....Flitz

Media Tumbler...Thumlers Tumbler Ultra Vibe 18

Media Separator...Dillon

Wet Tumbler...Thumlers Tumbler Model B

Case Gauge...LE Wilson

Swager...Dillon

Kinetic Bullet Puller...Quinetics

Bullet Puller Die

Caliper....Mitutoyo Digimatic

Reloading Manual...The Complete Guide to Handloading by Philip B. Sharpe

Case Feeder....Dillon

Loading Tray....MTM

Primer Pocket Cleaner...Sinclair

Flash Hole Cleaner....Sinclair

Deburring Tool....LE Wilson

tightgroup tiger
March 30, 2013, 10:13 PM
That is a heck of a list. I can't say which of any of them is the best because I don't own every brand of every thing on the list to compare them.
Even if I did, it would still be personal opinion only.

It's impossible.

GT1
March 30, 2013, 10:25 PM
The best tool is the one that fits your needs and wallet, no matter what its function, be it a socket wrench, or reloading press and associated tooling.

There are no other fitting parameters to compare them.

BYJO4
March 30, 2013, 10:32 PM
I don't think there is an answer to your question. Everyone has their own opinions based on equipment they do or have owned. I serioulsy doubt that anyone has owned or used every item in each category made by all the manufacturers.

Otto
March 30, 2013, 10:35 PM
The best tool is the one that fits your needs and wallet, no matter what its function, be it a socket wrench, or reloading press and associated tooling.
Socket wrenches??? That one's easy....Snap-On

jmorris
March 30, 2013, 10:38 PM
If there were one "best" for anything, I woul have a lot less "stuff".

How about a list of best:

Shoes

Car

Tractor

Doctor

Mower

Food

Drink

Fuel

Oven

Cutting tool

Light

Cuss word

Worker to hire

The list can go on and on. The answer is better found after these questions.


What is your application?

What are your needs?

What are you expectations?

How much time do you have?

How much money do you have?

rbernie
March 30, 2013, 10:47 PM
Single Stage Press - Lee Classic Cast
Turret Press - Lee Classic Cast
Progressive Press - Dillon
Handgun Die Set - Lee
Handgun Sizing Die - Dillon
Rifle Die Set -Lee
Case Lube - Imperial
Case Trimmer - Giraud or Lee
Auto Powder Measure - LeeAutoDisk Pro for pistols/intermediate rifle chamberings
Hand Primer - Lee
Brass Cleaner/Polish - stainless steel pins/water
Reloading Manual - Lyman

ljnowell
March 30, 2013, 11:00 PM
Socket wrenches??? That one's easy....Snap-On

Those of us who turn wrenches for a living can answer that easy! LOL. If you are a hobbyist or a DIYer you can use about anything. When it has to work, and has to be replaced WHEN(not if) you break it, it has to be SNAP-ON. Not only that, my knuckles depend on stuff to not break when under torque. The machining is superior also, bolts that a craftsman will round off I have gotten out with my snap-on. I love them. All 30K dollars worth that I own.

bluetopper
March 30, 2013, 11:08 PM
Not knocking them as I have some of their equipment but Lee does not make the best of anything........especially any of their presses, and I'm not saying their presses are not any good either..........just not even in the same league as the best.

AABEN
March 30, 2013, 11:34 PM
Lee all the way.

ljnowell
March 30, 2013, 11:40 PM
Not knocking them as I have some of their equipment but Lee does not make the best of anything........especially any of their presses, and I'm not saying their presses are not any good either..........just not even in the same league as the best.

And again, its more opinion.

See, OP, exactly as stated at the beginning, its all opinion.

GT1
March 30, 2013, 11:43 PM
Those of us who turn wrenches for a living can answer that easy!

You and the other guy are clueless as to my point.
Snap on tools are every bit as worthless as dollar store tools to me. One I wouldn't buy, and the other is not affordable.

Try again.

To one person Lee is as good as it gets, to another Dillon isn't good enough(Some folks do run Camdex machines for personal use, for example).

dsm
March 31, 2013, 12:03 AM
Best = subjective

Like mentioned above, the best tool is the one that works and gives YOU the results you desire.

ljnowell
March 31, 2013, 12:03 AM
You and the other guy are clueless as to my point.
Snap on tools are every bit as worthless as dollar store tools to me. One I wouldn't buy, and the other is not affordable.

Try again.

To one person Lee is as good as it gets, to another Dillon isn't good enough(Some folks do run Camdex machines for personal use, for example).

I believe thats what we have all been saying in this thread, with the exception of a few. Of course, why read what people say when you can latch onto a single post and reply with a snarky comment?

Since you only base things on cost, why bother answering this thread at all?

jmorris
March 31, 2013, 12:16 AM
Ah, don't get all bent out of shape. The search feature could have (and would have been the best) suggestion for the OP but where is the fun in that?

Cheap is always a "best" way for some (buying factory would cover "best" for most folks) and I bet a lot of us still cheap out on stuff unless we really want or need the "best".

GT1
March 31, 2013, 12:19 AM
Since you only base things on cost, why bother answering this thread at all?

Another one missing the point(It has nothing to do with cost, anyone with a brain knows higher cost doesn't always mean better).

But yeah, posts with no real point bring out the snark in me. I'd better get back on the high road and leave this one alone.:uhoh:

jmorris
March 31, 2013, 12:26 AM
Some people enjoy being "thrifty". Despite my sometimes "overboard" reloading stuff I enjoy I doing cheap.


Like the sump pump switch I made today, a fishing bobber hooked to a stainless filler rod switching, a leg of the power, to the pump when the bobber lifts the rod into the copper, it makes the circuit, until the water lowers, then the pump shuts off.

"Best"? No. It saved the life of a few beers and let me feel like I was doing something constructive and cost nothing.

ljnowell
March 31, 2013, 02:45 AM
Another one missing the point(It has nothing to do with cost, anyone with a brain knows higher cost doesn't always mean better).

But yeah, posts with no real point bring out the snark in me. I'd better get back on the high road and leave this one alone.

That explains your attitude, too much time spent reading your own posts. Get over yourself. Wanna pick a fight, take it to PMs. Otherwise, quite being an ass in the forum.

OP, this is exactly what you get when start a thread like this. People like the guy quoted in my post here that feels the need to come in and be a tool.

Lost Sheep
March 31, 2013, 03:27 AM
Not knocking them as I have some of their equipment but Lee does not make the best of anything........especially any of their presses, and I'm not saying their presses are not any good either..........just not even in the same league as the best.
Can you name a better auto-indexing turret press than the Lee Classic Turret?

(Hint: It's a trick question. The only other auto-indexing turret in current production is the somewhat inferior Lee Deluxe Turret.)

Lost Sheep

Please pardon the snark.

tightgroup tiger
March 31, 2013, 07:03 AM
hmmm, im just barely opening the mouth just enough for the bullet to sit. ill double check that though. thanks

Yea, that one wins by default.

rbernie
March 31, 2013, 10:06 AM
See, OP, exactly as stated at the beginning, its all opinion.Of course it is.

But I looked at it as an interesting exercise to see what sort of things us reloaders value, at least in the way of tools.

Kevin Rohrer
March 31, 2013, 10:13 AM
Not knocking them as I have some of their equipment but Lee does not make the best of anything........especially any of their presses,

No kidding. 'Pot metal' and 'best' can never be used in the same sentence (except this one :D).

jmorris
March 31, 2013, 10:26 AM
But I looked at it as an interesting exercise to see what sort of things us reloaders value, at least in the way of tools.

But with no context the answers are all but useless.

Like trimmers, the griaud trimmer is a nice unit for sure but if you need a 5 gallon bucket of trimmed brass in a few hours, it is certainly not the best.

Not to mention some folks seem to confuse cheapest with best.

472x1A/B
March 31, 2013, 11:50 AM
The 'best of the best' list is all the ones 'I' own, all 16 of them. Texan, Lee, MEC, Dillon, & RCBS. That is my answer to the OP.

splattergun
March 31, 2013, 11:53 AM
No kidding. 'Pot metal' and 'best' can never be used in the same sentence (except this one :D).
Aluminum alloy is great for making aircraft frame, off-road racing wheels, Corvette Stingray suspensions and body frames, F1 race car engines, frames and suspensions, and the list could go on... but if aluminum alloy is used to make a reloading press, it is just "pot-metal". :scrutiny:

Sure, there are good-better-best grades of aluminum, and what they use to make a $90 press is not what I would want in $160K 'vette. But I'm not pulling high Gs on my cast aluminum press, either. Also, Lee's 'Classic' press series are made of cast iron.

Pot metal? Pahh
not likely

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