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Best Piece of Reloading Equipment that stepped up your reloading precision

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Point_Taken, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. Point_Taken

    Point_Taken Member

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    Saw this thread on another forum and thought it was a great talking piece for people to read and see what others have used to really step up their reloading game. Wanted to see what's out there for equipment that has taken you from filthy casual to bench-shooter god. Looking for equipment that has you standing back and saying "wow, this thing dials this in to the nat's ass". This is really to highlight some equipment that really delivers on what its suppose to do, also feel free to add the opposite, things that you bought and ended realizing were pretty much junk (whether it be build quality, or really didn't improve your data results.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
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  2. Tusker10mm

    Tusker10mm Member

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    My REDDING TURRET PRESS & RCBS CHARGEMASTER-- FOR SHOTGUNS, my3 PW presses. :)
     
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  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    No such thing.
     
  4. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    Five years of shooting a rifle once or twice a week.

    It's the Indian, not the arrow. That's why the fashion show mob, at the range three times a year with $10k in rifles, can't shoot for beans.
     
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  5. Point_Taken

    Point_Taken Member

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    I added some more to clarify, it was a tongue in cheek expression, but yes at the end of the day it will always come down to the person behind the trigger, not the gear. With that said, I meant to emphasize equipment that really delivers on its intended purpose into tangible data. Like equipment that really got that shot groups tighter or something that had a noticeable effect on your SD, etc.
     
  6. Legionnaire
    • Contributing Member

    Legionnaire Member

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    In the spirit of the question, here are some thoughts ...

    Lee universal decapping die.
    L.E. Wilson chamber-type seating die and a
    K&M arbor press.
    RCBS Chargemaster.

    These have helped me with speed and precision.
     
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  7. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Tools that allow for precise measurements are fundamental in achieving precision.

    A chargemaster seems accurate until you have something more accurate than it to measure its output.

    A caliper seems pretty accurate until you have a good micrometer.

    A precision runout fixture is very valuable in figuring out what makes a round with the least amount of runout. It can tell you at each step along the way, what works and what doesn’t. I have built a couple, one is easy to use with a loaded round, the other is more versatile as far as measuring at every step in the process but is not as fast on the finished product.

    I built a simple fixture that allows for precision die adjustment with pretty much any die, wish I thought of it 30 years ago as it’s stupid simple and very effective, use it very often now and has saved a lot of money vs “micrometer” dies.

    Of course if you don’t have any of that stuff, you might not know the difference. As you can take “perfect” ammunition and stuff it into a mediocre rifle and it isn’t going to make it a match winner.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
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  8. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    The Lyman M-die. Yes, I load a lot of cast...

    Worst piece of kit I've ever had would have to be split between the Lee Perfect Powder Measure and a Lee Challenger press. I couldn't get the measure anywhere near consistent with any powder I was using (particularly Unique...) and the Challenger broke on the 3rd case I sized.
     
  9. RikSors

    RikSors Member

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    Sticking with the OP

    - Hornady Bullet comparator (measures on the ogive).

    - RCBS Full length comp sizing die with micrometer.

    - Sinclair Concentricity gauge.

    And....

    - McDonalds plastic straw on RCBS chargemaster. It kicks it up a notch.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
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  10. drband

    drband Member

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    CTS Engineering case trimmer and headspace gauge for .22TCM. Really made consistent reloads possible for this tiny cartridge.
     
  11. forty_caliber
    • Contributing Member

    forty_caliber Contributing Member

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    Interesting topic. Makes me wonder if it's the tool or the confidence level that a precision tool brings to the person. Any tool is only as good as the intelligence operating the tool. I think it was Benjamin Franklin that said "A poor craftsman blames his tools". In this context, the "tool" could be anything in the safe or the bench.

    There isn't one single thing that I've tried to improve over the years. I've tried to improve everything...best available quality tools, knowledge, and processes.

    .40
     
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  12. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    For rifle:
    Better bullets and barrels.
    More concentric ammo. Just have to check results and not care about what die(s) work.
    None of which matter without better gun handling and wind reading.
     
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  13. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    Lathe and mill so I can do my own machining, aka barrels & chamber reamers.
     
  14. Kaldor

    Kaldor Member

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    For where Im at? Well Im not chasing that last 1% yet, but Ive picked up a few things that help.

    Chargemaster, but like jmorris said, its great until you find the next best thing that is more accurate. Probable next logical step would be something like an Autotrickler
    Annealeez annealer, but once again, the next step is probably a Little Annie annealer or something even more pricey for more consistency.

    I will probably buy a couple of Sinclair mandrel dies this summer and give them a shot.

    You can keep spending dollar after dollar, but the reality is that they been shooting sub .100" groups for a long time. They didnt have half the tech we have today. It was the shooter.
     
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  15. otisrush

    otisrush Member

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    For me it was really two items. (These might be focused more on increasing my *confidence* in loaded ammo consistency.)

    1. Comparator to enable me to measure base-to-ogive.
    2. A half-way decent set of calipers. As my standard, quasi-cheapo, set started giving results that made me question what the heck was going on, I realized it might have been the measuring tool itself. I bought a set of Mitutoyo dial calipers and they seem to be very precise and rock solid.
    OR
     
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  16. mdi

    mdi Member

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    Maybe not so much "precision", but certainly "fun"! I got my Forster Co-Ax about 3 years ago and my reloading enjoyment, fun, returned to the same joy as the first 38 Specials I cranked out on my Lee Challenger (my Lee Loader was fun, but the Challenger was much funner). If one likes his tools, he will do a better job, so, yes, my Co-Ax probably increased my "precision"...
     
  17. dh1633pm

    dh1633pm Member

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    My Co-Ax. Didn't make me a better shooter. Made me better at making ammo.
     
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  18. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

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    Giraud trimmer.
     
  19. Captaingyro

    Captaingyro Member

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    For me it wasn't a piece of equipment but a discovery: that the majority of problems with presses can be attributed to a single system, the priming system. Once the lightbulb went off in my head that it didn't make sense to use a piece of equipment designed to exert tons of pressure to seat a BB-sized primer, most of my machinery-related issues disappeared and reloading became much simpler and more enjoyable. I have stripped the priming systems off of every press I own (my original RockChucker, Hornady LNL AP, and Forster Coax) and have never looked back. I have found that priming with a dedicated bench top priming system is actually faster and more reliable than on-press priming, and I think I make better ammo.

    FWIW, I use the RCBS APS bench top system, but I've used hand primers too. All are simpler and better, to my mind, that priming with a press. It would seem that many of us agree. A few manufacturers have started to produce presses that do not feature a priming system and they seem to be selling well. I'm taking a serious look at a new MEC Marksman right now, and may just buy one to see how it compares to the Coax.
     
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  20. Tusker10mm

    Tusker10mm Member

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    Also, after trying several different options my RCBS bench primer loader with the tubes has improved things beyond what I could of figured on. :)
     
  21. Whiterook808

    Whiterook808 Member

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    RCBS Case Master.
    Chargemaster lite
    Hornady Cartridge comparator
     
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  22. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    My "home" forum does a lot of pistol load testing and reporting because the OALs typically in use are shorter than manuals show. I started this effort on a Dillon 550, but then got a wild hair and bought a 650. While I love the 650, loading only 10 rounds of each became an issue. The root issue is the primer feed works too good. If I wanted to load only 10 rounds, then I had to install only 10 primers.

    That's when someone told me about the Dillon 650 "Primer Switch" by Ebay seller "Snowshooze". Being able to turn off the primer feed was a true Eureka ! moment. (Not that I ran down the street naked like Archimedes, but I was almost as happy.) That one little accessory has brought back the joy of load testing for me. And the added flexibility has doubled the usefulness of my 650.
     
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  23. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    In the light of the way this thread is going, my LNL made reloading more enjoyable, taking most of the tedium out of it, as well as the WFT trimmers under power that made rifle brass trimming so much easier. A good powder measure makes things much easier as well.

    But they don't make ammo better.
     
  24. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    My accuracy improvement came more from my shooting skill increasing than my reloading skills.
    Number one for me was a good balance beam.
    I only have 2 rifles that are accurate enough for me to get better results from all the extras.
    A single digit ES takes wizardry, no amount of dollars thrown at it will help if you aren't a wizard.
     
  25. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    And there's where the truth is.....Some of us don't care about putting all our shots in one hole if it's a real tedious process. My best ever reloaded group was shot out of a Remington Mohawk 600 (a cheap rifle) in .243......five rounds in a 1/2" hole, at 100 yards. Was it cool? Yes, but not enough to to prevent me from moth balling that reloading tool for a new RCBS RockChucker II..... that Lee Target Loader was too slow for me. ;)

    Now if you named this thread, Best Piece of Reloading Equipment that stepped up your reloading SPEED, then I have an input.....a progressive press.....any progressive press.:) and the game is still dead and the targets still have fairly impressive holes in them.

    I have a successful benchrest competitor friend. I suggested once that I ought to come and watch his magic. His reply? Benchresting isn't much of a spectator sport!....he was right.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
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