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Cost of a handloading setup

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by twoblink, Sep 12, 2008.

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  1. twoblink

    twoblink Member

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    Hey guys,

    What am I looking at in terms of $$$ as far as a handloading setup?

    I'd like a press, so any recommendations or links would be great.

    I like the staged ones..
     
  2. Strongbad

    Strongbad Member

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    What are you going to be loading for, and what is your budget? Just starting out, you'll want a single stage. Save the progressives for once you've got some practice under your belt. Most of the major mfg. have kits that will have you pretty well covered. RCBS, Redding, Lyman, etc. For a complete setup that'll pretty much have everything you'll need, you're probably looking at around $300. You can get away with less, but if you've got the cash, I'd drop the $300 and be done with it. :)

    Lee has some less expensive kits as well. The Lee equipment is decent. Some of it's pretty good, and some of it's pretty cheesy. The compromise is the price. :) I went with an RCBS kit years ago. Now the kit contains different equipment, but it's still a good setup.

    Anyway, I'm sure this will be the first response of dozens... so get your pen and paper ready. :)
     
  3. benzuncle

    benzuncle Member

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    Twoblink, share a little more info: what caliber(s) do you plan to shoot? How many rounds will you need? How much time are you wanting to spend reloading? (For some it's a process; for others it has become another hobby.)The reloading spectrum is pretty broad. If all else fails, go back through the plethora of threads on this forum and "gather ye" up some excellent info. Once you've done that, all that will be left is to decide how much $$ you are willing to part with.
     
  4. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Yeah, you’re going to need a little more info. You can go low buck with a Lee classic loader at $18.99 that you might be able to load 20 rounds an hour with or you could spend $25,000 on an Ammoload/Camdex and load over 5000 rounds an hour. Most fall somewhere in between based on needs and budget.
     
  5. Seafarer12

    Seafarer12 Member

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    If your serious I would reccomend not getting the cheapest of everything. I have some Lee stuff and it works fine but after you work with some of the higher priced stuff you know where the extra money goes. You can get an RCBS single stage kit for about 250 and will include just about everything you need minus dies. It will mainly all depend on what your loading and how much of it you need.
     
  6. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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    I would agree with that as far as the Lee scale and some parts. Don't be afraid to start with some of the Lee presses. The Lee classic cast single stage and turret are very sturdy and built to last a lifetime. I don't have any experience with their progressives but would probably go a different brand if I was going to buy a progressive. It all depends on your needs and budget. A single stage will load around 50 to 75 per hour. A classic turret will load around 200 per hour. A progressive will load around 350 per hour and up depending on how much you want to spend. I wouldn't start will anything less than a single stage. You can start for as little as $100 and go up to $2,000 for some progressives. As others said it would be very helpful to have more information.
    Rusty
     
  7. Otto

    Otto Member

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    ....
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2008
  8. scrat

    scrat Member

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    Where the heck did you get your figures from. Gold presses are us.



    A single stage set up can be done for about $150.00

    lee challenger kit $84.99 at midway
    http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=423081&t=11082005
    Lee turret press kit $145.99 http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/cat...html/catalog/rlpress2.html#LeeAnniversaryPack

    cost of dies average 40.00 After that you need to get powder, primers and bullets.
     
  9. Marlin 45 carbine

    Marlin 45 carbine Member

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    if you get a single-stage setup think about scrounging up a used spare single and another set of shell holders.
    you'd be surprised at the increased speed when you set up the process in sequence - and get a shooting buddy to run the seat/crimp die too. particular on high volume pistol rounds.
     
  10. Gord

    Gord Member

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    Alright, my turn. I've refrained from posting since the "how much is this gonna cost me" threads seem to be looked upon as a mild annoyance here, but since someone else already started...

    What should I be looking for to do .223, 9mm and maybe .45?
     
  11. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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    That's the same thing I thought. You can buy a single stage kit for around $100 and the classic turret for around $250 including calipers and tumbler.
    We all had to start at one point. I would say most people don't look at it that way. Again it depends on your needs and budget. I load on the classic turret and load 9mm, 38/357, 45 auto and 223. It has been a great press for me over the last two years. I started shooting a lot more after I started reloading because I started shooting competition. The classic meets my needs no problem. Most people load around 200 per hour. I load 200 pistol per hour and after case prep 223 at 250 per hour. You can see some good videos of the classic on youtube or the Lee web site.
    Rusty
     
  12. scrat

    scrat Member

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    For initial start up less than 500. now what i have is alot more but then i do a lot more than most people. i have various presses, lubrisizer, casting equipment, molds, roundballs, patches, fillers, wads, shot, hulls, various calipers, various powder measures from weight to volume for black powder. Various lubes tumblers. So i dont consider my self the average reloader. i reload smokeless rifle, handgun, shotgun. i reload black powder shotgun, handgun, i cast all my bullets including 50cal muzzle loading, round balls for cap and ball. I doubt the beginner will get into this this far. So quickly. Just getting in for rifle the classic cast is a great bargain. then turret press is another great bargain. When you get the kits all you need is the dies, powder, primers bullets and some calipers.
     
  13. Otto

    Otto Member

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    Last edited: Sep 13, 2008
  14. scrat

    scrat Member

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    Now like i mentioned earlier depends on which one they want turret or single stage. After that they need calipers, dies case length guage, powders primer bullets. As far as the equipment. I would still recomend books. Heck if you want to talk cost. We all know its possible it works and is time consuming but the lee loaders still work i have about 8 of them. its just very time consuming and they still run for about 20.00. So i would not say good luck. I would say welcome

    [​IMG]
     
  15. scrat

    scrat Member

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    Available kits

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Seafarer12

    Seafarer12 Member

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    You can get a bare bones set up for 150.00 but you would need to tack on some extra money for other stuff you don't think about untill you start reloading and relize loading ammo with a bare bones kit is a PITA. I mean priming cases with a single stage press has got to be one of the biggest PITA's around. A hand primer is worth every penny in my book.
     
  17. scrat

    scrat Member

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    Seafarer12 it comes in the kit. look above the hand held primer is there. The kits now adays are awesome.
     
  18. benzuncle

    benzuncle Member

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    I went back and did a little checking.
    I ordered on Jan. 12, 2008 from www.kempgunshop.com
    It was delivered Jan. 18, 2008. I chose Kempf because they had everything in stock. I would have used Midway but they were backordered on some items; Kempf had'em all.
    Lee Classic Turret Press Kit for 45ACP - $149.95
    Upgrade to Pro Auto Disk Powder Measure - $11.95
    Upgrade to Lever Prime System for Lg. & Sm. Primers - $8.00
    Lee Safety Powder Scale - $ 20.95
    Kinetic Bullet Puller - $14.95
    SS Dial Caliper - $24.95
    Thumler Tumbler Model UV-10 with cleaning media - $99.95
    Kit included 6-50 round ammo boxes
    Sub-Total $330.70

    Workbench from COSTCO - $75.00
    4ft. Fluorescent light - $31.00
    TOTAL $436.70
    *This price did not include bullets, brass, primers or powder*
    The bench suits my needs perfectly. It resides in the corner of the Warden's sewing room. The Thumbler UV-10 Tumbler is very well put together. It has a cooling fan for the motor. I added a cheap ass timer so it won't run for 3 days. (I gleaned that idea from another loader that forgot and let his tumbler run for days instead of 3 hours.) The tumbler is stored in a 5 gal. bucket and is carried to the utility room to do its dance. I'm as pleased as can be with the Lee Classic Turret. My only complaint is that it did not come with the billiard ball that RustyFN has adorned his with. He has also installed a small light so he can see into the casing to make sure it is charged and not double charged.

    So, for the price of 1 handgun, I'm paying less for 50 rounds of 45ACP than others are buying their 9m for. Fair trade for me. And adding calibers is inexpensive and very easy to do, thanks to the 4-hole turret.
     
  19. Gord

    Gord Member

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    This would just be practice/plinking ammo for the range; capability on the order of 200 rds/hr would be nice, but 100-150/hr is workable too. Budget would be $300 or under, to start.

    Otto, how about some alternative suggestions or constructive input, rather than simply berating others' responses without explanation?

    As an example,
    Why not? I've heard that Lee makes fine beginner's kits.
     
  20. Seafarer12

    Seafarer12 Member

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    I never cared for the Lee hand primers. You need special shell holders that are only for it and they are kind of flimsy. I have an RCBS with the universal shell holder on it. I picked it up from the bargin cave at Cabelas for 10 bucks. I just took all 5 of them they had there and pieced one complete one together. Even at 40 bucks they are worth every penny.
    Like I said I have nothing against Lee stuff. If your looking for cheap they are the way to go but you can tell the difference with the higher dollar stuff. And never forget about used stuff. I have a CH auto champ that I have 50 bucks in. I spent more on powder bushings and primer tubes than I spent on the press. I have two pardner presses I have about 20 each in and a Lee progressive I have about 10 bucks in but it isnt complete. Used stuff can really save you some cash.
     
  21. scrat

    scrat Member

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    Nope its a matter of economics. When you first learned how to drive did your parents go out and buy you a mercedes, jaguar, bmw. Or were you the kid who was happy to drive the ford pinto. For people who start up with no experience in reloading its cost effective to get a lee. That or if you have done all your research and maybe know someone that is in to reloading then you may be able to find a used dillon or rcbs. I have rcbs as well as other makes. Its just cost effective. for a 300.00 budget then i suggest lee again.


    Take a look at benzuncle. he mentioned getting the lee safety scale for 20.00 Well it comes with the kit now. Everything else he mentioned were upgrades. Thats like buying the ford pinto and putting on mag wheels, a leather steering wheel cover, chrome shifting knob. They work the upgrades may be easier but the basic kit has the essential parts needed to get someone into reloading. It will make a fellow shooter into a new reloader. Yes they will have a ton of questions and will come back here for answers. This happens all the time. i will never make fun of the guy with the lee and worship the guy with the Star. there are plenty of us here who have lee products. We all know the products are cost effective and work. Thats all im saying.
     
  22. Eric F

    Eric F Member

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    I have 2 presses I load 6 diffrent calibers all of my equipment dies included have cost far less than $500. In fact if you shop around hit gun broker and ebay you can come up with everything you need plus some "comfert equipment" for $75-$125 starting. Also that little $30 device from lee is great for stuff you shoot once in a while.
     
  23. scrat

    scrat Member

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    Take a look at the reloading work benches thread look at all the red presses and equipment
     
  24. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Twoblink is in Taiwan, so he's gonna have to work with somebody in the States if he wants to put a package together at a reasonable price...
     
  25. Eric F

    Eric F Member

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    Huh well if you own Hornaday why recomend lee and Dillions? Strange.

    But again lets review some unanswered questions.
    Really I would just like to know what you would recomend starting out on and why?
     
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