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Getting into Reloading, What Do You Think of My List?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by hcinciripini, Apr 25, 2014.

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  1. jinxer3006

    jinxer3006 Member

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    Time for another different answer. (I'm basing this on your updated list)

    Take these off the list:
    Breech lock hand press
    Case length gauge and shell holder
    Trimmer cutter and lock stud
    Trimmer cutter ball grip
    American Weigh scale

    And get one of these instead:
    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/121744/lee-challenger-breech-lock-single-stage-press-kit?cm_vc=ProductFinding

    The advantages to doing this:
    1. You get a real bench mounted single stage press--I know you think this is a waste, but trust me--you'll end up using it more than you think.
    2. You get a powder measure--the thought of weighing out every single charge for 9mm makes my brain hurt.
    3. You get a hand primer--I haven't talked to anybody that's used on-press and hand priming and liked the on-press priming better.
    4. You save $8.55 (maybe even more if you shop around)

    Also, ditch the Dillon case gauge--it's unnecessary--just drop your loaded rounds in your barrel (do a search for "plunk test")

    I'll also put in a vote AGAINST the Lee Precision Modern Reloading book--it's mostly an advertisement for Lee products combined with load data that's available elsewhere.

    If money is really tight for stage 1, you could move the rock tumbler and stainless media to stage 1.5. For now just throw the brass in a bucket with some water and dish detergent and swish it around--it won't sparkle, but it will be clean enough to work with. Also, you could move the cast bullet handbook to stage 2.5.

    For stage 3, I'm not sure what the difference is between the "20# pot" and the "Lead Pot", but I'm pretty sure you won't need both unless you're going to be smelting dirty lead. Also, you can save a couple bucks by buying only one set of mold handles and switching them between molds. Don't bother with the Lewis lead remover kit--just get some "Chore Boy" scrubbers (ALL copper, not the copper coated steel) and wrap some around an old brass brush.

    I agree with your decision to get a kinetic puller. The collets don't work well with handgun rounds and really are only an advantage for doing bunches of similar rifle rounds at one time.

    For 9 mm brass, if you're willing to pay for one of the USPS "if it fits it ships" boxes, I'll fill one up with mixed range pickups and send it to you--just shoot me a PM.

    And just to agree with Uziland-- 9 mm Luger = 9 mm Parrabellum = 9x19 mm
     
  2. blarby

    blarby Member

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    Nope, I'm macho in front of the screen, behind it I tend to be far more laid back. :D

    I'd honestly buy the load books, at least one or two, before you bought a cent more kit.
     
  3. Potatohead

    Potatohead Member

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    Im with captain on the Lee dies. Though i do like some of the features on the Lees, i have had much less trouble out of my rcbs dies.
     
  4. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    While I have most every color in my reloading set up, most of my dies are Lee brand, that is for 40+ calibers that I reload for. Yet to see a need to spend the extra for another manufacturer dies.

    If I were you I would buy 1 set of Lee's and try them out, see how you like them.

    Take note tho that if Lee dies were REALLY bad/no good they would have been out of business years ago.

    There is only 1 brand that I will not touch and that is smart reloading, not even worth capitalizing the brand.
     
  5. AABEN

    AABEN Member

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    Why not go with the LEE value turret press kit? Look it up to see what all it has.
     
  6. Guyzer

    Guyzer Member

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    there is something very satisfying about making your own ammo. welcome to the club.

    Blarby is right buy the books first
     
  7. captain awesome

    captain awesome Member

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    I just want to clarify I do not believe that all Lee dies are crap, nor do I believe that all Lee equipment is crap. Some of their stuff is very good and inovative. But I will never use there dies again for revolver cartridges. Just don't by the cheapest solely because it is the cheapest.

    Fwiw I use fcd's on several cartridges, and collet neck sizer dies on a couple and will buy more for other bolt actions. I also use a Lee turret press (among several other different brands of presses) and use a Lee auto prime, Lee bullet sizer dies for cast boolits and use a Lee lead pot. I even use the Lee hand press for load development while out shooting. I like all of the items listed above, they are functional and useful. Also nothing wrong with their shell holders either.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2014
  8. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    What problem did you have with their dies in revolver cartridges?
    Just wondering>

    With that said I have no use for their FCD in straight was handgun calibers.

    Now the FCD die for bottleneck rifle calibers I like.
     
  9. hcinciripini

    hcinciripini Member

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    I did some more searching around, this time I focused on equipment kits. In most cases the accessories alone were worth more than the kit price if purchased individually.

    I liked the Lee Challenger kit, It's reasonably priced, but there are mixed reviews on nearly every piece of equipment. Plastic powder measure consistency, durability and leakage issues. Hand primer double feeds/clogs and lack of "feel". Scale consistency.

    I'd considered the lee turret kits but at that price it's too close to the Hornady progressive, especially with the issues mentioned above. Most of the lee kits share the same components.

    I started looking at the Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic kit. I added up the price of the components (even other less expensive alternatives) and before I got to the press, it was already worth more than the $240 price tag I found at an ebay store. This doesn't include the rebate for 500 XTP bullets with purchase. I've heard good things about their Powder Measure, the hand primer may have some issues, but the scale apparently sucks.

    AND IT COMES WITH A MANUAL!!! :neener: Yeah, I know get more than one...

    I still plan on the hand press for the convenience of the couch. I just can't believe it'll actually be cheaper to go with the press kit. Thanks for pointing that out.
     
  10. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Once the Lee Perfect powder measure is broken in it is one of the modt accurate measures currently being made, granted its made of plastic, but so are mose hospital equipment to keep you alive.

    The hand primer works fine if you watch what you're doing which should be the case anyway.

    Starting out you would be much better off with a turrent over a progressive, but inevitably that comes down to your choice. All this is JMHO anyway.

    After all I've only been reloading for 50+ years.
     
  11. hcinciripini

    hcinciripini Member

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    Thanks for the info on the powder measure. I did read a lot of positive comments about the powder measure's accuracy, but I tend to look more at negative reviews (with a grain of salt) to get an idea of potential problems. Nobody seems to mention careless habits when having problems with equipment either...

    I'm now planning on having a single stage for a while before I decide if I want/need to move to a progressive. Any reason for the turret over progressive? Other than the fact that there's a lot more going on?

    It looks like I'm leaning toward the Lee Breech Lock Challenger kit, unless I can find a reason the Hornady equipment would be worth an extra $30-40? (The difference I came up with after adding/removing value of extra supplied/absent/needed parts and a jacketed substitute for Hornady's rebate.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
  12. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Incorrect, last time I had an order I had 32# (in 8# jugs) and a sleeve of 5000 209s in one box for one hazmat and shipping fee
     
  13. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    I would still go for the turret. You can use it as a single stage till you get your learning curve accomplished. Then you can use it as it was intended if you wish to speed things up.

    Myself, I've have a couple of turrets and more than a few single stage. I reload using 2 single stages side by side. One to expand and drop powder, I use a Lee Auto Disk for handgun cases, and the other to seat & crimp. I do not use a FCD, I see no use for it using cast or plated bullets.
     
  14. hcinciripini

    hcinciripini Member

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    Yeah, from what I've read, unless I get changes in OAL from recoil or handling (if I dump several hundred roundsinto an ammo bucket) there's really no need. I failed to realize the seating dies also serve to crimp (taper or roll depending on die selection). I like the idea of Hornady's alignment sleeve to keep me from pinching my fingers.

    From what I've read taper crimp is more appropriate for the 9mm round due to headspacing in the chamber Is this an issue with the FCD? Taper crimp is also preferred for lead casts because it's supposedly easier on them (keeping their sized diameter).

    Then there's the debate of seating and crimping separately... But with a single stage that sounds like more of a hassle. And with a 5 station progressive, I think a powder cop/ lock-out die would take higher priority.
     
  15. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    For cast or plated "which is what I use" I crimp very little if at all, I reload mid-range power wise, easier on my old hands and wrists, have not experienced any set back or other issues.

    This is in reference to 9mm.
     
  16. larryh1108

    larryh1108 Member

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    Originally Posted by jcwit
    Agree 100%. Once the plastic parts mate (maybe 100 cycles) this thing is very accurate. I spent the weekend making .45ACP and it was 5.0 after 5.0 time and again. I weigh each load (it's just how I do it and it's set up that way with my single stage) and there may be 1- 4.9 and then a 5.1 out of every 20. I do tap the side of it after each cycle but that's second nature. For a cheap piece of plastic that thing just puts out accurate loads of BALL powder. I don't use flake so I can't comment on that.
     
  17. Mt. Rat

    Mt. Rat Member

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    I suggest an electric furnace for melting and pouring lead into molds. Much faster and safer.
    I've used the Lee for years and haven't touched a dipper since. Awesome and consistent.
     
  18. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    I use a single burner Coleman stove model 500 something or other. Works well for me for smelting or casting, but then I live in No. Indiana Amish country where I can buy white gas, aka Naphtha, aka Coleman fuel, off the pump for less than $5.00 a gal.
     
  19. hcinciripini

    hcinciripini Member

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    Sorry about the confusion, the "20# Pot" is an electric, bottom pour furnace. I don't know why I haven't edited that. The "lead pot" is a cast iron pot I'll use to smelt wheel weights into ingots.

    I went with the 20# capacity because it was twice the size for a slight increase in cost. I don't know that I'll ever need something that large, and I assume it'll work just fine for smaller quantities. I like the idea of getting lost in a good rhythm and ending up with a 1000 rounds, unlikely, but it sounds good.
     
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