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One Reloading Set-Up?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Triumph, Jan 25, 2013.

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  1. Triumph

    Triumph Member

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    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.
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    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
     
  3. jaysouth

    jaysouth Member

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    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.
     
  4. Sidewinder72

    Sidewinder72 Member

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    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.
     
  5. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    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.
     
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    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
     
  7. sage5907

    sage5907 Member

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    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.
     
  8. GT1

    GT1 Member

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    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.
     
  9. SpringfieldM1A

    SpringfieldM1A Member

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    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.
     
  10. witchhunter

    witchhunter Member

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    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.
     
  11. Triumph

    Triumph Member

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    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.

    This sounds like the one sure thing.

    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.
     
  12. viking499

    viking499 Member

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    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.
     
  13. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  14. Triumph

    Triumph Member

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    Awesome Info Thanks - I'll PM you with the rest of the questions.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  15. gspn

    gspn Member

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    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.
     
  16. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    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
     
  17. JEB

    JEB Member

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    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.
     
  18. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  19. Triumph

    Triumph Member

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    Not a bunch of shooting. Maybe one trip per month
     
  20. JEB

    JEB Member

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    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.
     
  21. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    RCBS and for a second choice, RCBS!
     
  22. col_temp

    col_temp Member

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    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.
     
  23. CZ223

    CZ223 Member

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    As with most things

    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.
     
  24. thump_rrr

    thump_rrr Member

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    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).
     
  25. RandyP

    RandyP Member

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    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)
     
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