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Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by mforrest, Dec 28, 2005.

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  1. mforrest

    mforrest Member

    Dec 25, 2005
    I am considering purchasing a "Reloading" kit to satisfy my desire to burn 2 to 3 hundred rounds of ammunition each time I go to the range. This is more of a problem with my pistols than my revolvers, however, I hear that reloading cuts costs exponentially. Any advice on a good starter loader kit? Or, I guess the proper term is Presses and Dies....
  2. xring44

    xring44 Member

    Dec 21, 2005
    Yell Co. Arkansas
    The little Lee turret press will serve your needs for awhile, very inexpensive and does a good job, the life expectancy of this machine is nowhere near what a Dillon is, but I have one that has loaded probably 30/40 thousand rounds in the last couple of years. The nylon gear that turns the top will be the first thing to go, a poor design and a bugger to install and time,,other than that, keep it clean and lubed and it'll produce lots of quality ammo. at a very reasonable expence.
  3. P0832177

    P0832177 member

    Jun 8, 2003
    Reloading cuts your cost per round down considerably in some cases ie 45ACP, and some will counter it is not worth the hassle in some calibers, ie 9mm.

    The keys to reloading are buying in bulk, ie primers in min of 1K lots, preferably in 5K sleeves. Powder in 4 or 8# jugs to really save some money. Another thing to do is pick a powder that gives good results with less powder.
    Buying bullets in the largest qty. helps decrease the costs.

    Go first and buy ABC's of Reloading before you buy stuff!

    Reloading Manuals of the real kind not the freebee ones! Get those for cross reference material!

    Press - Single Stage to me is the best way to learn before advancing to any kind of progressive, Turret or Progressive
    Shell holders (if the die set doesn't have them)
    Tumbler along with media and polish of choice I like ISSO
    MTM makes great loading block tray that handles most cartrideges
    Case Lube (you won't need if using carbide dies but you will if they are rifle carbide dies my choice for rifle is Imperial Die Wax, but Dillon spray lube works too)
    Case Neck Brush
    Dial Calipers
    Case Trimmer (Lee works, but Possum Hollow is better, Wilson makes the best hand powered Lathe trimmer, and Giruad is the best powered Trimmer)
    Deburring/Chamfering Tool
    Primer Pocket Cleaner
    Primer Tray
    Priming Tool (I like the RCBS, but Sinclair makes the best)
    Powder Scale
    Powder Funnel kit with drop tubes!
    Powder Trickler
    Powder Measure (nice for faster powder charges)
    Hammer Type Bullet Puller
    Ammo boxes and labels
    A notebook for recording your results
  4. Skipper

    Skipper Member

    Aug 28, 2004
    Middle Georgia
    Big +1 for the LEE turret press for breaking into reloading. Can be used as a single station or a semi-progressive with auto-index and case actuated powder drop with production of 200-250 rds. per hour. Great versatility,low price,good quality. A best buy in my book.
    Yeah, there are bigger,heavier ,faster presses,and I own or have owned them.but the LEE is still a winner for all the reasons listed above.
    Just my opinion.

  5. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

    Dec 3, 2005
    The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Tex
    Lee dies and lots of their stuff like primer tools are very effective as well as cost effective. I have not found their presses to be great quality, but they'll get you started. I have a Lyman turret press that I've been loading on for 30 years and it keeps on going. I have an old pacific C press that's 50 years old and in another 50 years will still be loading. I have a Dillon progressive that's built for the long haul, too.

    I'd start out with a simple, cheap C press or O press. The Lee O press is pretty strong and will last a while. These presses are slow, single stage, and you have to change and adjust dies with each step, but it'll get you used to the routine.

    My reloading room is out in my old shop. It gets hot as heck out there in the summer and I'm getting sorta tired of that. I'm thinking of getting one of those portable work tables like the Black and Decker Workmate. Every year I tell the better half I want one for Christmas and to this day she doesn't know what I'm talking about . :rolleyes: I'm thinking of mounting my presses on 2x6 platforms and clamping it in the Work Mate, which ever one I need. This way, I can use my new (and air conditioned) shop or bring it in and watch TV while I load! I also wanna get some .45ACP and/or .38/.357 for my progressive. I bought it some years back in 9mm. Now days, I can buy 9 for what I can load it!

    Bullet casting is part of my routine, too. I can cast my own 200 grain SWC .452 bullets from wheel weights I can get for 50 cents a pound, sometimes FREE! I can load a box of .45ACP for about three dollars! That's a great cost savings. I have molds for .38s, all my calibers, actually. I even swage a .38 105 grain SWC bullet down to .356 and load .380 with it, works great! .380 is pretty expensive to buy factory new.

    Some loads I couldn't do with factory. Even if they were offered, I'd have to mail order them. I have two loads for my .45 colt. One is a fire breathing hot load, one's just a standard load, but uses a cast flat point bullet, 255 grains and it's super accurate out of my Blackhawk. I can load that cheap. .45 Colt is another quite expensive factory load. I've yet to buy a box of .45 colt factory ammo.

    Tailoring a rifle load for accuracy is another reason to reload. I load for all my rifles so I can tailor them to what I want to do with them and for accuracy. In the case of the .257 Roberts, my handloads are a lot hotter than factory. The caliber had a resurgence about 15 years ago, but it's about dead again. My loads are under 1MOA and make factory .25-06 velocity. Of course, if you're going to load rifle ammo, a chronograph is pretty friggin' handy. I don't know how I loaded all those years without it. It's nice to know my handgun velocities, too.

    Some 30 years ago I even wrote my own exterior ballistics program. It's actually a better program than some I've used since. I had it set up first on a Timex Sinclair, a little toy computer. I amazed my friends with it, had 'em all wanting drop tables printed. :D Then, PCs came along and now you can get free ballistic program downloads or buy 'em from the bullet companies dirt cheap. That's a handy tool for rifle shooters.

    Once you get into reloading, there's so many things to keep you interested, it just sorta snow balls and before long you have a whole shop full of equipment and components. It's a friggin' disease, I tell ya! :D
  6. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

    Jan 29, 2005
    Ava, Missouri
    Xring44...What do you mean the nylon ratchet is hard to change...On the contrary... It's quite easy to change (and they're cheap and come three to a pack). And if adjusted correctly to properly index the tool head it lasts for along time. I have been loading with my Lee turret for 15 years and only have worn out two nylon ratches (one because I didn't know what I was doing at the time) and loaded thousands of rounds both pistol, revolver and rifle. And, as you stated, It is a good beginning press. Although I would suggest a single stage press right next to it for those resizing and decapping jobs.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2005
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