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Set-up for Reloading newbie...

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by tango2echo, Jan 4, 2009.

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  1. tango2echo

    tango2echo Member

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    A friend of mine wants to try his hand at reloading. I reload on modern progressive equipment, but he wants a basic single-stage press to reload a few rifle calibers.

    Suggestions? His budget is $500 total.
     
  2. Dean Williams

    Dean Williams Member

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    For a single stage press, an RCBS Rockchucker or the Lee Classic Cast are both good presses. If he buys Lee dies, he will not have to worry about getting the right shell holders, as all Lee dies but the RGB line have a shell holder with each die set.
    Advise him to get the Lyman Reloading Handbook, plus any others he can afford.
    The book will tell him a lot of the things he will need, too.
     
  3. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    I did some research for another "newbie" and glad to share it with you.

    • First of all $500 puts your pal in a class that is well above the bare-bones cheap-as-you-can-get-it class ("the Yugo class"). In this price range he'll get a press and accessories with quality enough to last him the rest of his life. He'll get accessories that are accurate and will not fail to perform for decades ("the Buick class").

    • Secondly, I'd tell you that IMHO any complete system is going to cost you $400+ once the bugs are worked out, no matter what brand you buy. So your friend is very smart, or very well counseled. You probably know the same from your experience.

    The results for single stage were...

    • RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Master Kit, List $408
    https://rcbs.com/
    Single-die hole over a single ram. Exceedingly strong frame which may restrict some access.
    Good: Nice kit with lots of basic accessories. Excellent powder measure and balance scale.
    So-so: Speer manual is good 3rd choice manual. Hand priming supplied; in-machine priming optional extra.
    Bad: No case trimmer.


    • Lyman Crusher II Expert Kit, List $400
    http://www.lymanproducts.com/lyman/presses-and-kits/LyC_RPK_Expert_Crusher.php
    8-hole manual die turret over a single ram. Strong open frame with excellent sight and hand access.
    Good: Nice kit with lots of basic accessories. Excellent powder measure, case trimmer, and balance scale. In-machine priming included. One of the best reloading manuals on the market.
    So-so: None
    Bad: None


    Comments:
    • A powder trickler is an accessory you’ll use irregularly for rifle loading.
    • A case trimmer is an accessory you must have for all rifle reloading.
    • A set of 6” calipers will be required for measuring cases and cartridges, for rifle and pistol.
    • Highly suggest a powder measure stand (such as RCBS 9092) with all above machines.

    I use a Dillon (just so you'll know where I stand), but I have owned both these in the past. Even if your pal goes to a multi-stage press in the future, these will supply quality accessories which he can use with either and will probably give to his grandchildren. I'm currently still using a RCBS powder measure and balance scale I bought in 1981 with my first Rock Chucker.

    I've given the list prices for comparison, but both these presses can be found discounted.

    All the best.
     
  4. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    I weigh EACH charge for my rifles, loaded on a single stage press, and find a powder trickler absolutely essential, along with a good scale

    He will also need an inertia bullet puller, and a manual from whatever bullet maker he plans on using
     
  5. tango2echo

    tango2echo Member

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    Excellent information! I also have a bunch of RCBS dies that I do not use anymore. If I gave him these dies would that sway you towards the RCBS press or to the Lyman? I use Dillion, so I am not sure if the same dies will thread into either press. I agree the lyman manual is top notch.

    T2E
     
  6. lgbloader

    lgbloader Member

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  7. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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    I think he would do very well with the kit LGB posted a link to. All he would have to add are dies, shell holder, case trimmer, caliper and bullet puller.
    Rusty
     
  8. kb2zya

    kb2zya Member

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    I vote for lee 50th anniversary kit.Then get the collet set of dies and the rest of the money put in good bullets and powder.
    Tom:p
     
  9. pmeisel

    pmeisel Member

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    Lyman Crusher II would get my vote. I have an older Lyman turret press and it has served well, nice to be able to set up dies for two calibers and leave them for awhile (or maybe years if you don't reload a lot of different calibers). But the other major brands make good stuff too. I have some RCBS and Lee stuff and it is good.

    Lost all my reloading manuals and old gun digests in a move -- Just got my new Lyman's #49, best manual to have if you only have one.

    Biggest thing that hasn't been mentioned -- a good sturdy bench if he doesn't already have one.
     
  10. kb2zya

    kb2zya Member

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    I vote for lee 50th anniversary kit.Then get the collet set of dies and the rest of the money put in good bullets and powder.
    Tom:p
     
  11. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Member

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    Unless it is a SDB press, the dies are just about universal. All 7/8"-14 threaded dies will fit almost all presses.
     
  12. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    Excellent information!


    T2E -
    Good question. The dies you most likely have are universally standardized on the 7/8-14 UNC mounting thread. This means your dies can be used in a Hornady, RCBS, Lee, Dillon, Lyman, CH, or any other press you care to by. You'd have to buy a used press from the 1970's or earlier not to be able to use them.

    Of the presses currently for sale, the ONLY exception to this that I am aware of is the Dillon "Square Deal". That one model does use a special die set.

    Knowing that bit of information, I try never to let the dies influence my purchase of a press. So "No", I'm not pushed one way or the other. What I can say is this....

    • I really like the fact that the Lyman comes with THE manual.
    • I really like being able to leave up to 8 dies mounted in the press. There are some dies, like the Lee Universal Decapper Die, that I use on every caliber. Having it always there is nice!
    • I really like having in-machine priming right off. IMHO hand-priming should be the option. BTW, in-machine priming on both the RCBS and Lyman is nearly identical.
    • I really like having a trimmer right off, especially since your buddy is going to concentrate on rifle.
    • The Lyman design is not as strong, but that should not be an issue unless he's doing rounds larger than 30-06.... say elephant gun sized stuff.
    • The Lyman powder dispenser is one of the very few that is not effected by the height of the powder column. That is, it dispenses the same powder no matter how full the hopper is.

    This has all shown me that Lyman should be a contender in your considerations, but remember, there are certainly other GOOD presses out there worth investigating. And too, buying a "kit" may save you money, but if you bought the RCBS press and the Lyman accessories the difference might only be $30. I can certainly tell you that my reloading equipment is not single colored, as I suspect is the case with you!

    All the best.
     
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