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Old December 6, 2007, 09:50 AM   #1
Justin_Stacey
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Another Reloading Dummy!

I am an avid shooter, and I spend several days a month at the range perfecting my shooting skills. With this said I spend a lot of money on Ammo. I have always wanted to get into reloading but never knew where to start. I have read a plethora of different reloading guides. ( Speers... The ABC's... Hornady.. And several others) and I am still confused on what equipment would suit me. I do shoot some pistol ammo but the vast majority of my shooting is done with my riffles. I currently shoot 5 different caliber riffles. (Allot). 7mm Rem. Mag, 450 Marlin, 308, 30-06, 300 ultra Mag. So you can see Ammo can add up quick. (I will shoot at least a box so shells from each gun every time I go to the range) I am also looking for that tack driving round. I understand that I will have to play with different loads and bullets to get the performance I am looking for that is okay. But I am so lost in what presses, Scales, tools etc.. Would be a good choice for me. My wife gets a little upset when I stop at my local sporting good shop and spend $200 bucks on ammo for a days worth of fun!! So please any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated..

Last edited by Justin_Stacey; December 7, 2007 at 11:04 AM.
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Old December 6, 2007, 10:16 AM   #2
rwilson452
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there is no cut and dried answer to your question. A single stage press will give you the most consistant ammo, a progressive the least. with a turret press being in the middle. on the other side of the coin the single stage is the slowest round per hour and the progressive the most rounds per hour. so it's a matter of how much time your willing to spend reloading, vs how much you want to make vs how anal you want to become in accuracy. If you intend to be a competitive 1000 yard guy your stuck with single stage and trickle charge each load. including all the case prep time on this sort of venture your talking maybe 50 rounds an hour. A good progressive press is good for 500 rounds an hour or better, but they won't be as accurate. most turret presses can be used as a single stage. I like the lee turret and I can get separate turrets for each caliber and set and forget the dies. I don't use a turret anymore I use a Lee Classic Cast for my rifle stuff and a Lee Loadmaster for my pistol stuff. I'm not a bullseye pistol shootist but I'm a varmint hunter. With little effort handloading can cut your rifle stuff MOA in half. In the long term cut your cost per round significantly. You won't save any money but you will shoot more.

A final warning Reloading is an extremely addictive hobby and there is no know cure.
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Old December 6, 2007, 11:29 AM   #3
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You might want to review this thread on reloading. I found it helpful.
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Old December 6, 2007, 12:25 PM   #4
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Buy a Rockchucker kit and never look back. One of the best single stage presses on the market. With looking for rifle accuracy a single stage press will be a must. The kit will have everything to get you started except the dies. As you learn you will know what other parts you will want or need. If you want to load progressively then you can get a Piggyback unit which mounts on the Rockchucker and turns it into a progressive unit so you can crank out lots of ammo.
I have a Rockchucker and a Special-5 w/Piggyback plus a room full of little specialty pieces parts for reloading. You can never go wrong with RCBS equipment.
https://shop.rcbs.com/WebConnect/,Da...&route=C04J148
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Old December 6, 2007, 02:51 PM   #5
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I disagree that a progressive press produces inaccurate ammo. I load match .223 ammo on my dillon XL 650 that shoots excellent groups. That's with thrown powder charges using a Hornady measure, with varget powder. The only off-press thing I did was trim and chamfer, you need to do that with single stage presses also.
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Old December 6, 2007, 06:40 PM   #6
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I also disagree that a progressive press produces inaccurate ammo. But it depends on whether you want a progressive or a single stage press.

A single stage press will work fine for rifle ammo - but it takes more time. For high volume rounds - like pistols - most of us like the progressive presses.

In terms of Dillon presses - the 650 will not do the 450 Marliin but it will do the other calibers. The 550 Dillon will do all the calibers you list. The 650 Dillon press has a stage, powder check, that is a nice safety feature and right now its not available with the 550.

Rcbs, etc make good loaders as well - and in fact there really aren't any bad loaders on the market / there are just loaders some of us prefer over others. For me, Dillon makes some of the best equipment out there.

Dillon, RCBS etc all sell a startup kit ( scale, etc ) that's a good start. I like the RCBS electronic scale. But all this stuff adds up - look at the thread listed above by one of the other responders but in general you need a press, dies for each caliber, a caliber conversion kit for each caliber, a good scale, a case cleaner, reloading manual and components and you are in pretty good shape. Talk to some of your friends that are into reloading and pick their brains before you buy.
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Old December 6, 2007, 09:22 PM   #7
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I agree with the last two. I load on a Lee Classic Turret and it produces very accurate and consistant ammo.
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Old December 9, 2007, 07:06 AM   #8
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Start off with several books. The ABC's of loading and one or two loading manuals. Read them well and THEN start thinking about what equipment you want to buy. All the presses are good these days. It is just a matter of how fast you want to load the cases. And how much you want to invest in equipment.

Myself, I'm in no hurry. Plus I enjoy loading and I only shoot rifles, so a single stage is fine. If I was going thru a ton of ammo every week in pistols however, I'm sure there would be a progressive press around here.
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Old December 9, 2007, 07:56 PM   #9
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There's match ammo for the local "let's all get together and shoot balloons" match and then there's match ammo for custom guns in serous sanctioned competition like the NBRSA meets. You will not find and serious BR or high power match shooters loading on progressive or turret presses. I have loaded on all the presses mentioned above and some more--they all work quite well in their class.

Based on your list of calibers and assuming you want the most accurate ammo you can build, yet be able to go from one caliber to another without a lot of trouble, I would recommend the Forster CO-ax press, or failing that the Hornady lock and load. Both are excellent presses and will make very good rifle "real" match ammo.
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Old December 9, 2007, 08:35 PM   #10
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Do like the majority of handloaders probably did -- get a single stage press kit (includes champfer tool, scale, and powder measure (usually), and other stuff), dies, a digital caliper (you must have a caliper to measure overall length-- $40 or so), and start reloading. If it suits you, move on with more dies, different bullet/powder types, a more exotic press, and specialty tools. You may want to start out reloading for your rifle that has the most accuracy potential (the 308?) with a couple of different powders/bullet types. I got the Lyman kit originally. It or the RCBS rockchucker, or whatever, would be perfect for anybody just starting out, and for a long time after. Just be sure you have a table/bench that you can bolt the press to.

By the way, if you spend 200 bucks per outing on ammo, several times a month, realize that $500 - $600 will get you a complete reloading press kit, dies, caliper, and also pay for the primers, brass and bullets for at least a few hundred rifle rounds. After that, with the amount you shoot, you will decrease your shooting costs substantially every time you go out.
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Old December 9, 2007, 08:54 PM   #11
bigbird34
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RCBS

I started 20 years ago with an RCBS Rockchucker press and their reloading kit ...it's a single stage press.....I have since then purchased several different vibratory tumblers and a Lyman digital scale ,powder feeder ...and I have accumilated about 14 different dies....Gun shows,ebay,and personal deals ,have added to my collection...

Accuracy is my main goal,so a single stage press is all I have ever needed,I do shoot some pistol rounds 44 mag,and now .357,but I load these guys up in the winter ,enough to last me thru the year ,or there abouts....I try to "never be in a rush to reload",and if i was competition shooting pistols I would look into getting a progressive press (same if I was shot gun shooting ie trap.clays etc).

My experience is reloading is VERY accurate,fun,and it is an enjoyable hobby,it's not for everyone,but it fits me like a deer skin glove !

Buy the RCBS reloading kit,if you don't like it sell it (wait until after christmas everything goes on sale ,check the web also....)

It's as easy as tying your shoe!

Happy Holidays BB34
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Old December 9, 2007, 11:47 PM   #12
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I would agree a progressive press makes good shooting ammo. I'm not so sure a progressive would be wise for loading the 30 RUM though.

RCBS has about the best kits going.....and will load the 30 RUM without question.

I started with RCBS kits about 25 years ago. I also shoot Highpower and loads lots of 223 and 308.
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Old December 11, 2007, 08:40 AM   #13
Justin_Stacey
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Hey Thanks guys for the help! It sounds another Rock Chucker just got sold! I was all ready leaning that way but I did need a little push! If you have any other suggestions for items that will help me in my journeys that would be great! thanks again!
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Old December 11, 2007, 09:31 AM   #14
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Justin, by all means you need to start reloading, if you know someone who reloads get friendly with him/her, also if you have a gun club in your area, join and make contact with an experienced reloader, some clubs have their own reloading gear, i have been reloading 50+ years and have taught many new comers the joy of reloading.

Quote:
a progressive the least.
never used a Dillon XL 650, have you ?? when i got my XL 650 i weighed every powder charge for 50 rnds, variation was +/- .07 grains
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Old December 11, 2007, 10:49 AM   #15
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Don't know if anyone remembers but a few years back one of the long range rifle matches was won buy a guy who loaded his 308's on a Dillon RL550B

It's all in the brass prep.
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Old December 11, 2007, 10:52 AM   #16
Justin_Stacey
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I have never used a dillon press no. I met a guy the other day that has been reloading for 30+ years and he still use the same Rock chucker. After talking with him for several hours I have decided that a single stage will be more than sufficient for me needs. I don't shoot a lot in the winter months. (I live in Vermont to much snow and too cold) So I will have plenty of time on the long boring winter nights to meet my shooting needs. The most important thing I am looking for is accuracy from my loads. I tend to be very anal person when it comes to my guns and shooting. I do shoot a lot of pistol ammo but like I said I think I will be able to load enough in the winter to keep me going when I need it. Thank you for the info. Like I said in the last post I am still looking for whatever tricks and tips that people have picked up over the years that can help a beginner like myself that would be great!!

Thank you again!!

I understand that everyone has their preferences when it comes to equipment. I also understand that the equipment is only as capably as the person using it!!. So someone can have the sp called "worst" equipment on the market, but as long as the user attention to detail is flawless so the loads they are producing will be as well.
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Old December 11, 2007, 11:05 AM   #17
Justin_Stacey
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Not trying to be rude. I am not concerned about what everyone feels is the best of the best. I am looking for what will work best for my needs. Like I said I understand everyone has their own preferences on everything. What i am looking for on is getting what I need to be efficient enough to fuel my needs as a hunter and shooter. I have no need at this time to load enough ammo to take down the middle east!!

Thanks again everyone!
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Old December 11, 2007, 11:25 AM   #18
Edward429451
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In that case it RCBS rockchucker. Mines 22 years old and I use it more than either of my Dillon progressives.
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Old December 11, 2007, 11:57 AM   #19
Justin_Stacey
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From what I have heard so far... Everyone that has bought a RCBS press they still have it and use it. and has served them for years.
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Old December 11, 2007, 01:28 PM   #20
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Quote:
There's match ammo for the local "let's all get together and shoot balloons" match and then there's match ammo for custom guns in serous sanctioned competition like the NBRSA meets. You will not find and serious BR or high power match shooters loading on progressive or turret presses I have loaded on all the presses mentioned above and some more--they all work quite well in their class.
Quote:
Don't know if anyone remembers but a few years back one of the long range rifle matches was won buy a guy who loaded his 308's on a Dillon RL550B
His name is David Tubb. He's the 9 time NRA high power champion. He used a "slightly modified" dillon 550B to load his shells. What the modifications were, he didn't say, but I can guess.

http://www.davidtubb.com/

He has many tips on that website that allow him to succeed, some of which each of us could use. I don't know if he is currently using a dillon to load his match winning rounds on, I spent the better part of an hour reading various things he has to say. I didn't find any reference to what he's currently using.

Quote:
"let's all get together and shoot balloons"
Put a 6" balloon out at 600 yds.,( the size of the X bull of a 600 yd. target), I'll hit it every time from a bench with the .223 match rounds I make on my 650! As long as the wind isn't blowing up a gale.
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Old December 11, 2007, 03:20 PM   #21
Edward429451
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Quote:
From what I have heard so far... Everyone that has bought a RCBS press they still have it and use it. and has served them for years.
RCBS Rockchucker press. There's one guy on this board who managed to break his "Partner" press which is the smaller lighter duty press.

I know one guy who had a RC press that does not work anymore...His wife got mad and used a sawzall to cut it up while he was at work.
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Old December 11, 2007, 03:40 PM   #22
Justin_Stacey
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Now that sucks!!! I guess I better stay on my wifes good graces then!
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Old December 11, 2007, 08:15 PM   #23
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Quote:
I know one guy who had a RC press that does not work anymore...His wife got mad and used a sawzall to cut it up while he was at work.
I hate when that happens. I'll bet he's glad he didn't own a Dillon.
Justin, I'm not trying to talk you out of the RC but if you are going to go single stage then you might want to look at a press that will accept the Hornady quick change system. Just 1/4 turn and the die is out, 1/4 turn to put it back and the die's stay set. The RC might accept that I'm not sure. Hornady, Lee and a few others make a press that will work with those.
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Old December 12, 2007, 09:40 AM   #24
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Quote:
From what I have heard so far... Everyone that has bought a RCBS press they still have it and use it. and has served them for years.
YES !!

mine is over 40 years old, i use it to reload my .499LWR ammo.
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