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Old April 17, 2012, 01:40 PM   #1
Pond, James Pond
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My shopping list. Anything I don’t need or should added?

To completement the newly cleared corner of my garage and my well-leafed copy of Lyman's 49th Reloading handbook:

From a shop in the UK (Yes, yes, I know…)

Lee Deluxe 4 Hole Turret Auto Index Reloading Kit which includes:
Lee Turret Press
Auto Disk Powder Measure;
Lee Safety Scale,
a primer pocket cleaner,
cutter and lockstud
chamfer tool


From Titan Reloading, Stateside (Lee dealer that ships to Estonia, hence the penchant for Lee precision!)

Lee Deluxe die kits for .44 and .357
Lee Ergo Priming tool
Lee Zip-trim.
Lee Precision Melter 220V (could just use my camping stove... but butane is expensive in the long-term)
Lee 6 Cavitiy molds for 310gr RN, and 240 gr SWC
Lee 6 Cavity molds for .358 158gr SWC
Lee mold handles


Trying to juggle best prices against inevitable shipping costs and import taxes in order to get the best deal, I think this is the best combination.
I want to get all the stuff at once for each place because shipping is a budget killer even if retail prices are cheaper!!

So is there anything I have missed or, perhaps more importantly, and anything there I really don't need to buy?
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Old April 17, 2012, 02:03 PM   #2
m&p45acp10+1
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From what I see the only things I can think of are

1. Adjustable charge bar AKA universal charge bar. I do not own the turret or the proautodisk so I am unsure of the name. Repeortedly the the folks that have them think they are great for getting that fine tuned load from one.

2. A better more easily read scale. The first upgrade I made was a better scale. The Lee scale does work. It can be a chore to use.

3. A manual.
4. Lyman lead thermometer
5. Lyman lead ladle
6. Lee ingot mold

Those are few items that I would add.
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Old April 17, 2012, 02:36 PM   #3
Misssissippi Dave
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I have never had a need for a case trimmer for pistol loads. .44 and .357 both use a roll crimp and the case lenght isn't critical excecpt for someone wanting the most exacting loads. I know I will never be able to shoot well enough to warrent those standards.
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Old April 17, 2012, 02:44 PM   #4
Pond, James Pond
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Quote:
3. A manual.
When you say manual, do you mean a casting manual?

I already have a reloading manual.

Also what is the benefit of an ingot mold? Why would I want to make lead ingots when I can pour the lead straight into the bullet mold?

As you can see, casting is new to me!!
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Old April 17, 2012, 02:52 PM   #5
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James,

An ingot mold is nice to have when you process scrap lead and wheel weights or when you mix a specific alloy up such as Lyman No 2.

I usually melt my lead down in a large cast steel pot that holds perhaps 40 pounds of lead. After all the lead (range scrap, wheel weights or linotype) is melted and fluxed, I then use the ingot mold to cast the 1 pound ingots (about 1.1 kilos) for storage and ease of use later when adding lead to my casting pot for casting the bullets or mixing up a specific alloy.
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Old April 17, 2012, 03:21 PM   #6
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OK, let's see.

Quote:
a primer pocket cleaner,
cutter and lockstud
chamfer tool
Lee Zip-trim.
Unless you're loading for rifle, you won't need the case trimming tools. If you are, you'll also need a caliper.

Quote:
Lee 6 Cavitiy molds for 310gr RN, and 240 gr SWC
The 310 grain bullet, is that for your .44?

You'll need something to lube and size you newly cast bullets. Lee's tumble lube and push through sizing die is cheapest. I found the lube to be less than adequate, and messy. I'm much happier with a Lyman lubrisizer.

Quote:
Lee Ergo Priming tool
With the Ergo Prime tool, you'll also need special shellholders specific to the Lee priming tools. You can buy them individually, or Lee puts out a set of the most common ones.

Quote:
Lee 6 Cavity molds for .358 158gr SWC
Good bullet.

Quote:
Lee Precision Melter 220V (could just use my camping stove... but butane is expensive in the long-term)
Are you buying your lead already cast in small ingots, or melting down scrap lead? If the latter, you probably won't want to smelt down the scrap in the same pot as you cast from. I bought a deep iron fring pan to dedicate to that purpose, and use it on an electric 2 burner range.

Quote:
Lee Safety Scale,
Lee Safety Scale only reads to 100 grains. Chances are it won't be a problem for you, unless you acquire bullets of unknown weight.
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Old April 17, 2012, 03:29 PM   #7
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Thanks for the comments all: all very interesting. Re ingots, then. If they are not too steep I may get some molds for those too. We'll see!!

Quote:
Unless you're loading for rifle, you won't need the case trimming tools. If you are, you'll also need a caliper.
The cutter and chamfer tools are all part of the press kit I'm hoping to get. The Zip trim can be used to trim, but also to clean the case if wire wool is used. Time consuming but saves on a tumbler!!

Quote:
The 310 grain bullet, is that for your .44?
Yup!! I thought the 240gr would be good for the range, and the 310gr for angry, dog-endangering bull elk rounds
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Old April 17, 2012, 04:05 PM   #8
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Pond, James Pond, I went to the Dallas Market Hall Gun show this last week end, you should have been there.

If you order the cutter and lock stud do not forget to order the case length gage and shell holder, to trim cases with the lee system you do not need the Zip trim. You only need one cutter and lock stud, different calibers require different shell holders and length gage gages, at one time they sold a packet of 6 shell holders with one lock stud that covered many case heads, other shell holders were available. To avoid confusion, I have Lee equipment, I do not use it. I have thought about using the Lee system to trim cases to length then use the trimmed cases when adjusting my case trimmers, something like using a transfer/standard when adjusting my trimmers..

Again, I do not know what is involved when purchasing reloading equipment from individuals in the states, it would appear when running some of the prices down the Deluxe kit will cols about $120.00 and the two set of dies will cost about $41.00 each, that would put your cost for the press and dies at $200.00.

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Old April 17, 2012, 04:15 PM   #9
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and Lee advertises it is not necessary to size the bullets and lubing is a matter of using a cutter, a round tube something like a large straw, the straw like thing shaves the lube from the bullet. Lee sells three different types of lube, some use a pie pan with lube when using a ‘cookie cutter’, that makes sense, a cookie cutter and a cookie pan.

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Old April 17, 2012, 04:42 PM   #10
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I would recommend upgrading trom the auto disk measure to the pro auto disk measure. It has a few features that are well worth the extra money.
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Old April 17, 2012, 05:57 PM   #11
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Your going to need some calipers and some reloading trays.

And, I had the Lee Powder measure, and that was the first thing I replaced. It reads fine, but the beam is not attached to the scale, and sometimes it can get easily knocked off the small pivot area. Since it can move sideways also, sometimes it will drag along the sides at the end of the beam because it's not centered.
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Old April 17, 2012, 06:29 PM   #12
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When I said manual I meant a reloading manual. Oh and since you stated you are going to cast as well give the Lyman Pistol & Revolver 3rd Edition a look. It has a section dedicated to casting. As well as tons of loads listed for cast bullets, and jacketed bullets.

The ingot mold is if you have to melt the lead from scrap, or you end up with bricks of lead too big to fit into a melting pot. You can then use a pan to melt it down and pour ingots that will fit into the melting pot. The Lee ingot mold is Less than $14 US.
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Old April 18, 2012, 12:46 AM   #13
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Quote:
I would recommend upgrading trom the auto disk measure to the pro auto disk measure.
The problem there is that the auto-disk is part of the kit offer. The kit works out the same as just the turret press alone where I live. Even if not the best, it and the other bits of that kit are essentially free if I were to try and build that kit from individual purchases.

Quote:
Your going to need some calipers and some reloading trays
I agree on the trays, however, calipers I have. They are metric, but have a digital read out down to two decimal places.

Quote:
When I said manual I meant a reloading manual. Oh and since you stated you are going to cast as well give the Lyman Pistol & Revolver 3rd Edition a look. It has a section dedicated to casting. As well as tons of loads listed for cast bullets, and jacketed bullets.

The ingot mold is if you have to melt the lead from scrap, or you end up with bricks of lead too big to fit into a melting pot. You can then use a pan to melt it down and pour ingots that will fit into the melting pot. The Lee ingot mold is Less than $14 US.
Well, I already have one manual and it has an article about bullet casting, but I have not read it yet, and so don't know the extent of the detail it covers. If a copy of the 3rd is easy to find that is an option, too.

If I go down the casting route, perhaps an ingot mold is worth it, then: seems it may make things tidier!
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Old April 18, 2012, 01:14 AM   #14
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If you can possibly manage it, get the Lee Classic Turret press rather than the Lee Deluxe Turret press.

They do operate in the same way, same speed, many of the same parts and same operating mode and technique.

But there are significant differences.

Evolution: The Classic Turret is the newer design of the two.

Durability: The Classic Turret's base is cast iron, the Deluxe is cast aluminum. Iron wears better than the softer metal, aluminum.

Ease of use: The Deluxe has a smaller vertical opening than the Classic Turret. Though either is capable of taking long rifle cartridges, the Classic Turret will take longer ones and if you have big hands is the clear winner

Spent Primer Handling: The Deluxe drops primers out of a slot in the ram to fall into a cavity inside the press base. But only about 90% succeed in their intended journey. The Classic drops primers down the center of the hollow ram and into a clear plastic tube which can contain a few hundred primers or be directed into a receptacle of your choice. The difference in the behavior of the debris (products of combustion) from the spent primers is even more striking. With the Deluxe, you wind up with primer detritus all over and have to dismount the press and sweep up the pile of spent primers every several hundred rounds.

More on Durability: The Deluxe ram is smaller than the Classic's ram. This gives a much different bearing surface for the ram to be guided as if moves up and down. The Classic press will last much longer because of the increased surface area and because iron is tougher than aluminum.

Even more on Durability: The Deluxe's linkage is aluminun and stampings. The Classic's linkage is more robust. I believe the leverage on both is the same.

The Deluxe is aluminum, spills spent primers and has a slightly smaller opening (which you may find important when loading long cartridges or long bullets. Unfortunately, Kempf's is the only seller I know of who assembles a kit containing the Classic Turret. All the other kits I found when I was researching turrets last June (2010) were built around the Deluxe.

I think that's about it regarding the presses.

I find the priming on-press to be just as good or superior to the hand priming tool.

Straight walled pistol cases rarely need trimming if they were the right length to begin with.

Kempf's Gun Shop sells a dandy little kit based on the Classic Turret press, to which they will add whatever other parts you need. Talk to Sue Kempf. She will treat you right.

Good luck.

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Old April 18, 2012, 01:35 AM   #15
Pond, James Pond
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@ Lost Sheep

That is a very detailed and very compelling post! Thanks for taking the time.

The problem is access and availability. If I buy here in Estonia, then the only kit (which gives me the most kit for the least money, even if not always the best choice) is the Lee 35th anniversary with their single stage cast press.

Not a bad collection of gear, but single stage. If I look further afield, other options develop. The only kit with the turret press is this deluxe version. Advantages are I can pay using GBP accounts rather than my day to day EUR: spread the cost. Also I am not likely to suffer import duty as it is EU.

The best online prices are definitely in the US, by a long margin, but most places refuse to ship to Estonia as the US postal service has put this ´little country in the same list of undesirables as places like North Korea!! I investigated ordering some Redhawk grips from Numrich and according to their T&C page, the USPS won't ship to about 160 coutries. Estonia is there nestled between Eritrea and Ethopia (Alphabetically, not geographically, although the weather would be welcome!).

So when I do find an overseas shipper like Titan reloading, I then have to factor in a big shipping charge and import duties of up to 25%!! then there is the added problem of any warranty issues....

All that means is that my choices are, sadly, limited by practical concerns...

Dies must come from the US: pistol dies in Europe seem few and far between. So it makes sense to buy some small, light items from Titan as well. Big stuff I'm trying to buy locally, hence why no joy with the standard Lee Turret.

I will investigate Kempf, as you recommended, starting with shipping restrictions!!
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Old April 18, 2012, 06:21 AM   #16
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missing; the most important item

Quote:
anything I have missed
Eye protection; wear eye protection when touching anything other than paper.
See?
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Old April 18, 2012, 12:07 PM   #17
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I would get 2 extra turrets for the press, it makes change over easy and lets you have your dies set up and ready to go without having to re-set them each time you change calibers.

Jim

http://www.titanreloading.com/presse...-4-hole-turret
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Old April 18, 2012, 02:07 PM   #18
Pond, James Pond
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Quote:
Eye protection
Got some already!!

Quote:
I would get 2 extra turrets for the press, it makes change over easy and lets you have your dies set up and ready to go without having to re-set them each time you change calibers.
I'll considerate it. It seemsvery convenient, but by the same token, time is not a major problem: I will not be making hundreds at a time, of either calibre. I want to get good gear and get what I need, but I don't want to many luxuries either: every bit counts!!
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Old April 18, 2012, 06:45 PM   #19
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Hello, You can save some $$ by looking for old cast-iron muffin moulds instead of regular ingot moulds. Just be sure never to use for food!
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Old April 20, 2012, 02:20 AM   #20
Pond, James Pond
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What a nightmare!!

It could be so simply.
This is like trying to bake a cake on a budget and having to find your eggs in one shop and flour in another, both of which are in different countries!!

OK, so the above information and another thread on single vs turret press I have revised my list to an extent:

All from Titan reloading:

Lee Classic cast 4 Hole Turret Reloading Kit which includes:
Lee Classic CastTurret Press
Pro Auto Disk Powder Measure and riser,
Large and small safety prime
Some case lube
Lee Safety Scale,
a primer pocket cleaner,
cutter and lockstud
chamfer tool

Also from Titan:

Spare 4 hole turret
Lee Deluxe die kits for .44 and .357
Case Length guae and holder for .38spl and .44 Mag
Powder funnel
Lee 6 Cavitiy molds for 310gr RN, and 240 gr SWC
Lee 6 Cavity molds for .358 158gr SWC
Lee mold handles
Ingot molds (or Muffin molds!! - not from Titan reloading )
Lee Precision Melter 220V Optional.(could just use my camping stove... but butane is expensive in the long-term)

This means buying all my gear from the states.
This worries me a little as the import duty will obviously be higher, but also any warranty issues become a nightmare.

Once bitten, twice shy: I've already had problems with shipments from the US.
It took me over a year to get a refund on one faulty, returned item, and presently another stockist is not answering my calls on a smaller purchase of grips.
So a buying from the US when in Europe is partly a purchase, but alos partly a gamble... a $400 gamble.

But: it gets me the best parts according to others and I don't have to compromise on any of the kit components, especially the durability of the presses.

Thoughts?
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Old April 21, 2012, 12:16 AM   #21
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The Lee Safety Scale only goes up to 110 grains, so if you want to weigh your bullets you won't do it on that scale. The Lee Safety Scale is also the most difficult to use scale I have ever used.

The good news is that the Lee scale is the least expensive one on the market and the equal in accuracy to even the best ones you can get.

I got one in a trade and did not like it at all. Then I downloaded the instructions and liked it a lot better.

Your list looks pretty good.

You will want a bullet puller some day. Calipers calibrated in inches and capable of discerning .001" would be really good to have.

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Old April 21, 2012, 02:08 AM   #22
Pond, James Pond
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Thanks for the endorsement, lost sheep!

However, I spoke too soon!!

I've had a look at the numbers, drafted a spreadsheet, taken into account shipping (known) and taxes (estimated). Basically, that list would cost me around €500 and I just don't have that kind of money!!

If I do buy the Titan stuff, or indeed any kit, I will have to just buy the kit and two sets of dies.

I could add in the case guages as they are not exhorbitantly priced, but I can forget all the casting gear for now!!

The Titan Reloading turret kit offers a more comprehensive list. That and the dies should make reloading possible. I'd get the case guages as they are not expensive and it sounds like they are a worthwhile safety feature, even though I suspect I'd rarely need to trim straight .44 and .38 cases.

Perhaps, if I get into reloading I can buy the casting options next year...

I could cut a further $150 dollars from this total by getting the single stage Breech challenger. Slower, yes, aluminium, yes and an inferior powder measurer to the cast turret kit but still a competent set-up for someone who will reload 1000 - 2000 in the year...
Sorry: typing my thoughts

Decisions, decisions!
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Last edited by Pond, James Pond; April 21, 2012 at 02:15 AM.
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Old April 21, 2012, 12:38 PM   #23
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It's not the cheapest way, but the best way to size and lube boolits is with a sizer/luber machine like a Lyman 450. Buy it once. One of mine is from the 80's and one is from the 60s.
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