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Old August 22, 2005, 12:09 AM   #1
EvilSVT
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About to pull the trigger and start reloading, need some advice

I've been reading about reloading for the past couple months, but just wanted some last minute advice.

My intended purpose is to load match .308, .223 and .458 Socom and maybe some .45ACP and .460 Rowland later in the year, but I'm going to stick with .308 and .223 first.

I'm about to buy a C&H H press since I like the idea of a single stage press but not having to change and remove dies. What do y'all think of this press?

Also, what do y'all think of the C&H case trimmer?

And what about dies? Should I get a crimp die for my rifle rounds?

Thanks for the help.
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Old August 22, 2005, 01:06 AM   #2
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Buy an Hornady 007, They are great presses and they are at a great price
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Old August 22, 2005, 01:11 AM   #3
Wildalaska
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Best place to find a press is at a garage sale...get an rcbs or any good name brand

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Old August 22, 2005, 11:42 AM   #4
lee n. field
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Best place to find a press is at a garage sale...get an rcbs or any good name brand
Maybe you've got a better class of garage sales up where you're at. It's very seldom that I see anything gun related.
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Old August 22, 2005, 11:46 AM   #5
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I would also recommend starting with that .45acp, as pistols are simpler to reload, at least until you get the jist of it. There are several kits out there that have most of what you need to start reloading, Lee Aniversury is a good one, but RCBS and Hornady also have them. I also recommend staying with one of the more popular brands and parts and upgrades are a lot easier to find.
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Old August 22, 2005, 12:13 PM   #6
EvilSVT
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I don't want to buy a kit because I know i'm going to replace everything pretty soon.

Does anyone have an opinion about the C&H press?
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Old August 22, 2005, 03:53 PM   #7
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I don't want to buy a kit because I know i'm going to replace everything pretty soon.
Why would you replace it soon? If it works, use it! Don't run out and buy "better" stuff just because you went the economy version.

For what it's worth, I'm still using the very same scale that I bought in an RCBS partner kit some 17 years ago. Same for the dies and a lot of other things.

As a matter of fact, I still use the little partner press to do some stages of loading along with my Rock Chucker.
With a little care and maintenance, even the cheapest reloading tools will last a very long time.
Case in point, I have a Lee autoprime that I bought some 16 years ago, it's still going strong, I couldn't even begin to count the thousands of cases that tool has primed.

Quote:
Does anyone have an opinion about the C&H press?
I wish I could help you there, I don't know much about their tools at all. From the looks of them, I would say they're pretty good stuff.

Check out ebay, you can usually find some decent deals on there for presses and the like.
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Old August 22, 2005, 03:58 PM   #8
Wildalaska
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Maybe you've got a better class of garage sales up where you're at. It's very seldom that I see anything gun related.
Heck last year I got a S&W at a garage sale

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Old August 22, 2005, 04:04 PM   #9
CaptainRazor
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Heck last year I got a S&W at a garage sale
The word's "You dirty dog" come to mind when I read that!
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Old August 22, 2005, 06:29 PM   #10
EvilSVT
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Why would you replace it soon? If it works, use it! Don't run out and buy "better" stuff just because you went the economy version.

For what it's worth, I'm still using the very same scale that I bought in an RCBS partner kit some 17 years ago. Same for the dies and a lot of other things.

As a matter of fact, I still use the little partner press to do some stages of loading along with my Rock Chucker.
With a little care and maintenance, even the cheapest reloading tools will last a very long time.
Case in point, I have a Lee autoprime that I bought some 16 years ago, it's still going strong, I couldn't even begin to count the thousands of cases that tool has primed.
I don't like using balance beam scales, after having access to high quality digital scales in the chem labs I've come to like them a lot better. I also plan on buying a small lee press to handle my decapping/sizing chores and leave the C&H for seating and crimping.
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Old August 22, 2005, 06:58 PM   #11
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RCBS, lifetime guarantee, why replace. The rockchucker you can just upgrade it.
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Old August 22, 2005, 09:47 PM   #12
CaptainRazor
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I don't like using balance beam scales, after having access to high quality digital scales in the chem labs I've come to like them a lot better.
Fair enough.

Then a kit probably isn't the way you want to go.

I'll second on the RCBS Rockchucker, built to last forever and very smooth (it should be for the money it costs).
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Old August 22, 2005, 10:04 PM   #13
bill k
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A quality digital scale is $300+, I'll stick with my balance beam RCBS scale, which is part of the kit. It also has a lifetime guarantee.
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Old August 23, 2005, 01:54 AM   #14
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Well, single stage vs. progressive is largely about volume. Most shooters I know barely go through 100 rounds of 30-06 every couple weekends (and in most cases it's more like 40 rounds...) Pretty low volume all in all. IF that is all you expect to shoot then a single stage press is more than good enough.

I, on the other hand, shoot pistol. I go through 250 rounds of .45acp per session, normally shooting once or twice a week. My wife will burn another 400 rounds of 9mm in a month. I'll also burn off 200 rounds of .38 specs just on principal. For me, the ONLY way to go is with a progressive press. There is just no way I could load 1,000-1,500 rounds a month otherwise!

I suppose that an argument can be made that loading on a single stage press can give better results than loading on a progressive press. I am not convinced however that single stages are necesarily or inherently more accurate - although I AM convinced that one pays more attention to the actual load with a single stage press. More attention to detail is a good thing when it comes to accuracy at long distances.

Having said that, all my loads group better than I can shoot at 45 feet (appx, 2-3" groups, two hand unsupported) so to me the whole single stage vs. progressive accuracy thing is a mute point.

So, if ALL you will ever load is limited centerfire rifle cartridges, then a single stage or turret press may be all you need.

Onto the actual cartridge, I agree that loading something like .45acp is a LOT easier than loading a necked rifle cartridge. For a short while I loaded .223 rounds for plinking (nevermind that it's damn near cheaper just to buy mil-surplus!). I had to measure cases for stretch, resize the case and trim the case nearly every shot, lube the cases...bah. Just wasn't worth the effort.

As to crimping, most of the dies I have use a roll-crimp and I roll-crimp into the cannelure groove on the bullet. No need for a special crimp die at all (at least with the Hornady dies I use).

For the record, I use an old Hornady Pro-jector press. Works fine even after 15 years.

Final note: Hornady, Dillon, RCBS - they all have their pro's and cons. Any of the three will last a lifetime though and will load hundreds of thousands of rounds without missing a beat. Midway offers the Hornady lock and load press for around $300 as a kit with powder measure... The other companies kits go up from there.
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Old August 23, 2005, 09:35 PM   #15
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my two cents

Evil, I have been rolling my own ammo for more years than I care to remember and It's my opinion that you are complicating things way too much. Buy a decent press, the scales YOU want, be they balance or digital and have fun. Use the common sense God gave you and be careful. Read all you can about the safety factors reguarding reloading and DO NOT start with any pistol round. Reload the smaller cal rifles first to get the hang of it. It is practically impossible to double charge a rifle round but real easy and twice as dangerous to do so in a pistol round. Keep all distractions to a minimun and pay attention to business. The main thing here, as I said is to have fun. I guarentee you will shoot three times as much as you did before you took up Rolling your own.
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Old August 23, 2005, 11:11 PM   #16
EvilSVT
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how am i complicating things too much? I'm just looking for some advice before i spend my money and would like some opinions on a more obscure press and would like some input on the different brands of dies out there.
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Old August 24, 2005, 02:08 PM   #17
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One other place to look for used reloading equipment is at gunshops who carry used. There are a couple near me, and I buy most of my equipment used.

And gunshows generally have used equipment, too.

I'm not familiar with C&H equipment. With regards to dies, Redding are my favorite, and I own Redding, RCBS and Lee dies.

You'll have to pardon us with regards to the many recommedations you get. We have a tendency to share our opinions at every chance. Which is why you'll see people ask for a recommendation on a compact 9mm pistol and get replies regarding 1911's.
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Old August 24, 2005, 02:43 PM   #18
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I use a Dillon for all my Highpower match loading. Works fine. With rifle cases, especially ones going through a semi-auto, you're not going to get the most out of a progressive. I actually prefer my Lyman turret press for rifle reloading (the one I got for $10 used from a co-worker). Presses can be had cheap on ebay.

I'm not familiar with your less common calibers, but make sure the press is tall enough to handle them.

The Lee auto primer is nice and inexpensive (and semi-disposible).

Case trimming is a terrible chore. I use a Lee Hand trimmer ($3 for the cutter and $3 for each caliber specific mandrel set) which is actually very fast and consistant when chucked in a 1/2" cordless drill or drill press. The Cadillac of trimmers is the Giraud. I'm not familiar with C&H. As a rule of thumb, I would avoid anything that cannot easily be driven with a motor. Sinclair Int'l has lots of good stuff in this department.

The only rifle cases I crimp are for leveractions.

I prefer a balance scale because all you do is look at the pointer. It's either on or it's not. The digital is nice if you're doing something truly menial like sorting 500 cases by weight.

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Old August 24, 2005, 05:10 PM   #19
EvilSVT
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Thanks y'all

Quote:
You'll have to pardon us with regards to the many recommedations you get. We have a tendency to share our opinions at every chance. Which is why you'll see people ask for a recommendation on a compact 9mm pistol and get replies regarding 1911's.
Oh i know, but I'm pretty set on the press. I considered getting a rockchucker but I like the idea of the C&H H press. It allows me to have the consistancey and precision of a single stage but the convenience of a turret. By not having to swap out the dies as often, it cuts down one more variable that I have to deal with.
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Old August 27, 2005, 11:05 AM   #20
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Slight change in topic

rnovi


Quote:
"I, on the other hand, shoot pistol. I go through 250 rounds of .45acp per session, normally shooting once or twice a week. My wife will burn another 400 rounds of 9mm in a month. I'll also burn off 200 rounds of .38 specs just on principal. For me, the ONLY way to go is with a progressive press. There is just no way I could load 1,000-1,500 rounds a month otherwise!"
Man-Oh-Man, your my hero - and you can get your wife out shooting 400 rounds of 9mm with you too! That's great. Had my wife out shooting some 22 pistol - but I just don't think its her thing. How did you get your wife involved?

With regards to your 38 loads, I'm also getting ready to start reloading and I'm particularly interested in 38/357. What types of components are do you folks use for 38 loads? I've been looking through catalogs from the many of the major re-loading shops (Midway, cabelas etc) and in many cases it appeats that the re-loading components can cost as much as what I can sometimes get FMJ 38 ammo for (e.g. $16/100 at Wally world).

Thanks in advanced for the input
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