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Old July 9, 2006, 05:27 PM   #1
kirbymagnum
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Seems a little expensive

I think i have enough 204 Ruger brass to start reloading now and I add all the components up plus 243 Winchester equipment. The total comes to about $ 1000.00 is this normally what it costs to start reloading? Keep in mind I'm from Canada. The total for each item is the cost that it is for the 204 and 243 added together if i have to buy different components.

Here is my list of RCBS

(1) Electronic Scale $ 144.00

(2) Manual priming tool $ 37.50 ( Is it worth getting the auto priming tool? Keep in mind i only shoot about 100 rounds a month)

(3) Case neck brush $ 5.44 .

(4)Primer brush $ 14.20

(5) Dial caliper $ 43.50

(6) Bullet puller ( And the 204/243 collet's) $ 44.10

(7) Manual case trimmer ( 204/243 ct pilot) $ 95.94

(8) Decapping pins $4.70

(9) Die set's $ 71.00

(10) Reloading starter kit $ 303.00

(11) Vibratory case cleaner $ 85.00

(12) Formula 1 case media $ 15.50

(13) powder dispenser but i think if i get the powder measure comp combo i get the 17 cal dispensing nosle. Do i need a powder dispenser? $ 188.00 or 88.50 then i also need the stand for it if i don't get the combo.

(14) Powder funnel for 20 cal $ 4.54

(15) Stuck case remover $ 17.50

(16) Decapping tool $ 57.50

(17) Powder $27

(18) Bullets $15.80-$19.70

(19) Primer $2.36 ( What brand of primers would you recommend?)
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Old July 9, 2006, 06:51 PM   #2
Jim Watson
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I don't know about the exchange rate and its effect. On equipment:

1. A beam balance will cost less and actually be more accurate. Slower, and with a little tecnique required, though.
2. I use a Lee Autoprime hand tool. Less expensive than RCBS, works as well. Has its own shellholder, though.
3. An ordinary bore brush will do the job for less money.
4. A dull screwdriver or a case neck flattened out and filed will scrape out the primer pocket for free.
5. Cheap Chinese dial calipers are adequate.
6. An inertial bullet puller will handle the occasional "oops" for less money. They BETTER be occasional or you are doing something wrong.
7. Case trimmer, manual crank, ok.
8. Decapping pins ought not to break often, but I guess cheap insurance.
9. Dies oui, $71, ouch. I like Redding, Forster/Bonanza are good. I quit buying RCBS dies a while back.
10. What is in the kit? Press and what? A manual, I hope.
11. Vibratory tumbler, ok.
12. I use welding shop blasting media and a little car body polish, cheaper than the name brand stuff.
13. Those electronic powder dispensers are all the rage. A volumetric measure like Uniflo is fine, adjusted with #1 balance.
14. Gotta have a funnel.
15. Are you planning on sticking cases? Lube before you resize and it will not be a problem or expense.
16. Sizing die decaps, no need for a separate tool.
17, 18, 19. You have to have the components, they pretty well have you over a barrel. I like Federal primers.
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Old July 9, 2006, 11:22 PM   #3
silicon wolverine
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For dies spend an extra 10$ and get carbide and you dont have to lube them.

SW
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Old July 9, 2006, 11:33 PM   #4
ShuckersFan
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What kit is it? The RockChucker Supreme Master kit has a press, a hand primer, beam scale, lube and pad, powder measure, loading block, powder funnel, chamfering tool, case neck brush, and a Speer reloading manual. It's only $235 on sale at midwayusa.com.

As far as trimmers go, I've got a Lee cutter and lock stud and the length gauge for all the various calibers I load. You put the lock stud in the end of a cordless screwdriver or drill. The length gauge comes with a shell holder which screws into the lock stud. Screw the Length gauge onto the cutter and trim away. $5 for the cutter and lock stud and about $3.50 for the length gauges. Works like champ and for under $10, it can't be beat...

Oops, Canada and no international orders from Midway. I would suggest looking at the website at least as reference, they've got just about everything and you can guesstimate what prices should be. Also, eBay is a great source for reloading equipment, much of it new. Many of them will ship to Canada too.

Happy Loading!
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Old July 9, 2006, 11:39 PM   #5
wixedmords
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You can do so much better on price than your price list.

A good place to go for reloading equipment is F&M Reloading.http://www.fmreloading.com/

You should be able to get started for somewhere in the $100-150 range.
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Old July 10, 2006, 07:58 AM   #6
Mal H
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Jim Watson's refinements of your list are pretty much spot on, IMO. The only items I would disagree with, but only a small disagreement, are the RCBS hand primer and dies. RCBS has worked fine for me for many years. Also, not much need to buy extra decapping pins since they come with the dies, and, on the rare occasion that they break, are usually replaced free of charge by the reputable die manufacturers.
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Old July 10, 2006, 11:24 AM   #7
castnblast
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I like RCBS and use them for my 7mm. and 300. (just sold the 300 win). If you are using a dial caliper, get the franford arsenal from midway. I have one and love it. Very accurate, heavy, well constructed. It was $19.00 u.s. for reloading rifle, 1+ on the arm scale. get a powder trickler. Due to lack of funds, I wanted a rock chucker, but due to Dr. Bills for my daughter, I had to go less expensive. I got the Lee anniversary kit from Midway, and bought the extra's I needed and only spent 163.00 w/ shipping. (reloading 22-250.) I would have prefered carbide dies, but had to penny pinch this time around. The kit came with an arm scale, and I've been away from reloading for a while, and was really impressed with their case trimmer. You can't screw it up. go to www.cheaperthandirt.com. In short, I loaded my test rounds with this equipment and was pleasantly suprised given the value. Based on the amount you are loading, this equipment should be fine. The only thing you need to purchase is a dial caliper, case length gage & and a set of dies. You'll get a shell holder with the dies, and the kit comes with dies too, so you can have your press set up with one shell holder and the case trimmer with the other. The Lee dies worked great so far, and the 3 die set comes with a crimper (which I'll only use for 40 gr. bullets on my 22-250). I ordered the zip trim, not knowing how the trimmer worked, and found I didn't need it. The trimmer goes on the lock stud and attaches to your electric drill. The trimmer is very precise, and you can't screw it up. The only thing I didn't care much for was the scale. It was very precise but the micro weight movement needs to be rechecked each time, and was a bit difficult to read. But I'm not complaining given what I spent. That is the only item I will replace with something better down the road. The kit comes w/ a manual hand primer that was very easy to operate as well. Again, for the money I was very, very, impressed.
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Old July 10, 2006, 01:26 PM   #8
Don H
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SW,

Who makes carbide dies for the 204 Ruger and 243 Winchester? Are they really only $10 more than steel?
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Old July 10, 2006, 01:35 PM   #9
kirbymagnum
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Thanks for the outstanding information it is making it much easier. Just a few more questions.'

(1) Does the Speer reloading manual have data for the 204 Ruger?

(2) Will i have to get a 17/20 Cal powder funnel?

I will be going with the The RockChucker Supreme Master kit it will save me lots of separate ordering. How easy is it to use a A beam balance?
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Old July 10, 2006, 02:47 PM   #10
azredhawk44
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Quote:
Who makes carbide dies for the 204 Ruger and 243 Winchester? Are they really only $10 more than steel?
204 and 243 won't be available in carbide.

Carbide dies are usually only available for straight-walled cases, such as 357mag, 45acp and 45-70. Bottleneck cases still use steel dies.

At least that's my understanding.
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Old July 10, 2006, 03:25 PM   #11
Don H
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That's what I thought, but then I remembered that Dillon made a carbide .223 die (as I recall, it was a bit pricey) so I though someone alse may be making carbide rifle dies also.
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Old July 10, 2006, 06:01 PM   #12
amamnn
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$$$$$$$$$

I have a lot of RCBS stuff. I have a lot of Lee stuff. I've worked up to Redding and Forster over the years. For anything other than benchrest grade loads, I'm afraid I wasted money on the RCBS. They're like Sears in my opinion. Not quite the real deal. I use a PACT digital scale. I've heard that the same factory puts out 75% of the digital scales in the world. If I were starting over for general reloading these days, I would go Lee, I think. Dillon is mass production pistol oriented and is fine if that's what you're doing, but they really don't have a good handle on long range rifle accuracy equipment and price control. Those models don't work cheap.
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Old July 10, 2006, 06:23 PM   #13
Mal H
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amamnn
For anything other than benchrest grade loads, I'm afraid I wasted money on the RCBS. They're like Sears in my opinion. Not quite the real deal.
That's a puzzling statement.
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Old July 10, 2006, 06:55 PM   #14
Jim Watson
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Don, even if you get a carbide bottleneck rifle sizing die, you still have to lubricate the cases because of the large contact area. The point of the carbide is long life in commercial reloading.
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Old July 10, 2006, 07:03 PM   #15
BigJakeJ1s
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+1 on Lee case trimmer/gauges

Cabelas has a rcbs kit that includes their new electronic powder dispenser for $530 US, and it includes the primer tool and case trimmer. The RC supreme kit includes a balance beam scale and a uniflow PM for US$250. Their prices can probably be beat elsewhere if you shop around.

Andy
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Old July 11, 2006, 12:23 PM   #16
amamnn
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sears and RCBS

Is that a real pancho or is it a sears pancho?--nevermind ---obscure quote!

I've found that RCBS makes ok general grade dies, but the price is higher than the Lee dies of the same grade, quality and tolerances. The RCBS competition dies are not up to the standards and innovation of Redding and Forster dies, but the prices are. Mostly I found this out after I had bought the RCBS, which I bought because my ancestors used them before me.
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Old July 11, 2006, 01:19 PM   #17
rem33
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Lee

You can get a LEE anniversary kit with manual for $85 from a place called grafs I think it is grafs.com. They only have a small handling charge so no shipping. That should get you started, soon you'll know what extras you need and want. Midway.com has about everything made for reloading.
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Old July 11, 2006, 09:32 PM   #18
kirbymagnum
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I have a question regarding which RCBS dies i need to start reloading for the 204 Ruger and the 243 Winchester.

(1) What does the F/L Die set "A" for the 204 Ruger and the 243 Winchester do? ( seating the bullet, neck sizing, or case resizing?) If this helps the Item number for the 204 Ruger die is 10301 and the 243 Winchester is 11401.

(2) To take out the primer do you just need decapping Pins? Or what?
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Old July 12, 2006, 03:07 AM   #19
geronimo13
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Decaping pins will remove primers, if you hammered them out with them. They are made to fit in the resizing die and resize the case while popping the primer out at the same time (at least my Lee die does). I would recommend the lee dies (used in a rcbs if you wish) as they work great and are quite a bit cheaper.
My total cost to reload .223 was under $200 for everything, but I didn't get a scale (figured the disk powder throwing system on my Lee 1000 is consistant), used a Harbor freight set of dial calipers (to check case length, and OAL) for $14, Lee "modern reloading" book $12 (for every possible bullet load info), case trimmer and lock stud $7.50, clean shells in vinager, salt, and laudry soap (soak, rinse, dry), Lee 1000 .223 progressive press ($120), case collator- $12, double disk kit (necessary to throw small rifle loads)-$13, Lee camfer tool-$3, (case length trimming and minor crimp removal, when the primers are going in too hard, I do a drill press w/carbide cutter to take out crimps initially). I have happily loaded about 1400 rounds so far. A single stage set up would have been slightly cheaper but not as easy to turn out the 120 rounds/hr at a slow pace that I now do, but any set up will become your favorite as you get to know it. I've got a bag of around 50 so far that didn't load right, or didn't go bang, waiting for a bullet puller-$20, but can't justify it yet. O.K. I'm a cheap bastid. Got everything @ midway BTW. You would need a Lee turret (get a 4 hole) to do the .243, but I think you'd like a turret over a single stage. My advice is worth what you paid for it.
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