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Old March 12, 2012, 12:41 AM   #1
WarWolf
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Want to start reloading ammo

I've wanted to do my own ammo for awhile now. Mostly because i have so many different guns with different rounds. And some (like 308) i just think about how much money i'm spending when i shoot it.
I wanted to know if anyone could help me as far as what i need to start out. as in basics. and can i find and books or spots online that have good information.
thanks
Nate-
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Old March 12, 2012, 01:31 AM   #2
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Check the sticky out.
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Old March 12, 2012, 02:09 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum and thanks for asking our advice.

As mrawesome22 suggested, there is a "sticky" thread at the beginning of the forum that will answer most of your questions.

Seeing that you have only three posts, I will guess that you may not know what a "sticky" thread is. Threads that have tremendous general usefulness and wide appeal are made to "stick" at the top of the forum and are generally closed so they don't get filled up with new comments.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=230171

Also, do a search on the words (Newbe, Newbie, Newbee, "Starting Reloading" and such.)

I will get back in a few days with more advice. In the meantime, get a copy of "The ABC's of Reloading". Ten years old or older seem to get better reviews. It is a book compiled by editors of many different authors. It thus contains many different voices and points of view, some of which may "speak" to you better than others. Try your local library.

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Last edited by Lost Sheep; March 12, 2012 at 08:50 PM.
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Old March 12, 2012, 07:35 AM   #4
larzb93
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you will need, a reloading press, a reloading die for the round you are reloading, a shell holder for the round you are reloading, a powder dispenser, a scale, a funnel, case lube, a bullet tumbler and tumbling media. thats about the bare bones to what you MUST have. take a look at some of the RCBS kits. hard to beat them for the money. also look some videos up on YouTube and see what other people are using. best of luck!
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Old March 13, 2012, 10:25 PM   #5
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We all have different lists, though.

Not to pick on larzb93, but just to use your post as an example.
Quote:
Originally Posted by larzb93
you will need, a reloading press, a reloading die for the round you are reloading, a shell holder for the round you are reloading, a powder dispenser, a scale, a funnel, case lube, a bullet tumbler and tumbling media. thats about the bare bones to what you MUST have. take a look at some of the RCBS kits. hard to beat them for the money. also look some videos up on YouTube and see what other people are using. best of luck!
A good list. But I would get a .001" caliper before the powder dispenser. If you have a scale, you can do without a dispenser (use a spoon if you must). You can make a funnel out of a piece of heavy paper. You can do without a tumbler (I did for 30 years, just wiping my brass clean with a towel).

That's why kits are (in my opinion) not such a good deal. No one has the same equipment priorities as anyone else.

So, read up, think hard and choose your own path.

Just don't forget: Safety always, safety all ways.

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Old March 13, 2012, 10:44 PM   #6
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I heartily recommend a kit. It might not have all the "best" stuff, but it will come with everything you NEED to get started.... Once you get going, as you learn more, you will find out what you need to upgrade/replace, and go from there..... I started with the lee deluxe turret kit, you can get it for under $150 anyplace that sells lee stuff. You could also go with the lee classic kit, which is a single stage press.... but remember.... You can use the turret as a single stage press, but you cant use a single stage press as a turret There is also now the Classic turret kit, but its about double what the deluxe turret is and not really a good deal... Basically, you could get the deluxe turret kit AND a separate classic turret press for the price of the classic turret kit.....

First think I bought after getting my deluxe turret kit was a perfect powder measure... $30 and worth every penny.... pick it up when you buy the kit,
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Old March 13, 2012, 11:05 PM   #7
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I started with a Lee hand press, thinking it would be a good way to get my feet wet. Thousands of rounds later, I see zero need to get anything else. It literally does everything I have a caliber for, rifle and pistol.

Get a dial caliper. The electronic one I had would need occasional zeroing and batteries would crap out at a bad time.
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Old March 13, 2012, 11:29 PM   #8
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Read the sticky on the top of this forum (it's worth repeating again)
The ABCs of Reloading is an excellent place to start, and I would also recommend a reloading manual or three. I went with speer and hogdon manuals because both components are available locally and Lee because it came with my press (some good reading there too)

Also click on Lost Sheep 's name and click "Find more posts by Lost Sheep"
He's posted in lots of 'New to Reloading' threads.
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Old March 13, 2012, 11:34 PM   #9
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New to reloading too

Hey i Just started reloading less then a month ago. I first bought a lee progressive 1000 it sounded great but in all reality it was a nightmare.... Being new to reloding it was a overload in information trying to get everything in sync... I never got that far i gave up after 2 days of fighting with it, I did in fact return it and did try lee again its a more simple type of auto indexing auto powder primer press, And well I LOVE IT it took about 15 mins to totally set up and get the powder mesuar to correctly dispense the right amount of charge. I am soo happy with it now it is a basic press with a 4 hole turret every pull of the handle does 1 "JOB" still almost a progressive type but simpler i think it cost me about 120 for the press it came in a kit but i cannot remember the actual name it is sweet tho, I am very anal i check every other bullet till i can trust the machine to do its thing. But so far i havent had to change much 500 rounds in 3 hours and still going i am very very pleased with it. I could not afford the "RCBS" and Other expensive type presses i am sure those are wonderfull i havent tried them but trust me lee is the way to go for new reloaders very veyr inexpensive and great quality and 2 year no questions asked warranty.. All in all start up cost so far the kit was 125.00ish i bought some powder 100 new brass 100 new bullets just to get everything in sync primers i think i have a total of 200 in it myself, This is just my personal thoughts take it for what its worth , thought i would throw in my 2 cents.. Good Luck and Happy Reloading!!
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Old March 14, 2012, 05:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
i think it cost me about 120 for the press it came in a kit but i cannot remember the actual name it is sweet tho,
That would be the Deluxe turret kit, same one I got. Im very happy with it too...


To the OP, Calipers... I forgot that one, you will definitely need a set....
The cheap electronic ones will do if thats all you can afford, but dont pay more that $20 for them! The calipers branded with reloading company logos are just the cheap ones with different stickers and a higher price. Harbor freight is the way to go for cheap electrics, wait till they go on sale... You will want to re-zero them after every measurement, as they rarely hold zero for more than a few measurements unless you get lucky and get a "good" set...

My recommendation would be a set of dial calipers, or electrics from a good company. Brown & sharp, mitutoyo, and starret would be my top pics. Fowler, SPI, and import, would be ok. A dial or caliper from any of the last 3 I listed would be better than any electronic from harbor freight. If going for an electronic caliper, I would only recommend the first three, though a buddy of mine at work swears by fowler. Here is a decent dial on sale right now if you want a low cost option SPI calipers Those will last a lifetime of reloading.
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Old March 14, 2012, 06:34 PM   #11
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AHHH Yes that's it thank you! Deluxe it is!! lol
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Old March 14, 2012, 07:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fetish636
AHHH Yes that's it thank you! Deluxe it is!! lol
Lee Precision makes two models of 4-hole auto-indexing turret presses. (Lee makes the only auto-indexing turret presses on the market, by the way.)

They are the Lee Classic Turret and the Lee Deluxe Turret. The Classic is superior to the Deluxe but is a bit more expensive. Kempf's assembles a nice kit around the Classic Turret you should check out.

The two presses operate at the same speed, share many of the same parts and use the same operating mode and technique.

But there are 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.

So, in summary;

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. Most of the other kits are built around the Deluxe.

I think that's about it.

Good luck.

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Old March 14, 2012, 07:37 PM   #13
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Some web sites to peruse.

Let me share with you some posts and threads I think you will enjoy. So get a large mug of coffee, tea, hot chocolate, whatever you keep on hand when you read and think and read through these.

The "sticky" thread at the top of TheFiringLine's reloading forum is good, entitled, "For the New Reloader: Equipment Basics -- READ THIS FIRST "
http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...d.php?t=230171

The "sticky" thread at the top of TheHighRoad.com's reloading forum is good, entitled, "For the New Reloader: Thinking about Reloading; Equipment Basics -- READ THIS FIRST"
www.thehighroad.org//showthread.php?t=238214

And this one, "stickied" in RugerForum.com
www.rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=13543

"Budget Beginning bench you will never outgrow for the novice handloader" was informed by my recent (July 2010) repopulation of my loading bench. It is what I would have done 35 years ago if I had known then what I know now.
http://www.rugerforum.net/reloading/...andloader.html

and this one, titled "Interested in reloading" and mentioning 45 ACP specifically
www.rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=13543

My post, Minimalist minimal (the seventh post down)
www.rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=107332

Thread entitled "Newby needs help."
http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...d.php?t=430391
My post 11 is entitled "Here's my reloading setup, which I think you might want to model" November 21, 2010)

If you think you might go for used equipment, here is some encouragement, titled "How much to start reloading....dirt cheap! "
http://www.Thefiringline.com/forums/...d.php?t=439810

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Old March 14, 2012, 07:38 PM   #14
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10 Advices for the novice handloader

I have thought of a few things I think are useful for handloaders to know or to consider which seem to be almost universal, so I put together an arbitrary list that I think is illuminating. I call them my Ten Advices for the Novice Handloader.

So much is a matter of personal taste and circumstance, though. So, all advice carries this caveat, "your mileage may vary".

For comparison purposes, here is the focus of my experience. I load for handguns (44 Mag, 45 ACP, 45 Colt, 454 Casull, 9mm, 357 Mag, 480 Ruger) a couple hundred per sitting and go through 100 to 400 centerfire rounds per month. I don't cast....yet.

When I bought my first gun (.357 Magnum Dan Wesson revolver), I bought, at the same time, a reloading setup because I knew I could not afford to shoot if I did not reload my own ammo. It cost me about 1/4 of factory ammo per round and paid for itself pretty quickly. I did not use a loading bench at all. I just mounted my press on a 2 x 6 plank long enough to wedge into the drawer of an end table.

Now, here are my Ten Advices.

Advice #1 Use Reliable Reference Sources Wisely - Books, Videos, Web Sites, etc.

Study up in loading manuals until you understand the process well, before spending a lot of money on equipment.
I found "The ABC's of Reloading" to be a very good reference (though earlier editions, from before 2000 seem to be getting better reviews than later ones). Short on data, yes, but full of knowledge and understanding of the process. Check out copies in your local library. "ABS's" has the advantage of being compilations of many different authors with different writing styles.

Richard Lee's book "Modern Reloading" has a lot of food for thought, and does discuss the reasoning behind his opinions (unlike many manuals, and internet postings). Whether right or wrong, the issues merit thought, which that book initiates. It is not a simple book, though and you will find it provocative reading for many years.

Lyman's manual seems to be the one most recommended in the forums I haunt.

Other than those, every powder manufacturer, bullet manufacturer and equipment maker has a web site (many of which have load data) and many of those companies publish load manuals, the early chapters of which all have "how-to" chapters.

Read as many manuals as you can, for the discussion of the how-to steps. What one manual covers thinly, another will cover well. As far as load data in older manuals, the powder manufacturers and bullet manufacturers may have better information and their web sites are probably more up to date. But pay attention to what the ammunition was test-fired from. (regular firearm vs a sealed-breech pressure test barrel, for example)

The reason you want more than one or two is that you want to read differing authors/editors writing styles and find ones that "speak" to you. You also get better coverage of the subject; one author or editor may cover parts of the subject more thoroughly than the others.

Only after you know the steps can you look at the contents of a reloading kit and know what parts you will use and what parts the kits lack.

The public library should have manuals you can read, then decide which ones you want to buy.

There are instructional videos now that did not exist in the '70s when I started.

Advice #2 To kit or not to kit?

Almost every manufacturer of loading equipment makes good stuff; if they didn't, they would lose reputation fast and disappear from the marketplace. Better equipment costs more generally. Cast aluminum is lighter and less expensive. Cast iron is more abrasion resistant and lasts practically forever. Lee makes good equipment, but is generally considered the "economy" equipment maker, though some of their stuff is considered preferable to more expensive makes. Lee is innovative far beyond its "economy" image. Just think about what you buy.

Almost every manufacturer (and most major retailer) assembles a kit that contains everything you need to do reloading (except dies and the consumables). A decent way to get started without too much prior experience. Eventually most reloaders wind up replacing most of the components of the kit as their personal taste develops (negating the savings you though the kit gave you), but you will have gotten started, at least.

The though processes you give to assembling your own kit increases your knowledge about reloading. You may get started a couple weeks later than if you started with a kit, but you will be far ahead in knowledge.

Advice #3 While learning, don't get fancy.

While you can learn on a progressive press it is easier to learn on a single stage press or a turret press than on a progressive. Too many things happening at the same time are hard to keep track of. Mistakes DO happen and you want to watch for them ONE AT A TIME until handloading becomes second nature to you.

Learning on a progressive can be done successfully, but it is easier to teach an infant to walk in shoes than on roller skates.

On the Turret vs Single stage the decision is simpler. You can do everything on a Turret EXACTLY the same way as you do on a single stage (just leave the turret stationary). That is, a Turret IS a single stage if you don't rotate the head.


Advice #4 Find a mentor. There is nothing like a tutor, or better yet, a mentor.

There is no substitute for someone watching you load a few cartridges and critiquing your technigue BEFORE you develop bad habits or make a dangerous mistake. (A mistake that might not have consequences right away, but maybe only after you have escaped trouble a hundred times until one day you get bit, for instance having case lube on your fingers when you handle primers 99 times, no problem because primers are coated with a sealant, but the hundredth primer may not be perfectly sealed and now winds up "dead")

I started loading with the guy who sold me my press showed me how to load three rounds, explaining each step as I watched, then watched over my shoulder as I loaded my first 3 as I explained each step back to him and to make sure I did not double charge, load a powderless cartridge or set off a primer in the press.

A longer mentoring period might have changed my reloading style, but I learned a lot in those first 6 rounds. Then I educated myself after that.

After you have been mentored, mentor someone else. Not necessarily in loading or the shooting sports, but in SOMETHING in which you are enthusiastic and qualified. Just give back to the community.

Advice #5 Design your loading space for safety, efficiency, cleanliness

When I started reloading, I did not use a loading bench at all. I just mounted the press on a 2" x 6" plank long enough to wedge into the drawer of an end table My loading gear all fit in a footlocker and spread out on the coffeetable and the lid of the footlocker. Good leverage meant the table did not lift or rock. I still use the same plank, but now it is mounted in a Black & Decker folding workbench. A loading bench "bolted to the center of the earth" (as some describe thier setups) would be more stable, but I do not feel deprived without it.

You will probably spill powder or drop a primer eventually, so consider what you have for a floor covering when you pick your reloading room/workspace. I would not try to vacuum up spilt gunpowder unless using a Rainbow vacuum which uses water as the filter medium.

A dropcloth will be much appreciated. Use cloth, not plastic. Less static, quieter and dropped primers don't roll around as much.

Advice #6 Keep Current on loading tecnology

Always use a CURRENT loading manual. Powder chemistry has changed over the years. They make some powders differently than they used to and even some powder names may have changed. However, if you are using 10 year old powder, you may want to check a 10 year old manual for the recipe. Then double check with a modern manual and then triple check with the powder maker.

Read previous threads on reloading, here are a some I recommend.
http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=230171
http://thehighroad.org//showthread.php?t=238214
http://forums.accuratereloading.com/eve
http://www.rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=13543
http://www.rugerforum.com/phpBB/view...fbd5ae1f754eec

Advice #7 You never regret buying the best (but once)

When you buy the very best, it hurts only once, in the wallet. When you buy cheap (too cheap) it hurts every time you use the gear. The trick is to buy good enough (on the scale between high quality and low price) to keep you happy without overpaying. "The delicious flavor of low price fades fast. The wretched aftertaste of poor quality lingers long.

Advice #8 Safety Always Safety All Ways.

Wear eye protection, especially when seating primers. Gloves are good, too, especially if using the Lee "Hammer" Tools. Children (unless they are good helpers, not just playing around) are at risk and are a risk. Pets, too unless they have been vetted (no, not that kind of vetting). Any distractions that might induce you to forget charging a case (no charge or a double charge are equally dangerous).

Imagine everything that CAN go wrong. Then imagine everything that you CAN'T imagine. I could go on, but it's your eyes, your fingers, your house, your children (current ones or future ones - lead is a hazard, too). About lead: Wash after loading and don't eat at your bench. Enough said?

Advice #10 Double check everything.

Verify for yourself everything you learn. Believe only half of what you see and one quarter of what you hear. That goes double for everything you find on the internet (with the possible exception of the actual web sites of the bullet and powder manufacturers). This advice applies to my message as much as anything else and especially to personal load recipes. Hare-brained reloaders might have dangerous habits and even an honest typographical error could be deadly.

(10 Advices, 03/2012 revision)
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Old March 14, 2012, 08:52 PM   #15
dacaur
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Quote:
They are the Lee Classic Turret and the Lee Deluxe Turret. The Classic is superior to the Deluxe but is a bit more expensive.
I completly agree....

But, the deluxe kit is just over $100, while the classic kit is a bit over $200.....

The classic press on its own is under $100....

So, for the price of the classic turret kit, you can get the deluxe kit, and a classic press......
Or,
Just go with the cheaper kit, spend the extra $100 on dies, a set of calipers,and a perfect powder measure, use the deluxe turret, and later if you still feel the need for the classic buy it, then you have two presses, or pass the deluxe onto someone else, and you're not down any $$, or put it in the paper for $60 and be money ahead....

Just my $0.02....

The biggest advantage to the classic in my eyes is spent primer handling, so with my deluxe I just use a decapping only die, and do a whole bunch at the same time, then clean up....

I might replace my deluxe turret with a classic someday, but its going to be a long time before I dont have better things to spend that extra $100 on.....
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Old March 14, 2012, 09:14 PM   #16
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A few places are selling the Classic Turret press kit for $215 ish without the Modern Reloading manual. But if you look, you can find the kit including the manual for $215
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Old March 14, 2012, 09:16 PM   #17
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dacaur, you have embarrassed me

I am tight with a penny and generally don't miss a trick, but your plan takes the cake. To get a a Deluxe turret kit plus a Classic Turret press for the same price of the Classic Turret kit? How could I miss that?

Now, the $210Kempf's Gun Shop Classic Turret kit does include a $40 set of dies with it, but still... that is quite the deal.

Sharp eye, there dacaur.

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Old March 14, 2012, 11:13 PM   #18
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Lol... Dont feel bad. Actually, I didn't think of that until this very thread was going . Until now, I've spent the last few weeks wishing the classic kit had been out when I bought my press so i could have gotten that instead.... Back to being happy with my deluxe kit.
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Old March 15, 2012, 12:00 AM   #19
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I started (in 1975) with a Lee Loader, then a Lyman 310, finally an RCBS JR.
I recommend the Lee Hand Press or the Lyman Hand Press,it will let you get completely familiar with the steps of reloading so when you transition to a bench mounted press you will understand completely what you are doing. Nowadays I use my hand presses to reload 45-70 which my RCBS 4x4 cannot do.
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Old March 15, 2012, 12:31 AM   #20
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The powder measure ****** me off verily until I did my homework and found 2 things:

1. Keep it mostly full.
2. Be consistent with the way you move the handle.

In addition, the first time you run it, be prepared to just dole out powder over and over and over into the bowl for your scale/some other small container and then just poor it back in the hopper until you start getting a consistent throw. It's like a girl I used to know...at it's best when slightly dirty. I almost quit until I sat down for an hour and just ran powder through until I started getting consistent numbers. Now its so on the money I usually check twice as much as I need to just because I assume it can't be that right.
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Old March 15, 2012, 06:20 AM   #21
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The only "Issue" between getting the delux turret kit vs the classic turret is that you get the pro auto disk with the classic turret vs the auto disk.
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Old March 15, 2012, 09:10 PM   #22
Lost Sheep
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I beg to differ

Quote:
Originally Posted by markr
The only "Issue" between getting the delux turret kit vs the classic turret is that you get the pro auto disk with the classic turret vs the auto disk.
I beg to differ. See post #12

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Old March 15, 2012, 10:10 PM   #23
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What I meant was, the kits that come with both presses are not the same. The Auto Disk comes in the delux turret kit, and the PRO auto disk comes wiith the classic turret press kit. So if you are going to buy a delux turret kit for $100 or so bucks, and then buy a classic turret by itself for $100 bucks, yes you have spent a little over 200 bucks. And yes the classic turret press kit cost's about $215. If you go the first route, then I guess you will end up with two (different) presses. I was only refering to the difference in powder measure that you will end up with.

Kempfs is not the only place selling the the classic turret press kit. Last I looked cabela's had it for like $219 whithout Modern Reloading. Several others have it for about the same INCLUDING modern reloading, like Titan Reloading for example. I dont know why that is. There are several places selling that kitwith the manual, just google it. If I was at my computer instead of a phone I would provide links. BTW, I just got my Classic Turret Press for $97 and I'm loving it.
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Last edited by markr; March 16, 2012 at 07:32 AM.
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