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Old August 25, 2012, 01:46 PM   #1
danny42984
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Hello

Hi all. New guy here just getting started in reloading. This seems like a good place to help me find the answers to all my many questions such as whether to buy a single or progressive press, the best places to buy them and all the reloading accessories and components I will need. Im very excited to get started but dont want to jump the gun and start buying the wrong things for me. So I will do lots of reading here and hopefully wont have too many questions. Any and all advise for a beginner woul be appreciated!
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Old August 25, 2012, 01:55 PM   #2
Lost Sheep
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Welcome to the forum and thanks for asking our advice

The first thing to do is what you are doing: Research.

The ABC's of Reloading is a good place to start, to learn the fundamentals and processes. See if your local library has one. You can get them on-line for about $15-$20 and there is (I am told) an electronic book version for $1 (but apparently has no pictures?).

The equipment is another matter. Start here:

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

It is a thread made to permanently stay at the top of the forum (hence the
description "sticky") and will give food for thought.

and here:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=488115

Help us help you. What cartridges will you be reloading for? How much experience do you have shooting? What are your goals? (supreme long-distance accuracy?, just saving money? Hunting ammunition? target ammunition? What kind of budget do you have? How much room do you have to work with? Stuff like that.

Lost Sheep

Last edited by Lost Sheep; August 25, 2012 at 02:01 PM.
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Old August 25, 2012, 01:55 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum.

Take a look at the top of the forum at the sticky on reloading equipment. That should answer a lot of your questions.

Nick
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Old August 25, 2012, 01:57 PM   #4
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buy dillon, most tools you will need, toll free call 800-223-4570, spend your money once and get the best. besides you get a free copy of thr blue press with a good looking lady on cover. i did not say they are cheap but you get a lifetime warrent . not bad for a dollar two nintey eight. cjs not to worrey little brother, their are more.
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Old August 25, 2012, 04:31 PM   #5
Clifford L. Hughes
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Danny:


I use a Dillon for pistol and a RCBS Rocker for rifle. Purchase a RCBS, Lyman, A Hornady or a Dillion. Heavy duty quality equpment with life time warranties is a must.

Semper Fi.

Gunnery Sergeant
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USMC Retired
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Old August 25, 2012, 06:50 PM   #6
danny42984
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Thanks for all the replies!
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Old August 25, 2012, 09:37 PM   #7
Kevin Rohrer
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The latest edition of the ABCs (9th ed) sucks, to put it mildly. Any previous edition is better.

The recommended basic reading is Lyman #49. Their Beginners chapters are excellent.

Start with a single-stage press first, and learn from someone else if you can.
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Old August 26, 2012, 04:59 AM   #8
noylj
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Get "The ABCs of Reloading," Lyman's #49, and, possibly, Hornady's #8.
Read them several times.
How much ammunition do you need?
100 rounds a month? A single stage will do you.
1000 rounds a month? Only a progressive will do.
Then, go on the web and get manuals for the presses you are interested in.
Watch the Lee and Hornady and other manufacturer's videos. Go to YouTube and watch videos of the various presses.
Decide what works for you. What I think is important, you may not. I wouldn't even consider a progressive press unless it has at least 5 stations and auto-indexing. I wouldn't even consider a single-stage press unless it was a Forster Co-Ax or a press with interchangeable bushings for instant die swaps, a spent primer tube and catch-bottle, and was an O-frame.
Your wants and needs may be met with some other type of press.
If you want to go progressive, I have always found the various Hornady progressives to be well worth the money and I found it very easy to teach my son on one. The press in more open and roomy than others and it is much easier for the beginner to watch what is happening.
If you need so much ammunition that you absolutely have to have a case collator and feeder, get the Dillon 650 and the case feeder or get the Dillon 1050.
I have never seen any use for a turret press, other than to store dies, and find that the presses with die bushings are at least as fast to switch dies. The Lee Classic Turret has the advantage of being a "semi-"progressive and you can load a round with four cycles of the press--it is more than JUST a turret but NOT a progressive press.
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Old August 26, 2012, 05:46 AM   #9
twins
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Danny,

I'll start by giving you my version of "myths in reloading" so you can decide if you're sure you want to start:

1) You'll save money by reloading. This isn't going to happen unless you're a meticulous hard to the core thrifty spender. You'll buy more equipment, powder, brass, primers, more equipment, more powder, etc. than most small militia will need. Why? Because you can.

2) It is relaxing to reload. Relaxing is with closed eyes, reclining in a comfortable chair, sipping on a drink, and listening to smoothing music. Reloading require strict attention to steps (who hasn't seated a bullet without putting in the powder late at night?), sitting straight up (or standing) for 1 hr+, and focusing on the smallest of details for measurements (scale, length).

3) You'll find a perfect load for your weapon. Yes, it is possible, but your road to happiness requires plenty of investment in #1 and #2. And once you do find that combo of perfect powder, brass, primer and COL, you'll want to try a different type of brass, powder, primer and change in COL and you're back to square #1.

It's a vicious cycle but one that all shooters should attempt (or maybe not). Welcome to the world of reloading, have fun and good luck.
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Old August 26, 2012, 09:26 AM   #10
Misssissippi Dave
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I consider reloading a hobby. It just happens to go well with shooting. Hobbies tend to require money and this one does. How much money depends on several things. Many people get into reloading to save money on the cost of the ammo they shoot. I find I don't really save any money since I can shoot more for less. I still wind up spending about the same amount in ammo. I do get to shoot more than before reloading. The cost difference between factory ammo the amount I have spent on equipment has easily paid for itself. I don't feel I have any addition money in my pocket since it mostly has gone down range already.

Most people will tell you to start on a single stage press for everything. I know it takes more attention to detail to start on a progressive press since there are several things going on at once. It is possible to do one round at a time, so it still can be done. Pistol shooters and probably some that shoot .223/5.56 tend to go through a lot more ammo per range session than say long range bench shooters do. This is where a progressive press is an advantage. Starting with straight wall or tapered pistol cased ammo probably is easier to do than bottle neck cases.

I suggest using carbide dies when ever possible. They do cost more up front but the return is well worth it in the end. Making sure your brass is clean before reloading will keep your dies in good shape for years to come.

Reloading manuals are needed to understand better what you are doing when you reload. I don't think you can have too many of them.

My questions to the OP are what calibers do you want to load? How much ammo per month of each caliber do you normally go through? This much information really is needed to try to steer you in the right direction as far as equipment goes.

If you are still in the evaluation stage of reloading prior to jumping in I have a suggestion where you should possibly spend your money on quipment. Get a vibrating tumbler and media. Start collecting all your brass and any other brass for the calibers you plan to ever load now. Start cleaning and sorting the brass so when you do start loading you will have plenty on hand. Often times friends and family will be happy to give you their brass, if they don't reload, and that will save you some money. The rest can come later. It might be a little at a time or in one large purchase. Even if you think you have everything, you will find something later on you think you need as well.

Last edited by Misssissippi Dave; August 26, 2012 at 09:31 AM.
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Old August 26, 2012, 09:30 AM   #11
jwrowland77
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Welcome the forum and wonderful hobby of reloading. I initially got into reloading to save money, but now I shoot twice as often for the same price.

Before buying the tools necessary to reload, check everywhere for prices and reviews. I personally have a Hornady single stage lnl. I love it. I probably checked prices everywhere for everything I needed to get started over probably a 4 week time span.

I would say that on top of reading the suggested manuals that another big help to me was having a local mentor to ask questions to and to watch me through the beginning process. As a matter of fact, this coming Friday, I am meeting with my mentor so he can walk me through loading my 7mm Rem Mag. A mentor is a great thing. Once you get to where you have time under your belt, you can always pass it on to someone who needs a mentor.
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Old August 27, 2012, 08:10 PM   #12
danny42984
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Been doing a lot of reading and watching videos. I really like the Dillon XL650 but for the price the LEE Classic Turret looks like it might be worthwile. Caliber changes look really simple and the price is really good. Not sure about the quality tho. I can tell picking a press is going to be a pain for me. Anyone here use the Lee Classic Turret?
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Old August 27, 2012, 08:13 PM   #13
jwrowland77
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You want an easy caliber change...check out the Hornady LNL presses. Easy easy easy.
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Old August 28, 2012, 12:47 AM   #14
farmerboy
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RCBS Rockchucker single stage. Great for first timers and pro's. Very precision with single stage plus you can load about 200-300 in an evening if you need to.
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Old August 29, 2012, 12:09 PM   #15
danny42984
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jwrowland77, I checked out the Lock n Load progressive as you suggested. I really do like that one too from what I have read about it. I like that its quick and cheaper to change calibers. I,
'm kinda leaning towards the lock n load or the dillon 550b, but i haven't completely counted out the rock chucker. Its just that it seems it would be very time consuming to change and adjust the die on the rcbs for every step plus i have the money now for a progressive and if i don't get one now i probably would not spend the money for one later if i get a single stage first. i sure wish it wasn't so hard to choose so i could just order one already...
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Old August 29, 2012, 09:42 PM   #16
noylj
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Rock Chucker: You can get a bushing and remove the bushing in the Rock Chucker that the dies screw into and replace with a Hornady conversion bushing to use the Hornady die bushings.
However, unless the Rock Chucker now has a spent primer tube and bottle to catch all spent primers, it probably still throws spent primers all over the floor.
If you think you might want a Rock Chucker, consider the Hornady Classic L-N-L single-stage--or the Lee single stage press. Both will reload as well as the Rock Chucker.
To me, a single stage press would either be the Lee Challenger or the Forster Co-Ax and forget the ones in between.
550B: Stop and look at the 4 stations and manual indexing and the high cost of the press and caliber conversions. It is a very limited press for the money. Also, when I used a 550 the cases still entered the shell plate to my right and this involved me manually inserting cases in the on-press case feeder (as I remember) with my right hand. This was a pain to begin with and was even worse if I had been sitting down to reload (as I do now).
If you need a case feeder for the 550B, and I would, it would seem to make more sense to invest in a much more capable press and get a 650 with case feeder.

As you can see, my needs and wants may not be yours, but you need to consider the weakness of each press over the strengths of each press as it is the weaknesses that will drive you crazy.
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Old August 29, 2012, 10:21 PM   #17
1stmar
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Dillon 550, love it. Have never second guessed it. Great warranty, great service, excellent product. Cant say enough about how much I like it and the company
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Old August 29, 2012, 10:25 PM   #18
farmerboy
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It sounds like you have the money and your mind is close to being made on the progressive but on my rock chucker only about 1-2 primers hit the floor out of 1000. Also when you get die adjusted for a certain bullet you set it with a set screw and changing dies is about 2 seconds. Even not set dies can be set up in about 10 seconds. Some people just love progressives and some only love single stages. Me I love single stage because I like to concentrate on one progress because I love precision. But that's how I feel on presses. Quality not quantity. And I know I'll have others chime the opposite and that's fine and In the end I'll still be cranking on the Rock chucker. You'll have a blast with whatever you choose.
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Old August 29, 2012, 10:42 PM   #19
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If you don't go with a progressive, I would suggest you check out the Lee Precision Classic Turret. If you go to Midway USA and check out owner reviews/comments you will see that the Classic Turret is the highest rated turret press regardless of price. I recommend you consider Modern Reloading by Richard Lee. It is inexpensive and until Midway stopped selling the ABCs of Reloading, Modern Reloading was higher rated. Richard Lee has done more for reloading than any other individual. You could add Lyman's 49th and you would be good to go.
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Old August 29, 2012, 10:54 PM   #20
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I started with a Lee kit. Loaded thousands of rounds, both pistol and rifle, with it. The press (Challenger?) was not up to case forming .... broke the toggle links twice. Lee replaced them free, but I have since replaced the press (found a Redding on sale). I still use all the rest of the Lee stuff, and have bought another priming tool (one each for large and small primers)...... I also have a hand press kit, which is great for reloading at the shooting bench or p-dog town...... welcome to the wonderful world of rollin' yer own!
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