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Old June 26, 2013, 07:41 PM   #1
Bobby1243
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gonna buy my first press kit what should I get

I've never loaded ammo before but am very intrested what kit should I get to start and also any advice?
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Old June 26, 2013, 07:48 PM   #2
David Bachelder
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I like RCBS and Hornady, I have never owned a LEE, Lyman or Redding or any of the others. If you go single stage most all available "O" frame presses are good. The main thing is customer service, RCBS and Hornady have legendary customer service. Not familiar with any other companies service so I can't comment.

If you go progressive I'd suggest the Hornady LNL but thats just me.

OCYMMV.
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Old June 26, 2013, 07:51 PM   #3
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I speak from experience, round up all components first...then the press last. The press is the easiest to get. Had I known how difficult it was going to be to get powders and bullets etc....I may not have started this hobby. Wish someone had told me, what I just told you. I'm into it at over $1K right now...and I haven't reloaded my first round yet. And who knows how long this "shortage" cycle will last. Just my 2 cents worth.

Last edited by Swampman1; June 26, 2013 at 08:56 PM.
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Old June 26, 2013, 07:54 PM   #4
David Bachelder
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Hornady - https://www.midsouthshooterssupply.c...ku=00005085003

or

https://www.midsouthshooterssupply.c...ku=00005085010


RCBS - https://www.midsouthshooterssupply.c...?sku=000449361

If you decide on single stage RCBS, I wouldn't get any thing but the RockChucker.
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Old June 26, 2013, 07:59 PM   #5
Oceanbob
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Quote:
I speak from experience, round up all components first...then the press last. The press is the easiest to get. Had I known how difficult it was going to be to get powders and bullets etc....I may not have started this hobby. Wish someone had told me, what I just told you. And who knows how long this "shortage" cycle will last. Just my cents worth
This is good advice considering the times we live in^^^^^^^

The good thing about reloading components is you can always sell them. I consider ammunition the new GOLD in todays political climate and nationwide shortage. (hoarding frenzy).

If you go progressive I would recommend a DILLON product.

http://www.brianenos.com/pages/dillon.html

I've been reloading for 35 years and after 10 years with various brands, I switched to a Dillon 1050 and Dillon 550B. Incredible customer service as well. Incredible warranty. (life time for most).

Dillons are BLUE and the others are RED so the battle is between Blue and Red

Good luck!
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Old June 26, 2013, 09:01 PM   #6
Swampman1
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Hate to be the killjoy here, but I don't know if it would be practical to go with a progressive under the circumstances today. Buying a progressive, means you plan on reloading a lot of ammo fairly often. Reloading a lot of ammo fairly often, means you have a lot of components available. Get my meaning?
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Old June 26, 2013, 09:07 PM   #7
Lost Sheep
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Welcome and thanks

Welcome to the forum and to reloading. Thanks for asking our advice.

Aside from eye protection and manuals, you only need three things (physically) to load good ammo. (Of course, you would be severely limited in some ways, but capable of producing one round at a time, but safely.)

Press because fingers are not strong enough to form metal
Dies because fingers are not accurate enough to form metal to SAAMI specs
Scale (or calibrated dippers) because eyeballs are not accurate enough to measure out gunpowder.

A set of calipers would be a good idea, too, just to verify dimensions.

Everything else can be done without, substituted for or improvised until you can afford to buy good, quality gear.

But it is more efficient and cost effective to get equipment that fits your needs now and for the near/foreseeable future.

We could target our advice better if you shared some information about yourself: (What I use has no relevance to you if our needs are not similar.)

What calibers will you be reloading?

What quantities will you be reloading for those calibers? (Per month)

How much time will you be willing to devote to those quantities?

How large of production runs before swapping calibers?

What is your budget for the initial purchase?

Will you want to get your entire setup at once or, after an initial setup that does all you need, add accessories and conveniences as your experience suggests and finances permit?

Will you be putting your gear away after each session or leave it set up permanently?

How much space will you devote permanently to a loading area, if any?

Do you want it to be portable?

What are your shooting goals? Cheap ammo? Ultimate long-range accuracy? Casual plinking, Serious competition - what kind? Cowboy Action Shooting? Strictly hunting? Personal defense? Skills development?

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Old June 26, 2013, 10:02 PM   #8
Misssissippi Dave
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You do need to have components to reload. Without them even the very best press, scale, powder measure etc won't be doing a thing.

My first suggestion to anyone thinking about reloading is to save their brass now. Even if you never get around to reloading you can sell the brass to those that do reload or simply take it in to be recycled and get some cash for your trouble. Having some 5 gallon buckets full of pistol brass is always a good thing to have if you are planning to ever load pistol ammo. Pistols seem to go through large quantities quickly. The same can be said for .223/5.56 ammo.

Without knowing your budget, calibers and how much you would like to reload per week/month/year it is hard to say where to start. Another question is how much time do you have available per week to reload? When you can answer these questions maybe the people here can respond more to your wants/disires.

Once someone gets into reloading they tend to spend as much money on components per year as they did on ammo before they started to reload. The big difference is they are shooting nearly twice as much.

Many people start reloading to save money. Saving money only happens if you don't shoot more. Many new reloaders also are only interested in ammo that cycles there gun in the beginning but later start looking for ammo that is also more accurate then the cheapest thing on the store shelves. Then there are those looking for the perfect load for their gun. It really depends on what you are looking for now and later as to the type of reloading you might be doing.
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Old June 27, 2013, 06:07 AM   #9
Bobby1243
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Ok my budget not very much prob 100 bucks a week
I will be loading prob about 200 to 300 rounds a week maybe less
Mostly 357 38 and 9mm
I want to get more rounds for my buck and its so hard to find any ammo in fl right now
Thanks for yalls help so far
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Old June 27, 2013, 07:01 AM   #10
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+1 to Lost Sheep
Before you buy anything try to find someone that has been loading for some time. They can help you understand the process.
The other thing is to see what they use and if they have been loading for some time they can tell you what’s junk out there. Here are some suggestions.
Lead bullets, that’s about all I shoot any more even in 9mm, I like Penn
http://www.pennbullets.com/38/38-caliber.html
If you have to buy cases then ether buy them from friend that don’t reload (I offer from 2 to 5 cents per case) or buy Starline brass.
http://www.starlinebrass.com/
Buy nothing but carbide sizing dies. I like Redding and their competition pro series. They are expensive but the dial caliper setting on the seating die is my favorite. Truthfully all the manufactures make good dies it’s just some have better features but you have to pay for them.
http://www.redding-reloading.com/ind...eries-die-sets
With the number of rounds you’re going to load you don’t need a progressive loader. A single stage press will do you fine. I would suggest getting one of the reloading kits. You’ll get everything you will need to start other than the dies. You don’t need to go with the RCBS but the Rock chucker is my favorite single stage press.
http://www.cabelas.com/product/RCBS-...Fac7MgodlxMA3g

Keep one thing in mind, reloading will not save you money, no, all it does is allow you to shoot more which will get you to load more which will get you to shoot more, its a never ending circle till you find that 10,000 rounds a year are easy.
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Old June 27, 2013, 07:05 AM   #11
Misssissippi Dave
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This does help a lot. The first problem you are going to run into is finding primers. If you have a local gun shop with primers in stock you will be able to get over the problem. You are going to need small pistol primers more than anything else. There are only a few powders that require a small pistol magnum primer for .357 magnum loads. There are places on line where you can get bullets. 9 mm bullets will be the hardest to find right now but with some patience you can get them. .38 specials are the easiest to load of all these calibers. It is a good place to start. Another thing in short suppy is brass. You can just save your brass from factory ammo to reload. I can find bullets and powder now. It may take from a few weeks to a month to find the bullets and powder I want to use. It is hard to find brass and primers.

I suggest getting a book on reloading before you buy anything. Getting a good working knowledge of what you are getting into will go a long way to make things safer and easier to do. The ABC's of Reloading is one of them. Speer and Hornady also make good books. You really can't have too many of them.

When you have more time than money for a press a single stage press makes sense. If you have only 2 or 3 hours a week you can spend reloading the Lee Classic Turret press will work even better. It can be used as a single stage to learn on and then switched to a full turret to increase speed later. You really are only at the minimum to be able to make any of the progressive presses worth while. The faster the press is the more money you will have to spend just for equipment. The faster presses also tend to go through your components much faster per hour too. That last order of powder, primers and bullets will be gone in short order but you will have plenty of ammo to shoot. This is assuming you can get these things. Several companies are also running a backlog on presses and dies for reloading. It may take a little while to get them as well. 6 months before the current shortage everything was easy to find. Since November it has been difficult to find the things you need to reload.

Later in the year, it should be better to buy components for reloading once manufactures start catching up with their backlogs. At the same time ammo should start showing up on the shelves. Reloaders are normally the last people to get components during shortages. We make up for this by stocking up on the things we need when supplies are good to ride out the times of shortages. This is why many reloaders still have ammo now when there isn't any to be found in the stores.

I'm not trying to get you to give up on the idea of reloading your own ammo. I just want you to know what to expect. The present time is not really the best time. It is a great time to start reading up on it. It may take a little while to absorb it to do it safely. This gives you time to track down the hard to find items like brass and primers. Depending on where you are and the local supplies maybe even powder and bullets. The presses and dies you can get if you are willing to wait 2 or 3 weeks. Some are available at the LGS now.
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Old June 27, 2013, 07:54 AM   #12
dahermit
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The best way to start handloading is to use a Lee Loader. It is inexpensive, it works and you will learn the basics of handloading. It is simple and all-inclusive. As you become more involved in handloading, you can always buy more equipment as needed. I started that way in the sixties, and is the best way to start today.


http://leeprecision.com/reloading-ki...loader-pistol/
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Old June 27, 2013, 08:03 AM   #13
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I really do not understand the doom and gloom about finding components. That is simply rubbish period. It is true that some Local stores will be out and all of the big on line sites are just swamped but there are way to many other places that have more than enough supplies of powder, bullets and powder and brass.

Over the past two months this is what I have been able to buy without any real price mark up.I have been able to reload what I want when I want and what I needed.

Bullets

5,000 Hornady 223 55gr FMJBT - supplies still shown and shipped same day from that vender.

4,000 lead each 380, 9mm, 40 & 45. The longest time took 4 weeks when ordered my 380 directly from Missouri bullets. The rest bought locally at three different shops.

25 pounds of powder, 231, auto comp, RL-7, RL-15. RL-19 From two different vendors including one of the most popular ones.

A total of 10,000 primers split between Winchester small and large pistol, large rifle and Remington small bench rest rifle. I could have bought more but had a nice supply. Price was around $30 a box when I bought them.

2,000 - 223 brass once fired, 500 new 380 brass

My tip is to check on line site regularly. Order bulk when possible to save on both shipping and hazmat fees. Search for the little guys or at least the least popular. For example when buy can find things on Powder Valley it will take some time. Cabellas , Midaway and the other popular sites are hit every day making it hard to get supplies.

However there are far more smaller or less popular ones out there that have components and can ship today. A lot of these vendors are mention in that one single where is everything thread. A fast check today and the one has had Winchester small and large primers in stock all week. They now limit to 2,000 but bundle it with some powder up to 8 lbs and save on the hazmat fee.

So I say get started and have fun.
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Old June 27, 2013, 08:44 AM   #14
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Quote:
25 pounds of powder, 231, auto comp, RL-7, RL-15. RL-19 From two different vendors including one of the most popular ones.
That's great. 231 is what I've been looking for, and nobody seems to have. Give me the name and I'll order some immediately.
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Old June 27, 2013, 10:29 AM   #15
Farmland
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Come on you have to try looking.
I think this place may still have it in stock. If not there are others just look around and search.

http://www.degraaffinc.com/product_p/3011.htm
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Old June 27, 2013, 11:54 AM   #16
Swampman1
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Holy smokes! $65 plus $29.50 hazmat-almost $85 for 1 lb is ridiculous. I guess you're right. It's available, no way I'd pay those prices. I have 8 lbs for $124 ordered along w/ primers to absorb hazmat fee....I'll wait.
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Old June 27, 2013, 01:36 PM   #17
Farmland
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Even I had to smile on that one, it sure looks like a little larger than a 1lb container but it does say 1 lb. There are others out there but you just have to look. I don't over pay because there is no reason to do so. Though I bundle as much as I can to off set the hazmat fees.

Watch this company I have bought a lot of powder from them over the past month. I see they had primers in the Am.

http://store.thirdgenerationshootingsupply.com/
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Old June 27, 2013, 02:29 PM   #18
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What these guys said...

I am just getting started myself, though I had been picking up stuff piecemeal (sort of) for a year or so before the "panic" hit. I started with "The ABC's of Reloading" then picked up a Lyman manual, as well as one from Hornady. Never hurts to have more than one, and the Hornady had Garand specific data.

As far as equipment, got a Lee Classic Turret kit with .45 Colt carbide dies from Kempf Gun Shop. Opted for the Pro Auto Disk upgrade.

The turret setup is nice, because you can remove the auto-indexing rod and use the press as single stage until you get comfortable. Easier to turn the turret by hand than change dies as well.

Added an RCBS 505 scale, Frankford Arsenal digital calipers, extra turret, some Lee dies for .38 spl. and a bullet puller.

Got powder, bullets and primers from gun shows and a reloading shop that was not too far from where I used to live. Local is where it's at for me, as I'm not getting enough at a time to deal with hazmat fees. Brass I had been saving up from shooting factory, and some reloads that were thrown in with my Rossi 92 (see bullet puller above, not shooting unknown reloads).

I'm cutting my teeth on straight walled pistol (okay, okay, revolver) cartridges to get the hang of it, before moving on to .30-06 for my M1. Bought a used set of RCBS dies from a member on another forum. That's gonna open a whole new can o' worms, as I'll need a case trimmer, lube paraphernalia, possibly a case gauge and a primer pocket swager. The last is due to the fact that the majority of my brass is going to be after I shoot up the HXP I got from the CMP. Crimped primers, don'tcha know. Already got a case chamfer tool. On my way!

Lastly, I would also recommend finding a mentor if possible. I am going it alone, except for the helpful folk on this and a couple other forums, and would be more confident with a seasoned vet looking over my shoulder. Either way, take your time, read ALL the directions and don't get ahead of yourself. It's easy to do.

Also,this.

Last edited by 9mmfan; June 27, 2013 at 02:46 PM. Reason: Added some links.
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Old June 27, 2013, 04:12 PM   #19
osirus82
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Im new to the reloading scene also, I used to go hunting when i was a kid and was around some reloading back then, I love to shot, so i figured it's time to start reloading. I already bought a dillon 650xl and recieved it a couple days after ordering, the only thing they had on back order was the carbide die's for .308 win. no worries ill just collect reloading hardware and componets until they come. I have dies for .38spl, 9mm, 30-30, 300winmag and another????--- I need a couple more books, case trimmer, electronic powder scale, and digital calipers before i set up my bench and get started. I also need to build a reloading bench to use but have to figure out where i want my reloading setup.

I have 20ft of 2x1" stainless steel rectangle tube that I will use to make my reloading bench but i need to decide on dimensions so i can get some 1/2'' steel sheet for the top of the table.

I will be reloading for a .308 Fnar to start, and progress to .40 and 9mm for now. happy reloading
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Old June 27, 2013, 08:44 PM   #20
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Well guess its worse other places, locally powder and primers are a huge issue, couple local shops have in stock powder and small pistol primers regularly, the large pistol primers are less avaible but show up occationally. But bullets lead cast are fairly available threw a few sorces such as http://www.friendswoodbullet.com/ or https://www.rimrockbullets.net/catalog/ now if you like(or don't mind) plated bullets I highly recommend http://www.shop.rmrbullets.com/ , just don't go buying up all the inventory leave a little for me . Good luck
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Old June 27, 2013, 10:10 PM   #21
Lost Sheep
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Unsolicited advice: Unless you have a gun chambered specifically for 38 Special (or a good-sized stock of 38 brass already on hand) I would suggest doing what I do: I don't own a single piece of 38 Special brass. I do shoot a lot of .357 Magnum brass loaded to the powder level of 38 Special, though. It keeps my chambers cleaner and supply logistics simpler.

When I asked about your budget, I was thinking about the initial purchase of the loading gear. Ongoing purchases of components (powder, primers, bullets and replacement brass is another question). An outfit that will enable you to load the 2 calibers (.357/38 and 9mm) you mention could be assembled for between $250 and $400 for a really nice setup on a turret press. A bit less for a single stage. Figure your production rate at 50 per hour at first and faster as you gain experience. 60 to 75 per hour on a single stage and 125 to 200 per hour on an autoadvancing turret.

A progressive press for 300 rounds a week is justifiable, but just barely. A Lee Progressive will set you back $150 to $250 for press and dies for one caliber and another $60 for your second caliber and put you into the 200 rounds per hour range. A Dillon will set you back about twice that amount, but Dillons are more reliable and about twice as fast. Hornady and RCBS also make decent progressives. But I don't recommend starting loading on one unless you have a mentor who will give you a lot of one-on-one instruction and be your safety net.

I load for a half-dozen calibers in slightly higher quantities than you mention and have a first-class setup with everything I could possibly want. It could be duplicated at today's prices for about $700.


Tell us about yourself. It will help us help you.


What are your shooting goals? Cheap ammo? Ultimate long-range accuracy? Casual plinking, Serious competition - what kind? Cowboy Action Shooting? Strictly hunting? Personal defense? Skills development?

Lost Sheep
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Old June 27, 2013, 10:15 PM   #22
Lost Sheep
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See my posts #25 and 26 in this thread.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...=525710&page=2

For that matter, read the whole thread. It is worth it.

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Old June 30, 2013, 08:54 AM   #23
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Lyman

The Lyman expert kits are hard to beat , single stage (Orange Crusher) or Turret (T-Mag II) . I think they're the only kits that come with a real case trimmer !
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Old June 30, 2013, 07:18 PM   #24
Bobby1243
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I think I've decided on the lee classic turret now I just gotta find one
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Old June 30, 2013, 08:53 PM   #25
57K
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I haven't thoroughly read all the replies just kinda skimmed over them. I'm a big fan of REDDING dies and either the Boss or Big Boss single-stage presses. For more automation, the LEE Classic Turret Press is probably the best value for the $. The reason I just glossed over the replies was because I get an email just about every working day from Midway and they have the Rockchucker Kit on sale that comes complete with everything you need except dies for $319 I believe it was and that's a great deal.
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