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Old November 21, 2010, 05:27 PM   #11
Lost Sheep
Senior Member
Join Date: January 24, 2009
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Posts: 3,340
Here's my reloading setup, which I think you might want to model.

Ultra12, welcome to the forum and thanks for asking our advice.

If you get a single stage, do get one with the bushings that allow quickly changing dies. It's a nice convenience, though each bushing is a few dollars, it saves you about a minute each time you change dies....for the rest of your reloading life.

I started out with an RCBS Jr single stage press 35 years ago and switched a couple of years later to a RockChucker (which I still have). Not because the Jr was inadequate, but because the RockChucker came in a trade with a pair of Lee Progressives (Pro-1000). However I have since retired them in favor of the Lee Classic Turret. Operating the progressives was too complicated for my comfort level. I like simple. (Or maybe I am simple; who knows?)

The Turret Presses can be operated like a single stage, with one turret head set up for each caliber. Just leave the dies in the turret heads and switch them for each caliber. The Lee Classic Turret has the advantage that the turret head can remain stationary or be made to rotate each die station in turn, automatically. Lee's is the only turret that does that, to my knowledge.

You mentioned you live in the City. If storage space is a consideration, that would be another reason to stay away from progressives. They tend to be a little larger than single-stage or turrets. When I started reloading, everything I used fit in a footlocker and could be set up on an end table (with my powder scale sitting on the separate coffee table).

I also recommend a dropcloth. Spread it out to catch any spilled powder, dropped primers (live or spent) and the inevitable carbon and primer residue that comes out of spent cartridges.

Recently, I just repackaged all the stuff I regularly use and will share with you the pieces of my reloading setup and how I store/transport them.

3 Toolboxes:

One it 23" x 10"x10" and contains my press (Lee Classic Turret), mounting system (a 2"x6" board that I clamp into a portable workbench or anything handy) a small "4"X8"X1.5" fishing tackle box to contain all the small parts & tools and the primer feeding system. There's room for a couple of manuals in there, too, but I store them on my bookshelf, with one next to the computer.

The second (15"x8"x8") contains all the gunpowder handling parts. Scale, funnel, Powder measure/dispenser and a set of Lee's measuring scoops/dippers and my loading safety glasses (as opposed to my shooting glasses).

The third (15"x7"x7") contains seven sets of reloading dies, mounted in their turrets inside their plastic storage cylinders, ready to plug into the press and use.

With my folding workbench, I can set up my reloading room anywhere in just a few minutes.

I did not include the RockChucker because I rarely ever use it any more. The turret does all my loading just fine and is much faster and just as simple to operate. But I will not get rid of the RC, simply because it has that super strength. Though, I were to do it over again, I believe I would spend the extra money for a Forster.

You mentioned that you already have a gift certificate for, but you should check out if you decide to go with Lee. Also check out Sue Graf was very helpful to me and they are one of the few places that put togeter a decent kit for the Classic Turret. Their kit includes everything (including dies) except a scale.

Good luck, good shopping.

Look for my next post, entitled "10 Advices for the novice handloader"

Lost Sheep
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