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Old October 29, 2011, 03:29 PM   #21
Senior Member
Join Date: February 24, 2010
Posts: 439
Just to echo and somewhat consolidate what others have said:

To just load for one specific caliber so I could shoot more for the same $$$ and not for doing serious load development I think I could get away with the following:

Dies + shellholder
hand priming tool
powder scoops

If you buy Lee dies then they come with the appropriate powder scoop and a set of recommended safe loads to use that scoop with.

I would strongly suggest adding an extra $30 and getting a powder scale. Weighing individual charges is slow, but having the scale adds a world of flexibility to your load development by not being tied to only the powders that work with your scoop. It also allows you to customize your own scoops to quickly dispense your favorite load.

You'll notice I put a hand priming tool in the list of essentials. To be strictly accurate it is possible to prime on the press, but the little Lee priming tool speeds up the process tremendously.

When I started reloading in 1980 I had a Lee Loader in 357 magnum, the Lee powder scoops and a RCBS powder scale. 31 years later I'm still using the same RCBS scale and I even occasionally use one of the powder scoops. I think I paid $35 for the RCBS scale back then and it sure felt like a lot of money, but now it works out to $1.13 per year. I'm pretty sure I've gotten more than $1.13 per year of value out of it. You have to think of these tools as lifetime investments, because it's doubtful you'll even need to replace them.
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