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Old October 31, 1999, 10:14 AM   #1
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I am planning on getting into the wonderful world of reloading. I've been doing some reading and browsing around on the internet. I plan to mainly reload 30-06, .270, and 45acp rounds. Before I commit to a reloader I would like your opinions on which brand of reloader is "best". A salesman almost won me over on a hornady, but how does hornady compare to lee, dillion, RCBS, etc....?
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Old October 31, 1999, 01:38 PM   #2
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I'm of the opinion that folks starting to reload should start with a single stage press.
That said, you will not go wrong with RCBS. If you're on a budget, consider the "Partner" press, by RCBS. It is the least expensive decent press on the market.
Until you learn a bit about your needs - and manuals should be your first purchase, several! - avoid Lee. They make many fine products, but some of them are not manufactured as well as they were designed.
My half-vast opinion, but the ONLY presses I've seen sprung were Lee. Their collet neck dies are well worth buying, tho, I use them all the time.
Read much and ask questions a lot.

The Bill of Rights, and the Golden Rule are enough for civilized behavior. The rest is window dressing. Shoot carefully, swifter...

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Old October 31, 1999, 04:54 PM   #3
John Lawson
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Opinions differ, of course, but I began loading on a progressive loader more than 45 years ago because I would rather shoot than reload. A lot has happened to progressive loaders since the old Star, which I still have.
The most versatile loading press is the Dillon 550. You will only need one shell plate for the 3 calibers you mentioned, but you would need a powder funnel, smaller powder measure slide and dies with the approprriate press tops.
This is a lifetime investment, and since nobody loads with a single stage press these days, buy what you will be using.
If you set up a loading rhythm, do not let yourself be distracted and use common sense, loading with a progressive is as safe and certain as with a single stage, which takes forever to turn out a batch of loaded rounds.
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Old October 31, 1999, 10:10 PM   #4
Join Date: October 15, 1999
Location: Toccoa, Georgia, USA
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It is my firm belief that anyone new to reloading needs to start simple. Several reloading manuals by such as Speer, Nosler or from many of the other companies. A good single stage press (RCBS is excellent), and a willingness to learn, which you have exhibited. Learn the process of reloading, enjoy the satisfaction of building a round from the bottom up to accurately match the weapon. And learn to do it safely. I agree with swifter about Lee presses, both single stage and progressive. Once you get the hang of it you can go to a progressive with some knowledge and confidence. By the way, for all of my bolt action rifles in 30-06, 308, 30-30, and 243 I've loaded on a single stage press for 20 years.

[This message has been edited by preacher (edited October 31, 1999).]
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Old October 31, 1999, 11:19 PM   #5
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Just look at the posts in response to the same question from "theothermarc" on 27 Oct. I think everything is convered in detail.

Regards, Mikey
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Old November 2, 1999, 11:19 AM   #6
Alan B
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Get a Dillion 550b it costs more but with one caliber change and two extra powder funnels and two tool heads you will have ever thing you need except the dies. Dillion has great customer support if you have trouble they will spend hours talking to you on the phone helping you work it outif need be, and they are happy to do it. Also the Dillion pistol dies are more expensive but I like them better. I use dillion pistol dies and lee rifle dies. Dillion has the best warranty too if. If your cash straped buy a dillion AT500 It cost less than $200 and can be upgraded to a 550b
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Old November 3, 1999, 04:40 PM   #7
Join Date: September 15, 1999
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From the only guy who bought a single-stage press in this day and age to start reloading,...

To learn how it works, start with your .45's and buy one of the cheap Lee starter kits. This $75 (MidwayUSA) investment will get you basic equipment and also get you a small press that will easily reload straight walled pistol cases. Later on, you can use it for universal decapping or some other such work that a small press is good for.

I started with the next-to-cheapest Lee single-stage and am still going strong after some minor modifications and ingenuity on my part. I can produce about 150-200 rounds per hour (2 single-stages going simultaneously, bell/powder and seat/crimp) and it's perfect for my demands and space concerns. [corrected my production rate - timed myself last night and I'm *nowhere* near 300-400 per hour!!!]

Don't push off single-stage as it gives you ultimate control over every stage of production and is a great way to learn the ropes before you go progressive. Plus, your dies can be used when you make the step up!

Best of luck, enjoy the sport,

[This message has been edited by LongDuck (edited November 04, 1999).]
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Old November 4, 1999, 01:32 AM   #8
Art Eatman
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If you go thru the archives, you'll see my comments about used stuff, particularly the press...
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Old November 4, 1999, 12:16 PM   #9
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I started with a Dillon XL650 and have never looked back. I eventually got a single stage press for decapping and certain low volume (# of reloads) magnum rifle cartridges. Dillon is expensive, but the customer service is great and the quality superior. I am very happy with my decision, and would make the same one again.

It is far better to dare mighty things, though riddled with failure, than to live in the dull grey of mediocrity.
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Old November 4, 1999, 08:06 PM   #10
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Solo, Go with Dillon! I have Lyman, RCBS, etc
but Dillon is where it is. I love to see this thread start and evolve from time to time.
IMHFO single stage presses are the way to learn the art and science of making excellent ammo, not just making fodder. That's my own oppinion. As for the equipment go with Dillon! Reason? If you need to call you will be talking to the manufacturer not his sales rep. And yes, I do reload match rifle ammo on a RL 650 with case feeder now.
Have fun.
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Old November 6, 1999, 08:14 AM   #11
Join Date: July 23, 1999
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I am of the opinion that it is better to start with what you are going to use. Most people reloading end up shooting more than they anticipated in the beginning, then they spend more money acquiring the larger, more refined progressive machines with all the bells and whistles. If you are of average intelligence and can read, you can reload safely. The key is to remember that YOU are the quality control department.

As for loaders, I highly recommend Dillon. I have used RCBS and Lee, finally ending up with a Dillon. Superior quality, service, and you always deal with the manufacturer any time you call. You can't go wrong with either the 550 or 650.
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Old November 14, 1999, 12:28 AM   #12
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What could one expect to spend for a decent **COMPLETE** reloading setup (single stage) to turn out .45 ACP, .308, AND .223? I am a total newbie to reloading (know nothing basically), and the thought of reloading intrigues me. What kind of savings could I see in the cost of reloading versus purchasing factory? I can normally get ammo locally for $10.99 for .45 ACP (50rnds), $13 for .308 (20rnds), and $4.99 for .223 (20rounds). I'm not sure if it makes sense money wise in my situation though. I normally shoot 150rounds of .45 ACP monthly, 100 rounds of .223 and 40 rounds .308. Does it make sense for me to begin reloading given these averages? Any and ALL advice is helpful. Any good links on the net for reloading for the newbie?

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Old November 14, 1999, 11:29 AM   #13
Join Date: June 23, 1999
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Your dollar savings in reloading is roughly 50%, depending on the price you pay for components.

Component pricing is largely based on the volume purchased & where you buy it.

Start with small amounts though, untill you settle on what works don't want to be stuck with 85 pounds of powder you can't use.

You should first buy 4 or 5 different loading manuals & read (study) them....worlds of valuable information there.

You may want to look at starter kits. RCBS makes one with everything you need to start & it's built around their Rock Chucker single stage press which is super strong & well built.

Should you eventually want to move up to a progressive press, you'll still find the Rock Chucker very usefull.

And, the single stage will produce just as good reloads, is much more user friendly & costs much less.

The major advantage of progressive reloaders is they are faster.

Lee Precision makes very good dies at very reasonable prices. They also make very unique & functional accessories like powder measures,both hand held & press mounted priming tools, case trimmers, factory crimp & collet neck size dies.

But, the thing you'll like most about reloading is the self gratification you'll have from shooting a round that matches or surpasses factory ammo that you created & it costs less.

A warm fuzzy feeling ? Well, maybe not but, you'll hold your head a little higher I betch'a.


Ralph in In.

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Old November 15, 1999, 12:21 PM   #14
Deputy Al
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Here's my 2 cents' worth.......unlike a lot of the folks who post here, I load a large number of calibers (31) but relatively small numbers of cartridges in most of those calibers. I have used a single stage press for all my reloading activities since 1979, and it works well in my circumstances. I enjoy the crafting of ammunition, especially since most of firearms are obsolete and in "out of print" calibers. General rule--bolt and lever rifles are well-served by a single stage press, but self-loading rifles and all handguns (except T/C Contenders) practically shout for a progressive setup. The single stage setup will still be nice to have around for load workups and experimentation, however.
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