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Old November 14, 2017, 12:02 PM   #1
jamesf553
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Good loading station kit for .338 lm

Hey,

I've been purchasing factory .338 lm ammo. I'm looking to get into reloading.

Can you recommend a good starter kit? I saw a hornady kit for about 350.00 but I just don't want to buy one and it turns out the press is too small for .338 or something along those lines. Any suggestions? Would like to keep it below 500.00 if possible.

I am going to just be using lapua brass/projectiles.
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Old November 14, 2017, 01:53 PM   #2
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RCBS makes some good equipment. Inline Fabrication makes great riser stands for a variety of press makers.
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Old November 14, 2017, 02:09 PM   #3
jamesf553
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Below is what I ordered. I also order the lymans 50th guide. Do you think this press will be sufficient? Anything else you can think of I'll need besides a case trimmer?

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000P...rzL&ref=plSrch

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01NA...2BL&ref=plSrch

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B008P...RLL&ref=plSrch
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Old November 14, 2017, 02:21 PM   #4
Don Fischer
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So, what can you afford? I pretty much load only Hornady bullet's and SMK bullet's. I do it on an RCBS Rockchucker press. Works fine. The real answer IMO, is buy what you can afford. Anyone out there will do what you want. Never tried Hornady dies but have RCBS, Forrester, Lyman, Herter, Lee and maybe a couple other's, they all work well. Of course if you buy Lee, a lot of people will take you off their Christmas list!

EDIT:
Forgot I also have some Redding dies.
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Old November 14, 2017, 02:36 PM   #5
jamesf553
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Thanks Don. I mean all in all I wanted to stay around 500.00 total for everything I need. I bought the kit, the dies, a .338 bushing set, and a digital caliper.

I more or less just wanted to make sure of what you verified in your answer "they all can do it". That's really all I wanted to make sure of. Since I'm new to reloading I didn't know if you needed a certain press for a certain caliber. Started reading a bunch today which lead to the above purchases. Unfortunately I wish case trimmers weren't so much. 70.00 was the minimum I saw.
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Old November 14, 2017, 02:51 PM   #6
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I recommend you buy The ABC's of Reloading and read cover to cover before you reload your first cartridge. Good luck and I hope you enjoy your new hobby

https://www.amazon.com/ABCs-Reloadin...40_&dpSrc=srch
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Old November 14, 2017, 02:54 PM   #7
jamesf553
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Will do! Just ordered it. I'm definitely going to do my research.

One of the main reasons I want to start is because I live in NY. .338 ammo is scarce here unless I order it online and have it shipped to the store. It's expensive, and lapua ammo is never in stock anywhere. I'm no professional marksman in any sense of the word, just plinking and practicing.

Last edited by jamesf553; November 14, 2017 at 02:59 PM.
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Old November 14, 2017, 03:07 PM   #8
Mississippi
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One of the reasons I began seriously reloading was because of a .338 Lapua Magnum.

I started with the RCBS starter kit that came with a rock chucker supreme, 5-0-5 scale, hand primer, uniflow powder measure, and some other stuff.

Some advice.

Buy Lapua brass. It will last longer and give better results. Without annealing, at max load pressures, I got 9 reloads.

the 300 grain match king and 300 grain Lapua scenars gave me the best accuracy without having to worry much about seating depth. The hornady 285's were ok, but didn't group as well as the match kings or scenars.

Retumbo powder gave the most consistent results for me.

My rifle has a 1:10 Twist so if yours is slower, i don't know how the 300 grain bullets will perform. I did find that the lighter bullets like the 250's and even the 270's didn't perform as well as the heavier 300 grain bullets.

I couldn't get the Berger's to shoot in that gun and still feed from the magazine so I gave up on them. They might work fine if I had been content to single load, but feeding from the mag was a requirement.

Some folks recommend using Federal 215 primers as they are hotter, but I found CCI-250's to work great with 91 grains of powder. My load is right around 2,880 fps with a 27" barrel.
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Old November 14, 2017, 03:13 PM   #9
jamesf553
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mississippi View Post
One of the reasons I began seriously reloading was because of a .338 Lapua Magnum.

I started with the RCBS starter kit that came with a rock chucker supreme, 5-0-5 scale, hand primer, uniflow powder measure, and some other stuff.

Some advice.

Buy Lapua brass. It will last longer and give better results. Without annealing, at max load pressures, I got 9 reloads.

the 300 grain match king and 300 grain Lapua scenars gave me the best accuracy without having to worry much about seating depth. The hornady 285's were ok, but didn't group as well as the match kings or scenars.

Retumbo powder gave the most consistent results for me.

My rifle has a 1:10 Twist so if yours is slower, i don't know how the 300 grain bullets will perform. I did find that the lighter bullets like the 250's and even the 270's didn't perform as well as the heavier 300 grain bullets.

I couldn't get the Berger's to shoot in that gun and still feed from the magazine so I gave up on them. They might work fine if I had been content to single load, but feeding from the mag was a requirement.

Some folks recommend using Federal 215 primers as they are hotter, but I found CCI-250's to work great with 91 grains of powder. My load is right around 2,880 fps with a 27" barrel.
Awesome thank you for the advice! I was planning on just using lapua brass and bullets. I have a savage 110ba stealth. The online spec says 9.3 twist rate. I planned on trying both scenars and the locking ones.
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Old November 14, 2017, 03:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Buy Lapua brass. It will last longer and give better results. Without annealing, at max load pressures, I got 9 reloads.
2 hours and one response between pulling (the reloading handle) I think that is a record (grin)

While the OP is well on his way (and buying before getting much advice) for others, RP is very good brass.

I feel it is as good as Lapua

I know that is heresey, but the Lapua I have bought was sub standard with dents and I trimmed it before loading as the chamfer was non existent.

While I have Lapua I don't think I would buy anomore.

I was getting 6 to 8 reloads out of FC and that was the worst brass for longevity (nice to reload, a bit dicey on sizing as its soft)

I saw a test run on almost all the brass. Lapua did not rate as high as RP.

Normal rated by far the best.

Hornady has a good manual, one of the best and I would get that and theSierra manual.

Their current bullet seater works well.

The rest including their brass is over priced and I don't think their brass is very good. Very light.

I am still working on longevity for PPU but that also has been good brass to date.

Some difficulties in dealing with Hornady by others. I have never had to. Pretty snooty people. Some good stuff including bullets but the attitude is distressing.

RCBS has always been awesome and usually just sends parts with no question.

I have not had a chance to use the Supreme, probably never will as I have a back up Chucker non supreme area 1980.

The only one not is need to send in the Kinetic I wrecked, cost a few bucks to mail.
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Old November 15, 2017, 02:58 PM   #11
jamesf553
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mississippi View Post
One of the reasons I began seriously reloading was because of a .338 Lapua Magnum.

I started with the RCBS starter kit that came with a rock chucker supreme, 5-0-5 scale, hand primer, uniflow powder measure, and some other stuff.

Some advice.

Buy Lapua brass. It will last longer and give better results. Without annealing, at max load pressures, I got 9 reloads.

the 300 grain match king and 300 grain Lapua scenars gave me the best accuracy without having to worry much about seating depth. The hornady 285's were ok, but didn't group as well as the match kings or scenars.

Retumbo powder gave the most consistent results for me.

My rifle has a 1:10 Twist so if yours is slower, i don't know how the 300 grain bullets will perform. I did find that the lighter bullets like the 250's and even the 270's didn't perform as well as the heavier 300 grain bullets.

I couldn't get the Berger's to shoot in that gun and still feed from the magazine so I gave up on them. They might work fine if I had been content to single load, but feeding from the mag was a requirement.

Some folks recommend using Federal 215 primers as they are hotter, but I found CCI-250's to work great with 91 grains of powder. My load is right around 2,880 fps with a 27" barrel.
Mississippi, question for you.

I have been purchasing sellier and bellot 250 grain ammo to plink with before I got the reloading kit. Seemed to get good accuracy out of it considering how affordable it was.

I saved the brass. Before I start loading premium lapua brass, do you think it'd be a good idea to clean the sellier brass up and start with that? I figure it gives me something to practice on.

I ordered 200 lapua 300 grain scenar bullets (they were out of the lock base) and I have like 20 sellier brass. Possible/safe to reuse it?

Also a bonus question. Do you think I should get a crimper for the neck of the cases? From what I've read so far it seems with bolt action you don't need to worry about it. I have an m1a scout that eventually I'll reload for I'm sure so maybe it's worth it? I know it's probably not the case but I'd hate to have bullets falling out of cases or getting pushed in lol
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Old November 15, 2017, 03:22 PM   #12
T. O'Heir
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"...was sub standard with..." No BNIB brass is ready to load. None of it is chamfered either. Lapua stuff has come half way around the world in a big box too. Mind you, there's nothing special about it. It's expensive because it comes from Europe. Not because of the quality.
Anyway, the .338 doesn't require a special press. Look into an RCBS Beginner's Kit and buy a Lyman manual too.
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Old November 15, 2017, 06:26 PM   #13
Mississippi
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Quote:
Mississippi, question for you.

I have been purchasing sellier and bellot 250 grain ammo to plink with before I got the reloading kit. Seemed to get good accuracy out of it considering how affordable it was.

I saved the brass. Before I start loading premium lapua brass, do you think it'd be a good idea to clean the sellier brass up and start with that? I figure it gives me something to practice on.

I ordered 200 lapua 300 grain scenar bullets (they were out of the lock base) and I have like 20 sellier brass. Possible/safe to reuse it?

Also a bonus question. Do you think I should get a crimper for the neck of the cases? From what I've read so far it seems with bolt action you don't need to worry about it. I have an m1a scout that eventually I'll reload for I'm sure so maybe it's worth it? I know it's probably not the case but I'd hate to have bullets falling out of cases or getting pushed in lol

With respect to crimping...I don't crimp my bolt action rifle cartridges. That can be a contentious topic round these parts. I crimp for lever action, semi auto, and bih revolvers. But I do not crimp for bolt action rifle.


I have not tried seller and Beloit brass in my .338 LM

I have tried Hornady, it was too soft...had stuck cases at well below maximum pressure loads. Some even stuck at mid-range loads.

I have tried HSM.... decent brass. Not as durable as laupa. The weight of each piece was a bit scattered. It lasted 5 loads.

I have tried PPU. PPU would be decent for plinking. It's also inconsistent with respect to weight. Lasted on average 6 loads.

Lapua was by far the best. Weight of each case was within 1% of average. Needed almost no prep work to load. Shoots one hole groups at 200 yards with 300 Grain SMK'S and 91 graines of Retumbo at 2880 fps.

At 2750 FPS hornady cases had to be pounded out with a cleaning rod and mallet....lapua brass is tough stuff and the best in the .338 LM.

I started shooting and reloading the .338 Lapua when the only brass you could get was lapua, HSM, and Hornady. You could get ppu but only buy buying factory ammo and shooting it. And I am still using my 3rd batch of 100 pieces of lapua Brass with 12 firings on it... annealed at 4/8 and before this 12th load. I have already worn out a barrel on my M98B .338 and had it rebarreled.

Like crimping,some folks have strong opinions either way. Some folks will try and convince themselves, and you, that the cheap stuff is just as good. Sometimes it's true with an asterisk. I.E Winchester brass, if trimmed, sorted, culled, and primer pockets deburred and the necks turned, is great match brass. But Norma Brass pretty much comes without needing any of that.

So you can decide for yourself, but if you try lapua in the .338 LM, nothing else after that will be acceptable.




.....and yes loading for the M1A is TOTALLY worth it in terms of cost, accuracy, and most of all FUN!!

Last edited by Mississippi; November 15, 2017 at 09:44 PM.
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Old November 15, 2017, 09:19 PM   #14
jugornot
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For a trimmer I recommend WFT They need to be set and cleaned and are caliber specific. They are quick with a battery powered drill.

Bill
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Old November 21, 2017, 05:08 PM   #15
KenT7021
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The 338 LM has I use is sterile.I picked it up from an advertiser in the defunct Precise Shooting magazine.It was from the Navy originally.It is very good brass.I think I paid $1.00 a round for it unfired.
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Old November 22, 2017, 12:11 AM   #16
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If I already didn't have two of these and was looking forward to sizing the .338 LM, I would buy a used Herter's Model #3 Super press that are available on line. Prices are usually in the range of $50 to $100 but often on bid (new prices at the time were around $15). There is an original model and an improved model and knowing what to look for, can be identified by the photos. Then buy the rest of the equipment piece meal. The only thing perhaps wrong about this press is that it is too much press for handgun loading but it handles the huge rifle cases with ease, such as the four Remington Ultra Mag calibers. You might still consider a kit and suppliment it with a Herter's Model 3 if the price is right.
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