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Old January 29, 2005, 06:44 PM   #1
Join Date: January 6, 2005
Location: Texas
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Another Just Startin

I am about to start reloading, and I would appreciate some advice on which equipment to go with. So far it sounds like RCBS is the way to go. I plan to load mainly for my bigger bores that cost so much to shoot. Mostly 45/70 44mag, and 45LC. I plan to buy one of the kits because i'm startin from scratch. The Lee kit seems to cheap to hold up. Should I go ahead and buy the RCBS RC Supreme kit? If I get the kit what other tools do I need. I'm sure yall get tired of answering these questions, but I do thank yall for any advice.
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Old January 29, 2005, 07:37 PM   #2
bill k
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Reloading is a great hobby. I bought the RCBS rockchucker supreme master kit. The kit includes everything that I know of to get started except for primers (couple of dollars), powder ($20.00), bullets, cases, bullet holder (about $7.00), and dies $35 or so). I also trim everything so to do that you need a trimmer, about $70.00.
I purchase most everything except primers and powder through You can see there prices on their cite.
Hope this helps. I'm sure you'll hear from the lee and redding fans also.
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Old January 29, 2005, 10:00 PM   #3
Join Date: November 29, 2004
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I know I'm going against common wisdom/popular opinion here, but...I'm not so sure the RCBS kits are such a great deal. Don't get me wrong, RCBS builds great equipment with a superb warranty, and I own lots of RCBS equipment. My first reloading equipment was a RCBS kit with the Jr press and 505 scale 32 years ago. I still have (and use) it. I own a dozen or more RCBS dies, two more presses, powder measure, etc, etc. But the kit DOESN'T have everything needed to start reloading. I recently made a list of equipment for a young lad/neighbor of mine to start "investing" in (he kept borrowing my stuff). Here is a abbreviated list and comparison:

Press: Rockchucker vs Lee Classic Cast. I am duly impressed with the Lee, at half the price, you can take the $60 saved and buy a set of carbide dies for your 44.

Powder scale: For the money, the RCBS 505 is probably the best buy around, although the Lymans may still be made by Ohaus (the same company that makes the RCBS scales).

Powder measure: Ya don't necessarily need one. I own three, RCBS, Hornaday, Harrells. None of them meter extruded powder well, all of them meter ball powder just fine. Today, I would consider skipping the powder measure thing altogether and invest in a electonic dispenser (Lyman 1200 DPS ?). In the meantime, just use the powder scale. If you feel compelled to own a powder measure--eBay it at half the price of a new one.

Reloading manuals: The Speer manual is great, but it's just a start. A guy can't own enough manuals. Read them--cover to cover.

Lube Pad: Somebody shoot me. The lube and pad by RCBS (and others) is a great way to dent shoulders on rifle cases (not as much of an issue with straight wall cases), it's messy, and the pad collects dirt and grime even when it's closed up. Use Imperial Sizing Die Wax. It works--well. Costs 3-4 bucks for a tin.

Inside/outside deburring tool and powder funnel--15-20 bucks from Midway or Midsouth. Take your pick, Redding, RCBS, Forster, they're all good.

Hand priming tool: Lee Autoprime. Nobody has really improved on the combination of speed, accurate seating of primers, and ease of use since it came out almost 30 years ago. 10-12 bucks at Midway/Midsouth.

That completes the kit. rough guestimation of the cost of the "alternatives" is $180-200 plus shipping. From Midsouth, the current price is $262.

Now a abbreviated list for other necessities :

Case trimmer: Wilson is the best, but it's expensive and not necessary and not all that versatile. In my opinion the Forster case trimmer is better than the RCBS. The Forster kit is $60-75 Midway/Midsouth. (Although I don't know if they make a kit for the handgun calibers). Or a person can use the little Lee kits at 5-10 bucks for each cartridge he loads for.

Case cleaner: Some guys wash 'em in their favorite solutions, or cook 'em, or say various incantations over them, or throw them in a vibratory (tumbler) case cleaner. $50-$200 mail order. The Lyman's are popular.

Case length: Ya gotta measure the length of your cases and loaded cartridges. Stoney Point makes gauges that will measure the Cartridge Overall Length (COL). It's called the Stoney Point Comparator--$25-30. It requires a set of calipers (which you also need to measure the case length). Lyman calipers--$20 (two of them are better--one dedicated to the Stoney Point tool).

Primer pocket cleaner: RCBS makes one with a wire brush on the end of it--it works best for me. 7-10 bucks.

I'm gonna stop now. No doubt if I walked out to my reloading bench I would see a bizillion other "necessities" (or at least I think of them as necessities). Bullet puller and chronograph comes to mind .

That would put us at roughly a total of $400-500 plus shipping. In the end, I do think the money can be better spent buying the things that are needed and at a better price than the kits. Maybe others can come up with better ideas for your buck?

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Old January 30, 2005, 12:31 AM   #4
Tim R
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Casy, I don't agree with not having a powder throw....and I also have the Lyman 1200. For Pistol loading the thing would be slow and single stage presses are slow enough already.
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Old January 30, 2005, 11:03 AM   #5
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If your not confused yet, let me see if I can get you there.
I use a Dillon RL 550B press for rifle and pistol. "Since 2 out of the 3 rounds listed are pistol, you want to at least consider a progressive press. In reloading set-ups, add the components needed for each to compare apples with apples. The Dillon comes with a powder measure and priming tool so those do not have to be bought. It comes with one caliber conversion (plate, powder funnel) for $350. What ever you buy, you WILL want a powder measure for reloading pistol rounds.

You'll need a powder scale. I use a balance scale. Dillon's 'Eliminator' is $50, or a similar one from Lyman, RCBS etc.
You'll need a kinetic bullet puller, $12 - $25 depending on supplier.
A primer flipper tray. You shake primers on the tray till they all turn up, put the cover on and 'flip' it over so primers are facing down. $2 - $15 depending on how fancy of material. Buy the $2 plastic one.
Case trimmer. There is every flavor of unit out there. I use the most basic system available, because it works, it's cheap, it's easy, and I don't have to get out the dial calipers. Use the Lee Case Trimmer and chamfer tools .
For rifle case lube, I use Hornady spray lube. It's quick, easy, and isn't messy.
Check out Midsouth Shooters Supply for good prices on supplies.
Buy powder and primers local. Hazardous shipping costs too much.
Oh yea, I forgot you'll need a tumbler to clean those cases.
There are three kinds of men:
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2) The few who learn by observation.
3) The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves..........
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Old January 30, 2005, 11:40 AM   #6
bill k
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I totally agree with Dogjaw about getting a tumbler. I dump my brass in, run errands, when I get home it's done. Sure beats hand polishing.
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