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Old April 28, 2006, 07:38 AM   #1
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Wanting to get into reloading...

Just got a .222, so I finally want to get into reloading.

what is teh most economical laoding press kit that can get me started. I want something that will hold up well, but itsn't toooo expensive
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Old April 28, 2006, 09:13 AM   #2
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A lot of people get into reloading with The LEE Anniversary kit and a set of dies. It's a great way to start. I don't use the scale any more, but the rest gets used quite often even though I've "upgraded" to a Dillon 550b progressive. I use a PACT digital scale instead of the beam balance.

I still use the LEE press for rifle loading. The LEE autoprime is a great priming tool. They recommend only using a couple brands of primers, but one of them is Winchester and that's all I use anyway.
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Old April 28, 2006, 09:53 AM   #3
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How well does it hold up to use? It will get used quite a bit and the cast aluminum frame seems to be a weakness.
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Old April 28, 2006, 10:48 AM   #4
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Servo, I've had mine for a couple of years now. I've reloaded several thousands of 44mag and .223rem and a few hundred 300wm on it. The only thing I do, as was suggested by my son, the expert, was to occassionally lube the ram with a light sewing machine oil. A real light coat. Haven't had any problems with it.
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Old April 28, 2006, 11:04 AM   #5
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What are the resommendations for all of the stuff I need in a reloading set-up?

I am thinking about purchasing some stuff (RCBS) used that I found locally. If I do that, I want to make sure I get everything that is necessary
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Old April 28, 2006, 11:27 AM   #6
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I've been reloading on an RCBS kit for years. You can get the starter kit for around $300 NIB (press, powder resovoir/stand, scale, case trimmer, odds & ends), then build up all the little extras a piece at a time. Expect to pay about another $150-$200 for a full set-up of basic necessities (dies, michrometer, case holders, powder, primers, bullets, brass, hand primer tool(much easier and quicker than the press), etc.). So $500 total will have you in business. If you're planning to shoot half as much as I use to, it will pay itself off in a month or two.
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Old April 28, 2006, 11:31 AM   #7
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The Lee Anniversary Kit Would Be A Great Way To Start With The Addition Of A Set Of Dies And Lee Trim Tools For Your Caliber. If Your Budget Is A Little More Than That Below Is What I Would Get.

Lee Classic Cast Press
Lee Die Set For 222 W/shellholder
Lee Trim Tools For 222
Chamfer Tool
Primer Pocket Cleaner
Tube Of Lee Case Lube
Lee Auto Prime W/shellholder
Powder Funnel
Hornady Powder Scale (my Preference)
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Old April 28, 2006, 12:15 PM   #8
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Lee anniversary kit...

On the Lee anniversary kit, I just got started reloading a year and a half ago with this. Since then the cast aluminum linkage arm that links the handle to the ram has broken twice. This may have something to do with full length sizing military garand brass while simultaneously decapping the crimped in primer. Lee has replaced it free of charge both times. I now do the decapping and sizing in different operations to cut down on the force applied to that link arm.
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Old April 28, 2006, 12:46 PM   #9
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My LEE Challenger has held up very well for at least 5,000 .45acp and 9mm. I use it exclusively for rifle (M1 Garand and 7.7 Jap). Never had a problem and it is strong enough for everything I do. That includes forming 7.7jap from military '06 brass. I've found it takes a lot less effort when the brass is wll lubricated. I've found the spray-on case lube to not work well for the heavy duty operations. A roll on the old pad or even the LEE case lube works better. I've probably loaded 500 30-06 and formed 100 or so 7.7 Jap from '06 cases.
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Old April 28, 2006, 01:27 PM   #10
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Servo, the Lee Classic Press is getting good reviews. It's about $25 higher than the Challenger. Most folks are happy with the Challenger, but you are likely to be reforming brass right from the start. Military pulldown .223 is a bunch cheaper than new .222 brass and the conversion is a simple resize and trim. The all steel press might be a good idea.

If you can get a good deal on a used RCBS Rockchucker, do that.
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Old April 28, 2006, 01:56 PM   #11
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I'd stay away from single stage press, get at least a decent turret to start out. You'll outgrow a single stage real quick, unless you load 50 rounds a month.
That new Lee Classic Turret Press looks decent, real cheap caliber conversion. You'd be hard pressed to spend more than 200 dollars on the whole setup, press, scale, trimmer.....all the stuff you need to crank out some decent ammo.
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Old April 28, 2006, 02:20 PM   #12
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All the posts above are good advice...My recommendation is don't do it.....What they did not tell you is that reloading is a sickness. I will explain........I started out with a LEE loader that you used a hammer with to pound the case into a die, that was a 38 special, the only gun I had. One day at the range, I found two boxes of Win 30-06 brass once fired...No gun to shoot it in....Went out an bought a 30-06. Went to the range...found 20 rounds of 45-70. No gun to shoot it in---Went out and bought a 45-70. Took it to the range. Found 50 rounds of Rem .223. No gun to shoot it in...Went out and bought a .223......This continued and continues to this day......Reloading is cheaper ????? Started loading in 1949, spent so far on reloading equipment, components, powder,etc. over $57.234.50.
Figured it all up.........will break even on 1 May 2006. LOL
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Old April 28, 2006, 06:01 PM   #13
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start with Lee unless you have alot of money to burn.I use a single stage press but a turret would be nice so I don't have to take out my dies and re-adjust all the time.You DO NOT HAVE TO SPEND ALOT of money to make great ammo.There are limitations to lee products but for the price its the only way to start and they try to make things very easy and safe..Ive been reloading for years with only Lee products and never had any serious problems with them.Mostly quality reloading is up to you and not the you get into it more you might need something that Lee won't give you. But until you actually know more about reloading its a waste to spend alot of money on something when you don't even no how to use it or why you needed it..of the multiple 1000's of rounds ive reloaded I just replaced my $3 lee deburring tool. know that was a good dealReloading quality reliable ammo IS easy and you can do that with LEE stuff.Another thing ,,IMO the press can be very expensive(with some manufacturers)But to be honest its probably the least important part in can reload precision match ammo with a cheap lee challenger single stage press..So spend $50 dollars or $150+dollars it won't make one difference in end results except for your wallet(IMO only).progressive and turrets are a different thing that I know little about and maybe thats when I might have a different oppinion.
well anyways If you want volume you need to at least get a turret press..If you just wan't to load for a bolt action/benchrest and don't plan on firing tons of ammo than a single stage would be fine.Just what ever you do get reloading books and study them before you touch a thing!!.I recommend lyman and Lee books because I own them and there very helpfull..HAVE FUN!! Oh!! I just noticed you said 222.very nice cartridge for accuracy(one of the best)Im guessing a bolt action?? the challenger WILL HOLD UP PLENTY FINE.but that new classic looks pretty awesome for just a little more..I also HIGHLY recommend getting a Lee deluxe die set to start because it comes with a full sizing die and a collet NECK sizing die..It might make some real accurate ammo with just neck sizing AFTER YOU FIRE FORM YOUR BRASS.Using a collet die also is nice because you don't need to lube your cases and that speeds up load time..Get the lee loading book!!good luck
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Old April 28, 2006, 07:45 PM   #14
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Need vs Want

There are lots of things in reloading that you don't need, but that you WILL want. You can (and many have) started loading with the Lee Loader. This is about as basic as it gets. Also (for me) about as frustrating as it gets. Since you have mentioned a press already, I doubt you would be happy with a Lee Loader.

.222 if a fine little caliber, and noted as inherently accurate.

Ok, things you will need, A reloading manual (more than one is better).l these will all have a section on the opertaions of reloading, the tools, and how to use them. read and study.

OK, here we go;

loading block(s)
caliper/ or case length gauge
lube (spray or liquid)
lube pad (for liquid lube)
these are pretty much the basics, now we get into the extras you will want;

powder measure
case trimmer
powder trickler
caliper (if you didn't get one before)
primer pocket cleaner
case deburring tool

and things to get later, if (when) you find out you want them;

case tumbler (for cleaning)
priming tool (if you're not happy with the system on the press)

Now, this seems like a lot, and it is, if you go for all of it at once. If you start out with just the barest minimums, pretty soon you'll figure out which extras will be best for you to get first. I didn't list a case trimmer as a basic need, because you can just stop using the brass when it gets too long. But having one will extend the safe usable life of your cases.

Reloading is a great hobby to extend your pleasure of shooting. I have been at it a long time, and hardly ever buy factory ammo (except .22LR), because I like reloading.
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