beginning reloading on the cheap (the right kit)

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  • beginning reloading on the cheap (the right kit)

    okay I am about to START reloading. By start I mean I know almost totally nothing. I do know that there are various kits available that all proport to be "all you need" to start reloading. Some things are obvious like progressives are faster that non progressive reloading methods. So what is the argument against Lee. Is Lee okay to start with or should Lee be totally avoided. Dillion presses are a lot more expensive (and faster I have been told). Is there an argument against them (other than price). There seem to be many Lee kits. what is the real difference between them? priming "off the bench" as apposed to what( I don't know) seems to be a selling point for the more expensive kit. Is this an advantage? Anyhow if anyone has any information about these brands or any other brand of reloading kit. that can teach a new bee how to do it ALL. (I want to be able to reload hand gun and rifle for future use) then please add your bit here to help me understand what I really need as apposed to what is just extra bells and whistles. And thank you for your response. This should be a post that many people can get some use of.
    "He got the whole nine yards" - as it happens World War II (1939–1945) aircraft machine gun belts (US 50 cal) were nine yards long.

  • #2
    what are you reloading for rifle or pistol.

    Comment


    • #3
      This should start some discussion
      You will find haters and lovers of all brands, but Lee attracts more hate than most. Having said that, I use Lee gear and have done for years - Lee make the cheapest presses but they do need to be understood to get the most out of them.
      If you are reloading for handgun you need a progressive just to handle the sheer number of rounds.
      I use a Lee Pro1000, it works for me but I "understand" it and all its little peculiarities. If you want a press that will work unfailingly without fiddling then there are better models.
      IMHO there is nothing at all wrong with Lee dies.
      My 2 cents
      If guns cause crime, then all mine are faulty - Ted Nugent

      Comment


      • Mack260rem
        Mack260rem commented
        Editing a comment
        Here Here
        Well said
        Lee dies and presses are gr8
        cheers
        tk0

      • Guest's Avatar
        Guest commented
        Editing a comment
        Originally posted by Greenwich-biker" post=12400
        This should start some discussion
        You will find haters and lovers of all brands, but Lee attracts more hate than most. Having said that, I use Lee gear and have done for years - Lee make the cheapest presses but they do need to be understood to get the most out of them.
        If you are reloading for handgun you need a progressive just to handle the sheer number of rounds.
        I use a Lee Pro1000, it works for me but I "understand" it and all its little peculiarities. If you want a press that will work unfailingly without fiddling then there are better models.
        IMHO there is nothing at all wrong with Lee dies.
        My 2 cents
        Hey,
        I have just got a heap of Lee Gear, based on Skip saying in a previous post it was as good as anything else, and as I wanted to get some gear to start to become familiar with.

        What kind of tricks do you need to get the lee gear working properly ??

        Just curious as to what to expect

        Cheers

        Broomy

      • Guest's Avatar
        Guest commented
        Editing a comment
        Originally posted by Greenwich-biker" post=12400
        This should start some discussion
        You will find haters and lovers of all brands, but Lee attracts more hate than most. Having said that, I use Lee gear and have done for years - Lee make the cheapest presses but they do need to be understood to get the most out of them.
        If you are reloading for handgun you need a progressive just to handle the sheer number of rounds.
        I use a Lee Pro1000, it works for me but I "understand" it and all its little peculiarities. If you want a press that will work unfailingly without fiddling then there are better models.
        IMHO there is nothing at all wrong with Lee dies.
        My 2 cents
        I agree . Most people don't hate Lee gear just because they don't like or use it . It's not about that , It's about using what you like and can afford and having a personal preference , not hate . If I had to start again now with todays prices I would be contemplating more Lee stuff also . When people want to save money on the initial purchase then Lee is good. If they say they want quality that will last longer and price is not an obsticle then other brands are better . I would rather drive a BMW than a Holden but that does not mean I hate Holdens . I like Lee collet dies and Lee factory crimp dies and the Classic cast press is quite good if you know what you are doing and us modern die sytems that take pressure off the press and the handle lock up system which is a weak point of Lee's design .

    • #4
      sorry just reread the post. for pistol on a budget I started with a lee pro. a lot of people don't like them and they do have their problems. I got mine running good and to get rid of the primer problem I ran my cases through and just deprimed and sized them. I would hand prime them and then unscrew the sizing die and run them through the other stages. It might seem like a bit of a stuff around but I didn't waste one primer and when you get used to it you can pump them out quite quickly. The only reason I upgraded to a Dillon was I use a comped 38super and the discs on the lee wont throw the powder volume I use but the Dillon is adjustable and accurate.

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      • Guest's Avatar
        Guest commented
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        Some people buy reloads at the range, maybe another option?

    • #5
      i was hoping to generate more discussion about the different options available in Australia in reloading products. There does not seem to be a great variety other than the two mentioned. does anyone have a better idea. Thank you to those who did respond its nice to know that the cheep lee gear is at least worth buying. I just can't imagine how they kept their costings down compared to the next kits. Of course my whole problem is I don't see a lot of other options on line. Maybe some of the brick and mortar shops stock other brands.

      Anyone got an idea which brands of reloading kit would be worth buying?
      "He got the whole nine yards" - as it happens World War II (1939–1945) aircraft machine gun belts (US 50 cal) were nine yards long.

      Comment


      • Greenwich-biker
        Greenwich-biker commented
        Editing a comment
        Well my advice would be, if youre on a strict budget go for Lee, but be prepared to fiddle a bit to keep it going properly.
        If you can afford a fair bit more, a Dillon XL650 would be all you'd ever need - does that help?

    • #6
      G'day mate, I'm pretty much in the same situation as u, I know bugger all about reloading & am looking for a decent set up. I suppose it depends on the amount of $$$$ we're willing to part with. There's a couple other brands/types- RCBS Rock chucker & Hornady (Lock n Load) do a kit that's supposed to be similar the Dillon, but $$$$ cheaper. Check on some of the US gun forums as they get right into this sort of stuff & can help u out a bit. Also check out e-bay or just google reloading kits & follow the links.

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      • #7
        I think at this stage you would be better off to buy loading manuals and books on reloading and that will give you a better idea of what tools you will need and what suits your purpose .
        It is far better in the long run to buy separate tools than any kit .
        Reloading is a very purpose driven pass time and every one does something different that may be irrelevant to what you need.
        You would be better off focusing on one product at a time per thread .
        Ask the question , What is the best press for my purpose and outline you needs in detail .
        Then ask in another thread , what dies would be the best for that same need . etc. etc.
        This way you get far more specific information and it helps decide as you are dealing with the subject one product at a time.
        Don't get quick and easy confused with best .

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        • #8
          There is no magic press or kit that is the best. The best depends on the intended purpose(s) and what is best for one could be terrible for the other.

          Take loading for rifle and handgun.
          You want a progressive for handgun due to the volume of rounds needed but you want a single stage for rifle where you will shoot less but may need utmost accuracy.
          You can buy a Dillon progressive which will load lots of good quality ammo for both rifle and handgun but no serious rifle shooter interested in accuracy uses a progressive press, though an informal rifle shooter/hunter may find they don't need 1/4 MOA ammo and the progressive is more than enough accuracy for their purposes.
          If you don't buy a progressive for handgun you either will later on or will always want one.
          Dillon V's Lee - I prefer Dillon and if you compare a Dillon to a lee side by side its not hard to see why. That is not to say lee don't work, they do but I paid the extra for a more durable and reliable machine that runs right and the no BS warranty of Dillon is another bonus. I do use Lee dies for all handgun cals though.

          I also look at the long term costs and while going cheaper to start with may seem like the way to go to many new reloaders it will actually cost you more in the long run when you upgrade to the more expensive gear later instead of saving up the extra and getting the better gear at the start.
          “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing” - Edmund Burke

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          • #9
            I too am in a similar situation when it comes to reloading gear.

            My budget allows for me to buy a Lee press and dies.
            I will also aquire various brands of other equiptment as I go. I like electronic scales so will buy Hornady as that is in my price range, I would love the RCBS Range master Combo but at $700, a bit out of my price.
            Advice I received was that Lee dies were ok but RCBS were better and those were the ones to aim for, so as the press comes with Lee dies I will likely upgrade as I can afford too.
            It all comes down to what you can spend, shop around and buy the best you can afford, just my advice.

            Comment


            • BJ343
              BJ343 commented
              Editing a comment
              i reckon a good way to start is a single stage, i picked up a second hand press RCBS press for a steal and it has knocked out thousands of rounds...generally use RCBS stuff, but have lee pistol dies......you really need scales, press, dies, powder funnel....reloading book....i only started loading for pistol after 15 years rolling out really accurate rifle rounds....i really enjoy it

          • #10
            You need to work out why you are getting into reloading before you go and by anything.
            If your only reason for reloading is to save money then a Lee kit is probably the way to go.
            It won't take to many rounds to recover the cost of the kit.

            Plenty of reloaders kid themselves they are saving money when the opposite is true.
            Purchase a RCBS charge master for $500 and if you use it to load 5000 rounds it will have cost you 10c per round 50,000 rounds and the cost is down to 1c per round but in all honesty I wouldn't expect it to last that long. If you want to save money don't over capitalise get the bare minimum you need to reload.

            Really for reloading to make sense you need to view it as a hobby in its own right. I started adding up the cost of my reloading gear one day and it was frightening, I stopped at around $5k.
            Now I do a fair bit of reloading and would have loaded over 50,000rds but that still means if I want a real cost of each reloaded round I produce I would need to add about 10c onto component cost to get a real figure.
            For me I view it as hobby in its own right. I wouldn't say I enjoy sitting down to reload 3000 pistol rounds in one sitting but I do enjoy working up a load for a new rifle, fine tunning loads to a particular rifle for best accuracy etc. I enjoy developing a load for a specific application and that sort of thing.
            I think you will find most reloader would agree there is a bit more satisfaction in using ammo you have reloaded to win a comp or take game, the same applies to casting or swaging your own projectiles it adds a little more satisfaction again, Blokes playing with wildcats, forming their own cases etc would think similarly of the work they are doing.

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            • Laflamme
              Laflamme commented
              Editing a comment
              iv never heard it put quite that way before. thank you for summing it up. I think I am the reload so I can afford to blow 300 rounds a week guy. so cheaper is better in that case. of course I have looked at some of this gear and quite frankly I dont see me messing with a non digital scale. that balance stuff is probably not going to be me. that is one piece of gear I will probably spend $50 on all by itself. and thank you for your advise. that is priceless that.

          • #11
            for me reloading is about chasing accuracy

            but yes in some cases it does save you money like on the .260 rem i'm buying
            factory ammo is $60 for a box of 20

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            • #12
              If I was looking to reload on a budget I'd be looking at the RCBS Partner press. It is about $150 stand alone or $320 in in a kit. Apparently it is fine for normal rounds like 223 or 308, just not for those requiring a lot of pressure like a belted magnum. Then if you want to upgrade at a later date, it makes a good mobile second press.
              "Love the bush for its own sake and you will never have an unsuccessful hunt".

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              • Guest's Avatar
                Guest commented
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                The little RCBS partner press will handle belted cases fine.
                I've had one for nearly 30 years and use it for everything including full length belted magnums like the 7mm STW without issue.

                Rat man,
                There is no doubt savings can be made but IMHO they aren't as big as most would have you believe.

                Take your 260 as an example, I'm sure with a little shopping about and buying in bulk you could bring the factory cost down a little.
                Say you get it down to $50/20 still $2.50 per shot but given the price of 260 brass you wouldn't have to much trouble getting $50/100 for your once fired brass bringing the cost down further.

                Look at a reload new brass isn't cheap well over $1.00 a case so even if you get 10 reloads from new brass your looking at a brass cost of about 15c, powder primer, projectile probably getting close to $1.00 a shot.
                Now if you have $750 worth of loading gear you would need to reload 750 rounds before you even get your reload costs down to the same level as shooting factory ammo and that is without putting any value on the time you spend reloading.

                I'm not trying to discourage anyone from reloading but if you are looking at getting into it simply to save money then you could be disappointed If you go out and buy all the gear recommended on forums you could be onto your second barrel before you really start to see any savings.

            • #13
              Fair nuff re the Partner Press 220, just going by what I read. I have a Rockchucker and am loving it, it seems like a quality brand at a good price so for a budget reloader the partners seems like a winner. Frankly I could have gotten away with one myself, though the rockchucker is able to be adapted to multi stage which I may do later.

              Re the cost savings, I an saving 75 cents per round compared to similar factory hunting ammo. I worked out that I only need to reload about 20 rounds of 308 per month for it to be financially worthwhile (I've studied finance and worked out what is called a net present value) and I have probably spent about $1200, about double the bare minimum I could have gotten away with. Somebody who spent say $600 and reloaded 50 rounds a month would get their money back within a year and a half.
              "Love the bush for its own sake and you will never have an unsuccessful hunt".

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              • #14
                I use the breach lock single stage press for my rifle rounds and they come out plenty accurate enough. Lee dies work well too, but pretty much all my other measuring stuff has been upgraded over time to better and faster stuff like the RCBS chargemaster for throwing powder. The basic kit WILL get you going but its slower and not quite as accurate as the more expensive gear.

                For pistol I use a dillon 650. Wouldn't get anything else.

                Good luck with whatever you get. It's definetly a learning curve.

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                • #15
                  This kits ok for a beginner

                  http://www.lymanproducts.com/lyman/presses-and-kits/LyC_RPK_Crusher_Pro.php

                  But personally I'd rather just buy a press then buy the scales separate, I don't like the plastic cheap ones that come with this kit or the Lee version, they just feel really cheap and nasty to my mind.

                  A good set of RCBS 505 scales will last you a lifetime and so will a decent press
                  Whacking Varmints is my passion!

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                  • shooter3975
                    shooter3975 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Originally posted by Varminator" post=48892
                    This kits ok for a beginner

                    http://www.lymanproducts.com/lyman/presses-and-kits/LyC_RPK_Crusher_Pro.php

                    But personally I'd rather just buy a press then buy the scales separate, I don't like the plastic cheap ones that come with this kit or the Lee version, they just feel really cheap and nasty to my mind.

                    A good set of RCBS 505 scales will last you a lifetime and so will a decent press
                    If you go for the 'Deluxe' Lyman crusher kit, it is much better value for money (I have one on lay-by). For me it was a toss up between the Lyman and the RCBS... The case trimmer did it for me with the Lyman. I was told the Lyman is up there in quality as well.
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