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Thread: Reloading Setup - Where to start?

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Sinus211's Avatar
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    Reloading Setup - Where to start?

    Well, this is embarrassing. Mod on a reloading forum and I don't have a setup yet.

    I'll mostly be loading for precision rifle, bulk surplus rifle and bulk range pistol ammo. So what do you guys recommend?

    Let's discuss brand options, press styles, and cost vs quality. Please also toss in any suggestions on must have items I may not be thinking of.


  2. #2
    Administrator 1911's Avatar
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    A lot of this depends on your budget and room on your bench. Precision rifle should be done on a single stage press and of course bulk is best done on a progressive style press. If your on a budget or have a lack of room on the bench, then opt for a turret style press. Still has single stage qualities, but has some of the progressive qualities as well, making for a perfect compromise between the two. That is just the presses, then there is powder measures, trimmers, dies, swagers and etc.


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    Marksman Howard G's Avatar
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    I don't have room for shit in my house ( yet) but have done very well on the lee turret set up that grand master wes teaches on. I load match 223 and 308 as well as all my 9,357,and 45 on.

    the match stuff is great one at a time as you really want to take your time and obviously get everything exact and in very tight tolerances.

    the pistol ammo is a chore but if you break up the steps you wont drive your self mad. the absolute best, for me anyway is to buy the brass processed from wes, ( plus you can barter with wes as he always needs brass in return to process) this will save a ton of effort and time. all you do is prime, throw powder, top with bullet and crimp. once I get going I can crank out a few hundred in a decent short order. with ammo prices now what seems to be the new norm its well worth it. I don't do more then 250 pistol rounds at one time, this way I don't get over confident and or lazy, but you can still make a nice stockpile with in a weeks time.


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    Marksman Howard G's Avatar
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    my current set up, I have the press and powder charger mounted to some planks of hardwood I then c-clamp to the kitchen table. the whole set up easily lives in the closet when not in use.


  5. #5
    Super Moderator Sinus211's Avatar
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    I've got a pretty large desk in the garage that will become the reloading bench. Turret style presses seem to be the best compromise on my needs without breaking the bank.

    What do you guys think about the different brands? I see Lee is fairly inexpensive and can't argue with the durability considering that's what Wes uses.

    What about scales, powder drops, calipers etc? Any recommendations?


  6. #6
    Administrator 1911's Avatar
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    I would go with the set up Wes has for a press. Far as powder measures go, go with a rcbs like Wes has or step up to the electronic rcbs scale/powder measure, my Uncle loves his and says it weighs out perfectly every time. Natchez sells them for around $279.00 Far as scales go, I prefer a balance beam, they are old school, but are pretty much fail safe and work perfect. Calipers, I just use a set of hornady dial calipers, nothing fancy needed there.


  7. #7
    Expert marksman
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    For precision rifle id use a RCBS rock chucker to get started. the new dies that are out allow you to set them and lock the ring nut into place so they are "set" for a good time its just making sure when you start out loading that you double check sizing. Hornaday makes and shoulder gauge kit that attach to calipers to check your shoulder set back if your using a Full Length die.


  8. #8
    Super Moderator Sinus211's Avatar
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    Seems like I have a bit of shopping to do!

    Could one of you guys put together a basic list of components needed to get started? Just the bare minimum until I have money to start picking up some nicer accessories.


  9. #9
    Super Moderator handcaster's Avatar
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    Mike, Wes and I put that list together 3 YEARS ago! How'd you miss THAT? We've adapted it to every new guy who's been through the start-up class since. I used to sit at his computer and search for the best price (cost/shipping) for all the stuff the new guy wanted, and holler when I had the totals... he'd come out of the reload room just long enough to enter his CC# and shipping address, then run back in to reload more. IIRC, the basics usually set him back just over $650, delivered, set up just about as most of the replies to this thread suggest... LEE Turret, RCBS thrower and scales, and so on.
    Call Wes; he can probably rattle it off over the phone for you.
    Then you can post the list here and every new PHL member who comes along can pick it apart. (It's what we DO! ;>)

    And you'll never quit buying reloading gadgets. The game is growing more popular every week and more stuff is being invented.


  10. #10
    Marksman
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    I would recommend the classic Lee turret kit from Cabelas, which may even be on sale for the holidays. That will get you a good start and a great price. Then toss out the crappy Lee scale and the powder thrower and replace them with a used RCBS 505 scale and pretty much any RCBS powder thrower that you could probably get a great deal on from everyone's buddy out in Yelm :)
    You can get a good deal on a caliper and a small flashlight over at Harbor Freight and you are pretty much ready to get going.

    You will have to get dies for each caliber (make sure you get Lee factory crimp dies for better quality ammo) and don't forget case lube for your rifle loading...


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