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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay,

I'm getting ready to put some dollars on the table and take up reloading. I've been reading the discussions long enough, and along with my plan to trade in my '94 SS for something in .45-70 I'm going to start reloading. I've been reading The ABC's of Reloading and still feel uncomfortable about the most basic of the reloading questions: what specifically to buy.

So, I thought I would ask you experienced guys my questions.

Let's say you came home from visiting your in-laws one day and found a thief had broken into your home and ripped off all of your reloading materials. Every little thing. The police investigated and couldn't recover a thing, but your trusty home insurance company sent you a nice check allowing you to re-equip yourself to your complete satisfaction (within reason).

What would you purchase and why?

The context of this question goes back to my indecision regarding going RCBS or Lee, and going with the standard Lee Anniversary Kit, the RCBS Rockchucker Kit or something progressive (and what all that entails). My thoughts are that I would probably never load more than 200 at any time, and more likely something like 100 at a time.

What would be your best way to go, and why? What would you get for yourself to feel you're fully set up and ready to go, with the understanding that your money is limited so you want to get something that you'll be reasonably happy with for at least the next ten years or so...

I'm here to learn from you guys...

Thanks ahead of time! :D




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Grew up loading on Grandpa's press and Dad's press. Like all of us, got older, moved out. Found out that Dad wanted to keep his press. Go figure. Had to go get my own.

Shopped around for like 15 seconds, picked up the RCBS Rockchucker kit. Twenty five or so years and Lord knows how many tens of thousands of rounds later, I'm still using it. Literally tens of thousands, I've worn out multiple barrels w/ammo loaded on this machine. Great piece of gear. I broke the primer arm once, but RCBS sent me a new one, for free. By then though I'd decided I liked hand priming tools more anyway.

My vote has to go with what worked for me, the RCBS Rockchucker. BTW, Dad's old RCBS "Junior" is still working just fine, and he still won't let me have it!

As far as turning out quality ammo goes - I've placed well in many rifle competitions with ammo loaded on the good old RCBS, and even won a small match or two with it. The precision is there. The thing is rugged. It will apparently last a lifetime or two. I'll leave a note in my will to have my kids update this post in thirty years or so after I'm gone. :wink:

Regards, Guy
 

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Mich, the problem with your question is that there are too many right answers. My basic gear is RCBS. I got it a little earlier than M700 got his, have loaded just as hard on it, and am just as happy with it. At the time I got it, it was the best there was. I'm not sure that is still the case. The Lee Classic single stage and turret both look mighty good to me.

If I had to replace it, I'd probably go to a Dillon 550 which will do anything I need, and do it a lot faster. I don't know that I could replace all my gear at one time. It was accumulated as need arose over many years and would have to be replaced the same way.

I also would not be without one of the little junky Lee Reloader presses. I'd hate to have to do all my loading on one, but there is nothing better for the little odd jobs that are a PITA on a progressive or a heavy duty press. The little Lee is for stuff like decapping military brass and straightening out dented case mouths. With the Lee AutoPrimeII, it's the best priming setup I have ever used.

Another thing that would be on the list would be the Lee set of shell holders. It's dirt cheap as a set, and you are going to need odd shell holders whether you expect to or not.
 

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It's hard to go wrong with RCBS. Those guys simply know how to do service and support the customer way. I bought a little back-up press from them, their Partner I think it's called. I have it mounted on a sturdy pedestal which is handy to move around. It was supposed to be my backup to a single stage Pacific and a Rockchucker, both bench mounted. I sure use the heck out of that little "cheap aluminum" press.

I could be fine with any quality single stage press, I like the RCBS Uni-Flow powder measure, and the Hornady beam balance "scale." Those three things would be my "basic" setup if I had to do it. A few more odds and ends: a chamfering tool, caliper, hand priming tool (I like the way Hornady's is built and works), etc. Good dies can be had in just about any color box.
 

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It's interesting to see how folks differ and agree on reloading tools. I think RCBS sets the standard in reloading. And is at the top of the heap for customer service. However, generally, all the major reloading co. stand behind their product for a lifetime. It's just that RCBS just seems to be set up to deal with your product problem faster and better than the others. I have made a phone call to them expecting to order a part and hung the phone up with the part coming for free including shipping! If I could just have one setup for reloading it would be.
Lyman Turrent press
RCBS scales
Lee Perfect powder measure
RCBS hand primer

Good luck, BestLever
 

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I'm a newbie myself & started with the Lee Anniversary kit. It has what I needed mostly but I ended up getting a Hornady scale, mostly because it has graduations above & below the zero so its easier to weigh unknown things, like checking bullet weights or different brands of cases or whatever.
I also added a Lee clasic cast single stage press & a set of shell holders.
This way I can decap & expand & later, seat & crimp at a sitting.
The classic cast is a huge hunk of cast iron that I cant see wearing out but the challenger press that came with the kit is Aluminum with a steel ram. It drops the primers thru the ram & they come out half way down. I found it impossible to keep grit from acumulating on the ram & was afraid in time it would act as an abrasive & loosen the fit of the ram. The cast press drops the primers into a hose & everything stays cleaner.
The Lee powder measure has worked fine so far once I figured it out & the scale seems on the money but difficult to set & its got a 100 grain limit.
I figure I'v loaded a bit over 1200 rounds so far & still have years of learning ahead but wont likely need another press. I might get one but I wont need it. :wink:
 

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Me too! I started with the Anniversary kit, didn't like the scale, upgraded to a Lyman beam scale(ultimately went to a Lyman 1200DPS II electronic) decided the Challenger press wouldn't cut working with the .45-120, bought the Lee Classic Cast press, have loved it ever since every time I sit down at the reloading bench!!

Tim

http://www.leeprecision.com/html/catalog/classic.html

http://www.surplusrifle.com/reviews/leepress/index.asp

http://www.midwayusa.com/midwayusa/applications/eproductreview.exe/GetReviews?productid=317831
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks guys, for your advice and comments.

It took a lot of self-discipline to keep my mouth shut (so to speak) and not jump in earlier, but I wanted to get everybody's opinion.

I'll keep you posted as to what I end up with. With a little time, you'll see me on this discussion link trying to keep up with you all! :D
 

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RCBS press (Lee should do as well)
ANY brand of dies, I use Lee a lot
RCBS hand primer, uses standard shell holders, the one on the press sucks.
Stoney Point OAL gauge, and the appropriate caliber shells
Sinclair Steel Donut (can't remember name, can't do without) helps measure
from a bullet's ogive rather than tip.
Loadbooks USA in calibers you load
Lee Bullet mold(s) in larger calibers
More primers than a fire truck can carry. :lol:
 

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My bench looks like a reloaders salvage yard. I have a Dillon, which I use for large massive quantities of 45 ACP and 38 special. All the rest of the metallics get done on an RCBS Junior. I have a Rockchucker under the bench, but I want to mount it for other chores. The Junior is not as massive and has worked for 30 years just fine. The shotgun stuff is done on Mec presses, which replaced the Lee Load All's when I wore them out. Didn't take long at 3-5000 rounds per year. If you ever get into shotguns hulls, I have standardized with AA's. I don't load my heavy hunting loads, as I use so few.
I am still using a Texan powder scale and a 3 station Texan press, which I bought at about 15 years old. I am looking at an RCBS digital powder system, so I can weigh cast bullets and faster powder dispensing for individual charges. I use two powder dispensers, one for Unique and the other for 231. All the rest get's hand weighed. A lee priming tool with shell holders has been a Godsend, but lately I have been using my RCBS priming tool.
In truth, most of the stuff I have, has been from garage sales, gun shows or in some kind of trade. The rest has been for presents from an awsome wife.
 
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