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-   -   Ready to start reloading... need suggestions (http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f30/ready-start-reloading-need-suggestions-17166/)

supergus 08-20-2009 10:21 PM

Ready to start reloading... need suggestions
 
Title says it all. For now I'll be reloading .223/.556 and .45 ACP. I just picked up the ABC's of Reloading by Bill Chevalier and it sounds as if my needs would be best met with a single stage or a turret press. I'd like to hear from you guys that have been reloading for awhile. What in your opinion is a good press to use
and what brand worked best for you? What, besides the press, would I need to have a "complete" reloading set up for the above calibers. ( eventually I'll reload for 7.62x39, 7.62x54r, .303 British, and .30-'06.)

orangello 08-20-2009 10:25 PM

Init to hear the suggestions.

1hole 08-20-2009 10:27 PM

Depends a whole lot on how much you need to spend to feel comfortable with your new press. Actually, presses are quite simple devices and no one has any secrets, they are all plenty good and will last a LOONG time if cared for.

The best deals today are the Lee Classic Cast single stage and the Lee Classic Turret for a bit faster speed. Both are heavy duty presses with cast steel bodies and are as good or better than any others of their type. And the prices are as good as their performance.

tiberius10721 08-20-2009 10:36 PM

I will not comment on reloading rifle rounds because ive never done it in my 7 yrs of reloading. I reload 38 special,357 mag ,.380 acp and 45 acp using a lee 4 hole turret press and carbide dies. I personally love my lee turret press and I think the instructions that come with the lee dies are easy to read and comprehend for the average joe.

RL357Mag 08-20-2009 10:54 PM

Ditto what 1-Hole said. I have been using a Lee single stage and Lee Turret press for many years. For the last 7 years I haven't even bothered with the Turret since I am not into volume reloading and my focus is on carefully assembled accurate ammo. Whichever press you decide on, be sure to get the best powder measure and scale you can afford, since throwing an accurate charge consistently is what accuracy is all about. I bought a Redding 3-BR many years ago for $90 - now they sell for about $110, but they are solid cast iron and micrometer adjustable, and accurate to 1/10th grain. You will also need a scale to initially establish your desired powder charge weight, as well as to check your powder measures' throw from time to time. Digital scales are very cheap and probably the most accurate, but they need batteries. I use a 30 yr. old Ohaus Triple Beam balance like the one you used in Chemistry class, and use a calculator to do the conversion from grains to grams (grains x .0648= grams). IE. if a load calls for 25 grains of H335, I would set my scale for 25 x .0648 =1.62 grams. I will use this to set-up my powder measure to throw this exact weight of powder, thus calibrating my powder measure with my scale and vice versa. Again, the scale is just as important as the powder measure, so don't skimp. I would recommend the Lee AutoPrime for hand priming your cases, as getting the "feel" for primer seating depth is impossible when using the reloading press due to compound leverage. I have always used Lee 3-die sets with very good results, but am now considering spending 3 times as much on a single Competition seating die from Redding, again for bench rest accuracy. You will need a case trimming system from somebody, and depending on whom you choose, you can spend from about $10 for a Lee lockstud/cutter and pilot guage/shellholder combo, to over $150 for a lathe-style rotary trimmer. The Lee works just as good and can be chucked in a cordless drill to speed things up and save blisters! A tumbler is a necessity as far as I'm concerned because it makes reloading a much cleaner and safer proposition. It keeps crap out of your dies and it cleans brass to look like new, which increases the safety factor because you can see splits and other defects in your cases much easier when they are clean. A tumbler also saves you the time and elbow grease from hand cleaning your cases to remove traces of lube from the sizing operation. Lube can build up in your rifles chamber and cause problems down the road. Someone ( I think it was Tango) wrote up a very comprehensive article, with pics, on reloading last year. You should review it. ANy questions just ask - there are several reloaders here that would be happy to assist!

supergus 08-20-2009 11:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RL357Mag (Post 148061)
Ditto what 1-Hole said. I have been using a Lee single stage and Lee Turret press for many years. For the last 7 years I haven't even bothered with the Turret since I am not into volume reloading and my focus is on carefully assembled accurate ammo. Whichever press you decide on, be sure to get the best powder measure and scale you can afford, since throwing an accurate charge consistently is what accuracy is all about. I bought a Redding 3-BR many years ago for $90 - now they sell for about $110, but they are solid cast iron and micrometer adjustable, and accurate to 1/10th grain. You will also need a scale to initially establish your desired powder charge weight, as well as to check your powder measures' throw from time to time. Digital scales are very cheap and probably the most accurate, but they need batteries. I use a 30 yr. old Ohaus Triple Beam balance like the one you used in Chemistry class, and use a calculator to do the conversion from grains to grams (grains x .0648= grams). IE. if a load calls for 25 grains of H335, I would set my scale for 25 x .0648 =1.62 grams. I will use this to set-up my powder measure to throw this exact weight of powder, thus calibrating my powder measure with my scale and vice versa. Again, the scale is just as important as the powder measure, so don't skimp. I would recommend the Lee AutoPrime for hand priming your cases, as getting the "feel" for primer seating depth is impossible when using the reloading press due to compound leverage. I have always used Lee 3-die sets with very good results, but am now considering spending 3 times as much on a single Competition seating die from Redding, again for bench rest accuracy. You will need a case trimming system from somebody, and depending on whom you choose, you can spend from about $10 for a Lee lockstud/cutter and pilot guage/shellholder combo, to over $150 for a lathe-style rotary trimmer. The Lee works just as good and can be chucked in a cordless drill to speed things up and save blisters! A tumbler is a necessity as far as I'm concerned because it makes reloading a much cleaner and safer proposition. It keeps crap out of your dies and it cleans brass to look like new, which increases the safety factor because you can see splits and other defects in your cases much easier when they are clean. A tumbler also saves you the time and elbow grease from hand cleaning your cases to remove traces of lube from the sizing operation. Lube can build up in your rifles chamber and cause problems down the road. Someone ( I think it was Tango) wrote up a very comprehensive article, with pics, on reloading last year. You should review it. ANy questions just ask - there are several reloaders here that would be happy to assist!

Thanks for the in depth reply ,brother. Very helpful. Thanks 1hole and Tiberius for the quick replies,too.:)

BILLYBOB44 08-21-2009 01:27 AM

Each to his own.
 
Gus, brand preference is a big debate. Every loader has his likes/dis-likes. My first press(1973 era) is a RCBS RockChucker. It has only smoothed up in it's 36 years of use. You have some wasted movement with small/short cases as the .45acp. but you get used to it. Lyman has always made a good press also. Lee you get what you pay for. Very good prices on average quality equipment. I know that comment will get me slammed (Probably by RL357). If you are happy with a Chevy Work truck, buy Lee. If you want a Hummer, buy RCBS,LYMAN,HORNADY, etc. I do all rifle+some pistol with the Rock C. I have a Dillon RL550 that handles all my common(.38/.357-9MM-.45acp.-.44Rem.Mag.) pistol loading. If you are not in a rush-look for second hand press, at gun shows-flea markets-E-bay-etc. If this helps you GREAT-If not-well you got my opinion!!HA.:D:)

stick_man 08-21-2009 01:50 AM

+1 on most of what BillyBob said. Most all of the presses are of at least reasonably good quality. Your choice would depend heavily on how much reloading you intend to do. If you are going to be reloading 1000 rds per month, you probably would want to go with some kind of progressive press. If you are only going to be reloading 1-200 rounds per month, a single stage press will work very well.

I used a Lee 3-hole turret for about 25 years before my kids left the garage door open one afternoon/evening and somebody decided they needed it more than I did. I had it mounted onto a nice piece of 2x6 with a powder measure about 18 inches away. Worked like a charm for all my handgun reloading needs. Never once used it as a progressive press. Always used it single-stage but had several turret heads and set up each different caliber in their own head. Worked wonders saving time because I didn't have to keep fiddling with the dies to get them adjusted just right. Even used it for the .223 and .243 without problems.

I have an old (30+yrs) Pacific single stage press that I use for the larger rifle calibers like the .270 and '06, but then I don't shoot them anywhere near as much as the handguns.

All work great. As said before, treat them right and don't overload them and they will treat you right.

RL357Mag 08-21-2009 01:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BILLYBOB44 (Post 148125)
I know that comment will get me slammed (Probably by RL357). If you are happy with a Chevy Work truck, buy Lee. :)

LOL - I won't slander anyone else's gear. I had an RCBS RockChucker also. It was given to me when I first started reloading. Then someone else gave me a Lee Turret press and I gave the RockChucker to another newbie to keep the tradition going! The RockChucker was a strong, solid piece of cast iron. I now use a Lee Challenger mainly, and to be honest, any "O-style" press is going to be stronger than you need it to be. A "C" press is a different story, but the Challenger is cast aluminum and completely closed and therefore cannot bend. A new RockChucker costs $114, a new Challenger costs $39. They are both "O" presses. Why spend two and a half times the money when there is no gain?

supergus 08-21-2009 02:28 AM

What say the experts on this?
MidwayUSA - Lee Challenger Breech Lock Single Stage Press Anniversary Kit


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