Getting into reloading

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by wickedins4nity, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. wickedins4nity

    wickedins4nity New Member

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    Hey all,
    I shoot around 200 rounds a week of .38sp, .40, and .45acp, although this might not be a lot to you all, it is a lot for me, and I am a student so money is tough. I think its time I started reloading. I have been looking on midwayusa for kits and came across the Lee Challenger single stage kit. I have read various reviews about the kit and would really appreciate to know what you all think...any help is much appreciated!!


    Lee Challenger Press
     
  2. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Active Member

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    You will probably here from the Lee haters,but I've used a Lee Turret press for years and it gets the job done just fine.
    The single stage press will work great,but it is slow for pistol rounds.For just a little more money I'd get the 4 hole turret press kit and buy a couple extra turrets plates for it.Setup all the dies for each calber in the turret plates,and you can switch out the turrets in a matter of seconds to change the caliber you want to reload.
    Once you have the dies setup,the only one you will have to adjust is the bullet seating die when you change to a different weight/style of bullet for each caliber.

    Lee Deluxe Turret Press Reloading Kit with Auto Index - Natchez Shooters Supplies Deluxe Turret Press Reloading Kit with Auto Index

    The Lee scale will work to begin with,but you will want to upgrade to a better one in the future.
     

  3. wickedins4nity

    wickedins4nity New Member

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    Thanks for the help, now you've got me thinking about better presses... I am liking the 4 turret press you have shown me and watched a few videos on how to use it. I do not think I would have a problem with Lee as I have heard several great things about them. Any other suggestions are greatly welcomed!!
     
  4. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    I've been using a lee 4 hole turret for a few years and have nothing but good things to say about it. I personally want to be able to sit down and crank out a couple hundred rounds so the turret was a must. When I got it I was shooting 2-300 rds of 45 a week. Not a lot compared to some but enough to make reloading worth while.

    Take your time, aske questions, read, read, read, get a reloading manual. It's rewarding and fun but you need to be safe at the same time. Safety comes first.
     
  5. wickedins4nity

    wickedins4nity New Member

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    spittinfire,
    Thanks so much for the help, I've learned a lot from this forum in the last few months of scouring the pages for new info. Im liking the looks of the press that Txhillbilly suggested, although I would like it to catch the spent primers. Do any of the turret presses have a feature like this, or am I worrying too much about the small stuff?
     
  6. patret

    patret New Member

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    I understand your situation and Lee products are ok but please realize they are not as forgiving as other products. You will need some type of tumbler. I still use the Lee Auto prime and Lee will repace the defective or worn out parts.

    Patret
     
  7. wickedins4nity

    wickedins4nity New Member

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    Hey Patret,
    What kind of press are you using...what other brands do you prefer? I have read good things about RCBS, but are quite a bit more expensive than an entry level Lee that I have my eyes on. :eek:
     
  8. hunter Joe

    hunter Joe New Member

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    http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=16800&stc=1&d=1280461891
    dillon_square_deal_b_m.jpg

    I've been looking into buying a press for reloading handgun ammunition and at around $369.00 IMHO this may be the best value for the money. This press comes from the factory with one caliber included and the press is preset at the factory. It's around $90.00 for each additional caliber.

    I'm using a RCBS turret press for all my reloading which is fine for bench shooting and hunting loads, but really sucks for handgun loading. The Dillon can put out 300 to 500 rounds a hour. I'll spend less time in the basement and more time on the range after I get the Dillon.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2011
  9. TheOldMan

    TheOldMan New Member

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    So glad to see that Lee did not flamed here.. I've also been using Lee products for years with great results.. I currently use three different Lee presses from single stage classic to a Lee Pro 1000. No issues here at all..
     
  10. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    I am one big lee hater right here. Everything I have ever used of theres has been faulty of piss poor constructiion and not worth the money I paid for it.

    That being said if you are wanting to get into loading your own for low cost then Lee is where you should look.

    I prefer RCBS and Dillon. Yes I drink the blue koolaid. My dillon is flawless in every way. If there is a problem with it, it is not the press it is the wing nut operator jerkin the handle.

    I have loaded on RCBS for just about my whole life. I grew up just 45 miles from the RCBS factory. RCBS products are build Ford tough and will last you a life time and then some. My RCBS uniflow powder measure is on its 3 user and still going strong.

    The SDB from dillon is a good press but, it has some glaring drawbacks as well. First it doesn't take standard dies they are special dies only made by dillon. It is small and cramped in the work area if you have big hands and fingers it is going to be a pain in the ares to work with if and when something goes wrong. If I were going to get another dillon it would be the XL-650. The 550 is good and if you are starting out and dead set on a progressive the 550 is a manual index (Meaning you have to rotate the shell plate). So you can use it as a single stage reloader as well. The biggest draw back to Dillons are the prices caliber conversions are $45 and a tool head with powder measure is $100.

    Hornady makes a good progressive that works great is built like a dam tank and caliber conversion is much cheaper on it and you can use the same powder measure on everything you just have to change the settings.

    There are lots and lots of stuff out there Lee has kits RCBS has kits and Lyman has a kit I think. with the kits you add powder, primer, cases, dies and your ready to load.

    First thing I would tell you to do is get two books and read them.

    1. ABC's of Reloading. Amazon.com: Abc's Of Reloading: The Definitive Guide For Novice To Expert (9780896896093): Bill…

    2. Sierra 5th Edition Rifle & Handgun Reloading Manual Amazon.com: Sierra 5th Edition Rifle & Handgun Reloading Manual Md: 0500 .: Sports & Outdoors
     
  11. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Active Member

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  12. joshfireart

    joshfireart New Member

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    im a 550 man the square deal only loads pistol not rifles so if your thinking some day a riffle buy the 550 dillion spend the extra now and never look back i have never seen any one regret buying a dillion unless they whish they could have got the 650 in stead
     
  13. wickedins4nity

    wickedins4nity New Member

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    Wow thanks everyone for the responses...Im thinking it would be wise of me to save up for a nicer press and Ill get a lot more enjoyment and use out of it in the longrun!!
     
  14. patret

    patret New Member

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    That will be a long answer for me. I currently use a RCBS rockchucker, C H mark 5a, Herters C press, Dillon rl 1050, Lee Load all, Pacific 650, Lee Load Master and a old 410 shotgun shell reloader I bought off e bay. Lee is ok to start. It might be the best but it works.You don`t need the best of every thing to start. You might not like reloading. It can get expensive.

    Patret
     
  15. opaww

    opaww New Member

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    I am not a big fan of Lee presses myself but as with anyone starting out with a small amount of money get what you can afford.
     
  16. TXnorton

    TXnorton New Member

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    Any starting point into re-loading is a good start!

    I started with a single stage RCBS press and one caliber in 1976, and 34 years later I still load thousands of rounds per year on it. But along the way I also bought a Dillon RL-450 (I upgraded it to a "B" later) in the mid 80's and recently added a Dillon RL-550B.

    Like Tango, I am not overly impressed with Lee products, although the very first round I ever re-loaded was my cousin's 25-.06 with one of the Lee hand load kits. I am definately very positive on RCBS and Dillon, but that is just me.

    The Dillon machines are great for high volume shooting, I don't even start a batch of .45 ACP, 9mm, or .223 until I have a minimum of 300-400 empty cases to re-load. I spend more time on case preparation than I do on the actual re-loading process.
     
  17. Fuzzball

    Fuzzball New Member

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    I'm not a Kool-Aid drinker for any brand. I've been reloading for over 45 years, have five presses now, did have others and have loaded on several owned by friends. Guess what? Given the skill to use them, they all work just fine! ;) And any of them will last two lifetimes if they aren't abused or neglected.

    I buy my tools for the features, not the color. That means I have stuff from virtually every maker. My first choice of press is not Lee because I wanted features they don't have at the time but that is NOT a put down for them. I won't even say what my favorite is because it's irrelivant for others who seek or need different features.

    All that said, there is no question that Lee's Classic Cast single stage and their auto-indexing Classic Turret (the better choice for reloading some 200 rounds a week, in three calibers) are THE greatest values of their respective types. They are fully as good and in some ways better than others costing MUCH more and they both handle spent primers as well as any presses made today! In fact, I realise they're both just as good as my favorite press from an objective perspective.

    Progressives are great for cranking out hundreds of the same handgun load at a time but they aren't much for developing accurate loads for rifles. In my opinion, experienced, high volume shooters suggesting noobs with much different needs get an expensive progressive press for starters, especially since changing calibers is so costly and difficult, seems illogical.

    Most of us agree that noobs will be MUCH better served with a single stage until they learn a LOT about reloading. For many of us a single stage or, at most, a Lee auto-indexing turret press is all we will ever need or even want. If the noob eventually determines he wants a progressive he will have the experience to know what he needs without asking us and he will still have plenty of uses for his first press so it won't be a loss!
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010
  18. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    You can run a dillon 550 as a single stage. I do it for my 308 and 30-06. The 308 will shoot 1/2" with just about any load i put in her and my 30-06 is a old Remington Model 30 express will hold 3/4" to 1" with loads off of my dillon. We were just stating that they are out there no one that I seen was pushing him towards the dillon. He asked a question and we responded.

    Also don't be afaride to jump on ebay and look for older presses. just make sure you can get shell holders for them and they are the std 7/8x14 dies.

    Many times older presses are just as good as a new one but need to be cleaned of some surface rust with some steel wool.

    VINTAGE CH RELOADING PRESS - eBay (item 160460718234 end time Aug-01-10 18:00:26 PDT)

    C-H CH 333 Reloading Press - eBay (item 120600157774 end time Aug-01-10 17:00:02 PDT)

    Lyman Spartan Reloading Press - eBay (item 300430761311 end time Aug-22-10 09:47:03 PDT)

    RCBS JR2 PRESS RELOADING SET UP ( DIES, SCALE, PRESS) - eBay (item 260643549112 end time Aug-06-10 12:00:49 PDT)
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010
  19. opaww

    opaww New Member

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    I still use a RCBS single stage For all my reloading and can crank out several 100 handgun loads in an hour or so not counting case prep. I been reloading for someplace around 35 years with the same press I just add a thing or two every now and then.
     
  20. joshfireart

    joshfireart New Member

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    if owning a dillon is drinking kool aid pour me another o heck give me the pitcure