Going to get into reloading

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by aandabooks, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. aandabooks

    aandabooks New Member

    1,598
    0
    0
    Hello All,

    Let me start by saying that I have read just about everything on this site for reloading and started a thread last year thinking I was going to get started then. I of course still have a couple question before committing cash to this new hobby.

    1. Decided on a minimum of the Lee 4 hole Turret Press with Auto Index. Not really interested in single stage as it seems like alot of setup and teardown. Gander has just the press on sale for $89.99 or $139 for the kit. How much in the kit is junk and will have to be replaced anyway? Basically, is the kit worth the $50 extra?

    2. Is there another Turret Press in this price range that you would recommend over the Lee?

    3. What is the minimum more that I'm going to need to spend to get started?

    4. What extras do you consider the absolute essentials to make reloading easier and faster?

    5. The calibers I'm looking to start with are 9mm, .45ACP and .223. The only one that I am seeing a considerable cost savings over factory ammo is the .45ACP. Am I wrong in this? The others I would be doing for the use of brass that I have been stockpiling.

    I'm sure there will be more questions as I work towards getting the machine setup. Thanks in advance for eveyone's input.
     
  2. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    21,457
    602
    113
    Well- the minimum to get started- copy of the ABCs of Reloading, and a good load book. You will need dies and a set of shell holders, scales, powder, primers, bullets. A powder measure CAN be lived without- weighing every charge- but they are cheap enough. Eventually you will want a tumbler to clean cases, a case trimmer for bottle necked rounds, primer pocket cleaner, and a bullet puller for those WHOOPS moments.
     

  3. dustinoif3

    dustinoif3 New Member

    175
    0
    0
    Depends on whether your loading pistol or rifle for extra things to make it easier. Pistol loading basically all you need are components, load book, factory round to compare overall length and a bullet puller for uh oh's.
    Rifle cases are a different beast. You'll def need a set of calipers, load book, components, lee cutter and lock stud(cheapest route for trimming), a trim length gauge and shell holder( sold together from lee), chamfer and deburring tool and a primer pocket cleaner. Also if your brass is crimped(military) you'll need to consider a rcbs swage die or a primer pocket reamer. I've chucked a reamer up in a cordless drill before with decent results till I purchased the swage die. Dillon makes a swage tool also. I'll prolly spring for one someday when I have an extra hundred. I can't help out on the press side. I run a dillon 550b and two rock chuckers. 9, 40, 45 and 223 in the dillon and 308, 30-06 and 300 win mag in the rock chuckers.
    Money saved really depends on the caliber as you mentioned the 45. I really don't save a ton on 9mm and the 223 price is the same as buying steal cases except you know for a fact your hand load ammo is far more superior and accurate.
     
  4. Overkill0084

    Overkill0084 Active Member

    4,910
    2
    38
    For what it is, the Lee kit is ok. I have replaced the scale & the Powder measure with Redding products.
    Dies is dies for the most part, some will argue that point, but that's my opinion (for the pistol stuff anyway.) I have RCBS & Hornady primarily. I have Lee Factory Crimp Dies for everything as well. My .223 set is the full Lee 3 die set. They all work fine. Spending big dollars on general purpose dies is a choice, not a necessity. Worth noting, the Hornady lock nuts will interfere with each other on the 4 hole turrets, I just ground them down a bit and life was good.

    The ABC's of Reloading is a worthwhile purchase as well.
     
  5. aandabooks

    aandabooks New Member

    1,598
    0
    0
    Thanks everybody for your replies. It seems if I want to stay under $150 for a press kit then Lee is the way to go.

    I know it is a big step up but Bass Pro sells a Lyman T-Mag Expert Deluxe Kit. Would this mean less replacement of what comes in the Lee kit?

    http://www.basspro.com/Lyman-TMag-E...t/product/10200317/?cmCat=CROSSSELL_THUMBNAIL

    Or I could get the press and buy everything else selectively with this one:

    http://www.basspro.com/Lyman-TMag-II-Expert-Reloading-Press/product/10202721/

    Top of my budget for this is going to be $400 and I probably want to be able get a tumbler, media and at least two die sets to start with. The more I spend on the press the less I will have to immediately spend on bullets, primers and powder. In my area, I really only know of Bass Pro and Gander that carry reloading stuff. Atleast that I can check online.
     
  6. trip

    trip New Member

    64
    0
    0
    Here's what I would consider with a new reloader
    Buy the inexpensive set. Get started, after awhile you'll find what you like and what works best. You can add stuff and delete stuff. And if you decide to upgrade, you have a nice little press to set up for another caliber or dedicated to to one task. You'll probably find its kinda fun.
     
  7. Overkill0084

    Overkill0084 Active Member

    4,910
    2
    38
    +1!
    Learn the ropes with the Lee setup. All said & done, you won't really be into it for all that much. While some of the associated equipment might have it's quirks, the actual Lee Classic Turret Press has nothing to apologize for. Once you have a command of the basics, you will be better informed as to what you will need to go to the next level. Assuming you decide that the next level is necessary at all.
     
  8. aandabooks

    aandabooks New Member

    1,598
    0
    0
    This is where I have settled on as being my most economical path. I just don't like buying a kit and finding out most of the accessories are junk. I would rather save the $50 on the kit and select my own powder throw, scale and other pieces. In my mind, even if I spend a bit more atleast I don't have a bunch of stuff sitting around that I've paid twice for.
     
  9. dustinoif3

    dustinoif3 New Member

    175
    0
    0
    Man I'm not sure what your after. Different strokes for different folks. I can sit here and say buy dillon stuff because 90% of the stuff i own is dillon. Then someone else will say buy rcbs. Then another guy will say the lee kit will be just fine to start off with which I'm sure it will be. If your on a budget stick with a kit that comes with everything you need to start minus a tumbler. Try the stuff. You may like it? I believe by asking men that have years of experience that also have there own little quirks is defeating the whole purpose of the great thing that is reloading. It's a time where men go sit down read books and figure out how to make things go bang in there weapons. Work with your budget. Spend extra cash on components. Make some ammo. Figure out what you think you need to increase your quality and output if volume is what your after.
     
  10. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Active Member

    4,435
    30
    38
    The Lee Classic Turret press will give you many years of great service,there's nothing wrong with that press.
    You'll be better off just buying the press,and then piecing together everything else.
    A good beam scale is a must have. Look on Ebay,you can find a used scale cheap. Ohaus is the maker of almost all the reloading brands scales,they are just painted whatever color the mfg's color is.

    A 505 or 5-10 scale would be a good one to start with,and you can get them under $50 if you look on Ebay.

    You'll also want to get a good powder thower like a RCBS Uniflow,or similar model from Redding,Hornady,etc. Once again,Ebay has a ton of them used for great prices.

    There are all kinds of small tools like calipers,I like the digital ones,you can get them online or at the local tool supply co/hardware store/auto supply.

    If you are going to load rifle cartridges,you'll need a case trimmer. I've always used the Lee trimmers.They are cheap/simple/and they work great. They also work great in a cordless drill,and speed things up.

    You also need to Chamfer your cases,and there are many different types of small tools for this.Some are cheap,some are expensive,but they all work.

    Most pistol dies today are Carbide,so you don't need to lube the cases,but rifle dies aren't,and you'll need to get some case lube. Imperial Sizing wax is about as good as it gets,and I've never stuck a case in a die using it. I can't say that with other lubes.
    Brands of dies is up to you. I have a lot of brands,but mostly use LEE,they will load ammo just as well as the more expensive brands,and last for a long time when taken care of. No matter what brand you buy,buy extra decapping pins or carbide ends for them.You will break them every once in a while,and they are cheap.

    You'll also need a brass tumbler,there are many different brands. The last one I bought was a Frankford Arsenal.I bought the complete kit,that came with the tumbler,media seperator,and bucket. It was around $60-65 online.

    There's a lot more stuff that comes in handy,but not needed to begin with,and once you get started reloading,you'll decide on what else you want to get.
    Good luck!
     
  11. aandabooks

    aandabooks New Member

    1,598
    0
    0
    Thanks Txhillbilly. That wa exactly the info I've been searching for. I've been getting the idea to just buy the press and put the accessories together out of better stuff than what is in the Lee kit. I just don't like to double buy the same items because I went cheap the first time around.

    You said a good beam scale. How about a quality digital for easier use?
     
  12. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

    14,922
    0
    0
    Get the beam first. Digital scales are not as reliable IMO, but if ou have a beam you can double-check the digital. It would also be wise to have a set of weights so you can calibrate the scale.
     
  13. DaTexanBoy

    DaTexanBoy New Member

    40
    0
    0
    Digital scales are just fine. I've used one since I started and everything has been safe.
     
  14. dustinoif3

    dustinoif3 New Member

    175
    0
    0
    I started with a hornady digital. 30 bucks I think. Worked well for what it was. Had to re zero and calibrate often. Then I bought a dillon eliminator beam scale and a dillon d'terminater electronic. Picked the beam up off of eBay for 50 and payed 120 for the electronic. The electronic dillon is money every time but once I started using the beam scale I fell in love with it. It's old school and nats *** every time. I use the beam scale 90% of the time. Only draw back is that it's harder to dial in different charges. For example throwing 27gr for 223 then changing the press over to 45 and only throwing 5.6. It's hard to tell where you are when dropping it on the beam scale. With the electronic you can see exactly where you are faster so you can confidently turn your adjustment knob on your powder throw to get closer.
     
  15. jebsca

    jebsca New Member

    228
    0
    0
    I may pick up the check weights later, but for now, I am using US coins. The nickel is 5 grams, or 77.16 grains. I have a list at my bench of what each coin weighs to check with. It is a corner that I have cut, but I think I am ok as I have two balance scales, and they both show the same weights on the coins.
     
  16. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

    14,922
    0
    0
    I guess coins will work, but it is worth the $25-$35 for a proper set of calibrated weights. When you are concerned about a tenth of a grain using a nickel to calibrate doesn't really cut it IMO. You probably aren't going to be able to spot a discrepancy in accuracy with a nickel. Of course that's just my two cents worth of opinion.
     
  17. aandabooks

    aandabooks New Member

    1,598
    0
    0
    Went looking for reloading equipment locally today. Struckout on presses but picked up a tumbler, media and small pistol primers, Bullseye powder and some .45 bullets. Bought a Lyman Reloading Handbook. Got home and ordered a Lee Turret press, 4 piece die set and some other odds and ends. Figured that the shipping was about the same as sales tax so that is a wash.

    In reading the Lyman book, I bought the wrong primer size. The small pistol primers will have to wait for when I get setup for 9mm.
     
  18. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

    14,922
    0
    0
    If the stores around you are like the ones around here you will find that you need to buy most things online or at gun shows (mainly only bullets, powder and primers at the gun shows though). The only store that has much is Imbert and Smithers an hour drive away, and they have a decent selection of Dillon stuff, but you have to call ahead. Sometimes even then they either say they have something that they don't or they have something they say they don't:mad:.

    Hang on to the primers, they will come in handy.
     
  19. aandabooks

    aandabooks New Member

    1,598
    0
    0
    Same way around me. The one LGS had some decent prices on primers/powder. The only other option is Bass Pro. Looking at the prices I might as well buy factory. I've talked to other reloaders in my area and there is a place in Pekin, Il but to get the best prices they all buy by the 1000.
     
  20. aandabooks

    aandabooks New Member

    1,598
    0
    0
    Btw, what is the take on reloading with lead bullets? I see there is an extra step listed in the book but what about the barrel?

    The Lyman book lists them and the one LGS I was in carries 500 packs in a couple calibers that I don't yet shoot but the are considerably cheaper. They had prices like $25-27 per 500.