Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by LightningJack, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. LightningJack

    LightningJack New Member

    Hey everyone, I am considering getting into reloading, but know very little. I'm hoping this forum and its members can help me along the way. I am initially interested in reloading handgun in 9mm, .40 cal, .357, .38, but may do some 5.56 for my brother. In the few hrs of reading I've done, the conclusion to be found is this: guys are just as particular about their reloading equipment as they are about their guns...from Dillon to RCBS. I know there are a lot of benefits of a progressive, but idk if I have the money for it. Dillon is supposed to be great for warranty, parts availability, etc and seems to be an industry standard. Lee seems to be a great value, and Hornady looks interesting. I was looking at the Lee Classic turret press...not as expensive and complicated as the full scale progressives, but looks like it could put out some serious rnds once someone gets the hang of it. I'd like any experience/feedback.
    Theres a kit at cabelas that looks like it has a powder loader/hopper and a primer holder/feeder (sorry if my terminology is wrong) and a scale. I'm confused as to what kind/how many dies I will need, because there appears to be a few different types... and anything else. I guess I really need a "reloading for dummies" book.
  2. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter


  3. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

    The one thing I can say about Dillon is they back it 100 percent. I've not use anything else so I can't really say anything about them. Research all of them and then you can decide what is best for you.
  4. stelliott80

    stelliott80 New Member

    Welcome to the wonderful world of reloading! As you mentioned, we reloaders tend to be kinda particular about our stuff!
    I started reloading about seven years ago. I was initially shown the ropes by a guy who had been reloading for quite some years, and, in hindsight, he has a relatively simple setup: RCBS rock chucker press, manual powder trickler, triple beam scale, etc. But that's the stuff he learned on and liked, and that's just fine!
    I kind of lucked out, as my wife was an office manager at a Sportsman's Warehouse at the time, so she bought me lots of nice stuff at a nice discount! I use a Redding turret press (holds seven dies), a Lyman 1200 DPS powder measure (more for rifle/hunting loads, .300 Win. Mag., .308, etc.), an RCBS powder dumper (more for volume, as with .223, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, .38 SPL, etc.), and a handful of other misc. stuff, such as a Frankford Arsenal case tumbler and RCBS media/case separator (which I actually got recently, and don't know how I've done without it... Haha).
    At any rate, as you well know, it seems, there is a multitude of stuff out there and most of it is good, though everyone you ask will probably give you a different opinion. I personally don't have any experience with progressive presses.
    I would highly recommend picking up Lyman's reloading manual, which is full of good load data plus some "reloading for dummies" type information, all of which I read first, and much of which I found very helpful! Also pick up a few other manuals and/or look around online (such as at the powder manufacturers' web sites), as I like to compare load data, especially when working loads up and getting near/at the maximums, which all differ slightly from manual to manual.
    Best of luck to you! Post on here often, as there is a lot of knowledge here (I am not one of the knowledgeable ones, by the way, as I get a ton of info on here myself from dudes much smarter than me!).
  5. LightningJack

    LightningJack New Member

    Thanks for the feedback. I did take a brief look at the rcbs turret press, and it looks pretty solid. My biggest question is whether or not the cost between parts and stuff is warranted by a huge difference in efficacy. I'm assuming the turret design is kinda between a single stage and progressive in terms of speed? The lee has a turret with 4 slots and the rcbs has seven. I am still completely green to how the whole process works and varies with different turret types. I heard that the Lee classic turret has an effective primer feeder...again thats just from some reading, no experience. btw, the cost for extra turrets appears to be 3 or 4 times the cost for RCBS, and I believe dies are up there too.
  6. JonM

    JonM Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    the dillon xl650 is about the cost of a high quality 1911. its well worth the price. if you get a dillon spring for the dvd instructions its pretty damn handy to actually see how the step bt step setup is done loading actual ammo as opposed to reading about it.

    anyway i startd with a single stage rcbs rockchocker its a nice little press and i still use it today to load 458win mag and 458 lott.

    im not a huge fan of lee or hornady presses. dillon and rcbs i think are better quality machines.
  7. Catfish

    Catfish Member

    I will always own a Dillon. I was looking through their catalog and it looks like they droped the basic 550 started model. I would recomand you start with a RCBC Rock Chucker or simialr heavy press. The reason Lee equipment is the cheapest for a reason and it`s still the most over priced on the market for what you get, it`s cheap junk. For handgun rounds get carbide sizer dies and if your going to load alot of cast bullets get Dillon dies. If your going to due alot of shooting the 550 Dillon would be what I would recomand. The Square Deal will not load rifle ammo. Hit some of the gun shops in your area and try to find someone in your area that has been reloading for several years to help you get started.
  8. LightningJack

    LightningJack New Member

    And btw, what are differences between die types? Carbide, Crimped, Sizing, etc...what exactly do I need to get started? I'm attempting to price out
    a setup
  9. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    Jack, I would strongly suggest the FIRST two things to buy are books. First get a copy of The ABCs of Reloading. It is a large paperback- check, you may find a used one over on Amazon. Sit down and read- it will answer a lot of questions. Second book should be a good load manual. Hornady and Lyman (among others) have a good one.

    A progressive spits out a loaded cartridge with each pull of the handle, automatically advancing a cartridge thru each step. A turret press lets you change which die is being used by simply rotating the head. A single stage press holds one die at a time, so when switching operations, you have to unscrew the die, screw in and adjust a new die. Takes longer. Costs less.

    Buy the books- it is worth the money. Follow the instructions to a T.
  10. lonyaeger

    lonyaeger Active Member

    As far as I know (which isn't a lot), the carbide dies are only available for handgun calibers right now.
  11. BILLYBOB44

    BILLYBOB44 Active Member

    Dillon .223 Carbide Dies.

    Dillon, for sure, and maybe a few others make Carbide Dies for the .223. And Yes, jack would be wise to use carbide pistol dies.;)