Which starter kit to get started reloading?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Megaton, May 2, 2010.

  1. Megaton

    Megaton New Member

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    Lee Challenger Breech Lock Single Stage Press Anniversary Kit - MidwayUSA


    or


    Lee Challenger Breech Lock Single Stage Press Kit - MidwayUSA


    So far as I can tell the only difference in the two is the "anniversary" kit comes with the "safety prime" while the other comes with the "autoprime". The anniversary kit is over $10 cheaper. Any opinions on which is better?


    I know there are better options out there but not for $100. The money I save I can put towards components. Then later on down the road I may purchase something better, or I may find the simple Lee stuff to work just fine for my needs.
     
  2. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    I started with a Lee 4 hole turret press and so far I'm happy with it. I've used it to load mainly 45ACP but I use it for 38s, 357s and 44 mag. I don't use their powder measuer for my magnum loads though, I measure those individually. Lee isn't the best equipment out there but IMO it will get you started and if you pay attention you can make good ammo.
     

  3. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    Lee is a good place to start. I have the auto prime. I have loaded thousands of rounds with it. Once in a while a primer will get sideways in it. But for the money, it is a good tool. I don't know anything about the safety prime.

    I have bought a lot of Lee stuff as well as the more expensive brands. I am not sorry for anything I have ever bought.
     
  4. UnderFire

    UnderFire New Member

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    I too am beginning to research reloading equipment.
    One thing that I've been told by the reloaders in my area is to stay
    away from single stage equipment. According to them it'll take 10 minutes
    from start to finish to complete one single round of ammo. :eek: That's a long time if you're wanting to do quantity.

    Good topic here, I'll be following along so that
    I can see what the pros recommend.
     
  5. m72law

    m72law New Member

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    when i first bought my lee challenger kit it was 65 bucks and worked great for the 3 years i used it.then went with the 3hole turret(6years & who knows how much reloaded ammo later?)..only thing i didnt like was the scale that came w/kit...biggest POS..(buy digital scale & helps speed up reloading).of course there is better made,and alot more expensive reloading eq. out there...but i have always told myself you do pay for what you get...but when buying lee products...you get more then what ya pay..IMO;) just make sure you get your hands on and read ALOT! about reloading before you dive right into it....this is of course if you have never done it before....its not rocket science,but will show no mercy if done improperly:(...just make sure you have all your attention (on reloading) before you try to load that first round;)
     
  6. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    All I use is single stage equipment. I have easily loaded 10,000 rounds of assorted ammo over the last 2 years. I also pour lead to make my own bullets. It all depends on how deep you want to get into it. I can reload a box of 50 rounds of just about any pistol cartridge in less than 30 minutes.
     
  7. m72law

    m72law New Member

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    dont know if 150rds.-200rds. an hour is good or not?...but its good enough for me on my single stage presses.(custom made dippers help too)..of course this starts when all cases have been prepped before hand....(cleaned,resized,deprimed,chamfered,primed)maybe trimed if need be....to me a single stage press gives me a little more peice of safety in mind....not saying progressive style presses are not safe! but i dont mind the lil extra time involved w/my single and it didnt cost me a AR-15 to get started in reloading ammo...of course if i was to get a refund on everything i own for reloading....i could buy that armalite ar 50 i want so bad w/1000rds:eek:
     
  8. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    You have to be careful. Reloading is like an addiction. It starts out with picking up brass you don't shoot. Then you decide you need a new gun to go with all that brass. Pretty soon you get into pouring lead. I have got a crap load of money invested. But a lot of it was 20 bucks at this yard sale, 40 at another one. I started with a 45 colt 3 years ago. I now have 14 hand guns and about 7 or 8 rifles. Guns just seem cheap when you get to shoot them for almost nothing. My taste has changed over the years too. I used to buy $200 guns. Now I am up to $800 +. And it seems like every pawn shop in town has a pusher trying to fuel the addiction. LOL.

    I just bought a brand new Smith & Wesson 44 mag to go with some reloading equipment I got at a yard sale for $45. The Smith was just under $800. I've got it bad!
     
  9. m72law

    m72law New Member

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    +1 to what all rick said...(i feel your pain bro:D)...nuttin wrong with used eq. i bought a box full (40 or so dies)from a yardsale...of course i had all the same dies except for 32S&Wlong.sold the rest on evilbay(made a killin)...hows that 44 shooting with ya reloads rick1967...here lately i try to stay outta them pawnshops...thats my only gun problem=im broke
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2010
  10. Shihan

    Shihan Active Member Lifetime Supporter

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  11. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    I think that took the place of the 4 hole turret that I got. Personally, I went with Lee because I wanted to find out if I liked it. I love it and Rick is right, I've got a pile of 9mm brass but no 9mm....this is a problem and the only reasonable solution is to get a 9mm. When the time comes for me to get a new press I'll be looking at something better but by then I'll have a good supply of powder, bullets, dies, everything else needed and the higher priced press won't have to come with the price of everything else to get started.
     
  12. hunter Joe

    hunter Joe New Member

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    I started out with the Lee (single stage) Anniversary kit many many moons ago. Good place to start because of the low dollar investment. I have since upgraded but still use pieces from my original set-up. A beginner cannot go wrong with Lee IMHO.
     
  13. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    That 44 is a kick in the pants! I have been using full power 44 mag and also 44 special. I load the 44 special pressure in the 44 mag cases. That way I don't worry about building up crud in the cylinder. I always clean after each shooting session. But it can build up fast.

    A cop friend of mine said he likes to shoot things he can actualy hit something with. I told him that I am fine shooting a "Man's Gun."
     
  14. m72law

    m72law New Member

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    i hear that rick....my ruger redhawk 44 will gunk up w/crud (lead,powder)and makes the action hard because of the .004 gap between the cyl. and barrel when shooting close to fullpower loads...im using 245gr. swc no gas checks & heard if you try and push lead over 900fps out of a 44mag your asking for things like that to happen?...my barrel isnt leading to bad inside,its just the front of the cyl.. ...do you use gas checks on your full P loads or jackets?i have some 44spl. brass but havent loaded up any in a while...:cool:
     
  15. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    actualy I was talking about the length difference between a 44 special and a 44 mag. Sometimes if you shoot a lot of specials out of a mag. There will be build up in the cylinder. Then you have dificulty getting a full length cartiridge in because of that build up.

    I size my bullets to the largest size I can without bulging the case. I have been running loads up to about 1200 fps without any lead buildup in the barrel or cylinder. A lot of people will over crimp a soft lead bullet. That can cause problems too. If you size your bullet too small the gas gets around the end of the bullet and heats it up too much before it leaves the barrel. I have been sizing my 44 mag to .430. That .001 really will make a difference as far as leading the barrel. I do not gas check any pistol bullets. I do with rifles though.
     
  16. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Active Member

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    Shihan,Do yourself a big favor,and Don't buy that press. I bought one a couple years ago,and sent it back to Lee 2 days after i got it. The press is OK,but most of the moving parts are plastic and will break easily.
    They do not include a set of instructions on how to adjust things on it. They have a video on their website,but at the time I didn't have a computer,so that helped alot! I broke 5-6 parts the first couple pulls of the handle,and even had a primer explode. I was PISSED!
     
  17. Shihan

    Shihan Active Member Lifetime Supporter

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    :eek:Well, that is good to know I will save and get something better. I am in no hurry.
     
  18. BILLYBOB44

    BILLYBOB44 New Member

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    Single stage??

    Single stage IS the way to go-starting out! A person needs to get to know their way around a loading press before they go to a progressive press IMO. I started with a RCBS RockChucker and added on down the road a Dillon RL550. I still use them BOTH. Lee products will make good ammo. It just takes more effort to do it. By the way--all of my RCBS+Dillon tools are backed with a NO BS Lifetime Warranty---How about you Lee owners??:eek:
     
  19. m72law

    m72law New Member

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    i have never had one problem with any of the LEE products i own..(maybe im just lucky) i think most theyre products are 1 or 2 year warranty...but after using LEE products for a very long time and not needing to use a warranty...to me that says something;)
     
  20. UnderFire

    UnderFire New Member

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    Well, those are definitely two conflicting opinions. :confused:
    They must have been exaggerating about taking 10 mins. per round.
    They (the reloaders in my area) do say if you don't have much time to relaod (which I don't) that you want equipment that increases speed & performance.
    I'm still researching on the subject of reloading so I'm taking it all in.

    I'm sure to start, single stage, is ok, but I think my reloading neighbors are trying to tell me if you're going to start you won't stop, unless I sell all my guns- and that's not going to happen. They know me so they don't want me to make their mistakes and have to sell/resell & upgrade equipment. Out here in the backwoods are theory is if you can't make/borrow one buy it once, because you'll never afford to buy it twice. We're mostly ranchers & farmers.