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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guy's. I am new to this forum and never posted here. Many of you probably know me from being around GBO for some time. I really need to get into reloading. I have a tack driving Remington 700 SPS Varmint 243. I bet I spent at least $700.00 ( Probably a lot more ) in ammo this past summer at the range and shooting Groundhogs. With the cost of ammo going up and up with no end in sight I will need to do this just to be able to shoot next year. I have been looking at the Lee Anniversary Reloading Kit and feel it would be a low cost way to get into reloading. http://www.natchezss.com/category.cfm?category=475&brand=LE&catLevel=2 I will end up reloading for other calibers some day. Is it worth all the extra money to buy a press that you pull the handle once and you have a finished round ready to go. I really have no experience at all in reloading and any input would be helpful. After I buy this kit what other items are a must have to turn out a round. I sure could use a complete list of everything needed. Money is a factor for me. That is why I am steering toward Lee products. I hear they are not bad and get the job done. I don't need all the latest most expensive stuff. I just need to turn out decent ammo. Thanks in advance Dale.
 

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if you spent $700 in ammo, you NEED to get into reloading. i hope you saved your brass. and if you spent that much, go and get a dillon 550. for 700, you will have a quality press, enough bullets and powder to shoot much, much more with ammo made to suit your exact purpose. i know it seems like alot, believe me you'll thank me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes I have saved every piece of brass I have fired in the past 2 years. I have hundreds of 204 and 243 brass saved up because I knew I was going to have to get into someday. Dale
 

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Dale, I reload close to 3000 rifle rounds each year, all on a single stage press. It really doesn't take that long if you break it up into 200-300 piece lots. Personally I use a Forester Co-Ax press. A little pricey but well worth the money. But any quality press will do. My opinion, stay away from Lee products. I've thrown more of it away over the years than I ever kept. RCBS, Hornady, Redding, Dillon,Lyman, Forester,are all good products. KN
 

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This happens every time someone asks about getting into reloading. You have the "there's no need to take a second mortage to reload" group and the "I spent more money on my stuff than you did" group.
If you can afford it, get the RCBS STARTER kit. If not, the Lee kit will take you where you want to go. Forget the specialty dies. To start, stick with simple Full Length resizing dies. Your first add on purchase should be a good scale. A 5-5 or a 10-10. Your next purchase should be a Chrony. Those two items will open up your reloading horizons more than anything else.
Stick with a single stage press. At least until you are well grounded in the fundementals of reloading. Then if you want to go to a turret press or one of those automatic things, you can sell your rig or pass it along to a beginner. I've reloaded for over 45 years and still use single stage. It how good you can make it, not how fast.
Once you've got your basic kit and your feet on the ground you can start buying some of the "nice to have" items and gadgets. Of course, you want your very first purchase to be a good reloading book or two to read, cover to cover, before you load your first cartridge. The .243 has been around for quite a while so you could probably pick up a reloading book or two on Ebay for half price that doesn't have all the latest cartridges in it. It would still have everything you'd need about reloading and everything you'd need to know about reloading the .243.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks guy's for the info so far. Dale
 

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There are a few items that do not come with typical reloading starter kits that I find extremely valuable. These include calipers, a case trimmer, and a case cleaner. Additional manuals are worth the money. You can find manufacturer's reloading data on powder manufacturer's web sites, though generally not on bullet manufacturer's websites. Good luck with it. It's a good hobby to get in to.
 

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I'm in the same boat as you, Dale. Although I have no spent brass yet... :mad:

I'm seriously considering the RCBS Supreme kit. It's their famous single stage press combined with a bunch of other needed goodies. It's quite reasonably priced as well....
 

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If I were buying reloading start up gear, and wanted to get in inexpensively, primarily loading for rifles, and wanted the best equipment for my money---------. I don't think I'd buy a kit. I'd put together what I consider the best available at the best price from multiple manufacturers. I'd buy the Lee "Classic" single stage press, a scale and powder measure from RCBS, measuring instruments and tumbler from Frankford Arsenal, case trimmers from Lee, dies from RCBS or Redding, case lube/prep gear from RCBS or Lyman, RCBS hand priming tool, and the Lee/Speer loading manuals. That would be a reloading setup that would still be producing good ammo 50 yrs from now.
Savage
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Savage said:
If I were buying reloading start up gear, and wanted to get in inexpensively, primarily loading for rifles, and wanted the best equipment for my money---------. I don't think I'd buy a kit. I'd put together what I consider the best available at the best price from multiple manufacturers. I'd buy the Lee "Classic" single stage press,  a scale and powder measure from RCBS, measuring instruments and tumbler from Frankford Arsenal, case trimmers from Lee, dies from RCBS or Redding, case lube/prep gear from RCBS or Lyman, RCBS hand priming tool, and the Lee/Speer loading manuals. That would be a reloading setup that would still be producing good ammo 50 yrs from now.
Savage
I have to say that sounds like a good idea also. I have been reading up on the Hornady Lock N Load and with their free bullets look great. The thing is I won't be able to buy any of this stuff till spring. I have been talking about doing this for some time now and am really going to take the plunge when funds come avaible. Dale
 

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Savage has a good idea and I go along with his choices. Reloading component companies enjoy some strong customer alligence and usually if you ask what is the best xxx, it turns into a pissing contest.
Most kits have some good stuff and some junque that you never use. But if you ask someone for a list of what you need, it can get tedious.
If you're not gonna buy your rig until spring, start a list now of what you NEED and what you would like to have. And refine it over the winter. Start out thinking of how simple a Lee Loader is and how many gazillion rounds of ammo have been loaded with them and go from there. I don't know if Ebay still lets presses and such be sold or not but a used RCBS Jr or a Lee Champion might be picked up cheap or a set of calipers.
Doing it Savage's way, your expense can be spread out instead of in a lump.
The only problem with Savage's way is not knowing what you need or what's best. You've been around long enough to pretty well know what's good and what's not.
 

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I have to brush up on reloading because it's been about 10 years, so I'm not going to get real specific.

Beginner kits are good because they give you what you need to start. That's the way I'd go in your shoes. Some companies have Christmas sales, but I take it you have a post-Christmas wallet now, eh?

Just some thoughts, what I'd be doing in your shoes right now:

Pick up lead now, as much as you can. Lot's of people are going over to studded tires, so the tire shops should have a fresh supply of weights. Get the bullet casting stuff later.

Brass from $700+ ammo all used once. I hope you put the brass back in the ammo strips and blocks? You can start punching out used primers now if you have a pin punch. Some people use sockets as a base to hold the brass. You will want to clean the primer pocket and make sure the flash hole is good, that's discussed here. I only cleaned the pocket with a cut down .22LR shell, and never thought to do any of the other stuff you will read about here.

You don't need a case cleaner just yet, but that should go on your list of stuff to get.

The best wives tend to be protective of the kitchen counters and the table you eat at. Don't use them for reloading or you gonna end up head down in the stinky stuff.
 

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dale,
since you are not planning on reloading till spring i would say you should start doing all the research you can NOW. buy at least 3 reloading manuals and read them. this will help you immensely. ask questions here if you need to. of all the equipment i have the most valuable to me is the manuals. over the winter you can read and start getting equipment and familiarize yourself with it before you ever assemble a round.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks that is what I am trying to do now. Do some reading and try to learn something before spring. Dale
 

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Dale, this may be a bit premature, by all indications you will be getting into the reloading addiction soon, but have you given much thought into where you will be setting up your reloading bench and how you will set it up? I'm sure, with your woodworking skills, you will end up with an awesome bench. I've seen some great looking setups here on GBO, maybe some of those can give you good ideas on what you might want. Might make for a good winter project...
I'll be looking forward to seeing what you come up with.


Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I believe I will set up a bench in the corner of the bedroom. I have a very large bedroom. Just have to figure out how to get that past the wife. Dale
 

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Savage said:
If I were buying reloading start up gear, and wanted to get in inexpensively, primarily loading for rifles, and wanted the best equipment for my money---------. I don't think I'd buy a kit. I'd put together what I consider the best available at the best price from multiple manufacturers. I'd buy the Lee "Classic" single stage press, a scale and powder measure from RCBS, measuring instruments and tumbler from Frankford Arsenal, case trimmers from Lee, dies from RCBS or Redding, case lube/prep gear from RCBS or Lyman, RCBS hand priming tool, and the Lee/Speer loading manuals. That would be a reloading setup that would still be producing good ammo 50 yrs from now.
Savage
Good advice Savage!
Dale,
I started reloading with my Dad when I was about 6 years old. When I was 18
I got a RCBS Rockchucker kit. I still have all of the equipment and it still works
fine. If I had to do it all over I would probably go with Lee equipment. A single
stage press is all you need. I have loaded many thousands and thousands of
rifle and handgun ammo with mine over the years. Lee has a good kit that will
work just fine for you. I would also get a case tumbler right away. I use a Lyman
Turbo. There are other brands out there that work just as well. You need to
work with clean brass to start off with. For case lube I like Hornady One Shot.
I have never had a stuck case with it yet and it is easy to clean off afterwords.
Some case lubes are like axle grease. What a mess! One Shot make your
reloading much more enjoyable. I would also get a case trimmer. Lee has a case
trimmer setup that is inexpensive and it will get the job done. You will need a
couple of small things like a primer pocket cleaner and an inside/outside champhering
tool. Many of these things come with the kit. You will need a set of calipers to check
case lengths and cartridge overall length. A 6" dial caliper from Harbor Freight runs
less than $15 and will work just fine. The Lee kit comes with the Lee Auto Prime
hand priming tool. This is a great tool! I can prime 300 cases in an hour with the Auto
Prime without even even breaking a sweat. Other companies make hand primers
similar to the Auto Prime. I'm sure they work well too. As for dies, I have bought
a lot of dies from various companies over the years. RCBS, Lee, Redding, and Lyman.
They are all good and I honestly can't say one brand is better than the other
quality wise. They are all good. Lee is definitely the most reasonably priced of
the bunch. When I reload straight walled handgun ammo I only use carbide dies.
The great thing about carbide is no case lube is necessary. What a god send
these dies are! Reloading manuals are a must! Speer, Lyman, Lee, Sierra.
Take your pick. I also get a lot of information from the powder companies
web sites. Hodgdon, Alliant etc. have lots of good load data. I would stay
away from some sites where people post loads for different calibers. These
haven't been verified and could be dangerous. The loads listed in the reloading
manuals and on the powder companies websites have all been tested.
Reloading is a lot of fun and it saves you a ton of money. I know you will
enjoy it.

Robert

http://leeprecision.com/cgi/catalog/browse.cgi?1196453906.4536=/html/catalog/anivers.html
 

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A kit is a good way to get in all at once, but as has been mentioned some of the equipment in a kit may be worse than other manufacturers products. The Lee kit has everything you need except dies, but I don't like their scale very much. It works, but it settles slowly and is not the easiest to set. The press works well, but seems to have some overtravel. I would not be without a Lee hand priming tool.

If I were starting today I would buy a Lee Classic Cast press or a Classic Turret(I replaced my Rockchucker with one recently), Lee dies (they come with shell holder unless you buy the RGB line_ and powder measure(unless I was shooting a lot of ball powder) and a Lyman scale, The Lee hand trimmer that chucks into a drill is great and fast too. Add a hand priming tool and you would be set.

Hope this helps.

Leon
 
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