Reloading equipment Help?

Posted by: BangFlop

Reloading equipment Help? - 11/26/18 03:12 PM

Guys I want to load for 3 7mm-08's and a 223 to start with. I am in need of knowing what all I "need" to have. I know there are a lot of "nice to haves", but I am looking for list of proper equipment to make safe and accurate loads. Speed of reloading is not relevant as I will not be reloading 1000's of rounds a year.

Please be specific with brands and models.

Thanks all,
Steve
Posted by: vahunter

Re: Reloading equipment Help? - 11/26/18 03:39 PM

Number one is a good reloading manual. Read it, study it and it will save your butt in more ways than one. Like I told a friend of mine they put max loads in them for a reason. I believe he has blown up one pistol and two rifles trying to go over max.
Reloading equipment you can not go wrong with RCBS, they will look out for you when you have one of those moments and break something.
Posted by: Rustydust

Re: Reloading equipment Help? - 11/26/18 04:02 PM

It would be good if you knew someone that reloaded and could take you through the process of how it's done. YouTube is great but not as good as hands on. And if you keep on eye on Craigslist some real bargains can be found from time to time. Local gun shows always have plenty of used presses and dies and like was mentioned already when you stay with a name brand like RCBS it would be difficult to go wrong. I bought my RCBS Rock Chucker press in 1973 and am still using it today for all my reloading needs.
Posted by: cjclemens

Re: Reloading equipment Help? - 11/26/18 04:38 PM

That'll be a long list, but here goes nothing:
1. An up to date reloading manual from your favorite bullet manufacturer. This is always the best place to start.
2. Single stage press. I started with an RCBS Rock Chucker, and I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to start reloading.
3. Hand priming tool. I'm an RCBS fan, and I like theirs, because it uses the same shell plate as the press. No need to buy extra shell plates, if you don't want to.
4. RCBS M500 Mechanical Scale. Not as nice as the old 5-0-2, but it works just fine.
5. Lee Improved Powder Measure Kit. I don't use a trickler, when I'm hand-weighing every load. I just pick the appropriate size scoop and meter the powder out of it directly into the scale. I'm sure there's a better way to do it, but I've been doing it this way for years, and it works.
6. Lee Powder funnel, 22-45 caliber. Cheap plastic funnel. It works better than the RCBS one.
7. Chamfer/Deburring tool. Both the L.E. Wilson and RCBS ones are nice. Both tools in one piece.
8. Shell holders and Die set(s) of your choice. I'm a big fan of RCBS Full-Length Die sets. Start with the Full Length Die set, and add the neck only sizing die later on, as you get more serious about dialing in the accuracy of your bolt guns.
9. Good quality Digital Micrometer. Available at any reputable hardware/tool shop. Essential for checking case length and getting bullets seated to the right depth.
10. Impact bullet puller. I have the National Metallic one from Midwayusa, and I like it. Mistakes will happen. These are used to disassemble loaded ammo, so you can reuse components.
11. Hornady one-shot case lube. It should actually be called 2 or 3 shot, but it goes on easy, with no lube pad required. Wipes off easily, too.
----All of the above equipment should get you going with new brass or fired brass that's already been prepped. Once you have a stockpile of used brass you'll need a couple more things to prep them for reloading-----
12. Case tumbler - I wet tumble my brass. I really like the Dual Drum Rock Tumbler from Harbor Freight. It's perfect for small batches of brass - you just need one pound of stainless steel media for each drum. You'll also need a few accessories to go with it. I have a couple 3 gallon buckets and a cheap plastic pasta strainer I got from the local dollar store. They make it easy to separate brass and media. The Frankford Arsenal Media Transfer Magnet makes short work of picking up stray media.
13. Case Trimmer. I use a Lyman Universal Trimmer. It works OK, as long as you do small batches. This is something I'm looking to upgrade in the near future.

There it is. That's my best attempt at a comprehensive list. I'm sure I forgot something, but I think that should be all you need to get going. Good luck and, like I said, Start by reading the manual!
Posted by: kooman

Re: Reloading equipment Help? - 11/26/18 04:46 PM

Look into the hornady single stage kits, has a lot of the stuff you need to get started. Like stated before, the reloading manual is your best friend when it comes to working up safe loads, don't listen to billy bob on the Internet when it comes to load data
Posted by: Three 44s

Re: Reloading equipment Help? - 11/27/18 02:21 AM

Cjclemans did a fine job there!

I would suggest that a copy of the Hornady manual be acquired. Near the front they have some color drawings depicting brass in a rifle chamber before and after firing. I think itís the best artist depiction I have seen.
Posted by: Plant.One

Re: Reloading equipment Help? - 11/27/18 12:14 PM

Originally Posted By: kooman
Look into the hornady single stage kits, has a lot of the stuff you need to get started. Like stated before, the reloading manual is your best friend when it comes to working up safe loads, don't listen to billy bob on the Internet when it comes to load data


ill second this. the hornady kit is worth the extra ~$100

i started with the Lee kit, but budget was SUPER tight at the time. i made a lot of great ammo with it. but i have over time upgraded basically everything that came with the lee kit, including the press - although that was to match the LNL bushings for my progressive. You'll really appreciate those quick change bushings - so make sure whatever kit you have has the option to use a quick change bushing system.

the hornady kit, IMHO, IS worth the $$ - compared to the LEE Kit - as the hornady powder thrower is leaps and bounds higher quality than the lee product, and the press is quite a bit more robust.

the nice thing about getting a kit is you'll have about 90% of the basics already there for you.

add a tumbler, and the dies of your choice, calipers, a bullet puller and you're on your way to making some high quality ammo.


re: bullet puller - you may not need it right away, but eventually you will so - just go ahead and get a press mounted collet style puller.

Inertia pullers are cool until you have to undo more than a couple bullets - or if you're working late and have light sleepers in the house. I'm sure the night i started pulling >300 over crimped 50 beowulf rounds down (newbie error by an acquaintance) i woke the neighbor's up with all the pounding and banging before i gave up and ordered my collet puller system. Takes about 1/4 the effort with none of the noise. totally worth the couple extra $.
Posted by: GLShooter

Re: Reloading equipment Help? - 11/27/18 12:37 PM

Don't forget this. cursing



Greg
Posted by: hm1996

Re: Reloading equipment Help? - 11/27/18 01:10 PM

^^^^Do I detect a bit of wear on the allen screw, Greg? lol

Regards,
hm
Posted by: AWS

Re: Reloading equipment Help? - 11/27/18 03:13 PM

Over the past 50 years I've used just about everyone's presses, powder throws, dies, scales and trimmers except some of the newer stuff. All of the top of the line presses are pretty much equal, there is nothing a RCBS Rockchucker can do that a Lyman Crusher, Lee Cast Classic, Hornady LNL can't do equally as well. Most powder throws are pretty much the same if they have Micrometer adjusting. Powder scales again most are close to the same, magnetic dampening (ALMOST UNIVERSAL NOW) is nice but I do have an of Redding oil dampened that I use and like.

I have on my bench a Lyman Crusher and Lee cast classic turret for all my rifle loading, I use the Layman Crusher for most of my case forming, the Lee does almost all my actual loading as I can have all my dies set up in turets and just swap a turret in and not have to do any adjusting. I have an old Lyman Tru-line Jr turret press with a 7/8x14 head on it stashed away from when I loaded allot of small stuff, pistol and the bugs(Hornet and Bee)

Powder throws by Lyman, Redding, Pacific, Hornady, RCBS, Seaco, Herters and I just gave away a really nice huge C&H(it held at least a pound of powder) and I have Midway pistol measure.

Dies by C&H, Hornady(my personal favorite), Redding, Forester, Herters, Bonanza, Lyman, a really unique neck die from a Reloading shop in Burien, WA.

My bench is an eclectic 50 year collection of reloading stuff, junk went down the road early.

Good luck withyour new hobby, it never gets old and you always keep learning.
Posted by: GLShooter

Re: Reloading equipment Help? - 11/27/18 04:00 PM

Originally Posted By: hm1996
^^^^Do I detect a bit of wear on the allen screw, Greg? lol

Regards,
hm


I've had that since 1976 and I will admit I've had to use it on occasion. I can say though that 90% of those were from assistance with the Dillon press plate. They are cut generously and don't hang on to the rim like a standard shell holder. Being parsimonious, stingy, with HOS is the road to the drill and working out my biceps..LOL

Greg
Posted by: BrienM

Re: Reloading equipment Help? - 11/28/18 10:20 AM

2nd on the stuck case remover!! HAHA.. I buy one for all my new reloading buddies. Really gets me when I have to use it to remove a stuck Lapua case.. but sure glad to have it.
Posted by: bigtommy

Re: Reloading equipment Help? - 11/29/18 06:33 PM

RCBS and Dillon have great customer service. If u go single stage buy a good powder drop,scale, calipers, funnel, scale I like digital but I do have a beam as a back up, case trimmer Iíd recommend a wft or trim it, and case prep tools. As far as dies I use Forster, Redding and Hornady with good results. Also donít forget a case cleaning unit like a tumbler.
Posted by: 6724

Re: Reloading equipment Help? - 11/30/18 08:29 AM

For starting out you do not need a trimmer, or a tumbler.
The basics will get you started, over time you may decide you need more stuff. Buy it as you need it.
Posted by: Redneckbmxer24

Re: Reloading equipment Help? - 11/30/18 09:44 AM

A beam scale is WAYYYY more accurate and less finicky than the low end electronic scales. To get an electronic scale that out performs one youíre going to spend $500+ for a lab grade scale like the A&D fx-120i which is what I run with a auto throw and auto trickler setup. Itís awesome but youíre looking at $1K into it and itís unnecessary for what the OP wants.

Iíve had several of the standard electronic scales (Frankfort, RCBS, Lyman) as well as a chargremaster and a gempro 250 and I can tell you with 100% certainty that youíre wasting your money on them if accuracy is important to you. That standard RCBS beam scale is better than any of them for giving a consistent weight. If you want a better scale buy the Redding, thatís the best commercial beam scale on the market currently. Or find an old Ohaus beam scale, the Lyman Ohaus scales are the most prominent and can be had for $50-$100 and are super consistent, better than the Redding even.
Posted by: pyscodog

Re: Reloading equipment Help? - 12/06/18 04:10 PM

I think the most important piece of equipment mentioned was a book, a manual on reloading. Really doesn't matter what kind as long as it has the basic steps to reloading in it. Youtube has tons of video's on "How to". Watch a few of them. And as also mentioned, if you have a friend that reloads, go watch him and check out his equipment.


P.S. Buy or build a case puller. Sooner or later you'll need it. thumbup1
Posted by: hm1996

Re: Reloading equipment Help? - 12/06/18 07:48 PM

Originally Posted By: GLShooter
Originally Posted By: hm1996
^^^^Do I detect a bit of wear on the allen screw, Greg? lol

Regards,
hm


I've had that since 1976 and I will admit I've had to use it on occasion. I can say though that 90% of those were from assistance with the Dillon press plate. They are cut generously and don't hang on to the rim like a standard shell holder. Being parsimonious, stingy, with HOS is the road to the drill and working out my biceps..LOL

Greg


You're right about the Dillon plates, Greg. Guess they have to be a bit sloppy to index multiple cases easier.

Regards,
hm
Posted by: EMP3

Re: Reloading equipment Help? - 12/06/18 08:27 PM

Originally Posted By: Rustydust
It would be good if you knew someone that reloaded and could take you through the process of how it's done. YouTube is great but not as good as hands on. And if you keep on eye on Craigslist some real bargains can be found from time to time. Local gun shows always have plenty of used presses and dies and like was mentioned already when you stay with a name brand like RCBS it would be difficult to go wrong. I bought my RCBS Rock Chucker press in 1973 and am still using it today for all my reloading needs.


^^^Excellent info^^^

Don't spend a fortune until you know what you're gonna need.
Posted by: EMP3

Re: Reloading equipment Help? - 12/06/18 08:29 PM

Originally Posted By: AWS
Over the past 50 years I've used just about everyone's presses, powder throws, dies, scales and trimmers except some of the newer stuff. All of the top of the line presses are pretty much equal, there is nothing a RCBS Rockchucker can do that a Lyman Crusher, Lee Cast Classic, Hornady LNL can't do equally as well. Most powder throws are pretty much the same if they have Micrometer adjusting. Powder scales again most are close to the same, magnetic dampening (ALMOST UNIVERSAL NOW) is nice but I do have an of Redding oil dampened that I use and like.

I have on my bench a Lyman Crusher and Lee cast classic turret for all my rifle loading, I use the Layman Crusher for most of my case forming, the Lee does almost all my actual loading as I can have all my dies set up in turets and just swap a turret in and not have to do any adjusting. I have an old Lyman Tru-line Jr turret press with a 7/8x14 head on it stashed away from when I loaded allot of small stuff, pistol and the bugs(Hornet and Bee)

Powder throws by Lyman, Redding, Pacific, Hornady, RCBS, Seaco, Herters and I just gave away a really nice huge C&H(it held at least a pound of powder) and I have Midway pistol measure.

Dies by C&H, Hornady(my personal favorite), Redding, Forester, Herters, Bonanza, Lyman, a really unique neck die from a Reloading shop in Burien, WA.

My bench is an eclectic 50 year collection of reloading stuff, junk went down the road early.

Good luck withyour new hobby, it never gets old and you always keep learning.



^^^Lots of excellent info in this^^^

I pay a lotta attention to people with experience.