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#3173740 - 11/26/18 03:12 PM Reloading equipment Help?
BangFlop Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 644
Loc: Wisconsin
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,

#3173743 - 11/26/18 03:39 PM Re: Reloading equipment Help? [Re: BangFlop]
vahunter Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 01/20/07
Posts: 2045
Loc: Virginia
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.
Al Gore did not invent the internet but he did make up global warming.

#3173745 - 11/26/18 04:02 PM Re: Reloading equipment Help? [Re: BangFlop]
Rustydust Online
PM senior

Registered: 10/21/07
Posts: 6101
Loc: Southwest Idaho
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.
I once asked a liberal "What is it with you people? Is it ignorance or apathy?'
He said, "Well, I don't know and I don't care.'"

#3173748 - 11/26/18 04:38 PM Re: Reloading equipment Help? [Re: BangFlop]
cjclemens Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 01/15/14
Posts: 298
Loc: IL
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!

#3173750 - 11/26/18 04:46 PM Re: Reloading equipment Help? [Re: BangFlop]
kooman Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 02/10/13
Posts: 365
Loc: nebraska
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

#3173861 - 11/27/18 02:21 AM Re: Reloading equipment Help? [Re: BangFlop]
Three 44s Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 02/03/05
Posts: 2664
Loc: Washington St.
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.

#3173922 - 11/27/18 12:14 PM Re: Reloading equipment Help? [Re: kooman]
Plant.One Offline
Die Hard Member with a vengeance

Registered: 02/12/15
Posts: 4244
Loc: Oakland County, MI
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 $.
All reloading info shared is based on my experiences in my guns. Follow safe reloading practice and work up loads from published minimum data.
This disclaimer will self destruct in 10 seconds.

#3173926 - 11/27/18 12:37 PM Re: Reloading equipment Help? [Re: BangFlop]
GLShooter Offline
PM Sponsor

Registered: 01/09/05
Posts: 5063
Loc: AZ
Don't forget this. cursing


#3173929 - 11/27/18 01:10 PM Re: Reloading equipment Help? [Re: GLShooter]
hm1996 Offline
PM Junkie

Registered: 07/23/06
Posts: 15778
Loc: S. Texas
^^^^Do I detect a bit of wear on the allen screw, Greg? lol

If what's ahead scares you and what's behind hurts you, look up; He never fails you.

If My people will humble themselves, pray, seek My face & turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven & will forgive their sin & heal their land.

#3173949 - 11/27/18 03:13 PM Re: Reloading equipment Help? [Re: BangFlop]
AWS Offline

Registered: 02/01/03
Posts: 5243
Loc: NM
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.
After the first shot the rest are just noise.

Make mine a Minaska.

Heaven has rules and walls, He-l has open borders

#3173961 - 11/27/18 04:00 PM Re: Reloading equipment Help? [Re: hm1996]
GLShooter Offline
PM Sponsor

Registered: 01/09/05
Posts: 5063
Loc: AZ
Originally Posted By: hm1996
^^^^Do I detect a bit of wear on the allen screw, Greg? lol


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


#3174098 - 11/28/18 10:20 AM Re: Reloading equipment Help? [Re: BangFlop]
BrienM Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 03/13/18
Posts: 213
Loc: WV
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.

#3174387 - 11/29/18 06:33 PM Re: Reloading equipment Help? [Re: BangFlop]
bigtommy Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 03/29/12
Posts: 912
Loc: MN
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.

#3174514 - 11/30/18 08:29 AM Re: Reloading equipment Help? [Re: BangFlop]
6724 Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 2907
Loc: colorado
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.

#3174522 - 11/30/18 09:44 AM Re: Reloading equipment Help? [Re: BangFlop]
Redneckbmxer24 Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 01/08/13
Posts: 165
Loc: Winchester, VA
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.

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