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Posted: 7/20/2010 7:10:33 AM EDT
Alright I'm looking to get into this but need some advice on what gear to buy. So far the only thing I have is a Speer reloading manual.

I have pretty much decided to get one of two reloading kits and I'm wondering which one you guys recommend and for what reasons.

option 1 = RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Single Stage Press Master Kit

option 2 = Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Single Stage Press Kit

both are about the same price and I know there are some other things that I will need to buy too but I'm planning on starting with one of these.

Also what tumbler would you recommend? I'm looking for one that does not have a reputation for burning out after a few months or a year. I'm looking at the Lyman Turbo 1200 series but open to suggestions.

I mainly plan on reloading 308, 223, and 30-06

Thanks for reading this and thank you for any help you are able to provide.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 7:22:33 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 7:35:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/20/2010 7:52:05 AM EDT by CCW]
Originally Posted By njlohmann:
Alright I'm looking to get into this but need some advice on what gear to buy. So far the only thing I have is a Speer reloading manual.

I have pretty much decided to get one of two reloading kits and I'm wondering which one you guys recommend and for what reasons.

option 1 = RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Single Stage Press Master Kit

option 2 = Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Single Stage Press Kit

both are about the same price and I know there are some other things that I will need to buy too but I'm planning on starting with one of these.

Also what tumbler would you recommend? I'm looking for one that does not have a reputation for burning out after a few months or a year. I'm looking at the Lyman Turbo 1200 series but open to suggestions.

I mainly plan on reloading 308, 223, and 30-06

Thanks for reading this and thank you for any help you are able to provide.


Be sure and read through the info at the top of this forum.  There is a treasure trove of info that someone starting out can use there.  

Tumblers:  You do not need a giant size unit to turn out cleaned brass at a rate that is not going to overwhelm your throughput on a single stage press.

Press:  I am partial to RCBS, but I think both are good units for single stages.  

Scale:  Start with a beam balance scale.  You will use this later on to check your digital scale accuracy when you are tempted to go that way.

Starting Caliber: I would start with the .223, since there is more info on this caliber than anyother here.  There are some .223 semi-pro reloaders on here that run progressives and load for plinking up to super accurate.  

Brass:  I would start with NEW Lake City 5.56 / .223 brass from the mail order outlets to avoid getting into the military primer crimp removal business just yet.  Make sure you have a means for trimming and deburring/chamfering the brass after sizing.  

Sizing Lubricant:  I like RCBS Case Lube 2.  Some like the Imperial Wax.  You must lube or you will stick cases in your die.

Read the manual:   Reread that Speer manual a few times particularly the chapters with words and the introductory words and margin note words in the recipe section.  There is good information in there that initially makes your eyes glaze over, but you find later are the precise words that will keep you out of trouble.

Shell holder:  Be sure and get a shell holder for the tip of your press ram to fit and hold the caliber you choose to start with.

Digital Calipers:  Invest in a good set now.  Do not wait.

Loading Bench:  No matter how heavy and rigid your bench choice for the press  is now, it will not be rigid enough.  

Primer insertition:  You can use the primer insertion tools that come with your kit.  However, looking back, I think I would have been better off to start with a good handheld primer insertion tool with primer feed, from one of the reputatlbe folks like Hornady or RCBS.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 9:27:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/20/2010 12:37:48 PM EDT by GWhis]
Originally Posted By AeroE:
Either of those kits will work great.  You won't make a mistake if you choose by color in this case.

I have a $30 Midway tumbler I bought at least 10 years ago, shortly after their incidents with fires, and it's running strong.  That could be because I don't overload it with brass, then let it run for 10 or 12 or 24 hours, usually no more than about an hour with breaks while I change out the load.



I agree on those kits, know what you're getting, in other words, examine what you get besides the press in each kit and decide what you prefer.

The Hornady comes with a digital scale, the RCBS with a Mechanical Ohaus scale.  Digital isn't necessarily better...faster, yes, as accurate...only sometimes. Educate yourself on scales.  I have both.  The Ohaus beam scale is what I use to make sure the other one is accurate. (things that affect that are fluorescent lighting too close by and battery life.)

There is an interesting thread on electronic scales, with good info on electronics, Here Quoting Sonier there....
"For weighing powder lot of the electronic scales can be dangerous for pistol calibers, i love my hornady for quick weight checks on mismatched pawnshop 38 cal bullets. but for weighing powder the old balance beam scale tops it"  Don't know about his "dangerous" comment, but is probably true with cheap electronic scales...I do not know where the Hornady, that comes with their kit, ranks.


A lot of new reloaders seem to have problems with Hornady's One Shot.  Less so with the RCBS lube and pad.  Make sure you follow Hornady's instructions on lubing to the letter, or you will have a stuck case in a die, and have a very bad day. That's not saying its a bad product.  It's saying that using it incorrectly is the same as not using any at all.

Both presses can use Hornady's LnL bushings....of course you have to buy them separate if you go RCBS. Many don't think the bushings are a big deal...others are vocally adamant that they are a big deal! (a very personal thing, obviously)

Loading Manuals....eventually you'll want both, plus Sierra's, and Nosler.and possibly others.

Can't comment on Hornady's hand primer...it probably works just as good as RCBS's, ditto with the deburr/chamfer tools.  

Trickler?  You have to decide if you need that.  If you plan to just use the powder meaure, then no.  If you are trying to beat the best at bench rest shooting...then perhaps.

Powder Measures are similar designs...don't make a difference.

Presses?  The Hornady is a lighter Alum. Alloy.  The RCBS is Cast iron.  The RCBS machine doesn't keep your floor clean of ejected, spent primers, I think people say the Hornady is better in that regard.  Not a biggie that affects anything...I have to sweep the floor every week anyway.  As you can tell I use RCBS... but I still agree with AeoE....pick the package with the tools you want and go for it...but be careful with the One Shot.  If you get that package buy some Imperial wax too.

I have a Lyman tumber.  Happy with it so far, 4 years.  Before that my reloads were cleaned by hand, fine reloads...just uglier.



Link Posted: 7/20/2010 9:58:50 AM EDT
I prefer the Hornady press over the RCBS since I have had both and sold the RCBS(twice), the quality of both are of the best but I like the setup of the Hornady much better and the LnL bushings are a real plus.

The Hornady powder measure is a million times better than the Uni-flow, I have the Hornady, Uni-flow, & Redding BR3 powder measures and the Hornady is just as good as the Redding but the Uni-flow is horrible and wont throw the same charge twice with any powder I have tried(stick or ball) and I even have the Micrometer adjuster added to my Uni-flow with extended drop tube and it still sucks.

The Hornady Cam-Lock trimmer is a very nice trimmer and would be a great add-on to go with your press kit, I have the TiN cutter added to mine and it cuts super smooth and exact every time(no +/- .002" variation like many other trimmers).

I do recommend a good balance scale, Hornady makes one of the nicer ones as well or a nicer digital scale like the RCBS Range Master or Charge Master would be a good investment also.

As for a tumbler just take your pick they are all about the same, I have two Lyman 1200's, an RCBS and a NIB Hornady if I ever need a spare but wouldn't say any one was better.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 10:05:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/20/2010 10:11:36 AM EDT by Maryland_Shooter]
Originally Posted By njlohmann:
Alright I'm looking to get into this but need some advice on what gear to buy. So far the only thing I have is a Speer reloading manual.

I have pretty much decided to get one of two reloading kits and I'm wondering which one you guys recommend and for what reasons.

option 1 = RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Single Stage Press Master Kit

option 2 = Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Single Stage Press Kit

both are about the same price and I know there are some other things that I will need to buy too but I'm planning on starting with one of these.

Also what tumbler would you recommend? I'm looking for one that does not have a reputation for burning out after a few months or a year. I'm looking at the Lyman Turbo 1200 series but open to suggestions.

I mainly plan on reloading 308, 223, and 30-06

Thanks for reading this and thank you for any help you are able to provide.


Hold on to your wallet, as these guys around here are smart, helpful and all to willing to spend your money!

First - the answer to nearly every question is: buy a tool or buy a book.  This is gonna get expensive fast, so if you don't have $1,000 you may want to reconsider.

Press - I bought a used RC Supreme used for about $100 shipped.  Single stage and I use it mostly for de-capping and re-sizing.  Sure single stage sounds like the way to go starting out and after you make like 50 cartridges, you'll wish you had something more.

Press - I bought a Lee 3 turret ($100) used with a bunch of dies and what not - converted it to a 4 turret.  I like the fact it has 4 stages.  I currently only use 2 - powder drop and seat the bullet.  I also like the fact I can set up a turret for a caliber (say .45) and just pull it off when I am done, then store it in a screw top jug.

I decap on the RCBS and then hand prime with an RCBS hand priming tool.

If you get brass with a crimp (virtually all the 5.56 I have seen) you will need to remove the crimp with a swager.  I tried the tools for use with drills - they don't work well for me.  You'll need a swager of some type $60 to $100 for that I figure.

Oh - BTW - tumble the brass, then make sure the media is clear of the cases before you decap.  Decap first and the media tends to stick in the primer/flash holes.  Don't get the cases cleared of media (or say a small .22 case inside a .223/.308 case) and you'll have issues.  Ask me how I know

I bought a Frankford Arsenal tumbler . . . it works.  Maybe $60 IIRC.  Once it is tumbled, how will you get the media out of all the cases?  Think about it.

You need a basic scale $100 IIRC RCBS 505.  How will the powder get there?  Powder drop?  Dippers?  You're gonna need something.

Oh - you want load data - better buy a few books @ $20-$25 each.

Loads not listed in books?  Quickload Software is $150

Trimming - you gonna hand trim all the cases?  Takes time and naturally you'll want a hand trimmer.

What's that - you aren't interested in hand trimming thousands of cases?  Me neither. Giraud sells a really nice one for $425 and the additional trim heads for each caliber are only an additional $75 per.

Wow - now cases - hopefully you've saved some - primers (make sure and get the correct ones, though no one really makes it clear up front which those are), powders and bullets.  Can you find the correct primers and powders?  Have a look before you have a garage full of gear you can't make much with . . .

Now - you are all set

Did I mention case gauges so you can be sure the cases have been properly resized?  I didn't think so - may as well order them as well.

Did you get media with the tumbler?  Go to a pet store and buy some crushed corn cob (Pet Smart), then just dump in some (amonia free) brass polish.

How are you gonna prime the cases?  Perhaps a hand priming tool would be handy.

Ok - when you get all that and produce the first cartridge, congratulate yourself.

Now go get a chrono so you can see that the FPS is up to snuff, watch cases for signs of too much pressure.

Oh - I forgot to mention a caliper to measure case length when trimming and COAL when seating bullets.  I like digital - just easier to read.  And at $20-$25 a real bargain.

I think that covers it - for now anyway.

ETA: Lube - I have tried them ALL and the best I found was generic canola oil at Wal-Mart.  I am dead serious and you have to take care not to get any inside the case.

ETA 2: forgot dies - I use a full length die to return the brass to factory spec.  If shooting out of more than one rifle, this is preferred.  Just one rifle?  You don't need a FL die.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 10:06:37 AM EDT
Originally Posted By CCW:
Originally Posted By njlohmann:
Alright I'm looking to get into this but need some advice on what gear to buy. So far the only thing I have is a Speer reloading manual.

I have pretty much decided to get one of two reloading kits and I'm wondering which one you guys recommend and for what reasons.

option 1 = RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Single Stage Press Master Kit

option 2 = Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Single Stage Press Kit

both are about the same price and I know there are some other things that I will need to buy too but I'm planning on starting with one of these.

Also what tumbler would you recommend? I'm looking for one that does not have a reputation for burning out after a few months or a year. I'm looking at the Lyman Turbo 1200 series but open to suggestions.

I mainly plan on reloading 308, 223, and 30-06

Thanks for reading this and thank you for any help you are able to provide.


Be sure and read through the info at the top of this forum.  There is a treasure trove of info that someone starting out can use there.  

Tumblers:  You do not need a giant size unit to turn out cleaned brass at a rate that is not going to overwhelm your throughput on a single stage press.

Press:  I am partial to RCBS, but I think both are good units for single stages.  

Scale:  Start with a beam balance scale.  You will use this later on to check your digital scale accuracy when you are tempted to go that way.

Starting Caliber: I would start with the .223, since there is more info on this caliber than anyother here.  There are some .223 semi-pro reloaders on here that run progressives and load for plinking up to super accurate.  

Brass:  I would start with NEW Lake City 5.56 / .223 brass from the mail order outlets to avoid getting into the military primer crimp removal business just yet.  Make sure you have a means for trimming and deburring/chamfering the brass after sizing.  

Sizing Lubricant:  I like RCBS Case Lube 2.  Some like the Imperial Wax.  You must lube or you will stick cases in your die.

Read the manual:   Reread that Speer manual a few times particularly the chapters with words and the introductory words and margin note words in the recipe section.  There is good information in there that initially makes your eyes glaze over, but you find later are the precise words that will keep you out of trouble.

Shell holder:  Be sure and get a shell holder for the tip of your press ram to fit and hold the caliber you choose to start with.

Digital Calipers:  Invest in a good set now.  Do not wait.

Loading Bench:  No matter how heavy and rigid your bench choice for the press  is now, it will not be rigid enough.  

Primer insertition:  You can use the primer insertion tools that come with your kit.  However, looking back, I think I would have been better off to start with a good handheld primer insertion tool with primer feed, from one of the reputatlbe folks like Hornady or RCBS.


Sir, my comments for your consideration:

The primary purpose for a case tumbler is to remove case lube from resized cases.  A seconday purpose is polishing the brass.  For my purposes I prefer a large tumbler, the Dillon CV2001 is the one I use.  I've been using it since the late '90s.

I have an RCBS Rock Chucker press in addition to two Dillon progressives.  For a single stage system Hornady and RCBS are about equal but I've never actually used a Hornady press.  Both of the kits should include a powder measure.  RCBS now includes a powder baffle in their Uniflow measure, make sure you get a powder baffle, and for my purposes that would be a deal breaker if Hornady does not offer a similar feature.

The necessity for trimming resized cases cannot be ignored.  Most once fired cases will grow a bit in length after resizing and the reloader of bottle neck rifle cartridges must ensure his cases are within acceptable length limits.  A caliper (digital is preferrable) is required to measure the resized case and a trimmer will be required to reduce an overlength case to an acceptable length.  The best trimmer currently on the market is made by Doug Giraud.  Dillon makes a very good trimmer a bit less expensive than the Giraud.  All other trimmers have tedium issues or are simply not accurate enough for my purposes.  You can read the comments of many reloaders on this forum that didn't want to spend the money for a better trimmer.  Suffice it to say they're not a happy lot.  Speaking of brass, if you decide to try once fired Lake City .223 Rem, don't hesitate to buy a Dillon super Swager.

Imperial Sizing Wax is the only way to go.  All others pale in comparison.

There are a number of good reloading manuals on the market.  Sierra is my first choice.  I also have Hornady, Lyman, and Speer books.  Sinclair int. also has a reloading manual but is more intented as a "how to" book instead of providing reloading tables for every possible cartridge.

The best priming tool for the purpose is marketed by Sinclair Int.  Good tools are not cheap and this is the best tool for the purpose on the market.

Another consideration not yet addressed so far in this thread is the choice of dies.  In my humble opinion the best reloading dies for a rifle cartridge reloader are the Redding Type "S" with removable neck bushings, and the Competition seating die.  Check out the Sinclair Int. web site to get a better discription of available dies on the market.  Forester/Bonanza are just as good as Redding.

HTH, 7zero1.

Link Posted: 7/20/2010 11:57:41 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 7zero1:
Originally Posted By CCW:
Originally Posted By njlohmann:
Alright I'm looking to get into this but need some advice on what gear to buy. So far the only thing I have is a Speer reloading manual.

I have pretty much decided to get one of two reloading kits and I'm wondering which one you guys recommend and for what reasons.

option 1 = RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Single Stage Press Master Kit

option 2 = Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Single Stage Press Kit

both are about the same price and I know there are some other things that I will need to buy too but I'm planning on starting with one of these.

Also what tumbler would you recommend? I'm looking for one that does not have a reputation for burning out after a few months or a year. I'm looking at the Lyman Turbo 1200 series but open to suggestions.

I mainly plan on reloading 308, 223, and 30-06

Thanks for reading this and thank you for any help you are able to provide.


Be sure and read through the info at the top of this forum.  There is a treasure trove of info that someone starting out can use there.  

Tumblers:  You do not need a giant size unit to turn out cleaned brass at a rate that is not going to overwhelm your throughput on a single stage press.

Press:  I am partial to RCBS, but I think both are good units for single stages.  

Scale:  Start with a beam balance scale.  You will use this later on to check your digital scale accuracy when you are tempted to go that way.

Starting Caliber: I would start with the .223, since there is more info on this caliber than anyother here.  There are some .223 semi-pro reloaders on here that run progressives and load for plinking up to super accurate.  

Brass:  I would start with NEW Lake City 5.56 / .223 brass from the mail order outlets to avoid getting into the military primer crimp removal business just yet.  Make sure you have a means for trimming and deburring/chamfering the brass after sizing.  

Sizing Lubricant:  I like RCBS Case Lube 2.  Some like the Imperial Wax.  You must lube or you will stick cases in your die.

Read the manual:   Reread that Speer manual a few times particularly the chapters with words and the introductory words and margin note words in the recipe section.  There is good information in there that initially makes your eyes glaze over, but you find later are the precise words that will keep you out of trouble.

Shell holder:  Be sure and get a shell holder for the tip of your press ram to fit and hold the caliber you choose to start with.

Digital Calipers:  Invest in a good set now.  Do not wait.

Loading Bench:  No matter how heavy and rigid your bench choice for the press  is now, it will not be rigid enough.  

Primer insertition:  You can use the primer insertion tools that come with your kit.  However, looking back, I think I would have been better off to start with a good handheld primer insertion tool with primer feed, from one of the reputatlbe folks like Hornady or RCBS.


Sir, my comments for your consideration:

The primary purpose for a case tumbler is to remove case lube from resized cases.  A seconday purpose is polishing the brass.  For my purposes I prefer a large tumbler, the Dillon CV2001 is the one I use.  I've been using it since the late '90s.

I have an RCBS Rock Chucker press in addition to two Dillon progressives.  For a single stage system Hornady and RCBS are about equal but I've never actually used a Hornady press.  Both of the kits should include a powder measure.  RCBS now includes a powder baffle in their Uniflow measure, make sure you get a powder baffle, and for my purposes that would be a deal breaker if Hornady does not offer a similar feature. The Hornady Powder measure is way better than a Uniflow even without a powder baffle, there is nothing you can do to a Uniflow to make it better(or as good as) the Hornady powder measure, the rotor in the RCBS just doesn't fit as good in the honed cast body like the Hornady unit does, I have tried 3 different Uniflows and couldn't get acceptable charge weights for any of them, moral of my comment is don't let the Hornady not having a powder baffle keep you from buying the better powder measure.

The necessity for trimming resized cases cannot be ignored.  Most once fired cases will grow a bit in length after resizing and the reloader of bottle neck rifle cartridges must ensure his cases are within acceptable length limits.  A caliper (digital is preferrable) is required to measure the resized case and a trimmer will be required to reduce an overlength case to an acceptable length.  The best trimmer currently on the market is made by Doug Giraud.  Dillon makes a very good trimmer a bit less expensive than the Giraud.  All other trimmers have tedium issues or are simply not accurate enough for my purposes. I don't agree that the power trimmers(Giraud) are as accurate as a good manual trimmer(faster yes, accurate enough yes, more accurate no), no trimmer that gauges off the shoulder can be as accurate as one that gauges off the base of the case for accurate OAL of the brass.  You can read the comments of many reloaders on this forum that didn't want to spend the money for a better trimmer.  Suffice it to say they're not a happy lot.  Speaking of brass, if you decide to try once fired Lake City .223 Rem, don't hesitate to buy a Dillon super Swager.

Imperial Sizing Wax is the only way to go.  All others pale in comparison.

There are a number of good reloading manuals on the market.  Sierra is my first choice.  I also have Hornady, Lyman, and Speer books.  Sinclair int. also has a reloading manual but is more intented as a "how to" book instead of providing reloading tables for every possible cartridge.

The best priming tool for the purpose is marketed by Sinclair Int.  Good tools are not cheap and this is the best tool for the purpose on the market.

Another consideration not yet addressed so far in this thread is the choice of dies.  In my humble opinion the best reloading dies for a rifle cartridge reloader are the Redding Type "S" with removable neck bushings, and the Competition seating die.  Check out the Sinclair Int. web site to get a better discription of available dies on the market.  Forester/Bonanza are just as good as Redding. I 100% agree that the redding Type "S" dies are the best you can buy, I love mine and the TiN coated bushings and carbide expander make them even better.

HTH, 7zero1.



Just a few opinions.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 1:09:59 PM EDT
I have two Uniflows and they meter very well when you learn how to use them.  The hornady is a uniflow copy licensed from RCBS just as RCBS licensed Hornady's progressive linkage for it.  Machining tolerances are another thing and whether Hornady has an edge there I don't know.  I'm not planning on buying one to find out since the measures I own do just fine metering IMR4895, Varget, IMR 4350, Unique, Winchester 760, and anything else I've tried. I do know that any measure can be improved by "tuning". (See Dryflash3's thread)

As a builder and a craftsman, I have a lot of very expensive and well built tools.  Hand tools and machines.  One of them is a 100 year-old Stanley hand jointer plane.  Amazing quality, and does a wonderful job smoothing hardwood.  That said, my Rockwell/Delta 8" 3-phase shop jointer, can do what the hand tool takes an hour to do in less than a minute...with the same or better quality.  What does that have to do with anything?

Simple.  The Sinclair hand primer is like the fine old Stanley jointer plane.  Exquisite stainless steel tool all right, but it only loads 1 hand-fed primer at a time.  Perfect for benchrest shooters who load one perfect round at a time. Even if it was gold-plated, it's not so great for impatient types like me just trying make lots of good ammo to blast or hunt with.  For that purpose any of the other hand primer tools are better, and IMO the RCBS APS tool (Review Thead) is at the top of the heap.....so far.

Link Posted: 7/20/2010 1:20:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/20/2010 2:02:14 PM EDT by GWhis]
For the O.P.: Thread on using Hornady One Shot  if you decide on the Hornady kit.

BTW there are lots of options to prime.  This Video shows another RCBS APS tool, a press-mounted version.  They also make bench versions.  The video is a decent demo of the strip loader used for any APS tool.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 2:17:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/20/2010 2:48:14 PM EDT by AeroE]
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 2:21:26 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AeroE:
Dang, look what I found!

How to make a powder measure baffle



Way to go!  
Now while yer at it find Dryflash3's Powder measure Tuning thread.
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 3:38:53 AM EDT
Mr. EWP Sir, yes we all have opinions.  I mentioned the RCBS and Hornady powder measures because the kits the OP asked about each come with the makers powder measure.  I don't pretend to believe that either are the best choice for the purpose but when you buy a "Kit" you're stuck with what the kit maker has.  The only reason I mentioned Redding dies is because Redding dies are light years ahead of either RCBS or Hornady.  I once had a Uniflow powder measure and I always had issues with it's accuracy.  RCBS didn't have a powder baffle back then and I didn't think to make one out of some shim.  The powder measure I bought to replace the RCBS and still use alot is the Redding 3BR.

As I mentioned some trimmers are better than others for a variety of reasons.  The two that I consider to be the most accurate are sold by Doug Giraud and Dillon.  The reason I consider them to be the most accurate is because the cutter shafts have almost zero axial thrust.  All the other trimmers on the market that I have used exhibit some degree of axial thrust in the cutter head and require some level of consistant operation by the user to ensure the axial thrust of the cutter head does not result in a variable length trimmed cartridge case.  Over the years in addition to Giraud and Dillon I've also used trimmers by Gracey, Lyman, Wilson, and RCBS.  As I mentioned tedium is an issue since I usually trim cases in batches of 500 or more cases at a time. For my purposes Giraud is the only way to go as it champfers as it trims and renders the most uniform and consistant finished case possible.  No other trimmer on the market can honestly make that claim.  JMHO, 7zero1.
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 5:28:32 AM EDT
Originally Posted By AeroE:
Dang, look what I found!

How to make a powder measure baffle


quote]Originally Posted By Maryland_Shooter:
...

Hold on to your wallet, as these guys around here are smart, helpful and all to willing to spend your money!

First - the answer to nearly every question is: buy a tool or buy a book.  This is gonna get expensive fast, so if you don't have $1,000 you may want to reconsider.

I'm guessing you could have spent some reading the Resources at the top of the forum, and then ask questions before buying the stuff you don't need.

Press - I bought a used RC Supreme used for about $100 shipped.  Single stage and I use it mostly for de-capping and re-sizing.  Sure single stage sounds like the way to go starting out and after you make like 50 cartridges, you'll wish you had something more.

That's not real accurate.  Many people have loaded thousands of rounds on a single stage and never see a need to use anything else.  Several decades of reloading passed during which shooters didn't think they needed to load thousands upon thousands of rounds to store away for the Apocalypse.  Or SHTF, zombies, or whatever.  Two boxes of ammo was a lot to go shoot up.

Press - I bought a Lee 3 turret ($100) used with a bunch of dies and what not - converted it to a 4 turret.  I like the fact it has 4 stages.  I currently only use 2 - powder drop and seat the bullet.  I also like the fact I can set up a turret for a caliber (say .45) and just pull it off when I am done, then store it in a screw top jug.

I decap on the RCBS and then hand prime with an RCBS hand priming tool.

If you get brass with a crimp (virtually all the 5.56 I have seen) you will need to remove the crimp with a swager.  I tried the tools for use with drills - they don't work well for me.  You'll need a swager of some type $60 to $100 for that I figure.

The RCBS swager is less than $30.  A good way to avoid the cost of a swager is to buy new brass; compare the price of 500 new cases to the cost of a Dillon swager.  That's a lot of brass.


Oh - BTW - tumble the brass, then make sure the media is clear of the cases before you decap.  Decap first and the media tends to stick in the primer/flash holes.  Don't get the cases cleared of media (or say a small .22 case inside a .223/.308 case) and you'll have issues.  Ask me how I know

I bought a Frankford Arsenal tumbler . . . it works.  Maybe $60 IIRC.  Once it is tumbled, how will you get the media out of all the cases?  Think about it.

I dumped brass manually for several years, coupled with blowing it out with my air compressor.  However, I'll admit I would hate to give up my media separator (big ol' Dillon) now.

You need a basic scale $100 IIRC RCBS 505.  How will the powder get there?  Powder drop?  Dippers?  You're gonna need something.

Oh - you want load data - better buy a few books @ $20-$25 each.

Loads not listed in books?  Quickload Software is $150

This is absolutely not required.  In fact I am opposed to the use of Quick Load by beginners.  Most of the jack pine savages using it, too.  It's a tool, and if you've been paying attention, we have given the correct method for getting around the problem of having load data that does not exactly match the components on hand.


Trimming - you gonna hand trim all the cases?  Takes time and naturally you'll want a hand trimmer.

What's that - you aren't interested in hand trimming thousands of cases?  Me neither. Giraud sells a really nice one for $425 and the additional trim heads for each caliber are only an additional $75 per.

Should have tried a $20 Possum Hollow Kwick Trimmer and a $20 drill adapter.  It's not as fast or slick as a Giraud.  You'll have a hell of a time prying mine away from me.

Wow - now cases - hopefully you've saved some - primers (make sure and get the correct ones, though no one really makes it clear up front which those are), powders and bullets.  

Patent bullshit.  Period, dot.  Reloading is not a pursuit for people that can't pay attention to the details in a load manual.  It's not for those that bank on finding all their load data on line, either.  However we have a couple here that openly operate that way, and several more that I suspect follow that path.

Can you find the correct primers and powders?  Have a look before you have a garage full of gear you can't make much with . . .

Now - you are all set

Did I mention case gauges so you can be sure the cases have been properly resized?  I didn't think so - may as well order them as well.

Did you get media with the tumbler?  Go to a pet store and buy some crushed corn cob (Pet Smart), then just dump in some (amonia free) brass polish.

How are you gonna prime the cases?  Perhaps a hand priming tool would be handy.

Ok - when you get all that and produce the first cartridge, congratulate yourself.

Now go get a chrono so you can see that the FPS is up to snuff, watch cases for signs of too much pressure.

Not required.  A chronograph is a luxury, especially for beginners.  A chronograph does not measure pressure, however it is a useful tool along with your senses, brain, and other information for sorting out whether pressure might be okay, or too high.  The lowest cost single channel Chrony is adequate for the job when a person decides to buy a chronograph.

Oh - I forgot to mention a caliper to measure case length when trimming and COAL when seating bullets.  I like digital - just easier to read.  And at $20-$25 a real bargain.

I think that covers it - for now anyway.

ETA: Lube - I have tried them ALL and the best I found was generic canola oil at Wal-Mart.  I am dead serious and you have to take care not to get any inside the case.

ETA 2: forgot dies - I use a full length die to return the brass to factory spec.  If shooting out of more than one rifle, this is preferred.  Just one rifle?  You don't need a FL die.


More bad advice from a noob.  That one is missing details, such as the type of rifle,for starters.  Cases that have been neck sized for a bolt rifle will need to have the bodies sized full length at about the fourth reload.

Every person that enters this forum interested in learning how to reload and what equipment to buy to get started should start reading here:
http://www.ar15.com/content/page.html?id=400 .  You might save yourself some money and aggravation.

The other resources at the top of the forum have good info, too.



[damn, I hate the text editor here.]
[/quote]
***************************************­*********************************^
I did read the Resources at the top of the forum, and IMO, I need everything I bought.


Well for me it's accurate.  Many people may have loaded thousands of rounds on a single stage.  I am just not one of those people.  The more I load, the more I can shoot.  One at a time just don't cut it for me.

The RCBS swager was free - someone gave it to me.  We disagree about 500 pieces of brass being "a lot."

Quickload is not required, but instead of buying 5 books at $30 per, I bought the software.  I am not playing hide and seek with load data.  I've been paying attention and appreciate all the help.  I am just not following all the advice.  There is more than one way to accomplish something.

I actually bought the $20 Possum Hollow Kwick Trimmer and drill adapter.  Never used it.  I have bad hands, so just no way I could possibly use that to trim 2-3K cases.  I think it was $27 total for the pair and I sold it on EE.

Primers - yeah bullshit back at ya.  Manuals may spec one primer - that's it and what book explains why 6½ and 7½?  So you can't get a Fed 205 - then what?  Where is that info?  Is there a sticky/gateway thread I missed?

Sure a chrony isn't required - as long as you want to be 100% clueless as to how a load is performing in your barrel.  We disagree.

Yeah - I read the info at the link.  Some was real handy, some not as much.  Say - where is the detailed info on primers?  I never saw that - maybe I missed it.

So I really don't see where the threads would have saved me either money or aggravation.  I can't really think of much I didn't need in the way of tools - for me anyway - that I actually bought.

OK - for me, the idea of using a hand trimmer and a single stage press is patently ridiculous.  If that was all that was available, I'd buy ammo.

Sure I've made plenty of mistakes, but that's part of any learning process.  Everyone has their own pace and philosophy.  For me, I want to make ammo to shoot it up, not go at a snails pace on a SS press.
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 6:16:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/21/2010 6:30:35 AM EDT by wshbrngr]
Originally Posted By njlohmann:
Alright I'm looking to get into this but need some advice on what gear to buy. So far the only thing I have is a Speer reloading manual.

I have pretty much decided to get one of two reloading kits and I'm wondering which one you guys recommend and for what reasons.

option 1 = RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Single Stage Press Master Kit

option 2 = Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Single Stage Press Kit

both are about the same price and I know there are some other things that I will need to buy too but I'm planning on starting with one of these.

Also what tumbler would you recommend? I'm looking for one that does not have a reputation for burning out after a few months or a year. I'm looking at the Lyman Turbo 1200 series but open to suggestions.

I mainly plan on reloading 308, 223, and 30-06

Thanks for reading this and thank you for any help you are able to provide.

I am still a noob myself. I started about 18months ago.

I have the Hornady kit and I am happy with it.
I like the LnL bushings, makes changing dies and calibers pretty quick and easy.
Never had any problems with the powder measure. It is accurate and consistent.
I do not use the hand primer, I use the system built into the press.

My humble set-up:



I bought the Cabelas Tumbler kit and have not had any problems with it, either.

A few observations I have made:

Re-loading can seem over-whelming at first, but it's not that complicated....
You just HAVE to read, follow instructions and pay attention to what you are doing.

Buying used is nice but I never really find any deals.
(and I have seen plenty of the... 'Hey, I just got a NIB Dillon 550 for $30.00 at a garage sale.... how did I do?'  threads over the years)
When I was looking, most of the used presses I found were not that much cheaper than buying new, plus, since I really didn't know what I was looking at, I didn't know if they were missing parts, etc.

I was inundated with the "you might as well buy a progressive cause you are going to end up with one anyway." remarks.
I have loaded a few thousand rounds and still have not been bitten with that bug yet.
Would I like to have a progressive? Yes.
Would I buy one if I found one at a garage sale for $30.00? Yes
Do I sit around wishing I had spent the money on one in the beginning? No

ETA: Another observation:
Re-loaders generally fall into two catagories:
1. People who look at re-loading as a hobby unto itself and enjoy the peace and quiet and the time spent loading.
2. People who just want to get it done and go shooting.
(I am more into the #1 group).
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 12:42:55 PM EDT
Originally Posted By wshbrngr:
Originally Posted By njlohmann:
Alright I'm looking to get into this but need some advice on what gear to buy. So far the only thing I have is a Speer reloading manual.

I have pretty much decided to get one of two reloading kits and I'm wondering which one you guys recommend and for what reasons.

option 1 = RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Single Stage Press Master Kit

option 2 = Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Single Stage Press Kit

both are about the same price and I know there are some other things that I will need to buy too but I'm planning on starting with one of these.

Also what tumbler would you recommend? I'm looking for one that does not have a reputation for burning out after a few months or a year. I'm looking at the Lyman Turbo 1200 series but open to suggestions.

I mainly plan on reloading 308, 223, and 30-06

Thanks for reading this and thank you for any help you are able to provide.

I am still a noob myself. I started about 18months ago.

I have the Hornady kit and I am happy with it.
I like the LnL bushings, makes changing dies and calibers pretty quick and easy.
Never had any problems with the powder measure. It is accurate and consistent.
I do not use the hand primer, I use the system built into the press.

My humble set-up:
http://img258.imageshack.us/img258/2222/reloading.jpg


I bought the Cabelas Tumbler kit and have not had any problems with it, either.

A few observations I have made:

Re-loading can seem over-whelming at first, but it's not that complicated....
You just HAVE to read, follow instructions and pay attention to what you are doing.

Buying used is nice but I never really find any deals.
(and I have seen plenty of the... 'Hey, I just got a NIB Dillon 550 for $30.00 at a garage sale.... how did I do?'  threads over the years)
When I was looking, most of the used presses I found were not that much cheaper than buying new, plus, since I really didn't know what I was looking at, I didn't know if they were missing parts, etc.

I was inundated with the "you might as well buy a progressive cause you are going to end up with one anyway." remarks.
I have loaded a few thousand rounds and still have not been bitten with that bug yet.
Would I like to have a progressive? Yes.
Would I buy one if I found one at a garage sale for $30.00? Yes
Do I sit around wishing I had spent the money on one in the beginning? No

ETA: Another observation:
Re-loaders generally fall into two catagories:
1. People who look at re-loading as a hobby unto itself and enjoy the peace and quiet and the time spent loading.
2. People who just want to get it done and go shooting.
(I am more into the #1 group).


Yup, reasonable, healthy mental attitude! You'll probably live to 90 and enjoy every bit of it.  Keep it up.   Procrastination is the enemy...9:30pm Friday nite...."Geeze, just invited to go shooting and need to load 2 boxes of .223, .308, .45ACP, and .357mag. each before 9am tomorrow"  ...been guilty of that one or two times.  The other enemy is two many hats to wear and too many hobbies.  The best advice I ever got (from my cardiologist) was simplify your life.  I did...I'm still alive, and I enjoy life much more.
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 1:17:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/21/2010 2:26:59 PM EDT by AeroE]
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 4:34:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/21/2010 4:47:59 PM EDT by wshbrngr]
Originally Posted By GWhis:
Yup, reasonable, healthy mental attitude! You'll probably live to 90 and enjoy every bit of it.  Keep it up.   Procrastination is the enemy...9:30pm Friday nite...."Geeze, just invited to go shooting and need to load 2 boxes of .223, .308, .45ACP, and .357mag. each before 9am tomorrow"  ...been guilty of that one or two times.  The other enemy is two many hats to wear and too many hobbies.  The best advice I ever got (from my cardiologist) was simplify your life.  I did...I'm still alive, and I enjoy life much more.

Glad you are still alive......

You got me to thinking, though:

I did not mean to imply that everyone with a progressive just wants to shoot and does not enjoy the art of re-loading.
I see the pictures, most people seem to have them....  
Still does not invalidate my observation that people tend to fall into one category or the other.

I have seen plenty of posts from people that just want to get it over with and go shoot.

However, if I ever get a late night call to go shooting and I don't have any ammo for that many different calibers......  I got more problems than lack of time.  

Sorry if I offended anyone.
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 9:26:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/21/2010 9:31:20 PM EDT by GWhis]
Originally Posted By wshbrngr:
Originally Posted By GWhis:
Yup, reasonable, healthy mental attitude! You'll probably live to 90 and enjoy every bit of it.  Keep it up.   Procrastination is the enemy...9:30pm Friday nite...."Geeze, just invited to go shooting and need to load 2 boxes of .223, .308, .45ACP, and .357mag. each before 9am tomorrow"  ...been guilty of that one or two times.  The other enemy is two many hats to wear and too many hobbies.  The best advice I ever got (from my cardiologist) was simplify your life.  I did...I'm still alive, and I enjoy life much more.

Glad you are still alive......

You got me to thinking, though:

I did not mean to imply that everyone with a progressive just wants to shoot and does not enjoy the art of re-loading.
I see the pictures, most people seem to have them....  
Still does not invalidate my observation that people tend to fall into one category or the other.

I have seen plenty of posts from people that just want to get it over with and go shoot.

However, if I ever get a late night call to go shooting and I don't have any ammo for that many different calibers......  I got more problems than lack of time.  

Sorry if I offended anyone.


I meant what I said...you got the right idea. If you offended anyone...you'd hear about it.  You haven't because you're right about the two types.  We are are all one or the other...and sometimes even both depending on time, time of life and other things...  I see nothing wrong with either, and don't think you do either.  

As for me...yes I now use a progressive...but that's after 38 years of Rock Chucker reloading.  Why the change?  Well...double bypass heart surgery in 2007, the recovery and a lot of time to think, kinda changed my priorities.  Now at age 60 I don't feel so immortal anymore...and there's no more time to screw around with piddly unimportant stuff.  This mortal life will end sooner than any of us wants to think about, but for people my age its even sooner.  I make more time for family now, and that means less time for reloading.  Family time now includes taking turns with my 16 grand kids at the range every Saturday.  (I'm making points with them, big time!)  They can shoot my ammo faster than I can make it with my Rock Chucker...so you can imagine why after all these years I decided to upgrade.  Obama had something to do with it as well.  We will never see pre-Obama prices on ammo and components again, I'm pretty sure.  So buy-ups of preloaded ammo is less smart these days.

My advice to any reloader?  Enjoy the hobby the way you like...but don't be selfish about it.  That's not why we're here!
Link Posted: 7/22/2010 5:08:52 AM EDT
Originally Posted By AeroE:
Originally Posted By Maryland_Shooter:
...

Sure I've made plenty of mistakes, but that's part of any learning process.  Everyone has their own pace and philosophy.  For me, I want to make ammo to shoot it up, not go at a snails pace on a SS press.


Here's a little information about primers:  http://www.ar15.com/content/page.html?id=398 .  Primers of each type are more less standardized so we can substitute one make for another.  I'm having a hard time understanding how you missed that little detail, or whether you're showing willful ignorance.  Remington 6 1/2 primer packaging is clearly marked, but I think the company is doing everyone a disservice by failure to put the warning on the front of the boxes, especially with so many people that don't bother to read the directions on containers.

On the topic of chronographs, how many rounds do you supposed have been fired without the benefit of the instrument?  How many millions of people have loaded thousands of rounds successfully without ever even seeing a chronograph, let alone taking a shot across one?  The reason that worked is because those people shot their firearms and knew how to use them in the field.  High speed cartridges such as the .30-06 or .223 Rem just made the job a little easier because the difference in trajectories of rounds fired only 200 or even 300 fps apart is trivial at ranges inside about 300 yards.  Your time would be better used by fooling with the ballistics calculator at the Hornady web site.

Like I said before, if Quick Load is your only reference, move over a few benches.  I know you don't understand and I'm not going to try to convince you, much.  Quick Load is a load estimator, it's not gospel and the results have to be corroborated with other information, including shooting.  Check the number of folks new to reloading that come through here that can't perform the fundamental operations to produce ammunition that will fit their firearm; how many will get the data entry in QL correct?   In the end however, I don't really care if someone blows up a gun, as long as they don't hurt someone else.

Quick Load Review at 6mmBR.com


I gotta say, I feel like you are trying to beat me down.  Willful ignorance?  And from a mod?  How about giving a person the benefit of the doubt?  I missed it and maybe a good thing I did as the cross reference has small magnum rifle primers as 7½ when they are noted as BR Primers on the box.

Are newbies supposed to make a connection on small magnum to 7½?  I see no reference to pressures at all - which as I now know - is the rub!  In fact the 6½ are listed as small rifle - so tell me how a new reloader can look at the chart and determine that 6½ are not gonna stand up to the .223 / 6.8 pressures?  I don't see, given the information available, how in the hell that is possible.  If anything, it adds to my confusion.

I have said before I use Hodgdon.Com, Lee 2nd and QL - that's three sources.  You've seen me post that many, many times.  Who is guilty of willful ignorance?

"Move over a few benches and you don't care if someone (meaning me) blows up a gun."
 I understand plenty and because I am not taking your advice as gospel, I have to get this abuse?

Just because I am not in lock step with many (including you) reloaders here, I am an accident waiting to happen?

You all have a tremendous amount of reloading experience and knowledge, but the superiority attitude is a huge negative.

There is more than one way to do things, but because I don't strictly subscribe to your philosophy, I'm a loose cannon, accident waiting to happen, unsafe reloader.  Bullshit!

1911Smith gives me hell, but there is something about how he does it, I don't find offensive.

Sure I've fucked up and that's to be expected IMO.  It's a lot to learn.

I think I'm done posting here.

So all the newbies can stick to single stage presses and strictly follow the AR15 guide to reloading.  I'll go off on my own and learn it myself with the help of the few here that expressed an interest in helping via phone or email.
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