Help a Noob

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by thecanadian160, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. thecanadian160

    thecanadian160 New Member

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    I am wanting to start reloading but I am having trouble deciding what to get. I know that I dont want to get a kit but rather piece one together. I want to get the least expensive press that is reliable and wont break down. It must also accomodate 450 Nitro Express cases (3.25 inch). Also, do I need a seperate priming tool? Lastly, what is a good recomenation for a case trimmer and electronic scale. I think that it is worth noting that I will be shooting for producing accuracy in my loads.
  2. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

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    Welcome to the reloading world! Your question is a common one, and lends itself to a diverse, often confusing group of opinions. But here goes - the Lee presses are the cheapest, I will refrain from further comment there.
    Priming on most presses is possible, but hand primers make things much smoother and efficient. Electronic scales are a crap shoot, I think honestly a good beam scale is just as good in our hobby, electronic scales often times are entirely too sensitive to their sorroundings and require set up and stablization periods before using them, often times acting freakishly without warning. Case trimmers, well if you plan on prepping alot then go to a powered trimmer, such as the RCBS Trim Pro. If you plan on reloading and shooting small lots of ammo, say 50-100 rounds at a time, a manual crank type will be sufficient, Lyman,RCBS,Hornady are great.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011
  3. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    The least expensive press in the LEE. I use a Lee for all of my rifle reloading but I honestly don't know anything about the 450 nitro, so I can't comment on that or a separate priming tool. I am sure the Lee press will prime anything with the Lee Ram Prime. I will recommend the RCBS RangeMaster 750 Electronic scale.

    BTY, welcome to the forum.
  4. Zhurh

    Zhurh Active Member

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    They sell this Tubbs dvd in Midway, the cheap sierra one, like 20 bucks. He goes over all the different tools, models, ect. I had bought mostly redding & forester equipment and I'm satisfied but wish I had watched this dvd before buying anything. There's a few different dvds out there. RCBS dvd is a good starter and often free if ya call.

    I'd start out with RCBS dies if I could do it over again, fool proof; what many beginners need actually; I sure did.
  5. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    i think the best thing is to check on ebay for some of the things youre going to need. but the very first thing should be a reloading manual. lyman is my suggestion. look for a lyman 48 or 47 as you could find them cheaper then the newest one. the manual will go over all the different tools you'll need and why each is needed. it will also explain that not all tools are needed to start with.

    the lyman manual doesnt have load data for the cartridge you mention.
  6. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Did y'all see the size he mentioned? Three and a quarter inch CASE. Ain't no way you are gonna get off cheap with that. My Rockchucker has a 4" opening, without having a shell holder on the ram. That takes up another eighth of an inch. There just ain't room in that hole to load a case that long.

    You're gonna have to go with a press that's made large enough to load 50 BMG. And they ain't cheap.

    https://shop.rcbs.com/WebConnect/Ma...creenlabel=index&productId=2838&route=C04J146
  7. bayhawk2

    bayhawk2 New Member

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    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011
  8. RandyP

    RandyP Member

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    Per Wiki (for what that's worth - lol) the .450 Nitro Express round has a 4.11" OAL. Add some space to even place a bullet on the case and you'll need near 5" of ram clearance? The Lee .50 BMG single stage will do that, and it has a bushing to allow use of standard 7/8" dies.

    I'm pretty sure RCBS sells the .450 Nitro dies?
  9. thecanadian160

    thecanadian160 New Member

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    The Rockchucker supreme has a operating length of 4.25 inches. Wont this be enough? I did find a .50 cal press on Ebay for 100 bucks though
  10. RandyP

    RandyP Member

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    I don't know for sure, I"m merely thinking that if the finished OAL is 4.11" then there has to be a substantial amount of bullet inside that case. I'm trying to picture placing the bullet on top of the case and still having clearance to get it into the die?
  11. DGG!

    DGG! New Member

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    http://www.thefirearmsforum.com/showthread.php?t=85552
  12. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    Did it SELL for $100 ? If so, then that was a steal!!

    I have a RC Supreme and I think it is possible that 450NE can be done. You may have to pull the die to insert the bullet into the mouth, or slide the bullet along side the case and up into the die part-way and then into the mouth. I would call RCBS and ask them, they have probably encountered this before. If not, you'll have to step up to a monster press.
  13. thecanadian160

    thecanadian160 New Member

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    O.K. so I bought the following stuff from Midway, please tell me if I need anything else

    RCBS 1500 Electronic scale
    RCBS funnel
    RCBS Press mounted Primer
    RCBS 7mm-08 full length die set
    RCBS #3 Shell holder
    RCBS Case trimmer
    RCBS Rock chucker Supreme press
    Hornady spray case lube
    Smith and Wesson electronic Caliper
    RCBS Camfer and Deburring tool
    I also made a shell holder out of a block of wood to hold cases while I reload them

    Do I need a case tumbler?
  14. carver

    carver Moderator

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    Yep! And you might want to get a kinetic bullet puller.
  15. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    If not a case tumbler, then you'll need a wet method of cleaning cases.

    I didn't see a manual on your list, if you have one, I'd recommend buying at least 37 more, :D well, ok at least one or two more.
  16. LesterPTelestrat

    LesterPTelestrat New Member

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    I dont' see a powder measure on your list. You may not need one if your loading low quantities however I love my RCBS uniflow. I also have the RCBS 505 scale. Very excellent quality stuff. I'm also very happy with my Lee press and dies. However the upgrade to the RCBS stuff was a prety significant leap over the Lee scale and powder measure.
  17. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member

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    lester,
    Powder measure? I do believe the first item on his list is a RCBS 1500 electronic scale. Won't that work?
  18. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    howlnmad, a powder measure has a hopper you fill with powder and an adjustable chamber. You set the chamber to what you think will be the right charge (just for arguments, say 8.0 of Unique). You throw a charge and weigh it. It weighs 10.2. You screw in the adjuster, lowering the capacity of the chamber. Weigh another one. This one weighs 7.5. Screw the adjuster out some. Keep doing this until you have the measure dropping your 8.0 grains. This takes, maybe, ten minutes to set up.

    Now you have 50 primed cases in your loading block. Run your block under the powder measure, charging each case. This takes about two minutes.

    Put bullets on them, seat 'em, put your next fifty in the block and charge them, which takes another two minutes.

    Without a powder measure you have to weigh every charge. This normally takes from 30 seconds to a minute for each one. Depends on how steady your hand is.

    If you're only going to load ten or twenty rounds at a time, then a scale is not too much of a pain in the butt. If you're loading several hundred rounds, and have to weigh every round, you're going to be there for weeks, and will end up hating reloading.

    Measures are not perfect. They will, however, throw a decent working amount. You set that sucker up for 8.0 of Unique and a good measure will throw between 7.9 and 8.1 grains.

    If I'm loading real precision stuff, I'll still use the measure, but I'll set it for about a half grain light, and then weigh each one, to get it precise. But if I'm doing something like that, I'm only doing a couple dozen rounds. Certainly not several hundred.

    Bottom line - you can get by with just a scale, but a measure makes it much easier. You can't get by without a scale, though. You need one of them to set up your measure.
  19. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member

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    Alpo,
    Thank you and yes I know what a powder measure is. I have 2 mounted on my bench, RCBS Uniflow and a Lee perfect powder measure (for holding pencils and pens). I guess I'm just spoiled since I got my ChargeMaster combo. Maybe I'm over cautious but I don't speed load and don't mind weighing every load. Since he got 7mm-08 dies, I assumed he'd be weighing each. My fault for not thinking. I think I'll back out of here before I stick my foot in my mouth again.
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