Which Reloading Equipment Kit?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by 7mm Remington Magnum, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. 7mm Remington Magnum

    7mm Remington Magnum New Member

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    Hello all! I am new to reloading and have never reloaded a single shell in my life, and i was about to buy a press kit. There are two I am looking at from MidwayUSA and I wanted your opinion on them.

    Here is the first: http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=423081&utm_source=froogle&utm_medium=free&utm_campaign=9315

    and the second: http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=121744


    Thanks for taking the time to read this. I was just wanted an oppinion on which one would last, what one is best for reloading my three calibers (7mm Rem Mag, 30-06, and .303 British). Also, the second one comes with many Shellholders, alot of which I won't need. Thanks for your input and your time. Greatly appreciate it. Just need some basic info about reloading and these presses. Thanks!!! :D
  2. The_Rifleman

    The_Rifleman New Member

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    I bought the first one. The only thing I see different is the type of priming tools. Many like the hand held priming tool, I like the one that hooks up to my press.
  3. carver

    carver Moderator

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    Last edited: Mar 8, 2010
  4. army mp

    army mp Member

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    I am not a big fan of Lee Products. But there are many that are. Loading rifle rounds I believe the single stage press to be your best bet. Personally, if looking for a cheap press. I would check out Graf & son. Or Mid-South shooters. There is a new company out called Smart reloader. They sell a press that looks Identical to the Lee. But less money. And I know many will disagree. I would go the extra money and Get a better Scale. And powder drop. Lee is the cheapest. But there is a reason. Where most use cast or steel. Lee uses plastic. Kits are nice in that they get you started. But I think you would be better off. Getting quality to start with. Don’t get caught up in one brand. I use a Hornady and Pacific presses. Pacific beam scale. And RCBS 1500 scale. Dies range from Redding to two sets of Lee. I thing you can build a better Kit your self if you take the time to research what you do and do not need. Get a good reloading manual. Lyman 49th or Lee. they will push their brand. But both will explain what you need.
  5. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    I agree with army mp about getting better quality than LEE. They have good ideas for their reloading equipment but make poor materials choice to make them. Many here will disagree about LEE but I have a drawer full of their rejected equipment, all replaced with almost anyone else's.

    Also I would suggest a Turret press for a first press. It allows single stage press reloading or Turret press reloading. The difference is speed of reloading which may not be needed for rifle rounds but most certainly is for pistol rounds. The Turret press allows you to complete one round with one placement of the case in the press whereas single stage reloading requires batch reloading where only one process is done at a time on all that you intend to reload (the case must be loaded onto the press three or four times instead of once). Turret press reloading can be used for rifle cartridges, too, and results in being about three times faster reloading. Once you get into reloading you will find better uses for your time than waste it on single stage reloading. The ammo works the same from either press. Some think otherwise but most experts agree. You would be able to use that extra time shooting!

    As for manuals, I have them all. I like the Hornady manual not so much for the data (it is just as good as anyone else's) but for the explanation of how cartridges work and for how the reloading processes relate to how they work. It is a clear concise explanation of the details and it includes very good illustrations. A person new to reloading needs this understanding to make it all clearer and to stay safe.

    LDBennett
  6. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member

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    All he'll have is a press, which isn't even the newer cast iron base, and a manual with 100 bucks invested. Granted, the scale and powder drop aren't the best but its a start.
  7. rglbegl

    rglbegl New Member

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    I use the challenger press with the hand primer and it works fine for me.
    For the magnum rifle ammo it is perfect, and I dont mind taking the extra time because it allows me (as a noobie) to look more carefully at each and every aspect of bullet building

    But recently we started reloading 9mm for my girls pistol and now I can see where a turret style press is better for mass reloading.
  8. 7mm Remington Magnum

    7mm Remington Magnum New Member

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    thanks guys. I'll look around at different pieces and put together my own kit. Any suggestions on different brands mixed together to make the "perfect" kit, while still staying on a budget? Thanks :D
  9. 209jones

    209jones New Member

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    while since I thought about this subject. Here's what I use;
    rockchucker press
    Lyman or Bonanza dry lube 3 brush set
    RCBS shellholders to suit caliber
    RCBS allen wrenches for the dies ( you can buy these at a tool store also)
    RCBS primer pocket brushes--lg & sm
    RCBS reversible chamfer tool
    Forstner trimmer
    RCBS or Bonanza dies
    Lee hand Autoprime tool, I have a lg and a small one--shellholders to suit
    Lee powder dipper set--very handy for trickling, and weighing long stick powders
    RCBS trickler--almost never use it
    Hornady beam scale
    Redding benchrest powder measure--works fine with ball powders--sucks with stick powders unless they are very short grain
    Lyman electric scale--still use beam scale to double check it once in a while
    Lyman check weight set (don't think to use it most of the time)
    I like microadjust/benchrest bullet seaters, probably not neccessary, but, nice to use.
    A good caliper, I prefer a dial, digital is nice, not sure if I trust them or not
    A small micrometer-for when u want to get really picky
    primer pocket uniformer
    Acquire at least one good reloading manual, Sierra, Nosler, Hornady,Hodgdon,Accurate, RCBS, Lyman. Most of the info you need for actual load data is avail online
    Bookmark their websites, read carefully. If you decide to substitute a component, do it at starting charges.

    Go ask your bank for more money, cuz shooting cast boolits is even more fun, and you may well get into that too.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2010
  10. Insulation Tim

    Insulation Tim Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I started with the Lee Challenger Breech Lock Single Stage Press Anniversary Kit. It has everything that you'll need except the dies. Once I figured it all out, it worked flawlessly.

    I recently bought a Dillon 550B which is a progressive and have spent a week trying to get it all tweaked and working properly. When I finally get there, it should speed production 3X.

    Looking back, and the fact that I maybe shoot 200 to 300 rounds a week (45 ACP and 9mm) I should have saved the money and stayed with the Lee.
  11. RandyP

    RandyP Member

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    My Lee hardware makes all the safe, reliable and accurate ammo I need.

    I prime on the press, use the adjustable charge bar on the turret powder dispenser, and since I don't care for their balance beam scale, use a $30 MTM DS-1250 digital.

    Works great, costs little, and fits MY budget and MY realistic ammo consumption needs. Others will have different needs and different budgets. Fortunately there is a way for us all to particpate in this hobby at our own level of investment.
  12. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I bought the LEE anniversary kit well over 4 years ago to start with and I still use it today. Im on my 3rd set of replacement toggles because reloading .30 carbine is hell on an aluminum press. If I had it to do over again Id triple my money and buy an RCBS kit. At the time though 80 bucks for a start out kit was sure more appealing than 250. But everything in an RCBS kit is steel whereas everything inthe LEE kit is aluminum or plastic. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about LEE dies. They are easier than the competition to set up and alot more economical to purchase, however I do suggest the use of different die lock rings. The LEE aluminum lockrings with that little rubber O ring suck. Get some Forster http://www.grafs.com/product/258969 or Hornady http://www.grafs.com/product/260046 lock rings with the cross bolt. Only other advice I can offer is for you to buy several reloading manuals. Id say at least 3 and the Hornady book and the Lyman book should be among them. I have the Hornady, Lyman, LEE, Sierra, Barnes, and accurate reloading manuals. As well as caliber specific manuals for almost everything I load for. IMHO, you just cant have too much info on reloading;)
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2010
  13. Airdale

    Airdale Member

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    I've reloaded in the past and have decided to start again. I went with the Lee kit you posted. I was a little leary because of the price but I am thrilled with it. For a single stage press I don't think you can go wrong. My previous press was an RCBS and it was fine but expensive. Read the product reviews at Midway and Cabela's and you won't find many unsatisfied Lee customers. You're just starting out so start with something simple and inexspensive you can always add more and expand once you have some experience. Is it the best press? Probably not. Will it give you the most BANG for your buck (pun intended)? Almost certainly!!!

    One manual I wouldn't be without is the Sierra but you'll want a couple more.

    Go with the Lee to start out. It won't be the fastest but speed isn't what you want until you gain a lot of experience. You'll be amazed when you open that box from Midway at what you got for your $104. You won't have to wait long, Midway ships fast. Go ahead and bite the bullet (couldn't resist) and place the order.

    Good luck with your new hobby!
  14. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Insulation Tim:

    I don't want to insult you but you must be very mechanically challenged. The instructions are excellent, the press very easy to set up, and it is well worth the money.

    The first stage is no different than any other press for the sizing die. The priming system if set up correctly works perfectly and only common sense is needed: The cup must not be hit by the shell plate and the primer tube must line up with the cup when the handle is all the way down.

    The powder and belling stage is easy as well. You position the powder die to give the correct bell and full actuate the powder measure.

    The seating and crimp die is just like any single stage press.

    The direction cover it all. They even have a video for it (??).

    It is not fair to newbies to ridicule the Dillon RL550B for you inability to be able to set it up in a reasonable time period. I bought mine over 20 years ago and had it setup and doing progressive reloading in the same day. In fact, it was working progressively in less than an afternoon.

    Sorry to be so harsh but your assessment of the Dillon RL550B is wrong and may lead others to believe it is hard to set up so I had to respond. It is probably the most successful progressive reloading press on the market and has been for nearly a quarter of a century. Meanwhile Hornady, RCBS, and even Lee have had multiple designs, completely different each time and each of those manufacturers of progressives now have presses that look like the Dillon RL550B after many the didn't.

    LDBennett
  15. BigJakeJ1s

    BigJakeJ1s New Member

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    Insulation Tim,

    Some around here get upset when anyone appears to have criticized their golden calf, and must attempt to put the blame elsewhere.

    Actually, if I read your post correctly, I think your point was simply that, at your reloading volume, any progressive press might not have been a good choice. 200-300 rounds a week is more time than I want to spend reloading on a single stage, but I have other demands on my time, too.

    If you are having problems with your 550, by all means, call Dillon and let them help you out; they are very good at that (as are most reloading companies if approached with politeness and a touch of humility). But if you are still truly unhappy with it, especially if you've only had it a few weeks, politely ask them to refund your money, and get something else (or just keep your money and use what you already had).

    Andy
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