Introduction thread. Stop in and say hello.

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by GP1, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. GP1

    GP1 New Member

    Dec 20, 2011
    Evening everyone. My name is Geoff. I live in Phoenix Arizona. I have been shooting off and on over the last decade (born in 82') and have just recently decided to get into reloading. When I am not working my full time job I volunteer for the Fire Dept.

    On to the good stuff...

    I am trying to make the transition to a "reloader" as seamless as possible. I picked up a few books to get me started:

    -Lyman reloading handbook 49th edition
    -Precision Shooting reloading guide
    -The book of rifle accuracy by Tony Boyer
    -Metallic Cartridge Reloading 3rd edition

    I will be loading primarily in .308, but might get into .45 and .223 if all goes well with the .308. Should be shooting no more than 75-100 rounds a month. Over the past 4 months I have set aside ~840 bucks to get started (by set aside, I mean hide from the wife). Here is where I am at as far as the equipment list goes...

    RCBS Rockchucker single stage press
    Redding Dies
    RCBS case lube kit with pad
    RCBS powder trickler
    RCBS Trim Mate Case Prep Center 110 Volt
    RCBS Trim Pro Manual Case Trimmer Kit
    RCBS Flash Hole Deburring Tool 30 Caliber
    RCBS RangeMaster 750 Electronic Powder Scale 750 Grain Capacity 110 Volt
    Any brand Funnel
    RCBS Hand Priming Tool

    I'm sure questions will pop up over the next couple weeks regarding my equipment, but just wanted to post a thread to get things rolling.


    Oh 1st question. Do you guys prefer hand tools or the fancy power tools for your case work? I will be working with ~100 pieces of brass if that helps. Any thoughts or recommendations for my shopping list?

    Thanks again.
  2. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Athens, Georgia
    Welcome to The Firearms Forum Geoff. You made some pretty good choices on the books. You also made some good choices on the reloading equipment. I would personally leave off the powder trickler, I have two of them and never use them. I would add a powder measure, and since it looks like you are partial to RCBS stuff, I would probably make it an RCBS Uniflow.

    I personally prefer the hand operated tools.

  3. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    Welcome Geoff. You are starting off right. A good single stage will be all you need for the ammo usage you describe. Thats only 25 rounds a week and can be done in an hour tops on a single stage press.. Grab and RCBS rockchucker reloading kit. Itll come with everything but dies and shellholders. Add to that a good tumbler and some media and a case trimmer for your .308s and youre good to go.

    Good luck.
  4. todd51

    todd51 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2009
    Central, Ohio
    Welcome Geoff and thank you for volunteering in the fire service. If not for those volunteering we would not have a sufficient force. You have joined a great forum with some real experts here (not me) to help you out. I have much the same equipment you are looking at and have been using it for over 30 years. I prepare my brass in batches doing just one or two steps at a time. I have containers full of sized, belled, and primed cases waiting for when I have time to finish them with powder and bullet. But there are others that have say just sized brass. I get as much enjoyment out of reloading as I do the shooting.
  5. dbennett48

    dbennett48 New Member

    Feb 4, 2010
    Ukiah, California
    Welcome Geoff. Enjoy all of the information here. :)
  6. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2009
    SW Fort Worth
    Welcome to TFF Geoff ! I have all the equipment you have listed except for the Prep Center; I prefer to do them by hand since I'm not a high volume rifle shooter. Even if you do want to go electric, I'd recommend having the hand tools for back-up. You can pick them up later at your convienence when you find a good deal on them. Other guys have covered what your list lacks, I'll second their recommendations.

    Semper Fi and Merry Christmas,

  7. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

    Oct 24, 2007
    ND, USA
    Welcome Geoff!

    I'm a fairly low volume reloader now too, about 100-200rds per month average, mostly rifle, so I still do things the old-fashioned manual way.
    Not many powered tools on my bench except for the case trimmer (read #3 below).
    I used to load upwards of 1000-1500rds per month when I was a bit more active with my handgun shooting but I still used the same setup. It's a nice slow relaxing activity for me...I enjoy reloading as much as I do shooting the ammo. :) Some guys prefer to zip their reloading out as fast as they can though, and those guys usually have more power tools and/or progressive presses too.

    You've got a nice wish list put together and it will serve you nicely.
    I'll offer up a few suggested revisions going on my methods though.

    1. The RCBS Rangemaster 750 Scale.
    I would suggest that you look at the PACT brand scales. They are identical to the RCBS counterparts (PACT makes the RCBS digital scales) but without the extra pricetag associated with the green color.
    I would also suggest moving up from the Rangemaster750 (aka PACT BBK2) to the the PACT Precision (aka RCBS Chargemaster1500) model.
    The PACT Precision is only about $20 higher than the RCBS version of the BBK2 and you get a better scale out of the deal.
    The Precision/1500 offers a larger total weight capacity (which you probably won't use that often as a beginning reloader) and also a more stable base and a more consistent load-cell configuration (which means that you will have to recalibrate/rezero the scale less often).

    2. The TrimMate prep center.
    I still do my case prep manually so I think you could save a few dollars by holding off on the TrimMate prep center. It is a nice luxury but for a low volume reloader you could either save that $100 or invest it into other goodies to begin with
    You can substitute:
    -A manual deburr/chamfer tool to clean up after trimming the cases.
    I don't like the Lee style...go for an RCBS, Hornady, Wilson, Forster, etc instead they are more comfortable to hang onto than the stubby little Lee version.
    -I also just use a small 1/8" pocket screw driver to clean the primer pockets. One quick twist is all you need to scrape the primer residue.
    There are manual primer pocket brushes, but I started out cheap with that pocket screwdriver and I'm still using it 20+ years later. :)
    -One of the manual case neck lube brush sets. These come with several size brushes to cover several calibers. I have the Frankford Arsenal version but the Lyman and Forster sets are about the same. All they are is a holder for a nylon brush and some powdered mica.

    3. The RCBS trimmer.
    This is a very good trimmer unit. I do like it. The universal shellholder with the paddle handle is easy to use.
    But if you're loading just a small number of calibers I would suggest looking at the Lee stud and cutter trimming system. You can get set up for one caliber for about $15 and each additional caliber stud is around $5.
    Another advantage to the Lee system is that you can chuck the case holder into a cordless drill/screwdriver and viola, it's a power trimmer. :)

    Everyone develops their own system of what works best for them and I'm sure you'll do the same.
    Do you have any local buddies to help mentor you as you get started? If so, that's great to have an extra set of eyes as you crank out your first few rounds. But if not, be sure to keep hanging around this place. Lots of great folks to help ya out!
  8. Texxut

    Texxut Member

    Feb 1, 2009
    Howdy Geoff, welcome aboard.
    You'll find a lot of helpful posters here, so you're in good hands.
  9. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2008
    Harriman, Tn
    Geoff, welcome to TFF. Lots of great folks here that are more than happy to help out.

    Bindernut beat me to a revision of your list. I agree with him but with 2 other changes:

    1- instead of the RCBS flashhole tool, go with the Lyman or Redding. They use a tapered pilot (one size fits all) were the RCBS uses seperate pilots.

    2- add a good beam scale.

    And if you're not crazy now... you will be. :lmao:
  10. pickenup

    pickenup Active Member

    Sep 11, 2002
    Colorado Rocky Mountains
    Welcome to The Firearms Forum.

    Never tried power, so I guess I prefer hand tools.
  11. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

    Jan 11, 2010
  12. Popgunner

    Popgunner Active Member

    Dec 3, 2005
    I use & like almost everything on your list except the RCBS case lube & pad. It's a messy bugger that I have not liked. I prefer Redding's imperial wax lube that's used without a pad. Just a tiny bit on the fingers & cleaning of the lubed cases is easier IMHO.

    I've been loading since 1972 & now use what what you're starting with-a Rockchucker-for my rifle loading & a Lee turret press for handgun loading. I have owned progressive presses & not liked that way of loading & sold them off. I would recomend to you sometime getting a hand priming tool for the feel of seating primers well. Seating them on a press gives you less feel. The hand primers by Lee & RCBS are great.

    Have fun & welcome to the forum:)
  13. GP1

    GP1 New Member

    Dec 20, 2011
    I was born in Cleveland! It's very rewarding. Hopefully early next year that rewarding feeling will come with a paycheck. :)

    Well, I moved into my house about a year ago and have come to find out that my neighbor used to smith and has been reloading longer than my lifetime. He swears by RCBS so that's why I am favoring them heavily. He said he would walk me through my first batch. This was music to my ears. I know I could figure out how to reload via books and youtube videos, but what I am really trying to learn are the intricacies and nuances that will make my rounds more accurate and more consistent.

    Thanks for the warm welcome fellas. Have a happy holiday and stay safe.
  14. lawdawg

    lawdawg Member

    Jun 21, 2010
    South Alabama
    Welcome! You will get some good advice here. I sure have.

  15. terryu1

    terryu1 Armed Infidel

    Oct 16, 2009
    NE Pennsylvania
    Welcome Geoff from Northeastern Pennsylvania.
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