11 replies [Last post]
dresslikeadeer's picture
Location: Idaho
Joined: 07/10/2010
Posts: 21
Any ideas?

I am currently looking for a good reloading setup.. New to the reloading world and use my buddies stuff.

GooseHunter Jr's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/28/2005
Posts: 3748
I curerently use a RCBS press

I curerently use a RCBS press built along time ago and it still works great, all my stiff is RCBS.  They sell a started kit call the Rock Chucker I beleive it is.  Will get you all you need to get started.  I have also seen some some nice set go for a pretty reasonable price on craigslist and Ebay.

Location: Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Joined: 01/13/2007
Posts: 363
I prefer the Foster Co-Ax

I prefer the Foster Co-Ax press for metalic reloading.

Critter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4413
You should be able to find a

You should be able to find a good starter kit from just about any of the major manufactures with RCBS being one of them.  I started wtih a Lyman kit 40 years ago and have added to it since.  With the kit you should get the press, powder measure, scale, trimer, and vairuous little pieces to compleate it. 

dresslikeadeer's picture
Location: Idaho
Joined: 07/10/2010
Posts: 21
Cool thank you for the

Cool thank you for the advice.. I will look into the RCBS reloaders any advice on brands to stay away from?

Location: Alberta, Canada
Joined: 08/08/2009
Posts: 9
Reloading kits

As already mentioned, most manufacturers have starter kits that include almost everything you need to get started. I don't know of any bad ones, although as a rule, you still get what you pay for. LEE is probably the least expensive of the popular brands, with some of their stuff being very good and other items just okay. I have some LEE stuff and like it. Lyman, RCBS, Redding, Forester are all a level up in pricing and are all good. I have and use products from all of them too. What I buy is usually based on what's available locally.

Dillon is one you don't hear much about in rifle loading circles, but they rule in the handgun world and have the best customer service of any company on the planet. If you are ever in need of a progressive press, they own that market.


bitmasher's picture
Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2974
Hornady has a program going

Hornady has a program going with their classic reloading press, buy the kit (which is nearly identical to the RCBS rock chucker kit) and get something like 500 bullets for free.


If cost is an issue, Lee is good stuff too.  Not as fancy, not as feature rich, but its a solid value.  You can reload good ammo with Lee.

Don Fischer's picture
Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3213
i believe for the purpose of

i believe for the purpose of 90% of handloading, the difference in the various tool's is more imagined than real. It's gonna boit down to what you are used to and like. I've known people that wouldn't own this tool or that but swear by another and both tool's do the same exact job.

I've used a lot of different brands. All have done well. I have dies from Lyman, RCBS, Herter, Texan, Redding and Lee. My favorite are Redding. I like the finish and the box they come in. They do the same thing the other's do; no better and no worse. Thjey do cost as bit more.

I've also used a number of different press's. Here I like single stage "O" frame press's made of cast iron. I'm sure the alumiun press's work as well but I am an old dog. Have never tried any Hornady stuff but have no doubt it would work well for me. Just buy whatever it is you can afford and like the look's and feel of.

Kit's are not complete! Your gonna need a caliper to measure the overall length of your cases to know when to trim. You don't really need one to measure OLL, went without one for years and got great shooting ammo. You'll also need a case trimmer. Could be from the inexpensive Lee trimmer, which I understand works very well, to as much as you'd care to spend. All the trimmer is needed for is to trim cases the length. Doesn't take a hundred plus dollar tool to do that. I'm not sure a deburring tool come's in a kit either, you'll need one and they are relatively inexpensive. That's a good example of inexpensive doing the same job as more expensive. All it does is take the burr off the case mouth, inside and out, after you trim. Year's ago we used a pocket knife to do that and to remove militaty crimp's on primer pocket's.

A lot of people have the buy the best you can afford attitude. You won't go wrong doing that, you will spend more money than you need though. More than anything, the more expensive stuff soothes the mind of the person buying it, they believe that because they paid more, they got more. Not always the case.

The only function of a press is to push a fired case into a die to resize it and then push the same case into another die to seat a bullet. It can also be used to seat primer's as well as any hand held primer seater. The dies only function is to resize a case to some specific dimention, either full length or neck sized. They all return cases to tolerances that will allow you to feed the ammo in any chamber. Some dies look better doing it, that's why I prefer Redding. The only function of a scale is to weight things. Doesn't matter if you buy the most expensive electronic scale that will throw the load and trickle it up or a beam scale you feed by hand and trickle your own load. They only weight things.

I should add here about weighting things. I don't care if my scale is off so much as a grain. That's why I start low and work up! I use, and always have, an inexpensive beam scale. What I need is a scale that throw's the same charge everytime for the load I've worked up. That's one more reason I don't give out load data in powder weight's. I keep note's of the load's I use, most people do. If my 140gr bullet's are really 141 gr's I don't care so long as I know they are all the same. Work up a load with them and the bullet's you use on your scale should always weight the same. I have never seen a beam scale off by a grain and I've used a lot of different one's. I have seen them effected by a breeze blowing thru, that's not the fault of the scale! I've no experience with electronic scales. Have never felt the need for one. All they do is weight things. I also understand that they can give different weight's depending on the condition of the battery's. Beam scales don't do that! No battery's!

Yhe most important thing is to learn to use what you have. I don't have an expensive powder measure but it throw's close loads I trickle up to weight. With ball powder's it will throw the same weight over and over with disgusting regularity. The important thing about powder measures is to learn to use them the same way every time. Maybe you go up and bump once, that's what I do, do it every time with about the same force.

Spend as much as you want or as little as you want and you can still make the same ammo that works the same way. Some thing's seem to make the process easier and some things do but the most important part of the whole thing is you!

Location: Edgewood NM
Joined: 06/12/2010
Posts: 27
Shop around

I agree with everything that has been said. My reloading setup is a hodgepodge of about every name known to the reloading industry. I usually buy what fits in the budget at the time. Find what works for you (brand, price, color, finish, pretty box, or whatever)  and have fun with it.

HOGGETTER's picture
Location: CenCal
Joined: 11/05/2009
Posts: 767

I've been wanting to start reloading my own stuff, so i have been saving all the brass from my gun useing factory loads the last couple of years.

This is a good post

Nice reply Don, im glad you gave detailed thoughts, it helps a whole bunch

Location: Mobile County, Alabama
Joined: 09/09/2007
Posts: 310
Don pretty much nailed

Don pretty much nailed it.


Another thing to do is get plenty of research material. You will need databooks from the various powder makers, bullet makers and some gear makers like Lee and Lyman.

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