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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm sure this has been covered here and there, but want to get into reloading as a new hobby and figured I'd start a new thread. What do you guys recommend? I'm willing to buy the best equipment I can get rather than start with this and then move up to that. Rather do it right from the start. I'm a clean slate and willing to learn so throw it out there.

Here's my initial thoughts, which can be changed, lol.

Want to start out with a basic (but top quality) press and learn how to to things right from start to finish

Think I want to start with 5.56 and 6.8 SPC as main calibers. Can see a need to allow for 308 in the future, but don't even own a gun in that caliber yet. If a press can handle both pistol and rifle, I would add 40 S&W and 45 ACP in the future.

I'm partial to Dillion Precision, but don't know why, lol. Open to other brands.

Need Everything, so please recommend scales, tumblers, books, etc. -'m all ears!

Thanks guys.
 

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I jumped in 2 years ago and bought a Dillon 650. Couldn't be happier, it is an outstanding press. I like you had no previous experience, but it is not rocket science. I load 223/9/45. Yeah they are more money,.....buy once cry once!

Others will disagree and recommend you start with a single stage. I actually added a single stage press when I started to load rifle, I do all my resizing on the single stage and then run them through the 650 for the rest of the work.

I started with pistol and learned the basics. Rifle is more time consuming because it requires more work to prep the brass.

You won't regret drinking the blue kool-aid!

I'm sure this has been covered here and there, but want to get into reloading as a new hobby and figured I'd start a new thread. What do you guys recommend? I'm willing to buy the best equipment I can get rather than start with this and then move up to that. Rather do it right from the start. I'm a clean slate and willing to learn so throw it out there.

Here's my initial thoughts, which can be changed, lol.

Want to start out with a basic (but top quality) press and learn how to to things right from start to finish

Think I want to start with 5.56 and 6.8 SPC as main calibers. Can see a need to allow for 308 in the future, but don't even own a gun in that caliber yet. If a press can handle both pistol and rifle, I would add 40 S&W and 45 ACP in the future.

I'm partial to Dillion Precision, but don't know why, lol. Open to other brands.

Need Everything, so please recommend scales, tumblers, books, etc. -'m all ears!

Thanks guys.
 

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First you need is a nice single stage press. You will always need one and it is a good way to start.
Once you know about reloading and then want to get into the mass production of reloads then
you can get a nice press like a Dillon for pistol.
At the same think I don't see anything wrong with a starter package kit and you will be using
that press to take to the range and seat bullets when working in your reloads and spreads.
I have a small RCBS rockchucker and lee anniversary single stage press from a kit that I bring
to the range. They work just fine like day one.
If you get serious about reloading will end up with 2 or 3 or more presses anyway.
Some of those starter packages from RCBS, LEE, Redding, etc... come with books, scale, and
everything needed but the dies.
Aside from that whatever you buy, get a good quality equipment for consistency.
Lyman reloading manual, ABC of reloading, Lee Precission, Hornady, and some DVDs
and also online are good starters.
The principals you can find in many places.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Timmy, thanks for the video link, I'll check it out this weekend.

Meke, does Dillon make a single stage press or just progressive. I was on their website and didn't see any single stages. As far as RCBS, what's the difference between a single stage "rock chucker" press and a "turret" press? They both come in kits. Problem is they come with a mechanical scale, which I'm assuming (probably incorrectly) is not as good as a digital scale? I'd rather buy the best I can get rather than a kit with some good things and some average things. Interested in hearing your thoughts on this.

FD, I'll probably end up with the blue kool aid, lol... Have it on good counsel that I should start with single stage and learn the process start to finish before delving into mass production :)

Thanks for all your input guys, very much appreciated.
 

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I too have been considering reloading. Got pointed to this video:
Reloading Basics (Decisions To Make) - YouTube
This guy had a lot of good videos.
I am not sure that person but a long back I picked a nice tip from this guy on precission bullet swagging.

Ammosmith.com, LLC - YouTube

I get the impression he is a very senior reloader with good footage and explanations.
You do not need to worry about high precision at first and mostly learn the 3 basic rules to stay safe:
Check, recheck and then check again. LOL
 

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Timmy, thanks for the video link, I'll check it out this weekend.

Meke, does Dillon make a single stage press or just progressive. I was on their website and didn't see any single stages. As far as RCBS, what's the difference between a single stage "rock chucker" press and a "turret" press? They both come in kits. Problem is they come with a mechanical scale, which I'm assuming (probably incorrectly) is not as good as a digital scale? I'd rather buy the best I can get rather than a kit with some good things and some average things. Interested in hearing your thoughts on this.

FD, I'll probably end up with the blue kool aid, lol... Have it on good counsel that I should start with single stage and learn the process start to finish before delving into mass production :)

Thanks for all your input guys, very much appreciated.
I forgot contact your old friend Courier in Qeens on how to reload the 22LR. lol.
 

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I would tell you to buy the best that you can afford. It will benifit you with years of use. I myself have been reloading for about 19 years and i choose to to use single stag presses. But i dont reload for any hand guns or high volume weapons. I use RCBS presses have never had a problem with them. But if you have the money a dillon is the way to go, my old man has one and he loves it.You can pick up a good single stag press for $100 or so they are good to have. As far as scales go get yours self a good beam scale. They may be slow but they dont lie (and they dont need batteries HAHA). I use an electornic scale and use the beam scale for a control. If somthing doesn't look right i weight it with the beam scale.Books, get several Seirra Speer Hornady are all good ones the internet is full of info (use with caution). If you have any ? feel free to PM me. Good luck
 

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I'm not to far from you if you want to look at the way my current set up is to get an idea before you spend some (a lot of) money.

I have a Dillon Square Deal B to load 45 acp and at the moment a bunch of hand stuff to do .223, Tuesday my Lee single stage should be here to make my .223 loading a bit easier.
 

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Timmy, thanks for the video link, I'll check it out this weekend.

Meke, does Dillon make a single stage press or just progressive. I was on their website and didn't see any single stages. As far as RCBS, what's the difference between a single stage "rock chucker" press and a "turret" press? They both come in kits. Problem is they come with a mechanical scale, which I'm assuming (probably incorrectly) is not as good as a digital scale? I'd rather buy the best I can get rather than a kit with some good things and some average things. Interested in hearing your thoughts on this.

FD, I'll probably end up with the blue kool aid, lol... Have it on good counsel that I should start with single stage and learn the process start to finish before delving into mass production :)

Thanks for all your input guys, very much appreciated.
Dillon only makes progressive, if you do decide Dillon i'd go to Master Class in Monroe. They will help you set it up and demo how to do everything, they are very big with reloading and only carry Dillon presses as far as I know.

A single stage has 1 opening at the top where you put 1 die, if doing say 100 rounds at a time you would de-prime/ resize all 100. Then change your die to the next step and do all 100, then change your die to the next and do all 100. A Turret has usually 4 I think dies mounted, as you lower the handle and say de-prime/ resize, on the way down the turret on top spins putting your next die in place. You would essentially completely load each round 1 at a time every step. Then do your next round start to finish.

Progressive ups it so the dies are stationary but a shell holder moves, you load brass, crank handle, round progressively moves to each die and each time you feed another piece of brass on the first space and add a bullet at the seating phase.

Most consider beam more accurate then digital for scales. I only own a beam scale, tried fishing for reviews on a quality digital and no one seemed to be to fond of them over a beam.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks whauburger, great info and I appreciate the offer. Been meaning to check out Master Class for a while now, maybe this will give me the excuse I was looking for. I was on Dillon's site last night again and the do sell their 550 as a press only, which can be upgraded later on. Still not sure if this means "single stage" or not, but I left them a question so hopefully they'll get back to me. Appreciate the info.
 

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I second that you should start with a single stage press. The top of the line is the RCBS Rockchucker. If you can scrape together $250 - buy the RCBS master reloading kit. It includes absolutely everything you need to get started and almost nothing that you wont be using 20 years later even if you add a progressive press later down the line.
 

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The 550 will still be a progressive press, some people have powder measures already or prefer to hand weigh charges. The upgraded 550 comes with everything ready to load (minus dies).

Take a ride to master class and look over some of the press options. It really depends what your wanting to do. I load pistol rounds for practice so progressive loading lets me load more rounds per hour, I know they are safe and cost effective, however the trade off is not the most accurate load possible (not an issue for me). Plus my father had bought the square deal b years ago and doesn't load anymore so I didn't have to buy anything.

I don't load any rifle rounds in "bulk" so a single stage press is perfect for me for .223, I want accuracy and I often am experimenting with different components and charges. If I load 10-20 rounds the same and in 1 sitting that's a high number....Plus it's nice relaxing quiet alone time.

It seems like anything else to an extent, people are brand whores and like the expensive things. I did a lot of research when looking into a single stage and didn't see any advantage to a more expensive (RCBS) over the cheaper (Lee).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I second that you should start with a single stage press. The top of the line is the RCBS Rockchucker. If you can scrape together $250 - buy the RCBS master reloading kit. It includes absolutely everything you need to get started and almost nothing that you wont be using 20 years later even if you add a progressive press later down the line.
LOL, looks like the RCBS has gone up in price a bit.... $475. https://shop.rcbs.com/WebConnect/Ma...creenlabel=index&productId=6317&route=C04J148

Dillon is looking better already (I know, its the blue kool-aid)...
 

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Look a small simple lee to start you will be using that later to take to the range to seat bullets. They are light and do a good job.
with most calibers w/o getting into the supermagnums.
Also look at the hornady kit. I don't like the hornady dies but their presses are really nice. The powder measure works just as
well as the best redding or RCBS. Very consistent.

This is an amazing value in my opinion.
Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Single Stage Press Kit

This is a no brainer cannot even buy dinner for two but you can get started on reloading. Add later a better powder measure but initially will work just fine and it is very nice to take to the range to work on the loads and spreads. I have other presses and continue to use this one.
Lee Challenger Breech Lock Single Stage Press Anniversary Kit

If you can spend a bit more this is a very nice one too...
RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Master Single Stage Press Kit

Another great one only the press. Very strong with lots of clearance. Just look for their kits with the powder measure because
they are a good value if you add all the other things.
Redding Big Boss II Single Stage Reloading Press

To the LEE above you could add a hornady powder meausre for $63 + a nice digital scale for convenience and you have a nice
breach lock quick change similar to hornady that will do the job just fine. All below $200 you are all set for a lifetime of reloads
but you will get more presses if you like it, trust me. If you don't reload that much then no so much investment is needed.
You will be spending more in the end in case preparation kits and automated powder measures and other toys but intially
don't dump $2K in all sort of equipment until you know you like it and figure what you need and want as you go.
Hornady Lock-N-Load Powder Measure

For rifle buy redding or CBS dies.

Later if you have supermagums of want to form wildcats redding has a one with long arms and lever that is a tank.
 

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I'll throw this in the mix. Look at a Lee Turret. You can pop the index rod out and use it as a single stage press, the turret won't turn automatically with the rod out. If you want to go a bit faster, say with pistol ammo, pop the rod back in and the dies will index after every stroke of the ram. Extra die plates are cheap so you can switch from one caliber to another without readjusting your die sets. Just another option. I have an old Lee turret that has served me well and I still use it to load calibers that I don't need to load in high volumes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Look a small simple lee to start you will be using that later to take to the range to seat bullets. They are light and do a good job.
with most calibers w/o getting into the supermagnums.
Also look at the hornady kit. I don't like the hornady dies but their presses are really nice. The powder measure works just as
well as the best redding or RCBS. Very consistent.

This is an amazing value in my opinion.
Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Single Stage Press Kit

This is a no brainer cannot even buy dinner for two but you can get started on reloading. Add later a better powder measure but initially will work just fine and it is very nice to take to the range to work on the loads and spreads. I have other presses and continue to use this one.
Lee Challenger Breech Lock Single Stage Press Anniversary Kit

If you can spend a bit more this is a very nice one too...
RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Master Single Stage Press Kit

Another great one only the press. Very strong with lots of clearance. Just look for their kits with the powder measure because
they are a good value if you add all the other things.
Redding Big Boss II Single Stage Reloading Press

To the LEE above you could add a hornady powder meausre for $63 + a nice digital scale for convenience and you have a nice
breach lock quick change similar to hornady that will do the job just fine. All below $200 you are all set for a lifetime of reloads
but you will get more presses if you like it, trust me. If you don't reload that much then no so much investment is needed.
You will be spending more in the end in case preparation kits and automated powder measures and other toys but intially
don't dump $2K in all sort of equipment until you know you like it and figure what you need and want as you go.
Hornady Lock-N-Load Powder Measure

For rifle buy redding or CBS dies.

Later if you have supermagums of want to form wildcats redding has a one with long arms and lever that is a tank.
Hmm, that hornady kit is on sale $55 off, and comes with a coupon for 500 free bullets (plus S&H). They have another "Classic" kit, the Deluxe one, for $475. I see a scale in the deluxe kit, but not sure what else it includes. That classic kit sure does look like good value.

RCBS has rebate for $50 back. Looks like that puts the Rockchucker kit at about $275 after rebate, vs. $475 MSRP. The RCBS includes a mechanical scale in this kit. Believe would have to add a scale to the Hornady kit that's on sale.

Which one of these two would you go with Meke? Which is the better/stronger press out of the two? The RCBS looks beefier from the pics but I don't have any experience with any of them. Thx.
 

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Nothing wrong with the LEE but you will need a hornady powder measure for the ball powders and a digital scale.
The hornady is a very good press. The Rockchucker is a very good press too.
With the 500 bullets rebate I wold get the hornady with the quick change bushings.
 
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