GUN Educate me on reloading equipment

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by HorseDick, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. HorseDick

    HorseDick Active Member

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    I decided I want to get into reloading and have no idea where to start. I'm going to order the ABCs of reloading, but for now I want to know what you guys recommend in terms of equipment. I'd like to figure out how much this is all going to cost for a good setup that I won't regret owning / want to upgrade down the road.

    So far I've been recommended the RCBS Supreme Master kit, but would you guys recommend something like a Dillon 550 to do it right from the get-go? I would like to reload mainly 9mm and .308, possibly .223 if I get an AR again.

    What do guys consider necessities?

    Any other info is appreciated :cool:
     
  2. The 550 is a great machine to start off with. You'll need some kind of media tumbler, a powder scale (to check powder loads periodically), a dial caliper to check cartridge OAL, and the dies for your caliber to start off.

    That would actually get you going as a bare-bones setup. There are tons of other things you can buy to make stuff easier/quicker, but what I listed would allow you to start reloading.
     
  3. hsmith

    hsmith OT Supporter

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    and lots of toolheads and funnels :o
     
  4. Sorny

    Sorny New Member

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    If you didn't shoot over 5000 rounds of a single caliber a year is it worth reloading? Say 9mm or .223?
     
  5. .223 is running about $.40/round now for good stuff. You can reload .223 for half that. Say you shoot 2000 rounds of .223 a year, buying it would cost you $800. Reloading it would cost you $400. It's not hard to break even reloading.
     
  6. yar1182

    yar1182 New Member

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    If you have the $$$ jump right to a dillon 650. The auto index and case feeder make reloading a lot less labor intensive. Granted there is nothing wrong with a 550. I started with a 550 and still use it for odd jobs. Everyone told me to get a 650 or 1050 from the start and looking back they were right. There is no other choice except dillon. This is not a yar says or be gay thing, it is the truth. Dillon or gay by word of god. I hope I put enough emphesis on it.

    So here is a short list
    1. Get a dillon
    2. powder scale (dillon terminator)
    3. calipers
    4. tumbler (the CV 500 is fine)
    5. seperator (any rotating squirel cage like the dillon is fine)
    6. case guages in any caliber you reload
    7. powder, primers, bullets (of course)
    8. crushed walnut (can be had at better pet/feed stores) and polish (3m finesse it 2)
    9. Dies (get the Lee dies w/ the FCD factory crimp die)
    Basicly when in doubt buy the dillon component with these exceptions
    1. Lee makes better dies, the FCD is a must have. The EGW or Lee U Die is a good idea (undersized die). If you have the $$$ then the redding competition seating die is the only non lee die I run
    2. Do not use the dillon media polish it is garbage. Best I've found is 3m finesse it 2. Can be had at boating stores. I just google and order it online. A little goes a long way unlike the dillon polish. Use the 3m w/ equal parts water about 3oz mixture for a tumbler full of media. I change media every 15k of cases or so.
    3. I'm thinking the enclosed media seperator is better than the dillon. I think it was RCBS that make a spinning squirel case but with a cover. The dillon throws media everywhere and you have to clean it up.
    4. Case lube I like hornady one shot for pistol, for rifle I like the dillon.
    If your doing to do rifle then you need a lot more stuff.
    1. Case trimmer. I like the electric stuff. I'm using a RCBS trim pro w/ the 3 way cutter though I wish I would of gotten the dillon (see the theme). The Giraud is suppose to be the best but I never played with one.
    2. DeSwager - I got the dillon power deswager. Kind of wish I got the RCBS case prep center, but really wish I just got a dillon 1050 and it would not be an issue.
    There are 11ty billion other things you can get for reloading but these are the must have. Remember if in doubt get a Dillon. Anything other than Dillon you will regret.
     
  7. Soybomb

    Soybomb New Member

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    How much do you shoot per year? There's no reason to buy a $500 pressure if you plink 200 rounds a month, at least to me.
     
  8. Hibidi-Shibidi

    Hibidi-Shibidi New Member

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    Damnit yar, why do we have to be in conflict with everything.

    Get a Lee Loadmaster.

    It does everything the Dillon does, but for half of the cost. All of the components for the Lee are filthy cheap compared to the Dillon stuff too.
     
  9. yar1182

    yar1182 New Member

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    if you want something other than a dillon press check ebay, gun borker and all the other aution sites. At some point most people upgrade to a dillon.

    Let me put it this way with all the many many serious shooters I know only one person has a non dillon press. There were plenty of former non dillon guys but they saw the light. At steel challenge the non dillon guy was eyeing a dillon press on the prize table. Unfortunately 3 spots before his walk it got pulled. We all yelled "ohhh". It was really funny, had to be there.

    cliff. Dillon or gay.
     
  10. What kind of reloading are you looking to do? If you want to make bulk ammo for plinking then it doesn't make sense to spend ~$150 on a Redding competition seating die. Also, if you don't want to mess with lubing pistol cases, you can buy a set of Redding Titanium Carbide dies.
     
  11. hsmith

    hsmith OT Supporter

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    Dillon blue is the most heterosexual baby blue made.
     
  12. yar1182

    yar1182 New Member

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    I mentioned the competition seating die as it is the one die I use that is not a Lee. I think it's worth the money. Much easier to dial in OAL and make adjustments when experiementing with new bullets or loads.
     
  13. HorseDick

    HorseDick Active Member

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    I don't compete or anything, so it's basically all for plinking. I like to shoot every weekend, and have been shooting more .22 than anything due to ammo prices and it sucks, that's why I decided I should start looking into this shit. Especially now with the .308, getting near the $1/round territory.
     
  14. This is true, but for someone who is interested in reloading for plinking and is just getting started I'd think that money could be better spent elsewhere.

    Hell, when I load .45 I really don't care if my OAL is 1.249 on one round and 1.252 on another.
     
  15. yar1182

    yar1182 New Member

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    thus the disclaimer If you have the $$$ then the redding competition seating die is the only non lee die I run.

    Do you read my posts looking for things to nit pick over.
     
  16. No, I don't, but when the guy is looking for advice on a beginner's reloading setup, what good does it do to bring up stuff like that? Based on his 1st post, it would make sense that he is on some sort of budget. Nonetheless, what does anyone need a micrometer-adjusted seater die for when they're using a progressive press to reload ammo for plinking?

    Perhaps instead of complaining that I'm looking to nit-pick your posts you should simply take the time to give RELEVANT and useful advice to someone who is looking to get started, rather than tell him that if it's not Dillon it's gay and encourage him to piss money away on a die that won't make a damn bit of difference in his loading. If you want to show off your knowledge that's fine, but not everyone needs all sorts of extraneous shit to accomplish a simple task.
     
  17. Hibidi-Shibidi

    Hibidi-Shibidi New Member

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  18. yar1182

    yar1182 New Member

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    MG You picked out one part of my whole post where I began.

    The redding comp die is a good die. There is nothing wrong in mentioning it. I even gave the disclaminer that it's on the expensive side.

    The OP did mention specific words such as "good setup" which means dillon has got to be discussed. Last sentence from original poster was "Any other info appreciated" Thus the best of the best is fair to mention.

    Step off you fucking hater.
     
  19. AB13

    AB13 New Member

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    Something to keep in mind, your needs will change later down the road. I know mine has in the last couple of years. Dillon has a Lifelong, no BS warranty, so this could be a reloader you have for quite some time.

    if you wanted a "good" reloader, that you will never need to upgrade. xl650. My cousin just bought an entire set up I helped him piece together and all in all, he spent just under $1200.

    You could spend a little less with the 550, and for the most part, it'll probably do great for %90 of shooters needs. It's a few hundred less, interchanging is very easy. That is what I have, and I have rolled a shit ton of bullets on it from 9mm, 40, .45, etc. Also consider, I used to shoot several times a week before my kiddo was born.

    Either end of the summer or next year, I'll be adding a 650 next to my 550. I have a knack for having to burn the midnight oil to reload because I have a little girl I have to put to sleep every night and i'd like to minimize my time in the man cave. And because I grow tired of swapping out LPP and SPP primer tubes.

    I'll stop shooting the day they put me in the ground.
     
  20. I'm not hating on anything, I just fail to see how recommending somebody an expensive die that they don't need at all is helping them? The guy is looking for useful advice, not for some fucking loudmouth to brag about his equipment. Tell me, Ray, how would having a micrometer-adjustable die help this guy reload bulk ammo for plinking? Right, it doesn't.

    If someone asks me what a decent suspension setup for getting into roadracing their C5 vette is, I'm not going to fucking go on about Moton Adjustable shocks and adjustable composite springs. Same basic idea here, the guy wants advice on getting into reloading bulk plinking ammo. Where does an expensive micrometer-adjustable die fit in?

    I didn't take issue with you telling him to buy Dillon stuff, it's good stuff. I take issue with your fucking stupid attitude that if it's not the same shit you use it's somehow not desirable. Anyways, you are the one that got all butthurt when I rather nicely and in the least-combative way possible pointed out that the guy could spend that money elsewhere for better effect. I wasn't nit-picking anything, just asking whether you felt he really needed something like that for his stated purpose. I find that any time people disagree with your positions you tend to get butthurt and defensive. Sorry, in this case, you are wrong.


    PS If I wanted to "nit-pick" your posts, I'd have pointed out that it's not a "deswager" that you use to SWAGE a primer pocket. It's a SWAGER that you use to SWAGE a primer pocket to remove a crimp. There, that was nit-picking.
     
  21. yar1182

    yar1182 New Member

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    MG do not read, not for haters.

    AB check out the bullet feeders also. Big time saver. It also frees up your attention to watch other things like powder level, and the feel of the primer seating to avoid loose primer pocket problems.

    There are some slick pnumatic set-up. You push a buttom and the dillon just start to rock and roll. Then you fill primer tubes, lube brass, and fill powder. You have to stop it when you add primers though.
     
  22. I'm still waiting to hear why this guy needs to spend the money on that die for his application?

    I don't really expect an answer, as you can't give a good one. Remember a little while back when a bunch of people were calling you a stuck-up elitist?
     
  23. yar1182

    yar1182 New Member

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    OK MG the reason is to make the best ammo possible which is the best reason to start reloading. The competition seating die makes it easier to experiment with different bullets and loads which is something people getting into reloading are known to do while they work up pet loads for their guns. No big trial and error using two wrench and loading a bunch of "off" lenght ammo trying to get it right. Even if your just reloading bulk plinking ammo your still trying to reload good ammo. It is really nice to be able to make minor adjustement of your comp seating die to regulate OAL. If your going to reload make good ammo, and the key factor to that is consistency. The comp seating die makes it easier to be consistent.

    At no time did I say the comp seating die is a must have . I mentioned it was good to have such as the U die is good to have.
     
  24. Hibidi-Shibidi

    Hibidi-Shibidi New Member

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    I'm going to contribute.

    I started reloading for the same reason you are. I wanted to save money on ammo and have the ability to control my loads a little better.

    After talking to a lot of the guys and my local range and the IPSC guys, I decided to go with the Lee Load Master. I did this because after pricing out the stuff for the Dillon to reload all of the things I wanted, I was pushing 1800-2000 worth of equipment.

    In the volatile market we are dealing with, I could not find the Lee setup in 9mm like I wanted so I went with the .38 setup as that was the only one available with any of the calibers that I shoot. When you purchase the Lee setup, they also send a set of carbide dies in the caliber that you chose.

    After getting the .38 setup, I found the dies I needed at Cabela's of all places. I picked up the die set, and the factory crimp die (FCD).

    Here is the rundown of my equipment costs. I am not including any shipping costs but they amount to about 30 bucks in total for all things listed:

    Lee Load Master - 225 - on sale at midwayusa
    9mm Carbide Dies - 40
    9mm FCD - 20
    Case Collator - 12
    --------------------------------
    Case Tumbler kit - 59 (came with sifter and media)
    Cabelas powder scale - 80
    Misc Loading books - 40

    So I am in for roughly 475 give or take 50 bucks or so.

    Your ammo costs will very on what you want to load and those kinds of variables.

    The Dillon guys are getting into it for 1200-1500 for the same stuff.
     
  25. Hibidi-Shibidi

    Hibidi-Shibidi New Member

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    A bullet feeder for the Lee presses cost 35-40 bucks. How much were the Dillon ones?
     

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