GUN Opinions on a reloading setup for a beginner?

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by lobstradomus, Oct 4, 2007.

  1. lobstradomus

    lobstradomus New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Messages:
    6,291
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    CA
    So I'm looking at getting into reloading and after going through AB13's kickass edu and The ABC's of Reloading I still have a few questions. I will be starting off with pistol rounds, for now just 9mm, but eventually may want to start reloading rifle rounds.

    I was thinking I would start off with a Lee kit to see if I actually like reloading before sinking money in to a big progressive setup. I heard Lee was decent enough for a single stage press and it looks to be a lot less expensive than anything I could find from RCBS, Redding or of course Dillon. I noticed that Lee has a turret press here so I was wondering if it would be better than their single stage since I can get the 4 die kit and not have to change out dies all the time or adjust them thanks to the lock rings.

    So I'm looking for opinions on the Lee Turret Kit vs a single stage, and whether or not I should just spend the money up front and get a Dillon RL550. Also I was wondering what else I might need such as a tumbler, caliper or a better scale if the kit ones are crap.
     
  2. Soybomb

    Soybomb New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    9,041
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Illinois
    The lee classic turret has a good reputation, the regular lee turret seems more fecal.
     
  3. Dr. Fuckface

    Dr. Fuckface Wheelguns: when it absolutely, positively has to g

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Messages:
    17,757
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Revolver, Reloading, Bimmer Crews
    I just got all the parts for my RL550--will be setting it up tonight. Still need a powder scale, bullet puller, calipers and a few other things, so I won't be pumping out rounds for another couple days, but here were some of the factors behind my decision:

    - Personal experience with some Dillon products and their reputation with the "No BS" guarantee. I know personal experience doesn't transfer from one shooter to the other, but the reputation for the No BS should. I basically just look at the increased cost of a Dillon as an included extended warranty.

    - It's cheaper to buy what you want the first time around. This is true with anything. To me, it just makes more sense to save up and fork over the lootcakes for what I really want instead of wasting 50% by buying something I'm not going to want/be happy with in the long run.

    - I figure the RL550B was a good choice because of the ability to do just about any kind of pistol and rifle ammunition.

    - It's enough, without being too much. IIRC, AB13 has one, and he probably goes through twice as much ammo as I would on my best day.

    One thing I've learned, don't be fooled by the price of the press alone. I got a good deal on mine (with a case tumbler) off of ebay; even so, I'll be into it for almost a grand by the time I start putting rounds downrange. Take into account the cost of conversion kits, dies, accessories like tumblers, scales and calipers; even the first batch of brass you buy is likely to be $0.10/rnd, and I was a little disheartened (at first) to see how much bullets alone cost.

    Shipped, my press and tumbler were $430
    Dies, conversion kit, and assorted press accessories from dillon were about $220.
    Scale, calipers and some other shit from Midway will probably run me just under $200.
    1k .357 brass from starline is prolly $120 shipped
    1k bullets will be around $90 shipped (but I'll be going for those poly-m bullets soon, i think)
    Haven't even bought primers or powder yet, but I'm guessing that'll probably be at least another $50.

    But hey, I only have to buy most of that stuff once, and I'm sure I'll have recouped the cost of the press and accessories just in the first month of reloading. After that month, I'll be spending a lot less on amm--er, I'll be shooting a lot more. :mamoru: You know what they say: you won't save money, you'll just shoot more.:wavey:

    *I'm not saying there's anything wrong with Lee products, or any other manufacturer, for that matter. Just that it makes more sense to get what you want the first time. If it turns out you're not into the whole reloading thing, return/sell it. Better quality stuff resells for higher prices anyways.
     
  4. PanzerAce

    PanzerAce Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    14,502
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    N37°18'37" W120°29'50"
    if its .357 mag, why not just cast your own? :dunno:
     
  5. Dr. Fuckface

    Dr. Fuckface Wheelguns: when it absolutely, positively has to g

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Messages:
    17,757
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Revolver, Reloading, Bimmer Crews
    it may come to that, eventually. but this is what I feel comfortable starting off with. also, I'm not crazy about handling lead, nor would I look forward to cleaning the gun afterwards. depending on the load (900-1000fps, or so I hear), cast bullets can cause a lot of leading.
     
  6. AB13

    AB13 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    3,668
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    yeah, i would suggest NOT getting into Casting just yet. You've got enough on your plate now to deal with. Adding "casting" to your plate will only steepen the learning curve. there are more to casting then meets the eye.
     
  7. AB13

    AB13 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    3,668
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Hey man,
    Sorry, didn't see this post at first.
    You'll be fine with the turret. Because you can always use it as a single stage as well. But you'll be a whole lot more productive NOT having to readjust and calibrate your die's every freakin time. that's a pain. When and if you decide to upgrade to a progressive, you can keep your lee turret for developmental loads or leave it set up for rifle loading.

    as for other things your going to need, i would suggest. :

    Absolutely mandatory for reloading:
    - Scale, I would always suggest getting a good digital scale because they are fast, and when calibrated, pretty fool proof. I would suggest one you could plug into the wall because you don't have to worry about batteries affecting accuracy. They have a good digital scale they sell at Midway for 30-40 bucks my friend bought, and when compared to my Lyman scale, seemed to be tic for tac.
    - Calipers. I would again suggest getting a digital calipers. You dont' have to strain reading the numbers. and you will use it alot. You can get a good digital scale from Harbor Freight for around 20 bucks.
    - Tumbler. Clean brass helps extend the life of your dies. And is also good to clean your brass so you can detect any annomolies with the cases. this is IMPORTANT if you are using range brass. I make sure and inspect all my brass before using them. The "out of round" ones are okay, what ou are looking for are cracks near the lip area and near the bottom.

    - Patience. Loading is not a speed deal. It's all about quality and getting proficient and confident in your process.

    Not as important, but you will make life a whole lot easier.
    - Bullet puller. You are going to have mistakes, lots when you start and you need a way to pull and make sure you are okay with your loads. You can get a kenetic puller for 15 bux online from Midwayusa.com
    - Primer flip tray. You will need this to load your primers bottom side up.

    I'll elaborate more when I get home tonight. If you have any questions, page me here or PM me.

    Good luck and let us know how you do!
     
  8. crazybenf

    crazybenf Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2001
    Messages:
    15,575
    Likes Received:
    2
    I'm going to purchase the lee turret system from cabelas.. it's 79.99 and then a 45acp die kit is 20.99


    It should be enough to get me learning! (besides a tumbler..)
     
  9. AB13

    AB13 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    3,668
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Dude, I found you a reconditioned Lee turret press for 80 bucks. It's as good as new because it comes with a warranty directly from Lee here you go.

    http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/catalog/browse.cgi?1191553429.797=/html/catalog/surplus.html

    Only thing is Lee only offers a 2 year warranty. Dillon has what they call a " Lifetime NO BS" warranty. doesn't matter if your the first or 10th owner of the press, if something breaks, they'll send you out the part to your door for FREE. no matter what. And from what I understand form folks that have had to use it, they are one of the best companies in customer support. They don't even ask questions, they just ask for your address and thats it.
     
  10. lobstradomus

    lobstradomus New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Messages:
    6,291
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    CA
    Thanks for all the info, its helped a lot. I figure if by two years I'm still reloading I will probably have already upgraded to a Dilllon.
     
  11. AB13

    AB13 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    3,668
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I wouldn't be suprised if you had one by early next year. Good luck! You'll be a bullet guru in no time.
     

Share This Page