GUN Reloading for $200

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by fatmoocow, May 15, 2009.

  1. fatmoocow

    fatmoocow bored OT Supporter

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    I lot of you guys are going to poo poo this, but if you are starting out in reloading don't drop $500-800 on overpriced crap that you don't need. You may also find that you just don't have the patience for reloading.

    The lee is a solid press, if you are reloading rifle, single stage is the way to start. You'll continue using it even after you upgrade to progressive and it will teach you to pay attention and do things one step at a time. If you are reloading pistol, however, you will not have the patience for single stage.


    $89 lee kit http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=423081
    $5 case trimmer cutter http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=476992
    4.49 case length gage (get one to match your cartridge) http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=107333
    $2 primer pocket tool http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=467111
    $12 brass cleaner http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=622895
    $30 full length and neck sizing dies (get one to match your cartridge) http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=148525
    $3.50 shell holder (get one to match your cartridge) http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=616684
    $8 reloading tray http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=536734
    $30 scale http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduc...&utm_source=reloading&utm_medium=category0509
    $20 harbor freight calipers

    If you are extremely space limited mount this to a harbor freight bench grinder stand like I did for $40.

    What can't you do with this that you can with a $700 single stage setup? It's slower to weigh powder. These dies are not very smooth and will not give you insane concentricity. Brass cleaner is great and it's easy to use, but tumbling will be the way to go eventually.

    After you've reloaded your brass once or twice this will have paid for itself. Then you can buy:

    tumbler
    media separator
    $100 dies
    powder trickler
    electronic powder dispenser and scale combo
    dillon progressive press
    concentricity gages

    and you'll still be using all the stuff you bought originally.

    That said good luck finding primers and bullets :mamoru:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2009
  2. phoenixTX

    phoenixTX New Member

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    Need to fix the links. Looks like they were all copied and pasted and have the "..." in the actual URL.
     
  3. fatmoocow

    fatmoocow bored OT Supporter

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    thx
     
  4. kellyclan

    kellyclan She only loves you when she's drunk.

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  5. ZCP M3

    ZCP M3 Active Member

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    So you have to individually screw dies in and readjust them, one by one, after every operation? I always thought a single stage was just a "flipped" progressive where the bullet stayed stationary and the dies rotated on some sort of tool head above.
     
  6. BLH

    BLH Member

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    The dies stay adjusted and it is a quarter turn lock into the press. Once you get the dies set you don't have to change them when you take them out.
     
  7. ZCP M3

    ZCP M3 Active Member

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    Gotcha. Themoreyouknow.jpg :hsd:
     
  8. Soybomb

    Soybomb New Member

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    Thats a turret. The one linked to is lee's breech lock system which works as described but yes most single stage presses mean you unscrew and readjust the dies each time, although if you're careful with them adjustment usually isn't necessary, just a check or a 1/4 turn tweak.
     
  9. yar1182

    yar1182 New Member

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    Bolt that press down to a real bench.
     
  10. yar1182

    yar1182 New Member

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    While I understand many people are on limited budgets, and do not know if they are going to be serious about reloading. I would be miserable if I started out with an bare bones, budget single stage set up. All said and done it's still a $300+ investment.

    All the guys with Dillons will tell you. If your serious about shooting, and sure your going to be serious about reloading then get a dillon 550 or better. Buy once cry once.

    You can find used dillon 550's out there. Mostly from guys who upgraded to a 1050 or 650. I mostly load on my 650 but I still use my 550 for odd jobs.
     
  11. ZCP M3

    ZCP M3 Active Member

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    I agree with yar on this one. While that is definitely an economical way to get into reloading, it certainly wouldn't satisfy me for the following reasons:

    -I enjoy reloading, but I enjoy SHOOTING way more. Less time spent reloading means more time at the range

    -Progressives may be more complex to operate but you set the dies once and leave them alone. Less shit to worry about IMO if you go slow and don't be a moron.

    -Either you're shooting enough volume to need a reloading press or you're not. I think loading bulk range ammo on a single-stage would not be fun at all. Now loading some serious match ammo on a single-stage is a different story.

    Buy once, cry once. And if you don't shoot enough to recoup the $ spent on a Lee or Dillon progressive in a year or two, you probably don't need to be reloading.
     
  12. fatmoocow

    fatmoocow bored OT Supporter

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    This is definitely more geared towards precision rifle. I wouldn't argue with loading shit tons or pistol or rifle ammo for plinking. You're aren't going to weigh every last grain of powder. That said I still think you'll use a single stage from time to time after you buy your dillon. So you aren't really out anything, you get some experience, and you are up and running sooner for less $.
     
  13. I agree with Yar and ZCP M3 about buying better stuff to begin with. I wouldn't tell someone to go buy a Dillon 1050 to start, but I don't think starting with the cheapest equipment possible is going to do anyone favors.
     
  14. yar1182

    yar1182 New Member

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    I know the popular thinking is that a single stage loads better precision ammo but I question how much more precise it is. You can load very good ammo on a progressive, especially if you take some extra steps.

    Say you have a dillon 550 vrs a single stage. First thing you want to get a uniquetek toolhead clamp ($25) which tightens up the toolhead and removes much of the varience. Now your 550 should be as consistent as a single stage.

    Get two tool heads. One from case prep and one for loading. Most of the equation for accurate rifle ammo is components, case prep and consistency. So if you do all the anal crap after you resize and trim such as sort and weigh cases. Swage, clean, and chamfer primer pockets. Deburr and chamfer case mouths etc. You can still hand weigh powder and trickle them down a powder through die, or use a RCBS Uniflow powder measure on your 550.

    What I'm saying is that you can set up a progressive like a dillon to make precision ammo in the range that you would expect from a single stage. With much great production capability and a lot less labor from you.
     
  15. phrozenlikwid

    phrozenlikwid New Member

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    I've heard Dave Tubb reloads on some custom Dillon setup, as well as several other big-time rifle guys. Plenty of dudes shooting precision stuff with Dillons (I usually hear of modded 550's), so it can certainly be done.

    I'm still loading on a single stage, but I (used to) shoot mostly rifle. Now that I'm into more volume pursuits, I'm getting a Dillon. Quite frankly I don't think I would be interested in loading something like volume pistol rounds on a single stage. Just not worth my time....
     
  16. phrozenlikwid

    phrozenlikwid New Member

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  17. Emfuser

    Emfuser Nuclear Moderator Super Moderator

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    I've read lots of favorable stuff about Hornady LNL setups as well. I may lean that way when it comes time to pull the trigger :)mamoru:) on a reloading setup.
     
  18. yar1182

    yar1182 New Member

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    My buddy has one of those. Works great for case prep of 223 but not for loading.

    For case prep it's great. Load up the case feeder, and let it go to town. Just keep loading up the case feeder and your good to go.

    For loading actual ammo it has some issues. It works great until there is a problem such as a primer that didn't seat or some other issue. Then it just train wrecks and you got to stop it, clean out the machine and reset. if you don't catch it right away it just makes a bigger and bigger mess.

    You also need to have a bullet feeder as sticking your finger in there to seat a bullet with that press running on it's own is way too scary. He does have a bullet feeder though.

    Concensus is it's better to pull the handle when reloading so you can "feel" the operation. That way you can feel if a primer is not seating correctly, or there is a small rock in the case keeping it from depriming, and make an adjustment right away.

    For case prep it's a dream. Set up a tool head with a a resizer and a dillon auto trim. Then drop lubed cases into the case feeder. You can prep cases 5000 or 10,000 a session. Pretty awesome stuff. That saves you 10,000 pulls of the handle which your elbow will appreciate.
     
  19. yar1182

    yar1182 New Member

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    STOP!

    Do yourself a favor and get a Dillon. For loading pistol or rifle on a progressive the dillon is the best way to go. You can read stuff like cow shit makes a tasty burger but that does not mean it's true. There is a reason why Dillon dominates the market and everyone uses dillon presses. If your looking to reload shotshell then you have other choices but for pistol or rifle there is only one.

    Now don't get me wrong you can use a lee or hornady, or rcbs progressive. It will work and it will make ammo. It's just not as good a machine as a dillon. While I would be exagerating that using a anything but a dillon would make you gay. I would not be exagerating by much. Ask people that actually reload. I'm not talking about they guys who front like they reload or bought a set up and reload once in a while. I'm talking the serious guys. Everyone I know that has gotten anything other than a dillon learned the hard way and eventually switched to a dillon. One guy is still running a LNL but he hardly shoots, for sure he doesn't shoot with us, does not shoot well, and his sexual orientation has been questioned.
     
  20. Ebtromba

    Ebtromba Active Member

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