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Author Topic: Reloading starter kits  (Read 4738 times)

PHXCobra

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Reloading starter kits
« on: March 16, 2012, 05:33:11 pm »
So I am definitely interested in this and have a couple friends who are also interested and are willing to help with the initial investment.  What would be a good starter kit to buy?  Looking to reload .223, 40, 9mm, and possibly other basic rounds.
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    Re: Reloading starter kits
    « Reply #1 on: March 16, 2012, 06:51:04 pm »
    I bought the Lee Classic Turret starter kit a few years back. It was a nice way to get started without being overwhelmed, but it didn't come with much. I think I MAY have been able to load metallic cartridges with what came in the box, but not easily, and not safely imho. Lee makes a good press, but some stuff they do makes you scratch your head. The powder measure systems are junk, to name one.

    The nice thing about the kits is they quickly show you what you really need to reload effectively.

    Bad things about the kits:
    You'll likely outgrow them quickly. Especially with the cartridges you're looking to load. Those are all high-volume rounds. It will take you quite a while to fill an AR magazine using a single-stage press and the basic stuff that comes in the kit. That doesn't even count prep time. I'm just talking about time pulling the handle. I made the same mistake and eventually got frustrated with .223 and .40S&W on my Lee and dropped the coin on a Dillon 650. I still use the Lee for load development, but once I get a load figured out, it gets moved to the Dillon.
    TexasOutbreak

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    xsquidgator

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    Re: Reloading starter kits
    « Reply #2 on: March 17, 2012, 09:15:54 pm »
    I thought the Lee kit was ok, for starting out.  There are a zillion little things that are nice to just buy in a kit and not have to worry about remembering to buy, especially if you're buying online.  You get most of that stuff in a kit, even if it may not be the best stuff.  I got the Lee turret kit to start with years back and it was good to learn with, if not the best to crank out high volume with.  You can see and learn how stuff works with the Lee stuff, and you won't be out a lot of coin to get it either. 

    I would recommend adding a decent digital scale (the $100 RCBS 750 grain one is great, the $30 "Smart Reloader" or whatever ones are not) to supplement the Lee balance scale.  The Lee die sets are ok, at least for handgun.  I'd start learning by making handgun rounds, and get that down pat before moving on to rifle cartridge reloading.  The Lee turret press will let you make about 150 rounds of handgun ammo an hour, not factory production levels or anything but not too bad.

    I'd also add a tumbler, some corn-cob media, and a media sifter to your order, for cleaning up brass.    The Lee kits anyway I don't think come with that, maybe the higher-end companies provide that in a kit.

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    Re: Reloading starter kits
    « Reply #3 on: March 17, 2012, 11:54:55 pm »
    RCBS rockchuker kit.  Always appropriate.  Slow when going for volume, sure.  But for learning the basics on quality equipment, and new load development, it's hard to beat.
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    mnw42

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    Re: Reloading starter kits
    « Reply #4 on: March 18, 2012, 07:01:39 am »
    +1 on the Lee kits.  That is what I bought to start out with and has served me well.  I would buy a decent scale to supplement it;  I didn't care for the one Lee provides.
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    Re: Reloading starter kits
    « Reply #5 on: March 18, 2012, 11:56:01 am »
    The big problem I had with the Lee system is their powder measuring. The little scoops scare me, and the Auto-Disk is a total piece of s___. When powder can't be metered accurately, I take issue.

    The primer feed thingies are a bit cumbersome as well, but not that bad.

    The rest of it is great. I have no problem recommending Lee equipment, but a few upgrades are required imho.
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    cpaspr

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    Re: Reloading starter kits
    « Reply #6 on: March 18, 2012, 03:46:24 pm »
    I helped a friend get started in reloading.  .38s & .357s only.

    The Lee press itself was good.  The primer feed system worked just fine.  The beam scale was too iffy for my tastes, and with it being squirrelly, I can't really comment on the accuracy of the powder dispenser.  Which was Lee's cheap rendition of the RCBS Uniflow powder measure.

    I have multiple sets of Lee dies.  No problems with them.  Though having both Lee and RCBS, I mix and match for my preferences.  For example, I use the Lee carbide size/deprime die for .38s and .357s on the single stage presses, but follow it with the RCBS deprime/bell die in the second step (my RCBS die only sizes in the first die, and that particular die isn't carbide).  Lee's belling die is also the flow-through powder dispensing die, and as such is designed to give a hard bump on the upstroke to shake loose any powder that didn't make it all the way to the shell.  Since I only bell in the second step, that bump is annoying, and slows the upstroke down.  Then, depending on bullet shape being seated, I'll choose the appropriate seating die.  Dies from both manufacturers work equally well.
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    mnw42

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    Re: Reloading starter kits
    « Reply #7 on: March 19, 2012, 12:21:27 am »
    Quote
    The big problem I had with the Lee system is their powder measuring. The little scoops scare me, and the Auto-Disk is a total piece of s___. When powder can't be metered accurately, I take issue.

    I don't use the dippers and I don't have the Auto-disk, so I can't speak to them.  I do have a Lee powder drop that I'm not 100% happy with and will have to upgrade from then I have a little extra scratch.
    Pennsylvania"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." -Book -- "All war is deception" -Sun Tzu
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodies -- omnia dicta fortiora si dicta Latina -- History is scary - It keeps on coming true! -- Ni!

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    Re: Reloading starter kits
    « Reply #8 on: March 19, 2012, 12:26:24 am »
    I've never used a stand-alone powder measure. Mine have both been press mounted. The Dillon is fantastic. I need one or two more of those.
    TexasOutbreak

    I take my coffee black...like my rifles.

    I absolutely despise Glocks. That's why I only own two.

    I'm glad that your chains rest lightly upon you. --JesseL

    Nick Cage

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    Re: Reloading starter kits
    « Reply #9 on: March 22, 2012, 12:02:16 pm »
    I got the Lee anniversary kit and it came with the stand alone powder measure.
    So far I have been really happy with it. The only thing I've upgraded so far was to a digital scale from the balance beam scale that came with the kit.

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