good starter kit/ or individual components


Full Member
Feb 20, 2017
So I had my father offer to get me some stuff to start reloading.
All I will be reloading for at the moment is
38 special
Occasionally 25 acp and 45 acp
I know I will need dies for each caliber so exclude those for now.
I'm fine with a single stage I think cause I will mostly be loading .223 and 9mm for the most part.
Budget is 400-500
Looking at the Hornady packages or maybe RCBS
I have a good scale but that's about it.
What's the most cost effective way to go about getting the basics? What should I be looking for specifically?
Thanks for the help looking forward to getting into this.


Lt. Colonel
Full Member
Mar 16, 2008
none of your business
For pistol I'd find a used Dillon Square Deal B. I've owned two now, sold the first one when I was young, but always regretted it. Anyway I found one for $180 used that came with 3 caliber conversion kits. The conversion kits have everything you need to reload so no need to purchase dies separately. A friend traded into one a few months ago for $230 with 2 conversion kits. Loading for pistol on a single stage press is time consuming because it takes three dies.

I'd totally skip any reloading packages too, especially since you have the scale already.

The Forster Co-Ax is a really nice single stage. If starting over I would buy one. You don't need to buy shell holders, the priming system is fine as is, spent primers go down to the bottle instead bouncing to the floor like other systems and you slide in the die, not screw it in, so that part is faster.

For all that is right and good don't buy a RCBS "POS" Summit press!

Use imperial die wax, buy NECO dry case lube, a cheap inertia bullet puller, a stuck case remover kit, Saturn funnels. Buy the cheapest powder measure you can find. Throw charges .2-3 grain less into the scales pan and then weigh to the kernel. The Hornady dies I like better than Lee for cheap dies, except for Lee's collet dies. Forster or custom made dies for the more expensive dies.



Full Member
Sep 15, 2007
Buy one each Lee Classic Cast and Lee Classic Turret press. Lee pistol dies work great, especially with the powder through expander die. Get the Lee Auto drum powder dispenser and the riser die kit. Get Forster rifle dies and still have money left over for other tools like the Lee Quick Trim. FS Reloading is a good place for Lee equipment.