Need reloading equipment advise.

SteelW0LF

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Full Member
Minuteman
Dec 15, 2009
76
0
Idaho
I'm getting ready to get deployed. While I'm deployed I want to order all the equipment I'll need to reload ammo in just a couple calibers.

Problem is, I dont have any idea what I need yet. If someone could give me a hand on what I should order, it would be much appreciated.

I plan on reloading .308, .45, and 9mm..... I dont need anything too fancy, just whatever is needed.

Thanks in advance.
 

Ghost1941

Resident Gun Guy
Minuteman
Jan 18, 2009
583
103
Michigan
Re: Need reloading equipment advise.

RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=646599

Dies

308
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=564956
9mm
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=757170
45
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=247879

Calipers (These ones aren't really expensive but I have yet to have an issue with them)
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=604242

Case Lube
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=438512

Primer Pocket Brush
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=401865

Tumbler
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=158440

and... go from there. Note: I gave you the basics and just did a quick search for each. I'm sure guys will add stuff and voice their opinion... but really the things I posted will get you started.
 

Nachtadler

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May 21, 2010
266
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Iowa City
Re: Need reloading equipment advise.

There are several very helpful threads in the reloading section of the forum. There are several different sticky threads dealing with various equipment setups and the procedures different people use. You can start there and get a pretty good idea of exactly what you'll need.
 

MinorDamage

Google-Fu Master
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Minuteman
Mar 21, 2006
1,510
2
Edgewater, MD
Re: Need reloading equipment advise.

Don't order the Hornady One-shot case lube. Get the imperial die wax instead. It seems like it will save time until you are attempting to get a stuck case out of a die. If you are going on deployment and are obviously getting tax free money (I love it but my wife loves it more) get some of the better pieces of equipment. Honestly, I believe that putting a kit together by the piece is the way to go. The rockchucker combo is not bad, but there is definitely better.

My choices:

Press: Forster CoAx. Depending on load volume for the pistol you may want to think about a progressive later. However, get the CoAx first. You will want to spoon it at night.

Dies: Forster or Redding

Powder Dispenser and Scale: Get an RCBS Chargemaster Combo and be done with it.

Trimmer: I use the Forster classic trimmer with the 3 in 1 cutter for my 308. It does 3 steps in 1... go figure. If you want straight sex appeal you will purchase a giraud.

Priming tool: I use an RCBS and it does just fine. Good feel when seating primers and it isolates the seating operation from the primer tray to prevent sympathetic detonation if a primer pops. Many people swear by Sinclair but I can prime a lot more cases just as effectively in the same amount of time.

Primer pocket tool/neck brushes/the like: Sinclair has awesome tools for just about all the small operations.

Case Lube: Imperial die wax. Check out the reviews of Hornady One Shot vs Imperial and you will figure it out.

Tumbler: Get a Thumler Model B Tumbler and some stainless steel media. The media will last forever and the brass looks better then when it comes out of the factory box. Link to Stainless Media

Josh
 

19Scout77

Gunny Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Jun 9, 2007
3,994
578
GA
Re: Need reloading equipment advise.

You will want to punch yourself in the face using a Chargemaster combo to throw powder for pistol loads. For pistol I suggest a normal old powder measure or a progressive set-up.
 

uscbigdawg

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Full Member
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Jul 24, 2007
474
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Phoenix, AZ
Re: Need reloading equipment advise.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Steel-W0LF</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I'm getting ready to get deployed. While I'm deployed I want to order all the equipment I'll need to reload ammo in just a couple calibers.

Problem is, I dont have any idea what I need yet. If someone could give me a hand on what I should order, it would be much appreciated.

I plan on reloading .308, .45, and 9mm..... I dont need anything too fancy, just whatever is needed.

Thanks in advance.</div></div>

Depending on the volume of ammo you intend to shoot, here's my suggestion:

<span style="font-weight: bold">For a moderate # of rounds fired (pistol >5k/year):</span>
Press: Dillon XL650 w/ Conversions for all desired calibers
Dies: 9 & 45: Dillon dies; 308: Redding Competition Dies
Everything else: Dillon (buy once, cry once but Dillon's No BS guarantee is that simple)
* And before someone says you can't load "precision" ammo on a progressive press, call David Tubb, Mike Voigt, US Palma, USAMU, et. al.

<span style="font-weight: bold">For a relatively low # of rounds (<5k/year):</span>
Press: Dillon 550 or RCBS Rock Chucker
Dies: Dillon or RCBS (pistol); Redding (rifle)
Everything else: Whatever you want to pay for
* If you're not shooting a lot, you've got the time to reload.

I hate reloading, so for my pistol rounds, I load on 2 different Dillon RL1050's (38 Super; 40 S&W). For the "oddball" calibers and my 3-Gun loads I reload on a Dillon XL650 (9mm, 38 Super (steel loads), 45, 223: 3-Gun). For the bolt rifles, everything's loaded on a Rock Chucker, just 'cause I haven't got around to buying another quick change kit and conversion kit for the XL650.

Comes down to volume you shoot and how much time do you want to spend reloading. Caliber changes on a 650 takes about 10 minutes taking your time. I'd rather be shooting than reloading.

Rich
 

uscbigdawg

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Jul 24, 2007
474
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Phoenix, AZ
Re: Need reloading equipment advise.

Oh...and when you're ready to order, there's better places to order from than Midway.

Rich
 

KTDLS7

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Apr 11, 2010
621
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D-FW, TX
Re: Need reloading equipment advise.

Excellent suggestions above: Rock Chucker and Dillon. I use a Rock Chucker I bought in 1967, and still use for my precision rifle loading. I loaded 1000s of pistol rounds on it until I picked up a Dillon 650.

You didn't mention if you have reloading experience . . .

The one item missing on the lists - loading manuals. Sierra has a nice one that covers more than just tables/data. There are also some reloading videos/DVDs available.

Go online and check out dillonprecision.com
 

uscbigdawg

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Minuteman
Jul 24, 2007
474
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Phoenix, AZ
Re: Need reloading equipment advise.

Good point on the manuals. I'm a huge fan of the Sierra manual. It's got everything and many of the popular loads were developed using firearms instead of test barrels (2 different 223 tables, e.g.).

Like most things though, it's best to have more than one. I'd say a good selection of load manuals would include:

- Sierra's manual
- Lyman's manual (pretty much the bible for reloading)
- Lee Precision's manual (because the load data is REALLY conservative so you know you're generally "safe")

Rich
 

Iggy

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Full Member
Minuteman
Feb 21, 2010
645
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Northern California
Re: Need reloading equipment advise.

Here is what I sent a friend of mine who is just starting to get into reloading. This is basically my list of equipment if I had to do it all over again. I only load .308 so this works ideally for me and keeps my reloading area small.

Single stage press with quick die changing capability:
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=197894

Dies:
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=913065

Shell holders x3:
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=795819

Case Trimmer:
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=315831

Deburr tool:
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=742818

Primer pocket uniformer:
http://www.sinclairintl.com/.aspx/pid=36760/Product/Sinclair_Uniformer_Kit_with_screwdriver_adaptor

Flash hole deburr tool:
http://www.sinclairintl.com/.aspx/pid=34127/Product/Gen_II_Universal_FlashHole_Deburring_Tool

Powder scale and dispenser (the most expensive but worth it) you can buy the scale
and dispenser separately, but if you do you need to get a manual dispenser:
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=772151

If you only get the the scale from the set above you need to get these, if you get
the whole thing you don't:
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=290524
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=190804
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=566971

Case holder (helps to get a couple):
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=536734

Lube (Very important!)
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=438512

Primer loader:
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=756549

Reloading book:
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=438424
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=207435
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=537267

Calipers, I could link you but I think you know where to get these at a decent price.

Ammo boxes (the ones with hinges will last longer):
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=730234

Ultrasound cleaner (this is the hornady one, but look on ebay for the chinese knock
off that look just like this but in white. This is what i have and they are half the
price)
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=992327

Need this cleaner for above:
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=711474
 

Fuzzball

Gunny Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Jan 19, 2009
2,165
5
Re: Need reloading equipment advise.

" If someone could give me a hand on what I should order, it would be much appreciated."

Ah yes, everyone's favorite question!

As you can see, different people have different ideas. And most want you to steer you to the things they love more than what you suggested you want! Going back to what you actually asked, a lot of these suggestions are much more costly than you appear to need or even want.

Perhaps the nicest thing is they are all right, in that it all works quite well. None of our makers produce poor tools, and most of it is excellant. You can certainly use their lists as a guide for most of what's needed and even some of what's merely helpful.

The highest priced items can be the press, dies and scales. Let me suggest some high grade alternatives at much less cost than what some have suggested.

Don't spend the money for costly prestige dies - so called BR or Competiton types - at this point. Few of us really ever out grow standard dies; they work very well and it takes a lot of experience to be able to actually benefit from "better" dies. Lee's dies are actually as good as any others and Lee includes shell holders as part of their sets but their lock rings can be a bit agravating to some folks. I use them for some cartridges and have no problems.

Lee makes a really great single stage cast iron press, their Classic Cast, that's massively big, strong and makes ammo equal to any but at MUCH less cost than their competitors. It has some unique user features that are quite helpful too. If you think you will want to load the handgun ammo in larger than "normal" quanities you might up-grade to Lee's Classic Turret, same basic press but it has an auto-indexing head that really speeds up loading quite a bit. I've been happy with a single stage press for over fourty years of reloading but I don't shoot large quanities either. And for the life of me, I can't figger out why anyone needs a "quick change" die swapping system.

RCBS sells a scale, "505", that is excellant, durable and very long lived at a rational price for the quality. Ditto the similar Redding scale.

You will likely want a powder trickler to bring rifle charges up to weight. Only the Redding and Hornady tricklers are heavy enough and smooth enough to work well.

For a powder measure/dispenser go one of two ways; Lee's "Perfect" measure isn't perfect but it's cheap and actually works very well. For best priced cast iron measures, Redding's 3BR and the Hornady LnL both come with a good micrometer head. (They won't work any better than the Lee but they will look more impressive on your bench!) And get a bench stand for whatever you buy, using a powder measure on a single stage press sucks for convienence.

You'll need a case length trimmer for the rifle. Nothing beats the Wilson trimmer and the price is reasonable. And get a case mouth chamfering/deburring tool too, any of them will do you fine.

Harbor Freight Tools sells the exact same calipers, both digital and dial, as those sold by the reloading companies but for about $12 on sale, as they often are. Get the dial type, no batteries to be dead when you need them.

Get a powder funnel and two case holding/loading blocks, any brand.

Use Redding's Imperial Die Wax or Hornady's Unique case lube. Apply it with your finger tips as you pick each case up and don't bother with a case lube pad at all, they get nasty fast. (Lube should be applied completely but very thin.)

You'll eventually get a case stuck in your sizing die so get a stuck case puller tool up front. You will also need a bullet puller from time to time, get the more versitile impact type. RCBS has good designs for both jobs. (Collet bullet pullers look neat but are more costly, they rarely work well with handgun ammo and are little, if any, faster than the impact/hammer types. You aren't likely to need to pull down massive quanities anyway.)

You MUST have a reloading manual. The better ones have lots of loading data for multipul bullets and powders PLUS a good section of well written and illustrated newbie instuctions. Lee, Hornady and Lyman are good but the current Lyman #49 has cut way down on the list of charges they include. You really DON'T NEED more than one manual to start, or for a long time afterwards. They all have different suggestions for the same cartridges so multipule books simply add to the confusion factor and provide absolutely no added help. I have a pile of them but it's mostly for my interest reading only. The only valid reason anyone has to NEED more manuals is if they have a new cartridge or want to try a powder their present manual doesn't list. IMHO.

IF you want to get a case tumbler, get a vib type. They are moderatly inexpensive, very easy and quick to use and they do a good enough job for any practical shooter's need. Use either walnut or corn cob media, no matter which because both types work. Cabela's, Berry's or MidwayUSA's tumblers are usually the lowest cost and there is no effective difference between brands or prices anyway. Ignore case media polish additives, shine helps nothing and the brass starts tarnishing as soon as they come out anyway. (I can't understand the fasination some have with plastic looking glittery cases. All we need is clean, the rest is useless fluff. IMHO.)

Keep your head down, chin up and stay safe during the next months. We'll want to hear from you while you're gone too.
 

MinorDamage

Google-Fu Master
Full Member
Minuteman
Mar 21, 2006
1,510
2
Edgewater, MD
Re: Need reloading equipment advise.

People keep recommending Hornady One Shot. If you don't take away anything else from this thread, take this...Do NOT use One shot.

Click Me

Josh
 

SteelW0LF

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Dec 15, 2009
76
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Idaho
Re: Need reloading equipment advise.

Thanks for all the great onformation guys... I leave in 1 week and will copy this page to take with me.

One of the main things I didnt know was what all tools I needed. i knew about a press and dies, and measure/scale.

But I didnt know about reamers and deburrers, and such.... I was planning on buying some manuals this week to read on the deployment. I see I have ALOT to learn, and this thread helped alot.

Thanks guys. Hope to talk to ya some from the sandbox. Take care.
 

jet_lagged

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Apr 5, 2010
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WA, The Evergreen State (KBFI)
Re: Need reloading equipment advise.

Just get one manual, or borrow one from the library to read the intro section on reloading fundamentals. I bought the Lyman manual as my first (and only one), but was not terribly impressed, so others amy be better.

But there is tons of load data online, so once you have the very basic principles figured out, no need to buy another one, for common powders, anyway.


IMR, Accurate, etc

http://www.imrpowder.com/basic-manual-inquiry.html

http://www.accuratepowder.com/Default.htm

http://data.hodgdon.com/main_menu.asp
 

lightman

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May 18, 2009
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England, ar
Re: Need reloading equipment advise.

I like the Lyman manual,myself.Most all of them are good,but many only promote their own products.As equipment goes,I would suggest following the reloading threads for a while,and see what others are using and why.Expensive equipment is nice,if you plan to get serious about reloading,but any brand of equipment can produce ammo that is better than most factory,and can rival the best factory match ammo.A few things to consider are how much ammo will you load,and how much time will you have to load?
Thank you for your service,be careful over there,and check in with us after you get settled. Pete