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1st time Reloader

Discussion in '10mm Reloading Forum' started by ucsdryder, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. ucsdryder


    May 24, 2004
    I know this has been covered before but I was looking for a comparison between a few different reloaders. I will be reloading 10mm and some 40sw. I want to keep this as cheap as possible. I was looking at a couple different lee presses and wanted everyone's opinion.

    From my noob point of view it looks like both kits have everything I need to reload 10mm. Am I missing anything?

    Lee pro;Search-All+Products

    Challenger kit;Search-All+Products

    Anniversary kit;Search-All+Products
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
  2. yellowhand


    Feb 1, 2012
    Any of these sets will serve to reload 10mm or anything else depending on the dies.
    Reloading comes down to how many you want to make and how fast do you wish to do it.
    Check the Lee site out and look at their videos of their machines.
    Single stage presses will get it done, say 50 rounds a session,
    Turret presses will get you into the 250 to 300 a session.
    Fully progressive presses will give you 500 to 600 a session.
    A "session" to me is when I get tired of making ammo, say a couple of hours or so.
    "Most" of us old people started on Single stage.
    "Most" of us old people now have a heavy single stage somewhere on our bench, but use an automatic turret or fully progressive set up.
    Componets come standard in 100, 500, 1000.
    Why make 50 when you can make 500?
    Reloading is to allow one to shoot more and be far cheaper.
    Pick one and enjoy.:wavey:

  3. WeeWilly


    Nov 12, 2011
    If you will mainly be loading handgun, I would steer you toward a Lee Classic Turret (the one with the cast iron base, not the one with the aluminum base) as your first press. It won't cost a great deal more (maybe $50), you can use it like a single stage press (without the auto indexing) and as you gain a little experience you can put the indexing rod in and get as much as three times the output per hour as a single stage setup.

    Buying a kit (at least the Lee kits) is not the greatest idea. The Lee kits have the Lee scale, which will measure very accurately but are a real pain to use. An RCBS 505 or a Dillon Eliminator (both made by Ohaus) as far better, easier to use and will last a lifetime. In addition, the Lee kit comes with their perfect powder measure, which will work fine for rifle loading but is less than optimal for handgun loading. You will end up wanting a Lee Auto Disk Pro powder drop, so getting one right away is probably a good idea.

    If you have no idea what I just posted, getting a reloading guide like Lyman's or Lee 2nd edition would be the best way to start.
  4. gofastman


    Jan 29, 2010
    I got the Chalenger kit, I like it a lot.

    A barrel with full chamber support, especially for the .40, seriously.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
  5. _The_Shadow

    _The_Shadow Ret. Fireman

    Jul 23, 2007
    Southeast, LoUiSiAna
  6. WeeWilly


    Nov 12, 2011
    This is another great choice. The difference in this kit and the Lee kit is the quality of the components.

    I got essentially this kit as a gift when I started reloading 40 years ago (as a baby ;)), I still have and use everything that came with it except the powder scale and that is because I lost it in one if my moves. RCBS makes great stuff.
  7. Any Cal.

    Any Cal.

    Oct 27, 2008
    I think the Lee stuff is functional and have plenty of it, but that Rockchucker kit looks like a decent deal with the rebate. I also second getting something other than a lee scale.

    The Lee classic cast turret sounds good too, though. I keep debating getting one of those.

    I have loaded thousands of rounds with a tiny Lee press and their cheapo powder measure, it works fine, but doesn't really give any pride of ownership. Really nice for trying the hobby out though, or for people who don't need more than 100 or so rounds per week. You can also set it up on a table with a c-clamp, and pack it all back away when you are done.
  8. gwsanfor


    May 9, 2011
    I have a Lee Classic Cast Single Stage, a Lee Classic Turret, and a Hornady LNL AP. I like them all for different reasons, but if I had bought the turret first, I'm not certain I would have the other two. I have recommended it to three people in a month, all of whom love it.

    I used to recommend that people start with a single stage, because slow is good while you are learning, you learn the fundamentals of loading better without the distractions of a fussy automatic progressive (and all AP's are fussy to some extent), single stage is cheap, and you can always use one around for loading very high precision rounds or utility work like pulling bullets. I think all those things are true, but starting with a Lee turret gives you most or all the advantages of a SS, and you can use it until you need the speed of an AP. You may well never need that speed, so the LCT is a very reasonable entry point.

    Me, I did it bassackwards, started with the LNL AP, then Lee CC SS, then the LCT. Nobody has been hurt, but the learning curve on the LNL AP was <real> steep for me: I'm not very talented mechanically, and had never loaded squat. I broke numerous parts, although now I can fix anything on the press, and it runs perfectly. The issue for me was that I was having to learn loading, be focused on that, while simultaneously learning how to manage a fairly complicated machine. The LCT and CC SS are not complicated at all: you can put it together and be loading in less than an hour.

    There are several things on the LCT I prefer to any AP, Dillon or Hornady. For example, you can see the primer, verify that it is right side up, and so forth. On most AP's (certainly the LNL), you can't really visually verify that the primer slide picked up a primer, and so forth. I have had many rounds go around and come out with powder but no primer. That's messy and aggravating. Caliber changes are very easy and inexpensive on the LCT, not so much on the LNL AP, and damn expensive on the Dillon presses (not bashing Dillon, just saying). For high speed production of a single round, I use the LNL, but for working up a new load, or running smaller batches, it's LCT for the win. Actually, even for larger batches, I enjoy loading on the LCT more than the LNL AP.

    People tend to diss Lee products because they are inexpensive, use plastic where appropriate, and their progressive presses had or have major issues. However, my respect for Lee's engineering increases as I become more familiar with their products. I find their dies to be of at least similar to, perhaps higher quality than the Redding and Hornady dies I have. The Lee Reloading Stand is an example of fine, simple, and very effective use of appropriate materials. I might even try the generally loathed LoadMaster or Pro 1000 one of these days.

    Their kits: if you have no scale at all, the Lee scale will get you by until you find one you like better. It is odd, but quite accurate. I checked my Pro Auto Disk powder drop against a big bucks Sartorius scale from work, and the Lee throws VihtaVuori N330/N340 in the 4-5 grain range with a standard deviation of 0.049, about as good as it gets. The manual is one of my favorites, and certainly worth the cost. I don't know why they include that case trimmer and whatnot, but they cost like $5.

    Pardon the long and rambling post.
  9. gwsanfor


    May 9, 2011
    There's actually a $75 rebate for RCBS products if you buy some additional ATK products like primers or powder. I used it to lower the cost of my ChargeMaster, another fine RCBS product.
  10. gwsanfor


    May 9, 2011
    One last thing and I will shut up. When I was pricing the LCT a month or so ago for a friend, I found Natchez to have the best deal. Cabelas is like Midway, rarely the price leader, although at least Midway has a vast inventory and superior customer service. I've pretty much sworn off Cabelas.
  11. dsb1829


    Nov 2, 2011

    I really support this kit as the best option for a new reloader. It is basically the only kit without compromise on the components. You will not have to second guess your scale or fiddle with a POS powder measure. The stuff is high quality to begin with. Yes, it will cost about $100 more out of the gate. RCBS is fast on their rebate payment too, so you can close that gap a bit.

    Another deciding factor for me was reputation. Yes there are a few who have been on Lee equipment for decades, but by in large the majority of crusty old reloaders have a functioning RockChucker hidden away somewhere and are highly fond of it. The number of RCBS internet complaints is substantially lower for this kit than any of the others.

    Add to this kit:
    Tumbler (+$50-100)
    Dies (+$24-75)
    bins or tubs for sorting and storage
    powder trickler ($15)
    Calipers ($10-50)

    Basically looking at around $500 to setup and buy enough supplies for your first 500rd. After that savings and custom ammo begins. At some point you realize how much better your handloads are vs. factory ammo and will find it hard to actually buy ammo off the shelf :fred:
  12. Jitterbug


    Aug 27, 2002
    I've only used a few Lee products and they're good, but if it where me I'd spring some extra cash for the RCBS kit, I have 30+ year old RCBS products still going strong.
  13. Taterhead

    Taterhead Counting Beans

    Dec 13, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    RCBS. Great stuff. Even if adding a progressive press some day, the Rock Chucker is one to keep for a lifetime. The Speer manual has an excellent tutorial on loading. Separate sections for rifle and pistol. As others have said, the RCBS scale (made by Ohaus) is great. It is what Dillon sells too. This kit is a great value considering that nothing in it is a compromise on quality. No "price point" gear in it.