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I am really considering rolling my own

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by KiloBravo, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. KiloBravo

    KiloBravo Lifetime Newb

    I have been giving a lot of thought about getting into reloading for about the last year. I looked at the round counts I keep on most of my guns, and realized that I shoot a lot more than the average Joe. I think it would end up finally being a little bit less expensive in the long run, and I also like having things to do to keep me busy on a rainy day like today.

    I have been keeping and taking every piece of once fired brass I can get my grubby hands on at the range lately. I have them all organized into different coffee cans and labeled. I have also been collecting and seperating steel and aluminum cases as well. I realize those are not reloadable, but the plan is to recycle them at the one of the scrap yards around here to fund more components when I finally do take the plunge.

    I have been eyeing the Dillion 550B very hard and would like a set of Lee presses to go with it. I would very much like to start out with a progressive press that can do a lot of different calibers. I realize that might be a little more difficult to learn with, but I would like to think I have great attention to detail. I also want something that will be moderately fast so that I don't feel the need to move on to something else within my first year of using the equipment.

    I am going to the store tomorrow to pick up a copy of the ABC's of Reloading and possibly the Speer manual. I have also been reading everything I can online and watching youtube videos to learn as much as possible.

    What say you all? I have read the sticky at the top of this page at least twice. I also saw something on a thread here on GT for different people's station set-ups. I saw one that somebody had mounted everything to a moveable Craftsman toolbox. I REALLY like that idea. Not only would it have lockable shelves to store components and brass, but it would be easy to move around if I ever felt the need to do so.

    ETA: I would like to load .380, 9MM, .40, .45 ACP, and .223 to start.

    Any input is greatly appreciated. :wavey:
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2010
  2. XDRoX

    XDRoX

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    Sounds like you're ready to go. Take the plunge, you'll love reloading.
    Did you mean a 550B press with a set of Lee dies? Because a 550B with a set of Lee presses on each side would be pretty cool too:supergrin:
     


  3. cowboy1964

    cowboy1964

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    I like the idea of mounting the press to a moveable cart but with a reloading press don't you want a more solid and stable bench?
     
  4. KiloBravo

    KiloBravo Lifetime Newb

    Yes, I mean Lee dies. :embarassed:

    I have watched a lot of videos this evening and it is making me REALLY want to go shopping for equipment. I think I will have a lot of fun with it too.
     
  5. XDRoX

    XDRoX

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    Ya, I agree. A rolling cart would work, but I like to have my presses mounted down super well. But if the cart is all you can swing, definitely better than nothing.
     
  6. KiloBravo

    KiloBravo Lifetime Newb

    That is why I mentioned it too. I was hoping to see what other more experienced guys had to say about that. I would hope it works good. That to me would be ideal, since I would not have a lot of space to mount a permanant table anywhere indoors.
     
  7. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    Good thing you thought about it for a year. It's another year of buying factory and not saving money. Anyone who shoots regularly at all is going to save money if they buy a resonable kit and just start doing it. It's almost like this. You buy your first pistol, you get a LCT kit for $300. For the rest of your life you are going to be well ahead of the curve of saving money. No doubt about it. Even if you shoot 100 rds a month, you will save money.
     
  8. KiloBravo

    KiloBravo Lifetime Newb

    I understand just what you are saying. I just wanted to seriously think about it first though before just jumping in. I figured it is a big commitment and a fair amount of money to put up all at once. After I buy and read one of those manuals, then I will start looking at some decent deals on some good equipment to get started.
     
  9. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    In the year you waited you could have bought and used a LCT and more then likely paid for it. For some reason everyone wants to start with a Progressive. Because the cost is so high they feel the need to justify it (rightly so). So they wait and put off the choice. But if they just bought the LCT kit from Kempfs and started loading they would have been learning and saving money at the same time. All the while they make excellent ammo that they enjoy. Most that $300 is for Dies, Scale, Calipers that you will need if you get any press. The actual LCT is only about $150 when you subtract out all the stuff that can be moved over to your Dillon. Thats the price of two Dillon Caliber conversions.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2010
  10. KiloBravo

    KiloBravo Lifetime Newb

    Wow, I had not idea a starting set-up could be had for that little money. I have seen the RCBS kits a lot around here, but did not know what type of product they produced. :dunno:
     
  11. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    Read my sticky at the top of this forum. Kempfs LCT kit is about $200 (with dies), Dillon Scale $55, Dial Calipers $20. Thats about all you need if you really want to get started. Buy a new toolhead for every caliber you load ($10) and some dies ($30). Now your making ammo for every calber you own for under $50 each. It's not a progressive but it will make 150rds a hour to start with. It's not the ultra precise single stage but that is SLOW. It's a great start and will be used for those uncommon calibers in the future that you just don't feel like spending more money on or converting the progressive for just to load 50rds. It gets you started, learning and educated in the process. It's not so slow that you will get frustrated like you might on a Single Stage loading a bunch of pistol. I just would not have the patience for that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2010
  12. ron59

    ron59 Bustin Caps

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    For all C4W said about the LCT... if you have the money I'd still spring for the Dillon 550B. The LCT discussion is fine if you're having to pinch pennies, but if you can afford more and think you'll reload at all then the 550B is the way to go. And if you decided you DIDN'T like reloading... you could almost certainly sell it for 75% of what you bought it?

    I just started reloading last year and bought that... coming up on 14,000 rounds loaded just since July. It is NOT a complicated press to use, it is very flexible with a great warranty (not that I've needed to use that yet).

    This set of videos (there's 5 of them, 10 minutes each) convinced me to go with the Dillon. Easy to setup and operate (he shows step by step instructions) and you're ready to go:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRZrbv_8kx4&feature=related

    For me it was a no-brainer about getting into reloading... I could NOT find 9mm anywhere. Primers are still a little tough to locate, but sounds like you got the brass, and powder/bullets are fairly plentiful. Just do it !
     
  13. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    I'm not going to argue with you about that either.
     
  14. fredj338

    fredj338

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    I have to agree. Most shooters buy way more press than they need. There is a compelxity to an autoindexing progressive that jsut isn't needed if you switch back & forth between multiple calibers. I run two 550B & a single stage. I am just as likely to load on the ss as the 550, depending on the ammo needed. If I want to crank out 25-30 test rounds of 44mag, I am not setting up the 550 for that.
    The LCT is a good setup, works for probably 90% of most shooters needs. If yo ucan afford the 550B, a better mousetrap for sure IMO, but at a cost. Welcome to your new hobby, almost as much fun as shooting.:wavey:
     
  15. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    Exactly, and if you shoot a resonable amount but are on the fence because of cost get the LCT and just start loading. Later you can get the fancy stuff. For $300 you might as well start loading rather then sitting on a fence for another year.