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Starting to Reload,

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Tarant, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. Tarant

    Tarant

    263
    4
    Jan 15, 2011
    Southern Oregon
    Hi, I am an experienced shooter looking at getting into reloading for the first time and after hours of reading I would like to know what you guys think of my setup.

    I have not purchased anything yet and I plan on getting a Lyman manual tomorrow and going from there, I plan to reload .223 Rem for precision target practice(Remington 700 mostly 55grain) and .40 S&W for general plinking(Glock 22)
    Looking at getting the following,

    RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit
    Redding Rifle Die set in .223 rem
    RCBS Carbide Pistol Die set in .40 S&W
    RCBS Shell Holder in .223 rem and 40 S&W
    Redding 1400 Case Trimmer
    RCBS Powder Trickler
    Lyman VLD Chamfer Reamer
    RCBS Primer Pocket Brush

    I already have a pair of calipers, and plan to wash the cases by hand for now, will be getting a tumbler soon.
    The cases I want to reload are going to be NEW and UNFIRED at first but i have a large amount of .223 brass (Federal FC, PMC and Winchester-once fired by me, and Lake City brass-from Ultramax Remanufactured) and .40 S&W Federal American Eagle- once fired by me (headstamps are all FEDERAL no F.C.)

    So is there anything iam missing or overlooked, I just would like someone to look over my setup. I want to get a single stage press for cost reasons and I dont want to make any mistakes, i want to do things slow and deliberately. I dont shoot a lot nor do I want to sell anything just making ammo for me.

    Thanks,

    PS I plan on getting this localy (Sportsmans warehouse, and a few other local gun shops)
     
  2. Beanie-Bean

    Beanie-Bean

    4,578
    69
    Apr 23, 2011
    Central Texas
    Since you look to be an RCBS guy, I'll have to mention a scale. 505, perhaps?

    Edit--after reading the first item on the list, I realized that you mentioned the kit, and not just the press.

    Have fun!
     

    Last edited: Nov 17, 2011

  3. TN.Frank

    TN.Frank Glock4Life

    5,686
    186
    Oct 11, 2004
    Avondale, AZ.
    You really don't need a RockChucker to load .223 and 40S&W, that's a really heavy duty press. I've loaded everything from 9x19mm up to 30-06 and 45/70 on my Partner Press and it's still going strong after over 20 years of use. Save yourself some money and downgrade your press to a Partner if you can.
    A powder measure(Lee Perfect Powder Measure) is nice and a scale is a must. I've used my RCBS 505 for as long as I've reloaded and like anything if you take care of it and are careful with it it'll last a lifetime.
    You can also save a few bucks by going with Lee dies. I've used em' a lot over the years and they seem to work as well as any AND they come with a shell holder and powder dipper with loading data. Something else that's handy is the RCBS Handi-Primer. That way you can prime sitting at your dining room table(or where ever) instead of using your press to push the primers in.

    Main things you need are:
    Press
    Dies w/shell holder
    Powder scale
    Powder measure
    Handi-Primer(or at least I do)
    Case care stuff like a trimmer and the chamfer tool(Lee makes some good, inexpensive case care stuff)
    bullets, primers, powder
    and a good book and you'll be pretty much set.
     
  4. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    18,083
    18
    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City
    Does the Rockchucker Supreme kit still come with a Speer manual? I'd recommend having a couple sources of data to reference. Lyman and Speer are two great sources.

    You'll be after a vibratory tumbler eventually, and likely a digital powder dispenser, but it sounds like you have a heck of a good start.

    Get a 3 ring binder and make up a excel spreadsheet form for your loads... something to keep track of your data (and it's nice to look back at your old targets if you can stuff them in there).

    ETA: You won't regret getting a Rockchucker. :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2011
  5. Tarant

    Tarant

    263
    4
    Jan 15, 2011
    Southern Oregon
    Thanks for the replies guys.

    Beanie-Bean,
    Yes the RCBS kit dose come with a scale, and the only reason iam going RCBS is because every shop and store localy carries RCBS products. iam not biased anyway,

    Frank,
    I apologize I forgot to add that I will be starting with .223 and .40s&w, I will/may be reloading 9mm, 10mm, .243, .308, and maybe somthing in the 6.5mm or .260 remington range.

    Also the kit comes with the RCBS Hand-Primer, the 505 scale and the Uniflow Powder Measure those items purchased along with the Partner press are not that far off from the Rock chucker kit money wise, and i get some other little goodies. That is the only reason i would get the kit, but I will look at the Partner press, and lee dies, Thanks.

    Zombie Steve,
    Yes the kit does come with the Speer manual and I plan on getting the Lyman manual tomorrow.
    Great idea, I will also be getting a binder and getting an excel sheet together.

    This is the kit looking at.
    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/646599/rcbs-rock-chucker-supreme-single-stage-press-master-kit
     
  6. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    5,707
    11
    Jul 26, 2002

    Steve, hey my friend... Right on !

    Man I have been using the RCBS RC for ever.. Finally got a new one a few years back after 40 + years of reloading. I use a single stage and turn out about 100 rounds of anything, in about an hour.. But they are "quality man quality.." ;)

    The manual should still come with the "package deal." They are up to # 14 now. Not much diff at all from the #13.

    A guy cannot have to many references...

    Suggestions from "part" of my library are:


    Speer manul #13
    Hornady 6th/7th edition two vol hard backs.
    Lyman 47, 48, and 49.
    Lee Latest volume.
    Metalic Cartridge reloading, by McPherson.. He is a friend of mine and a scientist and ballistician, and lectures and hunts all over the world, and based in Colo.. Must have manual. Excellent !!!
    Assorted older Speer manuals.
    On and on...

    Be very careful of the internet loading sights to those of you who are newbies.


    Say safe Steve !








    CM
     
  7. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

    8,033
    268
    Oct 19, 2011
    I use this pad to log reload data:
    http://www.lymanproducts.com/lyman/publications/reloading-data-log.php

    The sheets tear out and can eventually be put together with targets in a 3 ring binder.

    OPINION:
    Before I spent all that money on a Rock Chucker Supreme Kit, I would at least consider the Dillon 550B. Make a spreadsheet of total costs. Yes, the 550B will be more money but it will make ammo a LOT faster.

    Loading rifle on a single stage press is probably just fine. I don't tend to shoot more than a few hundred rounds per year. But loading for pistol is a different situation. There I am shooting a few hundred rounds per week and getting a little speed out of the operation is desireable.

    There is nothing wrong with RCBS single stage presses. I have two of them and I still use one for rifle reloading. But 100 rounds is a big deal on a single stage press. On a 550B it takes less than 1/2 hour.

    It's ok to just look at the comparison and still buy the RCBS press. At least the alternatives were reviewed.

    Richard
     
  8. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    5,707
    11
    Jul 26, 2002
    OOPS !

    Sound like Rick Perry... haha

    wrong place guys. ;)



    CM
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2011
  9. TN.Frank

    TN.Frank Glock4Life

    5,686
    186
    Oct 11, 2004
    Avondale, AZ.
    Well, if that's the case then I'd say go with the RockChucker. Back in the day when I got my Partner press I picked it up for $25 bucks, a RockChucker was $89 bucks so there was a big difference in price but if the price is close then get the better press.
    Plus it looks like you'll be getting some of the nice things to have like the Handi-Promer, 505 scale and a powder measure.

    Dillion 550 or 650 might also be good to look into but as a novice reloader I'd personally say start with a good single stage until you get the feel for reloading. That way you'll only mess up a few ctgs. if something goes wrong instead of an entire box.LOL.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
     
  10. Beanie-Bean

    Beanie-Bean

    4,578
    69
    Apr 23, 2011
    Central Texas
    I am not biased for any one brand, either...well, except for Glock :)

    I have an RCBS ChargeMaster combo on the bench now, and it's been great for developing and working up loads.

    [​IMG]

    The guys on this forum have been very helpful, and I'm sure that you'll find answers and direction on whatever questions you may have about reloading. Lots of experience on this forum, for sure.
     
  11. rpgman

    rpgman SCGLOCK

    1,158
    0
    Jul 27, 2011
    Florence
    I use the RCBS 1500 ChargeMaster for loading 9mm and .40.
    Love it.
    I use it with a Lee pass through die, just dumping the powder through.
    Greg
     
  12. unclebob

    unclebob

    7,373
    352
    Oct 14, 2000
    Mary Esther FL
    Personally I would not get the RCBS dies. I would get Redding for rifle and Lee for the handguns.
     
  13. I would purchase a case tumbler first and get the case trimmed later when possible, I just hate dirty brass. Plus the .223 is the only cartridge you will need to trim and you can load it for plinking a couple times without trimming.
    Brandon
     
  14. unclebob

    unclebob

    7,373
    352
    Oct 14, 2000
    Mary Esther FL
    All of his rifle rounds at one time or another will need to be trimmed. Just not the .233.
     
  15. rhino673

    rhino673

    797
    0
    Feb 7, 2010
    IMO, a trimmer is way more important then a tumbler. I reloaded for years without one but the bottlenecked rifle rounds WILL need to be trimmed.

    Having said that , I love my tumbler and the shiny brass that it produces.( it becomes a obsession . lol) I would hate to not have one. I'm actually considering getting a sonic cleaner now so the insides of the brass are just as clean as the outside.
     
  16. halfmoonclip

    halfmoonclip

    2,293
    271
    Feb 24, 2003
    A well-reasoned response. Another poster mentioned the difficulty of learning to reload on a progressive press, but it can be done, and it saves the cost of buying two systems. There's no percentage in selling or trading loading presses; that's why my RCBS single stage is still bolted to my bench.

    Consider the fact that you want to reload handgun ammo. One at a time is fine for bolt guns, but if you are going to shoot a bunch of rounds, progressives are the way to go. My 550 is nearly thirty years old, and has been overhauled three times with free, fresh parts from Dillon. It is as good as new, and if I had a nickel for every round that's come out of it, I could go buy a car.

    Alternately, start with an inexpensive single stage with the notion that you'll go progressive eventually, or just save the single stage for rifle reloads.
    Moon
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2011
  17. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

    8,033
    268
    Oct 19, 2011
    I have never operated my 550Bs as single stage presses but there is no reason it can't be done.

    In fact, I just bought a die head with the intent of migrating my rifle reloading to the 550B. It will be a strange process: The first toolhead will have only the sizing/decapping die. I will run all the cases through and then trim to length and clean the primer pockets. I have the Dillon electric case trimmer, perhaps it would be used on this toolhead.

    The second toolhead will have the powder die and bullet seating die. Here I will set the primer, charge the case and seat the bullet.

    It may be that I still do the steps in batches: perhaps I will set the primer, charge the case and then set the case in a loading block until I make another pass to seat the bullet. Perhaps the process won't be significantly different than using a single stage press. But it gets me a little space on my bench if I can remove the RCBS press.

    This is a work in progress. I don't know how it will work out. I don't much care because I am quite satisfied with the rifle ammo produced on the RCBS.

    .223 for my AR-15 is a different story. I run that through the 550B without even considering things like primer pocket cleaning or case length trimming. I'll gauge a few rounds just to be sure but AR-15 'puppy chow' is just bulk loaded.

    Richard
     
  18. fredj338

    fredj338

    21,708
    924
    Dec 22, 2004
    so.cal.

    I reload some rifle on my 550B, there is really no reason to use more than one tool head. You can size & decap in stn #1 & just remove the case for trimming/primer pocket cleaning (although not really needed until 3-4 firings). Then run them back thru the entire reloading process on one tool head. Using the RCBS 'X; die mitigates a lot of the trimming issues. I only load 223 & 308 for my semiautos ont the 550B. My other rifle rounds are done on the old ss press. I rarely shoot more than 100rds of any of my hunting rifles in a year.
     
  19. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

    8,033
    268
    Oct 19, 2011
    I had thought about doing it just that way and, in fact, I only bought one new toolhead. It would be no problem to let the case index over to station #2 and remove it there. That way I wouldn't have to mess about trying to get the case back out of station #1. Or I could take it out of station #1 and put it in the output bin.

    Then I thought about that neat Dillon electric case trimmer and I figured I could size/decap and trim all with one toolhead. Mind you, that case trimmer is still in the box. I went with the Hornady Case Prep machine instead.

    That's the big advantage of the 550B over, say, the 650 or 1050. There's a lot of flexibility in a manually indexed machine. Not that I don't enjoy my 1050 when it comes to .45 ACP.

    Richard
     
  20. unclebob

    unclebob

    7,373
    352
    Oct 14, 2000
    Mary Esther FL
    Case feeder, better priming. Can manual index or auto index very easily, faster, cannot back up the shell plate. 5 stations easier to use a powder check. In my option safer and more versatile. Just all around better press. I would never go back to loading on a 550.