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Help me pick a reloading setup...

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by eingeist, Feb 9, 2010.

  1. eingeist

    eingeist

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    I want to get into reloading but I don't know what to buy..

    I bought The ABC's of Reloading, and hope to learn a bit from that..

    I've been looking at this:

    https://kempfgunshop.com//index.php...facturer_id=0&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=41

    I will only be loading pistol ammo. I'd like to do 250 or 300 rounds an hour. I don't know the difference between the one I posted, and the $500 Dillon setup, etc..

    So maybe someone can help me get set up at a reasonable cost?
    Do I set a unit to drop powder in? Or do I measure it with a spoon every time? I guess I'm a newbie at this stuff.. Anything will help..

    Thanks!
     
  2. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Read ABCs & hopefully it willl make sense. Why 300rds/hr? How much ammo do you need per month? Most reloaders buy more press than they actually need. Speed always cost more money, so only a progressive will get you 250rds+/hr, but do you really need that much production.
    If you shoot 100rds a week, 400rds a month, you can load that on a single stage in 1.5hrs/wk. The Lee turret will double that, any of the progressives will at least double that rate again, but your cost will go up considerably. For progressive, I would only consider a Hornady LNL or the Dillon 550B, or 650.
     

  3. RustySocket

    RustySocket

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    If you are new to reloading the worst thing you can do is get too much too fast. Start with a simple single stage press (rockchucker or similar). Learn the basics and develop a load.

    Leave the progressives until later .... as you will always have a use for a single stage press.

    Reloading is not about how fast or how cheap you can produce ammo. It is about quality, accuracy, and the pleasure of making your own cartridge.

    Get a good manual and read. Maybe a local gun club or someone here local to help you get started.

    As a newbie... a 650 is too much press with too much to go wrong. The only press I will reccomend other that a rock chucker is a 550b. Progressives are great if you shoot 1000rds a month. If you don't you really don't need one.

    Regarding about powder. Your going to need a powder dispenser as well as a scale that reads in grains. When you first start loading I reccomend you weigh EVERY charge. This takes time but will develop confidence in your ability and your equipment. I load on a 550 and still check every 10th drop for consistency. Consider this... if you check every 10 and find a problem you only have 10 bullets to pull. If you load 200 and find you had a problem you have to pull them all.

    Seriously, do lots of reading, take lots of notes. Develop and consistent method and follow it. Don't watch TV, have friends over, or drink while reloading. It only takes on mistake to potentially change your life forever.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2010
  4. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

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    The LCT can be used as a single stage and is great choice but 150-180 max and that is movin'.

    Pistol only, 250 -300 an hour easily (up to 400 once your tuned) of only one maybe a second caliber.... used Dillon SDB.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2010
  5. RustySocket

    RustySocket

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    If you are only planning on loading a single handgun caliber and really want a progressive.... look at the Dillon Square Deal. You can buy one new and flip it on ebay when you want to move up.

    I wouldn't hesitate to buy used equipment that is blue or green either.
     
  6. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    I guess I have the same question, where did you come up with 250-300 an hour. How much do you shoot per month?

    Read C4W's sticky at the top of the page, on how to get started.. It really goes into a lot of detail on stuff you need, etc. You'll find more than one of us started on an LCT, and there's a number of us that still use it. You also need to identify what "reasonable cost" is... You compare reasonable cost, to a "$500 Dillon setup", which is really cheap on Dillon stuff. When you consider scales, dies, manuals, tools, etc. You're probably coming out of this minimum 3-400 and none of that is gonna be blue.

    IGF
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2010
  7. eingeist

    eingeist

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    Thank ya'll so much Rusty and Fred!

    Here is what the kit includes:

    Pistol Caliber Kits Include:
    Lee Classic Turret Press
    Lee Deluxe 4-Die Set for the pistol caliber of your choice. (3 Die set in 380, 44/40 and 357 Sig)
    Lee Auto Disk Powder Measure
    Lee Safety Prime System (Large or Small)
    Lee Auto Disk Riser (Required for the Safety Prime System)
    Six MTM 50 round Plastic Ammo Boxes

    I was told to definitely upgrade to the Pro Auto Disk Powder Measure instead of the Lee.. I guess I'm confused as to wether that is a scale or a dispenser? Or both?

    I was told to also definitely get a Tumbler as it will increase efficiency in cleaning brass.

    Rusty, to weigh every charge at first do I need a separate scale?

    From what I listed, including the upgraded Powder Measure, and a Tumbler that looks like it's all I need... But since I am new to this I may definitely be missing something. My ABC's of Reloading should be in tomorrow.
     
  8. eingeist

    eingeist

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    IGF, the reason for me wanting to get into reloading is availability of ammo, price, self sufficiency, and IPSC.

    Back when I was shooting a lot with my old Para, I would shoot about 500-700 rounds a month. (including one IPSC match a month). But that only lasted a couple months once I got into that before I had to sell the Para.
     
  9. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    One final thing.. There is quite a difference between the LCT and the Dillon 550(I'm assuming thats what you were looking at).

    Watch this guys 5 videos for all you ever wanted to know about the 550(and even a good bit about reloading, etc)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRZrbv_8kx4

    Download this quick video from Lee, and watch 5 rounds get loaded on an LCT... They don't really do a whole lot of explaining, but you'll see the differences in the LCT, and the 550.

    http://www.leeprecision.com/html/HelpVideos/videos/Turret Press/loading on turret-1.wmv
     
  10. eingeist

    eingeist

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    IGF, I was not considering the 550 due to price and my belief that I don't need "that much press."

    My point in comparison was simply indicating that I couldn't really justify the cost for a 550 if I don't "need" one.

    The Square Deal B, or the Kempf kit I listed are the two I've been looking at.
     
  11. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    700rds would take me about 4-4.5hrs on an LCT. I probably shoot a little less than that per month, and I still feel pretty well served by the LCT. IMO though, I'm getting to the outer edge of where its "to slow"... There's a LOT of YT videos of various presses in action...

    IGF
     
  12. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    The only reason I don't like the SDB, is because it uses Proprietary dies. That's not to say the Dillon dies are bad, its just if for some reason you don't like them, you're SOL.

    IGF
     
  13. Patrick Graham

    Patrick Graham Footlong Jr.

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    They thing about the 550 is, sure you don't shoot that much now.. but.. if you get a 550 you'll be shootin more than you ever dreamed of..
     
  14. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    LCT is a great first press. Get the Dillon Beam scale, Upgrade it to the Pro Setup like you discussed. Get it for only 1 caliber to start. Add more later.

    Keep in mind, most IPSC shooters have Dillon equipment. Not all, but most. That should tell you something. A 550 would be another great option as would the LnL.
     
  15. Brian Lee

    Brian Lee Drop those nuts

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    This is what I wanted to hear, because I think if I get one of these

    http://www.forsterproducts.com/catalog.asp?prodid=627365
    (which can be had for about half the price listed on that page)

    I'll use it for the rest of my life, and always have a use for it even if I decide to get another multi-stage unit later on. My reason for reloading is to have better quality ammo than I can buy, not to make the cheapest stuff I can make as fast as I can. That's why I think I'll start out with the best single stage press I can get. Then I'll never have a reason to replace it with a better single stage unit.

    I'm one of those guys who always had more fun building the model airplane than I did flying it.
     
  16. RustySocket

    RustySocket

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    I'm a firm believer of weighing every charge UNTIL you develop some confidence and have practice. Lee, Dillon, RCBS, Hornady all make some version of a beam scale that will work fine. I have reloaded for 35 years and still use a RCBS beam scale.

    I know that the autodisk system has published data for charge weight based on powder density for their disk system... but without a scale... you have NO way to verify that charge is correct for your powder. Remember this.... if your powder dispenser varies by or is accurate to 0.5grains and your charging a rifle case that holds 35grains of powder your percentage error is much smaller than if you are charging a pistol case that only holds 10grains of powder. I have equipment that I have loaded many many tens of thousand rounds on.... I have measured the varience myself and am comfortable not checking every charge.

    When I shoot benchrest I hand weigh every charge and trickle up to the final on every cartridsge. It's all about accuracy.....

    That is overkill for handgun ammo..... In any event it is my position that you NEED a scale, if for nothing more than setting up your equipment.

    If you were only going to load for one or two calibers I'd say get a Square Deal, the downside is it can only load pistol cartridges and uses a proprietary die set that makes it cost prohibitive to load for more than two. At that point your better going with a 550 or LNL if a progresssive is what you want.

    I am not really familiar with Lee equipment other than I use their factory crimp die and love them.

    Check craigslist as there are presses there all the time for cheap.

    If you have any specific questions I'm happy to help. PM if you want.
     
  17. RustySocket

    RustySocket

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    I still do...

    I reload for the same reasons. I enjoy it, it passes the time, and it makes it fun to go out and blast away.
     
  18. RustySocket

    RustySocket

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    Seriously, if you going to load more than one caliber, a 550 is within 100$ of the sdb.

    Watch the videos linked to. They are great. Google Brian Enos and read up on his site as well.

    Keep in mind... you can mix and match for the most part. My Dillon equipment is awesome, but I'm not blinded by blue love. The red stuff and green stuff I own works good as well.
     
  19. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

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    Actually more like $140 buying new, check BE. The 550B you still need to buy dies. Caliber coversions including dies from BE $82 versus $110.

    I personally love the SDB it's an awesome machine. I would however never have bought one new. I paid $275 delivered for mine including 9mm and ,40 toolheads. Since I have added .380 ACP, .38 special and .45ACP dies/toolheads the most I have paid was $55 for a set.

    Talking loading only one caliber in pistol... I prefer the SDB because of the auto-index. I know others opinons very but to me it takes away from making double charge errors. I've tried the 550B , it's like all Dillons a great machine. I would probably skip over and getthe 650, which I will eventually when I get into rifle reloading.
     
  20. RustySocket

    RustySocket

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    When just starting out you dont really need a tumbler. You can clean your brass by washing it and drying it... no it won't be pretty... but it's definatly something you can buy later or acquire used.

    I noticed you were interested in .357 Sig. It is not a impossible cartridge to load but I would encourage you to get some experience with something else prior. the bottle-neck leaves little contact area with the bullet and unless you get it crimped properly you can have some issues with setback. It is one I would highly reccomend getting the factory crimp die for.