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Discussion Starter #1
So what are the bare bones things I need to reload pistol cartriges. I dont need fancy stuff right off, I can do everything by hand and analog stuff is fine. Any recomendations as to what to get, name brands, anyone sell a kit with almost everything I need?
 

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I started out with the LEE turret press kit. In fact, its still my only press.

Get the 4 hole version. It comes with a means to prime cases, a balance scale, a powder measure, and some case prep tools like a chamfer tool, hand trimmer and primer pocket cleaner (all 3 of mine are still in their original package BTW).

You'll also have to buy dies, which I would also recommend Lee for a first set of dies. Get the FCD die too..its only 10 bucks and it will catch those scant few rounds that otherwise wouldnt chamber.

I bought a hornaday case tumbler right off too, and some corn cob. Used a spaghetti strainer as my case/media separator. I think I was in for like $225 to start off.

Its served me well. Now that I have loaded a few thousand rounds, and am ready to start loading for other calibers, I'm looking for something more progressive. But the Lee turret offered me use as a single stage at first, and semi progressive as my skill developed.

Plus you dont have a ton of cash in it if you decide its not for you.

Brian
 

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lee aniversary kit is pretty cheap and comes with what you need to start off with.

buy some reloading manuals and read first, it can help allot.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks~

So I take it Lee is a good brand for the beginner and fair priced huh? I'm not sure If I'm goig to take the plunge yet, but want to get the info just in case. I'm definitely looking for a kit, I dont feel like piecing everything together and then finding out I have forgoten something.

Also, what is the difference with carbide dies?
 

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I like the Dillon system (550). They make cheaper versions, but in the long run I believe the 550 will suit your needs better (I have one) . The thing can load all sorts of calibers. Their warranty (lifetime) and service is the best around no matter the product. E-Bay is the cheapest place to buy from what I've seen. USPSA want adds are also good. I also have two of the Dillon 1050's as well. Thats how much I believe in their product and service.
 

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I agree, if you are going to sped the coin on getting all the Lee stuff and are loading for a .45 ACP pistol, I would spend the extra money and go right to the Dillon 550. You will be able to load more faster and spend more time shooting and less time reloading. Pistol/revolver shooters shoot more than most rifle shooters, so it makes sense to go with the Dillon. Get the Dillon video as it really helps alot.
 

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:rolleyes: Happens every time...

Q: I'm looking for some basic transportation to get to work. Should I go with the Chevy or the Ford?

A: I think you should step right up to the Ferrari. It'll get you to work faster.

A2: Absolutely. Ferraris are much nicer than Fords.


The Lee Aniversary Kit will give you everything you need but dies and components for less than $70. It is basic equipment and will allow you to get in the game and decide if reloading is for you. If the bug bites, you may eventually want to upgrade. That's the time to consider going blue. I load on a Dillon. It's a great piece of equipment, but I spent years on a single stage before my need for time outweighed my need for dollars.


Carbide dies are used for reloading straight walled pistol cases. The carbide is harder and slicker than steel and will allow you to size without using a case lubricant. Definately go carbide for your sizing die.
 

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For basic reloading, I like the RCBS presses

Go look and see the fit/finish of a coulpe different brands.

I've never used Lee's they may be excellent - based on reports here. I don know that RCBS customer service and replacements are excellent.

What will you be reloading?

Based on:

calibers
use
amounts

you might be able to get more specific recommendations
 

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Q: I'm looking for some basic transportation to get to work. Should I go with the Chevy or the Ford?

A: I think you should step right up to the Ferrari. It'll get you to work faster.
A better analogy would be:

Q. Should I get a Yugo or a Da Hongqi?

A. I think you should get a Chevy. It will get you to work!

Lee presses are the cheapest for a reason. My first press was a Lee. Couldn't bring myself to sell it; made a boat anchor out of it instead.

Lyman, RCBS, Redding and others all offer basic equipment. A little more money, but if you decided reloading ins't for you, you will recoup more of your investment. If you stick with it, you already have quality equipment. Also, if you later decide to upgrade, you may still find uses for your original press. I still use my 30 year old single stage.

I personally know of several people who tried Lee presses. All quickly upgraded. IMO the folks who are content with them are willing to live with the shortcomings.

Buy once, cry once.

Eddie
 

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Another advantage with a Dillon is that if you decide to sell it at a later time the buyer will know that the warranty still is valid. It's a lifetime warranty no matter who the owner is. The other reason I like them is that they support the shooting sports by putting their products up as prizes at tournements I've shot at. I have never seen another reloading product at a prize table (not that they don't...just that I have not seen it).
 

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The absolute minimum you need includes:

1. A press (single stage presses are the cheapest)
2. A set of dies with shell holder (for .45 and other straight wall cases carbide is worth the extra cost.
3. A scale
4. Calipers (to measure overall length)
5. Loading data

Really nice to have stuff for a single stage press includes:

6. Powder measure
7. Seperate priming tool
8. Loading blocks

If you load are large volumes of pistol and maybe rifle ammo for practice and/or practical shooting (like USPSA and IDPA) then you will eventually want a progressive press like a Dillon or Hornady.

If you plan to get involved in precision rifle and load development, a good single stage press will work better for this.

Good luck! You won't save any money, but you will do a lot more shooting for the money!
 

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If all you are going to do is to load for 45ACP take a serious look at the Dillon Square Deal. It comes setup for the caliber of your choice - the only thing you ave to do is set OAL and powder charge.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Lots of good info!

But I'm a little lost. To answer some questions.. I will only be loading for pistol. Mostly 45, but maybe some 9 or 40 later on. Now, OAL is what? Is it the actually height or how far the bullet is set? Setting the powder charge? Now is that measuring out how much powder each time. Or is it something that you set and it throws the right amount everytime after. I'm fine with measuring it out each time, when it would come to this, I wont be lazy or stupid, (heard to many kB stories), but something that would throw the right amount of power each time would be nice.
 

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OAL is Over-all-length and refers to the cartridge length from case head to bullet tip. It will vary depending on bullet weight and shape. The Square Deal has an automatic powder dispenser and will throw the same weight every time you pull the press handle. You will want to check it on a regular basis though.

The Square Deal only loads pistol calibers not rifle. To change calibers you just change tool heads.

You might want to go to their web site and check out your options and I suggest that you get a good reloading manual or two or three so you can get an idea about how this is done.
 

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xznissanzx, the Lee kit will get you started and makes a good back up if you decide reloading is for you and you up grade. If you check out RCBS's website they have a very good step by step that shows how to reload, also get several books on reloading and read them cover to cover.
 

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I agree with starting out with the single stage options (Lee, RCBS, etc.). If you keep an eye open around garage sales or word-of-mouth (maybe even Ebay) you may come across someone wanting to sell out their stuff and you can buy them out for a small amount of money. I bought out a guy one time and he basically cleaned out his reloading room to me for $150. I sold off the dies, brass, bullets, and equipment I didn't need or want and wound up with a good Lyman powder measure for no investment and a few dollars to the good.

The single stage presses are simple and rugged. I still use my RCBS Rockchucker I bought 15 years ago and that is all I use. I know it takes some time to reload 200 rounds of 45s but if my life is that tight, I need to take some time off. Just my Kentucky way of thankin.

Do suggest you buy a good reloading manual - Lyman is a good choice. Another important piece of equipment will be powder scales. A powder measure is near "mandatory" but you can get buy without it if you are desparate. As for dies, spend the extra $10 or so and go with Carbide dies - you don't want to be lubing pistol cases to keep them from sticking in the die. I suggest you buy the dies new instead of used - used ones may be damaged in ways you may not readily tell.
 

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Go with the dillon 550 because this shooting and reloading thing is a disease and keeps progressively getting worse and you''ll want more guns and different calibers.
With the dillon you'll be able to accomodate any caliber you want and be able to devote that hard earned cash for guns n stuff!!
I love my dillon and remember ( Quality is always a bargain).
:D
dirtyharry
 
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