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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been wanting to start reloading for quite a while, but have hesitated due to fear of the unknown & budgetary constraints.

So.... Think I'm going to get the Lee Classic turret kit from Kempf. What will I need above & beyond the kit's contents?'

I understand the Lee scale isn't the greatest. Recommendations for a accurate scale that won't break the bank?

How consistent/accurate is the Lee powder measure?

Recommendations for a tumbler?

Anything I'm missing?

BTW, I'll be loading primarily .45ACP, along with .38/.357 & .380.

Thanks!
 

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Am not familiar with the kit in question, but a caliper and case gage are must haves as far as I'm concerned. I have the RCBS tumbler and its served me well so far.
 

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Carl,
It actually depends how much reloading you plan on doing???????

Digital Calipers.
I use and electronic weight scale.
Built my own tumbler
I bought some would and made my own bullet stand.

I usually reload about 2000 or more empty casing at a time.............

Clyde
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Cool, thanks!

I won't be loading scads of ammo, but would like to ensure I can always keep 500 - 1000 rds of .45 on hand, w/about 250 each of .380, .38Special & .357.

I would like to try my hand at IDPA at some point, but that's down the road a ways.
 

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Cool, thanks!

I won't be loading scads of ammo, but would like to ensure I can always keep 500 - 1000 rds of .45 on hand, w/about 250 each of .380, .38Special & .357.

I would like to try my hand at IDPA at some point, but that's down the road a ways.
Carl, also before I forget the 38 Special and 357 magnum use the same reloading die set.........

Clyde
 

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Carl, congrats on your interest in reloading. It's a great hobby. You're gonna have fun, not just save money on ammo.

Kempf's kit is the kit they put together themselves. It is not a factory kit. Sot it doesn't have everything the factory includes.

It would be best for you to get some books first, and learn a whole lot more about reloading. Meanwhile, get completely familiar with the web sites for Lee, RCBS, Lyman, and Hornady. I happen to think that the Lee turret is excellent for learning, and excellent for cranking out 2 or 3 boxes of ammo without even raising a sweat. Any single stage kit will work perfectly and be easy to learn. You can learn on a progressive, but set up and operation often take a little bit extra attention and it can take some focus away from learning your craft. But before you buy, you need to learn more to make sure you don't get disappointed.

Kempf's kit does not come with a scale. The powder measure they send is OK and fairly consistent, but the disks only have a certain number of holes so you will be limited to the various powder quantities you can measure. The adjustable charge bar and a scale will be the ticket. Go look at all the scales at Midway, Natchez, Kempf, Cabela, and all the other stores to get an idea of price. They are all reliable scales. You decide how much you want to pay, they are all reliable. You will always need a caliper to measure overall length of the cartridge when you set up your dies, any cheap $10 caliper will work great for reloading. You should start collecting published load data from bullet and powder manufacturers. Online stuff from individual people is often a bit hazardous. As a beginner, stick with the manufacturers' data. You actually don't need a tumbler if you don't have the money at first, but it's always a great way to polish up your cases. For decades we old guys didn't have tumblers to use, we just wiped the grit off (or washed and dried the bad ones). Just make sure there is no grit to damage your dies. All the tumblers work well for reloading, including the ones at Harbor Freight Tools.

45acp is a great place to start. In my experience, you can use your pistol chamber as a case gauge as a beginner. 45acp is so easy to load that you seldom need a case gauge anyway. Use your pistol chamber to test the first few rounds after you adjust the dies according to the instructions, lock the dies down and that's all you need. Revolver cartridges are easy also, but to get a consistent crimp you need to trim each case after resizing. Sometimes you can skip the trimming step, as long as you are comfortable with a slightly inconsistent crimp. 380acp is sometimes a little tricky because the powder charges are very small, and the cases are thin. Get good with 45 first. Then move to the others.

Lyman, Hornady, Lee, Sierra, Speer, Nosler, ABC's of Reloading. Start with any one. Then get a second book later. Then choose your equipment. The first 3 books I listed favor their own equipment, but if you get past the obvious advertisements (especially Lee and Lyman) the how-to information is perfectly accurate. The books by the bullet manufacturers tend to favor their own bullets. You'll figure it all out as you get up to speed with any two of those books.

And you can always ask us questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
'Preciate it. Already have the Speer manual & am trying to glean as much info as possible off the forums. Still down the road a bit, but it's finally starting to "gel" a bit in my mind.
 

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I understand the Lee scale isn't the greatest. Recommendations for a accurate scale that won't break the bank?

How consistent/accurate is the Lee powder measure?
The Lee scale is fine; at least mine was. The Lee Perfect Powder Measure is fine, too. Use a powder that meters well, like Bullseye or WST and all will be well.
 

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If you purchase the Lee manual and look at loading the Nosler 185 JHP - (using Hod Universal) Watch out - data is incorrect, as someone just recently pointed out to me after I loaded the that spec. As I have learned, double check specs with another manual.

Enjoy your new hobby - Be safe.

Blazin.45acp
 

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Been wanting to start reloading for quite a while, but have hesitated due to fear of the unknown & budgetary constraints.

So.... Think I'm going to get the Lee Classic turret kit from Kempf. What will I need above & beyond the kit's contents?'
That is a good kit. My advice would be to get the $20 upgrade for the pro auto disk and the two safety primes. It would also be good to buy a caliper.

I understand the Lee scale isn't the greatest. Recommendations for a accurate scale that won't break the bank?
The kit doesn't come with a scale. I would recommend the RCBS or Dillon beam scale.

How consistent/accurate is the Lee powder measure?
I have found the pro auto disk to be very consistant. It won't be accurate as far as when the chart tells you the .46 disk will throw 5.4 grains of powder-X. But once you find the disk that throws the charge you want it will throw that charge all day long, at least that's been my experience.


Recommendations for a tumbler?
I started with a Harbor Freight tumbler and it was OK but I bought a Cabela's tumbler and am very happy with it. It is a high capacity tumbler and only cost aroubd $45.

Anything I'm missing?
Buy a spare turret for every set of dies to make it easy to change calibers. A good cheap tumbler media is crushed walnut from the pet store. You will want to use some kind of polish in the media. A lot of us use Nu Finish car polish. I add 1/2 cap full every time in tumble a batch. You will also need a sturdy bench for the press. It doesn't have to be big, just sturdy and level. Here is a picture of my set up to give you an idea. I use half of my work bench in the garage.







Congrats and welcome to reloading.
 

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I've been reloading for more than 30 years and find it relaxing as well as cost effective. While I have a progressive press, I still use my single stage RCBS a lot of the time. I would suggest you look at the RCBS Rockchucker Kit as it is very well made and will last forever. Besides the kit, you will need a case cleaner, case trimmer, caliper, additional loading trays and carbide die sets. Hope you enjoy reloading and good luck.
 

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I've been reloading for more than 30 years and find it relaxing as well as cost effective. While I have a progressive press, I still use my single stage RCBS a lot of the time. I would suggest you look at the RCBS Rockchucker Kit as it is very well made and will last forever. Besides the kit, you will need a case cleaner, case trimmer, caliper, additional loading trays and carbide die sets. Hope you enjoy reloading and good luck.
I agree with this fella. The single stage press won't be as fast as the Lee you have selected, but you'll find it lasts much longer and will do a much better job. Anything I've ever bought from Lee I got frustrated with and replaced with a better brand (except their dies, I like their dies).
 

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you will not need a case trimmer with 45acp. or a case gauge. you said budget was a factor. those 2 items are a waste of money for 45acp. do as Nick & Rusty suggested. You'll be in good shape.
 

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Check out Cabellas Lee Classic Turret kit. I bought one and it is super!

Reloading is great fun and can really save you some money. Many people "pay" for their reloading equipment in a year with the money saved.

I recommend taper crimp dies for 45, 9mm, and 38 Super.

KEN
 

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I ordered the Lee Classic kit in 45ACP from Kempf on Thursday! I also got a digital scale they had on sale for $29 and 1000 cast bullets, 500 each of 230gr RN and 200 gr SWC. I picked up some CCI primers and some powder locally. I have various measuring devices in the shop already. I figure I need to get a manual and do some reading, and I've got to get something going for case cleaning.

I was driving today down the freeway today and thinking about stopping here and there to look for ammo, then I thought "oh yeah, I have reloading equipment on the way!"

I have a large box full of 9mm, 38 and 357 brass I've saved up over the years, but only a few hundred spent 45's.

I'm looking forward to learning the ropes and shooting my own ammo!
 

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Welcome aboard, Dougj. You might want to consider starting with those round nose bullets first. They feed easily in all 1911 pistols, so you can focus on learning your craft for the first 500 rounds. Later you can try the swc to see how they feed. You may have to work with overall cartridge length until they feed successfully.

Got powder and primers yet?
 

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Welcome aboard, Dougj. You might want to consider starting with those round nose bullets first. They feed easily in all 1911 pistols, so you can focus on learning your craft for the first 500 rounds. Later you can try the swc to see how they feed. You may have to work with overall cartridge length until they feed successfully.

Got powder and primers yet?
That's exactly my plan actually! I want work up a nice 200 gr practice load, but I was concerned that I would have trouble with the SWC or my ability to set that load up. The very nice lady at Kempf's was happy to split my 1000 bullet order so that I can practice on some RN first. I did get some CCI primers (500) and some powder (1lb of Unique) at my local shop.

Once the equipment gets here and I set up a work area, all I'll need is to figure out how to get some cases cleaned. Got some reading to do too, I haven't picked up a manual yet. Any recommendations for a reloading manual that will meet my needs? I'll be loading pistol and revolver for a while, but I'll likely work my way into some rifle loads after a while.

Thanks,
Doug
 

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Books: Lyman, Hornady, Lee, Sierra, Speer, Nosler. All include valuable load data.


Technically, you only need to wipe the brass clean of grit and sand. You don't have to tumble. The burnt carbon and stains don't hurt it at all.

These days we talk like a tumbler is absolultely vitally 100% necessary. But you don't have to tumble. Newbies may not be able to relate, but when I started reloading they hadn't even introduced tumblers yet. Just wipe off the brass and make sure there is no sand or junk inside. Wash with soap and water if necessary, but make very very sure they dry completely (dry in the oven at 130 to 150, or in a dry atmoshpere overnight) because residual moisture will kill your powder and primer.
 

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Technically, you only need to wipe the brass clean of grit and sand. You don't have to tumble. The burnt carbon and stains don't hurt it at all.

These days we talk like a tumbler is absolultely vitally 100% necessary. But you don't have to tumble.
Nick is right you don't have to have a tumbler. I think it's more of a time saver than anything. For example it takes me three minutes to load it and five minutes to unload. I load already clean brass while it's running. In that eight minutes of messing with the tumbler I can clean 600 45 cases. And man do they come out shiny.
 

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Carl: No matter what anyone tells you, get yourself a .45 cal ACP cartridge gauge. I consider it a necessity.
If a finished round passes the 'plunk' test in the cartridge gauge, it'll chamber in your gun. It checks all dimensions except overall length.
 
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