getting started

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by ChesterGolf, Mar 16, 2002.

  1. ChesterGolf

    ChesterGolf Guest

    I want to handload. I've heard all the stories about increased accuracy. What should I be buying to give me an honest start at it? I want to load center fire rifle and shotgun shells. Is there one that will do both. Rimfire is still cheap but that would be a consideration too. More ammo keeps me at the range. Handloading would keep the costs down and the wife off my back... not to mention a fun hobby!
  2. lefty o

    lefty o G&G Evangelist

    youll need different presses for the rifle and shotgun. dont have enough knowledge to recommend on the shotgun, but for rifle check out the dillon 550-its versatile will load most pistol and rifle calibers. buy many reloading manuals, and if you can find someone locally to show you once or twice.

  3. Jack O

    Jack O Guest

    Sorry but you can't reload rimfires. On the low end of the price scale you could check out the Lee aniversary set it is a kit with everything bat the dies. But most companys offer a kit with the most used componets at a fair price. Probably want save any money just shoot more. Definiatly not a bad thing.
  4. jerry

    jerry Since 03-15- 2002 Forum Contributor

    welcome to the club. there are many ways to go about this. this first i recomend is to get a quality relaoding manual that explains the step by step process as well as the safety stuff. I use the SPEER manual, not because it's the very best, just what i started on and it is very adequate.

    budget is a concern; if you want to start to see if you like it or want to crank out a box of 20 or 50 every now and then. all you need is;
    A good scale, a single stage press (economy ones from lee or RCBS work well) a set of dies for your caliber (get carbide for pistol) the important thing is to read the book! there is a ton of other stuff to know & others may add, i'll keep it short because like a long resume no one likes to read it. Good luck.
  5. JohnW

    JohnW Guest

    RCBS makes 2 different presses which can reload both rifle and shotgun ammo. Both are single stage presses but work well. If I'm thinking right they are the Reloader Special #3 and #5. The best thing to do would be to check around at your local gun shops and see if anyone there might know more about them. Some people might say to get 2 different presses that are progresive but I myself use a single stage. (I only reload rifle/pistol) I enjoy the time I spend reloading and have never really had a need to crank out 50 or more rounds an hour.
  6. squirrelsniper

    squirrelsniper Guest

    If you have the money and are fairly sure that you will stick with the reloading hobby, I would recommend getting the RCBS Master Reloading Kit. It comes with everything you'll need except a measuring caliper and the dies, shellholder, powder, bullets, etc for the specific calibers you want to load. RCBS also offers a 12ga shotgun loading kit that works with the RCBS Rock Chucker press, but shotgun shell reloading is best handled by a reloader made specifically for shotshells. If you want to save some money and get a reloading kit that will work well until you get into serious reloading practices (case forming, wildcatting, etc) you can go with the Lee Anniversary Kit. Also, if you aren't sure whether or not you want to get into reloading, pick up a reloading manual that describes the steps necessary to reload safe and accurate ammunition and see if it sounds appealing to you. Once you get into reloading though, trying to load the most accurate rounds possible is almost as addictive as shooting them.:D
  7. I noticed midway ( ) has the lee Anniversary kit on sale for $59.99. this has almost everything you need to get started except the dies and a few other minor items. But if you are sure you are going to like and stick with reloading, you might want to go with the RCBS Rock chucker reloading kit $249.99 or the dillon presses. I started with the lee kit, and it has worked fine, but over time I have upgraded to a lot of RCBS stuff.
  8. Colt Justice

    Colt Justice Guest

    Everyone has had some great ideas. I don't know you're committment level to reloading, or how much you shoot. The two go hand in hand, I suppose.
    Unless you already have a very high interest in reloading, and know your committment is high, I would suggest going the Lee Anniversary kit route. Inexpensive, and has about all you need to start loading quality ammo, confidently. It's a great beginner's kit. This is for rifle calibers.
    For shotgun, I would suggest either a Lee load-all, or a MEC jr. 600. Either is a great shotshell loader, and very inexpensive, also.
    My next suggestion has already been mentioned, but I'll reiterate it for effect. Buy a good loading manual for both rifle/pistol, and shotshell. Before you buy ANY press, learn all the steps involved in reloading each discipline. Shotshell is different from rifle/pistol. Get some good information on a good load that you may wish to try, and buy components around that. This is most important in shotshell reloading. The shell, and wad make a difference on what powder, and amount of such you use. Just be careful, and learn before you try. Good luck.

    Just a side note, I prefer Dillon equipment, as I use a Dillon 550b. But I knew my committment level when I started, and went in full tilt. If you think you may be like me, then I would suggest looking into the Dillon stuff. It's the best on the market. Sturdiest, smoothest, and has absolutely, bar none, the best no bs warranty on the market. No, I don't work for Dillon, i'm just another satisfied customer. But you'll find many more like me, trust me on that.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2002
  9. Dick Robinson

    Dick Robinson Guest


    The big problem, with re-loading, is that you canstantly go around looking at the ground, for brass.
    After you have loaded every thing you can find, you have to go out and buy a new gun, so you can have something else to re-load.
    I started out loading .38spl and now I load 11 different calibers.
    My girlfriend keeps complaining about all the ammo we have stored, at the house. At last count, There was about 20,000 rounds, of different types of ammo. She says if we ever have a fire, we'll probably blow-up the neighborhood.
    Re-loading is a lot of fun and it really does get addictive.
    Have a good one, Dick.
  10. JohnD

    JohnD Guest

    So the lee stuf would be best for starting?

    I am also interested in reloading and I am to cheap to get the best, But the lee kit looks tempting? I live in canada and we pay a lot for high power rifle and centerfire handgun ammo. the lee kit is about $140 canadian. All I would like out of reloading is to have cheaper ammo with the same accuracy of factory ammo, will the lee do that?
  11. Jack O

    Jack O Guest

    I have loaded on the Lee Anniversary kit for about a year now. I would suggest that you get the carbide dies they cost a little more but they make life a whole lot easier. The only thing I have upgraded was to a RCBS digital scale and an acculine case trimmer. You can reload your own and save money but it just made me shoot more. You can save money reloading and you can make better than factory ammo. An example on the savings is it cost $0.23 per round 45acp and I can reload it for 8 cents. Reloading is an addiction but I enjoy the time I spent doing it.
  12. Colt Justice

    Colt Justice Guest

    But don't expect better-than-factory ammo right from the start. Every gun is different. You have to try different loads, and see which works best in your gun. That takes time, and is most of the fun of reloading.
    Lee is the cheapest for the money. Their equipment will certainly reload ammo efficiently. But in terms of quality, it is not the sturdiest. I'll use the tool analogy. It is the difference between Snap-on tools, and using Craftsman. Craftsman has the guarantee, and is a decent tool. But they break more often, and can be harder to use for certain situations. Snap-on is always the top of the line in quality. Dillon is that in the reloading world. I would rate RCBS and Hornady to be like Craftsman, and Lee would be somewhat better than S-K tools. Just My Honest Opinion.
  13. JohnD

    JohnD Guest

    Jack O - shooting more aint such a bad thing is it?

    anyway that is on my wish list, a reloading kit that is along with many other things that happen to be mostly gun related. Better than drugs and alcholl and smokes I say to my parrents and to myself every time I get somthing gun related.
  14. OldSchool

    OldSchool Guest

    If you would like to try handloading without a modest investment, particularly if you only want to load one caliber, check out the classic Lee Loader set. It consists of an adjustable neck sizing/ bullet seating die, decapping tool, priming chamber, powder measure and bullet seater and costs less than $20. All you need is your fired br**** powder, primers, bullets and a plastic headed mallet (it does not require a press). A case length guage and trimmer and a chamfer/ deburring tool will cost about $10 and is a good investment. It's very easy to use and although it's not the tool for the guy who shoots hundreds of rounds per week, it's just right for loading a box or two in an evening. I'm just getting started in this game too and it's what I'm starting with. Check it out at

  15. Jack O

    Jack O Guest

    Shooting more is definitly a good thing. Just can't say I saved any money .I shot up all the savings
  16. Double D

    Double D Guest

    I second the nomination of the Dillon 550, but an RCBS press is hard to beat and you can even find them at garage sales, estate sales and pawnshops if your fortunate, which also brings down the price quite a bit. Get a good manual and a good scale. you can use triple beams, but a decent digital is hands down the way to go and worth the extra bucks.
  17. tonto

    tonto Guest

    I started on a lee anniversary kit back in 88, I have recentely upgraded to a dillon 550B. The only thing i would recommend is for the extra $30.00 or so get the lee turret press. You set up yur dies in a turret ad lock 'em in. Then when you go back to that caliber the dies are already setup- no fussing. And extra turret blocks are like $11.00. The turret is also a heap faster than the challenger press. I think if i woulda got the turret press first off i would have never got a new 550 b dillon. But then after using this Dillon I know what the best is now, pricey but what a press!
  18. ChesterGolf

    ChesterGolf Guest

    Thank you all for the info. you gave. I think I will start withthe Lee Ann. set. It is an inexpensive way for me to see if I like it. If I do, and I think I will, it isn't too expensive to set aside and get better equip. Does anybody know if, and where you can get dies for the .300 RUM?
  19. Fitz Grips

    Fitz Grips Guest

    Have brass supply

    As a police rangemaster every casing that hit the floor that was not a department caliber was mine! Plus as the City Scoutmaster my scouts helped me teach required hunter safety courses earning their own shooting merit badge (I taught 49) and they policed the civilian ranges we used, cleaned, sorted, inspected and packed the brass for sale. I paid them in camping equipment and sold brass at gun shows. I have thusands left in many calibers and just send your E-mail address to Paul at [email protected]
  20. FEG

    FEG Guest

    My father has reloaded for over 30 years, primarily for rifle and shotgun. He has two RCBS presses.

    I found myself needing my own equipment when I started shooting 9mm. It was too inconvenient to drive across town to load 1,000 9mm rounds.

    I bought a Lee Anniversary kit, because it had the bare minimum that you need (less dies). In my situation, my own high quality digital scale, powder trickler, etc. just represents a waste. I know people who have better stuff when I absolutely NEED it, which hasn't happened, yet. The single-stage Anniversary press is slow. My first case of 9mm took something like 16 hours (incl. set-up and case preparation). This is still faster than I can shoot it, though.

    Also, my first two cases of 9mm and .45 ACP completely paid for all of my start-up costs. OTOH, I am already wanting some kind of upgrade after only four months. In a way, it was a waste of money, since I will be buying at least some sort of semi-progressive in the near future. However, I did "pay off" all of the misc. start-up costs that can't be avoided (stuff like loading blocks, dies, etc.) very quickly because of the Lee kit's low price (@$60 on sale at Midway). If you buy the RCBS kit and decide you need something faster, it will take much longer to recoup expenses. I figure you can always use a light single-stage press for something, if only a dedicated decapping station.

    I had been helping my dad and reloading myself for some years, but the Anniversary press was the first one I had set up from square one. It is very straightforward. The kit works better with Lee dies, it seems (powder-through system). The fact that it is slow as molasses makes it great for beginners. I think that it is designed for you to "outgrow" it, however. The Lee kit also contains some stuff you might want anyway, like the Auto Prime handtool, which softens the blow somewhat.

    If I had it to do over again, I would buy the Lee Turret Press Kit.