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pidooma
02-07-2005, 10:10 AM
I'm interested in learning how to reload ammo and would be interested in hearing other people's recommendations.

I've read that starting out with a single stage press is a good way for beginners to start off, to better learn the different stages and such. My main goal at this point is just to learn how to reload as opposed to a desire to crank out bunches of ammo to save costs. Figure hand loading is a good skill for a shooter to have.

Probably look to reload a few common calibers such as .45 ACP, .223, .308 and 30 carbine. I know I'll have to get the die sets for whatever calibers I want to reload.

Since I don't have a workshop setup, any recommendations on a reasonably portable workstation so I can set up and put away without too much fuss? I'm single, so no worries on a wife complaining about a bunch of reloading stuff spread all over the house.

I've been looking at the RCBS Rock Chucker Master Supreme Reloading kit (can they throw a few more adjectives in there? "Incredible Omnipotent!"):

http://www.rcbs.com/default.asp?menu=1&s1=4&s2=2&s3=6

So, does that Rock Chucker setup look like a good starting point for a newbie or are there other recommendations? One thing that interests me about the Rock Chucker is that they have the Piggyback system to convert it to a progressive press. Anyone have any experience with that? Any other "must haves" not in the RCBS kit (aside from the die sets and bullets/primers/brass/powder)?

Thanks.

pidooma
02-07-2005, 10:10 AM
I'm interested in learning how to reload ammo and would be interested in hearing other people's recommendations.

I've read that starting out with a single stage press is a good way for beginners to start off, to better learn the different stages and such. My main goal at this point is just to learn how to reload as opposed to a desire to crank out bunches of ammo to save costs. Figure hand loading is a good skill for a shooter to have.

Probably look to reload a few common calibers such as .45 ACP, .223, .308 and 30 carbine. I know I'll have to get the die sets for whatever calibers I want to reload.

Since I don't have a workshop setup, any recommendations on a reasonably portable workstation so I can set up and put away without too much fuss? I'm single, so no worries on a wife complaining about a bunch of reloading stuff spread all over the house.

I've been looking at the RCBS Rock Chucker Master Supreme Reloading kit (can they throw a few more adjectives in there? "Incredible Omnipotent!"):

http://www.rcbs.com/default.asp?menu=1&s1=4&s2=2&s3=6

So, does that Rock Chucker setup look like a good starting point for a newbie or are there other recommendations? One thing that interests me about the Rock Chucker is that they have the Piggyback system to convert it to a progressive press. Anyone have any experience with that? Any other "must haves" not in the RCBS kit (aside from the die sets and bullets/primers/brass/powder)?

Thanks.

02-07-2005, 10:29 AM
It's a good start, make sure you get a scale and a set of calipers. Get one of the reloading books that are out there also. It will show you some tips & tricks to make reloading easier.

Technical Ted
02-07-2005, 11:18 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pidooma:
Since I don't have a workshop setup, any recommendations on a reasonably portable workstation so I can set up and put away without too much fuss? I'm single, so no worries on a wife complaining about a bunch of reloading stuff spread all over the house. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
As far as a portable bench goes, the Frankford Arsenal Portable Reloading Stand might meet your needs in the beginning. It breaks down to fit in a closet.

Since the most force you apply during the reloading process is when you're resizing your cases, this stand may be *just* sturdy enough to handle full-length sizing of 308 cases. In my experience, handgun, 223 and straight wall rifle cases resize easily.
http://www.midwayusa.com/rewriteaproduct/155024
http://www.midwayusa.com/midwayusa/applications/mediasvr.dll/image?saleitemid=155024

PJA
02-07-2005, 11:32 AM
I am in the same boat. Downsized last year (last kid off to college) and moved into a condo. I looked at the Frankford setup, and it seemed too small. I ended up buying a Black and Decker Workmate and a piece of 3/4 inch plywood about 3 x 4 feet. Mounted the press and powder dispenser on the plywood and then use 4 C clamps to attach it to the Workmate. I just throw a tarp on the floor and load away. When I'm done, I unclamp the top, fold the Workmate and store both in a closet. Works OK, but not as my "dedicated" reload bench in my former garage.
Pete

imported_DULLYJAY
02-07-2005, 12:21 PM
I got you covered in all those caibers. You are more than welcome to come by test and see if reloading is for you. I have both single and progressive presses.

BigAL
02-07-2005, 12:51 PM
I started with the RCBS master kit to learn the ropes of reloading. IMO, the RCBS Rockchucker is "the" single stage press to have. It'll long outlive you. Don't tknow about the piggyback system as all the guys I know bought dedicated progressives. The one thing I can think of that you will want but does not come with the kit is a set of dial calipers. You don't need the super expensive Japanese made ones. I also recommend Hornady one shot case lube, but that's not mandatory. It just helps on the shoulder during marathon loading sessions. It sure didn't take long to get tired of the tediousness of having to change out dies for each step of the process. I would still use a single stage for any precision loading, but can't fathom using it for anything high volume once I got my Dillon 650. If I had to do it all over again, i'd prob skip the single stage press. I just don't think reloading is all that complicated as long as you take basic safety precautions and use common sense (YMMV). As long as you understand what each stage of the reloading process does, it's not hard to see it as an assembly line, which is all a progressive really is. If you decide to go with a progressive and don't mind paying a lot, I'd recommend Dillon Precision. They have a very good reputation for taking care of customers. If you want a book on the basics, I recommend "The ABCs of Reloading" by Bill Chevalier.

For my table I went to Lowes and bought a steel frame workbench that just required assembly. Weighs about 120 lbs and is plenty sturdy to support my Dillon. It also has a lot of workspace for case prep.

http://members.cox.net/abussard/Dillon.jpg

BigAL
02-07-2005, 12:56 PM
Also I wanted to recommend that you start with just one caliber at first to keep things simple. .45 ACP is a very forgiving round to load b/c of the relatively low pressures, and the brass practically lasts forever (no need to trim either) so I would start with that.

imported_DULLYJAY
02-07-2005, 5:38 PM
Is your bench always that clean? http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

BigAL
02-07-2005, 6:24 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by DULLYJAY:
Is your bench always that clean? http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Actually I cleaned it up just for the pic. Right now it's covered in spare AR parts leftover from a build and 10 NIW LEO marked D&H mags I just got in today. They're sweet.

ivanimal
02-07-2005, 7:23 PM
reloading is great fun, I always recomend a case trimmer to anyone starting out. Long cases cause higher pressures. If you load to max this can be real dangerous. Get a few load books and always cross reference. The internet is a great tool for powder and projectile info. It is safe if you respect it, like electricity.

snwnme@realguns.com
02-07-2005, 10:09 PM
Buy a notebook and a clipboard. I keep a list of my favorite loads and other oft needed info like which shellplate and holder to use with what caliber on the inside back cover of my logbook. The clipboard is for use at the range.

Also, go to these manufacturers' websites and start printing out load data. They might not apply to your needs all the time but they are a good reference to have when you're trying to figure out a load. I print out from the powder makers' sites. They have data on generic bullet styles vice brand specific loads you'll find on a site like Speer.

All my equipment is Lee. I've been handloading for a year and a few months. I made 12,000 rds in my first year. I love my Lee Pro1000 ($125 with dies). I also have a Lee single stage ($20). I am thinking of getting another prog so I can have a dedicated 45ACP machine.

Don't worry about saving money BTW. You don't. You just end up shooting more http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

shooterx10
02-08-2005, 9:00 AM
Well, you can learn to reload on a progressive press, but the learning curve will be like scaling El Capitan. Ok, maybe that is an exaggeration, but with a progressive press there are a lot of things (functions, parts, etc.) going on that you have to be wary of.

I started to reload with a Dillon 650 (the exact same setup as BigAl's pic). It auto indexes so your chances of getting a double charge in a round drops. I also bought the reloading video which shows you step by step on how to setup the machine, reloading techniques, and changing calibers. I studied the video and reloading instruction manual dilligently. Furthermore, it took me some practice to troubleshoot problems (which aren't hard to solve) and change calibers.

Overall, I am extremely happy with the press and Dillon's customer service and lifetime warranty is top notch. As a bonus, it's nice to get a copy of Blue Press with the beautiful girl and firearm on the cover once a month. http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

For more info: www.dillonprecision.com (http://www.dillonprecision.com)

Recommended reloading manual: Lee's Modern Reloading Manual 1st and 2nd Editions by Richard Lee

http://dillonprecision.com/content/image/cover/cover.jpg

ivanimal
02-08-2005, 9:53 AM
I also use Dillon products, I own the 550-B If you can afford one start out with a progressive and never look back. I know you so I feel ok recommending that. Not bright people I always recommend the single stage first. As always Dully and I will be available for any questions or help in training. You dont need to buy all Dillon products, for all rifle calibers I weigh by hand or by volume. I buy Lee, RCBS, Lyman, Hornady ect. dies and keep them on a 550 toolhead. The same shell holder will work for many calibers. I would buy new or check ebay for deals. http://mackarov.com/graphics/dillon/550toolhead.jpeg

pidooma
02-08-2005, 9:58 AM
Guys, thanks for all the tips. Some good info there. Gonna research a bit more before taking the plunge.

Kruzr
02-08-2005, 1:10 PM
IMO, you are wasting your time starting with a single stage press unless you are only going to load match rifle ammo. There is no problem learning with a progressive press. You can use it like a single stage if you want to go to the trouble. I'd take a good look at the Dillon 550. You may also want to read what Brian Enos has to say about the different Dillon presses here:
http://www.brianenos.com/pages/dillon.html#which

wheelgunner
02-09-2005, 4:35 AM
I purchased the same RCBS Master Kit to start reloading. I also have a Dillon XL650.

I use my RCBS for making hunting rounds, match rounds and especially for load "development". Before I got my Dillon XL650 I loaded thousands of rounds with my RCBS. Progressives can be tricky, cost more, shell holders can be pricey. Once set up their great. You can crank out alot of rounds in a relatively short period of time. To start off with you can't go wrong with single stage and you will learn alot! And the learning will never end.

Calipers is a must, midway has a good inexpensive stainless steel calipers. For rifle reloading I recomend also purchasing a case length trimmer. Spray case lube (pump or aerosol), pads are messy but some like it. An additional wood reloading block/tray is nice to have (caliber specific). Eventually a vibratory case cleaner. I would also start reloading with pistol cartridge like 45ACP. Bullets are easier to handle.

Reloading is another hobby! Lot of satisfaction in assembling your own ammo. If you decide to start contact me and I'll come by and help you out. Friend helped me out and was there to answer questions. Directions that come with dies can be very confusing for newbie.

BigAL
02-09-2005, 5:12 AM
If you decide to buy a Dillon, I also recommend you buy from Brian Enos. He sells cheaper than Dillon's website and the stuff still gets shipped out direct from Dillon's warehouse (he can do this b/c he's got some special deal worked out with them). His customer service is top notch too.

wheelgunner
02-09-2005, 5:25 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BigAL:
If you decide to buy a Dillon, I also recommend you buy from Brian Enos. He sells cheaper than Dillon's website... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Oooo Oooo, Ya gots a linky???

I would like to get a auto case feeder for my 650.

art_e@hotmail.com
02-09-2005, 6:48 AM
Here's the link:

Enos/Dillon (http://www.brianenos.com/pages/dillon.html)

imported_DULLYJAY
02-09-2005, 6:57 AM
I got my gear from Brian also. Like Al said his servise in great. You can order on line, but I think it is better to give him a call. He saved me $$ & made sure I had what I needed. He under charge me by 200bucks, so I gave him a call to let him know. Few days later some case lube & primer tray show up at my door http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif.
http://www.brianenos.com/pages/home.html

bear
02-09-2005, 8:18 AM
Best deal is a Lyman turret.

Has all the advantages of a single stage and most of the advantages of a progressive.

Costs about $110 or so. Each turret has six stations; and if you get an extra turret, you set up the dies once and you can change calibers in sixty seconds or less. I have 3 turrets and reload 5 calibers (so far.)

Very heavy duty, much stronger than Lee, much cheaper than Dillon, and counting the primer-tube loading required by Dillon, is almost as fast. WAY faster when you need to do load development on several different calibers at the same time. (I'm pretty much always doing load development. I rarely need to load more than 300 rounds of the same thing, before changing it up.)

Rikarin
02-09-2005, 8:31 AM
mmm Matt Burket says Dillon, Brian Enos says Dillon and I was thinking either 550 or 650 and there's Lyman better than Dillon?

I have no idea about reloader but I liked the price! I am pretty sure load 9mm only for now and what is good thing in layman's term why Layman is good other than price and faster? Why Dillon is so popular and pushed by those people?


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by bear:
Best deal is a Lyman turret.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Technical Ted
02-09-2005, 8:46 AM
RCBS and Dillon have great warranties. Lifetime. If something breaks, they replace it. Doesn't matter if you're the original owner or how old the product is.

I've called RCBS for parts to worn, older, dies and they have sent them to me for free. A friend got his father's used Dillon Square Deal and Dillon replaced missing parts for free.

No idea how Lyman would handle situations like those.

Remember that you get what you pay for.

imported_DULLYJAY
02-09-2005, 12:20 PM
What Ted said about the Dillon. Dillons are easy to resale too.

Rikarin
02-09-2005, 12:30 PM
oh, I see. I heard about Dillon's excelent care. But $500 is ouch! But then, I am shooting almost 3000 rounds month. I heard its not price difference in 9mm. Do you guys happened to know how much 9mm will cost with lets say VV 320 with 147gr JHP whatever bullets, with my collected brass . Seems like this is the popular combo for cometition.

BigAL
02-09-2005, 12:50 PM
I got a friend who bought a used Dillon Square Deal but it was missing some parts. He shipped it to Dillon and they refurbed it and fixed it up with all the parts it needed, free of charge.

BigAL
02-09-2005, 12:57 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Rika:
oh, I see. I heard about Dillon's excelent care. But $500 is ouch! But then, I am shooting almost 3000 rounds month. I heard its not price difference in 9mm. Do you guys happened to know how much 9mm will cost with lets say VV 320 with 147gr JHP whatever bullets, with my collected brass . Seems like this is the popular combo for cometition. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I load a lot of 9mm on my 650. 147 grain lead round nosed I get for $26/1000. I buy Hodgdons HS-6 8 lbs at a time for about $100 or so and Winchester small pistol primers 5K at a time. The key really is getting bullets cheap and not getting stuck with hazmat shipping charges on powder or primers, otherwise you may find the savings on 9mm really isn't that much. IIRC i'm making ammo for slightly less than half what WWB value paks cost at wally world. Though a lot of people don't like shooting cast lead it really is the cheapest way to go for plinking.

If you keep up at 3K rounds a month, you'll make back the money on the press in no time. In fact if you shoot that much I would recommend the 650 with casefeed.

imported_1911_sfca
02-09-2005, 4:17 PM
I have never hand-loaded, but would like to check it out. Does someone have a progressive set-up in or near San Francisco and I could come watch you reload?

Even better, drop by the San Francisco Self Defense Coalition meeting (http://calguns.net/groupee/forums?a=tpc&s=888602736&f=545600176&m=90410337121&r=90410337121#90410337121) on Friday, and we can talk about it there..

wheelgunner
02-09-2005, 6:34 PM
Damn Dully, you da honest man! http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

DV_8, thanks for the link.

Progresive is cool, however I still think it is best to start learning with a single stage. Alot of adjustments to make on a progressive and shell holder change. http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Technical Ted
02-09-2005, 7:02 PM
I'm a rifle man. For my AR's I prefer factory ammo: Win Q3131A, Fed XM193 or milsurp stuff, because of the sealants (The flash retardants are a plus). For my M1A and FAL, milsurp ammos.

I load precision rounds for my Steyr Scout and one of the AR uppers.

Right now I don't shoot handguns often enough to justify a progressive set up. Not to mention I have a serious space deficiency. I have loaded some .357 and 40 S&W.

I figure when I find a good load recipe, I'll just borrow some time on an friends progressive.

Rikarin
02-09-2005, 7:07 PM
Oi!

I didn't know you can go that cheap even on 9mm. hmmmm. reloading started to sounding so better http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Steve, what reloader areyou getting? http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

I think it is a great idea to do "time share", dont you thinke San francisco 1911?


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BigAL:
I load a lot of 9mm on my 650. 147 grain lead round nosed I get for $26/1000. I buy Hodgdons HS-6 8 lbs at a time for about $100 or so and Winchester small pistol primers 5K at a time. The key really is getting bullets cheap and not getting stuck with hazmat shipping charges on powder or primers, otherwise you may find the savings on 9mm really isn't that much. IIRC i'm making ammo for slightly less than half what WWB value paks cost at wally world. Though a lot of people don't like shooting cast lead it really is the cheapest way to go for plinking.

If you keep up at 3K rounds a month, you'll make back the money on the press in no time. In fact if you shoot that much I would recommend the 650 with casefeed. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

pidooma
02-09-2005, 8:45 PM
After a bit of pondering and talking to some reloading friends and despite the allure of the "Blue" catalog, I think I'm gonna go with the RCBS Rock Chucker kit to start with. I don't imagine I'll get in to cranking out tons of rounds any time soon, and if I decide I want to go that route, I'll just get myself another press. Hey, two presses must be better than one, right?

ivanimal
02-09-2005, 11:18 PM
or 3. http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

BigAL
02-10-2005, 5:17 AM
One day when I win the lotto I plan on getting a Super 1050 for every caliber I load (in my dreams). http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

imported_1911_sfca
02-10-2005, 2:46 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Rika:
I think it is a great idea to do "time share", dont you thinke San francisco 1911?
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes! Anyone want to have a monthly reloading party?? http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif