View Full Version : Top choices?
April 30, 2007, 08:16
While browsing ammo at SW a fellow from Okl,offere some very insightful tips and hints.
one was to watch the purchase of rcbs dies sets etc for missing parts.
Opened up a couple and sure as hell there was the brass screws missing,.
What are you suggestions and tips on start up equipment for hand/reloading
I do not want to spend hundreds and then have to spend time arguing about what is missing from variuos kits,components.
I have a lot more reading to do.
Oh and there were a couple he ,the man from Okl, told me he really would never use.Unless he had no uther choice..
May 03, 2007, 10:29
For rifles, I like RCBS for the resize and decap die. This die takes the most punishment, and the RCBS dies seem to hold up better. I like the Lee seating die and the Lee factory crimp die. The Lee seating die has a very easy depth adjustment "cap". You don't need a wrench to adjust it.
For pistols, I use LEE dies (carbide where possible). I have a Lee Pro-1000 progressive press for loading 9mm. Their case mouth expander die has a hole through it for dropping the powder through.
May 03, 2007, 10:53
If it comes in a "Green" box, buy it!! (RCBS & Redding)
Pistol calibers=Carbide dies
You don't need seperate sets for .38 Spec and .357 Mag, same dies.
Don't buy Hornady dies with collet decapping pin assy. (Especially on milsurp cases) Pacific made great dies, Horny screwed em up.
Forster/Bonanza dies are excellent.
Don't buy used untill you really know what to look for.
For milsurp cases, consider universal decapping die or hand punch.
May 03, 2007, 14:56
I have been very happy with Lee carbide dies for pistol and run of the mill surplus reloading (8mm and 6.5x55). You can spend more but I am not sure you get more. Now for match ammo in 30-06 and 223 I go with Foster and their micrometer seating dies - sizing dies are very good and seating is excellent without adding runout. Nothing against RCBS, I used them but I seem to have needs at different ends of the spectrum - low cost surplus rifle ammo and match quality. The Lee fatory crimp die is very nice but I have really only used it in 30-30. No matter what anyone says you always need a single stage press, even if you go Dillon for high volume. I am also very happy with the Lee turret press. Its slower than a full progressive but its much easier to use and I can still churn out good ammo at a decent pace. That said, I am looking at getting a Dillon 550 at some point for 45 ACP in high volume.
May 05, 2007, 10:14
You're getting good advice so far. Re: missing screws in RCBS dies - don't sweat it. Either call RCBS and they'll send you new screws, or go to Home Depot and you can buy steel setcsrews. I've replaced most of the brass screws anyway, as I tend to strip them while tightening them. After you've been reloading for a few years you'll probably have several 'spare' lock rings in your junk box anyway.
As far as a reloading press goes, buy an RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme (or whatever they call it now). You'll end up with one eventually anyway, so just buy it to begin with. The top end presses from Lyman and Redding are also quite good - the Rock Chucker is just more popular.
RCBS, Redding, Forester, and Lyman all make very good dies. I have mixed feelings about Lee and Hornady dies, but all will load accurate, serviceable ammo. I do like the Hornady rifle seating dies, as they are constructed like most benchrest dies, with a sliding sleeve that aligns the case and bullet. I don't like their sizing dies very much though. Buy a Lee Universal Decapping Die, especially if you reload military brass with crimped primer pockets.
The Lee Auto Prime is a very handy tool, and beats the hell out of priming on the press. I have two - one set up for small primers and one for large. Lube them like the instructions say and they will last for a very long time.
Buy several reloading manuals - you can't have too many. I especially recommend the Lyman book for beginners, as it takes the time to explain things that some others don't. Load data in all of them will vary, sometimes tremendously. This is normal.
If you load in any volume eventually you should consider a progressive press, especially for handguns. I am not a 'Dillon snob,' but their progressive presses are hard to beat. Their warranty can't be beat! Their reloading dies also have some very innovative ideas, especially for use on progressive presses.
Finally (at last!), realize that reloading is like the never-ending story.' You always NEED just a few more trinkets or widgets! A new powder/primer/bullet, a new tool, etc. And, be aware that reloading is very, very addictive. First you have all that empty brass just begging to be loaded, Then, you have all that ammo just begging to be shot up. Then, you have all that empty brass again... you get the picture. This is especially noticeable when using progressive presses. There is such a letdown when you run out of components!
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