Reloading for Dummies?

Discussion in 'Modern Firearms' started by Armorvet, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. Armorvet

    Armorvet Fawn

    Dec 29, 2008
    Louisville, KY
    I want to purchase the equipment for reloading all my .223 brass I've been collecting but I am stupid as to where to start this project/hobby. Can someoen give me an itemized list of what exactly I will need to reload, maybe on about a $300-400 budget?
  2. mwezell

    mwezell 12 pointer

    Jan 22, 2006
    Auburn, KY

    This is a quailty kit that has all of the essentials except a set of calipers for measuring and the dies. It is the kit that I would recommend to anyone just getting started and it comes with a reloading manual that explains the process very well. If or when you want the ability to reload in more volume, there are other options but they are more than your stated budget allows and are for more advanced reloaders.--This kit can be bought at most place for under $300. Someone will likely recommend a Lee kit. Take my advice and get this one instead.FWIW.---Mike Ezell
  3. Davidlondon4

    Davidlondon4 10 pointer

    Dec 2, 2004
    Laurel County
    I have thought of reloading myself and actually went to a friends house that reloads and reloaded 100 shells.He has a RCBS kit.You can get these at Cabelas,Sportsmans Warehouse and numerous other sporting goods stores.Most of the time I think you will have to buy the dies for your caliber separately.I have seen Lees Kits for around $125.An RCBS kit will run you more than that.It depends on how fancy you want to get with it.
    When I reloaded at my friends I bought a pound of powder ($23 I think),100 Sierra bullets ($23) and 100 large rifle primers ($3-$4).I already had brass.I also had to buy the die for a .243 I think it was around $30.I think overall I had about $85 in the 100 reloads after including the cost of the die,powder,primers,and bullets.Buying those loads off the rack would have cost me about $89.I have close to half of the powder left and next time I will not have to buy the die.If you shoot alot I would say it would be worth the cost of buying the equipment to reload your own shells.Besides I enjoyed it.Still thinking of buying my own reloading kit.

    I would go online and/or look in a catalog and see what all is included in the kits available.I would think you could actually get by cheaper than $350 to $400 for everything you need to reload and that includes your first supply of bullets,powder,and primers since you already have the brass.It depends on how fancy a kit you want to get.That is the best advice I can give as I am a newbie and there are far many others on here more knowledgeable than me when it comes to reloading.
  4. mwezell

    mwezell 12 pointer

    Jan 22, 2006
    Auburn, KY
    I wouldn't say that the RCBS is any fancier than the Lee...just better.---Mike Ezell
  5. patiodaddy

    patiodaddy 10 pointer

    Armorvet, if you have military brass, you will need to buy a de-crimper die as well. all military brass has a crimped ring around the primer. Once you do it you never have to do it again. RCBS sells this die and it has the components for large rifle primers (.308/30-06) and small rifle primers as well (.223). Commercial brass does not have the crimp so you don't have to worry about it. It is not a big deal to de-crimp uit just takes a little time the first time around on reloading. By all means look at the RCBS line and in the long run you will be saving money.......lots if you like to shoot a lot! Good luck!:D
  6. Take Mikes advice and go with RCBS. I took his advice and haven't had one complaint or problem yet. The book that comes with the RCBS kit is a great starter book that will show you step by step on how to do everything from measure your powder, to set your dies for resizing to bullet seating.
  7. Auk1124

    Auk1124 10 pointer

    My two pennies:

    1. Lee Classic Cast single stage press - awesome press.
    2. Lee Deluxe die set for 223 - good dies, good as any and probably better than most.
    3. Lee Cutter, Lock Stud, and case trimmer insert for 223 - case trimming solved.
    4. RCBS 505, 510, or 1010 powder scale - try to find a used one on fleabay.
    5. Redding powder trickler - real time saver, worth every penny of its $20.
    6. Lee chamfer/deburr tool for the outside burrs on your case necks.
    7. Lyman flash hole reamer. Probably voodoo and unneccessary but ya never know.
    8. Any decent primer pocket uniformer/reamer (RCBS makes one I think, mine is generic from Midway USA and works fine).
    9. Lyman VLD case neck reamer.
    10. Lee Auto Prime hand primer for priming cases, with appropriate 223 case holder. Dead simple and cheap and works better than press-mounted systems.
    11. Set of cheap calipers from whoever has em on sale.
    12. Cheap powder funnel from whoever has one on sale.
    13. Cheap case resizing lube (the little tube of Lee stuff is good; Imperial wax is the bomb).
  8. cub4466

    cub4466 Fawn

    Dec 4, 2007
    Cynthiana Ky
    I have all lees presses a turrett, a progressive 1000 , and a single stage all my dies are a combination of lee, rcbs, hornady, and lyman. Had no problems with presses other than a bushing to turn the turrett. Started out loading with the lee hand loader first set off a few primers driving them in. also so have a lyman 1200 dps powder drop.
  9. brasskeeper

    brasskeeper 6 pointer

    Sep 10, 2002
    Over the years I have owned and used all of the brands listed, and few that are not, and I have come to the conclusion that RCBS and Dillon are the best.
  10. coorsdrifter1

    coorsdrifter1 6 pointer

    Jun 19, 2007
    Personally I like my Lee single stage,it is good to learn how to load on and if you want to upgrade to a progressive you can.but I would avoid buying a progressive of any kind right off the bat,look for a single stage press. Lee presses are cheaper than others but I haven't had any problems with my press and their reloading manual is top notch.Other than buying your press you must get reloading manuals,you can never have to many reloading books.
  11. daking

    daking 12 pointer

    Dec 29, 2004
    If you're buying for the long term, get the RCBS press. I like the fact that it's cast iron and the dies are held in a full loop instead of on an arm. It won't spring after years of use.

    The Lee will work and it will give you good service, but if you figure on using it a lot and using it forever, get the RCBS.

    I have an old Pacific that is built like the RCBS. I suspect it's 40 years old and it still works like a million bucks. No wear at any of the pivot points. Smooth as silk.
  12. RCBS has a kit i believe its sitll called the rock chucker press. It come with most everything you need to start. best starter kit on the market. See midway usa for some good info.
  13. johnnylightnin

    johnnylightnin 6 pointer

    Oct 15, 2008
    St. Matthews
    How tough is it to successfully reload? Say, if you have ZERO experience and only the manual that comes with the kit to go by?
  14. mwezell

    mwezell 12 pointer

    Jan 22, 2006
    Auburn, KY
    The manuals that I've seen are good but it all comes together after seeing it done for a while. If you can find someone nearby that would help get ya started, it's really easy once ya get going. There are lots of tricks to be learned along the way, but basic reloading can be picked up in an evening.---Mike Ezell
  15. Mike's right. He showed me the basics probably over a year ago and I just now got to setting my stuff up since I finally got a dedicated bench just for reloading. I read up through the Speer manual that comes with the kit, and have already loaded several hundred rounds, its simple. So far only reloaded for my ARs though, gonna work on some precision stuff in a week or two for my 325, 308, and 22-250

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