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Thread: Just taken the plunge....

  1. #1

    Just taken the plunge....

    I have finally taken the plunge - my reloading kit is on it's way based around an RCBS press (please, no comments on alternatives that you may prefer - it has good reviews and I like the colour!).

    A couple of questions:
    I've heard that Lee dies are better - are they any better than RCBS and if so will they fit into an RCBS press? I'm looking for .243 and .308 full size.
    Secondly, what constitutes good factory brass that can be used for reloading? I have some Sako ex-expanding that says on the box it is suitable for reloading, but I also have .308 Federal American Eagle ex-FMJ cases and PPU cases - any thoughts?

  2. #2
    hi most brass ok to use.i use lee dies good to use never use RCBS.go with lee.RCBS good press

  3. #3
    I use a mix of dies - all my neck sizers are Lee necause their design is brilliant, but I tend to use Redding dies for full length sizing and RCBS micrometer dies for seating. Lee are fine, if a bit agricultural.

    The Sako brass is great (manufactured by Norma) but the Federal-made American Eagle stuff is not so good as it's mil'con' and PPU brass is horrible - inconsistent in case volume and gets work hardened really fast.


  4. #4
    Nothing wrong with Lee dies and the same can be said for RCBS, Hornady or Redding.

    As for rifle brass, best by far is Lapua, also Ruag and RWS, both excellent quality and consistent. After those Norma/Sako or Federal Premium.

  5. #5
    The industry standard thread size on reloading dies in 7/8" x14 TPI so dies from other makes will fit just fine.

    BTW Lee use needle Roller bearings as de-capping pins according the Rchard Lees book and then are difficult to break. I have spares in small and large for teh RCBS decapping rods after breaking one many years back. They came in little bubble packs on a card backing and I still have quite a few of them in my little plastic drawers.

    Cases do vary a bit. Norma make a lot of cases for other ammunition manufactures including Lapua according the the Norma catalogue.

  6. #6
    Thanks for all the responses - most appreciated.
    Another question I forgot to post: ultrasonic bath or tumbler? I think I know what I will get but thought I'd get some input first....

  7. #7
    Never had anything ultrasonic but have a vibratory cleaner a obsolete British company called Gem I believe. and Thumblers Rock tumble that was the first one I got and used for the brass. Need new bands/rings for the closure on the drum now so it has not been used for sme years. Must really get new ones at some point in time .

    Both work well with good media.

  8. #8
    Thanks, I liked your engineering reasoned response regarding Lee dies and roller bearings - I now have a set on their way to accompany the press!

  9. #9
    For small batches of up to 20 cases a cheap US cleaner will do fine. Takes about 8 mins then dry them off either on the radiator or in the oven at about 100 degrees.
    For best results I use citric acid for one cycle then rinse in clean water for a short cycle. Always decap first so it cleans the flash hole.

    If you know someone near you that reloads it really is worth watching them at least once as this will help reduce the learning time.

  10. #10
    Thanks Cooter, I'm in a local rifle club where there are many, many of reloaders - I'm meeting up with one of the members next week to go through the process. They also so a reloading course so will attend when it happens.

    There are ultrasonic cleaners as cheap as 30, or 130 for a Lyman - will the 30 unit do the job?
    Last edited by Virbius; 26-06-2012 at 19:26.

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