Reloading from scratch, just an empty work bench.

rodp

Well-Known Member
#1
Right gents, I feel I've already derailed one thread quite enough so will start this one. Looking at possibly reloading for the first time ... ever. Probably only .204 due to ammo being a little scarce, and also costing up to £1.37 a go. More than likely only need to do 500+ a year, but who knows. What equipment will I need, where will I get it and how much will it cost. The budget is only really limited by the cost of factory ammo, no point in buying reloading gear that will cost more than travelling for ammo if I can't get it local, however I do realise it may take a while to recoup costs, if at all.
Had some very helpful answers on the other thread, and I thank you, but thought it better if all on here, in one place so I can reference it.

What equipment?
What components?
Where from?
How much?
What else?
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
#3
Buy a good reloading book and read it. "ABC's of Reloading" or the "Modern Reloading" by Lee. Asking what reloading equipment is best is like asking what flavor of ice cream is best. 100 different opinions for 100 responses. Read and decide: don't let others make your decision for you.~Muir
 

rodp

Well-Known Member
#4
Buy a good reloading book and read it. "ABC's of Reloading" or the "Modern Reloading" by Lee. Asking what reloading equipment is best is like asking what flavor of ice cream is best. 100 different opinions for 100 responses. Read and decide: don't let others make your decision for you.~Muir

I suppose then, perhaps what equipment should I NOT buy maybe?

I was more of a what bits will I need than a what make type of question. But as above, anything NOT to buy?
 

Xtrema

Well-Known Member
#5
I suppose then, perhaps what equipment should I NOT buy maybe?

I was more of a what bits will I need than a what make type of question. But as above, anything NOT to buy?
I'll get in quick with this one before anyone bad mouths Lee gear and say that i used Lee presses and components for 20 years and i would consider that Lee are a cost effective way of getting into reloading. I will admit to being a dyed-in-the-wool Forster man now though.
As Muir said, you'll get many many opinions so learn all you can about it and make your own choices.
 

rodp

Well-Known Member
#6
Heard that said about Lee before, can you be more specific about why some run them down ? Obviously it will be just what you've overheard, as you wouldn't dream of slandering them.
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
#7
Heard that said about Lee before, can you be more specific about why some run them down ? Obviously it will be just what you've overheard, as you wouldn't dream of slandering them.
For 500 rounds a year, any equipment will work. I have no problem with Lee equipment and own dozens of sets of Lee dies. A simple Lee press and set up will do for the limited amount of reloading you will be doing. (I load 500 rounds a week sometimes) I have never had a good experience with Hornady New Dimension reloading dies. Aside from that particular line of reloading gear, all of it has worked for me.~Muir
 

Druid

Well-Known Member
#10
Lee single stage press, Lee dies, rcbs scale, any trickler (if you like being precise) vernier caliper from anywhere really.
lee kit is ok, most of mine is Lee, makes good ammo that kills deer but the rcbs scales are easier and quicker to use than Lee ( better damping)
i started with a Lee 4 hole turret press but now use a single stage Lee press.
basic Lee case trimmer does the job for a couple of quid and you are good to go!

lee aniversary kit is a good starter kit with everything that you need.
 

Xtrema

Well-Known Member
#11
Heard that said about Lee before, can you be more specific about why some run them down ? Obviously it will be just what you've overheard, as you wouldn't dream of slandering them.
Lee gear is great value for money. It all depends on your budget to be honest but you won't go far wrong starting off with Lee equipment.
Of course, if you can afford it and you can justify it to yourself then go for the better quality gear. It's moot whether what you produce with it is of any better quality however. I believe that the reloader is the principle cause of substandard reloaded ammo, not the equipment.
Just my take on it.
 

bobjs

Well-Known Member
#13
purchased a rockchucker supreme kit many years ago and have never looked back,

dies of choice have been both Redding and rcbs

annealing machine and ultrasonic cleaner came along later as did a few other bits, now have 3,wild cat calls to load for and live it,

bob
 

Brimfire

Well-Known Member
#15
I'll get in quick with this one before anyone bad mouths Lee gear and say that i used Lee presses and components for 20 years and i would consider that Lee are a cost effective way of getting into reloading. I will admit to being a dyed-in-the-wool Forster man now though.
As Muir said, you'll get many many opinions so learn all you can about it and make your own choices.
Nothing wrong with Lee equipment, last years long range champion at the local club loads with a Lee press. I use Lee dies and they make accurate ammunition. Your attention to case prep, or lack of, will determine your results.... as will making certain you are consistently throwing the exact same charge for each round. Summarising, your approach to loading ammunition is more important than which brand you choose to load it with.
 

BRYAN

Well-Known Member
#16
I don't see anything wrong in Lee either.
I would suggest Lee or hornady quick-lok(name ?) press. Others are probably available.
This meas that all dies once set are instantly reay to go again with no faffing around.
The other main thing I did was invest in my Target Master trickler which is easier and better than the RCBS chargemaster combi.
Most importantly do everything in batches in loading trays using a methodical attitude. Dont have the window open or a fan that might blow the scale and check each powdered batch of cases by tilting against the light. This will find any that contain abnormal charges.
You might not save money overall,but it's an enjoyable hobby in it's own right.
Enjoy.
 

Xtrema

Well-Known Member
#17
Nothing wrong with that little set up. It'll start you off nicely in reloading, with the minimal of outlay. After all, you may decide you don't like it and you'll not be losing much if that's the case.
For me, the relentless quest for perfection continues and after 40 years of reloading if i ever get there i'll throw a spanner in the works so i can tinker further.
 

phaedra

Well-Known Member
#19
The RBBS kit is good quality with better scales but you don't need to spend that much (don't forget it doesn't include dies!) :)

Lee stuff
Breech Lock Challenger Press - 90588
Pace Setter 3 Die Set (to suit calibre)
De-Capping Die - 90292
Case Cutter with Ball grip - 90275
Case Length guage with shell holder (to suit calibre)
Shell Holder (to suit calibre)
Set of Breech Lock bushings - 90600
Cutter lock stud (comes with an extra cutter) - 90110
Perfect Powder measure - 90058
Case mouth chamfer tool - 90109

All in about £163 delivered from Henry Kranks

RCBS stuff
M500 Scales - 98915 (expensive but buy once, cry once!)

About £90 from most places or try and find a used set of 5-0-5 if you can for £50 - £60
 

Apthorpe

Well-Known Member
#20
I'm in pretty much the same boat but will probably shoot a fair bit less each of a more expensive round. I consulted a very helpful guy in a reputable and nameless gun shop. Asked what to get if I want to strip it down to the basics and reloading for hunting, the list included a basic lee press, set of lee powder scoops (scales not all that necessary if you don't need more accurate than factory ammo - which is only measured volumetrically), primer tool, case trimmer and calipers - total cost could be ca. £100. I expect plenty of people would state that more was necessary, but I'd doubt it would be dangerous to go with that. (Obviously I'm doubting from a position of ignorance, so anyone else's opinion counts for more.)
Admittedly lots of precision implements and the drug dealer scales form much of the appeal.
 

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