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SavageHunter220

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I’m new to reloading and was wondering if anyone could help me get started. First I was wondering what everyone thought between progressive presses and a C-frame or breech lock type press.

Second, are y’all brand loyal or are they all pretty good in their own right? I was looking at Hornady and Lee along with RCBS. I was hoping to get a little feedback to get off on the right foot. It would be nice to not go into this expensive hobby blind.
 

Jhunter

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I would start with a inexpensive single stage. The lee model is all you need. But before purchasing the press I highly encourage you to read a reloading manual such as the Lyman Reloading Manual
 

ccather

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Welcome to the reloading hobby! Information will be your friend. Do you know anyone who reloads? That person may allow you to try equipment to see if you like reloading (it is not for everyone) before you make a purchase. I had such a friend and his help was invaluable.

As you begin, you will want to determine what you want to reload and why as that will help guide you in equipment selection.
 

Jevaughn

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IMHO the difference between single stage and progressive aside from cost really depends on what you're reloading. If you're wanting to dump out large quantities of handgun ammo, then progressive is probably the best. For rifle reloading, especially for the most accuracy, I'd go single.
There's also the turret press, which is a hybrid of the two. Faster than a single stage and you don't have to swap out dies, but as for repeatability, I've heard they're pretty good but I have no experience with one.
If you're just starting out, there are several great kits on the market that will get you into the hobby without breaking the bank. RCBS, Lee, and Hornady all have pretty good setups that will include everything you need except caliber specific dies for less than 300 bucks.

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Baddog 0302

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First, put your location in your profile,as Ccather said, someone in your area might offer a little show and tell on reloading.
2nd, as Jevaughn said, WHAT are you reloading for ? feeding a "zombie killer" ie, firing 150 to 300 rounds at an outing, or trying to shoot small groups and only firing 50 to 75 rounds .
 

Dave308

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I have a RCBS single stage and Lee Turrent press I could recommend either one. I started with a manual before you tube was really big or might not have been around not sure. For what I do single stage as been great. Is is slow , absolutely without a doubt and thats what I like about it lol.
 

Baddog 0302

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As I was loading my suv to go the the range, I pondered where reloading had taken me. 4 scoped rifle cases, 2 1/2 milk containers full of 50 & 100 Rd. containers with 3 different loading's .
Reloading is like cooking and baking, there is ALWAYS something else you want to try.
ASK your wife if she could be happy cooking ONLY 3 different meals.
I'm happy with a rock chucker in the shop that I use for FL resizing, mainly in cooler / cold weather.
I have a portable set up I put on a table that I use for powder charging & bullet seating, I prime cases in the comfort of my recliner
 

SAWMAN

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Was strictly a RCBS guy at first. That was back in 1981 or 2. Since then have picked up some Hornady,Redding,Lee,Sinclair,Lyman,MEC,and others.
IMO most all is good nowadays. Did not like the Lee stuff 20 years ago but since then it has gotten better refined and finished looking.
Still have my Rochchucker press and RCBS 10-10 scale. Have gone to an auto dispenser/scale and digital vernier calipers due to old eyes. Digital mic also.
Nowadays would rather hunt and shoot than reload,but you cannot beat a load tailored for a perticular gun,made by you. My past years at the reloading bench have been a great joy and satisfaction. For me . . it is a hobby. --- SAWMAN
 

War-Buff

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I've always been of the opinion (for whatever that might be worth) that one should learn the basics of reloading on a single stage press to ensure that proper attention is paid to understanding each step of the process. There is a lot going on simultaneously on a progressive press, making errors more likely to occur. A good single stage press will never become obsolete even if/when one 'graduates' to a progressive press. My first press was an RCBS Rock Chucker, and although I currently also have 2 progressive presses on the bench, I still use my Rock Chucker regularly. Just my $.02
 

wildrider666

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I started with a RCBS Rockchucker decades ago. 9mm To .300 Weatherby Mag. I can't think of a single complaint. Never had a need to try another brand. Learn on a Single Stage Press, you will always have use for it even if you move on to a progressive press for faster/bulk production. Buy Carbide Dies for straight walled cases.

I didn't have a Tudor, just read the instructions and followed them line by line for the first few batches. I also reviewed them after a long layoff like overseas duty. If you can find a Tudor to go through the processes, warnings and caution it would be a great benefit. If you haven't bought gear yet, you can still read the instructions OnLine and and have a general understanding before hands on instruction.

Once you get proficient, a single stage press can pump out a surprising amount of ammo and you realize actual cost verse investment point faster than a progressive. Progressive presses are a time available verse production numbers deal but there are still steps that require you to handle each case separately. Progressive presses also require you to monitor several steps/operations at the same time: not hard but you need to be on your game.
 

Fanner50

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I use a RCBS Rock Chucker II press. I use a RCBS Little Dandy powder measure and a Redding powder measure. I use a combination of RCBS, Lee, and Lyman dies, and a RCBS manual hand primer seater. I use a digital scale and a powder trickler.
I have several reloading manuals that I refer to, plus the manufacturers web sites. I mostly load 38/357 and .45 Colt. I don't load for volume. Reloading is a fun hobby within a hobby. Have fun! As said above, carbide dies for straight wall cases are a must.
 

Jevaughn

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I have a couple sets of RCBS carbide pistol dies, and a set of Lee dies for .308 and .30-30. an RCBS neck sizing die for .308 all powered by a rock chucker iv and a rock chucker ii. I'm sure there are better setups out there, but for the money, I can't complain. I can load to within a couple thousandths with that setup. The Lee budget turret press kit is one I'm looking at getting for loading bulk 9mm, and having used one, it's plenty good enough for that. Regardless of what you get, there are some great YouTube videos. Check out the ultimate reloader channel, the guy has setup guides and reviews of every reloading setup you can imagine.

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SavageHunter220

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Thanks everyone who posted here, you have given me a lot to think about but it’s also very helpful. It’s nice to have a place to go and actually get info from real people who really enjoy this hobby.
 

kidsoncoffee

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Thanks everyone who posted here, you have given me a lot to think about but it’s also very helpful. It’s nice to have a place to go and actually get info from real people who really enjoy this hobby.
What's your location? If you're in the Gulf Breeze area I'd be more than happy to show you my single stage and my progressive so you can make a decision and get some basics. I don't know near as much as most of the guys on here. I pick their brains constantly and learn something new every day. They're a wise bunch with a TON of knowledge. I'm still just loading the basics and generally stick to my single stage for all my rifle rounds. I recommend a LEE single stage press to start with. If you don't like reloading, you're not out that much money. If you do like reloading, it's a great press for making precision rifle loads. Hell if you don't like it, sell me the LEE single stage and I'll take it off your hands. Once you get to know the process and want to step up to progressives, the sky's the limit. Most will recommend a dillon for progressives because you get what you pay for. They're insanely accurate and their warranty and customer service is probably the best in the business.
 

Bowhntr6pt

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I've been rolling my own for about 34 years and have yet to go progressive. If you shoot competitions where you need LOTS of ammo fast, progressive is the way to go. Since I don't, I've never felt the need.

Lots of people get into reloading and find out rather quickly certain steps can be quite tedious and a turn off, brass trimming manually is one example.

There are lots of tools out there that make certain processing steps faster/easier. For me, the most tedious steps are trimming brass and swaging military primer pockets. I've found recently Hornady .308 brass needs swaging, at least the TAP line does.

You should be able to score a used RCBS Rock Chucker for $100 or so, in my opinion they are a solid standard by which other presses are measured. I've used dies from RCBS, Hornady, and Lee. I find the Lee to be adequate.

Don't look at reloading as "saving money"... look at it as "shooting more for what you spend". Buy powder, primers, and bullets in bulk, bullets especially if you find one your gun really likes. Look for HazMat free shipping specials. Buy cheap, stock deep.
 

FrommerStop

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You'll always have use for a single stage press. If you don't know what works well in your guns yet, remember, it is a PITA to work up loads for testing on a progressive press--it is not made for that.
Not onlystart out with a single stage press, get a strong one that will allow you to load up almost anything except 50 BMG maybe: The RCBS Rock Chucker .
You will always have a use for this press.
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Jevaughn

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I concur. The RCBS Rock Chucker, from many reviews by people with experience with the really expensive stuff, all point to one of the best, most reliable and accurate presses for the price range. The Lee, Hornady, etc, are good, but the rock chucker is just a cast iron tank of a press.

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Chuck32571

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In this day and age all the major brands make great reloading equipment. If you want to save money start out with a Lee single stage. I would recommend a single stage press for both rifle and pistol loads at first. You can branch out into progressive presses down the line.
 

kidsoncoffee

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In this day and age all the major brands make great reloading equipment. If you want to save money start out with a Lee single stage. I would recommend a single stage press for both rifle and pistol loads at first. You can branch out into progressive presses down the line.
I use my Lee Breech Lock more than anything else. All my rifle rounds are done on it. All my depriming is done on it as well. It's cheap, solid, and the bushings are awesome for keeping the dies dialed in and quick changing them out. Every set of dies I buy, I buy the quick lock bushings for them as well. It really is a good setup.
 
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