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stagstalker
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Kit list to start reloading
May 14th, 2018 at 9:23pm
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I am looking to buy everything I need to start reloading. I want to buy good quality gear but also not get carried away and spend excessive amounts. I would like to just go and order everything I will need with the exception of expendables.

There is so much stuff out there when I look online I'm not sure what I do and don't need. I am looking to reload for a .308 first and then a .284 once I convert my 7mm08. (I understand I will need something to convert 6.5-284 brass into 284 brass?)

I am currently looking at the following:

- RCBS Rockchucker Supreme Kit
- Caldwell Chronograph
- Calipers (What brand?)
- Redding dies (Do I need the two die set for or three die set?)
- Bullet puller (Which one?)

Also where do you recommend buying from? A mate put me onto workshop innovation which seems to be priced well.

Appreciate the help,
Cheers  Smiley
  

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Rumpy
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Re: Kit list to start reloading
Reply #1 - May 14th, 2018 at 9:59pm
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Can only comment on calipers as I use them at work. Mitutoyo is regarded as one of the best measurement tool companies in the world and make quality stuff. Dial calipers are easier to read than straight vernier scale. Digital are even easier.
My tools are company supplied at work and I use a pair of kincrome digital for most stuff. They are fairly accurate too. Probably good enough for what you need.
  

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Gerry Atric
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Re: Kit list to start reloading
Reply #2 - May 15th, 2018 at 5:15pm
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Regarding bullet puller: My friend, who introduced me to reloading gave me a bullet puller, he had started using another method. I suspected that "the method" was superior to the puller and prompted him to show me....

Remove the die from the press.,
place the cartridge in the shell holder
push the handle until the bullet protrudes over the press
grip the bullet with leather-clad pliers, hold tight
pull handle = finished

I sold the bullet puller to another reloader......

Gerry Atric
  
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Re: Kit list to start reloading
Reply #3 - May 15th, 2018 at 5:30pm
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Just let me check if I still have any .308 dies lying around.

I started with the lee aniversary kit which did well. Everyone winges about the scales though. I thought they were ok. Some generous soul even gave me a second pair, and other gear. Thanks TJ  Smiley

  

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Re: Kit list to start reloading
Reply #4 - May 16th, 2018 at 2:28pm
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Decide on your budget then what you want/need in the way of a kit, but not necessarily a kit . Check all the shops which sell what you want and either buy the cheapest, or send out a tender form to each shop .
Dont forget to put shipping costs into the equation 
I always found kits hard to sell and they tended to sit on the shelf for a while so you may be able to wheedle a discount .
When it comes to reloading, no one ever regrets buying quality .
  

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Re: Kit list to start reloading
Reply #5 - May 16th, 2018 at 7:42pm
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I use the reloading press and pliers for pulling bullets as well.

Also a case length gauge/trimmer and a deburring tool if they are not included in the kit.

A couple of good reloading manuals.

I probably would wait for the chronograph, buy good quality gear and good quality cases and projectiles first if you are looking for an accurate load
  
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Re: Kit list to start reloading
Reply #6 - May 16th, 2018 at 7:51pm
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A lee perfect powder measure (which will measure to within 0.1 or 0.2 grains}, and then a powder trickler, is a fairly quick way to load the cases reasonably accurately
  
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Re: Kit list to start reloading
Reply #7 - May 16th, 2018 at 9:56pm
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I started with a Lee press kit , it came in a nice wooden box with all the goodies I'd need .
The only things I still use off that kit is the powder funnel and the primer pocket cleaner, the rest wore out over the years
Also look for good 2nd hand stuff .
  

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Re: Kit list to start reloading
Reply #8 - May 19th, 2018 at 1:05am
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stagstalker wrote on May 14th, 2018 at 9:23pm:
I am looking to buy everything I need to start reloading. I want to buy good quality gear but also not get carried away and spend excessive amounts. I would like to just go and order everything I will need with the exception of expendables.

There is so much stuff out there when I look online I'm not sure what I do and don't need.


My take on it.

Like others i started out with a Lee anniversary kit and over time I slowly converted to other bits n pieces as gear wore out. I was happy with the press as it did a good job so don't think you need to go to the expensive RCBS route first.

If i was starting out again especially for the calibres your saying i'd go:

PRESS: Lyman (Brass Smith), MEC (Marksman), Lee (Challenger), RCBS (Partner) or other "O" or "C" frame presses.

I have a RCBS Rockchucker press which is heavy and over kill for reloading mostly .222 .223 .243 .308 7mm-08 .284 Win .300 WSM 7mm Rem Mag where I'm looking at going down to a lighter press as mentioned above. It's a solid press, well built and will last a life time.

- Redding case lube or spray on lube... you can make your own or buy Dillon or any other brand spray on.
- Primer pocket cleaning tool, Lyman make the best ones
- Lee case length gauge (specific to your caliber) and cutter.
- Case mouth deburring tool, Lyman again
- Lee auto prime XR hand tool or similar from other brands such as Lyman as it makes it easier to prime cases rather than one case at a time through the press.
- Electronic scales.
- Powder trickler. (Don't worry about a powder thrower as most die sets especially Lee come with a powder dipper).
- Dies.... I've used Lee, RGB, Redding, Hornady so any of those will do. Even the cheaper RGB .308 dies I have give me great accuracy.
- Bullet pullet, used one when i used to pull FMJ and reseat other prokectiles in ex-military ammo... you don't need one!
- Calipers, not a must have but eventually you'll need a set.
- Reloading manuals, i have one from over 20 years ago, they get so out dated quickly and all powder companies have reloading data on their websites for their powders so its easy to refer to.

You may later on get a case tumbler for cleaning brass, i used to use "Auto Sole" which is a car polisher and some elbow grease before i got a case tumbler, the best case cleaner by far is a stainless steel wet media tumbler which you can make your own as youtube will show.

As for powders for reloading, typically I have always used ADI powders as its always been easier to get your hands on ADI however I have been playing with Alliant Powder as of late and also been impressed by their powders and results.

RE17 is great for the .284 but failing that I've been using AR2209 which I've also been using for .308

stagstalker wrote on May 14th, 2018 at 9:23pm:
I am looking to reload for a .308 first and then a .284 once I convert my 7mm08. (I understand I will need something to convert 6.5-284 brass into 284 brass?)


No, Just lube the case as you would when reloading, run the case through the sizing die and job done... you now have a .284 Win case as that's how i do it when resizing Lapua 6.5/284 into .284 Winchester.

stagstalker wrote on May 14th, 2018 at 9:23pm:
I am currently looking at the following:

- RCBS Rockchucker Supreme Kit
- Caldwell Chronograph
- Calipers (What brand?)
- Redding dies (Do I need the two die set for or three die set?)
- Bullet puller (Which one?)

Also where do you recommend buying from? A mate put me onto workshop innovation which seems to be priced well.


Workshop Innovations have good deals... I've also always been a fan of Reloader Supplies for dealing with aswell as they have sharp prices too.

Canterbury Gunworks have also been a good place for sourcing projectiles.
  

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6.5x55bjai
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Re: Kit list to start reloading
Reply #9 - May 19th, 2018 at 9:30am
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Not poking the borax at your post seventenths but I would avoid the RCBS Partner press. They are cast aluminum and whilst okay for general reloading are not suitable for heavy duty use. Longer term durability would be a concern. Stick with traditional proven cast iron.

I would also recommend a good set of mechanical balance scales over cheap electronic. I run AnD Fx300i scales now but still have my original Lyman Ohaus in the back of the cupboard. They are around 50 years old and we're second hand when I got them.

stagstalker - I currently reload for 12 different cartridge types and rather than list my equipment preferences and add to info overload I would suggest finding a competent handloader or two in your locale and have a peak at what they have and how they do it.

Over the years I have progressively upgraded my gear to the best available. Obviously budget will reflect on how deep you jump in.

As for buying bits I have only ever bought one die set onshore. All my gear is ex Oz or USA. A press though is something I would source locally. Have seen some good second hand ones come up, Redding etc - not those rusty pieces of shit though that traders put up on Tardme. Why don't they clean them up a bit??
Re new presses - there are rumours that a lot of the brands may source their castings from China and finally machine Stateside. Whether this is an issue or not I don't know. My RCBS is date stamped 1975 and I have no need or intension of upgrading.

Workshop Innovation beats most of the bricks and mortar establishments. The previous owner Julian was excellent to deal with. Haven't dealt with the new owner yet.
  
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stagstalker
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Re: Kit list to start reloading
Reply #10 - May 20th, 2018 at 4:43am
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Some great info there guys thank you
  

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Re: Kit list to start reloading
Reply #11 - May 20th, 2018 at 12:22pm
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I mostly run Redding as I got one of their Big Boss kits at a good price when I started out reloading. Sold my unused shotty to finance it. Best move I made I reckon.

Dies I use a mix of RCBS or Hornady.

I load for the 308 and a few other calibres so have the 308 gear. I've got the bullet seating depth gauges and press mounted bullet pullers for several calibres. I started with the kinetic puller but the press mounted one is way better.

Strongly recommend getting a good Reloading manual or two!

Stagstalker you are welcome to come check them out and borrow them if you wish. I'm in Palmy as well.
Just flick me a PM.
« Last Edit: May 21st, 2018 at 5:10pm by Wanderer »  
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Re: Kit list to start reloading
Reply #12 - May 20th, 2018 at 2:52pm
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Wanderer wrote on May 20th, 2018 at 12:22pm:
I mostly run Redding as I got one of their Big Boss kits at a good price when I started out reloading. Sold my unused shotty to finance it. Best move I made I reckon.

Dies I use a mix of RCBS or Hornady.

I load for the 308 and a few other calibres so have the 308 gear. I've got the bullet seating depth gauges and press mounted bullet pullers for several calibres. I stated with the kinetic puller but the press mounted one is way better.

Strongly recommend getting a good Reloading manual or two!

Stagstalker you are welcome to come check them out and borrow them if you wish. I'm in Palmy as well.
Just flick me a PM.

+1  Smiley
  
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