Any good single stage press is all you need right now. You'll never outgrow it. Important are a good beam scale with check weights to calibrate a powder dispenser on a stand, case cleaning and preparation tools, a hand primer, caliper, micrometer, dies, finished cartridge gauges, and an impact bullet puller to dis-assemble stuff. Send for catalogs from Dillon, RCBS, Hornady, Lyman, and Lee for a lot of good information. Your most important purchase will be several reloading manuals with which to compare instructions and recipes.
I use several single stage presses, a Bonanza Co-ax, a lee hand press, and a basic Lee bench press. I use the 550B, but my highest production comes from a Lee progressive that feeds all components simultaneously. I've tried to picture some tools on my reloading page.
Gunthorp Reloading and Casting Tools
There's nothing more American than sitting by the fire, listening to Rush, while loading ammo.
Seems like a good deal to me. Single stage is the way to get started. Sure, one day you might want a Dillon, but you would still want to have a single stage loader.
Once you get dies the kit has enough to get started. Might want to thnk about a caliber, trimmer, tumbler, media separater, more shell blocks, dies, shell holders, powder, primers, bullets, bullet pullers.
Heres some of my costs.
Dillon 550B press $400.00
Dillon .45acp dies $64.00
Lee single stage press (for sizing only)$27.00
Lee melting pot $80.00
Lee .452 mold $22.00
Lee .451 sizer $31.00
Lee .452 sizer $31.00
Hornady powder scale $30.00
1 pound Clays $20.00
1000 Federal 150M primers $33.00
Lyman reload manual $40.00
Lead 1000# free
Case tumbler $45.00
Media cleaner(pet store) $9.00
Total cost so far is about $900.00.:banana:
For a little over $1000.00 i will be reloading 9mm,38spl and 45acp.
At my current round count per month is should just about pay for it's self in 5.5 months.
I'm using a Lee 4 station indexing turret for my .223, a Lee Challenger single stage for my .303brit, .243win and .308win and a Lee Pro1000 progressive for my 9mm and .45acp.
While there is no reason not to go with a Dillon if you can justify the $ I can't see any reason not to consider the lower cost Lee equipment either.
When you consider the fact that 3 presses and all of my dies cost less than the Dillon 550B press alone...
I'll preface this with "I have no idea what I'm talk'n about".
I have been told that a disadvantage with the Dillon is you have to use Dillon dies etc. I guess If you had a Dillon and found a good price on a set of Lee dies you might as well pass it up?
I'm sure Dillon is quality but being proprietary might be a bad thing - yes?
I reload .45 ACP for about 14 cents a round, with bullets being the most expensive component. You could probably load 9mm for a penny or two less per shot. My suggestion is to save your 9mm brass for the day you decide to reload that caliber - when you have a few thousand cases saved up, then it becomes an attractive proposition. Meanwhile you've learned the basics of reloading.
Originally Posted by Stubborn
Been reloading since 1975 and have gone through lots of equipment. Hands down favorite is the Dillon 650. Great design, high quality and a lifetime "no BS" warranty. Doesn't get much better than that!
Thanks everyone for the helpful info and advice. :hand10:
I pulled the trigger this morning on the Hornady single stage.
The arguement several of you made for the progressive made sense, but I can always pick one up down the road, if and when I move up to that level of use.
It just seemed that the single stage would fit my needs, and be easier to learn on, as well as being about half price of a progressive.
Good move on your new press. You can always get a progressive once you get into it more!
One thing to clear up from another poster: The Dillion 550 uses the same dies as most other presses the entry level square deal press uses its own dies. So you can use your new Hornady dies on a Dillion 550 if you upgrade some day
Dillon 550,650 7/8" x 14 standard dies
Dillon super 1050 "factory adjusted dies
Dillion Square Deal has 18 available calibers uses its own dies.
Do you got a tumbler with your kit?
check out the RCBS primer tool ( no caliber adaptors needed) https://shop.rcbs.com/WebConnect/Mai...&route=C06J030
I did not get a tumbler in the kit...I'm going to have to buy a tumbler and media as well as a caliper and a bullet puller.
Originally Posted by MrBuckwheat
Not sure about a case trimmer??? How critical is it? Is it more important as cases are reloaded more times?
I like the Lee case trimmers, You get a cutting bit and holder then purchase the caliber specific pieces. It is not very expensive. I use a drill to hold / turn the bits. If you only load one caliber the Girard ( sp) is the way to go but only for rifle and about 350 bucks. I also have the fancy RCBS trimmer and it sucks big time.
I have a Dillon case tumbler and it died on me, I sent it back to them for an upgrade and it is minto. but most guys I know got the cheap tumblers and tumble more than me with no problems so don't over spend on the tumbler. Caliper no big deal. Also I like to prep my primer pockets. Midway USA is going to love you!!!!!!!
Case Trimming Tools - Lee Precision
Lyman Deburring Tools - Brownells
Dillon Precision: Reloaders, Reloading Equipment, Bullet Reloading, Bullet Reloaders
I have a case gauge to check the length. Yes you will have to trim from time to time. I have lots more trim work on rifles than handguns. the case gauges are caliber specific and work good.
Originally Posted by Stubborn
Dillon Handgun Case Gages: Reloading Machine Accessories
you don't have to purchase the Dillon ones, I just wanted to show you the parts. I have several Dillon and some other brand I think Redding. Like I said the Midway USA guys are going to love you!
I don't trim cases when reloading for handguns....I don't think anybody does. For 308 I measure case length and trim nearly all the brass. The tolerances may be a bit loose on the 223 but I don't know (guys, keep me honest here please). The 25.06 I would imagine wants some precision. 90 percent of my loading has been handgun but I get really quite and serious for long guns. I'd start with a couple hundred handgun loads to get your legs before charging into long gun stuff. Just my 2 cents.
For years I couldn't imagine myself loading. I'd rather have watched paint dry. But.....all things in their own time. So a few basics that fit me, you make your own rules. Here's mine:
- I don't see loading as a social thing. It's just me or I'm not loading
- if someone walks in I kind of hush them long enough to finish what's in front of me and then stop
- no beer. It's one of the few things that doesn't go well with beer
- fatigue is your enemy. Just stop
- when you find a mistake, and you will cause they always show up, just sit back and breath. Then start backtracking loads until you're sure you're clear of whatever happened. It goes with the territory. No big deal, part of the plan. Builds character and blah blah blah
- I'll leave my bench as though I'm midstream in a loading cycle, but leave it like you may not be back for a while
- get a decent little book of some kind and take notes like someone else will read them.
You'll figure out your own thing but you'll probably be proud of yourself as you get with it. Go slow and be deliberate and all that other stuff.
^^^ Sounds good sir.
I've already ordered the book "ABC's of Reloading" I've been told it's a great read with a ton of knowledge.
The .223 is mostly a plinker right now...but the 25.06 I take very seriously, If I can get on a bench or prone on the bi-pod or some other steady rest I can usually "ring the bell" out to 500-600 yds. I'd like to see that improve with some handloading and some more practice. I'm hoping to shoot it a lot more once I won't be paying $35 bucks a box for 20 rounds