Choosing an Entry Level Reloading Press + Book

Choosing an Entry Level Reloading Press + Book

This is a discussion on Choosing an Entry Level Reloading Press + Book within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I'm new to reloading and am looking for a starter kit. Despite what I've read on some forums, the Lee kit seems to be highly ...

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    Choosing an Entry Level Reloading Press + Book

    I'm new to reloading and am looking for a starter kit. Despite what I've read on some forums, the Lee kit seems to be highly rated as an entry-level, starter kit. For the price, you get a lot of bang for your buck (no pun intended).

    I plan on reloading some 9mm Luger and .38 Special to start. Seems like I could buy one of these kits, the appropriate shell holders/dies, and a few other things (primers, brass, calipers, and power too) and I'd be set.

    Any thoughts on why you would choose one kit over the other? I read that one of them has a hand primer and the other one is built in. Is it just a matter of preference?

    Lee Precision: Breech Lock Challenger Kit

    Lee Precision: 50th Anniversary Breech Lock Challenger Kit

    For the book, should I get the Lyman or ABC's of Reloading?

    Amazon.com: Lyman 49Th Edition Reloading Handbook HarDCover: Sports & Outdoors

    Amazon.com: The ABCs Of Reloading: The Definitive Guide for Novice to Expert (9781440213960): Rodney James: Books


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array Ring's Avatar
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    for rifle, that lee is fine, not for pistol though.... get at least a lee turret press and if you can, the loadmaster..

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    Personally if it was me I would spend more and get more. Lee has some ok loading equipment. Some is good some not so much. If you can afford this then by all means you will be much better served and this will last you for the rest of your life and you will pass it down to your kids.
    Rock Chucker Supreme Single Stage Press Master Kit
    May be able to find it cheaper with a little shopping around.
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    5 years ago I was in the same boat you are in.
    It was suggested that I spend a little more money and get a Dillon.
    I purchased a used Dillon on e bay and have not had a single problem since.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ring View Post
    for rifle, that lee is fine, not for pistol though.... get at least a lee turret press and if you can, the loadmaster..
    I like the idea of a Turret press but someone told me it's difficult to line everything up and a Single-Stage press is more accurate (but slower).

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff F View Post
    Personally if it was me I would spend more and get more. Lee has some ok loading equipment. Some is good some not so much. If you can afford this then by all means you will be much better served and this will last you for the rest of your life and you will pass it down to your kids.
    Rock Chucker Supreme Single Stage Press Master Kit
    May be able to find it cheaper with a little shopping around.
    I know that's a good setup and Midway posted a $50 rebate on a $300 RCBS purchase! I'm trying to figure out whether I should get by on a cheaper setup to learn the ropes before upgrading. Or, do you "do it right the first time"?

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    I like to load my rifle ammo on a single stage press and my loading bench will never be without one. My Dillon RL550 does everything else and I would also never be without it.

    I am the type of person that believes in spending the extra money once and be done with it. That being said, then what it really comes down to is what do you want to do? There are a lot of options out there and as many opinions to go with them and ultimately you have to make the final decision.
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    Senior Member Array The Old Anglo's Avatar
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    I`ve been loading .45ACP for a coupla years now with a Lee 4 hole turret press. I`m using Lee Carbide dies and have had no problems with this setup. After quite a few thousand rnds loaded I`m a believer.

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    I've been using the same single-stage press since '75. It gets the job done. If something goes wrong, it's my fault--not the equipment's. I don't load 1000 rds at a time, maybe 100-200 at most. It's my therapy session. No matter what you buy, there are always upgrades, and if you stick with reloading and load a lot--you will upgrade.

    I say start simple and go from there. Lee is inexpensive enough that you can toss it afterwards with no big investment loss.
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    I agree with OldVet. Start simple. A single stage press forces good habits by repeated steps giving you an opportunity to examine the cases properly and pay attention to detail.

    I have been loading with the same Lee Single stage since 82. I do all my bulk loading in the winter. Gives me something to do when the weathers bad. And, I enjoy the process.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ring View Post
    for rifle, that lee is fine, not for pistol though.... get at least a lee turret press and if you can, the loadmaster..
    Quote Originally Posted by The Old Anglo View Post
    I`ve been loading .45ACP for a coupla years now with a Lee 4 hole turret press. I`m using Lee Carbide dies and have had no problems with this setup. After quite a few thousand rnds loaded I`m a believer.
    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    I've been using the same single-stage press since '75. It gets the job done. If something goes wrong, it's my fault--not the equipment's. I don't load 1000 rds at a time, maybe 100-200 at most. It's my therapy session. No matter what you buy, there are always upgrades, and if you stick with reloading and load a lot--you will upgrade.

    I say start simple and go from there. Lee is inexpensive enough that you can toss it afterwards with no big investment loss.
    Well... after further research, I think I've settled on the Lee Classic (not Deluxe) Turret Press. Many reviews said the Deluxe is an inferior press and has issues with how it handles primers. Unfortunately, Lee doesn't make a Classic Press kit, but I found one at Kempf:

    https://kempfgunshop.com//index.php?...mart&Itemid=41

    I'll probably order that -- looks like everything I need (minus components).

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    +1 on what OldVet said,when I got into reloading about 30 years and casting about 10 years ago I stated out with a Lyman Orange Crush reloading kit and I'm still using it. I load a couple hundred rds. of pistol and rifle ammo a month and my old Lyman press fits the bill just fine.

    The Lee presses are decent presses,I know several guys that use several of the different type presses Lee sells and they work fine,Lee didn't have as many options when I got into reloading. Personally I don't like the Lee scales or the powder measure but that just me. I still use my old Lyman D-7 scales for checking charges I throw with either my RCBS DUO Measure or my RCBS Lil Dandy and about 10 different rotors.

    Any of the brand name reloading manuals are excellent,I've had most of them at one point in time but Lyman is pretty much my go to manual 99% of the time because there not bullet mfg. specific and they also have load data for cast lead bullets in both rifle and pistol. Can't comment on the ABC of Reloading since I don't own a copy as to what all it covers or if it's any better than the info in standard reloading manuals.
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    Quote Originally Posted by res45 View Post
    +1 on what OldVet said,when I got into reloading about 30 years and casting about 10 years ago I stated out with a Lyman Orange Crush reloading kit and I'm still using it. I load a couple hundred rds. of pistol and rifle ammo a month and my old Lyman press fits the bill just fine.

    The Lee presses are decent presses,I know several guys that use several of the different type presses Lee sells and they work fine,Lee didn't have as many options when I got into reloading. Personally I don't like the Lee scales or the powder measure but that just me. I still use my old Lyman D-7 scales for checking charges I throw with either my RCBS DUO Measure or my RCBS Lil Dandy and about 10 different rotors.

    Any of the brand name reloading manuals are excellent,I've had most of them at one point in time but Lyman is pretty much my go to manual 99% of the time because there not bullet mfg. specific and they also have load data for cast lead bullets in both rifle and pistol. Can't comment on the ABC of Reloading since I don't own a copy as to what all it covers or if it's any better than the info in standard reloading manuals.
    That's good advice. For now, I'll get the Lyman book. I heard the ABC's of Reloading is a bit dry; then again, I'm not looking for a bedtime story. :D

    I'll probably end up starting with the Lee Turret and later upgrading to a Single Stage or Progressive depending on what I need to reload.

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    The Lyman manual is a winner, but get a second book as well. Besides the Lyman, I got the Hornady and Lee books, and I'd say any two of those will leave you well prepared with guidance and recipes. Richard Lee gives a lot of his design philosophy in his book, and since you went with Lee equipment that book might provide a more intuitive understanding of all the reloading steps.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    The Lyman manual is a winner, but get a second book as well. Besides the Lyman, I got the Hornady and Lee books, and I'd say any two of those will leave you well prepared with guidance and recipes. Richard Lee gives a lot of his design philosophy in his book, and since you went with Lee equipment that book might provide a more intuitive understanding of all the reloading steps.
    Good idea. You mean this one?

    Amazon.com: Lee 2nd Edition Reloading Manual Md: 90277 . (0734307902773): Books

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    Distinguished Member Array onacoma's Avatar
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    As a reloading instructor I would recommend starting with a turret as you can operate it as a single stage press or progressive press. Here is a kit with almost everything you need.

    Turret Press Deluxe Kit

    I have a turret for my rifles with a head for each caliber. I did use my turret for my pistols but have upgrade to a progressive. When you get in the "Big Bucks" a Dillion is a way to go. You may wish to check the for sale ads for a used one.

    Here is a video link to RCBS and they have a video on the turret press. RCBS - Precisioneered Shooting Products - Guide to Reloading

    Good luck!


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