Help me start reloading
I have decided that I'm going to take up the hobby of reloading. I'm looking at buying a kit to get started, and was wondering if anyone has an opinion on the following kits or presses.
The first kit is the Lee Classic Turret Press Reloading kit from Cabela's for $149.99.
The second is the Lyman T-Mag II Expert Reloading Kit, also from Cabela's for $309.99.
I've found some mixed reviews on the Lee press, but have not been able to find much on the Lyman. I would appreciate any help you could offer.
I plan to load 9mm, and 40S&W.
Sorry I can't help with info on the Lyman but I can with the Lee.
I currently run 2 presses, a Dillon XL650 for loading .45acp and the Lee I use for 9mm.
Yes, I do realize that I can use one press for everything but when I started reloading I started with the Dillon.
Along the way I realized that I enjoyed the process of reloading and I purchased the Lee both as a comparison and to slow me down a bit as the Dillon loads ammo very fast.
I cannot say that I had any problem with the Lee though I only had it a short time. The only reason I got rid of the Lee was expense, I was loading so much ammo on the Dillon that it started to cost a bit for components and I couldn't afford to keep feeding both machines.
My solution was simple, I kept the Dillon for the .45, sold the Lee and bought a Lee Classic single stage for the 9mm.
I now have the best of both world, I can load ammo in high volume on the Dillon while still enjoying the hobby of reloading which I happen to enjoy almost as much as actually shooting.
I have had no problem with either Lee.
You want a Ferrari get the Dillon and if a Chevy Cobalt is ok with you then get the Lee. They both do the job and even a Chevy Cobalt can be fun.
I have no experience with a Lee press, but I do with some of the other items that would come with the Lee kit. Get the Lyman kit. I do have a Lyman T-mag press that I use for loading rifle rounds and it is an exceptionally good press. Very strong. I use it for rifle rounds ranging from .204 Ruger up to 300 Win. mag and 45/70.
If you have any intention of loading for rifle at some date, you will want a good single stage press, like the Lyman Turret, for precision reloading. If your only reloading will be for handgun, I couldn't give you any better advice than to spend a little more and get a Dillon. The Square Deal is their lowest price press. I don't personally have a Square Deal, but several of my shooting friends to and they love them. I have one RL550B and two 650s that I do most of my reloading on and the equipment and the company just simply can't be beat. Handgun shooting tends to be a much higher volume hobby than rifle shooting. The Dillon will allow you to spend much more time shooting and less time reloading. Should you opt for a Dillon, get yourself a good Lyman or RCBS powder scale. You won't need a measure as it's part of the Dillon machine.
If you decide to stay with one of your two listed kits, MidWay has the Lyman Kit for a little less money. If you have a local Cabela's, pick it up there and save the freight. If you have to mail order the kit, check the freight charges from both Midway and Cabela's and find out which one is cheapest for you. Whichever machine you pick, if you get into reloading MidWay is a company you'll want to take a look at for supplies and equipment.
Drop me an email if I can be of any help. Also, do a search on this board and you'll find several threads regarding reloading and equipment recommendations.
I don't know much about the Lyman setup you're considering, but I do have the Lee Classic Turret. I also have a Hornady Lock n Load progressive that I bought when I wanted to speed up my production. The Lee Classic Turret has an auto-indexing feature that the Lyman does not seem to have. Even with that, however, I felt I needed to get more production. I did not like that it took me longer at times to load my pistol ammo than it did to shoot it. That's the time management freak in me. YMMV.
Now I use the Lee Classic Turret for rifle and revolver ammo exclusively, and the Hornady for 9, 10, and 45. It's a great distribution between the two presses. I still use mainly Lee dies. If you're getting started I'd take a close look at the Lee. The value is there and you will have a purpose for it once you outgrow it.
I've been working (learning) with a friend on his equipment. He's been reloading for years, before they had progressive presses. He recommends the Dillon 550B. I've been doing a lot of research, and I have not been able to find one bad comment about Dillon. Their customer service is second to none.
I noticed you live in Minnesota... anywhere near the Twin Cities? If so, I would go and talk to John at the GunStop, near Minnetonka (494 and Hwy 7). He is the expert on reloading in the area, and he has some very good deals on presses.
well, in my experience go to a gun club and talk to older guys who've had years behind the press and trigger, they'll tell you more about what you want to know in depth, give you pointers and point you in the right direction as far as equipment, where to buy powder, primers and other stuff. ;) good luck and don't shoot anyone's reloads!
It's been said countless times, but it's still true. The search tool is your friend. :yup:
Type "Reloading" in the search box in this forum and you'll get a wealth of information, 6 pages worth.
Not to mention there are lots of websites that you will find information about reloading on - this might not be the best one for that kind of stuff. Check out 1911forum.com and handloads.com for a start.
I've read most of this and did use the search function, I was not able to find anything on the Lyman press.
Originally Posted by Captain Crunch
Thanks to all for the information.
I have a Lee Turret Press (non-auto index with three-hole turrets). The two things I don't like about it is that spent primers go down into the inner recesses of the press, but I have the press bolted to a piece of wood, so removing the press from my bench to take out spent primers is not entirely a problem. The other thing is that both the ram and turret sometimes jam up. Could be because I've loaded thousands of rounds ( 9mm and 10mm) through the press.
All-in-all, the press, despite the issues, has worked well for me and still sees constant service.
I always tell beginners to start with a Lee press, dies, scale, and powder measure. You can build good reliable ammo with Lee equipment for very few dollars compared to other brands.
After you have loaded for a while, and the volumes you need are determined, then invest in something with greater capacity. The Lee equipment can then either be sold or kept for a caliber that you don't load as much for.
Check out Kempf gun shop they have a complete kit with everything you need to get started.
I have a lyman t-mag turret, and like it, don't remember if I bought the kit from Cabellas or Midway, but I got the same kit your looking at.
I wasn't ready to spend the money on a Dillon at the time I started reloading. The feature that got me on the t-mag was that I could set up two calibers per turret in pistol or 3 calibers in rifle, and change the turrets in about 30 seconds. Since I knew I was going to be loading multiple calibers this was key.
If I had to do it again, I would probably make the same choice with they t-mag, based on the number of calibers I shoot and the volume at which I load.
IMHO there is no better progressive than dillon . However i would honestly reccomend that starting out you go a single stage press such as the Lee kits for a while . This will teach the attention to detail that reloading requires ( imho it takes the same focus to reload as it does to shoot safely ) at an economical price . Start simple , move up from there when you are ready to moniter every stage at once . Honestly tho on progressives every pull of the handle builds a round its not quite that simple in real life , you have to have the skills to moniter multiple processes at once . Unless and untill you move to reloading long and hard to resize cases you dont need anything stiffer than a lee single stage , and for the price of lee you can easily afford to upgrade your " starter kit " or abandon it if reloading proves not to be for you . Pay as much attention ( or more ) to your powder mesure as your press ( and i dont reccomend you try and weigh each charge for causal rounds ) and you will do ok .
Thanks again to all who have responded.
I'm going to head up to Cabela's on Thursday and take a look at both, I'm leaning towards the Lyman at this time. I may bring one home at this time if I can get past the guns without spending all my funds.