reloading setups- how much do they REALLY cost?

This is a discussion on reloading setups- how much do they REALLY cost? within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I used to have a Lee Classic Turret setup for reloading. I no longer have it anymore for reasons I am not going to get ...

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Thread: reloading setups- how much do they REALLY cost?

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    reloading setups- how much do they REALLY cost?

    I used to have a Lee Classic Turret setup for reloading. I no longer have it anymore for reasons I am not going to get into.
    I am looking at presses (most likely progressive).
    While looking around at everything avaliable, I am overwhelmed.
    I look at a press online. It costs X amount, but doesnt come with half the stuff. Can anyone give me a list of presses, what they cost TOTAL and what features they have? Half the presses I look at dont even say if they are auto-indexing or not.
    Any information on any of the standard progressive presses would be very helpful, but mostly I am looking for total package pricing (no need to include price of calipers, a book, and a tumber... just press, dies, etc).
    Would like prices for a 9mm setup (will get others eventually).
    Also, I may or may not have my 4 lee carbide 9mm dies from my classic turret. I'm not sure. How interchangable are those with other presses?
    Wo die Notwehr aufhört, fängt der Mord an
    (Murder begins where self-defense ends)
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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
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    I have been loading on a single stage press for 34 years. I too am interested in getting a progressive press. I have been checking out some Dillon packages. Will follow responses.
    Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around laws. Plato

  4. #3
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Dillon setups will set you back quite a bit without the case feeder it alone with the caliber conversions was over 400.00 A dillon 550 will cost around 500.00 to start loading 1 or 2 calibers .Lee has some presses that are about 1/3 the cost of the Dillon.The good thing about a Dillon is lifetime warranty and they retain most of their value when reselling
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  5. #4
    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    right now im kinda trying to decide between the lee pro1000 and lee loadmaster. for me, i dont care how swanky the dillons are, it looks like the cost jsut too much more for what i will be doing.
    i decided i could get the lee pro1000 for 180 online including dies. + tumber and all the other crap keeps me around 300.
    the dillon i cant even get a press w/o dies for that much

    any suggestions on pro1000 vs loadmaster. besides the extra die is the loadmaster and diff? Do you need the extra die? how does it help?
    Wo die Notwehr aufhört, fängt der Mord an
    (Murder begins where self-defense ends)
    Georg Büchner

  6. #5
    Distinguished Member Array razor02097's Avatar
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    Depends if you want to load pistol, rifle or shot shell

    Pistol you are looking about...
    $200 for a Lee progressive press
    $50 for a tumbler
    $20 for media and treatment for your tumbler
    $50 for a scale
    $5 for debur tool
    $2 for primer pocket cleaner
    $20 for case lube and pad
    $?? bullets depending on caliber, type and qty
    $40 for 1000 primers
    $25 for 1lb of powder

    $412 + bullets total

    You need to add from your house

    brass from range or whatever
    good solid bench
    comfortable chair
    floor mat
    radio for tunes
    There is something about firing 4,200 thirty millimeter rounds/min that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

  7. #6
    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    ok. this is what i got from some ebay searching of items...
    lee pro1000 180
    scale 15
    tumbler 60
    media 20
    bullet puller 15
    manual 20
    calipers 15
    ammo boxes 15

    total 340


    i have a good bench, etc at home. tons of brass.
    iv already priced out cost of supplies per part, so good there.
    i assume i dont need a debur / trimmer for pistol. never used them before.
    Wo die Notwehr aufhört, fängt der Mord an
    (Murder begins where self-defense ends)
    Georg Büchner

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Check Midway USA ,they Have pro 1000 159.99,the one thing I hated about the Pro 1000 I had was the primer feed,It uses gravity to feed the primers,I had several that would und up flipping sideways,the handheld priming tool works great
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array Rob99VMI04's Avatar
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    I have a Dillion 650 and it ran me:

    $505 Local Dealer Machine
    $210 Case Feeder
    $40 Bullet tray
    $40 Stong Mount
    $60 Dies X2 plus $180 for Carbide .223 (9mm, .40, and .223)
    $95 x2 for quick change tool heads with powder funnels (not needed) but a convience.
    $40 for the Small rifle case feeder shell plate

    $60-70 x 3 per caliber converstion (9mm, .40, and .223)


    Just from that I have about $1505 into this not including tax or shipping.


    If you look at this as trying to save money it becomes work and you will stop reloading and probably sell your equipment once you realize whats involved. I look at it as a passion, I almost enjoy reloading more then shooting.

    I do not look at reloading as saving money, I look at it as fulfilling the whole picture as a true shooter and knowing how the ammunition performs in that particular gun, other wise buying manufactured ammo your still kind of guessing the performance in your particular gun. I will say that I have learned alot more about firearms and shooting them since I became a reloader.

    I also just get to shoot 3 times more the ammount of ammuntion.

    Forgot the Calipers $29 and chamber gauges $7 for pistol each, and $20 + for rifle, flip tray for primers $12, 12 extra primer magazine tubes $5 per tube.

    The only other thing I really want for my machine is a powder check station for my .223 that will be about another $60-$75.

    Oh yeah Tumbler was about $200 (somebody gave me mine) Dillion Terminator scale, purchased used for $65, new they are about $135, media was $9.99 at the pet store for 8 pounds.

    I'm a brass rat so I don't buy my own brass, but spend the time to pick it up from other people.
    “Are you a thermometer or a thermostat, do you reflect or become what is happening in the room or do you change the atmosphere, reset the temperature when you come into the room”?--Chuck Swindoll

    Its not about guns...Its about Freedom!

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    aha! i can get it for 140 at the local reloading supply store. currently sold out but im sure they will get them back.
    (and the 180 listed before was including shipping)
    Wo die Notwehr aufhört, fängt der Mord an
    (Murder begins where self-defense ends)
    Georg Büchner

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    and yea. im certainly not going to spend over a grand to get started.
    it is both to save money, and for fun, and knowledge, and hobby.
    i dont beleive that the pro1000 will be so frusterating that i will stop reloading.
    from everything i can tell if you keep it clean and oiled, polish the appropraite places, keep the primer dispenser filled, etc, it should have very little problems.
    i am an engineer and work with presses every day. i have no problem keeping it how it should be.
    Wo die Notwehr aufhört, fängt der Mord an
    (Murder begins where self-defense ends)
    Georg Büchner

  12. #11
    Member Array mauser1959's Avatar
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    Look for used good equipment, a bit over 6 months ago now I had a chance to buy a Dillon 550B for $300 set up for 9mms. I however could not justify that to myself having a RCBS and a piggyback3 already set up. Deals are out there if you look... crazy as it sounds check craigs list for what you are after.

  13. #12
    Member Array Gunsmoke16's Avatar
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    Cabela's Official Website - Quality Hunting, Fishing, Camping and Outdoor Gear at competitive prices. probably has best price. I have a Pro 1000 used for .45 and at time purchased, it was cheaper to "buy" 9mm than to reload.
    The Pro 1000 will chunk out about 300-500 rounds per hour (with a lot of close-paid attention) when it has the 4-tube case feed, primer feed...they now have a bullet feed option. You can single round it until get the powder drop/bullet depth set correct (I always used a taper crimp die in last step as it gives more accurate bullet performance on .45....ex: 4.2grn Bullseye, 200grn swc lead bullet, Winchester primers & taper crimped as last step.) Noticed some1 mentioned hand priming. If you ever use Federal primers (they are most accurate & 2000cpi cup pressure) they will "explode" if using a hand primer, thus pockmarking hell out of your face and eyes. Friend found out hard way-luckily he was wearing eye protection. Only use Winchester/CCI in the Lee stuff.
    I get really upset at the constant attention needed to keep the Pro 1000 running at top speed. You always have risk of a squib load (not enough powder) unless you are watching it intently. It's overkill unless shooting tons of ammo. Don't spend a fortune. You can get this: Lee Breech Lock Challenger Reloading Kit Item:IA-216575 $119.99 and add a $5 case trimmer & be ready to go. This kit has those quick change bushings (u can get more to swap out dies like a speed demon). That cheap looking scale actually really works too...better than my expensive RCBS 505 scale. It seems more responsive, accurate and about indestructable! Pick up a Case tumbler/vibrator at a pawn shop or whatever. I have used a sander or jigsaw bungeed to a round tupperwear bowl sitting upside down (saw down) in a box of 15oz canned veggies. vibrates like hell and extremely noisy (set it outside) but cleans em in about 10 minutes). Corn cob media is cheap (about $7) and seems work best to clean them. Make sure all stuff is out of cases and clean primer pocket with the little tool. Finally I got a good vibrator tumbler for about $35. Looks like a box with "another" square Tupperwear container....They make a sealer you can paint around the bullet/primer pocket that makes em weatherproof. Good for rainy environments/hunters. If you buy bulk lead bullets at a gunshow though, spin around all tables to check prices and buy them last thing before leaving-those things are "heavy"!

    If you are "serious" about shooting 500 rounds per outting, spend the $500 for the Dillion and be done, otherwise get the cheaper Lee and use all the savings to pad your bank account or buy another gun. It will pay for itself in about a month. Usually by time you would need to trim a straightwall case it is worn out/busted, so most of those trimmers and such you probably won't use anyway. I never actually used a trimmer and only shoot cases about 4-6 times. If you only shoot about 50 rounds a month or week: Lee Classic Loader Kit Item:IA-210526 $24.99 is probably all you need...or have a rifle that you don't shoot much, as it doesn't fully resize the case, they last longer and after first-firing are fitted to your gun. Ammo loaded on these little things have set the world accuracy record 7 times. I look for reasonable, quality stuff and try to save wherever I can. Main thing, pay attention to cases for damage, amount of powder for any errors and bullet seating depth for correct length and proper crimp (something that taper crimp die does great). Have fun and be safe.

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I have never trimmed pistol brass in my life,But reloading is work,I spent about 3 hours casting and lubing about 1000 155 grn LRN for 40 S&W,about 4 hours sorting and cleaning brass ,and about 15 minutes to load 100 rounds of 40,will get into high gear tonight and after about 500 40 will switch over to 223 and load about 1000 +,then some 9mm and then change over and load a few hundred 45 acp and about 100 44 mag,but I'm saving money
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
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    yes getting the equipment can cost some money. but after some time reloading will pay for it self.
    An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.

    Red State State of Mind

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    Depends on your budget and how much you plan on shooting. Lee progressives need more hands on tinkering required to make them run correctly than other brands. When all you want to do is just load ammo, it's a pain. Other machines have smoother operation and less tinker time. Set it and run it, but this comes at a premium cost.

    Keep an eye out for used presses too. I picked up my Dillon 550 for $275 shipped a few years back and it included several toolheads and conversion kits. The Hornady LNL AP press is a great press also. I describe it as "Dillon 650 features for a Dillon 550 price". With 500 free bullets it knocks the cost down a bit too if you deduct the bullet price off the press price.
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

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