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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok I have finally decided to try and start reloading since I have been able to convince the parents to let me do it.

I am trying to do it on the cheap in the beginning before I get to much money in it if I dont use it. I have decided the press I am going to get the Lee Hand Press Kit.

My Question is what other products would yall suggest for me to use in addition to casings, bullets and primers ?
 

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I'VE HAD 2 LEE PRESS WHEN I FIRST STARED 30 YEARS AGO- THEY DID'N LAST LONG. AT THE SAME TIME I HAD A RCBS ROCK CHUCKER THAT I USED TONIGHT. I WOULD START OUT WITH THE RCBS SINGLE STAGE KIT, IT WILL LAST A LIFE TIME & HAS A LIFE TIME GARRANTIE.
 

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I would suggest not going cheap. You don't have to go batshit crazy when spending money, but I'd think about where you want to end up in reloading and plan accordingly.

Lee is contraindicated. With a few exceptions, their stuff isn't particularly good or durable. You'll be replacing it quickly if you stay in reloading. Trust me on this. I've seen it time and again, and experienced it personaly with Lee priming tools.

My recomendations would be to get a good single stage press (here the Lee classic is actually pretty good), case trimmer (Forster, Lyman, Redding), and a balance beam scale (stay the hell away from digitals; Dillon, Hornady, Redding, and Forster make good balance beam scales). Dies for what you want to reload and as many manuals as you can find (3-4 is good). From there, you'll learn the hobby and see where you might want to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The reason I am going with the hand press is because I am still living with my parents and they do not want me to have a full reloading bench so we have compromised with this for now, I am hoping that when I tell them how much money is saved that I might be able to convince them to let me get the full set up. The other reason is I dont want to put a lot of money out for it just in case they make me get rid of it, or I am not able to use it as much as I'd like.
 

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Whats wrong with a digital scale?
 

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Lee hand press is alright for starting out also nice for range use and load development. If after using a simple set up for while you decide hand loading is for you, I would like to recommend going for a good progressive press.
 

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You can go with the Hand press to start out but a single stage Rock Chucker wont take up hardly any space. Look on craigslist or local gun shops, you never know who might be selling an old press that they have. It is going to take you a LONG time to load with the Lee hand press.

You will need primer tubes, a primer flip tray, scale (don't get a cheap digital one, get a decent beam or digital), dies, the loading blocks to hold the shells in, a powder dispenser and reloading manuals. I usually find that I don't need to trim my 5.56 stuff but I do have a trimmer.
 

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Whats wrong with a digital scale?
They promote laziness! ;D

Actually, they're good for certain things and not so good for others. They're good for quick confirmations of what's going on with your powder measure that you set up with your balance beam, if you take my hint. I would not rely on them for critical adjustments of the powder measure. They need to be constantly checked and reset. Hence, stay away from the cheap ones.

Overall, you're just better off with the balance beam. If you want a time saving gadget later on for some limited uses, then a digital might be warranted. It's not a replacement for a balance beam, though. Just a supplement.
 

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The Lee classic cast press is good. I use one and even replaced an old, old Rockchucker. The kit is decently priced as well. On the Lee site there are distributors listed that carry their stuff way below MSRP. I will agree some of their otehr stuff may be a little on the lighter duty side but their dies are just fine, especially their carbide pistol sets. I've ran them in my Dillon for thousands of rounds with no troubles.

I don't have any experience with the hand press but the process is identical no matter what you use. I'd just be careful and follow all the instructions with it.

Before you go investing anything though, ask around adn see if someone you know reloads. Ask them for help and that you'd like to go through the process so you can learn what you might like or don't like. I've never had a problem bringing over shooting buddies for that reason. And, I've always tricked them into doing some loading for me as a learning step! It can be a prety sizable up front investment though. I've been doing well over a decade now and have loved it. Other folks will run a hundred cases a year nd hate every step.
 

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You can put a bench mounted press on a Black and Decker Workmate; which is basically a super small portable workbench. It takes up little space and can be moved anywhere. It is not super stable, but I would still think it better than a hand press for general use. When I got into reloading a little over a year ago, I knew I was going to be moving soon and didn't want to get a dedicated bench, so I got a Workmate. Go check it out at Lowes/Home Depot.

Well, time flies, and I still have the Workmate; but looking to change that soon.

Also, and this might be just me, but I would get a turret press. They are not any harder to understand than a single stage, and getting dies adjusted right is a pain. With a turret you can set it and forget it; just rotate to the one you need at any given time. With a single stage you are going to be swapping/adjusting dies constantly. I got a Redding T7, but there are other good options out there if you are looking to go cheap.

I also don't know what is wrong with a digital scale; I got an RCBS digital and have no regrets. It repeats very well as long as you calibrate like the directions say, and it is way faster than a balance beam would be. It is more expensive though.

There should be nothing wrong with most used gear, and you should be able to pick it up for very, very cheap. Just watch Gunbroker, buy incrementally, and you'll be loading before you know it.

I would advise that you think about where you want to go with it for at least the first year though, and buy gear that will support that. It might be a little more cost up front, but will save you money down the line. My upfront investment was around $750, iirc, but I've bought practically nothing but components since. If I would have bought a single stage at first, I would have bought a turret by now anyway.

Good luck.
 

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Way back when, I was living in a single bedroom apartment, I created a reloading setup by attaching my RCBS Rock Chucker to a bar stool then I zip tied an exhaust manifold to the opposite side for a counter balance. Worked like a champ for 4-5 years until I got a house.

I even traveled with it when I went P-Dog shooting.
 

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Digital scales work. I think its about personal preference.
Be aware they don't take well to rough handling. I'm using and old oil dampened balance beam scale. (a) I already own it, (b) It works and digital offers no advantage in this case. (c) I already own it.

Hey tacweapon a local gun shop has some used equipment gathering dust on the second hand shelf. If you like I could take phone pics for you and get prices, pm or em me.
 

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It is going to take you a LONG time to load with the Lee hand press.
I agree.

How much do you plan on reloading - like how many rounds?

I'd say spend the money on a progressive, but I understand your constraints.

Plan B - find a sugar mama and move in with her! 8)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It is going to take you a LONG time to load with the Lee hand press.
I agree.

How much do you plan on reloading - like how many rounds?

I'd say spend the money on a progressive, but I understand your constraints.

Plan B - find a sugar mama and move in with her! 8)
I really dont know how much I plan to reload, but eventually I plan to do all my ammo so long term goal would be to get a progressive. My only real problem is time and space.

My problems may have been solved today though, one of my good friends is getting ready to buy himself a RCBS Rock Chucker, and he told me that if I can supply brass for us both that all I would have to do was buy powder, primers, and bullets and I could reload on his set whenever I want and since I have access to the PD firing range and can pick up brass for free.

Since I dont have time to reload I definatly dont have time to find a Sugar Mama and then convince her to let me move in :duh:
 

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that is probably a good idea Tac. See how you like it first before you spend lots of money on it. Honestly, if I had started reloading on a rock Chuck I would probably hate it, I am spoiled by my Dillon.

I just ordered a small fortunes worth of Casting equipment so that I can start melting lead and casting my own bullets, I am looking forward to hunting for lead around town when i get back.
 

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that is probably a good idea Tac. See how you like it first before you spend lots of money on it. Honestly, if I had started reloading on a rock Chuck I would probably hate it, I am spoiled by my Dillon.

I just ordered a small fortunes worth of Casting equipment so that I can start melting lead and casting my own bullets, I am looking forward to hunting for lead around town when i get back.
Maybe you can hit the tire shops and scrounge their excess wheel weights? A guy I used to work with that was into casting his own fishing sinkers, took a 5 gallon bucket to each of the local shops, and had them nearly filled within two weeks. He gave the boys in the bay a couple bucks for their trouble and everyone was happy.

He also visited the local junk yards and found an almost endless supply of wheel weights. His only complaint was that he had difficulty getting the weights from the inside of the wheels... ;D
 

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Sounds like a good decision. The only thing worst than loading on a Lee hand press is loading on Lee Loader.

When I was about 16, 30+ years ago, I took my first stab at reloading. I got a lee loader in 9mm so I could load cheap ammo for my P08. It was frustrating, to say the least. The fact that the P08 is fussy about ammo didn't help.

tk
 
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