View Full Version : Reloading

11-01-2004, 02:35 PM
A friend and myself would like to start reloading rifle cartridges. Any suggestions on a reloading kit that would be the best BANG for the buck?

11-01-2004, 02:46 PM

I started reloading a few months ago. And it was with the help of a few of the folks on this board, who by the way, were a BIG help! I am still using my buddy's equipment, but soon I plan to have my own. What I'm going to do is try to locate a used RCBS kit on eBay and go from there. I have found that most of the components are just as good used as they are new, but much cheaper. My dies will be new ones. I have also noticed that RCBS does not offer their good scale with the kits. There's a BIG difference between the low end scale and the nice one I've been using. So I would say that an RCBS kit with a Rockchucker press and the rest of the components, with their higher end scale added on would be a pretty good setup. Lee, Dillon, etc., are probably good too, but I just got started with RCBS and plan to stick with them. Just my .02!

11-01-2004, 03:04 PM
Buy the RCBS Super Rockchucker Master kit and get started; this is the best setup available. Get an experienced handloader to walk you through your first few boxes of loads and PAY ATTENTION TO THE LOADING MANUALS. Buy at least the NOSLER and the HODGDON manuals and read them through, many times.

I have been handloading since January of 1968, have owned and loaded for 125 guns of my own and many of other peoples. TAKE YOUR TIME, and don't deviate from recently published data from the manuals, period.

When you can afford it, get a chronograph, this is the best method of determining safe maximum loads. Remember, an Elk hit throughh the lungs with a 180 NP exiting the muzzle at 2700 fps. will die just as soon as one hit with the same bullet pushed 100 fps faster, but, the hotter load may be dangerous in your rifle. Safety First!

11-01-2004, 03:44 PM
Mark, I agree with Koot and Saw on the Rockchucker supreme kit.You can always add other goodies later or as needed.Most of my gear was bought before marriage hit me in '85 and none of it is obsolete.I'm about an hour south of ya if ya want to come pick whats left of my brain sometime.Lemme know.Don

11-01-2004, 07:00 PM
Mark, few pieces of equipment as good as an RCBS Rockchucker press. I bought mine from an uncle 22 years ago and he had used it 8 years in a small scale gunsmithing and reloading shop he owned. It still works as good as new. I also use a Dillon 550B - mostly pistol reloads, but have been gradually adding my rifle dies to tool-heads. The cool thing about the Dillon, once you have your dies set, you never change them again. If you use powder that will meter through the measure you will not be disappointed in the results. I fully converted my .223 to the Dillon, including the powder measuring chores and consistently keep the rounds under 3/4" if I do my part. You'll have a blast with the hobby. Follow directions, and ask the guys on this board lots of questions. Randy

Ed T
11-01-2004, 07:58 PM

Yet another vote for the RCBS Rockchucker. Mine has been going strong for over 30 years and I have loaded many thousands of rounds. From 221 Remingon Fireball to 300 H & H, and nearly everything in between.

Ed T

11-01-2004, 08:16 PM
I'd suggest you get a manual,(they're all good but I'm partial to the Nosler for excellent reloading how to) read through it, put together your shopping list of materials, and start shopping Ebay or IMO give your local gunshop the business and develop some good relationships in the process. You'll find lots of help and advice in a good gunshop that you won't get from Cabela's. I don't see any advantage to sticking with just one mfg. unless you get a good deal on a package. RCBS, Hornady (Pacific) Lyman, Lee, Redding all make good stuff. You'll probably want to start off with a single stage press, a balance beam scale, a hand priming tool and a decent powder measure. I wouldn't be afraid to buy used dies either. I'm still using some Herter's dies I inheritied from my father 30 years ago and they drop accurate rounds. You need to decide on what system you'll use for case preparation. Lee has an inexpensive setup that chucks into your drill and you buy a trimmer for each caliber. While the shell is in the collet you can trim length, deburr flash hole, chamfer the mouth and clean with steel wool.You can prep about 100 cases an hour with it. You'll need a dial caliper, a powder funnel, primer holders, shell holders, a record keeping system, chamfer tool, primer deburring tool, maybe a tumbler, and a stoney point overall length guage is a good investment. I'd recommend you pick one load per rifle to start off with and like Kutenay says, spend $100 on a chronograph. That's the single best diagnostic tool the reloader has at his disposal. If you can find an old copy of the NRA reloading manual, get it; it's full of reloading articles. I've owned the RCBS electronic scale for a couple of years and I haven't found it to be more accurate or faster than my old beam scale. If you have the $ to invest, I'd get the Lyman electronic scale and powder measure system instead of the RCBS one but I don't think you need one.
Couple of things to watch for: Develop a system, keep good records and stick to published data.
I was in my local gun shop the other day and there was a customer plunking down $80 for a box of Weatherby ammo. Thats an extreme but the point is for less than half the price of premium ammo, you can load your own better, (if you do it right) and have the satisfaction that comes from building your own. Good luck.

Bill F
11-01-2004, 08:59 PM
Rockchucker works great. Still have and use mine occasionally. Single stage presses are great cause you learn how to set dies. If you want to shoot flys off your 100 yard target use ammo loaded on a rockchucker. If your happy just hitting a bumble bees a progressive press will do.

I also have a Dillion 550B and use it most. The key with progressives however is take your time, quality is the key not quantity. One can load between 500& 600 rounds an hour with the 550, but I never push that. For ammo that matters I have found 250 to 300 per hour is tops for me. For practice ammo I get another 100 rounds per hour. I use to have a Dillion 650 press and actually used it more than the 550. Had to sell it a few years back to fund a new gun project. I'll have another one shortly.

Main thing is to keep presses clean and lubed. They will last long time.


If your getting into reloading to save money forget it..... you won't....but you'll sure shoot a heck of a lot more.

It doesn't stop with just the kit, once your hooked. You'll need tumblers, chrono, digital scales, electric trimmer.....etc.....

Never shoot anyone else reloads.......Never shoot ammo found on the ground......Only buy commercially loaded ammo at gunshows.