Start Up Kit for Novice

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Start Up Kit for Novice

Post by dglockster on Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:51 am

What is y'alls opinion on the following start-up kit for someone who has no experience with reloading?

Lee Breech Lock Challenger Press Kit contains, in addition to the press, the following items:
Case trimmer and lock stud
Chamfer
Pocket primer
Safety scale
Powder funnel
Sizing lube
Auto Prime
Auto Prime shell holders

I also plan on buying:
Caliber appropriate case length gages
Lyman E-zee Flo Powder Trickler
RCBS Case Lube Pad
Caliber appropriate case hole deburring tools
Reloading trays
Ammo boxes

Other than the appropriate dies, what other equipment may be needed to start out? (I have a bullet puller and a 6" digital caliper.)

In addition, I have ordered a book titled "The ABCs of Reloading" and am planning on getting the Lee Modern Reloading Manual as soon as the 3rd edition comes out as well as the Lyman 49th Edition Reloading Handbook.


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Re: Start Up Kit for Novice

Post by EdgarEg on Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:18 pm

I see you listed the Lee Safety scale. I started with one of those also but I found it to be slow and frustrating. So I got a

Frankford Arsenal DS-750 Electronic Powder Scale 750 Grain Capacity

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I found it to be a lot more fun.



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Re: Start Up Kit for Novice

Post by EdgarEg on Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:19 pm

Here's a thought. Start with just pistol calibers that you get carbide dies for. Then you do not need to do that lube stuff that rifle calibers require. Save that for later.
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Re: Start Up Kit for Novice

Post by Reload3006 on Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:48 pm

All kits have their plusses and minuses. When weighing cost a lot of factors come into play quality quantity etc. There is an old saying pay once cry once. I will not recommend any particular kit for you at least not in public as it would hurt feelings. But you really do get what you pay for. Also consider this if done right is a purchase that should last a life time. Sure you can get a job done with a cheap tool. But how much skin and curse words came before? And sometimes a cheap tool just will not do the job so you spent once for the cheap tool found out it will not do the job then you buy the expensive tool and find it would have been less expensive to just buy the expensive tool in the first place. Good luck and research you options.
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Re: Start Up Kit for Novice

Post by Sasquatch-1 on Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:02 pm

What Reload3006 said are words of wisdom. One thing I definately would not skimp on is the scale and powder charger. That is your most critical step in reloading. As far as a press goes you can't beat RCBS's warrenty. As for trimming cases ( I may catch it for this but) I have never trimmed a case for reloading in my life. I have never reloaded for rifle and have just recently forayed into 9mm, so I don't have a lot of experience with it. Now, just so you know I have been reloading for 35+ years. I am NO expert and there are a lot of people here I would defer to as for as expertise goes.

Good luck and before you spend your hard earned money look at what is out there and ask if people have had experience with it.
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Re: Start Up Kit for Novice

Post by george457d on Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:07 am

The Lee case trimmer and lock stud can be chucked into a power drill or power screwdriver ... Understand with the Lee Breech Lock Challenger Press Kit ,you'll only be able to deprime about 15 or so before you need to empty it ...
Each of the case prep's can be done 1 step per evening :
Monday -size ,deprime Press
Tuesday -trim
Wednesday -clean
Thursday -primerpocket
NOTE : during each step INSPECT each case ,even new casing's ...You'll have 4 times to inspect before assembly ...
The only advice as far as assembly ; once ya set that first primer ,don't stop til you'v inspected the last completed cartridge ...
Saturday -trigger-time at the range handgun
Sunday -brag at church Troll
Bug
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Re: Start Up Kit for Novice

Post by RemMan700 on Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:33 am

I dont think I would buy a kit unless it was the RCBS RockChucker Supreme II kit. Otherwise I would buy everything separately.
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Re: Start Up Kit for Novice

Post by XbonesX on Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:05 pm

I would agree with Reload3006 and suggest buying everything seperately. But, if I was to buy a kit I'd get the RockChucker Supreme II like RemMan suggested or the Hornady LNL Classic (not the progressive).

I can't find it right now, but at one point there was a thread going with "Must Have" accessories, what people did and didn't like and why. I would suggest reviewing that.

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Re: Start Up Kit for Novice

Post by EdgarEg on Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:29 pm

What about a Powley Computer? Would a beginner need one of those?

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Re: Start Up Kit for Novice

Post by hawcer on Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:39 pm


I hope none of this is discouraging you...The Lee kit will get you going, but the more you learn, the more you'll find out some things are not the greatest and you'll end up replacing them.

The Lee Breechlock press is actually pretty decent for the price and is in the same boat as the RCBS Reloader Special press and the Hornady L-n-L. all have aluminum frames and the smaller 1" ram. The Lee just has a little bit weaker arm attachment,imo. I never had a problem with the primer catcher filling up either...it has a long tube with a cap on the bottom to collect spent primers. Pull off the cap and put a small trash can under the tube for infinite use without having to empty it.

If I was to do it again and buy a different kit...I might go with the RCBS Supreme or the Hornady L-n-L....I like Hornady stuff, but I like cast iron presses too...so it's a toss up. Probably neither...since I'm not sold on the Rockchucker Supreme either....I like my R/C II much better than the R/C IV Supreme.

For most reloading, you don't need the best of the best of the best. You just need stuff that works...and more importantly, know how to use them correctly.

About any press will do really...just about any dies for that matter. I'd really start nit picking when it comes to powder measures and scales...get used if you have to(sometimes you get more for way less). I'd really look into RCBS or Hornady....maybe even Redding for those. Lyman will do too, but their CS sucks.

My 2 cents...

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Re: Start Up Kit for Novice

Post by IDAce on Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:05 pm

The most important investment is the time and patience to produce quality ammunition and see the results of your labor. Literature is also very important. Often times you will need to cross reference data so multiple manuals are needed.

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Re: Start Up Kit for Novice

Post by tripples on Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:34 am

dglockster wrote:What is y'alls opinion on the following start-up kit for someone who has no experience with reloading?

Lee Breech Lock Challenger Press Kit contains, in addition to the press, the following items: Not a fan of kits
Case trimmer and lock stud-I use these for a lot of calibers, its nice to not have to be at the bench to do this
Chamfer-Get a good one, L.E.Wilson, RCBS, Hornady, or the Lyman kit (i'll explain later)
Pocket primer-I think your talking about the cleaner. Lyman kit or the wire type
Safety scale- RCBS 505, Frankford Arsenal, I dont care for the kind with a magnet in them.
Powder funnel- any of them work, I recommend one with the drop tube if you load a caliber that is close to capacity
Sizing lube-there are a ton that work great, I like Cabela's brand spray lube (inexpensive and lasts forever)
Auto Prime-Is a great tool to have. I have a Lee and a RCBS, great for those who are using a single stage press
Auto Prime shell holders-Only needed or used with the Lee auto prime, an extra expense in shell holders

I also plan on buying:
Caliber appropriate case length gages-great tool but not absolutely needed
Lyman E-zee Flo Powder Trickler-I have the RCBS and Redding both work great
RCBS Case Lube Pad-a real pain to use, I havent used one in years
Caliber appropriate case hole deburring tools-For the flash hole? Lyman kit
Reloading trays-MTM universal 50 round tray
Ammo boxes-MTM, Berreys, Frankford Arsenal

Other than the appropriate dies, what other equipment may be needed to start out? (I have a bullet puller and a 6" digital caliper.)

In addition, I have ordered a book titled "The ABCs of Reloading" and am planning on getting the Lee Modern Reloading Manual as soon as the 3rd edition comes out as well as the Lyman 49th Edition Reloading Handbook.



I have added text in your post/quote

I personally would skip the kit and buy individual pieces. That is unless it were one of the 3 kits LNL, RCBS Rockchucker, or a Redding boss kit. Most kits will give you the basics to get you started, but lack some important pieces of equipment.

You will find that each press has there own plus and minuses. I have several single stage presses, 1 Rock Chucker, 2 JrII's, Redding Boss. I love the durability of the RCBS press, but wish it had a hollow ram to drop the primers out the bottom into a bucket or trash can. There is an updated ram for the Redding Boss that I may buy.
I mentioned above about the Lyman kit, this kit [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] has just about everything that you will need. Plus I recommended this kit if you ever decide that you would want to buy a case prep center like the RCBS 5 station prep center or the Lyman Case prep XPress, as the Lyman bits will fit on the RCBS prep center and they are cheaper than the RCBS attachments. The flash hole uniformer is not included but only 1 is needed (they are adjustable) (I keep 1 piece of brass per caliber that has been done to set the tool up Quick for that caliber and this keeps them all the same)

The hand primers are great especially if you are using a single stage press. you can prime a lot of brass while watching TV. However I think the shell holder kit should be included with the Lee auto prime, as they are not universal and can only be used with the auto prime.

You mention dies, I would suggest you look at the Hornady dies. Especially with the free bullet offer. When you figure the cost of the free bullets and subtract that from the cost of the dies you are getting a great set of dies for about the cost of a set of Lee dies. I have been replacing my dies with the Hornady dies and actually like them better than all my other dies. I do own a lot of RCBS dies, some Redding dies and have a set or two of Lee dies.

I would also consider a case tumbler. I have a hard time running dirty brass into my dies.

One thing I would recommend is a good solid bench with plenty of room.

As stated before Buy Once/Cry Once, I truly feel that this is a strong statement.

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Re: Start Up Kit for Novice

Post by dglockster on Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:05 pm

All of the information is appreciate. No decision yet, just considering options.
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Re: Start Up Kit for Novice

Post by tripples on Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:31 pm

The great part of sites like midwayusa is you can read all the reviews to help make a decisionon what you think will work best for you. I generally check the lower reviews to see what people's complaints are and compair that with the praises.

One other option that comes to mind is watch Craig's list. I know there are several reloading items for sale in my general area, say a 50 mile radius. EBay is also another place to look. I would much rather see it in person than take someone's word on the condition, but that's just me.

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