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Thread: Equipment Suggestions for New Reloader

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Equipment Suggestions for New Reloader

    I have a friend who has decided to get into reloading. So far, he has an RCBS Rock Chucker press and a Harrell's powder measure for rifle reloading. His fiancee, who is a poor grad student, is getting him the RCBS universal hand priming tool. I have a set of .303 British dies and some reloading components for the Enfield he bought from me that I'm giving him now that he wants to reload for it.

    I was thinking of getting him a couple other items I consider to be mandatory. My problem is that I've had much of my reloading equipment since 1971 when everything was made in the US and works fine. With so many items now made overseas, and Christmas just around the corner, I'm looking for recommendations for these items:

    - A good analog scale (the Hornady is made here or older Ohaus-made scales are on ebay),
    - a powder measure for pistol reloading (I notice the RCBS is made in China, and Hornady doesn't say),
    - case tumbler,
    - reasonably-priced (not Starrett, I can't afford those if I get him the first two items) dial calipers (I suspect the RCBS/Dillon/Hornady are all made by the same manufacturer),
    - reloading dies for several rifle and pistol calibers (30-06 for his Garand at the top of that list),
    - a powder trickler (the RCBS Trickler 2 looks about right),
    - a few other small items, such as reloading blocks.

    As always, thank you for your recommendations.

    Cheers,
    Richard
    Last edited by RG1911; 12-10-2017 at 02:48 PM. Reason: added item

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    rintinglen's Avatar
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    What I don't see on your list is a good reloading manual. I swear by Lyman, but Speer is very good. Pays your money and takes your choice, but please choose one, and I'd put this first on the list.

    The LEE scale is surprisingly good for the money, but a clean,used RCBS, Ohaus, Pacific or Hornady can be purchased frugally. That is first on your list and and though I'd place it slightly below the Manual, it is perhaps equally important. If you can, it is better to spend a few extra dollars on quality to be sure that what you put in the case is close to what you think is there, but the LEE is cheap and good.

    Dies would be next in line, you are hard pressed to reload without dies, though I have done it. A nice set of quality dies will outlast a dozen rifle barrels, given proper care. Buy quality. However, you are giving him a set of dies for hi 303, so he can get his feet wet with those and the other calibers can come if and when interest and funds coincide.

    Used Lyman and RCBS powder measures are for sale all the time on ebay. A clean, complete unit can be had for cheap. I am using an Ohaus and a pair of Lyman powder measures that collectively cost me less than 80 dollars, The Ohaus was 15 bucks at a gun show because it was missing the plastic unit that held the powder. A plastic one liter soda bottle let me put it back in service at the cost of a dime (deposit I've forfeited by not turning the bottle in for recycling.)

    I have a Midway caliper that works okay for measuring COAL, and the like, though I'm leary of trying it for measurements that have to be right to the 10,000th. But it will get me within a couple of thousandths, which is usually good enough.

    Were it I and I was looking to spend less than one hundred bucks, I'd get the Lyman Manual, 24.47 new at Amazon, A pacific, Hornady or RCBS scale from eBay for $50.00, possibly less, and a 25 dollar gift card to MidwayUSA.

    The other stuff can wait til his birthday.
    Last edited by rintinglen; 12-10-2017 at 05:53 PM.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by rintinglen View Post
    What I don't see on your list is a good reloading manual. I swear by Lyman, but Speer is very good. Pays your money and takes your choice, but please choose one, and I'd put this first on the list.
    You're absolutely correct, and I forgot to mention that he has two of the five manuals I recommended; I'll have to ask if the Lyman (one of my favorites) is one he has.

    Your other suggestions are right on the money (no pun intended) and I'll do a bit more prowling on ebay. I had bid on an Ohaus-made 5-0-5 scale but was outbid at the last second.

    Many thanks,
    Richard

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    JSnover's Avatar
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    Once you get settled on type and brand of each item (if you really want to do it on the cheap), there's always something in the Swapping & Selling area. You can post a list of what you want, talk to owners about what they have before you buy, save a few bucks...
    Warning: I know Judo. If you force me to prove it I'll shoot you.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    Keep an eye on Armslist.com for scales and dies, good deals can occasionally be found there. Loading blocks can be made with a drill press, a wood boring butterfly bit and a block of wood.
    One more thing I would look into would be an impact type bullet puller.
    Electronic calipers can be had for around the cost of a set of dies, much cheaper than a set of Starrett dial calipers, for case length and cartridge overall length they are accurate enough.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSnover View Post
    Once you get settled on type and brand of each item (if you really want to do it on the cheap), there's always something in the Swapping & Selling area. You can post a list of what you want, talk to owners about what they have before you buy, save a few bucks...
    Senility has set in. I completely spaced the Swap area; I usually use it for buying listed items. Thank you for the reminder.

    Cheers,
    Richard

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Just buy him good used stuff from the 1960s to the 1980s.
    Few handloaders are very serious. They use the stuff once or twice and give up. Most people are not technically inclined and they are lazy so look around and you can get good used stuff cheap.
    EDG

  8. #8
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    I have a spare rcbs 30-06 die set. It is brand new. Pm me if interested.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I use the RCBS calipers. I dont have any complaints. They are made in china, but sure have a good warranty. A person starting out needs a cheap caliper instead of a good caliper cause they are going to drop it and whatever. And the RCBS has the warranty to back it.
    Last edited by Bazoo; 12-13-2017 at 01:34 AM.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
    triggerhappy243's Avatar
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    now-now-now Bazoo, not everyone is a butterfingers. My dod left me a high doller dial caliper 40 years ago, and to this day, I have never dropped it. LOL

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    True true, I take my hat off to you, that is a feat I think. I aint dropped my rcbs calipers, but I did drop the set before them. They were no name chinas from I dont remember where, Hope it got it out of my system for the next 40 years or so.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Jack Stanley's Avatar
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    Get him a tin of Imperial sizing die wax , a tiny amount of that goes a very long way . You don't even need a lube pad for the stuff . If you like the idea of a pad pick one you like and use the hony colored lube that Bonanza used to sell , I think Forster sells it now . It works great and wipes off the case easy . If a lot of loading is in the future , I like the Hornady "One Shot" , good stuff .

    Jack
    Buy it cheap and stack it deep , you may need it !

    Black Rifles Matter

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Stanley View Post
    Get him a tin of Imperial sizing die wax , a tiny amount of that goes a very long way . You don't even need a lube pad for the stuff . If you like the idea of a pad pick one you like and use the hony colored lube that Bonanza used to sell , I think Forster sells it now . It works great and wipes off the case easy . If a lot of loading is in the future , I like the Hornady "One Shot" , good stuff .

    Jack
    Yup. Got him the Imperial and recommended the One Shot. I like the Imperial for those sticky cases and when loading only a few for development. The One Shot is terrific for lubing a few hundred .223 or .45ACP. I remember starting out many moons ago using a pad and that RCBS goop. Gads that stuff was a mess to get off!

    Cheers,
    Richard

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by triggerhappy243 View Post
    I have a spare rcbs 30-06 die set. It is brand new. Pm me if interested.
    Many thanks for the offer. I bought a set from an earlier reply.

    Cheers,
    Richard

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I have a cabelas tumbler that I could recommend. Its made in the USA by berrys.

    http://www.cabelas.com/product/shoot...9.uts?slotId=3

    Also, I think the lee perfect powder measure is a pretty good value for the money. http://www.cabelas.com/product/shoot...9.uts?slotId=3

  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by RG1911 View Post
    Yup. Got him the Imperial and recommended the One Shot. I like the Imperial for those sticky cases and when loading only a few for development. The One Shot is terrific for lubing a few hundred .223 or .45ACP. I remember starting out many moons ago using a pad and that RCBS goop. Gads that stuff was a mess to get off!

    Cheers,
    Richard
    That RCBS goop was STP! I still have some.
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  17. #17
    Boolit Bub
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    Case trimmer was mentioned but you might also consider trim/file dies to start. Not very expensive and both 06 (especially M1s) and 303 Brit get long fast. Lastly, something that doesn't cost a dime. When he is getting set up, spend a little time at his side and help him work through the initial start up.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check