Best Reloading Kit For The Money

Viral_SIGness

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I've got about $1700 stuck back. So which reloading kit, and I don't need no progressive crap, I'm not lazy.

Lee Anniversary Kit
HORNADY Lock n Load Classic
RcBS Rock Chucker

I really want a digital scale. So help me!

I need dies for .300 Win Mag, .375 Ruger, 7mm-08. And 6.5 Crapmoor, as well as 10mm Auto, 9mm (9x19 for your technical folks.)
 

Wyatt Smith

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I have the RCBS rock chicken supreme kit. I have no complaints. Other than the hand primer tool, I bought a Lyman. I like RCBS dies but always get a Lee factory crimp die.
I use a balance beam scale so I can’t help there.
 

fourfive8

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2nd for Rockchucker Supreme. It has enough span for easier loading of the longer carts. Digital scales are OK but I always suspect electronics. Mechanics you can see and know. I use a Lyman 55 measure set the charge to drop a fraction of a grain less than final then trickle into a balance beam then funnel to each case. It is not that slow once the routine is established, it is accurate and has minimum chance for mistakes. I use an old hand primer that Sinclair used as a prototype. I have been loading and shooting and chronographing loads for various rifles about 4-5 times a week for the past month and a half. I load 5 or 10 rounds at a time for any one rifle, take my time and end up with a much better data set than by loading a box or two then berm blast once every month or two. After this month and a half of covid range shooting I now know most all the potential best hunting loads for a recent acquisition, a Win M70 375 HH.

I like and have many types of dies. Mostly Redding, Lyman and RCBS- with an assortment of Lee for certain tasks. And I just can't justify loading for handgun. At one time I shot all manner of old original Colt SAAs in different calibers so I did load for those. And loaded some for a 1911 45 ACP. Currently have only a couple 22 handguns and a Glock for home defense- neither are reloading propositions.

Right now I could go to the loading bench and put 20 375 HH cases, that are ready to go, into the loading block. Set out 20 300 gr A-Frame bullets. Prime 20 cases. Set up the powder measure and beam scale and trickle. Screw in the bullet seater and set out the Lee FCD. Start loading. Total time from the decision start to 20 finished rounds in a box ready for Africa... about 30-40 minutes. I would have 100% confidence in the reliability of this ammo. I know the load because it is already entered into my load log book. For my 375 HH, it would look something like: 300 Swift A-Frame bullet, H 4350 powder, R-P brass, CCI 34 primer, crimp into cannelure with Lee FCD... mean velocity of 2495 fps, SD of about 11 fps. Excellent accuracy, not max load and shows no signs of high pressure. In Africa fire 1 or 2 rounds from a rest to confirm zero- then good to go. :)
 
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Longwalker

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Either the RCBS or Hornady kit would serve you well for the rest of your life. Lee equipment is "just good enough" and If you are like me, it will make you want to upgrade at some point. I bought Hornady, my brother has RCBS. Both good. I have a cheap but serviceable Frankford Arsenal digital scale that has always worked well, but another brand of digital scale ( sorry don't remember the brand) would creep +/_ 2 grains as it warmed up or attracted static electricity. Digital scales are very nice, but I like having a simple balance beam scale on the bench as a backup and accuracy check. For me, a good powder measure is of greater importance than a digital scale. I throw most of my charges from a measure. My Hornady measure is precise enough that I only weigh every tenth charge as a quality control check. I can do that with a balance beam scale too.
 

JimP

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I'd go with the RCBS set up.

If you want a digital scale look at the RCBS Charge Master Combo. It takes a little bit to get used to but once you do you will love it. It is a scale and automatic powder dispenser.
 

Ridge Runner

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I recommend a Lee turret kit, and Lee carbide dies, for that many calibers.

IMO Lee presses, dies and accessories are quality products and I have never had a problem with customer service.

Mainly due to costs of additional turrets and accessories versus RCBS and Hornady.

Carbide dies cost a bit more but save on the mess and periodical die cleaning of case lube build up and debris that will damage and/or cause case deformations.

IMO RCBS is also a quality press, dies and accessories, but at 2 to 2 1/2 + times the cost of Lee products.

I purchased a Hornady digital scale locally. I was in need of a scale to finish my reloading: balance beam scales are good. IMO digital scales are perhaps a little more accurate at +/- .01. However, the Hornady scales have a 1 grain lower difference than my other digital scales.

Note: Both scales were recalibrated.

Do your own reseach and decide which press and accessories meet your specific needs and go with it.

Note: I reload and shoot over 8000+ rounds of ammo, 5 calibers, per year. You may not shoot that much or as often. There by you may not need a turret press, however turret presses have a major advantage over single stage presses, once they are set up a simple turret, powder, and bullet change, check, and you are ready to reload a different caliber.
 

fourfive8

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Seems like $1700 is plenty!! With some judicious purchasing of individual items, you could throw in a lot of extra goodies such as cases, bullets, primers and powder :)

Off the top of my head for individual item purchase--

Rockchucker supreme- $160... will be the backbone of the tools.
Trickler, decent beam scale, funnel and load block- $100
Case trimmer- $80 or (Lee $20 that works well)
Measure like Lyman 55- $75
Lee FCD- $20
Chamfering tool- $10
Lube and pad- $10
Dies per caliber- $20-75 maybe $50 ave?
Hand primer- $100 (suggest going with quality unit)

SOOOO- that's about $595 for a very decent set up for one caliber... then just add about $20-75 for each additional caliber die set.

Here're my basic tools for loading as in the 375 HH example in above post. Rockchucker is off screen lower right. Includes: 375 RCBS FL die set with a Lyman M die and a Lee FCD. Lyman 55 measure, RCBS trickler, Lyman dampened beam scale. Hand primer and home made load block with universal funnel. There is a dedicated Lee 375 HH case trimmer in the die box. I think I paid $20 for the used Rockchucker, 30 years ago and $10 for the Sinclair prototype hand primer. :) Not fancy but produces ammo at least equal and likely superior to any factory ammo.

reloading tools.JPG
 

Ray B

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I've had RCBS stuff for over 40 years and most of my dies are RCBS but anything new that I get for the last five years has been Redding or LE Wilson. I don't have a recommendation on an electronic scale since I've been using the same Ohaus 505 that I bought nearly 50 years ago when I started with a Lee Loader.
 

CBH Australia

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Either the RCBS or Hornady kit would serve you well for the rest of your life. Lee equipment is "just good enough" and If you are like me, it will make you want to upgrade at some point. I bought Hornady, my brother has RCBS. Both good. I have a cheap but serviceable Frankford Arsenal digital scale that has always worked well, but another brand of digital scale ( sorry don't remember the brand) would creep +/_ 2 grains as it warmed up or attracted static electricity. Digital scales are very nice, but I like having a simple balance beam scale on the bench as a backup and accuracy check. For me, a good powder measure is of greater importance than a digital scale. I throw most of my charges from a measure. My Hornady measure is precise enough that I only weigh every tenth charge as a quality control check. I can do that with a balance beam scale too.
Well said, I have a Hornady, the LNL kits are good value in Australia Redding, RCBS and others may be good.

2 thoughts
1st) go with a kit described above but if you go Down the Lee road you may try upgrade in the future. But their handprimers are good value and almost an essential unless you have another version.

2) buy quality buy what you want individually Forster Coax Press are dearer but well regarded, buy a powder thrower I chose Hornady for my brother for value but I like the Redding BR3.
Buy whatever electronic scale/ measure that takes your fancy I don’t have one but you have it listed.
Some good feedback on Lee dies particularly the merits of a Collett die.

Dies,
I have Redding highly regarded, I like Hornady dies for a few reasons, RCBS others make them, if you have any one rifle that you want precision from consider buying better brands or dies with bushings or LE Wilson, Forster , I always consider upgrades but that’s just envy, want and interest. I started cheap and always see something I want upgrades but what can I get for my old stuff, if you have the 1700 that’s a good start and you have options .
Buy once cry once if you are happy to spend the money and can find what you want.
 

Areaonereal

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I have used the same RCBS rock checker since the 70’s, have an assortment of dies...lee dies as good as any. Never used a digital scale same Redding scale since the late 60’s. Buy quality, will last a lifetime. The older rock chuckers are built like a tank. Hornady dies are my least favorite.
 

Rob404

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I use a Single stage Rock Crusher and a Lee Single stage. I also graduated from a Beam Scale to a RCBS as it was much faster.
If your looking for 300Win Dies I have a set for sale and a ton of real nice Brass I'd also like to sell.
I also have a Beam scale and a powder measure
 

Ridgewalker

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Just my $.02...electronic scales are faster, but I’d start with a mechanical scale then progress to electronic. I like having a mechanical to verify my electronic scale is working properly every 10-20 rounds. Just my phobia I guess.

I started with a USA made Rockchucker and should have never let a bud talk me out of it, but I am very happy with a Lee Classic Cast BL with the quick change dies. I’m not lazy about it. I just like to keep moving. Personally I’d recommend either the Lee Cast Breech Lock, or Hornady LNL. I also believe you can now upgrade the Rockchucker to a quick release system.

I also have an old model Lyman turret I use for all my smaller cartridges, ie 30-06 and down. Nice to just change a head on the turret and all dies are setup. I load multiple sizes and types of bullets on several calibers and the turret has room for a extra seating dies that don’t have to be changed. Lazy again I guess, but this saves enough time to make more loads, thus shoot more.

Sadly when my old dog goes, the wife wants to move into a condo. At that point my reloading will probably go away (unless I get a warehouse space for my man-cave...:whistle:)

JMO, but I started out to save money and improve accuracy. In the late 1960s there weren’t a lot of ammo options. Today, honestly, if you can’t find a factory load that meets your requirements, I’d be surprised! Maybe not in the largest of calibers.

Best of luck in your setup!
 

meigsbucks

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I’ve been using a RCBS Rockchucker since the 1970’s.
I used an RCBS balance scale until about 2005 when I got a Lyman electronic scale / throw. It died about 2013 and replaced it with the Hornady Loc N Load Auto charge scale and dispenser. So far so, so good.
 

Forrest Halley

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I have always thought that the best reloading kits for the money were the Loader Kits by Lee. Sadly they are unavailable in real calibers anymore and an art is dying. I found one for .458 the other day.

***I am still pursuing a .375 H&H Loader Kit. If you know where one is do let me know.***

I like to load with these dies. They give you the real hands on experience and a feeling of increased self sufficiency in the field. I have a favorite rubber mallet and a 2x6 that I set on my lap and make ammo.
 

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RCBS best for the money. Don’t get a kit. Buy what you need separately. For dies Redding and RCBS in that order.
 

CJW

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$1700 seems like enough to make sure it's all made in the USA. Plenty of companies putting out top quality for the reloader.

Just saying...
 

JimP

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RCBS best for the money. Don’t get a kit. Buy what you need separately. For dies Redding and RCBS in that order.

In my book purchasing peace meal is fine once you are into it.

But for the beginner a kit that has 99% of what you need to start reloading is the way to go. Then pick up the dies of your choice, powder, bullets, and primers and you can start reloading provided you already have a supply of empty cases.
 

Forrest Halley

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I've got about $1700 stuck back. So which reloading kit, and I don't need no progressive crap, I'm not lazy.

Lee Anniversary Kit
HORNADY Lock n Load Classic
RcBS Rock Chucker

I really want a digital scale. So help me!

I need dies for .300 Win Mag, .375 Ruger, 7mm-08. And 6.5 Crapmoor, as well as 10mm Auto, 9mm (9x19 for your technical folks.)
So hate me for saying this, but get a Dillon 550 and two tool heads. One for the pistol calibers and one for the magnum calibers. You'll end up with two separate powder measures because of the magnum powder system, but not a bad way to do it. 9x19 is what made me recommend a progressive. Loading it single stage sucks because you cannot make the volume. You'll be slower on 9mm with the 550 as opposed to other progressive presses, but do well on the rest of the stuff. You don't really need an auto indexing press just pay attention. I'm going to begin to load .458 Lott progressive along with .375 H&H. The Lott has tight primer pockets and the H&H just needs volume.

I like balance beam scales. The digital can shut your whole operation down for want of batteries and lack of calibration cooperation.

Hornady locking rings make life easier for all dies. It's how I get away with so few tool heads with the 550. I have a 650, but it is a dedicated 9mm machine.
 

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