Equipment Recommendations

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by cagkt3, Oct 23, 2018.

  1. cagkt3

    cagkt3 AH ENABLER PLATINUM SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    So I finally purchased some reloading equipment. I got the RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme kit (with the help of some Bass Pro points). I'm looking for some recommendations for what other equipment might be helpful as I start reloading, or any tips/tricks others have picked up. Thanks in advance!
     

  2. Pheroze

    Pheroze AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    LE Wilson case trimmer and the RCBS automatic powder dispenser. These are both life changing. No joke.

    If you load for belted cases I also strongly recommend the Larry Willis resizing die. Check out his very useful head space digital thingy.

    http://www.larrywillis.com/

    He has some other gadgets but those are very useful I think.

    Have fun!
     
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  3. cagkt3

    cagkt3 AH ENABLER PLATINUM SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Thanks @Pheroze, I do plan on reloading some belted cases so I'll have to check out his site. Unfortunately the firewall at work has it blocked....have to wait til I get home :mad:
     

  4. rnovi

    rnovi AH Enthusiast

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    Cagkt, congrats and welcome the wide wonderful world of reloading!

    First thing is to get a good load data book or some online links for data. Nosler and the various powder companies have a lot of free data online. I'm really fond of the Lee book as it aggregates the data of a number of manufacturers. I think the Supreme kit comes with a Nosler manual which is a great starting point.

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/639649/lee-modern-reloading-2nd-edition-revised-reloading-manual

    Second thing I'd suggest: blemished or factory seconds bullets. Nosler Pro-Shop is great as is Midway for various blems. https://www.midwayusa.com/s?userSearchQuery=blemished+bullets&userItemsPerPage=48

    A Caliper is a good thing to have to measure case OAL and base expansion. For lube, my personal preference is Imperial sizing wax.

    You won't need it yet but a case trimmer or trim dies (I prefer trim dies) after the second or third resizing.

    After that, I suggest you get to shooting! What you need will start to sort itself out over time. For me, it was a Case Tumbler to clean the cases...then an electronic powder dispenser (RCBS Chargemaster). Then it was a Trim Center. Then it was a new press (*Lyman T7) and extra turrets. And then a second powder dropper...yeah, you get the idea. It just starts to expand. Another press...another whatever.

    As you continue to grow, a decent powder storage option - an old refrigerator for instance works great.

    As an aside, the RockChucker. Mine is 20+ years old and just plain keeps on chugging along. It sits right next to my T7 (*with spare turrets) and gets regular use as my Trim-Die station and a couple oddball dies.

    OH! A journal. Gotta get a journal. Record everything!

    Here's wishing you the best of luck!
     

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  5. Spooksar

    Spooksar AH Fanatic

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    Good advice there
     
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  6. 8x68

    8x68 AH Fanatic

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    STUCK CASE REMOVER!!! Guaranteed at some point you gonna get one stuck
    My accessories include (bear in mind I've been doing this 35+yrs):
    Digital Caliper
    Sanding blocks (same as painters use. Use them to take the burr off the outside of case mouths when needed)
    Decapping dies Large & Small (Redding) or you can get the universal kind
    Nylon case neck brushes (not copper. Wear out too fast)
    Primer Pocket reamers (cleans out primer pockets)
    Military Primer Pocket Crimp reamer (I use Lyman)
    Magnifying glass
    Q-Tips
    Bullet Puller of some kind whether kinetic or collet.
    Replacement parts for your press (priming arm, springs, etc depending on press type/style)
    As mentioned above; a multitude of reloading manuals. Create a reloading journal. I created my own database for my re-loads using Microsoft Excel.
    Case tumbler
    Awl (use to punch out corn media from flash hole as I use corn media in my tumbler. I size & trim first before tumbling)
    Flash Hole Deburring Tool, case neck/concentricity gauges (not a necessity at this point but down the road if you get into the competitive scene they will come into play)
    I use different types of case lube. I find that straight walled cases (45/70, 444 Marlin, etc., and even my 450 Rigby) re-size easier with bee's wax. Some have their own home remedy versions like transmission fluid, bacon grease yes I said bacon grease. Fire a round and it smells like breakfast.

    Words of advice.
    Always pay attention to what your doing. No distractions...well unless your wife or girlfriend just went to the Victoria Secret store....what am I saying get back to reloading!
    Do not smoke while reloading.
    Only ONE can of powder on the reloading bench at a time AND make sure it's the right one!
    Load one calibre with one bullet weight at a time. Too easy to goof up.
    Recheck specs before you load. I loaded a whole bunch of 44 Rem Mag up using rifle load data and it was for a S&W 629 pistol! Surprised the hell out of me when I fired it. Sure did sting the hands pretty good. Only fired about 10 rounds as something obviously wasn't right. Realized my fluff up when I got home. Easy to double charge a reduced load as well if you get distracted.
    Pick the brain of those that have more experience. One can learn a lot.
    Just pay attention to what you are doing and you'll be fine.
     

  7. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Legend

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    A wise man must have taught you this.:D
     

  8. Pheroze

    Pheroze AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    @KMG Hunting Safaris : my PH, mentor, psychiatrist....the list goes on:)
     
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  9. 375 Ruger Fan

    375 Ruger Fan AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Cole, I grew up reloading with my dad, but haven't reloaded in years. I saw this photo in @tarbe recent post and it brought back memories. Home made cartridge holders. I can remember my dad and I taking a piece of 2x8 or 2x10 and measuring and drawing out the grid lines. My dad then set me up at the drill press and I proceeded to drill a bunch of holes through the board. I was probably 7 or 8 years old. I think we made ours with 5 holes per row. The last step is to cut a thin piece of plywood and glue or nail to the bottom.

    One other suggestion, you need a good, sturdy, heavy reloading bench. Keep it clutter free. The only thing you want on it is whatever you are reloading that session. Good lighting above the bench too.
     
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  10. Bullthrower338

    Bullthrower338 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Hey Cole!
    One of the first things that I will suggest is another press, love the RC but it doesn’t have enough throat to load the big cartridges like your 470. You will have to unscrew the seating die every time to get the loaded round out of the press. I use a 50 BMG press but the lee is an economical option. The RCBS Summit also looks like it would work well but it has some mixed reviews. I second @Pheroze on the auto powder thrower, not sure how I lived without one!
    Cheers,
    Cody
     
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  11. cagkt3

    cagkt3 AH ENABLER PLATINUM SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Thanks! Lots of ideas here, and I really appreciate the tips!

    Thanks Dave, I have a pretty sturdy workbench in the garage once I get it cleaned up. I had the misfortune to go from a 30x40 shop to a 3 car garage, so I will have to do some rearranging to get my reloading setup all done.

    Thanks Cody - I planned on adding a second press pretty quickly as I figured I may want/need a dedicated press for the 375/404/416/470
     

  12. ve7poi

    ve7poi AH Enthusiast

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    I use RCBS summit but you will need a different thread for dies regular one is to small RCBS also make it.
     
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  13. Pheroze

    Pheroze AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Dont forget to clean your brass - I like the tumbler that uses detergent and steel pins. There are other types too.
     
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  14. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    For hunting loads, a motorized primer pocket cleaner/neck brush/inside & outside neck deburring case prep center like the one in this link makes short work of those tasks.

    https://www.amazon.com/RCBS-90375-T...26&sr=8-1&keywords=rcbs+primer+pocket+station

    As others have posted, buy a few manuals. If you are using a particular brand of bullet like Nosler, Berger, or Hornady for example, get their manual. I gave a friend the Lyman manual. It's a good one for beginning reloaders. There are powder manufacturers that have load data websites too. Here's a few.

    Hodgdon: http://www.hodgdonreloading.com/
    Vihtavouri: https://www.vihtavuori.com/reloading-data/
    Alliant: http://www.alliantpowder.com/reloaders/default.aspx

    Good luck and welcome to the entrance of another rabbit hole.:p:D
     

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  15. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I'll second the advice of the case trimmer. I really enjoy loading my own, but I really hate case trimming. Anything that makes that easier and a bit more precise I like. And that case trimmer does that.

    I also like my digital powder scale. While you might eek out just a bit more precision with the old style balance beam, you can also drive yourself nuts with it.
     
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  16. meigsbucks

    meigsbucks AH Fanatic

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    I’ve been using a RCBS Rockchucker since about 1977, and it’s still going strong.
    There have been a lot of great recommendations here. I couldn’t live without an electric powder scale. Also, I acquire loading manuals as soon as they come out. A power case trimmer is a vast improvement over the hand crank version.
    TIP: Everyone loves to look at load data, but READ the front part of the manuals. I especially like the Sierra manual for this. Tons of great info.
     
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  17. cagkt3

    cagkt3 AH ENABLER PLATINUM SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Thanks all! I do have several manuals I've picked up over the last few months, namely Swift (#1 & #2), Nosler (1-7) and I believe the reloading kit I bought has a Speer manual.

    I will definitely look at the case trimmer and the digital scale.
     

  18. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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  19. Rob404

    Rob404 AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Great stuff here E-Bay can be your friend here, great for picking up some good equipment on the cheap. I'll second the need for another press I have a single stage Lee for bullet pulling and loading tall Bullets (404Jeff) along with my Rock Crusher Jr. Don't know if the need to load primers has been mentioned but to me the early Lee Hand Loader is still the best
     
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  20. Bullthrower338

    Bullthrower338 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I liked my lee until Phil turned me onto the Lyman, it is great.

    Cole let me know if you need a hand primer and I will send you one of my extras.
     
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