Reloading equioment advice

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csnider

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 17, 2008
Messages
333
I just bought my first Ruger Bisley in 45 Colt and would like to start reloading on a small scale with minimal investment. Looking at either the Lyman 310 Tool or an Original Lee Loader. The Lyman set-up is going cost around $125 vs. $30 for the Lee.

Any comments or recommendations on one versus the other besides the obvious almost $100 difference in price. Don't mind paying the difference if the Lyman is that much better. High speed and turning out huge quantities at a time is not an issue for me.

Thanks,
whitewater
 

gregs45auto

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 26, 2005
Messages
491
Regret that the Lee presses flex. A cast iron press will last to hand down to your grandkids. I have an RCBS from the 70's. I use other Lee products. IE auto prime, dies and powder measure, and have good things to say about them. Stay with the bigger press, imo greg
 

actionflies

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 25, 2008
Messages
86
Don't buy either and save your money to buy a single stage press or turret press. These hand presses are way old school and slooooow especially if you're loading handgun calibers.
 

bearcat bob

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 19, 2009
Messages
12
I am a Lee fan and have a row of the old Lee single stage presses and love them. And my fav dies are Lee also...Bob
 

Rodfac

Blackhawk
Joined
Mar 11, 2009
Messages
691
Please trust me when I say that you'll go beyond the Lee or 310 tool stage. I've never met anyone who didn't. And with today's political climate, it could mean shooting or giving up the sport.

The 310 tool will disappoint you in .45 LC. I have one, used it briefly then went out and bought the dies for a regular press. The effort to squeeze the handles, in .45 LC, even in neck sizing only, is significant. It'll kill any incentive you have to shoot. Trust me, I spent four yrs in college feeding a .357 Ruger with a lyman 310 tool. You'd also need a powder scale...you really do need this and not a Lee scoop...and a powder dribbler or for another $40, used, a powder measure.

For about $300, plus the cost of dies, primers, bullets and powder, you could be off an running... buy quality equipment the first time, you'll undoubtedly save money in the long and possibly the short run.

I've had two Lee presses, both were not worth the money...and the hassle of fixing them, adjusting them, monkeying around with them to get results, was frustrating to say the least. Especially the turret, or progressive presses. Lee does make excellent loading dies, the best primer seater in the business, the best case trimmer in the business, and several other tools. Their sizer for cast bullets is the best...Hint...I'm not anti-Lee, just feel that their presses, cheap, will frustrate you in the long run.

Lyman makes a good beginners press, a turret, with nearly everything you'd need to get started. Add dies, primers, powder, and bullets....and you're on your way. RCBS does the same. Midway or one of the other suppliers has them in stock. They're your best bet.

I've been a reloader for 50 yrs; have 7 presses in the cellar right now, from a $13 Herter's, my first in 1960, to a state of the art Harrell's turret, retailing for $260 for the press alone. My favorite are the two Dillon's set up for hand gun use. A little complicated for a new guy to reloading, but their customer service is superb...superb...superb...one call, a real person on the phone, speaks English and knows reloading. Lee dies are the best value for the money, but recent experience with Dillon dies leads me to believe that they're the best for they're presses tho expensive.

So take the plunge, you'll never look back. PM me if you have questions, need encouragement, or want to discuss anything else pertaining to reloading.

Best Regards, Rodfac
 

Yosemite Sam

Hunter
Joined
Mar 18, 2002
Messages
2,113
I heartily disagree that the Lee Turret is hard to set up or in any way cheap. I have both one of those and an RCBS RockChucker II. The RCBS is a stronger press, but that added strength is pretty much overkill.

I will say that Lee's "progressive" presses (Loadmaster, etc), in which more than one operation is done at once, tend to incite more swearing and consternation than other brands. If I were looking for a progressive I would probably look elsewhere.

The Lee Classic Turret is about halfway between a single stage and progressive. You install all the dies into a turret, which itself is removable. Buy another turret for $10 and you can swap calibers as easy as changing turrets. You still do one operation at a time, but you don't have to remove the dies and set up the next one for each step. In a single stage you have to reset each die each time you do a different operation.

The primer feed on the Turret can be a little finicky, as it's a cheap little plastic part, but it does work. This is an accessory, in any case. Most people prefer to hand prime.

Personally, I'd suggest you get a "starter kit" from either Lee or RCBS. Just to confuse things, as much as I like my Lee Turret, I prefer the accessories that came with my RCBS. The RCBS kit comes with a scale, hand primer, and a bunch of small tools and stuff that separately would cost nearly $150 over the cost of the kit, when I priced it out a few years ago.

But yeah, don't try to start on a hand press.

-- Sam
 

EarlFH

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
Messages
361
Let me throw in my plug for a Forster Co-Ax press. it's a little more expensive, but well worth it. The man who taught me to reload used one, and talked me into buying one. I've never regreted it. fast snap-in, snap-out dies. Straight line priming, and all the leverage to load, or form any kind of brass. Redding dies are the best, hands down. I would also encourage you to buy Lee Factory Crimp dies, for final sizing on any cartridges you load. They will cure a lot of reloading problems. These are the lessons learned in 40 years of reloading. Make sure that you have the patience to reload. It takes a slow hand to turn out good reloads. Be sure you look in every round, before you seat a bullet!!! it'll save you from blowing up your revolver.
Good luck with your decision. :)
EarlFH
 

Old Judge Creek

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 1, 2001
Messages
320
Yosemite Sam":6en75lc3 said:
...
Personally, I'd suggest you get a "starter kit" from either Lee or RCBS. Just to confuse things, as much as I like my Lee Turret, I prefer the accessories that came with my RCBS. The RCBS kit comes with a scale, hand primer, and a bunch of small tools and stuff that separately would cost nearly $150 over the cost of the kit, when I priced it out a few years ago.

But yeah, don't try to start on a hand press.

-- Sam

Well, after with 52 years of reloading experience under my belt, I agree with this comment "almost" whole heartedly.

I say "almost" because when I was in college I reloaded with a Lyman 310 nutcracker tool becasue that was what I could afford. OTOH: it kept me in 38s, 357s, 30-30s and 45-70s for several years. (and probably why my hands are arthritic in my old age....... :roll: )

:lol:
 

w5lx

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 25, 2002
Messages
334
I'll cast another vote for the Lee Classic Turret Press. Very easy to set-up, use, and change calibers.
 

bearcat bob

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 19, 2009
Messages
12
I started with the orig Lee Loader in 22H. It worked great and taught me a lot about reloading along with an old Lyman manual i bought used...Bob
 

revhigh

Hawkeye
Joined
Aug 31, 2005
Messages
5,590
Most people who own Lee presses and swear by them have never used any other presses, They cost half the amount of other setups for a reason. Buy quality the first time, and you won't be buying a second time.

Stick with RCBS, Hornady, Lyman or Dillon ... you'll be glad you did.

REV
 

wixedmords

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 5, 2006
Messages
903
You could do something like this Lee Hand Press Kit, csnider.

https://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/pro ... s_id/40434

This will allow you to use real full-sized 7/8 threaded dies.

Just pickup a set of carbide dies in 45 Colt and a decent used scale and you could get through a few firings of 45 Colt brass.

You could use a vinegar/dishsoap/watersolution to clean your cases and down the road a little bit you could look into getting into case trimming, or you could use a dial caliper to measure the cases to see if they need trimming. You may find they don't. If you wanted to get into a vibratory case cleaner, you can.

Purchasing a few good loading manuals is a good thing to do too.

BTW, there is a reloading forum right here in the Ruger forum.
 

captainkirk

Blackhawk
Joined
Jul 30, 2002
Messages
538
Yosemite Sam":1ei9xe7l said:
Personally, I'd suggest you get a "starter kit" from either Lee or RCBS. Just to confuse things, as much as I like my Lee Turret, I prefer the accessories that came with my RCBS. The RCBS kit comes with a scale, hand primer, and a bunch of small tools and stuff that separately would cost nearly $150 over the cost of the kit, when I priced it out a few years ago.

But yeah, don't try to start on a hand press.

-- Sam

+2 I bought the RCBS starter kit some 20+ years ago and it has worked well. I do use some Lee dies and I really like the hand-held auto prime.

Use a hand press if you will, but a bench mounted press is much better in the long run.

captainkirk
 

jmfc606

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
190
I still have my Lee Challanger press that I got almost 30 years ago. With that being said it's a good press and will last you forever. If you want to buy a single stage press I would go with the Redding Boss. I have dies and equiptment from just about every company and they all work well. IMHO, Redding is just some very nicely made components.
 

Jimbo357mag

Hawkeye
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
10,124
I would recommend starting with a reloading starter package either RCBS or LEE. It will have most everything you need except the dies for the caliber you want to reload. I started with the Lee kit and it can make some good ammo but it is a little harder to use in my opinion.

Do a lot of reading first. :D

...Jimbo
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,022
I can't say enough good about RCBS or Dillon. While Dillon machines are EXCELLENT, start with a single stage set-up. Get one of the RCBS starter kits.
Forget the Lee hand kit or the 310 set-up. You will regret spending that $$.
 

eric conrad

Buckeye
Joined
Sep 8, 2003
Messages
1,468
I'm with Tyrone and a few others on this.
Take a look at Midway- Lee anniversary kit # 423081 and a Lyman manual #217655
Once you get into it give Dillon a call.
For the cost of a few boxes of 45Colt you can be in business.
Midway has brass or ask here.
Eric
 

WESHOOT2

Hunter
Joined
Mar 19, 2005
Messages
2,124
Cheap advice:

Buy the cheapest LEE Reloader press (about $25).
Buy LEE carbide dies.
Buy a LEE chamfer tool and primer pocket cleaner (about $3 each).
Buy a LEE 'dipper' kit (about $15).

Buy them from www.grafs.com

ALWAYS WEAR SAFETY GLASSES when touching ANYTHING other than paper.


This list will get you started as cheaply as possible.
All of it will be useful for when you REALLY get started (like you can add another more robust press, and use that cheap LEE for mounting a powder measure on top, etc.....).
 

StanMemTn

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 3, 2009
Messages
214
Can anyone tell me what might make the RCBS Rockchucker a better first press than the Lee Anniversary press?
I seem to always see both mentioned prominently in threads like this one, but I also seem to get the sense that the RCBS is probably a bit higher quality. Is this correct?

-Stephen
 

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