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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi guys,
Having got my Howa up and running, it looks like a reloading kit is on the cards.

I have a full engineering machine shop and have all the basics like dial gauges, scales etc.

Being new to the idea of reloading I have no idea what I need.

If any of the re-loaders amongst you can give me a brief run down of all the basic kit I need, possible pitfalls and whether there are some complete packages on the market that might be worth a look?

Some second hand kit would always be a good place to start?

I am reloading .223 Remington.

Just realised I posted this in the wrong forum... will correct.

Kind regards,
 

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I assume you are reloading for precision...and not blasting.

You are not going to be happy with any kit for long term. A kit will get you started and do so rather cheap...but most parts will eventually be replaced.

You need a press. The forster coax is the press to have right now...and is one you will not want to replace a few years down the line. You can also seat primers on this press which is handy. This press has a universal jaw instead of shell holders so you won't need to purchase individual shell holders.

You need a scale. If you already have accurate grain scales then great...if not then I would go ahead and get a chargemaster if you can afford it. If not then you will want a good balance scale (10-10) and a trickler. You will want to trickle every round to get them as precise as possible. If you don't go with the chargemaster then you will also need a powder drop. The lee perfect powder measure is cheap...but works fine if you are trickling.

You need a loading manual...and need to read it through and through before beginning. I use a lyman manual.

You need a trimmer. I use and like the wilson trimmer. It is fairly cheap...but extremely precise. For volume and precision you can get a giaurad

you will need quality dies. Forster, redding, or whidden if you are willing to wait for them. If you are shooting a bolt gun for precision don't worry about a crimp.

you will eventually want a tumbler. There is no reason not to go ahead and get a stainless media tumbler. frankford arsenal has a reasonably priced one...but I have never used it. I made my own.

I assume you have dial calipers...probably much better quality than what I have. A headspace gauge (wilson) and comparators (hornady) in the caliber you are loading are useful in getting the dies set up correctly.

I am sure there are other items I am missing...but someone else can fill them in.
 

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For hand priming I fell in love with my 21st Century S.S. hand primer. I also have a K&M and the Lee. The 21st century is smooth and the way you can adjust seating depth of the primer is pretty slick and accurate. Extremely consistent depth. Set up is very simple.
 

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I got the RCBS rock chucker, but NorCal is correct. I'm replacing every piece with a better one, but it got me started on the cheap.
I have not bought a box of rifle ammo in years.
Read the reloading manual first don't get in a hurry.
 

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I got the RCBS rock chucker, but NorCal is correct. I'm replacing every piece with a better one, but it got me started on the cheap.
I have not bought a box of rifle ammo in years.
Read the reloading manual first don't get in a hurry.
I'm right and I didn't even have to post in this thread. Damn I'm good lol.
 

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The first place to start is a manual.


Pick one based on the bullet brand you use. Or the powder you use.

Starting out I recommend a single stage. A nice single stage will be with you for life. Even if/when you move onto a progressive.

Some good single stages :
Forester (great press)
Rcbs
Lyman
Hornady

In addition to a press your going to need dies.

I like full length sizing die sets. Some people like carbide (I don't not for rifles.)

For accuracy and precision loads I love my Forester micrometer dies.

Die brands to look at( in no order)
Forester
Rcbs
Redding
Hornady

You will need a powder thrower.
Some feed different powder types better than others.

Brands to look at
Hornady
Rcbs
Lee

You will want a loading block.

A hand primer

You will want a stuck case remover

You will want a kinetic bullet puller

You will want a powder trickle

A nice accurate scale that measures in the appropriate unit. (Grains in the USA I don't know if England uses a different unit)

Cleaner ( I like Hornady one shot)

Case lube.
( tons of options from spray on , to pads that you put oil on, to talc, to lanolin )

If shooting crimped military brass you will want a case crimp removal tool of some kind. (Dillon makes a great one)

Primer pocket cleaner, neck reamer

Down the line you will want a case trimmer

And lastly a nice set of calipers.



The key with reloading is to be methodical
 

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I got a Redding Big Boss kit about 10 years ago (on sale Cabela's). There are a few parts I don't use from the kit, but I have not replace anything after 2000 308W rounds, 3000 223/5.56 rounds, and recently 500 45ACP and another 500 9mm rounds.
Scale works, added trickler, added BR-30 powder thrower.
Chamfer and deburr works.
Use Lee trimmers on my Taig lathe.
Starrett dial caliper.
Competition (i.e. micrometer) neck TiN bushing dies
RCBS hand priming tool with 4 primer sleds (SR, SP, LR, LP)
I don't use the neck cleaning brushes.
I use Hornady tumbler.
 

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I just went through the same thing last year. Here's what I would suggest. I bought the Lee Classic Turret kit off of amazon for like 200$. It came with a shitty analog scale, press, one dye set, reloading manual, it will press out primers and re load them and most of the basics.. In addition to the kit I bought an additional digital scale - Hornady (its kinda shitty), A case trimmer, Hornady case prep Tri (great investment), Lyman powder thrower (free standing) and I think that was about it besides powder and bullets.. You will need a sturdy bench to mount your reloading pess to. But I think the Lee Turret kit is a great starting point, I'm about 1000 rounds reloaded through mine and very happy with my setup.
 

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I started with Lee, kept it about 6 months and switched progressive to Dillon and single stage(precision rifle) Hornady. I use a RCBS powder drop with digital scale for rifle. I also have several different powder drops I came across on a brother in law deal... the Dillon changed the whole loading spectrum. I use the precision dial bullet seating dies. as far as tumblers I use two different types a walnut media before any of my brass gets touched by my dies(dirty brass is no friend to your dies) I size it and remove primers. A wet(stainless media) once I remove primers and has been sized. after the stainless wash the brass is trimmed (If first shooting) or I use the Xdie's after 1st trimming. and finally after bullets are complete I re-run the corncob vibrating tumbler with Nu-Finish added protects the shine and the ammo from corrosion...... a lot of work but it is worth it too me.... cool hobby not a lot of price difference between loaded and hand loading but quality is crazy different.... I also recommend several different resource books.... their is a huge difference between loads in all the books....
 
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