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  1. #21
    Born to Hunt, Forced to Work

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    Started with a Lee Challenger press. Simple single-stage. Was a good press for me to learn the basics and the importance and accurate powder charges, etc. Moved to the Lee Turret press and auto indexer for it. Then got the Lee Loadmaster. Used it for a couple of years until last year when I bought a Dillon 550.

    If I had to do it over, I would have started with the Challenger press, and then gone straight to the Dillon. If you don't mind sitting down and fumbling with things on the press and correcting little bugs NEARLY EVERY TIME YOU RELOAD, then stay with the Lee equipment. I got to a point where when I sit down to reload, I only want to reload. I don't want to have to fix primers that are feeding, primers that are flipped upside down or sideways, worry about the accuracy of the powder drop (I had very bad experience with what Lee calls there "Perfect powder measure"). It was not only a joke, but nearly a dangerous one.

    With the Dillon, I sit down, decide what I want to load, set the press up just like I did the last time, and go. It just works.
    "I didn't claw my way to the top of the food chain to eat vegetables."

  2. #22
    Master Sniper 79's Avatar

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    The Dillon does just work. Actually thought my powder scale was broken it was dumping right on the money every time.
    I won’t be wronged, I won’t be insulted, and I won’t be laid a hand on.

  3. #23
    Expert Fullmag's Avatar

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    Started out with Lyman T-Mag used. I should say used and abused. It did okay on bottle neck rifle cases but when I tried straight wall pistol
    cases the problems begun. Be careful buying used equipment my advice if you do get the ones that have lifetime warranties. RCBS and Dillion have given me the best results. The Redding T-7 looks like a good piece if your thinking turrets.

  4. #24
    Marksman

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    I bought a Lee challenger anniversary kit back in the mid 80s when I shot only rifles. I still use it today- all but the original hand primer, which broke. When I got into handguns I bought a Dillon 550b, and it also has served me well for 20 or so years.

  5. #25
    Stay Picky my Friends
    OneBadV8's Avatar

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    I did the buy once cry once. However, I started off used. I got a great deal on a Dillon 550B, I mainly reload a precision rifle and also use the RCBS Chargemaster for the powder. But I also load 9mm and a few others that don't have to be as precise. I think if you buy what you need starting off you'll be happier.

    Which calibers are you looking to load? And for which purpose? Consistency? Accuracy? Saving money?

    I've always heard you never save money with reloading, but you might shoot more

    Quote Originally Posted by Que View Post
    I've banned a couple of people while in church.

  6. #26
    Grandmaster 1775usmarine's Avatar

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    Right now im getting into casting. Luckily the lee 10lb bottom pour pot came free in a tub of other cadting and reloading equipment my wife got for free from the owners of a store she has a booth in. Im buying cheap and will work my way up over time. I got a cheap toaster oven to start me on powdercoating though im sure ill have to buy a newer and bigger oven down the road. If anything if you buy used you can still recoup alotnof your money back. I look at it as a user fee for the years i used it.
    “Son, when the Marine Corps wants you to have a wife, you will be issued one.” -Chesty Puller


  7. #27
    Plinker Abominator's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by OneBadV8 View Post
    I did the buy once cry once. However, I started off used. I got a great deal on a Dillon 550B, I mainly reload a precision rifle and also use the RCBS Chargemaster for the powder. But I also load 9mm and a few others that don't have to be as precise. I think if you buy what you need starting off you'll be happier.

    Which calibers are you looking to load? And for which purpose? Consistency? Accuracy? Saving money?

    I've always heard you never save money with reloading, but you might shoot more
    For now I am looking to reload 9mm, 40 S&W, .357/.38. In the future .45acp (still need to buy one ). I would like to save money and I know it takes a while to break even on the saving but I am also looking forward to the experience of reloading. I don't really have a lot of hobbies since moving to Indiana from the Pacific Northwest, I figured this would be a good winter hobby and give me a chance to get a nice stockpile! I just got into USPSA this year and you're right I'm sure I'll just shoot more lol. I don't think I'm at the point of really noticing the inconsistencies in factory loaded ammo. I have been pretty much exclusively shooting the 150grain Federal syntech. I really like that ammo. I would be nice to get as close to that as possible... who knows.

    I ended up purchasing a Hornady L-N-L AP progressive press. I bought Shell plate and dies for 9mm and 40S&W and the Lyman reloading guide. That should get here tomorrow. Scale, case trimmer, case cleaner should be here later in the week. Now to start buying all the ingredients to make some rounds!

  8. #28
    Marksman crewchief888's Avatar

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    I started reloading in 1996 when I started shooting USPSA. Started with a Dillon SDB, Dillon electronic scale, tumbler, and media seperator.
    Still have it all, still cranking out 45's for USPSA


  9. #29
    Plinker

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    I always buy slowly over time and catch things on sale. I try not to get in a hurry

  10. #30
    Plinker

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    Quote Originally Posted by Abominator View Post
    I ended up purchasing a Hornady L-N-L AP progressive press. I bought Shell plate and dies for 9mm and 40S&W and the Lyman reloading guide. That should get here tomorrow. Scale, case trimmer, case cleaner should be here later in the week. Now to start buying all the ingredients to make some rounds!
    I would caution against starting your reloading with a progressive. I always suggest that people run at least 1,000 rounds on a single stage to get a feel for all of the operations before moving to a progressive.

    When you move up to a progressive you will still use your single stage. I now have a Lyman 8-station turret press and a Lock'n'Load AP and I still use the turret and single stage for some operations such as resizing rifle brass or sizing cast bullets along with other things. There are some things you just can't do on a progressive. The Lee Turret is next on my list because it teamed with a powder funnel and my Intellidropper seems like just the ticket for load development. I currently do that on my Lyman turret, but auto-index and easier priming would be a definite plus for me. It would also be much more convenient to setup for short runs of specialty ammo.

    I started with a Lee beech lock single stage, moved up to the Lock'n'Load from there and in the jump I made more bad ammo than I care to admit to. On a progressive there is a lot happening and a lot to keep an eye on at once and it is really easy to make a mistake. When you make a mistake with a single stage you usually catch it pretty early on. When you make a mistake with a progressive it can be 10's or 100's of rounds. As an example I was setup for .45ACP and had an issue with my powder measure. The Hornady powder measure got hung up on the primer tube. I did not catch it right away. In fact, I did not catch it until I had already dumped my finished round bin in to an ammo can. So then I had hundreds of rounds mixed together and no idea which ones were the squibs. 3/4 of a .30 caliber ammo can and no idea which ones were the possible squibs.

    Cut your teeth on single stage, then move to the progressive. That's my advice. Starting with a progressive is like having a Ferrari for your first car. You might be fine, you might cause a lot of expensive damage.


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