Pistol Reloading Kit Opinions

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Old 11-25-13, 08:21 PM
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Pistol Reloading Kit Opinions

I'll be starting my new reloading hobby in the next couple months and want to get some opinions on the following wish list. I've come across a couple different kits, but none of them have quite everything I desire (e.g. digital scale, calipers), so I compiled a list of all the components I'd like to have:

Lee Single Stage Reloading Press: $39
Hornady Lock n Load Powder Measure: $70
Hornady Handheld Priming Tool: $45
Lee Precision 45 ACP 4-Die Set: $50
Lee Precision Auto Prime Shell Holders, 11 pc.: $17
Lee Precision Case Conditioning Kit (Cutter/lock stud, primer pocket cleaner, chamfer tool: $15
Frankford Arsenal Reloading Scale: $30
Frankford Arsenal Digital Calipers: $23
Lyman Pro Sifter: $58
Frankford Arsenal Walnut Brass Cleaning Media: $20
MTM Universal Ammo Loading Tray: $8
Alliant Bullseye Reloading Powder (1lb): $20
Hornady .45 Caliber 230 grain FMJ Bullets (250 cnt): $46
Lyman 49th edition reloading manual: $20

Total: $460

Savings from reloading 250 rounds of .45 ACP is about $115, so net cost of everything would be $345.
 
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Old 11-26-13, 07:07 AM
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...oh yeah, and Winchester Large Pistol Primers (1000 cnt.): $35
 
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Old 11-26-13, 07:59 AM
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Tumbler?
Case trimmer?

Your list looks to be pretty complete. Prices seem good for the choices made. Is the Lee die set carbide? Does it include a factory case crimp die? Personal choice but carbide slides nice without using case lube. I like the crimp on auto rounds as extra insurance against a bullet backing out of the case during recoil & (hopefully) get consistent and higher chamber pressures.
 
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Old 11-26-13, 02:09 PM
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Tumbler?
Lyman Pro Tumbler.

Is the Lee die set carbide?
Yes, carbide. Not exactly sure what the case trimmer is, but it comes in a set with the

Any opinions concerning a single stage over a progressive stage press? I'll likely be doing one process at a time, so I'm not sure if a progressive press will benefit me. I suppose it prevents the need for having to remount and readjust a die every time it is swapped.
 
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Old 11-26-13, 08:50 PM
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Progressive presses are nice since you can load faster than with a single stage. If you plan on shooting and loading a lot you may want to think about one. It would probably be 3-4 times as fast as a single stage. I don't use a progressive, but I load for rifles and rarely load more than 30-40 rounds at a time. You may want to load 100-200 rounds at a time so the faster pace might be beneficial.
 
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Old 11-26-13, 09:33 PM
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Aren't progressive presses for doing one complete round at a time though? I feel like I would want to do one step at a time for all rounds. For example, decap/resize all shells, then fill all shells with powder, etc. And in a You Tube video I watched, the powder measure funnel interfered with the adjacent dies. That would be annoying.
 
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Old 11-27-13, 10:23 AM
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Aren't progressive presses for doing one complete round at a time though?
Yes--4 or more things happening with each pull of the handle. I think the assumption is that you sacrifice a little accuracy with a progressive but I don't see why you can't have speed & precision both with a well-made press.
 
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Old 11-27-13, 08:37 PM
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Right several things happen at once with a progressive. As far as accuracy goes it doesn't really suffer if you're throwing charges anyway. Most progressive setups I've seen don't use a powder funnel, so that wouldn't be an issue. The powder measure has a tip that fits into the case. For loading pistol cartridges I would use a progressive setup to speed the process up. It takes me 3-4 hours to load 50 rounds weighing every charge and using a single stage press.
 
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Old 12-01-13, 02:08 PM
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Wow. I have a few points.

1. Do a little research on the accuracy of a $30 digital scale.

2. You don't need to trim cases on 45acp. I never have in zillions of rds.

3. You'll have everything you need - cheaper - in a complete kit (like rockchucker or somesuch)

4. Yeah, you'll need a tumbler/vibrator case cleaner.

5. Watch out for spp 45acp now. If you're using range brass, be aware they do exist.

6. Bullseye is my go-to for almost all handgun (45, 9mm, 40s&w, 380, 38spl), but jeepers be careful! It's a fast powder. Small charge means possibility of throwing a double. Check your cases after filling!

7. If you can find a local person who's been reloading for a while, a babysitter for the first session would be invaluable.

8. Another poster mentioned "crimp". Read all manuals and instructions and be aware that there are two kinds of "crimp" and only one will work for 45acp. Roll crimp vs. taper crimp. This you must get right. 45acp headspaces on the case mouth. If there's no case mouth, well, you get the picture.
 
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Old 12-01-13, 03:03 PM
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You need to think outside the box a bit if you want to save some money. The fancy sifter things that you turn are nice...but for a lot less you can buy some plastic tubs and drill a bunch of holes in one, hold it over the other larger one and shake, rattle, and roll all the media out.

You should also check at pet supply stores to see if you can find ground walnut media. I think they use it for lizards. I de-primed after cleaning so anything lodged in the flash hole gets punched out.

Digital calipers? Why? A typical dial indicator from Grizzly or HF would be just fine, though I really don't even know why you'd need it. In studies, humans can read a dial better than a number. You instantly know when there's a variation in the position of the needle, whereas the number has to be mentally processed and compared to the norm.

$46 for 250 bullets? Thats way too expensive IMO. Jeez...there have to be cheaper options. I see Rainier stuff for just a few dollars more for 500 rds. For practice at the range shoot the no name stuff from a gun shop or show. Never use handloads for serious business anyway.

Dies and shellholders? Buying a kit will normally include all that for a lower price.

Where's the bulletpuller?

There are other things...but most of your list looks more like something a rifle shooter/hunter would buy. There are presses that can be set to only do one step at a time, but when you get more experience can be changed to progressive or semi-progressive operation.

Weighing every charge for a pistol? Measuring out each charge? Why not a disc system of some sort?

Again IMO, you will rapidly outgrow this setup and wind up selling it for a loss.
 
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Old 12-01-13, 08:30 PM
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Do a little research on the accuracy of a $30 digital scale.
I only have my experience as a metrologist to go on but maybe you could cite some references?
 
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Old 12-01-13, 09:51 PM
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I only have my experience as a metrologist to go on but maybe you could cite some references?
Read more: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/ne...#ixzz2mI04uKW3

MNGunTalk.com • View topic - UPDATE: Why I have never used a digital powder scale

Beams vs Scales digital - Long Range Hunting Online Magazine

Which Digital scale to buy - THR

This last one references other data as well. Notice I didn't say not to get or trust a digital. I just said you might want to do some research.

*Also, you can get way cheaper bullets at Zero. Might be a minimum order.

Bullets by Zero Bullet Company, Inc.
 
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Old 12-02-13, 08:09 AM
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Thanks for the feedback. I'm new to all of this so I just compiled a list based on a few You Tube videos I watched. I'll be taking a reloading class in a couple weeks so I'm sure that will steer me in the right direction as well.
 
 

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