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I have always been the kind of guy that bought factory ammo. Get it on sale by the case. The last time ammo went crazy I had a pile so I didn't worry about it. I did not own an AR then so that didn't bother me. I haven't had my AR long so my stock pile is extremely low. Now if I want to build my AR skills I will need to look into reloading.

Looking online there is nearly as much reloading equipment as there are guns. Figure you are talking to a near moron here and let me know type of equipment you consider decent and any other tips you may have. I am looking towards more middle of the road rather than cheap. I want it to last.
 

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Honestly, I learned on a Lee 1000 and have bought a newer version of the same press. Back when I was shooting IPSC and NRA Action Pistol I could crank out 400-500 rounds in a couple hours....Check out a Lee Anniversary kit if they are still available for single stage (rifle Ammo)

Or a Lee Kit.

Value 4 Hole Turret Press Kit - Lee Precision

While quirky and you need to learn the press I think it has less issues than the pricy Blue press and a few others.

I thought about upgrading to a Blue Press and for $650 plus this and that to get it to work I will plug along with my Lee 1000

Karsten
 

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Lee, Dillon or RCBS I think mostly a matter of taste, I use both RCBS and Lee dies in the Dillon, but I think anyone getting into it should call a dealer to see just what you will need to set up what you want for the particular rounds you want to reload.
 

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Blue paint is #1, green paint is #2, red paint is #3 in general terms. I have a Lee 3 hole turret, and a Le Pro 1000 Progressive. Neither have been used yet by the current owner.
 

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Well I started buying 2 Lee Pro 1000 presses used as well as the guys extras such as scales, books, tumbler, tools etc. I set one up for the one caliber I was making studied some of the books, watched videos on the net and knocked out about 2000 good rounds without a hitch. The main problem was a progressive press was a bit to busy for my comfort level so I sold the extra one and purchased a NIB Lee Classic Turret as well as dies to do all the pistol and rifle ammo I load. Now it isn't as fast but I have complete control over every step on along the way as well as using it as a single stage. I later bought a Lee Hand Held Press for the range or if I felt like loading away from my place. It is also handy with the Lee Universal Decapping die for cleaning up brass in the field by removing the spent caps. At that point I stopped using the 2nd Lee Pro 1000 so sold it an picked up the Lee Classic Cast for two specific jobs, lube/sizing my lead cast bullets and doing 20ga, 12 ga shot shells both of which I did as was done with hand tools. At this point I'm loading 9mm, 45 ACP, 45 Colt, 45-70 Gov, 20ga and 12 ga shot shells. I load using various smokeless powders to Black Powder.

IMG_0367_sm.jpg Lee Classic Cast1_sm.jpg Lee Classic Cast2_sm.jpg
 

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I cut my teeth on something as simple as the Lee Handloading tool and I still got and use that cheap little press!

Lee Breech Lock Hand Press Kit

This is the newer version of it with breech lock which makes it easier since you dont have to adjust dies as much. Kinda like the Hornady Lock n Load. Its a little slower than a bench mounted single stage but it has the advatage that I can reload just about anywhere I might find myself. My little kit short of a tumber for the cases fits in a small little plastic breif case like box. I can throw it in the truck and reload ammo while I am at work often times. I can reload at the range if I am doing load development too. I do have about 4-5 bench mounted presses though that I use most of the time. But there is no substitute for this little gem and for the survivalist I think you ought to have one in your collection so you can reload on the fly if you need to.

Lee Auto Prime Ergo Prime Hand Priming Tool

This is the hand priming tool I use when using the Lee handloading tool. Yes I have a bench mounted RCBS one that is quicker and easier to use when loading a large volume of ammo but this little guy works fine and it was pretty cheap.

http://www.midwayusa.com/find?userSearchQuery=Lee+improved+powder+dipper

This is what I use to charge the cases with powder when I am using the Lee Hand Loading Tool. Heck its so easy I use it a lot when I am at the bench mounted presses too. Its not as fast a way to measure out powder on my electronic scale and powder despenser but it is pretty easy and pretty quick to use. No I will grant you its not going to be accurate enough to load precision ammo for 1000 yard matches, but it plenty good enough for punching paper and minute of deer out there about as far as you got any business shooting in the first place.

Other than primers powder bullets and case prep tools this is really about all you NEED. Dont get me wrong there are a gang of things you can get to make it faster and more convienent but you can also easily spend a grand plus in the process. Probably not what every beginer wants to invest right off the bat on something they may not like or really get the hang of doing. The Lee Hand Loading tool lets you get in on the ground floor cheap but works plenty good. Just not the fastest set up out there. But you can learn the basics off it and then you can invest in a bench mounted press later if thats your cup of tea. Lots of videos on You Tube on using this and other presses, check them out!
 

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One thing that needs to be mentioned is that even though the initial cost may seem expensive you are buying something that should last a life time, Dillon will replace anything that breaks free with out question I would guess Lee may do the same thing. Just keep several de-priming pins they are what usually breaks in the dies. I haven't been reloading lately so I can't tell you what the cost savings is. Several years ago you could buy once fired brass that came from the military but I am not sure you can still get it.
 

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Yeah thats about the only parts breakages I have ever had reloading, decapping pin! But then I also reload a lot of military brass that has staked primers in them. I also needed to get a couple of additional tools as well to remove the primer stakes in the brass as well. But once done its a non issue on that lot of brass afterwards. Just the first round of case prep is a pain in the butt.

Getting started at reloading does cost a bit to get into but your right, most of it is a one time purchase that if cared for and not abused will last a life time. That gives you the oppertunity to recoup your cost pretty quickly over buying commercially loaded ammo. Brass can be pretty expensive too but those can usually be reloaded 3-10 times before becoming un-servicable depending on the intensity of the loads your loading. For that reason alone I have found myself gravitating to some of the more milder chamberings over the years such as the 308 Winchester instead of my 7mm Rem Mag, those 308 cases will take a lot of reloads compared to the 7mm due to the lower pressures.

As a beginner I would strat off with just the very rudentry basics. It will get your foot in the door and you will learn a lot in the process. If its something you find appealing then you can go and get all the top of the line stuff and a progressive set up if you feel like thats what you need to fulfill your ammunition needs. If its something you find your not into, then you havent invested nearly as much money. Plus your equipment you started out with can always serve as back ups if something on your top of the line press breaks or malfunctions. That way your not dead in the water so to speak.
 

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I also agree with the last two comments and buy some good books on it and read them a couple of times. Many have load data but the internet sights for the powder makers is also a good source which is where most of the books get theirs from. I always work up a new load cross checking several sources also as their is some differences. The main advantage to reloading beside cost is you can actually make ammo suited to function from your own gun as close to perfect as it can be made if you pay close attention to detail. I also keep accurate records always of what I do.
 

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Buy or Borrow from the Library The ABC's of Reloading

It is the best thing to buy and read before any equipment is purchased. Reloading is only very cost effective, since no one accounts their own personal time/labor in to the cost per round. Reloading is an extension of your hobby, but if you need to equate a cost labor into your round count you will not find it fulfilling or "cost" effective.

There are also NRA Metallic Reloading classes as well as some places like "Sportsman Warehouse" has reloading classes as well.
 

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I like my Hornady LnL, but the price has gone up a lot on one in the 5 years since I bought mine. I like the LEE dies, especially the factory crimp die for .223. Good luck on finding brass, unless you have been saving and collecting it, you can't even find military crimped primer brass right now.
 
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I like my Hornady LnL, but the price has gone up a lot on one in the 5 years since I bought mine. I like the LEE dies, especially the factory crimp die for .223. Good luck on finding brass, unless you have been saving and collecting it, you can't even find military crimped primer brass right now.
Join some of the reloading forums on the net and you will often get good deals on once fired brass. There are a bunch so check them all out.
 

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used a LEE loader to feed my 4570 Saved alot and got me hooked on reloading. I have since invested in a lot of reloading equipment. but I still use the Lee loader to make test rounds for my big boars.
 

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I believe Dillon offers carbide dies for a price, that way you can skip the case lube step
I've had my RL550 for years now and use it for quantity reloading, never had a problem with it. I use the Dillon for target load handgun ammo, but if I'm doing something like my 300RUM I use a old single stage press and weigh every powder charge to keep them all the same weight and it pays off on paper in the end..
 

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All these talks about the machines....but by the time you get the press. The components are gone. Buy primers first, there will always be brass and bullets and powders available but primers might be hard to get as most places are already out.

Natchez is having a sale on their primers.
Federal Gold Medal Centerfire Primers - Large Rifle 1,000/Box - Natchez Shooters Supplies
Winchester® Primers - Large Pistol 1000/Box - Natchez Shooters Supplies

Its really inexpensive to stock up a couple of thousands of primers.
 

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All these talks about the machines....but by the time you get the press. The components are gone. Buy primers first, there will always be brass and bullets and powders available but primers might be hard to get as most places are already out.

Natchez is having a sale on their primers.
Federal Gold Medal Centerfire Primers - Large Rifle 1,000/Box - Natchez Shooters Supplies
Winchester® Primers - Large Pistol 1000/Box - Natchez Shooters Supplies

Its really inexpensive to stock up a couple of thousands of primers.
I must admit that the above is some good advice if the ammo shortage concerns you.

During the last ammo shortage in 2008, primers were one of the first things reloading component wise that disappeared although it took a little while! Powder was available in somewhat limited amounts but was usually available. In other words while powder was available my favorite powder might have been out of stock but there was usually something else available as a suitable substitute that was workable although perhaps not optimal in my guns. Brass cases for new cases was hit and miss as far as available supplies.

If your going to get into reloading anytime in the near future I would most highly suggest that you get the Primers, Powder and Brass now for the loads you will be loading. Primers are in good supply at the moment but yesterday I was at Docs Gun Shop and sales were pretty brisk. They were not overly low but the owner was already expressing concerns due to the amount of things that were starting to be on back order with his suppliers. I snapped up the last 1 lbs canister of Pyrodex RS they had on hand. Last night Bass Pro locally was out of primers altogether except for those designed as a substitute for Black Powder Inline loads which are milder W209 primers designed to be used with black powder stubstitutes such as Blackhorn 209 powder. Smokeless powder was available in limited amounts and in 1 lbs canisters only. While I am setting pretty fat on primers and powder, I will likely pick up a couple thousand more pay day and might snatch up a 8 lbs keg of additional rifle powder anyways just in case. While I survived the last ammo drought in 2008, I was caught with my pants not pulled all the way up. I walked into Docs when he still had a few left and cleaned out everything he still had in stock and it was enough to see me through comfortably. That wont be happening this time!!! This time I plan to be well ahead of the power curve.
 
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