Author Topic: Want to purchase an RCBS kit - advice appreciated  (Read 7450 times)

Offline ChadK

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Want to purchase an RCBS kit - advice appreciated
« on: February 12, 2009, 09:19:00 PM »
I would like to get into reloading, and have been torn between two kits.  The only thing I know about reloading is what I gathered from listening to Jacks podcast on it, and what I've been able to gleen from here. 

Which of these two kits would you buy:
My cost: $260 total after club discounts - http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/cb.aspx?a=506874

Or ($314 total)
http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/product/standard-item.jsp?_DARGS=/cabelas/en/common/catalog/item-link.jsp_A&_DAV=netcon-cat20847_TGP&id=0018937214924a&navCount=3&podId=0018937&parentId=cat20847&masterpathid=&navAction=push&catalogCode=XJ&rid=&parentType=index&indexId=cat20847&hasJS=true

Or would you suggest something different? 

I would like to reload 9mm, .40 SW, .30-.30, .270, 12 gauge and 20 gauge, as well as possible .22LR if its worth it.

How much more after the kits would I need to spend to actually be able to get a finished product?  Thanks!

Offline chris

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Re: Want to purchase an RCBS kit - advice appreciated
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2009, 10:25:44 PM »
I'd go for the second, the powder thrower is a real time saver. Beyond the kit you just need a 2-piece or 3-piece die and shell holder for each caliber. to my knowlede, no one reloads 22 lr.

millerized1

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Re: Want to purchase an RCBS kit - advice appreciated
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2009, 05:51:32 AM »
http://www.midwayusa.com/BROWSE/BrowseProducts.aspx?brandId=1458
Search your "kit" here.  I'd be willing to bet that you'll save a bit of money checking the prices on individual items.

These "kits" are usually worth the money, and normally by getting all the stuff in one fell swoop you're saving time. If I only got to choose between the 2, I'd choose the second one for the same reason as Chris: powder thrower.  Yes, you can do one cartridge at a time on a scale, but this is immensely time consuming. Unless you're measuring to the 10th of a grain for super accuracy, you'll do just dandy with that thrower. (I measure every 10th cartridge on the scale to make sure it's still tossing the correct amount) (for accuracy, I use the http://tinyurl.com/bu4yhd RCBS ChargeMaster Powder 1500 Scale/Dispenser Combo.

Those kits will do everything within reason, and 22lr is not within reason. The ammo is still way less expensive to buy it than reload it.  While it's possible, imagine how much 22lr you can put away with the same money you'll be spending on the reloading kit above: almost 7500rds even at Cabela's prices. WalWart even more.  If you want to get into using old 22lr shells for something, go google .223 bullet swaging or go here: http://www.shootingtimes.com/ammunition/st_223short_200711/  It's a much better use of spent .22lr cases.

Finally, you'll need powder, primers, bullets, cases, dies (in each caliber you plan on reloading).  Shell holders usually come with the dies, but sometimes they don't.

And before you load a single round, RTFM (read the manual).  One double powder charge can really ruin your day, your firearm and maybe your face.

Finally, welcome (amost) to the world of reloading.....just be careful you don't spend too much....you'll need that money for components and lots of them

Just my opinion, I could be wrong.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2009, 05:56:11 AM by Millerized »

Offline ChadK

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Re: Want to purchase an RCBS kit - advice appreciated
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2009, 08:19:45 AM »
Thanks men, that all helps alot and confirms what I was thinking about the 22lr.

I will price out the components and make sure its a good deal.

millerized1

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Re: Want to purchase an RCBS kit - advice appreciated
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2009, 08:26:12 AM »
Also, while they're as anti-gun as the current administration, eBay sometimes has some good deals on reloading stuff.  I've never seen a worn out set of dies....some that were close, but never worn out.  Buy the best stuff you can afford.....or as I'd read once before and live by now: Buy the best, cry only once.

Good luck.

Offline Jack Crabb

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Re: Want to purchase an RCBS kit - advice appreciated
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2009, 09:26:07 AM »
The .22 LR is a rimfire round so the priming material is in the rim.  I am not aware of any means for someone to purchase the priming material and reprime the cases.

The 12 and 20 gauge reloading will require a different press.  I have used a MEC 600 Jr. for 30+ years and been completely satisfied.  They are running $150 or so.  But, you can get fully automated machines that run well past $1,000.

What kind of reloading volume do you expect?  It is all a time vs. money trade off.  The RCBS 505 scale is fine and has a low price, but you will need to scoop each charge into the weighing pan.  At the other end are the digital scales with automatic powder feed etc.  

The single stage press (there is one die in the press at a time as in the kits you are looking at) is slower but for 20 or so rounds a year for a hunting rifle, not a detriment.  On the other hand, if you are shooting competitively and going through hundreds of rounds a week, a progressive press that performs multiple actions on several cases with each throw of the lever would be a worthwhile time saver.

You can accessory yourself to no end.  A case tumbler/polisher is very nice to have but not essential.  A chronograph is nice to have to verify you are getting the velocities you want but not essential.  Calipers and micrometers are nice to have to measure length, etc.

You can buy the shell holders for the press and the priming tool one at a time but they also sell sets with all available sizes.  There is something like 12 different sizes.  If you are sure you will only stick to 9mm, .40, .270, and 30-30, it may be cheaper just to buy the four holders.  But, if you might add .45ACP, .38/.357, .223, etc. at some date, it may be cheaper to buy the set.  Keep in mind is that one shell holder will fit a lot of cases.  The same holder can be used for the whole .243, .270, .308, etc. family because they are all based on the same head size.  Likewise, there is a belted magnum size so 7mm mag, .300 mag, .338 mag, etc. all use the same holder.

Having said all that, don't make it more difficult or expensive than it needs to be.  For $35 you can get a Lee Loader that has everything you need except primers, powder, and bullets.  See http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/catalog/browse.cgi?1234541013.818=/html/catalog/cleeloader.html.

Offline r1kk1

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Re: Want to purchase an RCBS kit - advice appreciated
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2011, 07:26:18 AM »
Having said all that, don't make it more difficult or expensive than it needs to be.  For $35 you can get a Lee Loader that has everything you need except primers, powder, and bullets.  See http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/catalog/browse.cgi?1234541013.818=/html/catalog/cleeloader.html.

What he said but buy a separate priming tool. There are too many people on the handloading lists that have experienced primers being set of by the hammer method. The Lee handloaders depending on the cartridge you reload can require considerable resizing effort on the pistol side and they only neck size rifle cases. After reloading the case a few times it will require may require full length sizing.

I carry a Lee loader when I'm hunting. No matter how you reload, a single stage press is your best friend for all circumstances. I do things on a single stage that will spring a progressive.

just my .02 cents,

r1kk1

Offline Stein

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Re: Want to purchase an RCBS kit - advice appreciated
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2011, 02:07:48 PM »
You asked for other advice, so I will chime in with the recommendation of buying the Lee turret press kit.  It will cost you less money and you will be able to load circles around a single stage press.  Even with the turret, I get tired of loading after 200-300, I couldn't imagine loading bulk pistol ammunition on a single stage.

Offline tween

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Re: Want to purchase an RCBS kit - advice appreciated
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2011, 07:05:05 PM »
no, no! get it used, on E bay, for $50,  or lose $200 when you finally realize that a progressive loader is what you want!  The single stage press is for beginners, it's a waste of valuable time,  150 rds loaded per hour, instead of 1000 rds per hour with a Lee Master progressive, ($200 on Ebay).

Offline RacinRob

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Re: Want to purchase an RCBS kit - advice appreciated
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2011, 09:23:22 AM »
How much do you shoot? I have been happy with my single stage for a long time.  When it comes down to it, I like reloading.  I also only shoot 4000-5000 rounds a year so I don't need to crank out 1000+ rounds an hour.  What else am I going to do all winter long?  The second kit has a $50 mail in rebate, so I think that is the better deal.

Offline Bradbn4

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Re: Want to purchase an RCBS kit - advice appreciated
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2011, 10:54:13 AM »
no, no! get it used, on E bay, for $50,  or lose $200 when you finally realize that a progressive loader is what you want!  The single stage press is for beginners, it's a waste of valuable time,  150 rds loaded per hour, instead of 1000 rds per hour with a Lee Master progressive, ($200 on Ebay).

Odd - I picked up my first single stage after I bought my 2nd progressive loaders.  Single stage has there uses, even after buying a progressive reloading hardware.

My first hardware was a Lee 1000 Pro - worth the money - used it only for 45 acp  and 9mm.  I used the snot out  the hardware for 10 years. 

Why did I get my single stage press?  For "odd ball" calibers that I don't have a need to reload more than 100 rounds at a time.

Offline r1kk1

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Re: Want to purchase an RCBS kit - advice appreciated
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2011, 10:02:52 AM »
A progressive is nice for pumping out ammo in a short amount of time. It will NOT do everything a single stage does. I own a Dillon 550. Granted not a true progressive. I have dealt with crimped in primers. Broke a decapping pin. I take the same offending case to the single stage and use a decapping die like the Lee universal, viola! It pops it out and I use my pocket knife to remove the crimp. I also can do it using RCBS primer swaging tool or mount it in Wilson trimmer and remove the crimp. There will be a time when collecting range brass that you will need to use a "bulge buster" die, Lee or Redding. These are push through dies. I cannot do this on my Dillon. Single stage to the rescue. Try forming 357 Sig from .40 S&W. Why? .40 is cheaper. So much easier through the single stage press.

I have a Lee Breech lock hand press. Goes with me to the range or hunting. Works well. I churn thousands of rounds every year on the Dillon. I have no complaints. I understand it's weaknesses and its greatest strength -- speed. I have a few single stage presses that do what I ask of them every time.

Sooner or later you will case form. Sooner or later you will find brass that was fired in an oversized chamber. Sooner or later you may want a few test rounds not thousands.

I cannot own a progressive or turret style tool without owning a single stage press. I cannot for the life of me own an air ratchet tool without owning a manual ratchet tool or wrenches. Air is great for pulling parts off fast, but not for me to assemble and torque parts down!

One tool compliments the other.

I have pulled the lever on the Dillon all the way down and knew something was not right. It always seems to be at the decapping or priming station. I have now seen small primer pocket .45 acp. I have seen mismarked headstamped brass. Amazing what is getting through quality control these days at the factory!

I stop. Pull the offending cartridge off to the side into a bin, finish loading 1-2 thousand rounds and then go back and look carefully at the brass. Single stage gets to work out this time. If I have enough small pistol primed .45 acp brass, this goes into a bin until I have a large enough collection to load. I remove an crimped stuff out.

I do load rifle on the Dillon. I have loaded more .223 and .204 Ruger for varmint hunting. Not unusual to take at least a thousand rounds out with me. It may be a great day or I may be wasting time and energy lugging that ammo. I have blown through a 1000 many of time throughout the years in one sitting over a weekend.

take care,

It just doesn't make sense to have one type of tool and not the other. Case forming is a big thing I do for some obsolete stuff. Once formed, it may make it to the Dillon. 7-30 Waters is not that popular anymore. Easy to do from 30-30 brass.

r1kk1

Offline ChadK

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Offline Bradbn4

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Re: Want to purchase an RCBS kit - advice appreciated
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2012, 05:33:40 PM »
Not bad setup, it does look a lot like my Lee 1000 Pro I picked up in the 80's.  I reloaded many thousands of rounds of 45 acp and a few in 9mm.