Author Topic: help with reloading gear  (Read 8010 times)

Offline theBINKYhunter

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help with reloading gear
« on: March 18, 2013, 10:00:50 PM »
from talking with my neighbor i know he's a hunter and reloads with his dad. the other day i was talking with him and found out he and his dad hadn't actually reloaded in over 15 years, but his dad still had all of the equipment.

i decided to throw out that i'd been looking at buying my own press and would be interested in what his dad has if he didn't want it taking up space. i spoke with him today and he said his dad would sell me everything for $350.

i know it's an RCBS (green, right?), but not the model.he said that everything that i'd need is coming with it. the press, powder measure, tumbler, some media (cheap though, right?) scales, dies for several calibers (i think 5, but i sort of remember hearing 10 -15?!?!), four reloading manuals. i'm assuming more stuff is coming that he didn't mention, and at the price i jumped up and down inside.

now that i've had a chance to get over the initial excitement and given that rough rundown does 350 seem reasonable? he's going to bring everything over in the next day or two so i can really go through it all. if you guys could give me your thoughts and maybe some things to look for that would be great. i'm brand new to this but have been wanting to get a press for a long time.

nelson96

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Re: help with reloading gear
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2013, 11:20:13 PM »
My bet is that he bought the RCBS Rock Chucker Kit that you can easily find new for just over $300.



The difference is going to be the extras (tumbler, dies, powder, bullets, brass, manuals, etc.) which could easily be valued at another $300 depending on how much extra stuff.  It's only worth it though if it's what you want.

Offline ag2

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Re: help with reloading gear
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2013, 11:45:32 PM »
If my memory serves me correctly, my die sets (purchased over 5 years ago) were about $30 each.  If he has ten, then it's probably a great deal.  If he has 5, it's probably still a good deal. 

I hate to encourage you to jump  on a deal like that when we have not seen it, but........heck the dies are probably going for more than that if they are common calibers.  You might be able to sell some on craigslist or armslist to help you off set the cost.  But only sell the ones that you know for sure, absolutely sure, that you will not reload.  If you have the money to buy and you are not hurting the finances, then keep them all.  Keep the manuals.  Hopefully some are older.  they are hard to find and can be helpful.

Ask if he has any primer and powder!

Search the web a bit to get familar with the parts and cost, but don't spend hours on it.  If he's bringing the stuff to you, he wants to sell.  Offer him a bit less.  All he can say is no.

Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: help with reloading gear
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2013, 03:33:59 AM »
New RCBS dies are $35 for a two die rifle set, and $50 for a three die pistol set for common cartridges.

I would ask if he has any case prep equipment, too: case trimmer (the pilots or case holders etc are usually extra cost), chamber/de-burring tool, calipers (I assume as part of main kit), anything else? 

I suspect you would get a good deal.  He likely has some odds and ends that really add up with the dies and tumbler.  The books would be good for an intro but you probably want to get a newer one for newer powders, or just supplement with the online manuals.  The reloading process has not changed much in 15 years.

Then of course he may have some powder, bullets and powder he may be willing to sell at a good price too.  If I was selling off my stuff to a new reloader I would be happy to include everything I had for one price and offer some time to help the new guy get started if he wanted it.  Fortunately, my son-in-law is an avid reloader so either he or one of my grandkids will get the hand me downs.

I would definitely lean toward picking up that setup.  It would be a fun thing for the other guys to know who it is going to and see you have fun with their tried and true equipment.  That would have a lot of meaning beyond just the good cost savings.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: help with reloading gear
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2013, 07:53:07 AM »
thanks for the responses guys. he is going to bring everything over so i can check it all out. i'm assuming it has all of those extra's that you mentioned since he said his dad will sell me everything he has, and i don't know how they would have reloaded without those tools. i'm hoping he'll let me take the stuff and check it out. i'd like to get some pictures and put them up here so people can help me ID what i don't know.

Offline Steve Cover

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Re: help with reloading gear
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2013, 11:02:45 AM »
I've done pretty well buying "estate" sale reloading equipment over the years.
Any equipment or dies that I've duplicated in the buy make great trade materials.

If you could post a picture, or at least a "Complete" list of the equipment being offered we can give you a better answer.

Another factor to consider is how its been stored for the last 15 years.
Even a faint dusting of rust inside loading dies make them unusable.

Powder should NEVER be stored in anything but the original container.
Powder does not do well in high temperatures.  If this has been stored in an hot attic it can chemically break down.
Open any powder cans and smell it.  If it smells sour, it is no longer usable for anything but fertilizer.

Now the important stuff.... Buy a reloading manual and study it.
You need to fully understand the process and potential dangers of what you are doing.
Personally, I suggest the Lyman reloading manual as a first buy.
However, Speer, Sierra, and Hornady also are fine books.
You may want to buy them too when you can.

RELOADING RULE NUMBER ONE ... IF YOU NEED MORE POWER THAT MAXIMUM LISTED LOADS ... BUY A BIGGER GUN!!!!!

Steve
NRA Certified Reloading Instructor

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: help with reloading gear
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2013, 09:04:02 PM »
just spoke with my neighbor today. he's going to bring everything over tomorrow and let me check it out. i'll get some pics off to show what i may potentially get so you guys can give me your thoughts.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: help with reloading gear
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2013, 07:07:48 PM »
alright, just got the press. it's a RCBS RCII, i'm assuming that is rock chucker 2? looks solid and there are a ton of goodies to go with it, including a 9mm die, so that is one that i need which makes me happy.

initial thoughts? i'll have a detailed list up later tonight when i've had a chance to go through it.

Offline beakerello

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Re: help with reloading gear
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2013, 07:52:02 PM »
Sounds like a deal to me!

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: help with reloading gear
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2013, 11:11:04 PM »
well, i think it's a bust. here's a rundown:

Rock Chucker II press - great shape
powder measure - looked good, didn't test
beam scale - broken
case trimmer - looked good but my buddy said that type sucked, based on his experience with them
primer pick up tubes x 2, i think one large and small - looked ok
some trays
case lube pads
9mm die - good shape
45ACP die - good shape
30-06 die - ok shape
30-30 die - rusted
250 savage die - rusted
7mm die - ok
various brass casings and projectiles, my buddy estimated about $50 - $75 worth
tumbler for cleaning brass - new, but only about $40

i probably left out a couple smaller things, but all in all i think i am going to pass. my friend didn't think it was worth it. i had hoped to be able to sell the oddball dies i wasn't going to use, but given their condition and the price of new ones i think i'd be lucky to get $5 for them. also a lot of the little pieces for the case trimmers were scattered all over a container, so i don't know what was missing or not missing. factoring in the fact that i'd need a new scale, deprimer, and case trimmer, i'd be looking at probably around $550 after my initial investment... not good. plus i found this: http://www.amazon.com/RCBS-Chucker-Supreme-Master-Reloading/dp/B0078MWM2W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364188167&sr=8-1&keywords=rock+chucker that and a set of dies get's me everything new for the price of all of this used.

the other thing to keep in mind is all of this has been sitting in a box for about 15 years, so who knows how good the primers are and if anything else is waiting to show up wrong as i start to use it... maybe if it was only $100, but for $350 i'll pass. what say you folks?

Offline trekker111

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Re: help with reloading gear
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2013, 05:38:18 AM »
The sizing die deprimes. What kind of case trimmer? What kind of tumbler? The rusty dies, are they rusty on the inside? Or just on the outside?  Are the pistol dies carbide? If they are rcbs dies, carbide come in a grey box, non- carbide in green. What is broken about the beam scale, and what kind is it?

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: help with reloading gear
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2013, 07:53:42 AM »
thanks trekker, i forgot that the die deprimed, i even made the comment to my friend that they had that, my bad.

the tumbler is some brand 'arsenal' i think, not at home so i can't look at it, but online it prices out around $50-$60.

all the cases for the dies were green. not sure if the rust was on the inside of the dies, but a lot of them had it, including the shell holders, and some of the rings looked like they were marred pretty bad with pliers.

the scale wouldn't zero out no matter how we adjusted it. it was also pretty banged up and the rest for the powder holder (gold cup thing) looked like someone took a soldering iron to it and melted part of it.

the case trimmer was similar to this one: http://www.amazon.com/RCBS-Pro-2-Spring-Loaded-Holder/dp/B007ZZO4PU/ref=sr_1_2?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1364219497&sr=1-2&keywords=rcbs+case+trimmer but the end the holds the shell screwed in to hold the shell holder in place.

nelson96

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Re: help with reloading gear
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2013, 08:36:10 AM »
I think I would have passed, based on this new information.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: help with reloading gear
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2013, 10:09:47 AM »
I think I would have passed, based on this new information.

yup, my buddy that went over everything with me has a friend who is selling a lock n load classic, but given that i shoot a lot of pistol i may just save up a little more and seriously look at a progressive setup. if that had been a smoking deal i would have settled and made it work, but if i'm looking at paying retail or just buying second hand at a reasonable price i'm going to get what i want.

Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: help with reloading gear
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2013, 10:23:38 AM »
Sounds like a good decision to pass.  If it had several good dies that you need and a good trimmer and other case prep accessories then it might have been a good deal.  In the end, you want equipment you will enjoy using and have confidence in.

Lesson learned though about the rust.  Much of that is likely due from hand sweat or oils.  In regular use you want to be wiping your dies, case gages, etc down after handling. I use a cloth lightly oiled with Breakfree or similar.  Some brands use stainless steel but RCBS and others use carbon tool steel and it rusts easily.  Handle your dies then put them in a box for 15 years and that is exactly what they will look like.

Offline Steve Cover

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Re: help with reloading gear
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2013, 10:39:13 AM »
I too vote Pass.

Too bad.
It sounded like a good deal.

Steve

Offline trekker111

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Re: help with reloading gear
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2013, 01:53:10 AM »
Frankford arsenal makes ok gear, but everything as a whole, unless there is $150 or so worth of powder, bullets, and primers, that you will use, then I would pass, or shoot him a lower price, like 200.

Even if you do get a progressive, I would still pick up a single stage.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: help with reloading gear
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2013, 07:36:09 AM »
Frankford arsenal makes ok gear, but everything as a whole, unless there is $150 or so worth of powder, bullets, and primers, that you will use, then I would pass, or shoot him a lower price, like 200.

Even if you do get a progressive, I would still pick up a single stage.

why do you say to have both? i'm all about efficiency so a progressive seems to make the most sense to me.

nelson96

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Re: help with reloading gear
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2013, 08:49:38 AM »
Having a progressive AND a single stage is GREAT, if you are rich, have a lot of room on your bench, and load for accuracy.  I load for accuracy, but don't have the benefit of the other two. . . . .  So I use my progressive just like a single stage when I load my long range stuff.  I get the best of both this way.

Offline trekker111

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Re: help with reloading gear
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2013, 10:13:51 PM »
why do you say to have both? i'm all about efficiency so a progressive seems to make the most sense to me.

If you do a large volume of reloading, for a single cartridge, using only 1 bullet type, then progressives are great, and while they are getting better, they can be a pita to get set up right. They can be such a pain when I questioned a coworker as to why he had 2 dillons, one for 223, the other set up for 40s&w, he said it was worth every penny not to have to change from one to the other.

A single stage press simplifies each step, which is valuable for someone just starting out.

Hell I have 3 single stage presses. I started out with a lee hand press, which worked great for pistol cartridges, not so much for bottle neck rifle cartridges. Then a friend using my equipment forgot to lubricate a few cases, the 3rd one stuck. Instead of asking me what to do, he decided more leverage would do the trick, and used a cheater pipe on the press arm, and riped the cast aluminum lee press in half. I bought a lyman orange crusher, bolted that behemoth to the bench, and used my newly aquired stuck case extractor to pull that case from my die.

Lee replaced the broke press, and it went back on the bench as well.

A press takes up 6 to 8 inches of bench frontage.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: help with reloading gear
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2013, 10:51:53 PM »
i've read that they can be a hassle when you switch calibers... i'll have to ask my friend. he loads on a dillon 550 and he does everything from .380 to 338 lapua on it.

nelson96

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Re: help with reloading gear
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2013, 11:07:31 PM »
If you do a large volume of reloading, for a single cartridge, using only 1 bullet type, then progressives are great, and while they are getting better, they can be a pita to get set up right. They can be such a pain when I questioned a coworker as to why he had 2 dillons, one for 223, the other set up for 40s&w, he said it was worth every penny not to have to change from one to the other.

If yours utilizes removable tool heads you can set each caliber up and leave it, using multiple heads.  Of course it takes a bit of an investment.

Offline trekker111

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Re: help with reloading gear
« Reply #22 on: March 27, 2013, 01:08:32 AM »
Also, the single stage presses seem to be a bit more rigid. Granted that the progresive presses are plenty strong for their intended purpose, but I don't think I would want to do much case forming on one.