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Here's a suggested list of minimum required equipment:
1) Die set for each cartridge
2) Press
3) Shell holder for each cartridge, if not included with die set
4) Caliper, to measure length of completed cartridge to set correct bullet seating depth
5) Powder scale, either balance beam or digital
6) Powder funnel
7) Case lube (for bottleneck cartridges or if you don't get carbide dies for straight wall cartridges)
8) Loading block to hold cases
9) Powder measure of some sort
10) Reloading manuals

Optional
11) Scale calibration weights
12) Case trimming tools (usually not required for straight wall cases)
13) Priming tool, if you don't want to prime on the press

Beyond that there are lots and lots of nice to have items. A good book for beginners is "Things They Don't Tell You About Reloading", more info can be found here. You should have at least one good reloading manual, two is better. A good general use reloading manual is the Lyman Manual, it uses a variety of powder and bullet manufacturers and has a good intro to reloading. For a second manual I like one from the the supplier of the bullets I am using. So get the Hornady manual if you are using Hornady bullets, otherwise almost every bullet supplier has a manual.

For the cost of reloading, you can easily calculate the cost of the components. There are 7000 grains in a pound; for 9mm you should get 1000 or more rounds from a pound of powder and 500 or more for the 357. Add in the cost of one primer and one bullet, you'll find that jacketed bullets are usually the most expensive component. As BigG noted above this is a hobby and you can save money over factory loads, especially for some rifle ammo, but you should also enjoy it or you will lose interest.
He has it right on this list. With the exception of the priming too, which I would get anyway as it is quicker, you need a dial caliper for your own piece of mind. This allows you to know that the brass and components are the size they are supposed to be.

Check your powder well as you may find a powder you cna use for 9 and 357. I prefer Hogdons but most powders out there are good. Looks like Universal or Clays would be a good start, depending on what bullet weight and type you are going to use. (y)
 

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Permit me to begin by saying what I have, what $ I have it in and how slow my operation is would not be nearly good enough or fast enough for the vast majority of reloaders.

Though I started out on a SS Baer mounted press in 1973, for over 35 years now I have done all of my reloading on the same Lee hand press . It's the only press that I have. I have just 3 sets of dies now . Overs the years I loaded for several more calibers, both rifle and handgun but now as far as my reloading goes I'm down to just .45 Colt, .44 Mag and .357 mag. Lee 3 die Carbide for the .45 Colt and Hornady Titanium for the other two. I use a Lee primer set. I've used the same Lyman 500 beam scale for over 35 years as well. I weigh each charge . Yes, it's slow but I have no need or desire to speed things up. I have no idea how many rounds that I have cranked out over the years using only the above mentioned equipment for both plinking fun and hunting . Reloading for me is an enjoyable, relaxing hobby and I take pride in the rounds that I make.

$250 would easily replace everything I have now for the 3 calibers . Obviously, components are extra.

Federal Cartridge Company I'm not but my operation fills my needs.
I have one of these myself and have loaded many .45 rounds on it. But loading rifle rounds is not the same. I had problems with resizing on my .308 and 8mm Mauser rounds if these were not fire formed cases. And you will not take the Lake City match .308 cases and get the results you want unless the first time the are fired is through the weapon you are reloading for.

Thing to remember is that this is a unforgiving venture. And the more complex cases you load, the les room for error there is. Straight wall pistol cases can be worked on this press with no problem, use carbide dies so no lube needed! For rifle cases, this can be used, that is what is was made for, loading rounds in the field for bench shooters. But a Rock Crusher is a much better press. RCBS, Lee, Hornady, Dillon, these are all great equipment. A press fixed to a VERY sturdy loading bench is a much easier way to load and more precise.
 

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There is such a thing as overload when it comes to reading about reloading. Maybe not with everyone, but definitely with me. I think reading too much has prevented me from starting this. I think I need to be an expert and know everything about every single thing before I do a single thing. I think i am just going to buy some equipment each month till I finally have all the pieces and then probably let it sit for a while and then start up. lol And knowing it is going to sit a while, I won't be able to verify if it is defective in any way... and the cycle of reasons not to make a move will take over.

I'll start with the reloader. I had the Dillon 550C added to my wishlist in Amazon for the past couple years. I didn't get it because I think I am going to want to get the XL750 cause it states it will go up to .50 S&W... and I plan on acquiring a couple in the future. Is there anyway I will regret the XL750?
 

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I apologize if the info can be found in another thread somewhere. I checked and couldn't find exactly what I was looking for, and I am looking for basic yet specific answers while saving time. I just have 3 questions regarding the approximate cost and items required to start reloading.

I know the 5 stage systems can run a lot. But if I decided to get a Lee single stage press (I watched a quick video demo on) or similar single stage press. My questions are:

1) Assuming that I could get most of my brass myself, what would be the approximate end cost if I wanted to reload my first 1000 rounds of 357 mag and 9mm with just a single stage setup in my shop? (Ex: $300 - $450)

2) Without getting into anything fancy, would the supply list be: The single stage press itself, a die for each of the 2 rounds, bullets (let's say basic FMJ for simplicity's sake), smokeless powder, a digital scale, measuring scoops, primers, brass, and reloading manual? Or is there more required than that to start out?

3) Is all of the info you need to learn as far as measurements and pressures for safe and proper reloading found in a specific manual? I often hear Hornady reloading manual referenced a lot.

Thanks in advance and again I apologize if missed the answer when scanning over thread conversations between folks experienced with reloading. Also sorry for such a newbie question, but I want to have the basics understood so that I can make an educated decision on if this is an investment I want to make soon. The only personal source I have is a friend who bought an expensive 5 stage setup. Hope everyone is staying safe out there!

[/QUOTE As to how I started I was strapped for cash so I purchased exactly what I needed first, then added to it my bench as I progressed. Midwayusa is a great economical place to buy from you may want to look at that.
First you may want to consider a Lee Handpress Kit for $54 this has many advantaged over a single stage press. because if you purchase a single stage press do not forget you will need a handpriming tool around $36,
The handpress kit comes with a ram prime so you can prime your cases, along with a tube of lube and powder funnel also a dipper with load data.
So you will need the kit $54 a caliper $20 dollars and up I would not buy a digital, also you can buy a hornady scale for around $40 that will do fine, When you buy a die set they are from $33-$49 dollars I would get deluxe set with a factory crimp die included along with a dipper and a powder chart so you could get by without a manual temporarily, However Lee has a excellent manual I just checked they are onsale for $16 this will tell you everything you will need to know about reloading along with a long list of powders and loads for each caliber. When you can get a tumbler that is a good thing but buy crused walnut shells from a pet store it is the same thing although you can get buy without one as you can go online and get a recipe with 1/4 quart of vinegar to one quart of water with teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of dawn dish soap. Then you can go for a tumbler for around $70.
A reloading tray is about $5 As for bullets you may want to look at berrys manufacturing 1000 9mm are about $80 but you will need a powder and primers which powders range from $25-$40 and primers 1000 are about $40. I also have a lee economy turret press that I love but I still like to do my 3006 308 and 223 on my handpress. What ever you buy you can look at all the reviews on Midwayusa website and make your own decision, As a general rule of thumb I can save 40-60 percent of a box of rounds depending on the supplies you will purchase. I hope this helps good luck. So bare minimum get the kit $54 and a caliper $20 or $30 and a set of dies and that is all you will need to get started then you can add as you go. I will warn you its kind of addictive and I know you will have fun. Hope this helps with your needs.
Thanks
 

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There is such a thing as overload when it comes to reading about reloading. Maybe not with everyone, but definitely with me. I think reading too much has prevented me from starting this. I think I need to be an expert and know everything about every single thing before I do a single thing. I think i am just going to buy some equipment each month till I finally have all the pieces and then probably let it sit for a while and then start up. lol And knowing it is going to sit a while, I won't be able to verify if it is defective in any way... and the cycle of reasons not to make a move will take over.

I'll start with the reloader. I had the Dillon 550C added to my wishlist in Amazon for the past couple years. I didn't get it because I think I am going to want to get the XL750 cause it states it will go up to .50 S&W... and I plan on acquiring a couple in the future. Is there anyway I will regret the XL750?
If you plan on using a bullet feeder then you might have problems with the 750. Dillon is working on a fix for that problem.

Other than that you'll NEVER regret owning a Dillon.
 

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Coming to the party late as usual, having read all the posts, I do have a couple of items. One poster recommended using 80-85% loads to extend brass life,be VERY CAREFUL with this as most loading sources never going more than 10% reduced loads as this could be VERY dangerous. The other a money saver , at least initially, is to buy either the .357 or the ..38 spc. die set and a 0.10" spacer washer to convert from special to magnum or visa versa. RCBS used and may still provide it with one or the other set.
Disgustipated, get the best can or want, enjoy have fun and Be SAFE!
 

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If you want to start reloading I would go with at least a turret press like the Lee Classic Press. Much easier and faster than a single stage.
Price your press, dies, brass, bullets, primers and powder from the sources you want use. Add up the cost and any shipping and handling.
Prices for reloading differ from locations.
Also you may need accessories such as primer hole reamer, wrenches for the dies, tumbler or other method to clean brass and something to hold brass and loaded ammo.
Probably a couple of things I forgot.
 

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If you plan on using a bullet feeder then you might have problems with the 750. Dillon is working on a fix for that problem.

Other than that you'll NEVER regret owning a Dillon.
All the videos, even with the progressive presses, the guys were hand placing each bullet in place. I doubt I will regret ordering a Dillon right out of the gate, but I feel like I would be skipping some of the learning curve. I've been watching video after video the past couple days and have done more research than ever and I should probably go with a turret so I can start and finish each round one by one.

I don't see being advanced enough to just start cranking out large numbers and having high QC. Getting things right will be more important. I was looking at the Lyman All American 8 and it looks like a lot of people go with a handheld primer. There is one from RCBS that seems to be popular and easy enough to operate. I can always upgrade in the future.

Looking at some of the prices for bullets and other components was kind of disappointing... and the availability. But this covid 19 insanity probably has something to do with that. I'm patient though. lol
 

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I load all my stuff on a turret press. I have thought about getting a dillion many times, but I do so many calibers that it just doesn’t seem to make sense. I also use a chargemaster to measure powder, and I like it. I don’t trust the other powder dispensers.
 

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1) Approx end cost...depends on on budget and quality. Buy once, cry once has never been more true. Plan on the long-haul with a top tier turret press vs standard ss as you will find reason to leaving some dies mounted, e.g. decap, G-Rx for 40/10mm, puller, etc. in addition to your 357M/38Spc dies. Seat and crimp separately. Cut your teeth on the straight walls of 38/357 before loading the tapered 9 x 19. Redding T-7 for today and 30 yrs from now. Then, when doing volume, a Dillon.

2) Many good suggestions above. Check weights and caliper will prevent most trouble. Good lighting and posture for checking cases.

3) Loadbooks USA, Inc. is a very good aggregator.
 

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Calipers? So now that I have a book and realize I know so much less than I thought I knew, I am going to ask about some stuff here and there in the spirit of saving some money. I know I will have to spend quite a bit, but for some reason, the price of these digital calipers is not sitting right with me. Amazon.com: RCBS Electronic Digital Caliper: Sports & Outdoors
I'll get them, but just want to get an opinion on if they are decent and the price is right.
Also, a Case Trimmer. The first two calibers I plan on loading is the 460 S&W and 10mm. But any recommendations on a case trimmer would be appreciated. I go through a lot of 308 and 300WM.

I know you can tell I'm only a couple pages in book by this post. lol
 

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I doubt I will regret ordering a Dillon right out of the gate
American, you'd never regret buying a Dillon. I have yet to hear anyone say, "Damn, I wish I would have bought that Lee instead of this dang thing." I know you had mentioned the 750 earlier, but have you considered the 550? You have the flexibility of running it as a single stage if you choose or load it up and manual index it. I 'm pretty sure I can load em faster than I can shoot em, a person can casually load 250 rounds in hour. Now I did load 100 .45 ACP in 14 minutes and that was pure insanity, there was nothing fun or relaxing about it. One suggestion I would make is to have tool heads and hoppers for each set of dies, then you can "set it and forget it".

Calipers? So now that I have a book and realize I know so much less than I thought I knew, I am going to ask about some stuff here and there in the spirit of saving some money. I know I will have to spend quite a bit, but for some reason, the price of these digital calipers is not sitting right with me.I'll get them, but just want to get an opinion on if they are decent and the price is right.
Also, a Case Trimmer. The first two calibers I plan on loading is the 460 S&W and 10mm. But any recommendations on a case trimmer would be appreciated.
If it's RCBS it's good, but you're also paying for the name. Mine are RSCB but they'er not digital, I've had them for years, (around $50 now). If you want digital you could get by with something cheaper I guess.

I have a Lyman trimmer, not the one in the link below, again something I've had for years and it hasn't failed me yet. Horandy has good one too, but I believe you'll need to purchase extras to get it up and running. Problem is the more you see, the more head scratchin' you'll do.



 

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Yes those calipers seem expensive to me. I use the old fashioned dial calipers, and have always liked them. I bought an rcbs branded micrometer for like $30.
 

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I liked the idea of the turret and just buying different turret heads/ tool heads for each caliber so I didn't have to mess with taking the dies on and off. A couple days ago, I looked at the RCBS Supreme Master Kit you had listed in an earlier post. I looked at a video of someone using it and it seemed good to go. I was close to buying it, but with this reloading business, there is just so much to look at and research so I held off. Then I saw a video of another one with the turret and figure that would be way easier than unscrewing all the dies each time and having to redo the one that seats the bullet to get the OAL correct... not that I still don't have to check and recheck it.

I am leaving some room for the realization that I may not totally be into reloading so I went with a cheaper press that seemed simple enough providing I assemble it correctly. If things work out, which they probably will, I will upgrade to a better system and will probably not regret having both presses.

Thanks for the info on the calipers. I was under the assumption I HAD to have digital. Normally I would not be so worried about the price, but it seems like there are so many tools that I need to get that could add up to a lot. I have that Lyman Case Trimmer you sent in the link already in my wish list and just wanted to confirm it wasn't a waste of money or low quality. I liked the Hornady one cause it looks like it will lock up tighter... I saw some reviews of the lyman that said it was getting loose. I'll check them out again later.

Thanks for the info.
 

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Thanks for the info on the calipers. I was under the assumption I HAD to have digital. Normally I would not be so worried about the price, but it seems like there are so many tools that I need to get that could add up to a lot. I have that Lyman Case Trimmer you sent in the link already in my wish list and just wanted to confirm it wasn't a waste of money or low quality. I liked the Hornady one cause it looks like it will lock up tighter... I saw some reviews of the lyman that said it was getting loose. I'll check them out again later.

Thanks for the info.
A 6 inch digital caliper can be had at Harbor Freight for $10 with a coupon. I have been using them for a couple years now and they are accurate enough for reloading. I don't have set up blocks but when I measure the diameter of a drill bit it always measures what it should be. Same for measuring the diameter of a bullet. You don't have to spend a small fortune to get a set of digital calipers.
 

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A 6 inch digital caliper can be had at Harbor Freight for $10 with a coupon. I have been using them for a couple years now and they are accurate enough for reloading. I don't have set up blocks but when I measure the diameter of a drill bit it always measures what it should be. Same for measuring the diameter of a bullet. You don't have to spend a small fortune to get a set of digital calipers.
Thanks. I found the coupon and added it to the cart. Going to look for some more stuff so I don't feel I am getting ripped off for the shipping. lol But if it saves me from going in the store... and not to mention the savings compared to the other items, it is going to be worth it.
 

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American, you'd never regret buying a Dillon. I have yet to hear anyone say, "Damn, I wish I would have bought that Lee instead of this dang thing." I know you had mentioned the 750 earlier, but have you considered the 550? You have the flexibility of running it as a single stage if you choose or load it up and manual index it. I 'm pretty sure I can load em faster than I can shoot em, a person can casually load 250 rounds in hour. Now I did load 100 .45 ACP in 14 minutes and that was pure insanity, there was nothing fun or relaxing about it. One suggestion I would make is to have tool heads and hoppers for each set of dies, then you can "set it and forget it".



If it's RCBS it's good, but you're also paying for the name. Mine are RSCB but they'er not digital, I've had them for years, (around $50 now). If you want digital you could get by with something cheaper I guess.

I have a Lyman trimmer, not the one in the link below, again something I've had for years and it hasn't failed me yet. Horandy has good one too, but I believe you'll need to purchase extras to get it up and running. Problem is the more you see, the more head scratchin' you'll do.



Post 75 was a reply to you, but I messed it up and it would not let me edit it. Thanks for the info.
 

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American, if you have not already purchased your rifle dies yet, think about the RCBS competition seating die. If you get the .308 Winchester set it will also seat the .300 Winchester magnum as well. Also it has a repeatable micrometer depth adjustment and a side loading window and a floating bullet guide. It is a versatile and easy to use tool. It will be more expensive than other dies but you get 2 dies for 1, also you can use the same body for multiple rifle cartridges for little more money in parts.
 
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