Best Press & Other Items for Use by Several???

Several of my friends and I are looking at reloading for our rifles and pistols, and would appreciate any input on what brands/models of basic press, scales, dies, etc. we should look at. We realize that there are personal preferences, but want to avoid a big mistake. We will share the basic items, but probably buy our own dies as there are a lot of different cal. in the group.

Thanks for any good input,

Bob C.


  • FEENIXFEENIX Member Posts: 10,557 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    If you do a search there's a few. I too just started reloading this year with ...


    I got it BassPro for $299 and at the time 6-months payment plan. Redding dies are what I am using at this time, Frankford Arsenal digital caliper, Frankford Arsenal tumbler, RCBS hand primer, Lee measured scoop sets, Lyman and Nosler reloading books. Others will have more extensive set up.

    I even built a bench to go along with it ...


    I have been successful with this set up and having a blast. As I was warned it can be addicting. [^]


    Good luck!

  • BGHillbillyBGHillbilly Member Posts: 1,927 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Lee equipment is servicable and low cost and while it's good for individual use, from an engineering standpoint I would worry about its durability when used by a group. It just seems fragile. Lee is what I bought when I stopped reloading with my group of friends mainly because of price.
    As a group we used RCBS mostly with very good results. A set of Lee powder measures is handy regardless of other types of powder measures you may choose to use. Personally I have not been happy with any Lyman equipment I have used.

    As far as avoiding big mistakes:
    Make sure that the single stage press you buy is an 'O' frame, not a 'C' type.
    Be sure to buy carbide dies for all your straight wall pistol cases.
    Buy a reloading manual based on each brand of bullet you use not brand of powder. Not really a biggie.
    Make sure you know how to use the powder scale you buy and it has sufficiant capacity and accuracy. 500gr cap and .1gr accuracy at a minimum.
  • jonkjonk Member Posts: 10,121
    edited November -1
    For a single stage press, a Lee is fine. The classic cast press. Same for their classic cast turret for a semi-progressive.

    I'd avoid their C frame or Challenger press for group work though.

    Any of the larger offerings from Lyman, Redding, or RCBS would serve well.

    I'm thinking a turret press might be the way to go here- it can be used single stage to start but is a bit faster for the group.

    If there is an experienced reloader in the group you could of course jump straight to progressive, otherwise I'd avoid it.
  • Rocky RaabRocky Raab Member Posts: 10,886 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I agree with what jonk said - except for the progressive press. It can be extremely tedious and finicky to change to a different cartridge on a progressive, and fiddling with the adjustments can dork it up for everybody. If you got a Lee Classic Turret, everybody could have their dies permanently installed in his own turret, making caliber change a snap.

    I'd highly recommend an automatic powder dispenser/scale for the ease of changing to different loads. Lee dippers are great for handgun loads and small charges, also. For the small money involved, everybody ought to have his own set of calipers. (If you drop and damage your own, nobody else gets upset.) That goes for powder, primers and bullets: everybody brings and uses his own.
    I may be a bit crazy - but I didn't drive myself.
  • shootlowshootlow Member Posts: 5,425
    edited November -1
    dillon with the extra tool heads
  • skyfishskyfish Member Posts: 1,068 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I'd go with any of the major kits from a major company. I'd go with RCBS, Hornady, or Lyman. One advantage of Hornady if you all buy your own dies, you now have a quick change function. That way if someone is sizing another person can be installing primers on their brass. I've used both RCBS and Hornady dies and lately only been buying Hornady. Three resons, I like the bullet holder in the seater, the locking ring is much better, clamps with screw instead of brass that you screw into the threads that always seams to slip on me. Also like the zip spindle.

    As for the kit any of the major players, dies I'd go Hornady(plus you get free bullets), don't forget shellholders and consumables.

    You may also want to form a plan with your group about how much you all want to spend. A case trimmer will be required after a while. Also I reload for hunting not match, 1" groups are good to me except for my varmint gun, then I like .5"

    Good luck, have fun and be careful. Stay organized, get a notebook and keep notes. Velocity is not everything.
  • jordanwebsterjordanwebster Member Posts: 4 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    My first advice as a novice is to search the world over for the best deal. The price doesn't necessarily designate quality, but I would definitely get an O frame as one member suggested. Stick to the recipes, especially for the handguns. Don't do a thing without a recipe. I use a Lyman Crusher II kit that I bought from Optics Planet for 239 plus shipping. Kits are the way to go, but you don't need all that digital crap. It's not crap but it's not necessary. A 505 scale is perfect. A twenty dollar caliper from Harbor Freight works well. Just take care of it. Don't let anyone push you away from Lee dies. They work great. Stick to carbide for pistols as another guy said. That's all I got as a new guy. Good luck. Don't spend too much.
  • alan selfalan self Member Posts: 328 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The only thing I've got to input is. Those calipers from harbor freight. The ones I have the battery's goes dead in a few days even when turned off.
  • BGHillbillyBGHillbilly Member Posts: 1,927 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I bought Midway calipers several years back, have used them for automotive work also and they have held up ok.
  • shooteroneshooterone Member Posts: 139 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
  • bpostbpost Member Posts: 30,965 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The kit FEENIX has pictured would be really useful for all concerned.
  • clownboyclownboy Member Posts: 85 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have used a Lee Anniversary Kit for Years. Paid less then a $100 for it and works great. I have to say that for someone starting out, I thought it was a good trainer for me.

    Now that speed is becoming an issue I am ready to move up to the turret press. Haven't picked it out yet but this has been very useful information.

    I think with the bullet crunch going on, more and more are seeing reloading in a new light. But as many have found it difficult to buy rounds, its becoming even more difficult to find primers and bullets. So good Luck on your endeavor!

  • txingatxinga Member Posts: 4 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    hornady lock and load is a very good press
  • FrancFFrancF Member, Moderator Posts: 35,278 ******
    edited November -1
    It begs the question, what Cal(s). do you wish to reload?
  • accumulatormanaccumulatorman Member Posts: 6 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Cal that we will reload will be 22-250, 32wsp and 30-06 in rifle, and from 32acp, 38sp and 45 in pistol.

    Thanks for all of the good input. Very helpful, and keep it coming.

    Bob C.
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