Discussion in 'Shooting, Hunting and Fishing' started by Blodders, Mar 31, 2009.

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  1. Having spent a bit of time (and, consequently, a pile of money) on the range with my 243 on Friday, I have decided that I simply have start reloading. A quid/bang is starting to take the pi$$. I am familiar with the art having done a fair bit of pistol ammo with a mate in the pre-ban days.

    So what do the great and good on here recommend as a "starter package", I will be loading for 243 and 308? The requirement for at least one of the definitive books is a given but beyond that I have so far been looking at the Lee Anniversary kit, coupled with die sets from RCBS (mate's recommendation). He is reluctant to give much more advice as his experience was all with pistol ammo, was many years ago and he reckons rifle ammo is much harder on the press (seems logical to me).

    Any advice gratefully received.
  2. I have had superb results with a standard set of Lee everything. 0.8" groups at 400 yds is not messing about. Lee's cheaper than everyone else so I'd just buy that to start with. If you want to really get into experimenting then other companies make dies with micrometer adjustment and so on but to get started you won't go wrong with a Lee set. The Lee "perfect powder measure" is very good.

    Lee's book is worth buying too.

    Other makes are good (I have an RCBS bullet seating die for example) but why spend more money when the Lee stuff does the job?
  3. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Buy an RCBS rockchucker and you cant go wrong, I broke one but have yet to break the Redding Boss that I am using now!
    Dont forget to lube, I use imperial die sizing wax, I lost 2 x .308 dies from Lee to jammed cases!
  4. Well I've used the Lee turret press which I think is a lot easier than changing dies for each operation as you would with the rockchucker or any other single stage press. Turret plates are cheap so you can leave teh complete set up for any calibre ready to just drop in and start making ammunition.
    I always used Lee's recommended sizing lube and have only ever had a case stuck twice, once when a monkey at the club jammed a 308 case in a 303 sizing die :roll:
    Both were extracted without damage.
  5. By a rockchucker, you won't regret it.

    Otherwise it's Lee all the way for me (with the exception of a few specialist seating dies and other funny tools).
  6. I use a Redding press with a revolving 7-station disc on top, it has the powder die and neck/seating dies for all the calibres I use. I started with Lee dies but found that they didn't seat the bullets very firmly in the neck - especially the .308s. Changed to Redding dies and had no problems.

    Does anyone know where I can get some relatively cheap FMJ bullets in .224 for general use? Winchester used to do them for about £12/bag of 100 but nobody seems to sell them any more.
  7. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    I nabbed a bucket of 1000 148gn .30 cal fmjs from Benjamin Wild in Brum about 10 years ago for £80. If he is still there in Price street its worth a visit. Howitzer used to do loads of fmjs!
  8. About 10 years ago I bought a Dillion 550B. I had a friend come over one day and show me how to use it and we loaded about 50 rounds of .308. I then put it away. That was the extent of my reloading experience. In the meantime I bought .223 and .308 because it was so cheap and I didn't want to hassle with the reloading. However, I did save all my brass. I have about 15K of .223 brass and a couple of thousand of .308.

    A couple of weeks ago I decided to get back into reloading and did a batch of .223.

    The Dillion worked great, even for a novice like me.

    The people at Dillion are great to work with. When I got the set out I was missing a couple of small parts. I called Dillion up to order and they sent the parts to me free of charge.
  9. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    RCBS are the same, you break it and they replace free of charge which when you are as talented at testing the system as I am is great!
  10. I second Ex-Stab, Lee is the best thing since sliced bread. I also have dies form RCBS, Lyman and NDFS, but I now use Lee for all rifle and pistol loads. I would recommend a good digital scale and a powder measure as well (I use RCBS). Try this address for loading data:

    No disrespect to Gator, and I have used Dillon gear, but for small to medium volume loading Lee is your best bet. If you want to feed a machine gun then one of Dillons all singing all dancing machines would be a good bet.
  11. Thanks for all the replies, looks like I will be going with the Lee set up, I ordered the Lee book yesterday so I've started already. The Lee prices suit my budget at the moment, and it's not as if I will be chucking thousands of rds downrange! I know the deer population is expanding but not THAT fast!
  12. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Buy green and it will last forever!
    Also the sierra infinity suite CD will save you a lot of reloading books!
    II have some dies for calibres that I only load about 200 rounds a year for if that and they will outlast me and my sons!
  13. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    Just got meself a Hornady reloader, with Hornady dies, book, primer loader, trays etc etc etc . . . . and some H4895 to start sticking me Nosler BTs in cases.

    Yep, you guessed it - on special from my distributor, so had to get one. He DIDN'T send me a kinetic hammer or bullet clamp, so it's all just so much cardboard box and metalwork until the tool sends me the tools.
  14. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    I feel another reloading course coming!
  15. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    Dammit man! I could swear that you have second-sight! (I was going to say 'the gift' but thought better of it).