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What's a good reloading equipment outfit price?

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Old February 16th, 2017, 11:33 PM   #1
 
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What's a good reloading equipment outfit price?

If I wanted to buy reloading equipment,what kind of prices i'd be looking at to buy it? And how much space would I need to set it up in a 10x12 room which is my computer room? I don't have a basement or a garage.



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Old February 17th, 2017, 02:20 AM   #2
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You're gonna get answers all over the place since some guys are happy with very minimal, basic gear while others swear by their top of the line progressive presses plus all the cool accessories. I'm on the somewhat simpler end of the spectrum with a single stage RCBS Rockchucker kit I bough a few years back for around $400. But then I added a media tumbler, puller for my mistakes, extra trays, pocket cleaners, dedicated micrometer, bench plates, and dies (lots of dies), shell holders, a tray for the shell holders....you get the idea. It's a wonderful hobby unto itself and one of the things that makes a great hobby is the endless number of doodads and geehaws available to stoke the fires of your interest.

I probably have $1K in my "simple" set up and use it on my gun bench which is 8 feet wide and 32" deep (shelf below and shelves on the wall above). The press and powder dispenser sits on one end so most of my bench is clear for gun tinkering, cleaning, etc. For just reloading it could be a lot smaller.
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Old February 17th, 2017, 03:16 AM   #3
 
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You'll really just need a table that's very sturdy not close to fans or a/c vents to disrupt scales or powder.
I would estimate that $300 to $500 for new equipment (depending on brand)
Might want to check out your LGS. They may have a bulletin board, or at least a local website that posts used equipment for sale. We have FloridaGunTrading.com in my area. Keep an eye on different firearm bulletin boards for supplies.

Check out a few gun shows now that materials are in stock & you can save on Hazmat fees that shipping requires for powder & primers.

Midway, Cabellas & Bass Pro Shop all have reloading equipment, but you'll pay top dollar.
Shop these stores online to get a feel for pricing so when you see a deal somewhere else, grab it.

Stay w/ reliable top shelf equipment for one caliber first & get the feel. You can then add other calibers. Find a powder that can be used in different calibers to save $$$ & space.
I started out w/ 38 special. HP 38 powder. Brass was easily found, a ton of different bullets available. Primers are very versatile (used in a bunch of calibers)
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Old February 17th, 2017, 05:28 AM   #4
 
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In addition to the cost of whatever type of press you choose, there's a scale, caliper, bullet puller, brass tumbler, etc......

As far as space, I've seen photos of setups that look like they take up an entire garage or shed. I don't have that kind of space available in my house.
Mine is setup in a corner of my 9x12 office, which is also occupied by a desk, two filing cabinets, two printers, and two large shelving units.



As you can see in the photo, I use a workstation that I purchased from Harbor Freight, to which I topped with a 2x4 sheet of 3/4 finish grade plywood. It's enough space for my Dillon reloader and enough workspace to get the job done.
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Old February 17th, 2017, 05:42 AM   #5
 
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Sam's Club (or maybe Costco too) has what appears to be a very sold bench that I've considered getting to reload. It's $200. https://images.samsclubresources.com/is/image/samsclub/0040635885969_A?$img_size_380x380$
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Old February 17th, 2017, 06:00 AM   #6
 
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Something like this will get you started and well on the way for under $300. There is always additional items you might need or want, like a brass tumbler. And, definitely a couple more reloading manuals, dies, calipers, etc.

RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit : Cabela's
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Old February 17th, 2017, 06:36 AM   #7
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If you're close to Lexington there's a reloading store that just opened a couple of years ago. It's a one man shop. It's not fancy but he has a bunch of used gear and he also has about 6 or 7 different presses set up that you can use to see what will work best for you. His prices are stupid reasonable. He also has a good supply of powder, dies (new & used) and just about anything else you need to get started. The main thing he does is welcome newcomers to reloading and he spends a LOT of time answering questions and giving excellent advice.

I've only been reloading for about 2.5 years. Like many I started with a progressive press (Dillon 550) and knowing what I know now I'm convinced that's the place to start unless budget restraints dictate otherwise. A progressive press (red, green or blue) will do everything a beginner or expert will want to do and most of them do it well. I wouldn't get hung up on which brand. I like Dillon and if I was starting over I'd buy Dillon again but I'm sure I'd be just as happy with a Hornady LnL. Ford vs Chevy. I now have 2 Dillons but I also bought a single stage press because I discovered that for some applications (big rifle calibers) a single stage just works better IMO. Plenty of people started with single stage presses and that's all they've used for decades. Generally I prefer progressive presses because I can load a bunch of pistol ammo in a relatively short period of time but I also like my single stage for some things even though either one can reload any caliber.

As far as price goes you can get started for around $400-500 for a basic single stage setup or you can spend $600-800 for a nice progressive setup. I'm including the press, calipers, scale, tumbler, media, manual, and dies for one caliber in those numbers. Add another $100 or so for enough brass, powder, primers and bullets to get you started. So for about $1000 you can reload a hundred rounds of your favorite caliber! There's no way around the initial cost outlay but you'll recoup that $1K a lot faster than you think.

The one specific recommendation I will make is if you decide to start out with a progressive press I'd get one that doesn't have automatic indexing. Unless you're loading a boat load of ammo I don't think automatic indexing saves much time especially if you don't have an automatic case feeder. The upside to not having auto indexing is you can also use it as a single stage press. IMO it also makes setting up dies a touch easier.

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Old February 17th, 2017, 07:20 AM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bozz48 View Post
Something like this will get you started and well on the way for under $300. There is always additional items you might need or want, like a brass tumbler. And, definitely a couple more reloading manuals, dies, calipers, etc.

RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit : Cabela's
+1 this looks like a nice kit for the price.
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Old February 17th, 2017, 07:41 AM   #9
 
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Ifithitu, I too started out doing metallic cartridges with a simple Lee Hand loader, with a 2X4 and a hammer in .270 and .44Mag that was about 50 years ago, then I moved up to an RCBS Rock Chucker about 48 years ago, and then a RCBS progressive press, and well over 25-30 die sets and just about everything else that is affiliated with the reloading process not to mention casting materials as well as the paraphernalia that goes along with it. Incidentally my one half of my garage is complete with reloading accessories, not to mention my gun room (spare bedroom) that is completely full of my safes, and powders, projectiles, primers, and what have you. So if you're just getting into it make sure you have sufficient room for all the goodies. Oh yeh, I've been doing shotgun shell reloading for over 50 years and have 3 Mec presses in .410, 20 gauge, and 12 gauge also, so the storage for the primers, shot, and wads takes quite a bit of space.

Once my garage is cleaned out a bit I'll submit a photo of the reloading bench and my work bench that holds my two bullet resizing presses and the two tumblers, as I'm presently having a large shed built in order to store all the odds and ends entailed in the reloading process.
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Old February 17th, 2017, 09:38 AM   #10
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Get a copy of The ABCs of Reloading and it will tell you not only how to reload, but what equipment is needed. If you can get some vendor's catalogs (Natchez is one that still has published catalogs, and my favorite is Sinclair), and that will give you an idea of what's available and costs...

When you ask "what's best..." kinda questions you'll get personal preferences and very few if any unbiased reports ("I bought a ____ and never looked back" or "buy once, cry once" neither of which make any sense to me). I purchased my equipment piece by piece, researching each tool as I needed it, so my bench is "rainbow" colored and the best tools to fit my needs...

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Old February 17th, 2017, 10:04 AM   #11
 
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How much you could/would/should spend depends in large part on what calibers you plan to reload, and the reloading volume/batch size. Telling us would help.

For example, a single stage press can be had for $1XX. So one can get into reloading with an equipment budget of $500, but most folks will spend more. A progressive press set up for a couple of calibers can easily require a $1,000 investment. Those costs exclude a scale ($30-$800), caliper ($30-$150), reloading blocks, bullet puller, storage bins, and small household tools if you do not have them. Rifle cases need to be trimmed, deburred, chamfered, and perhaps more ($30-$400). Precision rifle adds to the "required" tool list.

On top of this you need to "front" the money to buy components in quantity in order to get the best prices. I've heard it said in jest that the first reloaded cartridge costs $1,000 . . . each pistol round after that costs $0.12.

As Pampurrs showed, you can reload in a small space with planning. The most difficult thing to do in a home may be dry tumble to clean cases because of dust. While it can be done inside, better to do it outdoors if you can . . . or use a liquid form of cleaning . . . if dust is an issue. Reasonably temperate and dry conditions are required to store component inventory.
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Old February 17th, 2017, 10:13 AM   #12
 
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Another place to "price out" equipment is Amazon. Prices are competitive, sometimes lower sometimes higher, plus the customers are not candid when it comes to a review. If it sucks, they'll tell ya.

I've purchased some small price items on Amazon, dies, things of that nature, prices were about the same as my LGS or Cabelas/Bas Pro, but I saved sales tax and windshield time.



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Old February 17th, 2017, 10:34 AM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pampurrs View Post
In addition to the cost of whatever type of press you choose, there's a scale, caliper, bullet puller, brass tumbler, etc......

As far as space, I've seen photos of setups that look like they take up an entire garage or shed. I don't have that kind of space available in my house.
Mine is setup in a corner of my 9x12 office, which is also occupied by a desk, two filing cabinets, two printers, and two large shelving units.



As you can see in the photo, I use a workstation that I purchased from Harbor Freight, to which I topped with a 2x4 sheet of 3/4 finish grade plywood. It's enough space for my Dillon reloader and enough workspace to get the job done.
That looks big enough,because that would be all the space i'd have or just very little more.
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Old February 17th, 2017, 10:38 AM   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bozz48 View Post
Something like this will get you started and well on the way for under $300. There is always additional items you might need or want, like a brass tumbler. And, definitely a couple more reloading manuals, dies, calipers, etc.

RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit : Cabela's
Thanks for the link Bozz48.
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Old February 17th, 2017, 10:45 AM   #15
 
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As others have noted, prices will be all over the map depending on brand, single stage, progressive, new/used, etc...

As far as space needed goes this thread Reloading bench...Lets see them! will give you tons of ideas.

Type of press really will depend on how much shooting and loading you plan to do. About the only advice I can give if you go with a single stage is get one that uses quick change bushings!
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