Buy Once Cry Once Reloading Equipment

N2TRKYS

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 17, 2016
Messages
3,448
Location
Alabama
Perform multiple functions on the same piece of brass while only handling that piece of brass once, i.e. decap, size, neck expand or seat then crimp. Also I can have multiple cartridges worth of dies setup at one time on the same turret. Considerably more efficient way to work vs placing and removing the brass for every desired step and setting up dies between every step.

I like completing the same task for all the brass before I start another task. Doesn’t seem like a big “time saver” for the extra cost.
 
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gtriple

gtriple

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 15, 2021
Messages
281
How much do you want to spend. I can make you a list that would exceed 20K.

There are a number of tools that cost more but make life a lot easier, for a volume shooter. You can make a few rounds here and there with about anything but if your going to compete your going to move along from a lot of the lower end stuff quickly, as it’s just slows.
Probably 10k to get setup not including cartridge-specific items. I won't shoot competitively (yet) but would shoot matches regularly. Not that many in my part of the country though. I'll be traveling for NRL Hunter matches.

Maybe a list of the absolute best items. And then the items that I could get away with "bang for the buck".

Also, for items that might not be worth a significant price jump, I'd rather get the less efficient, but more accurate/precise alternatives rather than something possibly less accurate/precise.
 

Lawnboi

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Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
6,308
Location
North Central Wi
Probably 10k to get setup not including cartridge-specific items. I won't shoot competitively (yet) but would shoot matches regularly. Not that many in my part of the country though. I'll be traveling for NRL Hunter matches.

Maybe a list of the absolute best items. And then the items that I could get away with "bang for the buck".

Also, for items that might not be worth a significant price jump, I'd rather get the less efficient, but more accurate/precise alternatives rather than something possibly less accurate/precise.
This is easy then. I’d skip the turret press and spend the money elsewhere for now…

-Good calipers and comparators. Mitutoyo and SAC but for less Hornady comparators do.
-MEC marksman, good press, decent price
-Redding competition shell holder sets of area 419 shell holder set, these allow contact with the die all the time which is needed for consistent shoulder bump
-good dies, SAC if they make them for what you have. Even if they don’t, use their bushings in competitors products.
-Dry tumbler, no need to spend a lot here
-giraud or Henderson 3 way trimmer. This does three things at once and will save a boat load of time
-Auto trickler, go preorder one now from his site, no money down, they are way out! In the mean time grab a chargemaster lite or similar to get your going.
-other odds and ends, funnels, loading blocks and stuff, nice stuff is nice but cheap works too
-AMP annealer, easy and fast. Consistent tension and shoulder bump throughout

I reccomend listening to Avery adventures podcast with unknown munitions, I and a lot of the competitive shooters I know load very similar.
 

BucksNDucks

Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2017
Messages
94
Location
Redwood City, CA
This is my set and I load for a 300RUM, 280AI, 7mm RemMag
Very happy with the following and have real good results
Redding T7
Redding Boss “de-cap / bullet pull”
Redding FL Dies / Comp Seater
Redding Instant Dial Indicator
Redding Shell Holder
Whidden locking rings
Auto Trickler / FX120 scale
Ingenuity Feeder
Giraud trimmer
Sinclair expander mandrels
Forster Datum Dial
K&M flash hole uniformer
Mitutoyo 8” caliper
Bench Source Annealer
Frankfort Arsenal Platinum Series Rotary Tumbler
Steel Pins
Citranox Cleaner

 

Totoro

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 10, 2017
Messages
447
Location
NorCal, PRK
Consistent and uniform brass for consumables.

For hard parts; quality dies (Redding/Whidden), press (pick your poison single vs turret) and auto powder dispenser/scale (skies the limit).

My CPS primer is one piece I will not replace.
 

Stu

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 29, 2019
Messages
173
Don't complicate it. However, my favorite accessories are a v3 autotrickler, Giraud trimmer, and caliber specific powder funnels. These are my time savers.

I load in bulk, so turret presses don't save me significant time.

I still use regular full length button dies depending on the brass I'm using and generally don't stress about most of the things people wax poetic about. I honestly think you get 90% of the benefit by prime, charge and seat.

I haven't spent money on annealing. I built my own annealer off of internet plans, but very rarely use it. I had Lapua brass that was so work hardened that it shaved bullets even after chamfering. I also had new Lapua brass. Loaded both, shot both back to back, 5 of each, and the shots stacked on top of each other at 740ish yards from my Tikka 6.5CM.
 

Stu

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 29, 2019
Messages
173
I just splurged for an area 419 funnel set…. Not needed but very convenient to just be able to set the funnel on there and go.
Definitely nice if you're hustling to keep up with the powder dispenser. I rock the Saturns but those corrugations sometimes trap powder depending on what I'm charging.
 

Rock-o

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Aug 15, 2019
Messages
568
Buy once, cry once. One of the dumbest sayings I've ever heard. I don't know why you guys that buy good equipment up front cry. Should be buy once, smile always.
 

TomJoad

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jul 13, 2020
Messages
377
Location
Denver, CO
  • Mitutoyo calipers
  • Hornandy datum and COAL sets
  • Co-Ax press: oh HOW I wish I started here. Die changing speed. Shell handling speed with their universal shell holders. Consistency, build quality.
  • LE Wilson case trimmer
  • Lee universal deprimer
  • Redding body only dies
  • Lee collet neck dies
  • Redding benchrest seater dies
  • Lee factory crimp dies
  • Stainless wet media pin tumbler: any
  • Some quality annealer like bench source. I have my own hacked out system with large turned caliber specific mandrels and a cordless drill but if I had space I’d have something more.
  • Saturn caliber specific funnels
  • Hornandy lock n load powder measure
  • Quality manual scale: I started digital, waste of time, slower and more frequent calibration needed.
  • Heavyweight trickler: I like my MEC
  • Quality brass, I run lapua for everything
  • Moleskin grid notebooks one per caliber for field notes on speed, pressure and all load details.
  • Some way to measure speed Labradar or magnetospeed
  • Quality and deep reloading manuals of guides. more for process and methodology than recipes.
  • I make all kinds of custom parts that make my reloading life more enjoyable: lathe turned caliber specific drop tubes at 6 and 12” for compressed loads, caliber specific hardwood shell holders for stability during Powder drops.
 

Markwondi

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2017
Messages
10
Location
Tennessee
AMP annealer is one of those purchases that I wish I made earlier but the cost will definitely trip you up a bit.
 

jzeblaz

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Mar 23, 2012
Messages
124
Location
Santa Rosa, CA
Lots of good info here. I have some nice Dillon presses, but I find I used my Forster Co-Ax the most and it is niiiice and smooth and very easy to operate. I have a bunch of different dies (some inherited) and I like the Comp Redding best. RCBS Chargemaster was an absolute gamechanger for me. Welcome to the club. I'd say a small library of manuals is crucial too. I've like the Nosler books the best, but the Lyman is an absolutely wonderful reference. Metallic Cartridge Handloading is excellent as well.

Lastly, I haven't taken the handloading course, but I took the long range shooting course and some of the guys had taken the handloading course the few days prior and were impressed. Worth a look: https://www.hollandguns.com/32m7/parts-accessories/schools-shows.html
 

Wetwork

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Feb 4, 2021
Messages
122
Location
Eastern Orreeegon
I think a quality chrony is one of the must haves for the reloading list also. Either Labradar or MagnetoSpeed. Its gonna be a needed item as soon as you put a cartridge together.-WW
 

Stu

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 29, 2019
Messages
173
I hate to be the non-conformist, but i'm questioning my purchase of a LabRadar. Don't get me wrong, if you're a tinkerer (which I am) it's fun stuff. But I can't be intellectually honest in saying that It's a game changer. If I could go back, I'd probably spend the money on a barrel or bullets. I use it all the time, but never depend on it for real data. Nothing beats a calm day and bullets on target to determine what's really going on.

I also would love a nice annealer if it was free, but I used to psycho anneal and my hit rates aren't noticeably different now that I don't.
 

N2TRKYS

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Joined
Apr 17, 2016
Messages
3,448
Location
Alabama
After seeing some LR chronos at the range and comparing them to my Caldwell, I quickly realized I made a great choice getting the Caldwell.
 
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