TGT Addict
May 29, 2017
Austin, TX
So what is the best equipment out there? Whats the best bang for the buck equipment?

What do you need to do proper reloading of pistol ammo?


Mar 4, 2008
Best equipment? Short of a full on commercial machine, Dillon Precision if you're talking progressive. Single stages are another matter, as are turret presses.

At least one loading manual
powder measure
priming tool
case trimmer
chamfer/deburr tool
appropriate dies
appropriate bullets
appropriate primers
appropriate powder

*some of these may not be required or may have a different name depending on press and progressive or not
I agree on Dillon progressives.

My first press, some 15 years ago, was (& is) the 650; at my age, it should be the only press I'll have to buy.

I don't like the idea of starting with a single stage press and working up to a progressive. You'll sell the old setup for pennies on the dollar (or worse, stack it in the garage with the other junk you'll never use again).

I had to wait several months until I could afford the 650, then walked into the Dillon sales room and paid cash for the press, dies, digital scale, primer flipper, etc. etc. The price I paid is long forgotten, but the equipment soldiers on...

Manuals! You can't have enough reloading manuals!

I use only two powders for handgun reloading (mostly autos) and am thinking of using one powder for everything: this will be more economical and safer - no accidental mixing of powders. I've tried several "new & improved" powders over the years, and they all functioned, but none of them gave me any reason to adopt them.

Your reloading bench must be sturdy! The ideal bench is one of those poured concrete picnic tables commonly found in public parks. I don't know anyone fortunate enough to have that setup. I use a 27 X 60 inch bench with 4 x 4 legs, mounted in the corner of the room ans secured to the walls on two sides with large steel shelf brackets. I also anchor the top of my press to a wall stud via a 1 X 4 'flying buttress'. Because the table rests on a concrete slab, I have no need to anchor it to the floor.

Your environment is as important as your equipment. I havea separate lockable room that contains my gun safe, a (lockable) closet with shelves for ammunition storage, and the reloading bench with permanently mounted press and shelves & drawers for components and tools. No one comes in while I'm in there.

That's the ideal situation; but if you organize your equipment and space, you can do very well with a much smaller, temporary space. If you have an unused closet (lol), you can store and use everything you need in that space; Be sure it has a lock, and you have the only key.

I hope someone will start a thread showing pictures of their 'efficiency' reloading setups.

Excuse the long post, :rolleyes:

Rich (in name only)


Active Member
Feb 22, 2008
Austin, TX
I'm using an RCBS Jr. 2. It was my late grandfathers and was purchased in the late 60s. I have his set of Herters (now RCBS) .45ACP dies as well. Most of my other diesets are RCBS, I have one set of Lee Dies too.

I have a digital scale, but I also have an RCBS 1010 beam scale. I have a set of digital calipers, and use the Lee case trimming tools. I also keep some nail polish around for sealing up primer pockets and around bullets (for my hunting loads).

I like RBCS and Lee stuff because that's what I use. When I start reloading pistol calibers, I'm going to pick up a volumetric powder thrower, and a priming die.


Mar 4, 2008
I agree on Dillon progressives.

I don't like the idea of starting with a single stage press and working up to a progressive. You'll sell the old setup for pennies on the dollar (or worse, stack it in the garage with the other junk you'll never use again).

Rich (in name only)

I still have three single stage presses set up, with another one in a cabinet because I needed bench space, and a hand press for use at the range or in front of the TV.

If the only press I had was my Dillon 650, I'd throw it in the pond after one too many adjustments while trying to find a good load. It's just too inconvenient for some things.


Active Member
Mar 4, 2008
I see we have some Dillon enthusiasts on board. Just to give you another opinion, some of us prefer Hornady LNL progressive reloaders. I currently have two LNL's set up. For single station presses, there is RCBS, Hornady, Redding, etc. For multi station H presses, I like the C-H press. Have one on my reloading bench that was purchased in late seventies and it is still going strong. For dies, I have used RCBS for the last 44 years with excellent results and see no reason to change.


Mar 11, 2008
I have Lee progressive that is fine for pistol rounds and .223. Tried .338 Lapua on it but was afraid I was going to break something because of the force to get the handle down. I use a RCBS single stage for it. Many thousands of rounds have been reloaded with it.


TGT Addict
TGT Supporter
Mar 19, 2008
'Top of the hill, Kerr County!
I've got RCBS (single stage press + other stuff) in my "man shack" and like it very much. I don't load hundreds of rounds per setting so it does fine. Like texaspartsman said there is a lot of good stuff out there. Not too much difference in most of them, one just likes what one gets used to. And ambidextrous1 is correct in that you cannot have too many manuals. I enjoy the satisfaction of reloading and the "preciseness" (is that a word?) required. I broke a decapping pin and bent the threaded rod that held it and the expander ball on a .30 caliber round and when I inquired of RCBS customer service, I was very impressed that the guy I was talking to was also an avid reloader, knew exactly what I was talking about, and sent me new parts gratis! I'm a happy camper.
Yes, there are many paths to the top of the hill! I'm partial to Dillon, but have seen other presses functioning quite well. We tend to use what we're familiar with, and if, as previously stated, there's "no reason to change", you've made a good investment. :cool:

What's everyone else using? Does anyone know how to modiify this thread to serve as a poll?
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