Thinking about taking up reloading


Jun 3, 2008
I am thinking about taking up reloading, and I have decided on buying a kit from RCBS to get started.

Aside from dies and equipment to trim with, do any of you seasoned reloaders have any suggestions on additional starting equipment? I am thinking about using Lee dies, by the way.


Active Member
May 4, 2008
Hey there, I JUST bought this same kit locally last week. I bought a bunch of RCBS dies and started right off loading .40 SW for my HK USP - worked like a charm and my reloads functioned 100%. Do yourself a favor and get a case tumbler too, makes good brass great and allows you to clean up even some really nasty looking brass into perfectly serviceable stuff. You will also need the appropriate shell holders, get the big pack - you will save some money over buying them separately.

Just five minutes ago I finished loading up some .223 from once-fired Lake City brass and 55gr Hornady bullets. I am most certainly hooked on reloading! It helps that the range I go to does not do a thing with brass - I pick up all I can take home - throw it in the tumbler for a few hours and I have thousands of rounds of free brass, can't complain about that!

Bullseye Shooter

Active Member
Apr 28, 2008
Texas Panhandle
Cartridge case gauges are nice to have, especially for rifle cases to check specs on the completed round. Mine are all made by Wilson.
Get a copy of Lyman's Reloading Manual. Always nice to have another manual besides the one that came with the press.
I use a Forster case trimmer. Works well and easy to use.
I've used Lee, RCBS and Lyman dies. All work well and Lee certainly has the best price out there.
If you need tumbling media, check out Harbor Freight Tools for walnut shell media or your local pet store rather than Midway, etc. Prices are better and no shipping. A lot of guys use Nu-Finish car wax in their media. Seems to work okay and the local WalMart always has it.
Some guys buy check weights for their reloading scale, but you can use a bullet of known weight to check your scales zero, as well. All scales are not perfect; even my electronic acts up once in a while.


Active Member
Mar 28, 2008
A great kit to start with! I reloaded on a rockchucker for several years b4 going to a Dillon 550. I still use the Rockchucker for rifle and use the Dillon for pistol.

Using a single stage is a great way to learn as much as possible about the mechanics of reloading.

I suse dto do batches, like one night I would size a bunch of cases, another I would prime, etc. I used a universal deprimer to deprime after cleaning.

On the Dillon I use it to deprime and prime.


Jun 18, 2008
What calibers are you planning on reloading? How much do you plan to reload?

Calipers and a quality digital scale are must haves, as well as a bullet-puller.

If you're reloading pistol, you'll probably never have to trim your brass. The cartridge will wear out before trimming is necessary. Also, I personally have never used a tumbler. Unless you just like the new brass shine, I don't believe they are at all necessary and can cause unneeded problems. If you do go with a tumbler, buy the media from's a lot cheaper and it's the same stuff as the gun sites sell. Just becareful with any tumbler that there is no media in the cartridge or in the primer pocket. I'll never use one and I pick up range brass all the time. A sink and some dawn do just fine if the cartridges have embedded dirt. If your other half will let you, brass in a sack in the washing machine also works well.

I know you have already decided on a kit, but for those with similiar needs, or if you aren't certain, you might want to check out Kemph's gunshop.
I believe the quality is great, and you get a bit more bang for your buck, so to speak.

A single stage is great for learning, and you can always use one, especially when developing very specific rifle rounds, but you're probably going to want to upgrade, and the RCBS kit is a lot of money for something that you'll probably grow out of pretty quick(at least if you are reloading more than 100 rounds per month).

Just my .02.


Active Member
Mar 4, 2008
Hi Porter,
Good decision on reloading. Not only can it save you money but it is an enjoyable hobby in itself for me. If you live near The Woodlands or north Houston, you are welcome to stop by and take a tour thru my reloading workbench to get a better idea of tools, techniques, ideas, etc. Great choice on the RCBS reloading equipment. Some people use Lee dies and equipment but they are NOT on my recommended list. RCBS, Hornady, and Redding make very good dies and equipment. I have used RCBS dies exclusively for the last 44 years without problems.


Jun 3, 2008
Thanks for all of the input guys!

I'll try to answer some of the questions you guys have asked me now. My plans are to reload for everything I own where ammo is either too expensive to shot lots of, cheap stuff that isn't consistent enough, or plain difficult to find. So, the calibers I plan to start reloading ASAP are .45 ACP, .22 Savage, and 7.62x39. Hopefully, in the not to distant future, I'll be adding 5.56x45 to that list. I plan to reload as much as I can shoot, and then some. In part, I want to have something to do for a couple of hours each evening after working out other than watching TV or surfing the web.

I have zero interest in progressive or turret loaders. I know me, and I'll just end up with bad results. Slow, careful, and accurate are A-OK with me.

Calipers, case trimmers, a quiet tumbler (I live in a second floor apartment), case gauges, chamber gauges, an RCBS case prep center, several different reloading manuals (can't have too many right?), and a digital scale are all planned future purchases, as well as any piece of equipment in the kit that I find lacking.

I will definitely take a look at the other dies that have been recommended.


New Member
Jun 23, 2008
I'm very new to this also and have came across the link below. I've heard good things about the Dillon presses but I've got no clue where to start. I'm looking to reload .45acp, .380, .223, and .308 which are my current firearms; but as I've said complete noob when it comes to this. Sorry to steal your thunder porter, you'll pay me back on the field. :)
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