I'm looking to get into reloading for pistol and rifle. any tips on the best presses, dies, etc? I'm just going to load enough for my own recreational shooting and hunting so not looking to turn out tons of rounds at one sitting. Any info appreciated.
Yep,get either an RCBS kit or a lyman kit.That,a set of dies and a decent hand priming tool is all you really need.Also,buy a couple different reloading manuals and read them cover to cover before you even start reloading.
I've been loading for almost 40 years and I've never seen a kit that I've liked all the parts. my advice is to find some people who reload in your area and ask to sit with them when they load. I've taught many people to reload this way. learning from several, you might find several items you like to use and several you don't. you could get a feel from watching utube videos, but be careful because I've seen some that the person doesn't have a clue to what he's doing. good luck and feel free to pm me with any questions jim
When I started, I didn't know anyone that reloaded and just sitting for 15 minutes with a person to watch would have saved me all kinds of aggravation. I read books, double checked everything and pulled the trigger with a string when I shot the first few reloads. I went to a BPCR Match and the guy camped next to me was going to do some reloads so I got out my stuff and we sat reloading and discussing how we do it. We were both newbies and actually learned quite a bit from each other.
RCBS makes darn good stuff, but it is over kill for my kind of shooting. I have two or three presses and a ft locker full of stuff. But I still use some 100 yr old reloading equipment for which the entire kit will fit in a cigar box.
The ideal tool was patented by John Barlow in 1884 and he manufacturered several different models under the name Ideal for 26 years. He sold the business to Marlin in or around 1910. Marlin allowed the business to languish and at some point some of the reloading tool business was sold to Lyman. Many of the old bullet mold designs and model numbers are still carried on today by Lyman. Until recently, Lyman made a version of the nut cracker tool that took interchangeable dies. The same dies fit their Trueline Jr reloading presses.
One model has the decapper, mold, bullet sizer, capper and an adjustable bullet seater/crimper all in one tool. When I bought my first 50-70 rifle, finding one of these old tools was the most reasonable way to reload. Tools for the more common cartridges are still available for a reasonable price on the on-line auctions. for instance a 44-40 tool can be purchased for around $35.00. A 45 Colt however might go for double or triple that. Tools for 30-40 Krag or 30-30 come up every 6 weeks or so.
I think most of the reloading gear is US made, but they also buy parts and accessories were they can. I have a set of Hollow ground gunsmith screw drivers from Lyman that are made overseas, but the 50-70 dies I have are labeled made in US.