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Discussion Starter #1
The short answer is no.

Used to be that you could get into reloading for about $100. The Lee Reloader “C” press with the Lee load manual could be had for about $30. Add the rest of the basics needed, all Lee Precision of course, and you could load for a single cartridge, handgun or standard rifle cartridges (sorry, magnum cartridges need a larger press) for a Benjamin invested in that basic equipment.

Today the Lee Reloader press as a stand alone unit is selling for about $55. Still the cheapest game in town, but add the rest of the basics, and you are now up to twice what it used to be only a couple of short years ago to get started.

And Lee is no longer the best value in reloading equipment. Sure, the Reloader press is the cheapest bench mounted press I know of, but step up to the Challenger press and you are now out of pocket $100. You are now at the cost of the RCBS Partner press. If you want to move away from an aluminum press, that same $100 will get you the Lyman Brass Smith C style press.

Move on up to the Lee Classic Cast single stage and you are now on equal cost with some serious competition. The RCBS Rockchucker, Redding Big Boss, and Lyman Brass Smith Victory, and you are within $10 of the MEC Marksman.

Lee still has a solid value in the Classic Cast Turret. Even at its new cost of about $190 it’s still $30 below the cost of the competitions turret presses.

I cut my teeth on RCBS, and am fond of Lyman. The Hornady Iron press it the best I have ever owned, but I have a soft spot for Lee Precision. They got me back into reloading after the great fire of ‘99. They were all I could afford at the time. But if I were to be in the same spot today at the prices available today, I would hardly give Lee Precision a second look. Their only saving grace in my minds eye is the Classic Cast Turret Press. A very capable press that seems to be about the only thing in their lineup that comes in at a price point below their competition. Right or wrong, that has always been where I think Lee Precision has shined. Equipment that’s good enough at a very good price point.
 

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Buying used you might be able to do all right on equipment. That said, many new reloaders don't really know what they are looking at when buying used.

I see reloading equipment on craigslist, ebay, etc all the time. With a little homework one could save money and buy quality equipment.

Finding components is a completely different ball of wax.
 

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I just want to know where you are finding ANY presses at $100. That RCBS Partner is $167 on Amazon, and no one else seems to have one, despite having prices at the $100 range.

I also don’t get the “better” thing.
Better how? You pull a handle, things happen. They all make perfectly good ammo, one would assume. My Lee’s do.
Is it the effort required? The range of motion? The longevity of the press? Ease of use in putting brass and bullets in place?

I might buy it if you were talking dies, or lock rings, micrometer seating dies, or turrets and indexing, primer feeders, powder drops or whatever.

But I’m not sure about presses


Regardless, you are right about it being a terrible time to start reloading. IF you can even find what you need, chances are the prices will be ridiculous.
I’m curious what used gear will go for in 2-3 years. Hopefully this crap will be over by then.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I just want to know where you are finding ANY presses at $100. That RCBS Partner is $167 on Amazon, and no one else seems to have one, despite having prices at the $100 range.

I also don't get the "better" thing.
Better how? You pull a handle, things happen. They all make perfectly good ammo, one would assume. My Lee's do.
Is it the effort required? The range of motion? The longevity of the press? Ease of use in putting brass and bullets in place?

I might buy it if you were talking dies, or lock rings, micrometer seating dies, or turrets and indexing, primer feeders, powder drops or whatever.

But I'm not sure about presses

Regardless, you are right about it being a terrible time to start reloading. IF you can even find what you need, chances are the prices will be ridiculous.
I'm curious what used gear will go for in 2-3 years. Hopefully this crap will be over by then.
Basically it's the longevity of the presses, but also the alignment when new too. Presses have to be tight and precise to load concentric ammunition, or they have to be "loose" so they will self-align. Which is why the rubber O-ring trick works. My Classic cast turret loads very concentric ammunition. I do believe it is because the slop in the turret head that so many people complain about. But things can only be so sloppy.

I have seen many aluminum presses with lots of play in the ram. They just wear from use more than a cast iron press will. My own aluminum RS5 has slop. It is however dedicated to loading brass 12 gauge shells, so it doesn't really matter. I have a RCBS Jr2 that is only a couple of years younger than I. It has loaded I don't know how many 222 Remington shells before I got it, after it was handed down to me it has loaded thousands of more cartridges and is still as tight as the day it was made. It loads very concentric ammunition and is equal to my couple of years old Hornady Iron. Very accurate press.

True, most will not notice the difference between presses, will not note the loss of accuracy as the press wears. Not until it gets really bad, but then they are not shooting for groups. When you have a scrolling piece of paper behind your target to prove you shot 5 times at the target and didn't send one or two into La-La land is when you notice it.

Lee makes 2 kinds of equipment in my opinion. They make equipment that is good enough. And they make that equipment at a price point. The Pro 1000 for example will make lots of good ammunition, and will make it for a long time, but nobody expects it to make it as long as the Hornady Ammo Plant for example.

And they make the Classic Cast equipment. I have said more than once that I like the Classic cast better than the new Rockchucker, but when prices reach near the level of the Redding Big Boss II, I will save my pennies and get the Big Boss II.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
And another thought. Why is Lee equipment still widely available? Most everything else is not. The Gun Store near here (yes, that's the real name) has a slew of Lee Equipment in stock. I was in there last week looking for some Hornady bushings. All they had was a couple of gauges, some shell holders and 1 pack of lock rings - which I bought. Here is a screen shot of midwayusa Lee press page I just took.
D642C17B-70C3-4605-BB23-4AF0AD29518C.jpeg
 

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Probably because right now, anyone that "needed" one already got one, while the people that just "want " one know that those prices are a bit high. Except the Load All, which is probably why it's OOS.
I have the old non-Breechlock Reloader, it cost under $40 with the Lee book included.
 
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And another thought. Why is Lee equipment still widely available?
What's the point of buying reloading EQ when you can't source components? :(

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 
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Discussion Starter #8
What's the point of buying reloading EQ when you can't source components? :(

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
fortunately I have been able to source components. But in small quantity and at elivated prices. Primers are the hardest to come by. What used to cost me 3 or 4 cents now cost me 6 to 8 cents. Have found primers in larger quantities but the asking price was 30 cents. I passed, but some will not.

Even when/if this drought passes I am figuring components will likely be 15 / 20% higher afterwards.
 
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The short answer is no.

Used to be that you could get into reloading for about $100. The Lee Reloader "C" press with the Lee load manual could be had for about $30. Add the rest of the basics needed, all Lee Precision of course, and you could load for a single cartridge, handgun or standard rifle cartridges (sorry, magnum cartridges need a larger press) for a Benjamin invested in that basic equipment.

Today the Lee Reloader press as a stand alone unit is selling for about $55. Still the cheapest game in town, but add the rest of the basics, and you are now up to twice what it used to be only a couple of short years ago to get started.

And Lee is no longer the best value in reloading equipment. Sure, the Reloader press is the cheapest bench mounted press I know of, but step up to the Challenger press and you are now out of pocket $100. You are now at the cost of the RCBS Partner press. If you want to move away from an aluminum press, that same $100 will get you the Lyman Brass Smith C style press.

Move on up to the Lee Classic Cast single stage and you are now on equal cost with some serious competition. The RCBS Rockchucker, Redding Big Boss, and Lyman Brass Smith Victory, and you are within $10 of the MEC Marksman.

Lee still has a solid value in the Classic Cast Turret. Even at its new cost of about $190 it's still $30 below the cost of the competitions turret presses.

I cut my teeth on RCBS, and am fond of Lyman. The Hornady Iron press it the best I have ever owned, but I have a soft spot for Lee Precision. They got me back into reloading after the great fire of '99. They were all I could afford at the time. But if I were to be in the same spot today at the prices available today, I would hardly give Lee Precision a second look. Their only saving grace in my minds eye is the Classic Cast Turret Press. A very capable press that seems to be about the only thing in their lineup that comes in at a price point below their competition. Right or wrong, that has always been where I think Lee Precision has shined. Equipment that's good enough at a very good price point.
I still think that you can. Probably 150.00, for a single caliber. The problem is getting the components, now. The political situation is changing...rapidly...for the negative. Where you are now is where you should have been two or more years ago. It's going to be even more expensive now.
 

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The used equipment market is running stupid crazy right now. Some prices are exceeding those of new.

I have sold a few die sets and case gauges recently and they did not sit long on the listing.

Once fired brass prices are also climbing fast as the scrap metal business is evidently doing well.
 

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People keep saying "you can get" primers, powder, etc.

Not in my neck of the woods. It's luck of the draw on whether the LGS has any. Last few trips there has been ZERO primers or powder.
But I did find some .224 and .308 bullets at normal price, so....that's something
 

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Cheeply is realative....under a 100 bux: YES....buy a LEE loader and a hammer....will be enuff to load all the components you can find local...
When the Bubble bursts...2nd-hand re-loading gear will be cheep...really cheep

REDD
 

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Cheeply is realative....under a 100 bux: YES....buy a LEE loader and a hammer....will be enuff to load all the components you can find local...
When the Bubble bursts...2nd-hand re-loading gear will be cheep...really cheep

REDD
But if you have nothing but 375 H&H brass, .308 and .224 bullets, no powder and no primers to go with your .357 Mag Loader, because that's literally ALL "you can find locally"...

....are you REALLY "into reloading"?
 

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Even if one has most of the basic components (dies,press,hulls,lead,molds, bullets,primers,powder and so forth) just like buying ammo from your sports store,it's still hard to find some of the above components. It's something that should have been started a while ago. Not gonna happen over night. But unless abused some how,most presses,dies,etc. are quite durable. Bit by bit you can get going. Hopefully this 'shortage' of stuff will pass, again.
It's a lot of fun and frustrating at times. Lots to it! Get a reloading manual and get a better idea. So...get started. :)
 

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I’ve got enough to be able to load some, but not all. Actually I never did. I guess I forgot how cyclical this hobby can be every four years or so.
 

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Even with $300 a thousand primers and $150 a lbs powder, reloading is still cheaper than buying ammo. More many calibers even a bigger savings per round now than a few years age when primers and powder was much cheaper.

In times of shortages(long or short term) sometimes one needs to get innovative.
 
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Sometimes one needs to get real, and shoot less, because ammo might be needed for real usages, too important to be used frivolously.
I think in general, people are shooting less rounds.
 
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