Tools For the Beginning Reloader
A list of the tools and equipment you are going to need
A reloading bench – It can be built by the do-it-yourselfer, no need to over complicate just make sure it’s sturdy. I recommend .458 socom ammo the top is at least 24″ wide by 48″ long, but this will depend on how much room you have to dedicate for your hobby. There really is no recommended height just build it to conform to the chair you plan to use and make sure it is comfortable as you will probably be spending a lot of time here. Also good overhead lighting will be of enormous help. Remember to provide an overhang to bolt your press down.
Press – there are a number of single stage presses on the market, all of them will be able to perform the tasks at hand and it is just a matter of personal preference
Powder Scale – An accurate and reliable powder scale is an absolute necessity for safe reloading. It must be calibrated in Grains, not Grams and needs to be accurate within +/-0. 1 grain (1/10th grain). The price for these varies, so get the best you can afford. Digital scales are easier to use but are no more accurate than the rest.
Powder measure – This is not a necessary item but it really is nice to have. It is what meters powder and speeds up the process. You can use powder dippers, but buying a good powder measure is money well spent. There are plenty of brands out there any will get the job done.
Reloading manual – Absolutely necessary. More than one is recommended NEVER guess at a charge weight, use only published data and NEVER exceed the maximum loads, this is how people get hurt!
Reloading dies – You need a set of dies for each caliber you plan to load, , Dies for pistol cartridges come three to a set, the sizer die sizes the case and deprimes the case. The expander die flares out the mouth of the case to allow a new bullet to be seated without damage to the bullet or the case. The seat/crimp die seats the bullet and applies either a roll crimp for revolver cartridges, or a taper crimp for auto loading cartridges.
Shell holder – you will need different shell holders for many different calibers some are interchangeable. The shell holder is what holds the case in the press and in alignment with the die.
Priming tool – Some presses such as the Rock Chucker allow you install new primers in the cases with the press itself. If you lack this feature with your press there are a number of ways to accomplish this task. Some hand priming tools require you to dump the primers into a tray, shake until all are facing up, put the cover on, put the case in the tool and squeeze the tool to insert the primer. RCBS eliminates the dump/shake routine by using primers that come on strips, thereby saving time. These primers cost the same as the ones without the strips, and you can also get a tool that will load loose primers onto the strips.