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Is the Rcbs rebel master reloading kit a good place to start? My son has an AR that he would like to start shooting more and I bought him a .45acp pistol for Christmas plus with trying to find some .243 in vain. I would like to get started. Just looking for a place to start. I know the initial cost will be high but I'm looking for the long run and I figured it would give us more time together. Thanks for any help.
 

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I'll start by saying that now is a tough time to start reloading due to supplies, especially primers.

But you have to start somewhere.

I use an RCBS jr press and a Redding press. If I was buying a new 1, I would seriously look at the Rebel for the through ram primer discharge.

I think the RCBS kits are a great place to start.

Do you have friends or family that can mentor you? Maybe a member of a local gun club?
 

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I'm just north of Grand Rapids. Nobody I know has done any reloading so it would be definite learning curve. Would the book that comes with the RCBS be a good one or is there another one that is better? Thanks for the help.
 

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Starline brass is top notch. Midway USA, Midsouth Shooter Supply, Graf and Son are good reloading suppliers. Powder Valley for powder. Primers could be an issue. Sportsman’s Warehouse, Bassoro, Cabelas or Jays may be if some help. Good luck.
 

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Pick up a Sierra reloading manual. Not sure what printing there are on by now but pick up the newest edition. It'll guide you thru the entire reloading process plus has most load data for most saami spec cartridges available. Read it carefully and follow it religiously until you are comfortable with the process. After that, most people typically experiment and get to know where their particular rifles shoot best in terms of powder, charge, primers and bullets. It's not cheap but once the initial cost is behind you, you'll be able to recoup the costs as you reload ammunition. Supplies aren't readily available today like a couple years ago but they are returning slowly. Cost is 50-75% up as well but loaded ammo is up even more.
 

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Hornady manual also is very good in explaining the step by step method of reloading. As previously stated, follow all steps religiously. Don't try to take shortcuts, it will cause you problems and maybe serious injury.
Good Luck.
There are a lot of good people on here who will be able to help you with any questions you have.
 

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If you live near GR visit Matt's Sport and Ammo. Haven't been there since Matt took over, but when it was run by Dan it was a good place to go for reloading supplies. Same building as Hankinsons Radiator.

Schanz is Otsego is another good one. I found Schanz by accident. Needed a tire repaired while down at my lease. Tire store and sporting good store. Good combo.

Reloading is a good skill. I am self taught. 45 ACP is really easy to learn on.
 

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Is the Rcbs rebel master reloading kit a good place to start? My son has an AR that he would like to start shooting more and I bought him a .45acp pistol for Christmas plus with trying to find some .243 in vain. I would like to get started. Just looking for a place to start. I know the initial cost will be high but I'm looking for the long run and I figured it would give us more time together. Thanks for any help.
Being realistic yes and no and then no and yes again . FWIW my first re-loader was Lee shot shell reloader that required a bathroom scale for the proper wad pressure - yes I'm dating myself but don't sell me short because of that.

RCBS makes very, very good products but the "Rebel Master" appears to be a single stage press which means every time reloading a new or once fired cartridge case you will have to go though a multitude of die changes and re-adjustments - endlessly and endlessly and endlessly .

The AR and the 45ACP that you mention are semi-autos and the tendency when shooting them is to shoot a fair amount - not like shooting a .270 or a 30-06 bolt action rifle from a bench . Loading even 50 .45 ACP rounds on a single stage press will take a couple of hours with changing and readjusting the three dies only to be shot off in about 20 minutes or so. I can almost guarantee that if you buy a single stage press in anticipation of reloading for semi-auto pistols and ARs and keep with it by next year you will be pricing a progressive press and trying to sell your single-stage RCBS on the "For Sale" bulletin board at your gun club for about $. 20 on the dollar.


You don't mention what caliber your AR is chambered for and I admittedly have never reloaded for one but if it's for NATO 5.56 x 45 once fired cases you will have to contend with the primer crimp ....and a multitude of other things.

I'm not trying to turn you off from re-loading as I've been reloading for decades and enjoy it but being realistic reloading multiple rounds - 100-200 - at a time would be unbelievably laborious on a single stage press. And buying a single stage press so as to reload cartridges for a semi-auto pistol, an AR type semi-auto rifle/carbine and a bolt action .243 could be undoubtedly be done but only given your tolerance for time consuming and endless nitpicking adjustments of dies, powder thrower calibrations, shell holders and the like.

Not sure if this is what you want to hear but hope it helps regardless. Again - reloading for three different types of firearms - semi-auto pistol, AR type rifle/carbine and a bolt action rifle on a single stage press with a powder thrower will I assure you - "Try the patience of a Saint.".

9mm Hi-Power
 

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A single stage press is perfect for beginners and experienced reloaders. A single stage press is exactly what you want to use to learn the step by step operations and the reasons behind how, why and how much to adjust dies. I can't imagine starting out on a Dillon 550/650 and expecting to get serviceable reloads on the first or second attempt, regardless how much YouTube you watch to shorten the learning curve.

If you're reloading 223 brass with LC, WCC or other military headstamps, you will encounter crimped primers. Those are a lot easier to deal with on a single stage press. After you size and deprime, put the brass in a bin. When you're done sizing, give a deburring tool a couple twists in the primer pockets to remove the crimp. Some 308, 9mm and 45ACP brass has crimped primers as well. I just toss crimped pistol brass. Heck, I picked up some 350 Legend brass a while back that had crimped primers. It's no big deal. If you stick with reloading, a Dillon Super Swage is simpler and faster, and costs about $100.

Pick powders that give a high load density (the powder fills the case a fair amount). This makes it much more difficult to double charge a case and obvious if you did when you inspect charged cases prior to seating the projectiles. Some guys like energetic powders that have low load densities because they get more shots per pound. Higher load densities give more consistent results, especially in rifle ammo.
 

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I've been reloading since the early 80s. Been using a single stage from the beginning. One time I did I consider a Dillon progressive press and that was only because I saw one in action and thought it was a super cool machine. Loaded shotgun shells for years also using a MEC progressive multi stage reloader. Stopped reloading those back when they mandated waterfowl hunting with steel shot. No regrets so far with the single stage Rock Crusher. I've owned Lyman, Lee, RCBS and Redding Presses. Currently using the Rock Crusher (RCBS). I owned and shoot 4 different ARs. 2 AR-10s and 2-AR-15s. Last time out west preparing for a prairie dog shoot loaded 5000 .223 rounds one winter. Even used a manual powder measure which was slow. Years ago went to a Chargemaster electronic measure/scale. Much faster and efficient. I have a brass prep station also which speeds up brass prep a ton. Like 9mm Hi-Power stated, progressives are possibly more efficient for semi auto firearm use because ARs and semi pistols tend to burn up more ammo just because of their platforms and so of course that's another option. I love to reload and so there's nothing unappealing to me in the single stage process. I strive for the utmost accuracy also and progressive loaders do not offer that as single stage models do. My ARs can shoot .25-.35" groups or they can shoot 1 minute groups. I prefer the .25. All my rifles are .5" rifles or better. If I do my best, I can get the best. I cannot guarantee that with a progressive loader.
 

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Started with a Rockchucker Jr in the ‘70’s. Stopped for a while. Discovered USPSA and bought a Dillon.

If I had known about Dillon progressive presses back then, that is what I would have bought. It could be used as a single stage if you wish.

For precision shooting, a single stage likely would be better.
 

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Started with a Rockchucker Jr in the ‘70’s. Stopped for a while. Discovered USPSA and bought a Dillon.

If I had known about Dillon progressive presses back then, that is what I would have bought. It could be used as a single stage if you wish.

For precision shooting, a single stage likely would be better.
Good info there. Wasn't aware a Dillon could be set up single stage. That makes a huge difference.
 

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I'm a Hornady progressive fan...been using one since the Lock N Load was first offered (many moon ago)...the great thing about this company is if you ever break anything (which you will), they will send you a new part free of charge in a timely fashion...everything from a spring to a drop tube...and as others have mentioned you can use any progressive press as a single stage press if so desired. Once dialed in I find the progressive fast for the semi auto loads...oh...and you can usually find plates and other necessities at you local store. Good Luck
 

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If you live near GR visit Matt's Sport and Ammo. Haven't been there since Matt took over, but when it was run by Dan it was a good place to go for reloading supplies. Same building as Hankinsons Radiator.

Schanz is Otsego is another good one. I found Schanz by accident. Needed a tire repaired while down at my lease. Tire store and sporting good store. Good combo.

Reloading is a good skill. I am self taught. 45 ACP is really easy to learn on.
I can see one of Schanz' s hunting blinds from mine. They live in the neighborhood and we have had dealings with them since WWII...

The boys are a bit- how shall I say - brusque - or standoffish....... It' s nothing personal - so don' t let it bother you.

They are true believers in hunting - ( for good or bad) - and they are pretty decent about business. Good prices for the most part... I get my powder and primers there - they have pretty much the best prices on those....
 

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I started with an RCBS kit. That and the Speer manual worked fine. After I got into semi auto pistols, I bought a Lee Classic Turret, which sped things up quite a bit, and remains my most versatile press.

I did get a Hornady Lock N Load fully progressive press, which is faster than the Lee, but I dedicate it to 9mm. Practically anything else, I just switch the turret on the Lee these days.

Have I saved money? Not beyond the initial kit. But I am not beholden to any ammo manufacturer or store for ammo, and I can customize the load to the gun, or task, or both.
 

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Where you REALLY save money - once you develop - and get to know prices - is buying components - at auctions, estate and garage sales - and from guys getting out of the hobby.

Buy everything at good prices - and trade with other guys who have stuff you need....

I picked up several hundred 7.5 x 55 swiss casings last year at a garage sale for pennies on the dollar - simply because noone else had any use for it....
 
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