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The Most "Affordable" Reloading Setup

Updated: May 17


Before I start, I want to talk about reloading kits.


Kits are great, but do not provide everything most people would need. Most of all, reliability, performance, and consistency are almost always lacking. I can speak from experience buying one when I first started out hand-loading. What components am I still using from it? pretty much none except the press. They all were sold off for upgrades, broke, or were just not consistent enough for my applications. However, their are some great kits out there that would be perfect for beginners or some individuals who are doing very little ammo making. The only reason it didn't workout for me is because I realized how much better buying components separate would have been to meet my exact needs. To compare, it's like new guys buying firearms for the first time and throwing on cheap red dots. After a while, those individuals will soon realize they need something more reliable. Now, they are stuck with the initial bad investment and must face the loss.





The Best Reloading Components


Here's my list that will give you everything you'll need:

P.S. These links will take you to Brownells which always has ridiculous promotion codes. If they don't have one running for free shipping and a bunch of money off, wait a few days and they will.


1. Sinclair/L.E. Wilson Hand Die Kit W/Micro Top

"This ultra-compact reloading set-up enables the user to reload for extreme accuracy as well as being mobile for competition use or load development at the range. The Sinclair/Wilson Hand Die Kit includes a Wilson Neck Die, Wilson Straight Line Bullet Seater, Sinclair Micrometer Seater Top, Sinclair Arbor Press, and Sinclair Arbor Press Base. Wilson Neck Die Bushings will need to be ordered separately" (Brownells.com, 2018). Moreover, this set up is perfect because it's works well for those who move around a lot, like a bug out option, live in a small space, or just like to be minimalist while compacting one of the most consistent die/press combo in the market. Moreover, even though this a neck resize die only, you will eventually need to full length resize your brass.


2. Calipers

Hornady has a long track record of being bad-ass. I use several of their products. For the sake of this article and saving money, These calipers are one of the best options. Nonetheless, Digital calipers require batteries and sometimes give you bad readings, depending on brand. Old fashion calipers like these won't ever fail you and are super consistent. It's all I use now.

3. RCBS Chargemaster Lite

RCBS makes awesome reloading components. I personally love their Chargemaster series. It's a very cost effective way to get accurate powder charges, while dispensing it fast. This way, you aren't sitting there with a powder tickler and a digital scale for 5 minutes per case trying to get the right amount of powder.


4. Vibratory Tumbler

Berry's has been around forever and their brand speaks for itself. I started out using dry tumblers and still do to this day. This comes with a media separator, solution, and media. Pretty hard to beat this price!


5. Hand Primer with a universal tool head

This hand primer and the universal head will eliminate the need for you to buy a shell plate holder for every single caliber you plan on priming. However, it is defiantly more expensive then most hand primers. But, again, a lot of those aren't very durable and tend to break after a few thousands rounds. Trust me, I've broken several before I finally switched to this set up.


6. Case Gauge

A quick little tool to tell you if you are making your rounds right. That way you don't end up with a hundred rounds that won't chamber.


7. Brass Trimmer

Welcome to reloading. this is the most tedious part for those who are peculiar about finer details. This trimmer will give you the fastest and more accurate forms of trimming. That way you won't kill your fore arm hand-cranking brass.


8. Chamfer and Deburring Tool

Great tool to be paired with a brass trimmer. It will allow you to work the case mouth so that projectiles may seat freely inside the case. It is required in my opinion. If you don't chamfer and debur your brass, you'll notice the copper shavings coming off your projectile as it is being seated.



and of course, just your bullets, primers, brass and case lube you can make at home.


Seriously, that's it.


You will never need to upgrade this set up. Everything I have listed is durable, reliable, consistent, and won't ever make you disappointed.


Also, don't get me wrong, there are much more affordable set ups then this one. The aim of this article is intended to provide you with all the essentials and components that you will not have to replace. As the saying goes, "buy once, cry once." Moreover, if you do go with cheaper options you will end up breaking, replacing, or selling them off for upgrades in the future that you will ultimately lose money on as it degrades. To elaborate, spending money on something that will not perform the way it is supposed to or ends up breaking is not "affordable" by any means. in respect to that viewpoint, if you do go cheap, you spend "x" amount of money on a product that breaks down the road that can't be replaced under warranty, you just lost "x" amount of money and sit their without a product at all. Therefore, the items listed are within the middle of the spectrum without sacrificing reliability, warranty, performance, customer service, and most of all your wallet. Affordable can be two widely different price points for individuals. I did not include dirt cheap reloading components and I did not include expensive ones either.








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