I figured instead of starting a new thread with close to the same question, I'd ask it here.
I've had it with buying manufactured ammo, I would like to shoot more than I do but rising ammo prices are making it hard to afford anymore. Going out with a few friends shooting for a day is becoming few and far in between. I have a number of firearms (12 guage, 7.62x39, .308, .223 etc...) I'm new to reloading all together, I've just started researching about it online, Would a single stage press (+ needed caliber dies for my guns) cover all my reloading needs? Does reloading shot take a different press altogether?
If anyone knows of any websites I can research, that would be great. What are some of the better presses? Are there any I should stay away from? I was thinking about purchasing a used press, Is this a good idea?
I'm interested in getting something that I can use to make a lot of rounds, I'll more than likely get suckered into reloading for friends (or let them use the press themselves) I myself, can easily go through a few hundred rounds in a day, so I'm looking for something easy to use, sitting down doing it for a long period of time.
You're on the right track. An axiom of reloading is that you generally don't save money, but you do end up shooting a lot more.
My advice is to start with centerfire rifle and work shotgun in later. 12 GA-- shotgun is another thing entirely. All the rest can be handled with a good single stage press. There are 12 GA dies out there, but they're generally used for brass cowboy loads. You'll need another press for shotgun.
Websites? I know lots of them. The guys who gave me my start are in large part over at 24hourcampfire.com now since shooters.com folded many years ago. I honestly haven't needed to ask too many questions in the past few years.
I'm not a snob about RCBS and their RockChucker, but I found it to be the best deal at the time in 2000. I doubt you could do much better. About the only press I would warn you about is Lee. Lee is not bad. Lee just goes about it in a different way. Most guys build overly strong presses with big cast iron frames. Lee is quite a bit more delicate and considerably cheaper. Whether it fits in with your style of reloading remains to be seen.
Used press? A used press can be a really good deal, but the press itself is not a huge investment. It's all the stuff that goes with it. Just be careful. If the previous owner was a fastidious engineer type and the widow want it out of the house, you may hit a gold mine. On the other hand, there are dofi out there that got tired of blowing up all their firearms and are unloading their abused junk on ebay. I've met reloaders who. . . well, I wouldn't touch their stuff for fear the stupid might be catchin'
If you read through these threads, you'll see I'm a big fan of starting with a single-stage press and working up. It's an investment you won't lose and you won't regret, even if you go to a progressive later. What a beginner usually finds is that initially you spend 90% of your time cooking up small batches to experiment with rather than big batches. I've never really gotten away from small batches. In fact, I've never done more than 100 rounds at a time.
Be careful reloading for friends. Somewhere, years ago, I found an article about the liability issues. Yikes! It's not the friends that are the problem. It's the wives, and other inheritors of your friends, that are scary. The bottom line is that you should think twice about reloading for friends. If something goes wrong, you can be in deep doo-doo. Also be careful about who you let use your press. Sometimes this works great. However, some guys will never quite get the picture and pour powder back into the wrong container or other equally cute tricks. Just having two good friends working together can be a problem. Two buddies of mine recently blew up a big Dillon, and from what I gathered it sounded like it was just too many cooks in the kitchen.
Here is one other thing to think about. Judging from what you gave, I'm just guessing you may be doing a lot of sport shooting with AK-type rifles and AR-type rifles. If you're doing a lot of sport plinking with military rifles, do yourself a cost analysis comparing these two scenarios:
1) A big progressive reloader fully outfitted for these two calibers with all the trimmings and the consummables
2) Going in with your buddies and buying big lots of surplus military ammunition.
My point is that by the time you figure in start-up costs and labor, you may be trying to compete with large overseas industrial plants using cheap foreign labor to produce your blasting ammo. You may be better off in the long run splitting a 10,000 round bulk buy among your friends than going to all this trouble to reload.
1) You buy yourself all that free time you were going to invest in labor on this project
2) You remove the liability issue.
3) You may come out money ahead.
4) You each have your cache of ammo for when the SHTF.