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Reloading Berger Bullets


going to start loading, thinking about presses.

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Unread 07-31-2008, 02:40 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 53
going to start loading, thinking about presses.

Am going to start loading. I am going to load for pistol and magnum rifle. .300 RUM is the largest rifle I got.

I shoot maybe 200 pistol rounds a month. When I roll my own maybe i will shoot more since it will cost less.
Maybe 50 rifle rounds a month. More or less depending if I am working on groups or not.

Am thinking about the following presses.
Hornady LNL AP
Lee Classic Turret or RCBS Turret
Hornady LNL single stage.


1. Is a progressive or turret strong / steady enough to load a RUM round?

2. Can I load a precision round on a progressive or turret like I can a single stage?

What I may do is buy the Hornady LNL single stage to start out all pistol and rife. Then later upgrade to progressive if I like reloading and haven't blown something up yet.

I have reloaded before, .44mag with the little lee kits where you use a hammer to work the dies. Don't remember what they are called but that was fun.

I want to reload for 2 reasons. Cost for both pistol and rifle. Precision for the rifles.
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Unread 07-31-2008, 04:57 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Mountians of SW NC, near Asheville
Posts: 1,595
After some 40+ years of reloading with many different die brands, calibers and threaded presses I have formed some definite opinions: Mostly, excepting the occasional but rare defect from any maker, it doesn't matter who made the press or dies or what model they are, the limiting factor is the loader himself and his work methods. In general, no one makes a bad press, no one makes bad dies, so get what you like and enjoy it.

All that said, I prefer to USE certian tools because of specfic design features. I like Lyman or Redding dies for pistol because of their expander design that works very well. I prefer Forster or Redding BR/Competion dies for rifle because of the sliding chamber they use. I prefer the Foster CoAx press because it DOESN'T have threads and only it allows the die to be mounted loosely so they can better align with the cases. But, none of it makes much difference at the target, given care in use they all do good.

The "advantage" of quick-change die inserts gimmicks, aka LnL, are unclear to me. I can swap screw-in dies in a few seconds, cutting that in half, or even quartered, it still doesn't mean anything in an hour or two long loading session. A properly set lock-ring does everything an insert does for repeatability, so ....?

IF I was going to use a turret (and I don't, they really don't add a thing to the process) it would be a Lee Classic Turret because of it's mass and method of support for the turret itself. In my OPINION, loading the volumes you suggest don't warrant the hassle of learning to set up and use a progressive.

If you like shiney stuff expect to pay for it but it isn't likely to produce any better groups than any other stuff. On average, there is more difference between dies of the same maker than there is between makers. The chances of an ideal match between any given die and rifle is more of a crap shoot than the advocates of certain brands would have you believe.

Last edited by boomtube; 07-31-2008 at 07:13 PM.
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Unread 07-31-2008, 09:42 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Chatham, VA
Posts: 436
If you want lots and lots of good quality, but not great ammo a progressive is the way to go. I like my Dillon 550. For pistol ammo out to about 50 yards (assuming you are not shooting bullseye) then a good progressive will work great. Also for tactical/3-gun type short range rifle ammo a progressive will do the trick.

If on the other hand you want the very best round you can produce then a single stage is the way to go. I have and like my Forster Co-Ax.

I am not a big fan of the turret presses because I think they add complication and do not add any speed or quality to the process.
"My greatest fear is that after my demise my wife will sell my guns for the price I told her I paid for them"
-don't know where it came from...but true
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Unread 07-31-2008, 10:58 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Columbia, MO
Posts: 1,476
My Lee Classic turret press works fine, although I disable the little rotator piece and just turn the turret to advance to other steps.
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Unread 07-31-2008, 11:24 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 668
I have had every turret press on the market and I really don't think anything compares to a t7. There is absolutely no play in it whatsoever. If turret presses didn't speed up the process then why do almost 90 percent of manufactures make a turret. Must be a gimmick.
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Unread 08-01-2008, 07:26 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Mountians of SW NC, near Asheville
Posts: 1,595
"...why do almost 90 percent of manufactures make a turret. Must be a gimmick."

Makers make what they can sell, it's the capitalist way. Some of us will buy turrets so they are made but that don't mean they speed anything up. And WE shooters/reloaders do like our gimmicks, they look so cool!

Redding's turret is a good one, as turrets go, but they must have some slop in the mechanism or the turret wouldn't turn. I would prefer the Lee Classic Turret.

Last edited by boomtube; 08-01-2008 at 07:35 AM.
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Unread 08-01-2008, 07:46 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 20
Midsouthshooters.com has a "smart reloader" single stage that is a GREAT buy - it is the Lee Classic cast press with a quick change setup.

I'd get that and a good progressive too. Either a Dillon 550 or an RCBS Pro-2000. I have the 2000, but the Dillon is great too.

I'd load my Rums on the single stage and handguns on the progressive.
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