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Presses

 
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  #8  
Old 01-29-2012, 04:03 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: West Tennessee
Posts: 2
Re: Presses

Buying reloading equipment is like a lot of the the things we buy - most of it works well if you do your part . I should tell you that I have 30 years of experience and 3 presses on my bench( RCBS Rock Chucker , Redding T-7 and a RCBS Green Machine (any of you old guys know what that is ) ). My opinion is you should buy good value not low cost because in the end they are about the same .Regarding presses there is no doubt in my mind that buying a cast iron press is the way to go . Your children will be using it when they grow up making it good value. Iron presses include the following: RCBS Rock Chucker , Redding Boss or Big Boss , Lee Classic Cast , and Lyman Crusher . I am sure all the Hornaday presses are aluminum and RCBS/Lee presses not mentioned above are aluminum . The aluminum presses will give a good service life but they do have a life . The Lee Classic Cast is under $100 and that is good value. Forrester would be the premimum single stage press on the market but it is pricy and has some limitations because the handle rotates over the die and there is limited clearence to attach a powder measure to the die if you are loading for pistols. A number of the people I know have bought the Lee kits and they are serviceable but if you shoot much you will want to upgrade quickly .

There are places to save money on reloading equipment :

1. Lee case trimmers are cheap and work well.

2. The Lee Perfect Powder Measure works very well and is very inexpensive . I have a Redding 3BR , Forrester , and Ideal/Lyman 55 which all work about as well as the Lee Perfect.

3.I don't like priming on the press and all of the Hand Priming tools work pretty well.

4. Digital calipers can be purchased from Harbor freight for $9.99 most of the time .

5.I like most of the Scales available but the Lee's .

6. All dies available seem to be pretty good . I benchmark off of RCBS which I consider the best value for the money. Redding and Forrester have nice features but cost more . Lee and Lyman are OK and a little cheaper .

Well these are my thoughts and we didn't even get into Turret Presses . FYI a good friend uses a Lee Aniverys Kit to load and his ammo is as good as mine .
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  #9  
Old 01-29-2012, 04:54 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Medina, Ohio USA
Posts: 85
Re: Presses

There is no "best" of anything, but there are some that aren't worth much.

Hornady, RCBS, Redding, and Lyman all make excellent single-stage presses. Some used ones no longer manufactured (Hollywood, Dunbar, etc) but available on EBay also do an excellent job.

Do a search here and on other reloading sites and you will get hundreds of opinions.
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  #10  
Old 01-30-2012, 01:15 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: greenwood, IN
Posts: 3,642
Re: Presses

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crow Juice View Post
Buying reloading equipment is like a lot of the the things we buy - most of it works well if you do your part . I should tell you that I have 30 years of experience and 3 presses on my bench( RCBS Rock Chucker , Redding T-7 and a RCBS Green Machine (any of you old guys know what that is ) ). My opinion is you should buy good value not low cost because in the end they are about the same .Regarding presses there is no doubt in my mind that buying a cast iron press is the way to go . Your children will be using it when they grow up making it good value. Iron presses include the following: RCBS Rock Chucker , Redding Boss or Big Boss , Lee Classic Cast , and Lyman Crusher . I am sure all the Hornaday presses are aluminum and RCBS/Lee presses not mentioned above are aluminum . The aluminum presses will give a good service life but they do have a life . The Lee Classic Cast is under $100 and that is good value. Forrester would be the premimum single stage press on the market but it is pricy and has some limitations because the handle rotates over the die and there is limited clearence to attach a powder measure to the die if you are loading for pistols. A number of the people I know have bought the Lee kits and they are serviceable but if you shoot much you will want to upgrade quickly .

There are places to save money on reloading equipment :

1. Lee case trimmers are cheap and work well.

2. The Lee Perfect Powder Measure works very well and is very inexpensive . I have a Redding 3BR , Forrester , and Ideal/Lyman 55 which all work about as well as the Lee Perfect.

3.I don't like priming on the press and all of the Hand Priming tools work pretty well.

4. Digital calipers can be purchased from Harbor freight for $9.99 most of the time .

5.I like most of the Scales available but the Lee's .

6. All dies available seem to be pretty good . I benchmark off of RCBS which I consider the best value for the money. Redding and Forrester have nice features but cost more . Lee and Lyman are OK and a little cheaper .

Well these are my thoughts and we didn't even get into Turret Presses . FYI a good friend uses a Lee Aniverys Kit to load and his ammo is as good as mine .
I'm a believer in the concept that you usually get what you pay for. Thus I will kindly dissagree with items one thru six. Otherwise we are in agreement.
gary
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  #11  
Old 01-30-2012, 01:44 PM
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 420
Re: Presses

I would absolutely not recommend a starter press that is any shorter than a Rock Crusher. I prefer the Redding and even it is not long enough to suit me. I don't think there is Jack squat of accuracy difference between any of the larger presses. Starter kits are just that, They start you buying other stuff. - Pay for it once!
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  #12  
Old 01-30-2012, 02:03 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: S.E. Michigan
Posts: 3,464
Re: Presses

The machinist in me looks at reloading equipment this way......

Here is my take on ANY press or die set, manufacturer notwithstanding....

Any press will only be as accurate in resizing/bullet seating as the dies are accurate.

Personally I buy the best dies I can afford, always. Price predicates quality and close tolerance machining and that's what good (expensive) dies are all about.

As far as the press itself is concerned, if you reload small caliber, massive presses aren't needed because the force (on the ram) isn't excessive, however, larger calibers are a different story....

As with machine tools, reloading presses, especially presses capable of resizing larger calibers need to have physical mass (frame) to resist deflection of the ram when you reef down on the handle when resizing. Then, there is the ram itself. No matter how massive the frame is, if the ram is not adequately supported in the base (by that I mean the bore through which the ram travels upward), the ram will deflect some amount (tbd) and that causes many things, most importantly, deflection of the brass as it enters the die and begins to resize and that can cause neck concentricity issues as well as stuck cases.

Bullet seating is another matter because the ram isn't exerting a large amount of mechanical effort on the brass to seat the bullet, deflection is lessened.

I don't progressive load (rifle cartridges) so I use a Rockchucker. It has adequate bearing surface for the ram to slide in, a hard chrome ram and the mass necessary to resist deflection when resizing.

I also use a Dillon Precision progressive press and Dillon die sets for my pistol reloads.

Many opinions on FL resizing versus Neck sizing. I tend to FL resize all brass whether new or once fired (as in .223 Mil Brass) and so long as the cartridge is fired in the same firearm, I neck size at that point, always checking case length and trimming as necessary to chamber or to maximum case length when used in a semi-auto.

All bottleneck cartridges 'grow' with repeated fittings and all cartridges, straight wall or bottleneck get harder (in the neck) with repeated firings. At some point without annealing the necks, they will crack and the brass becomes scrap....

Just scratch'in the surface here.....

Annealing is another story for another time.....
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  #13  
Old 01-30-2012, 03:44 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Mountians of SW NC, near Asheville
Posts: 1,596
Re: Presses

"I would absolutely not recommend a starter press that is any shorter than a Rock Crusher. "

Interesting suggestion; I've been reloading since '65. I now own four presses, have had others and have used various presses of my friends. I've never used nor even heard of a "Rock Crusher" press but I have never tried a press of any model that didn't do very good work. A large press is fine ... if you load large cartridges. Otherwise, it's just longer ram travel for no benefit. Lee's Classic Cast is larger/stronger than most others, it's precisely machined and it's strong enough to crush rocks if that turns you on. ??

I also fully agree with Crow Juice's six point list for new guys, all he suggests will do exactly what he says it will do. It gets amusing when some of us old hands try to get new guys to follow us to what we now use, even if it's NOT what the new guy really needs or may wish to use!
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  #14  
Old 01-30-2012, 04:17 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: S.E. Michigan
Posts: 3,464
Re: Presses

Hey Boom...

I believe he means 'Rock Chucker as in RCBS'.....

Now, I try to keep my fingers out from under the die when guiding in cases or my Rock Chucker could become a finger smoosher.....
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