Originally Posted by ken snyder
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!
There is Ken. It has to do with sliding wear between the ram and the base plate which is why it's important to keep those surfaces lubricated. A tiny bit goes a long way. Look at a New Rock Crusher and a used one and compare the hard chrome on the rams, you'll see what I'm referring to, especially one that's seen heavy use.
I use high viscosity way oil because I have it (for the machine tools) but any lubricant will work. The worst case scenario is running the ram dry. It not only increases the effort to resize, it wears the bearing surface of the base plate and the ram. I get quite a bit of crud when decapping and it collects around the shellholder and the ram. It's mildly abrasive so it needs to be cleaned off regularly, which I do.
Far as I can ascertain the only time longer ram travel and more frame clearance is needed is in 50 BMG cases.
I started out with a Lee hand press, sitting on the couch and loading. I still have it somewhere. I still hand prime every casing, on the couch, with my cat....
I have no inherent trust that I won't seat a primer proud if I used a progressive. I can 'feel' each and every primer when I hand prime. Besides, the cat likes the company. I want those primers recessed a bit and 'feeling' them tells me if they are right or not.
Probably the one thing I'm not fond of is the Lee Powder Dipper that comes with each Lee Die Set (I admit that I have a Lee set in 45 ACP as a backup to the Dillon...). I want to weigh charges not spoon them in, especially in a pistol case where a little goes a long way......