going to start loading, thinking about presses.

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by dmproske, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. dmproske

    dmproske Well-Known Member

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    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.

    Questions.

    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.
     
  2. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    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: Jul 31, 2008

  3. Forester

    Forester Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  4. Tyler Kemp

    Tyler Kemp SPONSOR

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    My Lee Classic turret press works fine, although I disable the little rotator piece and just turn the turret to advance to other steps.
     
  5. linksmechanic

    linksmechanic Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  6. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    "...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: Aug 1, 2008
  7. CINOSBUS

    CINOSBUS Member

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    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.
     
  8. NesikaChad

    NesikaChad Well-Known Member

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    If you want to thaw out a visa card, this is certainly the place to do it.

    For just getting started, I would encourage you to look at the "ammo factory in a box" setups from RCBS. It comes with a rock crusher press which will do 99% of the cartridges out there. All but the really big stuff anyways.

    As for the quality of the press; I own one, Pete Pi Jr., President of Cor Bon ammo (and close personal friend) uses a couple of them for his custom load development, my best friend David Karcher, 2002 US National Highpower Service Rifle Champion and member of 2003 US Palma team uses one, Middleton Tompkins, another good friend, also uses this same press.

    Oh, Dakota Arms and Nesika Bay Precision have a half dozen of them in use at the shop too.

    It works and it won't put you in the market of a home equity loan.

    Good luck and welcome!
     
  9. Tyler Kemp

    Tyler Kemp SPONSOR

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    My neighbor has a rockchucker and loves it, but longer cartridges like my 45-120 will not work with it. The RUM's are similar lengths, not sure if they would work.
     
  10. summitsitter

    summitsitter Well-Known Member

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    Same Problem.

    I had the same problem a couple of months ago on deciding which press to go with. He's how I remmedied it.

    Bought the Lee Load-Master Progressive Press Kit 270 Winchester
    ($215). I load all my pistol ammo and any rifle round that I just want to shoot alot on it. And let me tell you, you can load alot of ammo in no time.

    I also bought the Lee Classic Cast Single Stage Press ($75) to do my more accurate loading work with.

    I got everything I need to load for around $300. Just a little about the price of some of your single stage kits. You could even go cheaper by getting the Lee Pro 1000 Progressive Press Kit 223 Remington instead of the Load-Master if you was only going to want to turn out alot of pistol and .223 ammo. It's around $135. Then you could even get a better single stage and stay around the $300 mark.
     
  11. Williamb

    Williamb Member

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    This is what I use:
    • Redding T-7 Turret Press. Not self indexing very precise. For load work-up of pistol cartridges and all rifle reloading.
    • Pistol cartridges in mass - Dillon 650 progressive with case feeder. I can easily do 600 45 ACPs an hour. Also check out Uniquetek.com for the micrometer powder bar kit for the Dillon press. Makes life very easy.
    • Electronic powder dispenser and scale - either Lyman 1200 or RCBS. I also use the 'RCBS scale check weight set' to see if the electronic scale is behaving. They are known to drift. Don't even think about a balance beam scale unless you have a lot of time on your hands.
    • Redding dies particularly the competition bullet seater if you will be trying various bullets for the same caliber. E.g., accubonds, triple-x , etc.
    • Check out Sinclairintl.com for the wilson/sinclair case trimmer. Excellent product. You will need to trim your new rifle brass and maybe again if it grows. I have this case trimmer with a micrometer. It's a real luxury and not necessary. But the basic set up for $53 is really worth it.
    • You will also need a bullet puller. Kinetic (looks like a hammer) or something like the Hornady bullet puller which screws into your press. Much nicer to use and does not deform the bullet.
    • Hornady One Shot spray lubricant for resizing cases. Fast and not messy.
    • Micrometer - an absolute necessity. I use a Starrett digital another luxury but avoid the really cheap ones.
    The above has the capabilities to produce really good quality ammo. If you get into target shooting then there is a whole bunch more you may want to consider such as tube micrometers etc. The above should really get your Visa card working. Payback at today's prices for ammo is very quick if you shoot a lot or if you are into buying Federal Gold Medal Match ammo or are reloading for the heavy bangers.

    Look through the Midway catalog and the Sinclair catalog. They both have other useful items you will find compelling to purchase. Also call Redding, Dillon and Sinclair tech support. Ask all your questions until you become comfortable. They will stay on the phone with you for as long as you need. They are a great resource and is part of their corporate identity to help.

    All most forgot. Always check your reloading recipes from more than one reloading manual. You may want to ask people online what powder bullet combination works well. Never use anything until verified by yourself from a published source. When I started I actually started with three manuals.

    Good luck - reloading is a lot of fun. Particularly during snow storms or when you can't get out to shoot.

    William
     
  12. linksmechanic

    linksmechanic Well-Known Member

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    Boomtube: Sorry but you need to do your homework on a t7. There is a spring loaded indexing ball on a t7 that take any and all slop out. Not tryint to be a smart @ss here but go yank on one at your local sportsmans wharehouse and you will know where I'm coming from. They have no slop in them period. Sinclair sell them and honestly they wouldn't sell anything with slop as they are all benchrest shooters.
     
  13. dmproske

    dmproske Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all of the replies. Some great information here. I will probably get the RCBS Pro 2000 kit with the auto index upgrade. That kit will have almost everything I need. I will prolly also get a single stage press to go along with it. According to RCBS the newer Rock Chucker supreme has been lengthened to handle the newer ultra wizbang magnums.

    CINOSBUS-- I looked on the midsouth shooters supply website and did not see the "smart reloader" single stage you mentioned. I must have passed it up.


    I am assuming that RCBS and all other dies have set screws on the lock rings? Are there any that do not?
     
  14. dmproske

    dmproske Well-Known Member

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    I downloaded the midsouth catalog and saw the "Smart Reloader". Does look like a good guy. Looks VERY simaler to the Lee Breach lock Challenger press. Wonder how strong it is? I recall reading postings about some problems with the Breach lock Challenger when sizing the big cases.