Should I buy a new press ?

Bingoc

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Richland ,WA
I agree with Equalizer above. You won't go wrong with a quality single c frame and add quality components to compliment the press.
 

Pointman

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Aug 12, 2017
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159
I started with the RCBS JR press and it served me well until I started case forming 30-06 into 25-06, a rather simple resize. At that time we were living in our 1st apartment after college and the breakfast bar didn't like the press. I sold to my hunting partner and got the Rock Chiuker, vintage 1972. I got away from the firearms fun and took up fly fishing, another expensive hobby. After the knees and ankles gave up, and I returned to reloading, I purchased a M.E.C. metalic press dedicated to bullet seating only. The Chucker has been and will continue to be my prep platform mainly due to the robustness. of the product. I spend more time prepping brass and reloading than I do shooting, mainly because I;m so "anal" about my brass. As much as I'd love to have a progressive press, I am more into the elusive 5 shots into 1 hole than into hunting so, I'm willing to spend 2-3 days preparing brass. I do go through 150 - 200 rounds per range session so my next serious loading tooling will be in the annealing discipline. Like I've said before, every shooter has another "rat hole" for loose change.. How far one gets into it depends on one's degree of anal thinking.
 

freddiej

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Aug 10, 2010
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Carson City, NV
Good evening WGTX: It looks like I am going to be among those saying get another press. just a personal opinion of the Hornady presses.. especially the LNL AP. it's functioning is weird and moves in ways that boggle the mind. I say this as a seasoned reloader.
I would say this to anyone starting out. find others that reload. use their press and see what you like and what you do not like. then the dies, the powder meter and the rest. try it all out and find what you like or can not due without.
It's no secret I love dillon presses. I have 3 of them two dillon 550's and a 1050. I also have RCBS electronic powder scale. I have dillon, honady, RCBS, Lyman, and Redding dies. brass prep is all over the place too; What ever does the job best in my mind.
the best thing I can say to a newbie/rookie reloader about the 550 dillons is that you can lock down the shell plate and use it as a 4 position single stage press. if you buy the BL-550 then you can add-on as you like. you pick the way your press performes and the timing of the up-grades. I've worked on the Dillon RL-450, up-graded it to a 550 in the mid-1980's, never had a reason to up-grade to the 650 (honestly; I hate the 650 for very personal reasons- hint they fixed it with the 750 priming sharing the 550 priming). I am not an "auto-progressive person" I like the manual progression of the 550. that is me. when locked down, the shell plate is just as strong and the press is just as precise as the O-presses or that freak of a co-ax. yes, I dislike the forster co-ax for a very personal reason as well.
IF, and only if I had to go back to a single stage I would be looking at the Hornady Iron Press. C&H twin pillar press. If I was to be relegated to a Turret press I would get the Redding T-7. progressive is the dillon 550. if i need high production I might get the dillon 750 or keep with my dillon 1050.

this is my two cents worth..
 

JDD

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Sep 24, 2017
Messages
176
keep your Hornady lock and load. Remove the Hornady powder measure, get a dillion 550 powder funnel in right cal for it. I use 2 electric powder dispensers and manually drop the charge. It is seldom I have to wait long for a charge.

Hand de-prime and clean cases before sizing. The priming system is very sensitive to primer residue

if your loading for just one rifle, use the Redding competition sizer and seater. The brass would only have been fired in that rifle to work
 

tylerw02

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Joined
Feb 2, 2020
Messages
54
Location
Missourica
I started with the RCBS JR press and it served me well until I started case forming 30-06 into 25-06, a rather simple resize. At that time we were living in our 1st apartment after college and the breakfast bar didn't like the press. I sold to my hunting partner and got the Rock Chiuker, vintage 1972. I got away from the firearms fun and took up fly fishing, another expensive hobby. After the knees and ankles gave up, and I returned to reloading, I purchased a M.E.C. metalic press dedicated to bullet seating only. The Chucker has been and will continue to be my prep platform mainly due to the robustness. of the product. I spend more time prepping brass and reloading than I do shooting, mainly because I;m so "anal" about my brass. As much as I'd love to have a progressive press, I am more into the elusive 5 shots into 1 hole than into hunting so, I'm willing to spend 2-3 days preparing brass. I do go through 150 - 200 rounds per range session so my next serious loading tooling will be in the annealing discipline. Like I've said before, every shooter has another "rat hole" for loose change.. How far one gets into it depends on one's degree of anal thinking.
Putting five shots in one hole isn’t exclusive to single-stage presses.
 

Ward Thurman

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Joined
Feb 18, 2019
Messages
111
Location
Hamilton, Montana
I personally would buy a single stage press such as a Rock Chucker. Or for more money a Forrester Co-Ax.
I am not saying that you can't start with a progressive but I can say that it will have its challenges. Plus if precision is the goal, that will be easier to achieve with a single stage.
I have no experience with a progressive press. How are they to use? I would think they would be persnickety.
 

ILVTOHT

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Jan 28, 2020
Messages
59
Location
Miles City Mt
Years ago I bought a Hornady AP setup, I’ve never used it, I’ve never reloaded at all. When I bought it the thought was mass producing 5.56/.223 due to supplies and prices. Fast forward to now after pretty big life change/relocating I want to start loading but since bulk prices and quality are pretty darn good mass production is not a factor at all,I’d like to focus on accuracy and being able to match ammo to use ”better” than factory offerings.
I’ve been trying to study the basics to get started, bought a couple loading manuals and obviously reading stuff on the interwebs. Right now all I have is what came with the Hornady AP kit so I need to buy equipment. My question is, do I use the progressive press setup I have or buy a quility single stage press ? I don’t have a problem at all settling aside what I have now, maybe selling or trading it and buy another press setup.
Not saying money is no object but I want equipment that I hopefully won’t want to upgrade quickly. So to recap, as a complete rookie at loading would you recommend buy a single stage press or use the progressive I have ? I need all the case prep stuff, dies, scales, measuring equipment anyway.
Any advice and guidance is appreciated.

yes. In my opinion you shouldn’t start reloading with a progressive press. There is tomuch to learn and pay attention to. Any single stage press will be better to learn on and easier to get accurate loads out of for a beginner. A kit is fine, but I would suggest buying it one piece at a time... do your research and find what you like!
 

Ol' Red

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Nov 28, 2018
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926
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Wyoming
I would recommend any good quality single stage to start out. I started with a RCBS years ago and still have it. I've had a couple Turrets that I like also, especially the Redding T7. I still go back to the single stage when loading just a few test rounds, like when I get a new batch of powder. Loading is relaxing if you relax and take your time. Enjoy.
 

Ol' Red

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Nov 28, 2018
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Wyoming
I believe you will be less frustrated by starting with a single stage press. Doing so will allow you to learn the whys and whatnots of reloading in a manner that is a logical progression.
You CANNOT have too many manuals/reference books when you reload. Read several of the manuals about how to reload and then read them again, BEFORE you ever touch the press or trimmer or vibratory cleaner.
When you have become proficient with the single stage press, then tackle the progressive press.
I believe, (my basic two cents worth with some change) that single stage presses shine in building premium, accurate reloads. Not to say that you can't build accurate reloads on a progressive, I just believe they are two different presses for different purposes. One bullet at a time or a whole case in an hour. Not a true apples to apples comparison.
All on one bench? If so how long is your bench?
 

osok-1k

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Jun 25, 2018
Messages
133
Location
Conroe, TX
I've been hand loading since 1976, shot bench rest and still am a LE sniper. I'v had Dillon and RCBS presses, replaced my 60 year old Rock Chucker about a year ago with a new Rock Chucker Supreme. I would have bought the Co-Ax except they were not available at the time.
It sounds like you don't care as much about what things cost as much as doing things right the fist time. If you want to be precise, get great equipment to start with, take your time to learn exactly what each tool does and how to use them correctly. Buy good dies, Forster, Whidden, Redding and certain RCBS, I've found Hornady to have loose tolerances and would not use them for precision loading. Buy a good powder measure to get your load close and trickle up to exactly the desired weight. Have your scale calibrated if you use a beam scale and on and on. One of the best ways to learn is to find someone in your area who has a lot of experience both in loading and precision shooting and ask if they would mentor you until you get comfortable. I would not buy a Dillon except for pistol loads or something like 5.56 / 300 BO where you need volume more than precision. They're great tools for their intended purpose, which is to load a lot of ammo in a short period of time, 750 is the smallest I would consider. Be patient and have a quiet place (distractions cause mistakes) to load with a solid bench where you can hopefully leave things set up and enjoy.
 

tylerw02

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Joined
Feb 2, 2020
Messages
54
Location
Missourica
yes. In my opinion you shouldn’t start reloading with a progressive press. There is tomuch to learn and pay attention to. Any single stage press will be better to learn on and easier to get accurate loads out of for a beginner. A kit is fine, but I would suggest buying it one piece at a time... do your research and find what you like!

How is there more to pay attention to?
How is it easier to make more accurate loads?

One can easily set up only one station on a progressive press at a time and perfect that step before adding the next station.

Accuracy depends on the load and doing the process correctly. Unless your press is bad, accurate ammo can be loaded on any modern press.

OP: stop listening to people tell you that you gotta buy something new to get started. You don’t.
 
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