Should I buy a new press ?

Gone Ballistic

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I have a Dillon XL650 that I primary use to reload. 223 and 22-250 solely for volume to hunt prairie dogs and rock chucks along with coyotes. It has a brass feeder and a Mr. Bullet feeder for over 800 rounds an hour with an assistant keeping the primer feed and hoppers full. I also have a RCBS Rock Chucker which has been my standby forever until I bought my Forester Coaxial. I now do all of my precision reloading on the Forester. I suggest that if you can find one, get it as you'll never look back. If you are wanting to load precision or causal loads, it is less fatiguing to use than the Rock Chucker. But, for the money, the RCBS Rock Chucker is a great all-around reloading system.
Good luck with your choice but honestly what you currently have is a good progressive reloader.
 

antelopedundee

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IMO you don't need a high leverage press for .233 stuff; you're not reloading 20mm anti-aircraft shells. I'd get decent single stage press like the RCBS Jr. and learn the ropes on that. Get a powder measure that you can use with a progressive later on. You'd be limited to using powders that "throw" accurately from a measure. I have a Hornady Pro-Jector that works pretty sick when properly set up.

As an aside, if I was in your shoes I'd just get new brass and "load" that as opposed to reloading fired brass. Find a friend or 2 to go in on a 5,000 or 10,000 round drum of the stuff [if you can find a source for that much] and sell off the once-fired brass. Hornady shows .223 Rem as being available in 3500 round drums. Lubing cases to use in a progressive seems like such a PITA.

Old pics from Hornady ads used to show them using a Pro-Jector to load their premium ammo.
 

WGTX

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Finally had time to read through the replies, all the advice and opinions are greatly appreciated. To touch on a couple points brought up. What I intend to load for. Bolt rifles, a couple.308, 25-06, 26 Nosler, .223, all factory no custom builds. ARs .223, .204, 6.8, .300. Cost/budget- not really a concern, I don’t mind buying equipment and adding to it. I don’t want to buy stuff that’s “good enough to start“, I’d end up replacing it. My AP press can go back in the tote, hasn’t been costing anything and won’t if it sits a while longer until I get a handle on making one round at a time. I did watch most of the press shootout video, I’m leaning towards the Co-ax, Hornady Iron or Rock Crusher Supreme, and piece together the rest.
Thanks again.
 

antelopedundee

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Finally had time to read through the replies, all the advice and opinions are greatly appreciated. To touch on a couple points brought up. What I intend to load for. Bolt rifles, a couple.308, 25-06, 26 Nosler, .223, all factory no custom builds. ARs .223, .204, 6.8, .300. Cost/budget- not really a concern, I don’t mind buying equipment and adding to it. I don’t want to buy stuff that’s “good enough to start“, I’d end up replacing it. My AP press can go back in the tote, hasn’t been costing anything and won’t if it sits a while longer until I get a handle on making one round at a time. I did watch most of the press shootout video, I’m leaning towards the Co-ax, Hornady Iron or Rock Crusher Supreme, and piece together the rest.
Thanks again.

You probably should have included some of this in your OP. I was under the impression that your focus was rather narrow.
 

Nickie.01

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Apr 14, 2014
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I sold my rockchucker to a young club member and was using the AP both as single stage and progressive. Added 338 Lapua - because everyone needs one? - and had to purchase a single stage again. I bought the Hornady, and now I have it and can use the lock and load bushings with it I would not put anything else on your list. They make a 338 shell plate for the AP but it costs 1/2 the cost of the single stage. Now I can set up dies (except 338LM) and use them on either press. I find it really handy to have all my dies set and locked in the bushings, so no guessing or adjustments, just swap and go. Hope this helps.
 

just_jon

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Every time a new press comes out, I entertain thoughts of replacing my 35 year old rock checker. Then I load some ammo and I think of other uses for my money (gun/scope fund). Last night I loaded 50 rounds of 22-250AI and not one round had bullet runout greater than 0.0011. i ask you, how do you put a press like that on the shelf?
 

antelopedundee

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Every time a new press comes out, I entertain thoughts of replacing my 35 year old rock checker. Then I load some ammo and I think of other uses for my money (gun/scope fund). Last night I loaded 50 rounds of 22-250AI and not one round had bullet runout greater than 0.0011. i ask you, how do you put a press like that on the shelf?

You don't, unless you're filthy rich.
 

Equalizer

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Gods country
Or obsessed more likely lol. I have continually accumulated tools but other than the trimmer I’ve not had to replace any. Good replies here.

I think you have a plan now.
Get a quality single stage press
a great powder measure
a good beam scale w/trickler
Good trimmer
Tumbler
Best dies you can afford
Good calipers
Load blocks
Components
Misc
Ammo boxes

*Choose one bolt gun and develop a load for it and go from there. Probably the one you’re most familiar with. This may take more than one bullet or powder combination. The trick is to only change one variable at a time. Once you have developed a good load in one gun you can can pretty much load for any gun. Keep the brass separated in plastic ammo boxes so you have a way to keep track of how many times fired/trimmed etc. Also it’s critical to have/keep a log and junk in = junk out so take good notes.

Keep the AP for the semi auto stuff after you get some experience and you will be able to put it to good use.

I really like my Redding press, scale and powder measure (& dies) but I’m sure there are others that are equivalent or possibly better. Of course you may want to do the auto dispenser or some variation of equipment but just trying to give you a good idea of what to look into gear wise and a couple tips. Do some research!!
 

WGTX

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Thanks Equalizer. I’ve got a Rock Crusher Supreme on the way, I’ve decided to make myself research/purchase each piece of equipment separately instead of being h*ll bent on getting everything right now.

Definitely will start with one load/rifle, I bought a HMR Pro last week in .223 that has shot Wolf Gold [email protected]” at the end of break in. It’s going to be my first try at developing a load.
 
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Equalizer

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Thanks Equalizer. I’ve got a Rock Crusher Supreme on the way, I’ve decided to make myself research/purchase each piece of equipment separately instead of being h*ll bent on getting everything right now.

Definitely will start with one load/rifle, I bought a HMR Pro last week in .223 that has shot Wolf Gold [email protected]” at the end of break in. It’s going to be my first try at developing a load.
Awesome man!! I think that’s a great idea that way you can digest what your reading and researching. Let us know how it turns out for ya!
 

hunter0528

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boston,ma
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.
I would keep it and add a Rockchucker press. The Rockchucker is great for precision reloads, but if you want quantity for .223 or any pistol caliber you can not beat a progressive.
personally I have a Rockchucker, Dillon 550 and Dillon 1050 (I used to compete in Action/IPSC pistol shooting, and need the last 2 for volume reloading.
 

Vann Kirkland

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Dec 22, 2018
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Jacksonville, Florida
I agree with rsnell and would recommend Redding or RCBS for a single stage press. I think you are going about this correctly by getting (and reading/studying) the manuals and seeking advice from seasoned reloaders. I got my Redding in 07 with the plan to go Dillon after getting my feet wet... still haven’t made the upgrade as I’ve tailored the process to suit my equipment and actual needs. Sometimes I even get a helper or two...View attachment 173070
My daughter liked to help me as well when she was that age...one time she pulled the handle and almost got one of my fingers, 🤦🏻‍♂️😎😎
 
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