Single Stage vs Progress for Newbie

Dr. Vette

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The CoAx is all by itself, no kit.

Redding and RCBS dies are great, and are my preferred full body dies, body dies and neck bushing dies, though I don't own any Forsters at this time. However, I have loaded my straightest ammo with the Lee collet dies followed by a micrometer seating die. The Lee seating dies aren't meant/built for VLD style bullets, so you'll have to modify the seater or try a different brand.

RCBS Chargemaster 1500. Now you're done looking for a scale. :D

Look at Nosler or Norma brass for the 7RM. Having a drilled out flash hole always beats a punched one. Nosler overruns/seconds are usually a very good price.
 

SidecarFlip

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You know you have 'really arrived' when you add a torque wrench as your press handle so you can use 'prevailing torque' readings for repeatability....

Thats sop with me. I have a Snap-on clicker wrench as my press handle.

I 'gave up' on everyones seater dies years ago and switched to RCBS (PT&G) front load micrometer head seaters. I despise reaching 'under' to start a pill when I can 'drop' them in from the top.

Typical runout (measured on a Sinclair or Hornady comparator stand is between 0.001 and 0.0015 without neck turning.

Been using a rockchucker for years. I modded it with an alemite fitting halfway up the base casting to inject a bit of grease ocassionally.

Better add, I seat my primers off press in a hand seater, don't like press priming tools, no 'feel'. K&M is my favorite with RCBS second.
 

Trickymissfit

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I'm confused, the way I'm reading your post, it seems you think if you buy a single stage, it will be cheap. If you want a very good single stage that's pricey, get a CO-AX if you want a very good single stage that is not as pricey, get a Rock Chucker. Same with a progressive, get a Dillon if you want a pricey one, or get a Lee if you don't want to pay as much.

I would be willing to bet, that 99% of precision long range shooters, use a single stage. And probably 99% of high volume AR and pistol shooters use progressive. One buddy of mine bought the Lee progressive as a beginner and he tried to sell it to me Sunday, he has a Lee breach lock single stage on the way. He had a primer go off while loading and he's over it....

the one single thing that bothers me about any progressive system is quality control. Everyone of us has done a bad round here or there. If you spit out twenty five rounds and from number six on the seating depth changed or the charge changed two tenths of a grain. If your lucky you catch the error and get to break the ammunition down. If not, you know what happens.

I will check very third round unless I doing something like a 44mag. I can see what's going there almost by eye sight. I dump all powder into a pan that's weighed. Just never like the trauma ward all that much.
gary
 

Three44s

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Mar 4, 2012
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112
You can buy the Lee collet die all by itself but it's only a few dollars less than the collet set which includes a seater die.

Now one can argue that the lee seater is mediocre but I have loaded some pretty good rounds out of them .......

But my favorite seater of the standard genre is the Hornady New Dimension ......... there are better seaters to be sure but the price is up there.

Now for the OP who is intending to load for just two calibers for the time being ....... extra money for dies is no big deal ........

........... for me, it's a different story ......... my load list has grown exponentially after I began barrel swapping on the Savage bolt guns and broke into the realm of Contenders!

Sidecarflip raises a great point: The inline seaters ........ I think another was Vickers? are pretty good ........ I think even RCBS makes one?

The OP asked about the Hornady single stage ........ there certainly would not be anything wrong with it ....... by necessity, I use the LNL on my AP. I do have an issue with the bushings working loose occasionally.

The Charge master has been brought up a number of times. I have an early one ..... a Pact built one if I am not mistaken.

I like mine but it is brought out for long runs of large cases ....... not smaller test batches or for small cased cartridges either.

I realize the OP is looking at the whole package of tools so here's a run down of what I favor:

I am a confirmed hand held tool user when it comes to priming ......... the standard RCBS hand held tool that uses RCBS shell holders is my tool of choice ..... my second is a bench mount one that's been out of production about as long as I have been loading .......... the Standard tool .... the one with the cam ......... it took me decades to run one down gets the nod for tougher seating jobs.

For case trimming, I have used the Lyman Universal .......... that's the one that does not use shell holders. My cutter gave up years ago and I was talked into buying the carbide cutter ........ good investment .......... it's still going strong after about 20 years.

Lately, I have been courting the Wilson tool and that's what I am moving towards for cartridges that I deem worthy of the added investment due to their inherrent accuracy.

For weighing powder, I believe in the mechanical scales ........ I own electronic scales to be sure but have run both styles long enough to know what is best for me .... and that's by and large mechanical units. Just today, I received a RCBS scale called the 5-10 ....... it's very similar to the Ohaus 505 that I have used since I was a kid but it has one very important upgrade: The "tenths" of a grain is regulated by a horizontal screw with vernier graduations.

My old 505 by contrast, uses a small piece of soft alluminum that precariously sits in a notch. I don't know how many times I have caught myself with the beam banging down as I remove the powder pan and charge of powder only to find my scale out of adjustment. It's only a few tenths of a grain but in a small case such as a .22 Hornet or a .38 special ...... tenths matter!

Now there has to be more to the electronic scales right? I mean, "hair splitting" consistency? What's not to like? Well, it goes something like this:

What I have found and read is that these E-scales have issues with a lot of normal stimuli, like a little puff of air or near by florescent lighting.

Hope you enjoy chewing on this!

Best regards

Three 44s
 

CleanShot

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Aug 6, 2013
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Bergen County, NJ
RCBS Chargemaster 1500 runs a cool $300. That's the same price as the Co Ax. I think for a beginner setup that's overkill.

The 5-10 scale seems to be discontinued.

I saw some recommendations for the Hornady M or the RCBS 10-10. And I also saw a new 5-0-5 scale for $40.

I'm trying to get a feel for my all in cost to build a Co Ax "kit" equivalent to one of these:
Hornady® Classic Kit with Range Bag : Cabela's

RCBS® Kit Rock Chucker Supreme Basic 101 : Cabela's

I'll have to get one together and see how it fairs.
 

FEENIX

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Great Falls, MT
RCBS Chargemaster 1500 runs a cool $300. That's the same price as the Co Ax. I think for a beginner setup that's overkill.

The 5-10 scale seems to be discontinued.

I saw some recommendations for the Hornady M or the RCBS 10-10. And I also saw a new 5-0-5 scale for $40.

I'm trying to get a feel for my all in cost to build a Co Ax "kit" equivalent to one of these:
Hornady® Classic Kit with Range Bag : Cabela's

RCBS® Kit Rock Chucker Supreme Basic 101 : Cabela's

I'll have to get one together and see how it fairs.

For your consideration, I have the Lyman Gen 6 digital powder system and Lyman T-Mag II expert deluxe kit -- both on sale at Cabelas.

Very pleased with them.
 

rcoody

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Jul 1, 2015
Messages
1,026
You know you have 'really arrived' when you add a torque wrench as your press handle so you can use 'prevailing torque' readings for repeatability....

Thats sop with me. I have a Snap-on clicker wrench as my press handle.

I 'gave up' on everyones seater dies years ago and switched to RCBS (PT&G) front load micrometer head seaters. I despise reaching 'under' to start a pill when I can 'drop' them in from the top.

Typical runout (measured on a Sinclair or Hornady comparator stand is between 0.001 and 0.0015 without neck turning.

Been using a rockchucker for years. I modded it with an alemite fitting halfway up the base casting to inject a bit of grease ocassionally.

Better add, I seat my primers off press in a hand seater, don't like press priming tools, no 'feel'. K&M is my favorite with RCBS second.

here is what you need http://www.kmshooting.com/catalog/a...ith_force-measurement_and_dial-indicator.html

add in a Wilson seating die and you are in business
 

SidecarFlip

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Dec 12, 2011
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S.E. Michigan
the one single thing that bothers me about any progressive system is quality control. Everyone of us has done a bad round here or there. If you spit out twenty five rounds and from number six on the seating depth changed or the charge changed two tenths of a grain. If your lucky you catch the error and get to break the ammunition down. If not, you know what happens.

I will check very third round unless I doing something like a 44mag. I can see what's going there almost by eye sight. I dump all powder into a pan that's weighed. Just never like the trauma ward all that much.
gary

...Of course modern long guns have those 2 holes machined in the sides of the receivers just to keep you out of the trauma ward whereas older rifles and handguns don't.

When the 'fire' comes out, it's time to reevaluate your loading regimen.

I'm like you in the fact that I check constantly, in fact I weigh EVERY load on my beam scale but then I don't load willy nilly either.

I'll load say a box of 50 for hunting and that box lasts a couple seasons. When hunting, typically I shoot a fouling shot and the next one is for an animal, maybe one more and thats it.

My only wholesale expenditure of ammunition is load workup and sighting in and onee a rifle has an optimum load and is sighted in, it's in the gun cabinet, coming out post hunt to dend one to make sure nothing has changed....s
If I want to 'recreational' shoot on my range or at the 'club', I shoot a 22 or a .17, certainly not one of my hunting sticks.

My loading bench consists of:

A Rockchucker single stage with torque wrench actuation arm
Beam Scale (a Pact electronic scale for weighing pills)
Bench Source Annealer
STI and Thumlers Tumbler for cleaning cases
Manual powder trickler
2 sets of Starrett Calipers
Sinclair Runout gage
Hornady Concentricity gage
Hornady Headspace gages
Shop made Ogive gages to use on calipers to gage COAL relative to bullet ogive
RCBS and KM hand priming tools
Various case prep tools (I chuck them in one of the smaller lathes to use on cases)
Lee collet crimp dies for select calibers
Sinclair neck turning tool and arbors
WFT case trimmer and inserts

Of course various die sets (mostly Whidden bushing dies) with RCBS front load seaters (I machine my own seater plugs and pill insertion arbors to match the tip and ogives of the various pills I use). I toss everyone's die lock rings and replace them all with Hornady lock rings, Lee and RCBS are junk....


...and a flashlight to look in cases to be sure the powder is at a consistent level across all and for setting the micrometer heads on the seater dies because I'm old and don't see that well anymore....

......and a whole bunch of other stuff sitting around I use ocassionally as the need arises. My loading bench is in the machine shop in the corner and off limits to any employee but close enough to have access to a lathe or surface grinder....

Before I switched to Whidden dies I roiutinely chucked dies in a vertical fixture and ground 0.002-0.003 from the base before I ever used one so I could 'bump' cases back. Factory dies of the non bushing sizer variety are designed with the base long to have an interference fit on the shell holder while maintaining SAMMI case dimensions. I want to bump so it's imperative to shorten the die accordingly.

I don't 'cam over' any die, ever. Not even lowly pistol dies (and I use Lee pistoll dies for my 44 and 45LC handloads).

I must do something right in as much as I'm the 'designated loader' for our entire group. I build 'em, they shoot 'em.
 

gohring3006

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the one single thing that bothers me about any progressive system is quality control. Everyone of us has done a bad round here or there. If you spit out twenty five rounds and from number six on the seating depth changed or the charge changed two tenths of a grain. If your lucky you catch the error and get to break the ammunition down. If not, you know what happens.

I will check very third round unless I doing something like a 44mag. I can see what's going there almost by eye sight. I dump all powder into a pan that's weighed. Just never like the trauma ward all that much.
gary
I agree, I don't trust them. I haven't seen a power measure yet that has thrown accurate power charges each and every time, there close but not exact enough for me.
 

Black Tail Hunter

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Dec 14, 2012
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Somewhere in the NW
My current single stage is the Hornady LNL Classic as I have converted my Rock Chucker and Ammomaster to Auto Progressive. I have no complaints with it. I am able to turn out good repeatable ammo and it is a very sturdy press. I like the bushings that keep you from having to reset the die every time.
 

gohring3006

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That's pretty cool, at $1,175 It better be accurate lol. I can get really good loads with my beam scale. I have set my measures (RCBS and Lee) up to throw exact charges and they always vary, sometimes up to 1 grain. I trust my eyes and beam scale more than my measures. The Lee always out performs the RCBS go figure. The old 50$ beam scale does pretty good, good enough not to justify 1200$ on a measure....
 

rcoody

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That's pretty cool, at $1,175 It better be accurate lol. I can get really good loads with my beam scale. I have set my measures (RCBS and Lee) up to throw exact charges and they always vary, sometimes up to 1 grain. I trust my eyes and beam scale more than my measures. The Lee always out performs the RCBS go figure. The old 50$ beam scale does pretty good, good enough not to justify 1200$ on a measure....

$1200 is the cheap one. they have a new automatic that is about $3500. still uses a beam not electronic scale. Trickles one grain of powder at a time.

Guess there is a market for them.

my point was the most accurate powder dispenser out there uses a beam scale not electronic. Gravity is pretty dependable.
 

gohring3006

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$1200 is the cheap one. they have a new automatic that is about $3500. still uses a beam not electronic scale. Trickles one grain of powder at a time.

Guess there is a market for them.

my point was the most accurate powder dispenser out there uses a beam scale not electronic. Gravity is pretty dependable.
I gotch ya, I agree with the beam scale, I trust my beam more than my electronic scale. Its used for weighing cases and bullets, but not very often. My beam is not sensitive to light, vibrations or my fan...
 
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