Progressive or single stage for beginner?


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El Kabong
October 7, 2006, 08:23 PM
My apologies if this has been dicussed before, but I couldn't find any past threads with the info I wanted.

I would like to start reloading, but have gotten different opinions as to what to start out with. One person says single stage, another says progressive.

Do you have an opinion on what is better for a beginner to start out on, and could you tell me why you think that way?

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Wil Terry
October 7, 2006, 08:36 PM
You'll have enough problems to learn about, solve, and go on, without worrying about becoming a machine operator also.
A good single stage press will also be an excellent adjunct to all your handloading needs for decades to come.
The progressive can come later in due time.

ReloaderFred
October 7, 2006, 08:39 PM
Will Terry gave you good advice. Even if you purchase a progressive press later on, you'll always have use for the single stage press. I currently use three loading presses on my benches, two single stage and one progressive.

You should learn the basics of loading first, and then move on to production later. You'll make fewer mistakes that way and will also learn more about the loading process.

Hope this helps.

Fred

Vista
October 7, 2006, 09:01 PM
El Kabong:

I'll jump in here before the rest of the "Thundering Herd" sees your post! What you need is the new Lee Classic Turret Press. It is a sturdy, well-designed press that allows you to operate it as a single stage press when desired, or as a semi-progressive press when you get up to speed on the reloading process. Some of our more coordinated members can crank out some very impressive rates of reloads on this press. And did I mention that the Lee Classic Turret is very reasonably priced? Like about $80 at MidwayUSA. Search for recent threads started by RustyFN (or CrustyFN) on exactly this issue. Look for posts by benedict1.

Vista

RustyFN
October 7, 2006, 09:13 PM
I have to agree with Vista. I just started reloading and followed some great advice from some people here. I bought the Lee classic turret press. After getting it and using it I realized I would have out grown a single stage press fairly quick. You can also use the Lee classic as a single stage press if you want so you have the best of both worlds with it. Hope this helps.
Rusty

bakert
October 7, 2006, 09:14 PM
El Kabong, I would pretty much agree with Vista. I've been using a lee 3 hole turret press as a single stage a long time for 9MM,38Sp/.357, .44 mag and .45 Colt. It is nice to have your dies set up and adjusted in the turret so there's no die changing other than rotating the turret. From what I've heard the Lee Classic is a darn good press but even the 3 hole like I have would be a good starter if you wanted spend a bit less money. First of all though I would recommed you get at least two or more manuals and study them thoroughly before you get started. I know many wll disagree on the press and setup but that's my opinion. And STAY SAFE!!

1911user
October 7, 2006, 10:19 PM
We need more info to make an informed recommendation. Do you need progressive loading rates (400-600 rounds/hr)? Are you loading for rifle and/or pistol? How much are you shooting now? How much do you think you'll be shooting a year from now? Are you mechanically inclined? Does the idea of a step-by-step factory assembly line make sense? How much money can you realistically put (tie up) into reloading equipment in the early stages?

It's worth knowing a few reloading definitions. To be reloaded, a case requires 3-4 steps using caliber specific dies. A single stage press holds 1 die and works on one casing at a time. A turret press holds several dies at once and works (only) on one casing at a time. The main difference is how many dies are in the press at once; that's it. It still takes 3-4 handle strokes of the press with each casing to make a reloaded round. A progressive press holds several dies and works on several cases at once. Every handle stroke produces a reloaded round (vs. 3-4 handle strokes for single stage/turret presses) because it works on several cases at once. The downside to a progressive press is complexity and higher equipment costs. Hence, the question: how much ammo do you really need to reload and how much time are you willing to invest to produce it?

You didn't ask a simple question and people are already suggesting equipment for you to buy based on their biases, finances, and needs. I have a bias also and it is the thought that if you really need to reload progressively, then do so and don't mess around with half-solutions (specifically turret presses).

If you need a progressive for long-term general reloading, then it might be wise to purchase a good, strong single stage press (RCBS rock chucker or equivelent; not a turret press) first and learn with it (if you aren't ready to jump straight to progressive loading). That way you have a good press for the unique tasks that a progressive doesn't do well; tasks that often involve raw strength or high precision.

The first post in this thread has a good video link showing progressive loading. (http://www.glocktalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=600485)

RustyFN
October 7, 2006, 10:21 PM
If you buy a Lee classic turret press you will have a single stage press. When you want something more you will have it also without having to buy more equipment.
Rusty

robctwo
October 8, 2006, 12:13 AM
I started with the Hornady LnL AP after learning on my friend's Lee Loadmaster progressive. My opinion is you can load one round at a time on a progressive, but you will never load five at a time on a single stage.

EddieCoyle
October 8, 2006, 01:49 AM
Get a good high quality progressive press and skip the whole single stage phase. Anything you need to learn, you can learn on a progressive press. If you can afford it, start with a Dillon 650 - it is a "lifetime" machine and you will never need a better reloader. If the price for that is too high, think about a Hornady L-N-L AP or Dillon 550.

I made the mistake of starting with a Lee Aniversary kit because a bunch of people told me that I should start with a single stage and "work my way up". This was absolute bulls**t, and was caused by arrogance, impecunity, or stupidity on the part of the people that made that recommendation.

I think many people have read the "you-should-start-off-with-a-single-stage" mantra so many times that they simply regurgitate it as fact. YOU DON'T NEED TO DO THAT!!! If you can afford it, you should NOT start out with a single stage press. It's boring and tedious to load lots of ammo on a single stage press. You can learn everything you need to know, while making lots of ammo, on a progressive press. It is not that hard of a concept to master. You decap, resize, re-pime, bell, fill with powder, insert bullet, and crimp. You can do each of those operations one step at a time for every round on a single stage, or do all of them all at once on a progressive reloader with each pull of the handle. There is no need to learn on a single stage. All of your learning can be done on a progressive reloading press.

I bought the Lee Aniverary Kit based on advice from a web forum. To put it in a nutshell, it sucked. The press is sub-standard, the scale was hard to use, and the accesories were cheap.

Before I get flamed, I know you can make fantastic ammo using this kit, or using a Lee turret press. However, if I were to offer you users of these devices a free upgrade to a high quality progressive press, would you pass it up?

I'm tired of people offering up a single-stage or turret presses as a more noble way to reload. The reason you're using these is because you either couldn't or wouldn't spring for a progressive machine. If you can afford them, progressive presses are better.

I don't mean to put too fine a point on it, but I can affford a good progressive presss and yet, when I asked, I was persuaded to buy a lesser quality machine to "start out with". YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. Anyone that is able or willing to invest in a better press and setup: don't waste your time and money on a cheap piece of marginal junk!

I now have a Dillon 650 and a Hornady L-N-L progressive, with either of these presses, I can make more consistent ammo in a fraction of the time that it takes on a single stage or a turret press.

1911user
October 8, 2006, 01:56 AM
Eddie, nice post. Thanks for not holding back. I am also tired of hearing "the Lee turret press is the solution to everyone's reloading problems". Busting your butt to barely make 250 rounds an hour isn't as good as reloading can be; 500-600 an hour with less effort is much nicer especially when you've been doing it for the last 10 years. I've BTDT and almost completely stopped shooting pistols for 2 years because I didn't want to look at the stupid Lee turret press let alone reload anything with it. If you want a decent volume of pistol ammo, get a good progressive and cry once. If you can't start with good equipment, get there as soon as reasonably possible.

FWIW, I had to start with Lee equipment due to college finances; no regrets, it did get me started. My big mistake was holding off upgrading the reloading equipment to buy something else gun-related. It's a very worthwhile investment and the lowest cost entry into reloading isn't always the best choice.

P0832177
October 8, 2006, 02:15 AM
Learning to reload on single stage press is great idea, using Lee stuff is not a great idea! Buy once and cry once! A person will always use the other stuff you get from buying a RCBS RC Supreme Kit.

What most people do not tell noob reloaders is that reloading pistol ammo in bulk is one thing, but reloading bottle neck rifle cases is another! See there in lies the level of stupid people who do not define the differences!

If you want to load 9mm, I say go buy a Dillon Square Deal and have at it! I got no problem with that! But, learning to reload bottle neck cartridges on a progressive press is not a good idea at all! Nope! Not at all!:banghead:

skipjack
October 8, 2006, 02:21 AM
"if I were to offer you users of these devices a free upgrade to a high quality progressive press, would you pass it up? "

Where do I sign up for the free upgrade?:)

I load on an older dillon square deal for 45 acp. Nice machine, great customer service, turns out excellent ammo. But...progressives are not without their problems.

Chief among them is reliable priming. I do alot of checking and rechecking to make sure that the case gets primed; something I don't have to do with rounds loaded on a single stage press.

Did you ever try to reload precision reloads for a rifle with a progressive? Loads where you wanted to weigh each charge?

Both types of machines have a place in the reloading world. It depends if you want to crank out a thousand pistol rounds or two dozen rifle rounds.

I don't consider Lee equipment "junk", I think it represents a fair product that is adequate. There are better machines out there, but they are all a fair bit more expensive than Lee's offerings. You do, indeed, get what you pay for. I have used their dies for years, and don't think my reloads would be substantially better than what I produce with them.

Perhaps I would see a difference if I were loading for benchrest competition or the like, I would appreciate a more expensive set of dies. I don't know.

I guess the point I am making is to determine what level of precision you are trying to achieve and then buy the best equipment you can afford to fill that need. Most of my reloading is for pistol and minute of deer rifle ammo. And, of course, shotshells for skeet and bird hunting.

benedict1
October 8, 2006, 03:09 AM
I have posted numerous times re Lee Classic Turret Press. It has been super to learn with. Anybody who implies it is 'marginal junk' doesn't have a clue about this press and unless you have direct experience with it I suggest you tone it down.

I don't 'bust my butt' to load 250 rounds per hour. It's actually quite enjoyable. And it can be used single stage or auto-index, you name it. It will last as long as any press ever built--take a good hard look at it. So if somebody needs to load very good ammo at the rate of 4-500 rounds a week and wants to change calibers quickly and inexpensively, this is as good as you can get and the price is unbelieveable.

For the more adventurous--I just bought and set up a Lee Load Master. I followed the directions exactly as posted on the Lee website to setup and install. It took all of about 90 minutes and is totally functional. Anybody who thinks this is 'junk', 'marginal' etc also is way off base. Go to this link to read about the install/setup if interested.

http://www.glocktalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=600465

Watch the Load Master video on the Lee website to watch one being operated at a rate of 1300 rounds per hour--I didn't say anyone produced 1300 hundred rounds--it is a rate of 1300. But a number of guys have posted recently that they load between 600-900 rounds per hour with a Load Master. There are two videos on Glock Talk right now that show machines being operated at a 900 round/hour rate

So if you need lots of rounds here is a machine, The Lee Load Mastaer, simple to set up and operate, contrary to all the negative rumors/innuendo out here in Internet country. Just follow the instructions, don't leap in with the "I can do it, don't bore me with the instructions" stuff.

I have data, facts--the thing works-- and anybody else who can follow directions can make one work to.

I am not knocking anyone's equipment or decision to buy equipment; but I sure can't fathom why a whole bunch of you just feel it's okay to take a cheap shot at Lee gear that you have never used or owned!

Back to the subject--don't buy just a single stage press--you will regret it unless you only load a few hundred rounds per month.

BruceB
October 8, 2006, 09:37 AM
Some years back, I loaded a comparison test of .220 Swift ammunition, with 100 rounds loaded on a single-stage Rockchucker, and another 100 rounds loaded on my Dillon 550, both runs using the same powder charge, primer, bullet etc.

The Rockchucker ammo had the once-fired brass trimmed and chamfered, primer pockets uniformed and cleaned, every charge individually hand-weighed to a tenth of a grain, etc. etc. The cases were primed on a Lachmiller bench-mounted priming press.

The brass for the 550 run was also once-fired, and was processed through my tumbler to get clean. That was ALL I did to prepare the brass....NO pocket-cleaning, NO trimming, and the ammo was loaded progressively, including powder charging and priming.

On a nice day. I took my accurate .220 HB varminter and the 200 rounds to the range. I fired targets alternately from each batch of ammo, so that any variation in conditions wouild not have a lot of effect on the end results. After a loooong day at the benchrest, the targets were compared. The average group size for each batch of ammunition was virtually identical.

As a direct result of this comparison, I now load most of my large-quantity rifle ammo on the 550, mostly the varmint calibers (.223 and .220) and the military calibers I like to shoot....7.62 NATO and .30-06. My handgun ammo is almost entirely loaded on the 550, too. NO cleaning of pockets, NO weighing of charges, but every round is checked with a case gauge after completion. These gauges will indicate when a case is in need of trimming, as well as many other conditions, and when any of the brass in a batch approaches maximum length, all of it goes to the trimmer.

I have three presses bolted to my bench, with a 40-year-old Lyman All-American turret between the two presses already mentioned. The Rockchucker gets VERY LITTLE use for actual loading, although it serves well for a lot of miscellaneous jobs. The turret gets used extensively for smaller quantities of ammo, and for many cast-bullet research projects.

After long and intimate experience with these machines, I'd hate to lose any one of them, but if I could have just one, it would be the turret press and no doubt about it. I agree completely with those saying that the single-station press is too slow and too restrictive. When I added the turret press to my bench all those years ago, it felt like I'd gone to Heaven, after using a Spartan C-press for some time! Note that I use the turret as a semi-progressive, processing each case from empty to loaded without removing it from the machine until complete. The RCBS powder measure is mounted in a die station in the turret.

My experience with Lee presses is limited, but I've been less than impressed with any that I've tried. My moulds include quite a number of Lees, but none of their actual loading equipment has ever reached my house. I agree with those who say, "Buy quality!" and have yet to regret the good stuff I chose (like that Lyman turret....forty years of HARD use, loading thousands of rounds per year, and still as good as new).

One old-timer's two cents....

distra
October 8, 2006, 10:24 AM
I choose to get a progressive Dillon 550B mainly because of my shooting freinds have them and helped me get setup. They answered lots of questions and I got the Dillon video manual with the press which helped a lot during setup. Dillon has great customer service, as do the other manufacturers. My shooting partners have a wealth of knowledge and some have been reloading for 25+yrs. As a matter of fact, one of them just shot up some ammo loaded in the '80s. Powder smelled a little different, but fired fine:D

Sistema1927
October 8, 2006, 10:30 AM
Reloading is like religion. Some attend the blue church, some attend the green church, some attend the red church. Each one thinks that they are the best.

As a member of the red church, I have had zero problems with either my Lee single stage or my Lee Classic turret. They work for me, but you might want a different liturgy.

El Kabong
October 8, 2006, 10:37 AM
Wow, lots of opinions! Thank you all for your replies. I knew that if there is one thing you can count on THR for, it's the giving of opinions. :)

As 1911user suggested, here's some more info about my situation. I want to reload for 9mm and .45 ACP, and eventually being able to work up some lighter loads for competion. I also would like to reload 7.65x39 and .223, but it is my understanding that rifle reloading is a little more complicated than pistol, so I might hold off on that until I am more comfortable with the whole thing. Is a single stage or progressive better for rifle, or does it matter?

I don't shoot as nearly as much as I would like (who does?), but part of that is that I didn't want to buy cases and cases of ammo. I figure with reloading I can make more at a cheaper price and won't feel it in the pocketbook as much.

snuffy
October 8, 2006, 01:02 PM
" I have seen many KB's at competetions when new loaders get a double charge by accident when using a progressive."

A true progressive, like the dillon 650, cannot double charge! I suppose a dillon 550 could double charge if you didn't rotate the shell plate!?

Now as to the lee classic turret, I would say it would be a perfect beginners machine. It does a great job of pistol shells, and will handle the rifle shells as well. Like was said, it can be used as a single stage machine until the new reloader gains some skills. Then activate the auto index feature, load at rates near what some progressives can achive.

I used one of the four hole "original" lee turrets for handgun and .223, .308 rifle. The ability to buy inexpensive turrets means you can set up the dies and they stay set in their individual turrets. Changing turrets is a simple 1 minute job, then change the shell holder and you're loading another caliber! The four hole design allows you to use the lee factory crimp die, along with the lee auto disc powder measure, means high output with minimal expense.

RustyFN
October 8, 2006, 01:15 PM
I don't 'bust my butt' to load 250 rounds per hour. It's actually quite enjoyable.

Amen benedict1. I don't look at reloading as, oh crap I have to hurry and make 600 rounds of 9mm. I actually enjoy reloading. I like to experiment with different powders, bullets and charge weights. I would love to see somebody on a Dillon crank out 600 per hour changing bullets, powder or charge weight every 20 to 40 rounds. Just isn't going to happen. I love my Lee classic turret. It is very easy to use and make changes on so no thanks, I think I'll pass on your Dillon upgrade.

CMcDermott
October 8, 2006, 01:34 PM
Kabong

Actually pistol loading is more complicated in that you need to use more dies as the case mouth expansion can't be done by the resizing die on straight walled cases, but can be for bottle-neck cases.
Unfortunately the calibers you mention are the ones you will save the least amount of money reloading due to availablility of surplus ammo and their popularity. You will save money, just not as much as reloading for a big-bore rifle or relatively less popular pistol cartridge like a 41 Magnum. You will still save money per round, but sounds like you will be the same as most reloaders and spend your savings by shooting more.
As far as single stage vs progressive, I would recommend a progressive for you if you can afford it. All of your cartridges are high volume and a single stage is slow. It's not time spent switching dies as much as it is handling the cases, putting a case in the holder, operating the press, then taking the case out of the holder and putting it back into the loading block. Having to do this 3-4 times for each round produced is what takes the time. In a progressive you put the case in the shell plate once, let it circle round the press then have it kicked out for you to put into a box is as big a time saver as having the press handle 4-5 rounds at once and produce a completed round with every pull of the handle.
A progressive is more complicated to learn on, you have all of the reloading operations happening at once and need to pay attention to each one. Most but not all progressives will let you cycle just a single case through at a time while you are learning - check that a case must be in place before powder is dropped. If the powder measure is hooked directly to the press action then you must have a case at each position to hold the powder that will be getting dropped when the handle is pulled.
As far as recommending a press, I'm a fan of the RCBS 2000 Pro. It's APS priming is by far the most reliable priming system available, and you can buy any brand of primer and load them into the strips yourself with the tool that they make. All other adjustments and features are at least as fast and reliable as any other progressive press; and usually faster and easier.

The major feature differences to use to decide between progressives are :
1) number of die positions (4 or 5, can you use a powder check die or do seperate seating/crimping?);
2) automatic indexing (does the handle move the shell plate around, or do you need to do it manually);
3) Priming system - how reliable, ease of switching between small and large sizes, how easy is it to crush a primer and set it off, and will that set off the rest of the primers in the press (as I said, RCBS APS is by far the best and easiest)
4) Ease, reliability and speed of adjustment (RCBS 2000 best, Lee worst, Hornady and Dillon in the middle)

Remember the first thing you need to do before starting to reload is buy a manual and read it. Lee's Modern Reloading, one of the Lyman manuals, NRA's manual etc are available from Midway and most gun stores and will give you the information you need to reload and help with the reloading press selection.

mugsie
October 8, 2006, 01:41 PM
Firget the hype about single stage vs. progressive.:banghead: The progressive does everything a single stage does but does it all at once with each stage performing a specific function. Unless you're a complete idiot and can't understand the most simple mechanical instructions, go with the Progressive. I started out loading several months ago and went with a Dillon 550B. It's easy, as they all are. It can be used as a single stage, as they all can (and no single stage can be used as a progressive), and it cranks out oodles of great ammo, as they all do. Go with a progressive, unless you want to be shelling out more money later on to go with what you're going to end up with anyway in the long run. Money which could be used to buy more dies, primers, bullets, .... get the point? Go with a progressive and never look back - you won't be sorry!

cloudcroft
October 8, 2006, 01:49 PM
I think that most of the Lee critics (but not all of course) don't have much personal experience with Lee products...they just parrot what others have said or written, such as the often seen "Lee is junk" statement.

Funny though, Lee has been making "junk" for over 40 years and is still in business? How did that happen? [A rhetorical question]

Additionally, why do people with plenty of money (such as yours truly) and who also have owned the "better" brands of reloading equipment (single-stage and progressive alike) end up with Lee stuff once again? Gotten old and senile or maybe just wised up a bit?

As mentioned above, the reloading scene does seem like a church...red, green, blue, orange worshippers...and with the blind obedience to religious doctrine many of churches/denominations have nowadays, rather than seeing other churches in a broader context -- as Christians.

Or, it's like being a blindly loyal Republican or Democrat: One sees NOTHING good about the other. And some of these people are very intelligent otherwise, but when to comes to their particular party, they have tiny micro-view minds. Ann Coulter the Republican and James Carville the Democrat...both are pathetically blind.

I have the Lee Classic Turret Press (a semi-progressive if you will) myself, and it's fine for me.

Except for a SHTF/PAL/TEOTWAWKI situation, where I have to crank out the ammo by the truckload, I'm okay. But in that situation, I'd just take the dead bad people's ammo/guns anyway so I really wouldn't have to make up my own at all. Curbside delivery of guns and ammo...does it get any better than that? I don't see how.

But people can use whatever brand they want of course, but fact is, there is no "best brand" out there. You use what works for you, what you like. The end result -- good ammo -- is the same regardless.

-- John D.

LkWinnipesaukee
October 8, 2006, 06:29 PM
I've been told to start out with a single stage or a turret, but being a stupid, stubborn teenager:p , I picked up a Lee Pro 1000. Took me about an hour to set up, but after that it was nice and easy, even for a beginner like me.

Car Knocker
October 8, 2006, 06:50 PM
I've been told to start out with a single stage or a turret, but being a stupid, stubborn teenager , I picked up a Lee Pro 1000.

I think the choice of press is dependent upon the abilty of the user. Some folks have great ability, others can't drink a glass of water without pouring half of it down their chin.

Chris Rhines
October 8, 2006, 10:57 PM
I started with the progressive. I wanted to load a whole lot of ammo, so speed of operation was a major factor. Eventually I got a pair of cheap single-stage presses for specific tasks, but I can't imagine loading serious quantities of ammo on them.

There's no reason not to start with a progressive press, unless you just can't swing the price.

- Chris

aka108
October 9, 2006, 03:09 PM
I started reloading for rifle calibers with a single stage press. Still use it for that purpose. When I commenced loading for handgun calibers, experience with the single stage taught me that if I shot 2 or 3 hundred rounds I could start spending my life reloading. Went right to a progressive (Dillon Squaredeal). Easy to use, just take time to read the manual on set up and operation.

rbstern
October 9, 2006, 09:07 PM
One more strong vote for a turret press as the perfect beginner tool that you can grow with.

robctwo
October 9, 2006, 10:58 PM
Had to chime in again. I started loading pistol and the LnL is perfect for that. I moved into rifle last year and have begun some efforts to load really accurate stuff. I size and prime the cases in one continuous run. Then I clean and trim. Hand weigh the charges, then back into the LnL to seat the bullet and crimp with Lee FCD. Some are crimped, some are not. Trying different stuff. At the range today I shot some 168 gr Hornady molly coated BTHP loaded that way. Not quite a one hole group but getting there.

As folks have said, we can use a progressive like a single stage, or not.

claiborne
October 10, 2006, 01:59 AM
I use a Bonanza co-ax press, Lee and Forster dies, RCBS hand primer, Cabelas digital scale, Hornady case prep tools, Lyman Tumbler, (I buy fine walnut media at a "Feed and Seed" store, 15 bucks for 50 pounds), Bonanza powder thrower and cabelas and mtm cartridge holders. Mostly what this represents is the savings of several hundred dollars by shoppping for second hand loading equipment at gun shows. I pick up brass out in the desert and purchase my bullets, primers and powder "on sale". I ENJOY my loading hobby as much as I enjoy being a rifleman, hunter, shooter and competitor. I load 45 acp, 44 mag, 357 mag, 30-06, 308, 243, 223, and my newest little lovely, 19 badger. I load 5000-7000 rounds per year with my myriad equipment. When I miss what I am aiming at, my ammunition and my firearms are not to blame. I would feel cheated if my primary input to this process was the mere pulling of a lever each time a round dropped in the bucket. My wife is my love, my son is my passion, my home is my solace and my handloading hobby is my therapy.

abarth
October 10, 2006, 03:12 AM
I think people say beginner should start with a single stage press are baseless. This is like saying as a beginner you should start with a calulator and work your way up to a computer. :confused: I think there are recentablely smart people and dumb people, smart people should start with whatever they can afford, and dumb people should not reload at all. I myself have a Lee Classic Turret press. I got it because I couldn't afford a progressive press. I am really happy with it, reliable, easy to use, I can use it as a single stage and load large rifle round with it. I only wish I can load faster. If you consider yourself recentablely smart and have the $$$ get yourself a turret or progressive and stay away from a single.

ezypikns
October 10, 2006, 08:53 AM
It was a quality single stage press kit. It came with almost everything I needed to get started. I was really nervous about reloading. So a single stage press seemed like a good answer for me at the time. All I ever reloaded was revolver and pistol ammo.
Believe me, the RockChucker press will more than handle any pistol or rifle caliber you care to reload.
Single stage presses will not crank out a lot of ammo in a hurry though. I bought a Redding Turret press in order to speed up the process. It helped a little, but not that much.
I have now purchased a Dillon RL550B. I don't believe it's a TRUE progressive, because it doesn't auto index (I'm going to get flamed for that). I'm quite happy with it and the production it supplies. I DO enjoy reloading, but after all, I reload so I can shoot more.
So you see, you'll probably experience something like that if you start out with a single stage press. If you buy something that doesn't suit you, sell it and move on. I doubt that you'll only purchase one press for the rest of your life.
One thing I will say though. Don't be afraid to buy Lee dies if you're reloading handgun ammo. I have found them to be outstanding at much less cost. For match grade rifle ammo, you may want to go with Redding or RCBS dies, although I'm sure there are some rifle shooters who swear by Lee dies too.
Have fun and be safe.

bakert
October 10, 2006, 11:50 AM
The progressives are nice especially for the high volume shooters but to claim it's the best way to go for everyone especially a beginner is utter nonsense. JMHO

deadin
October 10, 2006, 12:30 PM
Single Stage or Turret for a beginner, Yes. Starting out with a Progressive? Not a great idea. (IMHO) As for those that say modern progressive's are foolproof, just haven't found a properly trained fool.:D
Also, concerning those recommending a Dillon or such for a starting press. Why should anyone spend $500 plus just to find out if they have the temperment and/or patience for handloading?
(Also, some of us are into the "zen" of reloading and really don't care if we can turn out 100's of rounds an hour)

Dean

EddieCoyle
October 10, 2006, 01:40 PM
Why should anyone spend $500 plus just to find out if they have the temperment and/or patience for handloading?
(Also, some of us are into the "zen" of reloading and really don't care if we can turn out 100's of rounds an hour)


My lack of patience is exactly why I switched to a progressive (and wish I'd started with one).

Zen Schmen. I shoot about 1000 rounds per week. I can load all I need in one evening and spend more time shooting.

benedict1
October 10, 2006, 10:03 PM
Medula, this thread has turned awesome! Thank you for telling us about your family and how you've incorporated shooting as a family event.

I'm sure many guys envy you. I do. Single stage sounds just perfect in your house!:D

Dominus Vobiscum!

RustyFN
October 10, 2006, 11:43 PM
Medula that is awesome.

donttellthewife
October 11, 2006, 02:25 AM
I started reloading on a dillon 650 and never had any problems related to not haveing reloaded before. I studied the manual, watched the video, and started slooooooowly. When I ran into something I didn't understand I just called dillons toll free line and they walked me through it, very nice people. With the low primer alarm, low powder alarm and the powder load alarm its hard to make to many mistakes. The bullet tray, roller handle, tall mount, and case feeder are what make it possible to load about 750 rounds an hour. I was very lucky that I got my press dirt cheap off of Craigslist 450.00 for everything listed plus dies, powder and bullets. Within a week I found another for 300.00 without all the goodies and some broken parts, When I called dillon to order parts to fix it they would not take my money even when they knew I bought it as is used. Now I don't know about other brands of progressive loaders or what I would have bought if I had to pay retail but I am sure happy with the press and yes start with a progressive you won't regret it.

5000 rounds 9mm
2500 rounds 45acp
1000 rounds 38 spl
3000 rounds 308
2000 rounds 223
no double loads, no empty loads, no failure to fire, 100% good ammo
If I can do it so can you

deadin
October 11, 2006, 10:24 AM
I got my press dirt cheap off of Craigslist 450.00 for everything listed plus dies, powder and bullets. Within a week I found another for 300.00 without all the goodies

This is making my point. You got a good deal and then decided that reloading was something you liked to do. How about the folks that probably paid over $500-600 + for these presses and decided that reloading wasn't for them and had to sell them at a loss? I guess if your wallet can take a hit like that, go for it. Nothing like starting out with the most expensive.

Dean

benedict1
October 11, 2006, 11:04 AM
Medula, may the Lord bless you and keep you. I don't know about others here but you have been given treasures from God that cannot be bought--

Give those little girls a hug from all of us. I'd also like to shake your hand.

spencerhut
October 11, 2006, 11:32 AM
I think it's wise for anyone to learn what is going on with a single stage first. I'm not saying you can't jump right into a progressive. I just think you would get a better understanding by using, or at the very least watching someone else use, a single stage. There is something to be said for handling the cases several times in the beginning. You gain several things from this.
1. Appreciation and understanding of what happens at each stage.
2. A feeling for what each stage should "feel" like as you are running the press handle up and down.
3. A crystal clear mental picture of what the cartridge should look *and feel* like before and after each stage.
4. An understanding of what you will be gaining *and loosing* by loading on a progressive.
You will save a *lot* of time and loose a small amount of safety (some say accuracy) by switching to a progressive.
I'd recommend getting a single stage or turret to start with. It's not like you will never use the single/turret again once you get a progressive. There will always be reasons to pull out the ol' single stage. Mine has never moved since it was originally mounted to my bench. I still use it on a regular basis for low volume work or for little things like depriming before a wet case washing.

I use RCBS presses, Rock Chucker & Pro2000. These things will survive a nuclear blast. The priming system on the Pro200 makes every other one I've seen and used look like a dangerous joke. It's the main reason I bought the Pro2000 and I am very glad I did. Primer strips are available from CCI or you can buy empty ones and load whatever primer you feel like using in them. I do anywhere from 300 to 450 rounds an hour and I am NEVER in a hurry when I reload. Death will come fast enough without rushing the reloading process. Besides the ER is over an hour away and it pisses off my wife when she has to stop what she is doing and take me to the ER.:rolleyes:

Lee and RCBS dies. I like the Lee dies better regardless of cost. They are so much easier to adjust it's not even funny. And despite looking "cheap", they make better, more consistent ammo, than the RCBS dies.

Lyman digital scale / powder dispenser. It works ok, I'd get something else if I did it over.

Lyman tumbler, works just fine. I also use fine walnut from the local feed store for $11.00 a 50lb bag. Throw in a used dryer sheet or two with each batch. Keeps the dust down and pick up fine particles.

L.E. Wilson Max Case Gages. Nice to have one for each caliber. You can use the barrel off your gun to start out, works the same. The gauge just saves you the time of tearing the gun down and putting it back together.

Hope this helps . . ..

benedict1
October 11, 2006, 12:13 PM
Why buy used or broken presses when you could get a brand new Lee Load Master progressive for less than $275, shipped to your house from Midway??

They are simple to setup and are built beautifully. I understand that Dillon will rebuild forever but not everyone is capable of starting out with used gear.

Here is a link to the setup of my Load Master last week--dead simple to set up-

http://www.glocktalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=600465

I still argue though that this is not the way to start. I tried it with Dillon gear and really never got off the ground, plus they sent me a press that didn't work, and I didn't have the background to sort it all out. I sent it back and bought a Lee Classic Turret Press and learned about reloading first. Now the Load Master is easy.

donttellthewife
October 16, 2006, 02:15 PM
"This is making my point. You got a good deal and then decided that reloading was something you liked to do. How about the folks that probably paid over $500-600 + for these presses and decided that reloading wasn't for them and had to sell them at a loss? I guess if your wallet can take a hit like that, go for it. Nothing like starting out with the most expensive."


I did not decide to reload just because I got a good deal. I researched for about a year as to if it would be worth it to reload, and then the hunt was on for a good deal, which took another year and a half. As far as getting ones money back out of a press, if you get a Dillon it looks as if you'll get most of your money back when resold. The only reason I got a good deal is that the people who were selling them didn't know what they had, and yes I took full advantage of that.

I would recommend to anyone to start out with the best progressive you can afford, after you have done your homework. If the concept of doing more than one operation at a time overwelms you then you can set up the press to do one operation at a time like a single stage press until your sure about what going on.

As much as I have enjoyed reloading, I enjoy saving money on ammo even more, this has not happend yet. I will have to load many more thousands of rounds to come out ahead, this is good because I enjoy shooting most of all. I knew all the numbers before I purchased anything, so this comes at no suprise. I also value my time so the more ammo per hour is important, quality ammo that is. If a person does not do the math first they may find that reloading is not going to save any money, if they don't shoot enough its not worth it, however if you shoot very little or want to work up hunting/ benchrest ammo maybe the single stage best. The name of the game is good information before you do anything.

Know these things
what kind of ammo, hand gun, rilfe, hunting, benchrest, wildcat, plinking, ect
how many rounds a year will you need/want
cost of reloading components
cost of press and dies, tumbler, media seperator, polish, lube, bench.trimmer, ect,ect.
cost of new ammo (to see if it's cost effective)
how many rounds can the press load an hour
value of your time
enjoyment of your new passtime
resale value of equipment

After you know these things, start the hunt for a good deal.

sevesteen
October 19, 2006, 01:07 AM
My first reloading was .357 with an old Lee Loader, the kind where you use a hammer (literally) to operate it. Worked, slow as hell, and occasionally would set a primer off accidentally. Moved to a Lee hand press, then a Lee turret. The hand press was a mistake, the turret was a good value, and worked well.

I've recently (as in the past few days) got back into reloading with a Lee Pro 1000. Had some problems with priming because the shell carrier wasn't indexing quite right, but now that it is straight, I'm loading decent amounts of pistol ammo. Probably not the very easiest to use, but for $135 complete including dies, shell feeder and auto prime and powder measure it's hard to beat.

If I were to start over with this press, I think I'd do this in stages at first--Decap and prime in one batch, then run the primed brass through again to charge and seat the bullet, removing and replacing dies as needed. The weak spot of this press is the priming system, and problems are compounded because a missed primer will wind up with powder fouling the system. Keep compressed air handy.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
October 19, 2006, 05:20 PM
Having owned a couple single stages at different times, a couple of progressives Hornady LnL and a 366 and having loaded on just about every progressive that's red or blue and having spent a good bit of time thinking things through with the question: "What would I change were I to do it again with today's equipment?" I've come up with an answer.

If I were to do it again, I'd still buy a single stage again, but I'd get the Lee Classic Cast single stage and install Hornady LnL bushing upgrade on it. I'd get an RCBS or Hornady LnL powder measure to go with it. (They can be used nicely on a progressive later on, regardless of brand.)

Why the single stage? Because they're darned handy for various tasks you don't want to do on a turret or progressive or any press with auto advance, plus you can load ammo on them for stuff you don't want to do anywhere else.

Along with the single stage I'd buy a Lee Classic Turret press with a Safety Prime kit for both size primers and a Lee Pro Auto Disk setup to go with it.

Why? Because it's pretty fast and reasonably simple. A good tool to make some decent production while learning to reload with an auto advance feature press. Along with that, it's affordable. Besides, as inexpensive as these two presses are to buy and setup to load, cost isn't much of a consideration.

Finally, if I either shot a heckuva lot of rounds or competed regularly, I'd look at getting a progressive AFTER I'd learned from the two presses above if reloading was for me. I'd skip the lower end progressives and go with either a Hornady LnL (Excellent press, I have one.) or a Dillon 650 (Excellent press, buddy of mine has one.) or a Dillon 1050 or a Lee Loadmaster (Excellent press, buddy of mine has one.) Note: The other presses previously purchased will still be very handy after purchasing a progressive for high volume rounds and prevent you from buying expensive setups for rounds you don't load much of, say, .303 brit if you're mainly a AR-15 and 1911 shooter.

Why the automatic advance progressives only? Because if you're really needing a ton of rounds, they're the ones that'll get you there. But be aware, before you buy that if you reload that much ammo, you have to have the MONEY to pay for the volume of components you'll be using or you just need the speed because you don't have much time to reload. So the bottom line on buying a progressive is: "You need to load tons or rounds or you have darn little time to spend reloading." If you don't have much time to reload, you may want to think about the safety aspects of doing something that creates an explosive device that is to be set off close to your body. In other words, be willing to commit to spending enough time to do it safely to start or don't do it at all.

That's my take on the progressive vs. single stage debate.

Dave

Guy B. Meredith
October 19, 2006, 05:25 PM
My take is that if you are loading for volume start with a progressive. If you are a bench geek/control freak maybe go single stage.

I started with an Hornady LNL for volume production when in IPSC/ICORE competition and had NO problems. We are talking 1200 to 2000 rounds per month practice and match.

I would not have wanted to spend money on a single stage to produce ammo for competition only to find I really needed a volume machine.

CZ57
October 19, 2006, 10:03 PM
Interesting discussion. I've been reloading for 25 years and have never owned anything but a single stage. I use a REDDING and bought it 8 years ago because of the Top-Dead-Center feature. Does this mean anything to ya'll? I take steps in reloading that many bypass. Even handgun ammo. Primer pockets do get dirty and even if your cases don't stretch, the only way to insure that your cases are getting the same crimp, roll or taper, is to crimp cases that have the same length, so yes, I trim my handgun cases at least once. I have used many LEE products over the years and I'm not a fan, although I still use 2 Autoprimes. Well, that has changed. I agree with many here that have recommended the LEE Classic Turret. First, it will operate as a single stage, so us guys that load for the enjoyment of handloading are not offended!:D Then, as your proficiency allows, you have the capability to increase production by taking full advantage of auto indexing and semi-progressive loading. I'll be honest, the only way I would ever want a progressive press would be if I used nothing but new cases. Every cartridge I turn out is an attempt at match quality ammo. One thing I noticed about the new LEE classics, is that they evidently believe in Top-Dead-Center as well. If you look at the Ram arms you'll see that they are designed to stop ram travel consistently at the same point of travel. Some people will tell you that OACL variation is inconsequential, but you'll never hear that from me! My handgun ammo has OACL variation of +/- .001". Many presses, especially progressives are nowhere near as accurate. Handloading rifle cartridges, this can also mean variations in pressure and while some are crowding the lands. The way that the LEE Classic Turret has another noteworthy feature that eliminates a potential problem that has kept me from even buying a REDDING Turret press: the turret is not revolving around a spindle, it's stationary and won't give when the case enters a die. Speaking of dies, I'll only buy REDDING Titanium Carbide. They are the very best, but there's a good chance that my REDDING dies could be mounted in a LEE Classic Turret press in the near future!;)

Loco
October 21, 2006, 03:26 AM
Wow! Now i'am really don't know wich way to go. I've read every post you guys made and now i'am really confused. I've been try to figure out for a week now what type of press to buy. Some say single. Some say turret and some say just go for it and buy a progressive. My big problem is that i need to start reloading for 2 people. My brother got me into shooting pistols for one reason i think. I'am the one in the family that loves to make things. This is by far the most costly sport that i'am in. I have no choice but to start reloading. I really would like to take my time and learn with a single stage but i really need ammo. I sure would like to tackle the progressive press i think i could handle it. But from what i read i guess that's a bad idea. I guess the smart thing to do would be to learn how to make 1 round instead of 500.
Helpppppppppppp

CMcDermott
October 21, 2006, 04:27 AM
Where are you located at? Maybe someone would be willing to demostrate and maybe even do a little teaching on how to reload with the various presses to help you decide.

EddieCoyle
October 21, 2006, 08:37 AM
I really would like to take my time and learn with a single stage but i really need ammo. I sure would like to tackle the progressive press i think i could handle it. But from what i read i guess that's a bad idea. I guess the smart thing to do would be to learn how to make 1 round instead of 500.

If you're "the one in the family that loves to make things", then I'll assume that you're mechanically inclined. If so, and if you're shooting a lot of pistol ammo, then get a progressive. Using a progressive press is not rocket science. You don't have to be a genius; you don't even need average intelligence to use one - I mean look at the grammar, punctuation, and spelling on some of the posts by people that use them. (I'm kidding, I'm kidding).

Sure, you could get a single stage to "learn" on, but after you load your first box of ammo, you will have learned enough to use a progressive press, and you'll wish you'd bought one at the start.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
October 21, 2006, 08:47 AM
Loco,

Your commentary is giving me enough information to tell me you need to consider something that creates volume. That said, your commentary is also telling me cost is an issue for you. For you, the deciding factor on which press to buy is how much time you have to reload and what your actual quantity is.

Based on your commentary, here's where I suggest you think about and/or look at.

1. How many rounds you are actually shooting in a month's time now.

2. How much actual cash you (and your brother, since he's involved) have to spend on equipment right now. Yes, the cost is amortized over a period of time, but the actual cash in your wallet isn't.

3. How many rounds you are actually shooting combined with how many rounds your brother is shooting over a month's time now.

4. If you want to save even more money by casting your own bullets, which means the eventual purchase of casting equipment. (Of course, casting your own bullet could be a problem that can be solved "later." But if cost is an issue, casting your own pistol bullets can reduce costs to less than $2.00 a box of 50, so seriously worth consideration.

5. A compromise - you need volume, but you may want to slow down and learn, depending on your mechanical aptitude. If it's high, no problem with a progressive such as a Hornady LnL or a Dillon 550/650 If it's lower, you may be better off with something simpler, like a semi automated turret such as the Lee Classic Turret.

6. How many rounds you are shooting per month now and how many you might want to shoot per month for the same cost or less cost.

7. How much of your budget can you spend on components? (Hint: It's about the same as you can afford to spend on ammo now.)

8. How much time you have to spend shooting and reloading. The more time you have, the more you can spend. A man with a wife and kids has less. A man who's retired, who's kids are grown or who is single has more.

9. How much you're actually shooting and are likely to shoot.

Conclusion:

Notice how the statement how much you're shooting keeps popping up?

Here's some loading rates for various presses that go from low average to press potential. (Note these are my own estimates and are in no way scientific. I didn not put the reloader on a stop watch and they're only to get you in the ball park.):

1. single stage press (pick brand) - If your a working man with kids and are well organized, you'll be challenged to turn out 200 rounds of rifle ammo per week at best if you work every night, with each step a single focused step. However, your ammo will be very accurate if you do it right.

2. Standard turret press (pick the brand) - you can reduce the time for those 200 rifle rounds per week down to three nights work vs. 4-5 days of single stage work. Again, this is including trimming, etc.

3. Lee Classic Turret press - 200-300 rounds per hour when they're using it with the Safety Prime and the Pro Auto Disk powder measure. I mention it alone because it's unique in design and function at the present, because it's an auto rotating turret.

4. Dillon 550 - 300 to 550 rounds per hour. Adding a casefeeder to one you already own adds about 20-25% production to this rate. I suspect the RCBS 2000 to be about the same rate, but to my knowledge, RCBS does not offer a casefeeder for it. If you don't already own one, I wouldn't buy one with a casefeeder. Insteady I'd opt for:

5. Hornady LnL and Dillon 650 - 400 to 700 rounds per hour. The upper level rates depend on you having such things as casefeeders or a highly organized/ergonomic setup as well as either extra primer tubes pre filled or a vibra prime primer filler.

6. Dillon 1050 - 1050 an hour, this press is approaching a low end professional grade reloader, so it's quite expensive. This is for the serious competition shooter or some who shoots a helluva lot or has little time and lots of money and who wants to shoot a lot.

Ok, what do all those rates mean?

1. Convert the rounds per hour to boxes of ammo for the gun you shoot and see how many boxes you think you'll need per week.
2. Think about how much time you spend shooting at the range and how much free time you have to load. The lower the amount of time you have to spend reloading, the faster a machine you'll want.
3. Be conservative in your thinking. After all, it does you no darn good to have a press capable of 650 rounds per hour if you can't afford to keep it in primers, powder and bullets. Better to have a slow press you can keep fed. Trade off time for money. Kinda how it works with cars too, you'll notice. The guy that can't afford mechanics usually has more time to work on it himself. The guy that can, typically is too busy working to work on his own car anyways. In both cases, ya probably gotta work somewheres some how, no free lunch.

So there you have it, the how to pick it thought process. Good luck with your choice.

Dave

benedict1
October 21, 2006, 10:25 AM
I would only add the Lee Load Master as an economical progressive. For less than $250 you can be up and running quickly. I set one up three weeks ago in less than two hours, including the time to bolt it to the bench. It is very easy to set up; just follow the video directions on the Lee website.

It will load a ton of ammo--here's the setup link and a demo link showing it in operation at a rate of 900+ rounds / hours(short demo--nobody's going to watch it spit out rounds for an hour! It is in the text below quoted from another thread.)

http://www.glocktalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=600465

This is taken from another thread and shows the video link to operation--

"So just for fun, boys, here, without sound so you'll have to count the flashes as loaded rounds drop into the RED bucket,is another take on the Load Master, make this Take Two. The resolution is a little ragged because I'm trying to make the batteries last in the camera--but the loaded rounds are clearly seen.

Elapsed time is actually 79 seconds when I run the file in

Windows Media Player--the upload to Photobucket added 2 seconds.

http://s94.photobucket.com/albums/l...plusperhour.flv

20 rounds spit out in 79 seconds which is 900+ rounds per hour. Watch out Uncle Don--I'm after your record!

I emphasize--in no way was I hustling on this. If I really get organized and get this danged hand well, 1000+ is going to be easy."

Don't let people tell you it is not a quality press--it is strong; solid and when set up properly, which is easy, operates smoothly. I have had zero problems with it.

If you decide you don't like reloading you haven't invested big $$ and can easily sell it.

highlander 5
October 21, 2006, 11:34 AM
I've been reloading for the better part of 35yrs and my advice is this. First and foremost buy a good reloading manual,IMHO Lyman manual#48 read it then read it again makes sure you understand the reloading process.Then make the decission on which equipment. I statred with the old lee loader as did a previous gentlemen (ask about how you primed cases:what: )
My next press was An RCBS rockchucker good solid press but I learned the steps sizing,primeing etc. Went to a Dillon 450 then a 550 then the 650. Again If you know someone that reloads ask
if he'll teach you the ropes and above all else in reloading TAKE YOUR TIME reloading is not a competitive sport so what if you load 200 rds rather than 250 ,as you gain experience you be able to load with more comfidence and increase your speed.
I still have my RCBS as it does thing that my Dillon can't ie
reforming cases but that's a tale for another time

Loco
October 21, 2006, 11:47 AM
My brother and i shoot around 1800 a month so it sure sounds like i would never be able to keep up with a single stage. Money is really not a factor because my brothers buying. He gave me a 1000 to buy what ever i need to get into reloading. It's not everyday that my brother pulls money out of his pocket so i really not afraid to spend it. Something tells me he's getting a good deal having someone reload for him for the rest of his life for a thousand bucks. Little brothers get away with murder. Anyway, thanks all for all the info. You guys have been a great help. I made up my mind and I think i'am going to go with the Dillion 650.
Thanks Again
Loco

Cloudpeak
October 21, 2006, 03:16 PM
I've used a Rockchucker for over 30 years. But, for loading lots of handgun ammo, it's a real pain. Just over a year ago, I bought a Hornady Lock & Load from Cabela's. I researched the various gun groups and felt the LNL gave the most bang for the buck. I haven't been disappointed. If you know that you'll be reloading a lot of ammo, I'd go progressive.

Start out loading one case at a time to get up to speed. A Dillon or LNL are both high quality machines that will hold their value. I always tell my wife that I like to buy good quality stuff because it will bring good money at my estate sale and she can use the money to run off with "Juan, the pool boy".

Cabela's has a deal on LNL's going on (last time I looked). $50.00 "Cabela's bucks" which puts the price at $300.00. You might want to look at this: http://www.cs.odu.edu/~rtompkin/hornady/blue.php

Cloudpeak

trickyasafox
October 21, 2006, 05:51 PM
if i could do it over, i might consider a 3 stage turret for my first press.

i went with a lee single stage, then several pro 1000s (they work well for me) and just recently got a 3 stage turret for rifle rounds.

so far i think its the best compromise between volume and precision, wish i had bought one sooner, and for 50ish dollars new off midway, they really are a good deal.

i haven't had a chance to purchase one of those new saftey primes for it though. but you can chug along pretty well just by placing the primers by hand.

another nice thing about it is you can remove the rod that makes it auto index (it literally just lifts out) and now you can do batches/ single stage loading a bit easier until your more comfortable with the system.

atek3
October 21, 2006, 09:47 PM
my first press was a dillon 550, and I'll probably keep loading on it until the lever breaks off (then I'll call dillon and they'll probably send me a new one free of charge :) )

atek3

dragongoddess
October 21, 2006, 10:13 PM
Well I'm a newbie when it comes to reloading. Yet I can see just how dangerous it can be if even one round is not loaded properly. SO with a progressive setup one is turning out many rounds an hour. Some here are reporting rates as great or greater than 1 round per second. It seems to me that one is taking for granted the danger involved and safety is taking a backseat to speed.

SoCalShooter
October 21, 2006, 10:57 PM
I started out on progressive stage...personally I did not feel it was that difficult at all just got to multi task and pay attention (had a good teacher also).

If you have any friends or family who reload you should check out their setup and try and learn from them if possible.

Progressive stage is significantly quicker but speed comes with time and you may not want to have speed beginning. Its like giving a 16 year old a permit and then give him a ferrari f350 as a daily driver...bad IDEA.

EddieCoyle
October 21, 2006, 11:25 PM
Well I'm a newbie when it comes to reloading. Yet I can see just how dangerous it can be if even one round is not loaded properly. SO with a progressive setup one is turning out many rounds an hour. Some here are reporting rates as great or greater than 1 round per second. It seems to me that one is taking for granted the danger involved and safety is taking a backseat to speed.

Um, one round per second is 3600 rounds per hour. Nobody has claimed that. I don't think anyone that reloads takes the "danger" for granted. With a progressive press, one doesn't sacrifice safety for speed. I'd argue that a self-indexing press with a low powder sensor is "safer" than any single stage.

With good equipment, the tradeoff isn't safety for speed, the tradeoff is $$$ for speed. You get what you pay for. Do you feel safe firing factory ammo? How quickly do you think that is produced? (I'll give you a hint - it's much faster than one round per second). The equipment that makes it is big bucks.

dragongoddess
October 22, 2006, 01:38 AM
hey its late. I'm tired, its been one long day and its only 2238hrs. Still have stuff to do before bed time. Sorry about the miscalculation.

Guy B. Meredith
October 22, 2006, 04:51 PM
Powder checkers are available for most progressive presses. the likelyhood of a dangerous round being produced is low to zero. In the nearly 25,000 rounds I've done--begnning as a complete newbie with the progressive--I have had NO bad rounds.

lcarreau
October 29, 2006, 06:19 PM
I started out on a pimped out Dillon 650. I may not be as mechanically gifted as some, because it took me quite a while to setup. A few years later, I was able to setup a super 1050 much easier because I knew what I was doing. The learning curve is a lot steeper with the progressive, but the ammo rates are undeniably better. I highly recommend the XL 650 if you decide you really want a progressive and you can afford it. I have good and bad stuff about the Loadmaster. I recently acquired one pretty cheap. I kind of feel like I got what I paid for it. I may keep it for smaller batches of certain types, but I certainly will not be using for my favorite ammo.

-Lonnie

RioShooter
October 30, 2006, 09:44 PM
Medula,

What great childhood memories you a creating. I get all teary-eyed thinking about how lucky your kids are. It's a shame all kids can't have a parent like you.

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