I broke my press last night :(


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davidjblythe
January 3, 2008, 07:28 AM
Yes, I broke my toggle link last night on my Lee Challenger single stage press while trying to resize 7.5x55 Swiss cases. I had broken one side before, but last night I was having to apply so much force to get these to full length resize that I snapped the thing in two! Even my workbench was bending! SO I'm going to replace the toggles, but I got the go ahead from the wife to get a stronger press that I wont be able to break! I need some help on finding a strong press!

I've only used Lee to this point and have all Lee dies. I'm open to any brand that is compatable with the dies that I have.

Also, the most 'high speed' setup I would consider would be a turret press. Otherwise single stage is fine with me.

Thanks,
Cpl David Blythe

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PTK
January 3, 2008, 07:35 AM
What.....?

Your workbench was bending, you'd already damaged the press, and you kept going? Did you properly lubricate the case? There must be something else going on here for this to happen, I've sized all sorts of cases on my Lee single stage (not the challenger, the smaller one) without a problem, I've even formed wildcats without issues.

Galil5.56
January 3, 2008, 07:40 AM
David,

I have loaded a lot of 30/06, 243, 308, 303 Brit, and 223 on my Dillon 550B using RCBS and Lee dies. Power is no problem, and should you break anything, (your fault or not) Dillon will cover it fast and without hassle.

I prefer multiple manually indexed stations to a turret, and find the Dillon ideal for my needs.

Good luck.

Chawbaccer
January 3, 2008, 07:42 AM
I will be the first to say "Rockchucker". Not made with pot metal.

davidjblythe
January 3, 2008, 08:03 AM
I've done reloaded a thousand or more rifle cases on those two toggles. My problem with full length resizing comes in with two calibers: 7.62x54R and 7.5x55. Both of these never want to size all the way down to the very bottom. Lee says in its instructions that you should not see light between the sizing die and the shell holder. With both of these (and only these two) I would still have a 1/16" gap between the shell holder and die. Since reloading the K31 is so finicky, that small bit that is not resized keeps the case from not chambering! The Mosin will eat it just fine but the K31 wont!

It takes a lot of force to size that last little bit. I use imperial sizing wax and lube the inside of the case mouth along with everything else. All my other calibers are great! I think I just need a stronger press.

KI.W.
January 3, 2008, 08:08 AM
i have this cheap LEE and was making from 7x57 to .308 Win, 30-06 to 9,3x57 and .308 Win to 22-250. It is ok, no problems. :)

caz223
January 3, 2008, 08:34 AM
I'm not a big lee guy, but I'd have to say that the classic cast press is just as tough as the RCBS I used to have, and a lot less money to buy.
Also, from what I hear, it doesn't scatter primers all over the floor. On that point alone I think it's worth a look.

presspuller
January 3, 2008, 08:38 AM
I'm not a big lee guy, but I'd have to say that the classic cast press is just as tough as the RCBS I used to have, and a lot less money to buy.
Also, from what I hear, it doesn't scatter primers all over the floor. On that point alone I think it's worth a look.

What he said.

I am not a big fan of Lee either but their classic cast does seem to be built like a brick outhouse.

I have the Rockchucker myself and you can not go wrong with it. I would think that any of the steel presses from any of the manufactures will out last both of us.

bl4ckd0g
January 3, 2008, 08:40 AM
Sounds like your press was already damaged. Are you sure that you're using the right amount of case lube on your brass?

caz223
January 3, 2008, 08:47 AM
I would definately go with one that has the big screw in adaptor and can take 1 1/4"-12 dies, as they will also take LnL bushings. Those presses also have plenty of ferrous metal in the right places.
So, that's basically the RCBS rockchucker, the LEE classic cast, the hornady LNL classic, etc.....

Kimber1911_06238
January 3, 2008, 08:53 AM
rockchucker or rcbs turret press

Travis Two
January 3, 2008, 09:00 AM
Take a serious look at the Redding Ultramag press and if you go with the Rockchucker you should order the one for bullet swaging that features the solid ram as opposed to the hollow ram. Finally if its still made from CH (champion) from 4-D they have an incredible tough single stage press. But if those cases are long cases then the ultra mag will give you some extra working room. Regardless of your choice be sure the bench and supports under the press are rock solid. Flex in the workbench will prevent you from getting effective full length resizing even if the press toggles over top dead center because of lost energy. Bracing to the floor directly under the press is worth it.

FieroCDSP
January 3, 2008, 09:35 AM
I would go ahead and have lee replace the link, or pay the 1/2 price if beyond the two year warranty. There's no reason to trash the press over a broken link that can be replaced. You can still get the new press. :D

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
January 3, 2008, 09:47 AM
Having tried out the Lee single stages, I'd replace the one you have with the Lee Classic Cast single stage. It's an excellent press. It has a primo primer disposal system, better than a Rock Chucker. It's linkage system is as good or better than a Rock Chucker and it has an excellent priming system for priming on the press (Lee Safety Prime, bought separately for not much money.).

I don't think you can lose buying the Lee Classic Cast single stage press. It's the most single stage press on the market for the least amount of money.

BTW, I've owned an RCBS Rock Chucker and got rid of it after trying out the Lee Classic Cast.

The Lee Classic Turret is another "gem" from Lee. I have one of those as well along with a Hornady LnL progressive. I've owned the Dillon 550 (got rid of it) and I've owned the Lyman Turret press. The Lee Turret is significantly faster producing rounds than the Lyman and is generally easier to use.

Regards,

Dave

jaholder1971
January 3, 2008, 12:49 PM
I've had 2 Lee single stage presses, the ones in their Anniversary Kit. Both presses broke, cast aluminum frames broke while sizing .270 brass. Yes, properly lubed, yadda-yadda-yadda.

I now size all cases with an RCBS press, the replacement Lees are used for prining and seating.

ocabj
January 3, 2008, 01:01 PM
The second I saw the thread title I immediately thought 'Lee'. Then I clicked on the thread and my thought was confirmed.

armabill
January 3, 2008, 01:10 PM
I had a Lee LoadMaster that was a piece of junk. I also had the Challenger that was just a bit better but not by much.

I got rid of both and bought a Dillon 550B press. However, I still needed a single stage press. Then Lee came out with the Classic and after looking it over, got one of those. Now that press if worth it.

I still use the Lee dies in the Dillon. I'm not looking for speed, just good reloads.

ForneyRider
January 3, 2008, 01:44 PM
Lee Breech Lock is the new single stage press. ~100$ for the kit.

I've broken the chain, umpteen times, on the Auto-Disk on my Pro 1000. But other than that, it is pretty nice. I am pretty easy on tools, but uncoordinated.

RCBS Rockcrusher is supposed to be super tough.

MarshallDodge
January 3, 2008, 05:09 PM
I broke the link on my Challenger loading 30-06. I think it cost $3 for replacement parts plus shipping.

I did break a little pin on my Dillon's powder measure. It was the old design and they have since changed it. They provided me a replacement at no charge.

Never had a problem with my RCBS Rockcrusher.

redactor
January 3, 2008, 05:32 PM
My first guess is that you're not lubing the cases enough?

dcloco
January 3, 2008, 05:35 PM
I bet you were not using Redding dies either. These are the ONLY dies that are manufactured to the K31 chamber. All other other brands of dies are chambered for the K11 chamber.

davidjblythe
January 3, 2008, 06:20 PM
Concerning lubing:

I reload .223, .308, 7.5x55, 7.62x54R, 8mm Mauser, and .30-06 on this Challenger press. It works great on all but the two aforementioned calibers in my post way up there ^^^. As I was resizing the 7.5's I too thought that maybe I was underlubing the cases, so I lubed a few very generously (but not enough to have chunks of imperial wax on it). I got the same result each time until the link broke.

I'm going to replace the links and use it for bullet seating, but I want to get a new press that will rip itself off the bench before it breaks. Concerning the post about the integrity of my bench, I am looking into reenforcing it.

I did not know that the Redding dies were the only ones for the K31. Does this mean that GP11 is all sized for the K11 and it just happens to work in the K31? Is there a different 7.5 Swiss for the K31 and the K11? Is my ammo that I'm sizing and reloading going to be safe to fire in the K31? I have the Lee dies. Now I'm worried!

Thanks for the help guys. I'm going to order the Lee Classic press now :)

dcloco
January 3, 2008, 07:59 PM
GP11 is sized for either rifle.

Using the Lee dies, you are overworking the cases quite a bit...if you are using the brass in a K31.

No SAAMI standard exists for the SWISS round...that is the problem.

ADKWOODSMAN
January 3, 2008, 09:57 PM
++++Rockchucker

ArchAngelCD
January 3, 2008, 11:03 PM
From what I've seen the Rockchucker is probably the heaviest single stage press available on the market. The Lee Classic Cast Press is not far behind the Rockcrusher and it's linkage is much heavier than the linkage on the Challenger Press.

ftierson
January 4, 2008, 05:26 AM
The Lyman Crusher II (Orange Crusher, renamed) is just as heavy-duty as the RCBS Rockchucker...

And it has a nice, big opening, too...

Forrest

davidjblythe
January 4, 2008, 07:59 AM
I ordered replacement links and a Classic Press last night. I'll let everyone know how it does as soon as I get it in.

PTK
January 4, 2008, 11:59 AM
My Classic press just got done chewing through three hundred military 30-06 cases, complete with having to deprime the crimped primers. Not a problem at all. Lee dies as well.

Ol` Joe
January 4, 2008, 12:13 PM
RCBS Rockchucker or Lyman Orangecrusher. The big Redding would also do.

neal7250
January 4, 2008, 12:26 PM
Get yourself a rock chuker, or one of them old herters

Steel Talon
January 4, 2008, 12:34 PM
Yes, I broke my toggle link last night on my Lee Challenger single stage press while trying to resize 7.5x55 Swiss cases. I had broken one side before, but last night I was having to apply so much force to get these to full length resize that I snapped the thing in two! Even my workbench was bending! SO I'm going to replace the toggles, but I got the go ahead from the wife to get a stronger press that I wont be able to break! I need some help on finding a strong press!

I've only used Lee to this point and have all Lee dies. I'm open to any brand that is compatable with the dies that I have.

Also, the most 'high speed' setup I would consider would be a turret press. Otherwise single stage is fine with me.

Hi Dave,

I didnt read through the post so if most of this is allready coverd then the hive mind is at work:)

* You need a solid bench, Your current bench needs to be replaced or fortified.
*Your Lee Press is more than strong enoungh to handle Swiss cases. Once you observed the first failure then you should of STOP all action and repair dont get PO"D and force on..
*Rockchucker is you friend for all single stage needs its "rock solid" can it be broken sure so can a blacksmiths anvil:) dies will switch out.
*Upgrade to a turret? Sure, Lee classic cast or the Lyman. The Lee will put out some fine cartridges.

Here is a good deal/place to ordera lee turret
http://www.kempfgunshop.com/products/reloading/leeprecision/kits/KempfKit.html

Peace
ST:cool:

Floppy_D
January 4, 2008, 12:38 PM
I have a Dillon 550, Rockcrusher and Lee Classic Cast. For single stage stuff, the Classic is my go-to press. You won't be dissapointed.

ArchAngelCD
January 4, 2008, 03:56 PM
I ordered replacement links and a Classic Press last night. I'll let everyone know how it does as soon as I get it in.
davidjblythe,
Any one of the 3 heavy presses mentioned above would have been fine. The Lee press probably cost you a little less and will work just as well as the others.

dpote
January 5, 2008, 12:33 AM
Wow, this is really strange. I broke my Lee Challenger on a 7.5 Swiss case around the same time you did. This was after about 20 or 30 thousand rounds on that press, though.
It was my fault, I didn't use enough lube on the case. I find the 7.5 Swiss cases really need the lube. I use Lee lube and if I'm paying attention to how much I apply I don't have a problem.
I put the toggle/handle from my Pro 1000 on the Challenger, and ordered a Classic Turret to replace the Pro 1000, which has 100K rounds through it, but is now missing a handle...

Dave

Hunter0924
January 5, 2008, 01:57 AM
For strength in a single stage press I recommend Hornady.

ftierson
January 5, 2008, 02:11 AM
As far as I know, the Hornady presses are made out of aluminum (like Dillon).

While there's not anything necessarily wrong with aluminum for this application, why buy aluminum when you can get cast iron for the same price (or cheaper)...?

Forrest

Ol` Joe
January 5, 2008, 10:53 AM
While there's not anything necessarily wrong with aluminum for this application, why buy aluminum when you can get cast iron for the same price (or cheaper)...?

I agree. This is also a good reason why lots of people like the RCBS presses. (nope I don`t have a rockchucker) They never hear of this type of breakage and RCBS will replace the parts or press free forever if they do fail. Buy once and forget about it. Once you start loading mid sized and up rifle cartridges instead of handgun cartridges the toughness of the press becomes much more important.
I doubt you can hurt a cast iron Lyman or Redding either.

okienate
January 5, 2008, 11:05 AM
Everyone I know (that reloads) swears by the immortal "RockChucker", they seem pretty solid by what I've seen. (They like the availability of dies, shellholders and accessories in our local Sportsman's Warehouse and Mom and Pop shops....)

I HAD to be different and went with a Lee LoadMaster. Been reloading 9mm, 45 ACP and .223 for about a year and not having any problems with the press. The frame is solid, change-overs are a snap. Have only reloaded about 5000 rounds so far, but once the thing was set up it has functioned like a champ.

I have not personally experienced anything negative enough to justify the venom I see folks spewing about the Lee equipment. (Maybe in 10 years, when my LoadMaster has paid for itself 100 times over, it'll break and piss me off too.......)

Bottom line, in my personal experience, RockChucker Single stage or LoadMaster presses have been working fine for a wide range of cartridges. Good luck on your search.

jcwit
January 5, 2008, 05:45 PM
I've been using Lee and Lyman products for years. My personal experience Lee has been that Lee offers excellant value for money spent. I did have a single stage Lee (C) press once while resizing 30/06 cases, boxed up the bad part and returned to Lee with note and return address, less than 1 week later I've got a new part, pretty good for customer satisfaction. It makes me wonder about so many people cutting down Lee, but I venture to say they rush to Walmart to get their Chicom crap. I believe Lee has done a hell of a job promoting the reloading hobby here in the good old USA.

stubbicatt
January 5, 2008, 09:31 PM
I've used nearly every single stage press under the sun, the Rockchucker was my favorite until the Classic Cast Lee came out. Now it is the best, with the turret being a close second.

jpwilly
January 5, 2008, 10:29 PM
I have the Lee Classic Turret Press and use it to resize the 7.62x54r (lee full length size die). My bench gives some and at times I wonder about my mounting plate - but not the press...it could probably size up to 50bmg. I don't think it's going to break!

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