Which one and why? I am a newbie, was dreaming of a progressive or turret, but I will accept the wisdom and start out with a single stage.
I will likely use for 38/357, 45 ACP, some accurate loads for 7.62x54R and 8mm Mauser, some 7.5x55 Swiss K31, and some .223, maybe 40 S&W.
Is it better to just buy the press and get a different powder measure or digital scale, or is the kit more than enough for a newbie?
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December 24, 2008, 01:42 AM
Have you checked out the Lee Classic Turret press? My understanding is that you could use it as a single stage press, and then enable the moving turret as you get more comfortable. Gives you some flexilbility. As for the kit, well, others will jump in on that as it's been a while since I bought stuff. If you're interested in the classic turret, however, I know there are recent threads that list out the "ideal" list of things to get. Good luck.
December 24, 2008, 01:59 AM
I've been reloading for a couple years now on a Lee single stage. Not too bad for rifle and OK for pistol if you don't use a lot of ammo. If you need to load in significant quantities you are going to want a progressive. Never used one myself, but I've read excellent reviews of the Hornady LNL as well as products from Dillon. I've read mostly positive things from guys using Lee progressive presses too (for loading pistol ammo anyway). Search here for that info and you'll find all you need to know.
Good luck :)
December 24, 2008, 02:12 AM
Whatever your choice, I wholeheartedly recommend an LNL bushing kit on any single stage press you buy. The time savings add up very quickly. It was the best $30 I've spent on my reloading hobby.
I started with a rock chucker and recommend against it. I like it, but I'd rather own a single stage that drops the spent primer through the ram instead for overall cleanlieness of operation. The primer has the nasty stuff you want to minimize your exposure too. With a rockchucker, this is not very easy to do as the primer does not drop through the ram.
Most single stage kits will fit your needs fine. But, like most things, as you learn more and gain experience, you'll change a few things to make things easier. For me, that was moving to die wax applied via the thumb and forefinger rather than rolling it over the RCBS lube pad.
Nearly everything else in the kit I bought I employ regularly in my reloading processes. If you are a "I have nothing at all" newbie, any single stage kit will be an excellent starting point. Also look into a tumbler and lizard litter.
And, for another Hornady plug, their Get Loaded deal where you purchase a press of some flavor or another and get some free bullets is extended for another year. This is a considerable financial rebate depending on how you shop. I purchased a Hornady progressive just for the bullets. I really like the press thus far and the rebate was very significant. The press is worth it without the free bullets, but the free bullets definitely made me do some more math to figure out the difference. It was huge, over a 50% rebate factoring in the retail price of 100 45ACP bullets.
If you haven't already, read the reloading stickies and dig around more. It's tough learning something that you don't have hands on experience, but there are lots of good tidbits in there that can save you time and money in the long run if you spend enough time looking.
Hope this helps,
December 24, 2008, 03:13 AM
To answer your question between the two you listed, I really like the rock Chucker supreme. Great press, great scale, great powder measure, etc.
If I had to choose a new kit for me, though, I would probably go with the Redding Big Boss Pro Deluxe kit. At $420.00, it is a bit more than the RCBS kit and the Hornady for that matter but I really like Redding products.
I know you have had a prior posts about how great the Lock and load inserts kits are but... And this is only my opinion(No disrespect, Jeep), I believe they are a not of any real benefit. I have used my lock down nuts on my dies for years and once they are set, they don't move, but hey, if the difference between twisting in dies for a few extra seconds is a matter that is unacceptable to you, then by all means, buy the lock and load kit. They do work and I have a few friends who really like them. I guess I am just old school with the locking nuts...
Bottom line, Get a couple of books (Lyman #48 or 49 and the ABC's book are good) and read the process over and over. That will give you more time to look at some of the other presses such as the Lee Classic cast, the co-ax, The Lee Classic Turret (which can be used as a single stage), The Lyman presses, and any others I may have forgotten.
Welcome to the Circus, Mate.
December 24, 2008, 03:59 AM
I had a Lee Turret press ... good and economical way to go. Had few complaints and those were minimal. Had a Lee Progressive press that was the worlds biggest pile of excrement. I now use a Hornady LnL and it is very high quality and I have no complaints now. Like any new mechanical thing a brief "break in" period happens. I use a single stage Lee press for decapping my 5.56 brass. I reload for .45, .40, and 5.56. the Hornady LnL can produce ammo (especially pistol) at a pretty good rate. I know there are some decent "how to" videos on Youtube if you search out LnL.
December 24, 2008, 12:06 PM
Shrink, get the LNL and all the paraphanalia and books and start out making pistol rounds. You will then want to get a single stage to assist the processing of rifle rounds. Time is a factor here for busy professionals. I'm an OMFS and thats the way I started out 8 years ago and am glad I did. I now have two LNL and one single stage.
Believe me, anyone who can get good grades in inorganic chemistry and survive 4 years of residency training can easily start reloading ammo on a progressive press. (unless you spilled lots of stuff on yourself in lab). There are lots of nuances, but basically it is very,very simple. It is a nice break from the stress of dealing with the difficulties of clinical practice.
When you get your progressive just do it with one case at a time until you see how it all works.
Much easier to discern the issues than trying to figure out a reticent suicidal mute!
PM me if you want.
December 24, 2008, 03:41 PM
Following instructions, you can be reloading on a $375 Dillon 550b in no time.
December 24, 2008, 04:26 PM
I have the hornady kit and am very pleased with it. i am the type that prefers american made over the made in china stuff.
December 24, 2008, 05:15 PM
I believe the OP was referring to the Hornady LNL single stage press kit, not the LNL (AP) progressive press.
Reloading kits can be a good deal, and depending on your personality, a good quality one can last you a lifetime.
I strongly believe that no one company has best of class products for everything you'll need, so eventually, many of us migrate to individual products from different manufacturers that we like best. But then some users continue to be perfectly happy with the original kit contents their whole life.
However, it is hard to know what you'll like best with no prior experience to use for comparison. In that sense, even a cheap kit from Lee will help you learn what features you like and dislike about given products, and help you make better decisions when upgrading, while spending less to get that education, and providing a serviceable reloading setup in the meantime.
December 24, 2008, 07:11 PM
I bought the Rockchucker Master kit about 18 months ago & am very pleased with it.
Since then, I've removed the die bushing & replaced it with the L-N-L bushing kit from Hornady to ease die changes & consider the change well worthwhile.
One big plus with the Hornady Classic kit is the 500 free bullets offer.
Both the RCBS & Hornady kits work out a good deal cheaper than buying individual items & it's all well made.
December 25, 2008, 11:31 AM
I think I did better in inorganic lab than in organic lab. Nothing like breaking expensive little glass doo-dads on an undergrad budget!
I am leaning toward the Hornady Classic single stage kit, knowing I will probably get a progressive at some point for pistol. But I definitely want to try and wring some accuracy out of my crappy Mosins and less crappy Mausers or K31, and everyone seems to agree that a single stage is best for rifle rounds, especially for accuracy and not for volume.
I figure once I get more comfortable with what I'm doing a progressive for pistol will make more sense.
Of course, I still need to finish demolishing some old shelving in the garage and finish putting the bench together. I already built the sears professional craftsman 5" bench, so I just need to install the backwall onto the wall once I get rid of the old shelves. This project has a few more stages, but at least the bench is built nice and tight. I seem to get handier as time goes on with this hobby...
December 25, 2008, 02:10 PM
If you're going with a single stage kit, there's no reason to spend that much money. For a third of the cost of the Hornady you can get a Lee Anniversary kit
I have loaded .45 acp, 6.8 spc, .300 WSM/WM, .308, .30-06, and had excellent performance. The Lee kit now comes with die bushings same as the LNL, which work very well. The only significant difference is that the LNL comes with an electronic scale, but you can add one to a Lee kit for $120 or under and still save yourself $100.
December 25, 2008, 02:13 PM
Abort! The Hornady kit comes with 500 free bullets. However bullet selection for this promotion is limited, so if you want bullets included in the promo, the Hornady kit is the way to go. Although I do prefer Lee dies.