First Press


January 2, 2009, 11:55 PM
Looking to start the reloading. I have looked at the Hornady Lock and Load Classic and their Auto press too. I also know there are others like Lee and RCBS. I will like to reload some rifle and handgun, probably 1-4 hundred rounds a month. What do you all think about the two Hornady presses. Any other feedback on selecting the right one for me. Thanks!

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January 3, 2009, 01:43 AM
I always recommend starting with a single stage press, if only to get intimate with each step of the process. You may end up moving up to a turret or even progressive, but perhaps not. I have been reloading for about 2 yrs. now and have never found the need to give up my single stage. If you know anyone who reloads, ask them if they will let you watch and perhaps try their stuff out. It's a great way to get a little experience before laying out any cash.

January 3, 2009, 07:54 AM
I always recommend starting with a single stage press, if only to get intimate with each step of the process.


Even when you finally advance to a multi-stage press, you'll still have a need for a single stage press for de-capping, and working up special rifle ammo.

January 3, 2009, 08:05 AM
If I were starting reloading this is what I would get. Rock chucker RCBS.

Rollis R. Karvellis
January 3, 2009, 09:27 AM
==What do you all think about the two Hornady presses.==
I have 6 presses mounted now, later today number 7 should be up and running. If you can afford them and they are usfull to you, mount as many as you can find.

January 3, 2009, 09:35 AM
Although we need more specific information about your (projected) reloading, you might try reading this thread (, and then posting new questions and more information.

Personally, I think that a beginning reloader shooting under 12,000 rounds a year, and who is not a long-range-accurized-rifle shooter, is best starting out on the Lee Classic Cast Turret. This is a press that can be used as a single stage press while learning, then as a manual-index turret as one gets their workflow down, and finally as an auto-indexing turret that can produce about 180-200 rounds per hour.

One assumption I make is that anyone reloading handgun ammunition will not be served best overall by a Single Stage press. At some point you will be building the same recipe in some volume, and the batch-reloading processes of a single-stage press are counterproductive.

In short, it meets all the initial and intermediate needs of a new reloader until such time as their skills and needs are more refined.

If you stay with the hobby, you'll find that you'll want more presses anyway--and you'll know enough by then to know in which direction you'll want to go.

Jim H.

Matt Dillon
January 3, 2009, 09:53 AM
I agree with the Lee Classic press. I have had several presses, and this is the only one I use today. The way I do my workflow allows me to load ~200-250 rounds per hour of pistol ammunition, and I am pretty sure that this will be the last press I will be purchasing. If you are just getting started in the reloading hobby please make sure that you either borrow from the library our purchase out right several reloading manuals, in order to get some background before purchasing equipment.

January 3, 2009, 10:57 AM
Dmine -
I wasn't so familiar with the single stage kits, so I went and did some research. I don't own any of these presses, so this response is as unbiased as it can be. My comments assume you are starting from zero. You have no existing equipment, only a bench, chair and lamp.

Here are 3 good "starter kit" choices from excellent companies....

• Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Kit, 805003, List $380
Good: Seems to include everything except calipers. Excellent powder measure. Even includes powder trickler.
So-so: Lock-N-Load die retention system is of questionable help. Hand priming included. Hornady manual is good 2nd manual.
Bad: Electronic scale is not my preference. No case trimmer. Includes half of the in-machine priming tool, forcing you to buy the other half for $37-$50.

• RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Master Kit, List $408
Good: Seems to include everything except calipers. Excellent powder measure and balance scale.
So-so: Speer manual is 3rd choice manual. Hand priming supplied; in-machine optional extra.
Bad: No case trimmer.

• Lyman Crusher II Expert Kit, List $400
Good: Seems to include everything except calipers. Excellent powder measure, case trimmer, and balance scale. In-machine priming included. One of the best reloading manuals on the market.
So-so: None
Bad: None

• A powder trickler is an accessory you’ll use irregularly.
• A case trimmer is an accessory you must have for all rifle reloading.
• I would highly suggest a powder measure stand (such as RCBS 9092) to use with any of the 3 machines listed.

Hope this helps.

January 3, 2009, 02:41 PM
Thanks everbody. This is all great info and I am well on my way.

January 3, 2009, 03:00 PM
I always recommend starting with a single stage press, if only to get intimate with each step of the process.

The Lee Classic Turret Press can be a single-stage loader, should you decide that is where you want to start. But, if you decide later to "bump up" your loading to the next level, the semi-progressive auto index feature is already in your hands. :eek: I loaded a few rounds to get the feel of how the press worked, then began using the auto-index feature. This was my first ever press. A year later, I'm still using it and do not have any plans to spend a lot more money to move up to the next full tilt boogie progressive loader.

January 3, 2009, 05:58 PM
Forgot to include that with any Hornady purchase, you get free bullets. With a press purchase I believe it's 1000 bullets.

January 3, 2009, 07:47 PM
With a press purchase I believe it's 1000 bullets.

With the Hornady LNL AP (Progressive) - 1,000 bullets

With the Hornady LNL Classic Kit (Single stage Kit) - 500 bullets

January 3, 2009, 07:54 PM
I'm beginning too. Just bought all the Classic Lee Hand loading kits for all my calibers and am next geting a Lee Classic single stage press and dies for all my calibers. May get progressive if my quantity increases.

January 3, 2009, 10:55 PM
IMHO, jfh and benzuncle offer excellent suggestions for a first press. My first press was a Lee turret and have never regretted that decision. I use it to load pistol rounds and .30 Carbine.

January 5, 2009, 01:52 PM
For the smaller amounts you indicated I would start with a good Single stage press. It will allow you to learn the basics and then decide whether reloading is for you.

For a good economical start the Lee Anniversary set is a good start. Then, should you decide reloading is not for you you haven't wasted a ton of money. If you decide to move on to a good progressive you will still have a good reliable single stage for an odd caliber or working up a load for your special needs.

Whatever you do start with a good loading "How to" book such as "The ABC's of Reloading".

January 5, 2009, 03:26 PM
I started reloading 20+ years ago with a RCBS Rockchucker master kit. Apparently they no longer include all the goodies mine came with. Prices seem to have come down some also. I understand not wanting to spend money on stepping stones to get to where you want to be, but I really think a single stage is best way to start.

When I started I was 18-20 yrs old and would have tried to advance before I was ready. Reloading is not hard, but, you MUST pay 100% attention to what you are doing. I recently got my 1st progressive, the LNL AP and have loaded over 6000 rounds so far and still have brainfarts and have to pull rounds apart because of it.

The single stage press will still be usefull after you have moved up to progressive as previously stated for working up loads or just for small batches. I still use mine when the progressive is set up for say 45 auto and I only want to load 50 38 specials, I just use the single stage. I also still use the single for all my rifle loads, granted I just dont load that many, maybe 300-500 a year.

You will find going from say the Rockchucker to progressive is not going to cost all that much more because you will already have dies, scale, calipers, case trimmer etc. which do not come with the progressive presses.(most kits do not include the case trimmer)

This is just my HO and I know some will disagree but for me starting with the single stage was best.

post up when you decide what your going to get and enjoy! reloading is fun either way.


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