New Reloader - Questions


July 26, 2009, 01:55 PM
Hey, I've been reading the forums for a while to get as much knowledge so I don't ask a bunch of already answered questions. (that bothers me to no end)

But I'm going to be reloading .223, and .45 ACP later on possibly. I've done my research and at my level I don't want to get a single stage because I plan on shooting a fair amount so the Lee Pro 1000 press seems a good choice. It's relatively cheap and can crank about 500 rounds/hour.

So with that said, my question is, will this loader full length resize the case? I'm looking at it and because I'm new at this, not really sure what I'm looking at. I have a bunch of once fired brass from my gun and I believe you're supposed to FLRS it before you reload it. (but only the first time if I'm not mistaken, is this correct?)

Also for general information, can you guys recommend any books that deal with reloading and the general practices? I feel like I have the general terminology and principles down but I'm trying to know as much as possible before I invest so I spend my money wisely.

Thanks in advance for all your insight and help!

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July 26, 2009, 02:02 PM
I would reccomend against a progressive press for your first time. If you want something faster than a single stage get a Turret press the Lee deluxe kit is great for beginners. I reload all my pistol calibers and 223 on my Turret press. I still consider myself a beginner I have only been reloading for about a year and have only made tens of thousands of rounds. Also if you want advice from anyone on this forum about reloading look towards RCModel's posts I often find his experience to be valuable and informational. Pick up a few manuals and gun store powder data handouts. I reccomend Hornady and Lee manuals but others will elaborate on others. Also make sure you trim your rifle brass it is very important. Good luck!

The Bushmaster
July 26, 2009, 02:05 PM
Start with a single stage press until you realy understand what reloading is all about and you have the basics down pat. If you must go bigger...Get a turret...Lee and RCBS make excellent turrets as long as you get the Cast Iron framed ones...

July 26, 2009, 02:06 PM
While I do not recommend a progresive press for anyones first reloading experiance.
Yes, the Lee Pro 1000 will FL size up to .223 case size.

I don't believe it has enough power or size to handle larger rifle calibers like 22-250, 243, .308, 30-06, or similar.

Unless you are shooting .223 in a bolt-action, you will need to FL size it every time you shoot it.
AR-15's and such don't have enough bolt cam power to handle neck-sized ammo.

Lots of folks recommend the book ABC's of Reloading. I have never seen it, so can't comment.

If I were to recommend only one book, it would have to be the Lyman #49 manual.

Everything you need to know in one place.


July 26, 2009, 03:26 PM
I started on a progressive. Go slow and don't make mistakes. It helped me to have an experienced reloader looking over my shoulder for setup.

I like the Lyman Manuals for reloading information.

FLRS - full length resizing - can be skipped using the same brass in bolt guns and is usually recommended for automatics for ease of feeding.

July 26, 2009, 03:35 PM
go to a used book store and purchase any book you can find. Gather a small collection of books so you dont make any decessions based on just one book. Load data varies between authors but the procedures that reloading entails are included in most manuals. These are the most helpful items of all. I like hornady, nosler, and lyman manuals the most. Load data can also be found online at manufactures websites. I load 223 and 45acp on a lee turret press but I would not start out that way. A single stage press and a loading block are your friends. Start reloading in small batches so any problems that arise a not to painful. If you have anyone local that you shoot that reloads ask him to take you through the steps a few times to build confidence. Good luck and welcome to the addiction.

July 26, 2009, 03:46 PM
Thank you all for the responses. I greatly appreciate your help and insight.

I am using a bolt action rifle so from what I gather FLRS will not be necessary and I should only neck resize it.

With regard to the press, I was choosing that one based on price and other people had recommended it as a somewhat beginning level press compared to the Dillon and some Hornaday presses. In my reading people were saying it was good to buy but in the beginning stages (where I currently am) to only do one shell at a time. So in a sense it kind of is a single stage press. This way when I get the feel of it, after a couple months to a year I can step it up to the progressive stages and not have to make another investment.

This was my reasoning. Am I incorrect in thinking that it would be an ok press to begin on if you're only loading one shell at a time? This way I can focus on the individual stages and components to get the feel of it (ie feel what a good primer seated feels like vs sideways, etc)

I am going to take a look at that #49 book and see if I can find some of the other manuals. I've borrowed a friends Hornaday book and found it to be very helpful. But in online research a lot of people have said that Hornaday is quite often wrong on the powder suggestions and that they aren't ever hot enough to reach the stated FPS of the bullets. So like you said I have been gathering data from multiple sources and comparing it to real reloaders like you people to see what is truth and what is incorrect.

The Bushmaster
July 26, 2009, 03:47 PM
But try to stay somewhere within 2 to 4 years of the present or you might end up with out dated data. Not to mention missing some of the new powders...

July 26, 2009, 03:51 PM
yea I've been looking at the post dates on other resources. It's especially useful to look at the dates when you're pricing out components because the older posts have much better prices haha

The powder I'm leaning towards now is the Hodgdon H335 (might try the varget or the benchmark later) with a 55 grain Hornaday V-Max for my .223 1:12 twist Remington 700. From my research this seems to be a really good combination. Everyone says that the varget is recommended for heavier grain bullets because it burns a little slow and cant get it up to speed fast enough. Alot of people recommend it for >60 grain bulllets. And at my twist rate 55 is about as high as I can go.

July 26, 2009, 04:36 PM
I started on a single stage press. As soon as I got a good feel for what I was doing, I got a Hornady projector. I did not plan it that way, but it worked out well. The single stage press is still used some. They come in handy. It won't go to waste. :)

July 26, 2009, 04:44 PM
Not to second guess you or anything, but what kind of things would it come in handy for? Just curious about the uses it could be used for down the road that the progressive press you bought couldn't do.

July 26, 2009, 04:48 PM
Just to name a few:

Reload anything bigger then .223.

Reform cases into a different caliber.

Use with a primer pocket swaging die on GI brass.


July 26, 2009, 04:53 PM
Hmm to be honest I don't see myself doing any of those things. But I definitely will take all of this into consideration. If I do end up shooting something bigger down the road then I guess I can go that route.

And with regard to "anything bigger than .223" is that in reference to only rifle calibers? Like .308, 30-06, etc. or would it do a .45 ACP just fine? Because I'm pretty sure I've read people reloading .45 on it just fine. Just wanna make sure because I do see myself reloading .45 ACP in the future. (relatively soon)

July 26, 2009, 05:01 PM
Lee offers shell plates in all the handgun calibers except oddballs like .25 ACP, and 500 S&W Magnum.

The only rifle caliber shell plates they have are for .30 Carbine, .223 and 7.62x39.

Think of it as a progressive pistol press more so then a progressive rifle press.


July 26, 2009, 05:03 PM
As a Pro 1000 owner, I would NOT recommend starting to learn to reload with it. Where it excels is as a single-purpose machine cranking out range fodder--accurate range fodder, but not precision-built ammo.

One of my friends has SIX Pro 1000s--and he has not changed the setups in years. For his serious rifle reloading, however, he works off a single stage.

The value is good, yes. But the machine has a number of quirks that would be maddening for a beginning reloader. These quirks--the primer feed tweaks, for example--are distracting to a beginning reloader. A second characteristic--the powder dump integrated into the primer installation--means a simple error can result in needing to stop and clean the machine. Yes, you can operate it without the indexing bar, thus making it a "single stage"--but the procedure is confusing when you do that, IMO.

Your RPH estimate is wildly optimistic. Yes, I have loaded 500+ rounds per hour on a Pro 1000--but only when I was fully prepped to do it, with full tubes as well as the collator. A more realistic output would be 300 rph, I think.

As others have suggested, start off with a turret, or even a single stage. The Lee Turrets have the advantage of being able to operate as a single stage merely by removing the indexing rod. The latest version, the Classic Cast, is not only well-built, but comes with a default setup for 4-die operation (a separate seat and crimp). That feature alone will reduce the aggravation factor for a beginning reloader.

A (Lee) turret will enable you to learn the two different workflows--one for bottleneck / rifle cartridge reloading, the other for straightwall / handgun cartridge reloading for a semiauto, as well as the individual steps. Personally, I'd suggest starting with the .45ACP, which is a dream for a beginning reloader--but that's a different discussion.

ADDED ON EDIT: here ( is a comprehensive review of the Classic Cast Turret. Read it carefully, and contrast the information about this press with what you know about the Pro 1000. Keep in mind that, sooner or later, Lee will introduce its "Classic Cast Progressive." The design work had been completed at least twenty months ago. With that in mind, the Classic Cast Turret would make an ideal starter machine.

Regarding books: Yes, the ABCs is a recommended book to give you a good overview. In addition, the Lyman 49 would be a good second book to own. I would add a third--but I'm more open as whose here. Personally, I like the latest Speer (#14), but that really is more oriented toward handgun reloading.

Jim H.

July 26, 2009, 05:09 PM
well I think I'm going to go ahead with a turret press then. Thanks for the detailed response. Once I get the hang and feel of it, I can step it up to a progressive press.

As I don't own a .45 ACP (God would I love to...) at the moment, the only thing I'll be reloading is the .223. So I think I'm going to look into the Classic Cast press right now and go from there.

And I'm going for target shooting so numbers aren't as important to me at the moment. Not shooting an AR so I can only go so fast. So like you said for precision the turret seems my best bet.

If only primers weren't so hard to find...

So would this be a good initial setup? I'll shop around for the best prices but component wise...
Lee Classic Turret Press Reloading Kit:;jsessionid=YEVAKDU33BOU3LAQBBKCCN3MCAEFKIWE?id=0044122216337a&type=product&cmCat=SEARCH_all&returnPage=search-results1.jsp&Ntt=lee+classic+turret&Ntk=Product_liberal&sort=all&Go.y=0&_D:hasJS=+&N=0&_D:sort=+&Nty=1&hasJS=true&_DARGS=/cabelas/en/common/search/search-box.jsp.form1&Go.x=0&_dyncharset=ISO-8859-1

Lee Deluxe Rifle Sizing Die Set (the deluxe has the FLRS);jsessionid=YEVAKDU33BOU3LAQBBKCCN3MCAEFKIWE?id=0012803213715a&type=product&cmCat=SEARCH_all&returnPage=search-results1.jsp&Ntt=lee+die&Ntk=Products&sort=all&Go.y=0&_D:hasJS=+&N=0&_D:sort=+&Nty=1&hasJS=true&_DARGS=/cabelas/en/common/search/search-box.jsp.form1&Go.x=0&_dyncharset=ISO-8859-1

July 26, 2009, 06:42 PM
I started reloading for pistol in Feb with a new Dillon 550B. My gun store owner's recommendation. Don't understand all the fuss about a new loader starting with a progressive. I found the Dillon just about idiot proof to operate and had it up and running in about 1 1/2hrs. Followed the book and the DVD. Sure I made mistakes, but nothing that would hurt me. Beautiful loads now everytime and within 50fps of load recommendations. Reload for 9, 10mm, .45 and .40. Have done maybe 5,000 total. Love it!

July 26, 2009, 06:56 PM
I started on a progressive - dillon 650 for 3 handgun calibers and 2 rifles.

I certainly don't regret doing it. I really believe it depends on the person. I spent months reading the manuals before I bought anything.

funny thing is I got into it big time and ordered a single stage press for the rifle calibers.

Considering the amount you will shoot, I would recommend a dillon 550 if you think you can

a) afford it
b) see yourself putting it to use and getting value for money spent.

it isn't a 'trully' progressive press in my mind as it doesn't auto rotate and you can treat it as a single stage by doing one action at a time and learning slowly.

I will be flamed for writing the above but as I said, it depends on the person, if you do your homework you won't have any problems.

reloading isn't rocket science, if you can read, follow the rules/guidelines in the reloading manuals & remain 100% focused at the task at hand there is no reason you cannot start with a 550.

99% of people recommend a single stage reloading to begin with and you can't go wrong with one - you can always use it as a universal decapping station if nothing else when you upgrade.

...flame on from everybody else :evil:

oh, and funnily enough I ordered two T7s recently as I want to try out the turret presses.

Bitten by the bug bad :uhoh:

July 26, 2009, 08:26 PM
man I wish I could afford the 650, or even the 550... But it's lookin like I'm going to start with the Lee Classic Turret Press to start to get into the hang of things and to figure out exactly what I'm doing.

Maybe down the line I'll look into getting a progressive but like everyone said I'll start here and then down the line I can use this for other things.

July 26, 2009, 08:42 PM
I tell ya what with my Lee Turret I can chuck out around 100-150 rounds of pistol ammo in a hour. I really don't care to do more than that in the alotted time just not for me. When it comes to rifle loading my ideal set up would be several single stage presses since I have to take the brass off the Turret press for case prep and then I also powder off the press for rifle loading.

July 26, 2009, 09:00 PM
Another reason for getting the Dillon 550B. I do 6 different pistol calibers and just do a quick tool head change and the adjustments are always the same. Just check OAL and powder drop.

July 26, 2009, 09:07 PM
I load on a Lee classic cast turret and am very happy with the press. I have been loading 223 for my AR for a couple of years and it makes great ammo. Here is a video that will give you an idea how the classic works.

It is a very easy press for a beginner to setup and operate. I am loading around 200 rounds per hour on mine.


July 26, 2009, 09:41 PM
Do you find it a problem that the powder measures by volume instead of weight? Also that it's relatively inconsistent?

July 26, 2009, 09:48 PM
I upgrade to the round hopper with the baffle and it is consistent. I tmakes sense to me to use volume over weight as different powders weigh different so how would the powder measure know this?

July 26, 2009, 09:51 PM
Not really sure. The point people were making is because the volume is different doesn't mean the amount of grains is correct. (ie the system might be over or under charged)

And do you have a link for this round hopper? Is it made by lee? Googling isn't helping, sorry!

July 26, 2009, 09:53 PM
"....the powder measures by volume instead of weight? Also that it's relatively inconsistent?"

Which measure? Using what for the cavity?

Most volumetric measures I have used are not inconsistent, if one follows good set-up procedures. Personally, I use the Lee Autodisk measures, and with an adjustable charge bar. With the powders I use--typically ball for pistol powders, the typical variation is plus-or-minus one-tenth grain.

RustyFN or others are better qualified to comment on the rifle powders and their measuring techniques. For the limited .223 reloading I've done to date, I use an older aftermarket ACB that works fine with .223--e.g., it produces loads with little or no variation. Since I am just learning the rudiments of rifle reloading workflows and working at the lower end of the recipe, IMO that's fine.

Jim H.

July 26, 2009, 09:57 PM
Sorry to sound stupid but what does ACB stand for?

And not really sure what you're referring to when you say "which measure? Using what for the cavity?" Some people just wrote that it wasn't consistant because on different days powders take up different volumes (differences in humidity, temperature, etc.) which sounded logical to me so that some days your loads would be hotter than others. I really hope that answers your question, I honestly just don't know enough to really understand and adequately respond to your question.

July 26, 2009, 09:59 PM
Here ya go its called the "Lee PRO autodisk powder measure" My point is 1 grain of one powder will be different coming out of a powder measure than 1 grain of another powder. The reality is they all use volume it's just Lee is more up front about it. Unless your powder dispenser is actually a scale and actually weighs each charge.

July 26, 2009, 10:01 PM
Thanks for the link! After reading the description it looks like that comes with the Lee kit I found on Cabelas.

And I take it since they all measure by volume that it's nothing to worry about since the difference I'm sure is negligible, correct?

July 26, 2009, 10:04 PM
Not exactly the same one the one you order by itself comes with a charge bar and a pull chain actuator as well. I agree no one dispenser is better than the other its that most measures use grains instead of CC as a visual indicator but the measure is really using CC.

July 26, 2009, 10:05 PM
re the round hopper: That's the Lee "Pro" version. I find both types can work fine, but I have generally upgraded my Lee measures to that kind of setup.

A good place to buy the Lee packages is Kempf's. Here ( is a link to their "classic cast" page.

Other good suppliers about--Graf's, Widener's, Midway--but discussions here have tended to show a high rate of satisfaction with Kempf's.

And here ( is a link that should help you develop your own order list.

Any other questions, feel free to ask--

Added on edit: "ACB" stands for an Adjustable Charge Bar. I don't care to use the Lee cavity routine, but a lot of people are satisfied with it. Lee's procedure will give you safe loads, once you get the actual weights sorted out that a given cavity throws with a certain powder. Since I did / do a fair amount of load development, I prefer infinite adjustment (i.e., what an ACB will do).

FWIW, I think you might be starting to get bogged down with some minutiae--try studying that list in the link I posted; it will probably help focus those questions....

Jim H.

July 26, 2009, 10:05 PM
Hmm missed that part. Do you believe it's worth the extra $38? Does it make it more accurate or smoother or what?

July 26, 2009, 10:08 PM
Yes the round hopper is better I had the square hopper and it stunk. It leaked and it did not have a baffle.

July 26, 2009, 10:10 PM
EDIT: The package on Kempf's looks like the way to go. It even includes the dies that I was going to have to pay separately for. Thanks for the link and suggestion jfh

July 26, 2009, 10:14 PM
Again, look at the list I posted in that link for a comprehensive list, and come back here with a posting of your final list, and we can critique and help you adjust it as needed.

And, see the "added on edit" comments--

Jim H.

July 26, 2009, 10:16 PM
Alright I'll take a look at the list and I read the added on comments. Thanks everyone for the help, you guys have been an amazing resource. I'll figure out my final list and I'll get back for the final critique.

Thanks again

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