Need A New Setup


October 28, 2009, 08:50 PM
I've been doing 308 bench rest loading for few years now on a single stage. But I have recently purchase a M16 and need a faster press than my single stage, my only interest is loading for this gun.


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October 28, 2009, 08:59 PM
M16s don't shoot 308. But I reload for my AR-10 using a Lee Turret press.

Russ in WY
October 28, 2009, 09:10 PM
A Lee Classic Turret press will be a lot quicker for sure, & may be what you need. Guessing that you are going 223 cal in the M16. You will still make the same number of press strokes over all. However will kick out a loaded rnd in much less time. The next step up would be a Progressive type press. IMHO the Dillon 550 is tops in that field. Also some what depends on your Buget. My 2.russ.

October 28, 2009, 09:16 PM
Oh I see, maybe you want something faster for loading 223? I use my Turret press for 223 as well but I prefer to powder off the press.

Steve C
October 28, 2009, 10:03 PM
For speed and quantitiy the Dillon 650 with case feeder is probably the top performer short of a commercial powered unit. My cousin loads litterally buckets full of .223 ammo with his.

Uncle Chan
October 28, 2009, 10:16 PM
I use my Lee Classic Turret. I prime off of the press, but do the other press-related processes on it.

October 28, 2009, 10:29 PM
For reloading rifle cartridges, the LNL AP offers a lot of flexibility not available in Dillon 550/650. The AP powder measure works better with extruded rifle powders than the Dillon PM. The AP PM works in any station, but the Dillon PM only works in station 2. Individually removable dies make it easier to swap out a FL with a neck sizing die, or include a shoulder bump die along with a neck sizing die, add a lube die, etc.

If you reload a lot of military brass, the Dillon 1050 has on-the-press primer pocket swaging. You can swap out the Dillon PM for a Hornady/RCBS PM and case-activated linkage too.


October 29, 2009, 08:35 AM
I will also say I want a quality press, with a quality powder drop, not worried about price.

October 29, 2009, 08:40 AM
I want a quality press, with a quality powder drop, not worried about price.

LNL, RCBS 2000, 550/650. Take your pick.

October 29, 2009, 08:42 AM
In order to load 223 successfully in any progressive press, you're first going to need to start with the RCBS X-Dies. Otherwise you'll have a trim step after sizing but before priming and powder. A case trim step means 2 trips through any progressive I know unless you have a power trimmer in one of the stations, and that would indicate a press with more than 6 positions. A press that large is not your typical $400 investment.

Even with X-Dies you can still get into trouble if the cases have crimped primers. That can add even more costs.

223 is one of my favorites, but be sure and choose your brass wisely or it will make other purchases necessary.

October 29, 2009, 09:01 AM
choose your brass wisely or it will make other purchases necessary.


Ed Harris
October 29, 2009, 09:27 AM
For competition ammo I use the RCBS Rockchucker for case sizing, trim brass using the Lee case trimmer in the drill press, uniform primer pockets using the Sinclair tool, tumble clean in corncob and prime by hand so that primers are always seated in a clean pocket.

Once I have prepped brass in quantity I do final the load-assembly on the Dillon RL500B.
IMHO this is best way to load quality service rifle ammo in quantity. Really runs easy when you don't have to mess on the Dillon with sizing cases or priming. Use similar setup in loading very accurate .38 Special and .45 wadcutter. Works for me.

October 29, 2009, 09:31 AM
I use the RCBS Rock Chucker for my Bench Rest 308 loads.

October 29, 2009, 10:34 AM
If you're interested in seeing the Hornady Lock-N-Load and the dillon XL650 in action loading rifle ammo with case feeders, see the following HD videos:
LNL AP Loading 30-06 (HD) (
XL650 Loading 30-06 (HD) (
XL650 Loading 22-250 (HD) (

I like loading rifle ammo on these progressives, but you'll want to pick a powder with small granule size (ball powder works best) for consistent metering, and lack of bridging/clogging in those small 22 caliber case necks. (You're loading .223 for your M16, correct?)

Some video screenshots:

October 29, 2009, 11:19 AM
I do .223 on my Lee Turret and I'm sure everyone has a favorite method processing the round and I have done a few different routines but the best way for me is in 2 stages basically. 1st STAGE: I tumble, lube, resize, trim, chamfer/deburr, and prime about 500 to 700 cases. I then store them like this. 2nd STAGE. Now when I want to make some rounds of one of my favorite recipes or develop a new one all I do run them on the press with the powder drop, seater and FCD(I have a AR-15 so I like to crimp mine). I find that having that first stage out of the way it makes the final stage just like making pistol ammo which is quick and easy. Of course that first stage is pretty time consuming but I only do it about once every 2 or 3 months.

October 29, 2009, 01:09 PM
Thanks ultimate reloader

October 29, 2009, 01:28 PM
What kind of budget do you have? For a dedicated caliber that you'll never switch out, buy a 1050 with carbide dies and be done with it. The machine is worth every penny and you can process military brass without an issue, which is nice since it is dirt cheap. X-die to avoid trimming or whatever you want to address that issue but for a single dedicated caliber the 1050 is unbeatable IMHO. If you want versatility or don't have the green, then I think your choice would be different.

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