Got everything but the press


Shadow 7D
August 2, 2010, 03:26 PM
Now I need a press, I have been looking at the lee single stage, and keep thinking that I might was well get a turret if I'm going to keep reloading, but then I think, No, I might was well learn to do it right with a progressive

SO, as I am a bit cash strapped, I was thinking that a single stage is something I see everybody has on their reloading bench, no matter how small or huge the set up. I know that with something like that I'll never crank out the rounds, but...

It is a place to start.

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August 2, 2010, 03:43 PM
get a Lee Turret press...
I used a single stage for years, and my wife just bought me a Lee Turret Press for Christmas... oh my, what a difference!!! That was one of the best gifts I have ever gotten!

Probably the best thing about it is the interchangeable turrets. Buy a couple extra turrets ($10 ea) for your favorite dies and then you just swap the turret out when you want to load a different caliber. No more adjusting dies every time you size, or seat, or decide to load for a different gun.
Honestly, I use mine much like a single stage, doing one operation at a time (i.e priming, powder, seating, etc...) but the consistency of my ammo between batches is great now and I save so much time by not having to constantly reinstall and setup a die to perform an operation. I got a few turrets that keep my favorite dies installed and 1 empty one, for the rounds I occasionally load.
Plus the press is solid as a rock and provides a lot of "feel" as you reload so you can tell if something is not loading properly.
Progressives are great for punching out lots of ammo, but you loose a lot of the "feel" and I'd be concerned about accidents if you don't pay enough attention to what is going on (crushed primers and cases, empty cases, etc...)
Just my $.02 worth...

August 2, 2010, 04:02 PM
Agreed... Been loading for only a month or so... Learned on a Single stage and then a progressive from a friend, when time came to buy my own, went with the Lee Classic Turret and I really love it, its kinda like the best of both worlds mixed...

August 2, 2010, 04:05 PM
Go for quality! Get a RCBS Rock Chucker or spend a couple of more bucks to get a Redding Boss. Stay with the single station press before considering a turret or progressive press. Either of the aforementioned presses will last you a lifetime and will still be used when and if you update. :)

August 2, 2010, 04:36 PM
Here's a shot of my primary bench. Notice I have both Lee Classic press, single and turret. Also notice I have two Redding Ultramags on the bench. Trust me when I tell you there are no quality issue with the Lee Classic presses. They are the best value in presses in the market today. I've had Forster, RCBS, other Redding press, and these are ones I kept. If you can afford it, get both the Lee presses and you will have both ends covered for not a lot of cash.

GW Staar
August 2, 2010, 05:24 PM
Here's a shot of my primary bench. Notice I have both Lee Classic press, single and turret. Also notice I have two Redding Ultramags on the bench. Trust me when I tell you there are no quality issue with the Lee Classic presses. They are the best value in presses in the market today. I've had Forster, RCBS, other Redding press, and these are ones I kept. If you can afford it, get both the Lee presses and you will have both ends covered for not a lot of cash.

I've seen your bench picture posted several times, and I get more curious each time.:) So now I gotta ask: Do you have another bench with 4 progressives on it?:D

If not, (not being critical...even a little...ok, little jealous maybe) tell us why you chose to end up with 3 single stations, and one turret????!!

To the O.P. You'll do fine with either Lee shown above...just so it says the word "Classic" in the name. RCBS's are great presses as well, mines 40 years new.

August 2, 2010, 06:02 PM
:) I don't own a progressive of any type. I have only one handgun, a 40 S&W and the auto indexing turret works well for that. I will set up three single stages to load rifle ammo having one press/die set up for each step. Not necessary to do it that way, I just do. I have two Ultramags because I got a good deal on both. The Ultramag is my favorite press. Some complain about the ergonomics of the press but it suits my loading style nicely. One feature the Lee presses do not have is they don't cam over. I like that feature in the Ultramag and the fact it has a HUGE amount of leverage for re-forming brass. I purchased the turret just for handgun ammo but it works well for 223 Rem and 45-70. FWIW - the island style bench is great because I have access to all sides, all angles.

August 2, 2010, 06:53 PM
Every reloader needs at least one good single stage press.

Shadow 7D
August 2, 2010, 07:26 PM
Guess I will have to get the single and work up, figure if the main thing I am doing is making accurate rifle ammo and HP pistol ammo (guess I probably end up with a lead works in the back yard too eventually)

Sorry but, ammo is really expensive, unless you want to buy it by the case, and any type of premium ammo cost even more.

August 2, 2010, 09:42 PM
Lee's supposed lack of quality is a common web expert myth.

Lee produces the largest number of presses of any maker, probably two or three times more than the others. Obviously they are all different in both features, price and raw strength but they all give a much higher value return on investment than any compariable competitor.

August 2, 2010, 09:52 PM
The lee Breechlock Challenger is a very good single stage. The bushings make changing dies very quick. I am not sure the advantages of the turret model given the ease of the breechlock model. I do my work in batches. I think it is a bit safer that way. At least for me focusing on one thing at a time is a better idea as a relatively new reloader. If you work in batches, there is little advantage of the turret model.

Kevin Rohrer
August 3, 2010, 03:06 PM
If you are cash strapped, why not goto Ebay and get yourself a perfectly good C-press like the old Herter's Super 3. I have one and its cast iron construction will outlive all of us. There are always at least two for sale and they go for around $50.

I have one on my bench and my father-in-law swears by his.

August 3, 2010, 04:01 PM
Cabela's has the Lee Challenger that Paradox998 mentioned, in a kit for $99...

With the Quick Change bushings on this, it will accomplish nearly the same thing I do with my extra turrets on the turret press. If you're okay with doing all your ammo in batches, and have no need for the auto advancing, I think this is a great way to go, especially if you're just getting into reloading.

Lee Anniversary Reloading Kit
Reg: $109.99
Sale: $99.99

The kit also comes with the Lee Perfect Powder Measure, which is a $30 value in itself. Some people have said they have to recalibrate the measure periodically, but I have found mine to be near perfect for several thousand rounds and counting...

August 3, 2010, 04:23 PM
I have a RCBS RCII but if I were to replace it I would get the Lee Classic Cast. IMO it's the best value today.I do EVERYTHING on my singlestage. I even have a Mec 600 JR V singlestage for shotgun. I enjoy reloading as a hobby in itself and don't want to speed it up. There is nothing wrong with turret or progressvie presses, just not MY style. RCBS Rockchucker, Lee Classic Cast, Lyman Crusher, Redding, or any othe name brand press will serve you well and last a lifetime. Color doesn't matter other than to the eye.

August 3, 2010, 06:08 PM
A single stage would be great for rifle. If you plan on shooting much pistol you might want to look at the Lee classic turret. It can be used as a single stage press and then when you need the extra volume just add the auto indexing rod and triple your output. You might be surprised how long you will be able to get by without a progressive or might find out you don't need one at all.

August 3, 2010, 06:25 PM
Think about the Hornady Lock-N-Load conversion kit if you get the Lee cast iron single stage. Makes die swapout real easy, almost instantaneous!

August 3, 2010, 10:19 PM
Most single stage presses will do a good job of reloading.

That said, there are features which make some easier to use and/or do a good job with.

One such feature is spent primer handling. The best presses have a hollow ram that leads to a tube to a bucket or catch bottle. These presses not only keep spent primers off your bench and floor, they keep most of the abrasive debris out of the press/ram bearing. Single stage presses that include this feature include the Lee Classic Cast, Redding Big Boss II, Redding UltraMag, and Forster Co-Ax.

Another useful feature is a quick change die system, or compatibility with one such as the Hornady LNL die bushings. All the above but the Forster Co-Ax are compatible with the LNL system, and the Co-Ax has its own floating, snap-in/out die retention system.


Shadow 7D
August 6, 2010, 06:38 AM
Thanks, Midway is running the same deal, and they offer dealer to C&Rs,
I keep going back and forth, but I'm going to start with a single stage, then once I get the bits down, worry about building with speed, Better lots of 9 after the . than just 99% cause it only takes one.

August 6, 2010, 08:58 AM
It is hard to ruin a good single stage reloader, like a Rock Chucker without trying realyy hard. I did just buy a Lyman T-Mag that someone tried really hard to ruin it. They total ruined the ram with a hammer and a torch, it appears. Anyway, since the press was otherwise like new, I called Lyman and ordered a new ram for $12. The Total cost of my Press with the $20 primer tube assembly, new in the package came to $77 before tax. Hey Look, that is the same price as a Lee Classic.:evil: I own two Dillon 550's, 3 Rock chuckers and a few other single stages. I own no Lee equipment. I will say that the Classic does look pretty solid so it should do the job. I still won't be buying one unless I find it used for about $25.

August 6, 2010, 12:37 PM
Look on Ebay for a old rockchucker single stage they cost about the same used as a lee single stage. I got mine for 50 bucks best investment ever, ive put easly a few thousand rounds through it.

Shadow 7D
August 7, 2010, 03:53 AM
sweet, I'm not the only person in the world with Hercules powder (at less than 5 dollars a can, and that includes a mostly full 8# jug of allient data loader 2230-s.) I couldn't pass it up.

August 7, 2010, 06:14 AM
You really can't go far wrong with any of the single stages... those loading bigger calibers will favor the O frames but most of the C frames are plenty strong.

I have a Lyman turret that is my first and only. But I don't see anything wrong with the Lee or Redding turrets. Never seen an RCBS turret but it should be fine too. Advantage of the turret, to me, is having all 4 dies set up at the same time, plus room for a couple more if I want to do case prep for another caliber.

Hondo 60
August 7, 2010, 11:07 AM
Nudder vote for the Lee Classic Turret press.

It can be used as a single stage by simply removing the indexing rod.
But you also have the convenience of a faster turret press.

August 7, 2010, 11:53 AM
I have 3 or 5 or 6 single stages, turrets, regular blah blah blah. My wife thinks I am a pack rat, but when working up a load at the range for rifle, an old C frame C and H with a neck sizer and seater die are indispensable and lightweight. The turrets are nice for home loading. Resizing, priming, and flaring are done on the turret. The bullet seating is done on an old C and H "H" style press. Straight up and down action, probably doesn't make a difference, but in my head it makes sense. Especially for rifle.

Reloaded at a buddies house on his 550B, and I can use it anytime I please. So I am finding it very hard to pick up a machine for two pistols.

August 7, 2010, 03:56 PM
Go with the Lee Turret. It is so easy to start on.

I was in the same situation as you when I bought mine press. You can always use the turret like a single. I did this to teach myself the basics, but once I got comfortable with reloading I realized the value of the turret.

Had I not bought the turret in the first place, I would have been in the market for a new press within a month of buying the first one.

August 7, 2010, 09:17 PM
I started out with a pacific c press given to me that worked fine for awhile but then I got tired of changing dies will too. Start with the lee turret! Then if you need to expand some get a single stage. Now I mostly just use my single stage for punching out primers and the lee turret sizing, seating, and crimping (everything else)

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