Progressive to Single Stage or Turret?


February 14, 2012, 07:13 PM
I am looking for opinions from people who have reloaded on a progressive press and decided to move to a single stage or turret press. I currently have a Dillon 550 that I used to load 9mm and some 45acp. Due to a move to NJ I hardly shoot anymore and no longer need to crank out hundreds of rounds for a weekend of shooting.

I was thinking about switching to a Forster Coax or Redding T-7 and selling the Dillon to someone who could really use it. So my fellow HighRoaders do you think I will regret it if I sell the Dillon and go with one of my choices above?

If you enjoyed reading about "Progressive to Single Stage or Turret?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
Hondo 60
February 14, 2012, 07:19 PM
Yes, you will regret selling it.

I broke mine & while waiting for the parts I did a box of 50 on my old Lee single stage.
I thought I'd NEVER get that box finished.

I was in no hurry, I have a small stockpile :rolleyes:
So it's not like I needed it right away.

But it just seemed like it was taking FOREVER to do just one box.

I shudder to think if I somehow lost my 550.

February 14, 2012, 07:27 PM
I don't think you will miss it, if you sell it to me at a very dsicounted price:)

but i use my progressive for 45ACP, i shoot 85-100 at a time, and i use my turret for other rounds i shoot lower volumes of Ruger 480, 45-70, even .223. If you have room you could always try both and see if they work, then if you see the 550 get dusty....sell it. I'd be willing to bet you will come up with a use. Even if its processing brass quickly store it sized and primed, then finishing it off on your turret when you are ready.

February 14, 2012, 07:52 PM
I started on a turret and then bought a single stage. ( both Lymans and still use both)

February 14, 2012, 10:08 PM
If you can permanently set up the Dillon in NJ and not have it in the way, just set it up and use it whenever you want to. Doesn't matter if it's only for 100 rounds or 1000 rounds, it'll more than do the job. Even if you buy a replacement for the Dillon, it will have to be set up somewhere unless you're forced to do the old board attached to the coffee table with C clamps trick.

February 14, 2012, 10:18 PM
I would sell that blue piece of junk to me. I hate to see you suffer. JK. Keep the blue machine if you can. I can't imagine not having my 550b.

February 14, 2012, 10:43 PM
IF you do go single stage.... I'm pretty sure you would love the Co-Ax... I've had several other brands of SS press and the Co-Ax is my pick....

Lost Sheep
February 14, 2012, 10:58 PM
I started in 1975 with RCBS Jr (then traded for a RockChucker) and loading 50 rounds an hour for a few years. Then I got a couple of Lee Pro-1000 presses. Upped my production to 100 per hour (bought used, no case collator and I never got used to monitoring multiple simultaneous operations, which slowed me down considerably).

Last year I got a Lee Classic Turret (Lee makes the only turret presses on the market with automatic indexing) and I couldn't be happier. (But I do still have the RockChucker.)

It is completely natural operating in continuous mode (like a progressive, taking each round from fired case to finished round before starting on the next cartridge) and also can load in batch mode just as if it were a single stage. The first time out, I loaded 100 rounds in 47 minutes (which included filling the primer tray and powder measure). Caliber swaps take about 30 seconds and that includes getting up and going to the box with the other dies (if I have the powder measure already set on the die; add another minute to mount the measure if I have to do that).

The suggestion to keep your Dillon is a good one unless you have someone who wants to give you a really good price for it. The Lee Classic Turret is very easy to set up, keep adjusted and clean, but the Dillon has probably spoiled you in its output capacity. The Lee's auto-indexing does make it CONSIDERABLY faster than any other turret on the market, but it is no progressive. However handy the screw-in turret handle is on the T-7, it is no competition for the Lee's auto-indexing. These are the reasons I recommend it over the T-7 (unless you really need more than 4 die stations or the extra leverage). Spare turret heads only cost about $10 (though, if you only load two calibers, you might not need a spare). I load for a half-dozen calibers and have a turret for each. The Lee is smaller and lighter, so if you put it away after a loading session (as I do) it will take up less space. Everything I use fits into 3 medium-small toolboxes.

Good luck,

Lost Sheep

p.s. If you do decide to go for the Lee Turret, check out Kempf's Gun Shop. They have a nice kit that includes dies, powder measure and primer feed, but does not make you take a scale. Since you must already have one, that is a plus for you. The Lee dies with powder measure are a natural fit for use on the Lee Turret, so getting them is advisable, in my opinion. $210 and you get a half-dozen MTM plastic ammo boxes, too.

p.p.s. The Lee Classic Turret is far superior to the Lee Deluxe Turret, though each will do the same job. The Classic has a taller opening and handles spent primers better, plus is made of cast iron instead of aluminum.

February 15, 2012, 10:10 AM
If YOU feel that reloading is no longer a worthwhile hobby based on your needs? Sell off the Dillon and use the proceeds to buy ammo.

Otherwise if you want to stay in the hobby and already have a press, dies and components I can't think of a reason to change to a different press?

Kevin Rohrer
February 15, 2012, 05:14 PM
I have never heard of anyone selling a Dillon who hadn't died. Keep your options open by keeping the press.

If you wan to goto a turret for small amounts of pistol rounds, the Ponsness Warren P200 or Metallic 2 are good choices for fast turrets. The Ch/4D '444' is another good choice.

February 15, 2012, 06:20 PM
I agree with the others, don't sell the 550. Just because it's a progressive doesn't mean you have to load thousands of rounds. I know people the will load for 15 minutes to get enough ammo for a match the next day.

I have never heard of anyone selling a Dillon who hadn't died.

I actually know two guy's from the forums that sold 550's to buy Lee classic turrets. They said the 550 was too much press and they didn't need that much volume. They were both happy with the change.

February 15, 2012, 07:10 PM
If you still enjoy shooting and still shoot, I would keep the Dillon.

But, I am a pack rat and hate to get rid of anything useful.

Several times my shooting levels have fallen to zero for a year or two at a time. I am sure glad I kept my reloading gear as it was no cost to start up reloading again.

February 15, 2012, 08:46 PM
if you ever decide to shoot more in the future...i mean its not like progressives are going to go down in price.

February 15, 2012, 10:09 PM
I sold my Dillon progressive when I moved and I load on an RCBS single stage by doing it in batches. I shoot way more shotgun now than metallic, so it isn't that big a deal not having another machine taking up very valuable bench top space. I got tired of the primer feed issues that seem to plague most progressive presses

February 15, 2012, 10:56 PM
1.) Co-ax would be WAY too much press for the job. You can have one that will do your calibers just as well for a fraction of the price.
2.) You plan on ever leaving Jersey? If so, I'd hang on to your progressive. Not like it gets wrinkles with age or anything.

February 16, 2012, 04:16 PM
I appreciate everyone taking the time to post their responses and providing me with some great insight. I have decided to keep the Dillon.

The main reason I was going to part with the press is because it just seems wrong to have such a nice set up and just have it sit there collecting dust. When I read RandyP's response it got me thinking about how little I shoot and whether reloading is still a worthwhile hobby for me. If I replaced the Dillon with a single stage or turret set up they would sit there unused as well. I initially concluded I would be better off just selling the Dillon and buying a couple thousand rounds of 9mm, which at this point would last me for years.

To be honest I have been a bit of a shooting doldrums here in NJ. I was spoiled when I lived in Oregon and had ample shooting opportunities. Since I moved to NJ I have been content to complain about the lack of places to shoot here instead of doing something about it.

I have decided to join a local range, even though they are only open for limited hours Wed, Sat & Sunday and I am going to seek shooting opportunities on State Land across the border in PA. I am going to get back into shooting and make reloading on the Dillon a worthwhile hobby again.

February 16, 2012, 04:23 PM
Yeah, I'll mirror most everyone's sentiments here.

I started on an RCBS Rock Chucker, moved to a Dillon XL650 for just 45ACP. In the last month or two I've shot maybe 100 rounds of .45ACP and .380ACP (Which I don't reload) - but I still prefer not to fiddle with the RCBS press if the Dillon's working. It's nice to go in, load a few hundred rounds tops, and be done without any major work. Maybe I'm just set in my ways, but unless I was loading hunting rounds, I don't really see myself using the RCBS again outside of .30 Carbine.

I just can't see going BACK to that. My Dillon doesn't seem to take up much room.
February 16, 2012, 05:47 PM
My reloading needs changed. Don't shoot pistols in competition anymore (haven't in 20 yrs) but still shoot 4 pistol calibers and recently acquired a 30-06 cal rifle.

So I sold my 550B to buy a Lee Classic Turret, Lee Classic Single and a Lee Loadmaster. I am happy. Proceeds from sale of 550B were just about enough to cover cost of the three Lee presses.

Kevin Rohrer
February 17, 2012, 08:40 AM
So I sold my 550B to buy a Lee Classic Turret,

Blasphemer! Repent thy sin or be cast out!! :banghead:
February 17, 2012, 07:54 PM
Blasphemer! Repent thy sin or be cast out!! :neener:

Sorry, no excuses ... been there, done that with the 550Bs....had three at some point in time. Just don't need the speed anymore. What I needed was the flexibility of three machines, for the same total cost. Don't miss the 550B at all. Needs changed, is all.:D

LTR shooter
February 18, 2012, 03:48 AM
I appreciate everyone taking the time to post their responses and providing me with some great insight. I have decided to keep the Dillon.

Good decision! Does not cost you anything to keep it and the time saved over a single stage would be worth it to me. I also have a single stage but use it for low volume rifle loads.

February 18, 2012, 06:36 AM

February 18, 2012, 01:33 PM
I don't know where in NJ you are, but there is a pretty nice outdoor range in Easton Pa. It's an hour drive for me, but that's where I go. I believe there is an indoor in P'Burg and also Stroudsburg. You can only get into some of the local clubs if/when somebody dies and even at that you're on a year-and-a-half waiting list and memberships aren't exactly "given" away. Better yet, maybe you'll get lucky and an opportunity to leave this stinking police state will present itself to you, when it does TAKE IT! I can't wait to get out.

If you enjoyed reading about "Progressive to Single Stage or Turret?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!