I've been giving reloading some serious thought for a while now. I'm usually one to save for long periods of time and buying the best value. But I'm on a budget, I'm not sure it'll be for me, and it would be difficult in my current situation to set up a proper bench. So I've been looking at the Lee classic loader and the Lee lock and load handloader primarily.
At this point in time I would only be loading .45 ACP but would probably eventually expand. So the question is which of these 2 is the better option or would I be better to just bite the bullet and get an honest bench setup?
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May 12, 2012, 02:08 PM
Either are fine and you might consider the Lee Classic Turret also. I will work as a single stage or turret with less changing of dies. Price is in the ball park and I suggest buying from here for Lee equipment as they are fast delivery, fair shipping price and cheaper than most others. https://fsreloading.com/lee-precision/lee-presses/
May 12, 2012, 03:02 PM
As posted in another thread.....
You probably want to start on something very basic like a single stage. I'd suggest a used one because a) presses don't wear out, b) you'll save money, c) you'll meet someone who can help you locally, and d) you're likely to get a lot more accessories thrown in. Check local gun stores, ranges and clubs for bulletin board posts. The local CraigsList is also a good place.
May 12, 2012, 05:34 PM
If you can swing the couple of extra bucks, go for the turret press. It can be used as a single stage if you want. I just got mine last Christmas, loaded a bunch of ammo, darn near paid for the whole set up in 1,000 rounds, (500 each 9mm, .38 special)
To answer your question specifically; Bench setup. But it doesn't have to be a "proper" bench. A Black & Decker or Stanley folding workbench will do, or even a coffee table (padded) with "C" clamps.
The Lee Loader (the one powered by a mallet) works, but is painfully slow (especially for the kind of quantities an autoloader is likely to consume - forgive me for jumping to an assumption about your shooting habits)
The Lee Hand Press (and other hand presses from other makers) is convenient for its portability, faster than the Lee Loader (but not by a lot) and affordable. Also, the dies you use for the hand press can be used in other presses. Not so with the Lee Loader dies.
A bench-mounted press is more convenient (one-handed operation, stable platform, etc) and faster.
But here's my advice. Lee Classic Turret. You can get a first-class setup for under $275 (press, dies, scale, primer dispenser, calipers, manual or two, powder measure). With such a setup you can load 125 rounds per hour pretty easily (a single stage press is no simpler to use and limits you to batch processing and about 50-60 rounds per hour). If you need to scrimp you can get by for about $150 by getting just the press, dies and scale and adding the other items as you can afford them. But you will sacrifice some speed and convenience.
This thread has some links I posted (posts 11 and 12)