Turret or Single Stage for .550 mag


PDA






balin
June 23, 2012, 05:52 PM
I have a Dillion 550B but don't want to be taking it apart just to do a few .500 mag rounds. I am thinking the turret press would be a quicker way to go as I will be leaving it set up for the 500 for the foreseeable future. Any onee see a good reason to go with the single stage? Am I missing some thing? Thanks.

I meant 500 S&W mag in the title...so much for proof reading. Sorry.

If you enjoyed reading about "Turret or Single Stage for .550 mag" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
gunlaw
June 23, 2012, 06:01 PM
Since the 500 is probably not going to be loaded in high volume a single stage should meet your needs. I have been loading pleanty of 45 Colt on a Lee Reloader for years with no problems. Can't beat the price either.

balin
June 23, 2012, 06:12 PM
Yes I can't imagine loading 100's of the 500 rounds. I may want to load some rifle or other calibers in the future. Just leaving and opening for what might be.

56hawk
June 23, 2012, 06:25 PM
I was just about to post this when I noticed that you list 550 mag in the title and then 500 mag in the post. What round exactly are you going to be loading here?



I load 460 Weatherby (the parent case for the 550) on a RCBS Rock Chucker. I've never used a turret press, but I'm not sure how much it would speed up loading. I have two thoughts though. First is are you going to trim your brass after sizing? Not sure how you would manage that with a turret press. The second thing is will the powder measure drop 120 or so grains of powder? I am currently doing two throws of 60 grains for the Weatherby since my measure tops out at around 100 grains. There are measures that will drop that much powder, but I don't know if they will fit the press you are thinking about getting.

Anyway, it only takes a minute or so to swap dies on a single stage press and doing a batch of 50 or so doesn't take that much time.

cfullgraf
June 23, 2012, 06:30 PM
I load small lots, 100 rounds or less, of ammunition on my Hornady L-N-L. I resize and expand the brass at one time, prime off the press, then charge the cases and seat the bullet at another time. I have even charged the cases off line if I did not want to re-adjust the powder measure.

It is easy to do on the Hornady because you install dies individually. With a spare tool head, leave the dies so that they can be screwed in and out, then spin in only the dies that are needed.

But, a single stage press is always handy to have around.

Lost Sheep
June 23, 2012, 06:58 PM
I was just about to post this when I noticed that you list 550 mag in the title and then 500 mag in the post. What round exactly are you going to be loading here?



I load 460 Weatherby (the parent case for the 550) on a RCBS Rock Chucker. I've never used a turret press, but I'm not sure how much it would speed up loading. I have two thoughts though. First is are you going to trim your brass after sizing? Not sure how you would manage that with a turret press. The second thing is will the powder measure drop 120 or so grains of powder? I am currently doing two throws of 60 grains for the Weatherby since my measure tops out at around 100 grains. There are measures that will drop that much powder, but I don't know if they will fit the press you are thinking about getting.

Anyway, it only takes a minute or so to swap dies on a single stage press and doing a batch of 50 or so doesn't take that much time.
If I understand the OP correctly, I think the 550 Mag is a mixup in typing. The OP is loading 500 S&W Magnum straight-walled handgun ammunition on a Dillon 550 progressive press but since he is only doing small quantities, the inconvenience of the caliber swap is making him think of getting another press. The choice is between a Single Stage and a Turret.

Many people use their turret presses just as a single stage (my shooting buddy loads his 500 S&W on a Lyman Turret that way). Since the Lyman does not auto-index and has good leverage it might actually be better than if he had an auto-indexing turret.

So, if I have understood the OP's question correctly, this is the advice I would give. Since the 500 Smith cartridges are so large, use of a little bit of case lube (even using carbide sizing dies) is recommended, a strong single stage (RCBS RockChucker, Redding Big Boss, Lyman Orange Crusher or Forster Co-Ax, etc) or a decent turret (anyone's will do, though the Lee Classic Turret does auto-indexing, which can be turned off if desired).

My friend loaded his 500 cartridges on the basic, Lee Reloader press, their cheapest, weakest press. It did fine for a while, until his Lyman Turret arrived.

So, bottom line. A single stage or a turret will do. Single stages tend to be a little stronger. Turrets a little more convenient.

Lost Sheep

balin
June 23, 2012, 07:15 PM
Yes I missed typed in the title and didn't catch my error. So that is 2 strikes against me. sorry for the confusion.

balin
June 23, 2012, 07:18 PM
Lost Sheep you explained my question much better then I did myself, thank you.

56hawk
June 23, 2012, 07:22 PM
If I understand the OP correctly, I think the 550 Mag is a mixup in typing.

Yeah, that's what I figured after I wrote everything else.

I'm still not sold on the turret press though. I batch load 500 S&W on the Rock Chucker, and it really doesn't take that long. I only use a progressive press if I'm going to load at least a thousand rounds. Just seems like the setup takes too long. Of course he said he would probably always keep it setup for the 500 so I guess the setup time doesn't really matter.

balin
June 23, 2012, 07:36 PM
I reload many different rounds on my 550 and usually load several hundred to a couple thousand at a time with it. I would not want to have to take it down to load up some 500 mag rounds a waste of time for me. So I thought a press that was dedicated to the 500 mag(at least for now) would be the way to go for me. And if I wanted to load smaller batches of other calibers later I would have that option.

Lost Sheep
June 23, 2012, 07:51 PM
A strong single stage would be the least expensive way to go. Even a used one would be more than adequate and sometimes can be had for a song.

If you want a turret and would like to load more than just a few calibers, I would take a hard look at the Lee Classic Turret. You can leave up to 4 dies in the turret and turrets are only $10 to $13 per turret. Caliber swaps are just a twist of the wrist. Other brands of turrets are considerably more expensive per turret and usually require a tool to swap heads. But there are more die stations.

Lee's turrets are the only turrets which offer auto-indexing which makes them amenable to continuous processing (akin to progressives) as easily as to batch processing. All other turret presses are more suited to batch processing, just like single stages (but they can do continuous processing - you just have to take the extra step of indexing the turret head).

Those are the main issues as I see them.

Single stage (less than $50 to $150 or so, estimated)
Lee Classic Turret ($160 for press, primer dispenser and powder measure)
Other Turrets (I don't know prices)

Happy shopping

Lost Sheep

JSmith
June 23, 2012, 07:52 PM
What Lost Sheep said. I load two calibers (neither of which is S&W.500mag) in 100-rd. batches on a Lee Classic Turret. I like to do things in batches (decap/resize, then prime & expand, etc.) so I removed the index rod and I just advance the turrret one stop by hand at each stage. The turret plates for the Lee Classic are only about 12.00/ea. so I keep the dies for the calibers I load set into a separate turret plate. Changing calibers is as easy as swapping out plates - it only takes seconds.

[on edit] I think I was typing at the same time you were, Lost Sheep.

balin
June 23, 2012, 10:52 PM
Thank you guys. While money is not a real major concern I can afford which ever I want. but I do run to the thrifty side.

If you enjoyed reading about "Turret or Single Stage for .550 mag" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!