Single Stage Rifle Press


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Barr
December 7, 2012, 03:21 PM
The time has come to finally replace my well-used Lee Hand Press for loading rifle cartridges. I have a budget of $150-200 to replace my press and am weighing the different brands.

I have had very good success with RCBS and Hornady equipment. The primary cartridges I load are .308, .270, .30-06, and .303 British. I do a fair amount of full length sizing. I have a Hornady LNL AP for handgun loading in quantity.

If anyone has experience with the models listed in the poll or others please share your knowledge. Thank you.

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rcmodel
December 7, 2012, 03:24 PM
This will do anything you need to do, longer then you will need to do it.

I got mine in 1970 and unlike me, it is still going strong.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/513567/rcbs-rock-chucker-supreme-single-stage-press

rc

Rogue35
December 7, 2012, 03:36 PM
Agree on the RCBS. I've got an old RCBS 2A that I love. A lot of folks seem to like the Lee Classic Cast as well. http://www.midwayusa.com/product/317831/lee-classic-cast-single-stage-press

tyeo098
December 7, 2012, 03:43 PM
I have the lee classic cast.
Thing is indestructible.

Sits next to my Lee Pro1000.

gamestalker
December 7, 2012, 03:47 PM
RCBS Rock Chucker and Reloader Special 1. Both will out live me.
GS

Magnum Shooter
December 7, 2012, 04:11 PM
Rockchucker JMHO

Arkansas Paul
December 7, 2012, 04:15 PM
Another vote for the Rockchucker Supreme.

Swampman
December 7, 2012, 04:30 PM
Rock Chucker, although truthfully, I have no long term experience with any of the others. It's possible that some of the others could be as good, it would be very difficult for a SS press to be any better.

Barr
December 7, 2012, 06:35 PM
What are the biggest differences between the Redding Big Boss and RCBS Rock Crusher?

FROGO207
December 7, 2012, 08:13 PM
^^^My thought would be price and the RCBS's great guarantee. I have Lee, RCBS, Lyman, and Pacific presses All are built like tank and all will undoubtedly last several lifetimes with a little care. All those listed above will work well for you IMHO. What is your favorite color then ??:D

cfullgraf
December 7, 2012, 08:36 PM
I like my Redding Boss but the spent primer system is worse than the RCBS system. As a result, I do most of my depriming on an old RCBS Reloader Special, my first press.

In my opinion, get the one whose color will best match the decor in your reloading room and it will serve you well for a long time.

Barr
December 7, 2012, 08:40 PM
The reloading colors are Red and Green, seasonably appropriate even!

Some Lee dies
Lee Hand Press
Hornady LNL AP
Various RCBS equipment
Lyman casting equipment
3 Mec 600 shotgun loaders

beatledog7
December 7, 2012, 08:40 PM
I like the Hornady. Quick change dies using the LNL system is a plus for me, and it actually catches 95% of the spent primers without a weekend's worth of modification.

But any of them will outlive you.

T Bran
December 7, 2012, 08:45 PM
My old Rock Chucker is so well built that I think you could use it for pressing in u-joints with minimal effort.

However I use the Lee more because of the primer catch tube which I really like.

Honestly they are all just fine but each has it's own little perks and quirks.

T

Otto
December 7, 2012, 09:02 PM
I own 2 Rock Chuckers but if the Redding Boss II had been available twenty years ago I would have gone with that...better primer disposal and higher tolerances.

cfullgraf
December 7, 2012, 09:09 PM
The reloading colors are Red and Green, seasonably appropriate even!


And blue if you include the basic Dillon 550 which I know is a stretch for this thread.

JimKirk
December 7, 2012, 09:25 PM
Add a few $$ and get a Forster Co-Ax.... you won't be disappointed!

BYJO4
December 7, 2012, 10:07 PM
The Rockchucker gives you good leverage and RCBS customer service is great.

DM~
December 7, 2012, 11:30 PM
I have both on my bench, a Rockchucker and a Co-AX... For general loading i really like my Co-aX, i've loaded over 80,000 rounds on it so far.

BUT, if you are into case forming (like i am) or want to use any kind of trim die, you won't like the Co-aX so much, and that's why my vote is for the Rockchucker. It will do it all and last you the rest of your life...

DM

ArchAngelCD
December 8, 2012, 12:23 AM
If you have the money buy the Rockchucker. If price is a factor buy the Lee Classic single stage. In reality I would buy any of the presses you listed except for the RCBS Partner or the Lyman Crusher 2.

Clark
December 8, 2012, 01:32 AM
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=159828&d=1330111791

My first press was a Rockchucker and I broke it.
I sent the broken parts to RCBS and they sent me a whole new press.

I don't use it much now that I have two co-ax presses and two Partner presses.
But I do use it to seat a bullet with an upside down press after the rockchucker ram has been raised thus pushing the case into a fully supported chamber with a throat. This forms the bullet into a throat size for a wildcat that needs to throat seal and compress the 1 gr of powder.

The rockchucker does have nice big heavy handle that I can hold down while the other hand seats the bullet with the other press handle.

savanahsdad
December 8, 2012, 02:03 AM
My next press will be a Redding turret t-7. to take the place of my two lee's , just to make some bench space , I've given up on wearing out my lee's I don't think It can be done , I've see broken dillons, and RCBS's but never seen a broken Redding , so I voted for the Redding,

rcmodel
December 8, 2012, 02:10 AM
My first press was a Rockchucker and I broke it.Clark, is there anything shooting related you haven't broken yet?? :D

rc

Zeke/PA
December 8, 2012, 02:20 AM
My Sinlgle Stage is a Hollywood made over 50 years ago.
It is of course a heavy duty piece capable of even swaging bullets.

Clark
December 8, 2012, 04:00 AM
rcmodel
My first press was a Rockchucker and I broke it.
Clark, is there anything shooting related you haven't broken yet??


Thanks for noticing me.
When I was in grade school, I started doing experiments.
Twenty some years I started trying to blow up my own designs. Based on what I learned, I could crank out the reliable designs quickly on fixed price contracts.

So when I interact with my gun collection, sometimes I experiment on them.
I am not making any money on guns, so that part has changed.
But I still have curiosity.

RugerBob
December 8, 2012, 08:36 AM
All I have are Lee presses. I laod 30/06, 45/70 and 30-30 with my single stage.
Turret for my 45acp and a pro-1000.
I don't think you will go wrong with a Lee classic cast press.

jwrowland77
December 8, 2012, 08:46 AM
I love my Hornady SS LNL. I probably won't ever move to a turret or progressive. I weigh each and every charge. I'm not into the mass production. I like taking my time and loading little by little, but that's just me.

TFL
December 8, 2012, 12:31 PM
I have an old RC and a CH Champion both are great presses. I reload both pistol and rifle.
If I had to go to just one press I would get a CH4D 444 H press.

Boxhead
December 9, 2012, 07:18 AM
Hands down the Lee Classic Cast. One replaced my RCBS a couple of years ago.

rfwobbly
December 9, 2012, 09:03 AM
The older I get, the more persnickety I myself becoming about cleanliness. While most any of the presses you highlighted can do a great job at cartridge construction, most of them do so at the cost of making a huge mess when they dump the spent primer. That's why my next single-stage will be a Redding. The Redding sends the spent primer and all the accompanying muck down through the center of the ram to a hose you can connect to a waiting sealed bottle. No more clean up of the spent primer dust or picking up spent primers that bounced off onto the floor. It all goes down the tube.

I think there's a model below the Big Boss that will do the same thing at a lower cost too.

capreppy
December 9, 2012, 09:29 AM
I just upgraded my Lee Challenger Breechlock. I went with the Redding Big Boss II for the spent primer system. I REALLY like the spent primer system on my Hornady LnL AP and the Big Boss II is the closest I found to it on a single stage.

35 Whelen
December 10, 2012, 02:45 AM
The time has come to finally replace my well-used Lee Hand Press for loading rifle cartridges. I have a budget of $150-200 to replace my press and am weighing the different brands.

I have had very good success with RCBS and Hornady equipment. The primary cartridges I load are .308, .270, .30-06, and .303 British. I do a fair amount of full length sizing. I have a Hornady LNL AP for handgun loading in quantity.

If anyone has experience with the models listed in the poll or others please share your knowledge. Thank you.
For $100 or less, buy a used Rockchucker. I guarantee you'll die of old age before you wear it out. Then use the left over $100 or so to buy powder, primers and bullets. In my experience, good used equipment is just as good as the new stuff....it's just not quite as shiny.

35W

Zcarp2
December 10, 2012, 07:44 AM
I'll second a used press. They are available and some even lightly used. I used a Pacific c-frame for years. A RCBS partner & now have a rockchucker for my single stage use. All have served well as a light hobby.
Good luck!

LeonCarr
December 10, 2012, 09:10 AM
I have had at least one RCBS press on the bench since 1988, but if buying a new one I would pick the Redding Big Boss.

After purchasing two Redding T-7 Turret presses, I feel that Redding makes the best non-progressive press on the market today. And, as mentioned, the spent primers collect in one place instead of all over the floor.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

35 Whelen
December 10, 2012, 10:53 AM
Let me qualify my statement about used presses...specifically the Rockchucker. The Rockchucker I'm currently using has been in continuous use, first by my father, then by me, since I was a small boy. So that'd make it somewhere around 40 years old.

35W

Baryngyl
December 10, 2012, 01:11 PM
I just added the Lee Precision Breech Lock Challenger for $58.95 to my reloading equipment to go with my Lee Precision Reloader Press and the challenger press I have that was discontinued in 2006.
https://fsreloading.com/lee-precision-breech-lock-challenger-90588.html

The new Lee Precision Breech Lock Challenger I just got sends the used primers down the center of the ram and into a plastic tube that you can direct into a garbage can or fit to a bottle.
I really like this press.

Now I just need to get my reloading room and a bench set-up for everything.


Michael Grace

1858
December 10, 2012, 02:06 PM
I've had two Rock Chucker presses since '95 (bought first one in '92) but I bought a Redding Big Boss II a couple of years ago and I couldn't be happier with it. I don't prime on the Redding though. The 36 frame offset is really functional and the spent primer system is excellent. I also like the fact that the cast iron frame has three bolt holes for mounting to a work surface and the O-frame opening is 4-1/2" tall. I probably won't need to buy another press in my lifetime but if I do it'll be another Redding. Perhaps no one needs a Redding Big Boss II but they are really well made and are a pleasure to use.

codefour
December 11, 2012, 01:03 AM
I've had two Rock Chucker presses since '95 (bought first one in '92) but I bought a Redding Big Boss II a couple of years ago and I couldn't be happier with it. I don't prime on the Redding though. The 36 frame offset is really functional and the spent primer system is excellent. I also like the fact that the cast iron frame has three bolt holes for mounting to a work surface and the O-frame opening is 4-1/2" tall. I probably won't need to buy another press in my lifetime but if I do it'll be another Redding. Perhaps no one needs a Redding Big Boss II but they are really well made and are a pleasure to use.


I have a Redding Big Boss II. Great press..! But, I have to admit that I started loading years ago on an old RCBS RC II that was decades old that a friend loaned me. Yes, the Redding Big Boss II is off set and has a bigger opening. The RCBS RC II was smoother. It is hard to explain but it had a better feel when sizing cases. Yes, the primer slide arm is better on the Big Boss versus the priming arm for the RC II, but the RC II was just more linear and had a better feel. I am going to hunt down an older RC that is not worn out. Yes, the ram can get loose over tens of thousands of rounds but the feel when camming over is more defined on the RC II or other older RC'ers.. So if you are looking for a great single stage, Flea Bay has em still pretty reasonable but they are going up drastically..

280shooter
December 11, 2012, 01:49 AM
lyman spartan, thats all i use. I used it for over 40 years, 9mm, to 280. and its still going strong,,No need for ME, to use anything else.. my wonderfull pro 1000 sits well under my reloading bench, I never could get that thing to work right, (44 Mag)

redman900
December 11, 2012, 11:38 AM
my lee gave me reloaders elbow ,but it hurts sooo good. no pain no bullets lol

1858
December 11, 2012, 12:27 PM
Yes, the ram can get loose over tens of thousands of rounds

That's exactly why I bought the Redding. I kept the tighter of the two RCs and it currently sits beneath a PiggyBack II where it continues to work well ... I gave the other one away.

kludge
December 11, 2012, 01:12 PM
Lee Classic Turret.

howlnmad
December 12, 2012, 03:46 AM
Lee Classic Cast. The best primer disposal system (no plastic cuo to bounce out if), great leverage and when you buy that big 50 cal gun you won't need to buy another press.
And with the $$$$$ you save, you can buy more supplies.

higgite
December 12, 2012, 09:18 AM
I like my Lee Classic Cast. I replaced the stock 7/8-14 bushing with a Hornady LNL conversion bushing for quick and easy die changes. Yeah, okay, I'm a sucker for gadgets. ;) But the quick change bushings really are convenient. Lee makes their own quick change version called the Breechlock Classic Cast, but I didn't like its spent primer catcher setup. ymmv

Sudden Impact
December 12, 2012, 10:49 AM
I voted Rockchucker.

Mine is 25 years old (or more) and still the go-to press for all my rifle calibers.

kingmt
December 12, 2012, 10:55 AM
I have a Jr which as far as I can see is the same press. It would be a big improvement over the hand press. I like how it pops over. I hate the putting system tho. You should be able to prime the same way you do now tho. I didn't realise how bad it was with spent primers until I tried a different press.

The Classic Cast is a big improvement over the Jr. The putting system works well on it & I have never lost a spent primer after I learned to put the primer arm in.

zeke
December 12, 2012, 04:51 PM
Rockchucker

Legion489
December 12, 2012, 05:54 PM
I've got a RCBS Rockchucker I bought back in the 1970s and it is still as good as the day I bought it, unlike the junk Lee pot metal presses I've bought to actually reload with, which broke, wore out or didn't work.

I have not tried the Classic Cast presses and people "claim" they are great, but then I read another report in the same thread that the CC press they bought was, shall we say, the usual Lee quality control and pot metal press quality. One site, if you mention Lee in anything but fawning praise, will throw you off for telling the truth. For whatever reason Lee seems to bring out the unreasoning hatred toward anyone who tells the truth about them. Trash Dillon? Yawn. Trash RCBS? Yawn. Say one bad (but totally accurate) word about Lee and the scum come out of the wood work to attack you. personally I find this amazing. But I'm not an idiot either.

GLOOB
December 12, 2012, 06:54 PM
It's cuz with all the money Lee makes selling their junk, they give everyone on the internet a cut. It's a conspiracy. ROFL.

I have a potmetal Breechlock piece of junk that works ok. There are two key features of Lee SS presses that are appealing to me. For one, the priming arm comes out the right side, right where I want it to prime on the press. I have thrown away my hand priming tool, because priming on a Breechlock is superior in every way, IMO. It's the only way to prime, AFAIC.

The other feature is the adjustable length lever. Non-adjustable lever length = wasted motion and suboptimal feel. When you're just flaring or priming or seating (or heck, even sizing almost every normal caliber), you don't want all that leverage and motion. A shorter arm means less movement, more speed/efficiency, less "reloader's elbow," and more feel/feedback.* Having started on a Lee press, I found it curious the number of folks who prefer to use a handprimer. I repeatedly hear how you don't get feel on a press. I figured they had never experimented with the lever length on their press to get the feel they wanted. It was quite a surprise to me when I realized a good many presses have a fixed (very long) lever length. There are a lot of different operations a SS press is expected to perform, and scant few will benefit from the maximum leverage; most will be hindered by it. I might use the full lever length when push-thru sizing or some other high pressure operation. But the rest of the time it's much shorter.

*Feel when priming is self-explanatory. You can also sort out your brass that flares or seats too easy. I cull my 223 brass that expands too easy; I sort out my 45ACP cases (mostly R-P and S&B) that flare too easy for use with cast bullets, only; and I bench test any rounds that seat too easy. And with better feel, you can also prevent more mishaps when the case/bullet doesn't go in right when flaring and/or seating. A full length, max leverage system is a less efficient press that will crush more case-mouths and not give as much feedback as to neck tension.

I hear my press isn't very smooth or strong or durable, though. I want to buy a real press, but I'm still saving up for a pair of $300.00 braided speaker cables that were cold forged under a full moon. They sound so much better than regular copper wire, they're much heavier and more solid, they're backed by a lifetime guarantee, and they'll last many generations, so my grandkids will be able to enjoy that superior sound quality when I'm gone.:)

idoono
December 12, 2012, 08:19 PM
Nother vote for Rockchucker.

Idoono

budman46
December 14, 2012, 01:07 PM
gloob,
you either have phenomenal luck with lee presses or you're an experienced handloader who knows to investigate unusual resistance instead of bulling through an operation.

i prefer lee's classic cast presses because i do some case forming and swaging, but all their stuff works. gee, i guess i'm lee scum, too.

Peter M. Eick
December 14, 2012, 01:11 PM
As much as I like the rockchucker and I use mine often, I would go one step up to the Redding and get a bit more space and polish.

I have been thinking about a Redding myself lately. I just have not pulled the trigger.

david bachelder
December 14, 2012, 01:22 PM
I voted for the RCBS, the Hornady will do as well. Both are fine well built presses.

M1ke10191
December 14, 2012, 03:39 PM
I bought the Hornady classic press and it's a good press, although I feel you can save some money by buying the Lee press. Obviously the Hornady has better metal work but I feel that doesn't matter much when reloading. I could be wrong, though.

If you're just buying the press by itself, I would say spend the extra $20 or $30 and get the Hornady.

If you're buying the whole kit from scratch, I would recommend the Lee.

Rollis R. Karvellis
December 14, 2012, 05:29 PM
I'm thinking of scraping all my other presses and getting a Co-Axe.

Scimmia
December 14, 2012, 05:54 PM
My opinion: The Big Boss II is probably the best of the group, but also the most expensive. If money isn't an issue, go that way. Next down, I would put the lee. It is as well built as the RCBS but with a better setup for catching spent primers.

but then I read another report in the same thread that the CC press they bought was, shall we say, the usual Lee quality control and pot metal press quality.

Anyone who calls a Lee Classic Cast "pot metal" isn't someone who's opinion means anything at all.

DM~
December 14, 2012, 06:33 PM
I'm thinking of scraping all my other presses and getting a Co-Axe.

I do love my C0-AX, It has loaded over 80,000 rounds for me,

http://fototime.com/22B562BD8870656/standard.jpg

BUT, i wouldn't want it for my "only" press, and that's why you see a Rockchucker on my main loading bench too.

DM

J_McLeod
December 14, 2012, 08:51 PM
I started with a Lee singe stage and really like my LNL AP. Since it's not much more than the Lee, I'd splurge and get the Hornady.

Legion489
December 15, 2012, 11:42 AM
Have to agree with Budman46's view of himself. I try never to disagree with people though.

Certaindeaf
December 15, 2012, 02:03 PM
.the usual Lee quality control and pot metal press quality. One site, if you mention Lee in anything but fawning praise, will throw you off for telling the truth.
Since when is very high quality cast iron and steel "pot metal"?

Lee does make some presses etc with aluminum alloy, (same as many other companies) though.

Certaindeaf
December 15, 2012, 02:06 PM
Have to agree with Budman46's view of himself. I try never to disagree with people though.
So you just called him a scum and expect to have your opinions/views respected? uh no

4v50 Gary
December 15, 2012, 02:07 PM
Rock Chucker. It's what I learned reloading with.

ranger335v
December 15, 2012, 02:35 PM
They all work fine but if Lee had made their Classic Cast when I got my 30 year old Rock Chucker II my main press would be red; price aside, a friend's CC is the better press in every respect.

Legion489
December 15, 2012, 02:36 PM
Well I see the peanut gallery is out in full force and once again slandering me. Boy, you disagree with someone, no matter how slightly, and the losers and nut cases turn out to attack you and you agree with someone and the losers and nut cases turn out to attack you. Some days you just can't win.

Just to throw some gas on the fire, I also agree with 4v50 Gary as to the first real press I learned on too. Still have it, still works fine after 40+ years.

Certaindeaf
December 15, 2012, 02:41 PM
Well I see the peanut gallery is out in full force and once again slandering me. Boy, you disagree with someone, no matter how slightly, and the losers and nut cases turn out to attack you and you agree with someone and the losers and nut cases turn out to attack you. Some days you just can't win.

Just to throw some gas on the fire, I also agree with 4v50 Gary as to the first real press I learned on too. Still have it, still works fine after 40+ years.
That's great. You still didn't answer my question in post #60.

Rory McCanuck
December 15, 2012, 04:07 PM
Its amazing how much significance people put into the magical properties of their press.
Just about every discussion about them turns ugly, "You're stupid and ugly because you like a different press than I do".
All it does is push a casing into a die, then pull it out. A hammer can do that, as Mr. Lee demonstrated.
The only differences in presses are features and price. Some features you pay a LOT of money for, such as lifetime warranties. This is important, though, as some people are quite capable of breaking an anvil with a glass hammer.
Truly bad presses have become extinct, or have morphed into something useable.
The Lee Challenger had a cast linkage system, and I'm sure that is the basis of most of the Lee bashing. Probably with some merit.
The Challenger no longer has a cast linkage, and hasn't for some time. It is now actually a pretty nice little press.

Perhaps I am "Lee Scum" too, but it was inexpensive enough to get me into reloading.
I also have a Co-Ax. It's pretty nice, but I sure am not about to throw away the Lee.
Or my old worn out Pacific.

Reloading is certainly an area where it is the craftsman, not the tools.

jolly roger
December 15, 2012, 08:01 PM
LOVE my Redding Big Boss II. After I bought that I found myself playing with that more than my Dillon 550 even for pistol stuff. Pretty relaxing really...I find reloading nearly as enjoyable as shooting.

Scimmia
December 16, 2012, 04:25 AM
Well I see the peanut gallery is out in full force and once again slandering me. Boy, you disagree with someone, no matter how slightly, and the losers and nut cases turn out to attack you and you agree with someone and the losers and nut cases turn out to attack you. Some days you just can't win.

It's not slander to point out a fact. You made an assertion that the Lee was made of zinc (pot metal). If you don't know the difference between iron and zinc, that's not our fault.

Barr
December 16, 2012, 07:15 AM
2 nights ago I ordered the Redding Big Boss due to only being $10 more than the RCBS Rock Chucker and no one had anything bad to say about the Big Boss other than the cost. The lifetime warranty certainly helped as well. I have never had to make good on any of my reloading equipment warranty's, but it is still nice to have.

I called the store and they did not have the Big Boss in stock. I went to the store the other day and actually found one on the shelves. My only regret is it is a original Big Boss and does not have the priming dispenser to the floor like the 2. Should still be a major step up from the Lee Hand Press I currently use.

As for Lee equipment, I have a hodgepodge of everything brand wise. I started with all Lee equipment and have slowly migrated from it. There are some outstanding items they make that work very well and some that do not. Their progressive presses, hand primer, powder dispenser, scale, and case trimming I have not cared to use. I do think they make great presses and dies though.

Thank you all for your help and inputs, it was very insightful.

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