reloading choices, what to do....


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byrnesy94
December 13, 2012, 08:20 AM
Hi all,
I am looking at getting into reloading and have narrowed it down to 2 reloading kits, either the RCBS rockchucker Kit, or the Hornady lock n load single stage reloading kit. Which would you choose and why?
Thanks.

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cfullgraf
December 13, 2012, 08:32 AM
Either will serve you well. Get the one whose color best matches the decor in your reloading room.

That said, I would get the Rock Chucker. I feel the L-N-L bushings are a negative with a single stage press.

hAkron
December 13, 2012, 08:33 AM
I chose the RCBS mostly because the RCBS rock chucker kit was on sale where I was buying my gear. The press is an excellent single stage, the beam scale and the hand primer are great. The powder measure is decent, but I also have the Hornady LnL AP progressive press and I think the powder measure that came with it is better (slightly) than the RCBS.

hAkron
December 13, 2012, 08:39 AM
Either will serve you well. Get the one whose color best matches the decor in your reloading room.

That said, I would get the Rock Chucker. I feel the L-N-L bushings are a negative with a single stage press.

The bushings are kind of stupid, and really expensive.

jwrowland77
December 13, 2012, 01:07 PM
I have the Hornady and I love the quick change bushings. It's huge when changing from one caliber to the next and its super fast.

I would go with the Hornady.

gspn
December 13, 2012, 01:18 PM
+1 on the bushings being great...huge time saver.

FrankB1948
December 13, 2012, 01:20 PM
I've had the rockchucker for 30 years with no complaints.

7mmb
December 13, 2012, 01:34 PM
With the Rockchucker you can use any dies. I've never felt slowed down changing dies with mine. And it says RCBS on it so you know you're covered if anything ever breaks.

jwrowland77
December 13, 2012, 03:39 PM
With the Rockchucker you can use any dies. I've never felt slowed down changing dies with mine. And it says RCBS on it so you know you're covered if anything ever breaks.

Same with Hornady.

GT1
December 13, 2012, 04:44 PM
What are you going to be reloading?

Single stage is fine for rifle, if you plan reloading for semi-auto pistol and doing much shooting, not so great.

noylj
December 14, 2012, 12:20 AM
If I had to have a RockChucker boat anchor, and I did about 40 years ago, I would get the bushing conversion so I could use the Hornady bushings with it. They save your settings and they save you time.
That said, between the two, I would get the Hornady. I HATED my RockChucker and got a Forster Co-Ax and never regretted it. Universal shell holder and dies just slide into a groove. Great press.
My RockChucker had a U-shaped plastic tray that was supposed to catch spent primers, but I spent a lot of time sweeping up all the spent primers on the floor. Unless they have a tube or bottle to catch spent primers 100%, be sure you have a broom nearby.
Even the Lee press has a better spent primer system then that stupid green piece of plastic.
RCBS, Lee, Hornady, Dillon, Redding, etc.--you are always covered and all the companies are great to deal with.
I like "RED" dies, both companies's, better than "GREEN" or "BLUE".
I like RED presses (Lee, Hornady, Forster) better than green, though Blue's top of the line is truly top of the line.
YOU need to decide which press YOU will happy with. You are buying a kit, instead of buying the accessories you want, so look at the accessories in the kits and decide while are nicer for YOU.

45lcshooter
December 14, 2012, 11:59 AM
Always been an RCBS guy. I have single stage for rifle and big revolver reloading. Lee progressive for small semi pistol rounds.

ranger335v
December 14, 2012, 12:43 PM
I've been doing this much too long to still have an attachment to inanimate objects of any brand or color. I know what features I prefer and buy what I need based on that alone.

That said, no one will ever see any difference at all in the ammo made on a current similar single stage press by Hornady, RCBS, Lee, Redding or Lyman and any of them will last much longer than we will. If Lee had been making their excellant Classic Cast single stage when I bought my main press it would be red instead of green. And I wouldn't have to spend so much time sweeping up scattered spent primers and cleaning my press ram.

For the life of me, I can't understand how any costly die quick-change gimmicks are supposed to save enough time to matter in anyone's life. Dies only need be hand tight and that allows us to screw-swap them (without tools) in less than a minute. Since most sets have two or three dies, four at most, then it follows that the most time spent changing dies in a single session has to be less than four minutes. Anyone who can't spare four minutes to swap dies around really doesn't have the time to work precisely or safely and shouldn't be reloading. IMHO.

david bachelder
December 14, 2012, 12:50 PM
I have seen and used both. Either will give you great service.

The RCBS may have a slight edge when it comes to customer service. RCBS service is legendary. I am not familiar with Hornady customer service, it may be as good or even better for all I know.

J_McLeod
December 14, 2012, 09:53 PM
I have the LNL AP. I like the bushings and they make calibers changes pretty quick. I want them even more with a single stage because you change the dies much more often. So I'd get the LNL based on my experience with Hornady's progressive.

ole farmerbuck
December 14, 2012, 09:57 PM
Hard to beat the Hornady. Bushings are grrreat!

chrisgo
December 14, 2012, 10:53 PM
Drink the blue kool aid and never look back!!!

cfullgraf
December 14, 2012, 11:57 PM
I have the LNL AP. I like the bushings and they make calibers changes pretty quick. I want them even more with a single stage because you change the dies much more often. So I'd get the LNL based on my experience with Hornady's progressive.

More often? On my Hornady Progressive, I change four dies at the beginning of the reloading session, with the single stage, I change one die at a time through out the loading session as I go to the next task. I batch process on a single stage.

Same number of die changes, just at different times.

I find a little looseness in the L-N-L bushings, I can see the bushing move in the press as the ram is raised and the die is loaded. Not a big deal with handgun cartridges on a progressive, but it might cause increased variability with rifle rounds that are meant for more precision work.

Yes, you can install a die with a bushing a smidge faster than screwing one in, but the difference is negligible to me. I really would not mind if my Hornady progressive did not have bushings and had just threads. And, no I will not loctite my bushings in.

If the L-N-L bushings float your boat, that is great.

rfwobbly
December 14, 2012, 11:57 PM
That's the reloading equivalent of saying "Which is best, a 4WD Ford pickup or a Mercedes 4-door sedan?" To which we'd reply where do you drive? What do your carry in your vehicle? What fuels are available? What is your budget? And a host of other questions.


The very question itself tells me you haven't read quite enough to narrow it down to anything just yet. For your own good, please read some more.

BYJO4
December 15, 2012, 01:25 AM
Both are excellent. I've had my RCBS Rockchucker since the mid 70s. While I primarily use my progressive loaders now, I still use it when loading rifle.

ArchAngelCD
December 15, 2012, 02:01 AM
Both will load quality ammo but RCBS can't be beat when it comes to no BS customer service... I like the company and I really like their products.

MARKMALL
December 15, 2012, 09:15 AM
I voted for the RCBS. The RCBS kit is on sale at Midway for $287.99. The Hornady Kit is $324.99. I do not see a need for the bushing. If I bought bushings for all my dies I would have almost $150.00 in them.

Walkalong
December 15, 2012, 09:33 AM
I would start a little differently. I would suggest something like this Lee kit (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/121744/lee-challenger-breech-lock-single-stage-press-kit) or this Lee kit (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/423081/lee-challenger-breech-lock-single-stage-press-anniversary-kit). It gets you started inexpensively with a set up that will load great ammo. One set up primes on the press and one hand primes. Pick up a pair of calipers (http://www.harborfreight.com/6-inch-digital-caliper-47257.html), and you are ready to go.

This is a good way to find out if reloading is for you. If not, you aren't stuck with a lot of expensive equipment you will only be able to sell for pennies on the dollar. If so, you can always replace this or that if your taste changes , or pick up a turret or progressive for more speed later.

Legion489
December 15, 2012, 01:30 PM
As much as I hate to disagree with a mod, I do not recommend Lee presses for anything but decapping and recapping use. Lee press quality control is all over the map and the presses I've tried (all Lee presses except the Cast Classics and even they get reports from reliable sources from great to worthless junk on just about every forum so it is a coin toss as to what you get) are/were not what you would call high quality and wore out quickly if used at all. Lee only has a two year warranty which they don't stand behind anyway, all the others have lifetime warranties they DO stand behind.

Lee dies are very good for the price. RCBS seems to be a bit better at only a buck or two more, but I really like the Lee Deluxe die sets for the money. Redding, Dillon, Forster dies were found to be well worth the money if you like to reload in a test published in Precision Shooting Magazine a few years ago when they tested everything available at the time.

My RCBS Rockchucker press is nearly 40 years old and still works as well today as it did then. You can not say that about any Lee press after a year or two if it is used at all. RCBS stands behind their stuff, which Lee does not.

I'm rather surprised by the comment about "sell for pennies on the dollar". I've never had a problem selling quality (not junk) equipment at reasonable prices, and bought high quality equipment for reasonable prices as well, certainly for more than "pennies on the dollar" in either case. Of course if you buy cheap, low quality junk, expect to get that cheap "pennies on the dollar" junk price when you sell.

As far as using dies in your press, if the press uses regular dies, any brand will work. True, the Lyman Tong Tool and the long discontinued Lyman (Jr.?) turret uses the odd ball Lyman dies, and the Dillon Square Deal and the long discontinued 450Jr. (NOT the same as the 450 or 550) use odd ball Dillon dies, everything else uses the same standard die size.

As far as Hornady L'N'L or RCBS Rockchucker, it is Ford vs. Chevy. Sure it lots of fun saying one is better than the other, but if both get you there in the same style at the same speed, who cares? Now if we are talking a Yugo (Lee) vs. BMW (just about anyone compared to Lee presses) that is another matter completely.

I have not used bushings and the reports are quite mixed from the people who do. In one case where the poster bought a low quality cast "classic" press, he noticed he could not get a decent case sizing, so he checked the bushings and found the bushings had a huge amount of slop in them, which the company told him they would not fix under their two year worthless warranty. His solution was to glue the dies in the bushings to take up the slop between the bushings and the dies after adjusting the dies to take up the slop between the press and bushing. Personally that seems a bit extreme to me and I would have dumped the junk and bought a quality product, but it seemed to work for him. A quality product, like Hornady, should not have these sort of problems. Screwing dies in and out does get a bit tiresome after awhile, so possibly the bushings are a good idea if you change dies a lot.

One other thing I recommend is reading the following books: Lee MODERN RELOADING 2nd ed (if you ignore all the lies about how great Lee equipment is it has a LOT of useful info in it), Lyman #48 (old) or #49 (new), DBI METALLIC CARTRIDGE RELOADING 3rd ed (out of print and most libraries seem to have it stolen as it told you what worked and what was trash as they tried it all and sold nothing). All three books tell about loading, but all three look at it differently.

Hope this helps.

aerod1
December 15, 2012, 05:29 PM
The one that is the least expensive.:)

nelly
December 15, 2012, 09:31 PM
Dillon- Excellent Progressive Presses & GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE !:)

GT1
December 16, 2012, 12:55 AM
Legion489 is on a mission to discredit just about everything Lee. Lee makes some of the best stuff you can get for the price. Their classic cast SS is every bit the equal to those in the poll, at a much cheaper price. They stand behind their products.

That being said, the choices in the poll don't matter since they are name brand run-of-the-mill SS presses(There aren't really any bad ones).
Buy the cheapest one.

byrnesy94
December 16, 2012, 02:10 AM
Hi all, i should of explained myself better, im no newcomer to reloading, have done a bit of it, mainly on an australian super simplex turret press that my neighbor owns, i am now thinking a turret press, or even a progressive?
I will be reloading a few hundred rounds a month of 223, and for about 3 months of the year, close to a 1000 a month. Around 500 rounds a year of 243, 700 of 308 and 2-3000 of 222 remington. Any ideas? no set price yet as i am willing to buy good gear the first time around.

Cheers.

GLOOB
December 18, 2012, 06:07 AM
I can't understand how any costly die quick-change gimmicks are supposed to save enough time to matter in anyone's life. Dies only need be hand tight and that allows us to screw-swap them (without tools) in less than a minute.
I think the best is to use Lee rings and a quick swap bushing. Quick and easy to change, and also quick and easy to change settings.

Lock rings are ok, but they're a pain to make small adjustments with. And finger tight doesn't always cut it. I often discover the die has worked loose after I'm done using it. Lee rings are super fast to adjust and finger-tight always works, but you have to take a little extra care when you torque them down to keep your "zero." Having the Lee lock ring in a quick change bushing is the best of both worlds.

jaguarxk120
December 18, 2012, 12:16 PM
I've tried the quick change rings from Hornady, from the first they really sound great. But with several different press's I use they (the rings) are now some where under the loading bench.

Certaindeaf
December 18, 2012, 12:56 PM
I'd get a Lee classic cast if I wanted a single stage press.. easily do .50BMG if you need and the primers are collected perfectly. You can get either the breechlock quick-change model or standard for $94 at Natchez.

GLOOB
December 18, 2012, 05:54 PM
I wanted to make a similar suggestion, but it wasn't on the poll. I figured, if you have nothing nice to say...

Taterhead
December 19, 2012, 02:00 AM
Another vote for RCBS. Everything in the kit is high quality: the press, scale, powder throw, hand priming tool, and especially the manual. The Speer #14 manual has a great walk through with separate sections for straight-wall and bottleneck loading. I have mentored a few new loaders that have started with this kit. Great results all. I have most of the equipment in the kit and highly recommend it.

The Rock Chucker is a great solid tool. The primer catch is a little hokey but playing with your decapping pin depth a bit will help there (shorter is better).

RCBS has tremendous "right now" customer service. So if anything goes wrong (unlikely), they'll make it right in quick fashion.

Good luck with your decision.

Walkalong
December 19, 2012, 08:38 AM
Having the Lee lock ring in a quick change bushing is the best of both worlds.Agreed. For screw in presses, I dislike Lee rings and replace them, but for turret heads or bushings they work wonderfully.

savanahsdad
December 30, 2012, 09:46 PM
Legion489 is on a mission to discredit just about everything Lee. Lee makes some of the best stuff you can get for the price. Their classic cast SS is every bit the equal to those in the poll, at a much cheaper price. They stand behind their products.

That being said, the choices in the poll don't matter since they are name brand run-of-the-mill SS presses(There aren't really any bad ones).
Buy the cheapest one.
yep,,, if you click on his name and check out his posts ,you will see he he must have not read the THR rules , can't beleave he has not got the boot ,, after all the threds that have been lock-out after he started running his mouth ,

I too would go with a LEE started kit,

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