Lyman, Lee, or RCBS


January 25, 2013, 08:02 AM
Can I get burned with any of them? I'm getting into reloading and have a Lyman lubrisizer for my muzzleloaders but now want to move into reloading mostly 44 brass for a pistol and levergun but I've given my kids two ar types that I'd like to help them with bullets ($114 for 100 rounds in town) with .223 too.

I'm not a target shooter and my 44's are mostly something I like to shoot but I've 30-30's, 308's and shotgunss... sooooo...

Can I go wrong with any of the above if I'm going to be primarily and hobbyist that wants accuracy good bullets, but I probably don't need a multi station autoloading press either... :)

Thoughts would really be appreciated!

Aloha... :cool:

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January 25, 2013, 08:11 AM
if you are going to do much loading, stay away from aluminum presses. i wore a Lee "Anniversary" press out in 3 years, the ram flops around so far that cases get crushed when trying to run them up into the dies. the last month i used it i had to guide the shell into the die by hand. the best design is one that sends the primers down through the middle of the ram. that keeps a lot of debris from getting into the ram bearing surfaces.

highlander 5
January 25, 2013, 08:22 AM
RCBS,Lyman or Redding will serve you well in the press dept,but RCBS and Redding have lifetime warranties. Not sure how good Lyman's warranty is.

January 25, 2013, 02:45 PM
RCBS,Lyman or Redding will serve you well in the press dept,but RCBS and Redding have lifetime warranties. Not sure how good Lyman's warranty is.
There's a thread floating around about Lyman's lack of customer service. Best are Lee, Dillion, RCBS, Hornady. Seems the east coast companies are less than helpful compared to the midwest and west.

January 25, 2013, 04:35 PM
Take a look at Hornady for press and loading supplies. I've used Lee presses for the last twenty five years with no complaints. The new Classic turret is a winner that I use for rifle and pistol rounds. Good luck with your new hobby. You will soon wonder if you shoot to reload or reload to shoot. Have fun and stay safe.

January 25, 2013, 04:54 PM
Short answer? Yes you CAN get burned. FIRST: Look at the warranty. If it is a LIFETIME warranty, like RCBS, Dillon, Hornady, Redding, Forster offer, AND stand behind, you are good to go! If it has a so called two year warranty that they DON'T stand behind anyway (like the makers of junk pot metal presses do), then it is a sure bet they don't because they know their stuff is junk and will wear out/break if used at all.

As far as dies go, Redding, Forster and Dillon are the BEST! PERIOD! They also cost it! RCBS, Lyman and Lee are also very good (and in about that same order). Lee dies are cheapest if that matter to you. Precision Shooting Mag also did a test several years ago and they came to the same conclusions as well.

The above is from my personal experience and others may disagree with me. That's OK, their experience may be different than mine, but I can only tell you happened to me.

January 25, 2013, 06:02 PM
I've had a Dillon 550 for maybe fifteen years. My S-I-L got into reloading maybe three years years ago. Started with Lyman Turret. Does everything it needs to do, just SLOW. He just got a 550 a few weeks ago.

I have another friend that got into loading. He's looking at a 550 right now.

I load for both pistol and rifle. For what factory ammo is, I can recoup the cost of my set-up multiple times within a year. I can load .223 better than anything you can buy, and do it for thirty cents each or less. We're casting our own bullets for .40 S&W and making loaded rounds for less than 5 cents each.

January 25, 2013, 08:32 PM
I can vouch for RCBS and their 100% guarantee. The majority of my stuff is green. I also have a lyman turret, the primer tray busted,(my fault) and they wanted 8 bucks for a new one. I know RCBS would have been free if I needed one.
Other than the aluminum ones you will not wear it out as long as you take care of it.

January 25, 2013, 10:19 PM
I can say I have had good luck with RCBS and Hornady costumer service but not so much with Lyman.

January 26, 2013, 01:10 AM
Lee press and dies have been really good for me. Been using them over 15 years for 30.06 223 9mm .45 amd 30 for my m1

January 26, 2013, 01:18 AM
I've had good luck with Hornady, Lyman, Redding, RCBS, and Lee.. If I replace presses or dies now I replace it with Lee.

January 26, 2013, 01:44 AM
RCBS is your best bet! They have a true unconditional no BS warranty....

I have broken a parts that were strictly my fault. I called to buy a replacement. They refused to take my credit card info. They replied, "the part is in the mail". I felt bad because I broke it. It was not the products defect. It was my dumb luck. They still shipped the parts no matter what, no questions asked.. I told them it was my fault and they refused to take my payment info.

Lyman was hell to deal with. I have ne experience with LEE's warranty dept. Granted, I own only a few LEE dies. I do not own any Hornady reloading equipment except one set of .308 Win dies even though I like the .308 RCBS dies better.

Rory McCanuck
January 26, 2013, 04:01 AM
Everyone will say their brand of press is best, but so long as it isn't Smartreloader brand, you can be reasonably certain of getting quality tools.
The determining factors are price and features. What features you want is subjective, as is price.

January 26, 2013, 08:42 AM
I purchased my RCBS equipment used. So far everything has held up great. RCBS customer service is great. I thought I had a problem with my hand primer and called RCBS, they replaced all the guts of the hand primer no questions asked and free of charge.
It turned out the problem was crimped primer pockets :D .

January 26, 2013, 09:29 AM
In order from good to best for dies, RCBS, Redding, Dillon

In order from good to best for presses, Lee(progressive), Lee(single stage),RCBS, Dillon.

My dad has a Lee progressive press for semi hand gun ammo, I'm not a big fan of the aluminum handle. He also has a Lee cast iron single stage beside it for rifle, that one is good. I like my RCBS Rockchucker, when I was young and dumb I got a case stuck, and thought the only way to get it it out was to beat on the handle with a hammer. So I got my framing hammer out and beat on the handle, handle didn't budge, broke the knob off, then got smart and looked online how to get stuck case out, no damage done to the press with the hammer.

If you do that with Lee progressive your going to have pieces. I still use the Rockchucker to this day after 10+ years reloading. I couldn't be more happier with it

The Cadillac of presses and dies are Dillon. You set it up right, it can basicly run itself while you sleep.

January 26, 2013, 10:13 AM
It all depends on your budget and intentions.

At first I wasn't sure if I'd like reloading so I bought the Lee anniversary kit for $89.00 it was a. Start and I enjoyed it so much that I bought a Hornady LnL AP progressive press.
I started with Lee dies and I have no complaints from them other than they're a tad short for the Hornady progressive press and have to be threaded all the way in.
I now buy Hornady dies for the progressive and keep the Lee dies for the single stage.

I don't believe that I will wear out the cheap Lee press even though I load over 5,000 rounds a year on it but if I were going to start again today my single stage of choice would either be a Foster Coax or an RCBS Rockchucker since either one will outlast me.

As for a progressive press which I would definitely chose for reloading .223 I've had excellent results from my Hornady.

As for dies I've had great success with Lee dies and can't complain.
I'm not trying to say that they're every bit as good as a $200.00 set of Redding bushing dies but they can do an excellent job.
I always like to bring up this picture whenever somebody says lee dies are junk or a Savage isn't as good as a Remington.
As the old saying goes a bad workman always blames his tools.

January 26, 2013, 12:27 PM
"Lyman, Lee, or RCBS -- Can I get burned with any of them?"

No. They are all old companies with a strong following. That wouldn't be true if they didn't satisfy their customers. There's no way to know what percentage of the market they have but Lee is known to have the largest share, by far. I've been doing this long enough and with enough brands of tools to get over noob loyalty to inanimate objects. Any truly experienced reloader will likely have a wide mix of tool brands on his bench.

Anyone 'wearing out' an alum alloy body press whether it's from Lee, Dillon, Hornady or RCBS is not keeping it clean and oiled properly. Lee's alum press lever does what it's supposed to do so I can't understand why anyone would not be satisfied with it.

Lee's iron bodied Classic Cast/Turret presses are as strong, precisely made and durable as any.

No ammo will ever know what brand of dies it's made with. All our die makers work to the same SAMMI tolerances and that's a range, not a spot point, so claims of one brand being made to 'tighter tolerances' than any others is foolishness.

January 26, 2013, 03:15 PM
All I have are Lee presses and some mixed dies. I bought some RCBS dies for 30-06 and 45-70, Lyman for 30-30 and Lee for 45LC , 45acp and 38 and 357. They would all be Lee, but they were out of stock and had to get more expensive as its all they had.
I see no difference in the die quality.
+1 on anniverery kit.

January 26, 2013, 03:45 PM
Lee starter kit, and work up from there, I got my lee kit over 15 years ago, and still have all of it and I still use most of it , as for other brands , I have Lyman, Redding, Wilson, Pacific, RCBS, Holland's, Hornady,and I'm sure I forgot a few, , all made in the USA and all do what they were made for ,
I did bend the handle on one of my lee presses but still haven't broke it yet ! I'll keep trying lol... then I'll get a Redding T7 just because I want one!

January 26, 2013, 04:22 PM
I like the Dillon 550 press and Lee, RCBS & Hornady dies.
Your mileage may vary.

January 26, 2013, 08:05 PM
I want to thank you all for your responses. Not that you've made my decisons any easier :) but what I might do for the short term is look to Lee and RCBS and see what they say about my predicament. One of my sons think I should stick to LEE and the other RCBS... since he's figgerin I'll give it up and have to give it to someone...

My only experience with presses is the sizing and lubing I do for my muzzleloaders and that is with lyman... and what's to say...

My immediate desire is .44 straight cases but I've given both kids .223's and I've .308's and 30-30's too... so those may come later.

Thank you all... and much Aloha.. :cool:

January 26, 2013, 08:56 PM
My reloading bench is a mix of Lee, RCBS, Lyman, and other tools. There's no law that says you have to stick with only one maker for all tools, so pick the best of breed from each.

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