help me!


March 16, 2013, 05:59 AM
Gday All, i am looking into starting reloading, but I am a little uncertain on what to use :banghead:

So far, ill be loading id say a few thousand rounds of 223 rem a year,maybe 500 243, and probably around 1000 44 or 357 mag rounds a year as well, now im stuck on what equipment to go with.
Im left handed, so preferably a left handed friendly press...
Now im either thinking the Lee classic turret press, or the lee classic single stage. If i got the LCT, can other branded powder throwers be used such as the RCBS uniflow? Also what would the best powder thrower to pair with the lee single stage press?


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March 16, 2013, 07:05 AM
I won't tell you what to buy. I load most of my ammunition using my old RCBS Rock Chucker and also have a few Lee progressive presses. I am never in a rush as I enjoy my hand loading. I use a RCBS Uniflow and have never had a problem and yes, it can be used as you mention. If I am loading for accurate ammunition I weigh every charge, if not every 5th or so. I even have an old Lee O press in the lot which works fine. I don't see the quantities you mention as a problem with a good single stage press as long as you have the time and patience.


March 16, 2013, 07:21 AM
I'd have to go with a Lee classic turret. This is not because Lee is the best and not because I think you'll love it. It's because everyone is different, and there are going to be things you like and things you don't, most of which you don't know until you've used something for a while.
The best option in my opinion, is to find out what you like and don't like on a lower cost press. After using it for a while, you'l learn your own personal quarks and have a better idea of what you would like to go to. And you won't end up with an expensive press that doesn't fit you well.
As for everything else, alot of it may be buy and try. I rely heavily on the guys here at THR as there are quite a few that have been loading since before I had big boy britches.

March 16, 2013, 09:26 AM
Unless you are going to be reloading 100`s upon 100`s of rounds in a sitting get the lee classic single stage, if you are doing one round at a time means least chance of screwing up................

March 16, 2013, 09:40 AM
For you use a SS or Turret press will do just fine. I saw some where where a press could have the handle put on either side. Sorry don't remember which one. Now if you can use your right hand/arm to operate the lever on a std press. Then use your left hand to feed (bullet's, brass) and turn the turret if needed. You can get by with a std press with the handle on the right side.

March 16, 2013, 09:50 AM
You aren't up to the volume where a progressive would do much of any good.

A turret press would probably be your best bet.

I own a Lyman T-Mag 2, but after 15 years I'm having a LOT of problems with the linkage, and the bearing in the head is wearing out. They also only have a 1 year warranty; whereas other brands have lifetime.

My advice would be to skip the Lyman, and go with a different brand.

March 16, 2013, 10:01 AM
I agree with your first response. You need to decide what's best for you.
That said, if you are looking for a single stage press, check out the Forester presses (and dies). It's a cool setup where instead of having to unscrew each die you can just pull it out and insert the next one.

Personally, my favorite color is blue. I am a Dillon fan. I own a 550 and have for almost 30 years. I have interduced five friends into reloading, three now have 550s and the other two reload at my home. One bud is a lefty. He found mounting the press on the left end of the bench next to the corner, he can sit at a right angle to the press and believes its a better setup than I have. I think it really doesn't matter which handed you are as you use both.

When starting out with a new reloaded, I use the 550, but load one shell at a time. That way they can focus on each step and understand what is happening.

If interested, shoot me an email and I'll do what I can to help you out.


March 16, 2013, 10:37 AM
TBH - I'm also a Big Blue Press fan.

But I'd never recommend a progressive for someone's first press. Too much can go wrong too fast.

A single stage is ideal for new loaders (it's what I started on), and works great for rifle ammo, but it IS kind of a pain in the butt if you're doing pistol ammo. Turret makes it much quicker as you can size/turn the turret/bell. Then dump them in a box, to hand prime, then put them in a block to dump powder in lots of 50, then seat. You're still going through ammo pretty fast, in blocks of 50, but your full concentration is on each and every "step" of the process.

After some experience with the whole reloading process, upgrading to a progressive is a natural thing.

March 16, 2013, 11:46 AM

I disagree with not starting out with a progressive press if you think that is the way to go. Loading pistol ammo on a single stage press is akin to watching paint dry. My first press was a Dillon 550B which I still use today. You do have to index the cases manually which is what will keep your head in the game. I would NOT recommend an auto indexing machine for first timers. Once you have each die set up, it is pretty simple work. You will get the feel for things quickly. You will know when a primer was properly seated. You will learn how to raise the shell plate for consistent powder pour. You can also look down into the charged case before you put a bullet head on top to check your charge.

For loading of rifle ammo, I usually tend to use my progressive press like a single stage press. I perform one function at a time, especially when I am trying for super precision. When doing this I measure my powder with a separate device. However since it is a progressive press, I don't have to switch dies out. When I just want to make a bunch of .223 ammo for plinking, progressive is the only way to go.

If you read up on basic reloading before you start and read the press manufacturers instructions before you start you should have no problems starting with a progressive press.

If time and convenience is an issue and you think you will shoot enough, the higher cost of start up to buy a progressive press will pay for itself in no time.


March 16, 2013, 11:52 AM
IMO, go for a progressive press. You'll want one when (not if) you get bit by the reloading bug, and will be bummed when you have to spend more for another press.
I started with lee's 5 hole progressive. (Loadmaster) And have never once regretted the purchase.

You can use a progressive like a single stage if you want, but you just can't use a single stage like a progressive.

March 16, 2013, 12:09 PM
I like me Lee single stage, which was my 1st press, but when it comes to loading over 100 rounds at time, it's just not the right tool. The Classic Turret would be the better tool for higher volumes, plus, it can be used as a single stage. It can load ~200 rounds per hour. I do not compete, so I don't have the need for 500 rds per hour. Many LCT users here give it great marks, so it will be my next press.

I'm impressed that in Australia you have so many calibers to play with!

March 16, 2013, 09:26 PM
thanks for all the advice people. it really helps. I was thinking of a 550B because its a manual indexing press, so it might be a goer, Thankyou very much for the offer TBH...
Splattergun, we can basically have all calibers, there arent much in the way of restrictions, only that Semi Automatics and pump actions have to be licensed differently to bolts, air rifles and lever actions.

March 16, 2013, 10:55 PM
The money I spent going single stage, then turret, I could have started off with a progressive, almost. Looking back I wish I would haver had the cash to do so. At the same time, I learned a lot using that single stage and may have had a lot more trouble with a progressive right out of the gate.

March 16, 2013, 11:39 PM
OK, 'a few thousand' could be 2 or 3 or 4 or more. And another half a thousand, and one more of one or another, but it could be both. That's a lot of time at the press. I'll let you make the determination, too many variables (and dollars) that are not listed.

A little of this and that and you could put multiple powder measures on the same progressive press. For a single stage or turret, your gold with any measure you like.

Normally 'ball' type powders flow better, then 'puffed flake'.... Not knowing what powders you have available 'down under', again you will need to make the determination. For the rounds listed, I like/use 748 (ball) for .223/5.56, H4895 (stick) for .243 and an un-named ball powder for .44 Mags (2400 is also a good option).

Good luck and loading,

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