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A press that will do all rifle and pistol calibers?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by twoblink, Feb 6, 2003.

  1. twoblink

    twoblink Well-Known Member

    I don't know much about presses, and so I thought I'd ask.. (it's what you reloaders are great for!!)

    I can't tell, but from some if the pictures, the presses vary greatly in size; and so I was wondering; later on, I will want to crank out my own bullets;

    Riflewise; 308 probably is the biggest
    Pistols; ranging from .40SW, .357Mag and .357Sig and .38Spl...

    I assume that most presses will do these, given that you buy different dyes?

    I just have some reservations, as some of the presses look very tiny...

    Also, recommendations? I want a progressive...
  2. capbuster

    capbuster Well-Known Member

    To my knowledge all of the presses currently available will handle all your standard size rifle cases and of course pistol cases as well.If they didnt the manufacturers would have a noted in their adds stating "for pistol cartridges only".The exception being the Dillon square deal progressive press.It is for pistol cartridges only.Starting out I would recommend a good heavy duty single stage press like those made by rcbs,lyman, redding,and hornady to name a few.Some of these companies offer kits which contain the press and almost everything you will need to get started.These are a great savings when you compare these items purchased separately. If your mind is set on a progressive, I would recommend the Dillon 550. It will do just fine for your rifle and handgun reloading chores.
  3. dakotasin

    dakotasin Well-Known Member


    most of the presses, especially single-stage presses will handle your needs.

    i have a rockchucker (rcbs), and am very happy w/ it. very easily loads everything i load for (currently at 7 different rifle calibers including the 308, and 3 handgun calibers including 357/38 <-- same die loads these two).

    i don't know the biggest cartridge a rockchucker will handle... but i do know it will handle the 338.
  4. BIGR

    BIGR Well-Known Member

    My RCBS Rockchucker has served me well over the years. It is a strong heavy duty press that has taken the abuse. However there are others out there that work just as well. Alot of times it boils down to personal preference. Happy reloading.
  5. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    I guess that if you're doing a lot of full-length resizing for the larger cases, you might want something like a Rockchucker. For the majority of reloading, most any C-press will do just fine. I'd avoid aluminum frames, however...

  6. Frohickey

    Frohickey Well-Known Member

    Can't go wrong with a RCBS Rockchucker.

    According to Corbin, its one of those presses that are built strong enough to be able to swage certain bullets with.

    The Rockchucker can handle pretty much all of the pistol and rifle cartridges, except for 50BMG. Then again, there are not too many presses out there that can handle the 50BMG... the RCBS Ammomaster can.

    I've got a Rockchucker as well as a RCBS Pro 2000. I do like RCBS, and their customer service. One thing you will definitely need is a good bench, preferably one that does not flex when you are full-length resizing a spent case.
  7. Poodleshooter

    Poodleshooter Well-Known Member

    I don't believe the Lee Pro1000 progressive functions with cases much longer than .223, either. It's about the same size as the Square Deal B.
    I load 7mm Remington Magnum on one of the smallest, weakest presses available: a Lee "C" frame single stage made from aluminum or possibly cast zinc.
    You'll never get a straight answer on the progressives. Everyone has their favorites (LocknLoad,Dillon 650, RCBS,etc). Peruse the threads on this at the old Firing Line.

    HSMITH Well-Known Member

    My choice would be the Dillon 550 hands down. It will load anything you want to shoot up to 460 Weatherby, and down to 32ACP. Stout does not even begin to describe the construction, you will never hurt the press.
  9. cheygriz

    cheygriz Well-Known Member


    For a single stage press, I don't believe that the Redding Boss can be beaten. (The same applies to ALL Redding reloading tools and dies) My second choice would be a tie between the Lyman Crusher and the RCBS Rockchucker. (I have the oder Lyman Orange Crusher and it has served my very well)

    For a progressive reloading machine, IMHO the Dillon XL650 has no peers. It's a bit pricey, but the best always is.
  10. SASS#23149

    SASS#23149 Well-Known Member

    Another vote for the Dillon 550b.You can learn on it by using it as a single-stage,then when you FULLY understand what each die does and have learned to respect the components involved ,you can go progressive...but DON'T rush it when you do.Speed is secondary in reloading,safety is PRIMARY.
    Speed will happen as you learn.I think it's wrong for the press mfgs.to tout the rounds-per-hour for a press,but I can see why they do it.
  11. cheygriz

    cheygriz Well-Known Member


    Excellent advice re. safety.

    My motto for reloading is:

    Velocity, economy, accuracy are all desireable, but safety is mandatory.
  12. MCNETT

    MCNETT Well-Known Member

    Best one that will do it all? Dillon 1050.
    If you can't afford one, then any "O" single stage will do.
  13. Hicap30

    Hicap30 Member

    Redding Turrent T-7 press, you can load single stage or turrent. It's strong, and well built and I'm partial because I own one :).
    Really there are alot of good presses out there, it depends on color preferences.
  14. twoblink

    twoblink Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys, (now I'm more confused) ;)

    When I get a press; I will use it as a single press until I'm very comfortable (I suspect that I will be reloading at the rate of 5 a day, with how anal I am) but I want a press that I won't outgrow; I mean if I decide I really DO need that 300WSM, I want a press that will do that...
  15. ArmaLube

    ArmaLube Active Member

    Press Selection

    I suggest that you give serious consideration to the already mentioned Redding T-7 Turret Press. This item costs $160.00, or less. Shop for the best deal.

    Turret presses let you keep dies in place while you reload. In the case of the T-7, there are 7 die stations. So, you could reload two or more calibers, without changing dies.

    Since the operations are separately performed, you have full control over each step. For example, you can deprime your cases and manually clean the primer pockets before proceeding to the next step of priming.

    The Redding T-7 is a very sturdy press that will handle anything you will ever need with respect to cartridge sizes. Plenty of leverage and mechanical strength here.

    Later, if you decide you need to reload in high volume production, THEN you can consider adding a progressive machine to your collection.

    There are relatively few good turret presses produced these days and even fewer good progressive systems. In the progressives, Dillon is the leader. But, I don't think you need to start out with a Dillon, and you may never need to move up to high volume reloading. For most people, a few hundred rounds at a time is plenty.

    Good luck with your entry into reloading. Remember to place great attention on safety (no smoking, wear protective eye wear, watch powder types, powder loads, and primers very carefully. Mistakes in reloading are not good.

    Bullet making can be viewed as a separate ball game. For pistols, the most practical approach in my view is bullet casting. This approach has no implications on your choice of a press. Should you decide to get into bullet swaging, then some other considerations come into play. For swaging a high-strength single station press would probably be the best way to go. I would add another press for this purpose and select something such an O-frame for maximum strength. The Redding T-7 is strong and would permit swaging, but I think a separate single station press is the best way to proceed for swaging.

    I like bullet casting, and would recommend that you give it a try, before considering bullet swaging.

    "ArmaLube Hits The Mark"
  16. shootingfarm

    shootingfarm Well-Known Member

    If you want a progressive, you want a Dillon, IMO.

  17. Frohickey

    Frohickey Well-Known Member

    There are multiple types of press construction. They are described by the shape the press body is.
    - O-type press. These are the strongest type of presses. The cartridge case is inside of an 'O' ring of steel, and dimensionally, should be the best for accurate reloading. The disadvantage to this is that it is heavier and might not give as much visibility.
    - C-type press. Strength is sacrificed for visibility in this press. This would be suitable for short length cases.
    - I-type press. These are generally very small presses suitable for field-use. You will get Popeye-arms if you use this to load your IDPA loads. :D

    Then, there is the single stage vs progressives, which come in all 3 types. (Maybe not the I-type for the progressive, progressive presses are large monstrosities anyway.) Single stage presses generally are cheaper than progressives, so the startup costs is easier to swallow, especially for people that are unsure if they will be reloading for a long time to come.

    twoblink, from your list of wants... 308Win, 40S&W, 357Sig, 38Spc/357Mag, and 'cranking out bullets', no progressive press can do that. A Rockchucker can do both ammo and bullets, but the bullets would have to be small caliber bullets, and definitely soft lead bullets only. To crank out jacketted bullets you need a dedicated bullet swaging press (which can be used as a single stage reloading press too).

    Sounds like you should start with an inexpensive progressive press and see if reloading is something you would want to do.
  18. cordex

    cordex Well-Known Member

    I'd vote for a Dillon progressive if you plan on loading a lot for any of your calibers.
    But Art might scowl 'cause it's aluminum framed.
  19. twoblink

    twoblink Well-Known Member

    hmm.. I'm not too fond of aluminum frames. I don't believe "lasts forever" and "aluminum" can be used in the same sentence...
  20. Carlos

    Carlos Well-Known Member

    I'd recommend a single stage to start out with, but once you learn the process, get yourself the best - Dillon. I have a 550B. Ordering another quick change kit (with powder measure), so I can swap calibers in about a minute.

    Do learn the process manaually first. Get the Lyman book. when you get started, you'll probably be doing about 50 rounds in about 2 hours or so??

    Stay safe. It's a fun hobby. I'm loading .45 ACP for $4.08 a box now. If you're interested in playing around with costs, I built a great reloading spreadsheet, so you can calculate down to a grain of powder on cost. You want? I send. PM or email me.


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