1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Single Stage Press Question, Hornady vs Lee

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by jamesb, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. jamesb

    jamesb Well-Known Member

    Currently I want to begin to reload. Right now I will be only reloading 1 caliber, .220 swift. I am looking at 4 presses right now, the Lee challenger kit/aniversary kit (basically the same thing with different priming systems [hand vs press]), the Lee delux turret kit, the lee classic turret kit and the hornady L-n-L classic. The Lee challenger and delux run around the $100 price point. The lee classic and hornady (with the bullet offer brining the price down from $300) run at the $200 price point. All 4 kits come with the basics I would need. Are the classic and the hornady worth the extra $100? I would like some opinions on that question.
  2. Winston_Smith

    Winston_Smith Well-Known Member

    I cannot comment on the presses you are asking about but when I was looking for my first single stage press, I decided on a Forster Co-ax. It is more expensive than the options you listed and may not come in a kit but for a tool that you will have for decades, it might be worth the extra money and time to put the kit together yourself.
  3. biblefreak

    biblefreak Well-Known Member

    Of your options I would absolutely choose the Hornady. Until you have had the opportunity to screw one die in for a function, then out and a new one back in for the next function you will never truly appreciate the Hornady bushings. So, save yourself that headache, get the Hornady and some bushings, set it up the first time and then from that time forward it is just a slight twist to get the bushing w/die out and a new one in!
  4. oldreloader

    oldreloader Well-Known Member

    I have a Lee Breechlock press.I don't have the kit.I believe the Breechlock will be ok.I full length sized some 30-06 brass and it is PLENTY strong. If speed in reloading is something you are looking for then the turret would be the better choice.I can't speak for the Hornady beause I've never owned one but I do believe the classic cast turret to be a better press than the old Deluxe turret( not that the old turret is not ok).I do all of my reloading on the Lee Breechlock and an old RCBS JR3.I enjoy reloading so speed isn't a determining factor to me. I would probably go with the Lee Classic Cast.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2009
  5. snuffy

    snuffy Well-Known Member

    Lets clear up some names here. 1. the lee classic cast is a single stage cast steel loader like the rockchucker or Hornady LNL. 2 the lee classic turret is the re-design of the old deluxe turret. Don't even consider the lee deluxe turret. Unless you LIKE primers all over the bench top and on the floor!:banghead:

    The lock & load bushings are an answer to a question that should never have been asked! A non problem. If you're so lazy you can't screw a die in and out, or in such a big hurry, you should just buy your ammo! You do realize you must buy a bushing for EACH die you will ever buy, right? The LNL hornady is a good single stage press. What I would do if given one, is put some locktite on one LNL bushing, leave it in the press. From then on I'd screw the dies in and out like always!:what::eek:
  6. Sport45

    Sport45 Well-Known Member

    Also, the Lee Classic Turret has the same ram and linkage as the Lee Classic Cast press. The only real mechanical difference is the turret. For a very few dollars more than the Classic Cast the LCT is a great deal.
  7. mallc

    mallc Well-Known Member

    Die Storage

    Die storage boxes won't close with the bushings left on the dies. I agree that the breechlock set-up is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.
  8. flashhole

    flashhole Well-Known Member


    For the money you can't beat this press - Lee Classic Cast Turret. The turrets are very easy to change and you can disable the auto index feature if you like.

    I agree with the other comments regarding the use of bushings, they are a solution for a non-existent problem. I had several of the Hornady bushings at one time and ended up selling them.
  9. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Well-Known Member

    If you plan on reloading other calibers in the future (near or far). Get the Lee Classic CAST Turret and extra turret adaptors.

    You should also be aware that the kits don't have everything you will need to reload efficently. For example: None of the kits come with calipers and you will need them.

    There is a "Sticky" at the top of this forum that deals with just this. I would recommend reading it...
  10. biblefreak

    biblefreak Well-Known Member

    No love for the Hornady bushings eh? I guess we all have our preferences. Easy with the insults Snuffy, it is not a matter of being lazy. It is a matter of simple design that makes changing dies easier while making die adjustments more repeatable. I too enjoy reloading, from researching components, to load development, to testing. I liked the bushings so much when I bought me LnL AP that I bought the RCBS-Hornady adapter so I can use the bushings on my Rockchucker.
  11. oldreloader

    oldreloader Well-Known Member

    Even though I have the Breechlock and the breechlock system does work fine for those that want to use it,I leave the bushing in the press and screw the dies in and out.Old fashioned I guess, and like some others I see a solution for a problem that didn't exist for me.
  12. RustyFN

    RustyFN Well-Known Member

    I agree with The Bushmaster. If you plan on adding another caliber then I would buy the Lee classic turret. I think it would be a good press even if you don't add any other calibers. I load on a classic turret and think it's a very nice press. I like how the priing system works. You can set the dies up in a turret and leave them. You will never have to screw a die in and out. The classic turret is a very solid press and easy to use. I load 9mm, 38 spcl, 45 auto and 223 on mine.
  13. krs

    krs Well-Known Member

    If this was me, basically starting all over, I'd get the strongest single stage press I could afford. A Rockchucker or one of the beefy 'C' presses like what Redding sells.

    It would be a press that you can keep no matter where else you go in reloading and there's always a need for a good solid heavy duty press for special occasion loading.

    It's almost a necessity if you ever start the crazy business of reforming brass into odd calibers/characteristics.
  14. RidgwayCO

    RidgwayCO Well-Known Member

    For my single-stage press, I replaced the RCBS Rockchucker with a Lee Classic Cast. I like how the Lee disposes of primers better, and it's nice to know it's made in America from steel rails. Also it's "hell for strong" and big enough to do any case resizing or reforming I might ever get the itch for.

    Plus it only cost me about $76 on sale at MidwayUSA... Now to get the RCBS cleaned up and photographed for sale.
  15. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    I thought the LNL bushings were an answer to a non problem when they first came out, but since I upgraded to the LNL from the Projector, I love them. Call me lazy, call me stupid, I don't care. Super fast to change dies out. I like that. Lazy it is I guess. :cool:

    I did have to dremel a couple of die boxes to get them to fit better, but that's OK. They fit OK in others. I have some boxes with four dies in bushings in them and they work just fine, with a little help from my buddy the dremel.

    Attached is a pic of my .38 & .357 dies in RCBS boxes. I dremeled these so the dies would sit lower. There is a roll crimp and a taper crimp die in each box. The Dillon sizer in the .357 box is used for both, although I have a RCBS & a Lee sizer running around here somewhere. The Redding Competition Seater is used for both calibers as well. With my home brewed (from an original) flat seater stem will seat from .38 WC's to the longest .357 load I use.

    Anyway, back to the question. I would pick whichever you want. They will all work. I would give the edge to the Hornady in the single stage selections, and the winner by a mile for production goes to the Lee Classic Turret.

    Sounds like you won't be in a hurry loading .220 Swift, so a single stage would suit you well. It will never be wasted even if you go to a turret or progressive later.

    Attached Files:

  16. mongoose33

    mongoose33 Well-Known Member

    I agree. I don't have unlimited time--I've got a lot of irons in the fire--and I want my time to be spent doing more important things.

    One is reloading, not spending time screwing dies in and out.

    I have an RCBS JR single-stage press; my next press purchase will likely be a Lee Cast because I can put in the LNL adapter and use the bushings to streamline my operations.
  17. snuffy

    snuffy Well-Known Member

    There's been some problems reported about the LNL bushings working loose. Seems the tolerances were pretty generous, some used "O" rings to make them stay put.

    Then, of course, you're adding the possibility of two sets of tolerances stacking up to cause the die to no longer be in-line with the ram. Anything made by man on a machine can vary enough to cause a die to tip off-line, yet still be in tolerance. You have a better chance of everything being lined up with just a die in the press threads, without adding another bushing.
  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    I have had a couple of bushings that were machined poorly. They are laying on a shelf. One of these days I will get Hornady to replace them, which they will. No big deal. :)

    But enough pissing and moaning about bushings, can anybody else add to the the OP's original question?
  19. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    skip both of them. the first response was the best. the forster co-ax is a vastly superior option. not only do you get to snap dies in and out in under a second, you don't need those bushings, just a lock ring. plus, it has a built-in primer seater that is extremely well-designed.

    however, you might also consider hand-dies like the wilson. there really isn't a cheaper way to reload that i know of, and you still get quality ammo
  20. ranger335v

    ranger335v Well-Known Member

    If someone offered me a Lee Classic Cast press in exchange for my (perfect condition) Rock Chucker 2 it would be a done deal! Price aside, the Classic Cast is the better press.

    Loading bottle neck cases requires two dies, sometmes three, straight wall cases need one more. I can leisurely remove & replace a screw-in die in less than thirty seconds. For that I need an expensive "quick-change" bushing system? That may be amusing for one or two sets of dies but most of us have, or will have, many more dies that. I have some thirty sets of dies, totalling over ninety individual dies. Multiply that times the cost of those funny looking bushings which would do absolutely nothing for my reloading!

    IF anyone WANTS quick change capabilities, get a Lee Classic Turret press and an inexpensive head for each cartridge. With dies set up, and the heads replacable in a few seconds without tools, that WOULD be faster AND less expensive too in the long run.

    If anyone really cares, Hornady's LnL presses actually have alum alloy bodies, NOT iron or steel. The Lee Classics ARE steel bodied, cast of railroad rails, a very high grade of steel!

    The Forster CoAx is a fine press but there's not enough difference in actual realized accuracy, if any at all, over any other good press to justify its price and having to fool with their propriatary die lock rings, IMHO. Seems smarter to spend all those extra bucks on other accuracy related tools, like a LnL "headspace gage" and dial caliper or a Sinclair concentricity gage for instance.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2009

Share This Page