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Any Users Of "Smart Reloader" Brand Presses?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by GCBurner, Sep 24, 2011.

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  1. GCBurner

    GCBurner Member

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    I just picked up an inexpensive "Smart Reloader XVI" single stage press on ePrey for around $60 new. I've noticed that these seem to be VERY inexpensive presses, even cheaper than Lee Precision, but I decided to give this one a shot, since it is the least expensive option I've found that will take the large 1 1/4 x 12 size dies for .50 and .577-450 rifle cartridges. The next least expensive options were the Lee Classic and the RCBS Rock Chucker, which are at least twice the price.
    I haven't read any reviews of these, so I was wondering if anyone had any experience in using them?
     
  2. bds

    bds Member

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    Not really. It's more like $73 for the Lee Classic - http://www.factorysales.com/html/xcart/catalog/classic.html

    I won't comment on the quality of the SR press as I do not have experience with it, but it is made in China with copied US designs. There's been several threads/posts on SR products having poor product construction/finish.

    I would recommend the Lee press due to better finish/quality control and great customer service at not much more money. Besides, Lee press is made in USA with domestic labor.
     
  3. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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  4. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    I have no first hand experience with the Smart Reloader, however I do have experience with Lee, RCBS, Lyman, ect, ect brand reloading equipment. I like all of us here in the U.S.A. now purchase chinese goods, more than I wish, but I have no choice many times and many times because of the HUGE price diference. But in this case with only a $20/30 dollar diference I believe it would be prudent to help keep a fellow citizen working rather than someone in a commie country. Just my thoughts.
     
  5. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Yep, same here. AC
     
  6. GCBurner

    GCBurner Member

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    My other press is a Lee Challenger, and I like it a lot, it's worked well for years, with only one broken part, which Lee replaced at no charge.

    I now need something capable of taking larger dies than 7/8", though, which means moving to a larger and more heavy duty, and expensive, press capable of taking 1 1/4" diameter dies (Lee Precision .577-450 Martini-Henry), and the choices there are kind of limited. My first choice was the Lee Classic, then the RCBS Rock Chucker, the Redding Big Boss, then the Hornady Lock 'n' Load BMG, in order of increasing cost. I've been looking for a used one, but haven't found one for under about $90, not including shipping. I stumbled across this one for $59 on the auction site, as a "Buy It Now", which came to less than $70 including the shipping.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=110749153781

    From the looks of the lever and ram design, it appears to be a Chinese clone of the Lee Classic. For $30 off the lowest retail price of the Lee I could find, I decided to give it a shot. If it doesn't work well, I can always go back on eBay and resell it. I was just wondering if anyone else had used one.
     
  7. bds

    bds Member

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    My apologies to OP. I read "Lee Classic" and thought you were talking about the Classic Cast.

    Yes, the Lee Classic Cast 50 BMG press that accepts the larger 1-1/4"x12 threaded dies is around $185 - http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/default.aspx?productNumber=845765

    Looks like you may be one of the first ones to use it and provide some feedback. Keep us posted.
     
  8. GCBurner

    GCBurner Member

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    I haven't found any reviews of the presses anywhere, and I hadn't really ever noticed the brand before.
    When it gets here and I set it up, I'll do a review to let everyone know how it works. Mounted side by side with a Lee press, it should be a fair comparison. Some Chinese made stuff is okay (got a couple of Norinco firearms that are just fine), and some is pot metal junk. I'm interested to see where this falls.
     
  9. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Usually one gets what they pay for, sometimes they get value. Regarding smart reloading equipment I think one gets unknown value, don't forget the warrenty states to return to Italy for warrenty issues. That right there is real smart.
     
  10. GCBurner

    GCBurner Member

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  11. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Made in china and distributing company is located in Italy. Just like the chinese cars branded as Opels by the German Co.
     
  12. bds

    bds Member

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    Yes, Italy. Looks like that's where their HQ office is located.

    All returns must be returned to Italy within 30 days and you pay the shipping.

    If there's any shipping damage, you must obtain a written report from the shipping delivery person, to file a claim with the shipping company. So if the driver leaves the box at the door and there's shipping damage, you may be SOL.

    I think if you buy from reputable online vendor who will accept return, it will be OK, but if you buy from ebay with no warranty from the seller, you are stuck dealing with the return to Italy. This is from their web page on Return Policy - http://www.smartreloader.com/page.html?id=1&zenid=3b4dfeb37d4a1121c6f4296dea277933

     
  13. GCBurner

    GCBurner Member

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    Interesting. Yes, there definitely needs to be an online review done. Looks like this will be an educational experience. :D
     
  14. bds

    bds Member

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    Some online vendors like Graf & Sons, Natchez and Cabela's used to carry Smart Reloader products but some of them stopped carrying much of SR products. Cheaper Than Dirt, Natchez and Cabela's still carry a limited selection of SR products. BTW, CTD stocks the same press for $65 and offers better return policy than SR - http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/ItemListing.aspx?catid=4829

    But if you need repairs/service after the online vendor warranty period runs out, you must deal with SR, in Italy.
    BTW, return policy for Natchez is 15 days and 90 days for Cabela's and CTD.

    http://www.natchezss.com/product.cfm?contentId=productSearch&searchItem=Smart Reloader

    http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/sear...ader&x=0&y=0&WTz_l=Header;Search-All+Products
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  15. Twmaster

    Twmaster Member

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    Wow. What a screwy return policy.

    That's a great way to say we've got your back...

    I love my cheapo Lee Challenger.
     
  16. bds

    bds Member

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  17. bds

    bds Member

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    But the 2 year only applies to warranty, not for refunds.

    Full refunds must be done within 10 days and you must first obtain a RMA number using the website form. If it is past 10 days, they'll only give you credit on your next purchase! - http://store.smartreloader-usa.com/return-policy.aspx
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  18. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Looks like the ONLY thing they have going for them is cheap chinese manufacturing!
     
  19. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    I only have one piece of equipment labeled by them & I have been happy with it.

    Written return policies normally look bad but how a company treats you may be different & just because the brand name is in the URL doesn't mean it is owned by that company. I don't have my printed warranty in front of me but I know it wasn't that bad.
     
  20. GCBurner

    GCBurner Member

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    The retailer who is selling them on eBay is in Ohio, and sells a wide variety of other reloading equipment by other manufacturers, including Lee and Lyman.
     
  21. john16443

    john16443 Member

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    It's FM Reloading in Ohio, I've bought my Lee equipment from them directly, including some Smart Reloading equipment (Tumblers, digi scale kit, hand primer, loading trays, powder trickler, funnel). All work as required/expected (some better than Lee and others) and I have no complaints.
     
  22. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    I haven't heard good things about their presses. I personally bought one of their tumblers which just died on me after about 6 months.

    About the only nice thing I can say is that their plastic ammo boxes are nice (I like them better than MTM as they have actual hinges). Other than those, I'll not be wasting any more money on their products.

    Lee equipment barely costs anything extra and actually works pretty well.
     
  23. Funshooter45

    Funshooter45 Member

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    For some things... well OK, MOST things, I have to try for myself rather than believe anyone else's opinions. But once in awhile, the reviews are so unified that i have to believe the crowd. Such is the case with Smart Reloader stuff. It looks OK and they say the right things. And no doubt, it would be hard to screw up an ammo case or a funnel or a reloading tray. But when it comes to their presses I have heard ghastly things about the workmanship. Likewise, I wouldn't consider one of their combination scale/dispensers for powder.
     
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