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

Budget Progressive Kit?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by TenDriver, Feb 3, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. TenDriver

    TenDriver Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    1,205
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    I've been wanting to reload for a while now, and have finally started looking around at presses. I'll be reloading .270 Win and 44 Mag mainly, possibly 9mm and a few other at some point.

    I have a 3 yr old at home and free time is limited, so with this in mind I'm thinking a progressive press is more the way to go. Can anyone advise on a good progressive kit to get started?
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2012
  2. drsfmd

    drsfmd Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    Messages:
    828
    The Lee is case specific. I mean, it *CAN* be converted, but it's not easy.

    If you really want a progressive, I'd look for a used Dillon RL550. It doesn't auto advance, but it does everything else progressively. You should be able to find a used one for $300-$350 depending on accessories, dies, etc...

    Edit: I answered a question that you edited out... left my original answer here.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2012
  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    47,525
    Location:
    Alabama
    Budget minded? Lee.
     
  4. TenDriver

    TenDriver Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    1,205
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    Starting to think the budget and experience level will dictate a single stage press.
     
  5. GT1

    GT1 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Messages:
    700
    Location:
    IL
    Watch the Lee Classic Turret videos on youtube.

    About twice the speed of a SS. It is a favorite among many reloaders and some nice press kits are available out there.
     
  6. Kidslash

    Kidslash Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    NEW JERSEY
    Buy Once, Cry Once. Save up and get a Dillon. You will get most of your money back if you decide to sell it down the road.
     
  7. cberge8

    cberge8 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2011
    Messages:
    158
    Location:
    Houma, la
    I bought a Lee Pro 1000 a while back. While not the best, it does work well for me.

    As for caliber changes, I can swap between any two calibers in under a minute.

    The only downside is the priming system, but once you get used to it, it is not bad.
     
  8. Otto

    Otto Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2007
    Messages:
    1,393
    Location:
    Lone Star State
    If you want to cheap out on reloading tools, Lee corners the market.
    Dillon compared to Lee is like comparing Stihl to Homelite.
     
  9. GT1

    GT1 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Messages:
    700
    Location:
    IL
    Not the best advice for someone that isn't sure what they might be getting into.

    Dillons are nice, top of the line moneywise. I'm not sure they are the best press one can buy. A Hornady LnL AP or a RCBS Pro 2000 or even a Lee loadmaster will crank out bunches of ammo. All of these manufacturers will fix whatever breaks, and make right whatever is wrong, on their dime.

    All progressives are finicky, have their quirks, and amplify mistakes.

    One should do a lot of reading before deciding to jump in to such a thing. If you do the research first there is never any crying. :p
     
  10. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Messages:
    3,974
    Location:
    West GA
    There's a lot going on with a progressive. Keeping up with the mechanics of the press while learning to load would be tough IMHO.
     
  11. mdi

    mdi Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Messages:
    1,972
    Location:
    Orygun!
    I would not recommend a progressive press to learn reloading on; too many things happen every time you pull the handle. But, everybody seems to be in a hurry these days (very dangerous when it comes to reloading), so a Lee Turret will put out a little more rounds per hour than a single stage and it can be used single stage to start. You need to learn what every step in reloading does and why it's done, and it's so much easier to do with a single stage press. You will need to know how to adjust dies to troubleshoot your problem ammo, which won't happen with the "install it and forget it" turret plates or the "breech-lock" bushings. I'd recommend a good single stage press from any of the major reloading equip. manufacturers, a set of carbide dies for the .44 and a reloading manual. Reading the manual's reloading data will give you info on powder,primers, and bullets to buy. Of the cartridges you mention, the .44 Magnum is prolly the easiest to learn reloading with.

    Look into getting a copy of ABCs of Reloading and Lyman's 49th Edition Reloading Handbook. Reading through these books will give you a good idea as to what equipment will suit your reloading needs...
     
  12. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,276
    Location:
    Piney Woods of East Texas
    I think people with Lee progressive spend more time working/tweaking than reloading. You would be a lot better off with a Turret than the progressive. The Hornandy LNL-AP is a good progressive with lots of options, cheaper than the Dillon 550b. But if your mainly shooting rifle and revolver a SS press will cover your needs. You can batch load and load near 100/hr.
     
  13. sellersm

    sellersm Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    Messages:
    577
    Location:
    CO Rockies
    Lee Classic Cast Turret (LCT) is my recommendation. No, it's not a progressive (you work on one case at a time) but you can take out the index rod and have a SS press. 150+ rounds/hour is easy-peasy... Easy as pie to change calibers too! Kemp's gun shop (they're online) has a great starter kit that includes the LCT. Just be sure it's the CLASSIC CAST press, not the cheaper aluminum one!!

    If you must have a progressive, then Pro1000 or a LoadMaster might work for you, especially if you're a bit mechanically inclined. Lots of resources on the internet for all the progressives out there, btw. Youtube has some good resources from 'california liberal with a gun', and UltimateReloader site has good vids & info.
     
  14. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    2,820
    Location:
    at the center of my own little universe
    Dillon has a 550 basic loader that can be upgraded later.
     
  15. germ

    germ Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Messages:
    253
    +1 on the LCT. Then, after a year or so, determine if you really want/need a progressive. During that year, save your money toward a progressive and you also have all that time to research and maybe even try out a few that others have. Then, if you do decide to get a progressive, you'll likely find the LCT to still be of great value to you.

    The overall reputation of lee progressives does not fall in the positive column. I would not recommend a loadmaster unless you get one for free. I got mine for free and made it work, but I would suggest looking elsewhere. I haven't used a 1000, but I generally consider it in the same category as the loadmaster.

    I also have the LNL AP which is a good press for me. If I were looking today I would also consider the Dillon 550. I'm partial to (or spoiled by) the 5 holes in the LNL though.
     
  16. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2009
    Messages:
    3,329
    So he buys quality and gets a much higher percentage of his money back if he unloads later.

    Also, less frustration during the learning curve.
     
  17. J_McLeod

    J_McLeod Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Messages:
    1,541
    Location:
    Homestead, FL
    If you're willing to spend some money, the Hornady LNL is a great press and it's cheaper than the Dillons. You can also load single rounds on a progressive to start with. I load a few singly before starting any progressive section. If that's too much, get the Lee turret.
     
  18. thorn-

    thorn- Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Messages:
    188
    Location:
    Tallahassee, FL
    There's nothing wrong with starting on a progressive press. I've done it (with no problems whatsoever to learning the process), and others have too. That doesn't mean everyone needs to do it that way, but again - it's not a foolish decision, if you have the attention span to learn to do things the correct way.

    And if you don't, using a single stage just means making the same mistakes at a slower pace. ;)

    And FWIW, I do recommend the LNL-AP as a good press. They've had some quality control issues with a particular part lately, but they're trying to get that resolved... and despite that, it's a great press and more affordable/flexible than some other higher-priced choices. It's certainly not as low-budget as Lee products, though.

    thorn
     
  19. kingmt

    kingmt Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2009
    Messages:
    3,604
    I agree with Thorn.

    I have no problem with my Pro1000 but it won't do rifle without a mod. I'm thinking of going to the Load Master.
     
  20. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2009
    Messages:
    2,661
    Location:
    Alaska
    Stihl and Homelite at least share a basic function and design parameters. Dillon does not make a single stage nor a turret.

    I do agree with you if you are talking about comparing Lee Progressives with the Dillon progressives, though. TOTALLY.

    However, if you don't need but 100 to 200 rounds per hour, the Lee Classic Turret is the best auto-advancing turret press on the market at any price. (Of course, it is the ONLY auto-advancing turret on the market. But that does not negate the fact that it is one, fine press).

    So, to the OP, please share with us what your needs are in terms of quantity (per hour, per month and per loading session). Will you leave the press(es) set up or store them away after each loading session? How often will you change calibers?

    If small sessions, putting away after each session and switching calibers often, consider the Lee Classic Turret.

    The nice thing about the Lee Turret is that it is amenable to continuous processing (like a progressive, one round, start to finish before starting the next case) and equally adept at batch processing (do one step on the entire batch of cases before moving on to the next step).

    The nice thing about the Progressive (and I favor the Hornady and Dillon over the Lee Pro-1000, but have no experience with the Lee Loadmaster or RCBS) is that, since it is performing all the steps simultaneously on a number of cases, you get one round per stroke of the handle. But that is the bad thing about progressives, too. I never got comfortable with monitoring multiple simultaneous operations.

    Lost Sheep
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2012
  21. DaveInFloweryBranchGA

    DaveInFloweryBranchGA Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Messages:
    1,539
    Location:
    NE Georgia
    Something to think about is components for a lot of ammo cost a lot of money. If you don't have the money to buy an expensive progressive press setup, you probably don't have the money to afford to feed it components to reload with.

    Think about how many cartridges you can afford to buy per month and add about 200-300 to that. That'll be pretty close to what you can afford reloading components for.

    If I were a betting man, your component volume will dictate what press to buy. All that said, the one press I can think of that will load you a lot of rounds at a reasonable rate, is very affordable and is of high quality is the Lee Classic Turret press.

    This press is very well made, easy to operate, easy to learn reloading on, turns out high quality cartridges, handles rifle cartridges and is reasonably productive.

    How productive? Most folks who use it in it's auto turret advance mode can easily turn out 150-200 rounds an hour without much work involved and with lots of fun. If you are willing to fine tune and adjust it and organize yourself to reload efficiently, you can turn out over 200 and if you really work at it and use both hands efficiently, you can hit 300 an hour. But at 300, you will need extra safety primes for both large and small calibers, as well as a way to top off the powder quickly. You will also need to work and know how to work.

    Dillon 550's mentioned above, will get you to an easy 350 an hour and 550 can be reached if you work at it. The Hornady LnL will do an easy 400 an hour (No case feeder, no bullet feeder) and 600 can be reached if you work at it. Dillon 650 speeds are similar, but the 650 comes with a good bit of the case feeder attached, so add about 50 an hour to the Hornady LnL speeds.

    Speed comes with increased costs though.

    I noticed you mention both a rifle and a pistol cartridge. Think about how many of these cartridges you want to shoot. I'm betting the .270 Win is a hunting rifle and a 100 cartridges a year with do you fine with that. So from a volume standpoint, you're looking at your pistol cartridges. .44 magnum is a higher recoil cartridge, so you may not want to reload a lot of that to shoot. I'm not a big caliber revolver guy, so I can only speculate. The 9MM and other pistol cartridges, especially automatics, is where you get into volume reloading. But again, you have to be able to afford the components.

    My advice is to look real strong at a Lee Classic Turret.

    And read the sticky for new reloaders at the top of the page. Lots of information to help you make a decision.
     
  22. RandyP

    RandyP Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,275
    Location:
    Illinois
    This question comes up almost daily on a couple reloading forums I frequent, and if 150-200 rounds per hour meets your realistic ammo needs, a Lee Classic (not Deluxe) 4-hole turret will make you a happy reloader with money left over to buy components and dies.

    I am certainly NOT knocking spending $500- $1000 on a Dillon press IF it meets your needs. But you also don't 'need' to spend $200,000 on a Aston Martin just to drive 3 miles to the grocery store.
     
  23. TenDriver

    TenDriver Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    1,205
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    I plan on leaving the press set up. As to the rounds per hour, I really don't have a requirement. My intent is to view reloading as another hobby. There really isn't a 'rounds per hour" requirement. When I shoot, I might go through 50-70 rounds through my 44, and the 270 now stays in the closet unless I'm hunting with it. Range trips happen once a month if we're lucky.

    I only shoot 22, 40, 44, 7.63x39, x54, and 9mm. There is the possibility of 38 / 357 as they are in the family as well. I think we're satisfied in buying 9mm ammo locally or through Mastercast from an economic standpoint. 357 may be a different story but time will tell. Ammo prices for both 7.62s are low enough I can't see investing in dies and brass for those, and the 40 is shot rarely.

    The above is what makes me think the money would best be spent on a single stage press.
     
  24. sellersm

    sellersm Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    Messages:
    577
    Location:
    CO Rockies
    Based on what you stated, I'd suggest the Lee Classic Cast Turret (LCT, cast, not the cheaper aluminum one). You can remove the index rod and use it as a single-stage press if you desire. Piece of cake to swap calibers, just get a bunch of extra 4-hole turrets. In just minutes you can be reloading all your different calibers!

    Unless you're doing 50bmg, I"m sure you can do all the calibers you listed on the LCT, either as a SS or as a turret. Lots of videos out there showing how to do rifle loading using the turret head without the index rod in place, which is, to me, the best of both worlds!

    Good luck and welcome to the addiction, er, I mean hobby!
     
  25. straitnate14

    straitnate14 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Messages:
    188
    lee 1000 works fine, mount it to a strong table put a ball point pen spring on the powder measure return and keep the primer chute full. Not the greatest press in the world but it works great for me.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page