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I broke my press last night :(

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by davidjblythe, Jan 3, 2008.

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  1. davidjblythe

    davidjblythe Member

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    Yes, I broke my toggle link last night on my Lee Challenger single stage press while trying to resize 7.5x55 Swiss cases. I had broken one side before, but last night I was having to apply so much force to get these to full length resize that I snapped the thing in two! Even my workbench was bending! SO I'm going to replace the toggles, but I got the go ahead from the wife to get a stronger press that I wont be able to break! I need some help on finding a strong press!

    I've only used Lee to this point and have all Lee dies. I'm open to any brand that is compatable with the dies that I have.

    Also, the most 'high speed' setup I would consider would be a turret press. Otherwise single stage is fine with me.

    Thanks,
    Cpl David Blythe
     
  2. PTK

    PTK Member

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    What.....?

    Your workbench was bending, you'd already damaged the press, and you kept going? Did you properly lubricate the case? There must be something else going on here for this to happen, I've sized all sorts of cases on my Lee single stage (not the challenger, the smaller one) without a problem, I've even formed wildcats without issues.
     
  3. Galil5.56

    Galil5.56 Member

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    David,

    I have loaded a lot of 30/06, 243, 308, 303 Brit, and 223 on my Dillon 550B using RCBS and Lee dies. Power is no problem, and should you break anything, (your fault or not) Dillon will cover it fast and without hassle.

    I prefer multiple manually indexed stations to a turret, and find the Dillon ideal for my needs.

    Good luck.
     
  4. Chawbaccer

    Chawbaccer Member

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    I will be the first to say "Rockchucker". Not made with pot metal.
     
  5. davidjblythe

    davidjblythe Member

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    I've done reloaded a thousand or more rifle cases on those two toggles. My problem with full length resizing comes in with two calibers: 7.62x54R and 7.5x55. Both of these never want to size all the way down to the very bottom. Lee says in its instructions that you should not see light between the sizing die and the shell holder. With both of these (and only these two) I would still have a 1/16" gap between the shell holder and die. Since reloading the K31 is so finicky, that small bit that is not resized keeps the case from not chambering! The Mosin will eat it just fine but the K31 wont!

    It takes a lot of force to size that last little bit. I use imperial sizing wax and lube the inside of the case mouth along with everything else. All my other calibers are great! I think I just need a stronger press.
     
  6. KI.W.

    KI.W. Member

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    Weak Lee challencer?

    i have this cheap LEE and was making from 7x57 to .308 Win, 30-06 to 9,3x57 and .308 Win to 22-250. It is ok, no problems. :)
     
  7. caz223

    caz223 Member

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    I'm not a big lee guy, but I'd have to say that the classic cast press is just as tough as the RCBS I used to have, and a lot less money to buy.
    Also, from what I hear, it doesn't scatter primers all over the floor. On that point alone I think it's worth a look.
     
  8. presspuller

    presspuller Member

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    What he said.

    I am not a big fan of Lee either but their classic cast does seem to be built like a brick outhouse.

    I have the Rockchucker myself and you can not go wrong with it. I would think that any of the steel presses from any of the manufactures will out last both of us.
     
  9. bl4ckd0g

    bl4ckd0g Member

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    Sounds like your press was already damaged. Are you sure that you're using the right amount of case lube on your brass?
     
  10. caz223

    caz223 Member

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    I would definately go with one that has the big screw in adaptor and can take 1 1/4"-12 dies, as they will also take LnL bushings. Those presses also have plenty of ferrous metal in the right places.
    So, that's basically the RCBS rockchucker, the LEE classic cast, the hornady LNL classic, etc.....
     
  11. Kimber1911_06238

    Kimber1911_06238 Member

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    rockchucker or rcbs turret press
     
  12. Travis Two

    Travis Two member

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    Take a serious look at the Redding Ultramag press and if you go with the Rockchucker you should order the one for bullet swaging that features the solid ram as opposed to the hollow ram. Finally if its still made from CH (champion) from 4-D they have an incredible tough single stage press. But if those cases are long cases then the ultra mag will give you some extra working room. Regardless of your choice be sure the bench and supports under the press are rock solid. Flex in the workbench will prevent you from getting effective full length resizing even if the press toggles over top dead center because of lost energy. Bracing to the floor directly under the press is worth it.
     
  13. FieroCDSP

    FieroCDSP Member

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    I would go ahead and have lee replace the link, or pay the 1/2 price if beyond the two year warranty. There's no reason to trash the press over a broken link that can be replaced. You can still get the new press. :D
     
  14. DaveInFloweryBranchGA

    DaveInFloweryBranchGA Member

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    Having tried out the Lee single stages, I'd replace the one you have with the Lee Classic Cast single stage. It's an excellent press. It has a primo primer disposal system, better than a Rock Chucker. It's linkage system is as good or better than a Rock Chucker and it has an excellent priming system for priming on the press (Lee Safety Prime, bought separately for not much money.).

    I don't think you can lose buying the Lee Classic Cast single stage press. It's the most single stage press on the market for the least amount of money.

    BTW, I've owned an RCBS Rock Chucker and got rid of it after trying out the Lee Classic Cast.

    The Lee Classic Turret is another "gem" from Lee. I have one of those as well along with a Hornady LnL progressive. I've owned the Dillon 550 (got rid of it) and I've owned the Lyman Turret press. The Lee Turret is significantly faster producing rounds than the Lyman and is generally easier to use.

    Regards,

    Dave
     
  15. jaholder1971

    jaholder1971 Member

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    I've had 2 Lee single stage presses, the ones in their Anniversary Kit. Both presses broke, cast aluminum frames broke while sizing .270 brass. Yes, properly lubed, yadda-yadda-yadda.

    I now size all cases with an RCBS press, the replacement Lees are used for prining and seating.
     
  16. ocabj

    ocabj Member

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    The second I saw the thread title I immediately thought 'Lee'. Then I clicked on the thread and my thought was confirmed.
     
  17. armabill

    armabill Member

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    I had a Lee LoadMaster that was a piece of junk. I also had the Challenger that was just a bit better but not by much.

    I got rid of both and bought a Dillon 550B press. However, I still needed a single stage press. Then Lee came out with the Classic and after looking it over, got one of those. Now that press if worth it.

    I still use the Lee dies in the Dillon. I'm not looking for speed, just good reloads.
     
  18. ForneyRider

    ForneyRider Member

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    Lee Breech Lock is the new single stage press. ~100$ for the kit.

    I've broken the chain, umpteen times, on the Auto-Disk on my Pro 1000. But other than that, it is pretty nice. I am pretty easy on tools, but uncoordinated.

    RCBS Rockcrusher is supposed to be super tough.
     
  19. MarshallDodge

    MarshallDodge Member

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    I broke the link on my Challenger loading 30-06. I think it cost $3 for replacement parts plus shipping.

    I did break a little pin on my Dillon's powder measure. It was the old design and they have since changed it. They provided me a replacement at no charge.

    Never had a problem with my RCBS Rockcrusher.
     
  20. redactor

    redactor Member

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    My first guess is that you're not lubing the cases enough?
     
  21. dcloco

    dcloco Member

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    I bet you were not using Redding dies either. These are the ONLY dies that are manufactured to the K31 chamber. All other other brands of dies are chambered for the K11 chamber.
     
  22. davidjblythe

    davidjblythe Member

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    Concerning lubing:

    I reload .223, .308, 7.5x55, 7.62x54R, 8mm Mauser, and .30-06 on this Challenger press. It works great on all but the two aforementioned calibers in my post way up there ^^^. As I was resizing the 7.5's I too thought that maybe I was underlubing the cases, so I lubed a few very generously (but not enough to have chunks of imperial wax on it). I got the same result each time until the link broke.

    I'm going to replace the links and use it for bullet seating, but I want to get a new press that will rip itself off the bench before it breaks. Concerning the post about the integrity of my bench, I am looking into reenforcing it.

    I did not know that the Redding dies were the only ones for the K31. Does this mean that GP11 is all sized for the K11 and it just happens to work in the K31? Is there a different 7.5 Swiss for the K31 and the K11? Is my ammo that I'm sizing and reloading going to be safe to fire in the K31? I have the Lee dies. Now I'm worried!

    Thanks for the help guys. I'm going to order the Lee Classic press now :)
     
  23. dcloco

    dcloco Member

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    GP11 is sized for either rifle.

    Using the Lee dies, you are overworking the cases quite a bit...if you are using the brass in a K31.

    No SAAMI standard exists for the SWISS round...that is the problem.
     
  24. ADKWOODSMAN

    ADKWOODSMAN Member

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    ++++Rockchucker
     
  25. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    From what I've seen the Rockchucker is probably the heaviest single stage press available on the market. The Lee Classic Cast Press is not far behind the Rockcrusher and it's linkage is much heavier than the linkage on the Challenger Press.
     
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