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New reloader, need everything.

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by bearfoot, May 2, 2013.

  1. bearfoot

    bearfoot New Member

    Jun 10, 2011
    San Antonio
    I need to get into reloading, clearly, or else I may not be able to continue shooting. I'd like to start with .357Mag and .45ACP, followed by 357Sig and then a rifle caliber to be named later. I know component availability is an issue, but I'm thinking long term. I think I'd like to go ahead and invest in a progressive.
    Question: I've seen the Dillon packages available from Brianenos.com - are they a good deal, or can I piece together a kit for more than, say, a $100 savings? (I'm new, so I need everything)
  2. stavman11

    stavman11 Member

    Jun 11, 2012
    bearfoot.. this is what I have.... works great.. just take yer time setting it Up... and its in stock

    I actualy have 2, and 1 on its way... For me its a lot easier and convinient to have each caliber already set up...

    Now if you load 8 different ones, well thats another story...LOL

    for me its .223, .357 and soon 9mm

    It comes with dies, so just need the other sundries like tumbler, scale, trimer, etc

    Anyways hope this helps
  3. SlowFuse

    SlowFuse Active Member

    Mar 31, 2011
    Heart of Dixie
    This isn't going in the same direction as your post but a lot of guys here recommend a single stage for beginners. This lets you learn the fundamentals one step at a time and can be a cheaper initial investment. Progressives are very nice, but not always the best choice for everyone. Another option to look at is a turret press. The Lee classic turret is mentioned with fairly high praise often.

    Not trying to discourage you from getting a progressive, just throwing some other options out.
  4. Warners

    Warners Member

    Dec 8, 2008
    Chicago area, IL
    ^ THIS

    Once set up properly, I have no trouble loading 200 per hour on my Lee CLASSIC (important distinction) Turret press. It's easy to setup and use, difficult to make mistakes on, and can be used as a single stage if desired (just pull out the indexer shaft). I have zero complaints and can only think that a progressive would make more sense to someone who shoots a LOT. Just my opinion, of course....

  5. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    Jan 16, 2012
    Wet Oregon
    That's about what I was going to say.. "how much do you/intend to shoot?".
    If you just want a Dillon, I hear Enos will give good input on all particulars.
  6. threefeathers

    threefeathers Participating Member

    Jun 5, 2003
    You are in the same boat all of us are. Welcome. I've been at it for 30+ years and have three presses on my bench. But, I recommend going the same rout I put my son't on. Get a Turret press, mine is a Lyman T Mag, but all companies make a good ont. That way you can control all stations but by not having to change dies you can actually build up a pretty good rhythm. You can easilly make 2-4 boxes a night depending on how ADD:eek: you rae.
  7. baz

    baz Active Member

    Dec 16, 2005
    Ditto this:
    But I might even take a step further back and suggest you start with the Lee hand press. It is only good for straight walled cartridges, but that's perfect for your .357 and .45, and the same dies can be used in the Lee Classic Turret press. I went this route (and am now tooling up to use the Lee Classic Turret press for .223 and .308), but continue to use the hand press for small batches (50-150 rounds) of pistol/revolver loads (I load .38 spl, .357, and 9mm). I think starting with the hand press allows you to focus more on the details of your loads -- powder choices and amounts, OAL and bullet seating depths, etc. -- and less on the mechanics of the machinery involved. Of course, with necked rifle cartridges, there are more things to learn, and the Lee Classic Turret Press, being a simpler device mechanically, will again let you focus more on the load itself. No doubt progressives have a place, especially for high volume loaders, but many have used progressives, and then gone back to a turret or even a single stage press.

    Here's a brief, but good read, over the differences.
  8. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Senior Elder

    Nov 25, 2006
    Northeast PA, USA
    Save some money right now and buy a single stage press. You won't be wasting money because you intend on loading rifle ammo later on anyway. Learn the procedure and then buy a progressive and waiting might save you future problems too. Once you know how to load you can decide which progressive press is best for you.
  9. greyling22

    greyling22 Senior Member

    Aug 6, 2007
    East Texas
    Do not buy the hand press.

    You will probably eventually wind up with a single stage press if you do a lot of reloading.

    I Think turrets are the best presses to learn on and are wonderful for calibers you don't load by the thousands. I've never achieved 200/hr, but 150 or so is very doable. Easy to change calibers as well.

    Progressives are best suited to setting up for 1 caliber and pumping out a thousand rounds. Then reconfiguring.

    Dillon makes the best progressives, Lee makes the best turrets.
  10. Springfield0612

    Springfield0612 New Member

    Feb 10, 2011
    Kingston, Wa
    Barefoot, what type of shooting do you do? I agree with everyone that has all ready posted. I started on a single stage press 5 years ago and just now upgraded to a progressive press. You need to learn each step and FEEL it. If you just want to go blast off thousands of rounds with your buddies and you get in a hurry to crank out as much ammo as possible your going to make a mistake and end up destroying your gun or cause injury. I reccomend getting into reloading, educate yourself about every part of it, take your time, have fun, and lastly DON"T KILL YOURSELF OR SOMEONE ELSE!

    Just because it has a super high price doesn't mean it is the best thing for you. Most new reloaders see progressives and they want it because it looks like the least amount of acctual work and they can crank out a lot of ammo fast. But in reality you need to work up a load that will work the best and that needs to be done in small batches and slowly. A single stage or a turret press is the best for this. Once you have some experiance reloading and you have loads worked up that work well, then graduate to the progressive and then you can crank out large amounts of ammo at your known well worked up loads.

    Not trying to open a can of worms of brand wars and mud slinging between members and blue vs green vs red presses. Reloading is expensive to get started period. For the price of a Dillon progressive press, you could buy a Lee turret kit that has everything you need minus dies, buy some bullet molds to cast your own bullets, dies, and reloading components, and still have money left. But it is your money spend it how you want. Low price doesn't ALWAYS equal low quality.
  11. frankenstein406

    frankenstein406 Active Member

    Jan 9, 2011
    Buy a lee classic turret, if your not comfortable you can take out the rod and go single stage. You won't regret buying it.
  12. bearfoot

    bearfoot New Member

    Jun 10, 2011
    San Antonio
    Thanks for all the input, folks, I do appreciate it. Here's a bit more info, for the record, and some assumptions I'm working under:
    I shoot a little (one range trip per week), but would like to shoot a lot.
    I'm a pretty careful guy and will do what it takes to be assured of valid, safe loads.
    Reloading is also an effort to be more self-sufficient, you know just in case there's another ammo availability crunch.
    The decision to go progressive is an effort to be more efficient.
    I know me, and if I start with a single stage, I'll eventually get a progressive and the single stage will gather dust - not a wise use of money or space.
    Assumption: (I've heard this over and over) I won't save money by reloading, but will be able to shoot more for the same money.
    Assumption: A turret press combines the throughput of a single-stage (4 pulls per round) with the complexity and cost of a progressive.
    Assumption: A progressive can be used one round at a time to tweak settings until full production is appropriate.

    Hopefully, this clears some things up, and please let me know if I'm mistaken with any of these assumptions.
  13. Searcher4851

    Searcher4851 Member

    Dec 20, 2010
    Assumption #1 is correct for a lot of us.
    Assumption #2 - output on a turret press is either the same as a single stage (when used in single stage mode) or roughly 3 to 4 times as fast when in turret mode. A Lee classis cast turret is roughly a third of the cost of a Dillon as I recall. Also Caliber changes on the Lee are much faster, and much cheaper. Setup on the Lee is less complex, and so is fixing mistakes since you're only working with one cartridge at time.
    Assumption #3 I am not familiar with doing it single stage style on a progressive press. I can say that all the progressive press owners I know personally also own single stage or turret presses for load development so I'm guessing it's easier that way then on a progressive.
    Hope this helps clarify some things, and welcome to the world of reloading.
  14. readyeddy

    readyeddy Participating Member

    May 8, 2012
    There's nothing wrong with a progressive so long as you know what you are doing. For pistol cartridges, it can't be beat. Rifle is a little different with case trimming, lube removal and weighing charges, but I'm sure you can figure it out.

    Just be aware that there's a lot going on when you crank the handle of a progressive press. Use your caliper and do plunk tests to check your rounds. Buy a bullet puller to fix mistakes.
  15. joecil

    joecil Active Member

    Apr 12, 2012
    Lexington, Kentucky
    I also suggest the Lee Classic Turret and if you really want a single stage then get the Lee Classic Cast either the breech lock version or the one I have which is non breech lock. The non breech lock can handle 1 1/4" dies as well as 7/8" dies while the Breech lock version only handles the 7/8" type. Either press should last a life time if properly maintained.
  16. david bachelder

    david bachelder Member

    May 24, 2012
    Trinity Texas
    I can't speak for all progressive presses but the Hornady LNL can be used one casing at a time.

    I assume all will do the same.
  17. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Elder

    Jun 5, 2006
    In a part of Utah that resembles Tattooine.
    A hand press is a great item to have for a few reasons. If there is a process you prefer to do seperately from the turret, or of you want to do it slowly to learn, you can use the hand press to size, decap, and bell while you watch TV. If you want to be able to go to the range and try load variations on the spot, you can use it for that too. For $32, how can it be bad?
  18. Bmac1949

    Bmac1949 Member

    Jan 3, 2011
    Crockett Texas
    Have you picked up a loading manual yet? If not pick one up and read the sections on reloading. This will answer a lot of your questions. Even if you buy two Dillon progressives you will eventually pick up a single stage press. I use mine for de-capping and priming and load on the turret. Also, the learning curve on the progressive is going to be enormous for a first time reloader when compared to a single stage press. Best of luck what ever you choose.
  19. NapalmMan67

    NapalmMan67 New Member

    May 2, 2013
    With an old lady in her shoe.
    +1 with what Bmac1949 said- Get a couple different reloading manuals and read them cover to cover... then do it again.

    I have been reloading for a few years now, am using a Lee Classic Turret with no issues and have loaded in the high thousands of rounds. It's easy to swap a turret plate plate with different calibers and convert it to a single stage for working up loads or small batches of special rounds.

    So far, I haven't been able to justify a progressive for loading 800-1000 rounds an hour- other than the cool factor!

  20. imsoooted

    imsoooted New Member

    Jun 11, 2011
    one other point to consider is where do you shoot most often? if you can load a few and then kick the back door open to see if the loads are accurate, then you probably wont like a hand press. if you go any distance to shoot, take the handloader with you and work at developing your favorite loads at the range. then you can crank em out on a turret or progressive at home. just a thought.....

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