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New reloader, need everything.

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

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  1. Mendicant Triode

    Mendicant Triode Member

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    First time reloader here, I just finished loading 50 rds of 8X57 Mauser using the Lee anniversary breech lock single stage. Simple to set up, easy to mount, some of the accessories are of course somewhat chinsy feeling due to being plastic, but it's a great value if you're looking to get started for a caliber or two. The volumetric powder measure included is surprisingly accurate, using IMR4320 I'm getting half grain accuracy at the worst, usually better than .2 gr. The balance beam scale is a little tricky at first, but once zeroed is as accurate as several digital scales I've tried to run it against. New I paid 118 shipped for mine online, 24 for a local 2 die set for 7X57, and 28 shipped for the 8x57 three die set. I think that it was a very nice experience loading on a single stage, I'm really particular about fine details, so doing everything one step at a time was very helpful for me to be confident in building skills with it. I think it is a great kit for the money. Cant wait to get some more brass and put together some 7X57 next.

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/423081/lee-challenger-breech-lock-single-stage-press-anniversary-kit

    This was the kit, i didn't order from midway, I'll dig out the receipt later if anyone is interested where i specifically ordered it from.
     
  2. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    Hey Reb, you sure got a way with words! lolz and Amen
     
  3. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    Not so, I think. As pointed out before, a single stage for your rifle caliber (unless a high-round-count semi-auto) will always be desirable.
    Probably true. However, I save money over what I would have spent retail. I shoot 2 or 3 times as much as I would if not loading, but still spend less. The general rule is a pretty good truism, though.
    Not true. A turret combines NEARLY the throughput of one of he slower progressives with the simplicity of a single stage. (Caliber swaps are simpler than on a single stage and a LOT cheaper than on a progressive.)
    True, but not as conveniently as a turret or single stage. But the distinction is not all that great.
    Lee makes the only two auto-indexing turret presses on the marked today. The Classic Turret is superior to the Deluxe turret.

    Using a Single stage, I can produce 50 to 70 rounds per hour in batch mode.

    On a turret without auto-indexing I can do (estimated) 75 to 100 rounds per hour (in continuous mode, which features a reduction in manual case handling over batch mode, but still requires one stroke of the ram per operation/multiple strokes of the ram per cartridge). I did 100 rounds in 47 minutes my first time out, including filling the components up, which a lot of loaders reporting their throughput do not include, throwing their reports off from reality). I have not clocked myself lately, but estimate that 150-175 rph within the realm of possibility. This includes boxing the finished product and starts with my powder measure already calibrated, but all components staged on my bench but not filled in hopper/bowl, primer feed etc).

    Using a progressive, if you want to do less than 200 rounds before swapping calibers, you may want to re-think your choice of press. Caliber swaps can eat up a lot of time and small batches are simply not efficient considering the set-up time. That is, unless you have one progressive set up for each caliber or easily swappable pre-set cartridge carriers (expensive, but worth it if if suits your style).

    Single stage: Really good for high accuracy, large case rifle calibers.
    Turret: Nearly (99.5%) as good as a single stage and more convenient. Potentially faster.
    Auto-indexing Turret: Definitely faster than single stage (in continuous mode). Equally as convenient as single stage.
    Progressive. MUCH Faster than single stage, depending on maker/model somewhat to MUCH faster than turrets. Suitable for high volumes in large production runs. For small production runs, not so much.
    Single Stage
    Turret
    Auto-indexing Turret
    Progressive

    Single Stage: 50-75 rph
    Turret 50-100: rph
    Auto-indexing Turret: 100-200 rph
    Progressive:200-1000 rph

    Single Stage: Old reliable
    Turret: the new reliable
    Auto-indexing Turret: reliable and faster
    Progressive: takes tuning and much faster

    Single Stage: economy (Lee) to moderately expensive (Redding and Forster)
    Turret: a little more expensive than a single stage
    Auto-indexing Turret: (Lee is the only maker and they are actually less costly than standard turrets)
    Progressive: moderately expensive to stratospheric. But if they fit your needs, worth every penny.

    Lost Sheep
     
  4. bearfoot

    bearfoot Member

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    Ok, my resolve for starting with a progressive may be crumbling - but just a bit. Since I would like to work up 357 loads for my rifle, and perhaps for my revolver too, a single-stage/turret may have some usefulness for me .... but I will still want a high volume solution for 45acp, 357Sig and possibly even 9mm. If I ever take up SASS or 3-Gun or any kind of competition (I'm only doing GSSF, now), I'll definitely need a lot more ammo.
     
  5. frankenstein406

    frankenstein406 Member

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    how high volume? that turret should work fine once you get a rhythm going.
     
  6. stavman11

    stavman11 Member

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    I was just costing out the lee Classic Turret and then whats needed to run 9mm

    About $189.
    Press, Dies and Powder measurer...

    I currently have 2 lee pro 1000.... the Entire system, with whatever caliber ya want is $179...

    For me... Changing over my Press to another caliber... well.. is a pain... Like last Night... I sat down.. busted out some .223.... moved my Chair and did a few .357... all in about 15minutes time... no changing of Dies, Turrets powder or anything.. just a Chair (on Rollers) movement

    I really dont use the progressive aspect of the lee pro too much except for De-priming and sizing .223... I swap out the turret for sizing, load the Case feeder, and MAN is it fast... then swap the turret with my loading dies.. and back in business

    Now i think pistol isnt quite as hard, mainly the primer seats a lot better in Pistol than .223, so far anyways, and not as much case prep for sure.. so down the road I could see myself using the case feeder and doing some pistol rounds, 9mm, at a bit faster pace.. but for now im good 1 case at a time

    Now a lee classic would be faster to change to different caliber if thats yer style... kinda a pain with the pro 1000.....


    So that is something else to consider in your Purchases....

    Are you a Scorpio like me.. and wanna do it NOW (not swap everything over and just move to another press);)

    Or do you not Mind spending 10 minutes ta swap out turrets and such to run a different caliber...

    Hope this helps some
     
  7. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    REMEMBER, everyone here is suggestion a Classic Turret Press, not the Deluxe. The Classic uses a Cast Iron base and the linkage is much stronger. It's a much better press for not a lot more money.

    Look at the kit Kempf Gun Shop for a good price. A set of dies come with the kit (choose at the bottom of page) and I also highly suggest upgrading to the Pro Auto Disk (also at the bottom of page) because it's a huge upgrade for only $13.
     
  8. NapalmMan67

    NapalmMan67 Member

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    Yes- CLASSIC if you go with the Lee turret.

    I got my kit from FS Reloading, but have not looked at pricing lately.

    The only thing I did not like, well basically downright hated was the Lee Safety Powder scale. I bought an RCBS 502 with a calibration weight set to replace it and was (am) happy as a clam.


    .
     
  9. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    I started with a progressive (Dillon 450) but in the beginning I used it like a single stage.

    That didn't last long. Within 500 rounds I was using it as designed.

    I'm a bit reluctant to say "if you can walk and chew gum at the same time, you can load safely on a progressive press"...

    But since I grew up 50 years ago, maybe my standards are a bit higher than they should be today...
     
  10. bobinoregon

    bobinoregon Member

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    I do one at a time regularly on my 550s when I'm figuring out a new load. I really can't understand the fear people have of progressive presses, if you can run a single stage you should be capable of a progressive. All it takes is paying attention.
     
  11. EG3

    EG3 Member

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    I can see why many are saying to start with a single stage press for simplicity. But I had just started reloading and I went with a hornady lnl progressive. As long as you pay attention to what you are doing and can follow directions you will be fine. There really isn't much to it. Just have all the proper tools and do some reading. And I am now looking into getting a single stage press to make depriming and swaging a lot easier.
     
  12. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    Not fear. I find a progressive inconvenient. It just in mot my style to monitor multiple simultaneous operations.. It is more a matter of personal style and choice. I also swap calibers for smallish runs of loading for each caliber, so a turret's 15 second caliber swap is more to my liking than the minutes-long procedures for most progressives.

    I admit that if I had a chance to try out a Dillon I would. My experience with progressives is limited to a pair of Lee Pro-1000 presses and I recognize the (severe) limitations of my perspective.

    My favorite quote is, "It is a lot easier to learn to walk wearing shoes than wearing roller skates."

    I respect your opinion, bobinoregon. I felt compelled to voice mine.

    Lost Sheep
     
  13. gspn

    gspn Member

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    My thoughts track roughly with those of Lost Sheep.

    I started out with a Lee Classic Cast and I used it for 13 or 15 calibers in rifle and pistol with no complaints.

    Extra turrets are cheap (usually around 8 bucks) and that makes caliber changes a 10 second affair.

    I can put out 100 to 150 rounds per hour of pistol ammo with no problems.

    Ultimately my consumption of .45, .380 and .223 ammo persuaded me to upgrade to a Hornady LNL for those calibers. This was a straight up time vs money calculation. If I wanted to shoot 1,000 rounds per month of .45 ammo I could spend 8 to 10 hours on my Lee Classic...or pony up some cash and reduce my labor time to 2 to 3 hours on my Hornady. As much as I like reloading I'd rather spend the extra time with my family than toiling in the garage.

    When higher volume is needed the progressive is king...but the Classic Cast auto-indexing turret covers a LOT of ground for a lot of shooters. If I needed to crank out a few hundred rounds per week (especially if it's for multiple calibers) I'd go with the Lee Classic Cast. If I needed hundreds per week of a few calibers I'd go with a progressive.

    It comes down to how much you need to produce...find that number and you can back into which press is right for you.
     
  14. bobinoregon

    bobinoregon Member

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    I see your perspective on things Lost Sheep and understand the idea of using what you are comfortable with. I spent the weekend playing with my old 95 mauser which I don't have much brass for at the moment. That was all load, shoot, reload, shoot, reload, all done on my RCBS junior cause I didnt have an empty toolhead to set up a 550. I think my main thing is it seems like I see people being discouraged from buying a progressive when that's probably where they will end up after buying the single stage anyway. To each their own, whatever works best. I never did learn to roller skate, barely mastered the shoes.
     
  15. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    Thanks bobinoregon. You are exactly right. If a progressive fits your needs, there is no compelling reason not to go there right off. But there are cautions, and patience is a virtue. Also worthy of note is the fact that on the bench of almost every loader I know, whether they use a progressive or not, is a single stage which is useful for many things for which a progressive is not ideal. (Load development or bullet pulling, for example.)

    gspn. The Lee Classic Cast (part # 90998) is a single stage press. The Lee Classic Turret (part # 90064) is a turret press. Lee Precision could use a better naming convention, as they are easy to get mixed up and easy for novice purchasers to wind up with the wrong press.

    Lost Sheep
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2013
  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I don't, but I do it differently than many. I size all the brass without loading it on my LNL using the sizer/decapper in station #1 just like a single stage. Then I hand prime. Now I pre-primed cases all ready to load. I load them on the LNL using anywhere from one to three dies. I use regular expanders in station #2, while dropping powder automatically in station #3, seat or seat/crimp in station #5, and crimp if needed in station #5. I find it really easy to run of 5, 10, or 15 test rounds doing this. Yes, that still takes a little more concentration than a single stage, but not much. I find that doing no sizing while loading and no priming while loading on the LNL to both be huge positives. No sizing gives better feel for the other steps going on, and minimizes press flex, while no priming speaks for its self.

    Yes, I still have my single stage, and it's not going anywhere, but I use the LNL for almost everything.
     
  17. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    One thing is for sure. If I could afford a Dillon, there's no freakin way I would buy a Lee Pro-1000. And I'm not a Lee basher. I have plenty of Lee equipment including a single stage press and a turret and I'm happy with both. But if you're talking progressives, there is absolutely no comparison. I'd rather have a Dillon 550 or 650 than 10 Lee Pro-1000s.

    Now, if you're talking about turrets, which is a good idea since you're just getting started, the Lee has the advantage over the rest. I can't believe no one else makes an auto indexing turret press. I have the Deluxe Turret and I love it. Now I have heard that the Classic is much better and I don't doubt it. That's the direction I would go. Get a Classic Turret from Lee and spend the rest on components, if you can find them.
     
  18. fguffey

    fguffey Member

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    Bearfoot,

    If I suggested you purchase a certain brand/manufacture/color of reloading equipment I would be doing you a disservice and I would be turning you into a boring person to talk to, I have equipment I am going to sell, I have components I am going to sell, most is RCBS, after you determine what price you are going to pay for new let me know, I will put together a package including components expect for powder and primers.

    F. Guffey
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2013
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