Press Question: Reloading Rifle Cartridges

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by WrongHanded, Oct 20, 2021.

  1. WrongHanded
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    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    I'm not planning on getting into reloading rifle cartridges yet. However, I currently only have a LCT press. It's wobbly and not terribly precise. Certainly good enough for handgun cartridges (at least based on my results), but perhaps not quite as precise as I'd want for rifle cartridge reloading?

    I'm not interested in a progressive press for various reasons. But would a single stage press be a good option for rifles, or possibly a less wobbly turret design of some kind?

    I'm intending on loading primarily .375 Ruger because it's the most expensive cartridge I shoot. But will likely follow it up with .30-06 and .308 eventually.
     
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  2. berettaprofessor

    berettaprofessor Member

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    Single stage is fine for rifle; I load most of my rifle cartridges on one. But I do have a turret populated with 223 dies and another with a 300BO setup.
     
  3. bdb242

    bdb242 Member

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    I have 2 single stage press's and load for 5 pistol calibers and 17 rifle calibers.
     
  4. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    I've loaded thousands of rifle cartridges on single stage presses (RCBS, Lee and Redding). I have never had the least desire to have a progressive press to reload them. Of the ones I've used, I favor RCBS.
     
  5. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    A single stage is the default, and an RCBS Rockchucker is the standard by which all others are judged.

    Buy a used one in good condition on fleaBay, and your grandkids will still be using it.
     
  6. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    Single stage will last (several) lifetimes -- and is perfect for rifle cartridges loaded w/ control/precision.
    I (highly) recommend cast iron "closed" O-press over anything open or aluminum. *

    * Two RCBS Rock Chuckers on Ebay right now for $50-$60
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/274989362080?hash=item4006a4aba0:g:WEcAAOSwiMphbIDf
     
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  7. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    For accurate rifle ammo, a single stage is hard to beat. I'm especially taken with the Co-Ax, the Mec Marksman and the RCBS Summit (in descending order)

    If you'd like a turret, the Redding T-7 is in the same tier as most single stage presses...without going all the way to the top of the class with the Area 419 Zero
     
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  8. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I have a Redding single stage press. Works great.

    The Redding Big Boss, RCBS Rockchucker, Lyman, or Hornady will serve you well. There is another single stage press, the Co-Ax, that has a big following. It uses a different die mounting system than a conventional o-frame press.

    I know lots of folks like turrets but I do not see any advantage to them over a single single stage press. I’d rather take the money saved buying a single stage press and buy more reloading gear.

    Just something to consider.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2021
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  9. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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  10. Soonerpesek

    Soonerpesek Member

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    I would bet you could tune your current press to make accurate ammo….
    Otherwise, you can make precision ammo with an economically priced machine…
    Single stage would fit that bill…
    Personslly, I don’t think you need to spend a fortune on a press to do what you are asking…
    As always, just my humble opinion..
     
  11. WrongHanded
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    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    Thanks for the feedback everyone!

    I've honestly been pretty pleased with my LCT, but I can see that it and the Lee dies I have for various cartridges aren't designed for high precision loading. They work well enough for what I've been doing so far, but I'd like to do a little better when I start producing rifle ammo.

    I'll ask about dies when I'm closer to being ready, but a solid single stage press is in the cards. Maybe next year, I'll get that ball rolling.
     
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  12. Bcwitt

    Bcwitt Member

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    Ditto highly recommend a cast iron O frame. Way less flex & life long durability. Most of them are rigid enough to swage your own fmj bullets or alter brass base diameter. You aren't likely to out live it, like some others.
     
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  13. eyeshot

    eyeshot Member

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    I just picked up a RC IV for 75.00 local pickup. Like new. Beefier and bigger than my RC II. Deals are out there if you religiously look.

    As said, all the cast iron single stage presses will probably outlast all of us if taken care of. I have dies and accessories by RCBS, Lyman, Hornady and Lee and it's all good stuff IMO.
     
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  14. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    Do checkout the new RCBS Rebel.....bigger, beefier than even the venerable Rock Chucker, and finally has the spent primers taken care of....no more primers going places you don't want them to go. There is no on-press priming, but I prefer a dedicated bench primer anyway....better feel. There is only one single station press heavier than the Rebel, and that's Hornady's latest Iron Press. I haven't heard that much about that huge red one.....It's been out a while, so that surprises me.... Anyone with Iron Press experience?
     
  15. WrongHanded
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    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    I did look at the Rebel. Currently I'm priming on-press, but I suppose I could move the shell holder (assuming they're compatible) over to my LCT and prime on that until I find/buy another solution. Right?
     
  16. jebova2301

    jebova2301 Member

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    My Lee feels sloppy, but it can make some tack drivers. Regularly 0.5-0.75moa ammo. Before going out and buying something else, why not give what you have a chance?
     
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  17. sfl_gunner

    sfl_gunner Member

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    RCBS single stage has worked well for me for rifle loads.
     
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  18. PWC

    PWC Member

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    I've used a Pacific "C" press for 38 yrs. If I were starting out now and had to spend money to start, I'd get an RCBS Rock Chucker, or any heavy "O" press.
     
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  19. GONRA

    GONRA Member

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    GONRA sez - lottsa great advice there!
    Get A Really Big Single Stage Press....
     
  20. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    My post from the Thread, "What kind of press(es) do you use?" :

    1974-marked RCBS JR3 single stage press that I bought off of a fella in ~1978 when I lived in VaB.

    In 2014 I bought a Lee Classic Turret and that has been my primary ever since.

    The LCT I have used for pistol ammo and 5.56. When I need to hand-/re-load some of the heavier stuff (.30'06, .303, 7.92x57, etc ... I still have beaucoup decent milsurp on-hand) I will almost certainly be using the JR3 and the loading blocks.
    :)
     
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  21. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    I bought a LNL Classic (single-stage) press for my brother, to replace the RCBS Reloader Special press I 'stole' from him many years ago... I found it to be a sub-standard press in all regards. Very poor machining, very poor tolerances, and that sloppy LNL bushing nonsense. I eventually sold it off, and bought a friend's Rock Chucker instead. Maybe Hornady pulled the stops out on the Iron Press... I don't know, I haven't seen one, but it still has that nonsensical LNL bushing, which I believe introduces unacceptable variances. Just my .02 worth. Some people love the LNL, some don't. I'll spend the extra 15 seconds of my life to change a die out, knowing that it locks down snugly and gives me repeatable tolerances.

    Just FYI... the Reloader Special has, I believe, the absolutely best on-press primer mech evarrrrrr. Granted, you have to touch each and every primer, and I don't know if the newer RS3 presses come with the on-press primer setup.
     
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  22. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

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    Since you are going to need dies for the 375ruger anyways, consider buying them first. Try them with your current press and see. Personally I prefer other brands than lee for dies. I like Lyman, but have mostly RCBS.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2021
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  23. WrongHanded
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    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    The priming setup on the Reloader Special - 5 looks to be the same as on the Rock Chucker Supreme. Perhaps it's the same design of priming system?

    https://www.rcbs.com/presses/single-stage/rock-chucker-supreme-press/16-9356.html
     
  24. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    No, this is a top of press primer mech... you actually lever down to seat the primer.
     
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  25. Bcwitt

    Bcwitt Member

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    While I do have several other priming options, I always want a press w a priming arm. Why wouldn't you? Is also nice to be able to switch from an up stroke to a down stroke configuration.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2021
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