Press recommendations??

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Archangel14, May 13, 2021.

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  1. Archangel14

    Archangel14 Member

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    Hi all. Long time off this forum. I'm looking for a recommendation for a new progressive press. My son and I are getting into some target shooting and I think it would be a great Father-Son endeavor. We'll be reloading mainly handgun caliber ammo, but I imagine a machine that can handle a rifle cartridge may come in handy down the road. We won't be loading thousands of rounds a month or anything in that capacity. I figure a few hundred rounds every couple of months. I'd like to stay under $1,000, but don't mind spending money on a quality machine. I already have some Lee dies, but won't mind having to get new proprietary dies, if needed. Any suggestions? Thanks!!!!
     
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  2. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    For ease of use, cost, and overall effectiveness it's hard to beat the Lee Classic Turret IMO. Get the auto disk upgrade and riser, or use the lee auto drum. Caliber changes take 5 seconds, primer size changes take 5 seconds, you can load around 200 handgun rounds an hour pretty easily (I've done 300 but it was work).

    Note: It's not a true progressive. The turret can be used in auto-index mode but it takes 3-4 pulls of the handle (depending on whether you're using 3 or 4 dies) to complete a loaded round. But IMO the ease of use is well worth it.

    In fact, for most people running progressives, if you add the time it takes to fill primer tubes and fiddle with the mechanisms you're probably only loading 200 rounds an hour anyway.

    Some here will disagree and say you should go full Dillon 650/750 or Hornady progressive from the get-go but your purposes and cost and ammo requirements I'd strongly recommend the LCT. You can even remove the indexing rod and run it as a single stage or manually indexing turret if you choose.

    GREAT press for the money, and from what I've seen there's really nothing like it. "semi-progressive."
     
  3. lordpaxman

    lordpaxman Member

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    When I decided to go progressive, my two choices were a Hornady LNL or a Dillon 650 (now 750). I ended up with a red one but have recently gotten an RL1100. Either of those first two will serve you well. Most dies have standard threads and will fit any of these presses. Dillon dies have a spring loaded decapping pin to aid in primer ejection. I’d recommend a case feeder just because on a progressive I’d rather be watching for powder and helping the press than feeding cases. I’d also recommend an RCBS lock out die in one of the stations.
    You’ll get lots of answers, good luck in deciding and let us know how it goes.
     
  4. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    some videos if interested





     
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  5. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    Unless you're and Industrial Engineer who's spent a couple years troubleshooting production equipment, I would strongly suggest you not start with a full Progressive press. There's too much going on, and you will miss something.

    I like @1KPerDay idea since it can run single-ish, like a turret. I prefer a single stage myself: I own all three and unless I'm gong to crank out 500+ of a recipe, I do it on my RockChucker.
     
  6. Bartojc

    Bartojc Member

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    I'll echo 1KPerDay's comments. I ran 150 rounds an about an hour on my Lee Classic Turret last night. I have the reverse index rod and case kicker from Inline, but honestly for a 100ish rounds a month I would purchase this press every time for the money. You can spend what is left of your $1000 budget on powder, primers, and bullets.

    I actually saw a few in stock this morning so you might actually be able to find one :)

    -Jeff
     
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  7. ericuda

    ericuda Member

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    Yep midway has it and turrets in stock.
     
  8. drband

    drband Member

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    Another vote for the LCT! Very satisfied user here. You won’t beat the value.

    But… I would have to say if money is not a restriction, I would get a Dillon. Amazing CS and warranty and lots of aftermarket support, too.
     
  9. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    A progressive is faster and more money, caliber changes cost more.
    I think a Lee Classic Turret is a good first press. You may want a progressive later, but even if you get one you can still use the Lee for small batches.

    I started with a Lee 3 hole turret. I got a LNL progressive later on, but still use the Lee for small batches and calibers I don't load as much of.
    Could I have learned on a progressive yes, but I think it would have been a lot harder than on the Lee.

    You will no doubt see the buy once cry once comments, and the get a Dillon everything else is junk, not as good....(fill in the blank)
    I haven't used a Dillion but I believe they are good equipment, but again I feel it would be better to start with the Lee turret than any progressive, and the turret will serve you well for many years.
    Also it is less money to add another caliber, and less of an investment in case you decide reloading is just not for you.

    I went with the LNL for a progressive, cheaper than the Dillon 650, has bushings for dies, quicker to change the primer setup from large to small and some other reasons.
    Not saying it is a better press than the Dillon's but it fit my needs at the time better.

    If you do go with a progressive I would recommend one with at least 5 stations, as you will want one station for a powder cop or lockout die. (powder cop will work for rifle, lockout die won't but I far prefer the lockout die for pistol as you don't have to watch it like you do a powder cop)

    PS: I have a Hornady LNL, no case feed but with a bullet feeder.
    With my setup I can feed case with the left hand and pull the lever with the right so on my press doing mostly pistol the bullet feeder was more help that a case feeder, easier to feed cases than bullets.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2021
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  10. WeekendReloader

    WeekendReloader Member

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    I started with the LEE Breech lock single stage press and loaded far more than what you are wanting to load. Single stage is great for occasional loaders. Whenever you have some spare time, you can work on a batch.

    A step up would be the LEE turret press.

    My opinion.. If you are only loading a few hundred rounds every couple of months, get a single stage. Then, if you ever get a progressive in the future, you will have a single stage available to use the multitude of tools that require a standard press to use (bullet pullers, bullet sizers, depriming grungy range pick-up brass, to name a few).
     
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  11. George P

    George P Member

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    The one thing that can throw a monkey wrench into this is exactly what is available? Primers? Not really, Bullets? With some long lead times. Powder, a tad easier than primers but still hard to acquire. Reloading press? Some are backordered for months on end. If you want to get started right now, it might mean settling for any metallic press, single stage or otherwise - or start scouring CraigsList and similar in your area for used ones.
     
  12. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    The $1k budget will eliminate the Dillon 750. The Hornady LNL-AP will fit the need and can be ran 1 round at a time or just 1 die at a time. I do like the others it's best to learn on a SS press. For when you start running on AP everything needs to be right for them to run smooth. Some like the bushing some don't. It does give you a lot of option when it comes to how you want to setup. Change over for the LNL-AP will be cheaper and faster than the Dillon unless you invest in multiple complete tool heads w/powder measure.
     
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  13. gifbohane

    gifbohane Member

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    For a few hundred rounds every few months I would get a solid and dependable single stage press..if you can find one. An RCBS comes to mind, not the top and not the bottom.
     
  14. Mark_Mark

    Mark_Mark Member

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    One Press to Rule them ALL!

    bluepress_sept14.jpg
     
  15. Nature Boy
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    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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    Dillon 650/750

    Mods: lock the thread
     
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  16. Zendude

    Zendude Member

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    Take a look at the Lee Pro 4000 if you’re looking for a progressive that’s easy on the wallet. A step up would be the Hornady and the Dillon presses.
     
  17. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I'll second this.
     
  18. Mark_Mark

    Mark_Mark Member

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    just spend $200-$300 and get a dillon! Nobody ever complained about buying quality
     
  19. bihj

    bihj Member

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    You won't hear many votes for it but my vote is for the Dillon 550.
     
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  20. Mark_Mark

    Mark_Mark Member

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    I want a 550!
     
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  21. Howland937

    Howland937 Member

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    I bought my barely used Hornady LNL AP last summer for $350. Came with all the basic stuff they come with...no extras except a couple of shell plates and 3 sets of dies. (And some powder, brass, tumbler, etc...) It's been a learning curve to say the least, but that's after loading lots and lots of rounds on single stages.

    I wasn't looking for any particular brand, just wanted a quicker process. I would have bought the Lee Classic Turret if I'd found as good a deal on one. I'm positively sure I could have accomplished my goals with it.

    Without a seriously good source for components, I'd be inclined to just buy whatever quality press you run across for a decent price. Especially starting out, since you don't know for certain it'll be something you and your son will really get into.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2021
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  22. peeplwtchr

    peeplwtchr Member

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    For what it sounds like you will do, get a Lee Turret with all the stuff Inline fabrication makes for it; it will speed you up. I load about 1200 per month. I think my tricked out turret cost around $600-700? I will probably get a Dillon 750 soon, because I'd rather pull the handle 1200 times per month instead of 4800. I use a Rockchucker for rifle, it's more of a precision instrument.

    EDIT: I think I spent around $550 for everything pictured.
     

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    Last edited: May 14, 2021
  23. Speer4447s

    Speer4447s Member

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    Lots of good options out there but my vote is for a basic Dillion 550C ... it'll moer than meet current needs and budget, and can be upgraded with additional whistles and bells later on. Dillion has a no BS guarantee ... just call or email with the broken part number and they'll ship a new one at no cost ... they are also great at trouble shooting over the phone. I recommend using Dillion dies, especially the sizing die to avoid frustrations at the sizing station.
     
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  24. peeplwtchr

    peeplwtchr Member

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    Another reason(s) I'm getting a Dillon. Plus thier factory/showroom is about 25 min. away from me.
     
  25. Mark_Mark

    Mark_Mark Member

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    do like me!

    rock chucker
    Lymen Turret
    Lee App press
    Dillion SDB

    cover all the brands
     
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