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progressive or single stage for beginner

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Potatohead, May 10, 2013.

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  1. Potatohead

    Potatohead Member

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    yes, i dont think i would want to spend 30 min on a caliber change. Do most other presses besides the above mentioned make it a pain to change calibers? or a better way to ask, is the Lee Classic Turret one of the few presses that will caliber change quickly?
     
  2. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Member

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    I can switch calibers on my Hornady LNL AP in less than 5 minutes. Switching dies takes maybe 30 seconds, shell plate takes about a minute, primer system about 2-3minutes (not always necessary). The only thing that really takes any time at all is adjusting the powder measure, but you'll have to do that no matter what press you get unless you have multiple powder measures. I own 2 powder measures, one for pistol and one for rifle, it cuts the needed time to about 1/3 of what it takes with just 1 powder measure.
     
  3. CatManDo

    CatManDo Member

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    All this info is "personal opinion" and as such isn't all that valuable. BUT, since it is "personal opinion" I'll add mine as well. A previous post got to the heart of the matter and stated he runs a progressive press and has a couple of single stage presses for load development, ect. That's what I do and I highly recommend that method. If you jump in and start with a progressive (also what I recommend) bear in mind ALL progressives CAN be used as a Single Stage type press. Also, you state that you will be using a few hundred rounds per month; that amount will dramatically increase, based upon your desire/enjoyment to shoot and the availability of procuring reloading components. Look for something like a Dillon 550 or 650 and never look back.
     
  4. Searcher4851

    Searcher4851 Member

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    Can you learn to reload on a progrssive press after reading a book?
    Yes
    Can you learn to drive in a formula 1 car on a grand prix course after reading a book?
    Yes
    Can you get into trouble faster and easier with a progressive press or formula 1 car?
    Yes
    Would I advise learning on a progressive or in a formula 1 car without knowing you and your capabilities personally and objectively?
    No
    Is there a strong likelyhood that in your reloading adventures that you'll own a single stage press at some time anyhow?
    In my experience and from all the reloaders I know.....Yes.
    Would it thereby just make common sense to start with the single stage?
    Opinions vary, but take a guess where I stand.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2013
  5. Potatohead

    Potatohead Member

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    seems to be a pretty good point to me Searcher, thx
     
  6. Potatohead

    Potatohead Member

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    thx for your reply
     
  7. savanahsdad

    savanahsdad Member

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    I can switch out my LEE LoadMaster in 2-3min , however when I do switch cals. I clean and lube my press and my dies before setting up for the next cal. keeps everything looking and working like new , so being picky I take a bit longer , the prime system on the LoadMaster is held in place with the shell plate , so if you need to go from small primers too large primers ,all you do is, lift up the prime system , and drop in the other one when you switch shell plates, and this is all done without tools, I also have a case feeder on my LoadMaster , so if I go from a short case like 45acp too a tall case like 44mag. add a min or two, to adj. that. and then switch out powder add another 1-2min's

    single stage , 30sec from die to die,
     
  8. grubbylabs

    grubbylabs Member

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    I am not sure about the LNL but my projector takes less than 10 minutes to change out. I can't imagine the LNL takes much longer.
     
  9. thump_rrr

    thump_rrr Member

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    It takes longer than 15 minutes on the Hornady LnL if you have a case feeder and a bullet feeder.
    I generally load once a year for each pistol cartridge or semi auto rifle.
    I'll pump out several thousand rounds in one caliber before switching.
    I have a hard time switching calibers when everything is running like clockwork.
    1,000 rounds per hour or more is doable but 800 rounds per hour is a leisurely pace.
     
  10. Potatohead

    Potatohead Member

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    thx
     
  11. stavman11

    stavman11 Member

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    Thump_rrr... thats my theory for sure

    Thus why i ordered the 3rd lee pro 1000 today specifically for 9mm Only

    Once its dialed hard ta change everything:banghead:... well Hard for me to Justify....:)

    A lee classic would be Good... but I do not regret the lee Pro 1000's at all... All work flawless for me..... just Take yer time setting em up and yer dialed
     
  12. carbuncle

    carbuncle Member

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    I went with a Single Stage to start, even though I'll move up to a progressive eventually I think the SS provides me with a better grounding in fundamentals.
     
  13. dab102999

    dab102999 Member

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    Each press has it's quirks when it comes to changeing out dies. To me it dosen't matter. I usually only load one caliber at a time. When I change caliber I always clean my area and put everthing away that had to do with last caliber and get next caliber out. If time was that big of a deal as to how long it takes to change the dies I probably wouldn't be reloading cus no matter how fast you crank out those rounds it takes time. And in the big sceam of it the time it takes to change dies is nothing compaired to the time it take to turn out those rounds unless you are only doing 20 or 30 rounds of one caliber.
     
  14. Potatohead

    Potatohead Member

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  15. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Member

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    For me, most times I couldn't care less how long it takes to switch calibers. But in my line of work I'm sometimes working 6 days a week, 12 hours a day, for weeks on end. So during those times, it's pretty nice to be able to load up a few hundred rounds of one caliber, spend a few minutes switching to another, load up a few hundred more rounds, and be able to hit the range on my one day off. It's also nice because it doesn't require me to be away from my wife and 18 month old any longer than necessary to reload some ammo. I like shooting and reloading, but I also enjoy spending time with my family.
     
  16. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    Everyone has their own particular loading style. KansasSasquatch's style fits with a long session of a single caliber (followed by a caliber swap and another long session with another caliber).

    My loading style consists of shorter loading sessions of moderate quantities of one caliber followed by another another caliber and, often, another (which generally matches my shooting style for the preceding day or shooting). Quicker caliber swaps are more important to me than to KansasSasquatch.

    It is simply a matter of the hardware fitting the individual's style. Whatever equipment fits your style best is what you should get.

    Lost Sheep
     
  17. TenDriver

    TenDriver Member

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    Your mileage will vary, but I bought a Lee single stage. Caliber changes are easy with the quick lock bushings. You set the die once and leave it.

    After I get home from the range, all the brass gets sized / decapped and tumbled. After that it's ready to load when I get around to it. With rifle cartridges I prime, charge, then seat bullets. Since the cases are already sized there are no die changes. I'm only using the bullet seating die as I don't crimp them.

    With pistol cartridges I do have some die changes, but I only change once per die. If I'm loading 50 cartridges, I prime 50, expand / charge 50, seat 50, crimp 50, done. Even on the single stage it doesn't take all that long. The lengthiest part of it is charging the cases since I weigh each charge, sometimes twice if my final inspection before seating causes any second thoughts.

    I think you'll find reloading to be just as enjoyable, if not more so than actually shooting. Especially now that the weather's gotten good I'm in the garage tinkering every night.
     
  18. ottsixx

    ottsixx Member

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    Ive been rolling my own for near 40 years and I still do the single stage thing.
     
  19. lgbloader

    lgbloader Member

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    My vote is to start on a single stage. I believe that by going slow will force you to exam brass more closely, go through all the steps with more caution, and do a final exam of the finished rounds. A bit more intimate, you know what I mean??? then once you have the concept of hand loading engrained, and you know how to trouble shoot any and all issues, move up to a progressive or Lee Classic turret. This way, you still have the old faithful single stage for the odd jobs and rifle rounds. and then you have the LCT or progressive for hi output.

    you could start with a progressive but what is the hurry??? and if you are trying to whiz by with high round count right away, kinda defeats the learning process a bit, right?

    While every hand loader here would love to have an exotic man cave with a progressive set up in every caliber, along with tons of brass, powders, projo's, and primers, I honestly believer that at least 85 to 90 percent of us out here could get by with only a good single stage (Rockchucker, big boss II, Classic Cast, etc) and the Lee Classic Turret press. with these 2 presses, you can develop loads intimately. Once you have your pet loads, assemble quite a few very quickly.

    As a side note, I have 3 Dillons, 2 Turrets, and 3 single stage and I could get by without all the presses except one, a single stage.

    Good Luck Mate.

    LGB
     
  20. GaryL

    GaryL Member

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    As has been stated by several, know thyself before proceeding. If you can, check out any presses any of your friends might have, or at reloading stores. There is a local place here (Gunstop) that has several mounted up for show and tell.

    I started on a 550b. I am also very mechanically inclined. Several years back, Midway had a sale on the Lee Classic Cast, so I bought one. It is handy to have, since it keeps the Dillion from getting tied up with occasional little tasks. But it also taught me that I would have hated reloading on a single stage. But that is me, and not necessarily anyone else on this board. A guy I know loads over 1K a month on a single stage. Has been for years. And he could easily afford any progressive he wants. But as far as I can tell, he never sleeps anyway, maybe 2-3 hours a day at best, so I think it's his therapy and a peaceful night of sleep for his wife.
     
  21. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    I manage on a 550b and a Lee Hand Press. Works good. I would like to have a Lee Classic Single Stage.
     
  22. jfrey

    jfrey Member

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    Call Dillon and order a progressive, then learn how to use it. Skip the single stage unless you want to load rifle rounds.
     
  23. TommyD45

    TommyD45 Member

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    Any idea where they have them in stock?
    I've had one on backorder from Cabelas since February.
     
  24. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Member

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    Few?? no, any press that has a removable turret, toolhead or whatever that company is calling them, & doesn't require that you remove each die will be pretty quick.

    To the original question...
    I've owned a few presses in my life, and CANNOT recommend a progressive press to a new reloader.
    There's just too much going on all at the same time.

    Besides if you buy a slower press, you'll always find uses for it, if you eventually upgrade.
     
  25. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    I am pretty sure the Forster Co-Ax is the fastest to change calibers, followed by either of the Lee Turrets.

    The Forster does not require the die be screwed in or out, but simply slipped into position. The Forster has a "universal" shell holder that uses collets, not individual holders for each caliber.

    The Lee Turrets require no tools or screwing in and out to change the turret heads as all other turrets do. Simply twist the turret 1/8 turn and lift to remove and reverse that operation to install. Changing shell holders is just like any single stage.

    Lost Sheep
     
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