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Reloading pistol

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by skiking, Mar 28, 2012.

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  1. skiking

    skiking Member

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    Alrighty.

    I have been handloading for my rifles for several years. Several calibers, mostly .243, .300 Win Mag and .270. I just ordered a Glock 20 because I can reload and it isn't the most common caliber. I am currently using a single stage press, but have found that for 9mm it just takes too long too reload enough rounds to even get a little bit of practice in. I like spending time reloading for rifle cartridges, but with pistol it is just too slow with a single stage, or so it seems.

    So I have been considering getting a progressive press. But I am a little conflicted on which press to get. I like the reputation of the Dillon 550, but auto indexing seems really nice, the RCBS Pro2000's priming system with the APS strips seems easier than tubes and I have had good experiences with my RCBS RockChucker. The Hornady LNL-AP looks really nice and appears to change calibers fairly quickly as well as looking to be the least expensive.

    Are any of these presses inherently more trouble free than the others? I don't mind tinkering a little to get one to work, but I don't want something to be a constant struggle where I end up wanting to throw the press I buy over the edge of the dam. It seems like the Hornady is the best value, if their presses work as well as their bullets do for me I will be tickled pink. Heck I will likely be putting only 100-150 rounds downrange per week.

    Are there any serious things I should weigh in getting a press or should any of the 3 serve me well?
     
  2. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I can't spend the money required to buy a progressive press so I bought a Lee Classic turret press and it works very well for me. I can safely reload between 180 and 200 rounds per hour. It produces quality ammo and caliber changeovers are very fast and easy.

    If you are going to shoot only 100-150 rounds a week a progressive press is overkill and really not worth the expense IMO...
     
  3. tlen

    tlen Member

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    The Dillon RL550B is fine but if you get into reloading more and think about a casefeeder the 550 casefeeder will only do pistol. With the Hornady LNL you have the option to load rifle with the casefeeder and the LNL is considerable less than the comparable Dillon XL650.
    I've had a 550B since the late 80s and haven't had any problems and several years ago got a casefeeder for it. One can really crank out pistol ammo with it. Now that my 550 is set up for pistol I'm looking for a second press and may order a LNL for rifle loading and to try something a little different. The LNL cost is a little less than the 550 but has 5 stations instead of 4 and is auto indexing. Many use the extra station to install a powder checker which might be useful in pistol reloading. There are several threads on this Forum and other Forums that discuss the pros and cons of the 550, 650, and LNL. including one I started.
    BTW, If you don't mind tinkering you can always look at the Lee Progressives, Pro 1000 or Loadmaster. Some swear by them and others swear at them. Here's a Forum to check them out:
    http://forums.loadmastervideos.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=2&sid=c9514b678991ea0f70a8c0a58348cd2d
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  4. JLDickmon

    JLDickmon Member

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    I agree with ArchAngel. If you're only reloading a couple hundred rounds per week, a turret press is all you need.
    If you're going through a couple hundred rounds per DAY.. then yeah, a progressive would be better.
     
  5. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    There is nothing wrong with my Pro1000. I don't tinker with it as far as function. I did a few mods to change it to work the way I wanteed it to. I do wish it had another station.

    I ordered a Load Master that I should get today. Not that I needed it but I wanted it & my wife has been telling me for the last 6 months to get it.

    I also got a LNL but I got a sower taste in my mouth when I went to set it up & had the wrong parts. Had to send them off to Hornady with a check to pay for what they called warranty work. The powder measure has problems also so I set it to the back of the desk to mess with later. I also ordered a Lee Pro Disk Powder Measure for it also.
     
  6. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    Most any of the press you listed will produce good ammo if setup correctly. Each have their pluses and minuses. Dillon has been around the longest with the progressive press. Hornady and RCBS were late to the game. Hornady has been make great gains on the progressive market and has experienced growing pains due to it. They like Dillon back there equipment. If I had not worry about money the Dillon 650 would be the press of choice. But since I'm on a fixed income I went with the LNL-AP 4 yrs ago and would do it again. Most of the issues have been due to operator not setting things up correctly. Yes their are areas that need improving and Hornady has been doing that with each new production run. I mainly load pistol ammo on mine but have load some 308 and Rem 7mm Mag on it without any issues. I did not use the brass feeder for rifle ammo since I had to lube the brass prior to sizing. Hornady has been make big gains on the progressive market and will continue too as long as they improve and back their machines.

    Now if you want to constantly tweek on something then Lee is your choice. Is it capable of making good ammo? Yes But you will have to work on it a lot to keep it running smooth.

    The RCBS is not brought up very often. I don't know if it's the priming system that people shy away from or what. With Hornady priming system it will not use a primer unless there is brass present that can use it. The others keep on feeding no matter what.

    Good luck on your new purchase. Progressives are best for producing a lot of ammo in a short time. If you have limited time even though your round count is low they still make since.
     
  7. loose noose

    loose noose Member

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    I've got an RCBS Rock Chucker that I use exclusively for rifle ammo; but I've got the old RCBS Piggyback II that I got brand new back in 93. It will only load pistol calibers and .223 ammo, but all I use it for is pistol every thing from .32 auto to 45 auto, and also .44 Mag. It works really good, and the only problem I had with it RCBS in Oroville, Ca. fixed it right away. They are great people to do business with.(the auto primer feeder stopped working it was a spring) I can do over 200 rounds an hour on it with no problem and really have quality ammo. Don't remember the cost but it was very economical.
     
  8. 777TRUTH

    777TRUTH Member

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    If auto index is important to you consider the Dillon 650.

    I have the LNL AP with case feeder, if you like to tinker and work out Hornady's QC issues it's a good press.
     
  9. skiking

    skiking Member

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    I was just thinking of a progressive press so it wouldn't cut into my rifle reloading time. I currently shoot 50-60 rounds through my .243 and .300 Win Mag and ~100 through my 9mm on a weekend and with summer coming around the corner that will likely increase to ~100 per week on the rifles. My thoughts on a progressive were to make ammo for the handguns cheaper and not significantly cut into the time I set aside for reloading rifle ammo and I take my sweet time reloading rifle ammo. And when I get my 10mm it won't take long to make a progressive press pay for itself.

    What will probably happen to my 100-150 rounds per week is it will go up to 200-250 per week, I know before I started reloading for rifle I was shooting ~20 per week.

    I guess it sounds like pick one and go for it.
     
  10. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    I don't load handgun often & no way do I average 50 rounds a week. I my wife goes to the range she will burn through 500 in a little bit but 50 will do me. When I load them I do around 1000 & I'm good for a while. I had modified my Pro1000 to load 30-06, 243, & such on which was nice but I decide I would rather use the SS for them. The powder I use for most rifle rounds doesn't work through any measures so it is better for me to get the charge from the despensor/scale dump it straight from the tray to the case then seat the bullet on the SS.
     
  11. tlen

    tlen Member

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    What are the problems ? Are they QC/QA related that can be fixed or are they design issues ?
     
  12. TonyT

    TonyT Member

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    I purchased a Dillon 550 almost a decade ago. I do not miss the auto indexing feature as I visually inspect each powder drop before seating the bullet.
     
  13. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    The case feeder for the LNL works once well once it's dialed in. Small changes have a big impact. After you used it awhile you will learn where to tweak. The biggest problem was with small base brass tipping and binding as the sled moves the brass in. There is a very easy fix to this which makes it near %100. The tilting is caused by pushing the brass, contacting above the extractor groove. I just glued a spacer to the bottom of the pusher foot. Another user here made a wire loop to contact lower. Pushing lower corrects the tilting problem. Now if your press is not mounted solid and it shakes it can impact the collarator.

    Depending on what your loading the drop feed wiper can bind. The problem is the brass not setting vertical in the tube. Hornady has a tube for the 40 cal to correct this problem. I made a plastic insert for the 45acp thinking it could do better it and it does.
     
  14. mingansr

    mingansr Member

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    to kingmt

    just setting up my Lee Loadmaster. it's a fine pc of equipment. you're gonna want to go to

    loadmastervideos.com

    they have awesome videos, and the site is there cuz the guys at Glock forum paid for it. nice vids. one dude, Shadowdog, has an excellent video on the setup of case loader. however, in cranking the thing setting it up, i inadvertantly twisted the assembly that holds the shellholder (5 station), so when i tried to cycle the press, it took my son's help to swivel it back to the left in a clockwise direction so that the indexing shaft would index properly. tomorrow i'll set up the Pro Measuring unit.

    again, all issues are handled at the above website mentioned.
     
  15. ralph76

    ralph76 Member

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    Just like TonyT said. I love my 550. Any errors were my fault. And Dillon stands squarely on their products. Any questions and they are happy to help. That is my experience anyway. Wish you the best of luck.
     
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