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Reloading Press Question

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by BlayGlock, Jan 22, 2010.

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  1. BlayGlock

    BlayGlock Member

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    Currently I am loading on a Lee single stage press and it used to work well enough, but now I have decided to shoot in some pistol competitions. I guess I will shoot on average about 1000 rounds a month. I have just started my Masters degree in addition to working full time and now the single stage press takes more time than I would like.

    How much faster would a Lee turret press be? I already have Lee dies and such. Could I reload my monthly quota in a couple of hours or should I upgrade to a progressive press of some sort? Thanks.
     
  2. BlayGlock

    BlayGlock Member

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    Forgot to add: I will only be shooting 9mm for the time being.

    And How about a Dillon Square Deal?
     
  3. bds

    bds Member

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    I have used the Lee Pro 1000 to load my match reloads for over 15 years. The Auto Disk provides very accurate charge-to-charge powder measurement which is critical for accurate loads.

    Lee Pro 1000 can do about 600-900 rounds an hour with the benefit of a case feeder, but I recommend you size/deprime first and hand prime cases for smooth/faster reloading. I use a two press setup (single stage and Pro 1000) where I have the sizing/depriming die on the single stage press and flare/powder charge and seater die on the Pro 1000. This setup allows me to do more quality control checks. Since you already have a single stage press, you might consider this.

    You can find more pros and cons info on Lee Pro 1000 here:
    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=497331&page=2
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2010
  4. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    The Lee turret equipped with a safety prime, pro auto disk with riser, and auto index can load up to 200 rounds an hour. That's after a learning curve of approximately 1 month. And that's if you have all the components for the 200 rounds right at hand.

    Otherwise, 100-150 rounds/hr. are easily obtained. Now that's straight wall pistol/revolver cartridges. Rifle will take a bit longer if you trim after sizing, and to wipe off lube,(or tumble loaded to remove the lube).

    Don't get a progressive until AFTER you've tried the lee turret. Most neve do get a progressive after they see how fast the lee turret is.

    Also, if you decide on the lee turret, BE SURE you get the classic turret, don't bother with the 3 hole, or older 4 hole turret.
     
  5. ambidextrous1

    ambidextrous1 Member

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    bds wrote:

    "Lee Pro 1000 can do about 600-900 rounds a minute..."

    Dayum! I gotta get me one of them!:D
     
  6. RippinSVT

    RippinSVT Member

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    I love the Lee Loadmaster, which is their premium progressive. I use it predominately for 9mm, and found it for around $210 on Midway.com on clearance. That being said, I HATE their case-feeding system. I got so mad at it last night that I just ripped it all off and started feeding cases by hand. Also, with short cases like 9mm and possibly .45ACP, you'll probably need to file the case-inserter down to prevent binding.


    But to answer your question, it is much faster regardless. Every pull of the handle is doing 3-5 actions at once. It'll take a little while to get it all dialed in, but once you do, it is very fast. I can sit down and load 50 rounds of 9mm in 20 minutes without the case-feeder, and about 50 in 10 if it's working. That's taking my time and watching out for everything I need to look for (low powder, primer feed binding, ect.).


    When I was doing all my 9mm on a single-stage turret, I would do maybe 50 rounds in 45 minutes max. Now I just sit down, check my powder/primer levels, and start cranking.


    Hint: Buy 3-4 turrets/powder-drops/shell plates for other calibers you reload to make switching calibers a cinch.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2010
  7. uf-engineer

    uf-engineer Member

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    id get a progressive and be done with it. I got a LNL for my 1st press & could't be happyer.
     
  8. RippinSVT

    RippinSVT Member

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    bds makes a good point on sizing/depriming first. When you work the lever, this action is what provides most of your resistance. It also helps to "feel" the primer insertion when they are already sized.


    If you are only bulk-reloading for one auto caliber, you can't beat the Pro 1000 for speed/price. That being said, the Load-Master is better built and will last a lifetime.
     
  9. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

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    IMO the Square Deal is your best bet. If you plan to add more calibers in the future, I recommend either the 550 or 650. The Hornady LNL auto would be a good choice, as well.

    I wish someone would show me how to load 900 rounds per hour. I can hit a cyclic rate close to 1,000 per hour, but actual production rate is a "bit" less.
     
  10. Nate1778

    Nate1778 Member

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    I timed myself on my Loadmaster the other night, did 450 .38 specials in an hour including putting them in their boxes. As stated above they do take a bit to setup and one must be mechanically inclined to operate one, but one they are they will produce ammo with the best of them.

    The only advantage of a turret with that caliber is a crimped primer pocket won't jam up the gear works like it would with a progressive. I usually could get 150 rounds an hour with the turret but that was moving at a pretty good clip.
     
  11. bds

    bds Member

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    I meant to say 600-900 rounds an hour :eek:

    I have seen commercial reloading machines that do several rounds a second tho.


    Here (and he's even priming on the upstroke too): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kWXyxOEbZ0

    If you use sized/primed cases, it is faster yet and more smooth/less effort with no wasted time due to stuck/jammed primer.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2010
  12. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

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    Yeah. I saw that video.
     
  13. twice barrel

    twice barrel Member

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    I have the Lee Classic Turret & just love it. But if I were going to be shooting one pistol cartridge only and competitively I'd be looking into the Loadmaster. There are a world of youtube videos and websites with tips to address this press' quirks that leave me confident its one I could move to directly from a single stage. But then I've used a progressive loader in years gone by and can appreciate their initial cantakerousness.

    Gotta have patience and an open mind,

    TB
     
  14. treerooster

    treerooster Member

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    I found the Lee Deluxe Turret kit at Widener's for $91.00. So I ordered it I have been using a single stage press. I am waiting for the big brown truck to pull up anytime. So i am ready to get it set up and working. I like the single stage press for rifle reloading. But not for large amounts of pistol reloading.
     
  15. j21blackjack

    j21blackjack Member

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  16. BlayGlock

    BlayGlock Member

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    Leaning towards the SD since I will only load pistol on it. I only have 1 rifle anyway, a .308 which I will load on the single stage press anyway for load accurizing.
     
  17. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...just started my Masters degree in addition to working full time..." Geezuz! And you find time to reload. Impressive time management skills. Mind you, reloading can be good therapy. Get you away from work and school. You don't have to load complete rounds in one sitting either. You can get the cases to where they just need powder and bullet and finish 'em as required.
    "...the single stage press takes more time..." Speed with a single stage press is matter of technique. However, my best techniques won't beat any progressive. A turret just means you don't have to change dies. It'll be faster than a single stage, but not as fast as a progressive. A progressive may be too big of a pile of money though.
     
  18. jmortimer

    jmortimer Member

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    I doubt anyone has ever regretted getting a Lee Turret Press. Richard Lee the man himself said that if he could only own one press it would be his turret press. As usual I would recommend reading customer reviews/comments on Midway USA. You will quickly see that the Lee Precision Classic Turret is worth every penny. As for a progressives, as much as I love Lee Precision I would not get one of their progressives - get a Honady Lock and Load or Dillion if you must have a progressive. If you get a Lee progressive you have to learn to love it. Just read the reviews and decide for yourself.
     
  19. Zeke/PA

    Zeke/PA Member

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    I bought a Dillon Square Deal a few years back from a co-worker and it is heaven on earth.
    I do about 250/300 rounds per hour and it's more than enough for my amount of shooting.
    I load .38 Specials and 45 Auto and it's really a snap to go from one to the other.
     
  20. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

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    The video linked above is cyclic rate and cannot be sustained unless another person is resupplying PPP. But using two people cuts the production rate in half; 450 rounds per person, per hour.
     
  21. iScream

    iScream Member

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    I have a Dillon SDB and I really like it a lot. The standard SDB disclaimer is that it uses proprietary dies, which won't work on other presses. That means the dies you say you already have won't work on it either.

    Once I'm set up and ready to go, I can knock out about 250 rounds per hour of 38 Special. That's with checking the powder charge on about every 50th round. If I ever invest that $10 in a primer flip tray and buy a couple extra primer tubes, the rounds loaded per hour will definitely go up.

    -Chris
     
  22. Crashbox
    • Contributing Member

    Crashbox Member

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    I bought a LNL AP almost three months ago for my first press as well and I like it a lot. My throughput is about 125-200 rounds an hour including checking every 10th-20th charge weight. It has also been my experience that the Hornady powder measure is very consistent FWIW. But I must add that I found the LNL AP a bit finicky to get running *smoothly* but once you've got it set it seems to stay that way for a while (from what I've read elsewhere).

    There is one catch I discovered, though, but it appears common to virtually all progressives: the indexing action will tend to shake powder out of full-tilt loads. When I tried loading 17 grains of 2400 for my .357 Magnum behind a 125-grain JHP, the powder bits went here and there and caused a real nuisance with the primer feed. This can be significantly reduced by riding your finger along the side of the shell plate while it is moving, thereby reducing the sudden stop (thanks to Mongoose33 for the suggestion!). So I found the progressive best for loading medium-power loads and using powders such as TiteGroup which do not fill the case as much.

    Just my pair of Lincoln coins, YMMV.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2010
  23. iScream

    iScream Member

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    Dumb question. Does PPP = Projectiles, powder and primers?

    -Chris
     
  24. ambidextrous1

    ambidextrous1 Member

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    EddieNFL wrote:

    "The video linked above is cyclic rate and cannot be sustained unless another person is resupplying PPP."

    I think I agree; I don't know what PPP means, but a second party must top off primers, powder, cases and bullets while the operator keeps up his cyclic rate.

    Oh, don't forget to carry away the loaded cartridges!

    We'll ignore the time spent cleaning and inspecting the cases, and the inspection and gauging of the completed ammunition. Is the press using sized & primed brass in that video?

    If you live alone (as I do), the necessary support operations result in "down time", when the press isn't being operated. I have used the Dillon primer tube loader for several years now, and that helps a lot.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2010
  25. robctwo

    robctwo Member

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    My buddy bought the Loadmaster as his first press. I learned to load on it.Bought the LnL. He struggled with his for 5 years. He bought the LnL last spring. He wonders why he wasted those 5 years......

    116,000 through mine. Had a problem at 85,000. Hornady rebuilt the whole thing for free.
     
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