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Second first press?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by bob97, Dec 5, 2013.

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  1. bob97

    bob97 Member

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    Long-time lurker here. I've learned a lot reading THR - especially about reloading.

    I have been reloading for about a year on a borrowed rockchucker. I have been pretty successful loading 40S&W and 45 Auto. It's been fun and rewarding. I like the quality of the Rockchucker, but it's slow.

    So eventually, my brother will want his press back, I imagine, so I am wondering what press would fit my needs. I intend to mostly reload 40S&W and 45 auto - maybe 400 to 800 rounds/month, and eventually 45 Colt and .223 and 30-06 on occasion.

    As far as price, I am trying to be fairly economical, but I don't have a pre-set limit.

    Thanks!
     
  2. gspn

    gspn Member

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    Time vs Money. This tradeoff is prominent in your decision of which press to buy. You can buy a slower press for a smaller amount of money, or a faster press for more money.

    If I had to do 400 rounds a month I'd buy the Lee Classic Turret. If I had to do 800 a month or more I'd probably buy a progressive (Hornady or Dillon).

    But that's just me...I started running out of spare time and I couldn't spend a few hours a week in the garage reloading. Once I get the progressive setup I can easily turn out 400 rounds of .45 in an hour. On the Lee it would take me two or two and a half hours.

    I still have the Lee...and it's a great machine...but on the high volume stuff I just needed more speed.
     
  3. Nickb45

    Nickb45 Member

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    I would recommend a Dillon 550B. I load 40, 45acp, 44mag, .223 and 30-06 on one. I can get 4-500 pistol rounds an hour, 3-400 .223/hour and I don't crank out more than 100 rounds a month for the 30-06.

    I have never had any issues with consistency. My rifle rounds will shoot half MOA all day long.

    The 550 might be more press than you are looking for now, but down the road it might be perfect, or not enough press for you.

    IMO you can't go wrong with a Dillon machine. The warranty is second to none and it's a great machine.
     
  4. Ex

    Ex Member

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    Strong second for the Dillon RL550 B
    400 rds /hr is easy with handgun rounds.

    And like Nick said, their warranty... nuff said. Worth the little extra money it might be
    Look on Craigs list or backpage. Saw a NEW 550 with 3 caliber setups for $400 a few weeks ago.
    Guy bought it new and died before he used it. Widow was selling it.

    Go Dillon and you'll never regret it.
     
  5. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Member

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    If you can afford a Dillon RL550B, GO FOR IT!
    You'll be glad you did.

    If not, what about a Dillon BL550?
    Same press, fewer bells & whistles.
    You can add on later.

    If that's still too much, then consider a Lee CLASSIC Turret press.
    (make sure it's a classic, the "deluxe" ain't so "deluxe") :rolleyes:
     
  6. Ex

    Ex Member

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    Gospel
     
  7. tyeo098

    tyeo098 Member

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    I have the Lee pro1000 progressive, but time and time again I find myself plunking along on the old Lee classic cast single stage.

    Sure, its slow, but handling each round during the process is half the fun right?
    Makes each round more personal, higher quality, IMO.
     
  8. gahunter12

    gahunter12 Member

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    Another vote for a Dillon RL550b. Buy once, and cry once. I started on a RL550b back in 2008. I'm glad I went ahead and spent the money for my RL550b. It's been nothing but pleasure to load ammo on it. I can easily load 375-400 rounds per hour on my RL550b if I have everthing laid out and ready to load. I have since added a second RL550b, and a Rock Chucker to the bench. My original 550 takes care of .40s&w, .38spl, .223. My second 550 takes care of my .45acp loads. Then my RC loads my 7mm, .300wm, and all rifle brass sizing. I could do it all in one, but I like new toys! :)
     
  9. gspn

    gspn Member

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    I use a Hornady LNL...it too produces flawless ammo, has a great warranty, and top notch customer service behind it.
     
  10. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    I have happily loaded many thousands of rounds on a Dillon 550b. It's worth more now, 25 years old and well used, than I paid for it new. Their warranty and customer service is great.
     
  11. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    A good single stage press is handy to have around even if you have a progressive.

    I load some rifle on my progressives but prefer to resize them on a single stage. Most of the rifle cartridges that I reload are done completely on a single stage.

    Personally, I prefer a progressive that auto-indexes but lots of folks are happy with a manual indexed press.
     
  12. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    "If I had to do 400 rounds a month I'd buy the Lee Classic Turret. "

    Ditto.
     
  13. Lee S. Forsberg

    Lee S. Forsberg Member

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  14. frankenstein406

    frankenstein406 Member

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    Lee classic cast turret no regrets
     
  15. bob97

    bob97 Member

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    Thanks all. I'll check out the above suggestions. I do know a guy with a 550b just sitting in storage.
     
  16. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    I have a Dillon 550 that I use regularly.
    I also have a Rock Chucker, and the only time I use it is if I'm going to try a different caliber for a few (10) rounds in a caliber I seldom shoot (.380 or 10mm) and don't yet have a quick-change Dillon tool head set up for that caliber.

    I could live without the Rock Chucker; as a matter of fact, I've offered it to several friends on a "get started in reloading" basis. No takers so far.

    I had a Hornady Pro-7 once. When I needed some parts, Hornady said that they don't support that press anymore, and I could just buy a new one.

    That didn't sit well with me, and I've never had that problem with Dillon. I was able to get parts for a 30+ year old RL450, and then I bought a 550.
     
  17. oldreloader

    oldreloader Member

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    without a doubt Lee Classic Turret
     
  18. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I can safely load 180 to 200 rounds of handgun ammo per hour on a Lee Classic 4 hole turret press. For your needs that would be one hour a week of loading.

    With an additional $10 turret you can change from 40 S&W to .45 Auto in less than a minute.

    Sure Progressive presses are fast but at what cost. ($450+) IMO the turret press for only $110 will fill your needs and only take you one hour a week...
     
  19. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    Bob -
    Glad you enjoy reloading. It's a great hobby, and wonderful adjunct to sport shooting.

    Your level of experience and ammo production all point to a progressive type press as being your best choice. But just like vehicles, choice of reloading presses tend to combine many variables other than simply cost. Usability, added features, resale value, and your physical limitations also enter the decision process.

    Even at your very modest level of reloading, the best presses on the market will pay for themselves within 8 months. When the choice is presented like that it's easier to see that you'd need to be severely cash strapped to choose the 50cc moped over the Mercedes-Benz.
     
  20. GaryL

    GaryL Member

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    I have a Lee CC and a 550b on the bench. Guess which one does 98% of the loading? The CC is a handy tool, but even in single stage mode the Dillon is the nicer machine to use.
     
  21. Racerx7

    Racerx7 Member

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    I have a Dillon 650. I reload 9mm. 40, 45 and 223. If I total all the rounds together, I probably reload 1200 - 1500 rounds a month. I started with the basic 650, which was given to me and added on when the money was there. I love this machine and it is well worth the price and it will always hold its value.
     
  22. Ex

    Ex Member

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    Excellent analogy Wobbly!

    Both are simply vehicles, both will transport you from one place to the other. But which would be your choice? :rolleyes: I'll take the Benz any day!
     
  23. xring3

    xring3 Member

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    I know the trend is for speedier equipment but,....I miss my old Hollywood press.
     
  24. sauer1911

    sauer1911 Member

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    Started with a Lee Classic turret, now I use a Dillon xl650.

    The lee is slower, less expensive, simple.

    The Dillon once you get past the slight learning curve is Awesome! I load .45 and 9mm.

    The .45acp is a breeze once you set up the specs of OAL, powder measure, and crimp. I have the lee set up right next to it for the problems that come up once in awhile. I.E. primer didn't get pushed out properly, primer didnt get seated, great little back up.

    Now, 9mm has alot tighter tolerances when it comes to the primer advance system, so the lee comes in handy to help things along.

    With the lee you can spends up to hundreds, with the Dillon, thousands.

    be safe
     
  25. HisStigness

    HisStigness Member

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    Another vote for the Lee classic turret. Inexpensive and a lot faster than a single stage press.
     
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