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Single stage press bad for pistol ammo reloads?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by rajb123, Jul 15, 2012.

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  1. rajb123

    rajb123 member

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    .....got a RCBS rockcrusher recently and I started to reload rifle ammo (270 win, 338 win mag) this weekend.... my first lesson learned was the need to use adequate case lube....

    After loading 150 rounds, I have concluded that this setup is probably not the best choice for pistol ammo reloads; right?

    ...anyway, some of the directions in the rockcrusher kit are very criptic like using the primer gizmo, scale and powder measure....

    Is there a video that can shed some light on this stuff?

    Thx,,,,
     
  2. Mike 27

    Mike 27 Member

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    A single stage works fine for pistol. Obviously not as fast but you don't have to lube the cases so that makes it a little faster. I still use my single stage on many of my pistol rounds and I have a LNL. When I am working at max loads I use the single (usually my 44mag bear loads).
     
  3. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    When I started loading, I used a RockChucker for years for my .357, .45ACP, 9mm and 44 Mag.

    Worked great. Reliable.

    But slow.

    I got a couple of progressives. Worked great. Faster. Easier to make mistakes on. And easier to make a lot of mistakes in a row. I couldn't keep track of multiple simultaneous operations very well. That's just me, though.

    I switched to an auto-indexing cast iron turret press and am much happier.

    I still keep the RockChucker. It will be available on the used market after I am dead.

    The RockChucker is excellent for handgun ammunition. It just may not be the best-suited, depending on what you are doing with that ammunition. Carefully crafted individual hunting rounds would make my choice the RC or other equally robust single-stage press. Making a hundred or so rounds a month for recreational shooting is a reasonable occupation for a single-stage press.

    If you want around 500 rounds a month, an autoindexing turret press used in continuous mode is the ticket (in my opinion).

    If you want 1,000 rounds a month or more, a progressive is the way to go.

    What's best? Whatever fits your needs and your temperament.

    Lost Sheep

    For a "If I knew then what I know now" thread, click here:
    http://rugerforum.net/reloading/29385-budget-beginning-bench-you-will-never-outgrow-novice-handloader.html
     
  4. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    If you batch load your pistol rounds then it goes a lot faster than making 1 or 10 at a time. I usually run 4 loading trays of 50 at a go. I also size, trim if needed, clean, and then prime ahead of time. This works well for me when batch processing a bunch of ammo. I can easily load 300-400 45 ACP or 9MM an hour this way.
     
  5. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

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    Thanks for the chuckle. At first, I thought, "No way!" But I'll bet somewhere there's a guy...
     
  6. drsfmd

    drsfmd Member

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    These guys nailed it... a single stage works fine, but is maddeningly slow if you are making any volume of ammo.

    I don't have the patience to reload on a single stage unless I'm just wanting to load up a few rounds of something new and don't want to change a progressive press around.
     
  7. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    That's where the Turret press really comes into its own. Caliber swaps are so much easier than on a progressive (or on a single stage for that matter).

    The turret can BE a single stage (for batch processing) simply by not moving the turret head. But is instantly convertible to the much faster continuous processing by advancing the turret head instead of switching cartridge cases. All that case handling takes time.

    Lost Sheep
     
  8. blarby

    blarby Member

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    I reload approx 500-600 pistol rounds a week on my single stage.

    Batch processing isn't the fastest, but it gives you premier quality control and uniformity.
     
  9. Crashbox
    • Contributing Member

    Crashbox Member

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    I use my single-stage press for loading hot .357 Magnum rounds since my progressive press likes to shake the powder out of the cases when they are on the full side.

    I also use the SS press for final seating and crimping of my .40 S&W rounds, as the OAL is much more consistent. In other words, I bell, charge and partially seat the rounds on the progressive, then finish 'em off on the SS.

    Yes, using a SS press for pistol rounds is nowhere near as fast as on a progressive, but there are a few advantages as well.
     
  10. rg1

    rg1 Member

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    I've loaded on single stages since the early 1980's. Wouldn't load on anything else. While I don't shoot large volumes or competitions I still have loaded large quantities on single stage presses. Notice I say presses as I find it very helpful to have two single stage presses side by side. I size on one and move the case to the next press for expanding. Seat on one and crimp on the other, etc. Makes it faster and easier. A second used press can be found for not a lot of cash.
     
  11. BYJO4

    BYJO4 Member

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    A good single stage press will reload anything accurately. I used a Rockchucker for 35 years before buying a progressive which I now use for all my handgun loading. It's simply a matter of time spent in the loading room. A progressive press produces fine ammo in a fraction of the time it takes to load the same amount on a single stage.
     
  12. 918v

    918v Member

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    Single stage is easier to learn, easier to use, and easier to develop match-grade loads. Progressives are for people with ADD.
     
  13. drsfmd

    drsfmd Member

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    Or a life...
     
  14. blarby

    blarby Member

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    Or no hands, if recent experiences with newbies and progressives are indicative of the continuing trend.
     
  15. eam3clm@att.net

    eam3clm@att.net Member

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    There is numerous videos on youtube. Some of these videos are actually well put together and can help. I really dont understand why you said that it is not the best choice for pistol ammo. Do you mean that it may not be the best choice for you to use for pistol ammo.
     
  16. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    I've been using a single stage for al my metallic reloading for mroe than 30 years. But if you are intending to load hundreds at a time, get a progressive press at the bare minimum.

    GS
     
  17. 4895

    4895 Member

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    I think a SS press is the best choice for any centerfire ammunition reloading.

    I have been interested in a LEE turret press lately but can't find one locally to check the quality and get a hands-on feel for it.
     
  18. 918v

    918v Member

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    If you have ask about quality, you won't like it.
     
  19. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    As others have suggested, watch a couple youtube videos. Reloading equipment is really pretty self-explanatory, IMO. The challenging part is just figuring out some of the minutia that isn't explained in the manuals, like not allowing the primer tray to slide out at all on the hand priming tool, or a primer (especially a small one) will flip sideways and jam up the works.

    This is why I still do it. I see the utility in using progressives, but I have never had a squib or round with a crushed primer or damaged bullet or mangled case mouth end up in my stock because every single round gets inspected in each stage.

    I also find reloading cathartic, so I don't mind spending a few hours over the course of a week to load a few hundred rounds.
     
  20. WYOMan

    WYOMan Member

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    I still use a SS for everything. I'm a very precise, and detail oriented person, plus I find it interesting and relaxing at the same time. Once I have accurate loads for everything, I get bored. For me the quote should have been, " Only hand-loading to find the accuracy potential of a firearm is interesting".
     
  21. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    Still trying to become better pistol shooter, I prefer: "Only hand-loading to find ammunition that allows the shooter reach his accuracy potential interesting".
     
  22. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    I think you have that backwards. Progressives are definitely NOT for people with attention deficit disorder. If you can't concentrate, that is a recipe for disaster.

    A.D.D. and loading don't mix well without extreme precautions.

    Lost Sheep
     
  23. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    I got burnt out using a SS & measuring each charge with a beam. I quite loading twice. The last time I started was when the kids found my gear & wanted me to show them. They wanted to keep doing it so I thought there has to be a better way. I did some reading & decided a Pro1000 was right for me & my budget. Well it was more then I could afford but the whole family made sacurfices so we could get it. We also bought a degital scale for $2.50 off eBay. I didn't know that Lee was junk to be able to pass all my problems off on the press. I studied each problem to figure out what was causeing it & learned how to do it correctly. I soon found the powder measure & scale were my bigest improvements but the scale had some short commings. A year later when the battery went dead I had more money & we decided to get the Smart Reloader s/d. I didn't know it was junk ether so it worked/works great.

    I still like the Pro1000 but added a Load Master. I still prefer SS for rifle but using a powder measure. I don't mind using SS for pistol as long as I use the Pro Auto Disk. I will never use the 505 scale except to remind me not to buy another beam.
     
  24. ShadowsEye

    ShadowsEye Member

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    I started reloading about 4 months ago, on a single stage press as the internet wisdom dictates, and I'm fairly glad I did. I've yet to reload any rifle ammo, the big motivation was 38 spl. $24.00 a box was too dang expensive, and I'm able to load 50 highly accurate rounds for about $6. After about 800 rounds I felt like I had a pretty good grasp on the process, and I wanted to carry my savings into 9mm, (not nearly as drastic, but still $6 a box compared to $10). And for this I picked up a Dillion 550b. I now load both 38 and 9 on the Dillion, and I plan on adding .223 and 45acp in the future. I'll still hang on to the RCBS for working up loads and for loading 308 and other rifle rounds.

    If you were to continue using your SS press for pistol ammo as well, I would do things in phases. Size, prime, bell, in one sitting 200 - 400 cases at a time. Then charge a full loading block and seat/crimp bullets. I found if I did a "marathon" session on the SS by the time I was measuring powder I was already fatigued and my concentration wasn't 100%.
     
  25. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    Any single stage press is great for smallish quanities of handgun and highly accurate rifle ammo, and for learning to reload properly/safely with proper attention to detail. Anyone calling a Rock Chucker a "rockcrusher" and ignoring written instructions to lube cases is not properly attentive to detail. IMHO.

    People who weigh individual handgun charges are amusing to me.
     
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