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Single Stage Rifle Press

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Barr, Dec 7, 2012.

?

Which press?

Poll closed Jan 6, 2013.
  1. RCBS Partner - $70

    2 vote(s)
    1.2%
  2. Lee Classic O-frame - $105

    48 vote(s)
    28.1%
  3. Lyman Crusher 2 - $125

    2 vote(s)
    1.2%
  4. Hornady LNL Classic - $138

    14 vote(s)
    8.2%
  5. RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme - $150

    85 vote(s)
    49.7%
  6. Redding Big Boss II - $186

    20 vote(s)
    11.7%
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  1. RugerBob

    RugerBob Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Messages:
    704
    Location:
    southern maine
    All I have are Lee presses. I laod 30/06, 45/70 and 30-30 with my single stage.
    Turret for my 45acp and a pro-1000.
    I don't think you will go wrong with a Lee classic cast press.
     
  2. jwrowland77

    jwrowland77 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2012
    Messages:
    2,293
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    I love my Hornady SS LNL. I probably won't ever move to a turret or progressive. I weigh each and every charge. I'm not into the mass production. I like taking my time and loading little by little, but that's just me.
     
  3. TFL

    TFL Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    Southern MN
    I have an old RC and a CH Champion both are great presses. I reload both pistol and rifle.
    If I had to go to just one press I would get a CH4D 444 H press.
     
  4. Boxhead

    Boxhead Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    600
    Location:
    Bouncing between Geoje Korea, The Texas Hill Count
    Hands down the Lee Classic Cast. One replaced my RCBS a couple of years ago.
     
  5. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Cornelia, GA
    The older I get, the more persnickety I myself becoming about cleanliness. While most any of the presses you highlighted can do a great job at cartridge construction, most of them do so at the cost of making a huge mess when they dump the spent primer. That's why my next single-stage will be a Redding. The Redding sends the spent primer and all the accompanying muck down through the center of the ram to a hose you can connect to a waiting sealed bottle. No more clean up of the spent primer dust or picking up spent primers that bounced off onto the floor. It all goes down the tube.

    I think there's a model below the Big Boss that will do the same thing at a lower cost too.
     
  6. capreppy

    capreppy Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Messages:
    619
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX (Saginaw)
    I just upgraded my Lee Challenger Breechlock. I went with the Redding Big Boss II for the spent primer system. I REALLY like the spent primer system on my Hornady LnL AP and the Big Boss II is the closest I found to it on a single stage.
     
  7. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
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    2,759
    Location:
    North Texas
    For $100 or less, buy a used Rockchucker. I guarantee you'll die of old age before you wear it out. Then use the left over $100 or so to buy powder, primers and bullets. In my experience, good used equipment is just as good as the new stuff....it's just not quite as shiny.

    35W
     
  8. Zcarp2

    Zcarp2 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Messages:
    41
    I'll second a used press. They are available and some even lightly used. I used a Pacific c-frame for years. A RCBS partner & now have a rockchucker for my single stage use. All have served well as a light hobby.
    Good luck!
     
  9. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Member

    Joined:
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    At The Range
    I have had at least one RCBS press on the bench since 1988, but if buying a new one I would pick the Redding Big Boss.

    After purchasing two Redding T-7 Turret presses, I feel that Redding makes the best non-progressive press on the market today. And, as mentioned, the spent primers collect in one place instead of all over the floor.

    Just my .02,
    LeonCarr
     
  10. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

    Joined:
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    Let me qualify my statement about used presses...specifically the Rockchucker. The Rockchucker I'm currently using has been in continuous use, first by my father, then by me, since I was a small boy. So that'd make it somewhere around 40 years old.

    35W
     
  11. Baryngyl

    Baryngyl Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Messages:
    59
    I just added the Lee Precision Breech Lock Challenger for $58.95 to my reloading equipment to go with my Lee Precision Reloader Press and the challenger press I have that was discontinued in 2006.
    https://fsreloading.com/lee-precision-breech-lock-challenger-90588.html

    The new Lee Precision Breech Lock Challenger I just got sends the used primers down the center of the ram and into a plastic tube that you can direct into a garbage can or fit to a bottle.
    I really like this press.

    Now I just need to get my reloading room and a bench set-up for everything.


    Michael Grace
     
  12. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Messages:
    7,384
    Location:
    NW Montana
    Redding Big Boss II

    I've had two Rock Chucker presses since '95 (bought first one in '92) but I bought a Redding Big Boss II a couple of years ago and I couldn't be happier with it. I don't prime on the Redding though. The 36° frame offset is really functional and the spent primer system is excellent. I also like the fact that the cast iron frame has three bolt holes for mounting to a work surface and the O-frame opening is 4-1/2" tall. I probably won't need to buy another press in my lifetime but if I do it'll be another Redding. Perhaps no one needs a Redding Big Boss II but they are really well made and are a pleasure to use.
     
  13. codefour

    codefour Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    Messages:
    381
    Location:
    N. California
    I have a Redding Big Boss II. Great press..! But, I have to admit that I started loading years ago on an old RCBS RC II that was decades old that a friend loaned me. Yes, the Redding Big Boss II is off set and has a bigger opening. The RCBS RC II was smoother. It is hard to explain but it had a better feel when sizing cases. Yes, the primer slide arm is better on the Big Boss versus the priming arm for the RC II, but the RC II was just more linear and had a better feel. I am going to hunt down an older RC that is not worn out. Yes, the ram can get loose over tens of thousands of rounds but the feel when camming over is more defined on the RC II or other older RC'ers.. So if you are looking for a great single stage, Flea Bay has em still pretty reasonable but they are going up drastically..
     
  14. 280shooter

    280shooter Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Messages:
    699
    lyman spartan, thats all i use. I used it for over 40 years, 9mm, to 280. and its still going strong,,No need for ME, to use anything else.. my wonderfull pro 1000 sits well under my reloading bench, I never could get that thing to work right, (44 Mag)
     
  15. redman900

    redman900 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Messages:
    117
    my lee gave me reloaders elbow ,but it hurts sooo good. no pain no bullets lol
     
  16. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    Location:
    NW Montana
    That's exactly why I bought the Redding. I kept the tighter of the two RCs and it currently sits beneath a PiggyBack II where it continues to work well ... I gave the other one away.
     
  17. kludge

    kludge Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
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    Location:
    Indiana
    Lee Classic Turret.
     
  18. howlnmad

    howlnmad Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    Messages:
    345
    Location:
    Harriman, Tn
    Lee Classic Cast. The best primer disposal system (no plastic cuo to bounce out if), great leverage and when you buy that big 50 cal gun you won't need to buy another press.
    And with the $$$$$ you save, you can buy more supplies.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
  19. higgite

    higgite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Messages:
    853
    I like my Lee Classic Cast. I replaced the stock 7/8-14 bushing with a Hornady LNL conversion bushing for quick and easy die changes. Yeah, okay, I'm a sucker for gadgets. ;) But the quick change bushings really are convenient. Lee makes their own quick change version called the Breechlock Classic Cast, but I didn't like its spent primer catcher setup. ymmv
     
  20. Sudden Impact

    Sudden Impact Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Messages:
    67
    I voted Rockchucker.

    Mine is 25 years old (or more) and still the go-to press for all my rifle calibers.
     
  21. kingmt

    kingmt Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2009
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    3,604
    I have a Jr which as far as I can see is the same press. It would be a big improvement over the hand press. I like how it pops over. I hate the putting system tho. You should be able to prime the same way you do now tho. I didn't realise how bad it was with spent primers until I tried a different press.

    The Classic Cast is a big improvement over the Jr. The putting system works well on it & I have never lost a spent primer after I learned to put the primer arm in.
     
  22. zeke

    zeke Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    638
    Location:
    NW Wi
    Rockchucker
     
  23. Legion489

    Legion489 member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Messages:
    166
    I've got a RCBS Rockchucker I bought back in the 1970s and it is still as good as the day I bought it, unlike the junk Lee pot metal presses I've bought to actually reload with, which broke, wore out or didn't work.

    I have not tried the Classic Cast presses and people "claim" they are great, but then I read another report in the same thread that the CC press they bought was, shall we say, the usual Lee quality control and pot metal press quality. One site, if you mention Lee in anything but fawning praise, will throw you off for telling the truth. For whatever reason Lee seems to bring out the unreasoning hatred toward anyone who tells the truth about them. Trash Dillon? Yawn. Trash RCBS? Yawn. Say one bad (but totally accurate) word about Lee and the scum come out of the wood work to attack you. personally I find this amazing. But I'm not an idiot either.
     
  24. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    5,941
    It's cuz with all the money Lee makes selling their junk, they give everyone on the internet a cut. It's a conspiracy. ROFL.

    I have a potmetal Breechlock piece of junk that works ok. There are two key features of Lee SS presses that are appealing to me. For one, the priming arm comes out the right side, right where I want it to prime on the press. I have thrown away my hand priming tool, because priming on a Breechlock is superior in every way, IMO. It's the only way to prime, AFAIC.

    The other feature is the adjustable length lever. Non-adjustable lever length = wasted motion and suboptimal feel. When you're just flaring or priming or seating (or heck, even sizing almost every normal caliber), you don't want all that leverage and motion. A shorter arm means less movement, more speed/efficiency, less "reloader's elbow," and more feel/feedback.* Having started on a Lee press, I found it curious the number of folks who prefer to use a handprimer. I repeatedly hear how you don't get feel on a press. I figured they had never experimented with the lever length on their press to get the feel they wanted. It was quite a surprise to me when I realized a good many presses have a fixed (very long) lever length. There are a lot of different operations a SS press is expected to perform, and scant few will benefit from the maximum leverage; most will be hindered by it. I might use the full lever length when push-thru sizing or some other high pressure operation. But the rest of the time it's much shorter.

    *Feel when priming is self-explanatory. You can also sort out your brass that flares or seats too easy. I cull my 223 brass that expands too easy; I sort out my 45ACP cases (mostly R-P and S&B) that flare too easy for use with cast bullets, only; and I bench test any rounds that seat too easy. And with better feel, you can also prevent more mishaps when the case/bullet doesn't go in right when flaring and/or seating. A full length, max leverage system is a less efficient press that will crush more case-mouths and not give as much feedback as to neck tension.

    I hear my press isn't very smooth or strong or durable, though. I want to buy a real press, but I'm still saving up for a pair of $300.00 braided speaker cables that were cold forged under a full moon. They sound so much better than regular copper wire, they're much heavier and more solid, they're backed by a lifetime guarantee, and they'll last many generations, so my grandkids will be able to enjoy that superior sound quality when I'm gone.:)
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2012
  25. idoono

    idoono Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Messages:
    155
    Nother vote for Rockchucker.

    Idoono
     
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