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Single-stage "utility" press for large rifle brass

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Shmackey, Jul 16, 2018.

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  1. Shmackey

    Shmackey Member

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    Hey all. I currently load pistol and rifle on a Dillon 650. For most of my rifle loading, I resize and prime separately, and then charge/seat progressively.

    Been thinking about getting a separate single-stage press for decapping and resizing tasks. What's a good but not extravagant choice for easily resizing a bunch of 300WM and possibly 338LM?
     
  2. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    I have rotated through a few (6) single stage presses over time. The "O" type press with compound linkage is what you want. The Lee cast iron one or the RCBS Rock Chucker are both good presses. I broke a Lee cast AL "C" type "anniversary" one and now use the RCBS RC that I got in about 1975. The COAX press is also good as well. Google the different presses and watch the youtube videos before you buy.
     
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  3. George P

    George P Member

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    I agree, the Rockchucker from RCBS or the COAX from Forster; two of the best around.
     
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  4. MikeInOr

    MikeInOr Member

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    I own a Dillon 650xl and use my RockChucker for one off stuff. If I were to buy a new single stage press it would be a Lee Classic Cast press... it is just bigger and beefier than the RockChucker press for about the same price. The Lee classic cast will take a 1.25" die and comes with a 7/8" die adapter. The 1.25" - 12tpi die size will let you run the "BIG" dies like 50bmg or use the Horndy Lock-n-Load rings for quick die changes if you want. (I am by no means a Lee fanboy... they are usually the bottom of my list of brands to check out when I am buying something new but the Lee Classic Cast looks to me like it should be able to handle pretty much anything. Don't confuse the Classic cast press with the other Lee presses... the Classic Cast press it the one to get!).

    https://www.amazon.com/LEE-PRECISIO...763764&sr=8-1&keywords=lee+classic+cast+press

    https://leeprecision.com/classic-cast-press.html

    I really like what I have seen of the Forster co ax press... the one thing that turned me off with the Forster is there is no way I can mount the Dillon case trimmer because of the handle design on the Forster. I do all my case trimming with my Dillon case trimmer on my RockChucker. If I had a third press it would probably be the Forster co ax... but not being able to use the Dillon case trimmer made it a no go as a second press... for me.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
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  5. jaguarxk120

    jaguarxk120 Member

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    Please take a very hard look at the Redding Ultramag press.
    No other press compare's to it. The opening is 4 3/4 inches for those long
    express calibers.
     
  6. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    I really, really have come to like through-ram disposable of spent primers that my Hornady LnL AP has (I have an old dish detergent bottle duct-taped to the leg of the bench and have to empty it maybe once a year), so if I was to be buying another single stage press I'd get either the Lee Classic Cast or the Redding Big Boss II (both of which are cast iron and have this feature).

    Personally though I use a RCBS Rockchucker Supreme, which works absolutely great except for the spent primer handling. The only thing that kept me from buying the Lee Classic Cast myself when I was buying this is that the overhang on my bench wouldn't have worked well with the Lee's mounting pattern.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
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  7. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    That is where I'm coming from also.

    I went the value route and got the Lee Classic Cast, but the Co-Ax was in the running to the end...the tipping point was the availability of a case ejection system from InLine Frabrication
     
  8. Hondo 60
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    Hondo 60 Member

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    For that kinda work I use the 1st press I bought. A Lee Breechlock with bushings.
    You adjust the die in a bushing & it never changes. Just 1/4 turn & you're ready to go.

    Some here will extol the virtues of Hornady, Forrester, RCBS or Lyman.
    They're all GREAT presses, but IMHO very expensive. Hope this gives you something to think about.
     
  9. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    I have traded, bought, and sold just about all of the main single stages. The last one I got is the last one I will ever buy. It’s a lee classic cast. It is a huge press and is supposedly capable of .50bmg so it will certainly do anything I need it to do. It is strong, it has plenty leverage, and best of all it drops primers straight through the ram into a little tube rather than spreading them across the entirety of your house/garage/shed... it’s a solid press and is by far my favorite of the bunch. Only thing I haven’t had is a coax...and that’s because I’m a cheapskate.
     
  10. gojones

    gojones Member

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    I have an ole RC, RC supreme, and Coax. The RC's are set up as special purpose while the Coax is my main go to rifle loading press. I have the 3D printed adapter on the Supreme that catches any spent primers. Basically, I can't find any fault with any of them. The new MEC single stage looks beefy also. I really don't think you can go wrong with any of the major manufactures SS presses.
     
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  11. rjbmjb
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    rjbmjb Contributing Member

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    I bought the Lee Classic Cast to reload 50 BMG. It handles the big cases easily (as long as you use Imperial sizing wax). Like mgmorden and WestKentucky, I also like the fact that it drops the spent primers through the ram. I now use it to deprime and resize all of my rifle brass as well as my S&W 500 brass. When I look at the Lee and my Rockchucker, it appears that the opening on the Lee is larger than the RCBS, but when I measured them, the Lee was 4 1/2 inches compared to 4 3/8 inches for the RCBS.
     
  12. Toprudder

    Toprudder Member

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    I agree. Keep in mind, though, that there are two different Classic Cast presses - the breech-lock, and the non-breech-lock. The one he refers to here is the non-breech-lock version and is the one I would recommend. If the quick change feature of the breech-lock is desired, simply remove the reducing insert of the press and install the Hornady bushing insert kit.

    If you are using the press to decap a lot of brass, I highly recommend the through-ram primer disposal. This is also one of the differences between the breech-lock Classic Cast and the non-breech-lock. The breech-lock version spits the primers out of the side of the ram, right about the base of the press. This allows all the primer residue to get on the ram, requiring more frequent cleaning. That is one of the main reasons I recommend the non-breech-lock version of the press.

    I have a Lee Classic Turret press that I picked for the same reason. The primers drop down through the center of the ram. I have decapped many thousands of brass (I wet tumble) and I have only wiped off and lubed the press a few times. I had a Challenger press, and that was always getting dirty, so I got rid of it and got the Classic Turret.
     
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  13. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    I often forget to mention that the Classic Cast that I'm recommending is the non-breechlock one. I also have the Hornady bushing system installed for die changes.

    You can use the Hornady bushings on the Rockchucker also, but you'd still have a less than optimal spent primer handling system
     
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  14. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I own and use both the RCBS Rockchucker and a Forster Co-Ax press, both are high quality. The Co-Ax is on the high end of costs especially for a decapping station. The RCBS is fine but if I were to buy a single stage press today it would be a Lee Classic Cast single stage press without the breech locks. Why, the press is solid, the linkage is heavy and it handles spent primers very well. Add the fact you can buy one new for ~$100 it hits all the buying points.

    https://fsreloading.com/lee-precision-classic-cast-press.html
     
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  15. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    The OP wasn't looking to spend over $300 on a decapping station. That press is overkill but for the largest cartridges out there. If he is looking for a very heavy press several mentioned above will do a good job and I will add the fairly new MEC press to re list.
    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/467697/mec-marksman-single-stage-press
     
  16. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    Redding Boss II will sever his purpose well and it sends the spent primers through the ram down a tube into your container. Or use the supplied plug which is very limiting on number it holds.
     
  17. Shmackey

    Shmackey Member

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    Oh man. I need to figure out if I can get past my anti-Lee snobbery. :)
     
  18. Mowgli Terry

    Mowgli Terry Member

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    Right on in the anti Lee snobbery. Started off that way and am converted to Lee collet dies. I started loading on a 70's vintage RC. Most of the heavy duty sizing and case forming is done on the RCII these days, These presses have worked very well for me for heavy stuff. I have the green primer catcher on my RCII. Primer spills are not a problem YMMV, The ShopVac works magic on those rare spills.
     
  19. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    To the OP, this sounds like good advice.

    Besides making sure the press is big enough to handle the cartridges to be sized, seeing how the press operates is a good thing.
     
  20. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    Apparently the OP did state resizing tasks..............and .338 LM

    I've also got a Redding Ultra MAG which I bought when I went into the large BPCR cases with long bullets. IMHO, for this type work, and reforming brass the Ultra Mag excels.

    goTgbYE.jpg
     
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  21. Toprudder

    Toprudder Member

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    I do like the way the links on the Ultra Mag attach to the top of the press and not the bottom.
     
  22. Mr.Revolverguy

    Mr.Revolverguy Member

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    I have had a RCBS Chucker for over 25 years now so it is probably not a fair comparison. But after seeing the RCBS Summit summitpress02op.png Press I jumped on one. I can tell you after testing runout of 100 rilfe rounds in 308 I get less runout on the Summit than I do my Rock Chucker using the same set of dies. Though I wonder if my Rock Chucker was new would this test render the same results?

    All of my rifle rounds are loaded on a single stage for the past 30 years though I do use a progressive for pistol rounds. 308 permanently setup on the ROck Chucker and 6.5Creed setup on the Summit.
     
  23. Toprudder

    Toprudder Member

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    I've got a Summit. Don't care for it too much. It will tire your arm if you have a lot to do, as the handle pivot is at the top of the press, and you have to lift your arm every time. Couple that with the fact that the weight is not balanced like a regular press (where the ram moves up as the handle comes down) means that you are exerting yourself more than with a regular press.

    I do get less runout with it now, but only because I got the arbor press conversion for it and use it with my Wilson chamber style seating dies.
     
  24. GT1

    GT1 Member

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    A vote for the Lee classic cast original non-breech lock. If you desire that function the hornady quick change bushings thread in to the classic if I recall. If one is going to go for a press like this there are only a couple I'd pick, the redding big boss, or the Lee(Maybe the CH4D, but that is pricey), and since the Lee is every bit up to the redding in design, it would be easy for me. Some can't get away from associating Lee with cheap quality, but that is not the case here, the thing can resize 50 BMG, I think it can handle everything else outside of swaging your own bullets, and plenty use it for that even.
     
  25. Shmackey

    Shmackey Member

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    Just an update: I went with the Lee Classic Cast, mounted it on my already sturdy bench with an additional two 2x6 underneath it, and I have to admit it's a beast. Resizes 300 WM like it's nothing. I'm a Redding fanboy, but I can't imagine what the Boss II could have on this thing.

    With the difference in price, I got an RCBS bench-mounted priming thingy to mount next to the Lee because I couldn't find my RCBS hand priming thingy. Needless to say it reappeared the next day.
     
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