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Step up from single stage press?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by brewer12345, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. Highland Lofts

    Highland Lofts Member

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    What ever way you go check out the local shops and see what btand is readily abailable. In my local area Hornady in in the lead followed way behind by lee and only one place that has dillion stuff. That's why I went with Hornady. I don't like to deal with shopping online and waiting for the mail to come.
     
  2. Average Joe

    Average Joe Member

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    Another vote for Lee.
     
  3. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Because of the auto index feature of the Lee turret press, it has some advantages, but in my opinion, a turret press is a poor use of money. I'd rather get a progressive.

    One advantage of the Hornady L-N-L, since the dies get mounted in individual bushings, you can install them in any position. This allows you to set the press up for any particular operation that you want.

    I prefer to resize cases at one time on my L-N-L, clean the cases and store them for a future reloading session. I populate the press with a sizing die and neck expanding die and process cases shortly after shooting them. Then I tumble them and store them away.

    When I want to reload them, I prime off the press, which affords me the opportunity to inspect the cases for problems. I them charge, seat the bulltes and crimp on the progressive.

    I do most of my resizing on the Hornady L-N-L but do some of my loading on a Dillon SDB, Dillon BL550, RCBS Pro2000 or the Hornady L-N-L. Each provides some advantage in reloading that works with me.

    The point that I am trying to show, is progressives provide all sorts of flexibility that one can exploit to fit their comfort level in reloading. You do not have to use the press to load from fired case to loaded round if you do not want to or not comfortable with.

    I find separating resizing from reloading does not adversely affect my ultimate production rate much as compared to folks that reload from fired case to loaded round. It works for me, one has to determine the entire process that fits their needs and work to obtain it.
     
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  4. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    My plan as well.
    One they are deprimed, wet tumble, dry, prime while watching TV.
    Then I have primed cases when I go to load.

    Normal sequence for 9mm

    1 Powder drop
    2 Lockout die
    3 Bullet feeder
    4 Seat
    5 Crimp

    hmmm 7 stations might be nice;)(but I still want to wet tumble so 5 is enough)
     
  5. Dudedog
    • Contributing Member

    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    Walkalong,
    Do you need the LNL to crank out enough .458s to keep your shoulder happy?:evil::D
    (saw that shell plate, nice big cutouts for the cases, of course since they are reloads they don't all have to be full power I guess)
     
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  6. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    So with a lct can i process brass in one session and load in another?
     
  7. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    Yes, and you could with a LNL and other presses as well.
    I have and like my lee turret for small quantities of ammo but it does not compare to a progressive press. When loading any significant quantity of handgun ammo a progressive press is a must for me. I have a LNL and am happy with it.
     
  8. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    Wow, watched those videos and that is a lot faster than my process. Single stage is slow.
     
  9. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    I think at last count I have 9 or 10. Shell plates are just part of the tools you need for reloading.

    I have a Hornady ProJector... the predecessor to the LNL series, I like it a lot. It's not quite fully automatic, it doesn't take many of the accessories the LNL does, or presses like the Dillon, but I prefer to have a certain amount of control over the loading process. I still hand actuate my powder drop, for example. It still kicks out top shelf ammos, and at a rate almost triple what I was punching out on the old single-stage press I was (and still) using.

    For most rifle cartridges I load on the ProJector, it's not really progressive loading, more like progressive finish assembly. I process the brass on my single-stage, I hand prime most of my rifle brass (I shoot autoloaders where primer depth must be consistent for safety) and then I assemble them on the progressive. It just depends on what you want.
     
  10. entropy

    entropy Member

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    I will be the first to proclaim I do not own a turret or progressive press. But I do know which one I would buy if I did, and it is blue in color. This from a man who prefers rifle pistol presses, like tractors, in green.
     
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  11. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Yes you could but there would be some wasted motion.

    First, you would have to pull the unused dies from the die turret that are not used in the operation you are doing. If you get lock rings that clamp to the die, your die setting will not change when you remove or replace the die so it is not really an issue. Or you could buy a second die turret and populate one with the sizing dies and the other with the reloading dies.

    But, for each case you would have to pull the handle a couple of times after completing your operation to get the turret rotated around to be ready for the next case.

    With the LCT, if I wanted to separate sizing from loading, I'd probably disable the auto index feature and use the press just like a single stage.

    With a progressive, even though you'd have have some stations without dies, the shell plate just rotates through those stations with no action to the case. You are still putting a case in at station one and the planned operations to a case happens at every pull of the handle so no effort is wasted.

    Most progressives use some kind of die plate for the dies so, you'd have to buy a second die plate or pull and replace dies. The Hornady L-N-L uses bushings so dies are installed in the press one at a time at each use. So, you can place dies you want where you want them at each set up. The bushings keep the die setting.

    Of course, some folks will say if you do not load from fired case to loaded round on a progressive you are wasting the features of the machine. Your determination of return on investment and return on time will ultimately factor into that decision.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
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  12. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    You could pre-resize brass for more consistent finished OAL, option to inspect primer pockets to clean as necessary, remove any military primer pocket crimps, prime separately, and seat and crimp in separate steps even for 3 station Pro 1000.

    For general purpose range blasting/practice ammo, I don't mind progressively reloading unsized brass with about .002"-.003" finished OAL variance using more consistent nose profile/ogive bullets like RMR in-house jacketed bullets. Depending on the resizing force required, some progressive press produce greater finished OAL variance from shell plate tilt/deflection when resizing and seating/crimping at the same time. ;)

    But if I want more consistency for match grade rounds with .001" finished OAL variance, I prefer to use pre-resized brass - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.p...progressive-press.833604/page-2#post-10779806
     
  13. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I agree with everything.

    I always resize, deprime, prep, and clean my cases at one time one time and store them away for a future reloading session. I prefer to prime off the press and it gives me an opportunity to inspect the case once again.

    I find the reloading process goes more smoothly when separated from resizing.
     
  14. D Rock

    D Rock Member

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  15. Herman B

    Herman B Member

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    What is pre-sizing? And then you re-size?
     
  16. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    No, you resize/deprime brass separately.

    Then reload progressively with resizing die removed.

    Reloading with pre-resized brass makes things silky smooth with easy effort as you are only seating and crimping.
     
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  17. D Rock

    D Rock Member

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  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep, that's what I do, even though many folks think it is a waste of time.
     
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  19. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    I have 2 Dillons on the bench. Both have loaded well over 50,000 perfect rounds combined. Both are worth more used than I paid for them new. Both are capable of loading many many more.
    Just some food for thought...
    You don’t have to get a progressive,
    But why wouldn’t you?
    Btw I still use a single stage for some load development and small batch or other occasional single processes. I would never be without a good single stage on the bench also.
     
  20. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    It is a waste of time but it is your time so do as you please.
     
  21. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    From the mid'70s until 2014 I used a 1974 RCBS JR3 Single Stage Press.

    In the mid'80s I began, periodically, considering a Dillon ... but it was (and still is) much more than I need.

    In 2014 I chose the Lee Classic Turret (LCT) and have been very pleased with it ever since. I can use it as a single stage while developing loads (using the blocks) or churn out pistol rounds at a rate of hundreds per hour (in 1-1½ bursts between breaks :)).

    Extra Turrets are cheap, ~$10/ea, as are the Lee Auto-Drums (~$35?).

    LCT fits my needs.
     
  22. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    When loading for pistol, I tumble brass to clean then do everything in 1 cycle on the progressive. For most bottle neck rifle cartridges I deprime first then tumble clean. Then I either resize and load in 1 cycle or I resize and trim if needed and then load on the progressive with sizing die backed off.
    Manual indexing is not a negative. When you do enough of it, it becomes automatic.
    Ive never felt handicapped by the 550 and I’ve loaded precision match rounds on it by the thousands.
    I have a square deal dedicated to .45acp but I could set up a die plate for the 550 and not miss it. I used to shoot so much of it in IPSC IDPA that it was nice to always have it ready to crank out another 500 with no fuss. It’s not as much fun as it used to be now that I’m old and the young guns can smoke me.
     
  23. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm Member

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    I see the Lee fanbois are in here thick.

    I've owned Hornady LnL AP and Dillon 650 presses.

    A used Hornady LnL AP will sell for maybe 50% of retail.
    A used Dillon 650 that's been dragged 10 miles down a dirt road will sell for 75-80% of new.
    A used Lee can be found in the alley.

    IMHO Lee is really hit or miss and requires a lot of tuning and hacks to get to work. Hornady will work if the stars align. A Dillon 650 spits out good ammo so regularly it's boring.

    If you don't think you need a case feeder then get a Dillon 550.

    ANY progressive press can be used like a single stage, one round at a time. However that defeats the purpose of owning a progressive press.
     
  24. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    Lee Classic Turret will double your output for a very reasonable cost.

    Any progressive (manual or automatic advance) will quadruple your output for a very unreasonable cost. :p
    .
     
  25. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    o_O Really? I have not read of many folks here whose experiences with the LCT have mirrored your opinion.

    Seems a whole LOT like them, though. :)

    I do not recall any problems with my LCT.

    When first setting it up, I did take time to carefully center the turret hole with the ram (DUH!) prior to tightening the 3 bolts, but, that took no more than 10 minutes. Since then it has run without issue.

    Oh! I did wear out the little square plastic rotation dingus within, perhaps, ten thousand rounds. After installing the spare that they included with the unit and finishing the job, I called Lee and they sent me 5(?) more (and a few other plastic "consumable" components) for free.

    As shipped, my LCT productions totals (when focused) can approach 200/hr of pistol ammo and with the reverse-rotation accessory I can increase that hourly total by 50%.

    More than enough production for effort & cost for my needs. ;)
     
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