Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by troy fairweather, Jan 22, 2019.
Lee Classic Cast , on sale at Midway now for $117 .
For a heavy duty rugged single stage press I think the best bang for buck it the Lee Classic Cast press (Not the "Breach Lock one). The Classic Cast is supposed to have better (through the ram) spent primer handling than the Breach Lock Classic cast.
I was going to buy one until my boss sold me his extra RockChucker for $50. The RockChucker does a nice job but I don't believe it is as big as the Lee Classic Cast.
When you say "some" pistol, I take it you are not an action pistol shooter, and therefore have no need for 1500 rounds of pistol ammo each month. It's those volumes that typically drive the "need" for a progressive press. So if you don't need one round produced with every op lever pull, then you'd only be wasting money to consider such.
The Lee Classic Turret is probably not your cup of tea either. Those presses are great for people who need moderate volumes. They work by advancing the dies, which cuts out all the extra material handling, but you still pull the op lever 3 times to produce one round just like a single-stage.
Since your work is mainly rifle with some pistol, you'll want a super strong, well made single-stage. The top 3 are: MEC Marksman, Redding Big Boss II, and the Redding T7 turret. All three of these presses route spent primers and all their smut away from the operator and into a canister below the bench. They are all super stout and precision made presses. The T7 has the added advantage of allowing you to keep your most needed dies (like a Universal Decapping Die) in the press so that they are always ready to use.
Just my 2 cents.
ya you got it about right, i maybe load over 1000 44 mags and about 500 357s a year. i don't mind the single for that, i like a heavy press. my dad when i was growing up used the crap out of some presses and have broken a few. i am like him i do lots of forming and sizing that many would not do. i would like to get the stuff for making jacked bullets down the road. even the short mags i reload need some good force to resize.
When you do precision work like that, the last thing you want is spent primers all over the floor and the press mechanisms covered with gritty primer smut. You're in for a whole new world !
Just saw Midway USA has all the Reddings on sale. Click Here
hope they have them in march when i will be getting one for my birthday. what press do you like best. i need to look more up on the mec, and the warranty.
Pardon, but since he states a need for the removable bushing for the larger dies does that disqualify the T7? Maybe he Ultramag would be a good choice in that price range. That is a really beefy tool.
My late experience has been with the Lee ABLP. I like it, but it's not for what you've described. Before it, I had a LCT and a Lee Classic Cast. I also had a RCBS Rock Chucker II. I didn't care for the LCT, but I can see why people appreciate its versatility. I thought it was inefficient compared to a progressive press and not solid enough for a single stage, but it could be used to do a little of everything. I liked the Classic Cast as much as the RCBS -- both excellent. I am using Redding dies and I like what I've seen from them. The 700 Ultramag is the one for most leverage. But unless I had some specific requirements for huge cartridges or BR shooting or something specific, I'd probably go with a LCC that works with the Breech Lock system I'm using on my other Lee press. One of the things I like about the Lee is the adjustable lever length, because most of the time a really long high leverage handle requires a big range of motion that's very inefficient for more common resizing, bullet seating etc.
yes some times i use the large thread dies. the ultramag is nice and big, a O frame my be better to keep things in line. i also reload for some very accurate cartridges and a press that stays true is like gold to me. i am thinking off doing a 6BR or dasher for a build. thanks for the tip.
I loaded with a Lee Loader and a Lyman 310 Tong tool, many years ago. About 50 years ago, I got a good price on a Lyman Spar-T -- a 6-position turret press. If I were going to buy a press today, and didn't want a progressive, I'd go with another turret press -- the more holes, the better.
For something completely different!
I load only pistol rounds but if I was in need of a single stage press I would look at this one.
i like the press but not the lock and load i need a the use off the large thread if needed.
I have the Hornady Iron single stage and it is one stout press , I really have come to like the open face design and the slide plate that let the brass slide into the shell holder ,
the lock and load die bushing unscrews from the press and you can screw in a normal thread adapter so you can just screw in your dies like any other press , that is what I did
to mine just screw in the dies no bushings needed
RCBS Rockchucker here .....30 + years and still going
The MEC Marksman is a great single-stage press.
Here's my thoughts on it posted in another thread:
thanks i will read it.
I like my RockChucker Supreme,,, It has served me well. (And continues to do so when the need arises)
About the only gripe,,,, even with (the added expense of) an aftermarket primer catcher,,,
Ya still end up with grit/gunk/grime right where the ram cycles through the casting.
Is it the end of the world? Nope.
Do I feel compelled to frequently clean the affected area when decapping? Yes, I do. I'm also certain some folks couldn't care less..
Are there any other 'rugged' single stage presses available with better ways to handle spent primers? Yes, there are several!!!!
Just my opinion.
Sorry but I'm not following this Large Dies reference. This something other than 7/8"X14
most presses have a thread that is 1-1/4x12 inch and the bushing threads in for normal dies. the 1-1/4 dies are 50 bmg 416 barrett, 577 snider i have seen some 50/70 and others.
Troy, thanks for the education. I have never had the pleasure to experience those.
My first thought was the Lee Classic Cast press, non-breechlock version. It has the insert for 7/8" dies that can be taken out for the larger dies.
Redding. Absolute precision machining.
The MEC Marksman has only been out for about 18 months. It's gotten rave reviews, but you're not going to see a flood of user reviews like you would with some of the other brands. That is not to say that MEC (the company) is too new to know what they're doing, because they have been making shotgun reloading equipment for decades. They probably sell 75% of all shotgun reloading equipment sold, so they are well established.
RCBS press bushing - some folks use to reload 12 ga shotshells with their press
I added a MEC to my bench for Xmas. I have a rockchucker and a 550 also. The RC is a beefy unit. The MEC is beefier and is built to tighter specs.
I use the 550 for production. The RC for decapping and trimming. The MEC is for precision work.
If you get the MEC, buy the riser for it. It's awesome!
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