Which press?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by bigpondonly, Apr 4, 2016.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. bigpondonly

    bigpondonly Member

    Feb 25, 2016
    Looking for single stage strickly for de-priming and full length sizing of .223/.308 brass. Opinions, thoughts?
    I have a Dillon 550, and am just moving into rifle calibers after becoming comfortable/confident with pistol rounds. How are other 550 users setting up their toolheads for rifle?
  2. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

    Oct 19, 2010
    East TN
    For 223 Remington, about any o-frame single stage will deprime and resize them well. If you plan on reloading larger cartridges in the 308 Win or 30-06 range, a larger press will be helpful.

    Presses like the RCBS Rock Chucker, Redding Big Boss and others will serve you well.

    I have a Dillon BL550 (stripped down version of the RL550) because I do not prime on the press and I use a drum style powder measure like a Redding 10-X or RCBS Uniflow. Also, I resize and prep cases shortly after shooting them and set them aside until a future loading session.

    For rifle, I drop powder in station 2, check powder in station 3, and seat the bullet in station 4.

    For handgun, I drop powder in station 1, check the powder level in station 2, seat the bullet in station 3 and crimp in station 4.

    If you prime on the press, you cannot drop powder until station 2.
  3. jpwilly

    jpwilly Member

    Aug 10, 2007
    Phoenix AZ
    I went with a Lee Classic Cast Turret Press instead of a single stage press. I can load in single stage mode or use as a turret with or without the auto indexing. If you don't want a progressive or are looking at a single stage, a turret press is probably a much better option.
  4. SwaneeSR

    SwaneeSR Member

    Jan 1, 2015
    MN, United States of America
    I also started with a Dillon 550B. I purchased a Rockchucker to load big rifle and later a Lee Classic turret for rifle.

    I recently purchased my first AR. I am planning on reloading .223 on the Dillon press in same configuration as handgun with station #1 as decap/size/prime, #2 bell/powder drop, #3 bullet seat, and #4 crimping.

    I purchase separate tool heads and powder measures for each caliber on the Dillon 550. All pistol loading.

    So if I was going to reload my large rifle on the Dillon I would decap on one of the other presses, wet tumble the brass, resize on one of the other presses and trim the brass as needed.

    I have have concerns about charging big rifle cases using the powder drop on the Dillon. The extruded stick powders are tough to meter. I currently measure and trickle up every charge for calibers such as .30-06, .30-30, 6.5SE and recently 270 Wthrby.

    If I do all that, I am not saving much effort using the Dillon 550. I just should finish the process on one of the other presses.

    How well do stick powders work in the Dillon powder measure? What accuracy do you get when dropping 56-57 grains of IMR 4350?

    Good question with the OP. I am also unsure how to do big rifle on the Dillon 550b.

  5. dh1633pm
    • Contributing Member

    dh1633pm Contributing Member

    Apr 28, 2009
    Central New York
    Co-Ax. Need I say more.
  6. Kevin Rohrer

    Kevin Rohrer Member

    May 29, 2010
    Medina, Ohio USA
    A too-often asked question which a Search here will answer.

    If you are FL resizing .308 MG brass, you need one that will not flex and has a long arm for more leverage. The Co-AX is one of them. A Hollywood Senior Turret is another.
  7. Tophernj

    Tophernj Member

    May 5, 2012
    PR of NJ
    A bit much for simply de-capping and sizing don't you think?

    I have one and it's awesome but for that money you can get multiples of another press. For simply de-capping and sizing a Rock Chucker, Classis Cast, or L-N-L single stage will do you just fine and get you into the rifle game just fine.

    If you have an inkling that you may start to peer down the rabbit hole of "precision" handloading and shooting, get the CoAx.

    Just my dos centavos.
  8. BigDog58

    BigDog58 Member

    Aug 8, 2010
    +1 on a Lee Classic Turret. Can be used as either a single or semi-progressive and will handle all of my rifle loading except my 50 BMG. It gets a Hornady 50 BMG Press.
  9. BigBore45

    BigBore45 Member

    Jun 27, 2014
    i use a lee breach lock challenger press. it can prime on press. have done several MG 308 brass. has quick detach bushings for dies. really good press for the money.

    i like it better than the rockchucker i had because the primer system isnt sticking up in the air at an angle twards my face like the rockchucker.
  10. AGunNut2

    AGunNut2 Member

    Dec 8, 2015
    Best SS press

    Best is usually accepted to be the Redding Big Boss 2, followed by Rockchuckers.

    Although typically almost $300, they are frequently on sale under 200. For example, they are $204 on sale/backordered at MidwayUSA right now. They were just 179 on sale at one of the big reloading suppliers last week.
  11. BCRider

    BCRider Member

    Nov 15, 2008
    Pacific North"Wet" Coast of Canada
    One feature I really like on my Hornady single stage is the bayonet lock bushing system. It lets me change dies as fast as a turret press and holds adjustments. If you don't opt for a Hornady Lock N'Load press then I strongly urge you to look at the bushing and insert kit to convert whatever brand you do buy to a bayonet lock setup.

    My rifle reloading is all done for accuracy so each powder charge is weighed. So I'm not using a progressive for that reason. For me this is where the LnL bushings or a nice solid turret press shines. I can perform the operations singly but switch dies fast knowing that they are staying in adjustment.
  12. AR-Bossman

    AR-Bossman Member

    Feb 9, 2016
    RCBS rockchucker supreme is built like a tank. Can be converted to use LnL bushings as well.
    Co-Ax looks to be pretty cool.
  13. jmorris

    jmorris Member

    Sep 30, 2005
    As you already have the 550 just put the case in size/deprime it then pull the case out of the shell plate. If you don't push the handle forward you won't seat a primer even with the tube loaded and you will have the same thing as a single stage at that point.

    The 550 is different than the other progressives available in that the case does not sit "in" the shell plate but on top of the ram. The shell plate is only there to pull the cases back out of the dies. So unlike other presses it doesn't matter if you have a single case in the shell plate or have it is fully loaded.
  14. jgh4445

    jgh4445 Member

    May 17, 2008
    South Alabama
    Another vote for Co-Ax
  15. Orcon

    Orcon Member

    Aug 25, 2015
    Sidney, MT
    You guys just got me in big trouble by mentioning that co-ax. Luckily my reloading room is large enough for a bed and most of my clothes.
  16. eam3clm@att.net

    [email protected] Member

    Dec 2, 2010
    I have been looking had at the new Hornady single stage press. It looks like it is built like a tank.
  17. MikeInOr

    MikeInOr Member

    Feb 1, 2016
    I asked this question a few weeks ago and ended up with a Lee classic cast press. I just received it and haven't set it up yet. After a bunch of reading the Lee clasic cast seems the best press for the money. I always considered Lee to be pretty much junk but the overwhelming reviews on the Lee Classic cast seem to say otherwise. I seriously considered a Foster press but it won't work with the Dillon case trimmer. I also considered a turret press, mainly the Redding turret but went with a single stage for the rigidity and lack of flex. For what I do the Lee classic cast should handle anything I throw at it and last forever... it will reload .50 bmg if I sould ever find myself rich.

    I reload .308, .223, 6.5x55 sweed, 8x57 .30 carbine and 30-06 rifle calibers on my Dillon 650 including full length sizing. I have carbide dies in .308 and .223 all other rifle calibers I have conventional dies. I bought the Lee for trimming with the Dillon case trimmer, pulling bullets with a collet puller and to start experimenting with case forming. The only thing I don't care for about reloading rifle cases in my 650 is the mess the lube makes in the case feeded and feeder tube... annoyong but not annoying enough to reload on a single stage. My Remington bull barrel target rifles are in .308 and .223. I am extremely pleased with the accuracy of the loads I get from my Dillon.

    Horniday just introduced a new Iron press that is a heavy duty hybrid C frame press instead of an O frame press. The advantage of the Horniday is it has much easier hand access to the case without being hindered by the front column of a conventional O frame press. I considered the Horniday but went for the Lee Classic cast due to the price mostly.

    Since deprimming is one of your major functions I believe you will want to look far a press that deprimes through the ram. I read MANY complaints about presses that do not dispose of the primer through the ram... I guess they jump all over and make a mess????

    4064 always did OK for me through the Dillon measure... I like Varget much better since switching. Varget seems to meter better. Both are very acurate with the right loads for the right rifle.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2016
  18. jenrob

    jenrob Member

    Dec 18, 2007
    Eastern Oregon
    What color do you like? I have a Lee and a Redding big boss 2. I want to see a cartridge that will flex either of them. As for tolerances the redding ram has no movement at all at the top of stroke. The lee press has less than .001 at the top of the ram. As for sizing and depriming either press would be fine. Now the Lee was a hand me down and has probably seen 100,00 plus rounds the big boss 2 I got when the first came out. It has seen many thousands of rounds but I think that even if it had as many as the lee it would still be as tighter than the Lee was new. Agian for what you talking of doing pick a color that you like that is on sale and buy it.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice