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Which Single-Stage Press?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Bobson, Jun 26, 2012.

?

Which Single-Stage Press [B]Best Meets the Three Criteria I Listed Below[/B]?

Poll closed Jul 26, 2012.
  1. Forster Co-Ax

    8.6%
  2. Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic

    3.2%
  3. Lee Classic Cast

    28.0%
  4. Lyman Crusher 2

    1.1%
  5. RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme

    53.8%
  6. Redding Big Boss II

    2.2%
  7. None of these presses will meet the three requirements (Quality, Ability, Brand/Availability)

    3.2%
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  1. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    So I've come to the conclusion that a Single-Stage press will do everything I need in a press, but now that I've been researching them more, I'm starting to find issues I hadn't heard of before. So naturally, I decided to ask here.

    Some expectations/wants/needs I have for my press (and equipment in general), before listing the options:

    1) Quality. This press must be built well enough to last my lifetime, under normal conditions, of course. If there's one thing I can't stand, it's buying equipment/gear/guns/whatever of marginal quality. I'm not wealthy, and I'd prefer to spend a bit more the first time, rather than regret my purchase later.

    2) Ability. I need to be able to load/reload everything from 9mm Luger to .375 H&H Mag. It's not that I will load everything in between, but I will re/load 9mm Luger, and I will re/load .375 H&H Mag, and several cartridges in between. These two calibers are the smallest and largest I'll be dealing with.

    3) Brand? Parts/accessories availability is a must. I live in a major city right now, but I expect to move to an extremely rural environment outside the lower 48 states within the next year. That isn't a sure thing yet, but I figure why not be prepared for it? Like I said, I want this thing to last until I'm too old to use it, and I don't know where I'll live when I'm 80.

    That's all I can think of for now. Reason I believe a Single-Stage is good for my needs is because even one round per minute is something I wouldn't have a problem with, and from what I understand, a Single-Stage can put out as many as 100 rounds per hour. So anyway, here are the presses I'm considering, along with my current thoughts on each:

    - Forster Co-Ax S/S Press - $265. I've never heard of Forster at all before specifically searching for a single-stage press. However, it's the most expensive in the group by a large margin. This isn't a problem if it's worth the money.
    - Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic S/S Press - $140. Don't know much about it, aside the fact that Hornady seems to make great ammunition. Is their reloading equipment just as good? More importantly, does it meet the three criteria I listed above?
    - Lee Classic Cast S/S Press - $105. Read many mixed reviews about these. Some people seem to be great fans of Lee, others view Lee as a starter brand with little long-term value. Also read some reviews saying Lee products are somewhat below average in build quality.
    - Lyman Crusher 2 S/S Press - $125. Only thing I know about Lyman is their reloading manual is very popular.
    - RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme S/S Press - $150. This is the press I had intended to buy, but I've started to find reviews saying RCBS' quality has tanked as of late, and these presses are significantly inferior to RCBS Rock Chuckers of the past.
    - Redding Big Boss II S/S Press - $165. TBH, I know very little about Redding.

    If there's a press I haven't listed that I really ought to consider, by all means, educate me. As always, anything you can teach me is extremely appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012
  2. blarby

    blarby Member

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    My lee single stage is like the energizer bunny.....or a timex watch.....

    I may not like some of their dies, but the press is fantastic- get the anniversary kit if you can.
     
  3. Scimmia

    Scimmia Member

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    Incorrect. reloading dies have standarized on 7/8"-14 threads and are interchangable between press brands (Not counting large series dies like 416 Barrett and 50 BMG).

    Really, I think every one of the presses you listed meets all of your criteria. There's not a bad one in the bunch.
     
  4. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    Thank you very much.

    Does this include .375 H&H? Or will dies in this caliber also be interchangeable between brands?
     
  5. Scimmia

    Scimmia Member

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    .375 H&H uses standard size dies, so you're just fine. If you want to go bigger, the large series dies are standardized, too, so you're not locked into brand you just need a press that can handle them.
     
  6. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    Awesome, thanks.
     
  7. Centurian22

    Centurian22 Member

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    Voted Lee based on research I've done alone. Good luck.
     
  8. Wildbillz

    Wildbillz Member

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    My Vote would be for one of the RCBS Rock Chuckers. But I think I would look for an older one not one of the new models. I like the primer arm on the old ones better. I am still using the one I got for Christmas in 1978. Done from 380acp up to 300Win Mags on it. Only thing that has gone wrong with it was a primer arm cracked at the set screw. Called RCBS and got a new on in the mail a few days later at no charge.

    WB
     
  9. Otto

    Otto Member

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    I'm assuming you don't possess any reloading equipment yet. If that's the case I'd suggest the RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme reloading kit.
    Just add calipers, dies and a trimmer and you're basically good to go.
    The kit runs $300 minus a $50 rebate = $250. RCBS makes quality stuff and backs it with a Lifetime warranty....Lee and Lyman does not.

    If all you need is just a press, then get the Redding Boss II...it handles spent primers better than RCBS which makes it a bit more appealing.
     
  10. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    Appreciate your advice, sir. You're correct in assuming I don't own any equipment yet, and the kit you mentioned is the one I was most focused on. All my reloading will be done in either the garage or a shop with concrete floor, so my reloading setup could throw all spent primers on the ground, and I wouldn't have a problem with it. I'll just sweep up after each session - no big deal.
     
  11. Otto

    Otto Member

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  12. blarby

    blarby Member

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    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/42...reech-lock-single-stage-press-anniversary-kit

    $99.00

    Look at all that stuff.......... Oh ya, everything you need ! Well not everything, but the basics for certain.

    I'd recommend an RCBS trim-mate, or the lyman one as soon as possible...case prep by hand is hard on the fingers.

    The auto prime is fantastic for priming on the press, it really is.

    Once you get a few quick-change bushings ( get the ones with the built-in lock ring, trust me) you'll be amazed at how fast die changeover can be.

    The little primer pocket cleaning tool....not so much. I'd get the lyman toolheads, and put 'em on a trim-mate. If the trim-mate is out of your budget, the Lyman hand tools are great.

    $300.....$99.............$300.........$99.....

    You can use that other $200 right away to get some other tools you are gonna need : A tumbler, a caliper, maybe a digital scale, an impact puller for breaking down "bad" cartridges.. You'll find lots of uses for that $200, trust me.

    Your choice !
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012
  13. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    The Forster press is a very high quality precision tool but at a cost.

    The RCBS Rockchucker is built like a Mack Truck and will load anything you throw at it except for the 50 BMG.

    The Lee Classic SS press is just as strong as the RCBS but at a lesser cost. I see no reason not to buy it over the Rockchucker and use the saved money on dies.

    I own a Forster Co-Ax, an RCBS Rockchucker and a Lee Classic Turret Press and use them all. I don't think you can go wrong with any of the 4 I posted about.
     
  14. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I do not like the Lee Challenger press, it's not built well at all IMO. The Lee Classic Cast Iron Single Stage press is a much better press and the linkage on it is twice as strong as that on the Challenger press.
     
  15. Scimmia

    Scimmia Member

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    Yeah, for a far better press, far better scale, and better manual. I use a Lee Classic Cast, but wouldn't hesitate to go with a RockChucker.
     
  16. blarby

    blarby Member

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    Not here to start a war, but its not $200 better :p
     
  17. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    The Forster Co Ax uses special lock nuts that hold the die in that allow quick changes without screwing them into a plate. I do not own one but got a couple chances to use one to load a bunch of ammo. It is a great press but for that much money--not my first choice. I own a couple Lee, a couple RCBS, a Lyman, a Hollywood, and an old C&H press. Also a Lyman and RCBS turret presses. ALL of them will last my lifetime as well as two or more lifetimes after that.:cool: Note I do not own any aluminum frame presses. All of mine are rugged and made of cast Iron. I also vote for you to look for a good used one to buy. The old saw of "they don't make em like they used to" is true here here IMHO. The older ones are built like anvils IMHO.:D The money saved will definitely help buy the other stuff needed as well as the "kits" ALWAYS have stuff you do not end up using so why buy it in the first place. If you know or can find someone local that may let you use their press to load some ammo the obvious to us seasoned reloaders may help you make better purchase decisions when you finally do. Patience is a money saver and I am all about being money wise. Good luck finding your place in the reloading world.
     
  18. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    I don't know that 1 press is better than the other. There are several good press you just have to decide which 1 meets your needs the best. Price is not a good indicator. Just because you paid more doesn't mean you get more. The Lee classic breech lock has a removable bushing that if you remove it can handle the 50 bmg dies.
     
  19. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    The best press is the one whose color best matches the decor of your reloading room.

    In other words, they all will serve you well.

    "All" was not a choice.
     
  20. hang fire

    hang fire Member

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    Few years back I got the Lee Classic Cast on sale for 79 bucks and is has proven to be fantastic, my old Orange Crusher has been relegated to under the bench. Why anyone except through brand loyality, would buy a more expensive SS press is beyond me.
     
  21. Legion489

    Legion489 member

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    I have a RCBS ROCKCHUCKER I bought 40+ years ago. It still works as well now as it did then. You will NEVER regret buying quality! RCBS has a LIFETIME warranty too. RCBS dies are very good.

    Forster is excellent! I have not, personally used a Co-Ax, but people who have them love them. LIFETIME warranty. Best dies you can buy (along with Redding and Dillon).

    A friend has a Lyman Orange Crusher and likes it. Not sure what the official warranty is, but they stand behind their stuff, unlike other companies of low quality junk.

    Redding is extremely high quality and has a LIFETIME warranty, although I have not used their presses. Their dies are works of art!

    I have not used the Lee cast metal presses (and do NOT recommend ANY pot metal presses of any make!) but after the usual spat of "they are so great!" from the un/mis-informed, many sites are getting the truth out that they seem to have lots of play between the bushings and the press, and the dies and the bushings, if you get the L'N'L model. There are MANY Lee sites that you can check to see this, along with many other handloading sites that state this as well. Lee quality control is, shall we say, "iffy". I have a quote here some where from Dick Lee (<edited by taliv>) that the Lee warranty is just sucker bait to lure in the unknowing (from HANDLOADER'S DIGEST). The Lee (so called) "warranty" is two years, unlike the others who have LIFETIME warranties, which should tell you something as well. I have owned or used all of the non-iron Lee presses and in my opinion they are worthless. Other claim they have them and love them, which might well be true, but in MY experience they are not worth the trouble and aggrevation, so I recommend that people buy quality to begin with and avoid the learning curve. Lee dies are very good.

    Although you didn't ask about them, the Dillon 550B can be used as a single stage (although not for case forming and/or swaging, where the others excell), and then you can progress to a progressive, with (GASP!) a LIFETIME warranty.



    There is no truth of which I afraid. - Thomas Jefferson
    Say you are an idiot, say you are opposed to Legion, but I repeat myself. - Mark Twain (paraphrased)
    Read the Legion Five Report at LegionFiveReportblogspot.blog
     
  22. Uniquedot

    Uniquedot Member

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    Every press listed meets the criteria on all three. Of the O frame presses listed the Lee classic cast and the Redding big boss II are the two best because of their primer catch features. The rockchucker supreme is a good press if you don't mind spent primers all over the floor and if you don't mind Chinese frame castings. If you get the Lee classic cast press i would recommend the standard press and not the breech lock version.
     
  23. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    My old Rock-Chucker has been in continuous use since I bought it in 1970.

    The only part it ever needed was a ball-end handle to replace the old straight bicycle grip handle they used back then.

    I called RCBS to buy one about 5 years ago, and they sent me one free by return mail!
    Not bad customer service for a press that was by then nearly 40 years old!!

    rc
     
  24. Uniquedot

    Uniquedot Member

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    What do you think you are acting like running all around the internet from site to site expecting people to keep listening to your crying and whining because in your mind you feel you got the short end of the stick. I'm pretty sure i know who you are and frankly I'm getting sick of seeing your whiny posts all over the place. GROW UP AND GET OVER IT!
     
  25. Bull Nutria

    Bull Nutria Member

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    i have a Lyman Spartan C type press i bought new in 1976. parts are still available for the primer arm but the model is discontinued. i lost the primer cups and springs and for $10 they sent me an assortment!! it is solid! Lyman makes quality tools!

    Bull
     
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