View Poll Results: Which do you prefer?
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Which Press / company do you prefer
Im about to buy a single stage press kit. I like the Hornady Lock and Load but have used the Lee Breech Lock press before. Any discussion would be great.
RCBS There customer service is exceptional, to the point of sending out parts to you for free when one breaks! But several of the major reloading brands do that also.
Some background I plan to load 9mm, 357sig, 45acp, 22-250.
Of your two choices, I choose neither.
Dillon's presses are better than both.
Which Press / company do you prefer
Single stage, I have 2 lee (one a hand press) and 2 RCBS. I love the RCBS. One is over 50 years old, and just as right and solid as the knew.
I like the mobility of the hand press for decamping and resizing (I can multi task DURING THESE OPERATIONS ONLY)
I voted for Hornady because I am familiar with their products but I don't have a Lee or a Hornaday single stage press. I am still using an old Pacific press that dates to the early 1950s and some of their dies also. I figured if its not broken there is no need to fix it.
I've always used Lee and RCBS equipment. Both are fine. RCBS is better quality, but the Lee works well, too.
I bought a Dillon 550B when I first started. I used it in "single stage" mode, until my proficiency reached "progressive" mode standards. Dillon's warranty is exceptional.
When I reload, I devote ALL my attention to what I'm doing. No disrespect, but I think that multitasking while reloading is an invitation to potentially serious events. I have no radio, or TV (turned on), or anything that would distract me. It's not worth the potential risk.
RCBS makes great boat anchors. If you are going to swage your own bullets, the over-built RockChucker may be a good choice. I had one for about a year and got rid of it for a Foster Co-Ax. Now, that is a single-stage press.
CS of all reloading companies is excellent.
There are only two types of presses that make sense to me--single-stage and 5-station or more progressive.
Turrets are simply die storage and don't save any time over a single-stage press with die bushings.
I consider for my needs that no progressive press with fewer than 5 stations will be adequate and any press that has manual-indexing is brain-dead.
Thus, if I was starting out, I would get the Lee Challenger Breech Lock Single Stage Press Kit. If I had more money, I would skip the Hornady/RCBS and get the Co-Ax.
If I wanted a progressive, the following are the ones I would get:
1) If I don't need a case collator/feeder (and I don't), the Hornady L-N-L
2) If I do need a case collator/feeder, the Dillon 650 or 1050
I would not get the Hornady with a case collator and I would NEVER own a 650 without the case feeder/collator.
Only the Hornady is ergonomic and, for me, doesn't need a case feeder or bullet feeder.
Some people concentrate best with music or noise around and some need to be in a sensory deprivation booth.
This is why nobody can tell you what press is best for YOU or how you should reload, provided you follow the safety rules.
The bottom line is that you can make safe, quality ammo (for most types of shooting) with almost any of the hand loading equipment that is currently on the market. Quality ammo comes from proper research and testing of loads, and attention to detail when setting up your dies and measuring your powder.
What you gain from higher quality equipment is the saving of time and aggravation, mostly. If, like a lot of folks, you enjoy making your own ammo, you can increase your enjoyment considerably by using quality equipment.
Of your pics I'd go Horandy,better stuff although I have personally never has any.Forget the RCBS as junk comment,BS (sorry man).The Rockchucker is a beast for a reason,alignment on large heavy belted magnums.Single stage is single stage,do you want slop or snug?
For progressive,Dillon pretty much leads but there are quirks to it like the rest.If you're using Dillon and their dies (and a few others),use One Shot lube on the cases even with carbide dies,it makes it easier and doesn't put as much pressure on the plastic parts.If you're going to get a squib load,most likely from a jamb and brainfade restarting a progressive.Start singlestage until you're versed in reloading as I believe.
Lee....I'll pass.Their old handloader was good,everything else to me is cheaper because of quality which means slop.They do have a purpose but I wouldn't consider a kit from them for anything but patial potential-just my opinion though.I also don't fall into the factory crimp die theory.This hit the market in that last 2-3 decades but reloading has been going on how long?BS.If you need one of these,something is wrong in the process,period.Could be operator error in setup or procedure,or you have a bad die,or a tight match chamber,etc.OK,rant over.
One tip though,crimp autos seperate from seating,much better and especially with lead and large spec dies.Revolvers have to be crimped on seating unless you're shooting wimp loads.
I would choose a RCBS or a Dillon...those are not given as options.
RCBS Rockchucker is one of the hardest working single stage presses available. I am sizing .30-06 on one right now and it is one of my dad's. It is about 40 years old or more. It has been used more than it hasn't for those years. It has mostly been used on .308 and .30-06. It is still just as solid and tight as when it was new...I know that because he also has a new one and it is just the same...just as tight.
I have another brand of press....not sure the brand...cheap. It is loose, sloppy...not great. I think the handle would bend over time of sizing large caliber with it.
We have 2 Dillon's. We have a 550 that is about 20 years old. It is great. It still is just like new other than the crud that collects over the years on stuff. We also have a newer 1050. That sucker is a workhorse. It cost it but it was worth it for our .223 and 9mm needs.
You will be very sick of loading on a single stage and you won't want to do it for long. You go through a lot of pistol ammo...you are better off getting at least something like the 550.
I've used an RCBS Rock Chucker for about 40 years. It is just as solid as new today. I've swaged .308 down to .243 and 30-06 to 25-06, with never a glitch. You don't have to worry about it's strength. Now, the table you bolt it too? That's a different story.
See, Kevin knows. (today, your name is Kevin.)
Originally Posted by TurboHonda
MTT has a point on boredome but you have to consider what you'll be doing.If you are shooting large amounts a progressive is it,but I think it poses too many problems for the newB.If I have a lot to do,I do it in stages.I'll resize and deprime everything with that die,then flare and reprime if I don't reprime on the first stage.Throw the lid on the bucket and do whatever I need to.When I can get back,charge and seat the bullets,then run them through the crimper.Yeah,it takes a while but it cuts on the monotany.
There are also turret presses.I'm not big on those though because of play.It's cool to have all dies set up and just turn the head for the next step,but over time they can develop play in the toolhead.If you do go straight to a progressive,be anal about paying attention because it's easy to screw up.Powder check dies have missed double charges and empty cases,this usually happens when you get a glitch that has to be cleared and you continue on.Paying attention prevents it,but sometimes one's mind wanders and the next thing you know you jsut ruined your gun.I would be very leary of using a volitile powder like 296 or H110 on a progressive,they have very little room to operate with your powder charge and undercharge or double are quite violent compared to other powders.I believe both of those still are nitroglycerine based.
Single stage I use a Lyman T-Mag and an old RCBS Jr. I would use a Hornady. Lee stuff seems to be marginal but a single stage would be hard to mess up.
Dillon. 18 years old an never a problem.
All the brand names are good. When you want to stop going through presses, you'll buy the Dillon 550. Simply the best!
I have both RCBS and Lee. I mostly use the lee for pistol and the RCBS for rifle. I'd have to say they both make good equipment or they wouldn't still be around.
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