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what press kit to get

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RoyDean
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Post by Photomike61$ Wed Jun 08, 2022 4:29 pm

looking in to getting into reloading  not trying to break the bank looking  at a lee turret press kit  open to suggestion of what you guys think or any other press kit  just getting into bullseye shooting thanks

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Post by fc60 Wed Jun 08, 2022 4:57 pm

Greetings,

Watch eBay for a good used Star.

Cheers,

Dave
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Post by zanemoseley Wed Jun 08, 2022 4:58 pm

I'd recommend an RCBS Rock Chucker then add a Hornady LNL bushing kit. Makes die changes nearly as quick as it takes to turn a turret press head.

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1013033452?pid=513567

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1012999418?pid=858110

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1165277407?pid=786036


Last edited by zanemoseley on Wed Jun 08, 2022 11:34 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by zanemoseley Wed Jun 08, 2022 5:00 pm

fc60 wrote:Greetings,

Watch eBay for a good used Star.

Cheers,

Dave

You're recommending a discontinued progressive press with proprietary dies to an intro reloader... Hard pass. Yes I know they're good presses.

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Post by dannyd93140 Wed Jun 08, 2022 5:20 pm

Definitely start out cheap to see if you like it; I have been doing reloading for 32 years and that's what I started on was a single stage press; nothing beats a good single stage press for learning on.


RCBS and Hornady make some good kits to start off.
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Post by SteveT Wed Jun 08, 2022 5:50 pm

Start with a single stage. You can't go wrong with a Rockchucker, but just about anything will work.

After you load a thousand or so rounds on the single stage you will (1) know how to reload and (2) be sick of loading on a single stage.

Hornady LnL or Dillon XL750 (or used XL650) are probably the most common progressive presses. Both are good. None are perfect. I'd give a slight (emphasis on slight) edge to the Dillon, mainly because of the huge base of users and suppliers. IMO the Hornady powder measure is better than Dillon (I use H measure on my XL650). I haven't owned a Hornady so I can't say more than that. I am happy with everything else about the Dillon.

The Dillon Square Deal B is cheaper and simpler so it's easier to setup and there are fewer shiny geegaws to spend unnecessary money on. It's limited (only pistol calibers, custom dies) but good enough for anything we need. My first progressive was a SDB. The priming system never worked well for more than a few months at a time. I primed by hand while watching TV before loading. I learned the hard way that you can switch the seating and crimping dies and load a whole bunch of ammo that will jam in your gun when you go to a big out of state match. But, when set up correctly, I never had a reason to doubt the accuracy of ammo loaded on the SDB.

If you are a tinkerer / machinist find a Star Reloader. They are impressive machines and once they are working, you can't do better.
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Post by jglenn21 Wed Jun 08, 2022 6:07 pm

Steve gives you good advice. The only thing i would change is to get a Dillon 550 for your 1st progressive. While not as automated as the 750 it is very easy to correct any stoppage as you control the indexing of the stations.. also you can load anything from a 45acp to 30-06. The auto indexing presses like the 750 take a bit more thought when you have an issue. I own 3 550s and one 750 and love then all..

Buy quality and it will last you a lifetime. My RCBS rockchucker is over 50 years old and still works perfectly
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Post by SingleActionAndrew Wed Jun 08, 2022 6:10 pm

I agree with the advice to start now with a single stage. This first press will likely be a starting step that you soon step over. A strong single stage may have more utility for you than a flimsy Lee turret once you buy the Dillon 750XL and put all of PhotoEscape's parts on it


Last edited by SingleActionAndrew on Wed Jun 08, 2022 6:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by PhotoEscape Wed Jun 08, 2022 6:10 pm

Photomike61$ wrote:looking in to getting into reloading  not trying to break the bank looking  at a lee turret press kit  open to suggestion of what you guys think or any other press kit  just getting into bullseye shooting thanks

It is hard to answer your question based on parameters you provided, which is pretty much "none".  My suggestion would be to find someone locally, who's already in reloading, and ask for watch session.  That will give you idea what and how it works.  Next would be to determine your re-loading needs from quantity stand point.  That will immediately translate into how much time you can devote to reloading.  It is important to know because output from single stage press would be about 1 to 6 in comparison with progressive press.  I mean, it would require same amount of time to produce 100 rounds on single stage press as 600 rounds on progressive.  And one more fundamental issue - personal level of attention to details!!!  Reloading absolutely requires it!  Even with light loads we use for the game, double-charged round might produce catastrophic results.  With that, if you anal to the details (like developing film) then Dave's suggestion about Star press is excellent.  These are rock solid machines.  And there is  company that supports this platform these day.  But they aren't forgiving if reloader doesn't pay attention to details, and doesn't adhere to strict reloading protocol.  Dillon's presses with auto indexing are more forgiving, and if you plan on reloading single caliber, then Square Deal B is excellent starting point.  IMHO, - any single stage and most turret presses are waste of time for full reloading cycle (Redding 7-station turret might be exception, but only from stand point of staging all dies in its turret).  I also suggest watching eBay or other means for procuring Dillon XL650.  This is much more efficient platform for reloading multiple calibers.  I understand "not trying to break the bank" notion.  However time is also worth something......

AP
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Post by straybrit Wed Jun 08, 2022 6:15 pm

For a first timer I'd get a BL550. You can add the primer feed and powder drop etc as upgrades to make it a full fat 550 but in its basic form it's almost as simple as a single stage but without having to throw anything away moving to a progressive.

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Post by LenV Wed Jun 08, 2022 6:41 pm

Go with your first choice . There is nothing flimsy on a Lee Turret press.what press kit to get 20220610
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Post by CO1Mtn Wed Jun 08, 2022 7:10 pm

In my area, there's a guy who has an ammo manufacturing license, and you can pay him a small commission to load whatever loads you want as long as it's a safe load. That might be a better way to start out. You could find someone who has the license to do that instead of buying your own reloading equipment right away.

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Post by Larry2520 Wed Jun 08, 2022 8:36 pm

Early on I was looking at a turret press and one of the store salesmen advised me to get a Dillon 550. One of the best moves I ever made. They have a BL550 which is basically a single stage press that can be re-figured to a progressive (hate that word) press easily. Consider it.

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Post by NuJudge Wed Jun 08, 2022 9:04 pm

You can probably scrounge a lot of used equipment, very cheap, locally.  I have several single stage presses downstairs that were given to me.  Loading on a single stage is a good way to learn, but it will get old in a hurry.  The various turret presses are a compromise between a single stage and a progressive.  For a progressive, you have a lot of things to watch, all at once, and mistakes are much easier to make.  

It is really important that you have some experienced supervision initially, so you don't make mistakes that will blow you up, and so that you have immediate success.

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Post by chiz1180 Wed Jun 08, 2022 9:15 pm

I started on a progressive press, when I was getting the hang of the operation and procedure, I just did one case at a time. Start slow, pay attention and take your time. Dillion and Hornady are probably your best bets for a modern machine, though a Lee machine very well can be just as effective (personal only have experience with their dies and a few other non press tools, have generally found good quality at a good price point). If you are a member of a gun club reach out to other members seeking advice on reloading and the equipment, chances are someone will be willing to help you learn or know of some reloading equipment that is available alible.
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Post by STEVE SAMELAK Wed Jun 08, 2022 10:47 pm

If you have joined a league it might be worth a couple pizzas to have someone let you use their press (under supervision).
I have a couple of friends who for various reasons cannot get the stuff, so they bribe me to use mine.


Last edited by STEVE SAMELAK on Thu Jun 09, 2022 7:02 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling & content)
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Post by Dan Webb Thu Jun 09, 2022 10:50 am

We have had three 2600 shooters in the history of our club. Two out of the three loaded their ammo on a Dillon SDB. The club record of 2652 in a registered match was shot with SDB loaded ammo.

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Post by zanemoseley Thu Jun 09, 2022 10:59 am

Pretty much any press will make good pistol ammo if set up properly with good quality dies. One difference will be powder measure, as long as it meters your powder consistently you're good to go, Dillon uses a slide system where Hornady uses a rotor system with QD powder inserts to quickly change the drop with other inserts. I had a SDB for a short period of time for 32SWL but prefer my Hornady LNL AP's. I would have no issue running a Dillon 750 instead but they are designed to feed cases from a hopper, yes you can manually fill the included case tube every 20-30 rounds but the LNL AP is set up better for hand feeding. Another drawback of the SDB is no easy ways to swap caliber like the LNL & 750, fine if you're only reloading one caliber but is a hinderance. I also recommend 5 station progressives so you can incorporate a powder check die.

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Post by gjoyce3 Thu Jun 09, 2022 3:02 pm

Slight contrarian view - look for a used/new Dillon 650XL or 750 with case feeder.  

The real question is do you want to be a reloader as opposed to a shooter.  If reloading is a hobby, by all means get a rock chucker (or heck even a scoop and hammer) and dig into the wonderfully complex world.  If you want to reload as a path to being a better shooter (cost savings and purpose built ammo) - start with a machine built for that end.

Dillons cheaper presses are nice and well built, but at the 650/750 level with the case feeder, the machine gets out of the way and is not something to overcome.  The time savings is worth it.  You can decide to go to the range one minute and in 10 minutes have churned out enough ammo for the trip.  You can go nuts with a bullet feeder (JHP bullets only in my experience) and make reloading a once a year event (like a trap shooter)

The next level up machine (1100 (1050)) is OP and frankly looking at the prices these days, I wish I gone for that all those years ago (at least 15) when I sold the SDB and bought the 650.

One thing to add on any machine is one of photoescape's powder transfer units.  Properly set up it is expponentially better than other expanders.


Last edited by gjoyce3 on Thu Jun 09, 2022 3:09 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : adding plug for photo escape)

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Post by Axehandle Thu Jun 09, 2022 3:17 pm

I use a 1050, five 550s, four SDBs, and I still keep the single stage RCBS press I started with 45 years ago.  When I teach reloading I teach on a single stage.  We'll talk progressives and even see one before we finish training but teaching is done on a Single Stage.

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Post by zanemoseley Thu Jun 09, 2022 3:44 pm

You'll often also find many uses for a single stage reloader once you've moved up to a progressive for reloading pistol. I use my RCBS RC for depriming before SS pin tumbling, using a Lee push through sizer for my cast bullets and reloading precision rifle ammo for 600 & 1000 yard shooting.

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Post by john bickar Thu Jun 09, 2022 7:03 pm

zanemoseley wrote:
fc60 wrote:Greetings,

Watch eBay for a good used Star.

Cheers,

Dave

You're recommending a discontinued progressive press with proprietary dies to an intro reloader... Hard pass. Yes I know they're good presses.

Heretic!

That said, I agree with what others have said about starting with a single-stage press. You'll progress to a progressive (heh) press soon enough, but you'll never ever find yourself not needing a single-stage press.

Like LenV, and me, you might end up with many of each.

(But seriously, Star is the best.)
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Post by Pinetree Thu Jun 09, 2022 7:55 pm

I have a Rock Chucker, a Pacific, four Mec's (for shotgun), and a Dillon SDB for pistol.

The ease of cranking out a lot of ammo, and Dillon's No BS Warranty make it a winner in my book.

.02
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Post by LenV Thu Jun 09, 2022 9:08 pm

I wanted to post a better picture. The progressive on the  right is set up for 45acp. It takes about 30min to switch to anything with a small primer. With  10  turrets and shell holders lined up I can switch to 10 different calibers and primer size as easy as changing my powder. After initial set-up. what press kit to get 20220611
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Post by rich.tullo Thu Jun 09, 2022 9:27 pm

I have a Hornady LNL I can do about 200 bullets an hour in a dafe modest pace. The Warranty is good. I wish it held 6 dies. As I prefer to seat and crimp on different stages. I use Redding and Lee Dies. Lee universal expander is a must. 

The primer feeding system needs TLC but overall the press makes fine ammo. 

+1 on starting with a single stage. 

Be very very careful to avoid double charges and light charges and get a good scale and decent digital scale.
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