Which press is right for me question asked for the 100th time

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G.A. Heath
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Re: Which press is right for me question asked for the 100th time

#16

Post by G.A. Heath » Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:41 am

If you keep things simple you can load one cartridge at a time on a progressive press. So if you want to load in bulk then a progressive press is the best way to go from the start. Otherwise if you buy a single stage or turret press to learn and then get a progressive later then you're wasting money.
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Re: Which press is right for me question asked for the 100th time

#17

Post by Beiruty » Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:04 am

G.A. Heath wrote:If you keep things simple you can load one cartridge at a time on a progressive press. So if you want to load in bulk then a progressive press is the best way to go from the start. Otherwise if you buy a single stage or turret press to learn and then get a progressive later then you're wasting money.
I dedicated my AP for 9mm Ammo, the most I shoot, some 150 rd each weekend. On LEE Classic Turret I do 45 ACP and all my bolt action rifles. For 223, I reconfig the AP to crank some.
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Re: Which press is right for me question asked for the 100th time

#18

Post by LeonCarr » Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:11 am

Single Stage - Redding Big Boss or RCBS Rockchucker, both of these are basically indestructible.

Turret - Redding T-7, only Turret Press recommended by Sinclair for precision loading. I have two of these and they are beasts.

Progressive - Dillon RL550B, not as fast or fancy as the 650 but caliber changeovers are much faster and as mentioned if you make a mistake it is easier to isolate that mistake and fix it quickly than it is on a 650.

Just my .02,
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Re: Which press is right for me question asked for the 100th time

#19

Post by E.Marquez » Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:16 am

Beiruty wrote: Here are photos and videos of the LEE classic Turret with its update over time.
https://goo.gl/photos/rgtGdZGPo8i1SYZ18
1st thank you for the response, it was helpful..and I am getting ideas for sure...like the LED back lighting...I use LED lighting on many many of my machines, drill press to lathe, Mil and even my battery charging shelves.....so i like the idea of putting some strips in the press for precise lighting.

The automated "shell kicker" that advances with each cycle, is that a home made thing? Lee add on? or an after market item?

Erik
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Re: Which press is right for me question asked for the 100th time

#20

Post by E.Marquez » Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:36 am

One of the issues I am running into is the Kits are not really what i want...
Scales...reading a manual scale is too laborious for me, so I want a digital
Calipers, I have a draw full of precision measuring calipers, mikes and dial indicators, do not need a cheap caliper in the kit (the "best" reloading caliper from any of the reloading manufacturers is a mid grade at best compared to what a machinist uses and I already have)
Case prep...I want to go with a wet tumbler using SS pins if my sonic tank does not end up doing the job I think it will...so not case cleaning tool needed for now.
Powder measure,,,,in some kits the press gets high marks, but the powder measure has lots of complaints.

All that to say, I have decided to go the ala cart purchase method. More $$ I know, but it will be "cheaper" for me over all as I will not be wasting money on things I don't want, and still have to buy the type/brand I do want for that needed item.

As I expected, the recommendations on brand and style are all over the chart.. from Get a progressive you will shoot your eye out to I started on a started with a progressive and it was never an issue.. I thank one and all for the responses, they were all helpful. :tiphat:

That said..I've decided to go with a turret press for type, brand is yet undecided.
My next post will be a list of equipment with brand and model if known.

What I ask for is conformation I have have listed all the required and desired items of equipment.
And then opinion based suggestions if you have a suggestion of a different brand / model for the item I have listed.

Folks have brand X and its what the have and it works, but unless they have tried brand y and z, its not really accurate to say I have brand X and its the best...it is just the best they have used... run in to that a lot in the motorcycling world. So really appreciate those that have tried , say powder measures from Lee, Hornady, RCBS and opine the X is best, it does not leak powder like Y and has easier charge adjustment then Z and is more constant with charge weight then both the others.

Thank you all for your responses.
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Re: Which press is right for me question asked for the 100th time

#21

Post by E.Marquez » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:46 am

The list....I said in my last post "Kits" were out because they have items I don't want...but I just looked hard at the Lee Precision-Classic-Turret-Press

Lee was one of the brands I was looking at hard, along with RCBS and Hornady.. Reddings is a leader in the press brand wars for sure and others as well... but for a lot of reasons, mostly as there are just Soooo many options and recommendations for why ALL are the best had to narrow it down or a choice was never going to get made. :biggrinjester:

So if I start with the Lee Precision-Classic-Turret-Press kit, the only throwaway component is the scale....it can go on ebay for 50% MSRP and be gone in a few days Id guess.
The Lee classic Kit includes
Auto-Drum powder measure
Powder Measure Riser
Large and Small Safety Prime
4-Hole Turret
Case conditioning tools included, Cutter, Lock Stud, Chamfer Tool, small and large Primer Pocket Cleaner, Lee case sizing lube, Case Length Gauge.
Lee Safety powder scale.
Modern Reloading Second Edition
NOTE: Lots on the Internet about the priming system issues of the Lee turret, for those with this press, are those real issues? Real but fixed-able? Real and you no longer use the press priming system because of the issue?

Beiruty I think i found the Lee add on case ejector you have https://inlinefabrication.com/products/ ... e-rotation YES?
All the above and

o Lee Safety Prime
o Primer "turner"- are they all relatively the same? better or worse?
o Digital scale - Just a scale, not a charge trickle type..looking for fast power up and calibration, holds calibration, repeatability and 0.1 grain accuracy ... What do you use that meets those specs or better, or what would you recommend?
o Measuring calipers- I have on hand
o Case prep- Sonic tank now with the appropriate soap, if that does not get me where I want to go, then a wet tumbler with magnetic stainless steel pins. Something like RCBS Rotary Case Tumbler.
o 2nd and 3rd reloading book, I understand them to be like potato chips, you cant have just one....the Lee kit comes with theirs, what other two would you suggest?
o Shell holders for my 4 primary calibers (if not included in die set)
o Dies for my 4 primary calibers Lee 223 REM ULTIMATE DIE SET, Lee 4 Die Set Pistol for 45 ACP , .380 and 9mm . If not Lee, whose dies and why please.
o Powder??? ... 5.56 77 grain SMK from a 16" 1:7 barrel ??
o Primers I'll need rifle and pistol sized to fit my brass.. Brand...does it matter? CCI, Winchester , Federal, ect?
o Case lube..is spray the way to go? whose? if not spray, what.. whose?

What did i forget?
What would you add even if not required?
This whole plan is because I can not but the ammo I want reasonable, then after that the self reliance of building my own, lastly money..I hold no illusions that it will save me money, and may actually cost more to produce then buying off the shelf ammo in bulk. After setting up to do it, and learning how... I likely wont load much 9mm, that turret head and dies will get put up for a NEED some day. .380 I'll load occasionally as my wife does like to shoot her optional carry gun and that little stuff is price unless found on sale. .45 ACP, we will just see if it works out.
.338 WIN MAg, .338 Lapua, .300 BLK (don't own yet, but next rifle in SBR I'm getting) will be considered based on use and cost vs time invested.

Thanks all, this has been an education....and it is not done yet.

erik
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Re: Which press is right for me question asked for the 100th time

#22

Post by rotor » Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:17 pm

E.Marquez wrote:The list....I said in my last post "Kits" were out because they have items I don't want...but I just looked hard at the Lee Precision-Classic-Turret-Press

Lee was one of the brands I was looking at hard, along with RCBS and Hornady.. Reddings is a leader in the press brand wars for sure and others as well... but for a lot of reasons, mostly as there are just Soooo many options and recommendations for why ALL are the best had to narrow it down or a choice was never going to get made. :biggrinjester:

So if I start with the Lee Precision-Classic-Turret-Press kit, the only throwaway component is the scale....it can go on ebay for 50% MSRP and be gone in a few days Id guess.
The Lee classic Kit includes
Auto-Drum powder measure
Powder Measure Riser
Large and Small Safety Prime
4-Hole Turret
Case conditioning tools included, Cutter, Lock Stud, Chamfer Tool, small and large Primer Pocket Cleaner, Lee case sizing lube, Case Length Gauge.
Lee Safety powder scale.
Modern Reloading Second Edition
NOTE: Lots on the Internet about the priming system issues of the Lee turret, for those with this press, are those real issues? Real but fixed-able? Real and you no longer use the press priming system because of the issue?

Beiruty I think i found the Lee add on case ejector you have https://inlinefabrication.com/products/ ... e-rotation YES?
All the above and

o Lee Safety Prime
o Primer "turner"- are they all relatively the same? better or worse?
o Digital scale - Just a scale, not a charge trickle type..looking for fast power up and calibration, holds calibration, repeatability and 0.1 grain accuracy ... What do you use that meets those specs or better, or what would you recommend?
o Measuring calipers- I have on hand
o Case prep- Sonic tank now with the appropriate soap, if that does not get me where I want to go, then a wet tumbler with magnetic stainless steel pins. Something like RCBS Rotary Case Tumbler.
o 2nd and 3rd reloading book, I understand them to be like potato chips, you cant have just one....the Lee kit comes with theirs, what other two would you suggest?
o Shell holders for my 4 primary calibers (if not included in die set)
o Dies for my 4 primary calibers Lee 223 REM ULTIMATE DIE SET, Lee 4 Die Set Pistol for 45 ACP , .380 and 9mm . If not Lee, whose dies and why please.
o Powder??? ... 5.56 77 grain SMK from a 16" 1:7 barrel ??
o Primers I'll need rifle and pistol sized to fit my brass.. Brand...does it matter? CCI, Winchester , Federal, ect?
o Case lube..is spray the way to go? whose? if not spray, what.. whose?

What did i forget?
What would you add even if not required?
This whole plan is because I can not but the ammo I want reasonable, then after that the self reliance of building my own, lastly money..I hold no illusions that it will save me money, and may actually cost more to produce then buying off the shelf ammo in bulk. After setting up to do it, and learning how... I likely wont load much 9mm, that turret head and dies will get put up for a NEED some day. .380 I'll load occasionally as my wife does like to shoot her optional carry gun and that little stuff is price unless found on sale. .45 ACP, we will just see if it works out.
.338 WIN MAg, .338 Lapua, .300 BLK (don't own yet, but next rifle in SBR I'm getting) will be considered based on use and cost vs time invested.

Thanks all, this has been an education....and it is not done yet.

erik
Scales I use the Frankford Arsenal DS-750. I have checked this with the balance beam and it is very accurate and very inexpensive. I have one of the fancy Redding powder distributing scales and don't use it. I would if I did rifle.
Turrets, buy a bunch and buy another riser as you probably will want a spare at least of one.
Dies, I use Lee- clean them good after you get them. For pistol if you buy carbide you don't need lube. Rifle does need lube. I use Lee because it came with kit. Otherwise I would use Hornady spray. I just don't do much rifle. Buy a Lee universal decapper die. Handles just about everything and cheap. All it does is deprime.
Primer system. I don't like Lee system on press but sometimes use it. I have a Redding universal hand primer. Pretty much can load all shells without adapters.
Shell cleaning. I tried US but my dogs went crazy. I didn't think it worked that well. Some US cleaners not safe for use on brass. I have SS and brass looks better than new but a pain in the neck. I went with Cabella kit vibratory, came with media and brass polish and works great and easy.
Books, I use Lee, Hornady, Speer and Lyman. Most stuff is on the internet but I like manuals.
I use a case gauge with every caliber I reload- Lyman, Wilson.
I have a Lee single stage and Turret so I did get the Lee mounting plate to easily interchange them.
Primers, I don't think it matters in pistol or rifle (just make sure you use magnum when called for) but it does in shotgun. Never switch brands in shotgun. Perhaps others have a different opinion.
Powder dispenser, Lee kit that you looked at has the best dispenser Lee makes. You may want to order more inserts for pistol and rifle as once set they stay set.It is still easy to set up even without spares.
Primer flipper, the Lee kit will do that.
What I like about Lee dies is that they have the factory crimp die in most sets. Also less expensive.
Powder, go by the book and make sure it is one that meters easily.
Chronometer. If you reload you will eventually want one. Not expensive anymore.
Table and this is important. Stable. I personally use Harbor Freight on sale $129 and rock steady.
Are these the best choices. I don't know. Works for me without breaking the bank. Since the price is right you can always upgrade. Lee balance beam has one purpose and that is to check your electronic scale. Then just put it away as nobody will buy it.
Have fun.


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Re: Which press is right for me question asked for the 100th time

#23

Post by mrvmax » Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:22 pm

G.A. Heath wrote:If you keep things simple you can load one cartridge at a time on a progressive press. So if you want to load in bulk then a progressive press is the best way to go from the start. Otherwise if you buy a single stage or turret press to learn and then get a progressive later then you're wasting money.
Not really, I see your point but there are times I prefer a single stage (like depriming since I do that prior to cleaning and when loading rounds like 375 H&H. It also comes in handy when you have a stuck case.

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Re: Which press is right for me question asked for the 100th time

#24

Post by E.Marquez » Thu Aug 17, 2017 2:16 pm

mrvmax wrote:
G.A. Heath wrote:If you keep things simple you can load one cartridge at a time on a progressive press. So if you want to load in bulk then a progressive press is the best way to go from the start. Otherwise if you buy a single stage or turret press to learn and then get a progressive later then you're wasting money.
Not really, I see your point but there are times I prefer a single stage (like depriming since I do that prior to cleaning and when loading rounds like 375 H&H. It also comes in handy when you have a stuck case.
Im thinking a cheap used single stage with a decapping die is the plan... Because yes, i want to remove primers before cleaning
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Re: Which press is right for me question asked for the 100th time

#25

Post by SIGFan43 » Thu Aug 17, 2017 2:51 pm

After trying a Lee shotshell reloader as a novice, I soon started reloading pistol cartridges with a single stage RCBS press, then several years later, set up a progressive Dillon with powder and primer feed. You do have to be careful, but I was close to having OCD back then. I loaded all the cartridges the OP mentioned. One thing I recommend: use a powder load that fills or nearly fills the case. That way, if you somehow double-charge, you will have powder all of a sudden all over your bench if you get distracted and dump a double load. The same goes for Bullseye powder: it's too easy to double-charge and not realize it until you look in the case about to place the bullet on top. I switched from Bullseye to Unique for that reason. I've never had an accident, except one time I had a sideways primer in a pocket and didn't know until I seated it, but it didn't fire...just made a scrunching noise. Always wear safety glasses, too. By the way, invest in carbide sizing dies. I used that Dillon so much that I had to give it up because I hurt my shoulder pushing the handle down all those years. I'm fine, now, I think, but I don't reload anymore. By the way, I never used granular or round powder in a rifle case. I used rod powder, which almost filled the case to the bottom of the neck. Be safe!
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Re: Which press is right for me question asked for the 100th time

#26

Post by E.Marquez » Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:35 pm

rotor wrote: Frankford Arsenal DS-750
Thanks , though really looking for a 120v scale ], not battery.
So Dillon Precision 10483 D Terminator 900 Grain Electronic Scale 120 V has my eye right now.
rotor wrote: Turrets, buy a bunch and buy another riser as you probably will want a spare at least of one.
By a “bunch” Im assuming you mean one per caliber, not because they fail and I’ll need spares…yes?
The powder riser ..its just a machined part to extend height, no moving or wear parts that I can tell… What is the reason for a spare? Just to leave it screwed into the die and leave it set up when you remove the turret for storage of that set up caliber? Or do they fail in some way?
rotor wrote: Dies, I use Lee
Im apt to stay with Lee as I assume they work well with a Lee press and powder charger , ect. So unless there is a better mouse trap with another brand I’ll stick with Lee.
rotor wrote: Lee universal decapper die
Yup, looking for a cheap used single stage of any brand to mount and use with a de caper die, as I will be de priming before cleaning cases
rotor wrote: Primer system. I don't like Lee system on press but sometimes use it. I have a Redding universal hand primer
I’m going to try the Lee primer system but have read enough to get the idea its common for folks to bulk prime shells with a hand primer vice doing it in a single stage or turret for ease of use, comfort and convenience .
rotor wrote: Shell cleaning
I use a large, heated 25L Commercial Sonic Tank most every day now, its here, paid for, and I have great experience with it on cleaning gun parts, suspension parts and carburetors. Have cleaning soaps on hand that are safe for any material that cases will be made of.
rotor wrote: Books, I use Lee, Hornady, Speer and Lyman.
Thanks
rotor wrote: I use a case gauge with every caliber I reload- Lyman, Wilson.

Nice, I like, so add one gauge for each caliber .. The Sheridan case gauge looks interesting as well
rotor wrote: Powder dispenser,. You may want to order more inserts for pistol and rifle as once set they stay set.
That makes sense, though I can see that getting out of control real fast with having a lot of them…different guns, different powders, different bullets , different charge weights X x X x X = a lot of powder inserts to be marked, cataloged and stored…..

BUT if I find a load that really works for a specific rifle or pistol and know I will load it a lot, I can see storing the turret and dies in a box with the powder insert for that set up.

Thanks for the insight
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Re: Which press is right for me question asked for the 100th time

#27

Post by rotor » Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:10 pm

E.Marquez wrote:
rotor wrote: Frankford Arsenal DS-750
Thanks , though really looking for a 120v scale ], not battery.
So Dillon Precision 10483 D Terminator 900 Grain Electronic Scale 120 V has my eye right now.
rotor wrote: Turrets, buy a bunch and buy another riser as you probably will want a spare at least of one.
By a “bunch” Im assuming you mean one per caliber, not because they fail and I’ll need spares…yes?
The powder riser ..its just a machined part to extend height, no moving or wear parts that I can tell… What is the reason for a spare? Just to leave it screwed into the die and leave it set up when you remove the turret for storage of that set up caliber? Or do they fail in some way?
rotor wrote: Dies, I use Lee
Im apt to stay with Lee as I assume they work well with a Lee press and powder charger , ect. So unless there is a better mouse trap with another brand I’ll stick with Lee.
rotor wrote: Lee universal decapper die
Yup, looking for a cheap used single stage of any brand to mount and use with a de caper die, as I will be de priming before cleaning cases
rotor wrote: Primer system. I don't like Lee system on press but sometimes use it. I have a Redding universal hand primer
I’m going to try the Lee primer system but have read enough to get the idea its common for folks to bulk prime shells with a hand primer vice doing it in a single stage or turret for ease of use, comfort and convenience .
rotor wrote: Shell cleaning
I use a large, heated 25L Commercial Sonic Tank most every day now, its here, paid for, and I have great experience with it on cleaning gun parts, suspension parts and carburetors. Have cleaning soaps on hand that are safe for any material that cases will be made of.
rotor wrote: Books, I use Lee, Hornady, Speer and Lyman.
Thanks
rotor wrote: I use a case gauge with every caliber I reload- Lyman, Wilson.

Nice, I like, so add one gauge for each caliber .. The Sheridan case gauge looks interesting as well
rotor wrote: Powder dispenser,. You may want to order more inserts for pistol and rifle as once set they stay set.
That makes sense, though I can see that getting out of control real fast with having a lot of them…different guns, different powders, different bullets , different charge weights X x X x X = a lot of powder inserts to be marked, cataloged and stored…..

BUT if I find a load that really works for a specific rifle or pistol and know I will load it a lot, I can see storing the turret and dies in a box with the powder insert for that set up.

Thanks for the insight
Turrets, one for each caliber. They last forever. You really don't need a single stage press, just put your universal decapper in one of the turrets and use as a single stage.
Scales- your choice. My little Frankford has worked super great.
Powder riser? They were in short supply when I started so I wanted a spare. Many people used to order spare powder dispensers as Lee stuff was so inexpensive that they not only saved the turret with the dies but also the powder dispenser set up and ready to go. I just change the inserts on the powder dispenser for different loads. I label them such as win 231, 4.8 gr etc. I usually leave the riser on the turret when I change things. Just my way of doing it.
I used to deprime, then clean and then hand prime but for pistol now I just clean in vibratory cleaner and take right to press and usually size deprime and reprime right on press. For rifle I would clean in SS media. It's really not needed in pistol. SS media though is amazing on how clean the brass gets but it is labor intensive. Safety glasses are a must too. Also, some funnels that you can use to pour the powder back into the bottles when done and a set to pour into shells when you do single loads and a good brush to clean up the mess when you spill things. Inertia bullet puller also. I use those triple pans to sort my field brass and I use one of those brass picker upper things too. Can't bend over like I used to. For rifle you will need something to trim the cases to correct length. Not needed for pistol.
As far as dies, they say that they will fit in any press. I have heard that Lee dies may be short in a Dillon press but can't confirm that. They also say that the Lee dies only need to be handtightened in the turret but my experience is that they need a little more snugging so they don't get loose as you go and I have a little die tightener too. A good company is UniqueTek. They have a lot of neat stuff. This is a great hobby and for rifle lets you really customize.

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Re: Which press is right for me question asked for the 100th time

#28

Post by E.Marquez » Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:07 pm

rotor wrote:You really don't need a single stage press, just put your universal decapper in one of the turrets and use as a single stage..
The Lee Turret is an auto indexing design yes? How do you disable the auto indexing so the turret says on the decapper die with each pull of the handle?
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Re: Which press is right for me question asked for the 100th time

#29

Post by rotor » Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:44 pm

E.Marquez wrote:
rotor wrote:You really don't need a single stage press, just put your universal decapper in one of the turrets and use as a single stage..
The Lee Turret is an auto indexing design yes? How do you disable the auto indexing so the turret says on the decapper die with each pull of the handle?
It is easy to make it so that it doesn't index. Many people disable the index feature and rotate the turret by hand.

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Re: Which press is right for me question asked for the 100th time

#30

Post by Beiruty » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:27 pm

Digital scale: GemPro 250 lifetime warranty. Accurate to 0.025gr or 1mgram. I use it to check powder drop measures and for rifle caliber. Accurate to 1 kernel of powder
Dies: all I have is LEE dies. Great for the money and as Accurate as any other dies.
Cleaning cases: After the SS wet wash, you will never look back. My Ultrasound bath is doing nothing but collecting dust.
Removing the indexing rod and it the press become a single stage.
Lee Classic turret safe priming: works great and nothing wrong with it
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