Hornady? Dillon? Lee? RCBS? Whos Press

Hornady? Dillon? Lee? RCBS? Whos Press

This is a discussion on Hornady? Dillon? Lee? RCBS? Whos Press within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Who make the best reloading press for the money? I've been saving my brass for the past few months and have several thousand casings to ...

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Thread: Hornady? Dillon? Lee? RCBS? Whos Press

  1. #1
    Member Array ConcealedG30's Avatar
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    Hornady? Dillon? Lee? RCBS? Whos Press

    Who make the best reloading press for the money?

    I've been saving my brass for the past few months and have several thousand casings to reload at this time. I'd like the press to be able to reload both hand gun and rifle cartridges. The calibers I intend on reloading will be .380, 38spcl, 9mm, 40, 44mag, 45, 223, and 308. I'v been looking at the Hornady I believe its called the lock & load & the Dillon 550 both are multistage presses and look to be of decent quality. I am looking for one that is user friendly and durable. Price is an concern, but I have no issue with paying for quality.

    Can anyone enlighten me with your wisdom? I'll even listen to some horse manure I may not take your advice though. : ) Not that I would know it wasn't good.
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  2. #2
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    I have never used a progressive press but I have an RCBS Rock Chucker I bought over 30 years ago and I have been unable to wear it out yet. I don’t load more than 100-200 rounds at a time so the single stage works well for me.
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  3. #3
    Member Array RugerMike's Avatar
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    Just like anything else on here you are going to get a huge variety of answers. I personally started reloading just last year and use a Lee single stage press with the breech lock quick change bushings so I do not have to adjust my dies each time I change them out. Since it is a single state I am always changing between depriming/sizing dies, bullet seating dies, and Lee's factory crimp die (this one is extremely nice to have).

    I am a pretty low volume reloader. I reload between 100-500 rounds a month. I reload for rifle and pistol calibers. Because of my low volume I do not mind the single stage press and really take my time and just enjoy the process of reloading. There is something really cool about taking all of the component parts of a round and putting them together to make your own high quality ammo.

    With all that being said, I really like my Lee press for my reloading purposes, but everything else I have for reloading comes from Hornady. I use their brass, bullets, manual, ONE SHOT, which is one of the greatest reloading products ever. So if I was going to upgrade to a higher quality press I would look to them.

    I guess my advice would be to try to estimate how high your volume of reloading is going to be and buy accordingly. If I was going to be reloading 1,000+ rounds a month you had better believe I would have a progressive press, but for lower volume it is hard to justify the investment cost.

    Whatever you choose make sure you enjoy it. As soon as reloading seems like a chore I take a break from it. Also, do not discount how helpful a variety of manuals can be. I have three plus some free data from the net (IMR posts there reloading data for free).

    I know it is late and that was pretty rambling, hopefully you find something in there to be helpful.
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  4. #4
    Member Array ConcealedG30's Avatar
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    RugerMike

    Good information, thats what I'm lookin for I appreciate, Thanks.
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  5. #5
    New Member Array jplapp's Avatar
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    I have been reloading for about 3 years and use a Lyman T mag. While I like it a lot, most people that reload prefer the Dillion. The 550 is a great press.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array Chevyguy85's Avatar
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    My buddy and I started on a single stage press about 4 or 5 years ago but back then we were shooting 200 plus rounds a week between the two of us. That got old real quick. Thankfully his parents got him a dillion 550b for Christmas or his birthday, i can't remember which. The 550b is a great reloading machine it will do pistol calibers just fine and rifle as well. I believe he's reloading .223 on his now. My dad and I eventually upgraded to a 650 and I love that machine too. There are some differences between the 550b and the 650. The 550b is all manual so you have to turn the indexer to each station, which in itself is a plus and a minus. The 550 has 4 holes for dies and the 650 is a 5 hole machine which some people prefer for doing rifle reloading. I like reloading by myself on the 650 I don't have any of the extras on it so I just drop cases into the feed tube and make sure there's powder in the powder thrower and away I go. With the 550 reloading by myself I found it somewhat of a chore having to load a case every time, put a bullet, and turn the indexer. It wasn't that huge of a deal but after having reloaded enough on the 650 the 550 just seemed like work. The 650 takes a little more to get used to than the 550 and with more moving parts theoretically more things can go wrong. Usually on the 650 my biggest problem is user error or a timing issue which usually boils down to user error. The great thing about dillon is their tech support you just call them up and talk to them, they are very patient and since their machines come with a lifetime warranty if it breaks they'll replace it.

    My suggestion would be to start off on a 550 just b/c it is a little more basic and you'll learn the steps better but there's still nothing wrong with a 650. If I was to get a second press it would definitely be another 650. I reload 9mm, .357/38spl, .380, .44 mag, and I have all the stuff to do .45 acp I just need to get around to casting some projectiles is all. Make sure you get a reloading manual, more than one is actually better as they don't all have the same information or loads.

    Whatever you choose good luck and have fun! You don't really save any money you just shoot more for the same price!

  7. #7
    Distinguished Member Array claude clay's Avatar
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    start with Lyman's 49th manual and read the beginning chapters. it will give you the terminology and explain the various types of presses.
    best start up cost/value is Lyman red 4-hole and a Dillon eliminator scale. calipers and other acc bring you in under $300. each caliber adds about $50.

    a great deal concerning your 'fun' and re-loading experience goes to your basic level of mechanical aptitude. if you have very little than seek a NRA instructor in your area that teaches re-loading.
    if you just want the materials, PM me.
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  8. #8
    Member Array Gunsmoke16's Avatar
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    If you have never reloaded before, start with the Lee system using the Breech Lock interchangable system, because you really want to take your time, learn the steps properly and not make mistakes, as you could double charge a shell, cause a primer explosion chain reaction, etc. It will make you appreciate things more as you know what is going on. I also have a Lee Pro 1000, cheapest/best progressive press, but you constantly have to be watching what is going on in those steps as you pull the handle...(do you have enough primers in the tray, are they feeding correctly/seating-you feel this through the stroke of the handle, are there enough cases in the 4 shell case holders that are verticle, now they even have bullet feeders too...and don't forget the powder..is there enough...is it dropping the correct amount, etc. Lots of variables to watch). For the quality, DILLON makes the best progressives and stands behind them 1000%. I would get this kit from Cabellas for $89 and add some more Breech Lock Bushings to it. You need a set of dies...a TAPER CRIMP DIE is a must for target shooting .45 rounds or for total reliability as it makes sure they are down to factory specs. Cabela's: 50th Anniversary Breech Lock Challenger Reloading Kit Good Luck, Happy Shooting.

  9. #9
    Member Array vietnamvet66's Avatar
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    I am now using a Lee Progressive, but when I get the money it will ba a Dillon for sure. I say if you can afford to do it, Start with the Dillon. You won't be sorry
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  10. #10
    Member Array merlin82plus's Avatar
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    Bought a Dillon 550 late last year and like the machine. I am only reloading 45acp for now. The 550 will load rifle calibers but Dillon's selection of dies is limited. The 550 will accept standard sized dies made by other companies like Lee, etc. I think reloading for rifle calibers can get more expensive than pistol, but I've only ever loaded for handguns. Years ago I had a Dillon square deal and liked that machine too. My vote goes to Dillon, but I never owned anything else.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array Ring's Avatar
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    best 4 the $?

    lee hand down... the load master press can do 100 rounds every 7 min and costs less then 250$

    name another press that can do that volume for the cash...

    best press? proble would be a dillon, but to come even close to the lee speed you would need the Super 1050 @ $1639.95

  12. #12
    Member Array bxny10455's Avatar
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    I started with the Lee Breech Kit, that got old soon because as much as I enjoy reloading I didn't have the time to load over 300 rounds a week. I purchased the LnL AP great machine after ironing out some of the common issues. I later added the 550b got it at a great price.
    Any of the progressive would do the job as long as you don't mind the extra cost, it adds up quick!
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I started out with a lee pro 1000,it was a PITA to keep running and I am not mechanically challenged,I now run a Dillon 550B it loads everything I shoot 380,9,40,45,223,308,I have a case feeder that feeds pistol brass,but not rifle brass,the 650 case feeder feeds pistol and rifle,but the 650 automatically advances with each handle pull,the 550 is manual advance which I like.The Dillon has a lifetime warranty,if a part breaks from normal use call them and the part will be shipped asap with no charge
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Array sonnycrocket's Avatar
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    had LEE
    have Dillon now.......no comparo

  15. #15
    New Member Array kimbercarry1's Avatar
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    Been reloading over 40 years. Started with a lee handloader with different size dippers for powder measures. Bought a RCBS "Rockchucker" mid 70's and used it until around the late 90's and then went to a Dillon 650 with all the bells and whistles. With the 650, I could walk past the bench and load a couple of boxes ammo while getting ready for work and customer service is second to none. If you encounter a problem, call and a real person with Dillon experence will walk you through it with no BS.

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