I have a Hornady LNL progressive. I reload 9mm, .45ACP, .38special, and .308 Winchester on it. For the handgun rounds, I run the press as a progressive. For my .308 rifle loads, I run just one at a time and have my powder measure set to drop about .5gr less than desired, and then trickle in the last little bit on the scale. By running the rifle rounds one at a time, the seating depth is a little more consistent.
I've been reloading for about 7 years, I use a Lee 4 hole turret press bought the whole setup (Lee deluxe reloading kit) + the auto disc riser and the adjustable charge bar. I load 9,40,45,38 and 357 that's 4 plates and 4 sets of dies. have 10k +thru machine still works great. Read alot, start loading in small batches, go to range and try them, read some more have fun.
As the first responder said, it depends on how many rounds you will shoot per outing.
Originally Posted by Smitty901
I use a Dillon Square Deal B that is now almost 25 years old, and has always worked fine for me. The Square Deal B is only for handgun calibers, no rifle calibers at all. That is fine with me, because my rifles are pistol caliber anyway (.45LC) I just reloaded a bunch of 9mm, yesterday, (700 rounds) and all is now well in my ammo stash. Of course that will change tomorrow when I go out and begin shooting it up.
If you should decide to proceed, always try to purchase in bulk. The initial outlay for brass will probably give you a heart attack, but remember, while brass is the most expensive component, it is also the item you will purchase least frequently.
If Wobbly shows up in this thread, pay close attention to his comments. He, too, is a long time reloader, and I have found his information to be spot-on.
When I began reloading, there were no real "package" deals available, like there seem to be now, so I certainly cannot pass any judgement on their quality.
Someone else suggested a chronograph, but in your original post you indicated you don't really want to experiment, just produce something you can safely use for informal target shooting. If that is the case, then you don't really need to spend the extra money for a chrono. JMO
What's your budget?
If you have a 700-1000 to spend on a press I would say go blue. Dillion 550, strong mount, bullet tray case feeder and 2-3 calibers. You can load about 300-500 rounds an hour of straight wall pistol ammo.
If your on a budget and shoot 300-500 rounds a month lee turret press is not a bad option.
You can always go single stage, slow but at least you probably won't hurt yourself and you'll learn fundamental reloading skills.
As others have stated , Start out with a quality single press/Kit You can load 100rds a hr & get in a rythem JMO ; )
Thanks for the in put .I am going to give this some time and think about. Some of these do not seem to be to big a hit if afterwards I decided it was not for me.
Reloading is therapy and relaxation for me, I use a LEE single stage press that came in the "Anniversary Kit" I think it was called. I turn out maybe one box of shells in an afternoon (50 rds). But that's because I piddle at it...I weigh every charge, etc. There's a lot of satisfaction that comes from pulling the lever and putting the crimp on a cartridge that one's loaded one's self, then heading out to the range and seeing which load works best with which gun...it's fascinating stuff.
You mention that you only want to do "factory spec loads", It's been my experience that the load data really isn't presented that way. My loading manuals usually list a maximum and a minimum for a certain powder with a certain bullet, or maybe just a maximum with the instructions to reduce by 10% to start. So you will need to do a certain amount of load development anyway, unless you just split the difference and load a mid range load out of the gate and stick to it. But you may miss the "sweet spot" of your particular bullet/powder combo and your accuracy may suffer if you do it that way.
I recommend that you give it a try, you've got some time that needs filling, and reloading is a great way for a shooter to fill time!
You make some good points. I reload 9mm and .380 ammo on the Dillon pretty much by rote, about 250 rounds an hour counting time to clean the primer feeder every hundred rounds.
Originally Posted by Dadsnugun
Rifle ammo has turned out to be really fun. It is amazing how much the accuracy of a rifle that doesn't have any major problems can be improved by finding the load it likes the best. It's fun, it's a learning experience, it keeps the brain active with new things, and it gives one an excuse to head for the range with a new rifle to develope the perfect hunting load.
For me, now, half the fun with a new rifle is finding a good accurate hunting load for it. The other half is taking it hunting. Double the fun, what's to not like?
Factory specs? No custom loads? every round that you load yourself is a "custom" reload. Your choice of bullet, powder, charge, etc is unique to you, and to what your gun likes. If you expect to build a round that is factory specs to what you buy off the shelf, good luck. If, on the other hand you mean to stay within safety specs, that I can understand, but even then different manuals vary.
For entrance reloading, most presses out there (RCBS, Lee, etc) are good. Top notch presses can include Dillon, but they are EXPENSIVE. I use the Dillion 550B which is a great press, and if you want to use the quick change capabilities, it is going to cost you. If you expect to reload a lot of rounds in a short period of time, go with a progressive. It is well worth the extra cost in time savings.