Hello everyone. I just wanted to share my recent experience of choosing a single stage press and why I chose the Lee. Hopefully this may help some others in the same boat and save em a little research. The first conclusion I came to was that a single stage press is mechanically simple, they all perform a simple task and load ammo equally well.
I already had a Lee Classic Turret that I've been happy with, but its always nice to have a single stage on the bench for various reasons. Well, my wife graduated from college and wanted to get me a present for helping her out along the way. Well I figured that was a great opportunity to get a piece of equipment I didnt really need, but wanted. Money wasn't an issue, and I could have gotten whatever press I wanted. I looked at the Redding just because its a redding. Looked like a typical single stage, high quality and very solid with a primer catch that had great reviews. I also checked out the Forster Co-ax and decided I wanted to stay with a traditional "O" frame press. My father in law has a Hornady Lock n Load single stage, and I've never been too impressed with it. It loads great ammo, but I just prefer the construction of the cast iron presses. I wasn't going to pay $150 for a cast aluminum press that had a bigger footprint.
I looked very, very closely at the RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme and the Lee Classic Cast and decided it was ultimately down to those 2. Not because of price, but because they were the two I liked best. The RCBS has the over-travel in the handle allowing you to turn the handle completely vertical at the bottom of the stroke. The catch primer tray didn't seem to work as well as the Redding or Lee and the dimensions of the press and ram are smaller than the Lee, but the RCBS has a lifetime warranty (big plus). What took the RCBS out of the running for me was the fact that its cast in China. The Lee Classic series are cast out of recycled railroad tracks from right here in the good ol USA. Sounds dumb, but that was klind of the clincher. I really liked that aspect of it, and the story behind it. I'll gladly pay a little extra to buy American, but in this case it actually saved me $50. I dont know, it just seems fitting that my all-American hobby consists of American tools. I came very close to getting the Redding,but the Lee seemed to be the better press. Not the better press for the money, but the better press overall.
The it came down to the Breech lock vs the classic. I ultimately decided on the classic because you can't use the breech lock without the bushings. I have the turret press, so no quick change bushings were going to seem too quick to me anyway. Plus, one of the reasons I wanted a single stage was too get more involved in the reloading process. To me, reloading is a hobby first and foremost and I dont really wanna take away from its time. The turret is great for when i need to crank out a couple hundred rounds because I want to do a big range sessions the coming weekend, but the single stage is great for when Im bored on a rainy day and wanna lose myself in the process. Plus, the classic cast can be converted to accept the Hornady bushings for $15 if the need every arose.
So i hoped this help anyone that might be looking at presses. I wanted to share this experience because it was the first time Ive ever done a lot of research and found that the most economical product was actually superior (in my opinion anyway).