Need some help picking a press

This is a discussion on Need some help picking a press within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; My B-day is tomorrow, and my wife gave me the green light to get a press or take a class, and I'm picking a press. ...

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Thread: Need some help picking a press

  1. #1
    Member Array Ghuqu2's Avatar
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    Need some help picking a press

    My B-day is tomorrow, and my wife gave me the green light to get a press or take a class, and I'm picking a press. I still have most of my Lee single stage kit (minus the scale) and my Lyman's 47, but I haven't reloaded in 10 yrs. I want something economical, easy to use, faster then a single stage, and dropping powder on the press. I know the last bit is weird, but I hated having cases w/ powder in them waiting on shells so I could bump and spill them. Before anyone suggests it I don't want Dillion ! 1k is not in the budget. I will be reloading 9mm, 38/357 primarily, and later want to reload 3006 and 303 brit. Any suggestions on a easy to use turret or cheap progressive? I've read a lot but I can't seem to get around all the jargon. Is there a apples to apples review of presses?

    Any help would be appreciated.

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  3. #2
    Member Array Geezer58's Avatar
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    I'm very fond of the Hornady Lock-N-Load AP progressive press. I've been using their presses since the early 1980's with great results.

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    VIP Member Array aus71383's Avatar
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    I'd suggest a turret. I don't have one - I use a single stage - but you'll save money on a turret vs. progressive and be able to load more. I think some progressives can be had for cheap, but there has to be a trade off. Like maybe they suck. Not sure about that - I'm not an expert on these things.... JMO

    Austin

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    Member Array JoshL's Avatar
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    I like my Lee Classic Turret Press. Pretty good press for the money.

    http://www.kempfgunshop.com/products.../KempfKit.html

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    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    The Lee Classic Turret press is a versatile press that will handle the cartridges you mentioned. Output is 200rds per hour or so. A fully outfitted press in kit form will run you $200 or little less from Kempf's Gunshop.

    I started handloading on a Lee hand press, upgraded to a Lee Classic Turret press, and now upgraded to a Dillon RL550B. You don't need to spend $1000 and get the Dillon Super 1050 (actually $1500 retail). I offer a Dillon RL550B starter kit for $550 shipped. See attachment for details. I can swap items out at your preference too. Price may vary. A Dillon 550 press with one caliber conversion kit is $380 shipped.

    I don't have any experience with Hornady equipment but have heard good and bad. The bad news is mostly it's finicky nature with 9mm. Needs to be tweaked to make it run right.

    The Lee is a good bargain for not a lot of money. To change calibers you need a new turret ($8), set of dies ($20-40) and a shellholder (if you get Lee dies one will come with the dies).

    The Hornady and Dillon progressives are pretty similar in caliber changes in that they require shellplates and powder funnels. The Hornady conversions are slightly cheaper but you don't have individual powder funnels per caliber as with the Dillon.

    The Dillon accessories are more costly, but Dillon has a lifetime no BS warranty. The only one that matches this warranty is RCBS. It has been RCBS's policy for decades but they don't advertise it, they just do it. The Hornady warranty is good but there are some parts they won't replace under warranty, whereas Dillon will.

    The Lee progressives, like most Lee presses, require more maintenance and tweaking to run smooth. They are not as refined as other brands of presses, but are very budget friendly. Unless you like to tinker, I'd stay away from Lee progressives.
    Attached Files

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    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    +1 for lee classic turret. i love mine
    unless you really want to spend lots of $ on a good progressive

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    Senior Member Array fatboy97's Avatar
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    Dillon has the best service in the industry. The Dillon 550B is an excellent investment that will pay for itself in no time, and it's very quick to change calibers.
    Be Observant and Be Safe.

    Current: S&W 442, Springfield XD9sc, XDm9, and Glock G26, G19, G23C,
    and SIG P226-40 TT, and Ruger GP-100, and Beretta 92FS
    Former: Taurus 92SS, SIG P220 TT, S&W 360, SIG P239-40, Ruger 22/45 MKII

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    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    Here's what I load on. Rockchucker, 550, Classic Turret.

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    Member Array Ghuqu2's Avatar
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    Is there that much difference between the classic turret and the plain Lee turret? At midway a Lee Pro 1000 seems to be the same cost as a classic turret. Am I asking for trouble looking at the pro 1000? Is it easy to change calibers on a progressive as a turret? What extras do I need (other than what's in the kit) for either a progressive or turret?

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    I forget now but am thinking the Lee classic turret may be the one with four stations - so as to allow use of factory crimp.

    My turrets anyways are the three station and I keep factory crimp die in the simple single stage when needed. I keep lots of spare turrets tho - so change of dies is a breeze - saves me a lotta time - and even have powder hoppers on several. Good value IMO and these have served me well.


    Chris - P95
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    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    diff btwn classic and normal turret is that the classic is built more sturdy and can do rifle.
    i have a friend with the pro 1000. he had some problems with it. i didnt like it as much. i dont think it can do rifle. having dealt with both im really glad i went with the classic turret. yea the progressive is a little faster, but unless you are shooting a TON the turret is better
    (i shoot at least 3 times a week and can only reload when im home - every 3rd weekend- for the little time im there, and the turret is plenty fast enough)

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghuqu2 View Post
    Is there that much difference between the classic turret and the plain Lee turret? At midway a Lee Pro 1000 seems to be the same cost as a classic turret. Am I asking for trouble looking at the pro 1000? Is it easy to change calibers on a progressive as a turret? What extras do I need (other than what's in the kit) for either a progressive or turret?
    The Lee Deluxe turret is a three or four hole press but the base is made of cast aluminum. It can only load pistol cartridges and rifle up to .223 length.

    The Lee Classic Turret is a four hole press and made of a cast iron base. It can load rifle cartridges up to .375 H&H Magnum length and yes I've loaded the .375 H&H on mine. Works just fine.

    Since you are loading rifle cartridges I suggest the Classic Turret. You will be very pleased. The Classic Turret is more robust than its predecessors and is built to last a lifetime. I used to work for a steel mill in Green Bay that made parts used in Lee presses. I can attest to the quality of Lee equipment as I made the steel that the parts are made up of. If you look on the press (and other tools), any steel part came from the mill I worked in. We were the exclusive supplier for all Lee Precision steel.

    It is harder and more time consuming to change calibers on a progressive than a turret. With the turret press, you change out the turret (raise the ram all the way and twist the turret clockwise while lifting up) and change out the shellholder (pop out the shellholder and pop the new one back in). I can change out from 223 (small primer assembly) to 45 Auto (large primer assembly) literally in less than a minute. I should take a video of a complete caliber change out with dies, shellholder, primer arm, and primer feed assembly. You need to change out the powder dispenser which takes a little more time but that can be brought in with the component swap, and not counted as a "caliber change".

    Hang on a bit. I'll see if the wife can take a quick video clip of me changing out the shellholder, turret, priming arm, and primer feed. I just timed myself with taking the stuff out, counting to "two" (to simulate grabbing the next caliber stuff laid next to the press) and putting it back in. Took 17 seconds.

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    Member Array Ghuqu2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatboy97 View Post
    Dillon has the best service in the industry. The Dillon 550B is an excellent investment that will pay for itself in no time, and it's very quick to change calibers.
    I see many people extol the virtues of Dillion presses, but the upfront costs, hidden add-ins/ extras, and expensive caliber conversions make me (and my small budget) leery. I guess I'm too cheap to go blue.

    Just a dumb question: I know 38 and 357 are the same dies but to get the most out of turrets/ shell plates don't you need 2 sets?
    "The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us." Patrick Henry 1775

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    Just a dumb question: I know 38 and 357 are the same dies but to get the most out of turrets/ shell plates don't you need 2 sets?
    For my convenience I have 2 sets - that tho is to keep one turret set for .38 spl, the other for .357. One set will do if you are prepared to reset the dies for that 1/10" difference each time but 2 sets sure save a bunch of time IMO.
    Chris - P95
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    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    Here you go. I dropped the primer arm on the floor but that simulated enough time to grab the other size one, etc. Took me 18 seconds.

    Enjoy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEtTd551JIA

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