Why not start with a progressive?

Why not start with a progressive?

This is a discussion on Why not start with a progressive? within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I'm looking into reloading as I am going to start shooting more since applying for my CHL. I have a SIG 229 and am looking ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array FearSheeple's Avatar
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    Why not start with a progressive?

    I'm looking into reloading as I am going to start shooting more since applying for my CHL. I have a SIG 229 and am looking at also purchasing a Glock 23 for my EDC. So i'd be reloading .40 S&W.

    Reading a lot of reloading posts everyone seems to suggest starting out with a single stage press, rather than progressive. I have a hard time justifying buying a press that I'll just end up selling down the road, I know I will want a progressive press for the speed, and the 550B seems to me that you can manually index it and just do a single round at a time anyways.

    I also am looking to buy an AR-15, and would probably reload it, whether it be .223 or .308, so the Square Deal press is out for me at least once I buy an AR15. I'm very particular about things so I know I'd have the patience to check rounds and do things properly on a progressive.

    i've really only been considering a dillon 550B, because I'd like to eventually add the case feeder to maximize my rounds per hour output. I did see a hornady in a magazine that looked nice, and autoindexed but everyone everywhere seems to recommend dillon.

    I'm 23, so I've got plenty of time left in my life to reload so I'd like to get something that will last me a long time.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    I think a lot of us preach about starting with a single stage press because that's the way we started out and it has served us well throughout the years. I actually see no problem with starting out with a progressive and the Dillon RL 550 B is one of the best choices out there. However, an investment in a decent single stage press would not be a waste. About the only items necessary for the use of the single stage press (aside from the press itself) that wouldn't be needed for use with the Dillon would be a powder measure, shell holders and a loading block. You will always find a use for the single stage in your reloading. When working up a new load, you normally only want to load 10-20 rounds for testing. This is much easier to do on a single stage press and if you get into accuracy loading for your rifles, the single stage press can give you much greater control over the process especially when it comes to weighing individual charges.

    In the final analysis, what's most important is your paying attention to detail. With a progressive, it's sometimes easy to get "lazy" and not pay as much attention as you should. Learning on a single stage creates good reloading habits that will carry over to your use of a progressive.

    Good luck whatever your decision. Reloading is a beneficial and rewarding hobby that can often become as enjoyable as the shooting itself.

    Hoss

    ps -- you may want to do a search on reloading for the Glock 40. I don't own a Glock, but I've read several articles that indicates they aren't the best candidate for reloading due to not fully supporting the cartridge case in the chamber.
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  3. #3
    Member Array stgdz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FearSheeple View Post
    So i'd be reloading .40 S&W.
    May want to start with a single stage doing that load.

  4. #4
    Member Array FearSheeple's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stgdz View Post
    May want to start with a single stage doing that load.
    Really? hmm... How is reloading the .40 that much different than say the .45acp or 9mm?

  5. #5
    Member Array stgdz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FearSheeple View Post
    Really? hmm... How is reloading the .40 that much different than say the .45acp or 9mm?
    I believe the powder sits a bit higher in the 40 and with the progressive some can jiggle out if you don't watch what you are doing. To play on the safe side starting with a 40 I would suggest a single stage.

    9mm and 45acp the powder sits lower, especially the 45.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array fatboy97's Avatar
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    Nothing wrong with buying a 550B as your first press... I did and I love it. I started with just 9mm, but have added the .40S&W - very easy to change between the 2 calibers. I will be adding a .38 set sometime soon.
    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

  7. #7
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    I say go for it.

    Loading the .40 is no different than any other cartridge.

    BTW, I started with Dillon when I was 23. That was 25 years ago. I've never regretted it.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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  8. #8
    Senior Member Array ridurall's Avatar
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    The cost of changing calibers in a progressive loader is quite a bit more expensive then with a single stage press or turret press. I started with a RCBS Rockchucker and back in the early 1980's got a progressive Universal machine. (Berdon copy) While it will load fast I only load .357 and 45 ACP on it. All my rifle calibers reloading is on the Rockchucker and I also use my Rockchucker for testing my lead for hardness with a Lee hardness tester. I also use a Belding and Mull powder measure with the Rockchucker which will not work with a progressive press. It's about the most accurate powder measure available. As someone else mentioned, working up loads is much easier with a single stage or turrett press. Actually the turrett press is about 1/2 way between a single stage and progressive press. You might look at that for your first press.
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  9. #9
    Member Array Danger Mouse's Avatar
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    I have just started and my first was a progressive. A Dillon 550B that was purchased for about 300.00 off the net with the dies for .357/38 already set up on a head, 9mm, and .45 ACP's already set up in a head, along with primer pick up tubes, low primer warning, spare head. No problems other than getting into the "Rythem". Then there is the ocasional mishap when you need to remove a round, getting started again is somewhat of a pain. Just watch when you do remove a round and restart that you dont get 2x powder charge which is easily done. Also load 9 and clear out the tray, then the 10th one is checked for OAL, crimp, powder. I set my reloaded rounds into a 100 round box primer up so I can see that they are set good. if I find the 10th one is bad, I only need to go back on 10 instead of 100.
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  10. #10
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    I started with a 550b loading .40 S&W . I just took it slow , single loading rounds till I got it all down , then moved up to progressive loading for mass production. As long as you start slow and think / double check as you go I don't see a problem. The biggest trick I found was never turn the turret counter clockwise as it can cause a double feed of powder. I would rather stop and remove the offending case.
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  11. #11
    Member Array Danger Mouse's Avatar
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    Did not know the turret could be turned counter clock wise. I will have to try that
    Think twice
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  12. #12
    Member Array FearSheeple's Avatar
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    Guess I also could consider a Lee classic press. I had no idea their turret press was so cheap! $150ish with dies for .40? hot damn. But sounds like only 100-200rds/hr are possible, vice 400-500 of the 550B.

    Both load .223 as well which is nice, but I think the double production of the dillon makes for a better buy. You can run a dillon in single stage mode I believe.

    But..>$150 vs $450-500, and dies are more expensive...hmmm

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    The Lee Classic Turret press kit is a great press and can be had for less than $200 all tricked out from Kempf's Gunshop.

    The Dillon 550 is a manual index progressive. You can load one round at a time if you want to. I use my Dillon 550 to load both personal ammo and commercial ammo. My suggestion is get a Dillon 550. I can get you one for $385 shipped.
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

  14. #14
    Lead Moderator
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    Also you can use Lee dies in a Dillon press. I have a Lee .45 ACP die set in my Dillon right now.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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  15. #15
    Member Array FearSheeple's Avatar
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    The lee dies sure do seem a hell of a lot cheaper than the dillon dies, and I like the fact that if I want I can eventually add a case feeder to the dillon 550B if I wanted to speed up the process. Getting started I know I could do fine on a single stage or a turret...but I can see myself easily upgrading to a progressive, much sooner rather than later.

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