Hand press for 9mm

This is a discussion on Hand press for 9mm within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I am considering a Lee hand press to start loading 9mm. It seems like an inexpensive way to get into reloading and conserve space at ...

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Thread: Hand press for 9mm

  1. #1
    Member Array bigmike13's Avatar
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    Hand press for 9mm

    I am considering a Lee hand press to start loading 9mm. It seems like an inexpensive way to get into reloading and conserve space at the same time. I shoot mostly steel cased ammo in my rifles (considering a 45-70 and a .308 though), so it would be mainly used for handgun cartridges. I would assume my attention span would be about a box at a time so this looks like the ticket. Any thoughts?

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    New Member Array 00bk1234's Avatar
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    I really like the hand press and have used it for .44 and .38 and thousands of reloads. It's mobility and small size make it very convenient.

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    Member Array bigmike13's Avatar
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    Probably should have read the hand press thread a few posts down huh?

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    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    Very convenient.

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    Distinguished Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    Yeah, but VERY slow.

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    Member Array alnitak's Avatar
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    I have been using a hand press for about four years for 9mm, .44, .38, .357 and .45-70. I really like it! Make sure you get the carbide dies.

    As far as slow, I don't find it that slow...depends on your expectations and volume. As I said in the thread below, if you do it in stages of 10-15 minutes each, it doesn't seem like much time. By the time I get to the final stage of loading and seating a bullet, I can do more than 100 an hour (that's not counting the earlier stages of cleaning, priming, etc.). Depending on your shooting habits, that may be enough. However, if you go to the range once a week and put a couple hundred rounds downrange, then I recommend getting a nice turret press. For me, at a couple hundred rounds a month, the handpress fits the bill.

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    Member Array bigmike13's Avatar
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    In talking with a very knowledgeable friend of mine he recommended the RCBS as opposed to the lee (I know we are getting away from the hand press) saying that the RCBS's components are made to tighter tolerances and are of a better design . This has thrown a little confusion into the mix for me.

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    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    Tolerances? Probably not. It's a mass produced part just like Lee and everyone else.

    Better design? Probably not. The Rockchucker press is a standard design that has been around since the first bench mounted presses. It doesn't offer anything that the other companies don't.
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

  10. #9
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    I reload for my rifles with the Lee original loaders. One at a time. Slow? Maybe. But quality? Definitely. I'll do 150 rounds a year, or 50 for each of my bolt actions. Getting started is all you have to do. The experience will never go away. Get what you can afford. Even with the hand presses there will be extras needed. Calipers, full set of powder measures, scale, load books and references, and other small tools/items.

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    Member Array Jay6's Avatar
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    If you are just looking for a good way to load 9mm only I would check into a dillon Square Deal B. You can find a used one around $200ish and it is the best combination of speed/ affordability. You also get the Dillon gaurantee which is worth well more than the money you spent on the press. Go blue, you WILL notice a difference.

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    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    I started with the handpress and am still using it to great effect. I like it and it fits my needs for now. I think it's a great way to start out and it's all I have room for.

    A follow up to what Ramrod said. Even though the handpress is under $30, you can expect to spend around $200 to get setup if you intend to do it right. Case prep tools, dies, scale, calipers (optional IMO if you just load to factory length, even though I do have a set for checking), loading trays (also somewhat optional) powder, primers etc.. I think I spent about $180 to get started, inlcuding the press, scale, case trimmer, primer pocket cleaner, reamer, bullets, primers, and powder, lee auto prime, and shell holders for it, load manual, etc.

    That was before I bought a powder measure, calipers, loading tray and other odds and ends. So the moral of this story is that you may be money ahead to just buy a single stage press kit, that will include most everything you need. It's at least something worth looking into. In my case, I think in the long run I would have been better off buying a kit and a hand press separately. The kit would have included everything I needed pretty much and then I would have the single stage press for future use when I am in a position to have room for a loading bench. As it is now, I have everything I need but probably could have gotten most of it cheaper in a kit. Now, when I do get in a position to have a load bench I will have to buy a bench mounted press anyway, so I should have probably gone that route. hope this makes sense. hind-sight they say is 20-20.

    Good luck, have fun, and be safe, no matter what you choose.
    When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.

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