Lyman, Dillon, Lee, RCBS???

Lyman, Dillon, Lee, RCBS???

This is a discussion on Lyman, Dillon, Lee, RCBS??? within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I made up my mind to start reloading but can't make a decision on what brand of press and equipment to go with. I want ...

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Thread: Lyman, Dillon, Lee, RCBS???

  1. #1
    Member Array MSGTLEGO's Avatar
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    Lyman, Dillon, Lee, RCBS???

    I made up my mind to start reloading but can't make a decision on what brand of press and equipment to go with. I want to reload the following: .380, 38 Spl, 40, 45, 223, 270, and 7mm Mag with this caliber selection is there advantage or disadvantage between loading presses? I watched a few film clips and like the Lyman.


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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
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    i started with a single stage press in 1970 to load pistol and rifle ammo. then in 1981 i got a dillon 550. i use the 550 for pistol only (38/357, 9mm,40, 44mag, &45acp) and my two single stage presses for rifle and pistol (380 acp,25 acp, 9x18,30-223,7mm-308,308,30-06, 7tcu). the 550 works well after you get several tool heads/powder drops set ups. i have never tried to do rifle on the 550. i would look for a used single stage press to start out on. you could move up later to a different system.
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    +1 on the Dillon 550.

    Just try to find someone that doesn't love theirs.
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  4. #4
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    I do it all with the Dillon.
    I have tool heads for each caliber. The Dillon will do 5-600 rounds an hour and do it well so if you value your time it's the one to get.

    Heres a pic...

    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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  5. #5
    Senior Member Array scottc's Avatar
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    I to have a Dillon-pistol only but I may get a 550 later-love it!
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  6. #6
    Member Array MSGTLEGO's Avatar
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    Hotguns that is a nice setup, I have the work-bench, I just need the reloading equipment, Dillon was my 2nd choice after the Lyman. I would be happy if I could put out 100-200rds an HR. What would a setup like that cost $1000.00 - 1500.00 ???


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  7. #7
    Member Array alfack's Avatar
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    I use my 550 for rifle, but take my time and do them 1 at a time, weigh & trickle each charge etc.. It's hard to find decent rifle powders that meter well, at least in my experience.

  8. #8
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    Dont know, got it all over a long period of time.
    Maybe 2 Grand worth of stuff counting dies,conversion kits,and all of the other stuff that you need to reload.

    I made most of the toolheads, so they didnt cost anything other than time.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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  9. #9
    Senior Member Array Landric's Avatar
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    Look at the Lee Classic Turret. Its inexpensive, and with the auto indexing turret, its kind of half way between a regular turret and a progressive. It shouldn't be a problem to do 100-200 rounds an hour on it. Extra turrets are about $10, so its easy to set up multiple turrets in multiple calibers.

    Kempf's sells a Classic Turret kit for about $200 (get the two upgrades for $22) that is basically everything you need except a scale, tumber (or other method to clean brass), manual, bullet puller, and calipers. Here is a link:

    https://kempfgunshop.com//index.php?...mart&Itemid=41

    No, its not a Dillon. It is however a great press to learn handloading on. Its also much easier and cheaper to change calibers than on any progressive I have ever seen. Some Lee products get mixed reviews. The Classic Turret doesn't, just about everything you will see is positive.

    I recently got myself a Classic Turret and so far I'm very happy with it. I've always used RCBS and Dillon, so I have pretty high standards. I doubt I'd be happy with most other Lee presses, but the Classic Turret is a high quality product.

    Most people really don't NEED a progressive. Yes, a blue press gives one much better bragging rights and high volume production. It doesn't make better ammo than the Classic Turret and its no problem to reach your production goals with it.
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  10. #10
    Member Array showmebob's Avatar
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    Lyman, Dillon, Lee, RCBS???

    My inlaws and friends have Dillon and like it. I went with Hornady lnlap. If you are considering Hornady, I think you will be as happy with it as the other brands.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    I've used both but own a lee. The Dillon is a much nicer ride, but you can easily get out 100-200 rounds per hour with the lee at a fraction of the cost. If you KNOW that you are going to reload a lot, then I'd spring for the dillon if at all possible, but I don't load that much that often. I believe that I made the right decision for me, but I'm still envious of my buddys' dillon.
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  12. #12
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    I'm a Hornady Lock n Load guy and I like it and I'm committed to that system. But.....the Dillon seems to be the work horse that gets the job done. If I were going back to square one, knowing what I know now, I'd take the Dillon.

    Investment....hmmm. Hotguns probably has it right at around 2k. But that happens over time and you don't need everything in the world to begin the first caliber. IMHO, you can crank out your first 1000 for $1k and grow from there. I'm not sure I'd even plan caliber #2 until you get comfortable sith your first loading experience. The exception to this might be grapping available dies, etc as you see them since all reloading components are getting scarce. All of my digital scales & stuff are really nice but they are expensive. Folks got by a long time, and still do, with much more basic hardware. Some of my stuff came from ebay and craigslist at better prices. Most reloading guys take good care of their hardware so buying used has been a relatively safe experience for me. And shopping the deal is fun. Don't get too hung up on having all your stuff one color (RCBS green, Hornady red, etc.). It doesn't matter in the end if you get the hardware that works and works for you.

    First things first though....look into reloading manuals and get a solid set that makes sense to you. In that respect, I'm very happy with Hornady (2 volume set) but they're not the only ones out there. I've read those manuals over and over and I'm amazed each time at everything I don't know. Good luck.
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  13. #13
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    One more thing. I used fly fish tied my own flies. Not disimilar to loading. I found that a couple of beers prior to going to the bench was not productive. A bummer really cause I like my beer. I'd tie patterns that I just made up and never caught anything on them. Beer...the great demotivator. No good at the loading bench. Not at all. And I don't like company while I'm loading either. Background noise and background buzz is no good idea with ammo.

    Be safe and RTFM over and over.
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  14. #14
    Distinguished Member Array mathewsman's Avatar
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    i picked myself up a hornady progressive and everything for about a grand
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  15. #15
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    FWIW, my lee setup ran around$300 IIRC, with all the extra stuff.
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