Defensive Carry banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,515 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Havent done a bunch of reloading, got into it a few years ago as a chance to learn a new skill. So far have had a super cheap Lee single stage as my first press, then upgraded to a Dillon RL550b. Wasnt a fan, tbh. I didnt do much research, and between the cost, the complexity of the press, and the fact it just wasnt fast to load ammo on, I ditched it for a Lee turret press and was much happier. Ive loaded maybe a couple thousand rounds on it, mainly 38spl and 223.

Now with ammo prices up, I want to get back into loading, and want to do it faster. Its time that I really stock up on some usable defensive ammo, and thats where I think reloading makes sense. I can load some decent quality defensive ammo for my different guns that I could have stockpiled for a good price. Sure, I will still carry factory defensive ammo, but for pistols and rifles, the good stuff is close to or over $1/rd. If I can load up some bulk 38spl+p ammo with a good bullet, or some 9mm with JHP bullets for $0.25/rd, I can actually stockpile the ammo to save for a rainy day instead of just having stockpiled FMJ stuff.

Anyway, I got it in 380acp, because the only other options were ones that I already had dies for, and it comes with dies, so even though I dont really ever shoot 380acp, I might as well have the die set over two sets of dies for the same caliber. I got it with the case feeder, case collator, bullet feeder, etc. Going to also grab a nice mount from Inline Fabrication, and a LED light setup to keep everything nice and bright. I just bought my first house about 7-8 months back and Im excited to build out my gaming/reloading man cave. Still need to get a nice bench, shelving, etc as well, but when Its all done, I will def add pics to the stickied reloading bench thread.

Cant wait to get it up and running and start some fully automated reloading. Curious to see how fast I can turn out ammo when I dont have to do anything besides work arm of the press and keep the machine loaded with components.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,509 Posts
I had a Sq Deal Dillion when I doing a lot of hunting but now I figure I will be way out away from cities and what goes along with it so I have started with hand loaders so even if I am on the move I can load 45s, 38s and 9mm and there will be no to bolt things down and going old fashion going with topo maps and a 40+ year old compass, no electronics plus places have been put on the map of mine and my sons copy. I really enjoy the hand loading, no pressure just relax and plus I can try out some new loads.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,695 Posts
Hope it works out for you. I've read too many complaints about the loadmaster being cantankerous. I cherry pick Lee equipment. Some is okay, some not worth the cheap price one pays.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,985 Posts
I had an old Forster Bonanza that I picked up at a flea market for $15 years ago. Best press I ever had, and was much better than the old RCBS Rockchucker that I had previously! I always liked Lyman dies which IMO were better than the RCBS ones! Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,260 Posts
Looking forward to hearing your feedback on the Lee Loadmaster. I’ve lived with an RCBS single stage press for close to 40 years. That has been sufficient, as my shooting and reloading time was always hampered by long hours at work. As I’m nearing retirement, I’d like to get a new setup to get a little faster with my reloading.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,060 Posts
If you didn't like the tinkering you had to do with a Dillion, The loadmaster is going to be a bear! The more operations that are automatic, the more tinkering you will have to do. I had a Lee Pro 1000. That press is what got me to prime off the press. The loadmaster is an improvement over the Pro 1000. But it is still prone to needing constant attn. Our middle son has one, I have loaded on his quite a bit. I still prep my brass and prime off the press. I can make pretty good time if I start with primed brass and hand feed bullets. Including setup time I can make about 200 an hour with it. I don't even set it up unless I'm going to load 300 or more. Less than that I can do just as well with a single stage. Good Luck with yours. If like ours the priming is a problem, You can prime off the press. DR
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,300 Posts
I've got a Hornady AP progressive, and most of what I load is .45 ACP and 9mm, about 6K a year of each. If I have a bunch of primer tubes loaded, I can hit 300 rounds per hour, but overall my production rate is about 250.

The Hornady's Achilles heel is its primer system, which requires more fiddling than I think it should. For the low-volume rifle calibers I load, .30-06 and .30-30. I think I'm going to invest in a hand primer tool.

For what I save by reloading, the occasional adjustments are inconsequential. I currently load 230 gr .45 for about 13.5 cents a round, and 9mm for about 12.5 cents, assuming no cost for brass.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
Coincidentally enough, I just went and picked up my loadmaster in 40 yesterday. Don't have a permanent place to mount it, so it will be going either onto a 2x10 and stuck to the counter using c clamps, or i may just order the lee press stand. It'll drop the cost of my range fodder from $0.44 per round down to $0.12-0.16 per round. Hollow points, on the other hand, i haven't looked for a source for, as yet.

I do know of a couple guys here locally, that use the loadmaster to load for their idpa and uspsa matches.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,515 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
So I haven’t fully set it up, still working towards getting a nice bench together.

First impressions? Wish I would have saved up and bought the Hornady or RCBS. I have put the parts together but haven’t really fully set it up yet, and it’s just temporarily mounted to a wobbly table. That being said, it’s already giving me problems. It loves to just flip a case out of the shell plate when advancing from station 1 to station 2, unless you advance it pretty slow. It also loves not lining the shells up with the openings in the dies, so every time you want to raise the shell plate to full stroke, you have to stop and guide them in. Also, the powder measure it came with is not what I’ve seen. I always saw it came with an auto disk powder measure. Seemed like it would be better then the other Lee powder measures. Well, mine didn’t. It came with an Auto Drum, and what looks like a cheaper version then the standard one you get. The design makes no sense. Not only that, the chain reset doesn’t work very well. It goes a few rounds until it slips, because everything is made of cheap plastic. I feel like if you looked away for one second, you could easily not notice the chain slipping, and then the measure wouldn’t reset, and you could load a bunch of squib rounds. On top of that, I tried setting up a powder charge of 3.2gr of Clays. It leaks a bunch of powder out of the sides, which I have dealt with before, but at least the previous Auto Drums that I dealt with threw accurate charges. These throw anywhere from 2.5-3.4gr. Unusable.

What really sucks is I already purchased an In-line Fabrication Mount for it as well. Might email them and see if I can get a credit if they haven’t already shipped it, and then email Midway and see if I can either return the press or trade it out for something nicer.

Reminds me why I wanted to go with the RCBS in the first place. Over the past couple of years, I had slowly changed out all of my equipment (case prep equipment, powder measure, etc) to RCBS from Lee, all except for the press.

Hope this isn’t a lesson I’ll have to learn through too big a hit in the pocket. So do any of you tinkerers want a brand new press for a decent price? Haha
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,060 Posts
One of the quirky things about the load master is the press has to be mounted to a very stable bench. And mounted level. It has to be held still or the cases tip and then are not aligned with the dies.
And the thing about the powder measure is it needs to be worked like you really mean it! almost a jarring motion this is what settles the powder in exactly the same way each pull of the lever. Alot of users change the chain for a solid rod. Once those are sorted they tend to stay sorted, Where I always have problems is in the automatic priming feeder. I have pulled quite a bit of hair out over those!
The way our sons is set up is ... I deprime with a universal die, wet tumble, and prime with a hand tool. Then feed the primed cases through the case feeder. I remove the primer pin from the sizing die, and run the press as normal from there.
all I have to do is watch that I get a powder charge and set a bullet on the case as it comes around. My son uses a Bore camera and an old I phone to see in the cases, I use a bright light and a dental mirror. Good Luck. DR
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,515 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
On a whim, posted it on Armslist. Got a reply within a couple hours. Dude just picked it up off of me, and I only lost like $50, and kept the die set, so luckily I was able to get out of it pretty easily without much loss.

Going to stick with the original plan and just buy the RCBS Pro Chucker 5. I have no use for a 7 station press, but I think an easy to use press that doesnt drive me crazy to set up and use will be better, even if its not absolutely fully automated. Just didnt want to place the case and bullet, but theres the option to expand the Pro Chucker 5 at some point down the road, although I dont see it happening.

Have a relatively big home expense coming up in a few weeks, so Im going to hold off. In the meantime, Im going to just keep an eye out for small pistol primers and stock up on those. They seem to be dried up online, and no stores around me can get any in stock either. A press doesnt do much good without primers, so I think Ill spend some money on those, as I can buy the press whenever.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,012 Posts
IMHO, you dodged a bullet on that one.

As much as I love the big green (RCBS) the minute I think "progressive", I go back and have another sip of the blue Kool-Aid. Have you thought about a Dillon 550? It's "semi-progressive" with it's manual indexing. I still use the chit out of mine, even though the majority of my match stuff is done on a 650.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
324 Posts
Hope it works out for you. I've read too many complaints about the loadmaster being cantankerous. I cherry pick Lee equipment. Some is okay, some not worth the cheap price one pays.
I reload as a stress relief. I preferred the Pro 1000, just changed the chain for a spring and no problems in 35K rounds. Friends have loadmaster they love them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,515 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
If I were to go Dillon, it would be an XL750.

Really just want an auto-index press.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,230 Posts
Get the Lee Auto Breech Lock Pro. Last I checked on the Pro Chucker 5 and 7 they had problems with their primer system and they have a weird "floating" tool head thing going that does not to me inspire confidence. Ultimate Reloader on YouTube has a series of videos on it and even he who tries to be positive about all brands (paid??) was a bit ho hum with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,515 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Get the Lee Auto Breech Lock Pro. Last I checked on the Pro Chucker 5 and 7 they had problems with their primer system and they have a weird "floating" tool head thing going that does not to me inspire confidence. Ultimate Reloader on YouTube has a series of videos on it and even he who tries to be positive about all brands (paid??) was a bit ho hum with it.
Yeah, they had problems with the first iteration, but have supposedly since fixed it. It seems like the community outcry was too much and it had to be corrected. He even mentions in an updated video that he worked with them to get it fixed, and he says the new one works great, which mirrored the sentiment I’ve seen online from the general Pro Chucker community online.

I’d gladly buy another Lee single stage press, even another Lee turret press. Just last night I loaded 200 rounds of 38spl on my Lee turret press. It’s a simple press and works well enough. I don’t have my fill reloading setup since I just moved into my first house I’ve bought a few months back and never had a dedicated spot set up. Priming by hand took a while, and weighing out each charge with a scoop on a scale was really slow, but I got it done.

Even then, if I were to want to buy another single stage press, which I very well might once I get my bench built, I’d probably go with a regular RCBS Rock Chucker. The single stage Lee presses work, but I’d rather spend a bit more money and get something with a bit higher quality. Just makes me warm and fuzzy inside.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,230 Posts
Yeah, they had problems with the first iteration, but have supposedly since fixed it. It seems like the community outcry was too much and it had to be corrected. He even mentions in an updated video that he worked with them to get it fixed, and he says the new one works great, which mirrored the sentiment I’ve seen online from the general Pro Chucker community online.

I’d gladly buy another Lee single stage press, even another Lee turret press. Just last night I loaded 200 rounds of 38spl on my Lee turret press. It’s a simple press and works well enough. I don’t have my fill reloading setup since I just moved into my first house I’ve bought a few months back and never had a dedicated spot set up. Priming by hand took a while, and weighing out each charge with a scoop on a scale was really slow, but I got it done.

Even then, if I were to want to buy another single stage press, which I very well might once I get my bench built, I’d probably go with a regular RCBS Rock Chucker. The single stage Lee presses work, but I’d rather spend a bit more money and get something with a bit higher quality. Just makes me warm and fuzzy inside.
The Lee Auto Breech Lock Pro is a progressive press. Works like a charm.
 
  • Like
Reactions: hogdaddy
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top