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Posted: 5/8/2003 6:59:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/9/2003 4:14:43 AM EDT by ShamusMcOI]
Pretty much need to get into reloading out of necessity now that I'm shooting .45.

But of course I want to be able to load rifle rounds as well.

Definetaly want a progressive loader as I have very little patience to begin with.

A buddy of mine told me about a progressive reloader that ran about $180 brand new.

Though I'm not sure if the one he was talking about was able to use both pistol and rifle rounds.

Mainly I'm wanting to just reload for .45 right now, but would want something that I could eventually use for rifle rounds later. Even if it would cost a little more to get the extra stuff later.

You guys got any good recomendations?

e­dited so I don't sound so stoopid
Link Posted: 5/8/2003 7:33:54 PM EDT
Dual stage? As in having two sets of dies on the press at one time?
Link Posted: 5/8/2003 9:37:23 PM EDT
He means progressive. I like my Dillon 550B, but you already knew that.
Link Posted: 5/9/2003 7:27:01 AM EDT
you could look around for a dillon 550-b, that'll will do just about anything you want as far as loading rifle/pistol ammo goes,I don't know how much you're willing to spend on a progressive press, But, buying progressive presses are like buying cars.... you get what you pay for, Dillon and Hornady progressive presses are well made and work very well, they also cost a little more,($350-400)new, But, they'll probably be the last press you'll need to buy, Depending on how much you shoot the savings in ammo could easily pay for one of these presses in a couple of years or less, Dillon has a lifetime warranty for their presses no matter if you are the orginial owner or not, I don't know what Hornady's warranty policy is.. I think it's about the same,I'd also suggest you look around in pawn shops,they often don't know much about reloading equiptment and you may find a bargin,look over at E-bay as well, bargins can be had from time to time
Link Posted: 5/9/2003 7:31:07 AM EDT
Dillon makes a version of their 550 progressive reloading press, known as the AT-500 that costs only $190. It does not have the automatic powder droper or the automatic priming system but that can be added later. You can load all the common, and some odd-ball, pistol and rifle cartridges. Plus you can add on the auto powder and primer systems later when you get the money.

With that being said, let me just state that i love my RL 550B and have over 10k rounds of .45 through it. Some of the best $300 i ever spent.

-Luther
Link Posted: 5/9/2003 8:51:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/9/2003 8:51:56 AM EDT by Moondog]
If you're going progressive because want to shoot lots of pistol ammo and shoot it as much as possible, you want as little headaches as possible. If you don't want to make reloading into an involved hobby, go with a Dillon. As in anything you start out fresh in, there is an initial startup cost (monetary), then there's the other cost, which is comprised of time, labor, and hassle. If you check the reloading forums, you'll see that there's several thousands of rounds produced on less expensive presses, however you'll hear the least complaints from the Dillon owners.
Link Posted: 5/9/2003 9:57:33 AM EDT
RCBS Pro 2000

And don't look back.
Link Posted: 5/9/2003 10:33:16 AM EDT
The Lee progressives are cheap. The Pro-1000 or the Loadmaster go for about $200.

I never can remember which one is the good one and which one sucks.
Link Posted: 5/9/2003 11:00:37 AM EDT
If you have "little patience", maybe you'd be better off buying bulk. Reloading requires all of your attention while your doing it. Triple that with a progressive press. If your new to reloading, I'd start out on a single stage press. This way you can get the basics down and understand what your doing. Once your comfortable with everything, you can see what would best suit your needs. A progressive press needs a lot of your attention due to all the different things going on at once. Personally, I think rifle cartridges are best loaded on single stage presses, there are steps that need to be addressed that cant be done while using a progressive. For pistols they are fine, as long as you give them your full attention.
Link Posted: 5/9/2003 1:35:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AK103K:
If your new to reloading, I'd start out on a single stage press. This way you can get the basics down and understand what your doing.


Not that it matters but I agree,single stage is the way to go,you can pick up a lee kit on the cheap or get a RCBS rockchucker...
Link Posted: 5/9/2003 1:58:09 PM EDT
I started off back in 1979 on a RCBS Rockchucker. The thing is still going strong.. :)

If you are new to this, I'd suggest the same thing. Start with the single stage press and get into it for little dollars. See if you'll like it, then get the progressive press. You can always use the single stage press even with the progressive. It's simple matter to add a new caliber for the single.
Link Posted: 5/9/2003 8:57:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/9/2003 9:03:44 PM EDT by HiCapMag]
I recomend the Dillon also. I have a 650, but a friend has a 550 and has loaded literally hundreds of thousands of rounds on it. You can load just about any cartridge on it, rifle or pistol, and if you change your mind later and dont want to reload anymore you can get most of your money back out by selling the thing ... just take a look at ebay.

Try here for a good deal on a new machine.

www.brianenos.com/pages/dillon.html

Good luck.

I had to add....although a single stage would be great for precison rifle rounds, I would go insane trying to load my pistol ammo on a single stage. I just loaded about 150 rounds of .40 in about 15 minutes, including getting set up. The idea of only punching out primers, then only loading powder, then only loading the bullets gives me the shakes .... just my humble opinion. Save up for the progressive.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 7:35:55 AM EDT
I've got a my abesto suit and my kevlar vest on---But I like the Lee line of progressive loaders. I personally have a Lee 1000 that I have loaded thousands of pistol rounds. True Lee doesn't give you anything free and small parts do break and wear out and you get charged for the parts and postage, but in the long run you will save money. Most others charge you at least double what Lee charges for caliber converstion kits and accessroies. They also have some real maddening nuances and I mean maddening, but they load good ammo. Lee's Load Master has been in production for almost 10 years now, and they should have gotten all of the bugs out by now. I've used Lee manaul loading case feeder, works pretty good for something like $15. I get a few cases that feed upside-down, but then you just take it out and turn it around.

At Lock, Stock & Barrel they've got a pistol Loadmaster for $225 with carbide dies & shell plate, auto-matic powder measure, and case feeder. They've also got a rifle setup for $217 with a case inserter rather than a case feeder. The Lee progressives are true progressives. For every one up & down cycle of the handle you will get one finished round once you get going and you don't have to manually move the shell plate to the next round.

A few side notes, Dillon is using Richard Lee's patented powder dropping system under license. Lee has an automatic bullet feeder mechanism for pistol bullets that I've never used, but its been around for something like 8 years; and Lee claims in their ads that it feeds bullets more accuratly than you can by hand.

In the Dillon 500/550 line, you have to move the shell plate manually, but I have friends that loaded thousands of rounds of both pistol and rifle rounds, and Dillon has promptly replace any parts worn and broken parts ASAP. Dillons 650 line is equivalent to the fully automatic Lee Load Master and Hornady Lock-N-Load.

I've also have an older Hornady that I load rifle rounds. The system also has automtic advancing on each up/down cycle of the handle. I don't know about the newer Lock N Load series from Hornady though.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 9:21:31 AM EDT
[>(]I have a lee loadmaster it has been on my bench for over 4 years,and i have not loaded a single round on it.....I am skeeered of progressive.......
Link Posted: 5/11/2003 7:12:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/11/2003 7:15:54 PM EDT by carbonblack]
Have you considered a turret press? I have a lyman and it is one stout press. It can easily load rifle cartridges, and handgun are not a problem. I really have my eye on a new Pro 2000, but RCBS also came out with a new turret that has an improved priming system (my understanding) that feeds the primers just like a progressive machine. the weak point on the lyman is the priming, but that can be solved by priming outside the machine. The advantage of the turret is that the dies stay on and stay adjusted. You can set a Lee powder measure in you flaring/powder drop die and then switch stations to seat the bullet.
When working with a turret it is easier to think of doing some operations in stages:size/ deprime, prime, and then drop powder/seat bullet. just remember that if you are in hurry, mistakes will be made and mistakes in reloading can cost at the very least $$$, at the very worst someones life, if you are not detail oriented, find a friend that reloads and see him at work before you decide to spend the bucks.

Link Posted: 5/12/2003 5:55:25 AM EDT
I have used a dillon 450 and 550 b only.

I love the dillon. I wish I had a progressive, AUTO INDEXING reloader. (One that rotates the brass for you.)

It would be nice to save one more siple repetitive motion...

mug
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 7:24:26 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/12/2003 7:30:48 AM EDT by ken_mays]

Originally Posted By warlord:
I've got a my abesto suit and my kevlar vest on---
True Lee doesn't give you anything free and small parts do break and wear out and you get charged for the parts and postage, but in the long run you will save money. Most others charge you at least double what Lee charges for caliber converstion kits and accessroies. They also have some real maddening nuances and I mean maddening, but they load good ammo.

In the Dillon 500/550 line, you have to move the shell plate manually, but I have friends that loaded thousands of rounds of both pistol and rifle rounds, and Dillon has promptly replace any parts worn and broken parts ASAP. Dillons 650 line is equivalent to the fully automatic Lee Load Master and Hornady Lock-N-Load.



I wouldn't worry about getting flamed for your post. I pretty much agree with everything you say, except that the operation of manually moving the shellplate is really not as much of a problem as people think. Your fingers are already in there to put the bullet on, and flicking the shellplate forward is done almost in the same motion. On the contrary, the auto indexing presses drive me crazy because I am forever having to back it up when I run into a problem, whether it's primer seating, bullet sideways, or whatever.

Maybe it's just what you get used to.

Any of the progressive reloaders work. Dillon's biggest problem is cost -- not necessarily so much of the press but of the incremental accessories such as conversion kits, toolheads, powder dies, etc.

The disadvantage to Lee is that their stuff is a little rough and cheap and you'll likely have to tweak it before you can get it working just right. Depending on your disposition, this could be no big deal or it could drive you out of your mind... which is why I think there is a vocal segment of ex-Lee owners who can be counted on to badmouth Lee at every opportunity. The biggest problem on the Lee presses seems to involve the primer feed.

I have heard the Hornady progressive's powder measure is somewhat flaky, but otherwise I've heard good things.

I haven't heard much about the new RCBS progressive; it probably works about as well as everything else. I know RCBS makes excellent products that are solid and well made, if not necessarily always displaying the ingenious little features that Dillon trumpets.

I have consistently seen reports that the old RCBS Piggyback setup is an abomination, however. But there is no reason to go with the Piggyback unless you already have a Rock Chucker.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 2:57:52 PM EDT
I picked up my used Dillon 550B at a local gun show for $250.00 the price included all of his dies for 38 super, 9mm, .45ACPand many misc. small parts and bins.

I needed some things from Dillon to make it work for me and the guys at Dillon treated me like I was the original owner. They even sent me new lg and sml primer feed tubes FOC.

I'm impressed.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 3:25:05 PM EDT
I would also like to vote for turrent press.I have a lee that I have loaded about a 1000 pistol rounds on and about 5000 223 rounds on.It does have advantages when loading rifle rounds over a single stage,like not having to unscrew/readjust your dies.However it realy is at its best when loading pistol rounds.When you have the powder measure in the top of the expander die its capable of loading about 250 rounds and hour.
Link Posted: 5/15/2003 6:39:30 PM EDT
Talking about starting off with a single-stage press .... how about a HANDHELD single-stage press.

I started out reloading with the Lee handpress, which I don't even know if it's still around.

While it allowed me to learn the fundamentals of reloading, I had to reload over a WEEK to load up enough ammo for the weekend!

I upgraded to a Hornady Pro-Jector progressive in '90.

B-I-G difference!


Chris
Link Posted: 5/16/2003 3:32:39 PM EDT
I load on a Lee nut-cracker occasionally, like last winter when it was too cold in the garage! This loader is fine for a few hunting cartridges or to take on a trip where the need might arise. They are still for sale from Lee.
Until recently, I used this press to deprime all of my match brass, just because I could sit on the porch or in the kitchen and work away - no need to tote the Rockchucker around.
Link Posted: 5/16/2003 4:02:59 PM EDT
Dillion 550B.
Link Posted: 5/17/2003 9:14:24 AM EDT
I bought all my presses used except for a single stage lee which came with the book. I like my Lee progressive 1000. You could do single stage on it also. I have not tried rifle on it since I have a Hornady Projector for 223. 308 & 30-06 I load by hand.

With a dillon you are going to be limited to their dies only. With a Lee or RCBS and Hornady you can use any dies.
Link Posted: 5/17/2003 11:12:06 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/17/2003 11:13:56 AM EDT by warlord]

Originally Posted By edpmedic:
I bought all my presses used except for a single stage lee which came with the book. I like my Lee progressive 1000. You could do single stage on it also. I have not tried rifle on it since I have a Hornady Projector for 223. 308 & 30-06 I load by hand.

With a dillon you are going to be limited to their dies only. With a Lee or RCBS and Hornady you can use any dies.


I believe to take full-advantage of the Lee progressives you should buy their brand of dies, because Richard Lee has a patent on the flaring/powder charge design.
Link Posted: 5/19/2003 5:38:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By edpmedic:
With a dillon you are going to be limited to their dies only. With a Lee or RCBS and Hornady you can use any dies.



This is only true of the Dillon Square Deal. The 550, 650, etc., use standard dies.
Link Posted: 5/19/2003 6:37:15 AM EDT
I have a dillon Square deal B and a 550-B, the SDB does use it's own dies that will only work with it...The 550 will use any MFG's dies On my 550 I'm using dies made by RCBS, Hornady, Lyman, and I have a Lee factory crimp die that I use every once in awhile, they all screw into the 550 toolheads just fine.... lack of auto indexing on the 550 does'nt really seem to be a problem, last week,I was loading .45acp, I loaded the machine full of primers (100) with the powder charge already set I started, it took me 12 minutes to do 100 rnds,(I figure that's 500rnds an hour)and that was going at my normal speed,I wasn,t trying to go as fast as possible,and that includes taking a few seconds to drop a round into a case gage as I was going..I used a single stage for 19 years,I remember when it took me 2 hours to do 100 rounds,once you go progressive, you'll never go back to a single stage.......
Link Posted: 5/19/2003 7:32:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/19/2003 7:35:34 AM EDT by cmjohnson]
If you're only planning to reload one pistol caliber. then I wouldn't hesitate to recommend a Dillon Square Deal B. It'll turn out good ammo fast.


But if you also want to reload rifle calibers, you'll need something bigger and better.

That puts you into the range of the Dillon 550, or maybe the AT500, which is a stripped 550.

If you want auto indexing (which is a MUST HAVE in my opinion) then the Dillon XL650 is good enough for almost everybody. It's a little more money, but it's the machine that I bought and would buy again.

CJ

Link Posted: 5/19/2003 12:05:54 PM EDT
The XL650 is a great machine, no doubt, but it hardly fulfills the original poster's requirement of "cheap".

Especially when caliber conversion kits go for $60 apiece as opposed to $30 for the RL550.

If anyone is planning to reload lots of different calibers you can really get into some serious money quick with the 650.
Link Posted: 5/19/2003 5:31:28 PM EDT
My recommendation is for a single stage press, one of the medium grade ones. Good for learning and later if/when you move to a progressive and decide you want to do a short run of something you don't go thrugh the major hassles involved with changing and then returning on the progressive.

Folks either swear by or swear at the the Lees. My impression is that they take more attention and tuning and maintenance than the othes. And then if you are lucky they work great.

I've seldom seen a negative comment about the Dillons. They are not the cheapest and changing calibers is easier on others.

I like the RCBS 2000, I like their priming system, and the primer catcher. My opinion is they work better. They have one more die position than the 550b and the powder measure stays in place when changing out dies and doesn't operate on a linkage. However they do not auto-index.

there is no reason why you can't use a progressive as a single stage press, especially if you have special requirements for rifle cases and in some cases (example) you can do 2 stages on a bunch then do your off press handling and then re-setup and do the other dies in one or more batches. Like if you tumble after de-capping and sizing.

See if you can compare properly set up presses.
Link Posted: 5/20/2003 4:50:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By PaDanby:
Folks either swear by or swear at the the Lees. My impression is that they take more attention and tuning and maintenance than the othes. And then if you are lucky they work great.



I have the Lee Challenger and about the only thing it's "challenged" me to do is learn new curse words. But then it costs $30, where the other presses are around the $100 mark.

Somebody needs to make and sell a good solid $60 press. I would be all over it, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. I don't care about a built in priming system or any of that other bullcrap. I just want a press that is easy to mount and doesn't flex when resizing .30-06.
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