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Best press for a newbie

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Best press for a newbie

Old 01-13-2014, 08:35 PM
  #1  
Spike
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Default Best press for a newbie

I'm just getting started in reloading. My teenage son is all about it. So if he's helping me he is easier to keep track of. What is a good progressive machine for a newbie. Not wanting to get crazy just load up some .223 and handgun loads. Nothing super hot. Just stuff to plink with.
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Old 01-14-2014, 05:58 AM
  #2  
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My 2 cents on progressives...I am not a big fan of them, especially for rifle cartridges. That being said, I have a Dillon 550, but I use it exclusively for handgun loading. I'm still old school and use a single stage CH Magnum H press for all my rifle loading. My brother uses a Hornady Lock n Load progressive and loves it and he's relatively new to reloading. I will say this, from experiences from friends and myself...buy the best press you can possibly afford if you are going to buy a progressive...I love my Dillon and their no BS warranty is hands down unbeatable...buy once, cry once.
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:38 AM
  #3  
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Originally Posted by emtrescue6 View Post
My 2 cents on progressives...I am not a big fan of them, especially for rifle cartridges. That being said, I have a Dillon 550, but I use it exclusively for handgun loading. I'm still old school and use a single stage CH Magnum H press for all my rifle loading. My brother uses a Hornady Lock n Load progressive and loves it and he's relatively new to reloading. I will say this, from experiences from friends and myself...buy the best press you can possibly afford if you are going to buy a progressive...I love my Dillon and their no BS warranty is hands down unbeatable...buy once, cry once.
.....Exactly... Well put.
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:43 AM
  #4  
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I've had great results from RCBS Rock Chucker. My reloading bench had products from Lee, Hornady, RCBS, Lyman, others. I personally don't use a progressive and have not used one so I can't comment on them.
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Old 01-14-2014, 05:05 PM
  #5  
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Rock chucker is what I've been using for over twenty years. I dont own or ever used a progressive press, dont really want to either, I might buy one if I did.
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Old 01-15-2014, 02:39 AM
  #6  
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As a person that owns a Dillon 550 a 1050 and 2 RCBS rock crunchers I’ll say it all depends on your shooting habits. If you are a high volume shooter i.e. when you go shoot you bring lots of ammo and several calibers or simply the frequency you shoot is high than certainly get the 550. If the volume or frequency of your shooting is low, than a single stage will work or if you are always short on time like me then a progressive is the way to go.
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Old 01-15-2014, 01:00 PM
  #7  
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I have a Dillon 550 progressive and a RCBS Rockchucker. I could get along fine without the Dillon if need be but not without the Rockckucker.
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Old 01-15-2014, 06:59 PM
  #8  
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Maybe there's a reason that I own two Rockchuckers and only one RL550B? I'll echo what BC said - I could get by without the Dillon, but not without a Rockchucker.

Aside from that, my experiences with friends and relatives tends to point that one doesn't let them mess with the progressive until they've mastered the single stage. They can make a mess out of ammo by using a single stage, and an exponentially bigger mess using a progressive. I've pulled a LOT of bullets over the years for them so they could start over. It's important to understand each step in the operation - that doesn't come easily on a progressive.

If you absolutely have to buy a progressive, the RL550B is hard to beat. However, if you want that teenager around a couple more hours each weekend, I think you'd be far better off with a single stage like the Rockchucker.
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Old 01-15-2014, 07:34 PM
  #9  
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For a newbie, a turret press is the best option, in my opinion. Lee Classic Turret is the one I use now, very happy with it.

What makes a turret press great for a newbie:
  • Remove the auto-indexer and it will operate like a single stage press. You can run all of your brass through one at a time to safely and surely execute each step of the process in batches.
  • Unlike a single stage press, you can turn ON the autoindexer and in 4 pulls, have a loaded round without removing the case.
  • You can LEAVE THE DIES IN THE TURRETS, and eliminate a LOT of wasted time resetting your dies to proper sizing depth, seating depth, or crimp. You can do the same with a single stage bushing press, but if you add up the cost of bushing compared to turrets, the turret is the better option. I have several turrets for my Lee (I think 8 or 9 now) that I leave different sets of dies for different cartridges installed, properly metered, all the time, ready to go.
  • Not much, if any really, more expensive than the single stage press. $100 or $110 for the Lee Classic Turret Press.
I still have my first press, a Lee Anniversary Challenger Single Stage Press, mounted on my bench beside my Turret press, set up with a universal decapping die. All it does is decap, then the brass hits the ultrasonic cleaner. Then I prime the whole batch with a Lee Autoprimer, resize the batch, charge the batch, seat, then crimp, all in the turret, all in batches.
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Old 01-18-2014, 04:27 AM
  #10  
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I'll throw another punch for the Rockchucker, i've been using one for over 20yrs and couldn't imagine not having one. It's simple, dependable and very well built.
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