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progressive reloader for rifle cartridges and hand gun cartridges?

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progressive reloader for rifle cartridges and hand gun cartridges?

Old 01-01-2018, 04:34 PM
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Default progressive reloader for rifle cartridges and hand gun cartridges?

Is there a progressive reloader that reloads both rifle cartridges, and hand gun cartridges?
I haven't reloaded in almost 40 years.
I always wanted to get, and use a progressive reloader.

Thank You.

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Old 01-03-2018, 07:59 AM
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Both big red and big blue will load handgun and rifle cartridges, the only downside is the amount of time required to change cartridges. I've used both, can't say I think there's any crippling feature, OR stellar standout feature among either of them. I've licked my lips for years over another Dillon, but when rubber hits the road this time, I think I'll buy a Hornady. I haven't owned one personally, but have loaded a few thousand rounds on one, and Hornady takes care of instructors very well, so being even on performance, the price offset is substantially in Hornady's favor.

Below will be some musings comparing the 650 and the Lock-N-Load. I've owned a 550 and have loaded on a 650, the extra station for a powder check die and the auto index are two huge advantages for the LNL and the 650 to prevent double charges, so I really recommend away from the 550.

I don't personally love the priming system on either, so I tend to decap on a universal decapper, then prime off of the press. I simply remove the decapping pin from the expanding mandrel and size without decapping. I don't run dirty brass into my dies, so I've never gone straight from deprime to prime without cleaning between, so it's not really an extra step for me.

I'm not sure if Dillon has updated yet or not, but their powder measure sucks. Not that a guy can't engineer the use of a different measure on top, but it's more gear to buy, and more expense. The charging bar leaks, and you'll want to have multiple measures so you can leave one installed and set for each toolhead, it's not really a plug and play change. Also concerning powder, how the presses advance is different. At first, I didn't like the Hornady's "hard wired all wheel drive" feeling in the handle, but once I saw how smoothly the shellplate runs, it's a big advantage. I used to load 9mm in high volume on a friend's Dillon 650 in huge batches, a guy had to take care to not run the ram too fast and lose powder from the cases.

When the LNL was announced, I rolled my eyes and held fast to my plan to buy another dillon, a 650 this time, when I got another progressive. After a chance to load on the LNL in person, and knowing how much I'll save on the set up, it's a no brainer - my next press will be an LNL.

Something else to consider - they ain't sexy, but you can buy and outfit a couple Lee Pro1000's for less cost than ONE of the Dillon or Hornady. I have a pair set up, one for 44mag and one for 223/5.56. These two never change, same powder, same bullet, same load. Changing cartridges in the progressive presses isn't hard, but since there are more automated operations, there are more components to swap beyond simple dies and shellholders - that means more time. Some folks don't have room to have as many presses set up as I do, some have more. I don't like changing stuff around in my production lines for my "standard fare" ammo. I keep a couple Lee Classic Turrets set up for moderate volume loading, and they handle the bulk of my "odd-ball" loading stuff. I have two Forster Co-ax's set up for my precision loading work, the two Lee Progressives, then a Lee Anniversary O single stage as my universal decapper. I also have a redding T7 in storage. More powder measures kicking around than I care to admit. I like to spend my time shooting, rather than reloading, and I like to spend my reloading time cranking the ram handle, not setting up the press or futzing with powder.
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