Which press is right for me question asked for the 100th time

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E.Marquez
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Which press is right for me question asked for the 100th time

#1

Post by E.Marquez » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:06 am

OK, Yes I searched, but many of the posts I read are not recent, so perhaps there are better options, presses no longer available or recommended, issue prone ex.

So I ask the question again, please be gentle. :biggrinjester:

I am not finding what I want in ammo highly available for my new 5.56 rifle, so Im looking hard to finally starting to reload (Ive dabbed with others equipment).
I need a new "Hobby" like a new hole in my head..I don't have the dedicated space or time....and don't want to spread out discretionary funds.. BUT Im going to buy ammo anyway so after start up costs, $$$ expended to build ammo is a moot point...and this is more an means to an end, then a hobby I want.

Today, now...If I was to start loading immediately
I want to load a fair bit in a single setting I think this means a progressive machine.
I want to load rifle and pistol cartridges
In priority
I want to load 5.56 62grain FMJ non steel core bullets over a powder charge that will shoot well in a 1:7 twist 16" barrel
I want to load .45 230 grain FMJ over a powder charge that will approximate commercial ammo of the common training verity.
I want to load 9mm 115 grain FMJ over a powder charge that will approximate commercial ammo of the common training verity.

In the not so distant future I'll want to load .300 BLK for range use as well.

I think based on research a Dillon XL650 does all that without breaking the bank. I understand there is a host of options to go with it ($$$) and even more ancillary items and equipment needed from sonic cleaners (I have) tumblers, case trimmers, calipers (I have) book and guides that all add to the cost of start up.
And of course the cost of learning curve .....as I mess up and learn my my mistakes.


If this works out, I'll get a single stage to try hand loading .338 Win Mag,.338 Lapua, .300 win mag and maybe later .308 and 30.06..all calibers I already have and buy commercial ammo for now.
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crazy2medic
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Re: Which press is right for me question asked for the 100th time

#2

Post by crazy2medic » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:53 pm

I personally would not recommend a progressive press, reloading requires you be diligent and meticulous, a simple mistake can be disastrous, I have been reloading for close to 40yrs and I use a single stage press, but if you are going with a progressive press be very very careful!
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Re: Which press is right for me question asked for the 100th time

#3

Post by E.Marquez » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:25 pm

crazy2medic wrote:I personally would not recommend a progressive press, reloading requires you be diligent and meticulous, a simple mistake can be disastrous, I have been reloading for close to 40yrs and I use a single stage press, but if you are going with a progressive press be very very careful!
Thanks for the feed back.
I "THINK" your referring to the larger number of things that can go wrong in a progressive due to many different steps happening with a single pull of the handle. And I get that..

Set up is exponentially more difficult as the variables are more numerous and the chance of even one adjustment or a worn part causing a bad batch until you catch it, or one of the more hazardous though rare events like a sideways primer being crushed and ignited..

If those are the type of things your not references, please clarify.

Set up is difficult, laborious and time consuming ..Got it.
Bad set up could lead to more then just a single damaged or incorrectly loaded round...Got it
What else are you inferring?


Im logical thinker and mechanical minded, have a decent eye for attention to detail, can follow instructions and set up procedures well even when they list ont critical steps and assume the person setting up will "know" intermediate steps.I will often not known what Im missing, just that there is a step or action missing between listed step 20 and 21. I also have a knack for notice something is "wrong" that others often do not "see" until it pointed out (in reference to mechanical things) so I think, Im reasonable prepared for success post training, practice and some trial runs...with close post reload inspection for dimensional data, crimp quality and location, plus pulling the bullet and confirming charge weight. id also likely have an experienced reloader inspect some completed rounds to confirm what i think Im seeing and measuring is accurate.
Still If Im missing something here, a concern I dont understand, please, post up..
Im a sponge, I know what I know, what I think I know, and understand I don't know enough yet.

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Re: Which press is right for me question asked for the 100th time

#4

Post by crazy2medic » Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:48 pm

You are correct, too many things happening at once, if you had some experience reloading I would say go for it, I have seen progressive presses being used and it's interesting, but maybe I'm just too cautious but a mistake can go really bad! Just my 2 cents worth.
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Re: Which press is right for me question asked for the 100th time

#5

Post by rotor » Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:05 pm

I started with a single stage Lee press and moved up to a Lee turret. I don't need to turn out thousands of rounds a month as some do. With a Lee turret I can safely follow each step, turn out at a reasonable speed and get good quality ammo, maybe even better quality than with a progressive. I load mainly pistol and this press does everything I need. Very economical too. Once the dies are set you just change out the turret and that's it. If you are a heavy volume shooter though you will need a progressive. Rifle requires so much work that for me it is just not worth it. Watch some of the youtube vids as they can be very helpful.

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Re: Which press is right for me question asked for the 100th time

#6

Post by E.Marquez » Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:47 pm

rotor wrote:I don't need to turn out thousands of rounds a month as some do. .
Well I don't either so there is that... I might set out to reload 500 ~1000 rounds in a sitting...but that would not be monthly. So perhaps a turret press is a better solution.
I have used a single stage to reload .338 win mag and 9mm after doing that few evenings an seeing the small pile for the effort, I decided hand loading was not for me.

I may still do a single stage for rifle calibers I shoot only a few times a year ...Then again I like the idea of setting up a turret for a specific caliber and knowing I can remove it as an assembly, store it for later use as is.....vice having to do set up each time on a single stage.

Ok, so....
If I was going to go for a turret press...which one?
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Re: Which press is right for me question asked for the 100th time

#7

Post by sjfcontrol » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:16 pm

E.Marquez wrote:
Ok, so....
If I was going to go for a turret press...which one?
I like this one...

https://ads.midwayusa.com/product/78599 ... rret+press

Though I don't use the scale.. I use a digital scale.
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Re: Which press is right for me question asked for the 100th time

#8

Post by flechero » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:27 pm

I had no help or mentor and was able to buy, set up and start loading on a dillion 550 with no trouble. If needed you can run it as a turret/multistation single stage as you learn the steps. I can't personally speak to loading bottleneck cartridges on it, but have read of lots of people loading precision rifle on them.

Not that I'm recommending a 550 for your situation, just that you need not be afraid of a progressive press out of the gate. If you are mechanically inclined, can follow directions and observe detail, you should be fine. Also, Dillion's tech support is great- I called them before I ever bought a press and they spent an hour on the phone education me in the process so that I could make an informed decision.

Good luck! :tiphat:


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Re: Which press is right for me question asked for the 100th time

#9

Post by rotor » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:40 pm

I went with the Lee classic turret. It's not that expensive and if you don't like it there is always Craigslist. From there on prices go up. I also use Lee dies and the Lee Autodrum for powder (very accurate). The only thing I don't like with Lee is the primer feeder and sometimes I just hand prime my shells after removing the deprimer from the deprime-resize die. Just depends how I feel. I don't rush through reloading as I am obsessive compulsive about safety. On the other hand, when ammo is on sale I buy it as the work involved is not always financially a plus with reloading. 9mm is so cheap does it pay? Perhaps. 38 special/357, 45 acp. Much more beneficial to reload. Even .380 acp saves money over commercial. For me it is more the hobby than the money. My wife wants us to be able to survive the Zombie storm without running out of ammo.


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Re: Which press is right for me question asked for the 100th time

#10

Post by mrvmax » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:25 pm

Anyone can handload but avoiding catastrophic mistakes is the difficult part. You always hear people saying "I've been loading for xxx years...." but that means nothing. It only takes one mistake or some lack of knowledge to cause a catastrophic failure that blows up your rifle. One of the gun mags recently had an article about this with some stories of mistakes (some that caused death). Loading pistol calibers is easy compared to rifle loading. I would start with a single stage and go from there once you have loaded enough to get proficient. There is a lot of knowledge needed for just having the ability to size properly and my guess is that many loaders don't even know enough to do that properly. Start small and read all you can, especially on the mistakes (I tend to learn more from those).


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Re: Which press is right for me question asked for the 100th time

#11

Post by rotor » Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:57 pm

mrvmax wrote:Anyone can handload but avoiding catastrophic mistakes is the difficult part. You always hear people saying "I've been loading for xxx years...." but that means nothing. It only takes one mistake or some lack of knowledge to cause a catastrophic failure that blows up your rifle. One of the gun mags recently had an article about this with some stories of mistakes (some that caused death). Loading pistol calibers is easy compared to rifle loading. I would start with a single stage and go from there once you have loaded enough to get proficient. There is a lot of knowledge needed for just having the ability to size properly and my guess is that many loaders don't even know enough to do that properly. Start small and read all you can, especially on the mistakes (I tend to learn more from those).
Very true. I started single stage and moved up to a turret. The turret can be used as a single stage and I probably should have started with that. I sometimes load shotgun shells and started with a MEC single stage and bought a used Mec progressive. Let me just say that I have much lead shot on the floor working with that progressive and the crimps were never as good. I stick to the single stage Mec which is like a turret in that you go from station to station. Works for me and no spilled shot. Reloading mistakes can be catastrophic mistakes. That's why they make devices to show if you have double charged a shell and I think this is mostly in progressives where it is harder to tell what is happening at each station. I also like to weigh powder after 10 rounds or so and like to inspect each case visually as I load for powder. You really need to be obsessive compulsive and not let anyone interrupt you when reloading.


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Re: Which press is right for me question asked for the 100th time

#12

Post by mikejarhead » Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:20 am

A Dillon 550 was the right choice for me and I don't regret it. I learned a lot from YouTube & from some reloading forums.

I would just recommend that you have no distractions when actually reloading, no phones,no radio.

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Re: Which press is right for me question asked for the 100th time

#13

Post by WTR » Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:35 am

I would think the Dillion is perfect for you for the AR caliber and pistol bullets. I would use a single stage press for your other rifle calibers.

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Re: Which press is right for me question asked for the 100th time

#14

Post by Beiruty » Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:31 am

rotor wrote:I went with the Lee classic turret. It's not that expensive and if you don't like it there is always Craigslist. From there on prices go up. I also use Lee dies and the Lee Autodrum for powder (very accurate). The only thing I don't like with Lee is the primer feeder and sometimes I just hand prime my shells after removing the deprimer from the deprime-resize die. Just depends how I feel. I don't rush through reloading as I am obsessive compulsive about safety. On the other hand, when ammo is on sale I buy it as the work involved is not always financially a plus with reloading. 9mm is so cheap does it pay? Perhaps. 38 special/357, 45 acp. Much more beneficial to reload. Even .380 acp saves money over commercial. For me it is more the hobby than the money. My wife wants us to be able to survive the Zombie storm without running out of ammo.
This :iagree: with. You can upgrade LEE turret classic (best press for the money) and you can do 5-6 rds per min, not including sizing and priming.

It would do all the reloading you want for all the caliber you mentioned. I do 300WM with no problem. In a session for me (1hr) I can do 120rds to 200 rds.

Here are photos and videos of the LEE classic Turret with its update over time.
https://goo.gl/photos/rgtGdZGPo8i1SYZ18
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Re: Which press is right for me question asked for the 100th time

#15

Post by Beiruty » Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:37 am

I have a fully decked Hornady AP. Getting it dialed right was the trickiest part, but once dialed. It would crank ammo at 20 9mm rds per min not including sizing/depriming and priming. Oh, and it needs more attention, like regular cleaning, lube and fixing issues with any of its "features".
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