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Old November 16, 2004, 10:15 PM   #1
Made Man
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Which press would be best for a beginner??

I am new to reloading, I shoot so much its starting to hurt my pocket. What would be the best reloader for me to buy. I want a good one but not a high dollar one. Any info would be great.
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Old November 16, 2004, 11:37 PM   #2
rwilson452
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begining reloading

You didn't state what your reloading or in what quantity. I'm guessing you want to make quantities of pistol ammo. If this is the case your going to need a progressive press. I would thing the Lee turret kit would be a good entry level start. there will be many that will tell you to get a Dillon 550 or 650. A lot of bucks if you decide you don't really want to reload. You need to get a good data book. if you get a Lee get "modern reloading" by lee and I would suggest the Lyman manual also. Most of the powder mfg have downloadable data on their web sites.

Give us more input and folks here will give you better advice.
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Old November 17, 2004, 11:25 AM   #3
flyallnite
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I'm new, too

I just bought a Lee Turret 4-holer Deluxe, hand primer, Calipers, Lee manual, and Dies for $167.00 (including shipping) from Grafs. After tons of reading online (and the manual) I was "makin' bullets" in no time. All I need now is a tumbler.

I shoot about 300 to 400 rounds of .40 cal a month. This press will meet my needs nicely. IOW, I will be able to shoot 450-600 rounds a month for the same price.

The local Harbor Freight is getting $ 20.00 rock tumblers in on Friday. I'll be waiting in line.

Jim

Last edited by flyallnite; November 19, 2004 at 05:18 PM. Reason: forgot to mention calipers, too
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Old November 17, 2004, 01:09 PM   #4
kdkaiser
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Dillon Presses

My first press was a Dillon 450 (still have it), because I knew I was going to be shooting a lot.
If your are going to reload more than a couple of hundred rounds at a time, You would be better spending your money on a Dillon 450 or a 550. I have two Dillon 450's with the 550 updates (but I kept the solid frames) one for small primer and the other for large primer. I can load 400 rounds a hour, of 38's or 45 ACP.
I've seen several used 450's and 550's on Ebay, some with lots of extras.
If you can ask around, see if someone has a Dillon that you can have a test-run on.
Try it You'll like it.
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Old November 17, 2004, 01:40 PM   #5
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thanks for the information, I wanna load .40's with 165 ball ammo for my Glock 22. Might be gettin a .45 before long but for right now im concentrating on the .40 cal. I just got it a few months ago and i shoot bout 500 rds a week. Its breakin me up.
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Old November 17, 2004, 02:51 PM   #6
Rmouleart
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You can't beat a RCBS Rockchucker, this sigle press will last you a life time, if anything breaks even the press itself, RCBS will replace it, customer service is top knotch, I bought the Master reloader single stage RockChucker many years ago, still is what I use, I like single stage reloading. The newer single stages are set up for longer bullets also, when I reload my 338 winmags I have to angle the bullet into the die, no biggy, but the new press is longer to except over sized bullets and is also set up for either a righty or lefty, the old one was only setup for right handed people. Aim small hit small. RAMbo.
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Old November 17, 2004, 03:12 PM   #7
lee n. field
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Quote:
What would be the best reloader for me to buy. I want a good one but not a high dollar one.
IMHO, get a good quality single station press.

My first press was a Lyman Acculine, that I got very cheaply at a going out of business sale. It's basically worn out, and this is only 5 or 6 years later. Right now I'm using a Rockchuck II I picked up used, and a Lee Hand Press (cheap, but very usable, as long as you don't try to reload rifle cases larger than .223.).
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Old November 17, 2004, 05:19 PM   #8
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Press

Made Man;
Go to a place such as MidwayUSA, look at the Lee Challenger kit, this has about 75% of everything you will ever need and is about $80, hard to beat and the press is plenty for 95% of reloading, if you want to reload 3 1/2" Sharps or H&H NE cases, Lee has just brought out a Classic Cast Iron Press that is in the boat anchor size class and is about $60 by itself.
You are on the slippery slope to addiction! I have been addicted for 50 years.
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Old November 18, 2004, 12:01 AM   #9
crashland73
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My first press was the Lee Loadmaster 5 hole turret. It was for the 44 mag. I now have a number of dies and accessories for it. It has been at least 10yrs or so and thousands and thousands of rounds of pistol and rifle in that one press. Keep it greased and it will never fail. I love it. And if anything breaks they allways sent me parts without charge. By parts I mean those little plastic primer feeding slides. My fault really but they were good about it. I also use RCBS dies, I like them too, but of all the presses I liked the Loadmaster of them all.
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Old November 18, 2004, 01:09 AM   #10
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Thanks for the info guys. I got a friend that wants to start reloading also, I'm gonna pass the info on to him as well. Hopefully this will save us a lot of cash.
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Old November 30, 2004, 02:35 AM   #11
OfcrBill
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RCBS RockChucker

"I am new to reloading, I shoot so much its starting to hurt my pocket. What would be the best reloader for me to buy. I want a good one but not a high dollar one. Any info would be great."

The best X-Mas gift I ever got was my RockChucker set. I started and remain a single-stage reloader for the last 7 yrs now. It came with most, if not all the tools required to start out. Figure in on at LEAST $400 to start out in tools and equipment alone. I found this to be a very worth-while hobby and a great way to unwind after a long day of work. If you just want to do it to save money and pump out rounds, get a progressive reloader (Dillon). If you do it for the sheer enjoyment and actual accuracy training, I suggest single-stage (I use only RCBS and Lee equip). It's up to you and I suggest training by a professional and do your research. You can save big $$$ by looking for used equipment. Use this forum to assist in everything. With my training and experience, I still learn from the folks here in this forum. They are an invaluable asset of knowledge. Regards, Will
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Old November 30, 2004, 03:30 AM   #12
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Like OfcrBill, I too like my Rockchuker. For rifle or heavy revolver cartridges that I don't shoot a lot. For lots of shooting, I couldn't do it without my Dillon 55B. I went to the expense of buying extra fully equipped tool heads set up for different calibers. I load too many calibers to be constantly taking dies out of the press and replacing and readjusting then for each caliber change.

Dillon replaces all broken or warn out parts with a phone call. I've had parts in two days. Been using my 550B for about 15 yrs. Don't consider anything but carbide dies. You don't want to be lubing all those thousands of cases and then cleaning them off. Get a case tumbler, also. Talk to the folks at Dillon, and they'll steer you in the right direction. I realize there are other good presses shooters recommend, and I confess to owning only the Dillon.

Listen to old Nnobby45-- better to upgrade to the best now than fiddle around with an economical slower press to start, and then upgrade 'cause you can't load enough to satisfy your shooting needs.
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Old November 30, 2004, 08:26 AM   #13
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Look at the Lee reloading line.I think you will find what your looking for.
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Old November 30, 2004, 05:32 PM   #14
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If it is for CHRISTmas then ask away. It is a lot cheaper and your accuracy will improve dramaticly.
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Old November 30, 2004, 06:34 PM   #15
AustinMike
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I love my Dillon 550B, but for a beginner I'd recommend starting with a single stage press. The equipment investment will be a lot cheaper so you can see if you dig it and the single operation at a time will help you get your head around the process. I started out with an old Lee handheld press! I lived in a small apartment and had no room for a bench mounted press.
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Old November 30, 2004, 11:14 PM   #16
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I started with a 550 Dillon and sold it as soon as I used my first Hornady projector. I now have replaced the old Projector with a new lock-n-load projector. I have loaded over 400K rounds of every thing from 40 s&w to 500S&W, and many rifle loads too. I will never own another Dillon press. THey are sloppy in comparison.You can get the Hornady all set in 40 and be loading in an hour or less as a beginner, and you don't have to buy any of the "Dillon scam" items (powder funnels, etc.) He makes a good product, but there is better. You can also use any dies in Hornady. Good luck, and enjoy the whole new world of loading.
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Old December 1, 2004, 03:21 PM   #17
gwalchmai
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Quote:
i shoot bout 500 rds a week
If I were you I wouldn't even bother with the 550. I'd go straight to the Dillon 650. At 500 rounds per week you'll have it paid for in six months, if not sooner.
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Old December 1, 2004, 11:37 PM   #18
Nnobby45
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YellowF4

"You can get the Hornady all set in 40 and be loading in an hour or less as a beginner, and you don't have to buy any of the "Dillon scam" items (powder funnels, etc.) He makes a good product, but there is better."

Not very fair to Dillon. Their presses come all set up for the caliber of your choice---included in the price. Some of us choose to buy extra tool heads that are all set up for different calibers. Tell me about the Hornady warranty--after 400k rounds, I know you've worn out your share of charge bars and other parts, as well.

As one of the aforementioned posts pointed out---call Dillon and tell them what parts you need. Need extra parts on hand so you're not shut down when one breaks: then just have them send you some. Need Tech support? You get the picture.
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Old December 1, 2004, 11:43 PM   #19
Nnobby45
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Made Man

"If u dont want a jam put a Glock in your hand "

My Glocks have jammed (though very rarely and not for quite a while) My SIGs DO NOT.
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Old December 2, 2004, 12:30 AM   #20
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Rcbs!

RCBS Rockchucker........Hands down !
I've had mine 14yrs+. I'll load 45ACP, then 30-06,.223, then maybe some 38s or form some 25-06. Its a little slow , but it's built to last.
I shoot no-more then 2000rds a year of anything.
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Old January 30, 2005, 08:41 AM   #21
jsflagstad
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I got a good deal on eBay!!

Here's how I see it.

As a kid, I saw my dad get a Pacific "C" press from my grandpa as a christmas gift to reload for a 30 carbine variant wildcat we have. I grew up thinking that was all there was for a reloading press. Every year, it was a tradition around early november to reload a couple hundred rounds for the Wildcat. My oldest brother and I from age 5 and 10 on up would head down to the basement with dad to start the tedious task. Every round was hand scaled and funneled in and then seated on the old Pacific. Of course the step before was to decap, size and recap on the Pacific as well. It seemed like forever to get 200 rounds done. Later, to speed things up, dad bought a powder measurer to speed things up and a combo of our neglegence and it malfunctioning ended up blowing up this same gun in my hands. I threw this in, because I cannot stress enough the caution that needs to be used in reloading. Always audit the powder measurer from time to time.

When my dad moved his office to his home, my mom and 2 brothers and I went together and bought him a Dillon progressive as he had more time at home and loved guns and reloading. We bought him ALL of the bells and whistles with this one. Like I said above, I thought the the Pacific was all there was available for reloading. This Dillon was GREAT! This thing did all of the tiring work for you.

I now use his reloading equipment quite a bit. I use the Dillon for my 40S&W and the old Pacific "C" press for all of my other stuff. Now of course the Dillon is faster, but I can really kick our rhe 357 mags on the old "C" press. I also feel that I get a better quality load on the single stage.

My wife felt that I spent too much time at my dad's reloading, so I decided I would fix that but getting my own reloading setup at home. I look around a bit and decided that the Lee Precision line looked like a great deal for the money. I was going to buy the aniversary kit until I came across a auto indexing Lee turret press on eBay. I git a guy's complete reloading setup, Turret press, scale, auto prime, dies (3 sets), 500 new brass, 500 bullets and lots more for $81. That seemed like a decent deal to me. I feel that the Lee Turret press is a good compromise between the Dillon progressive and the single stage.

I see mixed reviews on the Lee products, but I decided to try them because they have excellent pricing and they are american made. I guess what I am saying, is that they are priced like they are made in China, but they are really made in Wisconsin USA, and the quality seems to be right up there and I want to support them. The Dillon is a good press, but I have found some quality issues with that as well.

Set your price, and get the most for your money....

JSF
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Old January 30, 2005, 08:57 AM   #22
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Quote:
thanks for the information, I wanna load .40's with 165 ball ammo for my Glock 22. Might be gettin a .45 before long but for right now im concentrating on the .40 cal. I just got it a few months ago and i shoot bout 500 rds a week. Its breakin me up.
Buy the Dillon . If your buying 500 rounds per week, you can afford the best. You'll save $60 per week, so a Dillon will be paid for in no time. If you buy the 550, you can also reload rifle with excellent results. I reload 9mm, 38/357, 222 Rem, 250 Sav, 30-30, 308, 30-06 with excellent results. Dillon's powder measure has excellent repeatability. I set it for 3.2 grains of powder, and every round double checked is at 3.2 gr.
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