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Old January 9, 2006, 08:40 PM   #1
coyote1911
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First Time reloaders final buy decision, Lyman turret press or RCBS turret press.

I have been snooping around these forums for a while but this is my first post. I am tired of paying so much money for factory ammunition. I have decided that I do not require anything more complicated than a turret press because I will only go shootingtwo to three times a month and will only be using up about 4-500 rounds at a time. So I have settled on the Lyman turret press reloading kit or the RCBS turret press reloading kit as a decent quality first time buy. Which of these presses gives you the least hassle to operate smoothly. I do not want to be constantly fiddling with stuff (Which I understand is the bane of Lee presses).

Oh yeah I want to start out by reloading for .45 and .223 but I will eventually get the dies for all my guns which are 9mm, 32.s&w,.38spc,.38s&w,.44russian,.357 mag,7.62x39and54 and 7.62X25 but as I understand it all presses use the same size threads for dies so there should not be a problem say if I get the Lyman press and use Lee dies right?
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Old January 9, 2006, 10:02 PM   #2
jclaude
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Press Choices

Welcome to the forum. I am a newbie here as well, but from what I've seen so far, there are plenty of contributing members who will gladly share their wealth of knowledge, opinions, and experiences with us.

Both Lyman and RCBS make good equipment. I personally prefer the RCBS equipment but others will have their opinions as well. Some will recommend the Dillon equipment and it's good stuff if you don't mind spending the extra coins.

7/8"-14 is the standard thread size for most reloading dies. Some die sets will work for more than one cartridge. For example, 38 spl. and .357 mag. use the same dies, but the 38 S&W has a slightly larger case O.D. The 44 spl. and the 44 mag. user the same dies but I'm not sure about the 44 Russian. someone else will be able to tell you.

Good luck with your choices. I'm sure others will offer their preferences as well.
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Old January 9, 2006, 10:38 PM   #3
BigJakeJ1s
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Welcome aboard.

How do you want to use the turret press? Do you want to use it batch mode, where you run all the brass through the same operation before going to the next step, or do you want to build each cartridge one at a time, finishing one cartridge before you start another?

If the former, another alternative might be a single stage press that takes 1.25-12 dies (has a threaded reducer to take std 7/8-12 dies), and install a hornady lock-n-load conversion kit in place of the reducer. These adapters fit on the press and your dies to make changing dies quick and easy, with less play/slop than the best turret press, at less cost too. RCBS rockchucker, Redding Big Boss & UltraMag, Lee Classic Cast, and of course the Hornady LNL press all can take the LNL conversion.

If the latter, then a true turret, or even a progressive (used like a turret) is best. Other models besides the ones you mentioned include the new Lee Classic Turret (based on their excellent Classic Cast press), The Redding T7,
and the Dillon AT500 (not listed in their catalogs/online anymore, but I've heard that they still sell them if you call and ask, for around $200). The AT500 has the advantage of being able to upgrade in steps to a fully progressive RL550B. Virtually any progressive can be used one cartridge at a time like a turret. Note that a progressive will come with a built-in priming tool and a powder measure, so that's a couple of things you would not need to buy separately for a turret press. Of the progressives to be used turret style, I like the cost and flexibility of the Hornady LNL AP that uses LNL inserts to change dies quickly, one at a time if needed, and has a better powder measure than the Dillon.

Andy
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Old January 9, 2006, 11:18 PM   #4
coyote1911
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Hey, thanks for the warm reception! I think that I want to use the press to build one cartridge at a time. I thought of going progressive but it seems to me like the only one in my price range is the Lee Line of progressive presses and I hear such wildly contrasting stories that I am scared to buy one. The worst of these is that you have to constantly adjust it and I don't want to do that. What I did not like about those presses was that you spent between 400-500 dollars on a press like the 550-650 or the lock n load or the Pro2000 and then you have to buy a case feeder for it for another 200. Already that is pushing into my budget (in college) so I am really capped at 700 max and Id like to spend about 5. Speed is not important to me. If I have to spend two hours reloading to make 400 pistol rounds that is okay with me. I am intrigued by the dillon AT500, I did not know that you could upgrade it to a 550 and that might be what I am looking for. I also figured I should get a turret because I thought it would be easier to do smaller batches of many kinds of rounds by just getting extra turret heads and switching them out as I will eventually be doing many calibers. So I figured I should get maybe a turret press of decent quality (lyman or rcbs) that won't break the bank.

Really I would just buy the Lee turret press if someone could assure me that I wouldnt have to fiddle with it constantly.
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Old January 10, 2006, 06:24 AM   #5
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Redding Turret press.
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Old January 10, 2006, 09:28 AM   #6
jacobtowne
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Perhaps I'm missing something here, but a turret press is still a single stage operation, correct? If so, why spend the extra money on it, rather than buying a single stage press?
JT
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Old January 10, 2006, 05:45 PM   #7
badaceds650
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turret

well i have a and used lyman turret (it olny cost me 25 bucks with scales from a co worker he got a progressive) it works great but if i were to buy another turret it would be a redding t-7 because i would be able to keep two pistol die sets set up and still have my rcbs uni flow on all at once
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Old January 10, 2006, 05:55 PM   #8
jclaude
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jacobtowne

To address your question: A turret press will perform one die operation for every stroke of the handle, like a single stage press. The advantage of the turret is that you can install all of the dies and the powder dispenser you are using for a particular caliber in one setup. You can actually put a fired case into the shell holder, perfrom all of the operations required to reload it, and remove it from the press as a finished reload.

I personally have never considered that capability to be a huge advantage, and I like the ruggedness of the single stage (Rockchucker) design much better for my use. To me, the progressives are the next step up from a single stage.
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Old January 10, 2006, 06:13 PM   #9
coyote1911
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All right you guys have convinced me. I have decided that I will not get a turret press. Looks like I'm gonna sacrifice buying another gun and go with the Hornady LnL progressive. This way I can do it right the first time with a progressive.
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Old January 10, 2006, 06:21 PM   #10
azredhawk44
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Whoah, there, buddy. hold the horses.

I have a friend who has had a dillon progressive for years. he constantly forgets one of the stages and ends up with powder on the floor, no powder in the case, or no primer in the case.

Is it his fault? Probably.

But, I hold the opinion that progressives are more prone to mistakes than single stage.

Especially for a beginner.

Be meticulous. I promise, you will make enough "oopses" on a single stage to frustrate yourself without introducing progressive potential mistakes.

I've been reloading for 2 years on a single stage. At this point, I can load about 75 cartridges an hour, maybe 100. It depends on how large my batches are (50 at a time, 100 at a time, 200 at a time) before removing one die and readjusting for the next. If I work in batches of 50 (resize, deprime, reprime, powder, bullet & crimp) I run about 60/hour. If I work in batches of 200, I run about 120/hour.

And I have very good quality control, arguably better than a progressive loader.
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Old January 10, 2006, 06:26 PM   #11
jclaude
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Hornady Progressives

I have an old Hornady that they don't make any more called the "Projector".
It looks alots like the "Lock & Load" they offer now. It's been a good machine and I bought it used, so the price was right. I think you will like the Hornady machine if you go that way.
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Old January 10, 2006, 06:28 PM   #12
coyote1911
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Really, That many problems? Well what is a good single stage press? Is it basically the Rock Chucker?
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Old January 10, 2006, 06:41 PM   #13
azredhawk44
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I use a RockChucker.

On retrospect, I don't think the Lee press is bad at all. It's big enough, and actually made of metal (as opposed to their plastic junk).

To be fair, my friend has only done that to maybe 10-20 rounds out of several thousand, but I love to give him grief over it. But, I haven't ever done that to a single round.

All in all, RCBS is great equipment that will give you (and your grandkids)decades of service.

Be sure to get at a minimum, 2 reloading references and always cross verify things like seating depth, bullet weight and powder charges.

Happy loading!
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Old January 10, 2006, 06:48 PM   #14
jclaude
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Single Stage v Progressive

Rockchucker is the one I would recommend if you want a single stage. It is very strong, reliable, and versatile. It is also rather slow, like any other single stage press will be.

I would not hesitate to recommend a progressive if your interested in any kind of appreciable volume.

Reloading on any kind of equipment deserves careful concentration to the task at hand if it to be a useful and productive activity for you.

Learn all you can about reloading and enjoy the rewards. You got questions, ask them. You want different answers, ask different people!
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Old January 10, 2006, 07:25 PM   #15
coyote1911
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Looks like ill be considering a while longer
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Old January 10, 2006, 09:52 PM   #16
BigJakeJ1s
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The RCBS rockchucker certainly has a venerable reputation among single stage presses. However, like most things unchanged, sooner or later other products exceed them in terms of performance, price, or both. Of the single stage presses available today, there are two that I believe are "best choices":

First, the Lee classic cast press is as strong or stronger than any, has superior spent primer handling to the rockchucker, and, due to an adjustable handle, has variable leverage and handle stroke, adjustable for the job at hand. And best of all, it is the lowest price of all the serious single stage presses. Like the rockchucker and several others, it will also take the hornady LNL quick change inserts for standard dies.

The second "best" choice (NOT "second-best"!) is the Forster co-ax press. This unique design is phenominally accurate, and has more available leverage than any other single stage press. The unique design avoids the angular thrusts of the operating linkage of most presses, to avoid flexing and misalignment under the highest loads. The shellholder system automatically adjusts to a variety of cartridges, without having to buy shellholders for each cartridge type. The quick change die mounting system rivals the hornady LNL bushing system in quickness, without requiring extra cost bushings on every die. However, it lies at the other end of the cost spectrum for most single stage presses. However, the die mounting system and/or the over-the-top handle/lever also means that some dies won't work, notably some of the longer dies with micrometer adjustment, perhaps window seating dies, and screw-adjustable, collet type bullet pullers (the hornady cam lock collet puller may still work)

As far as starting out with a progressive, I would urge you to use it one cartridge at a time, until you get familiar with the operations and adjustments. Then you can use it full progressive manner with confidence. It should be noted that a casefeeder is not necessary for a progressive, but is a nice additional capability that leaves placing the bullet on the charged case as the only manual operation besides pulling the handle. The hornady LNL AP progressive press with a casefeeder is only ~$440 from Cabela's, or $300 without casefeeder.

Andy
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Old January 10, 2006, 10:02 PM   #17
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RCBS........RockChucker I've had mine now 20yrs
Reloaded thousands of rounds. From 45acp to 30-06
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Old January 11, 2006, 09:54 AM   #18
robctwo
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Good move on the Hornady LnL. I've had one for almost 2 years. Just past the 12,000 round count. didn't reload much during an 8 month stretch while moving last spring/summer. Progressive is the way to go if you are loading lots of pistol, and if you get a progressive, you will load lots of pistol. I did a bunch of rifle this fall. It worked great on 300 WSM, .308, .243, .270 and .223.
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Old January 11, 2006, 05:26 PM   #19
biglmbass
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If you're set on a turret press I'd give the new Lee Classic turret press a hard look. Just last night I saw the advertisement for it in G&A magazine. If it's built anything like their Classic Cast single stage it'll be hell for stout and a lifetime investment.
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Old January 11, 2006, 06:07 PM   #20
45SuperBob
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I started with a RockCrusher single stage and got a Dillon XL550B progressive about 6 months later. A person should almost start with a single so they can really appreciate the wonder of a progressive, so many rounds in so little time! I still enjoy having a single stage though for stuff like 45-70 that I dont shoot tons of rounds with so I pay more attention to the brass and powder charges.
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Old January 11, 2006, 06:42 PM   #21
hpcc19
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So many opinions, so little time

Coyote, dude;

The turret is great for an introduction to reloading and can be a very small investment if you buy Lee (under $100 with dies) The small investment is less painful if you decide reloading isn't for you.

If you can deal with 150 rounds per hour, a turret is an economical way to go. AND FUN! If you need 500 per hour, just listen to everyone else and spend $600 on a Dillon set up with all the bells.

The Lee cast iron "classics" are hell for stout, both turret and single stage. They aren't anything like the cast aluminum models.

Turrets don't require "fiddling" if you get a separate $15 head for each caliber. Set it and forget it.

Single stages require many die changes ("fiddling")

Progressives are complex, require adjustment and tuning ("fiddling")

The turret head "gives" a little on the downstroke. The movement is consistent and is accounted for when you adjust your die properly. The loaded rounds are consistent for powder drop, bullet seating depth and crimp. I doubt if you are loading "match" ammo.

I'm DEFINITELY not an expert, but I think a lot of the scorn Lee stuff is based on their progressive presses and the love Dillion stuff is based on the satisfaction of owning the best and not having to wring every cent out of scarce dollars.
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Old January 12, 2006, 02:55 PM   #22
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Redding T-7 turret press -- head and shoulders superior to the ones you are looking at.
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Old January 12, 2006, 03:09 PM   #23
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I started from the lowliest hardware possible: The lee loader kit and dippers. A box of ammo an hour was hard work, and I just couldn't do it for more than an hour without a break.
I have been loading for over 10 years now, and I can say I have increased in speed and ease of use with every change, every new piece of equipment.
I went through various hand presses, small presses from various companies, and even a RCBS special-5 (One step under a rock chucker in the RCBS line.). My dillon setup is by far the best/fastest/easiest but my ammo made by that Lee loader kit is no better or worse than the ammo I made yesterday. But now the ammo is as good as the box an hour stuff, and I can make about 9 boxes an hour, give or take. (And it's much easier than running a lee loader for 15 minutes, much less nine hours.)
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Old January 12, 2006, 04:45 PM   #24
45SuperBob
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>>I'm DEFINITELY not an expert, but I
>>think a lot of the scorn Lee stuff is
>>based on their progressive presses
>>and the love Dillion stuff is based on
>>the satisfaction of owning the best
>>and not having to wring every cent out
>>of scarce dollars.

I'm definitely not a reloading snob, and I dont have money to throw around, but I do own a Dillon progressive loader. They are $370 complete, so I dont think they are really for rich people. I heard alot of good things about their progressives and saw that they cost about the same as RCBS, Hornady and others, so I bought one.

As far as Lee is concerned, I like Lees Factory Crimp Dies, those things are fantastic for semiauto pistol rounds.

Single stage, turret, or progressive are all fine to start with. As someone above said, if you start with a progressive, use it as either a single stage for a while or just complete one cartridge at a time so you get a feel for reloading. It takes some repetition to get it all down, and lots of attention.

An important tip I can give you with a progressive is to start with a powder that fills over half the case for the load you want. It is much easier to detect a double charge this way as it will overflow, and I think that is probably the most dangerous mistake one can make other than firing a squib and not realizing it before firing another cartridge.
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Old January 12, 2006, 06:04 PM   #25
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I just bought a Lee Load Pro 1000 last month. So far I like it fairly well. The shells go bang when I want them too. Would have liked to buy a Dillon but being on a budget and in college was a bit of a stretch for me. I am not pleased with the casefeed though and the priming tray could use some work. Other than that it is pretty good.
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