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Old December 10, 2006, 07:23 PM   #1
shooter chef
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Help Buying progressive press

Hey all.. I have a Lee 4 Hole turret press and want to upgrade to a progressive.
After looking at the big 4, I have narrowed down to Hornady Lock N Load, or Lee Loadmaster. Both have good and bad points, just need some help from users of them in choosing which one. Thanks a lot.
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Old December 10, 2006, 07:31 PM   #2
benedict1
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You can't go wrong with either. I have the Load Master and love it. I load three calibers on it, it is easy to change the turret/die/primer configuration and the case feeder is a great asset. You just have to make sure you set it up properly--follow the directions in the videos on the Lee website. The most critical setting is the depth of primer seating but just follow the video. The dies must be set up properly first, then the primer seating depth.

I had mine up and running within 90 minutes of opening the box.

I hear good things about the Hornady press too. It will be more expensive than the Load Master, especially as you add other calibers. I don't know about a case feeder for it. Those who have them seem to like them very much.

Any progressive will take some attention when operating until you get the hang of it. They all have their quirks. Since I had already had a great experience with the Lee Classic Turret Press I went with Lee. I am not disappointed at all. It will grind out more rounds in an hour than I can shoot in a week.
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Old December 10, 2006, 07:34 PM   #3
shooter chef
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how long have you had the loadmaster? I am interested in that one more for the price and case feeder, but have heard some bad stories about their dependability and finickiness...
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Old December 10, 2006, 08:37 PM   #4
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I have had my LoadMaster for around 10 years. Yes, they do require you to set it up exactly by the manual. timeing is everything. Once you do that they run well. I haven't had to tweek mine since I got it running except for tweeking the tension on the shell plate when I change it. Changeing turrets I don't touch the dies but do tune the powder measure just to be sure.
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Old December 10, 2006, 08:38 PM   #5
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Why not Dillion?....................ck
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Old December 10, 2006, 08:42 PM   #6
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Dillon?

I dodn't respond with Dillon Because he ask about a LoadMaster. Yes, Dillon is a good press with a great warrentee. Heck really blow a wad and get a Dillon 1050 with all the trimmings
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Old December 10, 2006, 08:43 PM   #7
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dillon, with the shell plates and plates, as i load for 5 different calibers is too much for my budget, especially considering the case loader is an addtl 240.00.... if I had more free change I would consider it....
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Old December 10, 2006, 08:56 PM   #8
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Ok, just wanted to make sure that you considered Dillion. I have the 650 with the brass loader, and $240 is a tad much if you ask me, but it's worth if if loading a bunch. Built strong and should last forever, however a 5 cent spring put me out of business until it was replaced. It would seem after all the years that these things have been out, that the engineers could find solutions to the little minor disruptions

I have mine set-up for 4 calibers and usually do about 1,000 of each and move to the next. I'm very happy with mine, especially with a spare spring in house. .....................ck
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Old December 10, 2006, 09:10 PM   #9
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shooter chef

I have been reloading for 40 years and am cetified in reloading. Want my opinion? Go any Dillon.
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Old December 10, 2006, 09:25 PM   #10
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thanks guys

Really... if I could go with a dillon and all the add ons I need.. I would, I have researched them and I just cant justify spending that much money on a press and attachments for 5 calibers with a Dillon, thats really why I am only considering the hornady and lee,,, leaning more towards the lee
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Old December 10, 2006, 09:38 PM   #11
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Load Master

I have had my Load Master for over 3 months now--I have loaded about 4000 rounds of 45 ACP, 38 Special and 9mm, in total. I would not hesitate to buy the Load Master again.

For the price, there is no better option. For me the Dillons were way too high in price. I actually tried a SDB and had all kinds of problems and sent it back. I must have gotten a lemon; all companies put one out once in awhile. But just for two calibers, with strong mount and lots of bells and whistles I had spent $770 and still didn't have the 45 ACP dies and extra turret, etc. No case feeder of course.

For less than $250 I got one caliber with all dies, the powder measure and the primer system; the case feeder and the collator. For another $125 or so later on I got two more sets of dies; two turret heads; small primer attachment; and the small case feeder. The thing is built like a truck; the parts that might break or jam are nylon so if they go, they're not going to take something really substantial with them. Lee Customer Service is very responsive, just call them if you need help.

People gripe about setting it up, about the safety chain on the powder measure, about plastic this and that. From experience I know that if you follow the directions, you will have zero problems. It is really very simple to install and to change calibers. It operates smoothly. Any miscues that have occurred have been totally my own thoughtlessness. Not the fault of the press.

Many prefer Dillon; many others prefer the Load Master. Your choice.
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Old December 10, 2006, 09:54 PM   #12
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Good Deal

Thanks for the info, Benedict. I have read alot of info and reviews on the Lee, some people love them, and some people hate them. I have come to believe that the people who take care to set up the loaders correctly first, and adjust correctly seem to have the best comments, while those with the worst comments seem to not have the patience or knowledge to setup a press correctly. The lee turret I have has stopped indexing correctlt, and Lee is sending me a replacement part... but guess who's fault that was... yep mine... I turned the indexer and the plastic bushing, rather than the indexer and the metal turret to make adjustments....
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Old December 10, 2006, 09:58 PM   #13
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A good loader is a lifetme investment. Save your money for a while and get a Dillon. Even if you have to wait a year or two. You'll never regret it! and you don't need to get everythng at once. Get the machine. Later, add the case feeder. Later add the other calibers. "Remember, Grasshopper, life is a journey, not a destination."

Every time I've bought the "economy" version of anything, I've regretted it.
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Old December 10, 2006, 10:04 PM   #14
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I agree with that, cheygriz, about the economy, but when you have what you have to work with, well, thats where I am at.... I shoot quite a bit, and am looking for people for comments on a Hornady or Lee. I appreciate the Dillon fan base, but I do not want to wait for the extra $$$$ to show up some time, and in the meanwhile spend 3 afternoons loading on the turret press I have (I have a more than full time job) and losing time for other things, like my family.
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Old December 11, 2006, 10:38 AM   #15
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LoadMaster

If you get the LoadMaster I would suggest you get the Lee FCD for the pistol loads you will be doing. Bear in maind Lee makes both the roll crimp and taper crimp for many of the pistol chamberings. Be sure to get the one you want. For example get the Roll crimp die for .38/357. For the pistol stuff I have a separate powder measure for each setup. I also use the adjustable charge bar on them. The most difficult job is changing between large and small primers. When the Primer feeder is full it does have a tendancy to bridge. so I watch it. if it happens I just give it flick with my finger and all is well. If you do get the LoadMaster and have any questions feel free to PM me.
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Old December 11, 2006, 10:47 AM   #16
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Lee gives a lifetime warranty so why spend the extra cash IMO dillon prices are outrageous
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Old December 11, 2006, 10:59 AM   #17
shooter chef
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Thanks

Thanks for the info, guys. I am going to go with the Lee as I already own all the dies for what I need in the Lee sets from the turret. rwilson, I would like to get tips from you when it comes in, if thats ok.
I want to get it setup correctly first so my problems are limited. I load for 9mm, 38sp, 357, 40, and 45acp. I hope it works well, and will not regret the purchase.
Seems Lees work well if they are setup correctly the first time.
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Old December 11, 2006, 12:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
I am going to go with the Lee as I already own all the dies for what I need in the Lee sets from the turret.
With few exceptions, dies are standardized and will fit other brand presses. For example, your Lee dies will fit RCBS, Dillon, Lee, and Hornady progressives.
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Old December 11, 2006, 02:09 PM   #19
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Chef,

I am with you on this one. I think I am going to go with the loadmaster as well. Seems like a good value to me.

JSF
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Old December 11, 2006, 04:21 PM   #20
shooter chef
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Yes, Don ..that is correct they pretty much fit each other, but I have read that the Lee dies and the honady lockNload don't always play nice together, I guess they have to be screwed in very deep, and the 9mm does not work well at all. That was pretty much another consideration for getting the Lee. I have done a lot of reading, and seems like the Hornady also needs a bit of tinkering to get the job done. I hope I made the right decision, it will go back if not. I am pretyy mechanically inclined, and I think that is the difference between people who like them and those that do not. For the price, I will tinker a bit.
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Old December 11, 2006, 05:14 PM   #21
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Flame suit on.
I have the Dillon 550 and the Hornady LNL Auto. I used to be a member of the blue buffoon battalion, who, because of blind loyalty, dishonestly spew the “lots of BS” blue bullroar. The first time I saw the Hornady quick change system, my product loyalty was shaken, and I eventually got one. Dillon’s exorbitant costs are a turn off.

I loaded a few rounds on friends Lee presses. I was surprised to find that I actually liked the Loadmaster. The auto bullet feeder is interesting, but apparently requires periodic tinkering. The case feeder is basic but does work, again with periodic tinkering. I do not like powder measure.

Although the Loadmaster is a good bang for the buck, except for maybe the 2 year guarantee???, I still prefer the LNL’s powder measure system, quick change system, powder cop, and will soon get the powder through expander die.
For good prices on Lee
http://www.fmreloading.com/
for Hornady, check for availability and price w/shipping:
http://www.grafs.com/
http://www.wideners.com/
http://www.midwayusa.com/
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Old December 11, 2006, 08:14 PM   #22
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I think I paid maybe a hundred bucks or so more for my 550B thirty+ years ago. Let's see, that's about three bucks a year. Hundreds of thousands of rounds now, with lots of 500-1000 round runs with no "tweaking" and although I haven't had to verify this lately, Dillon will replace anything that breaks, forever. What's to think about?
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Old December 11, 2006, 08:29 PM   #23
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Don't get the RCBS Ammomaster. I bought one and it doesn't work all that well:

Too many little setscrews that loosen up and cause problems.
Primer feed works sometimes, so you'll load a shell with no primer and spill powder through the flash hole.
Powder measure operating rod comes loose, meaning you'll load shells with no powder.
Shell plates are pricey.
Spring thingies (that hold the shell in the shell plate as it rotates) come loose.

Good points:

Paint color is RCBS green.

I was surprised, since their Rockchucker press was solid. For the money, I'd get a Lee or Hornady.
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Old December 11, 2006, 08:30 PM   #24
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If pistol loading is your main concern, The 650 is the way to go. If you are primarly loading for rifle Id go with an rcbs or 550. I am not sure why more people dont concider the rcbs. Its better than most and stronger than all under $1000.
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Old December 12, 2006, 08:23 AM   #25
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OK, I am ready to be assaulted by the "blue army" but here goes anyway.
First, realize that there is a cost/benefit ratio to just about everything and it may not be practical for everyone to go "blue"
I analyzed the choices and went with Hornady L-N-L and have been extremely satisfied. seriously considered the Dillon but it was as much an economic choice as it was the ease of swapping out calibers.
I only load maybe 2000 pistol rounds yearly, so I wanted a press faster than my venerable RockChucker(which I still use for small batches and custom -read test loadings) so the mega production capacity of the Dillon was not really needed at the really high extra cost.
I can swap out from caliber to caliber in about 10 minutes-leisurely - and the only cost is a shell plate that I think is around 20 bucks at Midway and oftentimes the same shellplate is good for a couple of the calibers I reload.
The expander thru powder drop is great, saves an opening for a powder checker die.
All my dies, maily RCBS but a couple of Redding and Lee dies also work nicely, too.
I am absolutely sure the Dillon is a top dog in progressive set ups but for the money and what MY needs were, I am very happy with the Lock N load.
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