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Old January 20, 2007, 08:27 AM   #1
Kreyzhorse
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Press Recommendations

Hi - I've been researching reloading and would like to get into it. However, I don't know anyone who reloads and I am totally confused on presses. I think I'll like reloading and will stick with it but you never know until you get into it. Can anyone recommend a good starter press? I know prices vary and I'm sure they all work, but I don't want to buy equipment that will turn me away from reloading as soon as I start.

Thanks.
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Old January 20, 2007, 08:47 AM   #2
hodaka
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The first press I bought, some 25 years ago, was a Lee Challenger. I think it cost about $25 or so and I still use it. I have added a couple more, but the cheap Lee press is still going.
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Old January 20, 2007, 09:33 AM   #3
jsflagstad
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+1 on the Lee products

I took a lot of heat early on for using the Lee products, but they have never let me down. The others make good products as well, but IMHO they are not worth the extra coin.

Figure out what your budget is if you have one and pick one of the available kits. It is a great hobby and is good clean fun.

The Lee challenger press is great, the classic cast press is also a good choice and the turret and classic turret presses are some of the best on the market. If you are just starting out I wouldn't reccommend a progressive setup at this point, but you will want one in the future depending on your shooting habits.

Last edited by jsflagstad; January 20, 2007 at 10:37 PM.
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Old January 20, 2007, 12:22 PM   #4
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Kreyzhorse, It would be a big help to know what calibers you are planning to reload and how much you will shoot per week or month. If you are going to load rifle ammo and shoot low quantities then a good single stage would probably be ideal. If you are going to load pistol then you would get bored with a single stage very fast and I would suggest a turret. I can load 1000 rounds a week on my Lee Classic Turret in about 5 hours. Thats just a couple hours a night 2 or 3 nights a week. That is easy for me because I have a lot of time to reload. If you need more ammo than that then you would need to go with a progressive. A progressive will load 400 rounds an hour plus. I would suggest not starting with a progressive. I started with a Lee Turret and it was very easy to setup and use for a beginner. I shoot a lot of IDPA, GSSF, bullseye and just fun days at the range. The Lee Classic Turret will keep up with my ammo needs easy. The first thing I would do if I was you would be to get a good reloading book and read. The ABC's of reloading is a great book and can be ordered at any book store or found online. The Lee Classic Turret is a great deal at Cabela's right now. Cabela's is the only place I have seen it in a kit and at $150 that is a great deal. Sorry this post is so long. I hope this helps.
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Old January 20, 2007, 12:30 PM   #5
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Lee kits are always good for starting out. You'll want a good manual like "Modern Reloading" as well.
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Old January 20, 2007, 12:58 PM   #6
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If you have never reloaded before I strongly suggest you start with a single stage press. Get yourself a RCBS Rockchucker, best single stage press on the market IMHO and if you don't like reloading you will always get your money back. The Rockchucker will last you your lifetime. Once you get the hang of it and if you shoot pistol you are going to want a Progressive at some point. Dillon is the standard that is used as far as progressive presses are concerned but Hornady and RCBS make good equipment as well. I sold my Rockchuker years ago and to this day wish I hadn't. I have a 550 Dillon that is an excellent press but still would be nice to have my old Rockchucker on my bench as well.

Take Care

Bob
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Old January 20, 2007, 01:49 PM   #7
rwilson452
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For just a single stage press I would you suggest you look at the Lee Classic Cast. it is a tough one and will handle up to .50BMG
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Old January 20, 2007, 01:52 PM   #8
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Kreyzhorse please keep in mind, reloading is a very simple chore. You follow a few steps and the product is a loaded round. A press is just another tool.

Get a manual or two and do some reading. ABC's of Reloading is a good one as is the book Lee has. I learned without any person to help. I used the Lyman 45th Edition Handbook as teacher. I started with a turret press. I suggest the first time loader get a 550 Dillon. You can use it as a single stage press till you learn and then as a hand indexed machine once you're confortable.

If I can help just holler lah at suddenlink dot net........Creeker
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Old January 20, 2007, 02:49 PM   #9
benedict1
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Lee Classic Cast Turret Press

I would recommend the Lee Classic Turret press--all steel and cast iron construction. You would get an auto-indexing press which can be operated single stage while you're learning. You will save lots of $$ going in this direction and the Lee Classic Turret press will outlast all of us, IMHO.
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Old January 20, 2007, 03:05 PM   #10
grizz007
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then the Forester Bonanza single stage press is for you. It won't turn you away and it is user friendly to say the least. Auto shell holder in place - adjustable for various calibers. Has a drop tube for depriming. Dbl. rams-for strength. Has a unique change out style for dies-very handy. Does have a primer station on top of the unit and it works.

It is a bit spendy but if you are truly serious about reloading then I will suggest this for not only just for starters but can use for wildcatting as well down the road. A very good single stage press-I own one.
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Old January 20, 2007, 03:45 PM   #11
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You don't need an expensive press.A Lee challenger press will work great and do everything you need it to.If you have extra money to start I would get the classic(I would love to get one).My challenger press and entire Lee reloading kit is still with me after 1000's of loads and many years of abuse.My Lee setup/dies produces M.O.A. accuracy(or better) to 600 yards in my ar15, and also produced great accuracy in my 16" factory barreled encore(pistol setup) back in the day(both using factory Fl/and collet die).Ammo has always been 100% reliable(as long as I didn't screw something up).Spending alot of money on stuff will not get you anywere.It is YOU doing your homework that will make the difference.I also highly recommend the Lee and Lyman books for reloading.If i picked one it would be the LEE book for all the excellent data(get the 2nd edition).
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Old January 20, 2007, 04:21 PM   #12
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So would a Lee Classic Turret Press be suitable for someone who wants to reload 5.56 and .45 ACP only?
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Old January 20, 2007, 07:14 PM   #13
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Get a Redding "Boss," RCBS "Rockchucker," or Lyman "Crusher" and be done with it. Quality doesn't cost, it pays!
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Old January 20, 2007, 07:28 PM   #14
Kreyzhorse
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Thanks for all the replies so far. My plan is to reload mainly rifle rounds including 308, 30-06, 7mm Rem Mag, 45-70 and 375 H&H. The 45-70 and 375 H&H will be the main cailbers out of the four. I won't shoot more than 40 total rounds a month on average so a single stage should cover me fine. I shoot a lot of handguns but reloading for them isn't a major concern.
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Old January 20, 2007, 07:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
So would a Lee Classic Turret Press be suitable for someone who wants to reload 5.56 and .45 ACP only?
Yes the Lee Classic Turret would be an excellent press for those calibers.
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Old January 20, 2007, 09:11 PM   #16
Shoney
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I started loading in 1960 on a Pacific single stage press (Pacific is the forerunner of Hornady). I have used the Pacific to load over 25 different rifle and pistol cartridges, and still use it on most of my rifle cartridges today. I didn't get a progressive until I started serious pistol shooting in the early 1990’s. I picked up a used 550 (which is now dedicated to one cartridge), but after discovering the Hornady LNL Auto, all my 32ACP, 9mm Luger, 9mm Makarov, 40S&W, 45ACP. 223, and 308 are loaded on the Hornady which is hands down superior to Dillon and at about 1/2 the cost considering the different quick conversions into the price.

Which press you buy should be determined by the number of rounds you burn per day, week, month, year.. I have loaded on several of my friends Lee equipment and find it to be of descent quality. Buying complete setups of used equipment can save you a ton of money.

Give us a better Idea of what you are going to reload, and the quantities you plan to shoot. The forum can give you better information based on your needs. A word of warning, once you start loading, you will most likely increase your shooting by quite a bit.
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Old January 20, 2007, 09:51 PM   #17
HiltonFarmer
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Quote:
I started with a Lee Turret and it was very easy to setup and use for a beginner
I'm with Kreyzhorse. I'm new as well and as all get out. I read the forums, listen to my local gun shop and all I get is conflicting information.

The gun shop tells me that Lees are prone to losing their accuracy. People break the handles on Lyman - bottom line is - I think they just want to sell me what they have and that appears to be Dillon products.

Like I said, I'm new and not sure if reloading is for me. I do know that shooting competitively will break my bank account if I have to keep buying factory loads!

After all is said and done, I think I'll go with the Lee Classic turret press and all the accessories I can get with the kit. If I can "roll my own" in a couple of hours and have it take care of my range and comp needs on a weekly basis, then I'm in!

My wallet did the talkin for me in this case. If I find I need a progressive, then maybe I'll look at he higher end products like Dillon and RCBS and and and ... But for now, I need to learn this process, understand the nuances involved, and have some fun. I've read all I can read - time to take action!

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Old January 20, 2007, 10:39 PM   #18
CrustyFN
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HiltonFarmer, if you are going to buy the Lee turret make sure you buy the Classic turret. It is cast iron and steel. it is a very sturdy press and will last a life time. Cabela's has it in a kit now and it is a very good deal. I haven't heard of anybody not being happy with the classic turret. I have one and wouldn't trade it.
Rusty

http://cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templa...847&hasJS=true
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Old January 20, 2007, 10:50 PM   #19
Texas_XD
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CrustyFN,

Just wanting to verify with someone, I'm also looking at presses to start on also and have it narrowed down to Lee Anniversary Kit or the Classic Turret for loading 30-06 and 7mm-08. Turret is in there so if I stick with it I can cross over and start on .40 S&W. But I have heard a few complain on other forums that the turret head works itself somewhat loose so one gets slight variations in things like seating depth or OAL. Has this happened to you or anyone else? I'm not looking for the perfect load.. yet, but would like the safest and I'd hate for one or 3 to slip out over the reccommended OAL or any other nasty lil' finger removing ones.
And before anyone mentions it, yes I know, other brands of loading systems may be better, but I have a $400 TOTAL budget t get started with, this includes dies and components. I made the boss lady a deal and I have to stick to it.. least till I can figure out how to weasle out of it. Sorry if that sounds rude'ish but believe me, I've heard alot about what equipment is best last week or so.
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Old January 20, 2007, 11:15 PM   #20
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I owned the standard turret for years. it's the same design and uses the same turret. I never had that problem unless I didn't tighten down the set screw that holds the turret in place. There is a little give in the movment but it is the same every time. Loading 30-06 with it when I bothered to match my bullets the OAL would be less than .0005 using a sinclair bullet comparison device. Not an issue with me. Usually I didn't bother with my 30-06 but I did get that picky with my 22-250. As the 30-06 is a bit bigger and harder to seat I used that as an example. Bottom line, the give in the turret is consistant so it doesn't matter. It will give you consistant results. I did see one turret that had been severely worn. I loaded 1000's of .45 on one of mine and it still had the original tool marks on it. If you look long enough and hard enough you will see bad reports on every press out there. Yes even Dillon. ( Shhh don't tell the blue bress guys they won't believe you)
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Old January 21, 2007, 01:00 AM   #21
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I recently bought the Lee Anniversary Kit and so far I've been pleased.
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Old January 21, 2007, 12:42 PM   #22
CrustyFN
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Texas_XD, sorry I can't help you on the rifle. Hopefully I will be reloading 223 soon. I load only 9mm right now and have had zero variation in OAL. I am using the Lee four die set with the FCD. It takes very little effort to seat the bullet and very little with the FCD. I have heard of people having a little variation when trying to seat and crimp in the same die. My OAL for 9mm is 1.135, I check around 15% with my caliper while I'm loading and they have always been 1.135. I have read a lot of post here and on other forums about loading rifle on the lee Classic Turret and everybody claims to have great success. I can tell you that once you start loading pistol ammo you will not be happy with a single stage compared to a turret. I hope this helps.
Rusty

Edit: You will also hear a lot of bad things about Lee equipment from people that have never used it because in their mind it doesn't cost enough to be any good. Thats OK, I don't mind if others want to pay 2 or 3 times more for something that is of equal or less quality.
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Old January 21, 2007, 01:00 PM   #23
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If it cost more,It must be better .As far as a press losing its accuracy???thats just STUPID.It is the dies that could be right for your application,or wrong for your application.The press is just a device to give you leverage.Die adjustment is what is critical to making a difference,Not the press.If a die is built relying on a presses accuracy of travel or play,,It is a **** poor design IMO.The shell holder goes up with the brass and the shellholder touches the die.Were is there a possible accuracy issue there(+ or -)??You could use a completely worn out press and still reload good ammo.BTW my challenger is still tight after ALL these years and reloads.

Last edited by Buckythebrewer; January 21, 2007 at 01:55 PM.
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Old January 21, 2007, 04:25 PM   #24
HiltonFarmer
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Not my thread but got a lot of great opinions. Seems like you were all answering my questions.

I see that a Natchez flyer has a Deluxe kit that includes a 4 hole turret with auto indexing. Is this a cast iron press Crusty?

Great place for info. Thanks to all

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Last edited by HiltonFarmer; January 21, 2007 at 04:46 PM. Reason: more info
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Old January 21, 2007, 06:38 PM   #25
BloodyBucket03
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Also new to reloading!

I am new to reloading and I started this past November. I bought 2 Presses. The Lee Classic turret to do pistol and the Lee Classic Cast press to rifle cartridges and decapping work. The best investment I have ever made! I feel Lee makes an awesome product.
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