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Old April 27, 2007, 03:50 PM   #1
DBotkin
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New press or piggyback?

Hi guys,

I have an ancient Rockchucker Dad bought some time back inthe 70s. We used it to reload many thousands of rounds, and when Dad died I brought it over to my house and have been using it since I got back into shooting. As I start shooting more and more I find myself wishing I could get through reloading a little more quickly. I usually do 100 to 200 at a time and switch between .38 S&W (for the Webley MK IV), .38 SPL, .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum and occasionally .222 and 22-250. I'm also thinking about a .45 auto, which would of course eat ammo at least as quickly as the wheelguns. Probably quicker.

I've seen the Piggyback conversion for the RC mentioned, and see them for sale used on eBay occasionally. Used prices seem close to reasonable. The new ones are almost as much as a new Dillon progressive, and I don't think they'll fit my old Rockchucker anyway.

Opinions seem to differ on the Piggyback, so I'll ask this: Given the choice between adding a Piggyback to the old press, or picking up a new Dillon 550 (about $329 locally, last time I looked), which will I be happier with in the long run? I'm not worried as much about money as I am hassle reduction. I'll pay more for less messing around, especially for changing from .38 to .357 to .44.

I'm kind of leaning toward the Dillon, but am unsure of how much extra I'll be spending on accessories that I wouldn't with the Piggyback (or vice versa). If I do get the Dillon I may just leave the Rockchucker set up for short runs like I do for the Webley - I don't shoot it much.
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Old April 27, 2007, 05:31 PM   #2
cheygriz
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If I were you, I'd get a new machine, and keep the Rock Chucker set up for those little jobs that require a single stage. The best of both worlds.

And the Dillon 550 now has the option of adding a casefeeder if you so desire.
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Old April 27, 2007, 05:44 PM   #3
Number 6
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Get a progressive.

I'd look seriously at a Hornady Lock-N-Load or a Dillon 550.
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Old April 27, 2007, 07:05 PM   #4
benedict1
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Lee Classic Turret--most economical iron/steel auto-indexing turret press.

With the Dillon, before you know it, you'll have $5-600 into it and still won't be done.

Get a Lee Classic Turret Press--the best cast iron and steel auto-indexing press available today. See a great discussion of it here--

http://www.surplusrifle.com/reviews2...ress/index.asp

Buy one here, with everything you need--if you don't need dies, that lowers the price that much more--

http://www.kempfgunshop.com/products.../KempfKit.html

With this machine you'll be able to easily load 200 rounds / hour, a production rate that you probably never could achieve with a single stage press like the Rock Chucker. Good press, but slow. If you shoot 3-400 rounds per week the cheapest way to go, and the most solid press, is the Lee Classic Turret.
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Old April 27, 2007, 07:45 PM   #5
Number 6
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Quote:
With the Dillon, before you know it, you'll have $5-600 into it and still won't be done.
Nonsense. Bought new, it will come with everything it needs to load except dies and components.

I have two 550s and they each came w/everything the machine needed to operate.
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Old April 27, 2007, 07:56 PM   #6
Shane Tuttle
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"Nonsense. Bought new, it will come with everything it needs to load except dies and components."

Actually, I agree with benedict. The press is one thing. But, then you'll want the strong mount, different handle, loading tray, etc...
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Old April 27, 2007, 08:44 PM   #7
benedict1
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Quote:

Quote:
With the Dillon, before you know it, you'll have $5-600 into it and still won't be done.
Nonsense. Bought new, it will come with everything it needs to load except dies and components.

I have two 550s and they each came w/everything the machine needed to operate.
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Okay, so I may be 50 bucks too high. But you'll still be sitting there looking at an expensive press that you have to manually index, with all the potential for trouble that suggests, especially when things go haywire and you're trying to troubleshoot a problem. And they sure do happen with 550s too.

The Classic Turret is auto-indexing and built like a tank! For about 150 bucks the thread starter would be several notches above where he is now, with money to spend on components or even another gun.
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Old April 27, 2007, 08:52 PM   #8
DBotkin
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Quote:
With the Dillon, before you know it, you'll have $5-600 into it and still won't be done.
Heh. I own a Harley, too. Ask anyone who does about the "Harley Tax". I just finished installing big bore jugs & pistons and new cams. I know I have expensive hobbies.

I went to the range today - or what passes for one now, anyway. Indoor 12-lane 25 yard range, $6 per half hour. Went through almost 50 rounds in the Webley before I encountered my very first squib load. Then another 100 or so through the S&W M-28, trying to see if Federal primers fix the misfire issue I've noticed when firing DA (they do). I think it's got a light mainspring. OK, the primers don't FIX the problem, but they mask it well.

Anyways, while I was shooting I got to thinking about how much I really reload. Yeah, a couple hundred here and there, but mostly fairly small batches and not weekly, more like monthly. I figure I'll wait on it for now. If I start shooting substantially more, or pick up an auto, I'll probably get a progressive and keep the Rockchucker mounted for the rifle & Webley ammo. Of course if Santa or my darling bride bring me a new press for Fathers Day, my birthday or Christmas, I'll probably go ahead and use it.
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Old April 27, 2007, 10:27 PM   #9
Number 6
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Quote:
The press is one thing. But, then you'll want the strong mount, different handle, loading tray, etc...
"Want" and "need" are different concepts.

You don't need a strong mount and the standard handle is fine. Neither of mine has the roller handle and only 1 has a strong mount - because the seller bought it that way; not because I thought it was necessary.

"Loading tray?" Get real. That's for single-stage presses.....

The 550 comes with a tray for the cartridges; bullet trays may be handy, but hardly necessary.
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Old April 28, 2007, 07:51 AM   #10
MADISON
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NEW PRESS or Piggyback?

Go with a new press!
I had one of the 1st Piggybacks that RCBS came out with. The darn thing was nothing but a buch of springs and gadgets THAT DIDN'T WORK.

My advice is to get a real progressive press and use the old single station for sizing....
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Old April 28, 2007, 09:02 AM   #11
Shane Tuttle
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"Want" and "need" are different concepts."

Well, Number6, I guess you're right. Can't argue with that.

BUT, as DBotkin stated in a round-a-bout way, as there's a Harley-Tax there's a Dillon Tax. Lots of accessories to buy to make your reloading experience a little easier. And that's the context of what I'm trying to convey. Seems to me that you might be a little bit too legalistic or don't understand that there's very few Harley riders out there that owns a bone stock bike...

""Loading tray?" Get real. That's for single-stage presses....."

Well, I guess this makes me wrong again...I'll be more careful on not crunching the eggshells....
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Old April 28, 2007, 09:43 AM   #12
benedict1
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Quote:
Nonsense. Bought new, it will come with everything it needs to load except dies and components.

I have two 550s and they each came w/everything the machine needed to operate.
I can't let this Dillon cost thing go--here is the latest from brianenos.com Just the basic press, no dies, nothing, is gonna' cost $476--and it goes up from there very, very fast. I stick by my original $5-600 comment, and I think I was too low!

--------------------------------------------------------

Quote:
By simply selecting the caliber, you can now buy everything required to begin reloading
with Dillon's RL 550B Press. Complete Details...

RL 550B press

Click the Press
for pictures

There are four, 550 "EZ-Buy" Packages:

If you've Never Reloaded "NR"

* NR - Top Notch $1054.00
Base Price (default selection) includes:
o RL 550B Press
o Dillon Dies and Case Gage
o RL 550B Machine Options
o Press and Reloading Accessories
o Electronic Scale and Digital Calipers
o "500" Series Tumbler, Media Separator and Case Lube

* NR - Basic $758.35
Base Price (default selection) includes:
o RL 550B Press
o Dillon Dies and Case Gage
o Press and Reloading Accessories
o Balance-beam Scale and Dial Calipers
o "500" Series Tumbler, Media Separator and Case Lube

If you're Currently Reloading "CR"

* CR - Top Notch $645.50
Base Price (default selection) includes:
o RL 550B Press
o Dillon Dies
o RL 550B Machine Options
o Primer Flip Tray and Primer Pickup Tubes
o Press Related Accessories

* CR - Basic $476.75
Base Price (default selection) includes:
o RL 550B Press
o Dillon Dies
o Primer Pickup Tubes
o Press Related Accessories
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Old April 28, 2007, 01:38 PM   #13
Rimrod
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The first question is will your Rockchucker take a Piggyback? Does it have the removeable nut to accept larger dies on top, that is where the PB mounts.
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Old April 28, 2007, 02:11 PM   #14
Abstract
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I don't have much more than $600 in my 650, w/case feeder.
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Old April 28, 2007, 04:20 PM   #15
MADISON
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removeable nut to accept larger dies

YES!
The Rockchucker has the removeable nut.
You can use the HORNADY L-N-L system on it after you remove the "not".
Heat, a hammer and, a good wrench will be required.
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Old April 28, 2007, 05:42 PM   #16
DaveInGA
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For what you pay for the Dillon, you can get a Hornady LnL, get some free bullets and be better off than if you'd of bought either the RCBS Piggyback or a Dillon 550. Here's a comparison of the LnL against a 650:

http://www.comrace.ca/cmfiles/dillon...Comparison.pdf

I didn't write this, but found it to be a very fair and objective evaluation.

If you don't want to spend the kind of money the 550 or Hornady LnL costs, I'd look real hard at the Lee Classic Turret presses. BTW, I've owned a 550 and got rid of it for the Hornady LnL and I also own the Lee Classic Turret. The Hornady smoked my 550 and the Lee is what I load my low to medium volume milsurp ammo on because of the inexpensive caliber changes, plus I keep my LnL free for high volume cartridges.

Regards,

Dave
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Old April 28, 2007, 08:14 PM   #17
Number 6
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I got a NEVER-USED 550 for fifty cents on the dollar from a guy who:

1. Got married; AND

2. Took up motorcycles

right after buying the press. His loss; my gain.

Had I NOT been so fortunate, I'd almost certainly have purchased a new Hornady LNL. True progessive for the same or less money; easier to change powder settings and 1,000 free bullets - what's not to like?
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Old April 28, 2007, 11:47 PM   #18
klw
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Piggybacks

There have been four versions of the Piggyback. The first two were horrible. Starting with the Piggyback III, however, the problems went away. These use the APS strips which are excellent. I own two. EXCELLENT machines.
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Old April 29, 2007, 01:59 PM   #19
Abstract
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When I bought my 650, Hornady had not yet started selling their Dillon knock-off casefeeder for more money than the Dillon case feeder from which the knock-off was knocked-off.
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