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Old May 14, 2011, 01:22 PM   #1
deisel10
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Hornady Lock N Load Classic Reloading Press Kit

Hello everybody, I'm new to the forum and looking at getting into reloading. I have been doing alot of research and I have seen several people suggesting that the Lee classic reload kit is good for beginners. I have watched some videos and read about this kit and I am thinking that it's not quite hardcore enough for me. I like to really get into things and I don't think the Lee kit is capable of the production im looking for. I have been looking at Hornady's Lock N Load Classic Reloading Press kit. Is this a good kit? Is it easy to learn to use. Any suggestions on other kit that I might be happy with spending a few hours a night reloading? I am the kinda guy who likes to get as much info as possible on my hobbies and plan to do alot more research. I thought this forum would be one more good way to fill my head with knowledge. Thanks for your help.
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Old May 14, 2011, 02:53 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum.

Any progressive press will be faster for production than a single stage or an indexing turret, as you get one round per handle pull instead of per three or four handle pulls. The LNL AP's reputation is good. The only drawback is that, unlike starting on a single-stage press, there is more stuff going on at once in a progressive so it is easier for a beginner to make a mistake or let a bad round get past him. Bottom line is, somewhat longer learning curve. But only somewhat.

I recommend you get that if it's what you want, and simply run one round through it at a time, following each one through every station until what is happening at each station becomes familiar and adjustments to the station become familiar and the handle pressure needed for good primer seating becomes familiar, etc. Do that before you start letting the stations fill and work simultaneously and you will gain better control of the process and know better what to do when one station messes up while rounds are in the others and also how the handle changes when stations mess up. It won't take all that long. By the end of the first afternoon messing with it, you'll have it running at full-tilt-bogey and errors should be pretty rare.

Have fun with it.

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Last edited by Unclenick; May 15, 2011 at 04:41 PM. Reason: typo fix
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Old May 14, 2011, 03:01 PM   #3
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Don't believe everything you read.

UncleNick always gives good advice, but anything you find from casual sources should be verified.

Here's my rule #10
Remember, verify for yourself everything you learn from casual sources. Believe only half of what you see and one quarter of what you hear. That goes double for everything you find on the internet (with the possible exception of the actual web sites of the bullet and powder manufacturers). This advice applies to my message as much as anything else and especially to personal load recipes. Hare-brained reloaders might have dangerous habits and even an honest typographical error could be deadly. I heard about a powder manufacturer's web site that dropped a decimal point once. It was fixed REAL FAST, but mistakes happen. I work in accounting and frequently hit "7" instead of "4" because they are next to each other on the keypad.

Good luck, and welcome to handloading.

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Old May 14, 2011, 04:02 PM   #4
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I have all Lee stuff except for a LNL Auto charge. I have been very satisfied with the presses from LEE. I started with a single stage press and have now moved up to a turret. For the money, I think it is a sound investment. Just know this, once you start reloading, regardless what equipment you end up with, it gets under your skin. I enjoy it almost as much as shooting.
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Old May 14, 2011, 06:51 PM   #5
deisel10
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Thanks for the quick replies. I've been browsing around all day and I think that I'm leaning tward this http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/52509-1.html
This kit is way cheaper and I don't really want to break the bank that way the old lady won't be as sour when I upgrade. I have been hearing alot of good things about Lee and my co worker that is kinda getting me into reloading uses their product. I will be reloading 45 S&W and 30-06 ( more 30-06 than the other) I was just wondering if there are only certain dies that fit this model or will any Lee dies fit? Thanks everybody.
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Old May 14, 2011, 07:21 PM   #6
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Yes, any lee dies will fit that. The dies screw into a quick change bushing so you can change dies quickly without having to mess with resetting them. I started with this kit. It is awesome to learn on. I ended up getting an RCBS 505 powder scale as the Lee powder scale is less than desirable.
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Old May 14, 2011, 07:56 PM   #7
deisel10
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Yeah I was kinda thinking I'd likely get a digital scale, but with the money I'll save getting the Lee kit as apposed to the Hornady kit I will be able to afford one.
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Old May 14, 2011, 08:12 PM   #8
Brian Pfleuger
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I would recommend the Lee Classic turret press if you're going to load handgun ammo. It's not near as fast as a progressive but it's WAY faster than a single stage. I honestly don't see the point in a single stage. The Classic turret will produce ammo that is sub-1/2 MOA and can produce 200+ rounds and hour in auto-indexing mode. I would use the Classic turret up to about 800 rounds a month. After that, I'd go full progressive.
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Old May 14, 2011, 09:42 PM   #9
deisel10
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AH HA peetzakilla I hadn't come across the turret yet (or perhaps didn't yet understand it's handiness until now.) I like where this is going.
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Old May 15, 2011, 02:32 PM   #10
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Also, the kit you saw for $101 at CTD is available for $97.38 at Factory Sales, where I don't think they are likely to clobber you as hard with S&H as CTD does (though it's been awhile since I ordered from either of them, so try totaling from both sources to see for sure). The turret press kit is $104.98 from the same source (scroll down on the link). I think it lacks a shell holder set, but if you buy Lee dies, one will come with them.
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Old May 15, 2011, 04:39 PM   #11
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In the Hornady line , the classic is a single stage press , if youre looking for production I recommend the Hornady LNL ( Lock N Load) AP .As usual I always recommend Hornady products . You just cant beat the quality and customer service . I started with Hornady and have never been sorry! ........LOUD

Last edited by LOUD; May 15, 2011 at 07:37 PM.
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Old May 15, 2011, 04:48 PM   #12
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The LNL basic set is a single stage press and is excellent. I think it is one of the better bargains out there for a "Kit" setup. Rethink the electronic scale. After the SHTF and society collapses, you can be isolated in the Alaska outback with NO electricity and you can use a balance beam and load your ammo. You can't do that with a electric scale. And, unless you drop your balance beam scale, your great grandkids will be using it, and it will be dead on accurate. Your electronic scale will NEVER last that long. Just something to think about.
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Old May 15, 2011, 07:51 PM   #13
deisel10
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Thanks for the suggestion UncleNick. Factory sales is way cheaper.Now I'm trying to figure out which dies to order with it. Pacesetter or Collet? So one is just for sizing the neck and snugging the projectile in to the casing and one crimps it in? I will mostly be learning with 30-06 and then when I get the hang of it I'll move on to 40 S&W. So I guess from what I'm reading it won't matter I would like to crimp my shells if it doesn't matter. I guess it seems safer to me. Maybe not? Thanks for all your help everyone it is much appreciated.

Last edited by deisel10; May 15, 2011 at 08:04 PM. Reason: New info
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Old May 15, 2011, 08:27 PM   #14
Brian Pfleuger
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Are you loading for bolt-action rifles? If so, the collet die and a Redding body die would be excellent choices.

Crimping is a personal choice for most rifles, though many semi-autos would require it. You probably don't need it in a bolt gun but it may improve ignition with some powders. I don't crimp any rifle rounds but I'm no expert by any stretch.
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Old May 16, 2011, 10:00 AM   #15
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I didn't start reloading until I purchased a .44 Redhawk. I pay about $7 to $9 per box of 50. Buying manufactured ammo would cost about $35.00 per box of 50. So I had the same ideas about reloading. I seriously considered a progressive press. But the more I thought about it, I figured that it would be better to start with a basic single stage press.

I bought basically the same set up. It didn't take long to figure out which piece need to be replaced - the Lee safety scale. I know people that use these all the time. I replaced it with a RCBS 502. Much easier to calibrate and use.

Case preparation tools: chamfer tool, Sizing lube, and primer pocket cleaning tools all sit on the shelf

The Lee setup works great!
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Old May 16, 2011, 10:05 AM   #16
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If you're running .30-06 in the Garand, you may want to crimp Hornady 150 grain FMJ bullets and others that have a crimp cannelure. The bearing surface is short so the neck doesn't have as much grip against bumping up the feed ramp, and some amount of setback can occur. With longer match bullets from 168 grains and up, I've never seen a crimp required in that rifle.

In a bolt gun, in some instances (particular bullet/powder/primer combinations), the crimp improves start pressure enough to be beneficial to ignition consistency and accuracy. This is more likely to be observed with spherical propellants than stick powders.
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Old May 16, 2011, 11:31 AM   #17
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I have never used a lee set up, but I did help a friend set up is New Hornady kit. I have to say it is a nice set up for the money. Plus with Hornady stuff you get free bullets, so it offsets the price by quite a bit. If you buy the kit it is 500 bullets then 100 per die set and 100 for a case trimmer. So if you buy two sets of dies you could end up with about 800 bullets for free, that is a pretty decent deal.

I did buy a Lee perfect powder dispenser, at first it was alright but after a while it became a problem, plus I always felt like I was going to break it. I think the Hornady dispenser is 100 times better, and it comes in the kit.

My press is an RCBS(used from my brother in law) and I have no complaints about it, but I do like the quick change bushings that come with the Hornady stuff. I also own a Hornady case trimmer, and it works just like it should, no complaints about it. My powder dispenser is a used RCBS Uniflow I bought on ebay and it works great as well, again no complaints.

After helping my friend set up his stuff I would not hesitate to by a Hornady kit.

A local shop rents out space and Hornady LnL AP presses for 15 bucks an hour I think. So I am going to try one out. I have a bunch of 45 ready to go so I will take that. I am thinking about getting one and this is a great way to try before you buy. If you send me a pm I will let you know what I think of the set up. If its crap its crap, if its good its good. As you can see from above I am not biased, I use what works, no matter what color it is, and I personally believe that more than one color works well.
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Old May 16, 2011, 12:35 PM   #18
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Speed isn't everything

I started with an RCBS Rock Chucker kit. (single stage, well built)

Moved up to a Lee turret. It was faster, but not by a ton.

Progressive would be faster, but there are a lot more chances for errors.

I'm back at single stage now, a Lee Challenger breech lock. Almost no chance for error, because only one thing is happening at a time. Quality checks are easy to mix into the reloading process. For instance, I easily and automatically check for double-charge or no-charge conditions. I don't know how that works on a progressive press.

Also, do you shoot more rifle or handgun? For handgun, it tends to be higher volume, and with carbide dies, the process lends itself more to efficient loading. If you shoot rifle more, I think you'll find a good single stage press to be plenty hardcore enough.

What do you mean by "hardcore enough"? Do you mean fast, or do you mean producing high quality ammo?

I loaded about 190 rounds of 9mm last night. I use four dies, so it took about 2-1/2 to 3 hours on my single stage set-up. I admit, it was getting a little old toward the end.

I think I would start out single stage, but with a brand (like Lee) where you can upgrade later with only the cost of the press. For instance, the Lee dies and Auto Disk Pro Powder Measure will work with their progressive presses. You'll still have the single stage press later for rifle ammo, lower volume stuff, and real precision stuff. For instance, if you want to clean primer pockets and ream the flash holes for precision rifle ammo, it is fine with single stage, but impractical with progressive.

One way to look at it is that the single stage kits are the most economical way to buy the essential accessories. In the Lee Challenger Breech Lock kit, the press only accounts for maybe $30 of the $120 or so that they go for. If you get a Pro 1000 or Loadmaster later, just buy the press, even used, and you've already got the other stuff you need.

I wouldn't recommend progressive as a tip-toe into reloading.
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Old May 16, 2011, 01:28 PM   #19
deisel10
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By hardcore enough I guess I mean volume and quality I know the Lee loader is super precise but I would rather have a press than a hammer. I have been considering going with the single stage to get started because like you said I can produce a large amount of ammo with out alot of errors, and then I'll have everything I need if I decide to upgrade. I will be shooting more rifle then handgun as I want to get really dialed in on my rifle. I can shoot a hand gun pretty well and I carry mostly for protection.
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Old May 16, 2011, 04:30 PM   #20
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smaug
...Moved up to a Lee turret. It was faster, but not by a ton....
I'm back at single stage now...

I loaded about 190 rounds of 9mm last night. I use four dies, so it took about 2-1/2 to 3 hours on my single stage set-up. I admit, it was getting a little old toward the end.
I'm not sure what "faster but not by a lot" means to you, but I can EASILY produce 190 rounds of handgun ammo in ONE hour with my Classic Turret. I mean EASILY. The last time I loaded handgun ammo it was 100 rounds of 357 sig, which requires a 5th step with the Factory Crimp Die. That means I switch turrets after loading and rerun every round with the indexing rod removed. The ENTIRE process took 25 minutes. That's a rate of 240 rounds an hour, with an extra step. 200 rounds an hour is darn near a leisurely pace. Your numbers come out to 76 rounds per hour, best case. That makes my turret press over 3 times faster than your single stage.
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Old May 17, 2011, 04:00 PM   #21
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The Hornady LNL Classic kit is what I started with. It's a decent press. The LNL bushings are a great idea. The scale that comes with the kit is OK for sorting bullets but crappy for measuring powder. The battery saver "feature" turns it off just before you need to use it again. THe powder measure is good but if you plan to load for pistols or small caliber rifle, you really need to get the pistol rotor. The rotor that it comes with won't give consistent results with small charges.

I have since added a progressive press to my collection but I have no plans to get rid of the single stage. I still use it for de-capping and for small batches.
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