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Old February 16, 2012, 09:26 PM   #1
thealex
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Progressive Press opinions

Hey All!
Looking to upgrade to a progressive for 45 acp from a rcbs rockchucker. Price not so much a consideration as quality and longevity. I don't want to ever have to buy another one. I would rather reload rifle single stage anyway.
I own the deluxe kit I bought years ago and just started using again.
I would like to become fully automated as time and funds allow upgrades. What are your thoughts? Thanks in advance

Thank You everyone for the info. With your help I researched my options and it looks like the 650 is best for me. Cheers.. Alex

Last edited by thealex; February 19, 2012 at 10:26 PM.
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Old February 16, 2012, 09:49 PM   #2
GTOne
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Progressives are great to have, if you shoot a lot. I guess it depends how much ammo you need. There are none that do not require fiddling with and regular cleaning to keep running well.

The top brands all make progressives that folks seem to like but they are not cheap if you want to deck them out to fully use their potential.

Dillon, Hornady and RCBS are the favorites, all have great warranties and will take care of anything that goes wrong as far as the press itself, on their dime.
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Old February 16, 2012, 09:52 PM   #3
Will Lee
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Bought a Hornady LNL AP yesterday. Worked with it today, will take some getting use to after all the years I spent on a Rock Chucker. Load some 223 rounds on it and it performed flawlessly.
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Old February 16, 2012, 09:59 PM   #4
Misssissippi Dave
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If you are wanting to get a progressive press to turn out quite a bit of ammo and not have to purchase another one in the future, I suggest the Dillon 650. When getting the 650 you should include the case feeder. You can also add a bullet feeder as well. The powder measure works well with ball type powders. You can use your standard dies if you like. I suggest getting plenty of primer tubes with it. You won't be able to crank out a case per hour, but doing half a case per hour is easily done. With the Dillon 650, if you break something or it just wears out from use, give them a call and they will send you the parts. It is part of their no BS policy.

For less money and a slower operation you can get a Dillon 550b. I can do 2-300 rounds per hour without rushing on mine. The Dillon 1050 will work nicely for real production operations. I can't afford to buy the components to run the 1050 at full potential for a few hours a week. Brian Enos has a lot of information on his web site on the Dillon presses.

http://www.brianenos.com/store/dillon.html
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Old February 16, 2012, 10:02 PM   #5
1Hobie
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I started out many moons ago with a Dillon 550b. It has proven to be a great way to make quality rounds. Since it doesn't auto-index, it can be used as a single stage press if you want. I began by just sizing/priming my cases, then getting used to the powder drop, bullet seating, and finally crimping when called for and learning each process individually. Once I was comfortable with each stage, I started to make whole rounds! Patience, complete focus on the process at hand, and attention to detail is a good approach to successful progressive reloading.
I've loaded thousands of rounds through my Dillon and it's still going strong.
IMHO, it's a good investment to get a progressive press.
Hobie
BTW, I like to load my BR rifle rounds using single stage equipment.
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Old February 16, 2012, 10:10 PM   #6
Adamantium
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Here is an excellent resource.

http://fatwhiteman.com/files/28524-2...Comparison.pdf

I myself ended up buying a used C&H 444 when one popped up on ebay just a city over. I like it very much and while it is not as fast as a regular progressive it is very versatile.

http://www.ch4d.com/?com=catalog&vie...t&alias=044000
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Old February 16, 2012, 10:21 PM   #7
tobnpr
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Hornady LNL AP...
1-1/2 years, over 7000 centerfire rifle rounds...
Never a hiccup.

From what I've heard from others, the half-stroke indexing of the Hornady is a big advantage over some of it's competitors.

Honestly, I looked at the Dillon 550 manual online, and it looks ridiculously complicated compared to the LNL. There are no primer shuttle adjustments on the LNL, their simple spring mechanism to retain the shells in the shellplate is ingenious and makes removing and replacing shells quickly for visual and weight checks a piece of cake. The Dillon schematics look like it was built for the space shuttle...I can't believe how many parts, and how complicated a machine it is compared to the simplicity of the Hornady.

The powder drop on the LNL is based around a simple "piston" that snaps in and out of the drop- they're a few bucks each, buy one for every caliber you load for and no fuss...

Go online and read the manuals for the machines from the various manufacturers, it'll help in your decision process.

Last edited by tobnpr; February 16, 2012 at 10:34 PM.
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Old February 16, 2012, 10:48 PM   #8
Lost Sheep
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I did that. Here's my story:

Quote:
Originally Posted by thealex
Looking to upgrade to a progressive for 45 acp from a rcbs rockchucker. Price not so much a consideration as quality and longevity. I don't want to ever have to buy another one. I would rather reload rifle single stage anyway.
I own the deluxe kit I bought years ago and just started using again.
I would like to become fully automated as time and funds allow upgrades. What are your thoughts? Thanks in advance
I started in 1975 with a RCBS single stage. A couple of years later I upgraded to a pair of Lee Pro-1000 progressive presses (bought used). I never got used to monitoring multiple simultaneous operations and my speed never got up to the full potential of the presses (partly because I did not have a case collator, but mainly because I was stopping to ensure primer feed, powder drop and remembering to place bullets in between checking all that stuff).

I have a Lee Classic Turret now (Lee makes the only turret presses that allow auto-indexing). The Lee Turret is a natural for continuous processing (one case goes from empty to ready-to-shoot before starting the next cartridge, like a progressive). If you don't need more than 4 die stations nor more than 250 rounds per hour (I loaded 100 rounds in 47 minutes my first time out, but I am slow), you might want to consider the Lee Classic Turret. It is much less money than most progressives and caliber swaps are VERY affordable, both in money and in time (under 30 seconds, and that includes putting the old dies away in their box).

If you do want more than 200-250 per hour, the Hornady LnL or any Dillon will do you proud. My Lee Pro-1000s had primer feeding problems that drove me crazy and they only have 3 die stations. The Loadmaster has a better reputation and 5 stations, but I have never used one. Affordable, though.

Good Luck, Thanks for asking our opinion.

Lost Sheep
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Old February 16, 2012, 10:51 PM   #9
rtpzwms
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I'll throw my vote in for the Hornady LNL AP. After 25+ years reloading with a Lee press I changed over to a full progressive. Any progressive can be a single stage by simply only feeding it one round at a time and not continually feeding it.

I looked long and hard at both the Hornady and the Dillon 650 and I just could not justify all of Dillon's additional costs.
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Old February 16, 2012, 11:19 PM   #10
dunerjeff
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I'm another one with the LNL.Its been working hard churning out lots and lots of rounds. I load 9mm , 357Sig , 40S&W, 45acp, 400CorBon, and 40Super on it, so it stays busy.
I'm thinking of getting another progressive in the future, since I also have a RCII, I am thinking of trying the piggyback 4 for it. That would be another option for you. I haven't heard much on them though, so I don't know how good they work or how easy it is to swap back and forth between using it as a single stage or progressive.
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Old February 16, 2012, 11:38 PM   #11
Waldog
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Count me as another LNL fan. Six +/- years and thousands of rounds, it has never given me any trouble.

Go to this website: http://ultimatereloader.com/

you can see different progressive presses in action. It may help with your decision
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Last edited by Waldog; February 16, 2012 at 11:44 PM.
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Old February 17, 2012, 12:16 AM   #12
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Quote:
Looking to upgrade to a progressive for 45 acp from a rcbs rockchucker. Price not so much a consideration
Advice: Go to a good gun shop. As they have presses set up to demo usually. Buy the best and easiest one to operate. If it turns out your a little light in the wallet? {Save up for the one you want.} No need to hurry to buy. As there will always be more available. SSMcG
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Old February 17, 2012, 12:25 AM   #13
MOshooter65202
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I've been using a couple Dillion 550b progressive presses around 20 years now,a very good quality machine with a great warranty behind Dillion Products.
For my bolt rifles I still use my single stage press,old habits die hard
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Old February 17, 2012, 12:35 AM   #14
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I am with Lost Sheep on this one. I own a Lee Classic single stage, Hornady LNL AP with case feeder and the Lee Classic 4 hole Turret and the turret press gets the most use.

I use the single stage for small batches of 500 S&W and 44mag and the turret does the rest.

The Hornady LNL AP is no longer mounted to the bench as checking for primer feeds, case alignment and powder drop slows me down to that of the speed that I can hit with the turret press. It's going up on Ebay soon as I need new gun money!
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Old February 17, 2012, 04:05 AM   #15
hounddawg
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Got a Hornady LnL for pistol ammo. It works when set up properly but there is a learning curve. I still do all my rifle ammo singe stage because powder throws will not give me the precision I want in rifle.
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Old February 17, 2012, 08:13 AM   #16
Kevin Rohrer
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Get a Dillon

If you want control and speed, get a 550B (what I have)

If you want more speed, get a 650

If you want insane speed and cost isn't an object, get a 1050. Ponsness-Warren sells a motor for it that will completely automate reloading (except for putting bullets in case mouths.

They seldom break, but if they do, Dillon will fix or replace it for free--forever.
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Old February 17, 2012, 10:12 AM   #17
MNDroptyne
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I like my single stage, slow and steady!
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Old February 17, 2012, 02:58 PM   #18
Kevin Rohrer
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Quote:
I like my single stage, slow and steady!
There is something to be said for single-stage presses from a safety standpoint.
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Old February 17, 2012, 03:10 PM   #19
BigJimP
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Another vote for the Dillon 650 ...the powder check option to me is a big deal on a new press - and I wouldn't have one without it. To me, the Dillon 650 press - with a case feeder - and the powder check properly installed is a press I'll never have to replace or upgrade. I've loaded well over 100,000 rounds of mainly handgun ammo - in about 6 calibers / and a couple of rifle calibers over the last 10 yrs or so.

Personally I think the powder measure and the primer feed on the Dillon 650 are better than the LNL - primarily because I think they're more consistent on the 650 ....but the LNL isn't bad / its mostly just different. But my buddy that went with the LNL - has had powder and primer issues with his press / that have not occured on my Dillon 650. The Dillon 650 isn't perfect either...or any press for that matter...a nut may come loose, parts can break, etc...on any press - but Dillon's no BS warranty ...have been 100% for the few minor issues I've had ( even though they were all my fault ).

None of the big name companies make bad equipment ...Hornady, PW, RCBS, etc ....they just all do things a little differently. Hornaday offers a powder check option on their LNL as well.

The other factor is the customer support / although I don't use it much - I do like the fact that Dillon's people are there to answer my questions...if I'm having an issue on a caliber or something...they're a good resource.
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Old February 17, 2012, 03:11 PM   #20
hounddawg
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Quote:
I like my single stage, slow and steady!
I agree, I will always have my single stage on my bench for precision reloading. However when the wife gets in the mood to play with pistols with me we will shoot 300 45's, 9's, 357's and 38's in one trip to the range. Pistols are the only reason I bought my LnL.

BTW I agree a powder lockout die or a powder cop is a must have on a progressive. I just use the powder cop at the moment on my LnL but am thinking on getting the RCBS lockout and installing it.
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Old February 17, 2012, 03:30 PM   #21
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Quote:
I like my single stage, slow and steady!
If you want to hand load more than shoot, the single stage is the way to go. If you want to shoot more than hand load, a good progressive (Dillon 550B, 650, etc.) is the way to go.
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Old February 17, 2012, 06:33 PM   #22
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When I was shopping I had pretty much ruled out the Dillon 550 simply because it is only a 4 station press and people on here had sold me on the need for a lock out or powder cop die. So it was down to the LnL or pay twice the money for a 650.

Even with the LnL and it's 5 stations I had to go to the powder through the expander die so I can can use my factory crimp die and still have room for the powder cop die.
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Old February 17, 2012, 09:56 PM   #23
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Speed vs. Safety

I've loaded thousands of rounds through my my 550B, my first loading platform. I take my time, check powder weight,OAL,and chamber gauge every 10-15 rounds when getting started with a new load. After it all settles down then I check everything periodically to make sure nothing has changed. I had a couple of squibs back when I first started but recognized them for what they were, and "pressed" on.

I truly believe there is no fool proof re-loading. It all revolves around being able to control the process, rather than it control you. Total focus, no distractions and the understanding of just how dangerous the hobby you've taken on can be.

So, now that I've expounded at great length, it's time to kick back, partake in some adult beverages since it's my lovely child-bride's and my 33'rd anniversary, and re-load tomorrow.

Hobie...over and out.
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Old February 18, 2012, 12:41 PM   #24
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I am still using a single stage over 2 years later. I load at least 400 rounds of pistol ammo, and 400 rounds of .221 Rem Fireball, and .223 Rem a week. Today I am doing even more. I have a major sinus inflamation, so I am stuck inside for the day. I have plenty to do to get ready for tomorrow.

Oh I still have not purchased a turret, or a progresive becasue I am kinda cheap when it comes down to it. I seem to end up buying more supplies, or another gun.
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Old February 18, 2012, 12:56 PM   #25
Peter M. Eick
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I am coming up on 300,000 rounds loaded on my RCBS Pro2000. It is a good press and works well in the auto-index mode. I would recommend it.
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