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Old June 1, 2012, 03:34 PM   #26
WyrTwister
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Wifey gave me a LM for Fathers Day , last year .

I did a lot of research before I took the plunge .

It has not been without problems .

You HAVE to follow instructions , pay attention ( a lot of things going on at the same time ) , Carefully sort the brass ( more on some calibers than other ) , and if something does not feel or sound right , STOP RIGHT THEN AND THERE . Find out what is not right .

The priming system has been greatly improved , since I received mine . Lee has upgraded mine freed .

All and all , I have loaded in excess of 5,000 rounds of ammo .

I keep running out of components . :-)

Last word is I am glad to have the LM .

I would have never considered one of the more expensive progressives .

But do not buy one if you have no patience or no mechanical aptitude .

God bless
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Old June 1, 2012, 04:26 PM   #27
Vance
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dab102999
I am in no way passing judgement but the statement that "I don't have the paitents" makes me worry that you will become to confident to fast...There is alot to be said about single stages for sure...

And a question to the other reloaders...now as far as a press goes with his last statement that he would move into rifle, .223, 30-06 .303 will a dillon progressive handel that?
The Dillon Square Deal B will not do rifle calibers. The 550B, XL650 and the 1050 will do rifle calibers.
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Old June 2, 2012, 12:43 AM   #28
osageid
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I don't know why people always act like you must go single stage before progressive , I guess a right of passage?? I went straight to dillon xl650. NO problems thus far, I do however pay close attention, as with anything it is about detail. So many choices and so much resources , read all you can! Good luck shopping! That is the fun part!


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Old June 2, 2012, 06:02 AM   #29
Gerry
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I don't know why people always act like you must go single stage before progressive , I guess a right of passage?
I tend to agree, and if I were to do it all over again I'd probably have taken the plunge and started with my current set up of Dillon XL 650 with case feeder. I started instead with the 4-hole Lee Classic Turret, and reloading 9mm for IPSC use for my wife and I almost became a second occupation for me rather than an enjoyable hobby. 800 or more rounds per week used to take a good 10 hour chunk out of my week minimum. With the Dillon, it's less than an hour and it really isn't any more complicated than a turret or single stage because even though multiple things happen at the same time, you still break it down to single tasks during setup and trouble shooting.

I think the thing about starting with single stage because progressive was too "complicated" or "unsafe" might have had more merit before Youtube and the internet. Today there are hundreds of free videos that demonstrate the setup, operation, modification, and troubleshooting of progressive presses. And if you really run into trouble, one can always post here for help. The easy access to free information certainly makes getting into reloading easier today than it used to be.

I don't regret my Lee purchase since it's mounted next to my Dillon and still sees a lot of use for reloading calibers I don't shoot much and as a push through bullet resizer. It's just that I wished I didn't wast so many hours of my life loading 10's of thousands of 9mm rounds with it.
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Old June 2, 2012, 06:34 AM   #30
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fast and accurate

There are numerous accuracy-competing folks (Bullseye, Palma) making their competition ammo on their XL650s......
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Old June 2, 2012, 06:44 AM   #31
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I am very close to taking the plunge. I just dont have the patience for a single stage or turret so I wan to go straight to the progresive. I like the LEE Load-Master for price
If you don't have patience a Lee is a bad choice, even if you know what you are doing.
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Old June 2, 2012, 01:16 PM   #32
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Just for the record like any business starting out not it is not cheap but if you have the brass on hand in the long run yes you will save money. If you shoot allot and have lots of calibers then yes IMO progressive is the way to go. It saves time and money if you have the shells you basically knock of almost half the regular price. Even if you bought everything but had the brass you still save money. If do not have the brass and you have to buy it all the price is the same just with the addition of your time to work it. once you have the brass the price is almost cut in half per round. I saved over 1000 this yr just using what I had. and I invested maybe 300.00. I reload because its cheaper and I enjoy it. Time consuming at times yes but well worth it. Go Progressive or go home

happy shopping
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Old June 2, 2012, 03:16 PM   #33
Lost Sheep
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Originally Posted by TNT
Go Progressive or go home
A bit hyperbolic, don't you think?

I went progressive AND I went home....to a turret.

I don't shoot enough of any single caliber to justify a progressive, as I rarely do more than a couple hundred rounds on one caliber at a sitting. But I do shoot and load a half-dozen calibers. So, the easy and economical switch between calibers allowed by a turret appeals to me a lot more than the greater production rate of a progressive.

My turret suits me perfectly. Progressive presses have their places and single stage presses have their places. Please do not invalidate handloaders not identical to yourself.

Thanks

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Old June 2, 2012, 04:22 PM   #34
TNT
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no offense lost sheep just thought it was a catchy line hope no one took offense to it, it was never intended for that I just got caught up in the moment
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Old June 2, 2012, 09:00 PM   #35
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I bought a used Hornady press and have done some servicing and maintenance on it when I first got it, but with the help of Hornady customer service it was up and making ammo in no time.

It is a Projector. I have no experience with a Dillon any thing so I can't say to their quality, but my used Hornady is as solid as a rock.
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Old June 2, 2012, 10:31 PM   #36
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I just dont have the patience for a single stage or turret so I wan to go straight to the progresive.
To me, this is a re flag for someone who has never reloaded and wants to jump in the deep end by getting a progressive

Without the patience it takes to set up, tweak, fine tune, and trouble shoot when something goes awry or watch all the variables to prevent issues, maybe you might want to rethink this a little bit
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Old June 2, 2012, 10:46 PM   #37
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If you don't have the patience for single stage, buy your ammo. A progressive press requires a great deal of patience to set it up. As been stated above, attention to every detail is essential and if you don't pay attention to those, you will have a problem possibly catastrophic in nature.
It's a great hobby but one that takes extra care and attention to detail to make it safe.

Regards,

Hobie

BTW, oneounceload said it well.
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Old June 3, 2012, 08:36 AM   #38
jmorris
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I own over a dozen presses 9 are progressives several turret presses and yes single stage as well. As you would likely guess the progressive get used far more than the others. So your ok to get a progressive if you don't have the patience for a single stage. I can load 100 rounds in under 3 min, what is the fastest time per hundred you have heard on a single stage?
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Old June 3, 2012, 09:51 AM   #39
CrustyFN
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I own over a dozen presses 9 are progressives several turret presses and yes single stage as well. As you would likely guess the progressive get used far more than the others. So your ok to get a progressive if you don't have the patience for a single stage. I can load 100 rounds in under 3 min, what is the fastest time per hundred you have heard on a single stage?
Very true but I wouldn't recommend a progressive to somebody that has never reloaded so he can try to load 100 rounds in under 3 minutes just because he has no patience. Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.
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Old June 3, 2012, 11:13 AM   #40
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Very true but I wouldn't recommend a progressive to somebody that has never reloaded so he can try to load 100 rounds in under 3 minutes just because he has no patience. Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.
That may be true for someone who isnt used to making highly complex parts and assemblies to exacting tolerances. That is what I do everyday. Lets face it, cartridges just are not that complex. As far as a 5 stage press, my old cam driven screw machines are all 8 step, new CNC's could be as much as 30+ steps. Each one dependent on the step prior. The only hurdle to cross IMHO is determining exactly what the end outcome should be. Then I can treat it like any other process. Can even collect the data on the laptop and run SPC to determine exactly when problems will occur. You think cartridges are complex try filling and sealing 420 cans of soup a minute, or passing parts through Northrop Grumman QC.
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Old June 3, 2012, 12:37 PM   #41
testuser
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I actually started with a progressive, but sold it when I realized that loading 100 or 200 round lots of 13 calibers was easier to do on a turret. Turrets for my Lee Classic were also a lot cheaper than caliber conversions. Not to mention the physical size of the thing, I have small area in my garage devoted to reloading and it seemed like my progressive was always getting in the way. In fact, certain progressives might be slower than my setup if I'm constanly switching between large, small primers, etc.

You'll find that a lot of reloaders find uses for mulitple presses, myself included. (2 single stage presses and 1 turret) Chances are, you're going to end up with a single stage or turret press, anyway, so you might as well start there, see if you like reloading, and then get the progressive later.

Still, I don't see anything dangerous is starting out on a progressive, if that's what you want, then buy it.
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Old June 3, 2012, 01:24 PM   #42
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If you don't have the patience for single stage, buy your ammo. A progressive press requires a great deal of patience to set it up
Ridiculous.
Do you own a progressive press? What type?

I don't know, nor care about the intricacies of other manufacturers. What I do know is how my Hornday LNL operates...

Install the shellplate- One machine screw.
Install the sizing/decapping and bullet seating dies- one twist with the LNL bushings...

I have a separate metering insert, pre-calibrated to the exact load I want dispensed- for every caliber. Snaps in/out of the meter in five seconds.

Load one hundred primers into the auto-dispenser in under two minutes.

Changing calibers requires about 3-4 minutes to adjust the depth of the drop tube to the cartridge. If necessary, changing from large/small primers takes and additional two minutes.

OTHER than the lesser accuracy of metering charges by volume, rather than individually weighing/trickling charges by weight, there is NOTHING less precise about operating a progressive press. The half-indexing unique to the Hornady puts it head and shoulders above the others IMO.

Knocking guys that choose not to spend days at the reloading bench because they don't have the "patience" is ignorant.
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Old June 3, 2012, 02:05 PM   #43
jmorris
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Very true but I wouldn't recommend a progressive to somebody that has never reloaded so he can try to load 100 rounds in under 3 minutes just because he has no patience. Sounds like a disasterwaiting to happen.
A progressive doesn't do anything single stage/turret presses don't do, it just has the capability to do them all at once. All of them except the SD even use the same dies as single stage presses. You set them up the same, one at a time and if you only put one case in the shell plate at a time you can even load almost as slow as you can with a single stage.
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Old June 3, 2012, 02:22 PM   #44
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A progressive doesn't do anything single stage/turret presses don't do,
It has a lot more degrees of movement and complexity. More parts moving at once give more opportunity for slop and tolerances to stack up.
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Old June 3, 2012, 02:36 PM   #45
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It has a lot more degrees of movement and complexity. More parts moving at once give more opportunity for slop and tolerances to stack up.
I have no idea what you're talking about...

"Slop", "tolerances", how is that going to degrade in a progressive press?

The dies are the same, used the exact same way....

Specifics to back your argument?

And.. do you OWN a progressive press??

Seems to be a lot of armchair quarterbacking here...
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Old June 3, 2012, 03:16 PM   #46
grubbylabs
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It might not be the patience of setting up and working the press that he has a problem with, it could very well be the same problem I had. Doing all I could with one die then having to re set up and start a whole new process with the next die. It takes a lot of time to produce a 100 rounds.

It sounds like to me that if he can run the equipment that he does on a daily basis and he still has all his digits, he will do just fine on a progressive. As it was stated earlier, he can still use it as a single stage to start and learn with. Even after loading on a single stage for a couple years I still started out that way when I got mine.

The best advise I can give you is to pick a press you think you will be happy with and start slow. Pick one caliber and practice on that one caliber till you have a pretty good idea of what your doing with it, then pick another and figure it out. If you ever get to where you want to produce match grade rifle ammo then yes a single stage will be your friend.

I like a lot of Lee products but I am not sure I would ever buy a progressive press from them. Most of my casting stuff is Lee, and they make quite a few innovative things that are by far the best in the industry, but again I am not sure I would try a progressive from them.

If you are looking to save some coin, be patient and look for a good used progressive from Hornady, RCBS, or Dillon. I don't think you would be unhappy with any one of those three.
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Old June 3, 2012, 03:19 PM   #47
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A progressive doesn't do anything single stage/turret presses don't do, it just has the capability to do them all at once. All of them except the SD even use the same dies as single stage presses. You set them up the same, one at a time and if you only put one case in the shell plate at a time you can even load almost as slow as you can with a single stage.
Yes I understand how it works, I have a turret and progressive. It's the OP that doesn't know anything about it. He is the one that said he doesn't have patience. I see him sticking the die's in and trying to crank out rounds as fast as he can without knowing what to pay attention too. I just see a lot of bad ammo being loaded, hopefully nothing he can get hurt from. I hope I'm wrong but I can only draw my opinion from what he has told us.
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Old June 3, 2012, 03:53 PM   #48
Gerry
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There's no doubt that a progressive press is more complicated functionally than a single stage or a turret. For example, I don't need a wall socket plug in and two different types of batteries for my Lee Turret Press. There is a slightly higher learning curve because there are more functional parts. But it isn't rocket science.

The thing about progressive presses is that there are many little tricks and improvements to be made that make setup and troubleshooting easier than following the directions in the manual, which can otherwise lead to a lot of frustration. In this regard, Youtube is your friend. Being able to isolate a single stage by disabling the others is an important thing to learn. For example, on what page in the Dillon 650 manual does it describe how to stop the primers from feeding? It doesn't, even though it's an easy thing to do once you know how. Avoiding the priming stage in a turret or single stage is pretty obvious in comparison. And it goes like that for the rest of the stages too. When you have an assembly line of ammo on a single plate in different stages of completion and something goes wrong somewhere, it's a bit more of a challenge than a single stage, but not a show stopper.

Well actually it is a show stopper, but the show doesn't have to stop long...

Last edited by Gerry; June 3, 2012 at 05:29 PM.
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Old June 3, 2012, 05:00 PM   #49
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I have no idea what you're talking about...
Obviously.

Quote:
And.. do you OWN a progressive press??
Yes I do.
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Old June 3, 2012, 06:09 PM   #50
Misssissippi Dave
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There are advantages of a progressive and draw backs as well. If you are going to start with a progressive I would suggest reducing problems a little bit. Once you take out the auto advance feature you can get more control to correct problems if they come up. The Dillon 550b does not have the auto advance feature. You do it manually. The time it takes to load ammo when you advance by hand is so small it doesn't make much difference how rounds you load per hour.

You can also load one round from start to finish without putting in more cases to come close to what you can do on a turret press.

It isn't cheap to get the Dillon 550b. I do suggest going slow while you learn the process and recheck your work. I like to load up a lot more ammo than I think I will need before I switch to another caliber. I like to not switch calibers often so I leave it set up for a few months for a given caliber to life easier. I am considering getting a Dillon Square Deal press just so it will be set up for a single round I load.

Progressives are more complicated to use then a single stage press. Someone having mechanical abilities and taking their time to understand what needs to be done and when could start with one and be happy.
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