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Old July 3, 2012, 04:19 PM   #1
kealil
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Saving for an Upgrade: Which Progressive Press?

WARNING: WALL O TEXT IMMINENT, TLDR AVAILABLE AT BOTTOM!

Hey everyone!
I have become very comfortable with my Lee deluxe Turret but I am really looking to increase production (and probably increase quality). However, I'm having trouble deciding which press to aim for.

I want one that is of good-exceptional quality: So Hornady, RCBS, Dillion are mainly what I'm looking at.
I would also prefer one that could use my current lee dies with little or no issue. I plan on upgrading but can't afford that AND a new press.
I want one that has lots of goodies available for it like automatic case and bullet feeders and nice things like that, I don't plan on getting those off the bat but I WILL get them eventually.

Now here's the main set of sticking points that I have run into:

1. I use lead boolits almost exclusively and would prefer a press with a bullet feeder that is compatible with lead boolits out of the box. I bring this up because I REALLY like the Hornady lock n load progressive, but the bullet feeder wont work with lead boolits without heavy modification (or so says the manual and some other forum postings I've found)

2. This brings me to my second sticking point. I like Lee and so far have been impressed with their products and price points but I've read some pretty bad reviews about the lee pro 1000(which would be the one I would want if I went lee). But at $180, coming with the pro powder drop, the case feeder and the bullet feeder not being too expensive, I'm almost willing to take the risk, ESPECIALLY since, the bullet feeder is compatible with boolits!

So guys and gals, Give me your thoughts! Any suggestions? Reviews? Something else to look at? I appreciate anything you can tell me!

TLDR:
Want to move to progressive press. Want high quality that works with current lee dies and that has bullet feeder and case feeder available but need the bullet feeder to be compatible with lead boolits out of the box. I like Lee presses, looking at the pro 1000 as well, Thoughts? Criticisms?

Thanks Appreciate the Help!!!
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Old July 3, 2012, 05:11 PM   #2
Jimro
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I've been using a Pro1000 to reload 223 for High Power shooting ammo. Well over 3k rounds have been cycled through the press. I "downgraded" the Lee autocharge to spring return, that way the only thing I do on the upstroke is seat primers, I get a much better feel that way.

My take? I think the Pro1000 is a tad finicky, but when you get it adjusted it works ok. If you don't like to tinker look for something else.

Only 3 stations, so you are a bit more limited in your die sets. The Lee LoadMaster is not much more and it gives you two more stations.

If I had to do it all over again I would have started off with the Loadmaster for rifle cartridges. For pistol cartridges I think the Pro1000 is adequate.

Jimro
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Old July 3, 2012, 05:41 PM   #3
Edward429451
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Nothing about my two Dillon 550s are finicky. They do not have a boolit feeder but I do not mind. I can load ~3 or 4 hundred rounds an hour taking my time on it.

They say the 650s are as good, but I only have exp with the 550B. No regrets ever, and I highly recommend it.
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Old July 3, 2012, 05:57 PM   #4
David Bachelder
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No advise from me. I do'nt own a progressive press. I do own a RCBS Turret and other than being a bit clumsey it has worked very well for me. I'm sure the true progressives are much faster. At this time I have to stop reloading from time to time. I tend to have too many bullets/boolets (yes I cast) laying around.

I do use a bullet feeder. I use the RCBS Tube Pistol Bullet Feeder. I have two of them and they work great. Yes they work with Boolets too. The problem is the lube, it tends to gum things up from time to time. However a simple cleaning and your back in the saddle.
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Old July 3, 2012, 10:26 PM   #5
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Lee Pro 1000 - 3 stations is a deal breaker for me.

If you like Lee go with the Loadmaster it has 4 workable stations.
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Old July 4, 2012, 09:55 AM   #6
Kevin Rohrer
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If you want "cheap", buy Lee; you will get what you pay for. If you want "quality, buy a 650 or 1050; both have bullet feeders.
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Old July 4, 2012, 12:01 PM   #7
Brian Pfleuger
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Read this:

http://www.comrace.ca/cmfiles/dillon...Comparison.pdf
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Old July 4, 2012, 01:58 PM   #8
jmorris
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I have a few bullet fed 650's using GSI bullet feeders and homemade collators that work fine with cast bullets. Another bonus of the Dillon/GSI set up is that it's the only combination of press/bulletfeeder where you can retain the powder check die and seat/crimp in two different stations. The 650's will load 100 rounds in 3 minutes, you can shave another 30 seconds off using a bullet fed 1050.

The Lee bullet feeder is junk. If that gave it away for free I would still have felt ripped off. Their progressive presses are better but not by a lot, IMO.
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Old July 4, 2012, 03:20 PM   #9
Jimro
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Quote:
If you want "cheap", buy Lee; you will get what you pay for. If you want "quality, buy a 650 or 1050; both have bullet feeders.
My match loads meet the accuracy standards for Mk262 ammunition. A lot of Lee detractors confuse "lower cost" with "cheap" and that isn't always a fair comparison. "Cheap" is a subjective trait, but the holes in the target are an objective trait.

If you can afford more than Lee, by all means buy a Hornady, Dillon, or RCBS. I definitely got my money's worth out of my Pro1000, and will continue to do so. After I wear out the Colt HBAR barrel I'm using I'll start working on a Kreiger barrel (already bought it, because it was a private sale for half price of asking price). Money is a finite resource for me, so Lee makes sense in my situation. That might change in the future, and I might be able to afford the very best out there.

Jimro
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Old July 5, 2012, 10:36 AM   #10
kealil
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Ok, it will really depend on my next paycheck, but my overall goal is going to be the hornady lnl with at least the case feeder but later with the bullet feeder. (Which I will modify). But that will be a while away and I'm thinking that I'll pickup a lee pro1000 in 223(since I shoot 223 but don't have the dies yet) since it's only 180 with shipping. Even if it is as bad as I've read, it'll be a small investment that can't be very much slower that my turret.

Thanks for the help everyone!
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Old July 5, 2012, 05:56 PM   #11
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Good comparison report posted above.

Glad to see the LNL vindicated...it has never gotten the respect it deserves compared to "blue"- until recently.

The simple "case retention" feature of being able to pop any case out of the shellplate, at any time, with zero hassle put the LNL at the top of my list.

I am constantly spot-checking powder charges and it would be a real hassle with any other press.
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Old July 5, 2012, 06:34 PM   #12
jmorris
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Quote:
Even if it is as bad as I've read, it'll be a small investment that can't be very much slower that my turret.
Do yourself a favor, instead of waisting money just use your turret press for now and save up for a decent progressive down the road.
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Old July 5, 2012, 06:44 PM   #13
Jimro
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If you have the money to spend on a Pro1000 and you already have a turret press, you should pass on the Pro1000 and save for the press you really want.

Yes the Pro1000 is a progressive, but you will not get it to process 400 rounds an hour. It works for me, but I don't recommend it if what you really want is something better.

Jimro
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Old July 5, 2012, 07:35 PM   #14
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I think you should spend a little time make a complete shopping list then post it here and let someone with the press review it for you. You'll be surprised at what you'll see added to your list by the people that are using the hardware. It will add to your real costs. Like others have said wait until you can get what you really want be it dillon or lnl. Both are great and will work for a very long time with any care taken. Just don't rush into the purchase, I say this only a year after buying my progressive press.

I'm still very happy with mine and would not go back and change anything. But I added 5 new calibers this last year to the ones that I was already reloading. So I should have added in at least a couple of them from the onset. Primer tubes, lots of primer tubes LOL.
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Old July 6, 2012, 12:16 AM   #15
lll Otto lll
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There's only one reloading manufacturer that has a reputation for making junk.
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Old July 6, 2012, 07:32 AM   #16
CrackerJim
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I have the Dillon 550 (several years now). I didn't want the spend bucks on bullet or case feeders and have not regretted not having that equipment. For family shooting (two sons), I can produce enough cartridges in reasonable time. The movements required to place the bullet and set the next case is not that onerous for me.

Good luck,

Jim
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Old July 6, 2012, 08:10 AM   #17
Nathan
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If you are thinking Lee, I would get a Lyman turret.

If you have the coin and load more than a few calibers, get the LNL.

If you want to load 1000's of 1-3 calibers, the 650 or 1050 would be good.

The point about the Lee is the Lee will load, but your production rate will be hindered by tinkering and setup. So I wouldn't get hung up on the fact it has a bullet feeder as likely that will be a source of downtime. Downtime kills progressive reloading output more than anything else.
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Old July 13, 2012, 11:52 AM   #18
DASHZNT
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Im relatively new to reloading considering everyone around here but I purchased a Dillon Precision Reloader and have been very pleased with the ease of use and the finished product coming out of the machine. Not to mention, the loads are very consistent once you have the thing "dialed" in. Agin, I dont wanna step on anyones toes who has been doing this for a long time, its just what I use and have been very happy with.
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Old July 13, 2012, 03:54 PM   #19
pastortim
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go to a web site called "ultimate reloader" the guy on that site Gavin has videos on all the brands

Lee, Hornady, RCBS, Dillon, he does a good job showing the features of each brand, and makes ammo with each one of them and has no trouble,

i think following directions and being mechanically inclined and keeping things clean will make any of them run, some will require more attention

personally i have a Hornady LNL and a Dillon 550b

the 550 is a good press and almost never gives trouble,

the Hornady LNL is a great press, very well designed, and just runs and runs and runs, it has many features not found in any other press,

case retention system - very easy to remove brass from any station
half step indexing on up and down stroke - no spilled powder
LNL bushings - pop out any die without disturbing the others
spent primer handeling
very smooth operation
5 station - nice for using powder check die, and bullet feeder

i use them both but the Hornady is the better press
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Old July 14, 2012, 07:26 AM   #20
jmorris
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Quote:
5 station - nice for using powder check die, and bullet feeder
Unless you seat and crimp at the same station that would be "powder check die OR bullet feeder". The 650 and 1050 are the only two that will let you have a PC die, bullet feeder and seat and crimp seperately.
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Old July 14, 2012, 12:12 PM   #21
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Quote:
Unless you seat and crimp at the same station that would be "powder check die OR bullet feeder". The 650 and 1050 are the only two that will let you have a PC die, bullet feeder and seat and crimp seperately.
The 650 has five stations. Not enough to (1)Size/decap, (2)Powder drop/expand, (3)Powder Cop, (4)Bullet Feed, (5)Seat, and, (6)Crimp separately. Only press that will do ALL THAT separately is the 1050.
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Old July 16, 2012, 10:12 AM   #22
kealil
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Decided on Hornady

Hey again all!

I've decided to go hornady, I got to play with one today and it's just so SMOOTH!! It also has (essentially) all of the features that I'm concerned with. Plus, and I didn't even realize this at first, it is so easy to change calibers! once you get your dies setup in the bushings, just twist and out they come. It also doesn't hurt that the powder measure is cake to install and uninstall.

Since I've decided on the hornady, I'm just gonna go ahead and get the ammo plant. It comes with everything I want/need and then some but there is one thing that is bugging me: What is the difference between the 110VT and 220VT? The prices between the two seem to vary only slightly but sometimes as much as $200. I can't seem to find any explanation of the difference of these two. Can anyone explain this for me?

Thanks!
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Old July 16, 2012, 12:02 PM   #23
Waldog
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Congrats on your decision. I love my LNL. The 110 is designed for the US to run on 110 volts current. The 220 is for foreign markets and 220 volts.

I have set up 3 LNL's, one for me, one for my son and, one for a friend. I have the case feeder. I don't have the bullet feeder. Since you are new I have a couple of recommendations.
1) Set up your LNL press on a SOLID bench. Preferably attached to a wall at the back.
2) Don't install the case feeder or bullet feeder until you get the LNL running smoothly. After you fully understand the operation of your press and have it running smoothly, install the case feeder. After you get that running smoothly, then install the bullet feeder.

It is important to remember that there is a LOT going on while you are operating a progressive press. Each stage of the reloading process must be perfectly tuned to run in sequence other wise you will have trouble. Contrary to what some Blue owners tell you, no progressive press runs perfectly out of the box. They ALL require a little "tweaking" to get them to run. The case feeder has a couple issues that are easily solved. PM with your e-mail and I'll forward pictures to you.

Above all else, read the instructions and follow them to the letter. Watch the DVD through at least twice before you jump into setting up. If you have questions, CALL HORNADY CUSTOMER SERVICE. They are wonderful.
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Old July 16, 2012, 01:00 PM   #24
jmorris
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Quote:
The 650 has five stations. Not enough to (1)Size/decap, (2)Powder drop/expand, (3)Powder Cop, (4)Bullet Feed, (5)Seat, and, (6)Crimp separately. Only press that will do ALL THAT separately is the 1050.
Here is one of my bullet fed 650's
(1)size/decap
(2)powder drop
(3)Powder check
(4)Bullet feed and seat
(5)Crimp



FWIW without a GSI bullet feeder even the 1050 can't powder check with any other bullet feeder and seat and crimp separately. Like the 650 it only has 3 stations after the powder drop.
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Old July 16, 2012, 08:32 PM   #25
lee n. field
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Quote:
2. This brings me to my second sticking point. I like Lee and so far have been impressed with their products and price points but I've read some pretty bad reviews about the lee pro 1000(which would be the one I would want if I went lee). But at $180, coming with the pro powder drop, the case feeder and the bullet feeder not being too expensive, I'm almost willing to take the risk, ESPECIALLY since, the bullet feeder is compatible with boolits!

So guys and gals, Give me your thoughts! Any suggestions? Reviews? Something else to look at? I appreciate anything you can tell me!

..

I like Lee presses, looking at the pro 1000 as well
I use a Pro 1000. It's finneckey. It's handgun only. And it's three station only -- no room for a separate crime die (or FCD). It can work, but it's work, if you get my meaning.

But, FS Reloading has the Load Master for not a whole lot more than you're seeing for the Pro 1000.

When I spotted that deal the other day I was strongly tempted to sell off the Pro 1000 and upgrade.

Quote:
Want high quality that works with current lee dies
Everything out there now should work fine with the Lee dies except the Dillon Square Deal.
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