The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old September 28, 2012, 09:58 AM   #1
shredmandan
Junior Member
 
Join Date: March 8, 2009
Posts: 9
RELOADING PRESS QUESTION for SMALL RUN of ROUNDS

I've got a Dillon 550 and a 650 press which are great for reloading large quantity's of ammo. It's a pain to set them up to make small runs of ammo like 50 or less. Maybe I'm missing something and am thinking about a different press for this - thoughts/suggestions welcome.

Thanks much!

Dan
shredmandan is offline  
Old September 28, 2012, 10:35 AM   #2
tkglazie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 3, 2011
Posts: 558
Sounds like a perfect application for a single stage, or even better, a Lee Classic Turret. Setup a turret for each load and you can easily sit down, setup the press and crank out a box of 50 of anything you like in 20 minutes from beginning to end. 25 tops.

Thats how I use my LCT- I make 50 or 100 of a bunch of different loads/calibers at a sitting rather than crank out the same thing over and over. its less boring to me and it is so little effort to swap turrets and charge the powder, disk and primer type that I barely lose any time (maybe 2-3 minutes to change from one load to another, max)
tkglazie is offline  
Old September 28, 2012, 01:10 PM   #3
NAKing
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 12, 2008
Posts: 304
It is very easy to change calibers on the Dillon 550, and it's much faster to handload than the Lee Turret if you ever wanted to make higher volumes. I regularly go from handloading .45 Automatic to .38 Special on my Dillon.
NAKing is offline  
Old September 28, 2012, 01:49 PM   #4
Clifford L. Hughes
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 24, 2011
Location: Southern Californis
Posts: 795
I load my pistol calibers on a Dillon 550 and my rifle calibers on a RCBS Rock Chucker. Even for a small fifty round loading of pistol calibers I use the Dillon because changing the dies form the Dillon to the Rock Chucker and readjusting them takes considerable time.

Semper Fi.

Gunnery Sergeant
Clifford L. Hughed
USMC Retired
Clifford L. Hughes is offline  
Old September 28, 2012, 01:52 PM   #5
jmortimer
Junior member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2010
Location: South West Riverside County California
Posts: 2,763
Lee Precision Classic Turret - use it as pre-set single stage as I do or use it in faster auto-index mode. Swap out turrets with preset dies in seconds and go.
jmortimer is offline  
Old September 28, 2012, 02:49 PM   #6
CrustyFN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 4, 2006
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 2,258
I agree with the Lee classic turret. You can change dies in under one minute. I have a Lee classic turret and a Dillon 550. I still use the Lee as much as the Dillon.
__________________
I don't ever remember being absent minded.
CrustyFN is offline  
Old September 28, 2012, 02:50 PM   #7
1stmar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2012
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 1,174
If you stay within the same primer size the 550 is cake to change calibers if you have multiple tool heads. Literally take <2 min. If you need to change primer sizes it may take another 3-4 min. For pistol, nothing beats a 550b IMO. For rifle with a lot of case prep or extruded powder with precise measurements, I'd look at a turret press.
1stmar is offline  
Old September 28, 2012, 04:00 PM   #8
rajbcpa
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 27, 2012
Posts: 315
The Hornady Lock-N-Load quick change bushings make for fast caliper swaps.

In all honesty, however, I cannot recommend the Hornady progressive press - too many problems.

Stay with the Dillions and never look back.
rajbcpa is offline  
Old September 28, 2012, 04:37 PM   #9
noylj
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 21, 2007
Location: Between CA and NM
Posts: 487
Should have got a Hornady L-N-L--VERY quick and easy caliber change over. You need 2-5 die bushings and a shell plate. The press comes with both small primer and large primer parts and the switch over takes no more than 5 minutes and is faster as you get used to it.
If you have runs of 50 cases, one "assumes" they are bottleneck rifle cases.
I don't think any one will do this, but I am quite happy with my $30 Lee Reloading Press for loading a few rifle rounds, up to .30-06. I also use it for depriming and with the Lee Bulge Buster.
There really is no choice--use what you have or get another press.
The Lee single stage press with die bushings isn't very expensive (compared to Dillon) and will do as good a job as another single-stage press.
noylj is offline  
Old September 28, 2012, 04:40 PM   #10
sidewindr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 4, 2011
Location: somewhere out there
Posts: 101
No problems with the LNL,with proper setup( same with ALL presses) and the right operator it works flawless, Caliber changes are quick, I won't say as quick as a complete toolhead design but each die can be changed out individually if 2 calibers use some of the same dies. For short runs,if I'm doing another caliber in the LNL,I have the adaptor in my Rock Chucker so all the dies can be swapped in and out with the bushings and the sttings are the same, no adjusting.
sidewindr is offline  
Old September 28, 2012, 04:45 PM   #11
noylj
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 21, 2007
Location: Between CA and NM
Posts: 487
Sorry--somehow my partial post was posted while I was still typing...

Should have got a Hornady L-N-L--VERY quick and easy caliber change over. You need 2-5 die bushings and a shell plate. The press comes with both small primer and large primer parts and the switch over takes no more than 5 minutes and is faster as you get used to it.
Isn't is odd that the "problems" with Hornady are always being brought up by Dillon owners? May be trying to lessen the cognitive dissonance from spending so much?
I have been using a Hornady progressive since they first came out (30+ years) and have never felt that I had made a poor choice or thought than any other press was significantly better. I have used both a 550 and 650 without a case feeder and I hated them.
I currently have three 1050s and my son has my L-N-L. If all three presses were stolen tomorrow, I would go out and buy another L-N-L.
If you have runs of 50 cases, one "assumes" they are bottleneck rifle cases.
I don't think any one will do this, but I am quite happy with my $30 Lee Reloading Press for loading a few rifle rounds, up to .30-06. I also use it for depriming and with the Lee Bulge Buster. It wouldn't be the press I would choose to load rifle rounds every week all year, but it works great for occasional rounds.
There really is no choice--use what you have, get another press, or don't load small batches.
The Lee single stage press with die bushings isn't very expensive (compared to Dillon) and will do as good a job as another single-stage press.

Last edited by noylj; September 28, 2012 at 04:46 PM. Reason: Double post
noylj is offline  
Old September 28, 2012, 07:18 PM   #12
Shootest
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 9, 2011
Location: Just outside Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 617
What you need is a turret press. The Lee “Classic” Turret is the lowest priced one that is acceptable. Although a RCBS, Lyman, or Redding will also work well. Note: don’t bother with the Lee Turret, it’s just a piece o junk in MHO. Since you already have a 550 and a 650 a Hornady AP will do you no good.
__________________
The private ownership of firearms is an American Heritage. Anyone who disputes that is Anti-American and unpatriotic.
NRA Life Member
http://s1096.photobucket.com/albums/g327/Wynn3/
Shootest is offline  
Old September 28, 2012, 08:23 PM   #13
tkglazie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 3, 2011
Posts: 558
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shootest View Post
What you need is a turret press. The Lee “Classic” Turret is the lowest priced one that is acceptable. Although a RCBS, Lyman, or Redding will also work well. Note: don’t bother with the Lee Turret, it’s just a piece o junk in MHO. Since you already have a 550 and a 650 a Hornady AP will do you no good.
Ah, what a wonderfully insightful opinion! Just a piece of junk that makes beautiful cloveleafs for the whole wide world to see. I guess you are right and the rest of us delighted LCT owners are wrong. Anyone know if an LCT has any junk value?

Tell us, expert, what troubles did you have with the LCT that you owned?
tkglazie is offline  
Old September 28, 2012, 08:41 PM   #14
Lost Sheep
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2009
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Posts: 2,986
Keep calm

Quote:
Originally Posted by tkglazie
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shootest
What you need is a turret press. The Lee “Classic” Turret is the lowest priced one that is acceptable. Although a RCBS, Lyman, or Redding will also work well. Note: don’t bother with the Lee Turret, it’s just a piece o junk in MHO. Since you already have a 550 and a 650 a Hornady AP will do you no good.
Ah, what a wonderfully insightful opinion! Just a piece of junk that makes beautiful cloveleafs for the whole wide world to see. I guess you are right and the rest of us delighted LCT owners are wrong. Anyone know if an LCT has any junk value?

Tell us, expert, what troubles did you have with the LCT that you owned?
tkglazie, you didn't read the post well enough. Lee makes two turret presses. Shootest praised the Classic Turret. He was trying to steer you AWAY from the other one, the poorly named Deluxe Turret.

The Deluxe is aluminum vs cast iron, has an vertical opening a full inch shorter than the Clasic, does not handle spent primers nearly as well and has a linkage that is not as strong.

They do, however operate identically.

Do not confuse the current Deluxe Turret, which has a 4-hole turret to the Older, discontinued but still available, Deluxe turret which has a 3-hole turret.

The Lee Classic Turret is definitely superior to the Lee Deluxe Turret, though both produce equal-quality ammunition (in my opinion).

Lost Sheep
Lost Sheep is offline  
Old September 28, 2012, 08:45 PM   #15
Lost Sheep
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2009
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Posts: 2,986
Not just lowest price

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shootest
What you need is a turret press. The Lee “Classic” Turret is the lowest priced one that is acceptable. Although a RCBS, Lyman, or Redding will also work well. Note: don’t bother with the Lee Turret, it’s just a piece o junk in MHO. Since you already have a 550 and a 650 a Hornady AP will do you no good.
The Lee Classic Turret is not just lowest price and acceptable. It is THE BEST autoindexing turret press in current production in the world today, bar none.

Of course, there are only the two Lee turrets. No other turret press offers autoindexing. If you can get by with only 4 die stations, there simply is no other choice. (In my opinion.)

Lost Sheep
Lost Sheep is offline  
Old September 28, 2012, 09:04 PM   #16
tkglazie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 3, 2011
Posts: 558
Quote:
tkglazie, you didn't read the post well enough. Lee makes two turret presses. Shootest praised the Classic Turret. He was trying to steer you AWAY from the other one, the poorly named Deluxe Turret.
My mistake. That was small of me, and I was wrong to boot. Thanks for the correction Lost Sheep.

My apologies Shootest.
tkglazie is offline  
Old September 28, 2012, 09:06 PM   #17
SHR970
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2011
Posts: 543
Lee Hand Press.

50 rounds......even rifle ammo this press is sit down and load.
SHR970 is offline  
Old September 28, 2012, 09:38 PM   #18
lee n. field
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 12, 2002
Location: The same state as Mordor.
Posts: 3,221
Quote:
The Deluxe is aluminum vs cast iron, has an vertical opening a full inch shorter than the Clasic, does not handle spent primers nearly as well and has a linkage that is not as strong.
The old handle, maybe. Lee upgraded the handle and linkage of the Pro 1000 and the other turret press. That's plenty strong.
__________________
"As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. "
lee n. field is offline  
Old September 28, 2012, 10:38 PM   #19
dickttx
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 29, 2011
Location: Fort Worth
Posts: 474
If I understand the OP he is not asking about changing calibers, but about loading small batches.
The LCT is excellent for that, but, to take full advantage of it you would need a second set of dies. Your best bet might be loading a cartridge at a time with what you have.
__________________
Education teaches you the rules, experience teaches you the exceptions (Plagiarized from Claude Clay)
dickttx is offline  
Old September 29, 2012, 02:33 AM   #20
Lost Sheep
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2009
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Posts: 2,986
Quote:
Originally Posted by dickttx
If I understand the OP he is not asking about changing calibers, but about loading small batches.
The LCT is excellent for that, but, to take full advantage of it you would need a second set of dies. Your best bet might be loading a cartridge at a time with what you have.
You are correct. But loading small batches has a lot in common with changing calibers, particularly in my mind.

The startup procedures to get a progressive running in steady state takes at least 4 cartridges. If you are only going to load a batch of 5 and then change seating depth or charge weight or something a single stage or turret is just easier.

Yes, a second set of dies. A second turret would help a lot, too. And at $10 to $13 each is a foregone conclusion for me. I have been thinking about putting a powder measure dedicated to each set of dies permanently on each die/turret set, too.

But then, I have to consider storage space. I have to draw the line somewhere.

Lost Sheep
Lost Sheep is offline  
Old September 29, 2012, 04:22 AM   #21
1stmar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2012
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 1,174
Shr970, the lee hand press is great I agree, especially if you are short on space, doing small amounts or loading at the range.
1stmar is offline  
Old September 29, 2012, 08:45 AM   #22
Shootest
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 9, 2011
Location: Just outside Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 617
Quote:
My mistake. That was small of me, and I was wrong to boot. Thanks for the correction Lost Sheep.

My apologies Shootest.
Apology accepted, maybe I could have been more clear.
__________________
The private ownership of firearms is an American Heritage. Anyone who disputes that is Anti-American and unpatriotic.
NRA Life Member
http://s1096.photobucket.com/albums/g327/Wynn3/
Shootest is offline  
Old September 29, 2012, 09:06 AM   #23
tkglazie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 3, 2011
Posts: 558
Oh no, you were clear, I just had a burr under my saddle for some reason.

Lots of excellent advice in this thread by the way. This is a good forum.
tkglazie is offline  
Old September 29, 2012, 11:55 AM   #24
Kevin Rohrer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 19, 2010
Location: Medina, Ohio
Posts: 507
Everybody has their favorites based on what they own. My favorite for small jobs is the CH 444. It's a bit pricey, but is substantially less than either of your Dillons, is very strong, and is compact.

__________________
Member: Orange Gunsite Family, NRA--Life, Varmint Hunters' Assn., ARTCA, American Legion, & South Cuyahoga Sportsmen's Assn.

"Gunnery, gunnery, gunnery...all else is twaddle!" --Admiral Sir John Fisher, RN
Kevin Rohrer is offline  
Old September 29, 2012, 03:37 PM   #25
testuser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2010
Posts: 495
I agree with the others that say a cheap turret press, especially the Lee classic.

I bought a Square Deal and a Lee Turret a few years back. I actually prefered the classic turret and sold the square deal. I typically don't load more than a couple hundred pistol rounds at a time, so speed wasn't a factor. The simplicity of the machine, cheap turrets, and the small physical footpring of the turret press won over. I sold the progressive years ago and don't miss it.
testuser is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:14 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12353 seconds with 9 queries