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Old April 3, 2013, 06:43 PM   #26
Nathan
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I think you would find at about ~$350 or so that the Lyman Tmag is a super place to start. Quit a bit faster than single stage, slower than progressive, but easy to learn on. Your rifles and many pistol shooters will never out grow this kit. Get the one with the manual scale for easier learning...most electrics are hard to have confidence in, IME.

Avoid the Hornady balance, but their other stuff is good.

Forester and Redding make the best dies, but Hornady, Lee, Lyman and RCBS aren't bad either. Actually they are fine for 90% of handloaders.

Get a tumbler.

Then work on your process. Add as you see fit.
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Old April 5, 2013, 10:50 PM   #27
TemboTusk
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I'm a newbie to reloading and after much research; I bought a Lee Classic Turret. The Lee instructions on how to setup the dies were clear and easy to understand.

The press is built tough as nails and fairly idiot proof. All of my 45 Colt reloads have gone "Bang" so far!
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Old April 5, 2013, 11:25 PM   #28
oldreloader
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What Lost Sheep said. I bought a Lee Classic Turret to go with my Rock chucker. I liked it so well I sold the 'Chucker and bought a Lee Classic cast too.
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Old April 6, 2013, 06:38 AM   #29
NUKE HUNTER
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I like my lyman t-mag kit. everything you need except dies. the manual is very good for a beginner. I work it as a single stage, but the turret is loaded with all the dies and powder dropper, this way if I didn't expand enough or something like that I just turn the turret and fix it.very convenient.
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Old April 6, 2013, 07:56 AM   #30
Misssissippi Dave
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Most people loading for semi-auto pistols tend to go through a lot of ammo. These people would be better served with either a Lee Classic Turret press or one of the progressive presses.

Progressive presses are more complicated and you do have more things to watch. This can be difficult for a person just starting out loading. The Dillon 550b press has manual indexing and in my opinion is easier to learn to operate of all the progressive presses. Dillon will send you replacement parts if they are ever needed at no additional cost. You do pay for this when you buy the press. If you are going to be loading a lot of ammo for many years to come I suggest getting a Dillon press. There are plenty of people who started loading on a progressive press and are still using them today. You also will spend a lot of money on components to load a lot of pistol ammo each month. It is just one more thing to think about.

For someone with plenty of time and only needing to load a box or two of ammo per week, there are plenty of good single stage presses available. A long time ago I loaded a couple of boxes of .38 Special a week on a Rock Chucker press. It made great ammo and served my needs at that time. For precision rifle ammo, I think you can't do better than a good single stage press.

Many people start out with one press and are happy with it. Some will find as they use their press for a while they want other features or more speed and add another press. It is not a one size fits all hobby.

If you are only shooting a box of shotgun shells a month you probably will find just buying factory ammo the best option. When I was shooting skeet a fair amount back in the day, I used a MEC 600 Jr. It allowed me to produce the amount of ammo I needed and was easy to use. It wasn't nearly as fast as a progressive press but I didn't really need one either.

Now I only load pistol ammo. I have a couple of Dillon presses. One is for everything with small primers. The other is setup for only .45 with large primers. I tend to only switch calibers on the one for small primers only if I have 1000 or more cases needing to be filled. It doesn't take a lot of time to make the change. I just like being able to walk up to the press and load. I often only load ammo for 20 minutes to an hour at a time. I can check things before loading the first round and still produce 100 rounds without getting into a hurry in those 20 minutes. I don't have a case or bullet feeder so my production rates aren't as high as some others might be. Loading 300 rounds an hour is easy to do and more per hour can be done if needed.

The bottom line is you can start with just about any press. Speed will cost you money for both the press and components. Not everyone needs the speed of the fastest or faster presses. If you are on a budget figure in the cost of components as well. It is not a great feeling when you have finally gotten your new press and have to wait to save up enough cash to by components to feed it to make your first rounds to shoot.
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Old April 6, 2013, 08:11 AM   #31
Mike Irwin
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Another vote for the Lee Classic Turret.

It's a fantastic piece of equipment.
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Old April 6, 2013, 08:20 AM   #32
A pause for the COZ
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This is soo simple its getting to be a no brainer.

"The Lee Classic Turret."

I have 8 presses and I still use my LEE Turret the most often. ( if not the most volume)

It will do every thing you need and want it to do for the 1st year as you figure out what kind of reloader your going to become.

After that year, If it still serves all your needs your set for life. If not......
.... Well thats why some of us have 8 presses.
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Old April 6, 2013, 08:41 AM   #33
Hunter Customs
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I load only handgun and rifle cartridges, sold my shotgun loading equipment years back.

I have an "L" shape loading bench with 4 presses mounted at different locations on the bench.

The 4 presses I have are 2 RCBS Rockchuckers single stage, 1 Lyman T-Mag turret and a Dillon 650 set up for 40S&W and 9mm
I use the Rockchuckers for loading rifle cartridges other then 223, the T-Mag for 223 and handgun ammo other then 40 and 9mm, the Dillon takes care of the 40 and 9mm.

If I was only going to have one press I believe I would choose the Lyman T-Mag for it's versatility, however when I first started into reloading I started with a RCBS Rockchucker.

Good luck in your reloading endeavors, it's a great way to use up spare time along with a way to shoot at less expense.
When reloading stay focused on what you are doing and stay safe.

Best Regards
Bob Hunter
www.huntercustoms.com
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Old April 6, 2013, 06:26 PM   #34
57K
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Yep, LEE Classic Turret for all the reason's mentioned and one more. All REDDING presses use a feature called Top-Dead-Center, that means that with every stroke you hit a point where all of the linkage tolerances and flexing are removed to give the greatest consistency for OACL and crimping. LEE added that feature to the Classic Cast and the Classic Turret that I own along with a REDDING Boss single stage. The Classic Turret is great for starting out in single stage, then progressing into auto index semi progressive loading.

I hardily agree with the die recommendation that Nathan made, except that I only buy REDDING dies now. They cost a little more because they are made of higher quality materials and tolerances. Many don't know it, but REDDING uses Titanium Carbide in their pistol dies that are designated "Carbide". Titanium is the hardest carbide and should not be confused with Hornady's Titanium Nitride which is simply a titanium coating on the sizing ring just as titanium nitride is used for high speed drill bits. Titanium Carbide is the hardest and slickest carbide available in reloading dies, it will require a little less effort in resizing and offer a longer lifespan over Tungsten Carbide.
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Old April 7, 2013, 12:52 AM   #35
osageid
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Press recommendations?

^^^^^^^ this on Redding dies
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Old April 7, 2013, 01:10 AM   #36
Silver00LT
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I started off with the Lee Precision Single Stage Press. Was $40 shipped to my door. Bolted it to my reloading desk, and its a awesome press. I've reloaded 9mm and .308 on it no problems.

Your powder measures. I recommend one for each caliper to save...because getting mine tuned to throwing the constant grain every time was a pain. I got the single stage to be low cost in case reloading was not for me...now with me loving it yet wishing to reload faster I am pricing a progressive after I get a quicker method for throwing powder for various loads.
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Old April 7, 2013, 05:56 AM   #37
zeke
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single stage to safely learn on, based on sturdy enough form your needs. If you need alot of volume, progressive later on.
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Old April 7, 2013, 07:23 AM   #38
Mike Irwin
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"single stage to safely learn on"

And that is the beauty of the Lee Classic Turret.

You can change it it from an auto-indexing turret to a single stage, and back, in about a minute.
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Old April 7, 2013, 08:19 AM   #39
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Alot of Lee supporters, just curious, better than Hornady?
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Old April 7, 2013, 09:04 AM   #40
TheoShooter
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Alot of Lee supporters, just curious, better than Hornady?

Definitely not better, just cheaper. I prefer Hornady presses but there's a lot of good brands out there.
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Old April 7, 2013, 09:55 AM   #41
Misssissippi Dave
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The Lee Classic Turret seems to be the best bang for the buck when it comes to a first press. This is probably the reason it is suggested most often for someone wanting to get into reloading. Often it becomes the press they continue to use for a long time.

The main reason you don't normally see Hornady and Dillon presses suggested for a person looking for their first press is because they are harder to use safely when starting out. They also tend to work better when used by people with a mechanical aptitude. Mechanically they are more complicated compared to single stage and turret presses. I would prefer to have someone wanting to get into reloading to have a positive experience when they start out. This way they will continue to load their own.

There are mostly 2 types of reloaders.
The first is the one wanting to make ammo to shoot and often just want to save some money doing it.
The second one is the person wanting to create the perfect load for their gun.
Both are valid reasons to reload and often the first type starts leaning more towards the second type over time. Techniques developed by the perfectionist have often helped the process used by those just cranking out ammo to produce much better ammo in my opinion.
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Old April 7, 2013, 10:39 AM   #42
CrustyFN
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For a new loader the Lee classic turret is the perfect press. It is easy to setup and easy to use. If you are like most of us after a week or two on a single stage loading pistol ammo at around 50 rounds an hour you will want something faster. Buy single stage and you will want another press in a few weeks. Buy the classic turret and just add the auto indexing rod and you go from 50 RPH up to around 200 RPH without having to buy anything.
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Old April 7, 2013, 10:55 AM   #43
Cesure
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Quote:
For a new loader the Lee classic turret is the perfect press. It is easy to setup and easy to use. If you are like most of us after a week or two on a single stage loading pistol ammo at around 50 rounds an hour you will want something faster. Buy single stage and you will want another press in a few weeks. Buy the classic turret and just add the auto indexing rod and you go from 50 RPH up to around 200 RPH without having to buy anything.
I've been reloading for a few weeks and I'm still happy with a single stage and a Lee Hand Press. I wonder if this need for speed is an age thing. I just started reloading and I'm younger than the hills but older than many of the trees and I'm content with low productivity rates. I'm retired, so maybe that helps. I don't have kids, so maybe that helps. I've never been the type to go for the fastest, highest horsepower, slickest, shiniest, etc. with my toys, so maybe that helps. So maybe the best press for someone who is just starting out is dependent on some lifestyle things. I don't think anybody would be going wrong by buying the Lee Classic Turret over the single stage. It's not that much more expensive.
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Old April 7, 2013, 01:30 PM   #44
CrustyFN
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Quote:
I've been reloading for a few weeks and I'm still happy with a single stage and a Lee Hand Press. I wonder if this need for speed is an age thing.
That's why I said most and not all. I enjoy my reloading time but would rather load 200 rounds in one hour instead of four, but then you might not shoot as much as me. But I'm sure I will look at it a little different when I retire.
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Last edited by CrustyFN; April 7, 2013 at 06:52 PM.
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Old April 7, 2013, 03:37 PM   #45
boxing21
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Another vote for the Hornady Lock N Load classic. I'm somewhat newer to reloading, however over the past year or so this press has served me very well. I really like the bushing design, making die changes fast and easy.

I'm a high volume pistol shooter, so I think next year I will step up to a Dillon. I knew going into this that I would end up on a progressive, but I will still use the single stage for my rifle loads, and even some pistol loads that I don't shoot as much as my 9mm, .45acp loads.
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Old April 7, 2013, 05:30 PM   #46
Misssissippi Dave
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Quote:
I'm a high volume pistol shooter, so I think next year I will step up to a Dillon. I knew going into this that I would end up on a progressive, but I will still use the single stage for my rifle loads, and even some pistol loads that I don't shoot as much as my 9mm, .45acp loads.
If you haven't already started saving your brass for pistol loads, I suggest you start doing it now. You can't have too much brass on hand when you are loading pistol ammo on a progressive press. 5 gallon buckets of brass on hand is a good thing to have.

Many reloaders tend to have certain times of the year when they have more time to do their loading. High volume shooters will enjoy having a lot of ammo loaded and ready to shoot when there is less time to do some loading. It is also nice to have enough of everything on hand to get through times when ammo and components are in short supply. Even low volume shooter will see the advantages of having enough on hand to get through those times.
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Old April 8, 2013, 04:32 PM   #47
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I started out single-stage because I wasn't confident of my ability to handle a progressive press as a start and, loading only one rifle calibre for about a thirty-round-a-week habit, didn't really need anything more. Had I my time all over again, I would do the same (I got an RCBS Partner Press starter kit). I intend to stay with it for the foreseeable future.

If I end up reloading for a second bottleneck calibre, I will consider getting a four-hole press so that both calibres can stay set up, but it will be manually indexing.

If I give in to the desire to buy a .410/.45LC single shot rifle, just for the fun of it, I will probably get some sort of three or four hole turret press to avoid frequent die changes. (What to do about the .410 will be a separate issue.)
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Old April 9, 2013, 08:32 PM   #48
GRCummins
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Thanks for all the input! Found a Rock Chucker complete with a number of dies, a tumbler, and a bunch of misc. assessories. I think it will be a great beginner set, and I can grow from there into a turret or progressive unit.
I appreciate all the feedback, and I'm sure others will benefit from your experienced words.
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