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Old January 10, 2006, 09:52 PM   #16
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Join Date: August 8, 2005
Location: Arlington TX
Posts: 663
The RCBS rockchucker certainly has a venerable reputation among single stage presses. However, like most things unchanged, sooner or later other products exceed them in terms of performance, price, or both. Of the single stage presses available today, there are two that I believe are "best choices":

First, the Lee classic cast press is as strong or stronger than any, has superior spent primer handling to the rockchucker, and, due to an adjustable handle, has variable leverage and handle stroke, adjustable for the job at hand. And best of all, it is the lowest price of all the serious single stage presses. Like the rockchucker and several others, it will also take the hornady LNL quick change inserts for standard dies.

The second "best" choice (NOT "second-best"!) is the Forster co-ax press. This unique design is phenominally accurate, and has more available leverage than any other single stage press. The unique design avoids the angular thrusts of the operating linkage of most presses, to avoid flexing and misalignment under the highest loads. The shellholder system automatically adjusts to a variety of cartridges, without having to buy shellholders for each cartridge type. The quick change die mounting system rivals the hornady LNL bushing system in quickness, without requiring extra cost bushings on every die. However, it lies at the other end of the cost spectrum for most single stage presses. However, the die mounting system and/or the over-the-top handle/lever also means that some dies won't work, notably some of the longer dies with micrometer adjustment, perhaps window seating dies, and screw-adjustable, collet type bullet pullers (the hornady cam lock collet puller may still work)

As far as starting out with a progressive, I would urge you to use it one cartridge at a time, until you get familiar with the operations and adjustments. Then you can use it full progressive manner with confidence. It should be noted that a casefeeder is not necessary for a progressive, but is a nice additional capability that leaves placing the bullet on the charged case as the only manual operation besides pulling the handle. The hornady LNL AP progressive press with a casefeeder is only ~$440 from Cabela's, or $300 without casefeeder.

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