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Old October 16, 2006, 12:31 PM   #2
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 13,715
The multi-station press question depends on volume. If you only load a few a week, get a Lee Anniversary Kit and a set of Lee Dies and get your feet wet. If you are loading for a bolt gun, the Lee Collet die included in their deluxe die set will give you really good results. If you are loading for a semi-auto you need to use a full-length resizing die (included in that Lee set). If you are loading for match shooting in either a bolt or semi-auto, I would recommend the Forster/Bonanza Co-ax press. It is faster than a conventional single-stage because of the quick-change die system, and it floats the die until the case starts in, assuring perfect alignment. If you are shooting volumes of full-auto or just a whole heck of a lot of semi-auto, a progressive press makes the most sense, and you will want a Gracey case trimmer or it's equivalent to trim that volume in a reasonable time frame.

Because rifle cases require periodic trimming, you can't always run them completely through a progessive loading cycle, and will need to interrupt the progression after the sizing step to do the trimming. This needs to be done about once every third reloading cycle or so, depending on your load and chamber dimensions.

If you are reloading for match or other maximum accuracy work, I would also highly recommend the Redding Competition Seater die. I would buy some Sierra match bullets to learn on and to be able to find your best accuracy. Powder choice will depend on your bullet weight choice. IMR 3031 isn't a bad way to cover the weight spectrum, though it may not be the best choice at either extreme. That depends on the gun. Federal 205M benchrest primers are a good choice. If you use heavier bullets and a ball powder like 748, though, you may want to try magnum primers to see if you get any improvement? I would invest in a flashhole deburring tool if you want to use ball powder.

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