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Old February 8, 2013, 06:25 PM   #7
Lost Sheep
Senior Member
Join Date: January 24, 2009
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Posts: 3,340
Thanks for asking our advice.

Originally Posted by cptmclark
Wow. Quick replies. Don't have a price in mind yet. I load 45, 357/38, 44, 308, 445, 30-06, 30-30, 30-40 and I probably forgot one. That means I have loaded those and will from time to time. Very little in recent years. How much? Historically it's been R and d plus hunting. Now I'm doing comp a little and want to become expert w handgu s again after many years away. So I'll use maybe 100 rounds per range visit. I get tired of loading after about 50 rounds in an hour and a half. That's starting with dies in the box and components put away. Double that would make the time seem more well spent.

Did I answer then all?
Not all of them, but enough. Here are my standard questions:

What calibers will you be reloading? (you listed 6)

What quantities will you be reloading for those calibers? (You said 100 rounds per range visit - but how often per year you left out. Count on that doubling when you discover how much fun and how inexpensive reloading is.

How much time will you be willing to devote to those quantities? I infer from your "hour and a half" limit that you will definitely want a press that is capable of continuous/sequential processing instead of batch processing. Auto-indexing Turret of Progressive is indicated.

What is your budget?

Will you be putting your gear away after each session or leave it set up permanently? You imply the answer is "yes" ("Dies in the box and components put away"), but have not committed to that style. Please elaborate.

How much space will you devote permanently to a loading area, if any?

Do you want it to be portable?

What are your shooting goals? Cheap ammo? Ultimate long-range accuracy? Casual plinking, Serious competition - what kind? Cowboy Action Shooting? Strictly hunting? You said hunting and possibly some competition. More specifics is better.

Originally Posted by 308Prepper
Looks like you probably have all the dies, just need a machine. I'd get the Dillon RL 550B.
Good choice, especially for the high-volume rifle and handgun rounds and keeping the single stage for the low-volume rifle rounds is really good. Top-notch answer and would be my answer too, if 500 rounds of a single caliber per session is in cptmclark's future and if there is the budget for it.

Second choice, and my first choice from what I discern in the OP, is the Lee Classic Turret. Caliber swaps are instant compared to any progressive's caliber swaps. The press and caliber swap "kits" are half the price of the Dillon 550. Production rate, however is about one-third the Dillon's and Dillon's warranty is second to none.

Lee makes some economical progressive presses, Pro-1000 and the superior Lee Loadmaster. I will let others talk about their details. I had two Pro-1000s, bought used which I traded off after I got my Lee Turret. Never used a Loadmaster. Hornady makes a dandy progressive, but it is more expensive than a Dillon 550 for what you get and only a little faster.

A complete setup based on the Lee Classic Turret for 6 calibers (including dies, powder measures, scale, calipers, eye protection, everything you need except a bench and manuals bought new will cost about $700 (less for the stuff you already have, of course, and if you shop well). Dies will be mounted already in their individual turrets and swapping calibers will take seconds. Throughput cyclical rate has been reported at over 200-250 rounds per hour. Sustained rate (which includes keeping components replenished and boxing the finished product) of 125 per hour is easily achieved.

I posted my story of replacing my single stage and progressive presses in this thread:

I hope it might be informative for you.

Lost Sheep

Last edited by Lost Sheep; February 8, 2013 at 06:34 PM.
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