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Old March 28, 2013, 02:41 PM   #11
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Join Date: February 23, 2005
Posts: 12,869
The # 1 mfg for shotshell presses is MEC.

They have a variety of single stage, some progressives that are manually indexed (Grabber model), and fully progressive with auto indexing in their 9000 series. One 9000 HN is hydraulic operated - with a foot pedal. But you'll find something in that mix of handle 12ga loads.

I would personally recommend a Grabber model ...good progressive machine/ even though its manually indexed. Way better than a single stage operation if you're going to shoot over 100 shells a month...

Mec presses are gague specific. So you'll need one press for 12ga ...a different one for 20ga ....and 28ga ....and .410 ....etc...
On metallic Dillon and Hornaday probably lead the industry in presses. Dillon 650 and Hornaday LNL are their respective top end machines. They will both handle your handgun and rifle calibers...with die changes, shell plates, etc for each caliber. Personally, I like the Dillon 650 over the LNL - but both machines have their fans.

Both of them will max out their usage - if you add a case feeder ...but it isn't something you need right now / but its a really good feature for high volume calibers like in handguns. Either of these machines will easily give you 750 rounds an hour.../ making reloading an easy part of the hobby ...vs a chore.

To me, all of the single stage presses are a "chore" ...unless you only want 25 rounds at a time for some hunting, in a .30-06 caliber or something. But most of them will only give you 100 rds an hour or so ...and I have way too many other things I'd rather do ...than take a full 8 hour day to get 800 rds loaded ...when a good progressive press will do that in an hour.
If you have attention to can learn to load on a good progressive machine. You just need to really understand each step - how the press works. Some of the presses ...have powder check die options - so you will get a beep or the press will lock out if the powder drop is not within specs. Its a nice feature on any high volume handgun calibers / adds another layer of safety ...and that's always a good thing.
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