Thread: Press Upgrade
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Old June 7, 2013, 11:49 AM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: April 6, 2013
Location: Alabama
Posts: 286
I hear you. I started out on a single stage and did 50-60 rounds per hour.

Then I got a couple of progressive presses (Lee Pro-1000). But I never got used to monitoring multiple simultaneous operations and finally got an auto-advancing Turret press. 150 to 200 rounds an hour is easy to achieve.

The trouble is, at 200-300 rounds a week, the 200-500 rounds an hour a progressive can offer may be more matched to your needs.

So, the relative merits of the types of presses available might be of interest. These are my observations and opinions:

There are two types of turrets. Auto-indexing and manual indexing. Only one manufacturer offers auto-indexing, Lee Precision offers two, no one else offers any. The autoindexing can be turned on and off. It can speed things up considerably.

Among turrets, no one makes a better autoindexing turret than Lee. No turret press is faster and no turret press can swap calibers as easily (10 to 20 seconds).

Lee, RCBS, Hornady and Dillon make progressive presses. You have seen several supporters of Dillon's products. They are generally acknowledged as the best, with the best customer support. Hornady seems to come next, then RCBS, with Lee bringing up the rear. But Lees progressives are inexpensive enough to afford one in each caliber. Then remember that quality and ease of use and customer service follow along pretty closely along with the price.

Swapping calibers on a turret is easier than on a progressive (seconds vs minutes). If you load 100-200 of a caliber, then another 100-200 of another caliber at a sitting, swapping calibers on a progressive will get tiresome. On a turret, it is much easier. If you load several hundred of a single caliber, the speed difference between a turret (even an auto-indexing one) will make your choice a progressive.

So, what's your loading style? (Big batches of single calibers at a time or smaller batches of multiple calibers?) What's your budget? $100-150 for a Lee Classic Turret or $200 for a Lee progressive up to $350-$600 for a nice progressive?

Good luck.

Lost Sheep
9MM I want to shoot 200-500 times a week. .223 maybe a 1/3 of that(we know how that and .308 I am reloading for hunt grade so that means I will most likely treat this as a single stage load so manual indexing and precise measurements will go here along with manual powder charge due to the fact I weigh the powder.

I've seen more bad reviews on the Lee Progressive press though. Then again I read a lot of bad reviews on the Hornady GS-1500 and Hornady Lock N Load Auto Charge, but I have not had bad luck out of either of them as I own both of them.

It really depends on what you're loading how many die stations you need.
For years I only reloaded bottle neck rifle cases, a 2-die operation, 3 if you count Dillon's built in powder drop. The 450 had 4 stations & I only used 3 of them so I was GTG.

Then I started reloading strait wall pistol cases & using a separate crimping die. Now I use 4 stations.

Do I need the "other" stations like powder check? I don't know I've always been fairly meticulous so I've never felt the need for a gadget to replace attention to detail.
That's how I am. I check every 5th charge. I did a beta batch of checking every 10th round and it was right on. By checking I threw the charge picked the case up and dumped the charge onto the scale and it was right at my setting. I trust SEEING it than seeing a little plunger. Then again the progressives have enough space you can do both.

I've seen and heard people who check only every 50th round.

Thanks for the input everyone...making this research and transition easier.
Training pays keep active with your firearm. It could save your life one day.
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