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Old April 20, 2009, 03:34 PM   #32
Unclenick
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Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 16,201
Bro2,

I don't know what volume you are shooting? I have a friend who started on a progressive (though he had learned basics on a manually indexed turret press at my house). He is someone who wanted the economy of reloading but isn't interested in handloading as a hobby at all. He looks at it the way he looks at setting up targets: its another chore necessary to getting to shoot. So his strategy has been to achieve the highest volume per hour, period. He got a Dillon 1050 with all the accessories and has never looked back. He just stayed on the phone with Dillon until he had it working (necessary since he is not mechanically inclined to the degree most gun cranks are—probably why handloading doesn't appeal to him as a hobby).

So, it can be done. As suggested earlier, the Dillon 550B is easily used as a single-stage press. I have done that many times, using just one station for one odd operation or another when I was doing the rest on my Forster Co-ax. It might be the best place to start if you are going the progressive route? The manual indexing does not significantly impede speed.

If you go with the progressive, leave enough money for a scale, a vibratory case cleaner, and a caliper, not to mention the primers, bullets and powder (harder to get these days). The scale is necessary to set powder charges. The Lee works, but is a bit slow to settle and people complain about it being easy to set incorrectly. But about any scale, including that inexpensive Lee, will work if you only need to use it to check charges once in a while. One easy trick is to use that inexpensive scale, but cut pieces of stainless wire that equal the weight of your powder charge and use them to check the scale setup before checking the powder measure again.
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