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Old October 27, 2011, 06:07 PM   #26
Crunchy Frog
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Join Date: December 26, 2008
Location: Greenville, SC
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I would not begin with a progressive press. The Lee Classic Turret can be used like a single stage, if necessary but even in "auto index" mode it only performs one operation per cycle so you can watch and learn but still have better production than with a single stage press.

Looks like you dropped the case trimmer from your list, good. It may be a necessity for reloading high power rifle ammo but I have a Lyman trimmer that sits on my bench virtually unused.

I'll agree with the recommendation to drop the hand priming tool and add the Lee Safety Prime which is designed for use on the turret press.

I'll disagree with the comment about the Frankford Armory electronic scale. I have an RCBS balance beam scale but never use it after buying the electronic scale. It is much easier to use and mine has been very accurate. If you go with the Auto Disk (or Pro) measure you will be using the scale to confirm the charges that the disk throws.

I also have a similar electronic caliper (I think it is a Hornady but probably made in the same Chinese factory). It works fine and is another "occasional use" tool.
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Old October 27, 2011, 09:27 PM   #27
Lost Sheep
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Join Date: January 24, 2009
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Two answers and one random thought

Originally Posted by sigcurious
Most of the stuff and opinions I've read have been that its better to learn on a single or turret. Do you think the learning curve would be complicated much by going straight to a progressive?
Simpler with a press that has fewer parts moving around.

Now, you CAN use a progressive as a single stage or as if it were an auto-indexing turret.

Single-stage emulation (or a turret with the head left stationary): Set one die in the press and leave all the other die stations empty. Pass the entire batch of cases through the press. Then repeat with the second die by itself and so forth.

Auto-Indexing turret emulation: Have all the dies installed in the press, but only do one case at a time, that is, feed a new case only after the one before it has passed through all the die stations and been ejected as a finished round.

The problems are that 1) most folks are bound to get impatient and go progressive mode sooner than they are ready and 2) you are learning a new skill (loading). Trying to learn the operations and adjustments of a complex piece of equipment on top of the the loading is a needless distraction.

It certainly can be done. But it is a whole lot easier to teach a child to walk wearing regular shoes than to teach a child to walk wearing roller skates.

Know the complications you are inviting when you start and you will do fine. I can tell from the sorts of questions you are asking.

I like the auto-indexing turret for two reasons: One, it is cheaper to buy and to expand caliber selections with than a progressive and two, I never got comfortable with simultaneous operations each requiring my (undivided?) attention.
Originally Posted by sigcurious
Good to know on not needing a case trimmer at first. I plan on starting with fresh brass, which I imagine should be mostly the right length. Do 9mm cases or handgun cases in general not get stretched out length wise after firing?
In my experience, straight-walled semiautomatic cases generally get lost before they need trimming or wear out. Also, most testimony I have heard is that they tend to get shorter with use rather than longer.

Bottlenecked rifle cases do tend to get longer with use. They headspace on the shoulder, and each time they are fired, the inevitable clearance (that allows easy chambering) stretches the body of the brass a little. Then, when reloading, the case-mouth expander button pulls the neck as the case is withdrawn from the die (more so than when going in).

Straight-walled cases get friction (and more of it than when coming out of the sizing die) going in, which tends to pust the brass shorter. Then crimping pushes on the case mouth. Then chambering (for those rounds that headspace on the case mouth) gives the mouth a whack. It's no wonder they might tend to get squished shorter.

Here's a thought: If you are definitely sure you will be getting a progressive eventually, get a single stage now (one that uses bushings). Almost every handloader I know has at least one single stage press for jobs that are simply easier to do on a single stage. Get one with PLENTY of leverage. You many not use it much after you get a progressive, but you will not regret having it around. Forster Co-Ax if you are flush with cash (and it has some unique qualities, like fast die changes without having to buy breechlock bushings). I hear that Hornady's breechlock is good. Lee's Classic Breechlock is great if your budget is tight. Just a thought.

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Old October 28, 2011, 05:31 PM   #28
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Thanks for all the information guys. I think I have all the info I need to proceed comfortably in buying the equipment/hardware needed. Any further comments or opinions are always welcome though as it will be a few weeks before I get to purchasing it all. Another flurry of questions will probably follow once I get set up though
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Old October 29, 2011, 06:58 PM   #29
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Join Date: October 23, 2011
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Like you, I was giving it some thought and jumped in with both feet and swapped a nice competition compound bow for everything I could possibly need including the entire bench.

Reading reading reading and not being to proud to take advice or ask for help are my suggestions. I admit that I learn 5x better when someone walks me through the steps. I can read it all over and over but if someone shows me the right way to do it one time, I will remember that and it helps me learn.

Pride and reloading dont belong in the same room, if you think you dont know the answer, don't hesitate to ask. There are lots and lots of great guys online that are into it full throttle and will be more than happy to share their knowledge...and how great is that?

These forums are worth their weight in gold...the knowledge you can pick up is invaluable.
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