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Old April 17, 2012, 11:43 AM   #26
David Wile
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Join Date: June 14, 2001
Location: Mechanicsburg, PA
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Use Of A Progressive Press On A Breakdown Table?

Hey folks,

No one seems to have addressed the issue of Kmaultsby using his press in a townhouse where space is a premium and wanting to break things down and reassemble quickly. This seems like a most important point to consider, but all too quickly we went off to the "buy the brand I have" discussions.

My suggestion to Kmaultsby is to reconsider buying any progressive press if he expects to mount it on any mobile type setup that can be quickly disassembled and put away. Progressive presses by their very nature require a very sturdy and solid bench mounting to get them to work properly. With a single stage press, you can mount it on a knock down table or whatever and get by doing your reloading. Not so with a progressive press. A progressive press does so many things at once, it has to be mounted solidly.

The first and most obvious problem with a flimsy mounting surface is getting the powder dispenser to throw consistent charges. If the press is not solidly mounted on a very sturdy bench, it will move as the handle is cycled, and this will throw powder dispensers way off. One cannot stress enough the concept of solid mounting for progressive presses.

Another functional problem with not having a progressive press mounted solidly is the getting the primer feeder to work consistently. Primer feeders on a progressive press are a bit tricky to insure proper working, but I suspect a lot of "faulty" primer feeder problems are due to the press not being mounted solidly.

As to mounting case feeders and bullet feeders on a progressive press, I do not have either, but I can only imagine they would probably also require solid mounting of the press. Some folks who have problems with the priming function of their progressive presses give up and simply size and reprime all their brass in a batch operation, and then they put them in the machine a second time to actually finish loading them. Based on Kmaultsby's original post, that does not seem to be what he wants to get from a progressive press.

Again I would suggest to Kmaultsby to put off buying a progressive press if he cannot find a place to build a truly solid bench on which to mount it. No brand of progressive press is going to perform well and consistently if it is not mounted solidly.

Mrawesome22 asked back on post #12, "I've also wondered why RCBS progressives are never talked about. My RC Supreme is a wonderful tool, built like a tank." RCBS was making rock solid single stage reloading presses long before anyone ever heard of Lee, Dillon, or Hornady presses.

For perhaps two decades, the only progressive presses available to most reloaders were the progressives made for shotshell use. Then Dillon and Hornady got into the business of making metallic progressive presses while RCBS seemed to sit back and ignore the concept for a number of years.

When RCBS finally got into making a progressive product, it was a rather lame attempt at the entering the progressive market. They introduced their Piggyback progressive press which was designed to be mounted atop an RCBS RockChucker press. When I first saw the retrofit Piggyback unit a friend had, I wondered how RCBS could have come out with what was a poor excuse for competition with the Dillon and Hornady progressive presses.

I have been using RCBS presses since the 1950s and had the highest regard for their products. So, when I first saw their Piggyback model, I just could not believe RCBS could be left so far behind in the business of advancing press design.

For those folks who own Piggybacks, I am not saying the Piggyback does not have a place in the reloading market - not saying that at all. I am simply saying I was disappointed that RCBS did not come out with a progressive press at that time which would be be comparable to the Hornady and Dillon 650 progressives. My friend who had the Piggyback was very happy with his machine. It fit his needs and it fit his wallet. I am sorry to say he suddenly died two years ago. At the time of his death, however, he was still punching out his pistol ammo very happily on his Piggyback. Obviously it served him well.

It has been a long time since Dillon and Hornady have been making progressive presses, and Lee has since started making them in one fashion or another. It is only in recent years that RCBS finally came out with a progressive press that competes with the Dillon 650 and the Hornady L&L. I have not seen the RCBS Pro 2000, but I suspect it is a good machine, and I also suspect that I could make it work for me if I had one.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile
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Old April 17, 2012, 01:03 PM   #27
Join Date: March 1, 2011
Posts: 54
I run a L-N-L AP. I load .45's, 9mm. After doing my research it seemed to be the best fit for me. My list of desires were about the same as yours. The only difference was the take-down issue, which I think you will come to realize you do not want to do that.

What I did was mount my reloader set up on a 2'x3' metal rolling cart. I added a plywood top and a 2'x1' set of 2 shelves to the back part of the top. I am able to fit all my supplies neatly with this set-up (@4k finished rounds of each caliper, enough components for that same amount again) and just roll it out when I am reloading and roll it into a unused area when I am not using it.

I tolerate reloading in order to shoot as much as I like. I know some of us enjoy it as another hobby, just not me. Part of that may be my undiagnosed OCD and ADD. I do stay very vigilant when reloading, but it is mind numbingly simple once you are set up and rolling. With that said changing calibers is not bad at all once I had my dies dialed in. Basically all it is is changing the shell plate, readjusting the powder drop and changing the powder die out since I use the PTX for .45 and not for 9mm, pulling one set of dies out and inserting the set needed for the caliber being loaded, the only other thing involved is resetting the RCBS lock-out powder check, and sometimes changing the primer set-up from large to small. All said it only takes me a few minutes and I do not find it difficult at all.

Even though it is easy to make the change I always run as many rounds thru while I am set up, just because it is so fast just pumping out rounds once you are rolling. As I said earlier I don't really enjoy reloading, so if I keep going I tend to load more than if I stop and walk away. It is hard for me to talk my self into sitting back down to that monotony.

Hope that helps. Like the others said you will probably be happy with whichever press you chose.
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Old April 18, 2012, 08:35 AM   #28
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@GWS, I researched extensively , read countless reviews .... That is how I came up with my decision. What I meant with compatibility with neighbors was more intended to be viewed as experience and expertise, this to allow me to use them as a resource. Which IMO IS a good thing . I don't think any brand is all that "better" , I just wanted to express an opinion that to buy a dillon progressive as your first machine is unwise is not necessarily a true statement. I am not a professional competition shooter but I do have a son that when the two of us together start shooting we happen to go through a number of rounds. That being said I don't feel that my 650 is any better than any other machine, just what I wanted for myself for My reasons that is all.
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Old April 18, 2012, 08:38 PM   #29
Lost Sheep
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Join Date: January 24, 2009
Location: Anchorage Alaska
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Originally Posted by David Wile
Use Of A Progressive Press On A Breakdown Table?
Hey folks,

No one seems to have addressed the issue of Kmaultsby using his press in a townhouse where space is a premium and wanting to break things down and reassemble quickly.
Right. I missed that, though it is buried in the links I posted.

I have the ability to load 7 calibers and lack for nothing in tools and parts (That is, there is nothing I need to do that I don't have the proper tools for).

Except for my workbench (which is one of those folding ones like Stanley or Black & Decker), tumbler, dropcloth and several manuals, everything fits in three toolboxes, the largest of which is 24"x10"x10" (exterior dimensions)

I have 7 sets of dies, mounted in 7 turrets, ready to go, a Lee Classic Turret, a board to mount the press on, 2 scales, a set of Lee Dippers, 2 Auto-Disk powder measures, eye protection and miscellaneous small tools like bullet puller, calipers, etc.

I can pack up and go to my friend's house and load there if I want and only have to make three trips to the car (two for the gear and one for bullets, primers and powder). I make more trips than that to go to the range.

Setup takes 'way less than 10 minutes and teardown less than 5.

Compact and quick.

Lost Sheep (as I pat myself on the back)
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