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Old December 24, 2013, 10:30 PM   #51
Lost Sheep
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Originally Posted by BuckRub
I believe people (most) could have whichever they choose. I believe they have what they have because it fits their needs its how they like to reload.
For years I loaded with a press that did not fit my needs particularly well. I didn't know any better. So, my condition during those years did not agree with your belief.

But there is a happy ending.

A couple of years ago I decided to invest in upgrading my bench such that it was the best (for me) that money could buy.

It took a lot of research and would not have been possible even then if I had not had some experience already behind me.

But now, my condition does fit your belief, as I have a setup that fits my needs and how I like to reload.

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Old December 25, 2013, 12:27 AM   #52
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Has any Big Competetions are Mr Tubbs are like Camp Perry are anything like ever been one by Reloaders with Progressives ? An honest question that I've never googled. To me, just feel like every step in all areas have to be perfect. And could only be done on a single stage. I don't mean 20 yards with a pistol, I'm meaning 600 yards and beyond. I know all can make those shots but I mean winning in those tournaments. Maybe if I didn't like to reload or had a full auto but maybe its just me but I strive for everything being perfect. Yes there's more to it - trigger pull, breathing, your gun, scope, doping the wind, etc, etc, and etc. But your ammo has got to be perfect too.
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Old December 25, 2013, 12:33 AM   #53
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Lost Sheep- yes we all have to start somewhere, In what our friends say to buy or according to our finances are what I found at a garage sale, etc. but after 5-10 years we all upgrade to what we like or feel is best for our personal needs. Whether it be progressive or single.
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Old December 25, 2013, 01:55 AM   #54
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Thanks for the reply, Buckrub. And Merry Christmas.

I am a slow learner. Also stubborn. It took me nearly 3 decades to perfect my bench.

But I am happy NOW.

Lost Sheep

edit: P.S. Lee Classic Turret, 7 sets of dies in 7 turrets, three autodisk powder measures, RCBS 10-10 scale, Lee dippers, miscellaneous small tools and all this fits in three medium-small toolboxes. A folding workbench and vibratory case cleaner round out the toolkit (Cleaner is a Frankford Arsenal, but I have not developed a brand preference there). The kit fits my needs perfectly. I can take the whole setup to a friend's house and load there if I want, or set up anywhere in the house (over a dropcloth, of course) and load to my heart's content. Setup and teardown take only a few minutes. Zeroing my scale is the most time-consuming part of the process.

Last edited by Lost Sheep; December 25, 2013 at 02:01 AM.
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Old December 25, 2013, 02:10 AM   #55
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Love how portable your set up is. Mine on the other hand isn't. And when I cut myself. I bleed " GREEN ".
I could reload with anything or any color. I just started green and never looked back.
And Merry Christmas Lost Sheep. Santas not gonna leave me nothing but a bunch of bills (again)

Last edited by BuckRub; December 25, 2013 at 02:17 AM.
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Old December 25, 2013, 03:19 AM   #56
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I love my Dillon 550B... I learned on a progressive and am very thankful I did. When I load for precision rifle rounds, I can always use it one stage at a time when I feel like it.
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Old December 25, 2013, 11:34 AM   #57
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My car/truck analogy was about difficulty in operation not type of vehicle. I was talking about driving, not equipment operation (I'm sure you can see the difference there). Driving Dad's car just like any teen boy would want to do, not operating Dad's work truck. A progressive has it's place but not as a teaching tool. Reloading isn't rocket science, but it needs to be learned correctly, and step by step (half wit bubba can reload his 30-30 easy; jes fill the case wit powder, don't matter what kind, and stuff a bullet in the end and yer done). I hope everyone that tries to learn to reload using a progressive is patient enough to figger what's going on each time the handle is pulled and to keep the hoppers full...
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Old December 25, 2013, 02:23 PM   #58
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Lots of good info already stated here, so I'm not sure what I can add.

I don't remember making any real choice of single stage vs. progressive, probably because I didn't know enough about either type to make an informed decision. I got a 550b because it appeared to be well-designed, and relatively simple. I think I got lucky, in other words.

It took me quite a while to get it running correctly, and then a while longer before I ran it in full progressive operation.

Without any advice from others, I decided to run it "one cartridge at a time" until I had faith in the machine and my process.

While I don't believe I have gone far enough to be classified as complacent, I would admit to being "comfortable" with it after 10 years.

I suppose I would agree that perhaps a little more mechanical aptitude and patience is required to run a progressive. I will confess to being an engineer, and I am aware that an analytical approach to things comes naturally to me. However, I have worked with many individuals who find that approach completely foreign if not abhorrent.

Also, while a progressive press may allow a beginner to make mistakes 10 times more quickly than he could on a single-stage press, I'm not convinced that a single-stage press is any guarantee of safety. Sloppy process is dangerous, regardless of the equipment being used.

So, I would agree with those who say a beginner could start with a progressive press, provided due caution is exercised and appropriate time is allowed for setup and "working up the learning curve". If, after consideration, the beginner feels he doesn't have the time for this, then perhaps a single-stage press would be better.

(But I still have reservations about recommending any kind of reloading equipment to someone who says they are in a hurry... )
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Old December 25, 2013, 02:58 PM   #59
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I began in late 2009 with a LnL AP progressive and I'm glad I did. I wasn't in a hurry to figure everything out, which helped a lot. I did buy a single-stage press a couple of months later as there are certain tasks much better suited to using a single-stage for.

I say if you have the mechanical inclination and the patience, go for it.
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Old December 25, 2013, 04:03 PM   #60
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I see the argument that progressives are too complex. I.e. new reloaders are really stupid and unable to follow directions. I disagree.

I see the argument that progressives allow somebody to replicate mistakes in a hurry. I.e. new reloaders don't pay attention. I disagree.

I see the argument that progressives produce inferior ammo. I.e. every round produced must be sniper-grade accurate or it goes in the dumpster. I disagree.

I just don't see a realistic argument against starting with a progressive.
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Old December 25, 2013, 04:58 PM   #61
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I don't think it's about following directions or not or screwing up or anything else. I believe if you are a beginner into reloading and doing it yourself single stage is alot slowing process that you do one step at a time and you know what process you're doing and why. Progressives - there's so much going on but hey if you got the money and want to start there and you feel it meets your needs. More power to ya.
And about sniper grade or not - maybe Progressives can keep up in that area too. I doubt it myself and wonder how many long range competitions have been won on progressives. Maybe all. I don't know but I'd be willing to believe hardly none.
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Old December 25, 2013, 05:35 PM   #62
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Totaldla I'm sure you will disagree about that too

As new reloader I started on a progressive press (LnL AP). It caused me lots of problems and frustration. I used it as a single stage until I got the basics down. The problem is that by the time I got the basics down the accuracy/long range bug bit me, and in my opinion, a progressive press is not conducive to extreme accuracy.

If I had to do it over again I would probably it would have been way better to learn on a single stage.
Let me try again. With a single stage the diagnosis of a problems complexity is 1 to the first power. With the progressive 5 to the fifth power. But, I'm sure you will disagree about that too.
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Old December 25, 2013, 11:36 PM   #63
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Quality and Fit-for-Purpose

First, if a re-loader doesn't put safety first, is not process oriented, doesn't understand quality assurance / quality control, and does not have a predisposition to be fastidious, then they should not be engaging in a hobby that controls and focuses explosive charges. If they are these things, then the selection of a single or progressive loader should be a decision that best fits the purpose.
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Old December 26, 2013, 12:05 PM   #64
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Save yourself some grief and get a progressive.

I've been loading for 29 years, 6 months, 19 days; on a single stage press.

After 10's, if not, 100's of thousands of rounds: I must be doing something wrong, because "grief" is an emotion I have yet to experience.
Being relatively new to reloading doesn't mean you can't have an opinion Nick. I started reloading an for old 94 Winchester in 1968 using a Lee Loader, and I 'PROGRESSED' from there..(get it?) Back in the seventies I would shoot 3 to 5 hundred rounds on the weekends and spend the rest of the week after work casting and loading on a single stage press. I have single stage, turret and progressive presses and if I had to pick it would be the progressive.

However I am happy that you are not grieving.
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Old December 26, 2013, 02:33 PM   #65
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save yourself some grief and get a progressive.
This clearly wins that all time help and contribution to a discsiion award!

What not to like, clear, concise and chock full of information and reasoning. I think its (pun coming) one of those them thar "bullet statements" that managers love so well as it allows them to make a decision with no understanding of the complexities of a situation!

That said I think the range in people and how they do is vast. Some people take to it like a duck to water and some do not.

For my purposes I am happy with a couple of single step presses. It works for the quantity I do and how I prefer to work. Others have a different starter ability and or want or need the quantity and thats legitimate so its not a single vs progressive issue.

One aspect mentioned was the never had a squib with a single. Hmmm. Guilty, I had several before I got back onto the need (many year hiatus) to double check the tray to ensure each round had not only powder, but the same rough level (I have caught some strange under charges).

Wrong, poor or even bad practices will get poor results no matter what the type is.

I think most people would do better starting out with a single, but some will get right into it and fly fine. You may not even know or have a clue.
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Old December 26, 2013, 03:54 PM   #66
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For me the decision to purchase a progressive first came down to the fact that i had they money for it and most the other equipment needed and wanted some quality reloading equipment. I have played the upgrade game with other hobbies and decided its better to buy once. I will buy a single stage later down the line since they are less expensive but i will finish upgrading the progressive first. im not worried about starting to reload on a progressive I'm used to having multiple things rambling around my head most the time. happy reloading
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Old December 26, 2013, 11:08 PM   #67
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This is probably a personal decision that each reloaded needs to make based on their comfort level and experience. I started reloading over 35 years ago and had my stuff in storage for nearly 30 years as I built my career and raised my kids. Always on a single stage, going slow, always trying to make very nice ammo. Then I had a couple of calibers, not a big deal. Fast forward to the last few years and wanted to load more and faster so I pick up a LNL. It is very helpful to me to have reloaded on a single stage for several years. The progressive has its own issues and it is very confusing at times to get set up. There is definitely more to watch on the progressive, just much more going on and you have to develop a new "feel" for everything. I still like to use my single stage on rifle although I am set up to do them on the progressive. I also use my single to do test loads. For me using the single stage was essential at first. To each their own. Good luck
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Old December 29, 2013, 09:47 PM   #68
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I wish to amend my opinion in light of recent thought.

Short answer: NO. Anyone running a two-die set in one or at most two bottlenecked rifle calibres should probably start on a single-stage, especially if it's a set that can seat and crimp in one go. A turret press would be worthwile for straight-walled calibres and any others requiring multi-die sets (e.g. sizing, flaring, seating and crimping in separate steps).

Long answer: no, not unless they have a genuine need for high-volume ammo production and easy access to a lot of help from someone who's very familiar with the press they are buying.

This is as distinct from the person buying their own first press who has already had plenty of time on the same press owned by a friend or family member or whatever - but then they're not really a first-time reloader, are they?
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Old December 29, 2013, 11:58 PM   #69
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I believe the learning process is easier if you can feel the amount of force involved in each operation and see the amount of movement as each operation is done. This can be seen on a progressive press or a turret or a single stage if you do one casing at a time.

But since the ram on a progressive is offset from the die, there is an inevitable amount of off-axis flex involved. So, amount of movement of the case into the die is better related to amount of movement of the operating handle on a single-stage or a turret than on a progressive.

Also, (and this seems minor, but may affect a novice more than you might expect), on a turret or single stage, the die in operation is visible, front and center, and is the only thing clamoring for attention.

It helps while in the learning process. Offers no help once the operator knows everything he/she needs to know. (When that is, is a subject for another thread.)

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Old December 30, 2013, 08:02 AM   #70
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Let me add this.

How many guys with a progressive ALSO have a single stage? I have both a Coax and Dillon 550b. I would be willing to bet the majority of guys with progressives also have a single stage of some kind as well.

If I have to perform a single operation on some brass I can do it on the Dillon but its much easier to do it on a single stage. I also deprime all my range brass on my Coax, I can run all the common calibers through very quickly at the same time on that press thanks to their innovative jaw shellholder, it also keeps all the dirt off the 550b.

Chances are you will end up with both, if not you can always sell your single stage so if that's you then just start with a single stage and learn each step like the guys above mentioned.
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Old December 30, 2013, 09:31 AM   #71
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And I resize my .223 brass on my progressive. Between the case feeder, and the RCBS lube die, it's just too much faster not to. I've made .223 on both presses. I make my .300 RUM on the single stage, and I make my 45 Auto on the progressive. If I didn't make .300 RUM I wouldn't particularly need a single stage, and I'd be pretty unhappy at someone telling me to drop a hundred bucks on a press for 6 months then sell it for a bunch less. But then, I'm usually unhappy when people try to be a little too free with my money.

Yeah, chances are people will end up with both. And chances are, they could learn on a single stage. And chances are, if they get a progressive afterwards they'll have to learn at least part of it all over again. People should get the one they want first. If they have the money to get a progressive, and primarily load enough volume to justify it, they should get a progressive to start. If they primarily load low volume, or don't have the money, they should get a single stage to start.
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Old December 30, 2013, 01:06 PM   #72
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How many guys with a progressive ALSO have a single stage? I have both a Coax and Dillon 550b. I would be willing to bet the majority of guys with progressives also have a single stage of some kind as well.
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It is handy for lots of things, even with the Dillon progressive as my main press for actual production. I deprime with it so I can clean primer pockets, pull bullets with a collet type puller, & use it for small one-off tests & such like.

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Old December 30, 2013, 01:13 PM   #73
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Originally posted by Huskerguy:

This is probably a personal decision that each reloaded needs to make based on their comfort level and experience.

I agree. Also by the size of your pocketbook and the amount of ammo you are going to load. In my small circle of friends there are several of us that reload. What we own as presses are are varied as we are. Some went the cheapest route with SS and Turrets as they have more time than money. Some have 650s or 1050s will all the bells and whistles. None of us shoot competitively and all load about the same amount of ammo a month. Difference is some load 500 rounds a month of the same caliber with the same charge and bullet and some load the same in half a dozen calibers, sometimes different bullets and powder charges within each of those calibers. Each is happy with what they have and the ammo they produce. Each and every one has a SS, either because they started with one or they use it for rifle, load development or small batches. None of us argues about which is right for the other guy, nor do we look down our nose at those with different equipment.
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Old December 30, 2013, 01:53 PM   #74
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Even though you have several stations working at once in a progressive you know what it feels like and what happens if you have corn cob blocking the primer / de-caping pin. You know the feel of a primer not seating flat or up side down.
It all translates to a progressive.
While it does translate to a progressive, the feel in a progressive is different than a single stage. Also, when something goes wrong, with a single stage, you know pretty quick just what it was, but in a progressive, it can take a bit to figure out....

I started loading in the early 1970s, with a Lyman Spartan C press (back when they were grey, with red trim). After a couple years I added a Lyman Spar-T turret press.

By the late 80s I was running an RCBS O frame press and a Dillon 450.
I stopped using the Dillon many years ago, mostly because of its complexity, and ease of something going wrong. I'm cheap, and I hate to lose components to damage that I would have noticed (and saved) had I been running a single stage.

I am back to using the single stage press, and it suits fine. I load for over 30 different rifle and handgun calibers, from .22 Hornet to .458 Win and the time and effort needed to reconfigure a progressive each time is more than I like to deal with. Also there is the whole toolhead/shell plate stock you have to have for multiple calibers. (ok, you can get by fine with one toolhead, but you have to have different shellplates, and they are a little more expensive than a single shellholder...)

Progressives are good machines, to produce a given load in quantity. While they are quite capable of being reset to do a different load, or different cartridge, getting things "right" after a change can take a little work, so it is a matter of what and how you load that determines if a progressive is really the best suited tool for you.

I'm an old fashioned sort, I believe beginners should learn to shoot with a single shot, and reload on a single stage press.

I also don't think beginning drivers should be put in a formula one race car, or thrown into downtown & freeway traffic. Walk, then run....
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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