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Old November 28, 2018, 09:43 PM   #51
drain smith
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Due to the fact that you are loading .223 and 308 I wouldn't get the Dillon Square Deal B. At $427.00 and only 4 stations and it will only load pistol. For me, that would be a "No Brainer"
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Old November 29, 2018, 12:38 PM   #52
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Welcome to the world of reloading.
Reloading is not cheap, even when buying an inexpensive press.

You always going to need something...ALWAYS !...
My wife wants to skin me alive.... what do you need now ?

But it is a great past time.
Read everything you can... you can never know enough.
BE SAFE ! ...safety is paramount to good loading practices.

Buy your self a few good loading books so you can cross reference when you need to.
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Old November 29, 2018, 02:49 PM   #53
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OLD 454:
Quote:
You always going to need something...ALWAYS !...
My wife wants to skin me alive.... what do you need now ?
This is where I use honesty. I tell my wife I do not need this (insert item) but it would be a nice to have.

Do you have one of those guns? Yes, honey I do but not this serial number. Do I need that powder scale? No, not really but it would be a nice to have and allow me to do with ease things you wouldn't understand.

Getting started in reloading does take a few bucks to get started, even a mid range single stage press can be somewhat expensive with expensive being a relative term. Once you get over the initial investment you are pretty much there short only the nice to have items.

Ron
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Old November 29, 2018, 05:11 PM   #54
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I tell my wife I do not need this (insert item) but it would be a nice to have.

Do you have one of those guns? Yes, honey I do but not this serial number. Do I need that powder scale? No, not really but it would be a nice to have and allow me to do with ease things you wouldn't understand.
Ron,

Does your wife have an unmarried sister.

Don
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Old November 29, 2018, 05:54 PM   #55
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I have 2 lee breech lock single stage and a lee classic turret. Very happy with them.
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Old November 29, 2018, 05:56 PM   #56
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If you pick wisely, the cost per round can be substantually lower than "factory" ammo.
I would guess I have added about $1000 in equipment that is direct reloading or related to shooting (boro scope)

I am looking at the Lab Radar for $500 now (will wait but .....)

On the other hand its not as costly as drugs and less impact on our life!
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Old November 29, 2018, 08:21 PM   #57
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*Nothing progressive
*Nothing that begins w/ L-e-e
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Old November 29, 2018, 10:22 PM   #58
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Lee gets a lot of bad rap but I have an old Lee "O" press laying upstairs which will load single stage with the best of them. The Breech Lock Challenger "O" Frame Press Model is a pretty stout press which, over the years I have loaded some really great match ammunition on in primarily 308 Winchester and 223 Remington. Anyone would be hard pressed to wear it out. The one I have is about 25 to 30 years old and functions just fine. I like the design as an O press is stout from the beginning. While it is no Co Ax it does well enough.

I am not as fond of other Lee products but I like the Lee O Press design and durability. My existing one was a part of a gun trade in deal and that is how it came along. Were I to see another at a reasonable price I would likely buy it.

Ron
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Old November 30, 2018, 12:03 PM   #59
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I don't wanna get into the "Lee Hater" stuff, but there is only one tool (presses, dies, hand tools) I've had problems with and that was a Lee 45ACP powder through flaring die.

FWIW; I have no idea what my handloads cost me. I don't count pennies for my components (but I don't spend foolishly either) and in the last 5 years I've purchased two boxes of factory ammo. I reload because I like to, it's a good pastime, I learn a lot more about my guns, and I custom tailor ammo for each of my guns. I may be saving money, but I doubt it, and I don't care...
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Old November 30, 2018, 01:28 PM   #60
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It really comes down to the gear that fits your wallet and makes you happy at the end of the day.

Anyone saying stay away from lee is simply a know nothing. They make one of the best O frame presses on the market. The original classic cast(non breech lock) press makes the rock chucker primer thrower look like exactly what it is, 1960 tech.
They also make dies that are as good as any, and quite a bit cheaper than most others.

Anyone saying stay away from a progressive is simply repeating an age old myth that most people aren't smart enough to figure one out on their first go.

If you can change oil plugs and tires on a car you can operate any consumer level press.

Do your research, regardless if you can always sell off and start over it sucks a bunch to drop $500-1000 or more and build a bench, area, all set up then realize it wasn't what you wanted.
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Old November 30, 2018, 06:55 PM   #61
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I know a guy that reloads on a Lee Loadmaster that he inherited from his "G-Paw". Now I saw those two Bashing and picking on each other for 2 1/2 years but when "G-Paw" was explaining how to do anything with the press that guy would be as quiet as hell just watching and paying attention.

When "G-Paw" died he willed 4 LoadMasters to this guy. And he currently has one set up on his bench. This last weekend I saw him tear it down, clean it, lube it, and put it back together. Then I watched him run 400 rounds in an hour without having to stop to fix anything.

I have offered him to use one of my Ammo-Plants, but he prefers to use his "G-Paw" press.

Now, I don't let this Guy prime his own brass because I don't think it is safe for my 7-year-old grandson to do that yet.

Last edited by drain smith; December 3, 2018 at 12:17 AM.
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Old December 2, 2018, 03:06 PM   #62
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drain smith, I really liked that post. Thank you.
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Old December 2, 2018, 03:31 PM   #63
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Lee equipment is price pointed for those that cant afford a dillon or hornady etc
With out Lee alot of people would not have been able to get into reloading.

I started out with a loadmaster ... lolol... it was a challange to do alot of reloading on it. I swear it was haunted.

I now own 2 Dillon xl650 and am very happy with them
But... I dont care what press you buy they all have there little problems from time to time... some more then others.
What ever you do dont fall into the ..." I can do xxx per hour on my press"
It's not about how many rounds per hour you make ...its the quality of the ammunition you make.
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Old December 2, 2018, 05:13 PM   #64
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OLD 454I don't quite agree with your statement. I can afford to buy whatever presses I desire yet I own a Lee Turret press, a Lee Pro1000 and now also a new Lee Auto Breech Lock Pro. And like you I am quite happy with them.
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Old December 2, 2018, 08:39 PM   #65
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Yea, but the problem is starting out and what to get to allow you to figure out what you want.

I was just lucky, the RCBS Junior worked for what I needed at the time and still serves and the RC the same.
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Old December 2, 2018, 10:19 PM   #66
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opinions are like everything else, and it's all relative. This internet age we now live in is truly wonderful. When I started reloading (early 80's), I was only interested in loading cost effective pistol rounds, 357 and 44mag. I was tired of paying $18.95 for a 50 round box of Federal, 180gr JHP ammo. Not having a mentor, I bought a Lyman Reloading Manual (46th edition) and ended up buying a Lee three hole turret press. I still have it and use it regularly for various functions.

A couple years later I bought a Dillon RL450 and really liked it but tired of swapping powder bars and primer feeds for large and small. So I soon bought a second RL450. I still use both for all of my pistol reloads.

In the last 7 years I have have finally grown up and started loading for rifle and used one or the other RL450 in a single stage fashion. But I eventually realized that the torquing of the shell plate head at the top of the stroke had to be wrenching sideways on my rifle cases.

Today, I am way more interested in loading for accuracy, and have found myself aggravating the spouse with my must have purchases. Just recently after at least six months of pondering, I decided on a Forster Co-Ax press and love it. But as good as it is, I do not see how it can work with my RCBS collet bullet puller.

And so back to the the original question, "which press would I NOT buy" as my first and only press? The answer is none of the presses I just listed and own today. If I was starting all over, it would have to be a cast iron single stage press, and that new MEC press looks exceptional to me.
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Old December 3, 2018, 06:04 AM   #67
Old 454
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I agree KMW ..starting out reloading buy what you want absolutely!

Hell buy a cheaper press ... handloading is not for everyone find out if you like it.

And you bought, in my opinion the better of the lee presses. I wish I had bought the lee classic cast turret.. it's much better press then the loadmaster.

But my point was for those that wanted to get into reloading but could not afford the Blue or the Red presses could afford a lee press of what model best suited them..

When the old man Richard Lee ran Lee precision..I personally think the quality was better then then it is today.
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Old December 3, 2018, 06:53 AM   #68
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I have a Lee Challenger press from the mid 90's, works great. I have a newer version with the breech lock set and forget die option, works great as well. I've loaded several thousand rifle rounds with 'em. Stay away from the LEE powder scale, very hard to set & read which can lead to operator errors.
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Old December 3, 2018, 11:12 AM   #69
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What product, or brand should I steer clear of?
I have presses, dies and scales, there are not many Herter presses I do not have; I also have RCBS presses and I have one Lee press. I do not use the Lee press but I do have one, I also have RCBS presses I do not use, two of the RCBS presses I do not use are called Partner presses.

And again, there is a chance I have the only press sold that looks like a spider doing push-ups. In a book of review on reloading equipment it was recommended reloaders stay away/avoid this press. I purchased my press from a man that was selling kitchen equipment at a flea market in NAPA, California. He claimed the press was a juicer; I could have as much trouble finding that press as I would finding the little Lee press.

If you are interested in purchasing used equipment let me know.

F. Guffey
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Old December 3, 2018, 04:14 PM   #70
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Today, I am way more interested in loading for accuracy, and have found myself aggravating the spouse with my must have purchases. Just recently after at least six months of pondering, I decided on a Forster Co-Ax press and love it. But as good as it is, I do not see how it can work with my RCBS collet bullet puller.

And so back to the the original question, "which press would I NOT buy" as my first and only press? The answer is none of the presses I just listed and own today. If I was starting all over, it would have to be a cast iron single stage press, and that new MEC press looks exceptional to me.

Agreed and buy local. Shipping prices for a RCBS Rock Chucker would be killer. I hate to think what some of Mr Gs old one weight, more like an anvil.
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Old December 9, 2018, 01:19 AM   #71
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Looks like the OP never came back to his threat.

I would skip anything LEE and RCBS. Redding T-7 if you don't want to go fully progressive, Dillion 650 otherwise.

No way in hell would I buy an aluminium framed press.
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Old December 9, 2018, 12:33 PM   #72
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I bought my Rock Chucker combo new from Gradys Wholesale Sports in 1973-74 mail order. Came with the press, shell holder and a set of RCBS .308 Win dies. My buddy bought one too and we ordered together and got free shipping, 42.00 each. No problems with anything but the plastic spent primer tray broke, E-mailed RCBS and they sent me a new one FREE !!!. I took it apart a couple times to clean and lube the ram and bore and pivot points. I'll wear out before the RCBS tools will !!! hdbiker
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Old December 9, 2018, 03:04 PM   #73
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Getting a complet basic setup has a lot of appeal vs buying the bits and pieces sepearely.

I forget what I got with the Junior.

The RC was a kit on a good price (early 80s, Longs Drug AK of all things and a story there)

Got me going for hunting loads and a bit of target with rifle.

So its not just the press, its the shell holder or holders, dies, scale of some kind, funnel, deburr (and latter trim) and .........................................
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Old December 9, 2018, 10:58 PM   #74
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I don't get all the comments on aluminum framed presses. Dillons are aluminum and they have a stellar record for longevity.
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