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Old June 16, 2000, 01:19 PM   #1
Eric of IN
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Join Date: April 4, 2000
Posts: 425
What shold I be looking for in a used press? I assume like anything else, some brands stand up to use better than others. Can anyone give me a breakdown on durability of the different brands? I'm primarily looking at single-stage types for reloading .45 acp, and possibly later on 7.62X39, or .223. Current gun collection is fairly limited, but growing, so it probably needs to be flexible. I know the prevailing wisdom is "Get a Dillon 550", but I have looked at the prices, and I just can't swing one at this time. I only shoot around 300 rds/month, so a progressive being much faster is not a big deal.


Formerly Puddle Pirate.
Teach a kid to shoot.
It annoys the antis.
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Old June 16, 2000, 02:26 PM   #2
Join Date: April 6, 2000
Location: Winterville, Ga. USA
Posts: 50
You probably will not go wrong with anything from RCBS. Their presses are very well built and parts are always available if needed.
Old June 16, 2000, 04:44 PM   #3
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Join Date: February 20, 1999
Location: home on the range; Vermont (Caspian country)
Posts: 14,270
For a used single-stage get RCBS -- lifetime warranty.

"All my ammo is factory ammo"

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Old June 16, 2000, 04:47 PM   #4
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Join Date: May 16, 2000
Location: Bryan, Texas
Posts: 8
I'll agree will Winterland Will - loaded with a RCBS Rock Chucker for years - it's a great machine. I still use mine for all long guns, really like the idea of complete control of the power charge. Good luck.
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Old June 16, 2000, 05:00 PM   #5
Join Date: October 2, 1999
Posts: 87
You just can beat a single stage RCBS Rock Chucker, they are darn near indestructable. Mine is half old enough to draw social security and its more reliable than I am.
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Old June 16, 2000, 06:01 PM   #6
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Join Date: March 19, 2000
Location: Jeanerette, La. Near the
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Guess I will have to throw my 2c in and agree with all of you and the RCBS. I bought a RCBS Jr. press (obsolete now) in 1965. It was $27.95 brand new, came with one set of dies (22-250 in my case) and the primer arm and one shell holder.
Well friends it is still in use today, no telling how many thousands of rounds later. Only problem I had with it was the 2 lil tits that the rubberband went around on the spent primer catcher broke off when I dropped it on the concrete floor. No problemo I just drilled 2 holes in about the same spot and put a machine screw in the 2 holes for the rubberband.
In 1992 when Hurricane Andrew came rip-roaring through here, and so politely removed the roof to my old shop and dumped 10 to 12 inches of rain on the ceiling everything got soaked. It was 2 weeks before I could get in there to salvage. I lost almost NOTHING! Some things had rust on them such as bullet moulds, the RCBS uniflow Powder measure was frozen with rust, the press was frozen too. However a little time and crocus cloth and Remington Gun Oil took care of everything.
My Only loss was a 1965 edition of the Speer Loading manual and a 1974 Edition of the Hornady manual. It took a while but I managed to replace them with the same manuals from E-bay. The Sierra and Lyman manuals were ok.
I guess the point I am trying to make is that RCBS stuff (and some others too) is made to last. I would not hesitate to buy some of it used.
Guess i will quit rambling now, but you know how us old farts get when it comes time to reminisce (or however you spell it)!

Carlyle Hebert
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Old June 16, 2000, 06:02 PM   #7
Art Eatman
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Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
Posts: 24,122
The "O" type press won't give (Flex) when full-length resizing large rifle cases. (Not that "C" types have any bad reputation for this.) Stay away from any aluminum-frame stuff.

I'm like the rest of the crowd; I've got a couple of RCBS "O" types...One of them's been around 25, maybe 30 years.

, Art
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Old June 20, 2000, 12:11 PM   #8
Join Date: April 10, 2000
Location: Florida USA
Posts: 17
I'll have to agree with the rest of the fellas/gals. Have a Rock Chucker that was an X-mas present in 1977. Thing is built like a tank. No problems with this press at all. Don't like the spent primer catching set up. A few primers will always end up on the floor.
Have delt with Hornady with great results. I also have a Hornady Pro-Jector auto loader that I picked up from a sporting goods store dumping their reloading equipment. The thing was a display and I paid a whooping $50.00(yes that is $50.00). That was 6 or 7 years ago. Started having problems with the shell plate indexing. Sent the press back to Hornady and they fixed it and return shipped it at no charge. The parts list of things replaced was at least 12 items. New springs, screws and such. Works better that it did when I first bought it.

I would buy used from either company. Both have a great warranty policy.

Gun control means hitting your target!!!
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Old June 20, 2000, 02:03 PM   #9
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Join Date: December 5, 1999
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Posts: 1,686
Lyman T-Mag or Spar-T turret presses last a long time too. Mine is 30 plus years old and runs as smooth as silk!

The Seattle SharpShooter - TFL/GT/UGW/PCT/KTOG
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Old June 21, 2000, 08:36 AM   #10
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Join Date: April 9, 2000
Location: Central NC
Posts: 339
Another satisfied RCBS user here. Not a problem after 10 years and countless thousands of rounds, both rifle and pistol. RCBS is part of the Blount outdoor goods empire, and Blount is one of the good guys with support for outdoor sports and the NRA.

If you are interested in economy, be sure to check out the RCBS "beginner" kits sold through Midway ( For around $100, depending on the kit and whether there's a sale going on, you can get a press, one die set, scale, etc. It's a good way to get started and I've recommended these kits to many folks, all of whom have found them to be a great way to get started.

Ken Strayhorn
Hillsborough NC

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Old June 21, 2000, 09:04 AM   #11
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Join Date: July 1, 1999
Location: Iowa
Posts: 2,135
One more vote for RCBS. I've been using a Reloader Special to load 200 rounds per week for over 20 years.

It still looks and works like new...


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Old June 21, 2000, 02:09 PM   #12
Patrick Graham
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Join Date: January 18, 1999
Location: Kokomo, Indiana USA
Posts: 674
If it's single stage.. you can load more, faster with a Lyman turret press.
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Old June 23, 2000, 09:01 AM   #13
James E
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Join Date: April 20, 2000
Posts: 371
I'm really partial to my C&H 4-station die H-press. Just wish it could take the Hornady lock-N-load die inserts. I'm lazy, don't like to change dies all the time. Get a Hornady 007 press, it has the L-N-L die inserts.

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Old June 23, 2000, 06:36 PM   #14
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Join Date: May 29, 1999
Posts: 128
I have had my Rock Chucker for 25+ years and it is still good as new (and it has loaded a gazillion rounds!). To say I am pleased is an understatement.
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