The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 11, 2008, 12:39 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: April 11, 2008
Posts: 1
Getting Back Into Reloading - Need Advice

I used to reload pistol ammo about 15 years ago (9mm, .357 and .45). I had a Lee press that I purchased second hand from a friend with 3 or 4 holes in the plate for the dies. He also showed me enough basics to safely reload at that time. Most of that knowledge and the gear is long gone (I think I may still have the Lee dies) and I want to get back into reloading. The safe and proper way that is.

I would greatly appreciate some advice on gear, where to buy it and recommendations on books, tutorials or training. I will probably only reload around 4000-5000 rounds total per year in the following calibers.

8mm Mauser 500
.223 1500 (AR's, Mini-14)
.308 1000 (M1a, PTR91, Boltguns)
9mm 500
.40 500
.45 500

I figure I don't need a fancy press, but have seen 3 and 4 hole models where you can remove the turret plate for quick change outs. Beyond that I know I am way out of touch on the other gear that is needed.

Thanks in advance on any help you can provide.
Schmauser is offline  
Old April 11, 2008, 02:27 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: February 14, 2008
Location: Kansas
Posts: 753
Since you will be reloading rife and pistol cartridges with considerable volume take a look at the progressive presses; Hornady LNL or Dillon RL550. Most likely you can use the dies you already have.
tom234 is offline  
Old April 11, 2008, 02:28 PM   #3
Join Date: March 22, 2008
Location: Yuma, Arizona
Posts: 90
I am very happy with the Lee Classic Turret Press. I use it for .45ACP, .357Mag, 38Spl, 32ACP. I really like the convenience of setting the dies in the replaceable turret plate. A different plate for each set of dies, set them once and then just quick change the plates. There may be more expensive systems out there, but they basically do the same thing. Good luck. Hope this helps.
HDDeluxe is offline  
Old April 11, 2008, 02:51 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: March 28, 2000
Posts: 4,055
Get a Dillon 550.
M1911 is offline  
Old April 11, 2008, 04:40 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: February 23, 2005
Posts: 12,896
I'd recommend the Dillon equipment - you can check them out online at - but RCBS, Hornady, etc make good presses too.

The Dillon 550 or 650 will handle your needs - but for me, the deal breaker on a press, is to buy something with a powder check station in it, for a little extra security to make sure you have a good powder drop. In the Dillon lineup the 650 has it but the 550 does not.

Almost any press will easily meet your volume requirements / but speed isn't the biggest deal - its quality, safety and repeatability of the loads that I think is the most important. Dillon equipment does that as well, if not better, than most - and I think they're good guys to work with. I would recommend you buy the equipment straight from them unless you have a local shop that stocks it - then I would support your local gun shop. Dillon also has a good startup kit, vibrating cleaner, media - the other stuff you'll need. Lots of good books out there now too - although I like the Hodgdon books - and my primary powders are Hodgdon.

Last edited by BigJimP; April 11, 2008 at 04:41 PM. Reason: added info
BigJimP is offline  
Old April 12, 2008, 11:46 AM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: July 28, 2007
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 10,982
Being that I've reloaded for 20 years, all single stage and not progressive (at least not progressive in metallic cartridges), can someone tell me if it really makes sense to do with a Dillon if half of your production is going to be bottle-neck rifle rounds?

Given all the case prep necessary, including primer pockets, trimming for length, case mouth chamfering and lubing the case body to keep from being stuck in the die, does it really make fiscal sense to load .223, .308 and 8x57 on an expensive progressive machine?

I wouldn't think so, but I'll keep an open mind. For 9, .40 and .45, I'm right there with you. I am quite sure that many pistol shooters wouldn't even possible consider loading handgun rounds with a slow single stage the way I do it, and I can see where they are coming from.
Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
Sevens is offline  
Old April 12, 2008, 12:02 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: November 19, 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 810
I have Dillon and Lee presses. For what you describe and where you're at, I'd highly recommend a Lee Classic Turret.

Only thing I foresee using my 550B for anymore will be 7.62x39 and .223. In fact, those two calibers are the only reason I'm keeping it.

I DO, however, like the Dillon 650 alot, but only with the case feeder. Lee's case feeder and collator (for about one zillionth of the cost of the Dillon case feeder) along with the Pro1000's auto-indexing has spoiled me forever.

I've never liked my 550B from the day I bought it. I finally boxed it back up and had it in my ammo closet for years and years. Recently unboxed it, set it back up, and I still don't like it.

If every single gun owner belonged to the NRA as well as their respective state rifle/gun association, we wouldn't be in the mess we're in today.

So to those of you who are members of neither, thanks for nothing.
TexasSeaRay is offline  
Old April 12, 2008, 01:31 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: June 4, 2006
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 2,258
I agree with TSR. The amount of ammo you listed isn't high volume at all if that's what you will shoot over the next year. The Lee classic turret press will load those calibers no problem. I like the classic turret because it's very fast and easy to change calibers. Takes about 15 seconds to change the turret,

and about 10 seconds to change from Sm to Lg primers.

I don't ever remember being absent minded.
CrustyFN is offline  
Old April 12, 2008, 04:24 PM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: March 24, 2008
Posts: 278
I'm a Hornady fan; if you want higher volume fast, get the LnL AP progressive. If you just want a good solid single stage press, with FAST die changes, get the LnL Single Stage. The bushing system that these use makes caliber changes fast in either system.

If you don't like the Red presses (do consider the free bullet offer they're running on them, same warranty as the Dillon), Dillon 550 or 650, or Lyman (a buddy of mine has an older Lyman turret press he inherited from his dad, there's been thousands and thousands of rounds loaded on it, still works fine), RCBS... they're all good. I'm not a big fan of Lee, though I started with their equipment... any of the others would be a good choice, though I like the Hornady stuff. If you are on a very tight budget, well, the Lee would work, the turret or single stage presses they have are OK... beware of the progressives they make, though.

I might also add, if you can, if you have any friends / acquantances that reload, see how they use their equipment. Youtube also has some vids of Lee, Dillon, and Hornady presses in action (probably others too, I've just seen those so far).
DEDON45 is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:07 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2017 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09345 seconds with 7 queries