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View Poll Results: Best basic single stage?
RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme ($129.99) 68 36.76%
Lyman Crusher II ($121.99) 5 2.70%
Lee Classic Cast ($85.99) 76 41.08%
Redding Boss ($115.99) 20 10.81%
Hornady Lock-n-Load Classic ($131.99) 16 8.65%
Voters: 185. You may not vote on this poll

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Old May 21, 2010, 10:16 AM   #1
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Best Basic Single Stage Press

I need another single stage for loading rifle ammo. This will be for small batches of mainly hunting rounds in .204 Ruger, .264 Win Mag, 6.5x55, 7x57, .308, .45-70, 7mm Rem Mag, .338 Lapua and .243. Just need the press itself - no kits or other extraneous stuff and my budget was $125 +/-.

Which of these do you favor? Or, is there a better alternative that I'm missing?
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Old May 21, 2010, 10:40 AM   #2
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Choice not there

I'd go for the Lee Breech Lock Challenger Press. $77.00
Got one and changing the dies is very easy. one time setup. Only occasional checking required.
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Old May 21, 2010, 10:42 AM   #3
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I really shouldn't vote cause I have only tried the Rockchucker supreme, I am very satisfied with it.
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Old May 21, 2010, 11:17 AM   #4
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I own a boss. The thing is precise, well made, powerful, and very reasonably priced. Your cartridges aren't the heaviest and most demanding, I don't think you need a stronger press. I don't think some of others are as precise, and I don't think your quality of loads will be as good.

My opinion? Best money spent on a press. I usually buy RCBS equipment, and had it not been for an excellent price, I would have had a rock chucker instead, but after years of use, I recommend the redding as first, not second choice, for most reloaders.
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Old May 21, 2010, 11:47 AM   #5
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Lee classic cast, your best choice, no debate. We hashed this out over on THR, as to just what material the Lee classic cast, and classic turret were made of. Was it cast steel, or cast iron?

It's a long read, BUT if you really want to know what others are having for experience, then spend a little time over there.

Oh, for those that don't have the time, the Lee classic line is made of cast iron. They modify the steel railroad rails by adding carbon to make it cast iron.

The Lee classic cast is able to take the LNL bushings, by removal of the 7/8x14 bushing, then inserting the LNL adapter in the 1-¼ threads.
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Old May 21, 2010, 12:00 PM   #6
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Of your listed choices, I prefer the Rockchucker; otherwise, the Forster CO-AX would deserve the nod
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Old May 21, 2010, 12:19 PM   #7
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The Lee is the best single stage IMO.
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Old May 21, 2010, 12:41 PM   #8
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For the cartridges you listed, I would recommend any of them. They all have slightly different features that are quite handy. For example, the Lee has the best primer disposal system.

I went from a Lee Challenger to a Redding Big Boss, "just in case" I ever wanted to load some of the bigger rifle cartridges. I haven't needed it so far, so I guess if "pressed" (pun intended), I would go for the Redding Boss. My answer might have been different before the Rockchucker jumped up in price.
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Old May 21, 2010, 01:52 PM   #9
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I have a old, perfect condition Rock Chucker II. If I ever have to replace it I'll get a Lee Classic Cast; it's the better press at any price.

I don't care for the ergonomics of the Coax.
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Old May 21, 2010, 02:14 PM   #10
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I have a Rock Chucker I purchased in 1979 and still going Strong! Would not consider anything else!
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Old May 21, 2010, 03:23 PM   #11
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"Best" is probably subjective to most, including me. But I voted for the Lee Classic Cast as the best bang-for-the-buck single stage out there.
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Old May 21, 2010, 03:47 PM   #12
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None of them. You shouldn't buy one. Spend less and get more with the Lee Classic Turret.
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Old May 21, 2010, 04:03 PM   #13
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I have an older Rock Chucker. It's the only press I've used so I shouldn't vote. I'll give it a thumbs up though. Very solid.


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Old May 21, 2010, 04:38 PM   #14
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Among the ones you listed, the Lee Classic Cast is easily the best one. It is the only one with through-the-ram, into a bottle/bucket spent primer handling, fully adjustable handle for left/right, angle and length of throw, and compatibility with the Hornady LNL press conversion kit, if you want to use QC die bushings.

You did not list it (it is more than your $ limit), but the Forster Co-Ax is my choice for best single stage press. Its features include floating, snap-in/out die retention, floating universal shell holder jaws, and excellent spent primer/debris handling. These features are not only convenient, but also promote accuracy, along with the ram/linkage/handle configuration. I prefer the ergonomics of the co-ax, but it is quite different from other presses, and should be tried first, especially if you are used to a conventional press and/or prefer to reload while seated.

You might also consider the Redding Ultra-Mag or Big Boss II. Both are LNL compatible and have excellent, through-the-ram, into a tube to a bottle/bucket, spent primer handling.

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Old May 21, 2010, 09:34 PM   #15
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As has been said a few times I have only had one real press. This is not counting my Lee Hand Press. Probably shouldn't vote. I have a fairly new Redding Big Boss. The things I like about it are, absolutely beautiful fit and finish, ergo's that fit me well(aside from the really long operating handle), threaded bushing for 1" dies, the ability to size magnum rifle cases if I choose to in the future, decent primer disposal, and most of all it is just, right, in every way. Top quality! Once I make a shorter operating handle, it's dialed!

Last edited by colospgsAVID; May 21, 2010 at 09:40 PM.
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Old May 21, 2010, 11:24 PM   #16
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My vote goes to the Lee Classic Cast.
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Old May 21, 2010, 11:43 PM   #17
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I like the crinkle finish too. Much better than RCBS,IMHO.
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Old May 21, 2010, 11:52 PM   #18
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The best isn’t on your list, the Forster Co-Ax. Been loading on one for almost 60 years and never a problem.
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Old May 22, 2010, 12:50 AM   #19
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Best bang for the buck? ... RCBS

Best Press? ... Custom made to your specs.
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Old May 22, 2010, 01:24 AM   #20
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I have a old rockchucker I bought in the mid seventies. It is a very good press but I think that the lee clasic cast is every bit the equal of the rockchucker. I have purchased a lee clasic turret press and I really like it a lot for pistol rounds.
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Old May 22, 2010, 08:03 AM   #21
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all the listed presses are fine, but why limit yourself to a single stage? i agree with totaldla...the lee classic cast turret fits the price criterion having all the features of lee classic cast plus it's semi-progressive capable.

with it i can to return to a previous station without die swapping if i missed a operation and, in practice, it has relegated my other machines to second-line status; i use the rockchucker for bullet pulling or swaging duties and the dillons only on runs of 100 or more.

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Old May 22, 2010, 08:14 AM   #22
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The Rock Chucker Smoothest I've used! Walmart has them here for ($117.99)
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Old May 22, 2010, 08:51 AM   #23
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They're all going to work fine. I bought the Lee Classic Cast because it can accept the LnL conversion kit so that the LnL bushings can be used in it. That was cheaper than the Hornady single-stage offering.

But I can't imagine you'd go wrong with any of them.

Something I like about the Classic Cast is that the spent primers go down a tube suspended from the center of the ram, which is a better primer-disposal system than others I've seen/used.
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Old May 22, 2010, 09:05 AM   #24
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I love my Lee Classsic Cast press. The opening is large, the frame is built like a tank and the links are so beefy. The handle is adjustable for right or left and the lenght and angle can be adjusted to fit your comfort zone. It's also capable of loading the BIG 50 if I ever have the need (that one's still on the wish list).

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Old May 22, 2010, 03:15 PM   #25
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I'm another that hasn't used any of the other single stage presses, but I can't complain about either of the older RockChuckers that I have.

Buying used serviceable equipment is fine by me, so I've bought two that way now. $75 for the first, and $50 for the second just a week ago.

If you're not set on new, keep an eye out on the local CraigsList or equivalent sites.
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