What do you do with your single stage presses, post upgrade?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Shopfox, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. Shopfox

    Shopfox Well-Known Member Supporter

    I have a Lee 4-hole turret press and am happy with it. At garage sale today, I found a New in Box RCBS Rockchucker for $25. It came home with me and now I'm thinking, "what do I do with it"?

    If you have a turret or progressive press now, what became of your single stage? I thought about a dedicated depriming station, but honestly, I just keep my universal deprimer on a turret with other dies, and pop it in when needed.
    SGWGunsmith likes this.
  2. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member Admin Moderator Lifetime Supporter

    A progressive is excellent for production line loading- cranking out a few kilos of .38 Special or 9mm. But how many rounds of .348 Winchester will I shoot this year? A single stage works great for that.

    I also know a few benchrest shooters that have assembled a portable loading setup. It goes to the range with them, for the days they are fiddling with different seating depths, up or down 0.1 grains, etc.

  3. jigs-n-fixture

    jigs-n-fixture Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

    Progressives are great for production runs. The stuff for the AR mostly.

    But for my serious shooting, whether it’s pistol or rifle, I still use single stage presses, and trickle charge manually to final weight after using the powder measure to throw a little short.

    Plus, if you form brass for more obscure calibers, you need the extra pressure from a good, solid, single stage press with compound leverage.
    Dallas53, oO_Rogue_Oo, alsaqr and 2 others like this.
  4. kfox75

    kfox75 Well-Known Member Supporter

    My first single stage was my dad's, and my second, my grandfather's. One is set up on a portable table, for in field load adjustment. The other is mounted on the bench, in the reloading room, for small batch loading, when I tailor loads to the individual firearms I own, and plan on making a box for testing, of a few different loadings, to see which works best.

    I picked up a multi 20 years ago, then a shotgun press, about 10 years ago, that are also on the bench.
    Shopfox likes this.
  5. BillM

    BillM Well-Known Member Supporter

    38-40, 44-40, 44 magnum, 38 S&W, 30-06, 30-30----all low round count per year, RCBS Rockchucker.

    9mm, 40 S&W, 45 ACP, 38 special, 357 magnum, 223, 308--Dillon 550.

    Kind of depends on round count. Between the wife and I for USPSA, GSSF and Steel
    Challenge the 9mm count is around 20,000 per year. No way I'm doing that on a single stage!!
    schnuffleupagus and Shopfox like this.
  6. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

    I still use a single stage press! A RCBS Rockchucker and have had it for years.
    The reason I have not went to a progressive is I load for several calibers. And I have Dies for each one for the Rockchucker. And no more than I shoot of anyone caliber at a time other than 223/5.56, to set a progressive up for all of them as previously mentioned would be more effort than I would want. I will just settle for my old reliable Rock Chucker all though it is "just barely large enough" to accommodate loading the 338 L.Mags.
    However I do have a newer Lyman 1200 electronic Powder Scale which is "Fantastic"! I have most all the calibers programed in it so it is easy to select the correct caliber and load, fast, accurate and a breeze to use it.
    I do on occasion load everything form 38 SP - 338 Lapua Magnum rounds. Don't shoot the 338 Lapua Magnum much since even reloading it is around $1.47 a round with Hornady 250 Gr. BTHP Match. But very accurate. Retail is around $4.00 + ea. per round!:eek: So no choice "But to Reload" for the monster!;)

    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
    schnuffleupagus, Dallas53 and Shopfox like this.
  7. Shopfox

    Shopfox Well-Known Member Supporter

    The Lee turret heads are about $12 each. For my low-volume .44 mag rifle, and 444 Marlin, I have the dies set up on their own head. Pop out the shellholder and the head, pop in the new, and its ready to go. If I don't change bullets, I can basically just swap and go.

    I still end up running it like a single stage.

    Using it to form obscure brass is a good idea, same with a portable kit.
    Dallas53 and Sniper03 like this.
  8. Overkill0084

    Overkill0084 Well-Known Member

    When you decide it's time to swage your own bullets...
  9. rockratt

    rockratt Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

    I use it for loading...
  10. SGWGunsmith

    SGWGunsmith Well-Known Member Supporter

    You bought an excellent loading press for an extremely reasonable price. My first RCBS Rockchucker was purchased from the very first "Gander Mountain Store" in Wilmont, WI in 1969. I actually wore the ram out on that press and then bought a Redding BOSS, which I now still have.
    Every now and then I get the itch to get a Dillon loader, mainly because they send me a catalog every so often. I do shoot quite a few .357 Magnum rounds in my Smith and .40 S&W in my Glock 23, both CCW guns. So, that's what I'd like to load more of in a short period of time. I have one of the guys from southeastern Wisconsin who comes up here deer hunting each fall. He always brings me buckets of .40 S&W and .45 ACP once fired brass from his indoor police range. I might be one of the few who shoots fairly regular with my CCW pistols, in both normal and "weak" hand practice, but, in my mind, accurate shooting is a perishable thing if not done often.
    Dallas53 and RKB like this.
  11. Shopfox

    Shopfox Well-Known Member Supporter

    $843 for the dies to swage .22lr brass into .224 bullets. Ouch!

    If only Lee made these dies...
    SGWGunsmith likes this.
  12. SGWGunsmith

    SGWGunsmith Well-Known Member Supporter

    Yes! That is an exorbitant fee. Back in the day when I bought my very first reloading press, it was a press developed by Fred Huntington, the main man that started RCBS, which was an acronym for "Rock Chuck Bullet Swag". Mr. Huntington, at that time, was using "copper" cased spent .22 rimfire cartridge cases for .22 centerfire bullet jackets. I still have several of those .22 rimfire long rifle cartridges in full Remington boxes. The cartridge cases these days, at least in my mind, would not be the best choice for swaging jacketed bullets for use in any rifle barrel made currently.
    Dallas53 likes this.
  13. gwpercle

    gwpercle Active Member

    I keep my Lyman All American Turret , rescued from a flea market, set up to reload 38 special and with a few adjustments 357 magnum.

    My Pacific Super Deluxe C does rifle reloading and my two Lee handpresses do most handgun cases . I have an Eagle Cobra C press that does 41 magnum .
    You can never have too many presses !

    CH4D makes bullet swaging dies , check prices. I started casting bullets after I realized how expensive bullet swaging was....the press, dies and materials were all out of my reach.....but my best buddy's Dad had 3 tire shops and he gave me free unlimited wheel weights....casting was an easy choice
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2018
    Dallas53 and Shopfox like this.
  14. RKB

    RKB Well-Known Member

    When I bought my Dillon, I kept my Rockchucker. I don't see a need for mass-production of my .444 Marlin, 45-70, etc.
    The Dillon sure is sweet for my pistol stuff, though.
    BK3220, Dallas53 and Shopfox like this.
  15. Notrighty

    Notrighty Member

    I once saw a broken Lee white metal press at a yard sale for 25 bucks. I guess I’m just not a lucky guy. I haven’t gone progressive yet but it is soon in the works. I will always keep the rock checker for the important stuff. Thank god for auto spell check.
  16. Trez

    Trez Well-Known Member

    Mostly depriming military brass, reloading rifle calibers, reforming 7.7 Jap... Actually now that I think of it all I really use my progressive for is 223/5.56... For some reason on my Dillon 550 if I reload 30-06, the clips of reloaded ammo are difficult in my M1 Garands, but if I reload it on my single stage it works just fine...
    Dallas53 likes this.
  17. IowaShooter

    IowaShooter Well-Known Member Supporter

    Hoping to upgrade to a Lee turret press this fall.. Will keep the single stage for learning how to do rifle cartridges (6.5 Creedmore) I only reload straight wall pistol calibers now.
    towboater and Dallas53 like this.
  18. Missouribound

    Missouribound Well-Known Member

    I shoot, mostly with my BIL on my property. I have a single stage press that I use just for de-priming. After we shoot I de-prime then throw the brass in the tumbler. When he leaves he takes the clean brass with him. At a later date we get together and reload after we get a good accumulation of brass. It seems to work out better this way. When we want to reload there is nothing to do but start the process since the casings are ready to go.
    Dallas53 and IowaShooter like this.
  19. Shopfox

    Shopfox Well-Known Member Supporter

    I'm thinking about buying a Powder Scale. How are you liking your Lyman?
    SGWGunsmith and Dallas53 like this.
  20. Shopfox

    Shopfox Well-Known Member Supporter

    After the press sat in the box a few more months, it ended up getting sold on eBay for a tidy profit to help fund a gun purchase...
    Dallas53 likes this.