whats a good press for begginner?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by synical, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. synical

    synical New Member

    227
    0
    0
    I have done lots of research on reloading and have gotten some manuals and reloading guides. however I still dont know If I should get a progressive press or a single press to start with. I have heard that single is more precise but if your watching what is going on in the progressive press why would it not be just as accurate? I dont want to get the wrong one and have to turn around a get something else. I do however like the lee presses.
     
  2. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

    11,488
    0
    0
    A progressive press will take longer to get set up but you should be able to produce more ammo per hour. A single stage is easier to work with and may produce better ammo.
     

  3. cottontop

    cottontop Guest

    The single stage RCBS Rockchucker is the press by which all others are judged. Good for beginner and experienced alike. The may be somewhat expensive, but used ones in perfectly good condition can be found on the auction sites for about half the price of a new one. And, it will last forever.
    cottontop
     
  4. rjd3282

    rjd3282 New Member

    3,852
    0
    0
    The quality of ammo produced on a good progressive is every bit as good as ammo produced on a single stage. If you are planning on loading lots get a progressive just don't get the lee progressive. It's a fidgety machine. Despite what some would have you believe progressives are not difficult to operate. You can use a progressive like a single stage if you want, but you can't use a single stage like a progressive.
     
  5. oldpapps

    oldpapps New Member

    173
    0
    0
    I would think the determining factor would be what you will be loading for.

    Shoot lots of pistol round - progressive.
    Shoot lots of rifle round, just to shoot - progressive.
    Shoot to prepare for hunting - single stage.
    Shoot for precision - single stage.
    Shoot to build loads and experiment - single stage.

    Both will do the same thing. Just one is easier than the other to do it. The use is the determining factor.

    I have both.... and some other types too.
     
  6. synical

    synical New Member

    227
    0
    0
    um ok that kinda answers my question but why not a lee progressive?
     
  7. rjd3282

    rjd3282 New Member

    3,852
    0
    0
    They never seem to get very good reviews. Seems you have to tinker with them all the time to get them to work. I've never operated one but I have other progressives. If you look at the Lee side by side with the Dillons or Hornady you'll see a huge difference in quality. I know the Dillon and Hornady cost more but there is more to economics than just money. Lee dies and their single stage and turret presses seem to be well liked though. I'm not bad mouthing Lee in general but it seems progressives aren't their strong suit.
     
  8. 25-5

    25-5 New Member

    3,302
    1
    0
    I like Dillon. Good warranty, experienced help when you need it I have used a 450 w/upgrades for about 30 yrs. it's a 550 now. Loaded 10's of Ms of pistol. I go slow at 150+/hr. for rifle no auto powder drop. Use scale, powder trickler, and funnel. Size, deprime, seat, and crimp on the Dillon. As you become more competent you would want a progressive anyway. Be diligent and you will do well.
     
  9. JonM

    JonM Moderator

    20,110
    12
    38
    the difference between quality on progressives that are set up correctly and single stage that are setup correctly generally only shows up in benchrest shooting with extremely customized guns.

    the difference is in the extremely minute play there is in the shellplates or tool heads or both depending on the press in question.

    the differences in lee dillon rcbs hornady progressives are small differences in how things work. kinda like in handguns do you like frame mounted safeties or slide mounted safeties or no safeties or like to have grip safeties. it boils down to ergonomics.

    Dillon XL650 is my prefered progressive simply because they dont have any major flaws or annoyances like lee hornady and the rcbs ones do. i like the toolhead interchangeability keeps all the dies together in a simply easy to use unit.

    i also use single stages and my preffered single stage is the rcbs rockchucker because it can be very accurate and give repeatable results from round to round with no varience. i use it for making my highest quality match grade ammo.

    setup time for a progressive and single stage are the same. the difference is the setup for a progressive is all up front while the single stage setup is spread out through the entire loading process. everything has to be run through the single stage 2-3 times. with priming a completely seperate step altogether this adds up to a LOT of wasted time. if im going to load 50 rounds of match grade 308 that means i have to handle a piece of brass 100 times through the press and 50 times through the priming process and 50 times through the powder charging process and handle 50 bullets, thats 250 times i have to handle a smaller case and bullet. its a wash between progressive and single stage for a small bit like that.

    when i do 1000 45acp or 9mm if i do it with a single stage that means 6000 operations i have to do manually by hand. if i do it on a progressive i only have to handle the bullets 1000 times. now do that for 3 or 4 calibers and you can see what makes progressives better in some respects. the dillon can totally remove all handling of brass and bullets if you opt to get a bullet feed device with all the other bells and whistles.

    up to you how far down the rabbit hole you want to go.
     
  10. GaMatt72

    GaMatt72 New Member

    456
    0
    0
    I am new also and I am starting off with the lee 4 stage turret press. I took out the advancement rod to make it a single stage till I get better acquainted with it.
     
  11. blackhawk44

    blackhawk44 New Member

    31
    0
    0
  12. oldpapps

    oldpapps New Member

    173
    0
    0
    OK, 'Why not a Lee Progressive?'

    I have one and do 9MM, 40S&W, 45ACP and part of (last parts) 223/5.56 with it. BUT only after I have worked out my loads. I could do 300BlkOuts the same as 223/5.56s but I haven't gotten to that stage yet.

    I have found that my Lee Pro 1000 must be properly lubed to run well and I have not had any problems with it (that stupid chain pull is another matter).

    My method of building loads would be very labor intensive if I were to use an progressive. Yet, it pumps out excellent rounds after I have settled on a loading.

    We come back to your needs and desires. What do you want to load and what for (weapon type).

    I don't know your needs and can not make a determination. I hope you the best and will offer any help/advise desired.
     
  13. GaMatt72

    GaMatt72 New Member

    456
    0
    0
    Thanks. I think is is the right move.
     
  14. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

    16,393
    236
    63
    Progressive: Dillon 650

    Single stage: Redding Big Boss

    There are a lot of other good single stage presses out there, but IMHO at least, that Big Boss is pretty close to the ultimate.
     
  15. Steel_Talon

    Steel_Talon New Member

    1,766
    0
    0
    Since it seems that todays handloading emphasis is on pistol cartridges I say you should consider the Lee Classic 4 hole Turret press/kit .

    As a "begginner" to hand loading, the turret offers you the best bang of both worlds in handloading. You can operate the turret by had as you would a single stage to learn the craft. Then you can enable (auto index) the turret to operate and provide runs of quality pistol ammo up to 200/250 rounds per hour. A single stage for pistol ammo will ultimately drive you nuts.

    The Lee Turet also allows quick change over to differet callibers with an additional turret plate and dies. Change over is less than 15 minutes.

    Nothing as far as I'm concearned but I'm a guy who dosn't mind tinkering with things to get optimal performance. However, I would'nt want to learn to handload on a progressive; Unless its a Dillon Square Deal straight from the factory.

    Lee progressive are figitty at times, enough to turn many away from them. However they prrrr like a kitten when they operate at capacity and they are fast. There are plenty of sites and "how to" videos that can help you if you go this way.

    I've been loading since the 60's myself shotgun to rifle and pistol. On my current bench's you can find a Rock Chucker single stage, A Lee Progressive, a Lee Turret, a Dillon Square Deal ,and an old Lee Handloadler that I carried in my saddle bags on my grandfathers spread as a teenager

    Ive gone from quality, to speed, to accuracy, to volume. I have more load equipment than I will ever need some antiquated some not.

    Again I say Lee TURRET..

    Good Luck keep us informed
    ST~
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2012
  16. farmrboy

    farmrboy New Member

    25
    0
    0
    Steel talon pretty much answered for me. I've been reloading for over 30yrs, I always recomend starting with a single stage. Easy to learn on and you will always have use for a single stage if you upgrade to a progressive. I don't have a Lee turret, but that is a good way to start, and with the auto advance rod in place will turn out plenty ammo for recreational shooters.
     
  17. farmrboy

    farmrboy New Member

    25
    0
    0
    A few mos ago, I met a guy that started on a progressive press with no reloading experience. He double charged a 40 s&w case and completely destroyed a Springfield xd. Ruined the slide and blew a hole in the side of the frame. Somehow, he didn't get hurt. That is why one should use a single stage press till you learn the whole process of reloading ammo.
     
  18. 1hole

    1hole New Member

    293
    0
    0
    A single stage is much better for noobs, there are too many things going on at once for noobs to keep track of. It's easy to experiment with a single stage and is more difficult with a progresse. Changing cartridges is easy with SS, can be agravating and time consuming with progressives.

    A skilled loader can load as well on a progressive as on a Single Stage but it's better to learn on a SS. Then, IF you ever want a semi-auto turret try Lee's Classic Turret. If you ever want to load lots of the same thing in a hurry get a Hornady AP or Dillon. But your SS won't be a waste nor will you want to sell it, any avid reloader is going to have special tasks the SS will handle better than a turret or progressive.

    The RCBS Rock Chucker IS the standard of comparision but not because it's the "best"; it's because it's the longest made (with several revisions) so more people know what it is when making comparisions. All American made single stage presses are very good and any of the iron presses will outlast their owners unless abused but there's no better press than Lee's all iron/steel Classic Cast. It's the better press in it's class; if I had to replace my old RC 2 next week that's what I'd get.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012
  19. srtolly1

    srtolly1 New Member

    206
    0
    0
    Lots of good advice here. I recently started reloading and, after the same deliberations as the OP I decided to get the Lee single stage kit. I considered all the options and put cost aside, I considered the advice of many other reloaders as on this forum. The single stage seemed the right way to go as there are many other uses for it after you upgrade.
     
  20. CourtJester

    CourtJester Active Member

    3,303
    23
    38
    I just ordered this

    [​IMG]

    And about $100 worth of other little odds and ends for it. Got it UPS on Friday, got it all put together and set up Friday night, and will fiddle with it tomorrow to see how it works. I'll post results after I get to shoot what I put together.