Which Press is right for me? The Answer.

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by cpttango30, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I see no real advantage to a turret. Either get a single stage or a progressive.
    Lyman Crusher, RCBS Rock Chucker or Redding Ultramax
     
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  2. dwmiller

    dwmiller Well-Known Member

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    And for a differing opinion, yes there is. The turret press allow a whole caliber set of dies to be set up at one time. Then you change calibers by swapping the turrets. The dies all stay in settings between changes. No need to adjust every die, every time. Plus, easy, fast caliber changes. Minus, cost of a turret for each set of dies.

    I disable the progressive function on my press and use it to batch load. Best of both worlds. Single stage precision and easy die changes.

    I'm a long term user of the Lee 3 die turrets, 40+ calibers, 20+ years now. I'd switch to the newer four die turret press but it would cost too much at this time to switch over. FYI I've got other presses, I just prefer the Lee. And yes I'd buy a four hole turret if I was starting from scratch. Lee's classic four hole cast turret press, best bang for the buck in my opinion. It's spent primer catch system is much better than my old one. Spent primers go down the hollow ram and into a plastic tube, not all over the bench and floor.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
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  3. Missouribound

    Missouribound Well-Known Member

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    locutus and dwmiller...thank you both.
    I do like the ability to switch out turrets when changing calibers. It all comes down to time and money. Over the years I have realized when I have one I don't have the others. Now it seems like I have an abundance of time.
    I have more research to do before I buy. I suspect that by the end of summer I will get serious about reloading. I'm just doing my research now to get ahead of it.
     
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  4. dwmiller

    dwmiller Well-Known Member

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    I'm in the same position from the opposite side. I'm an OTR truck driver. Lots of money but no time. I only get 2-3 days to play with my firearms each month. That said i need to maximize the time I do have. Hence my love for turrets. Anything to save some time.

    Reloading is a must with my collection of obsolete rifles. Range from hard to find ammo, to impossible/too expensive to shoot. Plus a whole range of AR calibers...
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
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  5. PaPow

    PaPow Active Member

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    I didnt get into reloading to save money... its like most any other hobby out there, you never stop spending money on it. I do it because i enjoy doing it. I`ve been doing it for many MANY many decades, i even make my own jacketed bullets.

    My advice to new gun owners and reloaders, ALL of it is going to depend on how much you will shoot. Take a guy that shoots 10rds in 10 years... he is not going to reload. Then take a guy like me, that can burn 1,000 rounds in a weekend, i guess someone like me has a need for reloading. But keep in mind, if you pay yourself to reload, it isn`t as cheap to reload as you might think. Theres some pretty cheap ammo to be had out there today since a republican is in the white house. But that dosent mean we change directions on how we supply ourselves. No matter what, buy buy buy, then buy more, whether its guns, ammo, reloading supplies. It won`t be far away when all these liberals will find a way to take ALL this away from us. Enjoy it as long as you can.

    Shoot straight, shoot often :)
     
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  6. Ireload2

    Ireload2 Member

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    I think it takes a bit of experience to learn what press to use. Some people just want enough press for a few boxes of ammo at minimum cost. Others may need an extra heavy duty monster to form cases. I use one press for most of my reloading but I have several lighter presses for light duty operations such as bullet seating and neck sizing or pistol ammo. I also have several very heavy presses for case forming. All of these have specific uses for me but not everyone needs such a wide array of tools. Even I could get by with less.
     
  7. Dallas53

    Dallas53 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    if you buy a heavy duty quality press, you don't need a lighter weight cheap press. buy once, and cry once!

    i have two older RCBS presses, one made in 1969 and the other made in 1977, and both have untold number of rounds that they have resized and reloaded. either one as long as you properly lube the cases, and use the proper dies, will resize or form any case a person could ever need to do.

    most quality presses are way over built for the most part.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
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  8. Ireload2

    Ireload2 Member

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    A large quality heavy duty press is not ideal for loading pistol ammo. Sure you can do it but many lighter presses work better. I have both RCBS A2 and A4 Big Max presses and I have never loaded a single pistol round on either one of them. The big presses are used only for case forming. Normal rifle reloading is done on a Rock Chucker. Pistol ammo is done on a RCBS JR or a progressive.
    For loading bench rest ammo with Wilson dies you might cry because they have no threads. I use a B Square bench rest arbor press and I don't cry.
    I also have a light duty press made by Harrell that is designed to be clamped to a shooting bench. It can be carried in a GI ammo box or similar and set up at the range much easier than some boat anchor press.
    http://harrellsprec.com/index.php/products/compact-reloading-press
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
  9. Dallas53

    Dallas53 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    hmmmm....if you feel the need to have a boatload of presses instead of just using what is needed, then go for it. that's your choice and your money.

    and i have been reloading pistol ammo on my RCBS presses for quite few years and both do the job just fine. i bought a cheap light duty press several years ago. it's in the trash pile out back now. it was pure junk.

    whatever floats your boat is fine with me.

     
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  10. Ireload2

    Ireload2 Member

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    I never said I bought junk presses. I have been doing this for nearly 50 years and I have very solid opinions about the right press for a specific application. I know that a light press is no good for the 50-70 Govt round and 1400 rounds of 45 ACP is no good in your single stage press.
     
  11. partdeux

    partdeux Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Srsly, not good for loading pistol ammo?

    Based on what evidence?
     
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  12. Ireload2

    Ireload2 Member

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    How much pistol ammo have you loaded? Have you ever loaded for a Mac 10?
    Do you want to pull the handle of a large rifle press 3 times for each round for 2000 rounds?


     
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  13. Greg_r

    Greg_r Well-Known Member

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    I have had a few presses. Learned on a RCBS Jr 2 press. Still have it. I keep it at the second house and use regularly. It's my favorite press. Been using it since the 1970's. Other than regular maintenance, the only thing I have done to it is change out the 1/2" lever block for the RCBS Jr 3 lever block. I bought a second press, the RCBS Jr 3 a few years later.

    Followed that up with a RCBS Rock Chucker and a Lee 3 hole turret to load handgun rounds on. Sold the Rock Chucker to fund a Lee Classic Cast for case forming. Imagine this will ruffle some feathers but the Lee is the better press. The 3 hole turret was sold to help fund the Lee Classic Cast turret, another good one.

    I say I'm done buying presses, but I am really intrigued by the RCBS Summit.

    My Jr2, Dated 1967, still going strong!
    IMG_20171219_200213.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
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  14. jigs-n-fixture

    jigs-n-fixture Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I have two RCBS Jr presses, one from 1967, the other I bought at a yard sale about 1986. They are fully adequate for most of what I loaded for decades. I was loading 38 Special, 357 Magnum, and 41 Magnum for pistols, plus 17 Remington, 257 AI, 270, and 30-06 for Rifles.

    I got a RCBS Rockchucker, in 1992, when I started loading heavier rounds, and case forming for more esoteric stuff like the 6.5 STW

    The Dillon progressive I bought about four years ago, shortly after I bought the first AR. The AR tends to eat ammo far faster then my bolt guns, and falling blocks, and I wanted a volume producing multistage press. If I sell the ARs, the Dillon will go away.
     
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  15. Dallas53

    Dallas53 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    i have two older RCBS presses. the older one is a JR2 and the newer one is a RS. looking at them, i can't tell any difference between them. they appear to be identical. the older one i inherited from my father, the newer one i bought with a bunch of reloading stuff at a garage sale many years ago. both reload rifle and pistol cartridges just fine and serve their purposes quite well.

    i have thought about adding a turret type press to my reloading bench for being able to reload pistol cartridges a little faster. and to possibly reload for the AR's. but i haven't fully committed to that yet. still mulling it over. if i do decide to add a turret type press, i will also add some additional dies like 9mm and 40 S&W and 380 Auto to the collection.

    what i do know from personal experience and observation is that a quality made press from one of the major manufacturers will last a lifetime if taken care of. the older RCBS the JR2 has been in use for almost fifty years, and the newer one is forty years old. several years ago i did clean both, bead blast them and repainted them as the paint was starting to flake a little. both look like new ones now. they still functioned perfectly, so it really was more about cosmetics than anything. if my son decides to in the future to take up reloading, he will inherit all of the equipment that belonged to me, and his grandfather.

    i have suggested to those looking to get into reloading to scour Ebay and Craigslist for older or used reloading equipment. a good way to save some money on reloading equipment, and if the equipment was taken care of it will serve it's purpose just as well as anything new would.
     
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  16. dwmiller

    dwmiller Well-Known Member

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    It's hard to beat the deals on used presses. Especially right after the holiday when everyone dumps stuff they don't need anymore. I use mainly Lee 3 hole turret presses. I've got two. But my oldest press is a Pacific that is still going strong. Wonderfully over built cast iron frame. I use it to resize 50BMG and form wildcat brass...
     
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  17. Greg_r

    Greg_r Well-Known Member

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    The JR2 is your basic single stage press. It had a handle and block that was threaded 1/2" and was prone to breakage. The only difference between the JR2 and the JR3 is the latter had a beefier 9/16" threaded block and handle. The RS, or Reloader Special was a JR3 with compound linkage added.

    I like my Lee Classic Cast Turret. It took a fairly long courtship to get there though. Today I would recommend it to anybody who wanted to get into reloading and wanted a don't all press. It is strong enough to form brass, I can batch load using the press as a single stage, or load up to 250 rounds an hour using the auto advance. My 3 hole was adequate though and I think I would probably like the classic cast better as a 3 hole. I like to clean, size and deprime, trim, and prime. Then store until I am ready to load, when I flair, charge, seat and crimp. 3 holes are plenty. I have developed a procedure for the 4 hole turret that works for me though.

    I think I would like one of the Lyman, Redding, or RCBS turrets though. I could have a set of handhun ant two sets of rifle dies set up in one, 3 different cartridges. I set up two different cartridges in my 4 hole turret.
     
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  18. Greg_r

    Greg_r Well-Known Member

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    Here is my JR3 press with the Inline Fabrication ergonomic roller handle on it. The press stand and ergonomic handle are worth their weight in gold.
    IMG_20170603_050600.jpg
     
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  19. Dallas53

    Dallas53 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Greg, both of mine look to have the compound linkage. i think?

    if i didn't have mine already permanently mounted on my bench, i'd probably have to have one of those stands you have on yours!

    a friend of mine has the Lee Turret press and he highly recommended it. and if i do go ahead and pull the trigger and get a turret style press, it seems like it would be a good one given it's price.
     
  20. Greg_r

    Greg_r Well-Known Member

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    I have never seen a JR press with compound linkage. The JR presses should liik like this.
    mmPT019xNHVUAEkn5EtM4Aw.jpg
    Nor have I seen a RS press without compound linkage. The RS should liik like this.
    IMG_20171221_005400.jpg

    I could be wrong though. The RS is supposed to be the evolution of the JR presses. I was going to get the current production RS5 until I found out it was cast aluminum. If I run across a cast iron RS2 in good shape I will probably buy it, I just don't feel the need to update bad enough to actively search for one.

    I don't think you will be disappointed with the Lee Precision Classic Cast Turret. I like mine. Enough that when I consolidated my loading equipment, I kept the Lee Classic Turret and my two RCBS JR presses for bench mounted metallic reloading needs. ( I still have a MEC 600 JR and a Lee Load all II for shot shells, and a Lee hand press for portable, as well as a few Lee Loaders in shotshell and metallic.)

    Inline Fabrication, https://inlinefabrication.com/collections/ultramounts is my go to place for press and loading bench accessories.
     
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