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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Reloading Press, Materials & Advice Wanted

Is there anybody who may be willing to sell a taken care of progressive reloading press towards the end of next month? I'm new to reloading but I am collecting brass and would like to start.

Also-if anybody can give me advice as to which brand to get (should I have the option), I'm split between the Lee Loadmaster and the Dillon 450. The Lee seems to be a lot less expensive for more features-the only difference I can see is the warranty.

The other stuff that I am looking for and would be interested in buying if you have extras are the sizing, chamfuring, cutting and cleaning tools and accessories etc. I don't have any books either, I've only read online tutorials. If you are interested in unloading some of your stuff please shoot me a note. Like I said-it won't be until at least the end of next month as I'm heading OCONUS for a training exercise.
 

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Re: Reloading Press, Materials & Advice Wanted

A long time ago, LEE ran a series of ads saying "ask the man who owns one".
My uncle bought one of their progressives, so I called him and asked what he thought of it.

After answering questions about it, his final statement on the matter was "if you buy a LEE progressive after talking to me, you deserve having your butt kicked for it".

My recommendations on progressives are:
1. Buy a 5-station press. Only deviate from that plan if you buy a press with MORE stations (like the Dillon 1000 / 1050 / Super)
2. If you're going to load precision rifle rounds on the press, take a long and serious look at a Hornady - I believe it trumps Dillon for this.
3. If you're not buying a Hornady or a Dillon, you should be required to write a 2000 word persuasive essay on why you chose something else.

FWIW, I own 2 Hornady progressives. My single stage presses are from LEE, RCBS and Lyman. The only one that is 'clapped out' is the LEE.
 

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Re: Reloading Press, Materials & Advice Wanted

I had two Lee Loadmasters and never had much toruble with them save for their priming system never seemed to work right; sideways or upside down primers and such. What I would do was run them through twice; once to size (I'd prime by hand with an auto prime) and then the second time to load. It was still pretty quick and I'd do around a thousand pistol in under a couple hours. Rifle needs trimmed so whatever tool you plan using for that, they'll need to be run through the press twice anyhow more than likely. On the budget I put myself on at the time it wasn't all that bad as they did exactly what I needed them to do. I bought two of them from one of the distro's on the Lee website for way less than the MSPR Lee lists them at. Once you get them set up and working they take a little tweaking every now and again to keep working right. If you do get one, don't mess with the ball chain on the powder measure, just use the return spring and pay attention to your powder drop, that chain set up is a hassle and always breaks at the wrong time.

Now, fast forward and I have since sold those Loadmasters and bought an RL1050. I haven't looked back as it is a pure reloading juggernaut of a tool! It was pricey but I finally have the set up I've been wanting and FL sizing, swaging, trimming 1000 cases in about 45 minutes is not a bad way to roll!

I agree with Bravo, Hornady presses are good from what I know. Dillons are nice and you can get parts and service very easy for them. If you get a 450 you can upgrade it to the 550 features too.

If you don't single stage yet I'd recommend going that route first just so you can get the hang of what is going on. I've got a couple single stage presses even with the 1050. The Lee classic cast is a solid press for a good price and replaced a rockchucker on my bench.
 

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Re: Reloading Press, Materials & Advice Wanted

I really like the Dillon presses. They're top flight.

The biggest functional difference - for me - between the Dillon and the Hornady is that you can throw your charge on any of the stations. The Dillon forces you to throw on station two.

Here's why that's important for me.....

I like to run a sizer (Redding S-FL die, no decapping rod) in station 1. A Lyman "M" die in station 2. Charging in station 3. Seating (Redding bench rest) in station 4. debelling NOT CRIMPING (Redding taper crimp die) in station 5.

Of course, the brass needs to be deprimed / primed before all this. I deprime with a "universal" die, and then tumble the brass. After the tumbling (and inspection of the flash hole) I prime on an RCBS bench-mounted unit.

Also, with the Hornady, you can use a different thrower. I don't like the slide-bars on the Dillon, although they work great with spherical powders. My thrower is a custom job, built on an RCBS. Hooks into the Hornady parts 100% (as stock).

Pistol is pretty much the same. I like to seat and crimp in two separate steps - which means throwing the charge in station 3 as I've got it (sizing, belling, charging, seating, crimping).

Of course, this info is worth everything you paid for it. But with the Redding dies and such like I outlined, my ammo will run 1/3 MOA out to 300, right at 1 MOA at 900. Er, well, that's what I do with it - therefore the ammo is probably better as I'm pretty sure I'm the limiting factor involved.
 

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Re: Reloading Press, Materials & Advice Wanted

1st choice would be the Dillon. :2cents: And they DO have a layaway plan. They are built like a boat anchor!

I have SEVERAL Lee presses (as well as several Dillons). I DO NOT RECOMMEND the Lee automated loaders. The damn things jam up.
Their regular rotary presses work great, their Dies great, and their NO SCALE powder measures work good. That said buy Dillon. :2cents:
 

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Re: Reloading Press, Materials & Advice Wanted

HAD 2 LEE AUTOLOADER (JUNK) GAVE THEM AWAY. I OWEN DILLON & RCBS NOW. THE RCBS IS ABOUT 25 YEARS OLD NOW & STILL DOES A GREAT JOB.
 

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Re: Reloading Press, Materials & Advice Wanted

I've got a 650: It's a great machine. It made sense for me because there's a local guy who sells them. It's a fine machine. But I've heard from a bunch of folks who have gotten the Hornady and are very happy with it. It is less expensive, both to buy and to expand. What bites hard with the Dillon is the cost conversion kits. I've bought most of mine used, so that helps a bit.

Btw, you can mount other powder measures on a 650 or 550, but have to operate them manually.

tk
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: Reloading Press, Materials & Advice Wanted

Alright, so I've ruled out Lee and I'm checking out eBay for Hornady and Dillon. It seems any number of people are cleaning house these days to try and get a few bucks back. I'm doubting the wife will let me spend the $$$ for a 650 off the bat but Hornady seems to be less expensive used so I might be able to pick up a comperable 5 stage. Haven't seen any RCBS yet but I'll have to check that out as well.

Once I've got that press, I'm already collecting brass and I plan to deprime and size my cases manually. Bullets, powder and primers (workstation) are the only expenses left (right?)...so bottom line, if I'm collecting once fired brass at the range-about how much should I expect to pay for a relatively accurate .223 reload? I'm going to check out The High Roads now...
 

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Re: Reloading Press, Materials & Advice Wanted

TH,

Do use the search function at THR.....there are a number of very bright but crotchety individuals there he will start with "Have you searched FIRST....."

Don't just rule out Lee without having a look through some other responses there first, I'm not a fan of their progressives but their single stage and turret presses are good kit and you get a lot of bang for your learning buck.

For example if you reallllllllly get into reloading and tweaking you will start to want to tailor loads at the range for the firearm and environment. In that case a 21" high, permanently mounted Dillon 550 progressive back home is not too much help. In this case something in addition could be useful.

Say a Lee hand press and dies, with a tray of primers, handful of primed brass and bullets, a small scale and a couple of 35mm film canisters of powder, all packed in a fanny pack might be just the ticket. (I admit it, I actually have done this...... ;D and got very good field results )

 

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Re: Reloading Press, Materials & Advice Wanted

I get my powder in bulk, my brass for free from my local range, and I buy tips in bulk. My costs drop to 12-15 cents per round for 5.56 and 9mm; about 16 cents per round for .367 SIG; about 34 cents for .308.

tk
 

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Re: Reloading Press, Materials & Advice Wanted

OK Folks, I may get my head handed to me on a plate, BUT, I am going to ask a couple of questions anyway.....From reading a lot of your posts here on Our Forum, I am convinced that I couldn't find more experienced and qualified people to ask. So, I have been thinking about getting into loading. IF you all will be so kind, I would appreciate your laying out a basic, but complete, without being ostentatious, overboard on gadgets, PLEASE tell me what pieces I need and an approximate cost of getting set up to load, 5.56X45, 7,62X39, to start off with and then add .45, .40, 9mm and .380's. I realize that there are quite a few differences of opinion and "IF" I decide to do this, I will probably need to split up manufacturers because of prices, etc. AND, some of you may want to unload some of your older, but still good equipment, perhaps we can get together on some of those. At any rate, I look forward to hearing from you. Like I said, from reading what you've already said and getting to know you better, I believe that I will be well informed and have a very good understanding on what I will need to budget. Thanks in advance for your replies.
Best regards,
SINKER





A long time ago, LEE ran a series of ads saying "ask the man who owns one".
My uncle bought one of their progressives, so I called him and asked what he thought of it.

After answering questions about it, his final statement on the matter was "if you buy a LEE progressive after talking to me, you deserve having your butt kicked for it".

My recommendations on progressives are:
1. Buy a 5-station press. Only deviate from that plan if you buy a press with MORE stations (like the Dillon 1000 / 1050 / Super)
2. If you're going to load precision rifle rounds on the press, take a long and serious look at a Hornady - I believe it trumps Dillon for this.
3. If you're not buying a Hornady or a Dillon, you should be required to write a 2000 word persuasive essay on why you chose something else.

FWIW, I own 2 Hornady progressives. My single stage presses are from LEE, RCBS and Lyman. The only one that is 'clapped out' is the LEE.
 

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Re: Reloading Press, Materials & Advice Wanted

Since you quoted me, I'll answer your question:

Doesn't matter.

No, honestly, it doesn't matter.

When I got into loading, I had dollar signs in my eyes, thinking about all the dough I'd save by loading.
My mentor at the time (and when learning to reload, I do recommend having a mentor to demonstrate) explained to me that I would save ABSOLUTELY NO money if I reloaded.

If you're used to spending a c-note every month on ammo, you'll spend every penny of that when reloading. Maybe even a touch more. The only difference is that you're going to be shooting a LOT more.

Turned out to be the case 100%. Don't get into loading unless you want to (some people are wierd and don't enjoy loading ;D) have another hobby. Specifically one that makes ammo cheap.
 

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Re: Reloading Press, Materials & Advice Wanted

Since you quoted me, I'll answer your question:

Doesn't matter.

No, honestly, it doesn't matter.

When I got into loading, I had dollar signs in my eyes, thinking about all the dough I'd save by loading.
My mentor at the time (and when learning to reload, I do recommend having a mentor to demonstrate) explained to me that I would save ABSOLUTELY NO money if I reloaded.

If you're used to spending a c-note every month on ammo, you'll spend every penny of that when reloading. Maybe even a touch more. The only difference is that you're going to be shooting a LOT more.

Turned out to be the case 100%. Don't get into loading unless you want to (some people are wierd and don't enjoy loading ;D) have another hobby. Specifically one that makes ammo cheap.
Best advice I have seen in a long time. i have found that reloading costs me more (don't tell my wife that). Instead of buying a few boxes of ammo each week I am purchasing bulk powder/primers/bullets. Granted, I don't have to do that every month but it does seem to cost more (that and I shoot tons more).

My first pistol/rifle press was a Dillon 650 with every "bell and whistle" that I could get on it. It was a steep learning curve (the setup part) but I have yet to over-charge or under-charge a case. I find myself loading pretty accurate ammo and enjoy doing it.
 

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Re: Reloading Press, Materials & Advice Wanted

Since you quoted me, I'll answer your question:

Doesn't matter.

No, honestly, it doesn't matter.

When I got into loading, I had dollar signs in my eyes, thinking about all the dough I'd save by loading.
My mentor at the time (and when learning to reload, I do recommend having a mentor to demonstrate) explained to me that I would save ABSOLUTELY NO money if I reloaded.

If you're used to spending a c-note every month on ammo, you'll spend every penny of that when reloading. Maybe even a touch more. The only difference is that you're going to be shooting a LOT more.

Turned out to be the case 100%. Don't get into loading unless you want to (some people are wierd and don't enjoy loading ;D) have another hobby. Specifically one that makes ammo cheap.
+1000!

I have been saying this for a long time, and have had many hours of internet arguments over this. I have found since I started reloading, I spend even more on ammo. More dies, more powder, more primers. Every bulk bullet packs that go on on sale for 5 cents each.. just means I spent $500 that I would have not spent otherwise.

I have finally figured out, I don't reload to save money, I reload because I love this hobby.
 

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Re: Reloading Press, Materials & Advice Wanted

Well Gentlemen, I truly appreciate your good advice. I am not looking for another hobby. I already have too many for my own good. I am getting older and I have a pretty bad back problem, so I am inside way too much to suit my nature. My brother and I both LOVE TO SHOOT! He, and I have been kicking the idea around, reloading I mean. The reason that I have been thinking more about it is the obvious price of ammo, even junk ammo! My new 7.62X39 XCR conversion also has got me scratching my head. The most available and the cheapest ammo in the darn world is suddenly unavailable. I emailed Wolf and they were nice enough to answer me back and they told me that demand is way outstriping supply and the best advice that they could give me was to get on various suppliers backorder list(s). Now, that's the cheapest ammo around. The other thing that I have not been pleased with is the availability of GOOD Quality 7.62x39 Ballistic and/or hunting ammo. Soooo...now I am thinking that since you Gentlemen have the equipment and enjoy reloading, perhaps my best plan of attack is to work out some sort of deal with you, if any of you are interested. As I read you fellas, it will take me a LONG TIME to ammortize the cost of the equipment, never mind the learning curve, a very long time to make it break even, "IF" it ever would. I too am a nut when I get started on something. The wallet is the ONLY governing body that I have. Anyway, if you would be interested in some sales, perhaps we had better take this to PM. I am getting spooked about the "Obamaziation" of Our Country. You know, something just hit me....that name isn't too far from "abomination"......that makes chills run up my spine! Once again, THANK YOU FOR YOUR FRANK ADVICE! I look forward to hearing from you.
Best regards,
SINKER




Since you quoted me, I'll answer your question:

Doesn't matter.

No, honestly, it doesn't matter.

When I got into loading, I had dollar signs in my eyes, thinking about all the dough I'd save by loading.
My mentor at the time (and when learning to reload, I do recommend having a mentor to demonstrate) explained to me that I would save ABSOLUTELY NO money if I reloaded.

If you're used to spending a c-note every month on ammo, you'll spend every penny of that when reloading. Maybe even a touch more. The only difference is that you're going to be shooting a LOT more.

Turned out to be the case 100%. Don't get into loading unless you want to (some people are wierd and don't enjoy loading ;D) have another hobby. Specifically one that makes ammo cheap.
 

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Re: Reloading Press, Materials & Advice Wanted

SINKER, YOUR SCREWED IF YOU WANT TO RELOAD 7.62X39. USED BRASS IS-0 IN BULK. .. NEW BRASS IS HIGHER THAN HELL, IN BULK. KEEP LOOKING FOR THAT SLOW BOAT FROM RUSSIA. LAST NIGHT I ORDERED 1,000 ROUNDS OF 122GR. HP FROM CABELA'S PROMISED DELIVERY IN 1-2 WEEKS.
 

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Re: Reloading Press, Materials & Advice Wanted

Sinker, dunno if this will help or not, but here we go.

When I was a teenager, I wanted to feed my rifles MORE. But that was too expensive, especially for a teenager. So what I started doing was buying whatever ammo was cheap, and then a firearm to use it.

Remember when the 8mm Mauser ammo was dirt cheap? Walking out of a shop with a rifle and a case of ammo for 100 bucks was cake. When that dried up for a while, I just switched to 303 - and bought an Enfield. Then the chicom stuff - before the senior bush cut off imports - was cheap..... 150 bucks for an SKS and a case of ammo. You get where I'm going.

The thing is, I learned early on that buying a firearm based on imported / cheap ammo was a TEMPORARY solution. We watched great deals on 7.62 NATO come and go so many times, I never thought "this will always be there".

When I got into loading, it was so I could use the rifles I really loved more. I got a single stage, and it worked for a bachelor. I'd load up a couple hundred rounds for the rifle and a couple hundred rounds for the pistol every week, and then go use 'em on the weekend. It was MUCH cheaper, but time consuming.

Then my kiddo came along, and I wanted to spend more time with him than load. Back then, the Hornady progressive press was called a "pro-jector", it had just hit the market and was making a name for itself. I got one, and figured out how to churn out ammo by the case in a short amount of time.

I don't 'dislike' reloading at all, so factor that in...... but what I typically do is wait until the winter, when there's too much snow on the ground to want to play outside much (like today) and churn out ammo by the case. Working at it easily (which means "go get a snack whenever you want" while kind of playing around with it more than feeling chained down) a guy can punch out a half-dozen cases of ammo easily within a weekend. So I spend a weekend here, a weekend there, and when the snow melts off I've got a years worth of ammo. Cheap.

But that's with good brass. As much as I hate to say it, your best bet with the 7.62 Soviet would probably be to purchase a case or two of Winchester ammo (and pay the associated premium price) - and then keep the brass. At least you're not firing it out of an AK or HK, where it dings the heck out of the brass....... good brass lasts for me in the XCR (although I don't use a 7.62 Soviet conversion unit). FWIW, back in the old days I tried messing with the 7.62 Soviet as far as reloading went. Just for giggles. Some of 'em will use 308 bullets just fine, some of 'em won't. I've got one carbine of that caliber in the safe now, and it HATES 308 bullets. Winchester brass works fine. You won't know until you try, but if you can get by with 308 bullets, that'll save you some dough.

FWIW, don't worry about letting your wallet govern your purchases. The market will do that for you now. Typically, I order my supplies in late November or early December (yeah, you can guess where this is going)...... I got in my powder, primers, and the brass I needed (which wasn't that much). Bullets? Well, let's just say that there's still an outstanding order for 10K that hasn't been delivered. The market will keep you from spending money, 'cause they can't supply product!

So instead of focusing on buying reloading presses and such, I'd recommend buying components (which includes the Winchester ammo) right now. After all, you've GOTTA have a friend that reloads, eh? Just make yourself at home - in his home - for a weekend when you've got all your components together. That'll not only give him the opportunity to teach you (and you to learn) but also for you to try out different presses and see what it is that you LIKE before buying your own.

Just FWIW
 

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Re: Reloading Press, Materials & Advice Wanted

I have the Lee 4-hole turret press and have loaded over 10K rounds of various calibers over the past year.

The current press is the second, as I broke the main press arm pin while resizing 1000 pcs of .308 brass. To their credit, Lee stood behind it and sent out a new press.

When I buy the next one though, I'll probably go with a Dillon.

You can get started inexpensively with the Lee press, and you can't go wrong with Lee dies.

While I might not recommend a Lee press so much, I would however highly recommend "Modern Reloading-Second Addition" by Richard Lee. This manual gives a lot of great background and foundational reloading advice, as well as sound reloading data for thousands of rounds.

Congrats on your decision to begin reloading! My advice is; READ, READ, READ!!!

If you ever need any help, just ask. I would also recommend that you do a search on YouTube for some great tutorial vids by "Liberty4Ever". This is an engineer friend of mine who has put a lot of time and effort into sharing his knowledge with the reloading community. 8)
 
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