Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

New to reloading, need help.

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by F2CMaDMaXX, Dec 3, 2014.

  1. F2CMaDMaXX

    F2CMaDMaXX West of Portland from England Bullet goes where now? Staff Member Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    1,719
    Likes Received:
    1,092
    So i've decided that i really should get into reloading, particularly as i now have the calibres that i will get the most from.

    I want to reload some pistol and some rifle ammo, i'll probably stick to .38sp, .357 and .45 for pistols and .270 and 30.06 for rifles.

    I would love to get a progressive setup, my aim is purely to be economical with ammunition costs, i don't want to mess around with custom loads or changing them up to alter characteristics. So with that in mind, i guess i'm asking for what is the best bang for buck in the equipment world right now?

    Thanks.
     
  2. rutilate

    rutilate Vancouver and Surrounds Active Member

    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    80
    The biggest questions are how much you shoot each month and how precious is your time? There was another recent thread started by Joe13 where this was hashed out.

    For some who don't shoot more than 500 rounds/month or have more time than money a single stage press is the best option. For me, I can shoot far more than that each week, and I would rather be shooting than reloading, so I want to be very productive when I load; therefore I went progressive. Beyond that, Dillon vs Hornady is almost a religious war. I bought two Dillons and they keep sending me replacement parts even though I'm willing to pay for them. Their customer service is amazing. I'm sold on them and will absolutely encourage others to buy Dillon.
     
  3. F2CMaDMaXX

    F2CMaDMaXX West of Portland from England Bullet goes where now? Staff Member Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    1,719
    Likes Received:
    1,092
    And that's a good point, i guess the only reason i liked the idea of a progressive is because i like mechanics and automation (read: i'm lazy)
    Having the machine do most of the work for me, measuring out etc sounds nice, but no, i rarely get to shoot, so the amount of rounds i would crank out would be relatively low.

    That said, let's say i'm looking at a Dillon or maybe the RCBS from bimart (on sale right now) What should i be looking for?

    If Joe13 asked all this, do you know which thread it's in?
     
  4. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,375
    Likes Received:
    169
    dillon..200 rounds is just over 200 pulls on the handle.
    rcbs single stage.. 200 is over 600 hand ops.size 200,prime 200,flare 200

    hmm,make that more like 800+ with the rcbs single stage.

    dillon,great for pistol rounds,ok for rifle as you need to measure the case after sizing,then proceed, so you can't really go 'progressive' on rifle,but it does save time over a single stage press.

    also,most who load rifle do so for accuracy,so they do them on a single stage where the dies fit tighter in the press,and powder measuring is done off-press,measured.
     
  5. F2CMaDMaXX

    F2CMaDMaXX West of Portland from England Bullet goes where now? Staff Member Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    1,719
    Likes Received:
    1,092
    Are you referring to a Dillon 200 rounds is just over 200 pulls is a progressive?

    There are single stage, turret? and progressive, right? (i'm guessing the turret does it single stage, but it's one pull per round made?

    Won't be reloading much rifle really, so mostly pistols.
     
  6. SinisterSouthpaw

    SinisterSouthpaw SW WA Active Member

    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    76
    If
     
  7. SinisterSouthpaw

    SinisterSouthpaw SW WA Active Member

    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    76
    If
     
  8. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,375
    Likes Received:
    169
    correct on single stage..one die,do all that op at once,swap dies.
    turret,dies stay mounted,run one round all the way thru,one die at a time.
    progressive,4+ ops at once,so 200 rounds is about 204 handle pulls.
    with the dillons,there is an addtional cost per caliber,for the'change over' kit. I think they are about 45 bucks now,over the cost of the dies themselves. Despite that,you'd have to fight me for my beloved Dillon 550b. lol
    Hornady makes a good progressive press,no changeovers needed,and they usually have a free bullet deal going with their presses.

    whichever way you go,start with pistol,much less involved and easier to do..no trimming,and no lube needed with carbide dies.

    you tube is a great place to see different presses in action. Look up dillon 550b...my favorite...and rcbs rock chucker.
     
    evltwn and F2CMaDMaXX like this.
  9. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    6,761
    Likes Received:
    10,993
  10. P7id10T

    P7id10T Cedar Hills Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    1,221
    Likes Received:
    1,255
    Mad Max,
    I have two RCBS Rock Crushers (single stage) that I use for reloading rifle. My current progressive is a Hornady Lock-N-Load that I use for 9, 40 and 5.56. My setup works exceptionally well for me, given I only make it out to reload ~5x per year (maybe 20-30 hours total), but in that time I'll load hundreds of rifle rounds and a few thousand pistol.
    I've read on boards how people disparage Lee reloading equipment. While there's no question it's not nearly as well made, it works. And if you dial it in right, it works really well.
    I've _never_ heard or read a single negative comment on Dillon equipment (well, except the price).
    If you want to try out Progressive vs. single stage, you can drop by my place, have a beer and try your hand at it. I'll just have to clean off my bench.
     
    orygun and F2CMaDMaXX like this.
  11. F2CMaDMaXX

    F2CMaDMaXX West of Portland from England Bullet goes where now? Staff Member Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    1,719
    Likes Received:
    1,092
    That's a very kind offer, you're pretty darn close to me so i may well do that, thank you.

    Whilst i'm very likely to just copy/use the easiest/most broad powder (like i said, i want to reload to save on buying factory) i think the choice of hardware is going to me my crutch.

    I don't particularly like the price of the progressives, but i love the convenience, and from what i've seen, just how convenient a progressive is, depends on how much you want to blow on the kit.

    Maybe it's too manual to use a single stage, maybe there are variations on those too? Maybe doing everything one at a time is far easier than i thought?
     
  12. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    3,778
    Likes Received:
    1,963
    This question has been asked several times on this forum and a little searching will bring up all kinds of opinions, thoughts and ideas. No bashing, just trying to be informational.
    That said, If you are shy about spending the money on a progressive, I'd seriously consider a turret. My first press was a Lyman Spar-T. Still have it and still use it a fair amount.
    Unlike what was mentioned previously in this thread (or at least my understanding of what was mentioned previously) I run all cases thru one step at a time. Size and prime all cases, charge all cases, then seat bullets in all cases. This requires a loading block to stand your cases in but it's less likely you'll miss a step on a case this way.
    I've no experience with Hornady presses. I've owned a Dillon RL550B for quite a while. It is possible to crank out 3 or 4 times as many loaded rounds compared to a turret in the same time. You will spend even more time with a true single stage.
    The big upside of a Rock Chucker? You can buy a complete reloading kit for a very fair price and it's likely you will never break or wear out the press.
    To continue the 'bang for the buck" thought, some powders work well in all three of your listed pistol cartridges and some that work well in your rifle cartridges. Essentially you could live with 2 powders. They may not be optimum in the pistol, but in the rifle it could be. (ie. Unique for pistol, RL22 for rifle)
     
    Steve M and F2CMaDMaXX like this.
  13. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    3,778
    Likes Received:
    1,963
    I have several sets of Lee carbide pistol dies and think that you get one of the best quality, easy to use dies for less money than the "better" brands. Never pass up on these.
     
  14. F2CMaDMaXX

    F2CMaDMaXX West of Portland from England Bullet goes where now? Staff Member Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    1,719
    Likes Received:
    1,092
    Hmm, so what's the advantage/feature of the turret press Vs the single stage?

    Thanks for recognising the bang for buck side, that's where i'm trying to stay. I'm fine with spending a little extra to get more from the experience.

    The powder choices can come later, and i should probably add 9mm and 5.56 to those i may as well work to reload. I see that 38sp or 45acp is a good one to start with.
     
  15. F2CMaDMaXX

    F2CMaDMaXX West of Portland from England Bullet goes where now? Staff Member Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    1,719
    Likes Received:
    1,092
    I think this highlights the main differences, seems models in each range have better or worse features.

     
  16. Papercidal

    Papercidal Vancouver ,Wa Active Member

    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    112
    A turret press is a mid point between a single stage and a progressive. You still need 3-4 pulls of the handle per loaded round but rather than having to readjust your dies every time you switch operations all your dies can be set up on a toolhead which you just turn to advance to the next operation, once the dies are adjusted they can just stay in a toolhead and only need adjustment when changing bullet profiles or OAL. The toolhead also allows for near instant change from one calibre to the next.
    As for Lee equipment while the progressive presses are not in the same league as a Dillon they do work relatively well and the turret and single stage presses as just about as good as any. I personaly prefer their dies to anyone else's and even if they where the same price as my Dillon dies I would still prefer Lee dies.

    Sorry about the rambling reply but I hope it helps clarify things for you.
     
  17. F2CMaDMaXX

    F2CMaDMaXX West of Portland from England Bullet goes where now? Staff Member Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    1,719
    Likes Received:
    1,092
    That's good, thankyou.

    It seems that i want at least a turret press then, maybe even a quality entry level progressive. Auto indexing would be nice and help against double loads etc, but i'll be more careful myself to save the money Vs a manual index version.
     
  18. F2CMaDMaXX

    F2CMaDMaXX West of Portland from England Bullet goes where now? Staff Member Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    1,719
    Likes Received:
    1,092
  19. Steve M

    Steve M Beaverton, OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    385
    Likes Received:
    256
    I very nearly started out on a Dillon but opted for the Hornady single stage kit and am glad that I did. I'm fascinated by watching videos of progressive presses in action and could watch them for hours, but practically speaking I don't shoot enough to justify having one and couldn't afford to feed one if I did. I will always have the single stage press even though some day I will probably get a Dillon for a few pistol calibers.

    The RCBS Rockchucker kit is about $290 right now and if you spend $300 on RCBS products you can get a
    $50 rebate. $250 for all of those tools is a great way to get started and money well spent.

    The Hornady kit is running about $260 and if you sent them $17 they'll ship you 500 free bullets. All of their gear is great too but the electronic powder scale needs a little finesse.

    Lee is in fact the lowest cost and I've have no issues using one of their pistol die sets, but you may find them lacking in quality and durability on some tools (eg. the plastic powder scale). Their kit is an astonishing $127. If you wanted to try a type of press for the lowest cost possible the Lee would be it, but know you are paying for a price point and not a quality point.
     
    F2CMaDMaXX likes this.
  20. My 3 sons

    My 3 sons Bonney Lake Active Member

    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    29
    I was told to start with a Lee 4 hole turret press as you can use it in a single stage setup by taking out the auto index screw of leave it in to be semi-progressive. They were spot on for me to use it to learn what each step looks like. Then I bought a dillon 650xl. I use both presses still and highly recommend not doing progressive right away. That's just my opinion based on my experiences.

    Bottom line safety first then fun. Your eyes and fingers will appreciate it.
     
    F2CMaDMaXX likes this.