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Q&A: What *type* of reloading press should I start with

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by UltimateReloader, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. UltimateReloader

    UltimateReloader Bothell, WA New Member

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    Hey everyone, in this forum (just like all reloading forums) - I've seen the following question come up frequently: "I'm getting setup for the first time to reload a,b,c - for x,y,z types of shooting.

    Today, I put a post up on my blog that addresses this question! Hope this is helpful.

    Q&A: What type reloading press should I start off with? « Ultimate Reloader

  2. BANE

    BANE Battle Ground WA. Well-Known Member

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    RCBS Rock chucker kit that would be a great first press.

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    The Rockchucker is hands down the nuts and bolts of single stage reloading and I currently have one I use as well as an old Bonanza Co-Ax press but if I were starting from scratch I would seriously look into some of the turret presses available. I hear a lot of good stuff about the Lee Turret Press and I wish something like that was available when I started. Try to avoid used stuff unless it is in really good condition and in use at the time of the sale (so you can see it work). If you do find something used get some opinions from the forum before making a decision.
  4. Rammit

    Rammit Bothel Member

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    Lee challenger is hands down the best way to get started everything you need for 100$ bucks. the rockchucker is 3x the money and i dont see any advantage that is worth the difference in price. I bought mine used, ive since upgraded to an electronic scale and dillon 550 but the challenger still get used for sizing rifle rounds and a multitude of other tasks it will handle rifle round up to 338 lapua. If you think you need bigger the lee classic cast will handle 50bmg for less then the rockchucker.
  5. UltimateReloader

    UltimateReloader Bothell, WA New Member

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    Thanks guys- that's good feedback. The purpose of the article I posted is really about the decision that has to be made before you even start looking at specific presses, it's really about what *type* of press to start with. Personally, I started with a progressive (was needing to load 44 magnum), but I know that's not the route for everyone, hence the guidance... :)

    Anyone here start out with a type of press (as their first press) and wish they bought a different type for press #1?

  6. Box13

    Box13 Beavercreek Member

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    Almost all my reloading equipment is used and all of it still works just fine.If I was just begining to reload Id buy a good used single stage press.Most of the old iron presses were just fine for average single stage reloading and due to abundance are dirt cheap.If you keep your eyes peeled at garage sales you can find one for 20.00 or less and if you decide it no longer meets your needs you can always sell it.Usually for as much as you paid in the first place.There is no single press that can do everything you want.Single stage presses are great for people who shoot 100 rounds or so every other week,or for reloading larger cal ammo that is used for sighting in and hunting.They are essential for working up loads for accuracy where you might load 50 rounds in batches of 10 with each batch having some variable altered,like powder charge,bullet seating depth or primer types.Besides reloading,single stage presses are good for forming new or wildcat cals where the brass is scarce or nonexistent.And if you ever get into casting they can be uses for sizing bullets.A good single stage press will give you a vast insight into the details of assembling good ammunition.
    On the other hand progressive presses can turn out very fine loads and in great abundance saving you a lot of time.Most of the modern progressive equipment is well thought out,easy to use once you figure out the sequences and quite durable.If large volumes of one or two types of ammo is what you want go ahead and start out with a progressive.
    Probably the best advice though is,find a good mentor!Yes you can figure it out on your own or with the help of a buddy but a good mentor with a lot of experience can not only help with the learning curve he just might keep you from having a nasty "kaboom".After all reloading is an adult activity and it is entirely possable to cause yourself or someone else great injury or even death.
    Be safe and have fun...Robin
  7. tac

    tac UK, Oregon and Ontario. Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    Back in 1978 I bought most of the RCBS stock at the Wiesbaden R&G and have never regretted it. I've just come in from an all-day session - 400x357Mag, 100 each 7x57, 7.5x55 and .308Win.

    That makes, uh, about half a gazillion rounds, at a rough estimate...

    'sides, as an ex-soldier, I'm partial to anything that's green.

  8. SPU

    SPU Southwest Oregon Old Fart

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    I started reloading less than a year ago. After a lot of research, I bought a Lee classic cast single stage press on sale for less than $90 as a first press. It was perfect for learning each individual step in the process and forced me to think through each stage of the loading. In addition, I knew I'd want either a turret or progressive for pistols eventually, but the classic cast will do everything up to and including .50 caliber if I wanted to in future. Currently I use it to work up test loads and for universal batch depriming.

    Within a month I found a clean used Lee classic cast turret press with an indexer that works. I added a $16 aftermarket billet part that automatically ejects the reloaded shells. It is a reasonably priced solution for handgun reloading. I timed myself at 100 .38 special loads in 30 minutes checking every 10th powder charge manually.

    That is my personal experience and YMMV.

    I laughed because when I saw the thread title, I was going to link to your blog entry for the OP, LOL