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What Reloader to get for someone new to reloading...

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by glockguy, May 9, 2011.

  1. glockguy

    glockguy Albany Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Iv been pondering reloading and now im moving to a place thats got a space for me to reload so I was thinking about buying one... Iv looked at the Dillion 550B for about $450 and also the Hornady LNL for about $400... Im sure there are a few more... I do not want a single stage i do know that much...

    sooo what all do you suggest... also tell me if my prices are a little off.. im just goin off what i found on google
     
  2. jmh119

    jmh119 Hillsboro, Oregon Member

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    Hey glockguy, a friend of mine has the 550B and loves it. Loads thousands of rounds with it. Don't think you would go wrong with it and they have a great warranty with them too.
    James
     
  3. Dutchy556

    Dutchy556 Bend, OR Member

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    Comparing a 550 and the LnL Ap isn't really apples to apples. 550 is a 4 station manual index, the LnL 5 station auto index - maybe not a huge deal depending on what you want to use it for but something to bear in mind. Both companies offer excellent lifetime warranties.

    Personally, I like the Hornady setup, that's what I went with for my first press and I have been nothing but satisfied. Easy to set up & easy to use - I like the LnL bushing system a lot. Caliber changes are a breeze, and it's easy to run set up solely to resize/decap rifle brass then switch to just dropping powder and seating without messing with anything after tumbling to remove lube - no having to re-adjust dies. I have also heard from several sources that the hornady powder measure is more consistent than the dillon, though I cannot say this the case from experience. Plus, the with the hornady you get 500 free bullets, which makes it an even better value.

    Both the Dillon and the Hornady are excellent presses, but there's some of reasoning for going the Hornady route.
     
  4. Paradox

    Paradox Seattle Member

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    I like my Dillon 550B so much I got a second one. Dillon really does stand behind their stuff too. The customer service is amazing. :cool:
     
  5. BillM

    BillM Amity OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Dillon is good--I've been thrashing a 550B for years now with very few problems.

    New to reloading? Check with ARPC. They are doing a reloading class. Includes a progressive
    press (Hornady??), dies/brass/primers/bullets/powder for 500 rds of pistol ammo
    and instruction for a VERY nice price.
     
  6. sheepdip

    sheepdip Redland Well-Known Member

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    the rcbs rockchucker master kit is a good way to start. not a progressive setup but for bolt action rifle or sa only pistol not a bad way to go. i weigh every powder charge. have had very good results as far as accuracy goes.
     
  7. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    If this is your FIRST venture into reloading, give some real serious thought in starting with a Single Stage setup. Look at one of the major companies "Starter Sets" that includes a single stage press, scale, case prep tools, manual, etc. For Dies, the Lee dies are a good value and work in all the standard setups, including Dillon.

    When you have first learned how to load properly by performing each step separately, and have determined that you really WANT to reload, then consider upgrading to a progressive of your choice. All those items you purchased to get started will still be very useful. Single stage presses are great for load development, can be taken to the range with ease for loading to specific conditions, and also are great for small batches without changeover hassles. A starter set can cost as little as $125 (Lee) and it will be with you as long as you reload, regardless of what you add to your bench. My single stage and scale is still with me after close to 40 years. It does all the "precision" work and my Dillon XL-650 with Case Feeder does the "Volume".

    When it comes to upgrading, I am a real fan of Dillon progressives. Hard to beat their experience. Well over 30 years of working the bugs out and their Customer Support is A-1 +++++
     
    Spitpatch, taroman, jayleno and 7 others like this.
  8. Browning55

    Browning55 Seattle-Everett Area Active Member

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    Agree with a quality single stage press for starting up. Compound leverage is nice and much less tiring - especially if you do necked down cases.
     
  9. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

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    I like my 550b,but if I had it to do over again I'd take a serious look at the Hornady line.It has always galled me to have to buy changeover kits for the Dillon..but not enough to get rid of it,I like it a lot.

    If u are going to do rifle rounds,a true auto-advance progressive isn't an advantage because you have to measure case length and possibly trim them after the sizing operation.
    If money is no object you can mount a powered case trimer on some presses and just go for it.
    For handgun ammo they are THE way to go. Yes,starting on a single stage is a good idea,but since most presses like the Dillon allow you to run one at a time while getting used to it,most folks can start there,and yoiu did say you were not inerested in a single stage.

    For some time now Hornady is/was giving away bullets with their presses.
     
  10. Shooter98

    Shooter98 McMinnville, Or. Member

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    I started with the very simple Lee Challenger kit ($99 from Midway) which includes single stage press, powder measurer, scale and a few more goodies and have loaded tens of thousands of rounds with it. You will get people who say you wont be able to load as good of rounds with it and that's horse pucky. I compete with all my own loads and do rather well including long range. The only thing I changed was I bought a commercial class digital scale and I buy good dies. It strictly depends on how much you can/want to invest in the beginning. Oh, and I'm still loading with the same Lee press.

    I just noticed you say you don't want a single stage press :)
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2011
  11. ron

    ron Vancouver, Washington Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    I have had a Dillon 550 for 25 years. I reload for 4 pistol and 5 rifle calibers. I like the idea of the dies are in a removable tool head to change calibers you do not have to screw and unscrew the dies like the Hornady. Waranty is the best I have worn out and broken many parts and they ship me a new part no problem. A year ago I was helping a friend set up a new 550 and noticed how much tighter his press was than mine which has loaded tens of thousands of rounds. I sent it back to Dillon and in about 9 days I received a completely rebuilt and re painted press. No charge!
    I disagree with those saying to start on a single stage press. You can reload on a progressive with one case at a time like a single stage. After a couple hundred rounds you get the hang of it and can load using the multi stage capability. I had a RCBS rock chucker I would 100 357's in 3 to 4 hours. With my Dillon 550 it is 15 minutes.
     
  12. Browning55

    Browning55 Seattle-Everett Area Active Member

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    There's no question that a progressive press is faster. Dillon, Hornady and several others are definitely good equipment. Single stage presses make it easier to visually check powder charges, inspect cases after belling for splits or fatigue not easily detected before then, and so forth. Old timers were very big on safety, checking everything at every stage, etc. That's the trade-off. I just learned the old way.
     
  13. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    That's because "Old Timers" learned a long time ago that it only takes one "AW-$h!t" to ruin your day (and maybe a lot more). That's why I am a big advocate of starting out slow and after all the basics become ingrained, then go faster with a progressive.

    But then again, some people feel that they are born with all the knowledge they'll ever need and just charge forward.
     
  14. scrappydoo

    scrappydoo Federal Way Active Member

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    Just keep in mind that all the other stuff you need adds up real fast. I went over my budget by $100 and still missed a few things. (btw, I'm brand new to reloading too) My goal was to buy stuff that was both affordable but still not a hassle to use. It's a fine line to thread especially when you're not familiar with this stuff. Youtube helped a lot because I got to see how different brands approached products, and I got a vague idea if it would work for me.
     
  15. driftin

    driftin Wilsonville Member

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    I'd stick with the rcbs rockchucker master kit to start. Cost effective, accruite, great learning tool to get you ready for a multi head reloader. You will need one anyway when you get a progressive.
     
  16. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    Completely agree with this, had mine for years and still use it exclusively, personally I use the rcbs dies too.
     
  17. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Glockguy, I just speed-read this thread, and I hope you have seen that the Old Guard, (and I mean that regarding experience, not chronology) is unanimous in their overlooking of your statement, "I do not want a single stage, I do know that much." Almost without exception, the cadre of experience advises you to start with a single stage set-up to learn to HANDLOAD, and then certainly many recommend the progressive machines for when you want to RELOAD. The two concepts are NOT the same. Some were gentle in their opposition to your statement, others were more direct. I will offer this: If you go the progressive route (reloading) to start with, and become very interested in making your guns perform to their very best possible, you will eventually and certainly want to learn to become a handloader. If you become a handloader first, you will certainly have all the knowledge you need to make your future progressive press work for you the best it can.
     
  18. Rammit

    Rammit Bothel Member

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    I love my single stage press, eventually when i find the time to shoot my handguns more i will get a progressive, but for me the progressive press just seems like a big chunk of change to drop right off the bat. And if your ever want to load rifle cases single stage is really the way to go, on my magnums i use my crappy lee challenger to prime, size and seat, gives me the best feel for precision ammo. If i had started on a progrssive i would have one **** of a time gettign my dies adjusted right and ruined alot more bullets and cases.
     
  19. scrappydoo

    scrappydoo Federal Way Active Member

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    As a newbie I can also vouch for the single stage route. I use the Lee turret but as a single stage, and it's both easier and less stressful. In fact, if I had to do it over again I'd have gotten their single stage breech lock model. It's just so much easier to keep track of what your doing because you only have one thought process going on, and it's easier to double check everything with a single stage.

    Believe me, you'll mess up. It's a lot easier to correct your mistake before you've seated the bullet. With a progressive you'll have to disassemble everything. Btw, I mentioned earlier that I overshot my budget by $100. Now that I've got almost everything I need to comfortably reload I've overshot it by $200.
     
  20. Hotwheelz

    Hotwheelz Pierce County Member

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    OK I really think the single stage option is a solid idea, that being said you really have to be honest with yourself on a couple levels first how much ammo do you really use? Are you a very observant person and have some basic mechanical skills and pay attention to how things work? If you answered I shoot a lot 500+ rnds a month, yes I pay attention and have some basic mechanical ability and I pay close attention, I don’t see any issue with starting on a progressive. If you’re being honest with yourself and cant answer those questions with a yes slow down get a single stage press and take it 1 step at a time. Get a good reloading manual and read it understand what you are doing find someone who loads who will mentor you in the beginning if you can. Above all else double check what you are doing when first starting, reloading is a fun and rewarding hobby but can be very costly to your equipment and person if done wrong..