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Best press for reloading, turret vs. progressive

This is a discussion on Best press for reloading, turret vs. progressive within the The Ammo Can forums, part of the Armory Talk category; Hey guys, I'm looking at getting into reloading but am having a lot of trouble deciding on a press. I was looking at the Lee ...

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Old 06-05-2008, 11:18 PM   #1
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Best press for reloading, turret vs. progressive

Hey guys, I'm looking at getting into reloading but am having a lot of trouble deciding on a press. I was looking at the Lee 4 hole turret press and am wondering if I should not waste my time and step up to a progressive press. Also, if I do get a progressive I don't really want to spend a ton of money to get a Dillon, but have heard bad things about the Lee loadmaster and 1000 presses. Let me give you guys some info, post some specific questions I have, and let me know what you think. Thanks in advance.

Info- I want to reload because I think its part of the hobby of target shooting, also I plan on shooting around 200-300 rounds a month. I am interested in doing it to save money in the long run since ammo prices keep going up and up, and would be starting out reloading only 9mm. Eventually I plan on getting a .45 handgun and also have a .308 that would get shot a lot more if I had ammo. Not really looking to make any exotic loads and really don't need my loads to be much better than the WWB that I'm using now. The gun and ammo are not the weak point when I'm shooting if you know what I mean. Although I have heard that most hand loads end up being far superior to cheap factory ammo when made correctly. Also, I will mainly be using WWB and UMC brass that is recycled from factory loads I bought. Since one of the reasons for doing this is to save money, cost of equipment is a major concern. Don't mind buying everything I need and not looking to cut corners but I don't want to pay for a name either.

Questions- Which press is going to be the simplest for me to setup, troubleshoot, use?

Should I just get the turret now since its cheaper and get a high end progressive (Dillon) years on down the road or just bite the bullet now?

Heard mixed things about Lee in general, mainly that they are cheap but get the job done, any thoughts/experience with them?

Know of any good websites or other resources that will help me understand the process of reloading better?

So far I know I need a press, dies, powder dispenser, auto primer, caliper, tumbler, deburring tools; any other bigger purchase items I'm missing? I don't need anything fancy yet like a chrono, etc.

I apologize for the long post, had lots to get off my chest. Thanks guys.
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Old 06-05-2008, 11:38 PM   #2
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I have a Lee Classic Turret press and am very happy with it. I can reload about 150 an hour now. Price wise you really can't go wrong with a Lee especially if you decide you don't like reloading. I ordered mine from Kempf Gun Shop and it comes with almost everything you need to start. I highly recommend getting a couple or more different reloading manuals. Once you get started you won't want to stop.
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Old 06-05-2008, 11:43 PM   #3
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I've got three Dillon presses, dies for 10 or 12 calibers. Recently I completely disassembled the oldest press, cleaned and reassembled-replaced some small parts (plastic). It now runs as well as the newest.

The Dillon instructions are clear, well diagrammed and very 'followable'.

Bite the bullet; don't look back.

Buy a good reloading manual-the Lyman has a full set of instructions----forget the web--too many self-aggrandizing types. Reloading is a very simple mass production operation. But 200-300 pistol rounds is about 30 minutes work on a Dillon 550.

With the Dillon you need scale, caliper, tumbler/separator, flip tray, pick-up tubes and components--Go online at Brian Enos's site; he built them, fixed them, sold them and uses them--he'll get you the right deal to start and answer all questions.
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Old 06-06-2008, 01:46 AM   #4
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I own two 550Bs & a RCBS AmmoMaster single stage. Honestly, if all you are going to load is 200-300/m, you don't need a progressive. You can load 50/hr on a single stage, maybe 150/hr on a turret & upto 500+ on a progressive. The Lee turret press, w/ interchangeable tool heads is a decent piece of equip for the money. It will certainly handle your needs. The other way to go is buy a quality single stage, slow & sure, it will get you 200rds in 4hr/wk. You can upgrade later to a progressive if you feel the need & keep the single stage for small batch loading or decapping or case forming, etc. Best buy in a progressive today is probably th Hornady LNL. Dillon stuff is great but getting pricey & you get free bullets w/ the Hornady, that's another $100+.
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Old 06-06-2008, 01:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredj338 View Post
I own two 550Bs & a RCBS AmmoMaster single stage. Honestly, if all you are going to load is 200-300/m, you don't need a progressive. You can load 50/hr on a single stage, maybe 150/hr on a turret & upto 500+ on a progressive. The Lee turret press, w/ interchangeable tool heads is a decent piece of equip for the money. It will certainly handle your needs. The other way to go is buy a quality single stage, slow & sure, it will get you 200rds in 4hr/wk. You can upgrade later to a progressive if you feel the need & keep the single stage for small batch loading or decapping or case forming, etc. Best buy in a progressive today is probably th Hornady LNL. Dillon stuff is great but getting pricey & you get free bullets w/ the Hornady, that's another $100+.
Being as I took delivery of a LnL on Monday ... I gotta agree. I researched all the big name presses and the LnL is somewhere between the Dillon 550 & 650 ... But is less expensive than either Dillon press.

rjss,
If you decide to go with a progressive ... Read post #3
Introducing the hornady lock and load ap

With that said, I have read that the Lee Turret is a good machine and costs a lot less than a Dillon or Hornady.
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Old 06-06-2008, 05:39 AM   #6
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I had the same decision on what press to by a few months ago. I went with the Lee Classic turret kit from Kempf. Works great, very cost effective and I'm loading 200-300 a week in just a few hours. It loads quick enough to keep the misses of my A** about spending all my time in "My room".... must load quick enough!
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Old 06-06-2008, 10:52 AM   #7
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Start with the classic turret. I have that and a Loadmaster also, which both I am VERY satisfied. With the loadmaster, it is alot to keep up with at one time seeing you are loading 5 brass at a time, and making sure all is going well is a bit to keep up with for a starter. With the turret you are working on one at a time and can dedicate attention much better. Can't speak for Dillon, nor the LnL, but the Loadmaster has one heck of a learning curve too. Once you get her adjusted, she will rock-n -roll out some rounds.
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Old 06-06-2008, 11:09 AM   #8
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Lock N' Load AP. Easy to set up. I was up and running in no time. Free bullets and less expensive than a Dillon.
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Old 06-06-2008, 03:53 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the great responses. Nice to know so many guys on here reload, in case (...I mean when) I have issues in the future. After thinking about it since I'm a complete newbie to reloading, fairly tight on cash, and don't need high output, I am heavily leaning towards the turret press. Then in the future after I better understand the intricacies of the process will probably step up in brand/setup. I will keep you guys updated if/when I get a press, which will probably be by the end of the month. Keep the responses coming.
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Old 06-06-2008, 03:56 PM   #10
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Also, does anyone have any suggestions on where to get reloading stuff for the best price? I usually buy stuff from midwayusa and am very pleased with their service and prices. Just curious.
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