Best press for reloading, turret vs. progressive

Discussion in 'The Ammo Can' started by rjss, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. rjss

    rjss XDTalk 100 Member

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    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.
     
  2. Pit Man

    Pit Man XDTalk 100 Member

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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.
     
  3. jfdavis58

    jfdavis58 XDTalk 100 Member

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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.
     
  4. fredj338

    fredj338 XDTalk 10K Member

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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+.
     
  5. AZXD

    AZXD XDTalk 35K Member

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    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.
     
  6. McD

    McD XDTalk Member

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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!:razz:
     
  7. M1A Shooter

    M1A Shooter XDTalk 500 Member

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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.
     
  8. atmiller

    atmiller XDTalk 1K Member

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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.
     
  9. rjss

    rjss XDTalk 100 Member

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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.
     
  10. rjss

    rjss XDTalk 100 Member

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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.
     
  11. Fatdaddy

    Fatdaddy XDTalk Newbie

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    If you enjoy loading as just a hobby then the Turret is great. I enjoy loading so I don't mind the time spent with the press. I only shoot a couple hundred rounds a month so my Lee Classic Turret fits my needs.
    If you just want to make a lot of good shootable ammo quickly, the progressive is probably the way to go.
     
  12. Pit Man

    Pit Man XDTalk 100 Member

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    Depending on what you order their prices are good. Buy your powder and primers locally to avoid the hazmat surcharge. I found the local Sportsmans Warehouse to be about the same price wise after shipping but nowhere near the selection of Midway. Another one I have yet to order from is Natchez.com. If you decide on the Lee Classic turret check out Kempfgunshop.com.
     
  13. ForTehNguyen

    ForTehNguyen XDTalk 5K Member Founding Member

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    try to buy once fired brass and clean it up with a tumbler, savings go away if you buy brass new
     
  14. Fatdaddy

    Fatdaddy XDTalk Newbie

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    Check local hardware stores for powder and primers, most don't do alot of volume and you can usually find primer and powder that they've had for a few years at "yesterdays prices".:p
     
  15. Edubya

    Edubya XDTalk 500 Member Founding Member

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    Well, have you ever thought about your local retailer? He may be able to help you out in with your selection of products, assembly and a whole lot more. You're just starting a new hobby, it would be nice to have someone locally to ask questions of. Oh, you could do it and most small businesses will accommodate you, even if begrudgingly. I wouldn't blame them if they told you to ask the retailer where you bought the product from. You know, I have even received some pretty good discounts on other products as a result of purchasing locally. I bought my Dillon 550 progressive, dies, 8 lbs. powder, 5000 primers and 1300 bullets, plus a couple of other odds and ends. I then remembered that I wanted a new RCBS 10-10 scale ($110.00), he gave it to me. He also assembled the press and set all of the dies. He instructed me on the entire operation, loaded up about ten bullets of each caliber, and we shot them to verify they were all that they were suppose to be (no "first round fears" for me).

    You go ahead and do what's right for you, but this was 100% the right thing for me to do!

    P.S. One week later I ran into a problem, he came over and went through the whole thing again, resolved the problem and checked everything else out.:)
     
  16. rjss

    rjss XDTalk 100 Member

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    Edubya, I'll check with some of the shops around here and hopefully find someone willing to work with me.

    As an aside, I went to the range this evening and the two other guys didn't want the WWB 9mm brass they were shooting. Got 400 cases for nothing :cool: Its a start!
     
  17. arizona98tj

    arizona98tj XDTalk 1K Member Founding Member

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    Shop around.....the internet makes price comparisons much easier than it use to be. ;) Some times companies put specific items on sale....get them, if you need them, when they do. Can't go wrong on a good sale. I just bought a 4 die 9mm carbide set from Midway. I have a Dillon 650 set up for 9mm (and 45ACP) but didn't have any dies for my RCBS single stage. Working up loads...doing 5 or 10 after different .2 gr increments, is a pain with a progressive press, IMO. I started 30 some years ago on a Lyman "C" frame single stage press. It's packed in a box somewhere. I still find a single stage press great for doing specialty loads, rifle cartridges, and such.
     
  18. Broadside

    Broadside XDTalk 2K Member

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    Might also check your local gun clubs. The one I belong to has a reloading group and does group discounts. A lot of experienced guys locally to assist.
     
  19. Loves2Shoot

    Loves2Shoot Official Site Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    Is your time worth anything? If it is, a Dillon square deal is a great value for a starter press. They hold their value well also, and the no BS warranty is worth it.

    Someone suggest reloading 50 rounds in an hour, holly cow, I can't even imagine that torture. 50 rounds take me two minutes.

    Load enough rounds and reloading it isn't that much fun, but more a a necessary evil ;)
     
  20. xdmikey

    xdmikey XDTalk 500 Member

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    like m1a shooter said, I was overwhelmed at first when I started running my LNL but settled down after a while. I'm not to the point of getting a case feeder but am starting to think about it again.
     

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