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What reloading press should I buy ?


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#1 TJS11415

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 10:14 AM

I'm new to reloading and I want to buy a press.

What progressive press is good for a beginner



#2 thobart

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 02:06 PM

depends on how much you want to spend.

 

If money is no object then the mark 7 is a good choice.  Having said that it is very expensive and has the least amount of information on how to set it up out there now.  It is a very nice press however.

 

The Dillon 750 is a very good press at a fair price and has a lot of information on it available for setup.  

 

Basic difference is number of stations and if you want to swage the primmer pockets when reloading.  PM me your contact info and I can give you the lowdown on what would work for you best.  I have an automated 650 and a Mark 7 evolution.  It is hard to get presses right now so dont expect to get is quick even if you order right away.



#3 RandyP

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 02:28 PM

Most would suggest starting with either a single stage or a manual turret (I luv my Lee Classic turret). There's a whole lot going on at the same time with a true progressive for a beginner to safely navigate IMHO.

 

It also depends what your realistic ammo needs are. Right now is a rough time for finding reloading components, especially primers and some powders. I typically can churn out about 150-175 rounds per hour on my turret at a relaxed pace which MORE than meets my humble ammo needs. Some expensive progressives can do 350-450 per hour if that amount better suits your needs. Like many things you trade $$$ for speed and features on reloading gear..


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#4 cnwfan3

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 03:00 PM

You can't go wrong with a Dillon.  Their customer support is outstanding and their presses are top notch.  I started out with a Square deal B in 9mm.  Very easy to set up and get running.  I also have a lee turret and a Lee breach lock pro as well but still use my SDB the most.  Only thing is SDB only loads handgun calibers and you have to use their proprietary dies.  But it is very simple to set up and easy to use.  It only need a few minor adjustments (one assembled) to be up and running.  At a slow leisurely pace (weighing every10th powder charge) I can put out about 300 per hour.  I know it could at least go up to 400-450 an hour if I pushed it, but I'm not in that much of a hurry.  If I needed to crank out rifle rounds, I would probably go with at least a Dillon XL750.



#5 luckydawg13

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 03:50 PM

I would start looking for primers first as far as presses i would just stick with a single stage press

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#6 fxdpntc

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 04:19 PM

I started out with a Lyman Turret Press. It came as a kit. Everything you needed to get started except components. I read the instructions twice through, and then started reloading reduced load 38 special. I upgraded when the original Dillon 450's came out.  I always used a Rock Chucker for rifle ammo...



#7 Weed

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 05:03 PM

Dillon skip the single stage.

#8 TJS11415

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 05:05 PM

Thanks for the replies...

 

I would be reloading 9mm, I have a friend with a single stage press and it seems like a lot of work for a low round count, but he loads rifle.

I've been shooting about 500 rnds per month and at current ammo prices that's getting expensive.

 

I did look for primers and your right, they are hard to find and not cheap either.

 

When I look at the people on youtube they make it seem easy, but the more I look into it...I think I would be getting in over my head and I don't

really know anybody who does progressive reloading.

But I haven't ruled it out yet.

 

Were do you guy's get your reloading supplies?



#9 cnwfan3

    No, I said dart gun, not fart gun!

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 05:27 PM

Dillon skip the single stage.

 

I agree.  Skip the single stage, go right for a Dillon.  Buy once, cry once.  I started out on a Dillon SDB progressive and never looked back.  



#10 cnwfan3

    No, I said dart gun, not fart gun!

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 05:39 PM

Thanks for the replies...

 

I would be reloading 9mm, I have a friend with a single stage press and it seems like a lot of work for a low round count, but he loads rifle.

I've been shooting about 500 rnds per month and at current ammo prices that's getting expensive.

 

I did look for primers and your right, they are hard to find and not cheap either.

 

When I look at the people on youtube they make it seem easy, but the more I look into it...I think I would be getting in over my head and I don't

really know anybody who does progressive reloading.

But I haven't ruled it out yet.

 

Were do you guy's get your reloading supplies?

 

Primers can be had, but you are going to have to pay inflated prices.  I have bough mine on gunbroker.  I have not been able to source primers during this shortage at any other online store at reasonable prices.  Even at inflated prices, it's still cheaper to reload than buying factory ammo (as long as you reuse your brass).

 

I use Xtreme bullets.  They are copper plated and not jacketed, but they are available.

https://www.xtremebullets.com/

 

As for powder, I have notifications set on Midway, Midsouth shooters, powder valley, Natchez shooter supply, and/or any other place that sells reloading supplies.  Powder does become available, you just have to be patient.  Or if you can't wait, you buy from gunbroker at higher prices.

 

As I said, I started out on a progressive.  The Dillon square deal B is very easy to setup and use as far as progressive presses go.  But Dillons are cheap.  if you only load handgun ammo, it's a great press.  I load 9mm on it.  I shoot about 500 rounds a week and it works well for me.  For other calibers, I use a Lee Classic turret (I don't shoot as much in any other calibers.)

 

Take your time and go slow.  Good luck!



#11 luckydawg13

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 06:09 PM

NO don't skip the single stage when you are starting out you need to go slow and Pay attention to what you are doing you will always find a reason to have a single stage press on your bench especially when you are working up a load just my 2 cents

Good luck

Kid's that Hunt and Fish don't Mug old Ladies 


#12 cnwfan3

    No, I said dart gun, not fart gun!

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 06:46 PM

You can use a progressive like a single stage only loading 1 case at a time.  That is what I did with my SDB until i got the hang of it and loaded several hundred rounds and made sure I was doing it correctly.  You can still take each round out and look at it if necessary.  I'm not saying someone shouldn't buy a single stage, only that it is not absolutely necessary if you know you want to go progressive.  This is what I did when I started out.
 



#13 Warped

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 07:44 PM

You can use a progressive like a single stage only loading 1 case at a time.  That is what I did with my SDB until i got the hang of it and loaded several hundred rounds and made sure I was doing it correctly.  You can still take each round out and look at it if necessary.  I'm not saying someone shouldn't buy a single stage, only that it is not absolutely necessary if you know you want to go progressive.  This is what I did when I started out.
 

 

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

This is exactly what I did when I got into reloading 

My first press was also a DILLON square deal B in 45 ACP

If you are handy/mechanically inclined at all you "shouldnt" have any problem with one 

 

The only issue I ever had was once in a blue moon I would get a upside down primer in a cartridge 

thats the only "issue" I have ever had.

 

I also did not know anyone that reloaded.

I just watched youtube and paid attention to what I was doing !

 

https://www.dillonpr...uct-videos.html


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#14 r4ndy

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 07:47 PM

For 9mm a Lee Pro is a good starter at a reasonable price. Dillon is definitely better, but much more expensive. I started on a Lee Pro and ran 1000’s of 9mm through it before switching to Dillon. If you are going to load 45 or rifle in volume I would suggest the Dillon 750 or 550. If just 9, the Lee progressive is a good starter if you don’t mind a little tweaking to get it humming. Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

#15 Mr Twain

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 07:57 PM

If you’ve never reloaded before, a single stage press is an excellent way to start. A progressive press is ideal for larger volumes of reloading once you have made your mistakes on the single stage.

#16 Smallbore

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 08:44 PM

The two types discussed are single stage and progressive. It is not that simple. A single stage press has one die mounted. First may be a depriming resizing die. You will run all your cases through this set up. Then you may change the die to a powder die or not. A quick change setup is nice. The brass needs to be flared to insert bullet. Without a powder drop you will have to weight each charge then manually dump it into the case. A stand alone powder drop is quick but you handle the case from the press then back to the press.There are electronic scales dribbles a measured load into the case. The single stage requires a die change for each stage.
A rotating turret press with multiple die locations is a nice setup. It is very nice for precision load. There is wisdom for going for quality over speed. Reloading is an enjoyable activity in itself.
Progressives may index automatically or manually. I do not see manual as an issue. When things do not feel right the auto rotation of the shell holder can be undesirable.
If starting with a progressive the above advise to run and complete one cartridge at a time is good advise.
With 9mm dropping to the low $20 while components sky high pay back may be distant future.
Still fun to shoot your own cartridges.
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#17 spec5

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 09:03 PM

Dillon progressive, but without primers you can't reload whether it is a single stage or progressive. I haven't been able to buy primers for a year or more.


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#18 3ddiver

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Posted 22 July 2021 - 05:19 AM

Another Dillon here. I started with the 550 and am still using it with a few upgrades. It has produced many, many thousands of rounds. Like others above I started with one cartridge at a time. Lots of good choices out there but I have never been sorry for buying the Dillon.



#19 bmyers

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Posted 22 July 2021 - 05:35 AM

My Dillion 750XL is wonderful. Easy to setup, easy to use, and cranks out the rounds.

 

As others have pointed out, good luck on finding reloading supplies, especially primers. If you don't already have a stach of them, you will be hard press to find them and be paying top dollar. 


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#20 TJS11415

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Posted 22 July 2021 - 10:01 AM

Thanks to all, I think it's time for me to hit the reset button until I decide reloading is right for me.



#21 Smallbore

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Posted 22 July 2021 - 10:23 AM

Reset for now can be good but don't give up. It still remains a satisfying activity.
Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice. THOMAS PAINE

#22 Rangerdeepv

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Posted 22 July 2021 - 12:39 PM

Hornady single stage kit was the first press followed a year later by the Hornady LnL AP. Couple years later the Forster Co-Ax showed up in the reloading room with the hand held Lee hand press. The single stage presses are used for 6.5 Creedmoor, 7.62 NATO and 30-06. The single stage still gets the most use as I like doing my reloading in slower stages and one step at a time unless it is pistol ammo. The Dillons are really the Cadillac of presses and there certainly is nothing wrong with Lee or any others but the Hornday/Forster works for me.



#23 Nanook

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Posted 22 July 2021 - 01:46 PM

Dillon skip the single stage.

 

Yep, you can use the Dillon 550C as a single stage if you like, until you get more familiar with the process. 

 

The toolhead system gives you a lot of versatility. 


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#24 lee n. field

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 08:40 PM

I'm new to reloading and I want to buy a press.

What progressive press is good for a beginner

 

And I'll weigh in.

 

A progressive press is not good for a beginner.  There's way too much going on, all at once, with each pull of the handle, for a newbie to keep track of.

 

Start with buying a reloading manual, and reading the instructional chapters.  I started with the Lyman manual.

For a good press for a noob, my recommendation is to get a Lee Classic Turret kit.  The kit bundles a lot of other things that you'll need.  This press can be run as a (essentially) single stage press by removing the indexing rod.  With the indexing rod in place, the turret automatically rotates, station by station, giving you much better speed than a single stage.

 

In the "Before Time", the kit would have run you in the low $200s, to which you have to add a die set.  No idea what they'd run now, if they can be found.

 

 

For 9mm a Lee Pro is a good starter at a reasonable price.

 

The Pro 1000 I found to be quite frustrating.  I gave up on it multiple times.  Ditto the Loadmaster.  The Pro 1000 has been redesigned since I had mine, and I've seen no reviews on the new version.  Looking at the current instruction sheet, It looks like the current version has addressed the frustrating indexing problems that I experienced with that press.

 

I currently have the Lee Breech Lock Pro, aka "Pro 4000", which is a much better press.

 

Yeah, and good luck finding small pistol primers.


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