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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
general question about reloading.....

I shoot 7.62X39 , 7.62X54 , 30.06 , 9mm Luger , .40S&W , .38 , .357 , 7.5 Swiss and British .303. I may get an AR soon and will want to look at .223 & 5.56 as well.

My questions begin with the press:

Is there a single press that will be well suited for all of these?

I know I will need dies for all calibers, but which press?

Is it wise to reload cheap pistol calibers for plinking? - or just buy it?

I have never done this so I am aware that there is alot of reading that I still need to do on the technical aspect of reloading, but I am trying to get an idea of what I will need and ballpark of how much cost is involved. I dont hunt, or try for MOA, I just like shooting.

Any advice and direction would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you and Merry CHRISTmas!

David
 

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Lee's Classic Cast Presses, either the single stage or the turret, are cast iron presses fully the equal of RCBS. Less expensive (NOT the same thing as cheaper), and are made in the USA, unlike RCBS. Their presses are cast in China, and finish work is done here.
 

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Lee's Classic Cast Presses, either the single stage or the turret, are cast iron presses fully the equal of RCBS. Less expensive (NOT the same thing as cheaper), and are made in the USA, unlike RCBS. Their presses are cast in China, and finish work is done here.
I am not saying if it says Lee it is junk I almost got a classic press and I have the other ? lee press . I still use it to seat the bullets but is sucks to resize 30-06 brass or any other rifle brass for that matter .

I also like the priming tool they have but dont like the scales or powder meter
 

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I bought a Lee Classic press, and quickly realized that I needed something better. Not saying it didn't get the job done, I just didn't like it. It was a little rough, and I didn't like the basic action. It felt kinda cheap in my opinion. Anyway, I got the Redding Big Boss press, and absolutely love it! Really smooth action, and just looks and feels like a much better quality product. I still use the Lee press as my bullet puller.

The only thing I still use from Lee is the priming tool, and the powder dispenser (and some reloading dies).
 

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Lee's Classic Cast Presses, either the single stage or the turret, are cast iron presses fully the equal of RCBS. Less expensive (NOT the same thing as cheaper), and are made in the USA, unlike RCBS. Their presses are cast in China, and finish work is done here.
My RCBS RockChucker wasn't made in China; because I bought it used at a garage sale about 30 years ago for something like 50-60 bucks. It came with 7 sets of dies, lube and other parts still in the carton.
 

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For a bench press I use the Lee Challenger and have formed 8x57 from 30-06 with it. I also use the Lee handpress for many reloading needs for pistol or revolver cartridges. I use the handpress always for seating handgun and rifle primers. Just tonight I resized and decapped around 300 30carbine cases while watching the Giant, Panther game. Some of the LC brass was a little tough with the handpress but it got the job done.
I think the Challenger Press will handle your needs at a fraction of the cost of other presses. But if you think you may ever get into larger magnum case handloading you may want something more like a RockChucker.
Yes. It is wise to handload handgun calibers for plinking. You can also develop loads best suited for your weapon.
 

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RCBS.

I reload for 60+ chamberings and their products/company have NEVER let me down. Pay a little more for quality up front its worth it.
 

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i have a OLD cast iron rock and a lee chalenger - have used them side by side for several years - the lee is a little softer when the sizing is going on where the rock is real solid feeling -- both work well though -- cast iron is just more solid feeling for sure ---

the bigest thing is to read a lot of information on what you are going to do
will save you trouble in the long run
be safe and have fun

started reloading in about 68 - off and on , mostly on to date
if you have questions , there is a wealth of knowledge in this forum

tommy
 

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.... Pay a little more for quality up front its worth it.
That's the reason I went with an RL550B from Dillon. Everyone has their preferences and there are lots of good equipment choices out there... I don't know that I would say that any are 'bad'. I like the progressive feature because you can pound out 400-500 handgun rounds per hour. I do about 300 rounds per hour of .223 and about 200+ rounds per hour of 30-06 and other larger calibers. The larger calibers tend to take a bit longer because of the effort involved with full length sizing of the brass.

Many people believe your first press ought to be a single stage. While there is logic in that approach, I could not follow the advice because I knew that eventually I would want a progressive press and I'd end up spending more if I bought two presses rather than jumping directly to the progressive press. I'm glad I went with the Dillon RL550B even though the initial investment is definitely a bit pricier...


"Yes. It is wise to handload handgun calibers for plinking. You can also develop loads best suited for your weapon. "
This is excellent advice from armyrat1970

Oh, WELCOME to the Boards !!!
 

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As I dont reload for handguns.. I am content with a single stage press. But then again, heavy AR or Ak shooters should consider a progressive.

Just keep in mind, what you make up in speed you will loose in precision as the tolerances in a progressive are not as tight as with a single stage.
 

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All of this information, of course, just leads to more questions for me...:D

I "inherited" quite a number of Lee Loaders - many of which I have on the Trader, though no one seems to be interested.

What is the general concensus on these and thoughts on why the went by the wayside. Most of the articles I've read on them give them decent reviews...

TIA!
 

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All of this information, of course, just leads to more questions for me...:D

I "inherited" quite a number of Lee Loaders - many of which I have on the Trader, though no one seems to be interested.

What is the general concensus on these and thoughts on why the went by the wayside. Most of the articles I've read on them give them decent reviews...

TIA!
Probably because of what tommyc stated. Slow. They take a little work and time and now-a-days it seems that everyone into handloading want's to pump out as many as they can as fast as they can. But the Lee Loader held the Guinness World record for over 7 yrs. I bought a few off E-Bay, though never have tried them yet. I have the .223, 45acp and 30-30. Will check the trader to see what calibers you have to offer. May be interested.;)
 

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I used my Lee single-stage press for years - wasn't in a hurry or doing huge batches, so it worked fine.
In the last year, I have been doing much more loading, pistol and rifle calibers. I still don't need "mass loading" capability, but I switched to the Lee Turret Press - much better! Occasionally I lose a case to crinkle - I can pop the turret around, deprime another case and add it to the batch quickly, without having to install/readjust dies. Having multiple turrets for a variety of calibers is great too.
I do load like a single-stage (removed the index rod) - doing all my sizing/decapping in one go, then spin the turret to flare (handgun cases), load powder separately from my powder thrower, then seat the bullet in and crimp. It works for me - I am a mainframe batch programmer, so it's what I am accustomed to! ;)
I do favor RCBS rifle dies - both myself and a buddy having problems with a few different Lee rifle dies. The RCBS dies take a bit more effort to set up, but work much better for me.
All my pistol dies are Lee at the moment, but that may change.
I do prefer the Lee hand primer tool over the RCBS tool - more 'user-friendly'. I can swap out primer trays on the Lee in seconds, while the RCBS has to be partly dismantled.
 

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RCBS.

I reload for 60+ chamberings and their products/company have NEVER let me down. Pay a little more for quality up front its worth it.
So do I, from .32 ACP to 577/.450. Started years back on an RCBS Jr. Good press. Now everything is loaded on either a Dillon 550 or a Lee Classic Cast turret. I'd rather spend my extra money on components and guns.
 

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I use my lee hand press for most things I load. I prefer single stage and with the hand press I can load on the range if I want. I also have a lee anniversary press mounted to a bench that I use mainly to remove spent primers with the lee universal decapper.
 

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I think you are referencing the Lee classic loader in your choice of calibers. These are also very handy tools -- These are very economical for neck sizing only. I use this tool for 7.62 x 54 for all my Mosin Nagants. I also have one in 30-06 for my TC Encore. These are also very handy on the range. There is a good youtube video that shows how they are used.

The lee hand press is a press that you can use in your lap and accepts all standard dies. Another very useful tool from lee is the lee universal expander die. I use this for my fat bore M44 that needs a .316 projectile.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
rather than asking alot more uninformed questions now, would it be a good idea to go ahead and get a manual or other book on the topic? what should i start out with?


Thank you, and Merry CHRISTmas

David
 
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