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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I am getting ready to start odering a new loading setup. I am going with Lee, cause I don't have a ton of upfront money. The question I have is this...???

Is it worth spending the extra money for the four stage progressive kit ($150 at Cabelas) vs. the single stage press kit ($70 at Cabelas). Will be loading 9mm, .38, .357, .223, and 8mm to start with. Is a single stage press more suited to makeing "benchrest" ammo than a progressive, or is there no diffrence in the quality. As far as the volume of shells produced, would like to be able to make up a 20-100 or so at a time. Having looked at what comes in the Lee kits, is there anyother equipment that you guys would consider vital to have for start up? Also, what is a good way to figure out where to start with powder. I can't afford to buy 5 cans right from the start.

Thanks any info on any of this would be a big help...I hate to buy what I don't need, and not get what I do.

-John
 

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I have used a single stage press for over 20 years now. I love to reload, so I don't try to hurry it along with a progressive. If you are not going to reload more than 100 rounds, I see no reason really to go with a progressive, the single stage will serve you just as well. As for powder, in pistol powder, Unique will work in everything. Not always the best, but it will work in any handgun cartridge. Bullseye is another versitile powder. You probably would be better to have a couple different powders for 8mm and .223, but (I am at work without my manuals, so this is not to be taken for the gospel) I think you could probably use a powder such as IMR4064 for both. I have used 4064 in both .223 and in 30/06, so I think you could use it in 8mm too.
 

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Yes 4064 will work in the 8mm, I have a tendancy toward the Alliant powders, i am using RL 15 & 19, that will cover pretty much every caliber that you could possibly shoot, RL-15 works about like Varget, or 4895. Les
 

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I think we have a convert.:D
 

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Have you looked at the lee delux turret kit? From natchez or lock stock and barrel for under $100.oo.

As far as volume. It comes down to how much time do you have. the turret will let you get that 100 rds completed in less than 1 hour. Caliber change is fast and easy by removing the turret and incerting the next one already set up. Single stage requires individual die changes and adjustments.

You can use the turret as a single stage if you desire. de-activate the auto-index feature and rifle ammo is no problem.

If i was forced to go to one press---it would be the turret.

To each his own but on my single stage i do around 40 rds in one hour. the turret around 150 in one hour. my lee loader(hammer required:D) will do 20 rds in one hour. Others can load faster or slower but that is about my rate.

I get a lot of days with the honey do's and kid's school activities--time gets to be a premium and i use the turret. I still use the single stage from time to time for small jobs.

I still use all three styles---I have not noticed any difference in the accuracy of handgun or rifle rounds between the turret and single stage---the possible exception is with the lowly/obsolete/out of date lee loader---it is perhaps more accurate!!!(all i use for my .308) of course it only neck sizes the ammo so that probably has something to do with it. But i ain't trying to build benchrest ammo--just good hunting ammo. And in truth the ole' lee loader tool is very slow...............

Lee #90928 at lock, stock, and barrel for $89.00
also at midway priced at $102.00


the auto disc powder throw from lee is good/accurate, and handy for handgun calibers. As far as rifle rounds, unless you want to use dippers which will really slow you down, be sure you have the lee perfect powder measure so you can tweek your rifle loads. The dippers will work and work well but there is no flexability in loadings and trying to find one powder to do several calibers with the supplied dipper is a nightmare. I'd get and check a loading manual(and by the way the lee manual is a good one) and if money is tight, pick up one powder that will handle several calibers. For example, IMR 4895 will take care of the .223 and 8mm. While unique powder will handle the 9 and 38.

Lee dies are of good quality and they give you a free shell holder so that helps. Dippers included and i from ocasion still use a dipper now and then.

It all comes down to a balance of money, time, and convience. Like buying a pickup, how many extra luxary items do you want. A stripped down pickup with no power steering, no air conditioner, etc. will get you from point "a" to point "b" but depending on how long your on the road, you may be tired and a bit frustrated by the time you arrive---but you will arrive. Couple of added "extras" will do it more comfortably and faster.

The one other thing that is a must will be some type of bench to mount a press to. Anything sturdy that the wife will not object to will work.:):):) In years past, i had a single stage press "C" clamped to the dining table---worked until the honeymoon wore off![:p]
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the answers guys. As always, I have more to think about after reading the info from you folks! Choices, choices, choices!
 

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quote:Originally posted by Johngoboom

Thanks for the answers guys. As always, I have more to think about after reading the info from you folks! Choices, choices, choices!
Yep !!:D The choices...
The Lee "O" frame is a good choice.So are Lee dies.
I use a Lee Progressive 1000,RCBS "RS" "O" frame,these I regularly use.And, then a Dillon Square Deal "B",which I rarely use.
With what you've posted, a single stage press will be just fine.
I have to use a single stage (RCBS "RS" "O" frame)for the 45-70's I load.
Might add another manual or two.Wouldn't hurt to have loading blocks.
These are right handy.The cases won't tip over when using a single stage press.
Wouldn't hurt to get some shop rags.Hands can get dirty.
With your handgun ammo,go for the carbide dies.Regular steel dies,you'd have to lube the cases.Carbide,you don't need to lube.
Rifle cases, yes, no other way except to lube the cases.
Hint: might get some beeswax,add some Crisco,or lard.melt with a double boiler.(Like,say a 1/4lb of beeswax and about a large spoonful of Crisco or lard.Let it cool off.Can pour it into say, a flat tin.then, you'll have a cheap way to lube those cases.Don't take very much.Just enough to get a slick feeling.Go around the rifle case body.None on the case neck.Or shoulder.Should last for quite a few cases.)
Been using this mix for a few weeks.Works good.
For the powders,consult the manual.The powders will depend on the bullet weight.Then,see what powder is the most commonly used in the book.(For all calibers)And check to see what primers are used :large or small.Standard or magnum.
And,yes, the powders comes in 1lb cans.Don't need to spend $100.00 on powders.
My best to you.
 

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I have over the years obtained both single and turret press. And true time is a factor but I love to reload and I enjoy doing it as I shut out the world while reloading. Yes it does take time but I have the rest of my life to reload and enjoy my life. Which ever way you go it will be a great soruce of enjoyment to you once you get hooked you can't stop.
 

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quote:Originally posted by Snuffy

Which ever way you go it will be a great soruce of enjoyment to you once you get hooked you can't stop.
Truer words were never spoken, Snuffy. [^]
I load my semi auto ammo on my two Dillon 550's, becaus I shoot so much of it. I use my Rock Crusher single stage machine for the revolver's & rifle loads. (except for the AR15) I use the revolvers for target stuff & I enjoy sitting down & wighing each powder drop & making sure the bullet is put in just right. Very relaxing. ;)
 

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For the beginning reloader I think a single stage is the way to go. It allows you to keep track of whats going on and helps minimize mistakes. If you shoot regularly a single stage will keep up with your needs. If you shoot competitively then you need the volume a progressive has to offer.

I'm a definite RCBS fan and have purchased much of my equipment on the used market If you are careful you can find some decent bargains and actually get better equipment. I always buy anything electronic or that has an electrical connection new. No good reason other than my own concern about past usage.
 

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Single stage is a good way to start. Cheap and will be easier to correct the mistakes you will make. Yes, will make. We all have a little museum of weird shaped shells we've squashed into shape.
If your set on the progressive get the turret instead. As previously stated it can be used as a single stage.
If you get a Lee order the adjustable disc they sell to use in the place of the circular ones. Just ask whoever you order it from or look on the Lee site. they are worth it if you use their measures. If you want a drum type PM me I have a spare RCBS I'd sell cheap. You can buy them on ebay cheap too.
 

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lol I think we all have a few of them around, to tell you the truth I have more than I care to admit too.
 

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If you are just beginning , i would stick with single stage , I reload about 600 to 800 rounds a year , 22-250 -220 swift -6mm -25-06 - 270 - 7mm - 300 win mag . ext. and most of my equipment was baught used , I have bin reloading for about 10 years now and all i use is RCBS gear there service and warrenty is simply the best i have seen , they replace any part of there equipment no questions asked (except your mailing address) so that is why i use there equipment , Single stage is safer for you , 1 mistake can cost you . But that is only my option , happy reloading
 

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I have to agree single stage is a good way to start.As far as powder goes its pretty hard to say. I like a powder that I can use in more that one caliber as you said because of cost. Your weapons are going to do better with one type of powder more so than one. Keep good notes on your range days. And you will find the powder that works best for you.
 
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