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droptrd

Single stage or Progressive?

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Im about to pull the trigger on my first reloading set up. The progressives look nice. But im thinking it may be benificial to go with a single stage press. Mainly a lower cost and fundemental use. Im looking at a RCBS Rockchucker Press.

 

Whatcha think?

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I have two thoughts: 1) start reloading as soon as you can, and 2) save up for a Dillon 550B.

 

So in that framework, a RCBS Rockchucker is a great press to get you started. You will start reloading sooner, and learn the fundamentals of reloading. It's also good to have a quality single stage press around when you have a progressive for miscellaneous chores, so you will not be throwing your money away if and when you upgrade to a progressive (and let me recommend a Dillon 550B).

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This is where I am at with reloading. The only caliber I reload is my 45 colt. So since I don't shoot that a whole lot...maybe a couple hundred rounds a year I bought a Lee sinlge stage hand press. The one I have is a handheld version that does not need to be mounted anywhere which is nice if you want to move around. It works very well and it was very cheap...I wanna say under 30 dollars but don't quote me on it. The only thing I ever heard that was negative about progressive presses is that sometimes you can have trouble with the poweder weight being continuous accurate but I have never used one so I don't know first hand. To decide what kind of press first you should ask youself how much you shoot. If you shoot thousands of round a year and you don't want to spend a huge amount of time reloading than you should probably go progressive. In terms of brand or model I have no opinion because I have never really looked at them that close sorry. Over about two years I have reloaded about 2000 rounds of 45 colt with my handheld and I am very happy with it.

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During the summer I shoot around 500-1000 rounds a week of various calibers. I can afford it then too as I work in construction. During the winter I really dont shoot at all. I cant afford it and its too cold - no indoor ranges near me. I have a feeling that with a progressive Id be shooting alot more. I think mr.smashy's sugestions are the way ill go. For right now if I can at least save some money loading my more $$$ calibers and leave my 9mm and 40 for walmart ammo, Id be off to a good start toward a nice progressive.

 

So one more question... Are the dies universal? Can they work on both a single stage and a progressive? Or would I need a set for each? Sorry if this is a dumb question

 

Thanks

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Yes, dies are for the most part universal. I suggest getting the best quality dies you can afford and moving them to the progressive when it's time.

 

What calibers do you plan on reloading? I'm sorry if I missed this somewhere else.

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I use .308, 22-250, 7.62x39(soon:D), and 7.62x54r for rifle rounds. For my pistol cal I have 9mm, .40 and .45. I shoot my .308 Weatherby Vanguard and my Beretta 96 the most. Oh and my 10/22 but I dont mind .22 prices.

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FWIW I just started reloading within the last 6 months on a Lee pro 1000 progressive. I think it was $150 or less. I would *love* to have a nice press, they're worth the money, but if you don't have it you don't have it, the Lee does function to crank out 300+rounds an hour. It took me months to get up to that speed, mind you, and I'm sure it's much less irritation to get up to that speed on a fancier press.

 

I can't speak to a single stage since I haven't loaded on one, but I did end up buying one just to re-size cast boolits, so it's not likely to go to waste if you decide to move up to a progressive later.

 

I am somewhat mechanically inclined, so to speak, and even then it took a good while (probably the first 2 or 3 thousand rounds) to really get reloading and the press itself figured out.

 

The Lee requires a bit of tinkering, if for no other reason than it's flimsier than $$$ presses.

 

I can't remember exactly, but I think I set 5,000 rounds as my break even point for investing in the reloading and casting equipment. I've done that and feel like it was totally worth it.

 

Now I can crank out ammo for something like 4 cents a round. It sure makes a day at the range less painful on the wallet, plus reloading is a lot of (sometimes frustrating) fun!

 

good luck whatever you decide

 

oh and I re-load 9mm. If you reload anything else, like say .45, you'll *really* start saving money!

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I watched 10 different u tube about reloading and the Dillon 550B.

or the next one up is what Im saving for.I like the Idea of haveing 5 stages even if I did not need it.talk about putting out the shells,its about time correct?spend a bit more but get a quantity faster.

JMHO.and they last for what 20years..

Edited by 101matt

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i jus got a lee progressive 4 turret press, the model under the pro 1000, where you can take the progressing bar out and use it as a single stage press, the advantage being, getting multiple disc's for different caliber's. just pop a caliber specific disc with all your settings and your ready to reload, then once i feel comfortable single staging, put the bar in and go progressive. from what i've read Lee has the pro 1000 aimed at pistols, for 1 caliber, for long periods of time, vs. going from pistol to rifle, to caliber to caliber with miminal adjustments in an afternoon. already have learned theres a size difference in primers for .45 acp, would've been a wake up call putting in a large .45 primer into a small .45 primer pocket with 1/4 lb of powder in the hopper, jus near it. i can see why people install safty shields between them and the reloader and why never to keep extra powder not in immediate use, very far away.

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droptrd, I hope you enjoy reloading as much as I have. Your Lee press is a good basic press, great for beginners or doing speciality jobs like swaging out military primer pocket crimps etc. I agree with mr.smashy, Get a Dillon, The 550b is a great all round progressive press for any caliber except .50. The Square Deal is also a great press for pistol only.

The Lee loading manual is also a very good book on reloading. I started reloading in the mid -eighties and have collected a lot stuff over the years, you can get a Franklin arms brass polisher kit for about $60, clean brass is good thing.

I remember me and my kids scouring the range for brass, we even used a cheap Radio Shack metal detector

Plus reloading gives you even more incentive to hit gun shows. I also just started casting bullets, no end to the fun here!

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