Loading .223/5.56 Nato press recomemdations [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Boxerglocker
01-11-2010, 11:51
With the comming of the new year, I have my heart set on my next reloading endeavor which will be feeding a soon to be purchased AR-15 in .223/5.56 NATO.

I have all my pistol loading requirements met with my SDB and various dies/toolheads for 9mm, .40/10mm, .45 ACP and .380 Auto so this set-up will be strictly for rifle.

The debate is which way to go in regards to a press :dunno:

I'm thinking of finding a used Dillon 550B on a strong mount and going with the Dillon carbide .223 dies.

Then again the Horandy LNL looks appealing too :whistling:

I'd like to hear some of the pros and cons from those who use these particular presses for rifle loading.

In addition any recommendations to other tooling, such as a case trimmer, gauges, etc. that I will require to load .223 would be be much appreciated.

Limitations if any would be that I want to be able to load a reasonable number of rounds and hour, as I anticipate my monthly round count to be somewhere around 800-1200. I'll be not be loading match grade target rounds but bulk ammo for tactical practice applications.

Thanks :wavey:

GioaJack
01-11-2010, 12:13
Obviously your one option is to sell the SDB and let your new press do everything. I'm not a big fan of going this route, if you can afford it I'd keep the Dillon, but then again I like toys. Hell, I've git stuff sitting around that I haven't used in years but it's there if I ever need it.

You really can't go wrong with either the 550B of the LNL... both of them are a hell of a press.

Although I've used both a 550B and a SDB for years and have only used a LNL since early last summer I've found that the more I use it the more I like it... so much so that I bought a second one.

This is in no way a condemnation of the 550B, not at all. There are just some intangibles that I like about the LNL, I like the 'openness of the machine, the ease of changing caliber, (although the 550B is pretty damn easy) and I think I like the fact that the LNL doesn't have as many small parts.

That being said I'm not about to get rid of my Dillons but when my SIL comes over I seem to put him in front of the Dillons and I sit in front of the LNL's.

I do believe that overall the LNL is initially cheaper, especially with the free bullet offer and caliber changes are cheaper... $27 shell plate. That's pretty much all you need. (Of course you need dies with either press.

Loading .223 is no different than loading any other rifle round. You'll need a case trimmer, no big deal, a case mouth chamfer, a pocket reamer or swager if you use military brass and some lube, spray on or lube pad. That's pretty much it although I may be overlooking some things.

Depending on your AR you may, or may not need to use small base dies. Again, no big deal. There are guys on here that are much more knowledgeable about the new AR chambers than I am.

Have a ball, you'll be good to go with either machine.

Jack

Bob2223
01-11-2010, 12:26
Jack beat me so I wont go over the same points.
Seriously I do like loading 223 on that press, it's the only thing I've used a powder cop on so far and it works out great.
Never used a case gage for anything I load, as far as trimming I have used the RCBS crank trimmer cause it came in a kit.
Had the Lyman power trimmer for about 10 years and it makes quick work of trimming and cleaning the primer pockets.
If you get brass with crimped primer pockets you will have to deal with that, I used the RCBS press mounted set up on a Rock Chucker but there many ways to remove them.
I use the HOS lube on the cases with good luck
Like everything else, it's how much do ya wanna spend.

Bob

Colorado4Wheel
01-11-2010, 12:39
With the comming of the new year, I have my heart set on my next reloading endeavor which will be feeding a soon to be purchased AR-15 in .223/5.56 NATO.

I have all my pistol loading requirements met with my SDB and various dies/toolheads for 9mm, .40/10mm, .45 ACP and .380 Auto so this set-up will be strictly for rifle.

The debate is which way to go in regards to a press :dunno:

I'm thinking of finding a used Dillon 550B on a strong mount and going with the Dillon carbide .223 dies.

Then again the Horandy LNL looks appealing too :whistling:

I'd like to hear some of the pros and cons from those who use these particular presses for rifle loading.

In addition any recommendations to other tooling, such as a case trimmer, gauges, etc. that I will require to load .223 would be be much appreciated.

Limitations if any would be that I want to be able to load a reasonable number of rounds and hour, as I anticipate my monthly round count to be somewhere around 800-1200. I'll be not be loading match grade target rounds but bulk ammo for tactical practice applications.

Thanks :wavey:

5 station progressive with Powder Cop or Dillon Buzzer Warning for low/high powder. I only say that because if it was me I would want a powder cop of some sort so I would know the cases are charged properly. Besides that I am a total nob on the subject and haven't a clue.

unclebob
01-11-2010, 12:44
My first choice would be the Dillon 650 Second LNL both with case feeders. With the Case feeder the Dillon is about $50.00 more. I also would get the Dillon Rapid case trimmer. And either the Dillon powder check or the RCBS. The RCBS if the powder is wrong either a double charge or squib load it well lock up the press. The Dillon well give you an audible sound and also you have a visual check also.
You do realize that even though it is a .233 carbide die you still need too lube the caseís.

ron59
01-11-2010, 13:59
Are you buying a 5.56, or a .223 chambered gun? Because they are NOT the same.

It's okay to shoot .223 ammo in a 5.56, but not the reverse....

Or at least I should say, "factory" ammo. If you're loading 5.56 brass for a .223, I suspect you could load it such that it's okay. But if you ever think you might be buying some ammo from somewhere... I would take that into consideration when buying the gun.

Here's one link that addresses this, you will find zillions of others:
http://www.ar15armory.com/forums/556-223-Ammunition-Ch-t22582.html

I apologize if you're already aware of this... but so many are NOT, and when I saw you "combine" it as you did... thought a polite warning might be in order.

Boxerglocker
01-11-2010, 15:18
Are you buying a 5.56, or a .223 chambered gun?

It will most definately be a 5.56 NATO chambered AR. I'm aware of the the differences, but thanks for the heads up nevertheless. :supergrin:

No, the SDB ain't going no where, if anything I'll use it as a traveling press when I take trips to the other side of the state, just set up a bench/mount combo where ever I may take it.

As for the thoughts of others in regards to going with a 650, I have thought of that too. But for the money, and the fact that this will be most definately a press dedicated to rifle only. The extra station just doesn't seem to justify the extra cost, plus a used 650 is hard to come by :dunno:
I'm pretty sure that a case feeder will not even factor into me loading .223, from what I have read so far it just doesn't justify the cost for the trouble with rifle rounds, but I may be wrong...

Do you guys really feel a powder check station is necessary? I'm pretty confident in the Dillon powder drop and fail safe.

I'm well aware the lubing will still be required even with the Dillion carbide dies, but I'm sold on HOS and the extra protection going with those dies just seems the way to go.

So anyone know the best internet deal on a LNL right now? The price alone may sway me that way. What dies whould you recommend if I went that route? Other than dies and a shellplate, what else is needed to get that press rolling out .223?

Appreciate the help here guys, really on the edge of what I want to do :embarassed:

Bob2223
01-11-2010, 16:14
It will most definately be a 5.56 NATO chambered AR. I'm aware of the the differences, but thanks for the heads up nevertheless. :supergrin:

No, the SDB ain't going no where, if anything I'll use it as a traveling press when I take trips to the other side of the state, just set up a bench/mount combo where ever I may take it.

As for the thoughts of others in regards to going with a 650, I have thought of that too. But for the money, and the fact that this will be most definately a press dedicated to rifle only. The extra station just doesn't seem to justify the extra cost, plus a used 650 is hard to come by :dunno:
I'm pretty sure that a case feeder will not even factor into me loading .223, from what I have read so far it just doesn't justify the cost for the trouble with rifle rounds, but I may be wrong...

Do you guys really feel a powder check station is necessary? I'm pretty confident in the Dillon powder drop and fail safe.

I'm well aware the lubing will still be required even with the Dillion carbide dies, but I'm sold on HOS and the extra protection going with those dies just seems the way to go.

So anyone know the best internet deal on a LNL right now? The price alone may sway me that way. What dies whould you recommend if I went that route? Other than dies and a shellplate, what else is needed to get that press rolling out .223?

Appreciate the help here guys, really on the edge of what I want to do :embarassed:

Ya just missed the Midway promo it ended yesterday!
:faint:

Bob

n2extrm
01-11-2010, 17:18
I have loaded my 5.56/.223 on both my rock chucker and the 550. I use the readding dies just a fullsize die and a seating die that I believe crimps also. It was the $30 set and it served me well for thousands of rounds. They feed fire and eject with no problems. I do have a case gauge willson I believe.I prefer the 550 simply for the speed. It is hard to feed an AR with a RC. I have never found a charge out by more then .1 or .2 grains. .1 the norm over under and a rare .2. I weighed almost all of my first couple of hundred rounds on a digital scale, because I am insane. I have a Hornady case trimmer and a redding. The redding is the more expensive one, like $125, it uses a collet set up as aposed to the need for shell holders. Honestly I think the $60 hornady probabley cuts cleaner. Just don't tell Jack I said something good about a red product. I also have the Dillon Swager for millitary primer pockets. I like it is a tool that works and does what it is supposed to. But in hind site I wonder if the RCBS case prep center for about the same price is more bang for the buck. Keep in mind I never used one this is just perception. I use the Dillon lube, similar to the Hornady one shot. It works great. I did find the case lengths were all over the place on my once fired brass, all new fired in my rifle. So I would trim all the brass the first time out. I am not saying it is not possible, but with Varget it would be really hard to over charge a .223 case IMHO. They are pretty well filled up before max charge. I guess you could with other powders or even Varget depending on the case, but all I have loaded are pretty full. I am honestly interested in the red press that jack has such good things to say about. I am thinking of eventuly adding one to the bench. Like jack I tend to collect toys, and hardly part with anything. I think either the LNL or the 550 will do just fine.

RustyFN
01-11-2010, 17:30
I would be curious to know how much faster the progressive is over the Lee classic turret. I have only loaded pistol on a 550. After case prep ( something that needs to be done no matter which press ) being able to skip the sizing die I can load around 300 223 per hour on the classic turret. What do you guys with the progressives do about case prep?

Boxerglocker
01-11-2010, 18:10
I would be curious to know how much faster the progressive is over the Lee classic turret. I have only loaded pistol on a 550. After case prep ( something that needs to be done no matter which press ) being able to skip the sizing die I can load around 300 223 per hour on the classic turret. What do you guys with the progressives do about case prep?

Good point Rusty...

If going with a progrssive would you need to run all the cases through the first station to resize and deprime alone then prep (trim, clean and relube)?

Man, I wish I kept my LCT just to learn the in's and out's of rifle loading...

n2extrm
01-11-2010, 18:53
The first time I load yes I size and deprime, trim, chamfer, and swage the pocket. After that I basicly treat them like pistol for a few loading. If the grow then I do all the trim and prep steps over. I never really timed out my rate, but it is about the same as pistol on a 550 I would guess 400 more or less an hour, but that is just a guess.


ETA: I use the case gauge to set up the dies the first time. After that I check all the stuff I load in the gauge and cull out anything that does not slide in and out smoothly or fails the fit. I do this with pistol also. It is a good time to remove lube if used and inspect each round for anything missed, then box em up.

Hydraulicman
01-11-2010, 19:22
if you want a great press for .223 and you are happy with your dillon SDB

Get the 550B . NO brainer:supergrin:

squirreld
01-11-2010, 21:04
Im in a similar situ as you.
all my homework has lead me to the 650.
I want as automated as I can within budget.
not having to index like the 550 sold me.
Many ppl here say its not that big a deal.

Boxerglocker
01-11-2010, 22:00
Im in a similar situ as you.
all my homework has lead me to the 650.
I want as automated as I can within budget.
not having to index like the 550 sold me.
Many ppl here say its not that big a deal.

The 650 is a great press and one I want but sticking to my plan and having one press dedicated for rifle and rifle only... a good price on a used 550B is what seems to be the logical choice. Though the LNL is very tempting right now.

The 650 with a case feeder deidicated for 9mm later down the road is most definately in the plan...

GioaJack
01-11-2010, 22:04
The 650 is a great press and one I want but sticking to my plan and having one press dedicated for rifle and rifle only... a good price on a used 550B is what seems to be the logical choice. Though the LNL is very tempting right now.

The 650 with a case feeder deidicated for 9mm later down the road is most definately in the plan...


Some temptations are good and should be acted upon, the LNL is a prime example... other temptations are not so good and should be avoided like the plague... saying 'I do' is another prime example.:shocked:

Jack

Boxerglocker
01-11-2010, 23:43
Some temptations are good and should be acted upon, the LNL is a prime example... other temptations are not so good and should be avoided like the plague... saying 'I do' is another prime example.:shocked:

Jack

So if I was to act upon temptation... :whistling:

Recommendations in regards to what dies to order for an LNL?

dudel
01-12-2010, 03:14
So if I was to act upon temptation... :whistling:

Recommendations in regards to what dies to order for an LNL?

Get the Hornady dies and get more free projectiles.

Seriously though, .223/5.56 is such a small round that just about any press can handle it. Your round requirments are not great, so you could do it on a small single stage Lee press. Might actually be better in that you could to load development at the range. Gas operated AR's can be fussy with their load.

shotgunred
01-12-2010, 05:41
I just recently ventured into 223 myself. Here is what I learned. 223 is like a woman how that has reached Menopause. Compared to pistols she's a real ***** and needs lots of lube.

Scrimp on the lube and you will be buying a tap to get the brass out of your sizing die.

Oh yea my bench that has worked for several years is not heavy enough or at the very least needs anchored to the wall.

Patrick Graham
01-12-2010, 06:56
I have loaded my 5.56/.223 on both my rock chucker and the 550. .......................

Same here. :wavey:

IndyGunFreak
01-12-2010, 07:16
Limitations if any would be that I want to be able to load a reasonable number of rounds and hour, as I anticipate my monthly round count to be somewhere around 800-1200. I'll be not be loading match grade target rounds but bulk ammo for tactical practice applications.

Thanks :wavey:

For me.. It would depend on how far "down the line" the 9mm XL650 w/ casefeeder is. If we're talking a few months, then I would get an XL650 and a caliber conversion.... If we're talking years... I'd probably keep the SDB for Pistol and get an LCT or Single Stage for the rifle...

IGF

unclebob
01-12-2010, 09:46
I still say you only need to get one 650 with case feeder too do everything you want too do. I have been down this road before myself.
If I were too get another AR15 again this is how I would load for it. This well also works for load development for rifle and pistol. But lets just stick with loading Rifle cases.
Clean the cases, lube the cases, and put cases in brass feeder. Tool head has sizer die and Dillon case trimmer only installed. Run them threw the press. Put the cases in Nampa to clean off the lube. Chamfer the mouth of the case, clean primer pockets etc. and anything else you want too do with the case. Put the cases back into the case feeder. Put the other tool head on the press. You can use a universal recapping die in station one if you like or leave it blank. Install the power measure in station two if you want too use it or you can add powder off the press. If you are using the powder measure powder check die in station 3 bullet seat in station 4.
So lets say you want too add powder off the press. Station one does nothing expect put the case in the shell plate. Station 2 seats the primer. Station 3 pull the case out of the shell plate and add the powder. Put the case back into station 4 add the bullet and seat the bullet.
You can also add the powder on the press with out using the powder measure or taking the case out of the press. In station 3 get the Dillon AT500 Powder Die and Funnel and plastic funnel. With the ram up you just poor the weighted powder charge into the funnel into the case.
Too go from .233 to 9mm well take no more than 5 too 10 minutes once you know what you are doing.
You can use the press as a single stage, auto indexing or manual indexing. And it is not hard too do. Even a caveman can do it.

GioaJack
01-12-2010, 10:29
I still say you only need to get one 650 with case feeder too do everything you want too do. I have been down this road before myself.
If I were too get another AR15 again this is how I would load for it. This well also works for load development for rifle and pistol. But lets just stick with loading Rifle cases.
Clean the cases, lube the cases, and put cases in brass feeder. Tool head has sizer die and Dillon case trimmer only installed. Run them threw the press. Put the cases in Nampa to clean off the lube. Chamfer the mouth of the case, clean primer pockets etc. and anything else you want too do with the case. Put the cases back into the case feeder. Put the other tool head on the press. You can use a universal recapping die in station one if you like or leave it blank. Install the power measure in station two if you want too use it or you can add powder off the press. If you are using the powder measure powder check die in station 3 bullet seat in station 4.
So lets say you want too add powder off the press. Station one does nothing expect put the case in the shell plate. Station 2 seats the primer. Station 3 pull the case out of the shell plate and add the powder. Put the case back into station 4 add the bullet and seat the bullet.
You can also add the powder on the press with out using the powder measure or taking the case out of the press. In station 3 get the Dillon AT500 Powder Die and Funnel and plastic funnel. With the ram up you just poor the weighted powder charge into the funnel into the case.
Too go from .233 to 9mm well take no more than 5 too 10 minutes once you know what you are doing.
You can use the press as a single stage, auto indexing or manual indexing. And it is not hard too do. Even a caveman can do it.



Damn, seems like it'd be easier to just enlist and shoot their ammo. You get to see far off exotic places, meet people of different cultures... and kill them. All without having to reload a single bullet. Now that's what I call a no BS warranty. :whistling:

Jack

unclebob
01-12-2010, 10:38
Damn, seems like it'd be easier to just enlist and shoot their ammo. You get to see far off exotic places, meet people of different cultures... and kill them. All without having to reload a single bullet. Now that's what I call a no BS warranty. :whistling:

Jack

Been there and have done that. God I miss it.

Hoser
01-12-2010, 11:30
Damn, seems like it'd be easier to just enlist and shoot their ammo.

Might be easier, but not cheaper...

And hell, I only get to shoot Uncle Sams ammo once a year. And its less than 200 rounds between the M9 and M-16.

Hoser
01-12-2010, 11:31
I'm thinking of finding a used Dillon 550B on a strong mount and going with the Dillon carbide .223 dies.

Good choice.

Go with it and dont look back.

unclebob
01-12-2010, 11:47
Good choice.

Go with it and dont look back.

As a former owner of a 550. The Dillon 650 runs circles around a 550. Trying too find a good used Dillon press is far and in between. Just about every ending price and postage that ends up on Ebay you could buy a new one.

Bob2223
01-12-2010, 11:50
Then again the Hornady LNL looks appealing too


Good choice.

Go with it or you'll be lookin back.

Bob
Rep#2223 :supergrin:

GioaJack
01-12-2010, 11:57
Might be easier, but not cheaper...

And hell, I only get to shoot Uncle Sams ammo once a year. And its less than 200 rounds between the M9 and M-16.


Ah, the times... they do change. Because of my duty assignment we were allowed to draw ammo shoot whenever we wanted. You could go to the indoor pistol range anytime since the armorer was always there, (during duty hours) and shoot all day if you wanted to. (AS long as there was no scheduled training going on.)

If you wanted to use the rifle range there had to be at least two people, one to raise the flag and act as range safety officer. We use to shoot M-60's on that range but too many rounds were leaving the range so we ended up having to fly over to MacDill AFB or all the way out to Nellis, AFB.

We could also draw as many 5.56 blanks with adapters as we wanted so we didn't have to be on the range to do gunfire training with the dogs. We used grenade simulators with them also... good times were had by all. :supergrin:

Jack

shotgunred
01-12-2010, 15:01
If my 550B suddenly disappeared I would replace it with either a LNL or a 650. But not another 550.

Colorado4Wheel
01-12-2010, 16:13
I struggle with the cost of caliber conversions on my 550. Never mind the cost of conversions on a 650.

Hozer, Didn't you used to run a 650?

kcbrown
01-13-2010, 23:22
I haven't any experience with rifle, so I may simply be showing my ignorance here, but wouldn't you want at least 5 holes (assuming a PDX die) for rifle so that you can do case trimming on the press? I mean, if you need to go progressive for reasons of volume, why mess around?

And that assumes you're not using a powder check die or lockout die of some kind, in which case you'd need 6 stations, right? That is:


Decapping and sizing
Priming and trimming
Powder drop and flaring
Powder check
Bullet seating
Crimping/FCD (the latter which C4W would never be without!)

I wouldn't want to do rifle on a progressive without the powder check. How else are you going to tell if the powder charge is anywhere close to right without weighing every charge, and if you're going to do that you may as well use the LCT or something.

Just showing my ignorance again.... :embarassed:

dudel
01-14-2010, 02:08
Reasonable questions KC. In an ideal world, you'd want an extra station to do a pocket swage operation as well. You might want an extra station for a lube die. That would get you to a Super 1050 with eight stations.

Moving from the ideal world to the real world, not everyone is going to put a 1050 on the bench for one rifle caliber. So you break up the steps and still get some speed.

I tend to do all of my case prep first. Decap, clean, flush media out (a pain in bottlenecks), trim, brush out the neck, etc. Those cases all go into boxes ready for the next step.

When I'm ready to finish the process, the 550b is setup as follows:
1) Size (deprime rod cleans out any media the might be in the flash hole)
2) dump powder and flare (in my case, 223, Varget fill the case nicely, so it's easy to see a missing charge, double charge is impossible).
3) a Hornady die seats
4) a RCBS die crimps (could also be a Lee FCD, different from a Lee FCCD)

and I am done (except for wiping lube off)


I haven't any experience with rifle, so I may simply be showing my ignorance here, but wouldn't you want at least 5 holes (assuming a PDX die) for rifle so that you can do case trimming on the press? I mean, if you need to go progressive for reasons of volume, why mess around?

And that assumes you're not using a powder check die or lockout die of some kind, in which case you'd need 6 stations, right? That is:


Decapping and sizing
Priming and trimming
Powder drop and flaring
Powder check
Bullet seating
Crimping/FCD (the latter which C4W would never be without!)
I wouldn't want to do rifle on a progressive without the powder check. How else are you going to tell if the powder charge is anywhere close to right without weighing every charge, and if you're going to do that you may as well use the LCT or something.

Just showing my ignorance again.... :embarassed:

unclebob
01-14-2010, 06:54
]
I wouldn't want to do rifle on a progressive without the powder check. How else are you going to tell if the powder charge is anywhere close to right without weighing every charge, and if you're going to do that you may as well use the LCT or something.

Just showing my ignorance again.... :embarassed:

Why can't you just pull the case out of the press. Too either check the powder charge, add the weighted charge too the case. Then put the case back into the press.

kcbrown
01-14-2010, 07:07
Why can't you just pull the case out of the press. Too either check the powder charge, add the weighted charge too the case. Then put the case back into the press.

Sure, you could do that. But wouldn't that significantly reduce the production rate?

unclebob
01-14-2010, 08:50
Sure, you could do that. But wouldn't that significantly reduce the production rate?
Yes, and how fast are you going too load on a LCT? Plus I'm only pulling the handle once for each completed round. How many for the LCT? Plus what ever you are going too be doing on the LCT you can do on the progressive Dillon 550, 650, or the LNL
So by the time you buy and LCT and all of the stuff you need for it. You can buy a conversion kit and have money left over. Also you are only using one type of press. Less chance of screwing up.
On the 550 and 650 the shell plate works just like shell holder on a single stage press. If you do not put a locator pin or button in that station. You can pull out and replace a case just like you do on a single stage press

Hoser
01-14-2010, 09:16
I struggle with the cost of caliber conversions on my 550. Never mind the cost of conversions on a 650.

Hozer, Didn't you used to run a 650?

Nope. Never owned one. Went from a single stage to a 1050 and a 550. Now I have two 550s and three 1050s. Loaded some ammo on Lizards 650 when he had one. I was not impressed. For me all I considered it to be was pretty much a 550 with a casefeeder.

I have found teaching people to reload on a machine that dies not auto index is easier.

Colorado4Wheel
01-14-2010, 09:27
Never loaded .223 in my life but I can't believer how difficult this is becoming. So I am going to throw this out....


On most machines your going to have to take two passes at the brass. First you clean and then lube the brass. First pass on a press is deprime and size. If your on a machine with a none rotating toolhead (in other words NOT the Lee Classic Turret) you can also trim it with a Dillon Power trimmer. Or you trim it off the press the normal way. Either way you do that step it's going to be faster on a progressive. Then most people tumble the lube off to prep it for loading.

On the 550 you would have these stations for the second pass at the brass.
1) Depriming die/Seat Primer. Knock out any media in the primer pocket, seat a primer.
2) Charge and flare the case
3) Seat the Bullet
3) Crimp

Obviously, with some bullets you dont have to flare the case, some people don't crimp. Those things vary.

With a RCBS X-Die you could theoritically trim the case the first time and then load it on a progressive just like you do Pistol. To me thats very interesting.

If you have a 5 station press you get to add a powder check die of some sort in the extra station.

unclebob
01-14-2010, 09:43
Nope. Never owned one. Went from a single stage to a 1050 and a 550. Now I have two 550s and three 1050s. Loaded some ammo on Lizards 650 when he had one. I was not impressed. For me all I considered it to be was pretty much a 550 with a casefeeder.

I have found teaching people to reload on a machine that dies not auto index is easier.

I guess going from a 1050 too a 650 most people would not be impressed either. But most of use poor people canít afford one 1050.More or less three of them. So the next best thing from a 1050 is a 650.
So if you do not like too teach on an auto indexing. By just taking off the shell plate and removing the index pawl and replacing the shell plate, you just made the 650 manual indexing. Other than where you place the empty case and different priming system and a place too put the powder check die if so desired you have a 550. Also you can fill the primer magazine with primers and feed them one at a time when ever you want also.
Then when you are all done you can go too auto indexing. The 550 you still have manual indexing.

PCJim
01-14-2010, 09:45
I do load .223 but do so on two presses. After tumbling, the cases get lubed and then resized/deprimed on my single stage press - very quick operation but again it's one stroke per case. Back to the tumbler for 10 minutes to remove the lube. I personally don't like working with sticky cases.

(If the brass is newly acquired, it gets trimmed, chamfered and deburred with Possum Hollow equipment (very quick in a variable speed drill), then swaged whether it looks needed or not. If previously performed on my brass, these steps are bypassed)

On to the 550b.... Stage 1 has a universal depriming die - only to remove media that might still be in the flash hole. Powder and seating the pill are done in stations 2 & 3, station 4 is open.

I don't know how a case trimmer on the 550b would work, but cannot imagine wanting brass trimmings falling all around the moving parts of the press. Even if they could be trimmed on the press, you still have to deal with the pocket swaging, so you're almost resigned to a multi-step operation that cannot be entirely performed on a progressive.

unclebob
01-14-2010, 09:57
I don't know how a case trimmer on the 550b would work, but cannot imagine wanting brass trimmings falling all around the moving parts of the press. Even if they could be trimmed on the press, you still have to deal with the pocket swaging, so you're almost resigned to a multi-step operation that cannot be entirely performed on a progressive.

You hook the case trimmer up too a shop vacuum cleaner. Yes you run the cases threw twice threw the progressive. Doing this with a 650 and case feeder makes it a lot easier.

Colorado4Wheel
01-14-2010, 10:02
I guess going from a 1050 too a 650 most people would not be impressed either. But most of use poor people canít afford one 1050.More or less three of them. So the next best thing from a 1050 is a 650.
So if you do not like too teach on an auto indexing. By just taking off the shell plate and removing the index pawl and replacing the shell plate, you just made the 650 manual indexing. Other than where you place the empty case and different priming system and a place too put the powder check die if so desired you have a 550. Also you can fill the primer magazine with primers and feed them one at a time when ever you want also.
Then when you are all done you can go too auto indexing. The 550 you still have manual indexing.

550 is about simplicity. Some people like that concept, some don't. Manual indexing is not a hardship, with out a casefeeder it's hardly even a slowdown. It is a learning curve to get Fast because you have to time the placement of the bullet and the case and then index the press as your hand is going back to the handle. But it's not much of a learning curve to use the press in the 300-400 rds a hour rate. 500rds a hour with out a casefeeder takes alittle practice. If you want bells and wistles the 550 is not your best choice.

kcbrown
01-14-2010, 17:00
Yes, and how fast are you going too load on a LCT? Plus I'm only pulling the handle once for each completed round. How many for the LCT?


This is true regardless of what kind of round you're loading, but the question with respect to the LCT is: how much time does it take to perform the steps on the LCT relative to the steps you're perfoming off the LCT? If the time spent per round on the LCT is a small fraction of the total time spent per round loading then a progressive won't buy you anything, assuming the same conditions (e.g., trimming off the press, charging off the press, etc.).

I'd expect that what the progressive buys you is the ability to trim on the press, even if you have to do it and a couple of other steps using a separate toolhead.



Plus what ever you are going too be doing on the LCT you can do on the progressive Dillon 550, 650, or the LNL
So by the time you buy and LCT and all of the stuff you need for it. You can buy a conversion kit and have money left over. Also you are only using one type of press. Less chance of screwing up.
On the 550 and 650 the shell plate works just like shell holder on a single stage press. If you do not put a locator pin or button in that station. You can pull out and replace a case just like you do on a single stage pressI certainly agree that using a progressive will be a big win if you can trim on the press, and especially if you can use a powder cop die. Even if you have to use two toolheads to accomplish it.

As to doing a caliber conversion on an existing press, that has its own set of tradeoffs. I got a Pro 1000 in part so I could do two pistol calibers relatively quickly without having to do a caliber conversion. But then, I'm lazy and probably have more money than brains... :homer: :supergrin:

An LCT may cost a little bit more than a caliber conversion but it'll buy you a lot more flexibility if the only press you have is a progressive. But then, it won't necessarily get you the same speed as the progressive for rifle. I don't know. Does anyone here have experience with making rifle rounds on both an LCT and a progressive, and would be able to tell us how much of a speed difference there is when all is said and done?

unclebob
01-14-2010, 17:14
Becasuse every time I pull the handle I have a finished round. Even though I can, I'm not loading one round at a time.

unclebob
01-14-2010, 17:20
An LCT may cost a little bit more than a caliber conversion but it'll buy you a lot more flexibility if the only press you have is a progressive.

Could you please explain to me how? I personally just do not get it.

Colorado4Wheel
01-14-2010, 17:58
Could you please explain to me how? I personally just do not get it.

I think this is what he means because I have thought the same things many a time. A LCT cost a little more then a Dillon Caliber Conversion. Maybe less if you have a case feeder. Lets use your 650 as a example. I load and shoot 9mm 99% of the time but I also shoot 10mm, 380 and 45 ACP. Instead of buying 3 extra Caliber Conversion, I get a LCT. LCT caliber conversions are basically $10 (the price of a toolhead). LG/SM primers setup is included with the press. So now I never have to swap between LP and SP primers on my 650. It takes about 15 secs to do a caliber conversion instead of 5-10mins. At this stage the LCT has actually saved me money vs doing caliber conversions. I never mess up any of the setting on my 650. It's simple all the way around. It takes me about 25 mins to load 100rds on the LCT and I'm set for my next trip to the range shooting my odd calibers.

dudel
01-14-2010, 18:07
Could you please explain to me how? I personally just do not get it.


I think KC's including the cost of the dies. That's valid if you need the dies for the conversion.

kcbrown
01-14-2010, 19:36
Could you please explain to me how? I personally just do not get it.

In addition to the other points already made by C4W and dudel, the answer to this is that now you have two presses instead of just one. That means you can, for instance, perform single operations on rounds that are currently in the progressive if something causes a stoppage in such a way that it forces an indexing operation prematurely. This is probably less of an issue on the 550 since it's not autoindexing. Since I have a 650, I've actually done that occasionally in order to keep everything in order.

The things you would use a single stage press for are things you could use the LCT for, and on top of that you've got a press that has a reasonable production rate for calibers that you don't need the speed of a progressive for.

It just gives you some additional flexibility that comes from the presence of two presses instead of just one.

dudel
01-14-2010, 19:53
The things you would use a single stage press for are things you could use the LCT for, and on top of that you've got a press that has a reasonable production rate for calibers that you don't need the speed of a progressive for.

It just gives you some additional flexibility that comes from the presence of two presses instead of just one.


+1 Every progressive press needs a single stage press. That's why I encourage people to start with a good single stage press. If you don't like the hobby, your're out much less than for a progressive. If you like the hobby and get a progressive, you'll always find use for the single stage.

My Rockchucker gets lots of use during load development, while the 550b remains idle. Even after load development, with the 550 in use, the RockChucker still sees service.

kcbrown
01-14-2010, 21:00
+1 Every progressive press needs a single stage press. That's why I encourage people to start with a good single stage press. If you don't like the hobby, your're out much less than for a progressive. If you like the hobby and get a progressive, you'll always find use for the single stage.


This is generally good advice, but as with anything else, it depends on the specifics.

If someone is brand new to the hobby and I were to recommend a single stage press for them, I'd tell them to pick up a Lee Reloader (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=480380). You can get it along with the Lee book for little more than the price of the book alone. The reviews indicate that it can be used successfully for nearly any reloading task. I picked up one before I got my LCT and it proved very useful. My LCT has taken its place, however.

I don't think it makes much sense to recommend a top quality single stage like the Rock Chucker as a first press because the amount of money involved is close to the money you'd be putting into the LCT, and the LCT is significantly more flexible. Instead, the Rock Chucker or something of that caliber is, I think, something to be decided upon when one has enough experience to know whether he prefers a single stage, turret, or progressive.

All of which is another way of saying: if you're going to recommend a single stage press to a newbie to keep their initial costs down, you may as well recommend the cheapest thing that'll get the job done...

Either way, starting with a cheap single stage isn't a bad way to go at all, but if the person knows he's going to stick with the hobby I'd tell him to go ahead and pick up the LCT, and then either pick up a progressive later (when he knows he'll need more volume) or a cheap single stage like the Lee Reloader if he wants a secondary press for the occasional odd job.

Hoser
01-14-2010, 21:25
I guess going from a 1050 too a 650 most people would not be impressed either.

To me, just my thoughts here, with a 550 *and* a 650 you still have to push the handle forward to seat the primer. With the 650 all you gain is an extra die station and auto indexing.

Colorado4Wheel
01-15-2010, 08:59
I don't have a single stage. Never miss it. Still don't know what it would do that my 550 doesn't do. I wish someone would explain what I am missing. For pistol, not rifle. Even then I don't know what I would need it for.

unclebob
01-15-2010, 12:10
I don't have a single stage. Never miss it. Still don't know what it would do that my 550 doesn't do. I wish someone would explain what I am missing. For pistol, not rifle. Even then I don't know what I would need it for.
:agree:
I do have a single stage press and all it is used for is deprime screwed up primers. Load development and anything else you can come up with I use the 650. It is 110 present easier and faster to do on the 650 than it is on a single stage, or turret press, even with the auto indexing. I have tried going manual indexing, Iím so use too the auto indexing that I found myself screwing up. And yes I have loaded 100,000 to 200,000 rds on a single stage press. And I have load that plus on a Dillon 550 and 650 each. Yes, for the setup that I have cost money. I have powder measures or powder bars that are set up for the loads that I use and some bars for if I want too do some load development. I have two complete primer magazines. I use the small primer punch for both the type primers. Did I buy all of this stuff at one time yes and no. I put aside 10 or 20 dollars every payday after I decided to buy the 650 for over two years. I told everyone and made out a list of the things that I want that they could get for me at my Birthday and Christmas or give me money. It was nice that my youngest boy who pays more in taxes than I make. Bought everything that was on the list for me. That helped a lot. I still put some money aside just for something new that may come up that I may want.
Starting out on a single stage press. Yes it may have some merits. But if a person write that he is shooting 2000 rds + a month. Does he need a single stage press? That is not going too last long. Not when he can learn on a 550 or 650 just as easy. You start out loading one round at a time. Then he can go progressive.
Now for the person who says he shoots 50 rds a week etc. Yes he is a type of person who does not know if he well like reloading or not and a single stage press well suit him just fine. That I well agree on. Also if a person decides too sell his reloading equipment. With the Dillon, if you look on Ebay what the ending price people or welling too pay for a used press. In a lot of cases if you throw in the price they want for shipping and the finial bid you can in a lot of cases buy a new one.
Just like C4W 99% of my reloading is 9mm. I might shoot 500 to 100rds of 45acp and maybe 200 rds of 45GAP a year. Both of those I load on the 650. And I have two complete tool heads and powder measures for both. Yes I could load them on the RCBS press and saved some money, but that too me that would be a complete capital PITA.

Bob2223
01-15-2010, 13:55
I don't have a single stage. Never miss it. Still don't know what it would do that my 550 doesn't do. I wish someone would explain what I am missing. For pistol, not rifle. Even then I don't know what I would need it for.

For pistol?

1.To deprime (to clean brass in liquid?)
2.Swage primer pockets,
3.Use a push through sizing die for Glocked brass,
4.A Lee push through bullet sizing die,
5.You started on a single and still have it,
6.Your buddy has one?

For rifle?

For me 1. 2. and 5. mainly but if I want the best match grade 223 or 308 rounds possible I will still use a single.
Just some ideals, I have used mine recently with a universal de-prime die and swager for IMI brass.
Guess most of the above could be done on a progressive but I find enough uses to keep a single.
Like other equipment everyone had their ideal of what works best, or it's just what their used to using.

Bob

Colorado4Wheel
01-15-2010, 14:11
For pistol?

1.To deprime (to clean brass in liquid?)
2.Swage primer pockets,
3.Use a push through sizing die for Glocked brass,
4.A Lee push through bullet sizing die,
5.You started on a single and still have it,
6.Your buddy has one?

For rifle?

For me 1. 2. and 5. mainly but if I want the best match grade 223 or 308 rounds possible I will still use a single.
Just some ideals, I have used mine recently with a universal de-prime die and swager for IMI brass.
Guess most of the above could be done on a progressive but I find enough uses to keep a single.
Like other equipment everyone had their ideal of what works best, or it's just what their used to using.

Bob

Can't I do all of that on my 550?

unclebob
01-15-2010, 15:07
For pistol?

1.To deprime (to clean brass in liquid?)
2.Swage primer pockets,
3.Use a push through sizing die for Glocked brass,
4.A Lee push through bullet sizing die,
5.You started on a single and still have it,
6.Your buddy has one?

1.Dump the cases in the case feeder and use a universal decaping die. About years ago I just deprimed between 20,000 and 40,000 piece of 9mm brass. All I had too do is keep the case feeder full of brass and pull the handle.
2.Have a Dillon Super Swager 600.
3.Never did it when I was shooting 40 S&W, or now shooting 9mm, and 45 acp or gap, all brass have been shot in Glocks.
4.Have a Lyman sizer and luber, If I start shooting lead again I would get a
Mega /Star lube sizer.
5.Started on a single stage because basically that was all that there was. If the Star was made then I do not remember. Even if it was I did not shoot enough at that time too justify one and I did not make enough money too buy one. Or my parents to buy it for me.
6. Basically the same reason as me.

GioaJack
01-15-2010, 15:25
5.Started on a single stage because basically that was all that there was. If the Star was made then I do not remember. Even if it was I did not shoot enough at that time too justify one and I did not make enough money too buy one. Or my parents to buy it for me.



To be more specific... if unclebob's parents were going to buy him any kind of loading equipment it would have been a new blade for his stone axe. :whistling:

Jack

Bob2223
01-15-2010, 16:08
Can't I do all of that on my 550?

Welp, I reckon ya could?
I'm not trying to convince ya that you need one. :embarassed:
For just loading pistol calibers it's certainly not necessary.
It's just handy to have around for me.
For match grade rifle ammo I'll still use the single.
It would also be handy for some of the large calibers that would be used in small batches for hunting ammo.
If you ever started loading 300 Win Mag you might want a single to go with your 550?
Like I said everyone has their ideal of what works best, or it's just what their used to using.
Kinda like case gages or FCDs I guess.
If I were you I probably wouldn't go buy one but they are useful and have their place IMO.




Bob :supergrin:

Bob2223
01-15-2010, 16:24
1. don't have a case feeder cant afford one.
2. again $ , RCBS press mounted swager was cheap 8-10 years ago.
3. I don't either it was just a suggested use.
4. Have a Star lube sizer again just a suggested use.
5. started on a Rock Chucker cause thats all I could afford and really all I needed at the time.
6. ,, well crap I don't remember 6 but I'm keepin my single :supergrin:


Bob


1.Dump the cases in the case feeder and use a universal decaping die. About years ago I just deprimed between 20,000 and 40,000 piece of 9mm brass. All I had too do is keep the case feeder full of brass and pull the handle.
2.Have a Dillon Super Swager 600.
3.Never did it when I was shooting 40 S&W, or now shooting 9mm, and 45 acp or gap, all brass have been shot in Glocks.
4.Have a Lyman sizer and luber, If I start shooting lead again I would get a
Mega /Star lube sizer.
5.Started on a single stage because basically that was all that there was. If the Star was made then I do not remember. Even if it was I did not shoot enough at that time too justify one and I did not make enough money too buy one. Or my parents to buy it for me.
6. Basically the same reason as me.

dudel
01-15-2010, 16:53
Can't I do all of that on my 550?

To a kid with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. :whistling:

Colorado4Wheel
01-15-2010, 16:56
Welp, I reckon ya could?
I'm not trying to convince ya that you need one. :embarassed:
For just loading pistol calibers it's certainly not necessary.
It's just handy to have around for me.
For match grade rifle ammo I'll still use the single.
It would also be handy for some of the large calibers that would be used in small batches for hunting ammo.
If you ever started loading 300 Win Mag you might want a single to go with your 550?
Like I said everyone has their ideal of what works best, or it's just what their used to using.
Kinda like case gages or FCDs I guess.
If I were you I probably wouldn't go buy one but they are useful and have their place IMO.
Bob :supergrin:

I agree, If I loaded some big rifle calibers I would probably feel different. It's just one of my many pet peeves to have people say "Everyone needs a single stage" to people who are looking into getting started in reloading. I have yet to feel like I needed one.

Colorado4Wheel
01-15-2010, 17:01
To a kid with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. :whistling:

Be serious. What would be the benifit if I had one? I'm still waiting for a serious answer. For the cost of a toolhead I could put a single die in my 550 and run nearly anything I wanted through it. I dont know about swaging pockets. I would never do that as I would toss the brass. I get free brass in 9mm and I never heard of a crimped .380 or 10mm. If I loaded .223 I would get a dedicated swaging thing from Dillon. What would I use if for then? Now I would buy another LCT. That I see some serious use for, but a Single Stage. I just don't get it. Even if I loaded .308 I would probably do it on my 550 as I know people get sub MOA groups doing things right on the 550.

RustyFN
01-15-2010, 19:50
Be serious. What would be the benifit if I had one? I'm still waiting for a serious answer.

I would like to know also. I have never owned a single stage press. I don't load on a progressive I load on a Lee classic turret. I load pistol and rifle with no problems. I even use my lead hardness on the press, set up in a turret.

unclebob
01-15-2010, 20:52
It's just one of my many pet peeves to have people say "Everyone needs a single stage" to people who are looking into getting started in reloading. I have yet to feel like I needed one.

Even though I have one. I agree with you on thatone. And another one is that you need a single stage press to do load development. Also people that write and say all of the stuff they think or heard that you cannot do on a progressive press and try and pass it on as facts.

Bob2223
01-15-2010, 21:07
I agree, If I loaded some big rifle calibers I would probably feel different. It's just one of my many pet peeves to have people say "Everyone needs a single stage" to people who are looking into getting started in reloading. I have yet to feel like I needed one.

I wasn't gonna reply to this thread again but that line tickled me. :supergrin:
Your right you don't need one for what you do, the 550 will do anything a single will do until you get up to 308 or larger.
It's all good, everyone has there own way of doing things, as long as we get the same results thats all that matters.
I'll use my Chucker, you use your 550, I'll use my LNL you use your case gage, I'll use a press swager you use your FCD, and old Uncle B. will use his 650, (untill he gets a LNL) :rofl:

Sorry UB,,
I just like ribbin ya.
:supergrin:






I would like to know also. I have never owned a single stage press. I don't load on a progressive I load on a Lee classic turret. I load pistol and rifle with no problems. I even use my lead hardness on the press, set up in a turret.

Rusty Freakin Nails, you had to go and throw a turret in the mix!:faint: Trouble maker!

:tongueout:


Bob

Hydraulicman
01-15-2010, 21:41
sounds like a Dillon 550B would suit you well. If you need a boat load of .223 get the 650.

If your unsure get the 550b. JMHO

Colorado4Wheel
01-15-2010, 21:45
I'll use my Chucker, you use your 550, I'll use my LNL you use your case gage, I'll use a press swager you use your FCD, and old Uncle B. will use his 650, (untill he gets a LNL) :rofl:

Sorry UB,,
I just like ribbin ya.
:supergrin:




Until someone pushes him out of a plane with no parachute.

dudel
01-16-2010, 04:23
Be serious. What would be the benifit if I had one? I'm still waiting for a serious answer. For the cost of a toolhead I could put a single die in my 550 and run nearly anything I wanted through it. I dont know about swaging pockets. I would never do that as I would toss the brass. I get free brass in 9mm and I never heard of a crimped .380 or 10mm. If I loaded .223 I would get a dedicated swaging thing from Dillon. What would I use if for then? Now I would buy another LCT. That I see some serious use for, but a Single Stage. I just don't get it. Even if I loaded .308 I would probably do it on my 550 as I know people get sub MOA groups doing things right on the 550.

I guess if I only loaded two calibers, I'd need less tools as well. It's not that you CAN'T do it on a 550, I find it easier to load small test groups on a single stage. I'm surprised at your strong opinion since you've never had a single stage. It's like your post on case guages. You used your barrel until you discovered case guages, now you sing the praises of case guages. Can't you do most of what a case guage does with a barrel? Especially if all you are loading for is yourself. Always use the proper tool for the job.

Ever try a Lee hardness tester on the 550? Works much better on a single stage. Want to try swaging on a 550? A single stage is a no limit toolhead. You're not limited to 3, 4, 5, or even 8 stations. Ultimate flexibility, feel and control. You can try to do that with a progressive, and get some level of functionality, but it reminds me of the dancing pig. It's not perfect, and the pig doesn't enjoy it.

As far as the LCT, I got mine sold on eBay this week. I didn't lose anything on it, so that's too the good. However, I don't see the fascination of the LCT. The press itself is sturdy, with good access (but not as good as a single stage), the primr catcher is flawless (it's best feature); but the indexing mechanism is a joke (IMHO). I can see why people pull the indexing rod and use it as a manual turret press. I suppose it operates well enough within a very controlled environment (minimum weight in the turret); but it's not for me. For me it was a mistake. For me, the RockChucker almost felt faster than the LCT.

I'm glad to have it off the bench, which is now blue and green. I hope it lives a good and fullfilling life in it's new location.

kcbrown
01-16-2010, 05:50
I guess if I only loaded two calibers, I'd need less tools as well. It's not that you CAN'T do it on a 550, I find it easier to load small test groups on a single stage. I'm surprised at your strong opinion since you've never had a single stage. It's like your post on case guages. You used your barrel until you discovered case guages, now you sing the praises of case guages. Can't you do most of what a case guage does with a barrel? Especially if all you are loading for is yourself. Always use the proper tool for the job.

Ever try a Lee hardness tester on the 550? Works much better on a single stage. A single stage is a no limit toolhead. You're not limited to 3, 4, 5, or even 8 stations. Ultimate flexibility, feel and control. You can try to do that with a progressive, and get some level of functionality, but it reminds me of the dancing pig. It's not perfect, and the pig doesn't enjoy it.


The way I see it, the biggest advantage the single-stage press has is relatively tight tolerances. A progressive has a shellplate which has much less direct support at the point where the case is being held than a single stage press does -- the latter has the entire ram supporting the case. While the LCT shares this trait with the single-stage press, the single-stage press also has a very rigid, stable structure supporting the die, while the LCT's structure isn't quite as stable since you have moving parts there.



As far as the LCT, I got mine sold on eBay this week. I didn't lose anything on it, so that's too the good. However, I don't see the fascination of the LCT. The press itself is sturdy, with good access (but not as good as a single stage), the primr catcher is flawless (it's best feature); but the indexing mechanism is a joke (IMHO).
The indexing mechanism may seem a bit toy-like, but it works well enough for most situations.


I can see why people pull the indexing rod and use it as a manual turret press. I suppose it operates well enough within a very controlled environment (minimum weight in the turret); but it's not for me. For me it was a mistake. For me, the RockChucker almost felt faster than the LCT.
That's quite interesting. Why is that? What do you have on the LCT's turret that weighs so much? The powder measure?

Regardless, if you don't need the ultimate in tight tolerances, I don't see how the LCT would fail to function at least as well as a single-stage press, since at worst all you need to do is remove the indexing rod. At that point, the LCT buys you some additional convenience when it comes to switching dies (just rotate the turret or put a different turret in) but otherwise shares the same basic characteristics of a single-stage press.

dudel
01-16-2010, 07:42
The way I see it, the biggest advantage the single-stage press has is relatively tight tolerances. A progressive has a shellplate which has much less direct support at the point where the case is being held than a single stage press does -- the latter has the entire ram supporting the case. While the LCT shares this trait with the single-stage press, the single-stage press also has a very rigid, stable structure supporting the die, while the LCT's structure isn't quite as stable since you have moving parts there.

And strangely, one of the great features of the Coax press is the floating die system. It always centers over the shell. I do agree with you though, a cast frame is going to be more rigid than one held by three posts and bolts. But, as Richard Lee says, it's strong enough (and he's probably right); but it's not as rigid.

The indexing mechanism may seem a bit toy-like, but it works well enough for most situations.

No argument there either.

That's quite interesting. Why is that? What do you have on the LCT's turret that weighs so much? The powder measure?

Yep, I use a Dillon powder measure, which to me has worked great over the years. I've gone through a number of powder measures from Hornady, RCBS and Lee. The Dillon works best for the powders I use. The Dillon powder measure is much heavier than the plastic Lee ones. But the reason I use it, it because it works great.

Regardless, if you don't need the ultimate in tight tolerances, I don't see how the LCT would fail to function at least as well as a single-stage press, since at worst all you need to do is remove the indexing rod. At that point, the LCT buys you some additional convenience when it comes to switching dies (just rotate the turret or put a different turret in) but otherwise shares the same basic characteristics of a single-stage press.

True enough. The manual turret is useful. When doing slow, careful work, I prefer the more open space and sightlines of a single stage. Easier for my big fingers to move in. The Lee is mostly open one side of the three posts. The other two sides are much smaller (which must be why Lee did not set the posts up equalateraly). I also found the turrets to be very, very cramped once the four stations were loaded up.

To me, the LCT was a compromise. It did ok under a more limted set of circumstances than a true single stage. The LCT is sort of schizoid :cool: trying to be too many things. It's a very good value, and the primer catcher is top notch; but with a 550 and a RockChucker, I've no need for it.

If I had to do it all over again, I'd still get a single stage and a true progressive (Dillon or Hornady). The LCT tries to do both, yet doesn't do either as well as the individual units.

Colorado4Wheel
01-16-2010, 09:14
I guess if I only loaded two calibers, I'd need less tools as well. It's not that you CAN'T do it on a 550, I find it easier to load small test groups on a single stage. I'm surprised at your strong opinion since you've never had a single stage. It's like your post on case guages. You used your barrel until you discovered case guages, now you sing the praises of case guages. Can't you do most of what a case guage does with a barrel? Especially if all you are loading for is yourself. Always use the proper tool for the job.

Ever try a Lee hardness tester on the 550? Works much better on a single stage. Want to try swaging on a 550? A single stage is a no limit toolhead. You're not limited to 3, 4, 5, or even 8 stations. Ultimate flexibility, feel and control. You can try to do that with a progressive, and get some level of functionality, but it reminds me of the dancing pig. It's not perfect, and the pig doesn't enjoy it.


I load three calibers not two.

If I swaged pockets I would consider a single stage vs LCT vs Swaging Press from Dillon at that time.

I think what your missing about what I am saying is the vast majority of what you do on a single stage can be done on a Progressive (LnL/550/650/LCT/Whatever) especially if your getting into reloading to shoot pistol. It's not that I don't find the single stage useful or that people shouldn't have them. Thats just silly. Not that I wouldn't want to own one either. It boils down to this simple thing that bugs me. People who have no presses, getting steered towards a Single Stage by others on this forum who say things like "everyone needs a single stage". Well, thats just not true. You don't need a single stage. No more then you NEED a case gauge. It may be nice for some people, it sure would be nice if you shoot rifle and I would want one if I shot a lot of rifle. But the majority of people asking "What press should I buy" are shooting pistols. So steering someone to buy a Single Stage when all they want to do is load pistol simply because some people have this "idea" that "everyone needs a single stage" is simply not true. I am fairly confident if i loaded a lot of .223 or .308 that a Single Stage would be nice. It would not be my first purchase. First thing I would do it with the equipment I got. Then add to my bench when I know what I want.

Colorado4Wheel
01-16-2010, 09:45
So the Coax has a Floating Die setup. Doesn't that sound familiar. Kinda like the Lee Rubber O-Ring Die setup.

n2extrm
01-16-2010, 10:21
I got my single stage after my 550. I was loading 9mm and .38 pistol and only .308 rifle. I had my eye on a 6BR and figured it would be better to use the single for the rifle. The RC is simple to swap the shell plate and primer size, does a great job with rifle rounds that I load in small 100 round batches. I drop the powder on the scale and weigh each charge so it made sense. I don't think it is better then a 550 or 650 or similar press. I am considering a 3rd press now for pistol/production rate as I hate swaping the primer set up on my 550. I know it is not that bad, but it anoys me.

IMHO if you are trying to feed an AR or any other semi auto firearm with a single stage press you will spend alot more time reloading then shooting. This will probabley lead to fustration and a loss of intrest in the hobbie/sport. Go with a 550 650 or a LNL and save your self the grief. For pistol and most semi auto rifle stuff like .223 and .308 there is nothing these presses won't do well. Just MHO.

GioaJack
01-16-2010, 10:29
Back in the '70's I had two auto Mac !0's, one in .45, one in 9 mm. Spent every non-working hour loading for them on a Rockchucker for an hour of shooting.

About that time C-H started advertising their new in-line progressive press. Biggest POS in the history of mankind. That's the one that had the primer tube blow up, nearly taking off my head.

Kept it for a while then bought two Star progressive loaders... life got good.

Jack

dudel
01-16-2010, 13:28
So the Coax has a Floating Die setup. Doesn't that sound familiar. Kinda like the Lee Rubber O-Ring Die setup.

Totally different. The Lee O-ring (not a bad idea BTW) is used to lock down the die to the press.

On the Coax, the die is still locked in a lock ring, but the lock ring "floats" in the mount. It's pretty clever. Much quicker than LNL bushings. Don't need special lock rings although Forester does sell some. Dies slip in and out of the press. Very slick and the since the dies can move a bit, they are always in alignment with the round.

RustyFN
01-16-2010, 15:37
For me, the RockChucker almost felt faster than the LCT.

Wow faster than 200 rounds per hour on a single stage, I'd like to see a video of that. I've been lucky I guess. I have had the classic turret four years and loaded thousands of rounds. The indexing has been flawless, still using the original plastic ratchet piece. The safety prime has been near flawless and as you said the spent primer catcher is great. I realize we all have different needs and likes but for somebody that doesn't need 3,000 rounds per month the classic turret is worth a look.

Colorado4Wheel
01-16-2010, 17:45
Totally different. The Lee O-ring (not a bad idea BTW) is used to lock down the die to the press.

On the Coax, the die is still locked in a lock ring, but the lock ring "floats" in the mount. It's pretty clever. Much quicker than LNL bushings. Don't need special lock rings although Forester does sell some. Dies slip in and out of the press. Very slick and the since the dies can move a bit, they are always in alignment with the round.

The Dies float around with the Lee setup as well. Thats the point of the o-ring. Lets the die center over the cartridge rather then on the press. For the LCT I think the idea has real merit.

Colorado4Wheel
01-16-2010, 17:46
Wow faster than 200 rounds per hour on a single stage, I'd like to see a video of that. I've been lucky I guess. I have had the classic turret four years and loaded thousands of rounds. The indexing has been flawless, still using the original plastic ratchet piece. The safety prime has been near flawless and as you said the spent primer catcher is great. I realize we all have different needs and likes but for somebody that doesn't need 3,000 rounds per month the classic turret is worth a look.

My LCT was great as well. No freaking way a single stage can do 200rds a hour.

kcbrown
01-16-2010, 18:30
I think what your missing about what I am saying is the vast majority of what you do on a single stage can be done on a Progressive (LnL/550/650/LCT/Whatever) especially if your getting into reloading to shoot pistol. It's not that I don't find the single stage useful or that people shouldn't have them. Thats just silly. Not that I wouldn't want to own one either. It boils down to this simple thing that bugs me. People who have no presses, getting steered towards a Single Stage by others on this forum who say things like "everyone needs a single stage". Well, thats just not true. You don't need a single stage. No more then you NEED a case gauge.


That's correct, but:

1. It's far less expensive than a progressive press, so if reloading doesn't turn out to be your thing then you're out quite a lot less money. Unless, of course, the progressive you have in mind is the Lee Pro 1000. :supergrin:

2. If you decide you want/need a progressive press, the single stage press will be useful even while you're loading on the progressive.

Let me give you an example of the latter: you're making rounds on your progressive and you feel the primer refusing to seat. Being experienced and gentle on your equipment, you can feel the difference and know that the primer is hitting a hard stop when it shouldn't, and you were able to detect that before putting enough pressure on the primer to destroy it. You pull the case and find that the primer is still there. You now have a primer on the seating ram and no case in the station. What are you going to do?

You might not be able to simply continue, depending on how your priming setup works. On the 650, the primer will be dumped in the unused primer chute and will probably be lost since the chute walls are woefully inadequate (that's easily dealt with, of course).

You could pluck the primer off the priming ram and continue. Now you have a perfectly good primer waiting to be used. You can use it at the end of the run, after all the other primers have been used.

A single stage press gives you one more option: you can take the case, decap it, put it back into place, and seat the primer.


It's certainly not something you can't do without, but it is useful.

unclebob
01-16-2010, 18:59
You have a couple of options that you can do.
Have next too your press a couple of sized cases, Also have a couple of sized and primed caseís.
With the case removed reach in push your handle forward pushing the primer up and remove the primer.
Replace a sized case with primer back into station 2.contune loading.
Let the primer go down the ski ramp. On the end of the ski ramp get a piece of vinyl tubing I believe it is ĹĒ inside diameter and ĹĒ long. The problem of the primers going everywhere is gone.
If the primer is still in the case and if you can get it under the shell plate, empty the spent primer tray and deprime the case. If you cannot get it under the shell plate put a universal decaping die in station one put the case on top of the shell plate and deprime the case.
So do you still need a single stage press? $100.00 to save a .2 cent primer.

dudel
01-16-2010, 19:03
Wow faster than 200 rounds per hour on a single stage, I'd like to see a video of that. I've been lucky I guess. I have had the classic turret four years and loaded thousands of rounds. The indexing has been flawless, still using the original plastic ratchet piece. The safety prime has been near flawless and as you said the spent primer catcher is great. I realize we all have different needs and likes but for somebody that doesn't need 3,000 rounds per month the classic turret is worth a look.

I'd like to see that as well :supergrin:. Of course I wasn't getting anywhere near 200 rounds / hour on the LCT. If I was getting anywhere near 200/hour I'd probably feel different about the LCT.

My turret would not fully index. Probably due to the weight of the Dillon dump. Whatever. Didn't work for me, and so, no tears as it left. Glad it works for you. I agree with the primer catcher. It's the best feature of the press. Works well every time.

Colorado4Wheel
01-16-2010, 19:50
Well, after your experiance I am inclined to believe that the LCT does not handle a heavy powder measure very well. With the Lee version it works wonderfully. I hope I didn't get you to try the Dillon/Lee setup and then have it not work right.

Colorado4Wheel
01-16-2010, 19:53
Let me give you an example of the latter: you're making rounds on your progressive and you feel the primer refusing to seat. Being experienced and gentle on your equipment, you can feel the difference and know that the primer is hitting a hard stop when it shouldn't, and you were able to detect that before putting enough pressure on the primer to destroy it. You pull the case and find that the primer is still there. You now have a primer on the seating ram and no case in the station. What are you going to do?


Pull the case (with the powder inside) out of station #2. Put a new case in station #1. Pull the handle and size then prime case. Put case back in station #2, keep loading. No auto indexing makes this easy. If I had indexing I would simply pull the case and keep going with one station empty. Doing the above with autoindexing I have found I tend to screw things up so I would never do the above with a 650/LnL. I learned my lesson.

kcbrown
01-16-2010, 20:32
So do you still need a single stage press? $100.00 to save a .2 cent primer.

$25 or thereabouts for the Lee Reloader. :supergrin:

That was just one example of what you can do with a single stage press in conjunction with a progressive.


I certainly agree that if you know you need the volume of a progressive from the start, you should get a progressive. I also agree that you don't need a single stage (or other secondary press) as well. I'm only arguing that the secondary press (single stage or turret) is a handy thing to have and, if you don't know you need the progressive, isn't a bad way to start off.

dudel
01-16-2010, 20:39
Well, after your experiance I am inclined to believe that the LCT does not handle a heavy powder measure very well. With the Lee version it works wonderfully. I hope I didn't get you to try the Dillon/Lee setup and then have it not work right.

Like I said, I suspect it's the heavy Dillon measure. Just a bad combination of parts.

I had the Dillon mesure, long before I got the LCT, so no reason to feel bad on that part. I started with a Hornady (it bound a lot), went to RCBS (don't recall the problem), tried two Lees (Perfect-didn't work well with stick and Autodisk-not adjustable enough) before settling on the Dillon. For my powders, the Dillon works great, and I'm not about to give it up. It works great on the RockChucker or the 550. It's a keeper.

kcbrown
01-16-2010, 20:40
Pull the case (with the powder inside) out of station #2. Put a new case in station #1. Pull the handle and size then prime case. Put case back in station #2, keep loading. No auto indexing makes this easy. If I had indexing I would simply pull the case and keep going with one station empty. Doing the above with autoindexing I have found I tend to screw things up so I would never do the above with a 650/LnL. I learned my lesson.

Um, wait.

You just attempted to prime the case in station 2 and that failed. The case doesn't have powder in it yet, right? Even so, you'd still pull the case.

The primer is already sitting on the priming ram. What happens on the 550 when you pull the handle again? Does it somehow detect that there's already a primer sitting there and not attempt to deliver another one?


If I didn't have another press (single stage or turret) to do one-off jobs, I'd pull the case from station 2 and keep going as well.

G10mm
01-16-2010, 20:45
I do load .223 but do so on two presses. After tumbling, the cases get lubed and then resized/deprimed on my single stage press - very quick operation but again it's one stroke per case. Back to the tumbler for 10 minutes to remove the lube. I personally don't like working with sticky cases.

(If the brass is newly acquired, it gets trimmed, chamfered and deburred with Possum Hollow equipment (very quick in a variable speed drill), then swaged whether it looks needed or not. If previously performed on my brass, these steps are bypassed)

On to the 550b.... Stage 1 has a universal depriming die - only to remove media that might still be in the flash hole. Powder and seating the pill are done in stations 2 & 3, station 4 is open.

I don't know how a case trimmer on the 550b would work, but cannot imagine wanting brass trimmings falling all around the moving parts of the press. Even if they could be trimmed on the press, you still have to deal with the pocket swaging, so you're almost resigned to a multi-step operation that cannot be entirely performed on a progressive.

Buy an tool head for whatevery or press is put a dillon case trimmer in station 3or4 and put a unaverl decaping die in to take out the primer . the trimmer die will resize the brass . Then change the tool head and run the preped brass throw . If you have miliatry brass dillon makes a tool to remove the crimp on the primer

shotgunred
01-16-2010, 21:12
Well I finished my first hundred 223's on the 550 a little while ago. The only issue I have is that the 550 doesn't bell the case. so it is harder to put the bullet on and it takes more time. So I am not getting much in the way for rounds per hour. We will see how they do as I am going to use them in a three gun tomorrow.

A boat tail bullet would be easier than what I used. I ended up ruining several cases by not having the bullets lined up well enough. The 55 grain bullets feel so tiny in my hands and they don't just drop into the case.

GioaJack
01-16-2010, 21:30
Well I finished my first hundred 223's on the 550 a little while ago. The only issue I have is that the 550 doesn't bell the case. so it is harder to put the bullet on and it takes more time. So I am not getting much in the way for rounds per hour. We will see how they do as I am going to use them in a three gun tomorrow.

A boat tail bullet would be easier than what I used. I ended up ruining several cases by not having the bullets lined up well enough. The 55 grain bullets feel so tiny in my hands and they don't just drop into the case.


Red:

The expander button in your sizer die should expand the neck enough to seat the bullets without a problem. It may not be adjusted just right.

A little dry lube, (mica or something similar also makes expanding the neck and seating the bullet much easier. Keeps the neck from stretching as much too.)

Jack

RustyFN
01-16-2010, 21:41
I'd like to see that as well :supergrin:. Of course I wasn't getting anywhere near 200 rounds / hour on the LCT. If I was getting anywhere near 200/hour I'd probably feel different about the LCT.

My turret would not fully index. Probably due to the weight of the Dillon dump. Whatever. Didn't work for me, and so, no tears as it left. Glad it works for you. I agree with the primer catcher. It's the best feature of the press. Works well every time.

I see. Thanks for the info about the Dillon measure. I have heard it could be used on the classic turret but you are the first one I talked to that tried it. Dave at THR tried a Uniflow and Hornady measure on the classic turret. He said the Uniflow was too heavy but the Hornady worked well.

Colorado4Wheel
01-16-2010, 23:10
Um, wait.

You just attempted to prime the case in station 2 and that failed. The case doesn't have powder in it yet, right? Even so, you'd still pull the case.


You prime the case in station 1. I don't really know what your talking about.

Um, wait.
The primer is already sitting on the priming ram. What happens on the 550 when you pull the handle again? Does it somehow detect that there's already a primer sitting there and not attempt to deliver another one?


Exactly, If there is a primer in the cup it does nothing. You can pull the handle 1K times with a primer in the cup and nothing bad happens.

Colorado4Wheel
01-16-2010, 23:18
Well I finished my first hundred 223's on the 550 a little while ago. The only issue I have is that the 550 doesn't bell the case. so it is harder to put the bullet on and it takes more time. So I am not getting much in the way for rounds per hour. We will see how they do as I am going to use them in a three gun tomorrow.

A boat tail bullet would be easier than what I used. I ended up ruining several cases by not having the bullets lined up well enough. The 55 grain bullets feel so tiny in my hands and they don't just drop into the case.

Are you using the Dillon Powder Measure and the Dillon Powder Funnel? The Powder Funnel expands the case doesn't it?

Colorado4Wheel
01-16-2010, 23:22
Red:

The expander button in your sizer die should expand the neck enough to seat the bullets without a problem. It may not be adjusted just right.

A little dry lube, (mica or something similar also makes expanding the neck and seating the bullet much easier. Keeps the neck from stretching as much too.)

Jack

Isn't the expander button in the Powder Die. I know it is in the Lee. The Hornady I have has a seperate die just for that purpose. These are both pistol sets so I'm just asking.

kcbrown
01-16-2010, 23:26
You prime the case in station 1. I don't really know what your talking about.


Sorry, I assumed that you prime in station 2.

The priming is done by pushing forward on the handle, right?

If that's the case, and decapping also happens in station 1, then how is the spent primer kept separate from the fresh primer?



Exactly, If there is a primer in the cup it does nothing. You can pull the handle 1K times with a primer in the cup and nothing bad happens.

That's a very nice feature. Wish the 650 behaved that way.

dudel
01-17-2010, 06:15
Well I finished my first hundred 223's on the 550 a little while ago. The only issue I have is that the 550 doesn't bell the case. so it is harder to put the bullet on and it takes more time. So I am not getting much in the way for rounds per hour. We will see how they do as I am going to use them in a three gun tomorrow.

A boat tail bullet would be easier than what I used. I ended up ruining several cases by not having the bullets lined up well enough. The 55 grain bullets feel so tiny in my hands and they don't just drop into the case.

Yep. Found that out myself on the 550. The Dillon powder funnel for .223 does NOT flare, if anything it contains the neck to keep it from expanding while it's driving the measure upwards to dump.

I solved the "problem" with BT pills.

Another option, if you don't want to use BT pills, is the chamfer the inside of the case neck. Just a tad, and the pills don't catch. An inline seater helps as well because it gets the pill straight before it attempts to push it into the case mouth. My new Hornady .223 set has an inline seater.

Got to try the first set of .223 reloads in the AR yesterday. I was expecting a long load development cycle as there are a few more variables for gas operated semi auto rifles. My first loads using Varget and 55g BT FMJ printed 5 holes touching each other at 25yrds. More a tribute to the the M3 red dot than me. I think I've found the right load right off. Feels good. Now to load up a bunch of them, buy more of the same pills and powder.

Don

dudel
01-17-2010, 06:30
I see. Thanks for the info about the Dillon measure. I have heard it could be used on the classic turret but you are the first one I talked to that tried it. Dave at THR tried a Uniflow and Hornady measure on the classic turret. He said the Uniflow was too heavy but the Hornady worked well.

I think it's a combination of things.

1) the heavy powder measures just adds too much mass to the turret for the plastic square ratchet to turn. This may lead to stripping the square ratchet or adding more stress than it can handle when it need to generate torque to turn the turret.

2) the extra weight is too much for the big ball detent to pull the turret into position even when it's close.

3) the turret assembly rides inside a steel ring. No good way to keep any sort of lube in it to make the rotation easier. Possibly even some balls on the bottom of the ring to support the turret as it rotates. Maybe put the detent balls on the bottom, but that would require a redesign of the cage and the turrets.

I had even turned the Dillon inward to reduce angular momentum (think a a skater spinning with arms in vs arms out). Helped a bit. The handle required more pressure when the Dillon was pointing out vs in.

The Lee powder measures (any of them) are very light compared to any other powder measure on the market. This is due to their large use of plastic and cast aluminum/zinc. I'm pretty sure the lightness helps with the turret rotation.

I'm surprised the Hornady works in the turrret, as mine was a cast steel body with a steel cyliner and steel adjusting rod. I think it weighed more than the Dillon! The Hornady is however, more of an inline design, so that may help.

shotgunred
01-17-2010, 08:44
Are you using the Dillon Powder Measure and the Dillon Powder Funnel? The Powder Funnel expands the case doesn't it?

yes I am using a Dillon. No it doesn't expand the case it fits over the mouth of the brass. totally different from their pistol funnel. I wondered if they sent me the wrong part at first but it is sized right to cup over the mouth. Y am sure I don't have it adjusted perfect yet. But this is my first stab at rifles.

unclebob
01-17-2010, 09:39
What make of dies are you using and are they a 2 or 3 die set?

n2extrm
01-17-2010, 11:05
yes I am using a Dillon. No it doesn't expand the case it fits over the mouth of the brass. totally different from their pistol funnel. I wondered if they sent me the wrong part at first but it is sized right to cup over the mouth. Y am sure I don't have it adjusted perfect yet. But this is my first stab at rifles.


As far as I know, all the dillon rifle conversions come with a powder funnel not a expander. I use boat tail 62 grainers and never have a problem.

ETA: Like dudel said chamfer and inline seater could help too. I use redding dies, and chamfer the cases as part of the prep. Then the boat tails make it easy as PIE!

unclebob
01-17-2010, 14:31
Like what n2extrm said for rifle the powder measure uses a funnel not an expander.
The expander ball on the sizer die does not put a bell on the case. It would be a neat trick if you could. The sizer die makes the case mouth smaller than what it needs too be. When the expander ball goes threw it pushes the case neck out too the size it should be. Some high power shooters put that ball in a drill press and take off .001 too .003 off of the size of the ball too make for a tighter grip on the bullet.
If you want too put a slight bell on a rifle case you need a die that does that.
So either you have to chamfer the mouth of the case, the preferred way.
Use boat tail bullets. And then sometimes still have too chamfer the case mouth.
Or get a die that well put a bell on the case. Then you well also have too crimp the case mouth too get rid of the bell.
Also anytime you trim the case you need too chamfer the case mouth.
I must admit that I have not loaded any rifle in about 10 years now. So if they have came out with something new since then that I do not know about. Disregard.

GioaJack
01-17-2010, 19:17
Isn't the expander button in the Powder Die. I know it is in the Lee. The Hornady I have has a seperate die just for that purpose. These are both pistol sets so I'm just asking.


I haven't loaded rifle on my Dillons or LNL's, I do 'em all on a Rockchucker and use 2 die sets.

The expander button is in the sizer die. Unclebob is right, if you trim you have to chamfer the case mouth... but you don't have to trim for every loading.

I use dry mica in the case mouth of each case, reduces the friction for the expander button.

Although I've shot a lot of BT bullets while working up loads I found that my Sako doesn't like 'em, no matter the weight. I gat my best results by far with 55 grain flat base. I've never had a problem, (crushed cases, etc.) while seating bullets after the expander button.

Since I only load one at a time for bench work neck tension isn't a concern but when I loaded for my AR I used the same dies with no problem of setback in the mag.

Just got home from all day at the range... gonna go eat my chicken from King Soopers. :supergrin:

Jack

Hrsuhd
01-19-2010, 00:17
LnL Graffs 399.99 shipped