Been thinking about getting a progressive press [Archive] - Glock Talk

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JAckal66
08-19-2012, 18:39
What brands do you recommend?

I have a little Lee single stage that has loaded 5000+ rounds over the years.


A progressive press scares me a little. There has never been an accident or whoops with my single stage.

It would probably be better to actually charge powder & seat bullets when my 8 year old son isn't around.

After I get familiar let him help.

Any recommendations to a first progressive press?

I have my own machine shop & CNC + manual machines.

It is nothing to run multiple machine at the same time, but none of them actually explode if you mess up.:homer:

Thanks,

Jackal

unclebob
08-19-2012, 18:48
What and how much do you shoot a month? Do you plan on getting into competition? How much are you will to spend?

ursoboostd
08-19-2012, 19:08
I love my Dillon 650 and I think most that have Dillons really like them too.

Colorado4Wheel
08-19-2012, 19:15
Just get a Dillon.

Hoser
08-19-2012, 19:18
Get a Dillon and cry once.

Boxerglocker
08-19-2012, 19:45
Get a Dillon and cry once.
:agree:

F106 Fan
08-19-2012, 20:05
Any recommendations to a first progressive press?


Your budget is the first consideration. Presses run anywhere from $200 up to about $2000. There is a certain amount of ego involved in buying the more expensive presses but there is also productivity. Do you want to load 200 rounds per hour or 1000+?

Which leads to the second consideration. How many calibers do you load (because a Dillon 1050 is FAST but caliber changes are EXPENSIVE) and how many rounds per month of each?

If you want speed but less expensive caliber changes, the Dillon 650 is almost as fast as a 1050 but caliber changes are more affordable.

If you can do without the case feeder, the Dillon 550B is the workhorse of the reloading community.

This page shows the difference in price and capacity for the 3 most popular Dillon presses:
http://www.dillonprecision.com/#/customize-reloader.html

You will note that the 1050 isn't really mentioned because it is more of a commercial production machine. But it's FAST!

Also not noted is the fact that the 1050 will swage the primer pockets on 9mm and .223. This might be important. Or not...

The other commonly mentioned press is the Lee Classic Turret becuase, well, it is cheap! A couple of hundred bucks and you're in business. But it only loads a couple of hundred rounds per hour.

https://kempfgunshop.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=shop.flypage&product_id=630&category_id=190&manufacturer_id=0&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=41

All of these presses will load faster than a single stage press. The differences are in speed and cost.

Richard

Colorado4Wheel
08-19-2012, 20:09
Get a Dillon and cry once.

No crying needed.

JAckal66
08-19-2012, 20:59
Thanks for the quick replies.

For me loading up and shooting 200 rounds of 9mm in a weekend is a lot.

I already have dies, bullets & brass for .223, .38 spl, .357 mag., .44 spl & mag, .30-06., .243. .30-30, 9mm. & now 357 Sig.

Around $300 to $500 for just a press sounds right, but things are a lot different than 20 years ago.


Stopped re-loading around '92.

My work schedule & home life really changed back then, and it is just now that I am able to enjoy guns again.

One of those Lee progressive presses would probably work for me.

Things have changed drastically in the past 20 years.:shocked:

It almost like being gone on another planet.

Truthfully, a turret press would be like mass production for me.

Keep the info coming.

Thanks,
Jackal

ricklaut
08-19-2012, 21:11
As you've seen, many people are going to recommend Dillon. I'm sure they're fantastic... I've never owned one. Based on what I've read (only), I am leery of the priming tube setup they use.

I recently went from a single stage to a progressive - I fell into a deal on an RCBS Pro 2000 Auto Index. Simply put... AMAZING. I'm still going very slow on every stroke (deliberately - making sure I'm hitting on all cylinders), and I'm easily cranking out 200 rounds an hour (mind you, speed isn't my goal - but it is a metric to compare with a single stage). I cranked out 400 rounds yesterday and it was almost effortless. I had another spare 1/2 hour today and made another 100. I love the priming system - I've not heard of any accidents with the strips, nor can I envision them exploding based on their design.

Do some Googling on this RCBS press and you'll see several very informative posts on other forums. My sense is that the RCBS is on par with a Dillon, but RCBS is WAY behind in the marketing / PR arena.

SJ 40
08-19-2012, 21:12
Former Lee pro 1000 owner/user,for the last ten years Dillon and you could never get me to use one of those red things ever again. SJ 40

shotgunred
08-19-2012, 21:19
Sounds like you are a prime candidate for the Dillon 550.
You might also look at the hornady LNL.
In addition to the press you have to buy a caliber conversion for each caliber. Most dillon owners also but a powder funnel and tool head for each caliber.

papercidal
08-19-2012, 21:51
I bought a Lee Loadmaster a few years ago. My old man has used a pro 1000 since I was about 8 years old with very few problems .
My Loadmaster experience however was nowhere near as good and every 100 rounds I loaded on it i put away the difference between the cost to load and factory (about $20 for .45) with the intent of buying a Dillon with the savings. About half way there the press started working flawlessly and continued to do so for about 5000 rounds but tonight it started having problems indexing correctly so I think it is time to order a 650.
But by my count the Loadmaster has saved me about $1400 over factory ammo in the last 2 years so if its all you can afford it is far from wasted money. But if you can afford it save yourself the frustration and just get the Dilllon to start with with if you shoot anything close to as much as I do it will more than pay for itself
in far less time than you think

F106 Fan
08-20-2012, 06:47
I bought a Lee Loadmaster a few years ago. My old man has used a pro 1000 since I was about 8 years old with very few problems .
My Loadmaster experience however was nowhere near as good and every 100 rounds I loaded on it i put away the difference between the cost to load and factory (about $20 for .45) with the intent of buying a Dillon with the savings. About half way there the press started working flawlessly and continued to do so for about 5000 rounds but tonight it started having problems indexing correctly so I think it is time to order a 650.
But by my count the Loadmaster has saved me about $1400 over factory ammo in the last 2 years so if its all you can afford it is far from wasted money. But if you can afford it save yourself the frustration and just get the Dilllon to start with with if you shoot anything close to as much as I do it will more than pay for itself
in far less time than you think


You can save a few bucks on shipping if you order the 650 from BrianEnos.com. It's only $30 or so but that'll buy a can of powder.

Fully equipped with the alarms, hardmount and everything except the upgraded handle, my 650 came in right around $1000.

It is a GREAT press and it is FAST.

Richard

JAckal66
08-21-2012, 19:03
Thanks for all of he good advice/answers.

One of my buddies is looking for a new progressive press. He is going to let me try out his old progressive press & turret press.

He would sell the turret press if I want it.

Can't remember the name of it. Redding or Lyman????maybe

Thanks for all of the help,

Jackal:wavey:

Graybar100
08-21-2012, 20:08
I got a Dillon 550 for Christmas last year. I should have gotten one sooner!

fredj338
08-21-2012, 23:24
IT always comes down to time vs money. The least problems will come from Dillon presses. Just fact, so no crying from the Lee guys. The thing is, 90% of reloaders just do not need a 650, cost or complexity. If you really need 700-800rds/hr, then a 650 w/ case feeder is your setup. If you just want 400rds/hr w/ no case feeder but auto index, a LNL is a good machine, not as good as the Dillon for several reasons, but better than any Lee. The DIllon 550 will serve the vast majority of reloaders well. It's affordable for multiple calibers & fast enough @ 400-500rds/hr & dead bang simple. It is manual indexing & that scares the folks that just like to pull the handle. You can't break one & if you do, Dillon fixes it for free.
I had one for 20yrs, loaded at least 150K rds on it & never broke anything. SOld it to a friend for cheap & he is still reloading on it. I have a newer one, maybe 50K on it, & also a 650 just because. Both machines run & run w/ little to no problems. I load about 1500rds a month of various calibers, so while the speed is not needed, I do enjoy the simplicity of turning out 200rds in less than 20min when I need it.

Gokyo
08-22-2012, 21:20
I vote Dillon 650. buying the best only hurts once.

brisk21
08-23-2012, 21:01
I have the Dillon RL550B and it is great!!! Id highly reccomend it.

Houdini
08-25-2012, 18:58
buy a dillon

shotgunred
08-25-2012, 20:25
Thanks for all of he good advice/answers.

One of my buddies is looking for a new progressive press. He is going to let me try out his old progressive press & turret press.
He would sell the turret press if I want it.
Can't remember the name of it. Redding or Lyman????maybe
Thanks for all of the help,
Jackal:wavey:

So let me see if I understand this. He wants to fund a new progressive press and so he is willing to sell you his second soon to be third best press. That should tell you something right there. If you can afford it save yourself a lot of trouble and get a Dillon 550. If not then look at a new turret press. By there very nature a turret press is only 25% to 33% as efficient as a progressive press. Not that some of them are not well made but you still have to do 3 to 4 times as much work for the same amount of ammo. I would only look at a used turret press if it was dirt cheap and he was going to spend the time to teach you to set it up use it.

RustyFN
08-26-2012, 12:06
If I was going to be loading a lot of one caliber I would get the Dillon 650 with case feeder. If I was going to be loading a few calibers and would be changing calibers often then I would get the Dillon 550. I actually own a Dillon 550 and love it.

Colorado4Wheel
08-26-2012, 12:13
I agree with Rusty.

To review the 650 a little more. The 650 is a lot more money for a good amount of speed increase. You can change it over fairly easily if you have experience with the machine. But the question is "is it worth the cost". The answer is a resounding "YES" if you have the money and want the speed and reliability. It's not that hard to convert if you buy the quick change primer setup. Not much harder then the 550, Just the time to empty the case feeder and a couple parts associated with that, which are easy to do.

bill clancy
08-26-2012, 15:04
At the risk of being flamed...:steamed:
I love my Dillon 550, and have put thousands of rounds through it, and have learned one trick that saves me a lot of fustration. Tumble your brass and deprime it (On a simple single stage press) before running it through your Dillon press. <Flame suit "Off">
This simple yet somewhat time consuming process keeps your dillon squeeky clean, the ram stays smooth and the priming system is flawless for several thousand rounds. Otherwise I end up stopping production when things start to flake out, and give it a nice cleaning.
Nothing better than a clean machine!

M24C
08-26-2012, 15:38
Get a Dillon, I've had my 550 for 20 years. If I was buying new today I'd get 650 and not look back.

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Fuerte
08-26-2012, 16:10
I have the Hornady LNL with the bullet feeder and case feeder. I got it about three years ago and it was my very first press. I really like it now. It did have two problems that were a PITA to overcome. 1) The case feeder was throwing cases out, flipping them over in the tube and getting them stuck in the feeder tube funnel. I actually had to take it apart and drill new holes to get the hopper and the funnel/tube to align correctly. Now it is 100% operational. 2) I had issues with cases tipping when going into the shell plate. No amount of adjusting could resolve the issue. I happened to stumble upon a video someone else had posted with the same issue. Turns out Hornady redesigned the shell plate to solve this apparently common problem. Hornady is sending me a new shell plate.

Dealing with these problems while learning how to reload was a little overwhelming. As I said, I really like my LNL now, but you are probably better off with a Dillon.

shotgunred
08-26-2012, 16:11
At the risk of being flamed...:steamed:
I love my Dillon 550, and have put thousands of rounds through it, and have learned one trick that saves me a lot of fustration. Tumble your brass and deprime it (On a simple single stage press) before running it through your Dillon press. <Flame suit "Off">
This simple yet somewhat time consuming process keeps your dillon squeeky clean, the ram stays smooth and the priming system is flawless for several thousand rounds. Otherwise I end up stopping production when things start to flake out, and give it a nice cleaning.
Nothing better than a clean machine!

A lot of LNL owners do this nonsense! Why would anyone buy a progressive press and then size de-prime and even prime off the press. A 550 needs its priming area cleaned every 500 to 1000 rounds. Every press needs cleaning and maintenance.

Hoser
08-26-2012, 16:33
A 550 needs its priming area cleaned every 500 to 1000 rounds. Every press needs cleaning and maintenance.

Crap. I am going to have to clean my 550s now.

unclebob
08-26-2012, 16:36
Crap. I am going to have to clean my 550s now.

Air compressor or can air does wonders.

shotgunred
08-26-2012, 18:17
Crap. I am going to have to clean my 550s now.

With all your choices you still use a 550? Or is it just the dust?

norton
08-26-2012, 18:46
At the risk of being flamed...:steamed:
I love my Dillon 550, and have put thousands of rounds through it, and have learned one trick that saves me a lot of fustration. Tumble your brass and deprime it (On a simple single stage press) before running it through your Dillon press. <Flame suit "Off">
This simple yet somewhat time consuming process keeps your dillon squeeky clean, the ram stays smooth and the priming system is flawless for several thousand rounds. Otherwise I end up stopping production when things start to flake out, and give it a nice cleaning.
Nothing better than a clean machine!

I second the notion. I have used my 550 (I have a casefeeder too) depriming and resizing off press on my rock chucker. this can be done while watching TV, since it is not a critical process. It does keep your press clean, I almost never have to clean my primer slide anymore, the machine runs much smoother. To those who say "Why would you do that?" My answer. "Why not?"

unclebob
08-26-2012, 18:59
"Why would you do that?" My answer. "Why not?"

Try load 500 rds. a week.

Hoser
08-26-2012, 21:23
With all your choices you still use a 550? Or is it just the dust?
Almost all my bolt gun ammo gets loaded on my 550s...

Colorado4Wheel
08-27-2012, 08:09
I have the Hornady LNL with the bullet feeder and case feeder. I got it about three years ago and it was my very first press. I really like it now. It did have two problems that were a PITA to overcome. 1) The case feeder was throwing cases out, flipping them over in the tube and getting them stuck in the feeder tube funnel. I actually had to take it apart and drill new holes to get the hopper and the funnel/tube to align correctly. Now it is 100% operational. 2) I had issues with cases tipping when going into the shell plate. No amount of adjusting could resolve the issue. I happened to stumble upon a video someone else had posted with the same issue. Turns out Hornady redesigned the shell plate to solve this apparently common problem. Hornady is sending me a new shell plate.

Dealing with these problems while learning how to reload was a little overwhelming. As I said, I really like my LNL now, but you are probably better off with a Dillon.

I had the same issue with the Bowl not lining up to the chute. Hornady denied it was a issue. I did the same fix. They also sent me a new shell plate. Didn't solve a thing for me. I hope it does for you.

fredj338
08-27-2012, 08:48
A lot of LNL owners do this nonsense! Why would anyone buy a progressive press and then size de-prime and even prime off the press. A 550 needs its priming area cleaned every 500 to 1000 rounds. Every press needs cleaning and maintenance.

I keep brush handy, clean the primer slide area every 100rds, this keeps the 550 running until I have a primer change from LP to SP, then I clean everything thoroughly before reassmblying. The primer feed is the weak point of the 550. If they made it w/ the rotary feed of a 650, it would be pretty bullet proof. I never have had an issue w/ the 650. If I had to deprime off press, might as well get something slower then like one of the Lee sort of progressives.

Colorado4Wheel
08-27-2012, 08:59
650 de-primes over station one. It then primes in station 2.
550 de-primes and primes over station 1. That is why it gets dirty. It's just the nature of the beast.

sciolist
08-27-2012, 14:14
I started out with a 550 about a year ago, taking Enos' advice that it was better not to get the 650 with no reloading experience. In the grand scheme of things, I think that was probably good advice. I am very solid with the 550 now. I load about 2.5K rounds a month of 9mm on it, and no other calibers. As I start moving into.223, will be tempting to get a 650 for the 9mm, and keep the 550 for .223 and other stuff.

Same as with shooting, it can be a false economy to get a press going faster than you can see and think. My 9mm charges are all in the 5gr range, so a double-charge is impossible to miss at Station 3. Itís also quite easy to see the primer in the cup as it moves to Station 1. I can load and case about 400 rounds/hour with the 550, with only 1 or 2 that donít case. That includes a little preemptive fiddling around as I go, which is usually faster than letting things get sloppy. For example, itís faster to see the primers in the cup each time than it is to clean up after primer-less dribblers, pull rounds with inverted primers, etc.

Used properly, I think the 550 is 100% safe Ė safer than factory ammo for sure.

I spent half a day completely breaking down, cleaning and lubing my 550 a month ago, after maybe 20K total rounds. Itís smooth as glass now, so that will probably be an annual thing.

So I agree that for a combination of reliability, flexibility and security, the 550 is hard to beat. When you have more experience loading greater quantities, and want to crank up volume on a single load, the 650 starts looking good. But if you enjoy loading, itís not that tedious to do pretty good volume on the 550. 30,000 rounds a year is no problem at all.

F106 Fan
08-27-2012, 15:27
I started out with a 550 about a year ago, taking Enos' advice that it was better not to get the 650 with no reloading experience. In the grand scheme of things, I think that was probably good advice. I am very solid with the 550 now. I load about 2.5K rounds a month of 9mm on it, and no other calibers. As I start moving into.223, will be tempting to get a 650 for the 9mm, and keep the 550 for .223 and other stuff.


Here's the problem as I see it: Some of the 9mm I pick up off the ground is crimped. If the primer partially seats, it will jam up the 550 in a big way. The only solution is to decap again and that just double charged the case in station 2.

In this regard the 650 is far better because it is easy to remove a case with a dangling primer.

I have the same problem with .223. Now everyone will tell you that .223 isn't crimped but I'll tell you that Wally World Federal IS crimped. And all my .223 brass is WW Federal although I just bought about 5000 once-fired cases and I have no idea what they are!

So, I have to swage the primer pockets on all of my brass and hope I don't pick up something from the range that isn't swaged.

I bought a 1050 to load .45 ACP. A better solution would be to load .45 on the 650 because swaging isn't an issue and use the 1050 for 9mm and/or .223. Both use the small primer and pocket swager and, of course, the big feature of the 1050 is the swaging station. That, and it's FAST! I think I would go cheap on the caliber conversion and plan to exchange the dies rather than a fully populated toolhead. I would use lock rings with set screws on the dies and call it good; just a minimal caliber conversion and a case feeder plate (which I already have).

Richard

sciolist
08-27-2012, 16:38
I have the 1050 in back of my mind too. So many other priorities... by the time I get a new press that may make sense. 550 is not really a limiting factor for me now. If I start getting serious about shooting, and maybe double my 9mm volume, probably would have to cut way back on work, so money would be at more of a premium than time…

Anyway, on dealing with crimped primer pockets with 550, I don’t pick up too many of them. Maybe 80% of the ones I get seat fine. Can definitely feel the difference, so I know to be carful on the seating stroke. The ones that don’t seat well, I can almost always tell by feel. I’ll pull the case out of Station 1, and just chuck it if it’s not good enough for practice ammo. Don’t think I’ve ever had one make it all the way to the case gauge before I discarded it.

Maybe I will end up getting a 1050 and then selling the 550. I tend not to sell stuff off, though.

fredj338
08-27-2012, 17:57
I have had no real issue pulling a high primed case out of a 550. Get a bad case in a 650 & it's easily removed as well & as long as you have an unprimed/sized case ready to go, doesn't mess up the auto indexing.

F106 Fan
08-27-2012, 18:10
I have had the primer hanging so far down on the 550 that is was still in the platen. There was no way in the world to extract it or rotate the case. Yanking sideways didn't help.

The 650 shellplate holds the case farther off the platen and, so far, I have never been able to jam up the shellplate.

When I yank a case on the 650, I don't bother to replace it. When the empty space gets to station 4 I just don't have to set a bullet.

Richard

sciolist
08-27-2012, 18:21
Just pull the handle back a few inches, and a high-primed case will slide out the groove in the shellplate platform at Station 1.

norton
08-27-2012, 19:48
Try load 500 rds. a week.

Hi UncleBob
I shoot about 200 rounds per week. So that is about what I load. On some weeks more then that. Using a single stage resizing pistol brass is no big deal.

unclebob
08-28-2012, 06:46
Hi UncleBob
I shoot about 200 rounds per week. So that is about what I load. On some weeks more then that. Using a single stage resizing pistol brass is no big deal.

I use to load 500 rds. a week on a single stage. So yes I know that it can be done.

abq87120
08-29-2012, 21:21
I'm a noob to reloading but started with an LnL. I feed one round through entirely still just to be sure. I HUGE comfort was installing a Powder Cop just to give me warm fuzzies.

BTW, I do love this thing.

http://www.hornady.com/store/Powder-Cop-1-Each

Dan in ABQ