Beginner - Start with a hand press? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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benji
04-11-2014, 18:15
I'm looking to get started reloading with a Lee Hand Press, set of dies, dippers, scale, etc. to see if I will enjoy it. I figure I could move up to a single stage press (or start with that also and mount it to a board clamped to the table in my office). I will probably start reloading 357, 32 S&W Long, maybe 10mm. Has anybody else started with a hand press and progressed from there or am I just asking to start out with something that I'm not going to enjoy at all? My 10mm and 32 are expensive to shoot and both would lend themselves to reloading. Any tips for a new guy? I have a couple of friends that are encouraging me. One has a single stage press. My uncle has a RCBS progressive kit. His is impressive but more than I want to spend right now.

uzimon
04-11-2014, 18:20
I have a lee classic single stage. Im making fine ammo.
Later you can always get a progressive and use the ss for tasks like decapping or any of the other stages you wish.
Or put a helper on it.
:cool:

F106 Fan
04-11-2014, 18:23
In my view, the hand press is a joke. There is no way to make ammo at any kind of a reasonable rate.

I don't care for the single stage approach either. They are great for making a few precision rifle reloads but for any volume at all, they are too painful to endure.

Great presses do cost a bunch of money. However, the Lee Classic Turret might be in your price range if you reflect on volume versus time. The Kempf version is preferred because it omits the Lee scale. Buy a Dillon beam or electronic scale because they will be with you forever. It's worth getting it right.

https://kempfgunshop.com//index.php?page=shop.product_details&product_id=630&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=41&vmcchk=1&Itemid=41

Select the Pro Autodisk upgrade.

This is a useful press that will make some kind of volume without breaking the bank. Sure, it's a LOT more than a hand press but that hand press will be a PITA.

Anyway, that's the way I see it. Other opinions will vary but most everyone will suggest you get a Dillon 550. I agree but I know that the cost is substantially higher than the LCT.

Richard

benji
04-11-2014, 18:23
I have a lee classic single stage. Im making fine ammo.

Later you can always get a progressive and use the ss for tasks like decapping or any of the other stages you wish.

Or put a helper on it.

:cool:


My uncle is using his single stage for de priming only now.

F106 Fan
04-11-2014, 18:24
BTW, we have this discussion just about every month. You might search the forum for words like 'beginner' 'press', 'single' and so on.

There is also a most excellent 'sticky' or two at the top of the forum. You should read through them.

The answers never really vary but if you do the search, it will save everyone a lot of typing.

Richard

unclebob
04-11-2014, 18:31
I think if I started out with a hand press I would not be reloading today. I would get the Lee LCT press and a good scale. If you decided you donít like reloading it would be a lot easier to get rid of the LCT than a hand loader.

uzimon
04-11-2014, 18:33
My uncle is using his single stage for de priming only now.

Its a good buy for someone with more time than disposable funds.
A good progressive, it'll take a while to pay for itself.
I'd avoid low end progressives like the pro 1k
Ive had a couple. They're a pita

RWBlue
04-11-2014, 18:57
Unless you are a body builder don't get the hand press.

I suggest the single stage when people first start because:
1. It costs less, you may not get into it.
2. It is simple, you should see when you screw up.
3. You will find a use for it, if you move up to something more automated.

tom mac
04-11-2014, 19:08
For a starter.... but one above a single press is the Lee Classic Turret.
Not alot , works well.

vaughnmr
04-11-2014, 19:39
I too am new at reloading, and got the Lee hand press for 9mm, I think it's fine for starting out (but it is a workout). Skip the dippers and get a Lee Perfect Powder measure at the least, when you try to work up loads the dippers will not work. There's a lot to learn, and the hand press or single stage is great for learning. You won't be making a lot of rounds at one time, but it's more important for beginners to learn all the fundamentals and get them right. I got the Lee Auto Prime, FA digital scales, some digital calipers, and I'm pretty much good to go. Not fancy, not high production, but I'm learning and I have some confidence in what I'm doing, and if I want to keep doing this I'll get better equipment later.

benji
04-11-2014, 19:48
Vaughnmr - about how many rounds do you make at once and how long does it take?

vaughnmr
04-11-2014, 20:10
Vaughnmr - about how many rounds do you make at once and how long does it take?

Well, like I said, I'm just in the learning stage. I usually deprime/resize 300 rounds at one time, then tumble. Then prime 200 in about 30 min. at one setting. Then bell the cases and weigh charges (I'm checking each one right now), set the bullets, and taper crimp, about an hour for 100. Yea it's slow but I'm paying real attention to each step until I learn. Once I get all this stuff down pat I'll probably get a turrent press or whatever to speed up, but at least I know the rounds are right. And I'm having fun!!

LASTRESORT20
04-11-2014, 20:19
The hand press works good enough....and good to have....*Portable for special times...JMO

vaughnmr
04-11-2014, 20:21
For me the longest part is weighing powder, I just don't have the confidence in the powder measure/digital scale yet and I want to weigh each one. Belling cases / setting the bullets / taper crimp probably takes the same amount of time whether hand press or single stage.

jmorris
04-11-2014, 20:22
I'll be another vote for the Lee turret press. You will even find use for a bench mounted single stage. The hand press would be much more likely to collect dust than the others.

IndyGunFreak
04-11-2014, 20:22
In my view, the hand press is a joke. There is no way to make ammo at any kind of a reasonable rate.

I don't care for the single stage approach either. They are great for making a few precision rifle reloads but for any volume at all, they are too painful to endure.

Great presses do cost a bunch of money. However, the Lee Classic Turret might be in your price range if you reflect on volume versus time. The Kempf version is preferred because it omits the Lee scale. Buy a Dillon beam or electronic scale because they will be with you forever. It's worth getting it right.

https://kempfgunshop.com//index.php?page=shop.product_details&product_id=630&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=41&vmcchk=1&Itemid=41

Select the Pro Autodisk upgrade.

This is a useful press that will make some kind of volume without breaking the bank. Sure, it's a LOT more than a hand press but that hand press will be a PITA.

Anyway, that's the way I see it. Other opinions will vary but most everyone will suggest you get a Dillon 550. I agree but I know that the cost is substantially higher than the LCT.

Richard

Totally agree. I think that hand press would turn me OFF of reloading... It might be cool for someone who had no interest in being serious about reloading... but with components hard to come by (especially powder).. if you're not really willing to make at least a minimum investment to try... don't waste your time.

I started and used an LCT for a while (still use it for a couple of calibers I don't shoot much of)... 140rds/hr is a very easy pace once you have the nuances of the press figured out. Once you're really comfortable, you can probably hit close to 200.

PCJim
04-11-2014, 20:36
I think if I started out with a hand press I would not be reloading today. I would get the Lee LCT press and a good scale. If you decided you donít like reloading it would be a lot easier to get rid of the LCT than a hand loader.

The other posts here are very valid, but Bob's is the clincher. Get the LCT or other single stage press. Don't go the hand press route. If you decide its not a hobby for you, you can sell it for a minimum of 60% of cost. I doubt you'd get close to that for the hand press.


Then again, the hand press may only cost half of what the LCT would cost, so if you only got 40% of cost if you sold it, you'd still be out less overall.


Decisions, decisions. Best advice, get a 550 'cause we all know you're going to enjoy it.

Aquagear
04-11-2014, 22:12
When I first got into shooting a long time ago, my brother gave me a Lee loader to get me started. I rapidly moved to a good single stage press and have been hooked on reloading ever since. A single stage press is always handy to have for working up loads, and small lots of calibers you do not shoot that much. The LCT or a good economical single stage would be a good place to start. The hand presses work well, but you will out grow it pretty fast. I have been loading on a progressive press for about 18 years now, and still have an old redding single stage that I use from time to time.:wavey:

Taterhead
04-11-2014, 22:40
I started with a Rock Chucker. Loaded a lot of pistol and rifle ammo on it. About 100 pistol rounds per hour when you get your routine down. I now load pistol and 223 ammo on a progressive.


If I had to do it over again, I'd do it the same way: get a single stage first and add a progressive press later. Even though I have a progressive, I still use my Rock Chucker a lot and wouldn't want to be without it.


The RCBS master reloading kit is worth a look. It has probably the best manual (Speer) for "how to reload," a top notch scale, priming tool, and a great Uniflow powder dispenser. Plus the RC press is great. You see the kits on sale often, and RCBS is always running a rebate program. They have several different kits, but the "Master Reloading Kit" is the one that you want.


The hand press is not appealing to me in the least.

Colorado4Wheel
04-11-2014, 23:45
Starting with the worst tool for the job is not going to give you a good feel for what reloading is all about. In fact it could sour you on the process altogether like Bob said. It's not a lot of extra money to get a better press. But your going to do whet you want, good luck.

UtahIrishman
04-12-2014, 00:00
I would also recommend something other than a hand press. You can do it, yes. But you will get actual enjoyment out of something better. If you don't like it, you can sell it on ebay and not be out much.

I have a Lee Turret Press which I actually use 90% of the time as a single stage press. So I'd go with either a single stage or something like the Lee Turret.

I've heard real good things about the Rock Chucker

benji
04-12-2014, 06:11
The Kempf kit with an added scale looks like a great idea.

uzimon
04-12-2014, 06:16
For me the longest part is weighing powder, I just don't have the confidence in the powder measure/digital scale yet and I want to weigh each one. Belling cases / setting the bullets / taper crimp probably takes the same amount of time whether hand press or single stage.

Just lay a bunch out under some good light and eyeball levels like so. I cant imagine weighing every one. Get the ppm dialed in and it throws consistent
http://i58.tinypic.com/15h0gid.jpg
Throwing unique helps with some good vibtation
http://i61.tinypic.com/2latycl.jpg
lee ppm is well worth $24

Zombie Steve
04-12-2014, 07:27
Get a Rockchucker. That way, you won't be the handle pulling monkey that has turned out 50,000 rounds but doesn't understand how to adjust his crimp die 5 years after his friend adjusted it for him when he started.

Colorado4Wheel
04-12-2014, 08:21
I think someone can learn how to adjust dies with out needing to buy a SS. Maybe not the guy in the tin foil hat but a normal guy.

Taterhead
04-12-2014, 10:11
Just lay a bunch out under some good light and eyeball levels like so. I cant imagine weighing every one. the ppm dialed in and it throws consistent
http://i58.tinypic.com/15h0gid.jpg
Throwing unique helps with some good vibtation
http://i61.tinypic.com/2latycl.jpg
lee ppm is well worth $24

If you are going to charge in batches, that is the way to do it. I prefer to do one loading block at a time and keep them in the block,, but anyway. A good light and some attention to detail and you can easily spot problems. I used to then cap all of the charged cases with bullets before moving to the seating process. Keeps powder from sloshing out.

dla
04-12-2014, 10:39
Get a Rockchucker. That way, you won't be the handle pulling monkey that has turned out 50,000 rounds but doesn't understand how to adjust his crimp die 5 years after his friend adjusted it for him when he started.

Possibly true. But at least you'll have enjoyed those 50K rounds. After all, reloading is just a means to more shooting.

DWARREN123
04-12-2014, 11:16
As a beginner I would start with a single stage or something like the Lee Classic Turret.
I do have a hand press and use it for certain operations but would never think to use it for any amount of reloading.
After 8 years I went from the Lee single stage to the Classic turret and am very happy with my choice.
Reloading is fun no matter how you do it!

Zombie Steve
04-12-2014, 11:55
I think someone can learn how to adjust dies with out needing to buy a SS. Maybe not the guy in the tin foil hat but a normal guy.

Can... just don't. How many times have we seen that in this forum? Least they can crank out crappy ammo fast. :whistling:

Colorado4Wheel
04-12-2014, 15:44
Chicks dig guys that know how to adjust dies. Is that the deal?

BobbyS
04-12-2014, 17:52
With the political climate, I want to load fast and furious!

F106 Fan
04-12-2014, 18:47
Chicks dig guys that know how to adjust dies. Is that the deal?

It might be worth a try! Crushing beer cans isn't working...

Richard

Colorado4Wheel
04-12-2014, 19:28
You can make gas checks out of beer cans AND use them on non gas check bullets. That ought to attract the ladies.

Zombie Steve
04-12-2014, 22:26
Chicks dig guys that know how to adjust dies. Is that the deal?


Nope... Deal is nobody takes into account that a guy might want to load a little bit of a lot of different calibers, doesn't shoot 10,000 rounds of one caliber a year or just wants to take their time and learn what they're doing. To most people here, it's all about hardware and speed. 650 is the answer no matter what the question is. Again, how many times do we see someone that's been posting here for half a decade ask a question about how to set their taper crimp die or why their rifle bullets have a ton of runout... :okie: A single stage forces you to learn because you're constantly switching dies. On a progressive, some buddy comes over, tells guys what to load, sets it all up and they go to town. Not a clue about load development, not a clue as to how they got where they are. They're handle pulling monkeys, not hand loaders. If you know what you're doing, you can load great ammo with the cheapest press. If you don't, a Dillon 1050 won't help.

My advice stands. Start with a single stage, figure out what's going on and move up to a turret or progressive from there if it makes sense. Chances are you'll keep the single stage for other things even if you do move on.

Colorado4Wheel
04-13-2014, 05:06
You could say all the above about the LCT as well. Its just a fast SS basically.

F106 Fan
04-13-2014, 09:06
I guess I could make the point that once a die is adjusted (by the visiting expert) and the lock-ring is clamped to the die body, no further adjustment by the newbie is required. They still don't have to learn the basics of setup.

Having a decent single stage press mounted to the bench is always helpful. It's an OK way to start but for any volume at all, the newcomer will be looking for anything else fairly soon.

Handgun reloading has to be about volume. It certainly isn't about precision or tuning in the same sense as rifle ammo. Heck, the first thing that comes up is plated bullets versus jacketed. We're certainly not talking about bullseye quality (in general) so, to justify reloading at all, it has to be about volume.

If 50 rounds is a big day, just buy the stuff. There's no reason to get involved in reloading for pistol at this volume. The is especially true right now since there is very little powder available. Primers aren't plentiful either.

Walk to the firing line with 3 12-round magazines and in a very few seconds, nearly an hour's worth of single-stage reloading has been exhausted. Twenty minutes' worth if the press operator is very fast. In either case, it is a lot of work for very little ammo.

The part I like least about single-stage reloading is charging cases into a loading block. I don't like having charged cases on the bench because I am a klutz and manage to bump the block hard enough to spill powder. At a minimum, I want the powder measure on a separate stand so I can charge the case and immediately seat the bullet. It is pretty common to have a separate stand for the powder measure.

I certainly don't intend to weigh each charge! Almost any volumetric powder measure will work fine. I have a a couple of Uniflows and a couple of 'Lil Dandys. Once I own the rotor, the 'Lil Dandy is a pretty nice setup. No adjustments - ever! Sure, check the settings with a weigh scale, measure a few charges throughout the process but trickle charging each case is out of the question.

As long as the understanding is that the single-stage press is an interim step, I suppose it is a decent way to start. Having done it, I don't recommend it but it will work, more or less. By the time I had loaded 500 rounds on a single-stage press, I knew there had to be a better way. At the time, I was shooting IPSC and 500 rounds didn't last more than a day of practice and a day of competition. Then it was back to the press. It was truly grim...

I don't own but would recommend the LCT as a better place to start. If the idea of a single-stage press has any appeal, an upgrade would be the Redding T7. With this press, all of the dies can be maintained on the toolhead. I use this press for my precision .308 and it works very well. I'm certain that it would work well for handgun ammo.

Richard

Colorado4Wheel
04-13-2014, 09:14
Here is what I like for different things

1) For a Single Stage Kit, RCBS. With out a doubt. Best kit setup around.
2) For a Turret for Pistol, Lee Classic Cast Turret, Again it's not even close imho
3) For a Turret for Rifle, Redding T7. What a nice setup. It's not going to be as fast as the LCT for pistol but it's such a slick press. Even nicer then the RCBS SS. Redding makes nice stuff.

Here is the issue, If you like the LCT for pistol then the 550 is only about $250 more. And it's going to be far better in the long run. Just sayin, Buy once cry once.

F106 Fan
04-13-2014, 10:08
If the 550 is out of the question at the moment, there is nothing wrong with buying the LCT with the intent to sell it later on. The press is so inexpensive that it should always bring around $150 and there are always shooters at the range who are interested in getting started with reloading. Just bring the press along and set it on the bench with a price sign. Somebody will be interested.

Yes, the 550 is a MUCH better way to go. But the entry price for the LCT is pretty compelling.

My problem is that I never try to sell anything.

Richard

dbarry
04-13-2014, 10:51
Hey... I started out with a rcbs press, then when I moved to an apartment, got a hand press. This one wasn't a lee, it was orange and allowed it to be mounted to a bench, or used as a hand press...

Anyway, it was 20 bucks, not a big investment, but it was great for the flexibility it offered. Now 6 presses later, I still think it was a good idea. 9mm brass was a son-of-gun to resize in that hand press.

F106 Fan
04-13-2014, 11:10
Hey... I started out with a rcbs press, then when I moved to an apartment, got a hand press. This one wasn't a lee, it was orange and allowed it to be mounted to a bench, or used as a hand press...

Anyway, it was 20 bucks, not a big investment, but it was great for the flexibility it offered. Now 6 presses later, I still think it was a good idea. 9mm brass was a son-of-gun to resize in that hand press.

Then 10mm Glock brass should be a real joy!

There are better 'apartment' solutions than a hand press. Even if the hand press is free!

Richard

dbarry
04-13-2014, 11:47
44 mag and 41 mag brass was easy. 9mm was a bear.

Zombie Steve
04-13-2014, 12:19
Handgun reloading has to be about volume. It certainly isn't about precision or tuning in the same sense as rifle ammo.

Richard

I'm sorry, but that statement is just idiotic.

Hoser
04-13-2014, 12:24
Get a Rockchucker. That way, you won't be the handle pulling monkey that has turned out 50,000 rounds but doesn't understand how to adjust his crimp die 5 years after his friend adjusted it for him when he started.

Nothing is wrong with that. Not one thing at all. He is out there enjoying his Second Amendment rights.

I would rather go to the range with a shooter than a reloader. Bonus if they are both.

If I win the lottery tomorrow, I will never load another round of ammo, cast another bullet or pick up my brass with any intention other than giving it away.

Reloading is just a way to get me to the range. For others it is just part of the journey. Reloading faster and more efficiently allows me to spend more time at the range.

Zombie Steve
04-13-2014, 12:30
Which is why I load .45 auto on a 550B. I never said it wouldn't be tedious on a single stage, just that guys that start on a single stage have a better understanding of what's happening than guys that go ape**** on a progressive on day one.

A progressive isn't the right choice for everyone, and I don't believe it's the right tool for beginners. That's all.

Colorado4Wheel
04-13-2014, 12:50
But you push people to a SS when what they want to do is load a bunch of pistol. Sorry man. That is just silly. And just because you have run across people who are "Handle Pullers" as you say and don't know how to adjust dies doesn't mean everyone who starts with a progressive is going to become one. Reloading is a journey. We all learn different parts of that journey at different times.

Frankly, if someone wants to load a bunch of pistol they should just get the 550 to start, Maybe even the 650. But they need to go slow and actually learn. Not just try to figure out how fast they can get to the point of running the casefeeder and being totally progressive. If they only need a moderate amount of pistol then the LCT is a fine choice. Much better then the RCBS SS.

benji
04-13-2014, 13:06
Thanks for all of the advice. I don't think I can get powder anywhere right now but my plan is to get the Kempf kit with 10mm dies.

J.ThaddeusToad
04-13-2014, 13:19
Good thread. Got me closer to taking the plunge. :thumbsup:

Zombie Steve
04-13-2014, 14:55
But you push people to a SS when what they want to do is load a bunch of pistol. Sorry man. That is just silly. And just because you have run across people who are "Handle Pullers" as you say and don't know how to adjust dies doesn't mean everyone who starts with a progressive is going to become one. Reloading is a journey. We all learn different parts of that journey at different times.

Frankly, if someone wants to load a bunch of pistol they should just get the 550 to start, Maybe even the 650. But they need to go slow and actually learn. Not just try to figure out how fast they can get to the point of running the casefeeder and being totally progressive. If they only need a moderate amount of pistol then the LCT is a fine choice. Much better then the RCBS SS.

Not everyone is one cartridge, high volume type of guy, Stevie. You never take into account that a "bunch of pistol" might mean .45 Colt, .44 mag, .44 special, .45 auto, .38 special, 9mm, .357 mag, etc. I am that person (don't forget to add rifle cartridges). Would you advise a newb that shoots a variety of cartridges to get a 550 and 10 conversions? That is silly, my friend.

If you start with a ss press, you'll do one of two things with it before you move on: continue using it for small batches or sell it. Big deal. What is the down side to learning on a single stage? If it bores you, money is no object, you need a lot of ammo, it has to be fast and precision doesn't matter, just go buy factory ammo, ya meatheads.

Shot 800+ rounds of .223 in that carbine course with the Yeti last Wednesday. The horror you guys must be feeling knowing I made those rounds on a single stage 100 at a time here and there. By the way... zero issues with my ammo. Yeti's 1050 loads... not so much. :tongueout:

Colorado4Wheel
04-13-2014, 15:00
Not everyone is one cartridge, high volume type of guy, Stevie. You never take into account that a "bunch of pistol" might mean .45 Colt, .44 mag, .44 special, .45 auto, .38 special, 9mm, .357 mag, etc. I am that person (don't forget to add rifle cartridges). Would you advise a newb that shoots a variety of cartridges to get a 550 and 10 conversions? That is silly, my friend.

If you start with a ss press, you'll do one of two things with it before you move on: continue using it for small batches or sell it. Big deal. What is the down side to learning on a single stage? If it bores you, money is no object, you need a lot of ammo, it has to be fast and precision doesn't matter, just go buy factory ammo, ya meatheads.

Shot 800+ rounds of .223 in that carbine course with the Yeti last Wednesday. The horror you guys must be feeling knowing I made those rounds on a single stage 100 at a time here and there. By the way... zero issues with my ammo. Yeti's 1050 loads... not so much. :tongueout:

He needs help with his machines. He breaks everything and has setup issues with everything.

Your stance is moot. Get the LCT. Caliber conversions are the same cost as the SS. If you don't want to adjust the dies every time spend a extra $10 and get the toolhead for each calibver. Hardly a big deal. I love how you only pull out the "Stevie" when I disagree with you. :wavey:

That is why I own a LCT on my bench.

jmorris
04-13-2014, 15:04
just that guys that start on a single stage have a better understanding of what's happening than guys that go ape**** on a progressive on day one.

There certainly a lot more going on at once on a progressive but if you don't know what your doing you will make crap ammo with any press.
I guess I have been loading so long I don't see much difference, you use the same dies on both and the shell plate has a few more slots in it. When you first start or are setting one up, only put one case in the shell plate at a time, just the same as a SS.

Zombie Steve
04-13-2014, 16:09
He needs help with his machines. He breaks everything and has setup issues with everything.




Like a noob would? :dunno:

F106 Fan
04-13-2014, 16:13
Thanks for all of the advice. I don't think I can get powder anywhere right now but my plan is to get the Kempf kit with 10mm dies.

That's the plan! Get a good scale from Dillon and you should be almost ready to go. I like to have case gauges for the calibers I load and Dillon has those as well. A ballistic hammer is also recommended. You WILL be disassembling loads from time to time.

Don't forget the upgrade for the Kempf kit

Richard

Colorado4Wheel
04-13-2014, 16:28
Like a noob would? :dunno:

He did fine with the 550. Plus he it's often "distracted" while loading ;). Why don't you leave him out of it. I know plenty that don't have his issues

Zombie Steve
04-13-2014, 16:50
He did fine with the 550. Plus he it's often "distracted" while loading ;). Why don't you leave him out of it. I know plenty that don't have his issues

Right. He's not a noob. He knows what he's doing, and still has a hit parade of issues. Same as Jack with his 1050. Like getting someone on a crotch rocket that's never peddled a bike before.

...and as for the LCT, I still think a SS is a better choice. I put Auto Disk in the search engine here and got two pages of threads about getting that to work right. Again, easy for you to look in the rear view mirror at it, but for new guys, it's just more frustration.


Ciao, fellas. This forum isn't dead, but it sure does smell funny these days. It's been a good run, and I wish you all the best of luck.

Colorado4Wheel
04-13-2014, 17:08
The LCT was my first press. It was easy to learn on. The problem is people trying to get the Auto Disc to do what it doesn't do well. It does not have infinite adjust-ability from the factory with out the adjustable charge bar and the adjustable charge bar does not work well for light charges.

Colorado4Wheel
04-13-2014, 17:17
Ciao, fellas. This forum isn't dead, but it sure does smell funny these days. It's been a good run, and I wish you all the best of luck.

Drink some Whiskey and relax a little bit.:upeyes:

OrangePwr9
04-13-2014, 18:48
Nope... Deal is nobody takes into account that a guy might want to load a little bit of a lot of different calibers, doesn't shoot 10,000 rounds of one caliber a year or just wants to take their time and learn what they're doing. To most people here, it's all about hardware and speed. 650 is the answer no matter what the question is. Again, how many times do we see someone that's been posting here for half a decade ask a question about how to set their taper crimp die or why their rifle bullets have a ton of runout... :okie: A single stage forces you to learn because you're constantly switching dies. On a progressive, some buddy comes over, tells guys what to load, sets it all up and they go to town. Not a clue about load development, not a clue as to how they got where they are. They're handle pulling monkeys, not hand loaders. If you know what you're doing, you can load great ammo with the cheapest press. If you don't, a Dillon 1050 won't help.

My advice stands. Start with a single stage, figure out what's going on and move up to a turret or progressive from there if it makes sense. Chances are you'll keep the single stage for other things even if you do move on.



Amen to that!


Only good thing I can think of regarding the hand press is that you won't burn through powder and components very quickly. That might make it a good hedge until the whole powder/component availability issue shakes out. Best reloading equipment in the world won't be worth much if you can't get powder.


What's overlooked by reloading newbies is that they're asking advice of old time reloaders who have built up a stash of components and powder that will keep them going for years.

DoctaGlockta
04-13-2014, 19:19
FWIW I started out with a hand press. I didn't mind it. I basically started out on my desk in the house. Everything I needed fit into a small tool box.

Once I got the hang of things I bought a progressive. I also still enjoy banging out a few rounds old school with my Lee Loader once in a while.

Steve make sure you let me know where you end up as far as reloading forums. I have to admit that I only check in here once in a while to see what yourself, Whisky, Fred and few others are up to. Also to see what new gizmo/invention/masterpiece Jmorris has built. I miss the common sense attitude and rampant ball busting that used to be prevalent here. One guy that kept things in check around here left for that big parking lot in the sky where I'm sure he is still borrowing wheel weights. Cheers.

PCJim
04-14-2014, 16:49
... The part I like least about single-stage reloading is charging cases into a loading block. I don't like having charged cases on the bench because I am a klutz and manage to bump the block hard enough to spill powder. At a minimum, I want the powder measure on a separate stand so I can charge the case and immediately seat the bullet. It is pretty common to have a separate stand for the powder measure.... I certainly don't intend to weigh each charge!Richard
Richard, that visualization brought back some long ago memories. Back before the days of the internet, most of us had to learn reloading by reading reloading books. A fortunate few had help from mentors, guys who worked at the LGS. I wasn't so fortunate to have the mentors. Just some basic accessories that I received from a deceased relative of the ex.

I can very well remember trickle charging even 38SPL and 357MAG cases to exact charges. I followed the books religiously, and turned my face as far away from that firearm every time I fired a new recipe.

Fortunately, experience and better equipment keeps me from those insanely slow reloading days.

fredj338
04-14-2014, 18:11
yeah hand press is fine, if you value your time at like $5/hr! While we all do not need a progressive, few of us have time for a hand press either. A ss press setup is easier to work with, especially for rifle calibers. A turret is almost double the production & still keeping things simple. A progressive, most of us just don't need them even though most of us have them. They are time savers, especially the simple 550B.

DoctaGlockta
04-15-2014, 06:41
yeah hand press is fine, if you value your time at like $5/hr! While we all do not need a progressive, few of us have time for a hand press either. A ss press setup is easier to work with, especially for rifle calibers. A turret is almost double the production & still keeping things simple. A progressive, most of us just don't need them even though most of us have them. They are time savers, especially the simple 550B.

Back when I was good with it I could bang out 50 rounds of 45acp in about half an hour if I had my powder measure set up ahead of time. Sometimes I'd get hung up a bit with emptying the spent primers as they could get stuck in the empty primer chamber. Would prime with a Lee Hand primer. Would I want to go back to that - no. But if space is limited and you wanted to do it in the house might be a decent way to get started for some.

fredj338
04-15-2014, 13:00
Back when I was good with it I could bang out 50 rounds of 45acp in about half an hour if I had my powder measure set up ahead of time. Sometimes I'd get hung up a bit with emptying the spent primers as they could get stuck in the empty primer chamber. Would prime with a Lee Hand primer. Would I want to go back to that - no. But if space is limited and you wanted to do it in the house might be a decent way to get started for some.

The thing is a ss press can be setup on a fold away Workmate for limited space. Two C clamps & you are ready to reload. So much easier than a hammer or the thigh master from Lee, faster too.:dunno: When in college, I setup a reloading space in a 24x36 coat closet. Worked out fine, lockable with shelf storage. Didn't really need a coat closet in Phoenix!

DoctaGlockta
04-15-2014, 13:06
The thing is a ss press can be setup on a fold away Workmate for limited space. Two C clamps & you are ready to reload. So much easier than a hammer or the thigh master from Lee, faster too.:dunno: When in college, I setup a reloading space in a 24x36 coat closet. Worked out fine, lockable with shelf storage. Didn't really need a coat closet in Phoenix!

Good points. When I first started I didn't really know anyone else who reloaded other than a guy on a local board here in town. I wish I had run across this board first.

cheygriz
04-16-2014, 21:03
I started out with an old Texan "C" press, back in 1965.

after a few years, I upgraded to a Lyman Orange Crusher, then to a Redding Ultramax.

I bought one of the first Dillon RL 450s available, then upgraded to a 650.

About 5 years ago, my cardiologist got bugged on competitive shooting. He called me one night and said that he'd been doing a lot of research on reloading. He told me he has ordered a Dillon 1050 for .45 with a 5.56 conversion kit. Asked if I'd come over and help him set it up.

To make a long story short, he started loading on a 1050 and he's been cranking out ammo for 5 years now without a hiccup. (I did help him set up, work up loads, and helped him learn how to convert the machine over.)

I guess the moral here is that you can start as simple or complex as you desire if you have a little intelligence, good judgement and patience, and if you're willing to ask for help when you need it.

FiremanMike
04-17-2014, 05:58
I don't take my views to the extent of Steve, but I get his point a little bit.

For me, the LCT was the perfect starter press. It's fast enough that you can get into a zone and really crank out some ammo, but it's only 1 round at a time so it forces you to become familiar with all stages of reloading. By the time I moved to my 550, I was much more confident in the process.

Others here are right, you can easily sell your LCT turret if and when you decide to move up to a progressive and you'll take little loss on you investment. Personally I just gave mine away to a friend who was interested in starting to reload. He's currently very pleased with it as well.

Kentguy
04-17-2014, 11:48
OH what the H#@% I might as well toss my 2 cent worth in.

I know that this have been kicked to death around here but for those who have not read previous treads IMHO and because of my own experience, I feel that a new re-loader would be best served with a single stage press... pick a brand.
Along with some other essentials the most important item would be a good scale! I happen to have an RCBS 10-10 balance beam scale - I just love it!

I was taught by a couple of old-time reloads on there single stage press, so my first press was a Lee single stage then moved up to a Lee classic turret press. There are times when I think a progressive press would be nice but most of the time I really don't need one. I still use be single stage press for many different jobs in the shop.

To me reloading is a Hobby not a business. I answered that question long ago so I find it very easy to use & enjoy my hobby with both presses. Through the years they have provided me with plenty of ammo so I can enjoy my other hobby every week - Shooting!

Good luck in your quest for a press that will fit your needs.

Be safe out there

Colorado4Wheel
04-17-2014, 12:23
I just don't see how starting with a LCT is any different then starting with a SS. It's one case at a time. You can run it as a SS if you want. Load in batch's if you want. Same cost for Caliber conversions. It is a SS if you want. So why in the world, if you know you are going to want to crank out a reasonable amount of pistol would you just not start with it. I get it for Rifle. But Pistol? I just don't see the point of using a SS or even owning one when the LCT does it all exactly the same in the end. If you don't like the Auto Disc then buy another powder measure. It's totally modular.

F106 Fan
04-17-2014, 13:23
There is probably no right solution for everybody. All the folks around here can do is toss out some ideas and the new reloader has to make a decision. We've already spent our money - several times, in fact.

It all comes down to volume. If you don't shoot more than a couple of hundred rounds per month, maybe reloading isn't that important. Sure, pistol ammo can be reloaded for about 1/2 the cost of factory (or less with lead bullets), but if there isn't enough volume to pay for the equipment in a reasonable period of time, why bother?

ETA: Considering the fact that powder is just about unavailable, why get into reloading at all? Bullets are easy to get, primers are sometimes available but powder, not so much.

Back to volume: So, you shoot a few hundred rounds per month. OK, how long do you want to spend reloading? You can run a SS press at around 100 rounds per hour, the LCT at perhaps 250 rounds per hour and the 550 at around 500 rounds per hour. The 650 is really quick at around 800 rounds per hour. All numbers are gross approximations and, no doubt, someone will say they are understated. Whatever... All it does is show the relative throughput of the options.

How long do you want to spend reloading? Personally, reloading is not my hobby. I like to shoot. I want to crank out pistol ammo as fast as I possibly can because I don't want to spend ANY time reloading. I like reloading precision rifle and for that, fifty rounds is a lot. I don't mind that I am using a Redding T7 for rifle. I know it's nothing but a glorified single stage press but I'm only going to make 50 rounds and it will take an hour or so.

Here is my progression in reloading presses for .45 ACP:
RCBS RS Single Stage -> Ponsness-Warren Turret Press -> Dillon 450 -> Dillon 550 -> RCBS Green Machine -> Dillon 1050 (now 650). I have done it just about every possible way and I'm here to say, pistol loading with a single stage press is just too grim to contemplate. Each step forward was an improvement and, knowing what I do now, I would opt for the 650. Yes, it is one of the more expensive solutions but it goes a long way to reducing the time required to reload.

When the four of us go shooting, we may blow through 1000 rounds or so. Three .45s with 24 rounds in magazines and a .40 with 36 rounds. That's 108 rounds in one rotation through the firing line (we have one shooter up at a time). It doesn't take long to burn up a fair amount of ammo. And guess who gets the task of refilling all the empties? Me! The guy who least likes to reload.

Again, there's no right answer but there are a couple of wrong ones. The hand press and the single stage press are just wrong for pistol reloading. They have the ability to put a person off reloading for a lifetime. Or, the new reloader may really like them and that's good because they will be spending a LOT of time with them.

Richard

Smooth_squeeze
04-17-2014, 14:26
44 mag and 41 mag brass was easy. 9mm was a bear.

Great to hear!

Getting a hand press for my 44 mag. No room even for a single stage, don't want to turn my kitchen table into a reloading station.

Years ago, I reloaded a lot... 7mm-06 Ackley Improved, 22-250, 7mm Mauser... An old RCBS worked fine. But I moved. And left the stuff at home. Many, many years later and here I am picking up a hand press, as it's the most doable thing for me right now.

Some folks say it'll wear you out. Hey, I need the exercise, And maybe it'll make my grip stronger. Whatever.

Looking forward to it.

Colorado4Wheel
04-17-2014, 15:51
I wouldn't say a SS is wrong for pistol. Not at all. My thing on this thread that drives me nuts is misrepresenting the LCT as being harder or somehow less suitable then a SS. A turret IS a single stage if you want it to be. It's that simple. So why loose the versatility of the Turret for pistol. Start as a SS if you like. It's just later you can double your production with a simply inserting of the indexing rod.

fredj338
04-17-2014, 18:48
It all comes down to volume. If you don't shoot more than a couple of hundred rounds per month, maybe reloading isn't that important. Sure, pistol ammo can be reloaded for about 1/2 the cost of factory (or less with lead bullets), but if there isn't enough volume to pay for the equipment in a reasonable period of time, why bother?


Richard
Yes & no. I started reloading for a 357mag. I shot maybe 150-200rds a weekend, easily done on a ss press. I still have my first press, a RCBS JR, even after moving up to a 550 & a 650, I still use the ss press quite a bit.
A guy wanting to shoot his 44mag 100rds a month can easily pay for a $300-$400 ss or turret press setup in very short order. I can reload 44mag, buying cast LSWC for about 15c each. It will shoot every bit as well as the factory rds costing more than $1.15 each. That would save me $100 a month, $1200 a year, hell at that rate, I could afford a 550B!:shocked: So reloading for handguns is NOT always about volume but caliber & cost. I would not buy a progressive to reload 100rds a month, but I sure would reload for a magnum or 10mm at that rate & a ss press would be fine there.

fredj338
04-17-2014, 18:53
Great to hear!

Getting a hand press for my 44 mag. No room even for a single stage, don't want to turn my kitchen table into a reloading station.
.
You miss the part about a folding Workmate & C clamps? Really, a ss press is just easier, especially with bigger cases.

WeeWilly
04-17-2014, 20:04
Frankly, I would rather use a Lee Loader than one of those hand presses. I bought one once, just to try it out. I could do about 50 rounds an hour with it. Seemed to work fine.

blastfact
04-17-2014, 20:33
benji

I read the thread. Glad to see your getting a LCT. It is a press that redefined turret press. And is the Lee class leader! I load 7 calibers on mine and am going to increase that to 9 this fall or sooner.

As much as I would like a Lee LM in every caliber I load or at least a min. of two xl650's set up for large and small primers and a heard of heads. I just can't justify the money needed to go to the so called next level.

I took a break from loading and shooting. When I stopped I was running Hollywood Press's. When I got back into it, I bought a Lee SS kit and a set of RCBS check weight's. Then my mentor/adopted dad gave me a even older Lee SS kit complete with .38/.357 dies he found at a yard sale. I then bought the same setup as you. From the same place in 10mm. And I haven't looked back.

As a new loader. You need so much in the way of tools. Press, dies, brass cleaning, measuring tools,,, on and on. It's really not that much. But you have to have all the basic's plus those darn consumables.

BUT!!! the most important tool is Check Weights!! Many folks think check weights keep there measure and or scales honest. They can do that. In reality they keep the operator honest!

Please buy a set of basic check weights!

Smooth_squeeze
04-17-2014, 21:16
You miss the part about a folding Workmate & C clamps? Really, a ss press is just easier, especially with bigger cases.

No, I didn't miss it at all. Perhaps I misunderstood something, but it appeared to me that it was necessary to drill a hole in a tabletop for a bolt to go through for the clamps to work properly. Is there a way to make a SS work without having to mount it on a stable, fixed surface?

Colorado4Wheel
04-17-2014, 21:21
Bolt it to a board. C clamp it to the table. I did that with my LCT at the start.

blastfact
04-17-2014, 21:36
Went from Hollywood gear to this.
http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/638/medium/S7300229.jpg
And was a proud mofo. 9mm Luger,, I was back in the game!

Then my mentor showed up with this Lee Kit. A old 12ga. Mec press that needed some love and a CZ-52.
http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/638/medium/S7300250.JPG

My little bench got a expanded top and shelf and a home for the new press.
http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/638/medium/S7300353.JPG

Then I bought the LCT.
http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/638/medium/bench2.jpg

How the bench is today.
http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/638/medium/RG.jpg
A small bench that loads great ammo.

Smooth_squeeze
04-17-2014, 21:37
Bolt it to a board. C clamp it to the table. I did that with my LCT at the start.

Hey! That sounds like it will work...

What would you say is the minimum dimension for the board?

Smooth_squeeze
04-17-2014, 21:43
Blastfact, you've demonstrated the power of positive thinking!

Congrats! (Sure wish I had the space to put together something like that...)



Went from Hollywood gear to this.
http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/638/medium/S7300229.jpg
And was a proud mofo. 9mm Luger,, I was back in the game!

Then my mentor showed up with this Lee Kit. A old 12ga. Mec press that needed some love and a CZ-52.
http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/638/medium/S7300250.JPG

My little bench got a expanded top and shelf and a home for the new press.
http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/638/medium/S7300353.JPG

Then I bought the LCT.
http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/638/medium/bench2.jpg

How the bench is today.
http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/638/medium/RG.jpg
A small bench that loads great ammo.

Colorado4Wheel
04-17-2014, 21:59
Width is not critical but the longer you make it the more stable it well be when you pull the handle. You want the length going away from you. Two ft would be minimum if the board it's a 2x8. Longer is better. Thicker is better if it is a shorter board.

thomas15
04-18-2014, 19:29
My lovely wife gave me a Rockchucker supreme master kit for Christmas. I began actual reloading the last week of January. So I have a little over 3 months experience in this matter.

I'm loading 9mm for 3 of us, we shoot every week and go through 300-500 rounds/week. It didn't take long to see that a SS press is way too slow but as a newb I didn't want to go blue just yet. I decided to get a RCBS turret press and a case activated powder drop for the uniflow powder measure.

It is true that I spent a lot of time getting the primer tool to work on the turret press but my rate of production has greatly increased. Most of what you get with the rockchucker kit is good stuff but the uniflow powder thrower comes with the large drum which is made to throw rifle loads. The small drum costs about $35.00. Also you must use RCBS shell holders if you are going to prime on the (RCBS) press, which ever press you use.

If it were just me then I would stick with a SS press until I get more time in. Reloading is fun but getting started will cost more than you think it will. Finding components is a challange, especally powder.

Taterhead
04-18-2014, 20:17
I wouldn't say a SS is wrong for pistol. Not at all. My thing on this thread that drives me nuts is misrepresenting the LCT as being harder or somehow less suitable then a SS. A turret IS a single stage if you want it to be. It's that simple. So why loose the versatility of the Turret for pistol. Start as a SS if you like. It's just later you can double your production with a simply inserting of the indexing rod.

Just curious because I don't know... having never operated a LCT...

The Rock Chucker, to me, has a really nice feel to it like a good tool should. Smooth as butta. Are you getting that with a $100 LCT? I get the theory behind what you're saying.

Colorado4Wheel
04-19-2014, 01:30
LCT is nice and smooth. About like a Rc. Neither is as good as a Redding.

Kentguy
04-19-2014, 06:48
Thomas15 "My lovely wife gave me a Rockchucker supreme master kit for Christmas. I began actual reloading the last week of January. So I have a little over 3 months experience in this matter."

Congratulations on joining the ranks of reloaders. The Supreme Master kit is a good way to start, gives you all the toys you need to get off the ground and running.

Good luck and have fun