I just finished loading up about 1.5k rounds of 223 on my Lock and Load today.
Saddle up with a friend, two or three for mail order powder and primers to ease the burden of that fat Haz Mat fee. I always hear about Powder Valley from my shooting buds. Look around for bulk rifle bullets. The last round I got was some 62gr FMJ Milspec from Widners.
I've got about 10k rounds through it all together and I think it's a fine press. Some folks swear by the blue presses, some by the red presses but I chose the red one.
Just like Dillon, during business hours, you'll always find a Hornady guy a phone call away if you have any questions about anything.
I even stuck a 223 case I forgot to lube awhile back, called Hornady, and they sent out replacement parts I broke...gratis.
I suggest starting out with one caliber, get a thousand rounds under your belt to get comfortable and experienced enough to catch your mistakes then add another caliber.
Practice making dummy rounds-no powder, no primer. I probably made 100 dummy rounds before loading my first live round.
Since it's tough to see in the case of a 223 to confirm your powder drops, I encourage you to start with a shallower straight walled pistol cartridge like a 9, 40, etc.-then get into 223. I think it's Hornady who makes something called a powder cop die, which is nothing more than a plunger with a white O-Ring on it set in the station right after the powder drop used to confirm a drop, and also to confirm the powder level. I noticed today that the small diameter case neck prevents the plunger from going into the neck of the case. Due to the diameter of the plunger end, the O-Ring has to be removed and the plunger has to be flipped upside down then place the O-Ring on the plunger shaft so you can see it in relation to the powder drop level. Get it.
Watch the CD/DVD that comes in the press, and use existing store bought cartridges to help you set your dies-to get you rolling faster.
Turn off the radio, be methodical, thoughtful, thorough, and always make sure you have a clear head free from distractions when you load.
It's a hoot to roll your own.
Last edited by chip1wa; 12-17-2011 at 18:56..