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Old 05-12-2014, 22:09   #1
lightjunkie
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Which single stage press?

Well finally after all these years I hole to finally take the plunge, especially in light of today's ammunition prices and the way current politics seems to be leaning on making ammo less available and the main reason is because of the uncommon calibers I shoot the .300 Weatherby and the 10mm auto to start reloading. I really could use some advise on picking a a reliable single stage press, a lot of people have told me to get a RCBS Rock Chucker, and I have plenty of free time so that being said I open the forum to opinions of more experienced re loaders and please explain why you made the decision. Thanks all in advance
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Old 05-12-2014, 22:23   #2
WeeWilly
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I have a 45 year old Rock Chucker that still works like new. You cannot go wrong with a Rock Chucker.

Another option of similar stoutness, perhaps a little better spent primer collection is the Lee Classic Cast press, it will also be a little cheaper to buy.

A Forster Co-Ax is a very sweet single stage press, but more money than you need to spend.

Those 300 Weatherby's are a lot to size, get a stout press.

Have fun.
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Old 05-13-2014, 05:56   #3
Kentguy
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Lightjunkie,

I have a Lee single stage, excellent press for the money. Since you are just starting out perhaps a "kit" would give you the best band for your buck.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/423...ProductFinding

Of course I agree with WeeWilly, you can't go wrong with RCBS

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/937...ProductFinding

Good luck and be safe out there
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Old 05-13-2014, 07:04   #4
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Which ever brand of press you purchase, be sure it is of the "O" frame design and not a "C" frame. The O frame is supported on both sides where the C is supported on only one side. For handgun loads and maybe small caliber rifle, a C frame press is OK. For larger caliber rifle reloading, the O frame is a must to prevent frame flex.
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Old 05-13-2014, 07:08   #5
Arnold Kuhl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeeWilly View Post
I have a 45 year old Rock Chucker that still works like new. You cannot go wrong with a Rock Chucker.

Another option of similar stoutness, perhaps a little better spent primer collection is the Lee Classic Cast press, it will also be a little cheaper to buy.

A Forster Co-Ax is a very sweet single stage press, but more money than you need to spend.

Those 300 Weatherby's are a lot to size, get a stout press.

Have fun.
My Rockchucker is only 22 years old, and it's been great. For the limited amount of shooting I do, it serves me well. I also have an old-timer "Ohaus" beam scale, which is dead-on accurate (got weights, too). I have an RCBS priming tool bolted down on my reloading bench, and it's been great as well.

I'm still pretty fascinated when I see the high-speed industrial-strength progressive presses in action; however, they're not for me. I like to watch each individual stage of the process and have total control over what's going on.

Regards,
AK
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Old 05-13-2014, 07:18   #6
Jimmy10mm
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Originally Posted by Arnold Kuhl View Post
I'm still pretty fascinated when I see the high-speed industrial-strength progressive presses in action; however, they're not for me. I like to watch each individual stage of the process and have total control over what's going on.
+1 to what Arnold said. For some it may be a PITA, and I guess it depends on how much volume you load, but a single stage is good enough for me and it is kind of a zen thing.

Rock chucker since the 1970s. I've had a couple of Star Progressives back years ago but sold them many moons back.
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Old 05-13-2014, 07:25   #7
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There are some 'stickies' at the top of the forum that are worth reading.

A single stage press will be capable of 50 to 100 rounds per hour depending on how you dispense the powder.

If you think ammo is scarce, wait until you try to find powder.

Richard
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Old 05-13-2014, 08:09   #8
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I have no experience with 300 Weatherby, but looking at the length of this round, I would get a press with a ram stroke of at least 4 inches. I would limit my choices to the Lee Classic cast, RCBS RC Supreme and if money is not a problem, the Redding Ultramag 700.
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Old 05-13-2014, 08:15   #9
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My first metallic reloading press was the Herter’s O magnum. Sold it when I no longer could find shell holders at that time. Bought a Rocker Chucker and modified the spent priming system. Sold it when I bought the Dillon 550. Then bought another Rock Chucker and modified the spent primer system again. Right after I bought it, I wish that I had bought the CO-AX. It is probably or close to the best press for accurate rifle reloading.
Around here I can find rifle powder. Handgun is a different story.
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Old 05-13-2014, 08:34   #10
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Wow thanks all, speed is not an issue for me I think more Iam involved with each step of the process would be better and of course tight tolerances for increased accuracy? Unfortunately mo et will be an issue but I think k I'd rather spend the money once and get what I need than numerous times of failure.
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Old 05-13-2014, 08:57   #11
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Funny, but "being involved more in each step" is exactly what causes double-charges. Why? Because machines don't have brain farts - people do.

Why not get a Lee Classic Turret? It will operate nicely as a single stage and it has a cool way to mount your dies.
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:18   #12
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Funny, but "being involved more in each step" is exactly what causes double-charges. Why? Because machines don't have brain farts - people do.

Why not get a Lee Classic Turret? It will operate nicely as a single stage and it has a cool way to mount your dies.
Exactly.

But if he is loading rifle mostly I would just get the single stage. A Redding t7 would also be very nice.
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:21   #13
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Money, time and volume all come together in reloading. We're always trading one for another.

I'm looking in the Sinclair catalog and I see the RCBS Rock Chucker at $150 while the considerably more stout Redding Big Boss II is $190. Is it worth $40 extra? Probably.

BTW, these aren't necessarily the best prices available, it's just a catalog I had sitting on my desk.

Arguably the best single stage for loading rifle is the Forster Co-Ax and its about $300. Worth it? Well, I might consider it some day. At the moment, I load precision .308 on a Redding T7 turret press. I don't know if that press will handle .300 Weatherby. It's kind of light and overhung versus O-frame.

If it were just 10mm, I would buy the lightest SS press on the market. Anything will work fine. The Weatherby, OTOH, probably requires a bit of grunt to resize. And that brings up another point: Why would I want to resize the brass?

That's not a trick question! If you shoot the rounds through just one rifle (or can keep the brass separated by rifle), neck resizing is all that is required. and that will take less grunt than the 10mm. Since the 10mm is a semiauto, you will always do a full-length resize. Precision rifle? No. You finally have the fired brass sized perfectly for the chamber, there is no reason to mess it up by full-length resizing.

Ah, decisions...

I would spend the extra $40 for the Redding if for no other reason than the fact that the frame is offset such that the ram is easier to reach. See the 36 degree offset in this video:

Richard
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:23   #14
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FWIW, MidwayUSA just announced a sale on the RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme press and the complete reloading kit.

I have my doubts about the benefits of the 'kit'. I don't like the cheap powder scale and I can't find any possible use for the lube pad. That said, Midway wants about $290 for the complete kit versus $300-500 elsewhere. It pays to shop around.

The kit is entirely adequate for getting started. The scale can be upgraded later. It will work fine.

ETA: I didn't look close enough at the picture. The 5-0-5 scale is very nice. Much better than the one that came in my 'kit' back in the early '80s.

I don't see the Redding Big Boss II available as a kit. There is a Big Boss kit but that's the older version of the press.

A lot of people like the Lee Classic Cast and it is available from Midway for $107. I didn't see a kit format. I would still buy the Redding, but that's just me.

Spend some time at the Midway site:
http://www.midwayusa.com/category/reloading-supplies

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Old 05-13-2014, 10:37   #15
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i got a SS Hornady press a few years ago. Main reason was the quick lock system. Really like it, has been great for the handfull of pistol rounds i have, and the few rifle rounds im getting into.
However whenever i find the spare funds for a multi stage press i may not go Hornady, have heard of more issues than i would like.
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:37   #16
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FWIW, MidwayUSA just announced a sale on the RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme press and the complete reloading kit.

I have my doubts about the benefits of the 'kit'. I don't like the cheap powder scale and I can't find any possible use for the lube pad. That said, Midway wants about $290 for the complete kit versus $300-500 elsewhere. It pays to shop around.

The kit is entirely adequate for getting started. The scale can be upgraded later. It will work fine.

I don't see the Redding Big Boss II available as a kit. There is a Big Boss kit but that's the older version of the press.

A lot of people like the Lee Classic Cast and it is available from Midway for $107. I didn't see a kit format. I would still buy the Redding, but that's just me.

Spend some time at the Midway site:
http://www.midwayusa.com/category/reloading-supplies

Richard
Excellent choice.

I disagree with Richard's observation of the scale in this kit, the 505 is an excellent scale that will last a lifetime. The other bits in this kit are all top notch, including the Uniflow measure, etc. This kit is far more than 2x better than an entry level Lee kit, where most of the stuff will be replaced as soon as you have your feet on the ground.

I do agree with Richard on the usefulness of the lube pad, you won't use it and it is kind of surprising RCBS even includes it. For pistol you will want a spray lube (or no lube) and for rifle a Lanolin based lube or Imperial Sizing wax.
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:39   #17
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I should add, you can see the Sinclair wood reloading block in the video above. These are very nice, caliber specific, loading blocks. Far better than the more-or-less universal block that comes with any of the presses.

I have less of a tendency to knock the cases out of the wood block. Given the fact that I do, indeed, knock cases over, my process is to charge the case and seat the bullet before I return the cartridge to the block. I do NOT charge 50 cases and leave them sitting in the block just so I can gaze lovingly at the powder level.

That means that I need to mount the powder measure on a second stand (Google for 'powder measure stand'). Or, if I am trickle charging, I just dump the powder into the case. In either event, I seat the bullet immediately. This is quite easy to do with the Redding T7 Turret because I have a powder die in one station and the seating die right next door. I'm also using the RCBS ChargeMaster to dispense the powder. Kind of a second step up in the reloading world.

Richard
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:45   #18
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I just got to say

1) RCBS KIT does not have a cheap scale. It's a excellent Balance Beam scale.
2) I don't like the Forster or any other press with the handle way up high. Whats up with putting the handle in the wrong place. It's just weird.
3) Redding makes a sweet operating press. I love how nice they feel. Much nicer then any RCBS.
4) The Lee CLASSIC SS is as nice if not nicer then the RCBS. Just saying because it's true
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:52   #19
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I disagree with Richard's observation of the scale in this kit, the 505 is an excellent scale that will last a lifetime.
My bad! I didn't look close enough at the picture. I was thinking of the cheaper scale that came with my RCBS RS kit back in the early '80s. Mine has that rotating spool under the beam instead of the little metal adjusting tabs (poises). I see RCBS doesn't even sell that scale any longer.

Even my old scale works well, I just don't prefer it. I think I would like one of the heavier cast units a little better.

Given the price of the 5-0-5 scale by itself, the kit just looks better and better.

Richard
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Old 05-13-2014, 11:01   #20
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Originally Posted by Colorado4Wheel View Post
I just got to say

1) RCBS KIT does not have a cheap scale. It's a excellent Balance Beam scale.
2) I don't like the Forster or any other press with the handle way up high. Whats up with putting the handle in the wrong place. It's just weird.
3) Redding makes a sweet operating press. I love how nice they feel. Much nicer then any RCBS.
4) The Lee CLASSIC SS is as nice if not nicer then the RCBS. Just saying because it's true
I agree with point number 4. It is important to make the distinction between the Lee Classic single stage and the Challenger series. The Breech Lock Challenger presses are fine for pistol and short action rifle, but are too light for long action and magnum rifle calibers. The Challenger series press and ram are actually OK, but the linkage (toggles and cast bit that the toggles and arm bolt to) won't hold up under the stress of sizing big cases.

The Lee Classic is every bit as stout as my Rock Chucker. The Classic comes in two versions (screw in dies and Breech Lock bushing style). I would recommend the screw in style. The Breech Lock can be made to work (be tight in the press) but the time they save in die changes really is not that important when you use lock rings with the screw in style. With the screw in style setup the dies will always be tight. If you go with Lee dies, get real lock rings (RCBS, Redding, Hornaday, etc.) and skip the Lee non-locking, lock rings.

Hope all that made sense. Lots to digest.
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