Need Ideas - Shopping for Progressive Press

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Brucev, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. Brucev

    Brucev

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    Today I finally made up my mind. I was standing in Wal-Mart holding four 100rd. boxes of WWB .45 ACP... the bill would have been $34.95 each... and I got to thinking. $140 plus tax would go a long way toward buying a nice progressive reloading press. So I put the ammo back on the shelf and went to the hospital to visit church members. Now I'm home trying to sort out just what press to buy. I initially thought to just go "Code Blue..." and buy a Dillion. But I've been reading about other presses and now I'm not sure. I would be loading .45ACP (SA Mil-Spec 1911 and S&W 625-2) and .38 Special (S&W M-28). Later I would be loading .40 S&W (Glock 22).

    I would appreciate any suggestions about the Square Deal B, the Dillion 550 and 650 and the Hornady progressive press. I have no knowledge about the Lee progressive presses. I would like a press that will let me load for my handguns. I do not anticipate volume loading for my rifles. Sincerely. Brucev.
     
  2. fredj338

    fredj338

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    There are stickies & a search will turn up lots of opinions. A progressive is not even necessary unless you need a lot of ammo every month. A turret press will get you 120+/hr, any of the progressives, 400 & up/hr. The Hornady LNL is quite a good press for the money. The SDB is ok, but you are limited to calibers & must buy Dillon dies. The 550B is manual indexing (I run two of them), the LNL & Dillon 650 are auto indexing. Everyone thinks they need an autoindexing, case feeeding super reloader, for 500rds a month. The faster the machine, the more complicated & expensive. Just keep in mind how much time you have vs how much ammo you need. If I were buying today, I would look really hard @ the LNL, great press for the money, but if you are only shooting 100rds a week, a Lee turret will be just fine for 1/3 the cost. The 550B has been all I have ever needed, even when I was shooting 3K rds/ m.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2010

  3. txgolfer45

    txgolfer45

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    I bought a Dillon 550B. It works fine for my .45ACP needs. Will eventually reload 9mm too.
     
  4. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

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    I'm going to be a good boy and stay out of the LNL, 550 debate. I have one 550 and 2 LNL's and they are both great machines. I have my preference between the two but my needs may be totally different than yours and you may find one machine preferable over the other.

    You mentioned the Square Deal, which I also have. It's a great little machine and by now you know about the proprietary dies and no rifle calibers. The one thing you may not be aware of and something that you might want to consider... it is a very small machine.

    For most people this isn't a problem, might even be a benefit but if you are a little long in the tooth and your eyesight is not what it used to be or if you have osteo-arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, or fell that you might be susceptible to either the machine may be problematic, even painful while operating it.

    May not effect you at all but if it's going to be a problem in the future... well, forewarned is forearmed. Good luck.

    Jack
     
  5. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

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    Buy red buy blue just skip the lee.
    As a current 550 owner if I had to replace my press (which I will never have to do)

    My choice would be
    LNL
    650
    550
     
  6. Bettershotthanu

    Bettershotthanu

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    I wouldn't go buy rate per hour.Dillon has a no BS waranty.Due to my own stupidity I have tested it.They do what they say.I own 2 square deals,They ROCK.
     
  7. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    You don't really say how much you shoot. I use a Lee Classic Turret. The initial investment is low, caliber changes cost very little(set of dies of your choice and a $10 4-hole turret) If you get Lee dies, you won't have to buy the shell holder for that caliber, but even if you have to buy one, they aren't to expensive.

    Don't forget.. other than the press and dies, you've got other things you need. Scale, calipers, reloading manuals... thats just to start. If you start w/ a LCT.. you can probably expect a 350-450 startup w/ 1 caliber, and about 40-50 each additional caliber, depending on the dies you get. Once you get in a rhythm, I can load 150-200 per hour.. which is fine for my needs right now.

    Again, read C4W's sticky at the top of the page.

    IGF
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2010
  8. Hydraulicman

    Hydraulicman

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    i'd say flip a coin between the two. If you plan on metering W296 or other fine ball powders i would go lock n load . My dillon measure will load 296 but not consistant at all. it sprinkles powder on teh shell plate on the way down.

    JMHO

    any other pistol powder works just fine
     
  9. ron59

    ron59 Bustin Caps

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    550 all the way.
     
  10. kshutt

    kshutt

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    Stay away from Lee, and either pick the Dillon 550 or Hornady LNL. I just didn't have a good first experience with the Hornady "Projector," so I've had a 550 since I sold it. Based on what guys like Jack say about the LNL, however, I wouldn't hesitate to try one if I needed another press.
     
  11. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    The Lee progressives, I agree. The only things Lee has done right, is their Single Stage, and their Classic Turret press. The other Turret press that has the aluminum frame, is junk. Their dies are also pretty good.

    IGF
     
  12. unclebob

    unclebob DFC, MSM, 13 Air Medals.

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    You have listed what you shoot now. But how much do you shoot in a month? How much time do you have too reload? Do you ever think you might get into shooting competition? Is there a rifle in your future? How much do you want too spend on reloading equipment?
     
  13. kubura

    kubura

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    +1. I have three presses: Dillon SDB, Dillon 550b, and Lee Classic Turret Press. Go with LCT. Get a Kempf Kit with Classic Turret Press, you won't regret it. If you really need a progressive press, save money and buy Dillon 550B later.

    https://kempfgunshop.com//index.php...n=com_virtuemart&Itemid=41&vmcchk=1&Itemid=41
     
  14. Brucev

    Brucev

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    I have been loading rifles and pistols for 30 years. My first reloads were .38 Special and .30-06 and then of course .45 ACP, 7.62mm/.308 and .44 Magnum. About 1990 I borrowed a SDB for one summer to load .45 ACP. It was great, but unfortunately I had to return it to the owner. Back then I was firing about 4-500 rds. of .45 ACP weekly. Nowadays, I fire about 100 rds. of .45 ACP weekly along with some, maybe 100 rds. of .40 S&W. I have not fired my beloved S&W M-28 in about 2 years simply because I can not bring myself to pay $28 for a box of 158 gr. RN lead .38 Special ammo. I have good RCBS equipment that I have used for many years. I am basically trying to make up my mind about a press. I do not anticipate that I will load rifle rounds in large quantity. I already have on hand both appropriate powders and thousands of polished clean once-fired casings in .38 Special and .45 ACP. I am the pastor of two rural churches that keep me busy with various Bible studies, visits to hospitals and nursing homes and visits to the homes of prospective members. In an average week I figure I would have maybe 3 hours that I could spend loading ammo. My idea is to work up a good basic .45 ACP load for my SA 1911 and shoot it in both the 1911 and my S&W 625. I will also work up a nice load for my S&W 28. Then about once or twice a month I'll sit down and produce enough ammunition to meet my needs for that month.
     
  15. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    If you just want a progressive, get one. That said, your shooting isn't near the level that would require a 550. If you figure 1000rds a month, it would probably take you in the neighborhood of 6-6.5hrs to do that. A 550, probably closer to 2, but at over double the cost, and caliber conversions can get expensive quickly.

    I would get either an LCT, LNL or 550, in that order. If you have all that stuff, your costs to set up a LCT will be less than 250. Get the LCT from Kempf, get both "upgrades" for the extra $25, and call it a day.

    JMO of course.. :)

    IGF
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2010
  16. unclebob

    unclebob DFC, MSM, 13 Air Medals.

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    Sounds like you well not be producing a lot of ammo. But your time is very limited. Even thought I’m not a big fan of the Square Deal, since you have loaded on it and like it. I think that would be your first choice. My second choice would be the 550. Then the LNL. Pushing it, the Lee Classic turret press. If you really want too cut the time in half, The Dillon 650 with case feeder.
    You have the single stage press for you rifle reloading. Put the Hornady LNL bushing in the RCBS press. Your dies well set up and just a twist too install and remove the dies.
     
  17. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    Buy once cry once. I would get the LnL over the SDB any day, any time, any way. I would still consider getting the 550 for simplicity sakes. But for the money LnL over SDB and just live through some of the learning stages involved with the press.
     
  18. Hoser

    Hoser Ninja

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    Get a 550. If you dont like it you can get a LNL. The 550 will hold its value a lot better than any other brand.
     
  19. dudel

    dudel

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    +1 The price of the SDB went up this month (~$355). The Hornady LNL is $406 (at Midway). The LNL is much more press than the SDB for $51 more. THe LNL looks even better when you throw in the 500 (used to be 1000) "free" projectiles. Plus the conversion cost on the LNL is much lower than the SDB.
     
  20. mineralman55

    mineralman55

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    If you have the patience, look for a used RCBS 4x4. These are fully manual, don't have anything to break, and I use mine for everything from small pistol loads to 30-06.