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Metallic cartridge reloaders suggestions please

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by amboy49, Jan 27, 2013.

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  1. amboy49

    amboy49 Well-Known Member

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    Gonna say this is shooting related - just not shotgun sports. I'm thinking about getting back into reloading metallic cartridges - 9mm/.45/.22-250/.308/.270/.243/and .38/.357.

    I have an "old" but very serviceable RCBS rockchucker single stage press that is fine for the center fire rifle cartridges based on the number of rounds I will normally fire. However, I'd like to do more pistol/revolver shooting and it doesn't take long to go through a box of 50 rounds. The rockchucker does an adequate job, just not fast. Kind of like an old single stage MEC compared to a 9000, Spolar, PW, etc.

    I'm looking for suggestions re: purchasing a new reloader. Dillon, RCBS, Lee, or ? I am thinking I would like something that will allow me to load 200-500 rounds a week if I so choose. I picked up a Dillon catalog - but after reading about the different features of the various models I don't know any more than I did when I started.
     
  2. timberfaller

    timberfaller Well-Known Member

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    If you like more control over the process, look at the PW P200. Once setup, a little practice, you can put out a fair amount pretty fast.

    I am all set up with all my pistol rounds on it.

    Nothing wrong with Dillons either.

    Whatever floats your boat, as the ole saying goes.
     
  3. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    Get a Dillon and be done with it. I load all my metallic on a single stage Hornady Lock N Load. As much as I like the Hornady products, if and when I go progressive, I'll buy a Dillon. They just flat spit the ammo out.
     
  4. crusha

    crusha TS Member

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    Hornady Lock n Load progressive is a nice, smooth press. I have one and love it. For the same price range as a Dillon 550, you get more features, since the base-model Dillon 550 does not have auto shell indexing (you have to move the shell plate by hand every stroke). And if you go with the Square Deal with the auto index, you need Dillon dies as I don't believe those shellplates are compatible with other die brands like RCBS...plus the Square Deal does not have the clearance to load rifle-length calibers.


    People make a big deal about Dillon parts and service, and I like to see a company like that, however I've found Hornady to be great, as well. They came up with a design improvement on their primer mechanism and since I had an older press, they sent me the upgraded part for free. So I offer that just as evidence that Dillon is not the only company out there that treats you well.
     
  5. Mike Battista

    Mike Battista Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

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    Get a Dillon 550B. It has removeable tool heads for changing calibers. If you have a problem and call Dillon, They will stay on the phone with you until the problem is corrected. I have one.
    Mike Battista
     
  6. amboy49

    amboy49 Well-Known Member

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    The Dillon catalog says the Square Deal "B" reloader doesn't use 7/8" x 14 dies (?) I didn't know there was any other kind. The other Dillons do use 7/8" x 14 i.e. The RL550B, XL 650, and the Super 1050. However, they are a lot more intricate AND expensive.

    Can anyone weigh in on the die issue? The literature also states the Square Deal B :

    Can't be used for rifle cartridges.
    Can't upgrade to auto case feeder
    Can't upgrade to powdercheck system
    Can't upgrade to casefeed

    Are these features really beneficial or just speed up the reloading process for people without the time to load slower ?

    Thanks in advance
     
  7. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    If you can find someone with and old star reloader, it really does a nice job on pistol reloads. HMB
     
  8. Harley Lekvold

    Harley Lekvold TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Do some checking to see what componets, ie bullets, powder and primers are available. If you don't have or can't get the componets, then why buy a press.
     
  9. crusha

    crusha TS Member

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    Dillon square deal uses a non-standard thread size on the dies, and you can't use any brand die but Dillon...plus it doesn't reload rifle (maybe not an issue for you, since you already have a single stage rifle press). If you get a Dillon, I'd recommend the 550 or 650 because they allow you to use common, high-quality dies like RCBS, etc. Again the 550 doesn't auto index (my personal opinion is they leave the auto-index off the 550, to encourage the buyer towards their higher-level presses).
     
  10. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    Buzz,

    I've looked at the Hornady progressive. It does look like a great set up. I wasn't too sure how it compared to the Dillon function wise. Since I use Hornady/Pacific products for shot shell and the Lock N Load for metallic I am familiar with their quality. I am also very happy with their customer service when I needed it. I may have to look at their progressive again.
     
  11. CalvinMD

    CalvinMD Well-Known Member

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    I've always been on a budget and my Lee Turret Press has always been great at loading as much as I can afford to load at one time flawlessly and produced extremely accurate and consistent ammo..plus their Factory crimp die is impossible to beat when positive feeding rounds in an auto is essential
     
  12. g7777777

    g7777777 TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Progressive metalic is a whole different ball game- be careful- a little error might mean a blown gun

    Hornady and RCBS current reloaders are really the standard

    Dillon has produced a pretty good product for handgun rounds - I know they do have rifle calibers but have never seen one set up for that

    Plus all the RCBS stuff is interchangeable from what you have now

    Regards from Iowa

    Gene
     
  13. Chichay

    Chichay TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Dillon XL650; uses standard pistol & rifle dies; available with accessories like case feeder, etc. Can't beat Dillon service & warranty. Chichay
     
  14. oz

    oz Active Member

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    I have a hornady lock & load progressive. I also have an ohaus single stage press. The Hornady is great, when I bought it I also got 1000 free bullets. I think now you get 500 free bullets. You can still find it new for under $400...
    Only thing I added is a powder checker so I don't have to look in the filled case. It takes standart die sets. I bought 1 hornady die set 300 RCM and am impressed with the set.
     
  15. Leo

    Leo Well-Known Member

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    Dillon here, if you reload lots of different calibers, the 550b is the fastest press to switch calbers. As long as you calibers are using the same primer size, you can be ready to go in 60 seconds. If you need to change the primer size, you are ready in 2 or 3 minutes.



    The Star machine mentioned above is probably the fastest to load on, but each machine will only do one caliber.
     
  16. bcnu

    bcnu Active Member

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    Well, for no more than you will be reloading, you can get a brand new Lee 1000 progressive reloader in your choice of caliber for right around 200 bucks brand new in the box. You can reload 250 rounds in under 30 minutes. Great little reloader for the money and really easy to set up and use. They are on ebay every day. John
     
  17. RLC323

    RLC323 Member

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    It is very rare to hear anyone say anything bad about Dillon presses. They are made to load lots of ammo in a short time and do the job well. You do pay for that speed and quality. If you are a serious pistol shooter like the IPSC or IDPA guys and shoot a lot of one caliber it is worth the price.

    With the variety of calibers you are considering I would look at a the RCBS Pro 2000 as you can load rifle or pistol with your current standard 7/8 -14 dies. It comes in versions with or without auto index and uses quick change die plates. It does use the APS strip priming system which saves some time if you like the preloaded CCI primers or you can load the strips yourself. RCBS advertises 600 rounds per hour, your mileage may vary.
     
  18. BT-100dc

    BT-100dc Active Member

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    You can adapt your RCBS Rock Chucker to a progressive press by adding an RCBS Piggy-back unit. I believe there's one made for the older model Rock Chucker and one for a newer model. I would add a drop through Lyman expander die which allows you to thread (7/8") your powder drop measure into the top of this die; and, the die replaces your expander die as it comes with .25 through .45 caliber expanders. If you incorporate this die on this Piggy-back unit you have to disable the auto index feature. I bought my piggyback system a few years ago from an Ebay bid. I disabled the auto-progressive feature and manually index the shells which aloows me to monitor the process easier. You won't load 500 shells per hour but it's far faster than a single stage press. You can still complete 1 shell with each stroke of the handle. Mine works well for my needs. BT100dc
     
  19. mooster1223

    mooster1223 Member

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    I own both a Hornady LNL and a Dillon 550. I like the Hornady better. To get the same features as the LNL, you have to step up to the 650 Dillon.
     
  20. SBray

    SBray Active Member

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    I started out with the RCBS Rockchucker single stage press. It is a solid machine that will last forever, if taken care of properly. That said, it is probably best suited for rifle cartridges. I found it was painstakingly slow when loading handgun ammo.

    I went with the Dillon 550B because I reload 9mm, 40S&W, and 45 ACP. The 550B is Dillon's flagship. I was told they sell more 550Bs than any of the other models. The SquareD requires you to use only their dies that are made just for that machine, and, I believe, only pistol dies.

    I have no problem hand rotating the carousel on the 550B instead of auto indexing, like with the 650XL. The 550B is the fastest caliber conversion. So if you plan on loading for many calibers, this might be a factor to consider. One thing to consider, since the 550B has to be manually rotated after each action, there is the potential of double charging a shell. I use a third party product called the "Press Monitor" that keeps track of the machine activity and warns you if you have short stroked the handle or double loaded a shell by not rotating the carousel.

    I thought I had died and gone to heaven when going to the progressive machine from the Rockchucker. You are performing all the operations in one down-stroke of the handle bar, instead of six steps to get one loaded shell. You just need to pay attention and make sure you loaded the shell properly.

    The other companies make quality machines also.

    Hope this helps!

    Steve
     
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