Reloading presses... Dillon vs. Lee vs. RCBS vs.... - www.ifish.net

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View Poll Results: Which press should I buy???
Lee 3 11.54%
Dillon 11 42.31%
RCBS 7 26.92%
Other 5 19.23%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 26. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-21-2008, 11:05 AM   #1
bignate
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Default Reloading presses... Dillon vs. Lee vs. RCBS vs....

Well what so you guys use and how much do you like it? I am in the market for a reloading press and I plan to start with 38/357mag. I would like to be able to expand and do other rifle and pistol cartages.

I would like a progressive press

Dillon is expensive but has great customer service and changes from one cal to another quickly but is spendy. Lee is cheap so I would go the multiple press rout, one for 38, one for 44mag, one for 243 ect. I have little experience with RCBS.

Lets here your inputs...




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Old 04-21-2008, 11:55 AM   #2
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Default Re: Reloading presses... Dillon vs. Lee vs. RCBS vs....

I voted 'Other' as I have a Hornady L-N-L Progressive and I really like it. Auto indexing, plenty of die stations, and it will handle just about every caliber out there. Another flavor to think about.
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Old 04-21-2008, 12:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: Reloading presses... Dillon vs. Lee vs. RCBS vs....

You really need TWO (if you're planning on loading Pistol ammo AND "Hunting" Rifle ammo )

IF you're planning on loading "lots" of pistol ammo, I voted Dillon.

But if you're also planning on loading low->moderate amounts of Rifle ammo, the kind you really want to keep close tabs on each step with, then I'd vote for a nice single stage press, like an RCBS, Lyman, or Redding (and there are others)

In the past decade there has been (and continues to be) lots of "new" gear developed.

You could spend your lifetime (and bank account) playing catch-up/keep-up, but for the most part some of the good 'ol "Basic" equipment doesn't change much.

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Old 04-21-2008, 01:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: Reloading presses... Dillon vs. Lee vs. RCBS vs....

Hard to pick one press to do all...but the 550B comes as close as can be expected.

Personally I think a used Square Deal B set up for the .38/.357 and an RCBS Single Stage to do the rifle work would be maybe equal $$ and allow you more flexablity.

I like a true FULLY progressive press for my pistol loading and a true Single stage for rifle, but the 550B does a decent job of both.

My 1st press of course was a used SS RCBS Junior. And my 1st progressive press was a Lee Loadmaster. If it weren't for all the plastic primer feed parts fouling up on the loadmaster, I'd probably still be using it. It was a pretty good inexpensive press....when it wasn't fouled up.
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Old 04-21-2008, 01:59 PM   #5
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Default Re: Reloading presses... Dillon vs. Lee vs. RCBS vs....

If you are in the market for a lee press (progressive type) let me know, I have one I could sell cheap because I use a single stage pretty much anymore.
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Old 04-21-2008, 01:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: Reloading presses... Dillon vs. Lee vs. RCBS vs....

If $ is not a part of the equasion I would be buying a Dillon 650 with a case feeder. Auto indexing and the case feeder really speed things up. I you are shooting competatively or high volume that is the way I would go.

That said $ for me is always an issue. I will always have an RCBS Rock Chucker on hand. It is my choice for load developement and low volume hunting loads. If I can ever afford one I will buy a 550B or 650. They would be used for 223 and 45 acp.
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Old 04-21-2008, 02:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: Reloading presses... Dillon vs. Lee vs. RCBS vs....

For a progressive, I really like the Lyman T-Mag. Very solid and sturdy. Enough room on the turret to hold two die sets if needed. Much higher quality than the Lee progressives. Works great for pistol and bulk rifle ammo. Makes decent rifle loads. I still prefer a single-stage press for hunting/match ammo.
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Old 04-21-2008, 02:18 PM   #8
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Default Re: Reloading presses... Dillon vs. Lee vs. RCBS vs....

Yeti, you know I have a 650XL with case feeder, and I still use my RCBS single stage....a LOT.
And I keep a Sq-Deal B deticated to .45acp work.

The 650 is a complex machine, and you don't just switch it back/forth easily. It's a 30min affair at minimum for caliber swithes.

Sometimes it's easier and faster to just use a simpler tool.
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Old 04-21-2008, 02:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: Reloading presses... Dillon vs. Lee vs. RCBS vs....

Let me ask this one what about the reoloading kits for a new reloader is it a good value or are you better off buying parts individualy and making up your own kit?
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Old 04-21-2008, 02:36 PM   #10
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Default Re: Reloading presses... Dillon vs. Lee vs. RCBS vs....

IMO, the Kits have their place in novice info and tools.

But give me a Hodgdon Manual, good used RCBS press, a digital scale, a powder measure, Forster trimmer, and a set of dies.......I could craft a perfect handload.
Add in a chamfer tool, a few Sinclair case prep tools, and OAL gage and calipers.

I've always held that buying a good single stage press and learing to do things the SLOW WAY,
makes a better handloader in the long run.
Give you time to think and do things RIGHT, and double check everything.

Progressives are like slot machines (and just as adicctive), every pull of the handle and a little peice of gold falls out. Only problem is....one bad and all are usually bad.
That's were the digital scale comes in..........
Easy to see which ones you goofed on w/ a digital scale.
Trust me it happens. But we can have no mistakes going to the range.
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Old 04-21-2008, 02:37 PM   #11
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Default Re: Reloading presses... Dillon vs. Lee vs. RCBS vs....

Quote:
Originally Posted by ehunter View Post
Let me ask this one what about the reoloading kits for a new reloader is it a good value or are you better off buying parts individualy and making up your own kit?
Truly the best "deals" are going to be found when you buy well taken care of USED equipment.

Often you'll find it either for sale in some want ads, like Craig's List, or you can sometimes find it at gunshops.

The Powder Horn over in Forest Grove has a lot of "older" shooters that patronize that place.

Sometimes age will force the old timers to give it up, or occasionally they'll pass away and their "stuff" will be brought in by their families to be sold.

I've wandered in there to see RCBS Rock Chucker presses (virtually indestructable) for sale for ~$35.

Now that's a "Deal"! (I ususally get on the phone and call my "looking" buddies and let them know)

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Old 04-21-2008, 02:49 PM   #12
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Default Re: Reloading presses... Dillon vs. Lee vs. RCBS vs....

Deals to be had for the looking.

Ehunter, I can't believe your not handloading!
We'll have to fix that.......buy and AR, and you'll be handloading in no time.
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PS: Oh I know this has been mentioned before but ... don't forget the chonograph.
It's actually one of the most useful of all handloading tools, right behind the digital scales.
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Old 04-21-2008, 03:06 PM   #13
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Default Re: Reloading presses... Dillon vs. Lee vs. RCBS vs....

Quote:
Originally Posted by bignate View Post
I would like a progressive press
If you're set on getting a progressive machine, then Dillon is THE way to fly. Pick up a 550B and don't look back.

I've got a 550 and a 650. My 550 is over 20 years old, and I am the 3rd owner. The folks at Dillon continue to support the machine, as if I were a close family friend. For me, buying a Dillon is a no-brainer.
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Old 04-21-2008, 03:56 PM   #14
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Default Re: Reloading presses... Dillon vs. Lee vs. RCBS vs....

Well I have joined Tri-county and have been getting coached by aIfish member here and bought a new rifle (I am a bowhunter for elk) and having been to the range for the last 3 weekends I am broke from buying over the counter and I have a lot of brass so I am thinking it makes sense to start thinking about it because those little tiny groups are so much fun to see and make but I can't afford to keep shooting and buying retail plus it would have been much cheaper to have been working up the loads instead of trying different brands.
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Old 04-21-2008, 08:06 PM   #15
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Default Re: Reloading presses... Dillon vs. Lee vs. RCBS vs....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shark Bait View Post
I voted 'Other' as I have a Hornady L-N-L Progressive and I really like it. Auto indexing, plenty of die stations, and it will handle just about every caliber out there. Another flavor to think about.
The Leopold, Hornady, Springfield, truck was just here in town last week. I looked at the LNL progressive and really liked it. Looks as though it will give the blue guys some competition.

I would really like to have a progressive and have seriously considered a dillion setup in the past. Not sure what direction I will go now.... but for someone just getting started it's hard to beat a rcbs rock chucker. MInes seen a lot of use.
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Old 04-21-2008, 08:54 PM   #16
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Default Re: Reloading presses... Dillon vs. Lee vs. RCBS vs....

I really don't need and can't afford a good quality progressive. However, for the money, it's really hard to beat the Lee Classic Turret press. With the Safety Primer Feed and the Pro-Disk powder measure, it has the potential of 200 rounds per hour with practice. For varmint or target loads, I'll probably still use the old Rockchucker and batch load, but it's nice to have the flexibility of these two together for how little I've got invested in them.
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Old 04-22-2008, 11:42 AM   #17
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Default Re: Reloading presses... Dillon vs. Lee vs. RCBS vs....

The Lee Auto-Disk powder measure & Lee powder thru Expander dies sit atop many of my Dillon 650 toolheads for pistol calibers. (the old style w/ the spring, not chain.) I like these, they're simple & seem to drop ball powders fine. No need to get too precise w/ pistol loads...the gun dictates accuracy WAY MORE than the load does.
This would be a good measure for those using turret presses.
Those with chains can change to spring return really easy.

Another little known LEE fact is...their Universal Rifle Powder Die will screw on the bottom of Hornadays Powder Measure. I use this setup a lot and trust the measure so much that I'll drop straight into my rifle cases w/o trickle charging.
(NO, I don't use the digital dispensor for everything.)
Hunt'nFish

PS: Melissa, My evaluations don't show that loads off the Dillons are any less accurate than those done single stage.
Least for .22-250 & .233 anyway. I still do my big game loads single stage...just can't take the risk and I like to take extra care seating the bullets on my BG loads. And they are usually run through a 3ft powder drop tube anyway because I use compressed charges of slow powders to get XXXTRA FPS w/o high pressures.
So a progressive press would just get in the way.
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