Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > General Ammo, Reloading, Bullet Casting, & Ammo Craft

press recommendations

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Smurf Hunter:

--- Quote from: archer on January 04, 2017, 09:00:22 AM ---sweet. thanks. i also got several older manuals i need to look into.

--- End quote ---

Reading any manual will be a huge help.  You can lookup the latest and greatest recipes online.  A book from the 1970s won't have .40sw or .300AAC, but the process is otherwise the same.

IMR/Hodgdon/Winchester powders have data online:

http://www.hodgdonreloading.com/

DDJ:
An update.

I posted above that I was not happy with my Auto Disk on my Lee 4 Hole turret press. I went out between the holidays and purchased the New Auto Drum.  As of now I am seeing a marked improvement in the consistency.  It still has enough variance that I will likely continue to measure every powder through, but I expect 50% more good throws. 

I ran recorded 100 powder throws from my Auto disk and I will be running the same experiment with the Auto Drum and posting the results hopefully soon.  I have run 50 throws with a different powder to get used to the powder measure and am very pleased with the tightening of the range.  So I recommend that if you are looking at a Lee press you consider the $35 for the Auto-Drum.

armymars:
  It's OK to buy last years reloading manual, but remember powder burning rates change with time. The companies will tweek their powders from time to time. This when you need the newer manual. 2400 and WW 296 are good examples.

16onRockandRoll:

--- Quote from: DDJ on October 04, 2016, 10:31:14 AM ---Carl

No I do not find the micrometer adjustable more consistent but when the table is off, and I have never found it exactly correct, I do not need 5 minutes a screw driver and a funnel to remove the disk and replace.  Actually I only used the disk(s) for my first 2 loads and after an hour of "dialing in the correct powder weight" I ordered the adjustable one.  All it does is allow you to dial in the adjustment.  you turn a screw knob on the measure throw 2 or 3 throws and then measure the new powder drop.  For those who do not know the Auto Disk requires you to empty the powder measure, remove 2 screws form the plastic powder hopper pull out the disk rotate it to the next larger or smaller hole then reinstall it.  I did not like the thought of removing screws from the plastic hopper time and time again to rotate the disk as I changed loads.  I knew I was going to be running 3 different loads at a minimum (9mm, .45 and .223) so I decided on the upgrade very early.

The other "upgrade" I did not think of yesterday is the Auto Prime.  This saves a lot of hassle.  It does feel weak and cheep but it works better than dropping primers into the little cup one at a time.

To Never_retreat's comments on the other items that are needed. a BIG +1 not to scare you off but much of that is in a Kit and or Die set.
I would add to that a good book likely 3.  I would recommend reading ABCs of reloading before you make a purchase.

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I have had a little time to mess with my LoadMaster now, and I think that you were doing something wrong. You shouldn't need any tools to swap the disk. If you were screwing the hopper screws out each time, something wasn't set right (or maybe I have a newer one and they have changed it).  Also, you can twist the hopper to "OFF" and throw a few charges to empty the disk. Mine has 2 brass knurled nuts that you can remove with your fingers and pull the hopper off. I can change the disk in less than a minute. Granted, it is far from the most convenient solution, but it works decently the way it's set up on mine. 

NWPilgrim:
Medic, did you get a reloading press yet?

It really depends on what you want to do.  I got by with a Lee single stage Challenger for 20 years but I only loaded maybe 100-200 rds at a time.  Around 2005 I upgraded to the 4-hole turret press and am very happy with it. I use the Auto disk for pistol ammo and can crank out 200-500 rds pretty easily.  The rifle calibers I do a lot more case prep so I use it in single stage mode with my old RCBS powder measure.

There really is no wrong answer, any reloading beats no reloading!  There will almost always be a need for a single stage (working up loads, rifle ammo) and those are much cheaper so starting with one is not a bad way to go.  Lee Challenger SS press now comes with the removable collets for dies so you can get similar "set and forget" die set up as with the 4-hole turret.  I think Hornady's lock-n-load Ss press is similar.

A progressive is best if you have a standard recipe and want to crank out lots of cartridges in minimal time.  But you have to really pay attention especially on powder charging or else buy special dies and such to prevent or monitor errors.  Pretty much everyone I personally know that has had a double charge was on a progressive. Obviously thousands of guys use them with no problem, but the chance for error is much greater.  Some guys have the meticulous mindset to reload and some don't.  It may be best to discover if you do/don't on a single stage that a progressive. A progressive can be run in SS mode, but you are paying many times more for it.  If you go progressive then Dillon seems to be the best from the guys I've known with them.

If you like experimenting with different loads, bullets, cartridges, etc then a single stage is the simplest and cheapest to work up small batches.

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