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2 Single Stage Presses--Increase production

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by HB, Sep 24, 2017.

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  1. HB

    HB Member

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    I recently moved and my Redding press is still at the old house. To keep me entertained, I bought a cheap $40 Lee. I was pleasantly surprised that the open face design allowed me to resize 38's very quickly.

    I'm thinking about mounting the Lee and Redding side by side as I do not have a progressive press. Any suggestions for maximizing safety and speed?

    One press devoted to belling/charging then the other for seating/crimping is my current idea.

    Any insight would be appreciated.

    HB
     
  2. JO JO

    JO JO Member

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    What are you saving the time to swap dies, your still handling the brass she same amount of time, have you considered a turret press, a turret would be your next step up I think, perhaps the lee classic turret would serve you well,
     
  3. jaguarxk120

    jaguarxk120 Member

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    Pick up the phone and order your self a Dillon press!
     
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  4. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    If it makes you happy and works for you without buying more equipment I see nothing wrong with it.

    I have 3 presses mounted on my bench, a 4 hole turret press, a Rockchucker and a Co-Ax. I sometimes use both single stage presses in tandem.
     
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  5. rocirish

    rocirish Member

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    I also use the three press approach. I have a rockchucker and two older lyman presses mounted. Works great
     
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  6. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    We have two presses, one is a Rockchucker Supreme and the other is called a "Partner," I think. Anyway yes, if your wife or partner is willing to run the "partner" press while you're running the first press, you can save some time, especially when you're loading straight wall handgun ammo. Occasionally, when we have a large number of handgun cases to wipe off, resize, decap and flair, we wipe the dirt off them together, then I resize them on one press while my wife decaps and flairs them on the other press.
    The fact is though, to me, handloading is an interesting and relaxing hobby. So saving time while handloading is hardly ever one of my goals. It's really not, and for me, buying the second press because I thought I wanted to save time, was a mistake.:)
     
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  7. Hooda Thunkit

    Hooda Thunkit Member

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    I did exactly that for a few years, prior to obtaining a Lee Cast Turret. It worked out quite well, speeding up the process considerably.

    Just the time saved by not setting down the charged case, moving directly to the second press to seat and crimp, adds up over a couple hundred rounds.

    Try it, I believe you will find it works.
     
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  8. HB

    HB Member

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    Thanks for the insight THR. A progressive press is on the list but I'm still not locked down to a home/area and trying to keep things simple for the time being. In my head this 2 step idea makes sense but hearing from others that have been down the same road is always nice.

    HB
     
  9. rg1

    rg1 Member

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    Works great and does speed up the process. I size in one, expand in the other. Seat in one and crimp in the other. Size military cases and swage the primer crimp in another. Requires another set of dies in some calibers. Plus you have to keep your mind on the steps or you may miss one step.
     
  10. Hokie_PhD

    Hokie_PhD Member

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    Why do you want the progressive?
    I ask as I'd love to have one but haven't got to the point of hitting the limit of how much ammo I'm making with the Lee Classic Turret being too slow.

    In other words, how much ammo are you making each week? How much time do you have and how much do you enjoy reloading. If intimate speed is your goal then I'd say, the progressive should be your priority. Otherwise for about $200 for the press, powder drop and primer tool you should be able to do a few hundred rounds an hour pretty easily with the LCT.
     
  11. HB

    HB Member

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    While I have dies, I don't find it worth it to load 9mm on a single stage. For 38/357 it makes more financial sense per time spent. I figure with a progressive I can make 9mm worth the effort.

    I dabble in USPSA/IDPA in local matches and a progressive would (possibly) make life a little easier.
     
  12. Hokie_PhD

    Hokie_PhD Member

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    If you're competing, then a progressive makes sense!
    So it seems that you should figure out how to use what you have most effectively until you get a progressive. How you work may be different than any of us, so just experiment a little.

    Btw, I hope you keep us posted as we all learn when people share.
     
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  13. maxxhavoc

    maxxhavoc Member

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    My major problem is Repetitive Strain Injuries. Pulling the handle too much aggravates them for me, and I am trying to avoid surgery for the "fix." About 1000 handle pulls is about my limit, that gets me 1000 rounds on a progressive or 333 on the Turret. There is also less other handling operations associated with it - pretty much put a shell in and seat a bullet every pull and the press handles the rest.

    And the last time I looked, a Pro 1000 is actually cheaper than a fully loaded Turret, against all logic. They are $175 for press, measure, priming, and dies...and you don't have to pay extra for a loaded round extractor. I load almost all of my pistol and bulk .223 on them. I only use the turret for rifle and low-count pistol like .454 or .45LC where I am only loading a max of 500 per sitting.
     
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  14. mdi

    mdi Member

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    I have no need to hurry anything (am I getting old?) so my opinion here may be of no value. I have 3 presses I use regularly. I also have a Rock Dock with two of the presses using mounting plates, so press swapping takes about 30 seconds. I also have my dedicated bullet sizing, depriming, priming press mounted on a 12"x12"x1" board. I have a hole drilled through my bench and a 5/16-18 T-nut installed on the underside. I can mount the press, solidly in about 1 minute. As for press types, so far the easiest die change is with my Co-Ax, followed closely by my Lee turret.

    Personally, I think two presses side by side to use two steps each would be clumsy. If speed and rapid die changes are needed there are better options than two presses (interchangeable turrets, breech lock, and Co-Ax)...
     
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  15. max it

    max it Member

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    Hi HB, i am with you, more presses, set up for individual work is fine.
    I have two dillons, a RCBS Jr. and a Lee Single Stage.
    All set up. the Lee to trim cases, the RCBS has a bullet puller, the RL450 has .223 Rem set up, and the RL550 is for all other semi's. oh except i forgot my Lee Progressive has .45acp set up. Do i have too many presses? i didn't have to pay for all they just floated in from friends. Cheers,
     
  16. Hooda Thunkit

    Hooda Thunkit Member

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    Two presses mounted side by side is not really clumsy, unless compared to 'better' (read: more money) options.

    I used two presses because I had two presses, and no money to purchase different equipment.

    The OP is considering using two presses, because he has two presses. He also mentioned using that setup as a stopgap, until purchasing other equipment.

    There are undoubtedly faster options. However, the best is sometimes using what is available, in the most efficient manner possible.
     
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  17. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    A Lee Classic Turret doesn't cost more than 2 single-stage presses and is multiple times faster/more efficient.
     
  18. rskent

    rskent Member

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    A long time ago I had two presses mounted side by side. I sized on one then belled on the other. Then when I was ready to make ammo
    I would seat on one then crimp on the other. It worked ok for a while. I still use the same presses, mounted in the same place. Now I use
    them as a dedicated sizing press and seating press for my 223. I will probably keep it that way till I stop shooting 223.
     
  19. santacruzdave
    • Contributing Member

    santacruzdave Contributing Member

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    For me it would be all about workflow i.e. how does the process flow from one step to the next. If using two single stage presses speeds things up, while still maintaining an easy to follow process, you are good to go. Having more time than money, I started out with a single stage press then added a Lee Classic Turret which I really like for the speed vs cost ratio. For me, I need a repeatable, logical process and equipment choice is more based on the various steps I use to load a finished round. Good luck!
     
  20. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    I use dual single stagers, but I have a pretty unique set up...one that came to be after not having faith in the Lee pro 1000 presses.
    I had lots of primer issues, and the powder drop wasn't consistent enough for my taste (it dropped less powder over time, and after a couple of squibs it got to the point where I had to weigh charges every 10-15 rounds and adjust.)
    I use my pro 1000 s to decap, resize and flair .38 spl., .357, .44 spl and .44 mag only. This goes really fast. I prime with a hand prime tool, powder drop on a stand alone measure, then seat and crimp on side by side single stage presses.

    Without the other revolving shell holders I use the dual single stagers for .45 Colt/.454, .41, and all my rifle rounds as well.

    I spent a relaxing 3 hours yesterday with the dual presses loading up a big batch of .41's... 225 gr Missouri bullet "outlaw", 10 gr unique, WLP in new Starline cases.

    As for upgrading, I spread the purchase of these tools out over many years. Sadly, Until the coins I dropped sprout and start bearing dollars, spending a bundle on a Dillon won't be in the cards anytime soon.
     
  21. CDR_Glock

    CDR_Glock Member

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    I have three progressive presses, and I have a single stage Lock N Load by Hornady. Since the Lock N Load does my 454, 460 and 500, I got three departed powder measures so I don't have to calibrate them every time. I do like the multiple single stage idea but I don't think you're saving much time over using a quick change bushing.

    Now if there are progressive presses for my larger Magnums, I'm very interested but I have three die sets and the progressives are four station presses. How does that work, exactly?
     
  22. thomas15

    thomas15 Member

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    Get a Hornady or Dillon progressive and live happy. A month after mounting it on your bench you will forget about the cost and you will wonder why you didn't get one in the first place.
     
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  23. HB

    HB Member

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    ^After I have the space to devote to it I likely will. In the meantime I have two presses and a small bench I can devote to it.

    HB
     
  24. toxogm

    toxogm Member

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    I reload my 17 HH which I use on rabbit and fox. I use a "full load" for fox and long range but I shoot mainly at night and am developing a quiet load for rabbit out to around 125yds. I mention this because around 2.3grains of Trail Boss isn't going to fill a 17HH case. With so few kernels of powder there is the possibility of double charging. Also my Lee powder measure will not throw consistently and I have to weigh each measure to ensure consistency. Obviously this wouldn't be so much of an issue with larger calibers. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining here but once that powder is in the case it's good to be able to seat the bullet in one press and crimp in the other so there's no danger of anything going wrong.
     
  25. mdi

    mdi Member

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    I had a Lee turret and I would size/decap in one position and hand index to the next position where I flared the case. I then twisted the turret back to position one and did the next. Really fast. I disabled the auto index on my turret the same day I set it up the first time (it was indexing when I was trying to set up my dies) and used it that way for mebbe 15 years. I had no need for a "semi-progressive" press and felt more "in control" hand indexing. Then I got a Forster Co-Ax...
     
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