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Step up from single stage press?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by brewer12345, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    That's one of the reasons I picked the Hornady press... 5 stations. At the time, I was choosing between the Lee 1000 and the Dillon Square Deal (if anyone remembers those.)
     
  2. 1MoreFord

    1MoreFord Member

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    I started reloading on a RCBS RockChucker kit back sometime around 1980.

    In late 1985 I started shooting IPSC. At first I was managing to shoot and reload about 100 rounds most days. That got old in a hurry!:eek:

    I got lucky and found a LNIB Dillon 450 at a good price and used it up through when I wound up reloading(shooting) about 25K rounds a year. That was getting a bit old too but still doable. However(!) Dillon introduced the original 1050 and I early adopted!!!! My instruction manual is photocopied. Turned my daily reloading into about 15 minutes a day.!:cool:
     
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  3. thomas15

    thomas15 Member

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    Anyone that is consuming +/- 1000 rounds per month should consider one of the better progressive presses out there. Do that and you will not hate yourself after a few months pass by.
     
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  4. Dudedog
    • Contributing Member

    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    Since I like to wet tumble deprimed cases for pistol my first pass is on my LNL progressive
    1. Deprime/resize
    2 flare
    3-5 are empty

    For 223 I like to use my old 3 hole lee Turret
    1 Universal deprime (crimped primers sometimes cna be a pain to get out)
    2 Size
    3 empty
    Since I rotate the turret by hand I just go back and forth between 1 and 2.
    (been thinking about moving this to the LNL but haven't got around to it yet)

    I do a quick 1/2 pass through the wet tumbler before deprimeing.
    After the brass is deprimed I do another 1 hout pass in the tumbler.
    Let dry, prime while watching TV.

    Then when I go to load pistol on the LNL
    1 Powder drop Hornady measure or Lee Autodrum depending,
    2 RCBS Lockout die (pistol), Hornady Lockout die pistol(I lee the RCBD set for my 9mm match load), Hornady Powder cop (rifle)
    3 Bullet feeder-tube type 9mm and .45, hand feed others
    4 Seat (or seat crimp if I am not using the Lee FCD but most of the time I use it)
    5 Lee FCD

    It may not shoot any better but I like the nice clean brass, it makes me :)
    Priming time is not really wasted since I am wasting time watching the tube anyways, I also inspect brass here. (get rid of those :cuss:9mm cases with the internal ledge)
    I like feeding the press primed brass one less thing to worry about when loading.

    Yes I have done it all in pass on the LNL and don't have any problems with it but then I have to leave out something,
    Lockout die or the bullet feeder or the FCD (I don't normally do it this way but of the three I left out the bullet feeder...and I thought 5 stations was enough...)
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
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  5. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm Member

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    They still make the Square Deal B.
     
  6. Herman B

    Herman B Member

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    I had similar questions...so compared my single-stage process to what is commonly done on a progressive (Dillon 550). I tallied components being hand fed (F), hand removed (R) and number of pulls (P) per completed round. For ss I primed off-press and counted that as a F and P (arguably also a R but I let the primed brass fall from my Frankford hand-priming tool). For ss charging, many of us use a loading block and hand-cranked powder measure. I counted that as one F and one P. (I omitted bullet placement atop brass as that is common to both presses.)

    Single stage steps: 1) size/deprime (FPR), 2) prime (FP), 3) flare (FPR), 4) charge (FP), 5) seat (FPR), 6) crimp (FPR). At one thousand rounds that's 6,000 feeds, 4,000 removals and 6,000 pulls per month. Annually: 72,000 F, 48,000 R and 72,000 P.

    550 (size/deprime/prime occurs at station # 1): 1) hand feed brass (FP). At one thousand rounds per month: 1,000 feeds, 1,003 pulls. Annually: 12,000 F, 12,036 P.

    This was my baseline comparison and holes can be poked for a variety of reasons, depending on process, etc.

    As for the question of speed...most of us can sprint a few yards at a time but that's not how we operate on foot or on the press. Speed demo videos are just that. If one is trying to eke-out top-notch speed, better to open the wallet than burn-out the body.

    Somewhat overlooked when focused on wringing-out the last .001 of accuracy from ammo are the other two-thirds of the equation - a high-performance firearm and shooter capable of doing the same. For handgun ammo, I'm not too concerned as I know the weakest link...he's never far and enjoys a good challenge.
     
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  7. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    brewer12345 you have already determined that a single stage press will not keep up with your consumption. Now you are contemplating the use of a Turret press or a Progressive press. For me to make a determination as to which press, I would like you did consider usage in both ammunition needed as well as the time to make it. In my mind there is a considerable difference between 500 per month and 1000 per month. Especially when looking at production rates. 500 per month, turret press can easily and quickly produce 125 per week if you do it every week or 250 every couple weeks.. 500 once per month is also doable but I believe would be taxing on a continuing basis. Now imagine that at 1000 per month every month.. I wouldn't want to do that.

    I vision it like this; A turret press that can do it but will get tedious over time trying to maintain that 500 - 1000 rounds per month. Next up the chain would be either a Dillon SDB or a Lee Pro1000 which will both maintain that level fairly easily. Of the two the Dillon will be much more costly and the Lee most likely will be more problematic for most. Next after that would be either the new Lee Auto Breech Lock Pro or the Dillon 550. From there it progresses to the Lee LoadMaster, Hornady LNL AP and the Dillon 650 or the latest RCBS.
     
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  8. markr6754

    markr6754 Member

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    Kevin...I may need a sanity check. I’m still on my Hornady LnL Classic. I did 350 rounds this weekend, and just resized another 200 cases. I have about 400 .380 ACP cases primed and ready for powder and bullets. I’ve tested my production time and I can get 100 cases from clean brass to loaded rounds in an hour. My objective adding the Lyman All American turret is so I can move from .380 ACP to 9mm without doing much more than dropping the powder charge. Since discovering the 95gr JHp from Everglades Ammo, that shoots awesome in both calibers, I see myself spending a relaxing weekend, or bad tv night cranking out ammo. Well, not cranking it out since I have to do a step at a time. Imagine the productivity gains I’ll get if I master seating and crimping in one step.
     
  9. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    Mark, sorry but I missed the gist of your replay.

    Simply put, I was trying to say that I could see possibly doing 6000 rounds a year on a turret press but I certainly wouldn't want to try and do 12000 rounds a year on a turret press. No matter how you do it, and wouldn't even try to do it on a single stage press. That would become too much like work.
     
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  10. bds

    bds Member

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    Keep in mind, Lee Pro 1000 has case feeder option which increases production rate significantly.

    BTW, Pro 1000 got a redesign in 2018 and it is not the press it used to be. We don't hear much complain about it or the Auto Breech Lock Pro. I wonder why? ;)

    Perhaps owners of these new presses are happily using their new presses? :eek::)

    And over the years on THR, we have addressed many Pro 1000 issues to resolution.

    Again with Auto Breech Lock Pro, you have the case feeder option. Even with manual Safety Prime (And you always have the option of separately pre-resizing and priming brass), production rate on ABLP with case feeder will be higher than 550 with manual index and no case feeder.
     
  11. markr6754

    markr6754 Member

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    The gist of my reply is that I’m working too hard at this. It’s possible I missed the chance to move up to progressive. Well...I can always get a third press...once I find a winning lottery ticket that someone threw away. (I don’t buy them.)
     
    kmw1954 likes this.
  12. uofaengr

    uofaengr Member

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    First, give it a couple months at least. See how much you're actually consuming. 1000 rounds a month, unless you have a lot of free time, you might want something beyond a LCT.

    My chronicle is well documented here. I'm glad I learned on a LCT, but I'm ready to move on to something more efficient so I'm going the 650 route. 200 rounds an hour is doable on a LCT...I think I've done 100 in 26 minutes, but the pace is too frenetic, too robotic, and too fatiguing that I'm not comfortable with it. At that pace most people will be exhausted in an hour. If you're having to replace a lot of ammo every month, it can become more of a chore than a hobby.

    Be patient and gauge what your actual needs are. Of course there's nothing wrong with going overkill if you have the money and just want it. The LCT is inexpensive enough you can try it and see if it fits, then move up if you need to. I don't think I'll be getting rid of mine.
     
  13. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    bds, I'm well aware of everything you say. I own and use both a Pro1000 and the ABLP. In my mind the Pro1000 is the simplest progressive press there is on the market. Every major manufacture sells 3 die pistol die sets. I cut my teeth on a set of RCBS carbide 3 die set for 38/357. I really was expecting the new Pro1000 to show up with 4 holes to go along with the turret presses. Also Lee will not sell just the press as they do with the LoadMaster. If they did one would be on my bench replacing the old one.

    I purchased the ABLP because I needed a 4th hole for a problematic 45acp and I waffled back and forth between the new ABLP and the new Value Turret press. The ABLP won out. Seeing as all I needed was the press and the shell plate to make it run it was a no brainer at $125.00... My honest impression is the ABLP is a nice cross between the Pro1000 and the Turret press.
     
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  14. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    Abandoning single stage? Say it ain't so.
     
  15. bds

    bds Member

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    Call Lee customer service. I believe they still have a policy where they will rebuild a press for 50% cost. I think they should be able to accommodate you if you preferred to just buy a Pro 1000 (post 2018 version).

    I agree. I think there are many reloaders in similar situation as yours and ABLP is well suited for the upgrade.
     
  16. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    One never really abandons the single stage press.

    Even though I started with a Hornady LNL progressive, it wasn't too long before I added a Lee Classic Cast (w/Hornady bushing conversion). I had a RCBS Jr, but it wouldn't mount on my bench...so I gave it to the local reloading club for teaching new reloaders
     
  17. GaryL

    GaryL Member

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    Read through this entire post on my cell while waiting at the doctors office. Nothing broken, so that is good. Damaged tendons, not so good.

    Lots of good information here for anyone looking at a progressive.

    That was very generous of you.

    I added a Classic Cast to a RL 550b. That was a good move - it's nice for random operations, like pulling a few bullets, and its so much easier to justify grabbing a set of dies to reload a low volume cartridge (the savings keep adding up :) ).
     
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