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Old 11-05-2011, 05:57   #1
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Good affordable press advice

I decided that I want to start reloading. I have been doing a lot of reading about equipment and what I should get. I guess the place to start is with the press you are going to use. I plan on doing some medium volume reloading for punching paper. From what I have been reading any beginner should always start with a simple single stage press, originally I was going to buy a turret press. The overwelming consences is that a Rock Chucker seems to be the best cheaper end press. Although on midway I found some interesting cast o frame presses from Lee. There is two Lee presses for $100, one with a breech lock and one without. The RCBS is $120 after all is said and done. Givin that the Lee seems to have more features for the same money and the new cast o frame design seems as sturdy as the Rock Chucker, which one should I buy? Thanks for you help.
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Old 11-05-2011, 15:35   #2
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RCBS Rockchucker working it hard for 30 years !! ... still tight and my go too manual press.
Spend your coin ONCE !! .... just do it !!
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Old 11-06-2011, 11:47   #3
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"Good affordable press advice "

If Lee had made the Classic Cast in 1986 that's what I would have instead of a Rock Chucker; the C.C. is the better press no matter the price! It's bigger and stronger, it's larger diameter ram is longer wearing, its spent primer catcher actually works!, the lever is fully adjustable, it's machined on modern CNC tooling; what's not to love?

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Old 11-08-2011, 06:02   #4
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i have had the lee challenger kit for 6 months now and love it. the breech lock is the way to go. the lee stuff is the best bang for the buck. i have made a few thousand rounds so far and nothing broke. the only chanfe i made was to get a digital scale as my eyes did not like the balance beam. other than that the kit has all you need to get started except dies.

you are going to get many opinions on what is the best. do your research and go from there. some like lee press and dies but hate the powder measure. my lee powder measure will not throw a good charge with varget. i got a set of lee dippers and that give me a good charge. my 223 rounds are sub moa out of my savage.
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Old 11-09-2011, 03:10   #5
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Any decent O style press will get you started. The one plus for the Rockchucker is you can get a progressive attachment if you want to do that later. My first press was an RCBS Partner, which is still made. I'm currently running a Lyman O press as my Lee C style press broke in half. I also traded for a Lee turret press, which I'm still trying to figure out.

Jim
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Old 11-10-2011, 07:41   #6
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".. my Lee C style press broke in half."

I have two of Lee's tiny C presses (for special purpose tasks) and have found them to be astonishingly strong for such a small press; within their quite obvious total strength limit's they are much more rigid than my Rock Chucker. It would be interesting to know how/where your's 'broke in half" and what you were doing to make that happen.

If the extra two moving parts of Lee's auto-indexing turrets presses are confusing perhaps it would be good if you went to Lee's web site and find the instuctions/video to take you through its use, step by step. ??
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Old 11-10-2011, 08:28   #7
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I was resizing 7.62 NATO brass using a small base die. I managed to pull the bottom half of the press off right where it attaches to the bench. This was after upsizing a batch of .243 brass to 7mm-08.

As for the Lee Turret press, I found the videos on Lee's site, but the one thing that confuses me is the disk powder measure. Either I'm missing a part or something else, but I can't figure out how to get it to drop the powder since there's no chain to pull on the thing!

Jim
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Old 11-10-2011, 17:15   #8
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An empty case must be leveraged up inside the die causing the disk to move horizontally and dump the powder.
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Old 11-11-2011, 04:33   #9
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Originally Posted by Red Cent View Post
An empty case must be leveraged up inside the die causing the disk to move horizontally and dump the powder.
I did not catch that in the video. Thanks!

Jim
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Old 11-11-2011, 20:02   #10
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"I was resizing 7.62 NATO brass using a small base die. I managed to pull the bottom half of the press off right where it attaches to the bench. This was after upsizing a batch of .243 brass to 7mm-08."

Ah. Well the Lee Reloaders are quite strong for their size but you did some quite heavy tasks for that little tool, you asked a LOT of the smallest press on the market. I mean we really need to choose the right tool for the job you know.

Last edited by Fuzzball; 11-12-2011 at 14:32.
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Old 11-12-2011, 11:44   #11
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I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did. It's a nice press for handgun ammo, I still have to send mine in to Lee to get it replaced.

Jim
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Old 11-13-2011, 19:25   #12
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What Fuzzball said!!!!

I have the LEE Classic press! It is made to reload 50 BMG... If thats not TOUGH... I am not sure what is... LOL It reloads EVERYTHING I reload... from 9MM, and 38 special in pistol... to 204 ruger, 223, 243, 308, X39, X54R, 7.5 Swiss, 270 WSM, 30-06, 7MM magnum, 458 SOCOM, and 50 BMG... ( and yes... I DO reload 50 bmg... why do you think I have the press?? )
It works perfectly!!! EVERY TIME! With features that I like BETTER than the RCBS die setups!! But die features is a whole different thread... LOL

LEE customer service is also UNMATCHED!!! You call the number, you get Stephanie... She directs your call where it needs to go, or answers it herself!!!

I would buy LEE *ANYTHING* before any other brand... In fact, some of the RCBS die sets I owned ( because of the lot purchase I made on a ton of stuff years ago...) I have replaced with LEE products instead!!

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Old 11-17-2011, 10:59   #13
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I am a LEE man my self they stand behind what they sale. They ship it out the same day if you call in eary. I have 21 dies that are LEES I have loaded for around 30 years and only had trouble with one die witch they replaced with no cost. Yes no shiping even.
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Old 11-17-2011, 11:07   #14
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I am a LEE man my self. I have 21 dies that are LEES and a turret press. I have loaded around 30 years with and only had trouble with one die that they replaced at no cost to me. Yes NO shipping was charged.
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Old 11-30-2011, 23:02   #15
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Re:

Thanks for sharing.Keep it up.
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Old 12-23-2011, 00:08   #16
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For reloading only 1 or 2 calibers and for reloading in the field or in a 911 rural setting while away from civilization...Lee Precision: Lee Loader Rifle
Most popular calibers and they are cheap and work very well. What is your price range and your needs or purpose! These you can carry in your ammo bag or haversack or possibles pouch! All over for $25 or less and other calibers are out there to just not in current production!
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:50   #17
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I use the Lee Classic Cast turret and am completely happy but I really use it as a more convenient single stage press. The turrets are terrific and cheap. Set up all dies in a turret and remove- move on to next caliber. Hey don't feel bad , I still don't understand the powder dump either- you made me feel better about myself! lol. I load small batches of rifle only so I use the powder spoons and trickler. I have a mix of RCBS and Lee Dies. As for other pieces- the Lee funnel works best, the Safety primer is a must addition- cheap too, and one piece I bought and am SOO glad is the Hornady Cam lock bullet puller. Great little piece.
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Old 12-30-2011, 19:01   #18
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[QUOTE=jimbobborg;679364]I was resizing 7.62 NATO brass using a small base die. I managed to pull the bottom half of the press off right where it attaches to the bench. This was after upsizing a batch of .243 brass to 7mm-08.

As for the Lee Turret press, I found the videos on Lee's site, but the one thing that confuses me is the disk powder measure. Either I'm missing a part or something else, but I can't figure out how to get it to drop the powder since there's no chain to pull on the thing!

Jim[/QUOTE

If you have LEE dies you will put it on the die when you put the brass and strock it will fill your brass. It will plats that you wil use to get the amount of powder that you need.
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Old 04-10-2012, 23:10   #19
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when I first started I went with the Breach Lock Challenger kit... it only took me 6 months to move to the Classic Turret Press and I'm amazingly happy with it. I think it would be a great starter press because you can disable the auto index for very long cases and/or just use it as a MUCH more convenient single stage with the batch process and eventually go to cranking them out semi-progressive ( I load up to 45/70 and 30-06 with the auto-index and it'll handle longer i believe.) There's a bit of vertical play in the turret but that can be compensated for, and the nylon indexer is very sensitive to short stroking; they provide a replacement piece but just don't do that and you shouldn't need it.

IMHO starting out with a semi-progressive like this saves on having to upgrade later unless you want to go full progressive, that way you don't have a press just sitting around like me. Though, I know there's something to be said for having a backup press on-hand. I could even help a friend/family member get into this awesome hobby easier.
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Old 04-21-2012, 19:42   #20
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RCBS
9361 - ROCK CHUCKER SUPREME MASTER RELOADING KIT
I think is way to start.
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Old 04-21-2012, 20:50   #21
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Lee is probably going to be the cheapest and will give good service before it breaks. A RCBS Rock Chucker will last 2 lifetimes and will even do .50 BMG. I have a couple Lee's I have been using for 10 years or so and a rock chucker thats 35 and still going strong.
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:01   #22
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I have used my LEE for 30 years and never had it to brake!! If you use it with good sťance, Lee does stand behind what they sale!! I load from 32 S&W longer to 30.06 The first 10 years was hand gun only. Then it has been more rifle than hand gun.
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Old 04-22-2012, 16:22   #23
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"Before it breaks?!?!?!?!?

I have a Lee press that does .50 BMG... with lee dies for that caliber... and i reload 12 other calibers on that same "O" press as well... NOTHING breaks on it... i cant imagine how anything would... its pretty rugged. If its tough enough to reload 50BMG... its probably tough enough to handle the arm busting torques needed for 9mm, or the heart wrenching forces needed to resize the 204 ruger, or 223 rem. And we havent even CONSIDERED the beef it would take to seat a bullet in a 458 socom case!!! LOL!!! ROFL!!! In FACT... I had to bolt the reloading bench to the wall as resizing 50 BMG cases requires just a teensy bit of oomph... lol

RCBS is good, sure... I just think for the money, and customer service to back the products... you will NEVER be able to beat LEE for quality and value.

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Old 04-25-2012, 09:22   #24
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ive been doing pistol reloading for a while and new to the rifle world.

when i first started, i was looking for the most features for the least cost. along with ease of use.

i went with a lee turret press. at the time, it was only offered in the 3 station model. i may not load in the quantities as some of the more active shooters do, but for me, my turret press has performed without failure.

there's only one 'high wear' item and that's the indexing ratchet. i usually order 3 packs of replacements with any order i place with midway just to have them on hand.

there is a little bit of a learning curve with setting one up at first, and then getting into a pattern of motions. after that, it's pretty simple.

the lee videos are good but there are other videos of lee presses and products on youtube that can shine a little more light on them. ive used some of them to help me with an occasional question about mine.

i dont regret getting my press.
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Old 04-25-2012, 10:21   #25
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Lee makes a decent press.

But if you want something that is going to last a lifetime, go with something like a RCBS or a Lyman
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