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come on guys, calm down, this is an "advise for the noob" thread, no need to get super serious...:lol:

I will go for a Forster press since it is the only top-lever model and doesn't require a super rigid bench.

powder measure: I will need something that can do 20~ 90 gr with good consistancy, which one is the best? need to stay under $150 though.

priming tool: what is the difference between the RCBS handpriming tool and the RCBS universal-handpriming? any other recommandations?
Most of the powder measures are pretty good and will do a good job. The problem any of them can be the type of powder you use and how it effects the way it flows.
1st suggestion is to buy a powder baffle for it. This keeps the weight of the powder inside the hopper the same at all times.
2nd suggestion is to add a micro-adjustment device. It's a lot easier to dial in your charge. It's not as imporatnat with large cases but it makes a difference with the smaller loads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I did more research on case trimmers, it seems that the only one with # setting (which allows quick precise re-adjustment for caliber change) is redding 2400. I don't mind the extra cost, but some reviews said the redding's case holder is not secure and sometimes will cause un-even cuts, how often does that happen?

or is it super easy to set a trimmer anyway, I should just get a Forster and do the adjustement every time I reload?
 

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For a single stage with the quick change feature, the only press to get is the Hornady.
The RCBS is also a good press, but I'm not sure if it's got the quick change.

The lee classic has aluminum shell holders and they move up at an angle just a slight bit when the shell pushes up on them, just enough to bother me.

For the few rounds, the Hornady is going to be the best press for the money by far.

If you are new, always start with a single stage. You can get a progressive reloader later when you have gained experience later if you want one.

Thing is, you will always need a single stage at some point, so you might as well start out with one.
Buy quality, it's a lifetime investment.

I used to have a Dillon 550 for reloading my pistol ammo in bulk, but I do little pistol shooting anymore, almost all rifle now so I sold the dillon and use just the single stage press.
I also throw each load within about 1 grn of the load I want and trickle in the rest on an electronic powder scale.

With rifle, I want the most accurate load possible.
With ball powder such as AA 2230, you can get pretty darn accurate throws with just the powder measure, but with any stick powder, it will vary by 2 to 3 tenths per load.

John K
 

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you should take a look at the dillon bl500. i bought the old model when it was called the at500. i think their about $270.00 bucks. it will load 160 differant cartriges. if you have any questions about it you can call dillion and ask to talk to old mike. that man knows his stuff. i also own a 550 and both of these presses are well worth the money.
rich
 

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Just a quick comment...I have been using the priming tool that came with my Forster Coax press, I haven't been able to put a primer in too deep, or too shallow. It seats them right each time. Wouldn't change it for anything. Good shooting!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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I own a Rock Chucker, a Dillon 550, and an old double barrel Herters press. You know what they all work about the same.

My only complaint about the dillon is that the shell plate and the tool head have some play in them. It probably doenst matter but when reloading longer cases like 338 Lapua, or even '06 variants, it feels like there isnt teh stability that should be there. But like i said, Dillon is a great company and im sure they did their homework.
 

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guncats I also do like dkac2 throw below what you want and trickle up to your desired charge so you may want to also look at powder tricklers. works great with the scale you have. I recently purchased the RCBS chargemaster 1500 and like it better but if that is all you will be reloading I would go with the trickler way of doing it .
Mike
 

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Strikes me from reading this thread, and from talking to other guys I know that reload, that you end up buying what you personally find either interesting or useful.

That said, I reload larger runs on a Dillon 650 which I bought back about '92. Dillon upgraded it to all the more modern improvements for free when I broke a primer ram. It has been a great workhorse for loading 1000+ rounds at a crack. I will run a big batch like that to stock up for cowboy shooting, or other pistol loads.

For my varmint gun (I have a Dakota Predator in .20 Tactical) I use a Forster Bonanza press. I like the fact that the die is adjusted with the ring that tightens to the die, which you can then simply remove from the press without any monkeying around. My Dakota shoots about 1/4 MOA, and the ammo I load works great. I neck size, but only because I fire-form cases for this particular rifle, and that helps accuracy. I have a full-sized die set up to just click into the press that bumps the shoulders to about .001 less that the full fire-formed case, for when I need to resize the whole case. I use a Harrell powder drop, much like most of the benchies do. It isn't cheap, but it sure is reproducible. I have reloaded on the prairie in SD and make perfect loads. YMMV.
 

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For your specific needs as you stated would be 20 rnd. per cal. per month, a good quality single stage press is no more, no less, of what you need. I've used RCBS since I began but have heard excellent things about Hornady. My Brother In Law bought a press with a conecting link, not a full O design, and it was rather noticable when working with bottle neck cartridge's. And in general just didn't have a good riggid feel.
I measure my powder off a scale and because you have a low production goal a scale is all you need, no more, no less.
Trim your brass with a Lee case length guage and cutter. The guage and threaded shell holder is about $6 to $8 per cartridge, and you only need one cutter for $10 or so. It works very well on a drill which speeds up the process pretty good.
Harbor frieght has a very inexpensive stainless steel dial caliper that is very accurate. They also have a an inexpensive tumbler and media.
Lube is unavoidable, but there is a less cumbersome as well less messy lube. I use a spray on and have never had a stuck case for fL or neck sized brass. I use a tooth pick dipped in the spray on for the inside of the necks and then just spray the outside and let it dry for a good 10 or 15 minutes.
 

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For your 7.62X54R and the .303 British bolt guns this is all you need....

Lee Precision: Lee Loader Rifle

$35.98 for each setup and they WORK just fine.

For the Contender in 7.62X39 you are going to have to full length resize.

A lee handpress or single stage press and a 3 die set wil set you back less than 100 bucks.

I use the Lee hand prime.
 

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Looking for precision I'd go with a single stage. For volume loading 500-2,000 rounds in an evening after work, the Dillons seem to be about the best.

I haven't loaded in years, as I lost everything I had and will be buying a press soon for my rifle reloads. I'll probably start with a RockChucker and add a Dillon SDB for my pistol stuff. If I wanted to load a lot of rifle ammo, for 3 Gun Matches and such, I'd probably get a 550 or 650 Dillon.

Take it for what it's worth.

Biker
 

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Please recommand me a rifle reloading press.

want to reload: 303 (Enfiled No.4), 7.62x54r (M44), 7.62x39 (TC contender). Quantity will be very low, maybe 20rd per month per caliber, if that.

Prefer to have quick die/caliber change over feature, and low maintnence (for example, doesn't require messy lube. Does that mean carbine die?).

I have read some articles about reloading and it seems that single stage is the way to go, rock-chucker maybe? or Lee Classic cast? any pro/cons? is RCBS turret press much more convenient?

Thanks
I have no personal experience with the Lee cast iron single stage press , but I do use the cast iron Lee turret press . It is a great value , at not very much more $$$ .

I would pick the Lee cast iron hands down over their die cast presses . I own and used the Lee Challenger press for years . Still use it to size bullets .

Bought it used , years ago for $ 20 . Got my money out of it , but I have broke it a few times .

God bless
Wyr
 

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I did more research on case trimmers, it seems that the only one with # setting (which allows quick precise re-adjustment for caliber change) is redding 2400. I don't mind the extra cost, but some reviews said the redding's case holder is not secure and sometimes will cause un-even cuts, how often does that happen?

or is it super easy to set a trimmer anyway, I should just get a Forster and do the adjustement every time I reload?
I use a Lyman trimmer that uses a spring loaded ball that snaps into the primer pocket to center the brass, and a collet to lock the case to keep it from turning.
You will need a set of calipers to measure the case length. You will also need different pilots for the different calibers.
 
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