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Thread: Which press to get

  1. #1

    Default Which press to get

    I am officially retired as of July 1st, so I should have a bit more time for a neglected hand loading hobby. I have a Dillon 550 B and my old Rockchucker. I am looking at getting a Redding T-7 Turret press and have heard good things about the Hornaday Lock and load system also. I would like your guys opinions, thoughts and experiences on the two of them please. Also, I am blessed with one of the worlds best son-in-laws. You should of seen the grin on his face when I gave him his new Dillon 550 B yesterday for his birthday. He hasn't had a grin like that since he stole my daughter from me.

  2. #2

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    Congratulations on retirement!

    Got an insight on presses and retirement for you though. I don't think I've set up my Dillon even once since I retired 15 years ago. Seem to be relying entirely on the 40-year old Rockchucker. There's just no need to be in a hurry, and in fact I kinda savor the slow and steady version of reloading.

    Wanna have some real retirement fun, get yourself a traditional muzzleloader like the Lyman Great Plains Rifle. That'll really slow down your reloading!

  3. #3
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    You have, IMHO, two of the best presses on the market. What is it you want a press to do that one of these two won't do? The T-7 is a very good press as is the L N L But I don't think they will do anything better than what you have. This comes from a guy that has 5 presses set up and two more under the bench. I would probably go with the T-7 but I can't even give you a reason why. The muzzle stuffer in 32cal or some such sounds like fun though.

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Congrats 338mag on the retirement! I have no experience with either the T7 or Lock N Load....
    I am like BBear, kinda enjoy listening to the radideo, sipping a bourbon N coke and poken along. I did buy a Dillon setup for 38's as the kids were shooting them up faster than I could reload them one at a time. I think for loads you may shoot a bunch up at a time the progressives are very nice...
    Good Luck and have a long retirement full of adventure!
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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Depends...like most things.

    I like the Hornady L-n-L for pistol and revolver cartridges but for rifle rounds I like a single stage press. Just weird that way.

    The shell plate is somewhat finicky when loading rifle cartridges and seems to be more problematic than it's worth. For a pistol rounds, get some carbide dies and it's like a slot machine that you win every time you pull the handle!
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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    I've been happy with my old Rockchucker for the past 20 years. Recently got a T-7 and couldn't be happier (once I cut the silly primer lump o junk off the front and got it out of the way!). I reckon it'll last me for the rest of my days.
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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    Depends...like most things.

    I like the Hornady L-n-L for pistol and revolver cartridges but for rifle rounds I like a single stage press. Just weird that way.

    The shell plate is somewhat finicky when loading rifle cartridges and seems to be more problematic than it's worth. For a pistol rounds, get some carbide dies and it's like a slot machine that you win every time you pull the handle!
    Agree mostley, love the Hornady LnL but load most rifle rounds on single stage. It's not so much the LnL isn't good for rifle rounds but I'm too picky to load rifle that fast . . . 223, 308, 06 for semi-auto blasting it's great but dosnt speed up loading one raged hole ammo any.
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    I like my Redding Big Boss, SINGLE press, and it's the best one that I've ever tried.

    I seat primers with the primer arm, and it's easier than the way some other presses do it.

    A turret press is OK, IMO, if there is no slop in the turret.

    I used a Redding Turret Press, not the T7, but an Older version. It had 6 positions, and leaned backwards, or was slanted by design. There was a tiny bit of slop in the Turret, and there was no provision to prevent it. This caused me no problem, and my loads with it were fine, but I didn't like the idea of the slop.

    It was also Bulky, and took up a lot of room, I didn't have, I sold it and got the Big Boss.

    A heavy cast iron press is the way to go, for loading rifle cartridges. If you have room for the T7, that would be fine. A consideration, is that you can mount more than one set of dies and, leave them in place. I just put Rubber Bands around the ones that were associated so I'd know.

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    Retirement a life well earned. I have loaded more then a few 100,000rds and I just can't say enough good thing about a turret press over a regular single stage. You don't have to remove your dies to change your caliber. Its also great if you bend a case neck when seating a bullet just turn the head and fix it and turn it back. Fast fix. If you want precision and portability look at an arbor press them and Wilson chamber seaters are all that and then some. A progressive doesn't really allow you to do good case prep work.

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    I do all my case prep work prior to the reloading part. Once a case is fully prepped it's ready for the progressive or turret or single stage. A Dillon 550b can be run as a single stage, turret or progressive if you prefer and tool heads are cheap and really fast to change.

  11. #11

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    My heartburn with my progressive comes right down to the back end of rifle cases. I want the primer pockets cleaned out and I pay a lot of attention to primer seating. Not so much with pistol cases.

    Not really a die changing issue for me in most situations either. I work with fairly large batches of cases and just use bins for cases at various loading stages, not getting around to the loading block until it's time to dump powder.

    Each of us has our own patterns and our own solution. The best thing about retirement is having time to experiment with methods and find what works best for you.

  12. #12
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Forster co-ax, you can swap dies as fast as turning a turret, no extra turrets to buy or change for multiple die sets and the design of press allows the case to align itself with the die. I replaced my lyman turret press with the co-ax and have never wanted to go back to a turret.
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    I have and use the Hornady LnL and highly recommend it. I load several revolver/pistol calibers and the powder drop is always on the money. I load 223 and 308 and the powder drop is on the money with VV powder - with 4895 the powder drop is normally very close but usually within .01 or a pinch more but not .02 and seems to be on the light side more often than not.


    Revolver rounds run right at 350 per hour - sometimes a little more but you need extra primer tubes to run at that speed. Case feeder will probably double that number but I don't have that. 223 and 308 runs slower as you need to lube the cases - if you clean the primer pockets you can size and deprime ( I use the Redding dies and the carbide button expander) using the LnL as a single stage and after cleaning the pockets and polishing the brass - then reload with the LnL leaving out the sizing die and you can load a couple hundred per hour depending upon how often you check the OAL of the loaded cartridges.


    Never used anything but progressives and a rock chucker, so can't comment on the T-7. Enjoy your retirement.

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    best single stage presses are: Bonanza co-ox or RCBS's new summit press- I've used them all

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