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Considering Re-loading

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  • Considering Re-loading

    I am thinking about reloading, for two reasons, I have recently acquired a firearm that will conceivably get shot more than I can afford.
    I also would like to reload for a hunting rifle or two that I shoot occasionally.

    I think a turret press would be reasonable for making a quantity of cartridges, not so much for the hunting rifles (300 H&H, 270, 6.5 X 55).

    If one was going to buy a press for production, which would you recommend..? Would that still be a good choice for hunting rounds?

    I use to hand-load and cast bullets for 357 & 44's 40 years ago.... its been a while and now maybe have more time to shoot...

    “We have digressed from a Nation of Revolutionaries to a country of entitlements"

  • #2
    Originally posted by Akgramps View Post
    If one was going to buy a press for production, which would you recommend..? Would that still be a good choice for hunting rounds?
    I do all my loading on a Redding T-7 and highly recommend it. It's ultra-solid and consistent. A very good choice for precision hunting rounds. But a turret is really just a single stage press with a head that holds numerous dies. The only real time savings is in not having to always set up/adjust your dies...once you're ready for the next stage all you have to do is rotate the head to the next die which is all set up and ready to go...but in use it's still just a single stage press, so attenuate your production expectations accordingly.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It


    • #3
      I'm a single stage reloader. I enjoy reloading and don't mind the time. I also like to check and recheck at each stage. I do batches of roughly 50 or 100 rounds at a time.

      IF I were to look at faster production I'd get a Dillon.


      • #4
        For my hunting rifles I would be loading a small batch of 5 -10 rounds and test firing until I find the right combo and then load several boxes, for the center-fire plinker I would essentially do the same thing, however I would load 500-600 rounds once I have it sorted out. I assume I can do both with accuracy on a multiple stage press. Are the powder measures on these machines accurate enough to maintain 1/2 grain weight? Is that accurate enough or would I need to use a trickle and weight each load....? (hunting rounds) maybe overthinking here.....

        Dillon has few choices and I just need to learn about them, are dies typically interchangeable? in other words if I have some old Hornady or Lyman dies, will they work on the Dillon?
        “We have digressed from a Nation of Revolutionaries to a country of entitlements"


        • #5
          For the most part accuracy is not a press issue as much as your method and care in reloading. Turret presses are not much faster than single stage although my favorite press is an old Lyman AA turret.

          If I was buying for production I would go with the Dillon 550. It is a proven design and can be used single stage or progressive and is capable of 500 rounds per hour but loading a bit slower and using caution 400 per hour is easy. It would be a bit tight height wise for the 300H&H but would work. Some of the older dies won't work on a dillon. The Dillon is set up to size, deprime and prime on the first stage. Some older dies only sized oat the first stage

          The Lee turret press is well liked and has a self indexing feature which feeds the round through all stages completing one round at a time and is somewhat faster than other turret presses. I haven't used one but folks say about 200 rounds per hour.

          Most of the powder measures will throw ball powders to 1/10 of a grain very consistently, flake powders like Unique to 2/10 gr. Stick powders such as 4350 are difficult to throw consistently because of the large grain size. Ok for lighter plinking loads but for accuracy or max loads I would recommend weighing each load.

          This might get some flack but I believe you can load very accurate ammo with just about any loading press or even the Lee "whack-a-mole" hand tools if you do your part.


          • #6
            rbuck, thanks, some excellent info....!
            “We have digressed from a Nation of Revolutionaries to a country of entitlements"


            • #7
              Dillon all the way.


              • #8
                While I guarantee that someone here will turn up their nose,I have had great success with a Lee three-hole turret press for over 35 years.I want to upgrade to the new four-hole model, but the old one just will not quit.If I needed serious quantity, I would look at a fancier model, but forreasonable volume the Lee works great. I also have only had trouble with non-leedies during that time. Love those too. Ford, Chevy, dodge type of discussionbut I recommend the lee press.

                Also love my Pact Scale and dispenser, RCBS trimmers,Hornaday one shot spray lube.
                Reloading is a great way to expand your shooting experience!


                • #9
                  What ever you do, stay away from the Lee Pro 1000 unless you are very good at tinkering with mechanical things. I have three of them and out of my 20 or so presses they are the worst pita to get running right and difficult to keep working right.


                  • #10
                    Another vote for Dillon 550
                    I use it as a modified single stage for my rifle hunting rounds and use it to its full potential 350-450/hr for plinkers.
                    I wouldn’t want to have a single stage press after using this one. When I visit my buddy who has a single stage I am reminded how lucky I am that I went progressive out of the gate.

                    i have dies from Dillon, Hornady, Lee, Reddington & RCBS. Some times you use what you can find, all work fine.


                    • #11
                      I stared loading ammo with my Dad in the early 60's. I still still have the old RCBS Rock Chucker I started with in the mid 70's and still use it for de priming cases. About 25 years ago I picked up a Dillon 550 B and a few tool heads for multiple calibers and load all of my hand gun, 45-70 and 5.56 ammo on it. All of my other stuff is loaded on a Redding T-7 Turret Press. If I could have only one press, it would be the Redding T-7.

                      I don't see where I have saved any money from loading my own, but maybe I can shoot more for less? It is very easy to get a bunch of money tied up in a well set up loading room. But if a guy sticks to the basics and is not in a hurry it can still save money and be a rewarding pass time and hobby.


                      • #12
                        .300 H&H huh? That is a really nice cartridge. Good choice.
                        Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

                        Better living through chemistry (I'm a chemist)

                        You can piddle with the puppies, or run with the wolves...


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