looking for a press

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by sorral, Feb 26, 2010.

  1. sorral

    sorral New Member

    Dec 20, 2006
    I am going to be purchasing my first reloading set up soon. I read reviews of different equipment, and wonder what to get. I am leaning toward Lee because of price. I read some reviews and people either love them or hate them. My shooting instructor said to wait and get a higher quality, but with the price of ammo, I want to get started loading...I have seen a lee turret press at Midway. the whole kit is less than $120, and after reading reviews, will cost me another $80 for the accessories needed to load both .45acp, and .223.

    Asking, I would like to hear from those of you who have used Lee, and other brands. Is it worth it to get the Lee, or should I save up another $100 to get an RCBS single stage?

    Thanks all
  2. WildcatFan

    WildcatFan New Member

    Aug 1, 2009
    St. Louis
    Sorral, I'm new to reloading. I received my RCBS Rock Chucker single stage pack for Christmas and I love it. I'd put $50 a paycheck each pay day and buy it in a month instead of the Lee.

    Welcome, and have fun.

  3. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    West Virginia
    Curious what your reason is for buying the RCBS over the Lee?

    Sorral with the RCBS you will be loading around 50 rounds per hour. With the Lee classic turret around 200 rounds per hour. You decide which press will better fit your needs. Neither will make better ammo than the other. If loading a lot of pistol ammo I would not want to have to do it on a single stage press. Also look at the Lee classic turret instead of the deluxe turret.
  4. i started out on a single stage press 30 years ago.i have since used many different types of progressive machines,i am back to rcbs single stage and will stay there.if i only loaded for a few different rounds my choice would be otherwise.i reload for about 11 or twelve different calibers now and sometimes more,for me i can change over by just replacing the dies not half the press.your choice old semperfi
  5. WildcatFan

    WildcatFan New Member

    Aug 1, 2009
    St. Louis
    Rusty, I did so as he was asking our opinion. I'm wondering why you're questioning me doing so. Bad day, eh?

    Anyway, back to the original topic. I feel the RCBS single stage is of higher quality and I'm happy with it, Sorral. I've talked to old timers who have used them for a long time, like Old Semperfi, and newbies like myself. Seems like RCBS owners are happy with their presses. And to retort on Rusty's comment about pumping out more rounds on a turret, which is correct, the last thing you need to worry about as you learn this stuff if how fast you can do it. As a newbie, take it slow, slow, slow.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2010
  6. Randy A

    Randy A New Member

    Feb 25, 2010
    It's all a matter of preference, I've compared them many times and am also partial to the RCBS. I felt they are built to last and with better material, back in the 70's we bought one (same one he mentioned) and have since then wore-it-out we've literally loaded 100,000s of rounds, we were the only people around here that reloaded at that time and ended up doing it for many other people. Of course that has slowed down a bit now and we own more than just a couple of them. But,, a couple years ago I called RCBS and asked them what I could do about my worn out press,,,, "We'll mail you a new one, they're warrantied"! and they did. I doubt many other manufacturers would do that, personally I'll never own anything else. Same issue with one of our powder measurers, they also mailed us another one of them too.
  7. WildcatFan

    WildcatFan New Member

    Aug 1, 2009
    St. Louis
    Randy, wow, great story. I just hop that one day, if I'm so priviledged to actually wear one out, I'll be told the same thing. With an English accent on the other line.
  8. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    Dillon has a similar warrantee service. in fact, it was Dillon's warrantee that changed the whole industries warrantee policies. The warrantees before Dillon got into the business were usually expired as you paid for the item. Dillon changed that just as Lee forced the pricing of reloading equipment down over the years.

    Dillon has even replaced for free a press that was in a house fire! After using mine for over 20 years Dillon has rebuilt this heavily used press totally two times and will continue to rebuild it for free as needed for ever. I just send it back and they rebuild it and send it back to me no charge. Other manufacturers are now starting to emulate Dillon's service and warrantee approach. And it is about time!

    As to which press to buy:

    Don't buy a press based on the cheap price. It is a tool and a cheap tool is rarely durable. Also don't underestimate your usage of the press. While you may only have one gun now you may own many different ones in the future. When I started shooting I thought I'd only have one gun, a 9 mm pistol so I bought a press according to that need. I now have three large safes full of pistols, revolvers, and rifles. I reload for over 30 different calibers. I went through two other presses before arriving at my very versatile Dillon RL550B Progressive that can be used as a single stage press or a turret press or fully progressive press because it has a manually turned table.

    At a minimum buy a turret press. It can be used as a single stage or as a turret press. Lyman makes a good one as does Redding.

    My Dillon is not hard to change between calibers, as implied in an earlier post here. The dies (all four if that is what you use) are mounted on a plate held to the press by two pins. Pull the pins, exchange the plate for the other caliber and you are done, as the dies are pre-adjusted and stay on their plate even for storage. To change the shell holder (a shell plate for the Dillon) is one allen screw. Primer size change is two allen screws and a tube size change (similar to the auto priming devices on single stage presses). I would bet I could change between calibers faster than a single stage press user could as my dies are set once and do not require reseting one at a time for a change of calibers.

    But we all get to choose but do choose wisely or you'll be wasting your money in the long run.

  9. tim.sr

    tim.sr New Member

    May 4, 2009
    I Have a lee turret and one up .the one up is for sizing and the turret for reloading have used it for over 30yrs now.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 27, 2010
  10. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    West Virginia
    Not at all. I was just wondering what you didn't like about the turret press that would make you recommend the single stage over it. Just an honest question. Sorry I didn't know you were going to take it personal.
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