Which Press is best?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Mike1959, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. Mike1959

    Mike1959 New Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    Messages:
    190
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Hello All,

    Have been enjoying this forum for a while now, thanks for all the great usefull info. Now on to my questions. I am now ready to start purchasing my reloading tools, want to start with 9mm. I have narrowed the list down to 2 presses, the RCBS rock chucker or the Lee. both offer a starter kit which includes the basics however the price difference is pretty substantial. It has been my experience with other tools that you get what you pay for quality wise. Is this the case with reloading presses and equipment??

    I want to avoid having to upgrade at a later date if possible so I welcome all opinions and pros/cons of each.

    Thanks in advance for all responses.
  2. cpttango30

    cpttango30 Guest

    I would go with the RCBS myself. I have had way too many Lee products break and never could get any customer support from them. Other Love lee. Get what ever fits your budget.
  3. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    florida
    I bought a rock chucker kit, and backet it up with a lee classic C style press I found NIB for 20$ at a pawn shop.

    the rock chucker is an awesome / nice press. it has a big throat and ram.. lotsa leverage... can do large game cartridges with it too.

    I have the lee setup as a decap and sizer over onthe side.. speeds it up.. don't have to change out die's as much.

    looking at kits.. i see lee has a starter kit for 109$ and rcbs has a partner and the rock chucker. rc is about 300 and partner a good chunk of it.

    all depends on what you want to do.

    My lee press has never let me down.. for sure it is inferior in strength thanthe larger and 5x more expensivce rc.. so it's not a fiar comparison.

    if i was just making a few 9mm a week to paly with.. the lee kit will save you $$ and you can get other goodies.

    I DO like the rcbs 505 scale better than the quite um.. economical scale that comes with the lee kit. that's a clear win IMHO.

    if you get into it and stay into it.. it's not a big deal what you get first.. as you will likely have 2 before no time. and a digital scal.. maybee powder dipeprs.. trimmers.. extra load blocks.. more books..e tc..e tc..e tc.

    it's like potato chips.. you can't just have 1.. :)

    if you are looking for a vote.. rcbs

    good luck!
  4. Mike1959

    Mike1959 New Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    Messages:
    190
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    I plan to start with 9mm but eventually get into some rifle calibers as well. Probably 30-30 and .308 later on and maybe some .243 for my dad. Just looking for best value to begin this journey.
  5. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Messages:
    3,773
    Location:
    Harriman, Tn
    Since you plan on expanding your calibers, I'd suggest the Lee Classic Cast Turret press. This is available in a kit as well and is a great press. You'll soon tire of doing 9mm in a single stage press.
  6. hunter29180

    hunter29180 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    in a motorhome where ever we park!
    if you plan on reloading less than say 1000 rounds a week the Lee turret will last a good long while, as you learn you can choose to upgrade to more expensive press setup later. the Lee will allow you time to see if reloading is something you want to stick with or just a passing fancy, without breaking the bank...course you may love the Lee..some do, some dont....
  7. flintlock

    flintlock Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    Messages:
    1,059
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    Dillion makes the best progressive presses in my opinion, and Forster makes the best single stage press. And as far as turrets go, Lyman is tough to beat.
  8. DixieLandMan

    DixieLandMan Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    763
    Location:
    Alabama
    I have all Lee equipment and they have never let me down. The single stage is, by far, the easiest to chage from caliber to caliber but it really does get old fast if you load 9mm on it so it is reserved for loading rifle and for depriming. It really is your decision but I like Lee.
  9. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,192
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    RCBS Rockchucker is 100% solid, wouldn't have it any other way. Lee works but is kinda like a Kia vs. a Lexus. they will both get you there but....

    For progressive metallic press, Dillon all the way.

    for shotgun, MEC all the way
  10. ozo

    ozo Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    Messages:
    3,307
    Location:
    Nashville TN
    Dillon 550B
  11. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Messages:
    3,773
    Location:
    Harriman, Tn
    I love these rainbow war threads.

    I'll put my Lee Classic Cast single stage up against any Rock chucker out there.
  12. Mike1959

    Mike1959 New Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    Messages:
    190
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    thanks to all who have responded and i am sorry if i started any kind of "rainbow" war, was not my intention. i think based on all available opinion and shopping around i am going to look at a Lee turret kit. once i decide to persue reloading further i can then look at upgrades by brand and function.
  13. Twicepop

    Twicepop Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Messages:
    795
    Location:
    NW Ohio
    If you want an outstanding single stage press, my recomendation would be the Redding Big Boss. The "O" frame opening is tall enough for full length H&H cases, plus the opening is angled that allows you full view of the loading process. The legs of the RCBS are at 12:00 and at 6:00 as you sit if front of the press, the Reddings are at 10:00 and 4:00. Not a big deal to most people, but it is handier with this configuration. If you want a turret press (not a progressive) Redding has a 7 station turret press that the good folks at Sinclairs say is the only turret press accurate enough for precision bench rest loading.


    those who beat their guns into plowshares, will plow for those who didn't
  14. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,097
    I own both RCBS and LEE. Both get the job done. The RCBS obviously cost more to manufacture and is more robust. You are not likely to ever wear either press out.
  15. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    florida
    you know, that rock chucker supreme can be used to reload shotgun, AND can be upgraded via piggyback kit to progressive.. :)
  16. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    florida
    can it be upgraded to a full function progressive with the addition of an add on kit?
  17. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,192
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    yup! although I only use my rockchucker for rifle rounds nowadays, mainly .308 and .458 win mag. Shotgun is MEC 9000G progressive for skeet rounds and a 650 JR for buckshot/slugs/hunting loads. Got a 366 progressive for .410, very good quality also. MEC is like the AK-47 of presses. pistol and hi-volume rifle gets done on the Dillon 650xl

    bought my RCBS in the late 90's and it still looks beautiful. I just prefer it because of how solid it is and it's what I grew up loading with too. Lee stuff works just as well, but a lot of their stuff feels/looks on the cheap side, no way around that. I do use a ton of Lee bullet molds though, you can actually afford to buy them compared to the $75 ones from the major manufacturers and they work just as good.
  18. DBMJR1

    DBMJR1 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Messages:
    85
    Location:
    New Orleans, La.
    I reload mostly .38/.357, with some .45acp, .25acp and .30-30 in the mix too.

    I started with the Lee Anniversary Kit. I replaced the scale with a Lyman scale and it was good. I replaced the powder measure with a RCBS Uniflow and it was good. I mounted a RCBS RC Jr. press to my bench and yeck. I much prefer my Lee press. I have resigned the little RCBS press to sizing bullets with my Lee .358 die, and reloading .25acp until I get more bushings for my Lee press.

    If you are a novice, the Lee anniversary has everything you need to start. You will want to upgrade some of the components as you get more experience.
  19. Deacon_Man

    Deacon_Man Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Messages:
    530
    Location:
    Weatherford Texas
    I have the Lee Anniversary reloading setup and I am very happy with it.
  20. Kevin Rohrer

    Kevin Rohrer Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Messages:
    288
    Location:
    Medina, Ohio
    If your choice is one of those two, get the RCBS.

    If you choose to also look at other presses, the Ponsness-warren P200 and Metallic 2 preses are supposed to be excellent and far faster to operate than the two you mentioned.

    Another recommendation is the CH/4D '444', which I own. It is also faster than the first two.

    [​IMG]
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Best time of the year to buy a press? Jul 19, 2012
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Best Brand for Single Stage Press Jan 25, 2011
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Chart of Reloading Press Specs? Apr 8, 2014
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Older Hornady LNL AP press Mar 11, 2014
The Ammo & Reloading Forum CH 444 press Feb 24, 2014