Which single stage press? | Carolina Shooters Club

Which single stage press?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by jmccracken1214, Oct 23, 2016.

  1. jmccracken1214

    jmccracken1214 Hall of Shame

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    Looking at the Lee classic kit and hornady's classic kit... Not sure why the price dif. But if you guys could chime in on the better value? I like the hornady because I'll get 500 free bullets and then 100 more for the die set

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  2. Deerhunter_28

    Deerhunter_28 Registered Member

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    I have RCBS RockChuckler.
    I think that is what it's called?
    I like it been using it for 28 years no problems.


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  3. ArbowAxle

    ArbowAxle Registered Member

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    The Lee press is made CHEAP.... Poorly constructed pot metal and plastic IIRC. It might be ok for seating and sizing straight wall cases......but if you resize rifle cases it might break over time.
     
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  4. mckenziedrums

    mckenziedrums Club Subscribed Club Subscribed

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    Actually the Lee Classic Cast is a fine press... strong enough even to swage bullets on. It's not going to break.

    How interested are you in reloading? If you want to buy a single press that you'll keep for a long time and be happy you got it I'd suggest looking at the Forster Co-Ax. It is quite simply the best single stage on the market. I'd rate the Rock Chucker as just behind it but I much prefer the Co-Ax.

    The kits are OK to get started but really the only thing in there you're likely to keep is the scale and the press. Easy enough to find a used scale I think.
     
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  5. jmccracken1214

    jmccracken1214 Hall of Shame

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    Pretty interested . Will be looking for a progressive possibly in the future to reload 45. But will be mainly doing 223/308/6.5CM now.
    Wanted to go single stage to save a little money over progressive, but some of the single stages are expensive

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  6. Beef15

    Beef15 Well-Known Member

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    I believe the Lee Classic Cast is a pretty good press. The Challenger is the "weak" one. Both use a linkage the older version of which developed a lot of slop over time, a lot of time, it has changed, possibly for the better. Lee will rebuild any press that's still in production for a fairly reasonable price. Lee scale is garbage IMO, not sure about the measure. Lee includes a trim tool, it's not the best but it is functional, if you get the dies or case gauges and holders. Lacks calipers, possibly some shellholders, loading blocks, pieces for either trim system, a powder trickler is nice to have, still need dies.

    I have not used the Hornady single stage. Their CS is very good, should have a lifetime warranty. The Hornady powder measure is a quality piece, and you get a trickler, not sure how good that little electric dope scale works, I like a quality balance. The Hornady manual is a pretty good one, little conservative, and requires extrapolation for anything other than Hornady bullets. Consider the monetary value of the bullets you would get before calling that a discount. IIRC it's select weights of FMJs, and SPs, no premium bullets. Lacks calipers, shellholders, trim tool, proof weights possibly?, still need dies.

    Personally, either of those presses, leaning toward Hornady or a Rockchucker, and then build a kit, but it will end up costing more.

    Someone posted what looked to be a smoking deal on a RCBS kit a few days ago, not positive as I didn't read the details.
     
  7. 613jmm

    613jmm U. S. Military Club Subscribed

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    My first kit was the Lee Anniversary, then I got a Rock Chucker Supreme Master kit. I sold them off over the years and hung onto the Dillon 550. I recently decided I wanted another single stage, and I was on the verge of buying another Supreme Master kit. I priced the items individually, and buying a kit really does save you quite a bit of money, but the problem is, you probably won't use a lot of the stuff in some of the kits. I would not buy the Lee kit unless I was completely unsure if I was going to stick with it. And I wouldn't trust the Lee scale either way. Lee may work, but their stuff definitely feels cheap once you put your hands on RCBS or Dillon stuff. It feels very clunky and odd, even new out of the box. The only Lee stuff I buy without hesitation is their dies, and I am also very impressed with the Perfect Powder Measure, even though it is very cheap feeling. It only cost $20 but it simply drops the same charge each time I cycle the handle.

    The one kit I recently found that I wish existed before I knew what I know now, is the RCBS Rock Chucker Select kit. I pieced together my own "kit" with a Rock Chucker press, an RCBS Universal Hand Primer, a Lee Perfect Powder Measure, and some Hornady quick change bushings. If I did not already own a couple of scales and a trimmer, I would gladly have bought the Select kit. The only thing I would change on the Select kit is the scale. I would prefer a beam scale. I don't mind having and using a digital, but I would never give up a beam scale. But that is an easy fix, as you can simply pick up a beam scale. The kit is a little pricey at over $500, but you are getting stuff you will use, even when running a progressive, and RCBS is running their rebate promotion until the end of the year, so you can get a $75 refund.
     
  8. billyh

    billyh Semper Ebrius Club Subscribed

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    The Hornady kit looks solid if you're looking for a kit. It's got a pretty good powder dispenser and hand primer. The cool thing about the Hornady is you can use the die bushings on the progressive if and when you decide to go that route.
     
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  9. Tailhunter

    Tailhunter God Help Us Club Subscribed

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    Forster co-ax, the best in my opinion.
     
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  10. mckenziedrums

    mckenziedrums Club Subscribed Club Subscribed

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    See... Tailhunter and I agree on something. That means it absolutely must be true ;)
     
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  11. Tailhunter

    Tailhunter God Help Us Club Subscribed

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    Could it mean anything else? :cool:


    ps ... wouldn't take anything for mine.
     
  12. lucky13bullets

    lucky13bullets Lifetime Member Lifetime Member Club Subscribed

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    used the lee scale for many years before i got my 505...

    i sure would trust the lee over one of the cheapo digital scales that everyone seems to love
     
  13. Catfish

    Catfish 'Murica! eh? Club Subscribed

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    I use a lot of Lee products and I like them but I'm going to say go Hornady or better here.
    I've been using several Lee presses for years with no issues that didn't originate at the operating nut.
    But you'll likely want to upgrade the powder measure, scale and hand prime that come with the Lee kit. They do work, but they're cheaply made and the price difference isn't huge to get much better starting tools.

    Consider this kit instead and compare with Hornady:
    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/937051/rcbs-rock-chucker-supreme-master-single-stage-press-kit

    This is on sale plus throw in a set of dies and you'll get a $75 rebate.
     
  14. mckenziedrums

    mckenziedrums Club Subscribed Club Subscribed

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    The Lee Cast Press is every bit as good as a Hornady... That and the Rock Chucker are basically the two average reloading presses that can hold up to the pressure of us bullet swaging types. It's not a cheap or flimsy piece of equipment and it's not likely to fail.

    I guess the bottom line is, they'll all work. If you want to buy one that'll last you for years and you won't have to upgrade later the Co-Ax is the way to go. This is especially true if you load precision rifle. Not to say you can't load it on the Lee/RCBS/Hornady but those of us that have already used other presses and now own a Co-Ax aren't very likely to ever switch back. I've got some pretty serious presses set up on my reloading bench and I still make room for the Co-Ax when it's time to load rifle.
     
  15. jmccracken1214

    jmccracken1214 Hall of Shame

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  16. Beef15

    Beef15 Well-Known Member

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    RCBS. Looks like all you'd need is a trim tool for rifle and dies.

    I don't think the Hornady Iron Press really brings anything to the table that justifies its price. And I'm usually a big Hornady fan.
     
  17. J.Boyette

    J.Boyette Teacher of the Craft Lifetime Member

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    I run the RCBS Partner Press bought it in 2001 and use it to this day.

    Great buy.
     
  18. Catfish

    Catfish 'Murica! eh? Club Subscribed

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    Looking at that RCBS kit the only item I see that will dissapoint you is the Nosler book. If it's like the older edition I have it is 1/2 hunting stories and 1/2 sales pitch for Nosler bullets and very limited on the load data.

    Go RCPS but be sure to budget some money for the latest manuals from Lee, Lyman and Speer.
     
  19. Hunter

    Hunter Staff Writer

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    I have been running a Hornady single stage since 1996, without a issue. It runs as good now as brand new. By once and cry once. With tools you plan to use often always get nice stuff, it will pay for itself many times over.
     
  20. billyh

    billyh Semper Ebrius Club Subscribed

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    Both of those kits would be fine to start with. The RCBS comes with a bullet puller that you will use and the Hornady comes with a micrometer that you'll use too. All you would really need is a trimmer for rifle brass.
     

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