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Reloading question for beginner


Collier Kid

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I'm still kind of new to CAS but am quickly realizing that reloading is the way to go to save money and keep shooting. I've got my eye on the Lee Classic Turret and the Lee Pro 6000(Six Pak Pro). I've found both online and after adding the price of dies and accessories They are pretty close in price. Classic Turret setup is about $260 and Pro 6000 is about $300.

I know that most will recommend starting on the Turret for simplicity and learning but I'm pretty confident that I can get the hang of a progressive pretty quickly. I'm leaning toward the Pro 6000 for time reasons. I work during the week and still have 4 kids at home so time and money are precious. I barely find time to make it to my club's monthly match so I don't want to spend hours on end reloading. So far I've only used bought ammo from Choice when it was on sale. I've got enough left for maybe 1 or 2 matches but I've been saving the brass so will have about 800 when it's all used up.

Does anyone have experience with both of these machines and have any input or thoughts?

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I don't want to discourage anyone from this sport or reloading in general.  So I won't right way tell you to go out and spend $2k on a Dillon setup.

 

I'd see if a member at your affiliated club will take you under his/her wing and teach you the basics hands on.  Hopefully a member with a Dillon 650/750 press. 

 

Lee makes good budget equipment, but most of their progressive setups require a lot of fiddling.  The Lee four hole turret (with the auto index removed) makes a good single stage press without having to adjust all your dies.  Lee equipment served my needs for over 10 years and I only upgraded to a Dillon 750 after I started needing SASS ammo for myself and three other shooters.  To be honest I still use the Lee for my hunting and other non-SASS calibers.

Edited by July Smith
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Buy more brass.  Either unfired brass from Starline or once-fired from an online auction site.  I don't like short loading sessions.  When my progressive press is up and running I like to fill multiple coffee cans.  The ammo loaded in new brass is shot in a rifle at major matches.  Brass reloaded multiple time is for revolvers and rifles at local matches.

 

I'm pleased Lee has a new priming system.  The old safety priming system was prone to dropping primers.  I have both Lee and Dillon progressive presses.  The Lee press gets out of whack much more frequently than the Dillons.  All load ammo suitable for CAS.  However, I love a powder lockout die and a place to mount a light to view cases as they are loaded.  The spent primer catching system on the Lee press is great.  I don't end up with spent primers on the loading room floor.  Buy the most automated press you can afford.  They are not hard to master. 

Edited by Edward R S Canby, SASS#59971
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7 minutes ago, July Smith said:

I don't want to discourage anyone from this sport or reloading in general.  So I won't right way tell you to go out and spend $2k on a Dillon setup.

 

I'd see if a member at your affiliated club will take you under his/her wing and teach you the basics hands on.  Hopefully a member with a Dillon 650/750 press. 

 

Lee makes good budget equipment, but most of their progressive setups require a lot of fiddling.  The Lee four hole turret (with the auto index removed) makes a good single stage press without having to adjust all your dies.  Lee equipment served my needs for over 10 years and I only upgraded to a Dillon 750 after I started needing SASS ammo for myself and three other shooters.  

 

 

Ditto to all of the above.  I still have the original Lee Turret I learned on almost 40 years ago.  I've long since switched to Dillon but I was a seasoned reloader before making that switch.  Not saying you can't learn on a Dillon, just that I'm glad I didn't.  Learn to walk before you try to run. 

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If cost is a major component - there is nothing WRONG with going with Lee.

For less than half (Pro 1000 is even less) of the price of a true progressive (auto indexing) Dillon - you will be producing perfectly serviceable CAS ammo.

 

I started loading for cowboy 25 years ago with a Lee Pro 1000 - served me very well (estimate about a half million rounds thru that press)

The couple hundred rounds for a monthly match is easily knocked out in way less than an hour.  (I understand time being a valuable commodity - I've loaded for many a match at 1 in the morning the night before)

 

Lee has been very good regarding parts replacement items (not always free like big blue) but again, less than half the cost.

The Lee will NOT be as smooth or as quick as the Dillon - it "may" require more fiddling (but fiddling is needed on EVERY press).

The biggest difference will be when or if you begin needing to load for more shooters - the speed difference becomes evident when you go from loading for yourself to loading for yourself, your wife, your children, their friends, etc.

 

The Lee is a simple press to learn on and if you decide to upgrade to a "better", "faster" press at some point - the Lee is easily repurposed to lower volume reloading for side match calibers or other guns less used.

Edited by Creeker, SASS #43022
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21 minutes ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Stuck on Lee????

 

Phantom

I've been looking at the Lee products because of the price range. I've got kids ranging from about to go to college and one still in diapers so I have to get the most bang for my buck.

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I've been using a Lee Classic Turret since 2009, never a problem. I started loading 45 Colt and have around 20,000 rounds of 45 Colt reloads with nary an issue. I am now set up for 7 different calibers on the same Lee.

 

Money well spent. Learning the Lee was not difficult, rather enjoyable, and Lee has great support and parts availability, not to mention affordable pricing.

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You can buy a Dillon Square Deal B for less than $629 new and a new 750 for about $150 more.  I started on a Square Deal B and while I was loading a single caliber for a single person it did just fine.  Once I moved to multiple calibers and five shooters upgrading made sense for me.

 

On a SDB you should be able to load around 300-400 rounds an hour without too much trouble.  A 750 with case feeder will get you closer to 500-600 an hour.  Both are very easy to operate.

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34 minutes ago, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

If cost is a major component - there is nothing WRONG with going with Lee.

For less than half (Pro 1000 is even less) of the price of a true progressive (auto indexing) Dillon - you will be producing perfectly serviceable CAS ammo.

 

I started loading for cowboy 25 years ago with a Lee Pro 1000 - served me very well (estimate about a half million rounds thru that press)

The couple hundred rounds for a monthly match is easily knocked out in way less than an hour.  (I understand time being a valuable commodity - I've loaded for many a match at 1 in the morning the night before)

 

Lee has been very good regarding parts replacement items (not always free like big blue) but again, less than half the cost.

The Lee will NOT be as smooth or as quick as the Dillon - it "may" require more fiddling (but fiddling is needed on EVERY press).

The biggest difference will be when or if you begin needing to load for more shooters - the speed difference becomes evident when you go from loading for yourself to loading for yourself, your wife, your children, their friends, etc.

 

The Lee is a simple press to learn on and if you decide to upgrade to a "better", "faster" press at some point - the Lee is easily repurposed to lower volume reloading for side match calibers or other guns less used.

This!

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The Lee turret is a good little press. Easy caliber changes, I can easily knock out 100 rounds + in an hour. 
I have a D750 (dedicated to 38sp) a D550 for 45-70, 38-55, 45acp 

the rest I load on the Lee turret. Mostly in smaller batches 50-100 or so. Caliber changes are easy if you buy extra tool heads. 
if I could only have 1 it would be the Lee Turret. 
Lee equipment is very value priced. But it works very well. Yes the Dillon is a better, smoother press no doubt. 
 

if it was me, I’d probably go with the Lee 6 pack. I’ve never seen one in person, but I bet it works fine. Plus you have a station for a powder check die, and a bullet feeder. 
 

let us know, and good luck! 

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8 minutes ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Sorry...thought it would be obvious.

 

$2000

 

????

 

Phantom

Pretty durn close! Yes a couple items that aren’t “must haves”!

 

IMG_5841.png

Edited by Hoss
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1 minute ago, July Smith said:

https://www.dillonprecision.com/xl750-deluxe-kit

 

I'm not regretting it, but I am not joking when I say it's pretty easy to blow 2k on Dillon equipment.  

Well you should regret spreading misleading info.

 

Comparing a "KIT" to a Press...whatever. At least you didn't quote a 1050 :wacko:

 

Folks, you don't need to spend $2k to get going on a Dillon...gotta LOVE the Wire!

 

Phantom

Just now, Hoss said:

Pretty durn close!

 

IMG_5841.png

That's kit!

 

And why quote a 750? Why not a 1050???

 

What's wrong with you folks???

 

Phantom

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Oh, and regarding the rounds/hour from my Lee Classic Turret I can usually average 250 per hour.  I've done 300 several times, only stopping to refill the primer trey.

 

Spent about $225 on the press and it came with a die set of my choosing. Probably cost a bit more now.

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8 minutes ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Well you should regret spreading misleading info.

 

Comparing a "KIT" to a Press...whatever. At least you didn't quote a 1050 :wacko:

 

Folks, you don't need to spend $2k to get going on a Dillon...gotta LOVE the Wire!

 

Phantom

That's kit!

 

And why quote a 750? Why not a 1050???

 

What's wrong with you folks???

 

Phantom

My apologies if I misled you or anyone else reading this thread.  Phantom is right.  One can buy literally just a Dillon press for around $600-700 depending on the model.  My mistake was in assuming you wanted to just buy a press.  I figured along with the press you would need a tool head, powder measurer, dies, etc.  

Edited by July Smith
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I am a Lee guy but don't have a progressive.  I have a turret and a single stage.  I still do a lot with a single stage because I feel better about checking all the powder charges visually before moving on.  So I may decap and size before tumbling.  We don't need to do much trimming but I gauge a lot.  Then I might use two stages on the turret.

 

These guys tend to run lighter loads and when you get too light with a autoloader they usually save your but by not cycling.  When you get two light on a SXS you have time to feel it and stop.  WHen you get too light on these single actions or a lever rifle I'm afraid the brain will be one trigger pull slow.  Just me.  Be anal about your reloading...  For me speed is not a big deal, I don't mind doing it and I don't shoot every weekend.

 

Is Lee the best?  Probably not, if you were doing 1000 yard benchrest....  But you said economics, fit for use, payback....  JMHO

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There is always the option of finding a good used press.  Craigs List and Facebook Market place are good places to look.  Ebay, not so much.  You really want something local because shipping can be very expensive.  Ask around at the local cowboy match.  Somebody might have one not being used they would pass on to a new shooter.  You never know.  If money is an issue, you have to get creative.  Buying one from a local Cowboy might even come with a lesson and some assistance in setting it up.  

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47 minutes ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Well you should regret spreading misleading info.

 

Comparing a "KIT" to a Press...whatever. At least you didn't quote a 1050 :wacko:

 

Folks, you don't need to spend $2k to get going on a Dillon...gotta LOVE the Wire!

 

Phantom

That's kit!

 

And why quote a 750? Why not a 1050???

 

What's wrong with you folks???

 

Phantom

which of those items would you leave off? I’m sure you could get it down to 12-1500
 

A base square Deal B is 639. Would still need a lot of other items 

 

a Lee Classic turret kit has scale and some other stuff

 

 to here is no question that Dillon makes a better machine. And their warranty is excellent. But Lee also makes very serviceable machines for a lot less 

 

 

IMG_5842.png

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1 hour ago, Badlands Bob #61228 said:

There is always the option of finding a good used press.  Craigs List and Facebook Market place are good places to look.  Ebay, not so much.  You really want something local because shipping can be very expensive.  Ask around at the local cowboy match.  Somebody might have one not being used they would pass on to a new shooter.  You never know.  If money is an issue, you have to get creative.  Buying one from a local Cowboy might even come with a lesson and some assistance in setting it up.  

This is how I got started with my SDB.  If I recall correctly I bought it for $275.  A few years later when I upgraded I'm pretty sure I sold it for the same price.

35 minutes ago, Hoss said:

which of those items would you leave off? I’m sure you could get it down to 12-1500
 

A base square Deal B is 639. Would still need a lot of other items 

 

a Lee Classic turret kit has scale and some other stuff

 

 to here is no question that Dillon makes a better machine. And their warranty is excellent. But Lee also makes very serviceable machines for a lot less 

 

 

IMG_5842.png

I would get rid of the digital calipers, case lube, roller handle, die wrench, spare parts kit, and the bullet puller.

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35 minutes ago, Hoss said:

which of those items would you leave off? I’m sure you could get it down to 12-1500
 

A base square Deal B is 639. Would still need a lot of other items 

 

a Lee Classic turret kit has scale and some other stuff

 

 to here is no question that Dillon makes a better machine. And their warranty is excellent. But Lee also makes very serviceable machines for a lot less 

 

 

IMG_5842.png

See...here's the problem Hoss. I made no mention of Lee, Hornady or any other manufacturer's quality.

 

I made mention that to say "So I won't right way tell you to go out and spend $2k on a Dillon setup" is terribly misleading to a new shooter. This statement clearly implies that one has to spend a lot of money to get started with a Dillon. It's comparing a relatively higher end machine from Dillon to a more basic model. Why not compare a Dillon 550?

 

Cheers!

Phantom

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24 minutes ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

See...here's the problem Hoss. I made no mention of Lee, Hornady or any other manufacturer's quality.

 

I made mention that to say "So I won't right way tell you to go out and spend $2k on a Dillon setup" is terribly misleading to a new shooter. This statement clearly implies that one has to spend a lot of money to get started with a Dillon. It's comparing a relatively higher end machine from Dillon to a more basic model. Why not compare a Dillon 550?

 

Cheers!

Phantom

And I said that Lee makes very good presses at a very good price. 
Dillon makes an arguably better press for a lot more money. 
 

a new reloader will need a lot more than just the press. That’s why kits are popular. 
 

I’d bet you a hamburger against a steak you have a lot more than 239 in your primary press, and probably closer to 2000. What do you typically load on? 

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Lee turret: How do you guys that have loaded "thousands of rounds" keep the dang thing indexing?  Do you have a box of the plastic collets (or whatever it's called) that rides up and down the "corkscrew" rod and "indexes" the tool head?

 

As someone said earlier.  Toss the indexing components and the Lee turret works as a single stage w/o die swap out.  BUT, for me it's pistol caliber only (.44 Mag and .38 S&W) because there's too much slop in the tool head for bottle-neck rifle reloading.

 

And before you accuse me of Lee bashing... I've been reloading on a Lee single stage (now called Challenger) since 1986.  Everything - including pistol calibers.  That is until I started CAS.  Then I bought two Lee turrets because I needed more throughput.  IMO they are junk.

 

Now running two Dillon 650s... and still the Lee single stage for anything that requires accuracy better than minute-of-steel-plate.

 

 

ETA:  The Lee Auto Bench Prime is junk too.

 

Edited by Stump Water
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5 minutes ago, Hoss said:

And I said that Lee makes very good presses at a very good price. 
Dillon makes an arguably better press for a lot more money. 
 

a new reloader will need a lot more than just the press. That’s why kits are popular. 
 

I’d bet you a hamburger against a steak you have a lot more than 239 in your primary press, and probably closer to 2000. What do you typically load on? 

You can't compare Apples to Oranges...but I have to say, it's impossible to perfectly compare the presses we're talking about...it's more like comparing Red Apples to Green Apples...close, but not perfect.

 

If you want to believe that it's appropriate to use a $2000 figure when referencing Dillon as an option, that's fine...your right. Personally I think it's misleading to a new shooter/reloader. Kit's are fine, but many of the peripheral things can be purchased without the paying the $$$ by purchasing through the Press mfgr.

 

When using the 239 figure that you mentioned above, you're referencing a Single Stage Turret press. Now we're comparing Apples to Pancakes. So yes, you're correct that I have more than $239 in any one of my presses save for the single stage presses.

 

All I'm saying...and this may be the last time I do so on this thread, is that we should be careful when making comparisons particularly when it comes to reloading press as there can be dramatic differences between brands/models. Using the $2k figure compared a Dillon Press that is significantly different then those that the OP was referencing.

 

Phantom

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13 minutes ago, Stump Water said:

Lee turret: How do you guys that have loaded "thousands of rounds" keep the dang thing indexing?  Do you have a box of the plastic collets (or whatever it's called) that rides up and down the "corkscrew" rod and "indexes" the tool head?

 

As someone said earlier.  Toss the indexing components and the Lee turret works as a single stage w/o die swap out.  BUT, for me it's pistol caliber only (.44 Mag and .38 S&W) because there's too much slop in the tool head for bottle-neck rifle reloading.

 

And before you accuse me of Lee bashing... I've been reloading on a Lee single stage (now called Challenger) since 1986.  Everything - including pistol calibers.  That is until I started CAS.  Then I bought two Lee turrets because I needed more throughput.  IMO they are junk.

 

Now running two Dillon 650s... and still the Lee single stage for anything that requires accuracy better than minute-of-steel-plate.

 

 

ETA:  The Lee Auto Bench Prime is junk too.

 

The whole trick on the plastic indexer thingy is to order about a 1/2 dozen (.50¢ each) put them in a safe place. You will never need them. If you don’t have a spare you will eat them like M&Ms! 

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