Hi-Point Firearms Forums banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,336 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, just to get it out of the way, anything can wear out. Now on to reloading presses.

I do not think a well maintained reloading press will wear out for many tens of thousand rounds. I think some presses are capable of more than 100,000 rounds without any appreciable wear. Well maintained is the key. Also do not confuse a shoddily constructed press with wear. Just what will wear out a reloading press? Here are some of my thoughts.

First is residue from processing formed brass. This residue is abrasive. Do not clean it off and it will work it’s way into the mating surfaces of the press. In time the abrasive properties of this abrasive residue will increase the tolerances of the mating surfaces.

Next is stress on the press. Normally caused by improperly adjusted components and forcing the press to cycle rather than realize there is a problem and fixing it. Another common cause of stress on a press is cam over. Cam over will stress and flex the body of a press, regardless of if the press it built for cam over or not. It’s simple physics. I look at cam over on a press as a "sometimes" necessary evil. Most of the time it is not necessary so there is no reason to stress your press unnecessarily. But sometimes a press adjusted for a hard stop just will not size a case enough. Especially when forming cases or resizing cases fired from a machine gun. I keep a dedicated press for case forming and sizing.

Going along with stress is using the wrong press for the job. A “C” frame press just simply will not have the rigidity of an “O” or an “A” frame press. Not the best choice for case forming. Frame material is a consideration here as well. While I am not a fan of an aluminum framed press, I have owned several, and still own one. They do have the issue of being used with steel dies which over time will wear the aluminum threads. Some of the aluminum presses do have a steel 7/8x14 bushing to eliminate this problem.

Finally how much wear is too much? That’s hard to say. I am of the opinion that a press has to be concentric. But I have also used a simple rubber O ring between the die lock ring and press body to allow the die to self center with good results. Many new presses and target style presses have slop built into the die and shell holder to allow self centering as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
your thread literally reminded me of wrapping paper 12gauge ammo.
I myself need a 9mm press and 12g press or whatever it is i need to load my own.
I am WAY behind on that one thing, and it may be too late to find anything now
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,336 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I do enjoy reloading. I have not done much loading for shotshells. Just what I use for hunting and a little bit of range time. Shoot some skeet, maybe once or twice a year, if that. Most of my shotshell loading has been done on the Lee Loaders, a box or two in the Lee Loadall, and I have a couple of 20 ga MEC’s and a 12 ga MEC.

I did a bit of Benchrest and Silhouette shooting in the past, along with groundhogs, still do groundhogs. So I am very interested in accuracy. Who was it that said "only accurate rifles are interesting"? I loaded a lot of rounds on a RCBS JR. And it was a very accurate press. Belonged to my mentor. Today I am still loading on that press, having come into ownership a few years back.

I also have a Pacific Multi Power that I use for case forming and such. It’s the one press that survived the great fire of ‘99. It just happened to be in the shed instead of the house. I also inherited a couple of Lyman Spartan presses and a Lyman Spar-T. I also am fond of the RCBS RS5. A press I picked up for $5.00. It was in poor shape but through the generosity of RCBS and some green Krylon, I have it back in working order. Once regulated to 12 ga 2 1/2" brass shotshells, it mostly just sits around now. But as a general purpose press I like it a lot. Don’t think it would be left handed friendly though.

Before the fire, I was was loading on the RCBS Partner press. Not my favorite though. After the fire I bought a Lee Reloader C style press. Loaded a lot of 22 Hornet, 30-30, and 45-70 on that one. It was an adequate press, I just did not like the aluminum construction. It got accompanied by a Lee manual advance 3 hole turret. Eventually both got sold, replaced by the Lee Classic Cast Turret. A press I like a lot.

I bought another RCBS, this one the Summit. Like it a lot but traded it for a Hornady Iron. Love the Hornady. It’s here for life. And I was intrigued by the Lyman Brass Smith presses. Ordered a Ideal single stage and a All American 8 turret. I expect the Ideal to be here by April 12, the All American 8 is still back ordered. If I like those presses as much as I expect I will, my press needs will be set for life. I will have the Hornady Iron for my precision rifle loads, with the Lyman Ideal serving as a general tool, with the All American 8 taking care of my handgun ammo needs. Everything else will be sold.

Sorry about the long post, just reminiscing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
I enjoyed reading it, and it gave me a plethora of presses to research, some terminology to learn i didn't understand, but do comprehend now, and that is a lot of experience, put it this way, I watched my Grandfather reload shells, wrap shotshell, and press shotshell... I honestly maybe pulled the press down once or twice as a kid, i wouldn't even know where to begin on what brand/type of powder to get, what type cartouche or wad for the shotshell, casing / primers, etc.. something new to research I suppose. With a box of 25 count of brass 9mm FMJ is $37.99 (USD) I am wondering if it is worth investing into the presses, primer, powder, etc.. I don't shoot a whole lot, but I absolutely want that option if situations bare it as necessary.
Thanks for sharing your memory.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,336 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The only reason I can still reload today is because I had components stocked up. I am down to a bit over 3K primers now mixed between large rifle, large pistol, small rifle, small pistol, small pistol magnum and a few hundred shotshell primers. Primers were about 4 cents a piece. Costs about 30 cents or more each to replace mow. When the drought is over I expect the prices to stabilize, but my guess is they will be about 10 or 15 cents each. I do have cases processed and primed as well. Not counted them, nut I have probably 500 primed cases of 9mm and 223. Somewherevaround 300 pieces of 308 brass, about as many 300 blackout, and 50 or so cases each of 30-30, 25-06, and 280.

I am pretty well stocked on other components, cases, bullets, and I still have about 30 pounds of various powders. Plus I have about 400 / 500 pounds of raw lead.

I do hope the drought ends soon.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ajole

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
35,833 Posts
I am wondering if it is worth investing into the presses, primer, powder, etc.. I don't shoot a whole lot, but I absolutely want that option if situations bare it as necessary.
It’s not worth it in my AO, but only because some of the components are almost literally unobtainable.
In other places, maybe you can find primers, or powder, but I can’t.

But if you can find a press for a decent price, or maybe order one....I should be getting a Lee Hand Loader soon that took about 3 months of backorder to get; it was the normal pre-Covid panic price, and I have all the dies and components already.

So...unless you can get components, it’s not a good idea to spend much money.
If you can find something that is a good deal, maybe that would be a good investment, assuming components come back into availability.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,336 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I can pretty much find components. Excepting primers. When primers do pop up you have to act fast because they do not last long.

Powder is out there, but luck of the draw if you find what you normally use. For example, I used to use 3031 in my 30-30. Switched to 335, but bought 2 pounds of 3031 several months ago. Switched back because that’s what was on the shelf.

I like 150 grain spire point .308 bullets and 55 grain spire point .224 bullets. I just ordered some more of the .224, and passed on the .308, because I would have had to go with the 165 grain .308, that was my only choice. Still plenty of the FMJ .224 55 grain and FMJ .308 150 grain 308 to be had.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
It’s not worth it in my AO, but only because some of the components are almost literally unobtainable.
In other places, maybe you can find primers, or powder, but I can’t.

But if you can find a press for a decent price, or maybe order one....I should be getting a Lee Hand Loader soon that took about 3 months of backorder to get; it was the normal pre-Covid panic price, and I have all the dies and components already.

So...unless you can get components, it’s not a good idea to spend much money.
If you can find something that is a good deal, maybe that would be a good investment, assuming components come back into availability.
Thank you because I was planning to search it out, but the same here, primers and powder are unobtainable
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,336 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I should be getting a Lee Hand Loader soon that took about 3 months of backorder to get; it was the normal pre-Covid panic price
I had been wanting the Lyman Brass Smith Ideal C style press and the Brass Smith All American 8 since they came out in 2018. I procrastinated because I really could not justify spending the money to replace something that I already had, that worked and I liked.

Prices started going up due to pandemic pricing, and I jumped because in my experience once prices start going up, they almost never go back to where they were. I bought the Ideal press for about $80, they are now at $100, and the All American 8 for just over $200. Today the All American 8 is going for over $300! If I were buying a turret press today I would pay the extra $25 or so and buy the Redding T7.

Kind of funny how the prices for quality budget gear is going up so much, but premium equipment prices are not moving so much. That was the inspiration for my getting into reloading cheaply thread.

 
  • Like
Reactions: ajole

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
35,833 Posts
I had been wanting the Lyman Brass Smith Ideal C style press and the Brass Smith All American 8 since they came out in 2018. I procrastinated because I really could not justify spending the money to replace something that I already had, that worked and I liked.

Prices started going up due to pandemic pricing, and I jumped because in my experience once prices start going up, they almost never go back to where they were. I bought the Ideal press for about $80, they are now at $100, and the All American 8 for just over $200. Today the All American 8 is going for over $300! If I were buying a turret press today I would pay the extra $25 or so and buy the Redding T7.

Kind of funny how the prices for quality budget gear is going up so much, but premium equipment prices are not moving so much. That was the inspiration for my getting into reloading cheaply thread.

Yeah, I don’t know if it’s a matter of supply and demand curves or what. You can jack the price on the cheap stuff that is selling like crazy, it will still be less than the price of the “better” stuff, so demand remains, but if you jack the price on the expensive stuff, that may be a bridge too far, you may price out of the market.

At some point, a smart guy that isn’t buying on credit will simply take that next step, and buy the premium gear, because the cost is not that far above the other stuff. Especially if it’s in stock.

When that happens a lot, those prices will go up as well.

At least, that’s my impression of the beast, as I feel around on my part of the elephant.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,378 Posts
First, just to get it out of the way, anything can wear out. Now on to reloading presses.

I do not think a well maintained reloading press will wear out for many tens of thousand rounds. I think some presses are capable of more than 100,000 rounds without any appreciable wear. Well maintained is the key. Also do not confuse a shoddily constructed press with wear. Just what will wear out a reloading press? Here are some of my thoughts.

First is residue from processing formed brass. This residue is abrasive. Do not clean it off and it will work it’s way into the mating surfaces of the press. In time the abrasive properties of this abrasive residue will increase the tolerances of the mating surfaces.

Next is stress on the press. Normally caused by improperly adjusted components and forcing the press to cycle rather than realize there is a problem and fixing it. Another common cause of stress on a press is cam over. Cam over will stress and flex the body of a press, regardless of if the press it built for cam over or not. It’s simple physics. I look at cam over on a press as a "sometimes" necessary evil. Most of the time it is not necessary so there is no reason to stress your press unnecessarily. But sometimes a press adjusted for a hard stop just will not size a case enough. Especially when forming cases or resizing cases fired from a machine gun. I keep a dedicated press for case forming and sizing.

Going along with stress is using the wrong press for the job. A “C” frame press just simply will not have the rigidity of an “O” or an “A” frame press. Not the best choice for case forming. Frame material is a consideration here as well. While I am not a fan of an aluminum framed press, I have owned several, and still own one. They do have the issue of being used with steel dies which over time will wear the aluminum threads. Some of the aluminum presses do have a steel 7/8x14 bushing to eliminate this problem.

Finally how much wear is too much? That’s hard to say. I am of the opinion that a press has to be concentric. But I have also used a simple rubber O ring between the die lock ring and press body to allow the die to self center with good results. Many new presses and target style presses have slop built into the die and shell holder to allow self centering as well.

I have BROKEN them at the anchor point, where it mounts onto the table. But not actually "worn" out. I kept using it, after the mounting bolts worked loose. It was the whole; "Oh, I'll tighten it up after this bunch of brass". I should have stopped and tightened the loose bolts.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top