Reloading Considerations

Discussion in 'Reloading Room' started by MarkB, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. I'm thinking very hard about getting back into reloading. I used to load on a little single stage press years ago. It was fine, at the time, but now shooting lots of 9mm and 40 caliber.

    I'm considering all my options for what to get and I waffle (a lot) between Lee equipment and going ahead, spending the bucks and getting a Dillon.

    At the moment, I would only be loading 9's, 40's and 38/357. I don't currently have any plans to buy any rifles (other than a HP carbine, if that counts), but you never know.

    With that in mind, I really like the Dillon Square Deal B, but am unsure of how much all the extras, including change over parts and everything would be. Near as I can tell, I'll be spending $500-$600, at least, in order to do what I want to.

    So then, I waffle to Lee. I could get the Classic 4 turret KIT for a couple bills and have enough left over for a carbine AND be able to load rifle rounds, should I decide to. Yeah, I know, apples and oranges to the Dillon SDB.... Turret press to a progressive. I get that.

    OR, I could spend a few bucks more and step up to the 1000 and probably still be able to pop for the carbine. Maybe not, but close. My reluctance with the 1000 are the reports of temperamental behavior in them.

    Decisions, decisions.

    I know there are a bunch of Lee fans on here and I'd like to hear from you. I'd also like to hear from the Dillon camp. Not trying to start a pi$$ing match, so lets play nice!


  2. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

    NE Utah
    I'm cheap. Lee all the way. I could buy and wear out and buy another Lee, wear it out, and buy most of a third...and still be under the cost of the Dillon. I think...prices on see online anyway.

    But I won't have to, as the Lee stuff won't wear out that fast, and if it does, Lee is almost as good about fixing broken bits as HP is.

    Speed wise...I'm not that much into it. But then, I don't shoot 50-100 rounds per range visit either.

    I can see where it'd be worth the cost of a Dillon for a guy that shoots more.;)

  3. moona11

    moona11 King of you Monkeys Lifetime Supporter

    I like Lee. Turret load. .380, 9 mm, 40 S&w, 45 acp, 45 colt, 45 super, 38 special, 223/5.56, 7.62x54r. 7.62 Nagant, 303 and 308. With it.
  4. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

    Dillon makes nice stuff, but Lee is adequate.
  5. I've got three Lee presses,one turret and two single stage.I'm happy with all three,I use the turret more than the singles.You really can't beat Lee for value.Dillons are nice ,but I just don't need them,I can load all the cartridges I shoot on them with no problems at all. morayman......
  6. I purchased a Lee Classic 4 hole turret kit almost 2 years ago. It has been very reliable. I reload .38, .357, 40, 44, and 44/40. I can set up and reload 50-75 rounds in the first hour. After that 100 rounds an hour is pretty easy to achieve. I check powder throw, overall length, and general cartridge fit and finish quite often. When I needed a box of 50 rounds to head to the range with I banged them out in under 20 minutes. I would say get the kit. All you need to add is your dies for your caliber then. It's easy to operate. The only problem I had is I broke the primer holder after about 2000 rounds. The replacement part was all of $8. Good luck and enjoy the reloading process.

    Sent from my iPhone using Hi-Point Forum
  7. SteveC

    SteveC Member

    Just got started myself. It happened that someone gave me a Lee classic turret press a while back, but I probably would have started there anyway. Gives me the chance to learn what I'm doing and still produce enough to serve my needs. I'm thinking I will go to a progressive, and probably a Dillon, after a while, mostly for the ability to produce at higher rates. The Lee has worked out really well for me, with due thanks to YouTube.
  8. littledog

    littledog Wiener of Mas Destruction Member

    I have a Lee single stage. Been thinking about 4 hole lee turret press but I reload most of my ammo this time of year for the rest of the year. I made up my mind when I started reloading that speed or case count per hour would not be any part of my reloading. I have many loads that have a spread of 20 fps or less. But my most accurate load in 44mag has a spread of 97 so go figure.
  9. I say get the Lee turret press. If you find that the rate of production isn't high enough with it, you can than get a progressive and use the turret press for the small batches(etc).

    I've had both single stage and progressives for years and I don't like to do the small jobs with a progressive.
  11. Asher1

    Asher1 Member

    I don't have one regret about going with a Pro1000, if your not ready for progressive, then pull out the middle rod and you can use it just like a single stage...

    The best thing is once your set up, 1 pull = 1 round, instead of 3 pulls = 1 round... Your wrist, elbow, shoulder will thank you one day... remember, to offset the cost alittle more, the Pro1000 usually comes with a set of dies so you don't have to buy them... I have heard of stories about the 1000 not working well, and I suspect that it was either dirty or not set up per instructions (very easy set-up).

    The down side that I can think of is, 3 banks, and with limited travel longer rifle cases 30-06 type will have to be loaded like a single stage press due to travel and clocking system.. .223 are fine to load in it...

    The drop charger that comes with the system works just fine for my needs... It will usually hold +/-.1gr and occasionally get +/-.2gr on an extreme... Powers through it so far have been: Power Pistol, Red Dot, Blue Dot, cfe223, and hp-38...

    I load, 380 auto, 9mm, and .223 in my press (takes less then 5mins to change over). Soon I will add 38/.357, 45 auto, and 44mag... Later I will probably buy a cheap single stage to keep my .223 crimp die in, but for now I just load a lot of rounds on the progressive, then pull the sizing/decapping die out of station 1 and put in the crimp die and just single stage them to finish the lot off...

    With the hand gun rounds I just closely check the first 5, then do a sampling from there out... In a nice steady pace I do about 1 round every 5 seconds..
  12. Thanks for the answers, guys!

    My shooting has been 100-150 rounds/week. Wifey will shoot 60-100. I suspect she'll shoot more, at some point. When I get the carbine, there goes probably another 100 rounds through that. Now, that's not to say our usage won't drop off, eventually, but I think it's safe to assume we'll both go through a fair amount of ammo.

    I know from the economics standpoint, that Lee is the way to go. But I keep looking over there at the blue stuff (Breaking Bad reference intended).

  13. Asher1

    Asher1 Member

    Just don't forget, you have to look into accessories after you get the press... -bullet puller hammer, -system to clean cases, -digital scale, -calipers, -reloading manual, and of course -powder, -bullets, -primers...

    I got my Pro1000, ultrasonic cleaner, tumbler, scale (had the rest of the stuff) for less then the price of one of those Higher end systems alone.. Not saying that your not going to get a smoother, longer lasting unit by going with one of them, it just didn't seem like a good choice for me...

    Lee is the HiPoint of presses, they might lack a little in finish, but they work and get the job done...

    I took the money I saved going with Lee and put it towards building a nice reloading area with good lighting, storage shelves, containers, chair, and a strong table... A awesome press set up in a crappy area on a weak table is going to be less satisfying/productive then a cheap press set-up in a nice area..
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
  14. bigfrank330

    bigfrank330 Member

    My set up is Lee
    3 presses and 9 different die sets

    Sent from my iPhone using Hi-Point Forum
  15. Don't for get the Load Master with 5 stations. But the Dillon is much nicer looking not sure it will last longer thou as I've been told they are made with aluminum. Don't know if it has a bronze bushing or not, if it does no problem then.
  16. Fracman

    Fracman Member

    Dillon has a great warranty. What I didn't like about the Lee 1000 is the cheap chain that reset the powder drop. I love my Dillion 550 it is does not auto indexe. the Lee does. I do all my pistol on my Dillon. All my rifle on my Rock Chucker. I have never timed how long it takes me to reload 100 rounds. But I can crank out the rounds on my Dillon
  17. Given how many you think you'll be doing a year, I think a progressive is the way to go. Unless you want something to burn up your time, which is ok to.
  18. I think my guesstimate on usage is pretty accurate. Last night, we went to a range that has "ladies shoot free" nights. We were just messing around and went through 100 each.

    Lots to think about. Thanks for all the replies!

  19. Forgive the newb question, but what would you need five stations for? I've watched some videos on it and it looks like a lot of guys use station two for a second sizing die, with the deprimer pin removed. OK, that works. What about the fifth hole, factory crimp die?