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I am looking to start reloading. I want to be able to reload everything from 9mm to .223. I dont want to spend alot of money on a starter press and set up, so I am having a tough time deciding what to get. Does anyone have any experience with the Lee presses or horniday presses? I am leaning towards a lee press, maybe this one Lee Challenger Breech Lock Single Stage Press Anniversary Kit, but i really need some guidance! HELP!!! What do yall recommend?
 

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I recommend adding Dillon to your list of choices. The 550 will load both pistol and rifle. It's a progressive type, with manual indexing (rotating the shell holder). Dillon has the best reputation for free service support for their products that I know of. I have the Square Deal B for loading pistol, and have had no problem when calling them to get replacement parts. The people you talk to know the products in detail. One time I called for a simple little replacement spring, and the technician had a hard time figuring out what part I needed because I was using a rather old part number, from the papers that came with the press when I bought it. He told me to package and ship the press to them, it came back modernized and upgraded, free of charge.
 

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The Lee Anniversary kit will get you started just fine. Get a good reloading book with it and you'll be ahead of the game. I still use most of the things I got in the Lee kit and loaded thousands of rounds on the Challenger press.
 

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ifishsum hit it on the head. i have been using the same equipment for the last 15 years and most of it has Lee marked all over it. and the nice thing is, its cheaper, it works great and it lasts.
 

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The lee kit is a superb way to get into and learn handloading. Don't get any progressive to start. KISS Learn the principles first. You can buy a dillon later (I did) when you have a good grasp of the subject of handloading in general.
 

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I'd recommend the little step up to a Lee 4 hole turret press.  I used a Lee O frame challenger for years, the turret is just so much easier because once you get the dies set, you just pull out the turret and install the other one when changing calibers.  Saves lots of time and allows for you change calibers in minutes and your loads will be just like the last time you used that turret. 

Lee Turret isn't a progressive, you only load one round at a time, but you do all the steps to the same cartirage in a row. Vs. a single stage press you do the same step 50 times, handling every case 4 times to end up with a loaded cartiage. With the turret, place empty case in, work arm to resize & deprime, reprime on upstroke, next stroke adds power, install & seat bullet and last taper crimp for 9mm. The Lee autodisk powder measure works but isn't finely adjustable, add the adjustable powder bar for and additional $15 and it's great for the $$$. I've done about 1500 9mm & 500+ 357 mags with mine in the last year. 3 rounds per minute is easily achieved. David
 

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Lee 4 hole turret press as a starter to interim setup. I made several thousand rounds on one of these with zero issues. I have since moved on to a progressive (Lee Loadmaster) but that is not at all for the beginner.

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=622290


I would also buy a good "O" shape press such as the lee classic cast specifically for resizing brass, especially rifle brass.

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=317831

I use one of these for the resizing step and for making higher quality rounds than what is doable on the turret press as I can control OAL/seating depth better on a single stage.


Buy as many books as you can afford, but I think I like this one the best as a starter:

http://www.amazon.com/ABCs-Reloading/dp/0873498518


Research and concentration are the key words to live by when reloading! You can't read enough, nor pay enough attention while in the process. Just one missed step, or lapse in concentration can cause either a "squib" load or an overpressure. You want neither and can, with the equipment listed above and the proper info and concentration, make thousands of rounds of any ammo without issue.

Also, don't forget to budget in a decent bench that is ONLY for reloading if possible. No oils, no flame sources, no filings from working on your guns, lawn mower etc... The fewer variables the better.
 

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It really doesn't matter the brand of equipment you purchase. I own and use a Dillon 550B and am happy with it. There are learning curves with any new endeavour. I do not agree however on the premise of starting on a single stage press. You can learn everything about the process of reloading from many sources in printed form and from sources online. If you can walk and chew gum at the same time you can begin reloading on a progressive press.

It took me the better part of a Saturday to get my Dillon set up to start reloading. (I am somewhat of a perfectionist, my wife says anal) ;D Once I decided on a recipe and had the dies set and the powder charge set, I now don't have to constantly swap dies. Just a cursory check of COL and powder charge is all that is necessary.

Do you have to be careful? Of course. The cautions apply no matter what type of press you use. Let your wallet and your brain decide your course. Best of luck in your quest
 

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If you can walk and chew gum at the same time you can begin reloading on a progressive press.
I thoroughly believe its safer to start on a single stage press. It's easier to pay attention to detail with ONE step at a time than 4 with every throw or whatever. A single stage will teach you each step one step at a time and help develop good habits by being easier to understand. You won't be worried about adjustments except for the die you are using in it.

It's the KISS principle.
 

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If you go with the Lee turret, you can load as with a single stage on it and add the indexing later to make it almost as fast as a progressive. The Lee turret press is quite well liked by those that own them. I almost bought one until I won a Lee Pro 1000 on ebay for 40 bucks set up for .38/.357 which was what I wanted initially. I'd thought about a caliber conversion for my square deal, but it's a royal pain and expensive to buy the conversion on that press. I just leave it set up for 9mm.
 

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NativeTexan, my grandfather thought that it was safer and better to plow with a draft horse than it was to use a tractor. I understand your concern with safety and learning the basics. However if you set a progressive up in a carefull and calculated fashion then use your scales to check powder throw and calipers to check all cartridge dimensions it is not a brain draining process.

If a newbie is wanting to learn every step it is certainly possible to skip the progressive steps by indexing past them. We can agree to disagree on this subject. All I am stating is that most people can learn each step of the process on a progresive press without great difficulty. By the way, I plan to purchase a single stage press to augment my progressive.
 

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Personally, i load all SEROUS ammo on a single stage so I can better concentrate on each step and I've been reloading for 45 years. Everyone needs a single stage. I load all my rifle ammo on a single stage, some of it on a 50 year old Pacific I inherited from my grandpa. I have an old Lyman turret press I bought back in the 70s I do much of my single stage stuff on. I've even, in the past, used the cheap little Lee hand tools. Still have one in .357 and one in .38 special. I bought a Dillon Sq D only after I got involved in IDPA in the 90s and started crankin' out lots of 9mm for practice and competition. Progressives do load a LOT in a short time, but I still have to cast bullets and that is part of the loading process and it takes time. 6 gang molds help, though, but you still have to size some of 'em. But, it's nice to set up a progressive and crank out 100 rounds in a few minutes. It takes more time setting up the press/portable bench rig than it does to actually crank out the loads. Some day, I'll be in a position to be able to just crank out 100 rounds as needed, but I have everything sort of stored right now. My Daughter needs to move her butt out of my house and take all her crap with her...sorry for the rant....and I'll be back in action. LOL I've got a small home. It can only handle so much crap. I can barely move in this place without stumpin' my toes anymore.

Anyway, you'll not dislike a single stage for many jobs and will want one anyway. Why not get it first to learn on. If you decide reloading is too much pain for you and you have better use for your time, you don't have 500 sunk into it. If you do like it and shoot mostly handguns, you'll want a progressive sooner or later, but you'll probably still have uses for the single stage press. Just sort of my thinkin' on it.
 

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A single stage press is great to learn on. Although I don't have one anymore and use a progressive, I wish I had one again. If you are serious about reloading, single stage will be an excellent learning tool. Love my progressive, but just wish I had kept the single.
 

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+1 to starting on a single stage.the type of operation eis a good way to get acquainted.
you'll learn from your mistkaes,and have fun doing so.heck, i"ve got friends that still reload on their rockchuckers and other presses.

good luck dan
 
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