Author Topic: New Reloading Press - 4 vs. 5 Stations and Use of a Powder Check  (Read 3253 times)

Niccolum

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All, I'm in the market for a reloading press and I'm trying to decide between a turret press (e.g. Lee Classic Turret), a progressive press (e.g. Dillon RL550B), or an auto-index press (e.g. Dillon 650XL or Hornady Lock-N-Load AP). Presses with a 5th position seems to only be for a powder-check die and only exist on the auto-index presses. I see the value of a powder-check station because I, like most people, like my hands and face. However I've never used one in the past (reloading on a friend's Dillon 550B) and wasn't really wanting to spend the kind of money the biggest auto-index presses cost because I don't foresee myself needing to crank out hundreds of rounds per hour. I'm doing this for both the skill and the long-term cost savings, not to crank out rounds as quickly as possible. I'm careful and fastidious about powder charge and check every 5 to 10 rounds when using the Dillon 550. I was pretty settled on the Lee Classic Turret as a cost-wise sweet-spot but keep speculating about the real value of a check station. What do other reloaders think - how much do you use and trust a check die and is it worth the money for a 5-station press to get that feature?

Offline Luvmy45

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Re: New Reloading Press - 4 vs. 5 Stations and Use of a Powder Check
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2013, 03:15:36 PM »
If you can afford it, the 650 is the best choice... even if you don't use the powder check system. it is a faster system than the 550 and you can crank out quality ammo in a shorter period of time. Plus, it's a Dillon.

I like the 550 as well, and is my day to day press, because I haven't wanted spend the money upgrading my system to a 650, which I would in a heartbeat if the right deal came along.

You cannot go wrong with a Dillon... the biggest factor is how much you shoot. I do a lot of shooting, of multiple calibers. So a dillon press was worth it. By a lot, I mean I shoot competitive USPSA/IDPA/Steel Challenge and 3 Gun as well as precision rifle on a monthly basis... my press doesn't get much of a break. The 550 does it all, and quickly, the 650 would be even quicker for me.

The Hornady LNL AP is good from what I hear, but doesn't have the track record of customer service that Dillon does.

Powder check is a good feature, but would not be a deciding factor for me. If I had it I would use it.


Niccolum

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Re: New Reloading Press - 4 vs. 5 Stations and Use of a Powder Check
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2013, 12:21:43 PM »
I ended up getting the Hornady Lock-N-Load AP for $399 and Brownells.  ;D

Offline Luvmy45

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Re: New Reloading Press - 4 vs. 5 Stations and Use of a Powder Check
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2013, 03:23:53 PM »
Congrats!!! Guess we know what one of your 13 skills is going to be this year ;D

Offline robertov416

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Re: New Reloading Press - 4 vs. 5 Stations and Use of a Powder Check
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2013, 03:30:03 PM »
I ended up getting the Hornady Lock-N-Load AP for $399 and Brownells.  ;D

That's the one I went with it as well for my 13 skills, but I'm interested in following all the new reloaders that are getting in to it no matter which reloader they purchased. :) 


Niccolum

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Re: New Reloading Press - 4 vs. 5 Stations and Use of a Powder Check
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2013, 03:59:32 PM »
This is one of my 13. Well, currently it's one of nine - I still need to fill out my roster. You can see my profile at http://www.13skills.com/member/225/niccolum. If you want to follow me on there, I'm working on setting up a blog to post progress. Once it's up, I'll list the blog site on my profile.

Offline flippydidit

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Re: New Reloading Press - 4 vs. 5 Stations and Use of a Powder Check
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2013, 11:47:34 PM »
The old timer that taught me to reload made a very valid point that I rely on to this day.  "You can automate any part of reloading that you would like to, son.  Except the powder charge."  He said that it doesn't matter if you can crank out a million rounds.  All it takes is one bad round to make it all pointless.  For that reason I have never relied on anything other than my own skill and experience for the powder charge.  It seems like a monotonous part of the reloading that should be able to be automated.  I'm sure it can be perfectly safe to automate.  Just weigh the round after the charge, right?

Well, for me it's almost like vehicle maintenance.  I can work on almost everything on my vehicles (to include the brake system).  I choose NOT to work on my own brakes.  I'll pay a professional to do that.  It's just not worth the chance that something got screwed up.