Author Topic: First single stage press  (Read 6250 times)

Offline ID_Joker

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First single stage press
« on: June 26, 2014, 06:46:26 PM »
I've been stalking reloading forums for a while now and am getting closer to pulling the trigger (pun intended) on my first press and associated accessories.  I am going to go with single stage press first so I can get the process down before graduating to a progressive.  In the future, I envision this being my precision rifle press and also used for hunting loads where I just don't need to make many at a time.

Rock Chucker seems to be a go-to press for lots of people.  Simple first purchase seems to be the kit with press, scale, powder measure, etc.  Other people like Lee or others.  What keeps hesitant about these 'get started' kits is that the presses seem fine but the stuff that comes with it seems like lesser quality --- or am I just making that up?

Questions: 
Better to just by the press and then pick and choose scale, hand primer, dies, scale, powder thrower from whoever seems best in class for that product?
Is there a material difference in upgrading from a Lee to a Rock Chucker?  For only slightly more you can get a Redding....any advantage?

I'd like to try to spend wisely the first time around rather than take an easy route to get started and want to replace half of the equipment in a couple years.

Thanks.

nelson96

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Re: First single stage press
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2014, 06:54:34 PM »
My brother has the Rock Chucker starter kit and we load for accuracy just fine (up to 1000 yard targets).  The accessories are cheap, but certainly work.

Keep in mind that if you are planning on graduating to a progressive, they can be used as a single stage too and add powder in manually.

Offline SnoHam13

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Re: First single stage press
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2014, 08:12:24 PM »
Ive got 35 years on my rockchucker and it still pounds them out accurately one at a time
as for the accessories, had a herters charge thrower,have a redding scale.
kinda mix and match.  but the package is a good starter [RCBS]for you
and the first purchase should be a good reloading manual.

SnoHam13

Offline ID_Joker

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Re: First single stage press
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2014, 09:16:59 PM »
Thanks guys.  Been getting info from several sources and hearing nothing but good about the rock chucker.  Think I'm going that route!

Joel

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Re: First single stage press
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2014, 09:23:41 PM »
The RCBS is a fine press. The beginner kit is a beginner kit and if you get into reloading you'll outgrow parts of it quickly. For example, that balance scale: The first time you use an electronic scale will probably be the last time you ever want to use a balance scale. But it works for learning. The kit comes with a single loading block and you'll need a second one but you'll probably have the first one for life. Ditto with the press: Even if you eventually buy a progressive press for cranking out pistol ammo you'll never really outgrow that single-stage press. And you're unlikely to ever wear it out.

Get the kit, by all means. Just relax to the fact that it's a starting point.

nelson96

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Re: First single stage press
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2014, 09:35:46 PM »
The first time you use an electronic scale will probably be the last time you ever want to use a balance scale. But it works for learning.

My brother and I find the cheap balance scale to work just fine and even offer more accurate and consistent measuring than a couple digital scales we've purchased and returned to the store (loading for long range).  We'd love a digital scale to speed things up, do you have a recommendation that won't break the bank?

Offline sukivel

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Re: First single stage press
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2014, 12:11:49 AM »
So did you get the RC?

Offline never_retreat

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Re: First single stage press
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2014, 10:04:41 AM »
I have 2 rock chuckers. One has the progressive press on top and one is open for anything else.
I also have a lyman "orange crush" I think is called press. This is another heavy duty single stage press
And I have a Dillion square deal dedicated to 45. I got this thing on a deal to good to pass up and its great.
The rcbs bench primer tool is another great item to have.
http://shop.rcbs.com/Products/Priming/Tools/Automatic-Priming-Tool.aspx
I have used some lee presses in the past, they work but have always felt flimsy compared to the stuff I have.
You need a good powder measure also. Don't try to trickle and weigh out each charge. It will get old really fast and its frustrating.
You will need a scale to set the powder measure. Beam scales work but if you can find a digital go for it.
I happen to know someone that did calibration work for a large pharma company and he got me a retired working scale the reads to 0.0000. Way over kill buts its fast.
I have mostly rcbs dies also. If your getting into rifle reloading the carbide dies are worth the extra money.
You will need a good set of calipers also for measuring. Don't cheep out here. Dial type are easier to read.
And lastly if you have a few bucks extra the case head space gauges are nice to have.

Offline ID_Joker

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Re: First single stage press
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2014, 06:56:24 AM »
So did you get the RC?

Yes!  Found a sale, got a Rock Chucker.  Now, as other posters noted, there's all the other stuff to acquire.  Still need to get the bench built, but have to get all the 'must do before the now gets here' chores done first.  Hopefully getting the reloading bench built and set up will be a nice indoor winter project!  :)

Offline res45

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Re: First single stage press
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2014, 07:57:50 PM »
My first and only press is my old Lyman Orange Crusher single stage and kit I bought over 30+ years ago,I have no idea how many rds. I've loaded on that press.  A couple times I though about investing in another press but  I can do a couple hundred rds. in a couple hours and that suits my needs just fine.

The main accessories It came with were Lyman D-7 beam scales,Universal lathe trimmer,#55 powder measurer as well as other small tools and a manual.  The only thing I don't use is the #55 powder measure as I gave it to my brother when he started reloading.  My brother has both the RCBS RockChucker as well as a Lee Cast Iron press.

For powder dispensing I use a RCBS DUO Measure the model is no longer mfg. but RCBS and others make a similar unit and a RCBS Lil Dandy and about 10 different numbered rotors,I load all my pistol caliber and most all my cast bullet rifle loads using these rotors. 

I have both digital and dial calipers,you just never know when the battery or the digital caliper are just going to die.  Electronics are nice but manual always works.  For priming I use two old Lee hand primers with the round heads,one is set up for LR / LP and the other for SR / SP I just have to drop in the appropriate shellholder.  I also have the press priming system that came with it as backup.

Most all my case trimming is done with Lee case length gages and case cutter with the ball handle,for cases conversion that require lots of brass removal I just use my Lyman lathe trimmer and the power assist shaft that attaches to a cordless drill.

I try and keep things simple and pick equipment that is built to last with as few working parts as necessary.  In a SHTF situation I don't want to have to rely on anything powered on by electricity.  Other than cutter heads which I have plenty of spares for various trimmers I use,nothing I have should ever wear out in my lifetime form normal use.


Offline B-787

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Re: First single stage press
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2014, 12:58:14 PM »
I am a big fan of the rock chucker and have 2 but I also would recommend looking at the Forster Co-Ax

I do all my sizing on the Rock chuckers and use the co-ax to seat

Offline TiredOldGrunt

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Re: First single stage press
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2015, 07:23:30 PM »
Ive got a C Style Lee press that was $40 with shipping off ebay, for the beginner I cant think of anything better.  Your forced to PAY ATTENTION to every step and get a FIRM UNDERSTANDING of the process.

Its like learning to fly in a simple trainer Vs. an F16. (Inexpensive single stage Vs. turret/progressive)

Do what you want, everyone wants to by a Cadillac before they even get there learner's permit so YMMV.

I reload out of NECESSITY, unlike many others with deep wallets the only way I can shoot is to reload.  You (all) might find that processing 500 rounds of handgun ammo is just a PIA and decide its not for you.  I know when I first got started, it was exciting and fun, well... the honeymoon is over and its all just WORK.  If I could buy factory by the thousands I would, but I cant so I put the work in.

TOG
« Last Edit: February 18, 2015, 07:29:20 PM by TiredOldGrunt »

nelson96

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Re: First single stage press
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2015, 08:08:40 AM »
Ive got a C Style Lee press that was $40 with shipping off ebay, for the beginner I cant think of anything better.  Your forced to PAY ATTENTION to every step and get a FIRM UNDERSTANDING of the process.

I run my long range ammo in my progressive and run it like a single stage, so that I get the individual custom charge I need.  But when I want to crank it up and run 1000's I can.