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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright guys, I don't post all that much on here but check it and read this forum daily and I have a serious question. I am going to get into reloading. I have done some research and I don't know which option to go with. I thought I would ask the forum because you are all helpful and will be able to get me the information needed. Which brand of press would you go with RCBS or Hornady?

I like them both and had a little experience with the RCBS but they both seem like excellent options. What are the pro's and con's with both or is this like an apples to apples comparison and it boils down to personal preference.

Thanks guys and look forward to the replies.
 

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What are you going to reload? I really enjoy my LEE Turret press for doing moderate amounts of pistol / .223. For bottleneck rifle cases any moderately strong single stage will be fine.


-DallanC
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What are you going to reload?

It is going to be a variety. I will be doing 9, 40, 45 pistol. Getting into the rifle cartridges there is going to be .223, 308, 338, 7mm, 30.06, 30-30. So it will be a good mix.
 

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I'd lean towards a turret or progressive press... just so you dont have to fiddle with so many dies. As I said, I really love the LEE turret, I like how you set all of your dies for a specific caliber once and you are GTG, just swap tool heads when you want to use different calibers.

Pistol on a single stage would be mind-numbing. What is your budget?

-DallanC
 

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With hornady'a free bullet offer I would and did go that route. I got 1200 free bullets from my Christmas order alone
 

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Either will do quite well for you. Once things are set up the Hornady would have the edge just for the ability to quickly change over from one caliber to another but what is a couple of minutes?

I have been using a Lyman turret press for over 40 years now and keep on thinking of upgrading but it does what I want it to do and I have had no problems with it once I modified it a little to accept RCBS dies. The washers that hold the turret on were too large to let the lock rings on the dies to clear when they were locked onto the die.

The one other loading press set up that I would really take a hard look at is the Dillion 550. It cost more than either the RCBS or Hornady set ups but man it would be nice when I am reloading pistol cases.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Whats your budget?

So that is where i will be able to shop around. I am going to buy one of the kits that has everything in it so just depends on what on sale when I decide which route to go.

I do like the free bullets with the hornady side.

I have watched numerous youtube videos where they are using the dillion and that looks awesome. Unfortunately that would be a purchase for the future once I get more education on this whole process.
 

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The free bullets work fine until you find out that your firearm doesn't like them and then you are stuck with 1,000 bullets for practice.

I have found that none of my rifles like Hornady bullets.
 

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I like the Lock-N-Load feature on the Hornady. I also like the angle of the opening.
 

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I would recommend an o-frame single stage for a first time press. It's the strongest design and will allow you to load just about anything. I would definitely have to vote for an RCBS press, the Rockchucker model is a great choice. Hornady's presses will do just fine, but I've always liked the green ones better. The Lock-n-Load feature is a great idea, but I would never use it for my match-type ammo. There is too much variation in all the component dimensions and I prefer to dial everything in from scratch for each batch I make. I have personally measured cartridges from two different batches made with Lock-n-Load dies that weren't reset and found a surprising difference in COL and shoulder bump. If you do a lot of Rifle ammo, or precision shooting then get a single stage now and a progressive/turret second. Even with my Dillon XL650, which is an incredible machine (capable of 1000rds/hour if you can keep up), I still use my RCBS Summit and Rockchucker presses all the time.
 

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I have a Dillon 550B and a RCBS Junior that is a 35 + years old and still throwing thousands of loads a year. My buddy really likes his Hornady Loc n load system. Hornady or RCBS will last you your lifetime and your grandkids lifetime. Buy either and enjoy.
 

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Where are you located? I think seeing them in action is the best way to make a decision; the only time I have a hard time making a decision is when I dont have enough information. Seeing someone using them and using them yourself is a pretty good way to find out. I had another forum member do this for me and all of a sudden all of the reading of the manuals made sense. At the end of the day I think they will both work fine.
I personally use the rockchucker V and really like it. I have had it for about 4 years with is sitting in storage for about eh last year. I have pretty much everything in RCBS. I got mine on a pretty good deal when Cabelas had the kit on sale, had a promotion going for like $45 off of $300 and RBS had a mail in rebate, which they seem to do pretty often making the whole kit only about $200. I just really enjoy the relaxation of reloading and load my 9mm for about 300 rounds at a time on a single stage. I mainly do precision long range stuff. It all works great except the beam scale I really dont like personally so I got a digital and then later the Chargemaster.
Where are you located?
 

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That's a good point Huge, trying em out might make all the difference. By the way, Ain't that Chargemaster awesome? Been a gamechanger for me, worth the money.
 

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I have a RCBS rockchucker single and I reload everything on it. If you're in a hurry Dallan is right, switching pistol dies will take a lot more time vs having a progressive press. For me it's a time killer hobby so it's what I do when I want / need alone time and it's too dark to be outside. I don't mind the extra time and handle pulls of a single stage so I do all my 9mm and 41mag on it in batches of 100 or 50. It comes down to volume, if you shoot a lot then you'll want a progressive press. If you're like me and reload most everything I shoot all year in the winter while its dark then a single stage is fine. My set up is as follows: Single stage press, old school bar scale, powder thrower (really nice for plinking batches so you don't have to weigh each one), case trimmer, and powder tickler.
With this I reload for 5 rifles and three pistols. All my stuff is RCBS except my dies. Most are RCBS but a few are Lee, Hornady, and Redding. All work well. I like my pistol sizing dies to be carbide so I don't have to lube as I use a universal decapper and tumble them (stainless tumble media is awesome) before I size so they are clean. I always lube my rifle brass. My next buy might be a shotgun reloader.
Welcome to the club; you too will soon be reading ballistic tables a giggling to yourself....:)
 

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Anyone know why in the heck RCBS hasnt center drilled their ram's like LEE does to catch primers? Man that right there is my biggest love of my LEE press, and biggest hate of RCBS, catching spent primers when decapping.

Like Al said though, I have a RCBS "Partner" press that is 31 years old and thousands rounds through it... still going strong. RCBS makes great stuff.


-DallanC
 

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Anyone know why in the heck RCBS hasnt center drilled their ram's like LEE does to catch primers? Man that right there is my biggest love of my LEE press, and biggest hate of RCBS, catching spent primers when decapping.

Like Al said though, I have a RCBS "Partner" press that is 31 years old and thousands rounds through it... still going strong. RCBS makes great stuff.

-DallanC
I absolutely agree; that is one down side to RCBS. The freaking primers end up everywhere. I've gotten to the point I hold my thumb at the bottom when depriming so they don't bounce out. But there's still plenty on the floor when I'm done.
 

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I have a Lyman Turret press that has a primer catcher and I still get spent primers all over the place.
 

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I got the Hornady setup a couple years ago and have enjoyed it a lot! Single stage is fine for me since I too only load 20-50 rounds at a time depending on caliber. I like the LNL fast die changes.

You'll find that while buying it all as a set is good, you'll probably be buying new/different components almost immediately. I started with an inclusive set but have switched scales, use a rcbs case prep center now. I'd just buy a press then the other items separately but the free bullets offer is also very nice...I got many of my bullets that way
 
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