Author Topic: Turret or progressive press?  (Read 418 times)

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Offline Boogalou

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Turret or progressive press?
« on: June 11, 2019, 08:00:02 PM »
I'm looking to upgrade my reloading speed with either a turret or progressive press.   I like the redding T7 and have seen good reviews of Lyman's brass smith press.   For the cartridge that I'm reloading the most (9mm), a turret with a hornady or RCBS powder measure would probably be fine.   The dilemma I have though is that from what I have seen of the Hornady LNL AP press, even though I probably don't need the performance that this press can give me,  the price is very comparable to getting a turret with a powder measure and case activated linkage.  There is also the 500 bullet rebate you get if I purchase the Hornady, which is worth over $100.

I currently use a couple of single stage press's,  A older Lee and a Redding Boss,  which can be time consuming when making ammo.   I know some of you might suggest the Dillon 550, but I'm pretty impressed with the Hornady LNL.  So for those who have a progressive, any reason that you can think of to not get one?

Offline cdhbrad

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Re: Turret or progressive press?
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2019, 09:41:56 PM »
I went from a Lee Turret to a Dillon 550.  On my Lee, I had an RCBS Uniflow with Micrometer Adjuster and Case Activated Linkage that I transferred to the Dillon toolheads.  I had a separate turret for each caliber on the Lee and now those are Dillon Toolheads.

I would not let a Bullet credit influence my choice of presses.

Offline Wobbly

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Re: Turret or progressive press?
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2019, 09:42:47 PM »
? Built into your question is a common misconception about "turret presses". Turret presses such as the Redding T7 and Lyman are single stage presses that hold all the dies you're going to use. You'll still be doing "Batch Work". That is, you'll size and prime 50 cases, one after another. Then you'll put powder in all 50 cases. Then you'll seat 50 bullets into those same cases, etc, etc.

That's exactly what you're doing with the Redding Boss you have now, so there's no increase in ammo production by buying a T7. You WILL get more convenience, especially if you discover one more case on the floor.... because the dies never leave the press.

? The next step up is the Lee Cast Turret, which fits into a niche by itself. This is a wholly different type of "turret press" and it would really be better called an Auto Advancing Die press. It is also a single-stage press, but as you pull the op lever, the dies advance above the ram. In this way if there are 4 dies, then you'll pull the lever 4 times and out pops one finished cartridge. One pull for each die, just like your present single-stage, but because each case gets to "see" all 4 dies a finished cartridge emerges at the end.

This system is about 2 times faster than your single-stage because you only touch each case once. So really, the time saved is in "material handling". However, it is important to note that you have not saved any Work. Like your single-stage, you have still pulled the op lever 4 times for each cartridge you finish.

? The next faster presses are the "progressives". The difference here is that 4 cartridges are entering 4 dies at the same time. So with each pull of the op lever you are completing 1 cartridge. Therefore this type press will be 4 times faster than the Lee Cast Turret, AND almost 4 times less work.

Progressives get their name from the cartridges being progressively loaded. There are manually advanced progressives, like the Dillon 550, and there are auto advancing progressives like the Dillon Square Deal and the Hornady LNL AP. The fact of how the shellplate advances has very little to do with the ultimate production rate. Manually advanced presses still make huge amounts of ammo every hour.
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Offline Ken6PPC

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Re: Turret or progressive press?
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2019, 10:20:26 PM »
? Built into your question is a common misconception about "turret presses". Turret presses such as the Redding T7 and Lyman are single stage presses that hold all the dies you're going to use. You'll still be doing "Batch Work". That is, you'll size and prime 50 cases, one after another. Then you'll put powder in all 50 cases. Then you'll seat 50 bullets into those same cases, etc, etc.

That's exactly what you're doing with the Redding Boss you have now, so there's no increase in ammo production by buying a T7. You WILL get more convenience, especially if you discover one more case on the floor.... because the dies never leave the press.


I have to disagree.  You DO get an increase in ammo production with a T7, because you don't have to load the case into the shellholder multiple times.  If you throw powder on the press, you can completely process and load the case without ever taking it out of the shellholder.  It is true that you make a separate stroke of the ram for each operation, but not taking it out of the shellholder after each operation is a huge time saver. 

I don't load that way myself, because I prefer to prime and charge with powder off-press, but I still load faster on the T7 than I could on a single stage press.  I size and expand, remove the case, wet tumble the cases, dry them, prime with a bench-mounted priming tool, and store my prepped cases until I am ready to load them.  Lastly, I charge with powder, seat the bullet, and taper crimp in a separate die.  (Perhaps I am OCD, but this is how I like to load, and I am retired now... LOL!) 

I have been reloading since 1977, and never did make the switch to a progressive.  I also have never had a squib - and I check powder charges very carefully every time I load to ensure that I don't have one!  (You can check for powder in every case on a progressive as well, but every squib I ever personally witnessed was loaded on a progressive...  YMMV.) 



Offline Wobbly

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Re: Turret or progressive press?
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2019, 10:30:59 PM »
So the first questions to ask are: What calibers will I reload AND how many ??

Follow on Information:
? Obviously you have an auto pistol which is (just like everyone else here) driving your decision to look at an auto progressive press, the LNL AP. How many calibers ?
? Do you already own the dies for those calibers ?
? Will you ever expect to load rifle on this press ? 223 can be used in high volume with an AR, but a hunting round like 243 might best stay on the Redding Boss.
? Moderate volumes, like 200 rounds of 9mm, is going to take you about 30 minutes on any progressive. This is going to be such an improvement over the single-stage, you'll feel like washing the car with all that extra time.

? If there are no rifles to load progressively, then you might look at the Dillon Square Deal. But I think it's out of the running if you already own your pistol dies. This press requires special dies.

? When volumes are moderate, I usually suggest one of the versions of the Dillon 550 (BL or RL), but that's mainly because it can be a single-stage OR progressive. It's flexibility is unmatched. But, you already have a single-stage and don't need to purchase that capability.

? There are other progressives (like RCBS), but this market segment is really owned by Hornady LNL AP and the Dillon 650. IF you intend to max out the system with a case feeder and other advanced features, then the 2 systems end up costing the same and the Dillon is the better choice. But, if you intend to keep the press fairly basic, then the Hornady is much less expensive press to get into and has many, many fine features.


>> Now, because of the force required to do 4 dies operations at the same time on a LNL-AP or the 650, ergonomics becomes VERY important. Especially if you already have any type of shoulder or back pain. So with either press, you'll want to purchase the raised press mount and possibly the ergonomic op lever.  Dillon calls these the Strong Mount and Inline Fabrication (for the LNL) calls it the Ultramount.

https://inlinefabrication.com/collections/ultramounts

>> The raised press mount then may mandate in turn a new or serious revision of your existing reloading bench.

So progressives are not something you simply plop on the bench one day and everything is dandy. They have big benefits, but they also bring some baggage of their own along. Just want you to be prepared.

Hope this helps.  ;)
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Offline MadDuner

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Re: Turret or progressive press?
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2019, 10:39:09 PM »
I love my Dillon progressive!

Offline Wobbly

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Re: Turret or progressive press?
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2019, 10:46:42 PM »
I have to disagree.  You DO get an increase in ammo production with a T7, because you don't have to load the case into the shellholder multiple times.  If you throw powder on the press, you can completely process and load the case without ever taking it out of the shellholder.  It is true that you make a separate stroke of the ram for each operation, but not taking it out of the shellholder after each operation is a huge time saver. 

I don't load that way myself, because I prefer to prime and charge with powder off-press, but I still load faster on the T7 than I could on a single stage press.

I'm talking in very general terms. Yes, it may be 15% faster, but it's not 200%, 300%, or 400% like the other press types.

And the safety advantage of being able to compare all 50 powder levels via the Batch Method usually outweighs the ability to spin the turret with the case remaining in the shell holder. So most people, like yourself, generally stick with the Batch Method.

Therefore, the ability you describe in detail, generally is best described as a convenience.

 ;)
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Offline double-d

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Re: Turret or progressive press?
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2019, 05:57:23 AM »
I love my Hornady LNL Ammo Plant!  Go for it!

Offline Boogalou

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Re: Turret or progressive press?
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2019, 07:31:11 AM »
So the first questions to ask are: What calibers will I reload AND how many ??

Follow on Information:
? Obviously you have an auto pistol which is (just like everyone else here) driving your decision to look at an auto progressive press, the LNL AP. How many calibers ?
? Do you already own the dies for those calibers ?
? Will you ever expect to load rifle on this press ? 223 can be used in high volume with an AR, but a hunting round like 243 might best stay on the Redding Boss.
? Moderate volumes, like 200 rounds of 9mm, is going to take you about 30 minutes on any progressive. This is going to be such an improvement over the single-stage, you'll feel like washing the car with all that extra time.

? If there are no rifles to load progressively, then you might look at the Dillon Square Deal. But I think it's out of the running if you already own your pistol dies. This press requires special dies.

? When volumes are moderate, I usually suggest one of the versions of the Dillon 550 (BL or RL), but that's mainly because it can be a single-stage OR progressive. It's flexibility is unmatched. But, you already have a single-stage and don't need to purchase that capability.

? There are other progressives (like RCBS), but this market segment is really owned by Hornady LNL AP and the Dillon 650. IF you intend to max out the system with a case feeder and other advanced features, then the 2 systems end up costing the same and the Dillon is the better choice. But, if you intend to keep the press fairly basic, then the Hornady is much less expensive press to get into and has many, many fine features.


>> Now, because of the force required to do 4 dies operations at the same time on a LNL-AP or the 650, ergonomics becomes VERY important. Especially if you already have any type of shoulder or back pain. So with either press, you'll want to purchase the raised press mount and possibly the ergonomic op lever.  Dillon calls these the Strong Mount and Inline Fabrication (for the LNL) calls it the Ultramount.

https://inlinefabrication.com/collections/ultramounts

>> The raised press mount then may mandate in turn a new or serious revision of your existing reloading bench.

So progressives are not something you simply plop on the bench one day and everything is dandy. They have big benefits, but they also bring some baggage of their own along. Just want you to be prepared.

Hope this helps.  ;)

I reload for 9mm and .40 S&W.   I also reload 300BO, 7.62x39, and 277 wolverine.  Eventually, when I get uppers built for them, I will be reloading for .223 and 7.62x40wt.   I have no shoulder or back issues, and I do have the raised mount from Inline Fabrication for my Redding and Lee.

The best deal I've found so far for the LNL is at Graf and sons.  ($400), while Cabela's  has the best price on the Lyman turret. ($180)

Offline Wobbly

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Re: Turret or progressive press?
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2019, 08:34:15 AM »
I have no shoulder or back issues...

And you don't want any ! But the thing about a progressive is that is that ammo just seems to pour out of the press. And if you pulled the lever 200 times on your Redding, you'll likely be pulling the lever even more on a progressive, and this sets you up for shoulder issues. But it doesn't need to result in muscle issues if you stiffen your bench, fully support your press, and get the op lever to the same height as your shoulder.


I reload for 9mm and .40 S&W.   I also reload 300BO, 7.62x39, and 277 wolverine.  Eventually, when I get uppers built for them, I will be reloading for .223 and 7.62x40wt.   I have no shoulder or back issues, and I do have the raised mount from Inline Fabrication for my Redding and Lee.

So your bench is already at a fairly good height, and your choice of calibers will remain spread over 2 presses. Basically you're going to end up with a press at each end of the bench. The LNL is MUCH taller than the Redding, so you'll want to be aware of furnace ducts and overhead lighting in that area.

At some point, at time of purchase or in the future, you'll need a shell holder for each caliber and a double handful of the die holding LNL bushings. One of the supporting ideas of the progressive is that the dies stay pre-adjusted in a holder. In this way you adjust them once, and thereafter snap them into place. But this only happens if you purchase a bush for each die, and that gets expensive.

Commonly reported issues with the LNL-AP are:
? Primer shuttle is sticky. But this goes away with light polishing and use.
? Powder measure may loosen in the bushing. Hornady sends out free shims to eliminate.
? The case belling feature is somewhat of a muddle
? Some users don't like the implementation of the case feeder.

Commonly reported pluses are:
? The LNL-AP is forever on sale somewhere. $400 is a great price.
? Users love the way the press routes all the spent primer smut to a waiting jug.
? Users like the ability to grease the ram.
? Uses love the powder measure accuracy.
? Ability to apply taper crimp at its own station

There are great videos of the setup and use of the LNL-AP on https://ultimatereloader.com/
His videos show most everything you'd want to learn, plus he demos the correct operating speed. You may want to spend some time there.

 ;)
« Last Edit: June 12, 2019, 08:45:59 AM by Wobbly »
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Offline Boogalou

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Re: Turret or progressive press?
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2019, 04:33:29 PM »
Quote
Basically you're going to end up with a press at each end of the bench
  Well, not really, I use the ultramount with the quick change plates, so I'm thinking I can just  use whatever press I want by changing the plate, but maybe the LNL is a little to large to do that easily.

Ultimate Reloader has been a great help in acquiring more info on all the LNL, T7 and the Brass Smith press.

I guess what I'm hearing is that the advantages of a progressive outweigh the extra cost versus a turret, and the 500 bullet giveaway is just extra icing on the cake....

Offline skin

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Re: Turret or progressive press?
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2019, 05:37:56 PM »
Say you're going to load 9mm. You could load a single round on a turrent press, but, not only will you pull the handle 5 times, you will also move the turrent 5 times causing the turrent head more wear and tear. I agree with Wobbly, on a turrent press you do it in batches. Size x -number of cases. Bell and so on. I use an rcbs progressive with manual advance. I have a number of tool heads for each caliber. I also deprime and prime separately. I can't see any useful gain in speed or work reduction with a turrent press. I have had one for 30+years and hardly use it. A good progressive would be my advice to you.

Offline Wobbly

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Re: Turret or progressive press?
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2019, 08:15:21 AM »
Quote
Basically you're going to end up with a press at each end of the bench
  Well, not really, I use the ultramount with the quick change plates, so I'm thinking I can just  use whatever press I want by changing the plate, but maybe the LNL is a little to large to do that easily.

I guess what I'm hearing is that the advantages of a progressive outweigh the extra cost versus a turret, and the 500 bullet giveaway is just extra icing on the cake....

What you're hearing is that a good auto progressive and a good single-stage (like you already have) actually compliment each other with almost zero overlap in capability. And that's why I think you'll ultimately end up with both presses permanently mounted on your bench.  Maybe not on "day one", but eventually.

If you got a T7 to compliment your Boss, then there would be 85% overlap and one mounting stand would be fine. In fact, so much overlap that within 2 years you'd be using one exclusively and selling the other.

Here's what I predict.... the spent primer handling and die holding features of the LNL will make you want to update your Boss to a Big Boss, so that you get those newer LNL features reflected back into your Redding.

In other words, prepare to be spoiled.  ;D

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