Help support WeTheArmed.com by visiting our sponsors.

Author Topic: Recommend a Press  (Read 6470 times)

bmitchell

  • WTA Guest
  • Senior Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 2317

  • Offline
Recommend a Press
« on: July 09, 2010, 12:46:19 pm »
Ok, here's where I am.
I currently have a Lee hand loader and it is great for pistol calibers.  It's a little annoying but if I have all other prep work done at Dad's or somewhere I can use it to seat bullets in the .300WSM.

Anyway, I am finally realizing just how much I should be reloading .223.  I generally shoot Wolf and that's fine, but I am in a situation where I need to find out if there is something wrong with my AR and I need a couple thousand brass-cased plinking rounds, which I really don't want to buy just to zip through them.  This may be moot if I can determine in some other way if there is a chamber issue.

So I figure, I need a press anyway to do the .300WSM, I have several other rifle calibers that I'd like to reload (30-30, 7.62x55), so I might as well get set up to load .223 while I'm at it.

What I'd like is this: a single stage press for a low cost.  I already have a priming tool that I love, I weigh each charge, and I can use the hand tool for some operations.  I don't really like Lee and I'd like something I can use for a good long time for the calibers I generally reload (the biggest being .300WSM, the longest potentially 30-06).

I've pretty much narrowed it down to the RCBS Pardner but I'd like to hear some recommendations from the board.

I'll also need a trimmer I suppose.  Reviews seem to vary on those pretty wildly.

Ben

WeTheArmed.com

  • Advertisement
  • ***

    only1asterisk

    • Just some guy, you know?
    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 2405

    • Offline
    Re: Recommend a Press
    « Reply #1 on: July 09, 2010, 03:34:08 pm »
    My current favorite single stage is the Redding Big Boss II.  I can form cases with out even bolting it to the bench.

    THE NORSEMAN

    • To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them. - Richard Henry Lee
    • Moderator
    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 5071

    • Offline
    Re: Recommend a Press
    « Reply #2 on: July 09, 2010, 03:39:16 pm »
    The Big Boss is an excellent press, though I prefer the RCBS rockchucker supreme.  Either will serve you, your sons, and your grandsons well.  (Girls too, if they so choose ;) )
    This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. . . . The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries

    bmitchell

    • WTA Guest
    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 2317

    • Offline
    Re: Recommend a Press
    « Reply #3 on: July 09, 2010, 04:11:05 pm »
    Those definitely look good.  My only concern is the cost.  I'm going to have to mull it over some.
    I found out today that I'll be busier than I'd like for the next week or so.  By next paycheck the numbers might look better.

    Ben

    THE NORSEMAN

    • To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them. - Richard Henry Lee
    • Moderator
    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 5071

    • Offline
    Re: Recommend a Press
    « Reply #4 on: July 09, 2010, 04:24:00 pm »
    Both of the above are a touch pricey, yes, but they are a buy it once and be done with it proposition as well.  You'd have to puposelfully abuse and misuse either to wear it out in a lifetime.
    This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. . . . The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries

    bmitchell

    • WTA Guest
    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 2317

    • Offline
    Re: Recommend a Press
    « Reply #5 on: July 09, 2010, 04:28:34 pm »
    True true.  "Buy once cry once" is the axiom I'm trying to learn this year.
    It's held so far.

    Ben

    only1asterisk

    • Just some guy, you know?
    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 2405

    • Offline
    Re: Recommend a Press
    « Reply #6 on: July 09, 2010, 04:57:15 pm »
    I had no idea how much the price of the Redding press had gone up.  It cost as much as the Rockchucker Supreme now.

    If you decide you can't spend that much, you might want to check out the Lee Classic Cast.  It is much press for the money.
    « Last Edit: July 09, 2010, 07:16:30 pm by only1asterisk »

    bmitchell

    • WTA Guest
    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 2317

    • Offline
    Re: Recommend a Press
    « Reply #7 on: July 09, 2010, 05:52:38 pm »
    Hmmm...now the gears are working...

    I had originally planned to mount whatever I end up getting on a wooden stool like the setup Dad has.  I've used it and it is really easy and very compact to deal with in as limited a space as I have.

    This begs for me to build a decent bench though.

    Ben

    only1asterisk

    • Just some guy, you know?
    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 2405

    • Offline
    Re: Recommend a Press
    « Reply #8 on: July 10, 2010, 05:21:07 pm »
    Hmmm...now the gears are working...

    I had originally planned to mount whatever I end up getting on a wooden stool like the setup Dad has.  I've used it and it is really easy and very compact to deal with in as limited a space as I have.

    This begs for me to build a decent bench though.

    Ben

    My first loading bench was only about 2' wide at the top, but was wider at the bottom and had a lower shelf that held 200lbs of lead.  Very stable without taking up too much space.

    xsquidgator

    • Contributor
    • ****
    • Posts: 1861

    • Offline
    Re: Recommend a Press
    « Reply #9 on: July 10, 2010, 05:26:41 pm »
    Hmmm...now the gears are working...

    I had originally planned to mount whatever I end up getting on a wooden stool like the setup Dad has.  I've used it and it is really easy and very compact to deal with in as limited a space as I have.

    This begs for me to build a decent bench though.

    Ben

    The Decker Workmate is a low-budget way to get something good enough to start loading with.  I made a tabletop for mine by bolting/clamping two sheets of 3/4" plywood to the top, and then weighting the base legs down with as much stuff as I could.  It wasn't as sturdy as a dedicated workbench but it was good enough to last me my first year and got me going into reloading quickly.  That first "bench" of mine is now my dedicated boolit casting bench and still sits next to my bench and presses.

    RandySBreth

    • Member
    • **
    • Posts: 497
    • Khaaaaaannnnnnn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      • Ozark Outdoor Journal.

    • Offline
    Re: Recommend a Press
    « Reply #10 on: July 11, 2010, 06:13:07 pm »
    I do have to say the RCBS "Pardner" press has held up well over the years I've had it, something like 15 years now? ???
    Anyway, I still use it as my universal decapping press, so in a way, it still gets more use than any of my more "fancy" presses.
    It's a good buy. If you need case forming or an expandable setup it may not be the way to go, but it is a good starter press.
    That being said, I do have one of the inexpensive "C" frame Lee Presses (30 bucks) with their powder-through-die setup on it, and it's been trucking for a long, long time, too.
    I've head good thing about the "store brand" Graf and Sons "Smartreloader" brand press http://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/product/productId/69
    But I don't have any first hand knowledge of that one.
    My website: http://ozarkoutdoorjournal.blogspot.com/


    "To be great is to be misunderstood" Ralph Waldo Emerson.

    only1asterisk

    • Just some guy, you know?
    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 2405

    • Offline
    Re: Recommend a Press
    « Reply #11 on: July 11, 2010, 07:00:45 pm »
    The Smartreloader is a ChiCom rip off of the Lee.  I can't speak to it's quality, but I don't like violating Lee's IP rights for $40.

    Nothing wrong with having an inexpensive press around.  As RandySBreth illustrates you can always find a use for them.

    RandySBreth

    • Member
    • **
    • Posts: 497
    • Khaaaaaannnnnnn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      • Ozark Outdoor Journal.

    • Offline
    Re: Recommend a Press
    « Reply #12 on: July 11, 2010, 07:27:10 pm »
    The Smartreloader is a ChiCom rip off of the Lee.  I can't speak to it's quality, but I don't like violating Lee's IP rights for $40.

    I wasn't aware of that, but it figures.
    My website: http://ozarkoutdoorjournal.blogspot.com/


    "To be great is to be misunderstood" Ralph Waldo Emerson.

    bmitchell

    • WTA Guest
    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 2317

    • Offline
    Re: Recommend a Press
    « Reply #13 on: July 12, 2010, 08:26:00 am »
     :popcorn

    Thanks for the ideas, guys!
    I may end up building a bench but that workmate looks pretty good too.
    Dad's setup seems the easiest to do for the space I have; he's got the single stage mounted to a smallish barstool and you kind of step on the spindles to keep it from wobbling.  A little more work to use but takes very little space (especially if you clamp the press on, you can remove it easily and still use it as a chair).
    But a proper workbench I want.

    Ben

    SuperNaut

    • Staff Member Emeritus
    • Senior Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 856

    • Offline
    Re: Recommend a Press
    « Reply #14 on: July 12, 2010, 09:55:54 am »
    I have the RCBS Rockchucker and for the most part I like it but it has a few things wrong with it.  First and foremost is the primer catcher, it basically sucks.  If you grind off one of the tabs it works better, but it is still pretty craptastic. 
    Hunting is Green, Reloading is Green


    bmitchell

    • WTA Guest
    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 2317

    • Offline
    Re: Recommend a Press
    « Reply #15 on: July 12, 2010, 10:46:33 am »
    Hmm.  Good to know.
    Any other caveats, with the Redding or the RCBS Supreme?

    Ben

    THE NORSEMAN

    • To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them. - Richard Henry Lee
    • Moderator
    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 5071

    • Offline
    Re: Recommend a Press
    « Reply #16 on: July 12, 2010, 11:05:46 pm »
    Bmitchell-

    Keep in mind this is coming from a very pleased rock chucker supreme owner, but where this is purchase time and a one shot deal, I'd steer you toward the redding press for one simple reason: The spent primer catching system is better on that press than the RCBS press.  It just flat is.

    edit-spelling, 'cause apparently, I can't. :doh

    « Last Edit: July 14, 2010, 01:33:19 am by THE NORSEMAN »
    This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. . . . The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries

    bmitchell

    • WTA Guest
    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 2317

    • Offline
    Re: Recommend a Press
    « Reply #17 on: July 13, 2010, 09:15:30 am »
    Good intel.  I appreciate it a lot, all of ya.

    Ben

    bmitchell

    • WTA Guest
    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 2317

    • Offline
    Re: Recommend a Press
    « Reply #18 on: July 18, 2010, 01:23:07 pm »
    Ok, guys... school me, here.
    Is the primer ejection system of the Redding Big Boss II worth the extra cash?
    I'm used to depriming with a Lee hand loader and it's really annoying because you have to dump it out every 20 or so hits.

    Ben

    only1asterisk

    • Just some guy, you know?
    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 2405

    • Offline
    Re: Recommend a Press
    « Reply #19 on: July 18, 2010, 01:48:55 pm »
    Extra cost over what?  Just for the depriming? 

    Buy it for the quality.  Buy it because it is indestructible in normal use.  Buy it for the massive leverage.  Buy it because it will handle larger cartridge that you will use down the road.   

    If you don't need its capabilities, don't waste the money.



    bmitchell

    • WTA Guest
    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 2317

    • Offline
    Re: Recommend a Press
    « Reply #20 on: July 18, 2010, 10:26:07 pm »
    I'm sorry - I meant, is it worth the slightly extra cost over a Big Boss.
    I realize I was not clear.

    Ben

    bmitchell

    • WTA Guest
    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 2317

    • Offline
    Re: Recommend a Press
    « Reply #21 on: July 20, 2010, 09:39:53 am »
    Well, I went ahead and ordered a Big Boss II.  Thanks for the opinions and help!

    Ben

    only1asterisk

    • Just some guy, you know?
    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 2405

    • Offline
    Re: Recommend a Press
    « Reply #22 on: July 21, 2010, 02:03:49 am »
    I'm sorry - I meant, is it worth the slightly extra cost over a Big Boss.
    I realize I was not clear.

    Ben

    I totally misunderstood.  Congrats on the Redding.  It is a great press and should serve well. 

    Help support WeTheArmed.com by visiting our sponsors.