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I'm sure this question has been asked before. Being new to the possibility of reloading handgun ammo, and since they all look like something out of "Alien", which is best for the novice? Mostly I see and hear about RCBS. Talked to a guy at the range and he said, "don't buy a RCBS, buy a Dillon". It sounds like comparing a Chevy to a Ford. :confused:
 

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Not much can go wrong with a Dillion

The RCBS machine looks sort of like a Rube Goldberg contivance.
I've been using Dillions since the model 300, still have that old 300, works fine.
I'd skip the quandry and call Dillion.
Jim
 

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I have seen the new RCBS, but have not used it. It is a substantial improvement over the previous model and essentially built to compete with the Dillon. I do, however, own three Dillons; 1050, 550 and SDB. If the only thing you will load is handgun, the SDB will meet your needs. But, if you ever intend to load rifle in addition to handgun, the 550 or the 650. I use the 1050 only for .45, but I shoot a lot of .45. Wonderful machine. When I looked at changing calibers to include .223, I found I could buy a 550 for about the same money and add the versatility of additional calibers on it. I now load most of my rifle on it. The SDB is superfluous at this time, but I'll keep it for smaller projects.

DILLON!

dclark
 

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Don't forget the Hornady LNL AP. It is a great machine too. RCBS has kind of a reputation for making a good, but not great product. Dillon seems to make whatever it takes to increase your speed. Hornady, IMHO, is just right for an average volume reloader. My second choice would be Dillon. About the only thing that turns me away from Dillon is the cost to setup and load many calibers.
 

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AJ

You might want to take a look at the number of shells you want to load on a consistant basis. It sounds like everyone here is talking progressive loaders. Since your question was "which is best for the novice?" I thought you might want to check out a single stage loader. Simple, inexpensive and you can still crank out a lot of rounds.

I use a RCBS Rock Chucker and have loaded thousands of rounds and like it real well. It is a good way to learn the basics of reloading before stepping up to the progressives. As a novice I would recomend slowing down and doing everything one step at a time until you find the need for numbers outweighs simplicity.
 

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I have used RCBS equipment ever since the earley 70's and believe that you can't beat a Rockchucker press, But when it comes to progressive reloading I would purchase the Dillon hands down. Not only do they make a great piece of equipment but they are great to deal with and eager to help.

Just my $.02 worth
 

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I have to agree with handloader. I got my rock chucker in 1970 while stationed in Stockton Ca. Ive used it to load from the 22 hornet to 458 mag, plus once used it to crack black walnuts
(I know it wasant designed for that but it worked--coundent find out where the kid put my hammer). Had a Hornady 007 that I gave away, sold my rcbs 4/4 and use my green machine for a boat anchor on my canoe. Got my Dillion in 88 (550b) and havant looked back since. As posted elsewhere had a couple of problems and a quick phone call to them and found out 2 were operater malfunction and they cleared the other probs. for me over the phone. I use my rcbs for a few specialty loads, other wise I load both rifle and pistol on the dillion

Gun Runner :p
 

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Dillon, no ifs ands or buts. I have used other presses but none match Dillon.
 

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I have a Dillon 550 and 2 SDB's, they are all great presses. If you want to load multiple calibers, with the possibility of rifle rounds, get the 550. Your up-front investment will be a little greater but it allows you to use your existing dies and is easier to load on when the pistol cartridges get bigger (ie 41,44 mag, 45 LC, 357 max.). The 550 is also very easy to swap calibers on when the additional toolheads are purchased and they are very inexpensive. I cannot speak for the newer Hornady progressives, but I have a Pro-jector, which is the press I belive the current model is based on. I could bash this press until tomorrow. POS. I only still have it because no one is silly enough to buy it from me. Nuff said about that. The people at Dillon give great no-questions-asked support on the presses. I have had nothing but good luck with Dillon products. I have had pretty good luck with RCBS over the years, but their progressive looks like a cobbled-together nightmare. Everyone I know who owns a progressive currently own the blue ones. I've talked to a lot of people that used to own green or red preogressives, and some others, but they ALL have blue presses now. I have never seen a modern manually operated progreesive press in a commercial reloading shop that wasn't blue, and I think this says volumes more than any other annecdotal evidence I can come up with.
 

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I have to agree with handloader. I got my rock chucker in 1970 while stationed in Stockton Ca. Ive used it to load from the 22 hornet to 458 mag, plus once used it to crack black walnuts
(I know it wasant designed for that but it worked--coundent find out where the kid put my hammer). Had a Hornady 007 that I gave away, sold my rcbs 4/4 and use my green machine for a boat anchor on my canoe. Got my Dillion in 88 (550b) and havant looked back since. As posted elsewhere had a couple of problems and a quick phone call to them and found out 2 were operater malfunction and they cleared the other probs. for me over the phone. I use my rcbs for a few specialty loads, other wise I load both rifle and pistol on the dillion

Gun Runner :p

Did you rally use your green machine for an anchor or is it tucked away under you re-loading bench?
 

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I have a Rochchucker and a pair of Dillion 550's. For accurate ammo loaded with TLC the Rockchucker is hard to beat. If you need a progressive, Dillion is the man. I have not used the RCBS progressive.
 

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Dillon !!!!!!!

Dillon wins hands down and you can't beat their no questions warranty. Even if you got it second or third hand they still cover you 100%. I have a RL 550 and use if for both pistol and rifle , you can load progressive or single with it and it's way faster than a single stage operation. Buy Dillon and you won't be sorry.
 

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If you want to load rifle calibers, or 357 sig for that matter, get the LNL AP. It is more flexible, and allows the PM to move to different stations, which you cannot do on a Dillon. It is cheaper to set up for multiple calibers.

If you want to start out on a single stage press (an idea with merit), I would suggest either the Lee Classic Cast (iron) press on a budget, or the Forster Co-Ax for more $$.

The RCBS rockchucker (or Lyman or Hornady SS presses) does not have effective spent primer handling, and will spill more than the occasional spent primer on the floor. Lee CC, Redding Big Boss II and UltraMag, and Forster Co-Ax all direct spent primers and debris through the ram into a tube to a bucket or catch bottle.

Andy
 

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If I was just reloading handgun ammo I would skip the single stage all together as they are discouragingly slow.
People generally shoot more handgun ammo than precision rifle, so some sort of a production pace will become important real quick.
If a progressive is biting off more than a novice can chew, I would get a good turret press, probably a Redding, the Lee turret is a good one too I hear, and cheaper to buy.
A turret press works just like a single stage but its 5 times faster, and you dont have to change the dies for the next process.
A progressive press is 5 times faster than a turret. They really arent that complicated, they do the same things as a turret or single stage press, just all at the same time.
I use a Dillon 650 for all my handgun ammo and a Redding turret for my rifle ammo. I really couldnt ask for a better set up.
 

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For a good single stage, any one of the same basic design is as good as any other, pay what ever it takes to make you feel confident. For a turret press, it's Lee's Classic Turret. But, for a progressive press, there's only Dillon.
 

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i use my dillon 650 for everything except when i load cartridges that have compressed loads or loads where the powder reaches the top of the case. progressives can spill powder if your not super careful as they index. for those loads or loads where i want EXACT powder measurements i use my rockchucker from RCBS and powder is measured and loaded one at time. so when i am loading for my 458 winmag its single stage RCBS. for pistol ammo like 45acp or loading plinking rounds for the .223 and .308 its dillon.

nothing wrong with either and there are places for both. i have seen people bring single stage presses to the range and load there. if your just starting it really doesnt make a difference as to which you get progressive loading is less labor intensive and loading is faster. progressive presses are much more expensive than single stage presses. the diff really is in how much money you want to spend.

if money isnt as important as time spent at the press then progressive if money is the issue then single stage. i used to shoot 45 almost everyday running through several thousand rounds a week. the progressive was a godsend. now that i shoot maybe once a month and the main rounds i shoot are .308 and .458 i spend more time at the single stage press.

anyway one isnt really better than the other they are useful in different ways for different needs. with the amount i shoot now i couldnt justify a progressive's costs. i started with a single stage and found out i needed a progressive, now i am back to single stage. :)
 

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For new guys the Lee turret is a good place to start. Learn the basics and then decide. Having a spare press when you get the progressive is also a good idea. You dont always want to run off a thousand.
 

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You say you are new to reloading but want a progressive, either RCBS or Dillon.

Are you shooting pistol enough that you need 1000 round per caliber a week? If you are not, I would get the Lee Classic Turret. A lot less money, I mean a LOT and that money can be better spent on components. With this press, I can turn out 357 magnum and 45Colt ammo very quickly. 50 rounds takes no time at all. That and it can be run as a single stage and load cartridges as long as the 416 Rigby, and 300 and 375 Holland and Holland magnums.

Pretty comprehensive if you ask me.
 

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I know i'm new here but I use RCBS...I have a rock chucker and 2 4x4s. Some of the people I shoot with use the Dillons. The dillons do reload rounds faster but the RCBS makes better reloads.... I think. I have seen a number of squb rounds come from dillons..... maybe they load to fast....
Just my 2 cents worth
 

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Pro 2000 by RCBS/ Dillon 550B: the Pro 2000 powder system stays with the press and does not require powder conversion, powder bar and extra funnels etc., that is a savings $$$, the RCBS has 5 positions with a 4 position tool head, I will not load on a progressive press with out a lock out die for straight wall cases or a powder die on bottle neck cases, with the Dillon I am forced to seat and crimp on the same position or crimp separately, with one 45 ACP I crimp with a full length sizer, this makes the pistol think it is getting the good (new) stuff.

Both are magnificent presses as is the Hornady.

F. Guffey
 
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