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ThatFishGuy
02-17-2009, 11:31 PM
Hey everyone,
really wanting to get into reloading but i am having trouble deciding on which press/kit to get. Deciding between the Lee challenger kit and the hornady classic single stage kit. Factoring IN the 500 free bullets (and 2 month wait) the hornady is still about $100 more expensive than the Lee. with that extra 100 i was thinking i could get a case tumbler and powder etc. Sooo, i guess the real question is whether the Hornady is really worth the extra $200 (minus free bullets)? i know the basic pros/cons ex: the hornady comes with a digi scale, just dont know if its worth the price difference....what do you guys think?:confused:


thanks,
-Sam

What Just Happened?
02-17-2009, 11:44 PM
Digital scales are nice, but I'm not sure if the price difference is worth the difference in quality (unless you're trying to make some benchrest ammo). But I would suggest that you look at the Lee turret press kit. If you're trying to make ammo in any quantity over 100 rounds / month, then you'll want a turret press at the minimum.

Sheldon
02-18-2009, 12:16 AM
From what I have seen the Hornady is a lot stronger press made of cast iron versus the aluminum framed Lee.

ThatFishGuy
02-18-2009, 12:24 AM
Thats the main argument i've heard....I just have no idea what that translates to in practical usage. My intended use is not really for benchrest ammo. Mostly for practice and i eventually want to do IDPA. so i guess the turret press might be more appropriate. the brand question still stand though.
thanks for the input so far!
-Sam

GW
02-18-2009, 12:35 AM
I started loading on a Lee turret press and it was excellent I'd say get the Challenger and use the extra money you save as you suggested.
If later you decide you want a RCBS, Hornady or Dillon, you won't have trouble finding a buyer for your Lee.

Good luck.

Synergy
02-18-2009, 1:31 AM
Get a drink, sit down, relax and have a read.
http://www.comrace.ca/cmfiles/dillonLeeHornadyComparison.pdf

ThatFishGuy
02-18-2009, 2:29 AM
thanks, great read. exactly what i was looking for. I know those were progressive presses....but i get the idea. nothing like insomnia to spark late night reading sessions.

joaoalegre
02-18-2009, 8:01 AM
From what I have seen the Hornady is a lot stronger press made of cast iron versus the aluminum framed Lee.

Assuming the Hornady is stronger, does the price difference justify it for the application?

I couldn't see how you would ruin a press unless you had a big explosion, or did something really wrong to jam the dies.

Splinter
02-18-2009, 11:34 AM
Get the lee challanger kit. If it does break, they will replace it quickly no questions asked. With the money you save you will be good to go. Heck, buy another press to go along with the kit and you will be able to go at a good speed and still save money for materials.

ThatFishGuy
02-18-2009, 12:00 PM
If my choice was down to the Lee, which would you recommend for my use, the turret (4hole) or the single stage. everyone says the single would be easier to learn on, not sure that the turret is harder. i would plan to eventually jump to something like the Hornady AP, but which would be better for a beginner, keeping in mind that i am using the ammo mostly for practice or short range target (= lots of ammo)

What Just Happened?
02-18-2009, 6:45 PM
I would say go for the turret press. You basically use it like a single stage, but with multiple heads instead of one. If you go with the Lee auto-index turret press, you can disable the auto-index until you feel comfortable enough to use it.

The turret press is the way to go, especially since you're interested in action shooting.

smokingloon
02-18-2009, 7:43 PM
How much will you be shooting?

What is your budget?

Do you shoot pistols more than rifles?

morphius
02-18-2009, 9:16 PM
To get started, I got a RCBS RockChucker set many years ago. The Hornady Lock & Load was comparable. But I went with RCBS for the wide variety of dies and superior RCBS Oroville CA based customer service. I still use the RockChucker for match rifle ammo reloading.

For volume auto pistol reloading, I finally went progressive. I chose the Hornady Lock & Load AP this time. It was a close call to the Dillon 650. Primer feeding is the weakest link of most progressive loaders. The Hornady had the feed system like the high end Dillon 1050 and excellent feel. The bushing system for caliber conversion and powder adjustments edge out the Dillon 650. Hornady has made some improvements to make the L&L AP even better. There is a new smoother powder drop system and kink free cartridge ejection. Through Cabella's there was a promotion for free die set, so it was a no brainer for the Hornady L&L AP.

So I'd suggest entry into reloading with a single stage kit on a budget and move into a progressive when ready.

C.G.
02-18-2009, 10:58 PM
To get started, I got a RCBS RockChucker set many years ago. The Hornady Lock & Load was comparable. But I went with RCBS for the wide variety of dies and superior RCBS Oroville CA based customer service. I still use the RockChucker for match rifle ammo reloading.

For volume auto pistol reloading, I finally went progressive. I chose the Hornady Lock & Load AP this time. It was a close call to the Dillon 650. Primer feeding is the weakest link of most progressive loaders. The Hornady had the feed system like the high end Dillon 1050 and excellent feel. The bushing system for caliber conversion and powder adjustments edge out the Dillon 650. Hornady has made some improvements to make the L&L AP even better. There is a new smoother powder drop system and kink free cartridge ejection. Through Cabella's there was a promotion for free die set, so it was a no brainer for the Hornady L&L AP.

So I'd suggest entry into reloading with a single stage kit on a budget and move into a progressive when ready.

Pretty much the same story here, finally just ordered Hornady Lock n Load AP in addition to a Rockchucker. Thousand free bullets don't hurt either!:)

ThatFishGuy
02-19-2009, 12:08 AM
smokingloon- I will be shooting as much as possible... my current budget varies (college student) but i usually get out the range at min every 2 weeks. basicaly stock on ammo at gunshows every time i go home. but i am just trying to stretch my dollar a little farther. at the moment i was shooting my AR more, but i will be shooting alot more pistol in the very near future, but in general it will probably be even pistol-rifle

Santa Cruz Armory
02-19-2009, 6:17 AM
I think I'm gonna sell my Lee Classic auto index turret press and get the Hornady LnL.

It works ok but I want something a little faster.

ThatFishGuy
02-19-2009, 4:07 PM
haha is that an offer ;) ?

C.G.
02-19-2009, 8:16 PM
I think I'm gonna sell my Lee Classic auto index turret press and get the Hornady LnL.

It works ok but I want something a little faster.

They are in short supply right now. Natchez has the best price ($359), but after three different e-mails arriving in stock, they were gone in less than an hour. I should have called instead of trying to order on line. MidSouthShooters had some in stock on Tuesday ($369) and ended up being cheaper since I bought some BARNES bullets that were a lot cheaper there than at Natchez. Problem right now is trying to find shellplates (except from Hornady, where it will cost $12 more per plate).
It should be temporary, from what I hear Hornady is in process of moving their manufacturing.

Ptack1
02-19-2009, 9:00 PM
Everything ive got it lee. I bought the kit from Midwayusa.com and i love it. My first reloading set up. Id love a progressive for all the .45ACP I load, but i cant enough good things about the Lee stuff i have. Grab a few reloading manuals and read em up before you start.

ThatFishGuy
02-20-2009, 6:05 PM
alright well, pretty sure im going to go with the lee. the hornady is just a little too large of initial investment. at least until i know my exact needs. but i did myself a favor and went on down to the local borders. they actually had 1 copy of ABC's of reloading 8th ed., was in completely wrong place and found it entirely by luck, as well as a hodgdon 2009 reloading manual. so i guess i have some more reading to do. time for a beer and a book...

C.G.
02-20-2009, 8:16 PM
alright well, pretty sure im going to go with the lee. the hornady is just a little too large of initial investment. at least until i know my exact needs. but i did myself a favor and went on down to the local borders. they actually had 1 copy of ABC's of reloading 8th ed., was in completely wrong place and found it entirely by luck, as well as a hodgdon 2009 reloading manual. so i guess i have some more reading to do. time for a beer and a book...


Good on you for getting the manuals. As to the large initial investment "buy once, cry once." With RCBS, Hornady and Dillon you can usually re-sell them at close to original price (but you may take a hit in shipping), if you change your mind.

Santa Cruz Armory
02-21-2009, 12:07 AM
haha is that an offer ;) ?

Make me an offer. Press, powder measure, primer feed, double disk kit, two turrets, micrometer powder deal.

http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e346/BLFD1/Reloadingbench.jpg

ThatFishGuy
02-21-2009, 7:38 PM
C.G.- i have learned that all too well. I know sometimes its wiser (and cheaper in the end) to just front the big bucks one time, instead of step by step. But i think im going to restrain myself this time. plus it will allow me to get some other basic equipment (tumbler, case boxes, supplies etc) as well as leave some money over for other projects. I really appreciate the help everyone, and this book has TONS of useful info, already picked up some useful tips.