Sunday, November 10, 2013

Guess I'm a Progressive Now

Okay, I stepped up to a progressive press. I have been looking/reading up for a few months now. Robert recommended the Lee Loadmaster. (correct me if I am wrong) I watched all the videos, looked at Lee's Loadmaster and Pro 1000. Hornady has the Lock N Load AP with good reviews. Dillon has some very nice setups too, just a little out of my price range. At least, those with the ability to load rifle were. I almost pulled the trigger on a Lee- I liked that they have a case feed system included.

Pardon my mess
What pushed me into the Hornady was a coworker looking for an AR upper. Deals were struck, and now I have a Hornady Lock N Load AP. I even used it as a full fledged AP press for the first 100 rounds. Ruined 4 cases figuring things out.

What I've found works for me is to load in 2 steps. The first run thru de-primes, (I love the primer system, with a hose on the end to drop them directly in a trash can) sizes and bells the case mouth. Then I clean the cases. (cough, sometimes, cough) Hand priming is next, mainly because I am a control freak with primers. You have to go by feel, not sight when priming cases with a progressive press. Maybe I will get used to it. I doubt it. I then feed the cases back into the press with nothing in position one. Two has the belling die. Three is the powder drop- which is just freaking cool to watch in action. Position four seats the bullet, after a quick visual powder check. Five is a Lee Factory Crime Die. I'd say 99% of the time the autoeject works perfectly. I can load 200 primed cases in less than 30 minutes working at a steady pace. I am now out of 40 S&W brass to reload, other than roughly 50 cases held in reserve.

Why buy a progressive press when I'm not using it as one? The real reason I wanted a progressive was to reduce case handling. To load 100 rounds on my single stage, I was touching each case 6 times- sizing, belling, priming, powder drop, bullet seating and crimp die. My hands start cramping by round 50. (Okay, the night I de-glocked, sized and belled 1200 cases was, in hindsight, a bad idea) I thought about a turret press. Couldn't see that much of an advantage over a single stage, though the Lee with the auto advance would almost work the same- size, bell on one die plate, hand pump primers, swap heads powder, seat and crimp on the other die plate.

Below is a quick test of my first batch. That Streamlight helps keep the muzzle on target.


Keads said...

I have a Hornady as well. It works! Congrats!

Angus McThag said...

RED Progressive!

JD Rush said...

More like "N is for kNowledge" Red...