Videos posted for all 4 “5 Station” progressive reloading presses

Looking back at the last year, it’s been exciting to try out all types of new equipment, and to reach my goal (for 2009) of having videos posted for all 4 “5 Station” progressive reloading presses currently on the market.

It all started with the Hornady Lock-N-Load AP Progressive, I then added the Dillon XL-650, then the Lee Loadmaster, and finally the RCBS Pro 2000.

So what have I learned so far? Well, each press has a purpose, and each press also has strengths and weaknesses. Not surprising given the fact that no one company can patent every good idea.

Here’s some video screenshots from videos I posted in 2009: (OK, for those of you paying attention, the RCBS Pro 2000 video is from 2010 🙂 )

Hornady Lock-N-Load AP:

Hornady LNL AP

Dillon XL-650:

Dillon XL-650

Lee Loadmaster:

Lee Loadmaster

RCBS Pro 2000:

RCBS Pro 2000

It’s been very interesting to learn about how each of these presses work, and what’s involved to load pistol, load rifle, and change between calibers. I’ve even posted videos showing the RCBS bullet feeder in action with some of these presses (more of those videos to come).

I’ve also posted videos for other products such as digital scales, single stage presses, turret presses, and more.

So what are my goals for 2010? There are a few things I’d like to accomplish. One of my primary goals however is to finish extensive articles, videos, reviews, and comparisons for the 5 station progressive reloading presses. I’m also planning to cover other presses and products (The Hornady Case Prep Center for instance).

Stay tuned here on www.ultimatereloader.com , because in 2010, we’re going to have a lot of fun, and learn a lot about reloading products!

Did I miss anything? Anything specific you want to see? Please add a comment to this post!

Thanks,
Gavin

32 thoughts on “Videos posted for all 4 “5 Station” progressive reloading presses”

  1. So now that you have had a chance that very few others will ever have, which is trying them all in production, which press would you purchase if you could only choose one?

    One if price was not a factor and one where the value of balance of cost and performance were an issue.

  2. Ray- Each press has it’s pro’s and cons, and each one is still in the market place for a reason.

    How many rounds/month do you load?

    How much time do you have to reload?

    Do you load pistol, rifle, or both?

    I’m still getting started with the Pro2000 and Loadmaster, so I’ll need more time to get to know each myself 🙂

    I’ll be posting a bunch of great articles and reviews this year on this site, so stay tuned!

  3. Thanks for the response, I know it’s tough based on the plethora of variables.

    .223 and 9mm mostly, I don’t have a lot of time but am technically above average so any of the mechanics of each device doesn’t have an impact on me, it has to be a progressive simply due to the throughput of the device. .223 rounds go quickly and would be the main load.

    Saving money for other things like consumables is always a plus and I do understand that the price points probably indicate a level of robustness, not in the metals themselves, but the internal components and wear of those components.

    The Lee products are appealing due to the price, but the reviews are mixed, as I understand it, they require a lot of adjustment to stay in tune. I was personally thinking a Lock and Load or the Loadmaster.

    1. Ray- The good news here is that resale value for reloading equipment is good for *all* reloading presses. You may be able to get 75% back based on what you paid for the press! So if you buy a press and don’t like it, you don’t have to keep it.

      Having said that, it’s better to get it right the first time to save yourself the time and hassle, and expense to replace equipment.

      The Loadmaster has been good for me so far. The priming system does require more setup (mostly initially), but can be made to work well. I can’t really comment for how precise it can be made to work, because I haven’t done that testing yet (planned for this year).

      The Lock-N-Load is a great press, even without the case feeder. The priming system is GREAT, and the powder measure is sweet (as well as the LNL bushing system).

      Here’s an idea: Go to your favorite online retailer, and make a list of all the things you’d need to buy for both, put it in Excel, and compare the totals. That way you’ll have a “total cost of ownership” for both. Note that with the loadmaster, you’ll need to buy an extra priming system and extra parts to get setup if you want to load both large and small primers. The Lock-N-Load comes with large and small setups.

  4. Gavin,

    I am going to get a Hornady LnL AP to reload my .45 ACP and my .223 rounds. I have a set of the Lee Carbide dies with the factory Crimp (4 dies total) die also. Do I need the PCX expander instead of the Lee die? I will also be using a Powder Cop die right after the Powder measure. I am going to get some extra LnL Bushings for speedy swaps. Will my Lee .45 ACP dies work with the Hornady Lock rings?

  5. Hornady LnL AP is inbound from Midway USA. I took the time to talk with the Hornady folks today and they confirmed that the Lee dies did not have enough threads on them. They also took the time to confirm which PTX (powder through expander) I needed for the .45 ACP. This was not explained in any of the literature so buyers pay attention to that. If Gavin hadn’t mentioned it here the press would have arrived and I would not have what I need to load with. I ordered a Powder Cop die with it and the dies for both .45 ACP and .223 Remington with their respective shell plates. I went ahead and got the Hornady primer flip tray and a Frankford Arsenal DS 750 digital scale. I already had the calipers and want to actually put my hands on the case trimmer before I make that purchase. I forgot about the extra LnL bushings for quick caliber changes.

    Thanks to Ultimatereloader.com I was able to make an educated decision that I can live with and hopefully pull the trigger more.

  6. a review/ demonstration on the Hornady ammo concentricity tool, the rcbs Trim Pro w/3-way cutter/casemaster guage, Sinclair(don’t know the tools just know they have them) would sure be nice.
    Head spacing guages, x-dies vs lee dies.

  7. Gavin,

    I really need to back away from this site but, do I need the pistol drum and micrometer to load with on the powder measure? Do I need the same for the rifle too? I did not see a PTX for the .223 so I assumed it was not needed. For .45 ACP I bought the 3 die set (hornady pn 546554). It is explained as the following:

    Includes CGND Nitride Full-length Sizing Die, CGND Adjustable Case Mouth Expander Die and CGND Seater Die with taper crimp. The sizer die features Titanium Nitride sizing rings that eliminate case sticking and require no lubrication. The Zip Spindle is set in place with a collet lock and secured with light threads for precision decapping and easy adjustment. Comes packaged with a plastic storage box and three Sure-Loc Rings, Shellholder sold separately.

    Technical Information

    Notes:
    # Seating die features seater adjustment screw, built-in crimper, locking retainer spring as well as a floating bullet seater alignment sleeve and seating stem, which prealign the bullet and case before seating occurs.

    Does this mean I now have 2 expanders with the PTX installed? Also it sounds as if the seater also taper crimps. I have watched your video several times and it appears that you are using individual dies for .45 ACP. Why is this not more clear to me? It seems like it is apples and oranges.

    The .223 dies are a 2 die set (hornady pn 546228) Explained as follows:

    This die set includes Custom Grade New Dimension (CGND) Full Length Sizer and a CGND Seating Die. The Full Length Die now features a Zip Spindle with a series of light threads cut on the spindle and spindle collet to eliminate slippage and make it easier to tighten the spindle lock when making adjustments. Improve bullet seating and accuracy with the CGND Seating Die that applies a roll crimp. Comes packaged in a plastic storage box with two Sure-Loc rings. Shellholder is sold separately.

    Technical Information

    Notes:
    # Sizing die features precision-polished elliptical expander to reduce friction and case-neck stretch.
    # Seating die features seater adjustment screw, built-in crimper, locking retainer spring, as well as, a floating bullet seater alignment sleeve and seating stem, which prealigns the bullet and case before seating occurs.

    Do I need a rifle micrometer for the powder measure also? Why when you ask the guys at Hornady could they not tell me what I needed to the job?

  8. All of the gear showed up yesterday. Now I got to get on the stick and get my workspace cleared up so I can reload. Hope to pick up a case polisher today, some Hornady One Shot, a pound of Winchester 231 for .45 ACP and some Varget for my .223 rounds.

  9. I have the hornady LNL on order and should have it very soon. I will be loading 10mm, and want to get the PTX. How easy of difficult is it to install in the powder drop?? (how do you do it?)
    Also how much better is it to use the crimp die versus the seating die crimp? I’ve used a single stage for years for 10mm without the separate crimp die with no feed problems in my Glock 20.

    Oh, and thank you so much for your videos, you are doing all of us a fantastic service!

    1. Thanks, I’m glad the videos have been helpful!

      You can really go either way with combined seat/crimp, or separate. I’d say start with the combined approach, and if you find you are needing to alter crimp much, then go with separate. Some would argue separate gives more consistent COL results. I’m not sure.

      The PTX is easy to install, but I’m not sure you’ll need it.

      Here’s a couple setups to consider for your stations:

      Basic:
      1. Size/Deprime
      2. Expand
      3. Charge
      4. Seat/crimp

      Basic with separate seat/crimp:
      1. Size/Deprime
      2. Expand
      3. Charge
      4. Seat
      5. Crimp

      Using a powder check die and PTX expanders and separate seat/crimp:
      1. Size/Deprime
      2. Charge/Expand
      3. Powder check (Hornady powder cop, RCBS lock-out, etc)
      4. Seat
      5. Crimp

      There’s a few ideas for you 🙂

  10. Thanks for the info, I did order the powder cop die so Ill go with the 3rd setup and see how it goes.
    hopefully the ptx will have instructions on how to use it with the powder drop or ill just figure it out.
    I really enjoy shooting my g20 10mm and will have the g29 10mm soon and single stage press takes a month of sundays to load 100 rounds, so I’m really looking forward to the hornady lnl to speed things up!
    Thanks again. :o)

  11. Bit of info on the use of Lee dies in the LnL AP. I have loaded well over 1000 rnds of varying bullets and am in no way an expert. I learn something new every time I load. The Lee FCD will work in the LnL AP. I have one for both the .45 ACP and the .223 Rem and have found really nice results. I am using the Hornady lock rings and LnL bushings on them with great enjoyment.

    My cuurnet set-up for .45 ACP and .223 Rem is:

    1. Decap and size
    2. PTX and charge (using micrometer is awesome here) PTX not used for .223 Rem
    3. Powder Cop
    4. Bullet seat (with die raise to not crimp and using micrometer seater)
    5. Lee factory crimp die

    Next purchase is an additional case activated powder measure set-up for just pistol and the other set-up for just rifle. This should ease caliber or cartridge swap time. The .223 cases have to be lubed for nice sizing and decapping. That is a critical step. The straight walled cases can get by without the lube for the most part. The taper wall cases take a little bit slower process to reload.

  12. Can I make Rifle ammunition to make them, too? or only pistols ammunition?
    (Hornady Lock-N-Load Auto Progressive Press with Automatic Feeder)

  13. First off,

    Thanks for all your videos. There’s something to be said about higher resolution videos and this type of thing…

    I’m newer to reloading. I started about three months back and don’t think I’ll be shooting factory ammo any time soon. I shoot a lot of semi-auto guns and given my lack of experience, I thought I’d start off right with a single stage press. At this point, I’ve loaded a couple thousand rounds of 223 and a thousand or so 40 S&W. The results have been fantastic, however, I think it’s time for me to move on to a progressive press. Most of the 223 I shoot gets slammed out of an AR as fast as it can shoot it and it doesn’t need to be match grade accurate.

    That being said, there are a number of great looking progressive presses out there. I’ve watched most if not all of your progressive press videos and yet I lack any hands on experience with one. Of all the presses you’ve used, which would you recommend the most for quality and ease of use? Budget isn’t really a factor in my decision. The volume of ammo I’m shooting negates most of the cost issues. I’m leaning toward a XL-650 but thought I should ask someone before spending the money. Given your experience with so many progressive presses, you seem to be the best person to ask.

    Hope you can help,

    -Matt

    P.S- I’ve made this same post under “XL650 Loading 45ACP (HD)” a few days back. I’m not sure if you may have overlooked it, given you’ve responded to another post I made, or your formulating a response. I don’t mean to seem eager; I simply want to purchase a progressive press sooner than later. Since I’m leaning toward a XL-650, perhaps knowing the cons, in your opinion, is what I’m really looking for.

  14. Gavin, great videos. Especially the lighting and focus. So many produce videos where the object of the camera is dim or out of focus. Congrats for getting all in order. Yours are the best of the reloading videos that I have seen, including those from the equipment manufacturers.

    I have been reloading for 40-ish years with the last 22-ish using progressives, the blue variety. I am now about to try the Lee and Hornady presses. Your videos will go a long way toward helping me understand each press and how each feature works.

    How about more on how your press mount works and swaps from one to another. Removable tops??

    Dave

    p.s. Will be sending addl comments as fast as I can get them out as I have some processes that may help others.

  15. Gavin, my first tip: I fill up the primer pickup tube and then place the (Dillon) plastic weight rod into the top. This lets the weight of that rod assist in flowing the primers down into the magazine of the press.

    Dave

    p.s. Question: Is your case tube feed shut off clip a standard Dillon XL 650 part or did you make this up?

  16. I’ve been reloading handgun ammo with a lee classic turret press and am very happy with the results. I’d like to begin loading with a progressive press and am leaning toward the LNL AP. Which progressive press, other than the RCBS with strip primer feed, that you have used has the safest priming system. For example, isolation of the tray or tube full of primers to minimize sympathetic explosions of a whole tube or tray full of primers. Thanks. PS Great Videos. A work of art.

  17. I am an avid shooter, but only recently started looking into reloading as a way to save money. I’ve looked at getting a 5 station progressive. Since I primarily shoot handgun, this seems to be a big time saver.
    My big issue is mounting. I live in a small apartment with minimal space. What I really need is something that can be mounted to a table and easily removed when done loading. Of the 5 station progressive, do any allow for this, or am I limited to a more basic setup due to this requirement?

  18. Eli

    I converted a Black & Decker collapsibe work bench – the 500lb load model. The one with the clambing top. I cut piece of 2×6 the width of the bench. Then drilled to match the two through holes of the braces that hold the top of the bench to the metal sides using I think 3/8 or 1/2 carriage bolts, washers, nuts. Then, drill for the press and voila. It works phenomenal. I tried the Frankford arsenal portable bench. It works OK for a single stage press. But even then just OK. I have a Hornady LNL with the case feeder and other goodies. The Black & Decker bench worjk phenomenal. Also, Sinclair sells an offset, table top mount for a single stage press.

  19. I would like to see a detail video on setting up the case activated linkage for the Hornady and RCBS powder measures. When I setup mine, the linkage arms and screws get in the way of each other.

  20. Gavin,

    I have been reviewing Progressive Presses and have narrowed it down to the Dillon 650 or the Hornady lock and load AP I think, both with a case feeder. In your opinion, which of the two presses are the best quality and ease of switching from one caliber to the next? I have noticed in your videos, which have been very helpful and educational, that the Dillon has an interchangeable die block that holds all dies and that the Hornady has individual locking dies. There seems to be advantages and disadvantages of both setups. If you want the same configuration of loading at all times, the Dillon seems to be the better of the two, because your dies are pre set in the block and removal seems to be easy. But if you change the configuration the Hornady seems to be the easier of the two because you can use the different holes for different dies. What is your input on this and is it an issue? And is the price of blocks for the Dillon verses the bushings for the Hornady much different? I will be loading 45acp, 40, 30-06 and 243 so I would like the best press for the money, so to speak. Any help or advice you can give me will be much appreciated. Thanks, Marc

    1. Marc, both are great presses as I’m sure you’ve found from the videos.

      For caliber changeover, the Dillon is going to be slower with no case feeder, but when you factor in the case feeder is simpler (per-caliber inserts, etc), the Dillon is not much slower except when changing primer sizes, that adds a bit of time, or if you have to switch the powder measure slider (going from pistol to rifle, etc).

      The Dillon case feeder does have a system that prevents cases from bouncing out of the way or falling off the “track” so that’s nice. The Dillon also have more accessories (low primer, low powder, etc).

      So, for caliber changeovers, the Hornady is faster overall. Build quality is a little better on the Dillon, and if you’re willing to spend a bit more on accessories, you can trick out the Dillon a bit more. Note that the Dillon case feed sysetm is cheaper, offsetting some of the increased cost, but Hornady has the Get Loaded program. I also like the design of the Hornady priming system (on-demand).

      Hope that info helps you make up your mind.

  21. Thanks for the help Gavin. I just ordered the Dillon with a case feeder today. It was a little bit more but no shipping cost, which made up most of the difference in price between the two (just a few hundred dollars). Where can I get the best price on bulk brass,primers and bullets? Also, are there any primers that I should stay away from? Thanks again for your videos and help, without them I would have been lost. No one that sells all of the brands wanted to give me any pertinent information on the better press. So thanks again, you have been a tremendous help.

    Keep the videos coming.

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