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Reloading Presses
Types of Ammo Loading Presses and Their Function
 More of this Feature
• Part 1: Standard Single-Stage Press
• Part 2: Turret-Head Single-Stage Press
• Part 4: Hand Press
• Loading Course Index
 
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Post your questions & comments on this course to the Hunting & Shooting Forum, and see what others have to say.
 
 Related Resources
• Ammo & Reloading Manufacturers' Links
• Where to buy Ammo, Components, Equipment
 

Back to Page Two - Turret-head Single-Stage Press

This is part of the About Hunting & Shooting online Reloading Course. Check my Ammo Loading Course Index for links to other existing articles, and be sure to bookmark it and check back there from time to time, since I'll be adding more as time goes by.

Progressive Press
Progressive presses allow for much faster (though often not as precise) loading than do single-stage presses. With each throw of the handle, several operations take place at once. I'll use my Dillon Square Deal B progressive loader (pictured below) to try to briefly explain how progressive presses function.

Dillon Square Deal B

My well-used Dillon Square Deal B progressive loading press. This press only loads handgun ammo, but several progressives are available for loading both rifle & pistol ammo.

Close-up - this is .38 Special ammo

A close-up of the Dillon shell plate.
(photos by Russ Chastain, all rights reserved)

This press perfoms up to seven functions every time the handle is operated, which is pretty nice when you're loading a lot of ammunition. With each throw of the handle, the shell in station one (foreground, left) is resized and deprimed, and it then continues clockwise around the stations until a loaded round is ejected through the chute (which you can see in the foreground) into a waiting bin. Station two is where the shell gets primed, charged with powder, and flared at the mouth to accept the bullet. At station three, a bullet is started into the case mouth by hand, then seated. At station four, the case is crimped.

After setting the seating & crimping dies, adjusting for proper neck flaring & powder charge, filling powder measure and the automatic priming system, all you do is place an empty shell in station one, start a bullet at station three, and operate the handle. With each throw of the handle, a loaded round is ejected into the attached plastic bin. Pretty slick, and nice if you're loading a lot of ammo at once. Not really practical for the beginner, as they're expensive, and a single-stage press better helps one learn the mechanics of loading ammo, in my opinion.

Advantages
- Fastest way to load ammo
- Makes the best of your loading time
- looks even cooler than a turret press

Disadvantages
- Highest cost of any type of reloading press (the press in my example costs around $250 new)
- High-maintenance. Since it's much more complex, it's also more prone to wear and malfunction, and parts can be costly
- Often proprietary. The press in my example uses only Dillon dies, which cost around $64 per set

Page One - Standard Single-Stage Press
Page Two - Turret-head Single-Stage Press
Page Four - Hand Press

Ammo Loading Course Index

Russ Chastain

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