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124gr9mm

Good single press for loading .308 (and maybe .223/5.56)

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I'm in the process of building a .308 bolt rifle for bench/distance shooting and I'm considering picking up a single stage press for loading ammo.

I currently use a Hornady Lock N Load progressive press for (lots of) handgun loading, but I've read that many people prefer a single stage press for rifle loads.

Since I'll be shooting a bolt gun I won't be burning through tons and tons of rounds each time I get to the range, so I'm not too worried about the time it takes, but I don't want to invest a whole lot of money on another press if there's no need to.

I've seen good prices on a Lyman Orange Crusher press, so I was thinking about picking that up and giving it a go.

Any recommendations other than the Lyman?

Thanks.

 

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For precision loading with a single stage press, there are none finer than the Forester Co-Ax press and a good set of bench rest dies.

https://www.forsterproducts.com/product-category/case-sizing-lubricating/co-ax-reloading-press/

Look around for the best price on the press.

Adios,

Pizza Bob

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I use the L-n-L AP for .223 and it works great. For 308 I would use a good single stage. This guy goes over using the press for .308

 

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I use my Lee classic turret as a single stage but I can have more than 1 die in it. I just take the rotating rod out and turn the turret by hand. I just seat the bullet then do a light factory crimp for my long range 223 stuff and 308. There is a tiny bit of play in the turret plate but wayyyy less than my LnL has in deflection. I seriously doubt that bit of play has any affect on accuracy. All the rounds come out the same length. 

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Like PB said, the Forster Co-ax is a great single stage. It’s different then most other single stage presses because it allows the die to float. Other SS presses the die is screwed in so it cannot float. The importance of this is that it lowers runout so the bullet is concentric to the bore. This in theory should improve accuracy of your rounds. 

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13 hours ago, BullzeyeNJ said:

Like PB said, the Forster Co-ax is a great single stage. It’s different then most other single stage presses because it allows the die to float. Other SS presses the die is screwed in so it cannot float. The importance of this is that it lowers runout so the bullet is concentric to the bore. This in theory should improve accuracy of your rounds. 

I can’t find any information about this “floating die” can you elaborate? If you meant a floating seating stem then AFAIK most seating dies have that

 

To the OP, the Army Marksmanship Unit uses modified Redding dies in Dillon 1050’s for precision rifle so there are many ways to skin this particular cat

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The die on the Forster floats in the press.  It's placed in a slot in the front of the press as opposed to being screwed in from the top like a Rock Chucker.

An RCBS Rock Chucker or really any single stage will take you very far.  I have a Forster and it's great but does have some shortcomings.  A LEE Classic Cast is another option.  The Lyman Orange Crusher will do fine if it's in budget.  If you step up to a Benchrest game, you'll most likely be upgrading anyway.  For tactical style shooting and the like, any single stage that's solid will do just fine.  Don't over think it.  308 isn't a benchrest round anyway.  Load as well as you can and have fun.  

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^^^ this. And I forgot to mention that the Forster has floating jaws too. A standard single stage using a shell plate for that specific casehead. The Forster does not use one. 

Also, dont be shy about using a progressive press for reloading rifle ammo. David Tubb and John Whidden, two famous world record holding rifle shooters both use a Dillon 550 progressive for their reloading. They do not use the volumetric powder measure though. Each powder charge is weighed individually on a separate scale and then poured into the primed case.

Whidden makes a special toolhead for the Dillons that allows the sizing and seating dies to float. This again is to reduce runout.

https://www.whiddengunworks.com/floating-dillon-toolheads/

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I load with a Rock Chucker and am pleased.  The co-ax is excellent. But pricey.

Now it's all about alignment.  Most solid single stage presses are made to exacting standards.

Never loose sight of one thing..."It's not the arrow, It's the Indian"

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Thanks all.

Forster looks awesome, but well over my budget.

At this point I think a decent single stage (of any manufacturer) will serve my needs.

 

 

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All those big buck presses are nice but I have been reloading on RCBS Jr for about 45 years.  I can load ammo giving me 1/2"-3/4" groups at 100 yds.  That's using std components and shooting them in my Savage bolt actions. I see no difference in loading on the RCBS or Lee press I paid $25 for.

You can do all kinds of things to make accurate ammo. How much accuracy do you want?  I'm happy shooting 1/2"-3/4".

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18 hours ago, GRIZ said:

All those big buck presses are nice but I have been reloading on RCBS Jr for about 45 years.  I can load ammo giving me 1/2"-3/4" groups at 100 yds.  That's using std components and shooting them in my Savage bolt actions. I see no difference in loading on the RCBS or Lee press I paid $25 for.

You can do all kinds of things to make accurate ammo. How much accuracy do you want?  I'm happy shooting 1/2"-3/4".

Great points GRIZ.

For the forseeable future the shooter (me) is going to be the biggest barrier to accuracy, not the rifle or ammunition.

And honestly I'm not looking to be a match champion at 1000 yards  I'll be VERY pleased if I'm a 1 MOA shooter 100 - 300 yards.

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15 minutes ago, 124gr9mm said:

Great points GRIZ.

For the forseeable future the shooter (me) is going to be the biggest barrier to accuracy, not the rifle or ammunition.

And honestly I'm not looking to be a match champion at 1000 yards  I'll be VERY pleased if I'm a 1 MOA shooter 100 - 300 yards.

I'm no match shooter either.  Decent ammo is not hard to make if you take simple care.  I don't go nuts uniforming primer pockets, turning case necks, and stuff like that.

You should be able to shoot moa or a little more with just about any decent bolt action, a halfway decent scope, and decent 7.62 ammo (not match, M80, ZQI, Australian surplus, and a lot of others do it).

 

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48 minutes ago, 124gr9mm said:

Great points GRIZ.

For the forseeable future the shooter (me) is going to be the biggest barrier to accuracy, not the rifle or ammunition.

And honestly I'm not looking to be a match champion at 1000 yards  I'll be VERY pleased if I'm a 1 MOA shooter 100 - 300 yards.

That will last for a very short time unless you're sighting in to hunt.  Then your accuracy needs will become dependent on any "game" you decide to play.  Plus, making small groups of holes from far away is just plain fun.  Feel free to give me a shout.  I love sharing my very limited knowledge.  

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