Recommended Presses for .223


Dec 4, 2008
Hey guys.
I've been looking thru this forum, as well as others, to try and make a semi-educated purchase of a reloading press.
I think I have absorbed too much info since I haven't made any progress at all.

I would reload 3 calibers only- 9mm, .45, & .223/5.56
It is entirely possible that I won't reload 9mm or .45 very frequently, if at all.
This purchase would be for reloading .223 mostly.

My requirements would be 1000 rds/month max. It is more likely that I would only reload around 500 rds/month.
I think a progressive press is extremely overkill for my needs and would be too expensive up front (except the Pro 1000) by the time I have everything I need.
Also, if I find I just don't have the time or desire to reload, I don't want a bunch of coin tied up in it.

I have read about the Lee, Dillon, RCBS, Hornady, etc., and have no clue what would be the best option for me at the most reasonable price.
I have researched enough to know that Lee is my least expensive option, but will more than likely require me to purchase additional items due to quality issues (such as a better scale).
I am not opposed to piecing something together, but would prefer to buy some type of kit since I am just starting out.
I realize that dies aren't included, along with some other necessities, but if the kit comes with a scale, I don't expect to have to replace it unless it is still cost-effective.

I would really appreciate any suggestions or personal experiences on what you guys are using, and what you feel would work for my needs.
Thank you.


Dec 4, 2008
Nice press you have there baboon.
If I had a great deal of disposible income, I would be all over one of those.
Let's see, if I can just sell my XD and my Nightforce.........


Jul 16, 2008
Texas Hill Country
Well, here goes.
I just got into re-loading this year and probably load about the same amounts that you are looking at. I bought the Hornady Classic re-loading kit from Cabelas and it basically has everything you need except dies, a caliper and tumbler.
The free bullets Hornady is offering is a nice plus. (Not really free, you have to pay 6.95/box shipping)
The powder measure is very accurate/consistent.
I have loaded 9mm, .38, .40 & .45. Getting ready to start .223, .30 carbine & .44.
Once the brass is tumbled, I average about 100 rnds/hr.

I have never used any of the other presses, but once you have the dies adjusted, Its nice to just snap them in and out with the L-N-L bushings.

The good news is, if you decide that you don't like re-loading, pretty much any press you buy will be easy to sell.


Active Member
Lifetime Member
Nov 28, 2008
Midland, TX.
Dillon RL550B without a doubt, in my opinion, would be your best choice.

I loaded many years with a single stage press but fired only about 100 to 200 rounds a month. When I started bullseye shooting my round count went way up and it became a chore rather than a pleasure to reload. Then my son started shooting bullseye with me. It was time for a progressive. We were shooting in excess of 10k rounds of 45 ACP per year!

It became once again fun to reload knowing the rounds could be turned out real fast! That left more time for shooting.


Dec 4, 2008
Thanks for the opinions and input everyone.
Skyjunkie- thanks for that link. It resolved several questions I was having.

Financially, at this particular moment, I am leaning towards the Hornady.
With the free bullet offer and initial expense, I figure I would be in for another c-note for the Dillon. I will just need to determine if the Dillon is worth the extra coin to me.

Thanks again for the responses.


New Member
Apr 17, 2008
Grand Prairie, Texas USA!
I bought a Hornady LNL progressive last year and love it.. So far I've reloaded about 1400 .357 and prob 400 9mm...

Couldnt beat the 1000 free .45 bullets I got either..

Dont wasteyer money and time on a Lee Loadmaster... Plastic laden garbage, unless you like spending more time tinkering with it instead of reloading... The Lee classic cast turrent press is pretty decent however..
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