Why use a single stage press for reloading?

by Erik  

If you are new to reloading you probably have done some research on different types of reloading presses. If you want to reload large amounts of ammo you will absolutely want a progressive press. However, there are several instances where a single stage or hand press can be useful.

Single stage or hand presses are very slow. Each stage must be done separately and manually loading the powder for each round will take a considerable amount of time to yield a small batch of rounds. However, this is usually the best way to create several different loads for testing new powders or bullets. More often than not, you will go through several different powder loads before you find one that performs to your liking.

Due to the attention to detail, single stage presses are also great for loading match ammo used for sub-MOA or long distance shooting.

Making adjustments to a progressive press can be very tedious. A single stage or hand press gives allows you to easily adjust things like bullet seating depth, crimp, and powder charges. All of these things will drastically affect the performance of your reloads and therefore it easier to the do the leg work with a single stage or hand press.

Some shooters will only load defensive or competition rounds with a single stage press because it provides the ability to measure each powder charge individually and pay more careful attention to each stage of the process.

Are single stage presses a substitute for a progressive press? Absolutely not. While they are cheaper, you will probably get tired of spending 2 hours of loading only to produce 50 rounds. Personally, I have a Lee hand press that I use for the process mentioned above.

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