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April 9th, 2022

Saturday at the Movies: Seven Progressive Presses in Review

ultimate reloading progressive press review dillon Mark 7 rcbs lee hornady

With the high cost and reduced availability of factory ammo, more shooters are loading their own ammo. When good 9mm pistol ammo was $10/box, it might be hard to justify handloading. Now that 50 rounds of factory 9mm can run $25 or more it certainly makes sense to reload. The same is true with rifle ammo if you shoot large quantities, or if you simply can’t find your preferred ammo for sale these days.

To increase productivity when reloading large quantities of ammunition, many shooters are thinking of getting a progressive press. Because multiple operations take place with a single pull of a lever, a progressive press can produce way more ammo in a given period of time than any single stage press. With a progressive, on the ram up-stroke, the multiple stations can simultaneously remove spent primer, full-length size case, drop powder, seat bullet, and crimp (if desired). Most progressives are also set up to prime cases with the ram in the lower position — though some guys prefer to prime manually.

Progressive presses aren’t just for high-output pistol ammo or bulk rifle ammunition. Good progressives can be adapted to do certain reloading tasks for top-on-the line match ammo. You might use a progressive for decapping, priming, and sizing, then throw powder and/or seat bullets separately. Some Champion shooters do use progressives to load their match ammo! For example 5-Time National Long Range Champion John Whidden and 2020 Berger SWN F-Open Champion Jay Christopherson both use progessive presses for some (but not all) operations.

To help you get started with progressive presses, here are six videos from that cover seven popular machines, from the elite Mark 7 Evolution to the affordable Lee Loadmaster. With many of these machines you can add separate vertical bullet feeder systems that further increase loading efficiency. Machines Covered: Lyman Mark 7, Dillon XL-650, Dillon XL-750, Dillon RL-550c, RCBS Pro Chucker 7, Hornady Lock-N-Load AP, and Lee Load Master.

Mark 7 Evolution Press — Distributed by Lyman

Dillon XL-650 vs. Dillon XL-750

RCBS Pro Chucker 7 with Bullet Feeder

Dillon 550C with 6mm Creedmoor and 9x19mm

Hornady Lock-N-Load AP Progressive

Lee Load-Master Features and Loading 9mm

SAFETY BONUS — Why You Need a Lock-Out Die

The RCBS Lock-Out Die can also be used with some Dillon and Hornady progressive presses.

If you load pistol or rifle ammo with a progressive press, we strongly recommend you get a Lock-Out Die from RCBS. This unique reloading die will prevent your progressive press from advancing if the dispensed powder charge is more or less than about 0.3 grains too high or too low. The Lock-Out Die really works.

The Lock-Out Die works by using a central die detection rod that sets its vertical position based on the height of the powder column in the case. Through an ingenious design, if the powder column height is too low or too high, the rod locks in place as you start to pull the press handle. This halts the press before the ram can lift and the cartridge plate can advance. Unlike a beeping alarm system (which can be ignored or defeated), the Lock-Out Die physically stops the movement of the press ram and prevents a bullet being seated in the “problem” case.

RCBS Lock-out die RCBS Lock-out die

It takes a bit of tweaking to get the Lock-Out Die detection rod setting just right, but once it is correctly positioned, the Lock-Out Die works smoothly in the background. The Lock-Out Die won’t interfere with the loading process unless it detects a high or low charge — and then it positively stops the progressive loading cycle.

While crafted for use in RCBS progressive presses, the RCBS Lock-Out Die can also be used on a Dillon XL Progressive or Hornady Lock-N-Load progressive — though it does take up one station which could otherwise be used for a final crimp die (after the seating die). This Editor has used the RCBS Lock-out die very successfully on an RCBS 2000 progressive press for many years.

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April 9th, 2022

AMP Ships 10,000th Hi-Tech Induction Annealing Machine

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News from New Zealand — AMP to Ship 10,000th Annealing Machine
Annealing Made Perfect (AMP) can celebrate a real milestone. After shipping its very first induction annealer six years ago in February 2016, Annealing machine number #10,000 will leave the New Zealand factory next week. In that time, the AMP annealer has progressed from the original part-analogue Mark I through to today’s smart, fully digital Mark II annealer. Over the six years of production, over 55,000 annealing pilots have also shipped. Company president Alex Findlay says “AMP annealers are now standard equipment in many ballistics laboratories. We are proud that our annealer is considered mandatory on the reloading bench of precision marksmen worldwide. We export to every sports-shooting country. Our patented AZTEC system means that even a novice reloader can anneal with the same precision as a world champion.”

How the Computer-Controlled AMP Induction Annealing Machine Is Crafted

New Book about Annealing Made Perfect’s Business Development
To mark the occasion, AMP has released “Making Perfect”, a 320-page full-color book which chronicles the company’s growth from first concept in 2012, through the years of R&D, right up to today’s market-leading products, including the ground-breaking AMP Press diagnostic bullet seating instrument. This excellent book includes the full “Annealing Under the Microscope” series of research articles, which are fascinating reads for any AMP owner, or potential buyer.

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In the process, Alex and Matt have worked with many of the leading figures of the shooting world. This fascinating book explains how two guys in New Zealand created a unique new product, and who helped them along the way. Alex send AccurateShooter a copy of this book recently, and we can affirm it is a well-written, interesting guide to the creation of the AMP annealer, and its remarkable technology. There are plenty of color photos that show, from start to finish, how the AMP machine was developed and perfected. AMP’s new Making Perfect Book is available on the AMP USA webstore with shipping from Las Vegas. It is also sold through AMP’s international webstore with shipping from New Zealand.

amp annealer annealing induction made perfect 10000 machine new zealand shipping

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »