Has anyone worn out a loading press?

FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior MemberPosts: 4,953 Senior Member
Over the years, I'm sure that I've mentioned that I bought my first loading press in 1977 and that it was a used RCBS junior. I still have it and I use it frequently and have never had a problem with it. I keep considering up grading to a higher end press like the Rock Crusher but I can't think of a good reason to do it and today when looking at the latest Natchez flyer, I got the urge again and tried to justify it. I couldn't begin to guess how many rounds I've loaded on it but it's a huge amount and I've always had enough leverage to crush a case if I wasn't careful. I put my dial indicator on the ram with it fully extended to see if it was flopping around and I only had .004" of run-out on the ram! I keep it clean and lubed with graphite and it is still rock solid and I doubt that a new press could do better than that. Have any of you actually worn out a single stage press?
snake284 wrote: »
For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me


  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 16,557 Senior Member
    After countless thousands of rounds, my second hand Lyman is still going strong (it's loaded enough ammo to wear out 3 rifle barrels and coultless rounds of handgun ammo)
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.

  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 2,959 Senior Member
    I started in 1983 with a new Lee 3 hole turret and it is still the only one I use. Like you I have been tempted to upgrade but can't find the justification to spend money to replace what still works.
    I expect this press will live out my reloading lifetime.

  • cpjcpj Senior Member Posts: 36,648 Senior Member
    My second hand JR2 from 1973 is still working...
    "I'm here for the guns, hunting, and skirt wearing men."
  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,527 Senior Member
    30 years plus and that Rock Crusher is still running strong.
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • NCFUBARNCFUBAR Senior Member Posts: 4,172 Senior Member
    My Chucker is going on 30 years and aside from the paint wearing in places it actually works smoother than when I first bought it. I have a Dillon I bought from a guy who thought he was going to handloading but never pulled the handle once but I still load my bolt gun rounds on the Chucker. In 30 years I couldn't t lol you how many times I pulled that handle but there was a good stretch when I'd load a couple hundred rounds on a weekend easy pre-Dillon ...
    “The further a society drifts from truth ... the more it will hate those who speak it."
    - George Orwell
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 17,913 Senior Member
    My Lee 3-hole press is at least 30 years old and still going strong. I've got a couple of RCBS single stage presses, 3 Lyman Luber-Finer setups, and 12, 16, and 20 gauge MEC shotgun presses. The only thing I'm short on is bench space to mount 'em all!
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
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  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 21,463 Senior Member
    Rifle/pistol press----No.
    Mec shotgun press----Yes.
    I wore out a Mec 12 ga. shotshell press, but in its defense, it reloaded several thousand rounds a year from 1977 to 1998 when it gave up and broke. I used to shoot a lot of skeet before the range closed in 2001.
    A double action revolver is a semiauto firearm. It fires once for every trigger pull.

  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 3,969 Senior Member
    .004 run out was probably the original specified tolerance.
    That amount of run out over the length of travel is nothing. If less run out is desired, or necessary, you'd have to fork out $5k for a press.


    Edit: I build a lot of fixtures that mount to presses, both manual and hydraulic....it's the accuracy of the fixture (read "dies"), that rule. A press can have, and should have, a little slop, but the fixed mounting base and the die itself....not so much.
    Decisions have consequences, not everything in life gets an automatic mulligan.
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  • Elk creekElk creek Senior Member Posts: 5,139 Senior Member
    I had a second, possibly 3rd hand RCBS JR press that was made in 1968. I'm pretty sure it was second hand from the previous owner. It was going strong when I gave it to to a guy to get him started in reloading.
    Aim higher, or get a bigger gun.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 20,682 Senior Member
    My first press was an RCBS Jr. I bought it new in 1979 I think. I was working in Malaysia in 2001 when my divorce was final and I never saw it again. However, my youngest son bought a Rock Chrusher during that time and when he went in the Army in January 2006 he gave it to me. I'm pretty sure that the JR would still be cranking out ammo if I still had it and the Rock Crusher will out live me. Both the Crusher and the JR are overbuilt and solid as a rock. You ain't gonna wear either one of em out. They're Bullet Proof, pun intended!!!
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
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  • hawk18hawk18 Senior Member Posts: 660 Senior Member
    After 45+ years and several thousand reloads, my CH three holder is still going strong. The only time it malfunctioned wasn't due to wear. It had enough flex that it took me two tries to squeeze 30-30 down to 25-35. I think that with normal care, any quality single stage press should last multiple lifetimes.

  • bobskibobski Member Posts: 129 Member
    wore out a few lee hand presses.
    Retired Military Aviation
    Former Member Navy Shooting Team
    Navy Distinguished Pistol Shot
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,122 Senior Member
    I have 2 old presses that i got in the early 60s a RCBS and a Lyman also a Dillon 550 i got about 1985, there still going strong, needed to replace a few parts on the Dillon which they shipped at no charge.

  • ilove22silove22s Senior Member Posts: 1,010 Senior Member
    my first press i bought NIB is a Lee turret.

    the main body where shaft rides is getting sloppy. It still works but there is more play in it than my Pro 1000s i have.

    Since I'm not reloding that much anymore or shooting, it may last my "lifetime".
    The ears never lie.

    - Don Burt
  • PegasusPegasus Senior Member Posts: 2,467 Senior Member
    Yet another good reason to never buy Lee products.

    My first press was an RCBS Jr that I used for 25 years before passing it on to a young member here some years back. My current Redding T-7 has been in use for several years now and after many thousands of rifle rounds still looks and functions like new.
  • 1965Jeff1965Jeff Senior Member Posts: 1,540 Senior Member
    I'm doing my best to wear out a Lee O press that I bought during the first Clinton administration.

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  • HAWKENHAWKEN Senior Member Posts: 1,648 Senior Member
    I am still loading with a Rock Crusher that I received as a Christmas present in 1965 and it works as well now as it did then...........robin
    I don't often talk to people that voted for Obama, but when I do I order large fries!
    Life member of the American Legion, the VFW, the NRA and the Masonic Lodge, retired LEO
  • wddodgewddodge Senior Member Posts: 941 Senior Member
    I started out with a used Lee single stage press about 25 years ago. I used it a couple of years and then bought a Lee Classic 4 hole turret press that I've used since. That turret press has loaded maybe 50,000-75,000 pistol rounds and several thousand .223 to 30-06 sized rifle rounds and it still is going strong.

    Participating in a gun buy back program because you think that criminals have too many guns is like having yourself castrated because you think your neighbors have too many kids.... Clint Eastwood

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