First rounds thru Classic Turret... Questions:


April 28, 2007, 07:30 PM
Well, I finally got the Lee Classic Turret set up with safety prime and pro auto disk. I set all four Lee dies according to the videos on Lee's website. The first round (dry run) seemed to go through OK. I then proceeded to load 10 rounds (45LC w/ 200gr LRNFP over 6.5 Titegroup) getting used to the safety prime and checking the Auto Disk for charge weights.

I think I need to fiddle with the alignment on the safety prime as it doesn't seem to be as smooth as some of the videos I've seen. The arm seems to want to go to the left of the lever, and that's with it pushed as far over to the right as possible. Maybe a Black and Decker solution for this one?


1) Seating die would set the OAL at about 1.612 every time (min COL is 1.600). The factory crimp die would then push the bullet in further even though I set it according to Lee's instructions. End COL would be anywhere from 1.607 to 1.597 (undersize). Do I need to fiddle with the dies to get the factory crimp to not move the bullet, or is this normal?.

2) Lee's manual lists .53 disk for 6.5gr of Titegroup. I had to go to the next higher, .57 in order to get only 6.3-6.4gr (as measured on my RCBS 502). Normal?

3) Bullet seems to be sticking out of the casing just a bit more than I expected (see photo below) but if I go any further, I'm below min COL. Reason I say that is it that the crimp isn't fully engaging the groove in the bullet (sorry, brainf@rt... I forget the correct term :uhoh: ) Does it look alright as is?

Sorry for noob questions, but it's been quite a while since I've reloaded and I've never done 45LC. Lee's book didn't help a whole lot. Guess I'm off to buy the ABC's book before I go any further.



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April 28, 2007, 07:46 PM
The Lee FCD's should be set by first screwing the die in until it touches the shellholder. Back it off a half-turn or so, then place in an empty casing and run it up to the stop. Screw in the adjustment knob until you feel it touch the case. Lower your ram, and screw in a hlaf turn for a light crimp, and a full turn for a heavy crimp.

This is for the taper-crimp dies I use, so maybe the roll-crimper is different. all of the FCD's take a little playing with to figure out. You can also use the seating die to get a good roll-crimp, then run the round through the FCD with the adjuster all the way up. This will size it for standard size, but your crimp was done in the seating stage.

2:Lee cavities are very variable between powders. It's not uncommon to have to jump up 2 cavities to get a consistant charge near where you want.

3:Not sure about the last question.

April 28, 2007, 08:43 PM
OK, according to the Alliant website min OAL for a 200gr is 1.55.
So at 1.59 you are fine.
It looks to me that the bullet should be in further to take full advantage of the crimping groove.
Where did you get your data?

April 28, 2007, 08:44 PM
1.600" is MAX OAL, You can go shorter and you should go short enough to put the roll crimp into the cannelure(groove) in the bullet.

April 28, 2007, 08:54 PM
It is not as if you are worried about:
a) feeding (never heard of a .45 Colt semi-auto), or
b) excess pressure due to a small case.

Seat that bullet so it crimps in the cannellure without regard for the OAL, get a tight crimp with the FCD, and all will be good.

I load 200 .45 Colt rounds with the same bullet (but using Trail Boss) at a sitting with the Lee Classic Turret press, and the results are always good and consistent.

April 28, 2007, 09:13 PM

The load data is out of Lee's Modern Reloading, 2nd Ed, page 678. Far right hand column lists Min OAL of 1.600". I ran my practice round, which is 1.607" OAL (no powder/primer) thru my EMF Hartford 1892, and it cycled in/out just fine. I'll check out Alliant's website too.


Lee lists 1.600 as being the MIN OAL for some reason. Sounds like I need to do some more research. :confused:


You're right. At 6.5gr of Titegroup, there is a lot of space left over. That's one reason I went with Titegroup. A CAS guy I work with suggested it. He uses it exclusively with 45LC for competition because it's consistent wherever the powder ends up at in the casing when the primer goes.

April 28, 2007, 09:22 PM
You can't trust that column in Lee's book--they collected all that info from the various brochures of the powder/bullet companies. Sometimes that column is MAX OAL, i.e., the SAAMI standard; sometimes it is MIN OAL. The best way to verify is to go the Alliant, IMR, Hodgdon, etc websites and find the load you're working on. You will get clear guidance there.

In low pressure loads like .45 Colt, load the lead bullet so the crimp goes into the cannelure, the "groove".

April 28, 2007, 11:34 PM
my lasercast manual show oal of 1.575 for that bullet.I'll bet that would put it 'in the groove'..or close to it.I alwasy crimp it into the groove,especially for my lever guns.
Lee powder measures are 'famous' for throwing lighter than stated charges.
yes,you sometimes have to play with dies to get them to do what you want them to.

April 29, 2007, 12:34 AM
Yeah, I wouldn't sweat thousandths of an inch.

The bullet-makers know what they're doing, so if a bullet has a crimping groove in it, I just go by that.

-- John D.

April 29, 2007, 07:50 AM
Thanks all for the insight. This is why I love this forum.

Now off to do some adjustments on the dies.

May 1, 2007, 11:17 AM
Regarding the safety prime lever needing a little 'tweaking' to one side....I took a rat tail file and removed some material from the bracket screw hole (that's mounted to the turret top). The primer arm now swings right onto the priming lever.

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