Getting into reloading


March 21, 2008, 01:56 PM
Just wanted to say thanks to everyone in this forum for posting so much good info. I was initially hesitant about reloading, but after reading on here I think I can tackle it.
Due to all the good press around here for the Lee Classic Turret and Kempf's gun shop, I just called and ordered a press with the 9mm dies. The nice lady said it would ship today.
I still have alot of other stuff to pick up, like a micrometer, tumbler, etc. but I am on my way.
Thanks again to everyone here who has contributed their knowledge.

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March 21, 2008, 04:24 PM
Make sure to get a few good reloading manuals.If you enjoy reloading you will find it very addicting and always add things to your collection. At todays cost of bullets you almost have to reload if you shoot in any quantity. Have fun and be safe, Bob

March 21, 2008, 06:08 PM
Congrats. In a few weeks you will wonder why you put it off this long. :)

March 21, 2008, 07:39 PM
Way to go, isuace. My only gripe with my Classic Turret is the manual- not very detailed. Other than that, my loads are coming out great! I'm loading about 150+ rounds/hour now. Not bad for a non-progressive press.


March 21, 2008, 07:45 PM
Congrats and welcome. I'm sure you will like the classic. If you have any questions just ask, there are a lot of us here with classic's that should be able to help you through anything. You might want to get a caliper instead of a micrometer.

March 21, 2008, 08:05 PM
I am also looking at starting to reload and am also thinking about getting the Lee Classic Turret Kit from Kempf's gun shop. I plan on loading for a .223 and a .270. Is this press a good choice? Will the Auto disk power measure work for both calibers?


March 21, 2008, 08:37 PM
Welcome to reloading. +1 to getting calipers rather than a micrometer.

A nice item for 9mm is a gauge that tells you if the reloaded round will chamber. I bought mine from Midway USA (others sell them too). I'm not sure what Midway calls it, but it's very handy and not too expensive.

jmak - I'm a big fan of the Lee Turret Press, but for rifle calibers I'd recommend a RCBS single-stage press. I use the Lee Auto Disk for all my pistol calibers, but I've never liked it for bottlenecked cases. I prefer the traditional RCBS powder measure.

March 21, 2008, 08:37 PM
Can this press handle 30-06? Kemps site only offers up to .308

March 21, 2008, 10:31 PM
Can this press handle 30-06? Kemps site only offers up to .308
Yes, I don't load it myself but I know a few people that do. If I remember right they have to take the indexing rod out to load 30-06.

March 21, 2008, 10:51 PM
The Lee Classic Turret will load pretty much anything short of a .50BMG.

Maybe a few elephant gun cartridges won't fit, but anything you're likely to shoot will.

March 21, 2008, 11:24 PM
The Lee Auto-Disk prolly won't work with the .270 Winchester.

1.57cc is the largest cavity. x2 is 3.14 (pi)

The Lee chart for Lee Auto Disk goes up to 24gr in some powders.

The double disk kit may take you up to around 48gr, but a 270 Win takes ~55gr of powder. IMR 4350, RL19 and RL22 my favorite powders for 270Win aren't on the chart.

A Lee Perfect Powder, RCBS Uniflow or something similar would be better for .30-06 based cartridge like the .270 Win. Else an electronic powder measure or good, old scale and trickler.

March 21, 2008, 11:30 PM
Thanks for the heads up on the calipers vs. the micrometer. Starter52, I will look into that gauge.
I have quite a bit of preparation ahead of me before I begin putting out any ammo. Need to read up, and then read up again, as well as pick up the rest of my equipment. I just had to order the press before the money burned a hole clear through my pocket and fell out. ;)
Thanks again for the advice!

March 21, 2008, 11:57 PM
"...calipers vs. the micrometer..." Go buy a 6" digital or dial vernier calipre. Either one is easier to read than a micrometer. Most hardware stores or machine shop supply places will have 'em. Prices vary a lot though. It doesn't have to be a machinist's vernier either. RCBS makes or did make a plastic dial vernier that works just fine.
Have a look at what comes with the RCBS Beginner's Kit. Has everything you need less dies and shell holder. Mind you, buying it all separately is going to cost you a bit more.
Case length guages are ok, but taking out the barrel and dropping your loaded ammo into the chamber works too.

Grandpa Shooter
March 22, 2008, 12:00 AM
All you have to do to get the correct charge of powder is figure out what you want to throw and divide it by 2. Cycle the ram twice and you have the total weight of powder you want. It works, I do it. I load .223, 30-30, 308 and 30.06 with the Lee 3 hole Turret and the Double Disk unit.

Not hard, just think your way through it.

evan price
March 22, 2008, 06:50 AM
When I load Varget in large rifle case, I use my Lee Turret and Auto Disk setup; I found a disk that is 1/3 of the correct load and just raise the ram three times. It was the closest to my preferred load using an Autodisk and it is 99% accurate.

March 22, 2008, 07:13 AM
Is a guage such a good idea for a 9mm? I was told to take the barrel(s) out of whatever handgun I'm going to use the ammo in and put a few finished rounds in them to see if they slide in and out of the chamber - just the way factory ammo does.

March 22, 2008, 08:25 AM
The Lee Perfect Powder measure and actuator die (I forget what they call them) works great with extruded powders. You simply reset the powder measure before feeding the next case into it. I load 30-06 on the Classic Cast Turret. Works great.

The autodisc doesn't work so well with extruded powders, and the Perfect powder measure doesn't work so well with the ball powders.... they tend to leak out the sides.

I think that Hornady or someone has a powder charge die that works with their measure which might work really well in the Turret press. I don't really know.

For now I just shoot Varget and 4895 thrown through the Perfect Powder Measure and my rifles shoot these loads happily.

March 22, 2008, 08:30 PM
Thanks for the responses.
Grandpa Shooter, what rifle powders are you using with the autodisk?

March 22, 2008, 09:28 PM
Another good way to check your pistol rounds instead of buying a case gauge is to take the barrel out of your gun and just drop them in to see if they fit. That's what I do but then I'm cheap and don't like to spend money if I don't have to.

Grandpa Shooter
March 23, 2008, 10:06 AM
I bought Varget this time but also use 4850. There is some fiddling to do, but if you set the disks up carefully and use your scale, you can set them up to work for you. I see a lot of people saying you can't do this or that with the powder measures, but my approach is to find a way make it work for me.

For instance, with the Lee Double Disk, I simply put in longer bolts and cut .22 Long rifle cases down to get the height I wanted to firmly hold the disks in place. Picture the disks sitting on the lower part of the powder measure with spacers made of 22 shells with the mounting bolts running down through the spacers and the base with the retaining nuts holding it all in place.

I use the VMD to calculate the needed throw, divide by two and have the number of grains I want to throw. Knowing that the Lee consistently drops about .2 grains low, I adjust accordingly. I always check with a balance scale to see what I am actually getting. Since I know that some powders don't meter well, I keep at it until I can get the throw I want. It doesn't bother me to adapt and conquer. My disks may not "add up" to what the books say should be done. I may have disks which, if the throws were perfect would be over the recommended grains, but for me give me what I want, that's what I go with.

Don't expect it all to fall together right the first time. Play with it, be inventive, and make it work for you.

March 23, 2008, 11:21 AM
I started with a Lee Anniversary Kit that came with everything but comsumables. I like it and it does what I need. I only do 40 S&W but have done a lot.
:DThe only thing more fun than making my own ammo is shooting it!:D

March 23, 2008, 12:22 PM
I also ordered the Lee Classic Turret Kit from Kempf's gun shop. Very easy to deal with and also shipped the same day. Sorry to say my local shop would not get within $80 of them. I upgraded to the Auto Disc Pro and a Safety Scale.
The kit is just what I was looking for. Yes it is addicting and saving me money every time I shoot. First addiction that saved me money and relieved stress!!:)
I use an old set of dial calipers.
Good luck and happy loading!

evan price
March 24, 2008, 02:23 AM
I took a few extra disks from eBay and carefully reamed them to deliver exactly what *I* want- marked them permanantly so I know what they are- and that's how I tune the AutoDisk.

March 24, 2008, 11:21 AM
When your at Midway's site, pick up their Frankford Arsenal Tumbler Package and Micrometer. Certainly not the best, but definitely a solid value.

Oh, and some Imperial Sizing Wax. You won't need it for 9mm, but it is great for rifle cases. Oh, and some plastic boxes or ammo cans for your finished ammo. Factory ammo boxes get worn pretty quickly.

March 24, 2008, 06:23 PM
Grandpa: your my kind,make it work.I just picked your brain and got a couple good least on here there is not much bashing of Lee.I have herter/RCBS green machine/truline/bonanza/and many Lee.also Modern Bond.
the lee is great regardless of cost.the green machine is better than a Dillon by dedicated to one cal.:uhoh:---:rolleyes:----:D

March 24, 2008, 09:37 PM
Here's a great WEB site on a great forum to help you get started.

March 24, 2008, 10:03 PM
Here's a great WEB site on a great forum.

March 24, 2008, 10:47 PM
.....The Lee Classic Turret will load pretty much anything short of a .50BMG

Um...not really...according to the Lee website:

"Deactivate the Auto-Index and cases as long as the monster 50 BMG can be loaded":what:

Also, I agree that the instruction manual could be a little more informative, but, Lee makes up for it with all the setup videos on their website. I would highly recommend watching these before you set up the press or try your first reloads.

March 24, 2008, 11:27 PM
Thumbs up Lee Classic Turret Does It All
.....The Lee Classic Turret will load pretty much anything short of a .50BMG
Um...not really...according to the Lee website:

"Deactivate the Auto-Index and cases as long as the monster 50 BMG can be loaded"

Um... yes really... just try to find a 50 BMG die set that will fit in the lee turret's 7/8" holes. Heck, just try to find ANY cartridge with same or larger OAL that doesn't also need dies that won't fit.

It's a shame, since all they need to do is come out with a replacement top plate/ring that bolts on and takes a single large die (no revolving turret plate).

Somehow Lee does not find that ad misleading...


March 24, 2008, 11:41 PM
So much for my argument about buying a 50BMG "because I have the reloading equipment already":(

Seriously, unless there's some huge adapter that replaces the turret, how CAN they claim that????

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