Lee Classic Turret or Hornaday LML AP? Opinions appreciated.


November 15, 2008, 05:38 PM
Hello, this is my first hand loading thread ever. I've decided I'm going to start hand loading a few calibers. I've been doing research now for two weeks and have some first questions to ask. I would really appreciate it if owners or users of this equipment responded. If you haven't used the equipment, please state that if you reply.

My purpose is to reload .308/7.62x51 for a SA Loaded M1A with a scope and FN PBR XP bolt rifle. I will be shooting between 100-300 yards from bench and I may enter some casual hi-power competitions at my local club with the M1A (either before scoped or else I'll get a second and shoot competition). I am also going to reload 6.5x55 for bench shooting, .357 magnum for defense and .40 S&W for handgun practice and defensive loads.

I will be shooting about 2-3 times a month and not using too terribly many rounds, so loading a few hundred rounds per month is plenty. I shoot kind of slow, keeping a cool barrel, and prefer accurate placement, although it's not worth it to me to go insanely high up the cost-benefit scale for an extra 1/10" group size decrease. That is why I bought the Loaded M1A and not the National Match. A 1-1.5 MOA dispersion rate is fine with me, as that is probably better than I can shoot.

From my research, the Lee Classic Turret Press and the Hornaday LML AP Progressive seem to be the best fit for my needs. Feel free to chime in if you really feel there is something better which I should consider, but please, hold the ignorant Dillon chest-thumping, I've heard it and seen it before. I'm a person who buys a piece that functions well and is a good value, not a blind slave to a name. Like someone else said, I want to know why you bought it, not what you bought.

My first question is, if I buy one, what will I be missing from not buying the other, and vice versa? I'm aware of the basic fact that output per hour is different and that isn't so much of an issue to me since I don't need the output of the Hornaday necessarily. How noticeable will the difference in the quality of round made be between the two?

If I did get the Lee, is the automatic powder measure as good as the press? I know the press quality itself is quite high but I wonder about the Lee accessories included with the press. The Lee Safety Primer seems to work very well compared to others I've looked at. Can other dies of higher quality be used with the Lee press with no real issues to speak of?

Thanks for the help with this new pursuit of mine. It's a big subject to delve into and help from those with experience is golden.

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November 15, 2008, 09:13 PM
geojap, I too have been considering a Lee classic press after 30 years of using a Lyman Spartan. I believe the Lee is a definite "best buy". I personally do not think the Lee powder measure is the best measure for the money though. I've often read of inconsistencies with different powder types with the Lee measure. I use and will continue to use my Lyman 55 measure, as it is dead accurate and consistent, albeit a trifle time consuming to get set. I use many brands of dies that I have acquired over the years and find myself using Lee dies more, if I need new dies. They are innovative and well built for the money. I cannot speak for the Safety Prime system but it appears to work well from the demos that I have seen. I use the Lee hand primer and am completely satisfied with it. It gives a good feel when seating primers.
Well, that's my take on it. Best of luck in your endeavor. You'll need to work up loads but nothing is more satisfying than producing those tight groups with ammo that you made.


November 16, 2008, 12:55 AM
For precision hi power rifle, I would buy a good single stage press and call it a day. Especially if all you are going to load is a few hundred rounds a month. Spend the extra cash you save on good case prep equipment and a precision powder throw and some competition dies.


November 16, 2008, 01:12 AM
Thanks for the replies. I would consider a single-stage like a Rockchucker but I just don't have enough time to load single stage and get everything else done that I need to during the week/month.

Thanks for the tip about the Lyman powder measure. The Classic Turret may be the way to go, I think. This press will sit in my garage in an older 1950s home, where it's pretty dusty and not climate controlled. It can get humid here in April/May and in the Winter sometimes. I think the turret will probably take the humidity and dust a little better over time with a cover and a light coat of oil.

November 16, 2008, 01:44 AM
The Lee Classic Turret can be used as a single stage press by simply removing the auto-indexing rod. I've used mine in both modes and it works great either way.

The Safety Prime system works great for pistol cases. I can't attest to rifle though, because I prime those by hand as part of my prep routine.

For a good powder measure I recommend that you get the Pro Auto Disc (Lee considers this an upgrade from the standard version), along with a double disc kit for loading your .308's. You might also consider a stand-alone measure and a powder trickle as well for a bit more precision.

For your needs, the only advantage I can really think of with the Hornady is that you get a rebate for 1000 bullets, which basically gives you a huge discount on the press. I have also heard that the LNL presses will only work with Hornady dies in certain calibers. The only issue I've run into with my LCT is that the turret holes are very close together, so some brands of dies with bigger lock rings are harder to fit and/or adjust.

Whichever press you decide on, make sure and keep it well-maintained if you're storing it in a garage. I had my bench out there for awhile and never had any problems, but I kept all metal surfaces coated with a fair amount of CLP and hydraulic oil for the ram (Hornady uses regular grease fittings as well)

November 16, 2008, 04:05 AM
Hi. I'm fairly new to reloading. Bought a Lee Classic Turret on which I have loaded a couple of thousand pistol rounds now. I havent tried rifle yet. I am only using it as a single stage at the moment by taking out the indexing rod. Using it as a single stage lets me check to see that Im doing everything correctly. I prime using the hand primer tool which works quite well, except that i manage to put one or two primers every hundred into the case sideways. :what: At first I thought they might go bang but now I just deprime those ones with the decapping die and try again. None went bang yet but we have to wear safety glasses in case. One day I'll buy the auto primer and turn it back into an index press but I only have a 3die set for .357 and 9mm and I believe that you need a 4 die set. Is that right ? Youll need the auto powder measure which works pretty well I think. I have the Lee scale also which I use to check the powder it throws. It seems to add the powder accurately according to my checking. Accurate enough for my purposes anyhow. In the future I will need a better scale though. I still look into every case to make sure I didnt put the powder in twice. The bullet seating die is fine though I have been crimping too heavily. I found some detailed instructions on how to set it up including pics by searching here on THR. Thanks to the gentleman who put that together...The rounds I have made were accurate and went bang so its really satisfying and much cheaper to be reloading.

I have no experience with the hornady. But the Lee workes fine for me. I can see that a year or two down the track I will want probably want to upgrade but for a beginner like me its perfect I think.

November 16, 2008, 04:41 AM
I have a Lee Turret Press and load 223,30/06,300WM rifle and 45ACP,45LC,44Mag pistol ammo with it. Yes,Lee is a cheap reloader but it does everything the expensive ones do and just as good. I always measure each rifle load on a scale,but I use the Lee auto measure on my pistol loads and it works fine. I do measure every 5-10 loads on a scale to check though.

November 16, 2008, 11:49 AM
I can only comment on the classic turret. I have been loading on one for two years. I started with 9mm and added 38/357, 45 auto and 223. It is a very solid press. The ammo has been very consistent and I have been very happy. I can change caliber including primer feeds in around one minute. The pro auto disk powder measure has been very accurate but I have only been using fine powder and don't have experience with course powder. I can load 200 rounds per hour pistol and after case prep 200 rifle per hour.

November 16, 2008, 12:18 PM
Pretty much any press will work just fine. That said, the LNL has a reputation for loading very straight ammo. I use a Projector (predecessor to the LNL) and I like it a lot. I have never checked the runout on ammo from it but it does load accurate ammo. All my experience in competitive shooting has been benchrest where I used single stage presses, and I did check runout on those loads. I started with a Partner press and then bought a specialty press designed just for that. It did not work any better than the Partner press, but took up less space and that is always good when packing for a match.

I load everything from .32 Auto to .45 Colt on my Projector, as well as some .22 Hornet, .223, & .308 (I have loaded a couple of other rifle calibers, but am not presently) It loads great ammo quickly and easily. I had a Lee 3 hole turret early on and it was a good little press. The new 4 hole turret press would serve you well, but the LNL is nicer and worth the money if you have it.

Powder measures: I would recommend a Redding for the most bang for your buck, and a Harrells if you simply want the best. They are good enough to throw your charges and go without weighing charges.

As you stated in your original post, you don't want to spend a lot more money just to get another couple of tenths on target. That is understandable, and you are dead on here. After reasonable measures, it starts getting labor intensive and expensive to start carving tenths off your groups.

An LNL, Forster or Redding dies, a good measure, and you will bring out 95% or better of the accuracy your rifle is capable of.

Finding a bullet/seating depth your rifle likes, trying 2 or 3 appropriate powders, and working up a load that bullet/gun/powder/seating depth combination likes is going to be your best bang for your buck. No die, press, measure, etc. will make a bullet your gun doesn't like shoot well.

Hope this helps. AC

November 16, 2008, 12:46 PM
One modern innovation you might consider is the L-N-L die bushing system developed by Hornady and now also used on some of the Lee presses. The die is screwed into a bushing with an interrupted thread that slides into the press and is locked in place by a quarter turn...and is removed for storage, bushing in place, in the same way. Advantages: after initially adjusting the die, you need never bother with that again. And changing cartridge set ups is extremely fast.

Another modern innovation pioneered by Hornady: Removable powder measure chamber inserts. Using their modern rotary drum powder measure, once you adjust a chamber to your favorite powder charge, press a button after reloading and the insert slides out for storage with your cartridge dies (to be replaced by a fresh insert, of course!). The next time you want to load, simply slide the insert in and start reloading...no powder adjustments ncessary. As far as I know, Hornady is still the only company doing this...and replacement inserts are inexpensive.

Using both innovations, changing cartridges can be done in seconds, and you are productive immediately.

(After 50 years on reloading on a variety of presses, I just LOVE my Hornady L-N-L!)

November 16, 2008, 12:56 PM
A single stage press is slower, but not much slower if the round count is low.

Assuming you already inspected, trimmed and lubricated the cases:
If you shoot 200 rounds per week, it will take you 30 to 40 minutes to load them on the turret or progressive.
The same 200 rounds will take you about 60 to 75 minutes on a single station.

So on a low round count, the difference is a half hour. Progressives make fine ammunition, but the single station press is universally used to produce superior ammunition for match rifle competition and long range shooting.

Single station is a lot cheaper and gives you dozens of presses from which to choose. But if you plan to do higher production pistol ammo, turrets and true progressives (especially) give you much more flexibility to crank out lots of rounds.

November 16, 2008, 01:46 PM
ANTS is right...I use progressives for practice ammo, but match and load development small batches are done on my single-stage presses, the powder charges thrown by measure about 0.2-gr under what I want, and finished on a beam scale with a trickler. The beam measure is recalibrated frequently to insure accuracy.

I have found that no powder measure...even the electronic models like my Lyman 1200...are accurate enough by themselves. I found that out the hard way...weighed and sorted a batch of bullets, by chance re-weighed a few and found them differing as much as 0.4 grains!:cuss: Went back to my Lyman 1200 manual and found that the very last sentence recommended recalibration after every 5 measures! (Fortunately, all you have to do to recalibrate is to press the "CAL/ZERO" button...):scrutiny:

November 16, 2008, 07:46 PM
I own a Lee Classic Cast Turret. In my opinion, it is the best value in a reloading press anywhere!:)

November 16, 2008, 09:57 PM
I own neither, but have a couple of thoughts for consideration.

The LNL AP can also be used for single stage reloading by simply removing all but the die you want to use.

Does the Lee offer a powder measure that works on their turret press, and is capable of throwing 308-sized charges?

The only station on the LNL AP that is difficult to use some other brands of dies in is station #5, which need not be used at all in rifle cartridge loading. They are introducing an upgraded press that changes up the case ejection so you can use any kind of die you like in station 5.


November 17, 2008, 09:51 AM
ants and TooTaxed
Sorry to inform you that the LNL does put out more concentric loads than most single stages, in my testing.

When my loading buddy and I completed a fairly extensive runout (concentricity) study of the LNL AP vs. 650 vs. 550, we did a few single stages: a Pacific (old but great Hornady), a Herters, a mid 70's Rock Chucker. Admittedly, we didn't do but a few in comparison, however, the numbers of the single stages were not as good as the LNL.

I read an explanation of this somewhere, which I did not completely understand, and apparently it has to do with the ability of the bushings to float???? and thereby line up better with the shell plate and case to give the more concentric ammo.

I seldom use my single stages any more, and load all my rifle on the LNL AP.

November 17, 2008, 02:11 PM
SHONEY, the reason I load my test loads on a a single stage is because it's faster and easier...concentricity I've never studied. The old RCBS I use has always turned out very accurate ammunition.

I load batches of only five or ten cartridges for each half grain of powder in a range to determine my most accurate load for a specific firearm. As I mentioned, the powder is thrown by measure into a beam balance pan about 0.2 gr under what I want, then finished off by a powder trickler. Once the optimum powder charge is determined, I vary bullet seating depth/distance from the barrel lands and fine tune.

I did try out my LNL for the process, but quickly found it to be much slower and requiring of effort when cases must be removed and replaced. Sort of like using a front-end loader to fill flowerpots. I found no advangates in using the massive L-N-L for this process.

November 17, 2008, 05:44 PM
I use the LNL slowly when loading rifle cases for bolt weapons and full progressive for semi-auto weapons. I hand weigh each charge for bolts, which I find easily removed and replaced in post position #2.

I owned the LNL for over 6 years before I became comfortable loading all rifle on it.

Good Shooting!

cracked butt
November 17, 2008, 08:18 PM
I have the lee classic turret and currently have turrets set up for: 30-06 jacketed, 30-06 cast*, 6.5x55 cast, 6.5x55 jacketed * 308, .303 brit cast, 7.62x54r, 8x57 cast, 9x19, .45ACP, 8x56R, .223, and 7.5x55.
I've not found any accuracy difference between using the turret and my single stage rockchucker.
I load my .223 and 30-06 highpower loads on the turret press- the .223s will shoot 1/2moa.
For cast loads, I mostly use Unique and 2400, and use the Lee Auto disc Pro measures- they work well, I also use bullseye and ww231 for pistol loads which the measures work well for also.
For jacketed rifle, I use the Lee Perfect Powder Measure mounted to a rifle charging die- the LPPM needs to be manually activated, but I've found it to be very precise when used with IMR 4350,4064,3031, 4895, RL-15, RL-22, and Varget which covers most of my rifle reloading.

For my highpower loads, I often load them in an interrupted manner- I resize and decap a batch, trim/chamfer, then do the priming/charging/bullet seating with the auto index on.

The only bugaboos are the primer dispenser-my large priming dispenser works perfectly, but I can't seem to get the small primer one to work right. The ball on the lever keeps coming off as well. I epoxied it on, and it still came off. I'm just afraid the thing is going to maim me if Iput a lot of pressure on the arm and the ball slips off.

The Lee press isn't perfect. If you are willing to put up with a few warts, its an outstanding press for the money. If I had to do it all over again, I'd buy the press again.

*yes, I have multiple sets of dies for a few calibers:)

November 18, 2008, 02:48 AM
Nobody has even mentioned the 1000 free bullets you get with the L&L.

November 23, 2008, 09:47 PM
I have the same question as GeoJap, and didn't want to start a new thread, so hopefully there are still people out there reading this :)

I'm getting back into reloading after about 10 years out. I have a Lee 3-hole turret from years back, and Lee dies for .357, .40, .45 and .44. I'm looking to shoot 300-500 rounds per month, tops. I was considering the LNL for the bullet rebate but now thinking that might be overkill since I like the simplicity of the Lee, the quick caliber change, etc.

So now I'm considering the Lee auto-indexing turret vs. Hornady LNL. Both seem good and my experience with the Lee 3-hole was great...plus seems like I could use all the dies no sweat. Plus, the LNL seems great for high volumes but for smaller ones the caliber change hassles seem more than they're worth.

So, I guess my basic question is at what point would the LNL be worth it? Is 300-500 rounds (with 100-200 rounds in each of 3 calibers or so) per month not enough to warrant the LNL?

Thanks in advance, and I love this site! Just getting back into reloading and shooting and there was certainly nothing like this resource 10 years ago! :)

November 24, 2008, 12:01 AM
ROCKHOUND758, I regret to inform you that your old Lee dies probably are too short to fit in the Hornady L-N-L Progressive.:cuss:

When I complained to Lee, they said that about five years ago they started producing longer die bodies so that they would fit in the rather thick L-N-L die head. They suggested I could remove the lock ring from the short dies and wrap them with teflon tape to screw them in further.:what:

November 24, 2008, 12:10 AM
I love my Lee Classic Cast Turret Press and feel I got way more press than I paid for! The Auto indexing system works great. Extra turrets are only around $10ea and I have a trurret for all calibers I reload so set up is easy. I reload 8x57mm Mauser, 30-06, 308 Win, 303 Brit, 7.62x54R, 223 Rem and 45ACP.

November 24, 2008, 02:19 AM
Okay, I kind of figured there might be a problem with my older Lee dies in the LNL, although in checking a few minutes ago my .40s are Hornady dies, so hopefully they'd work in the LNL if I decide to go that way. Would it be reasonable to assume that my Lee dies (probably 10-13 years old) would work just fine in the classic turret?

At this point, I'm thinking along the following lines:
1) Get the auto-indexing turret rather than the LNL
- Loading a couple of hundred at a time across 4 different calibers (total of 500-700 rounds per month MAX) probably makes the convenience of the auto-indexing turret better than the hassle of switching over the LNL each time
- Allows me to keep my current Lee dies, and just buy new 4-hole turrets

2) Get a separate crimping die for each of my current 3 die sets (.357, .45, and .44) and another Lee 4 die set in .40 (sounds like the benefits of a dedicated crimping die are pretty significant)

3) Get back into it.

Does this make sense? The money for the LNL isn't really an issue, particularly since the bullet promotion makes it pretty sweet...it's just that I think it might be overkill for my needs, and at least ONCE in my life I probably need to try and exercise some modicum of logic and restraint.

Any feedback is appreciated.

November 24, 2008, 08:30 AM
Switching calibers in the L-N-L (Lock-and-Load) is still faster than switching calibers in the turret press by switching turrets with dies, and requires less storage room. In the L-N-L each die is set into it's own interrupted-thread insert, which slips into (and out of) the die station and locks with a quarter turn. The inserts store with the dies, and are very cheap.

Similarly, the powder chamber in the innovative Hornady rotary measure (which comes with the press) is also a removable insert...once adjusted to your desired charge, rotate the handle horizontally, press a button, slide out the insert and store it with your dies, and slide another insert into the measure. Inserts are less than $10. (You don't have to switch inserts...you can use just one for all your reloading, if you choose...but that just makes it a normal drum measure! That's no fun!)

When you want to change calibers, lock in the dies, insert your powder insert, and start reloading. Time, less than a minute! (Plus, you may also have to change primer size...about the same for both presses.)

That said, your reasoning is rather sound...your old Lee dies should fit the Lee turret, and the extra Lee turrets at $10 ea sounds reasonable.

November 24, 2008, 09:07 PM
Does the Lee offer a powder measure that works on their turret press, and is capable of throwing 308-sized charges?
Yes to both.

I'm getting back into reloading after about 10 years out. I have a Lee 3-hole turret from years back, and Lee dies for .357, .40, .45 and .44. I'm looking to shoot 300-500 rounds per month, tops. I was considering the LNL for the bullet rebate but now thinking that might be overkill since I like the simplicity of the Lee, the quick caliber change, etc.
I load on the Lee classic cast 4 hole turret. I can sit down for three hours and load 500 rounds at a comfortable pace. I loaded on a friends Dillon 550 and while it was a very nice press I cant justify the extra money when the CT will load that fast and more than meet my needs. If you were happy with the old three hole turret then you would be very happy with the new added features of the CT. It has a much stronger linkage, larger ram and the spent primers are disposed through the ram into a clear plastic tube, it stays very clean.

So, I guess my basic question is at what point would the LNL be worth it? Is 300-500 rounds (with 100-200 rounds in each of 3 calibers or so) per month not enough to warrant the LNL?
That depends on the individual. For me I think my needs would have to be over 2,000 per month to make it worth while, but I still enjoy reloading and don't just reload to try to save money.


December 14, 2008, 10:36 PM
Thank you for the input guys. I decided to go with the Lee Classic Turret Press. For the amount of reloading that I'll be doing, it seems to be perfect. Since I'll mainly be reloading .308 for my new M1A and my FN PBR XP, this set up will allow me to slow things down a bit and handload in a very measured fashion like a single stage, if I wish.

I have no equipment, so I'll be buying everything first time. This is my shopping list right now. I plan on reloading for .308, 6.5x55, 9mm, .40 S&W and .357 magnum. This is a lot of money to spend up front so I hope it's worth it. i.e. I hope that they don't ban non-serial numbered bullets in the future like liberals and elitists are trying to do with bills in 16 state legislatures right now.

Feel free to comment on anything you see (or don't see) below. Thanks again for the comments, it has been a big help.

Lee 4 Hole, Classic 4 Hole Turret Press Turret
Lee Safety Prime Small and Large Primer Feeder for 2006, Later Reloading Press
Lee Auto Disk Powder Measure Riser
Lyman Case Lube Kit
Lyman Turbo 600 Case Tumbler 110 Volt
Lee Pro Auto Disk Powder Measure
Lee Safety Magnetic Powder Scale 100 Grain Capacity
Hornady Chamfer and Deburring Tool
Lee Powder Funnel 22 to 45 Caliber
Lee Zip Trim
Lee Case Trimmer Cutter with Ball Grip
Lee Case Length Gage and Shellholder 357 Magnum
Lee Case Length Gage and Shellholder 6.5x55mm Swedish Mauser
Lee Case Length Gage and Shellholder 308
Lee Case Length Gage and Shellholder 9mm Luger
Lee Deluxe Rifle 3-Die Set 308 Winchester
Lee Deluxe Rifle 3-Die Set 6.5x55mm Swedish
Frankford Arsenal Brass Cleaning Media Corn Cob 15 lbs in 3-1/2 Gallon Plastic Utility Bucket with Lid
Frankford Arsenal Brass Case Polish 8 oz Liquid
Lee "Modern Reloading Second Edition" Reloading Manual
Hornady "Handbook of Cartridge Reloading: Seventh Edition" Reloading Manual
Sierra "5th Edition Rifle and Pistol Manual of Reloading Data" Reloading Manual
Loadbooks USA "357 Magnum Handgun and Rifle" Reloading Manual
Loadbooks USA "308 Winchester" Reloading Manual

I'm also ordering the ingredients for this load for the M1a to start with:

Caliber: 7.62MM NATO, M852 Match (duplicate)
Bullet: 168 gr. SMK
Powder: IMR 4895, 42.0 gr.
Case: LC, RA, Winchester
Primer: CCI #34 Arsenal Primer
OAL: 2.80"
Velocity: 2550 fps.
Chamber Pressure: 50,000 psi

December 14, 2008, 11:58 PM

I think I'm going to be doing the same thing...it's hard for me to justify the LNL (even though I'd love the free bullets) given that I'm likely not shooting enough per month, and my experience with the old Lee 3-hole was real positive.

My guess is you've been reading all the threads like I have, but in case you haven't it seems like the guys here really recommend Kempf's as a great place to get this setup. I'd imagine they would also be able to tell you if you're missing something, etc. as well. I'm actually going to be out that way (Michigan City, IN) in a week or two so I'll probably just drop in and talk with them about it.

Good luck, and good choice!

December 15, 2008, 11:35 AM
GEOJAP, check Midway .com for prices. The Lyman tumblerr if fine, but the Midway and Frankford Arsenal tumblers are much cheaper and have served me well for many years.

If you have a gun show coming up, you may be able to pick up some of the equipment second hand.

Although most Lee equipment is excellent, the Auto Disc powder measure is controversial. About the best is the Hornady drum measure with removable powder chambers...I believe well worth the added cost.

You don't need the Lee Zip Trim at all...the list of cutter/lockstud with appropriate case length gages does exactly the same thing, easier. The cutter with ball grip is optional...you don't necessarily need it, especially if you clamp the regular cutter to the edge of a table and use a power drill to trim. You can turn the cutter with your hand to hand trim...not as comfortable as the ball grip, though. You probably don't need the trimmers for 9-mm Luger and .357 Mag...I haven't needed to trim these. check a group of your cases with a vernier caliper to check need to trim. I assume you already have one...you will use one frequently to check case lengths and overal lengths of loaded ammunition.)

You should have a set of small calibration weights for your beam scale. RCBS has a good, but very pricey set, or a friend with a calibrated scale can provide you with items such as pieces of copper or aluminum wire of known weight...say 3,5,10, and 20 gram.

Your load for the M1A is excellent! I use that also...:D

December 15, 2008, 06:51 PM
Although most Lee equipment is excellent, the Auto Disc powder measure is controversial.
I have found the pro auto disk to be very consistant. For example I set it to throw 4.2 grains of Titegroup for 124 grain in 9mm and it will throw 4.2 grains all day long. I will do checks every so often during my reloading session and every time I check it is at 4.2 grains. I find the same to be true for loading 38 spcl, 45 auto and 223 with the double disk kit.
it seems like the guys here really recommend Kempf's
Kempf is a very good place to buy the kit. It doesn't come with a scale so you can buy a good scale from the start and not be stuck with the Lee scale. You will also want to upgrade to the Lg & Sm safety prime and pro auto disk. You don't need to trim straight wall pistol brass. You might want to trim revolver brass the first time to make them all the same. You will need trimmers for all the rifle calibers. I chuck the lockstud in a battery drill and hold the cutter in my hand. It is very fast to trim, chamfer and debur with the Lee trimmer setup.

December 15, 2008, 07:09 PM
I own both. The LNL is a much better built tool. Output is much greater too with the progressive.

IMO the biggest weakness in the Lee system is the auto disk powder measure. It takes a considerable amount of trial and error to find the right cavity to fit your powder requirements. Sometimes you will have to "customize" a disk to get just the right throw.

December 15, 2008, 08:59 PM
Lee Safety Prime Small and Large Primer Feeder for 2006, Later Reloading Press This may come with the kit. I think it is listed as an add on for older presses. The only other thing I see you might want to change is the tumbler media and additive. Most of us use lizard litter(crushed walnut) from wally-mart and Nu-Finish car polish(also from wally-mart) in our tumblers with great success. The results will probably be the same, but the cost will be a lot less if that matters. If ever I was to get another press it would be the classic from Kempf's.

December 15, 2008, 10:24 PM
Thanks for the responses. They will really help. I'll definitely get the medium from Walmart.

Will the Hornady powder measure like this work on the Lee Turret?
Hornady powder measure (http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=290524)
More expensive Hornady powder measure (http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=990979)

I still need to get a caliper but the reviews I saw on the models I saw at MidwayUSA seemed as if all the calipers are prone to problems. I was going to the local Fry's electronics or hardware store to check them out in person.

I chose the Lee, Hornady and Sierra reloading manuals. Is it really overkill to get all three of these? I will be reloading with Sierra and Hornady 308 bullets quite a bit. The Lee book seemed to have the best content.

Also, I am planning on using some brass from the currently available Lithuanian 7.62x51 ammo that I have. Since this is evidently has some fairly thick walled cases, do you have any recommendations on how to approach loading these cases? I know the thicker cases will cause higher pressure. Should I try and look in the manuals for a standard military 7.62x51 round?

December 15, 2008, 10:32 PM
Hands down everyone will recommend the Lyman book for all the info it has in it. I would probably get that one instead of the Lee manual. Lee just re-posts info from everyone else, they don't do any testing themselves. Three manuals is hardly overkill. 12 maybe, but not 3. :rolleyes:
Look at Harbor Freight if you have one close for calipers. Just a thought on loading mil brass, I use the Lee decapper and base on all my mil brass. For 4.00 it keeps the wear and tear off the press and gives me another chance to inspect the brass. Plus it helps ease the frustration away after a "normal" day. :cuss::banghead::cuss:

December 15, 2008, 10:38 PM
I have a Lee Classic Turret; it's a fine press that I use to load a BUNCH of stuff. For the rifle rounds, I prime off the press since I have to do case prep anyway. My normal routine is to tumble the brass kinda clean, resize/decap, tumble shiny, trim, prime using the Lee hand primer, and them load 'em up on the press (indexing right past the sizer die in the turret) when I have a good batch pre-primed and ready to go.

For smaller rifle rounds (223), I use the Lee AutoDisk on the turret. For the larger-capacity rounds (308), I use a Lee drop mounted to the bench next to the press. This means that I drop the powder into the primed case off the press, and then seat the bullet and crimp on the press. I have found that I need to use a knocker on the powder drop to get really consistent results, but I have no such need with the AutoDisk.

I agree with the recommendation to get the Lyman reloading book; it's tops.

December 16, 2008, 12:00 AM
GEOJAP, I'm not familiar with Lithuanean brass. Are you sure it's reloadable...boxer primed? Should have one central primer flash hole...
If it has corrosive primers, it's a good idea to put it in a bucket with water and shake it a bit to wash away the corrosive residue, which can corrode the inside of the cases.

December 16, 2008, 12:16 AM
It's definitely reloadable. I have about 1000 rounds of it and plan on reloading it with the recipe I posted above with the 168 SMK. It's supposed to be some of the best 308 brass that you can get. But it weighs about 20 grains more than normal 308 brass. I'm concerned that the walls are thicker and will increase the pressure. I'm not sure how much to download it, but one of the posts below says 10% should be fine.


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