Need help picking a starter kit


November 28, 2008, 06:03 PM
Hey all. I'm ready to start reloading, and have found three different Lee starter kits that I like. The problem is, I can't figure out which one I need. I plan on reloading handgun ammunition mainly, with some .223 and .30 Carbine. Eventually I may want to load for my Mosin or some of my larger rifles, but not right now.

I'm looking at the Lee 4 hole turret press starter kit on Midway, the Lee Challenger single stage Anniversary kit, and the regular non-Anniversary Challenger kit. Is there any difference in the Challenger kits, aside from price? The Anniversary kit is about 14 dollars cheaper.

I guess I'm mostly looking for advice on the single stage as opposed to the turret presses. I understand how the single and progressive presses work, but I'm not familiar with a turret. I take it that it's sort of a cross between the two?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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November 28, 2008, 06:30 PM
Tagged for interest.

November 28, 2008, 06:43 PM
The envelope please!

November 28, 2008, 08:55 PM
And the winner is, the Lee classic cast turret. If you are going to load mostly pistol the the classic turret is the way to go. If you need 2,000 rounds a month then go progressive. The single stage will load around 50 per hour, the classic turret around 200 per hour and a progressive around 350 per hour and up. I load on a classic cast turret.
The CT is very fast and easy to change calibers and primer feeds. I have been loading on mine for two years and am very happy with the press.

November 28, 2008, 09:24 PM
+1 on the Classic Turret Press. As you can see in RustyFN's setup, dies and turrets can be set up and changed out with great ease. Just one note 56FordGuy: the billiard ball is an owner mod.

November 29, 2008, 08:42 AM
"Just one note 56FordGuy: the billiard ball is an owner mod."

Yes, most of us would require an 8 ball ! :D

November 29, 2008, 09:54 AM
Nice setup on the Lee Press, 3 ball and all! I would throw another recommendation out there. In 1972 my father bought a RCBS Master reloading kit. Rockchucker press, scale, powder thrower, all came in the kit, everything one needs to reload except the dies. I know they are not cheap but fast forward 36 years and it is the same setup I still use. It is what I learned on which is another point for a beginner, learn to load no just how to calibrate a machine. There are more than just a few basics to loading quality ammunition especially when you start to do rifle. A single stage press will be easier to master in the beginning and allow you to concentrate on the loading process not the mechanics of a machine.

I have nothing against a turret press or progressive, I have one of each. I just want to impress upon the OP that there is nothing wrong with a single stage quality machine, it will outlast most loaders. If you feel you need a higher round count once you have learned the process trade or buy up to a turret of the same manufacturer and you will be able to use everything you already have. JMHO Bill

November 29, 2008, 11:57 AM
Your question:
What is the difference between a single stage, a turret, and a progressive?
Single Stage: has a ram with one shell holder that holds one case. It holds only one die, you must change dies to perform each operation resize, bell, seat/crimp.

Turret: has a ram with one shell holder that holds one case. It has a turret that holds multiple dies and/or a powder measure at the same time. The turret turns (either manually or may be auto-indexing) so each operation of loading may be performed without removing the case.

Progressive: Has a shell plate on the ram that holds multiple cases at one time. The press also holds multiple dies and a powder measure. With each cycle of the ram, each case has a different operation performed on it with the result of one cartridge being completed with each pull of the handle.

Although I started loading in 1960, have two single stage presses and two progressive presses, If I were starting new today, I would go with the Lee Classic Cast Turret. Kempf's has an excellent deal on a kit and they have an excellent overall reputation among reloaders.


November 29, 2008, 08:25 PM
OP, I was in the same boat a couple years ago and went with the Lee Classic Cast 4 Hole Turret and have not regretted it. I reload a number if different rifle and 45ACP on it. I loaded 500rnds 45ACP last weekend in around 2.5-3hrs. Cabela's sells a Lee Classic Turret starter kit (

November 29, 2008, 10:05 PM
Yes, most of us would require an 8 ball !
There used to be some 8 balls for sale at If you don't see them there ask Adam if he has any more.

January 5, 2009, 11:49 PM
Freakshow used to carry the billiard ball handles but he no longer carries them or any other reloading equipment.

I still make them, its kind of a hobby of mine. They thread right on Dillon and most other brands that thread on.
On Lee equipment the ball needs to be glued on.

10.00 each delivered

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