What else do I need?


December 25, 2008, 12:10 PM
I have a Lee Turret reloading kit, dies, primers, powder, bullets, powder trickler, flash hole deburrer, tumbler, and case lube. What else do I need? Specifically, the kit mentioned a Lee Safe Prime tool, but did not say whether it was necessary or merely an added convenience. Do I actually need the Lee Safe Prime or can I deprime and prime spent casings with the items in the Lee Turret kit? Please shed some light on this. Thanks.

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December 25, 2008, 01:02 PM
You will need a good caliper and case trimmer of some sort. I think the primer will come with the kit as well as a scale. Some will complain about the scale and some like it. I personally like it and it works very well for me. A couple of load manuals should be a necessity, most reccomended here is the Lyman 49th, and the Speer or Hornady or Lee would be nice to have also. Probably a gimme, but I expect you have brass on hand for the calibers you plan to load. How about a good solid bench with good light on/above it?

Claude Clay
December 25, 2008, 01:06 PM
with good light on/above it?

light should illuminate the powder in the case--visual conformation before you seat a bullet. if your overhead light doesnot do this a generic 'book' $10.00 goosneck can be used.

a 'do not disturb' placard to hang on the doorknob when you a loading. if you are distracted-- work out a 'safe' system--such as press arm in the down position. now you can return to the machine in a known condition.

December 25, 2008, 01:07 PM
Harbor Freight (online or local store) was selling a nice electronic readout 6" caliper for ~$12 during December. It's a nice instrument and at a price you'll not match. Try that one.

December 25, 2008, 01:11 PM
Marineman, your case resizing die will punch out the fired primers so thats covered. Press mounted priming tools are okay-I prefer to hand prime with an RCBS tool which I dearly love because I can feel the primer bottom out in the case, but its what you prefer that counts.
I do recommend reloading manuals, up to date ones too. If youre just beginning your collection, I would go for the latest Lyman manual, plus some others from bullet and powder manufacturers. A lot can be found on line as well.
A good case trimmer is a wonderful thing to have. I bought a Lee zip trim which works well, but there are many hand and power operated trimmers, depending on how much you shoot.
Calipers are essential, and particularly if youre loading for accuracy, I would also recommend something to set the case length accurately for your particular firearm.

December 25, 2008, 01:12 PM
Right, light does need to be shining in the case to check the powder, but also the workspace should be well light as well.

What calibers are you planning to reload?

December 25, 2008, 02:59 PM
If you have the auto indexing classic turret then IMO the safety prime is the only way to go. This link http://www.leeprecision.com/html/HelpVideos/videos/Turret%20Press/loading%20on%20turret-1.wmv will show you the safety prime in action.

December 25, 2008, 05:38 PM
Lee Auto Prime or the RCBS. I have a Dillon semi progessive and I still use my Lee Auto Prime pretty often. I like to prepare brass in batches. Doesn't matter if it's just decapping a few thousand rounds of pistol, some for a match or a couple hundred rounds of rifle stuff. I tumble one time. Then I'll grab a batch and prime them all. With the hand primer, I can do this by feel while watching my favorite hunting/shooting show. Sure I can decap and prime as stages in the progressive role, and I probably would if I was just plinking or shootin speed steel or IPSC or IDPA. Not to say that those disciplines don't require attention during reloading ammo, but my slowfire rounds for Bullseye, and my hunting rounds get a bit more scrutiny by inspecting/cleaning flash hole and primer pockets. Unless you've decapped a batch and inspected them already, (I know people that size/decap, prime, powder drop, then seat bullet with their progessives all the time), there is potential that they're eliminating a complete inspection of the cases. So, while there is suggestion to get the add-on part for priming at your press, Some day you might want a hand primer.

Unless your press has an adjustable stop to set your primer depth when seating, -I'll just say that there is no press that provides you with the 'feel' of when a primer has bottomed out in the pocket as well as a hand primer. Bench presses have way too much leverage. Progressives with an adjustable stop are better, when set for one brand of brass, but when you mix brass in a reloading session, that's all out the window.

I have no less than five reloading manuals. -and I mean manuals that give you more data than just the online stuff or even the Lee jibberish. Sierra, Speer, Hornady, Nosler. Manuals for the bullets you'll be using.

You're gonna need containers for those loaded cartridges.

Loaded ammunition, primers and powder should be locked away in a safe dry and explosion proof container/cabinet. (Just like your guns should be in a gun safe.)


December 25, 2008, 07:37 PM
Powder scale - absolutely vital.
Case neck chamfer tool.
Powder measure.
Loading blocks.

Dean Williams
December 25, 2008, 08:38 PM
If you got this kit; http://tinyurl.com/9d4qtf
you should have what you need to prime cases. It will be a metal thing basically triangular in shape, that fits into the slot of the ram on the press. It will work, but you have to load primers into it one at a time by hand. If you decide to do it that way, try to keep your hands clean while priming. Oil on your fingers can kill primers.

The Lee Safety Prime is kind of a neat thing, and will speed up priming cases on the press if you're going to use it as a progressive. Some people find it finicky. It works perfectly for me, when I'm using it.

I use my Lee Turret mostly as a indexing single stage, and I find I like the Lee Auto Prime much better for the way I do things. I've the one for many years, so I'm probably just partial to it. If you should decide to get one, buy a set of shell holders for it at the same time.

Case trimmers for each caliber are nice to have, but I know some people who load mainly pistol cases, and they rarely use one. For bottle neck cases, you will need a trimmer right quick, as they get long after just a couple reloads. Sometimes they will be long after the first firing.

Any cheap dial caliper will be handy.
Get all the reloading manuals you can afford. Lyman's first, then add more when you can. I have at least nine of them and I do not consider them a luxury.

Have fun. Go slow and be safe.

December 26, 2008, 03:38 PM
I do have a caliper, scale, chamfer, and trimmers. I am planning to reload .30-06, .308, and .270WSM to start. I have another question: While trying to use the sizer/deprimer die on a .30-06, I can only get the brass to go up partially. There is still about 1/4inch between the shellholder and the die. I cannot get the brass to go up without using an inordinate amount of force that would break the sturdy table that I have the press mounted to. However, I need to go up the enire way so that the spent primer is removed. Does anyone know what is wrong and how I might fix it? Thanks.

December 26, 2008, 03:50 PM
Are you using lube on the cases? Many here prefer Imperial as do I. Just a wee bit goes a long way. Is the brass military, does it have a crimped in primer? If so, I use the Lee Decapper and Base on all my brass with great success. Have you cleaned the dies(if new)? Have you successfully gotten any brass through this die yet or have they all hung up at the same point? Make sure it is boxer primed not berdan and there is nothing in the cases to prevent the die from seating. A little more info and someone will figure it out. :banghead:

It's all worth it in the end though. :D

December 26, 2008, 04:17 PM
The dies are new. I haven't cleaned the dies. I didn't know you were supposed to clean them. I don't even know how to clean the dies. The brass is once fired. It is the brass from the $16 Walmart Winchester ammo. I do not know if it is crimped or not. There are no obstructions in the brass. I cleaned and polished the brass. I also lubed the cases. I tried the die on one round of brass, but it got stuck and I had to use vice grips, vices, etc. to get it out. The second piece of brass is giving me the same trouble, but I am not about to put all my body into making it go up further because I do not want another stuck case. Thanks.

Claude Clay
December 26, 2008, 04:26 PM
lube the outside of the case body and neck--not the shoulder [too much lube creats hydrolic pressure=dimples and or crushed shoulders]. also lube the inside of the neck. re-read and adjust your dies again using a factory round you have disassembled.
good luck
where are you located? perhaps someone may be able to assist you in person.

Dean Williams
December 26, 2008, 08:04 PM
To clean the dies, take the top part out of the sizing die, called the neck expander and de-primer. Also take the bullet seater out of the seating die by screwing out the seater adjuster on the top and turn the die up-side down to dump out the seater. Then you can get to the insides with some type of degreaser. Break Free, naphtha, Coleman camp fuel, or whatever works for you.

Your brass should not be crimped. You will only find that on military cases. If you have brand names, you are good to go.

I assume you have the Lee lube, since you got a Lee kit. Put a small gob on your thumb and fore finger, and rub it on the case body and neck, but skip the shoulder, as Claude said.
You don't need a lot of lube.

Be sure that when you have the ram on the press all the way to the top (with the shell holder in it) that you screw the sizing die down to just touch it, plus just a little more, then lock the die in the press.

Make sure you are not trying to stuff '06 cases up into a 308 die. The neck would probably go over the expander ball okay, but would stop at the shoulder.

Keep us posted!

December 26, 2008, 08:50 PM
I'll try cleaning in the fashion you described and let you know how it worked out. Thanks.

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