Upgrading from single stage to progressive or turret


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ArtP
October 9, 2010, 10:35 AM
I've been loading mostly rifle rounds on a Lee single stage press for about a year. I've had great success and learned an awful lot. Recently I started loading 44 mag and 9mm handgun rounds and have discoverfed just how slow and laborious a single stage can be to make pistol rounds in quantity.

I don't make rifle rounds in any quantity and really don't mind spending a lot of time to make custom, high quality rifle rounds on a single stage. Last night I spend about three hours making 100 each of 9mm and 44 mag. I think I could shoot them faster than I can make them!

I'm considering a turret or progressive setup and spent some time reading the manufacturers instruction manuals online and the sticky's atop this High Road category. I'd be very thankful if anyone could go beyond what I found and clarify further.

What is the difference in a turret style and progressive? Can one be upgraded to the other?

When operating slow enough to have a "safety first" approach, how many rounds per hour could I make with either style of press?

I have mostly Lee equipment now. I appreciate value, but that value shows in the quality of some of the tools. When I started, I did not know enough to know where to spend heavy and where to skimp. As example, I really appreciate the Lee dies but the powder measuring tools leave something to be desired. For someone with an average tolerance for cheap and average appreciation for quality, can you talk a little about the Hornady vs. the Lee systems?

If one wants to "substantially" change calibers, how long does it take to switch? By substantially, I mean different crimp, primers, powder.

If I wanted to, could I make bottleneck rifle rounds on either a progressive or turret? Or are these faster systems exclusively for straight walled pistol calibers?

This post was intended to be simple and easy to answer. Somehow it grew into a full-blown set of questions. I don't have any expectations for someone to sit down and answer any of it, let alone the whole post. I will appreciate any info you want to offer.

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Tilos
October 9, 2010, 10:51 AM
If I were buying a progressive today, it would be a Hornady LNL AP.
I have too many shell plates from another brand to switch now though.
Look here to see all the presses in action:

http://ultimatereloader.com/

dawico
October 9, 2010, 11:02 AM
A turret press is just a single stage press that holds more than one die. I personally don't have a need for it. With the exception of my most accurate ammo, I resize rifle rounds on a single stage press, clean them again, and then use my progressive press to prime, charge, and seat bullets. This is the best way I have found to make large quantities of rifle plinking or hunting ammo.

I have read alot of bad reviews of the Lee progressive presses, but haven't used one myself. My Hornady LnL AP is a good press, but takes occasional tinkering to keep it running smoothly. It takes at the most about 10 minutes to change calibers when I have to change primer sizes, as that is the hardest part to convert.

For handgun rounds, a progressive press is the way to go. I take my time making handgun rounds, and can usually pump out 200 an hour. The manufacturers say 500 to 600, but I visually check all charges and don't have a case feeder.

I have not found a powder dumper that is extremely accurate, they usually dump +/- .2 grains, but my rounds are not full throttle, so this isn't a major issue for me. For top end handgun rounds, I use my progressive press in conjunction with my RCBS Chargemaster combo. I can make over 100 rounds of precise handgun ammo an hour with this procedure.

It takes alot of equipment to reload the way I do, but it works for me. You will find that a progressive press is very handy, even if you just use it for some parts of the reloading process. It saves alot of handle pulling by combining steps, and will turn out accurate ammo in a hurry.

bds
October 9, 2010, 11:35 AM
What is the difference in a turret style and progressive? Can one be upgraded to the other?
Turret press moves the turret with dies mounted while the case on the shell holder on top of the ram rod stays stationary. Progressive press moves the shell plate with several cases while the turret with dies stays stationary.

When operating slow enough to have a "safety first" approach, how many rounds per hour could I make with either style of press?
I haven't used a turret press, but used several Lee Pro 1000. On the Pro 1000 with auto index (shell plate indexes automatically as you operate the ram lever), case feeder and manually feeding the bullet with my left hand while the right hand operates the ram lever, I can load 250-350 rounds slow and 400-650+ rounds fast. The Pro 1000 does have a known issue with feeding small primers (I am about 95% with SP primers and 100% with LP). There are things you can do to make the small primer feed more reliable or you can hand prime 9mm cases separately.

I have mostly Lee equipment now. I appreciate value, but that value shows in the quality of some of the tools. When I started, I did not know enough to know where to spend heavy and where to skimp. As example, I really appreciate the Lee dies but the powder measuring tools leave something to be desired. For someone with an average tolerance for cheap and average appreciation for quality, can you talk a little about the Hornady vs. the Lee systems?
This has been a heavily and often heated discussion topic (flame suit on), so I will take one thing at a time:

1. Lee dies - I use Lee carbide pistol dies and found many other shooters with various brand press also using Lee dies. I would consider Lee die quality very good, more than sufficient to reload consistent pistol rounds.

2. Pro Auto Disk - I use Pro Auto Disk powder measure on the Pro 1000 press and it is very accurate with powders like Bullseye/W231/HP38/Green Dot with charge-to-charge variance of less than 0.1 gr, which I consider to be match shooting consistency. With larger flake powder like Promo, variance is up to 0.2-0.3 gr, which is fine for plinking loads. I consider the Pro Auto Disk quality to be very good also subject to powder type used. The often mentioned comments about this powder measure leaking and being inconsistent is often due to improper setup/use, no initial lubrication of parts and premature wear of wiper that the disk slides under.

3. Hornady vs Lee - If you are comparing Hornady AP LNL vs Pro 1000/Load Master, I would recommend the Hornady. With that said, I have used Pro 1000 presses to load over 300,000+ rounds of accurate match loads over the years and with proper cleaning/lubrication and maintenance consider the Pro 1000 to be durable.

If one wants to "substantially" change calibers, how long does it take to switch? By substantially, I mean different crimp, primers, powder.
I keep my dies on different turrets (cost about $8) and switching caliber depends whether you need to change out the shell plate (9mm and 40S&W uses the same shell plate). If you are going from 9mm to 44 Mag, it will require:

- Change out of the shell plate (about 1 minutes for me - probably 2-5 minutes for you)
- Change out of turret with dies (5 seconds)
- Exchanging Auto Disk (30 seconds)

If I wanted to, could I make bottleneck rifle rounds on either a progressive or turret? Or are these faster systems exclusively for straight walled pistol calibers?
Pro 1000 is primarily setup for .223/7.62x39 to reload rifle cartridges in progressive mode. Some posted they reload .308/.30-06 in single stage mode by removing the center hex rod, but I do not have personal experience with it. As far as I know, the turret press can load rifle cartridges in the same "turret" mode.

This post was intended to be simple and easy to answer. Somehow it grew into a full-blown set of questions. I don't have any expectations for someone to sit down and answer any of it, let alone the whole post. I will appreciate any info you want to offer.
That's why we are all here. Young and old farts like us networking and sharing information with each other so we can better enjoy our shooting/reloading hobby/passion.

flashhole
October 9, 2010, 11:51 AM
Unless you intend or need to load very large quantities of handgun ammo you might consider the Lee Classic Turret. It has the auto indexing feature that works really well. I can easily load in excess of 100 rounds an hour and that is with me using a Lee Dipper Cup as the powder measure. In all fairness, I start with primered brass.

This is how I set mine up for 45-70. Similar setups are used for 223 Rem, and 40 S&W. It takes about 10 seconds to change from one caliber to another.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v69/GuideGun/FunnelforClassicPress.jpg

ArtP
October 9, 2010, 12:11 PM
Thanks for the info guys. BDS - I appreciate your thorough answer.

I watched the video on the Hornady LNL. It's qute a piece of equipment and I can fully understand the $400 price tag.

What does indexing mean?

bds
October 9, 2010, 01:04 PM
Indexing means rotating the shell plate so the case moves to the next station (under the next die on the turret) on the progressive press.

The indexing can be done manually by hand (like on Dillon 550) or automatically with the up/down movement of the ram/shell plate carrier. Most progressive press auto index on the downward cycle of the ram, but Hornady auto index 1/2 on the up stroke and 1/2 on the down stroke.

Tilos
October 9, 2010, 01:21 PM
ArtP:
That link in my post#2 has a tab at the top for Lee products as well.
Within the Lee products page are vids of the turret presses too.
There's lots of info there, and is easy to understand.

flashhole
October 9, 2010, 01:43 PM
On the Lee press in the photo, indexing means the next die in sequence is moved into position by the down-stroke of the press lever arm. Auto indexing is accomplished via use of a twisted rod. That rod can be removed if you want to manually index the dies. The die turret locks up in a detent assembly for proper positioning. It is a very easy press to use.

y5e06
October 9, 2010, 01:51 PM
A turret press isn't just a single stage w/ a die plate.
as mentioned, when you stroke the ram the turret index over to the next die in the loading sequence. It really is a great compromise between a single stage and a progressive. it is much cheaper and if you use reload multiple calibers you don't need a different shell plate for each ($30+), only the die plate/turret & shell holder that comes w/ most die sets ($3 holder). Easy to have all the setups for diff calibers. I believe I have 8+ calibers set up in various turret plates. The pistols have their own, e.g. 4 die 9mm carbide set in a plate. However the rifles can share a plate. I have pair of 7.5 die in two holes of a plate and 8mm dies in teh other two holes. works well since I don't run the indexing rod for rifle, i.e. single stage mode.

As far as reloding rates go, when set up efficently I can easy do 150/hr 9mm or .38spc, almost 200 w/ no hang-ups and smooth running. About 100+ hr .223.

ranger335v
October 9, 2010, 02:02 PM
No one has yet mentioned that Lee's auto-indexing turret presses are unique. Other turret presses do not auto-index and, in my opinon, that makes them funny looking single stage presses with die storage, as mentioned earlier.

jerkface11
October 9, 2010, 02:28 PM
I'm going to recomend against the lee turret press. I hate using mine. The turrets wobble, the knob fell off the handle,the priming thing it came with just doesn't work, and it just feels cheap.

flashhole
October 9, 2010, 03:36 PM
Sounds like you would be willing to sell it cheap. I'm interested. We are talking about the Classic Turret, not the Deluxe Turret?

rfwobbly
October 9, 2010, 04:12 PM
Art -
If you are sensitive to powder measurements (and I believe you should be) then IMHO there is no better press on the market than the Hornady LNL AP. There are lots of cheaper ones, but once you consider everything and compare feature to feature, then you'll come to the same conclusion.

Even with a slow steady stroke, you'll be making pistol ammo 4 times faster than a single stage, so there is absolutely no reason to rush. Going fast on a progressive results in a herky-jerky motion that does not create consistent ammo. Any video you may have seen on the internet that starts with the words "Watch how fast I can go..." is, quite simply, made by a fool. A fool who has probably blown himself up by now. :D

Remember this: ANY progressive press is going to pay for itself in less than a year. So why would you want to even be looking at "price" other than to have a "not to exceed" price in mind?

Look at Lee's best, the Hornady AP, the Dillon 550B, and the RCBS 2000. You'll come to the same conclusion. And the Hornady still comes with free bullets, too.

;)

flashhole
October 9, 2010, 04:34 PM
That bullet deal is hard to beat if you have the cash for the AP. I took advantage of the offer on a few sets of dies.

ArtP
October 9, 2010, 04:50 PM
Wobbles, I agree in getting what I pay for. I found that Lee puts out some crap and also some very good stuff. Lee collet neck dies are the cheapest on the market, yet I like them better than my Redding dies, which cost almost three times as much.

I want to thank everyone for their thoughts on this. As usual, some very good advice was given in a remarkably short amount of time. I do feel pretty confident to look into the Lock and load and know how much time it will save.

RealGun
October 9, 2010, 05:28 PM
I'm going to recomend against the lee turret press. I hate using mine. The turrets wobble, the knob fell off the handle,the priming thing it came with just doesn't work, and it just feels cheap.


The turrets wobble

What's the down side? That seems to be part of the die adjustment. There has to be enough play for the turret head to rotate.


the knob fell off the handle

So put it back on. It's just a press fit with a tapered hole. Mine has not come back off once I put it on more firmly.


the priming thing it came with just doesn't work

Mine does. What have you done with customer service or tech support?


and it just feels cheap

Mine doesn't, but I wonder how much you are willing to pay for a different impression that has little to do with making good ammo.

bds
October 9, 2010, 05:31 PM
ArtP, good going! :D

Hornady AP LNL is the next press on my shopping list. But properly set up Lee presses are not bad either.

I started out with Pro 1000 when I was single and money was tight but still wanted to shoot USPSA matches. I had a good mentor who taught me to use both Dillon 550 and Pro 1000 as to what worked and what didn't.

I learned to keep the Pro 1000 humming and years passed. Even when money wasn't so tight, I got so used to using the Pro 1000 with fast caliber changes that I just kept reloading on it (and my match scores kept increasing too). We have tested reloads from the Pro 1000 with other rounds from various other presses at the matches for accuracy, and my reloads have consistently come out on near or tops. One reason other reloaders determined why this was is that progressive presses using adjustable powder measure/drop sometimes "drift" when not checked/adjusted properly (one shooter checks his powder drop after 30-40 rounds, most around 100 rounds because of this. If I am using the right Auto Disk hole, I weigh the first few drops to check that powder has "settled" in the hopper and I am good thereafter - no checking every 30-40 rounds). Since these comparison tests, I have seen some of my competitors now loading on Pro 1000 or using the Pro Auto Disk powder measure on their presses. :D

I thought about buying a Dillon 1050, but my wife asked, "Will it load more accurate match rounds?" Funny, but I had to tell her, "No."

After talking to owners of various presses (some with 2-3 brands), I am currently leaning towards the Hornady.

Walkalong
October 9, 2010, 05:43 PM
• Even with a slow steady stroke, you'll be making pistol ammo 4 times faster than a single stage, Taking my time with my LNL, hand feeding each case and bullet and looking in to each case to see the powder, I can easily make a round every 4 to 6 seconds, faster when I concentrate and try. It is a very versatile machine. I like it a lot. I do not prime on it, but that would not make much difference in speed.

jerkface11
October 9, 2010, 06:40 PM
Mine does. What have you done with customer service or tech support?

The thing sticks after seating the primers. On top of that you have no feel at all when seating them.

ArchAngelCD
October 9, 2010, 07:20 PM
Progressive presses are great but they are expensive and they do have their pitfalls. I use a Lee 4 Hole Turret Press and I can load 180 to 200 handgun rounds per hour safely. IMO unless you a real lot rounds a day for competition a turret press is just fine even when you shoot 300-500 rounds a week.

Border Hopper
October 9, 2010, 08:30 PM
The LockNLoad bushings are a great idea, allowing you to quickly change from one caliber to another. If you are a serious reloader consider having "dedicated" presses or think about how convenient it may be to change calibers.
My portable single stage presses (a Lee "Bust Developer" and an aluminum HDS unit) are great for prepping brass if I'm on the road. Get something substantial for your home use. My Redding turret is reliable and exact, but not portable.

ArtP
October 9, 2010, 08:54 PM
The LockNLoad bushings are a great idea, allowing you to quickly change from one caliber to another. If you are a serious reloader consider having "dedicated" presses or think about how convenient it may be to change calibers.
My portable single stage presses (a Lee "Bust Developer" and an aluminum HDS unit) are great for prepping brass if I'm on the road. Get something substantial for your home use. My Redding turret is reliable and exact, but not portable.
I've thought of building a shooting bench/mini reloading station that could be towable, with a portable tent/windscreen. Nothing would be better than to test loads on-site. Another idea is crappy scale, hand press and pre-prepped brass. The whole idea could eliminate watsed components.

But you bring up a good point about the bushings. I have five sets of reloading dies now for my Lee single stage. I also have a quick-change bushing for each die (15 total). Do I simply need one bushing per die, as in 15 - same as the single stage?

Also, one "plate" per caliber, but similar calibers can share a plate; like shellholders do?

rfwobbly
October 9, 2010, 10:49 PM
Art -
The bushings to me are a solution for a problem that doesn't exist. Leave the bushings where they sit and outfit all your dies with a lock nut that stays in place, like the ones from Hornady or RCBS. That's considerably cheaper and only takes seconds longer to change.

I found that Lee puts out some crap and also some very good stuff.

Lets be fair and play nice. :D In truth, all the manufactures offer some tidbit that's flaky or simply way over-priced. That's why after ten years you'll own some of everyone's equipment. At one point I was loading 9mm with 4 different brand dies in the same progressive.

ArtP
October 9, 2010, 11:07 PM
Lets be fair and play nice. :D In truth, all the manufactures offer some tidbit that's flaky or simply way over-priced. That's why after ten years you'll own some of everyone's equipment. At one point I was loading 9mm with 4 different brand dies in the same progressive.

You make a good point. I wasn't rying to come off as slamming Lee. In fact I have a lot of respect for them and most of their equipment. Perhaps I was sloppy in my statement.

ArtP
October 9, 2010, 11:12 PM
Art -
The bushings to me are a solution for a problem that doesn't exist. Leave the bushings where they sit and outfit all your dies with a lock nut that stays in place, like the ones from Hornady or RCBS. That's considerably cheaper and only takes seconds longer to change.

I'm not sure what you mean by this. The Lee "bushings" I own, screw onto the outside of each die and allow me to instantly drop them into my press and keep an adjustment.

For a single stage guy, that is a solution to a real problem and time waster. We HAVE TO BE talking about something different. It appeared to me that Hornady makes something similar that wrapped (screwed) around a die and allowed the user to pop it right into the press - pre-adjusted. Perhaps I'm mistaken??

flashhole
October 10, 2010, 07:03 AM
You are not mistaken. Hornady has been selling their bushing solution for several years now. Lee is the newcomer to the bushing game but with their press the bushing is not an option, the press won't work without it.

I went the Hornady route at one time and came to the same conclusion, it's a solution for a problem that doesn't exist, and sold them all.

EddieNFL
October 10, 2010, 08:29 AM
I went the Hornady route at one time and came to the same conclusion, it's a solution for a problem that doesn't exist, and sold them all.

Not sure I follow. Please elaborate.

Walkalong
October 10, 2010, 09:04 AM
I used to think the bushings were an answer to a non problem. I mean screwing the dies in and out didn't take all that long, right, but since using them I really like the speed with which you can swap things around. Back when I used the Lee turret, I really liked the way it worked where you just took the whole thing off and stored it. I like the way the RCBS does their machine where the powder measure stays put while the tool head comes off with the dies.

What I like the best about the LNL is that my right hand never has to leave the handle, while my left hand feeds brass and bullets on the left side of the machine where I can see it easily. Very smooth and fast without trying hard.

flashhole
October 10, 2010, 10:33 AM
EddieNFL - I thought it would be conveinient to "twist and remove" the dies in the bushing. It turned out I was fiddle farting with the bushings longer than it would take me to set the die ring on the die and screw it in place. I also had a problem with the bushing adapters not fitting my presses. The quality control on the adapter threads was very poor and I could not get Hornady to make good on it. I finally just sold the whole mess.

bds
October 10, 2010, 12:50 PM
It turned out I was fiddle farting with the bushings longer than it would take me to set the die ring on the die and screw it in place.
Even though I have my pistol dies in different turrets ready to go, I sometimes prefer to load 38/357s on the single stage press (I like the slow and relaxing single stage process for rimmed cases). I find that screwing on/off different dies in the single stage with the Lee lock rings is not that much trouble as long as you don't move the lock rings on the dies (some put reference marks with permanent marker to maintain the adjustments).

As to OP, it is good to know that Lee progressive press can be used single stage if you wanted to. If you already have a single stage, then you'll have the best of both worlds (that's how I set up all the new reloaders bench now for others, with both single stage and progressive presses - the cost of new/used single stage press is really affordable, often around $20 used for brand name press).

Skip_a_roo
October 10, 2010, 01:39 PM
I started on a Lyman Spar -T turret press and moved to a Lee Classic Cast Turret 4 hole as pictured in one post above. Now, I have 4 Dillons too, notice I said, too.

Since we haven't gone to the altar and promised to never part until death, there is no reason to keep a press you aren't happy with or to just get one that you want to try out. If it doesn't work like you want, sell it. Just from the posts in this thread, you can see that there is someone that likes that kind, somewhere. If you want to get rid of it, all you gotta do is hook up! :)

The next press I am going to get is going to be a LnL. It will be a nice contrast on my loading bench, blue on one end and red on the other! :D


All kidding aside, all of the major player's presses work as they were designed. Some, as in the Lee progressives, need a little TLC to perform well, others, like the Dillons just run and run.

I did just load up about 100 rounds of 44Mag on one of my Square Deal presses yesterday. Took me all of 15 minutes after I was set up. Setup took about 5 minutes because I have a press dedicated to large primers. I also have a shortcut to the setup procedure that will work on any die setup in any press, take a look:

http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r115/Sackettwannabe/Reloading/SBDSetup2.jpg

Written on the lid of each caliber conversion is the group of settings for that caliber.

This press is proprietary, it only uses its unique set of dies, but they do serve a purpose, lots of handgun ammo in a hurry.

I have a Dillon XL650 too with a case feeder. That thing will flat kick out the ammo. When I was shooting competition, I could have 1000 rounds an hour if I staged things before I started.

I still load on the Lee. Small batches or calibers I don't have conversions for YET! ;)

I am going to migrate everything to the XL650 and should I get a LnL, one will be set up for small primers and the other for large.

Also, I have only bought one press new, the XL650. The 3 Square Deal's that I have I have only spent $500 in all three. One was from a friend I shot competition with, another from a friend of his and one from fleabay!

Since the Dillon guarantee isn't just for the original owner, even one bought used is still covered.

FWIW

mallc
October 10, 2010, 05:55 PM
I have about four years on a Dillon 650. We have interchangeable toolheads with PMs and alarms for four pistol and two rifle calibers. The Dillon is a great machine and reliably makes ammo as fast as you can set bullets for seating. But...we don't change it over for less than a 1000 rounds and it is NOT good for for anything else.

Last year we moved the rifle calibers to a pair of Hornady LNL-AP, one large primer and one small primer. Change over is MUCH faster and powder drop is a little more consistent. The quick change powder metering inserts are a cool idea if you frequently load small batches of different calibers with the same powder (IMR 4064, 4895). RCBS lock out dies work with straight walled cases but we are limited to visual checks for bottle neck cases with the LNL. We run a lot of calibers on the LNL but we don't change an LNL over for less than 100 rounds and it is NOT good for anything else.

We use old cast iron RCBS for trimming and sizing and a Redding T7 for working up loads and small batches of specialty ammo. It's a great press but it's not much faster than a single stage. On the other hand, I touch every round and it's my favorite way to reload.

Hope this helps.
Scott

noylj
October 10, 2010, 06:37 PM
What? The 1050 won't load accurate match rounds? A benchrest competitor might not want one (they like hand-made dies and arbor presses and loading at the shooting bench), but I find that my 1050s produced outstanding handloads.
Of course, I would NOT recommend a 1050 to any one who is not already a VERY dedicated shooter and wants to load LOTS of a given caliber. Caliber changes are very slow and involved compared to a L-N-L and very expensive.

EddieNFL
October 10, 2010, 08:28 PM
EddieNFL - I thought it would be conveinient to "twist and remove" the dies in the bushing. It turned out I was fiddle farting with the bushings longer than it would take me to set the die ring on the die and screw it in place. I also had a problem with the bushing adapters not fitting my presses. The quality control on the adapter threads was very poor and I could not get Hornady to make good on it. I finally just sold the whole mess.
I have a Hornady Projector that served me well. When the 650 w/casefeed hit the market I couldn't live without it. Had Hornady offered a casefeed at that time, I would have stayed red. I really like the Dillon toolheads.

Not to pick a fight, but IMO the Hornady bushing system came about in response to Dillon's toolhead. The case feed is definitely a knock-off.

rsrocket1
October 19, 2010, 07:26 PM
Lee is the newcomer to the bushing game but with their press the bushing is not an option, the press won't work without it.


Lee's Breech Lock Challenger does work like a standard press with dies. Just leave the single breech lock bushing in the locked position and it acts like a 7/8-14 threaded press. You can thread in and out the dies and lock them in place with the lock nut if you wish.

EddieNFL - It turned out I was fiddle farting with the bushings longer than it would take me to set the die ring on the die and screw it in place. I also had a problem with the bushing adapters not fitting my presses. The quality control on the adapter threads was very poor and I could not get Hornady to make good on it.

That's probably where your problem lies. Maybe the LnL adapter system doesn't work too great when retrofitted to some older presses.

The LnL system and the Lee Breech Lock system work great for me when using the Lee Challenger press and the LnL AP presses. I just started reloading and got a used Breech Lock Challenger system for cheap. I heard that most reloaders recommend learning on a ss press and to keep one around even if you move up to a progressive so that's what I did. The breech lock bushings work great if you need to perform a 1-off fix on a shell. Swapping dies is as easy as swapping a single stage shell holder or turning the turret on a manual turret press such as the RCBS.

After a month of single stage reloading, it was time to try out the LnL AP. I got this press because of a $150 Cabela's promotion + 500 bullets from Hornady. That made the LnL way cheaper than a Dillon 550 (my other choice) or a Lee Classic Turret Press (my original choice). After watching the Hornady You Tube set up instructional videos, it took about 45 minutes to mount, degrease/lube, assemble and adjust the dies/powder measure. I carefully loaded several 45ACP shells one at a time and double checked each of the five stages (decap/prime;powder drop;bell;seat;factory crimp) measuring with calipers and scale after each stage. When I was satisfied, I started cranking away. Even with a slow 5 seconds per stroke and looking into the shells after each powder drop, I got through 100 rounds in less than 10 minutes. :what:

I'll still use the Challenger press to prep my .223's before putting them into the progressive and I think I'll always use the ss press for loading my .308's, but I really like the LnL AP. You can still be very careful in your reloading, but perform 5 steps for each pull of the handle rather than one.

Now for some reason, my ammunition costs have gone UP instead of down. It may be because I now go out and shoot 100 rounds of 45 instead of 21 or 200 rounds of .223 instead of 60. :p

ranger335v
October 19, 2010, 08:45 PM
"Lee is the newcomer to the bushing game but with their press the bushing is not an option, the press won't work without it."

The Rocket is correct, the bushing thing is irrelivant if you wish it to be. And Lee makes only two of their many presses in the near pointless "breech lock" design. I mean, it takes me maybe 40 seconds to swap screw in dies vs. maybe 6 swap a bushing die, assuming I already have the second one in my hand ready to insert. Even if I'm using a four die set that may let me "save" about 2 1/2 minutes in a loading sesson; that sure won't allow me to get to bed early enough to make getting up early any easier! And I use those die lock ring thingys to prevent having to readjust them. ;)

Surely we will all agree that any progressive is much faster than a single stage; after all, that IS their purpose! But few of us shoot in enough volume to need or even benefit from a progressive.

newrugersafan
October 19, 2010, 09:26 PM
I will admit it does not take much time to unscrew a die and screw in another one and you don't lose your adjustments if you use a good lock ring but I like the quick change bushings.

I have a T-7 and a LNL AP on the LNL I have bushings for all my dies for ease of caliber change. With the T-7 I like to keep my most used dies set up and ready to go in the turret. I still have to make some die adjustments when going from 38 to 357 and 44 special to 44 mag but I still think it's a time saver.

Mike

flashhole
October 20, 2010, 07:41 AM
"Lee is the newcomer to the bushing game but with their press the bushing is not an option, the press won't work without it."

I think you guys missed my point. Whether you leave it in and screw dies into it or remove it and replace it with another, it still won't work without it.

cfullgraf
October 21, 2010, 09:06 AM
Since Lee dies only come with a jam nut and not a locking lock ring, the bushings are a definite benefit for them. One can set the die, jam the nut against the bushings and preserve the die's setting.

With a good lockable lock ring, the setting of the die is preserved so that it returns to the proper place when screwed in and out.

This is the reason I stopped buying Lee dies 15 yeas ago. By the time I bought new lock rings for the dies, I had spent as much as for RCBS, Redding, or Hornady dies.

But, I think the L-N-L bushings are kind of cool on my Hornady progressive.

snuffy
October 21, 2010, 11:09 AM
Different strokes for different folks. If you MUST have bushings, then the new lee press is a very nice, solid option. It's the same frame and leverage as the classic cast single stage. What the difference is that the top is threaded to ONLY take the bushings that the 7/8-14 dies screw into. Whether you simply leave that bushing in the press, or buy bushings for each die, you HAVE to use the bushing(s).

The standard classic cast, has a big bushing that's threaded 7/8-14 inside, and 1-X12 outside. That bushing has hex shoulders on it so it can be removed to use the BIG dies like 50 BMG and the special cowboy brass shotgun loading dies from RCBS.

Since someone mentioned the lee lock nuts for their dies, I'll put my 2 cents in on them. THEY WORK! If you know how to use them. The "O" ring is made to crush against the top of the press, bushing or turret. Once crushed by the hole it's screwed into, it puts side pressure on the die threads, and the inside of the recess of the nut. Once that happens, it's very hard to get that nut to turn, it's essentially "locked" in place. No need for a set screw. All you have to do then is get ahold of the lock ring and turn the die with it. Don't try to turn the die loose by grasping the top of the die. The lock nut will turn the die because it's locked to it via the side pressure of the O ring.

Another thing, the lee turret will ONLY work with the as-supplied lee lock nuts. Other rings like the Hornady are to big in diameter to fit all four dies on the turret at once.

mcdonl
October 21, 2010, 02:40 PM
Surely we will all agree that any progressive is much faster than a single stage; after all, that IS their purpose! But few of us shoot in enough volume to need or even benefit from a progressive.

I have gone around and around on getting a turret or progressive, but I can load around 100 rounds of pistol ammo in an hour, single stage so why bother?

Besides... I have a helper now...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v210/mcdonl/erm_loading.jpg

k4swb
October 21, 2010, 05:05 PM
On a single stage press, I'm lucky to load 50 rounds an hour. I also hand prime.
Age is catching up so I recently bought a progressive. 200 strokes for 50 rds vs. 105 for 100 and about 25 minutes is alot easier on my aching arm and shoulder.
Why didn't I do this sooner?

SSN Vet
October 22, 2010, 04:36 PM
I load rifle and pistol on a LCT.

I can pump out a box of 50 pistol rounds in 20 min. at a leisurely pace, inspecting each round, checking COAL frequently and doing one check weight.

I love the LCT set up. It is my only press and though I'd love to have a 650 or LNL AP, I really don't need one (and can't afford one).

If I had started with a single stage, I'd likely keep loading rifle on that and get a progressive for pistol.

So many options. Life can't be all that bad.

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