Best Turret Press


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Too_Pure
July 18, 2011, 02:23 AM
I'm planning on updating my equipment from a Lee Anniversary Kit to a better turret set-up. Not quite ready for progressive just yet, partially due to cost.

So what say you? What do you use? What do you wish you had? Thanks.


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J_McLeod
July 18, 2011, 02:52 AM
I have a Lee turret that I am very happy with.

Kevin Rohrer
July 18, 2011, 03:55 AM
There is no "best" of anything. If you want "top-shelf" of anything, expect to pay for it.

Everyone has their own opinion of what is good and what is not good, which is colored by what they own and use.

For me, my "top shelf" presses are those made by Hollywood: the Senior Turret and Universal turrets. But they ain't cheap and will run you anywhere from $400-600 on EBay.

Hollywood presses left to right: Senior Turret (8-station), Universal Model-II (12-station), and Universal Model-III Special (12-station, 4-shellholders, & 4-primer arms)

http://i666.photobucket.com/albums/vv29/KevinRohrer/Reloading/IMG_0623.jpg

rondog
July 18, 2011, 03:59 AM
Well, this is a can of worms for sure, and will get everybody stirred up. But I use a Lee Classic Turret and love it. I would recommend you pass on their Deluxe Turret, the Classic is far better. Can't speak of any other brands, but I'm sure you'll hear about them.

dmazur
July 18, 2011, 05:25 AM
Here's one from Dillon (not really a turret, but a stripped-down progressive.)

If I was starting out, I might consider this, then plan on adding the auto primer and powder later.

Dillon BL-550 Basic Loader (http://www.dillonprecision.com/#/content/p/9/pid/25792/catid/1/BL_550_Basic_Loader)

rfwobbly
July 18, 2011, 08:50 AM
Mr Pure -
Your question cannot be answered because of lack of information. Several of the turret presses already mentioned cannot do large rifle cartridges, which for all I know may be your main consideration. You have also not told us the expected volumes or use of the ammo. That is, are you going to take pot-shots at gophers out by the barn, or do you expect to go to the Olympics?

RandyP
July 18, 2011, 09:58 AM
Best turret for the money IMHO is the auto-indexing Lee Classic 4-hole. 150-175 rounds per hour at a leisurely pace. Several sources online for complete kits or piece by piece including factorysales.com.

If you have high volume ammo needs? An auto-indexing progressive progressive would be the way to go and there are plenty of folks here who can offer their opinions...even a few fans of the Dillon line - LOL

Too_Pure
July 18, 2011, 10:08 AM
Mr Pure -
Your question cannot be answered because of lack of information. Several of the turret presses already mentioned cannot do large rifle cartridges, which for all I know may be your main consideration. You have also not told us the expected volumes or use of the ammo. That is, are you going to take pot-shots at gophers out by the barn, or do you expect to go to the Olympics?

Fair enough. No rifle right now. I'd like to be able to do 300 rounds a week. I do three calibers, so I figured the turret would help there. Honestly my biggest time waster is the powder measure and scale. I weigh every load because it's just that inconsistent. I think I'm going with Lyman for the measure no decision on a scale yet.


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Too_Pure
July 18, 2011, 12:55 PM
I have a Lee turret that I am very happy with.
I am happy with my Lee single stage and Lee dies. What's killing me the most is the Lee "perfect" powder measure. Maybe it's the powders I use, but it is totally unreliable. I now weigh every charge and it makes the whole process take forever since I have to sprinkle or remove a pinch every time. No uniformity at all. On the rare occasion I can get two consecutive semi-consistent pulls I don't trust it and wonder if the scale is messed up. Since I already have the Lee primer feeders and dies it might make sense for me to stick with Lee and get their Classic Turret and the Pro Auto Disk measure. Everything I read about the auto disk measure seems good and it's been recommended to me a few times when I complain about the perfect powder measure.

mgmorden
July 18, 2011, 02:43 PM
Could be the powders. I have loaded thousands of rounds with my Lee powder measure and haven't noticed any real trouble.

I will say though that just for the sake of being able to quickly swap to a known charge amount via charts, I've been looking at moving to an RCBS "Little Dandy".

Also having looked at turret presses recently though, and having looked at Youtube videos of them, my personal bet is on the Lee ones. Just IMHO, without the auto-index feature I just don't see the benefit of having a turret.

jfh
July 18, 2011, 04:27 PM
Between the implication in your first post--"...not quite ready for a progressive..."--and the more specific information of your next post--"...No rifle right now, but I'd like to be able to do 300 rounds a week."--plus the side information about your current workflow bottleneck--the charging--it really does sound like you would best use a Lee Turret Press--the Classic / newest one. RandyP gave a concise summary of its productivity.

My gear started as, and remains, Lee, and I have no need to weigh each powder charge using a Lee Pro Auto setup with the adjustable charge bar (ACB) and powders such as 231, AA#5, TrueBlue, and so on--i.e., ball powders. Even the Vihtavuori extruded powders meter just fine: within a range of plus-or-minus one-tenth, and I churn away outputting about 180 cartridges per hour.

So, just what calibers are your loading, with what bullets, and using what powders?

Jim H.

Funshooter45
July 18, 2011, 05:26 PM
I went to a Lee Classic turret last winter for loading revolver cartridges and I like it a whole lot. I can crank out say, 100 44 mags, then switch over and do 100 45 Colts and finish up with 100 rounds of .480 Ruger in a couple hours, starting with fired brass and that includes swapping turrets and switching powders. It is much faster than doing it on a single stage for pistol cartridges. I use the on-press priming and I also use the Pro Auto disk measure. Those 2 things really speed it up and I have not had any issues whatsoever.

I did try the turret for rilfe loading as well. It does the job just fine. But there is no speed advantage for rifles, since you have to stop and trim anyway. Plus I like to weigh every powder charge for rifles. So I went back to loading on a single stage for rifles (I use a Redding Big Boss 2 for that). But the Classic turret works perfect for my own needs for revolver rounds. It's truly a neat contraption.

Too_Pure
July 18, 2011, 05:49 PM
So, just what calibers are your loading, with what bullets, and using what powders?

Jim H.I'm loading .45 auto using Berry's 200 grain hollow points or 230 grain ball, .40 S&W using Berry's 165 grain flat points, 10mm using 180 grain Hornady XTP, and may possibly be reloading 9mm soon.

For the 45 and 40 I have used W231, which is the one I've had the most trouble with metering. I am wide open for a suggestion of a better choice here.

For the 10mm I use Blue Dot which seems to work a little better, or at least is easier to "sprinkle" to fine tune. I'm pretty happy with this one. But I've not reloaded 10mm for long and haven't tried anything else.

For 9mm... I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

I have a full cart at Midway ready for me to click "Check out" once a firearm trade/sale goes through, probably tomorrow.

rondog
July 18, 2011, 05:49 PM
Gee, I load .30-06 on my Classic Turret press, which "cannot do large rifle cartridges". Silly me, I thought .30-06 WAS a large rifle cartridge. Guess I'm doing something wrong, and I'll surely blow myself up.

REL1203
July 18, 2011, 11:18 PM
I have always been happy with my Lee Classic Turret, I use it soley for rifle loads (300WM, 308, 223 and 22-250). It worked perfectly, it cheap, and makes me bullets that let me shoot 1/2moa, what more can i ask for.

Lost Sheep
July 19, 2011, 12:02 AM
Thanks for asking.

I started out on a single stage and weighing each powder charge. I found the fastest way to get the same weight each time is to get a dipper that consistently drops a little less than what you want and put that in the scale's pan. Then use a trickler to come up to weight. Simple to do, and the same way every time.

Early in my loading practices I noticed that the scoop/dipper I was using was pretty darn consistent if I performed the scoop the same way every time. I have become an advocate of the Lee Dippers since and traded off all my powder measures, except the Auto-Disk, which, since it mounts right on the Lee Dies is very handy and accurate enough for most of my handgun shooting (which is most all of what I do).

Eventually, I got two progressive presses, one for large primer cartridges and one for small, so cartridge changeover was simpler. I have since quit using the progressives. Too many things happening all at once, and I want to see every step, so I was very slow. I don't think I am suited to progressive presses. So I got the Lee Turret (which is the only turret made that automatically advances the dies, which is a tremendous time-and-motion saver if you are making rounds in continuous mode). As mentioned before, the Classic Turret is superior to the (older design) Deluxe Turret. Cast Iron vs Aluminum, taller opening, stronger lever parts and MUCH better handling of the ejected spent primers.

The Auto-Disk powder measure is (as all powder measures are) reputed to be more accurate with some powders than with others. That is where the dippers shine. They are equally accurate with all powders. They are intrinsically incapapble of cutting or crushing powder granules. You will never run out of powder unawares. Drawbacks: They are slower than any powder measure. They require you use a VERY CONSISTENT hand when you dip or scoop. If you are not consistent, your powder charges will not be, either.

If you put a funnel where your powder measure would usually mount, you can do pretty well with dippers.

The major Drawbacks to all the Lee Turrets is (in my mind) is that they only have four die stations. If you need more than that, the Lee will not do. There is also precious little space between dies. The locking nuts clear each other by mere thousands of an inch. The corners do not touch, but if they are adjacent, I can barely see daylight between them. This does not affect operation, only makes installation and adjustment a small inconvenience. But, at $10 for spare turrets, you only have to deal with that once per set of dies.

Good Luck.

LeonCarr
July 19, 2011, 12:14 AM
Redding T-7 Turret Press...its da bomb.

More expensive than the Lee, but cast iron and will probably last forever.

Probably the stoutest turret press on the market today. Too bad they don't still make the Hollywoods, they look extremely heavy duty.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

Twiki357
July 19, 2011, 03:32 AM
I've never used a Lee, but they seem to be popular here. Personally, I'm still using a 6 position Lyman press that I bought used back in 1961 or 62. I load quite an asortment from 380 to 300 Win Mag.

oldreloader
July 19, 2011, 10:39 AM
I reloaded on a RCBS single stage for years. Started back in the late 60's.I still have the Chucker but do most of my reloading on a Lee Classsic Cast Turret now. Mostly 9MM and 45 ACP. I am VERY satisfied with it and would not hesitate to load rifle on it. The Pro Auto Disc is VERY accurate with both the disc and the adjustable bar. I prefer the bar because I can set it for an exact charge. I have three of them set for different powder and charges. They are spot on with HP 38, AA #5 and #7. With extra turrets caliber change is a snap. The Safety prime works very well for me too.

dickttx
July 19, 2011, 11:36 AM
+1 on what oldreloader said.

Too_Pure
July 19, 2011, 01:06 PM
Thanks for asking.

I started out on a single stage and weighing each powder charge. I found the fastest way to get the same weight each time is to get a dipper that consistently drops a little less than what you want and put that in the scale's pan. Then use a trickler to come up to weight. Simple to do, and the same way every time.

Early in my loading practices I noticed that the scoop/dipper I was using was pretty darn consistent if I performed the scoop the same way every time. I have become an advocate of the Lee Dippers since and traded off all my powder measures, except the Auto-Disk, which, since it mounts right on the Lee Dies is very handy and accurate enough for most of my handgun shooting (which is most all of what I do).

Eventually, I got two progressive presses, one for large primer cartridges and one for small, so cartridge changeover was simpler. I have since quit using the progressives. Too many things happening all at once, and I want to see every step, so I was very slow. I don't think I am suited to progressive presses. So I got the Lee Turret (which is the only turret made that automatically advances the dies, which is a tremendous time-and-motion saver if you are making rounds in continuous mode). As mentioned before, the Classic Turret is superior to the (older design) Deluxe Turret. Cast Iron vs Aluminum, taller opening, stronger lever parts and MUCH better handling of the ejected spent primers.

The Auto-Disk powder measure is (as all powder measures are) reputed to be more accurate with some powders than with others. That is where the dippers shine. They are equally accurate with all powders. They are intrinsically incapapble of cutting or crushing powder granules. You will never run out of powder unawares. Drawbacks: They are slower than any powder measure. They require you use a VERY CONSISTENT hand when you dip or scoop. If you are not consistent, your powder charges will not be, either.

If you put a funnel where your powder measure would usually mount, you can do pretty well with dippers.

The major Drawbacks to all the Lee Turrets is (in my mind) is that they only have four die stations. If you need more than that, the Lee will not do. There is also precious little space between dies. The locking nuts clear each other by mere thousands of an inch. The corners do not touch, but if they are adjacent, I can barely see daylight between them. This does not affect operation, only makes installation and adjustment a small inconvenience. But, at $10 for spare turrets, you only have to deal with that once per set of dies.

Good Luck.
I have never used the dippers. THe first round I reloaded had no data for it and then I kinda forgot about them Will give that a try. Thanks for reminding me.

And thanks for the rest of your post, too. Good stuff.

Too_Pure
July 19, 2011, 01:09 PM
I reloaded on a RCBS single stage for years. Started back in the late 60's.I still have the Chucker but do most of my reloading on a Lee Classsic Cast Turret now. Mostly 9MM and 45 ACP. I am VERY satisfied with it and would not hesitate to load rifle on it. The Pro Auto Disc is VERY accurate with both the disc and the adjustable bar. I prefer the bar because I can set it for an exact charge. I have three of them set for different powder and charges. They are spot on with HP 38, AA #5 and #7. With extra turrets caliber change is a snap. The Safety prime works very well for me too.
I see a lot about the disks vs the bar. Having never used, or seen the device close up, I can't visualize what you guys are talking about. Can someone explain the difference?

RandyP
July 19, 2011, 01:24 PM
Here is what it looks like, it is used in place of the disk.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=150005

The 'micrometer' adjusting knob increaes or decreases the size of the opening into which the powder falls and then dispenses it during the normal function of the dispenser.

kludge
July 19, 2011, 01:31 PM
Lee Classic Turret.

I have both styles of Lee turret,a nd the cheap one is perfectly adequate for pistol rounds, and I like the shorter stroke. I just hate how it dumps primers willy nilly all over the floor.

With the LCT, I'll never use a single stage again. I batch load everything on the LCT, I have a Loadmaster for whan I want to go faster.

Too_Pure
July 19, 2011, 01:57 PM
Here is what it looks like, it is used in place of the disk.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=150005

The 'micrometer' adjusting knob increaes or decreases the size of the opening into which the powder falls and then dispenses it during the normal function of the dispenser.
Thanks. Do you recommend it for pistol rounds? I am reading user reviews on Midway and it makes me wonder if it comes with all the disks you need. Says it comes with 4.

Too_Pure
July 19, 2011, 02:04 PM
How much harder would it make it to use a non Lee powder meassure? That is, to dispense and pour from a Lyman #55 or something like that. Seems like it could be pretty negligible, and still a hell of a lot faster than single stage.

kludge
July 19, 2011, 03:56 PM
The Lee Pro Auto Disk works great for me. As long as I use powder other than Unique. With No.7 (what I'm using right now for "high" volume .40 S&W) its dead nutz on every time.

I've also never had a single issue with any powder using the Lee Perfect Powder Measure. I have two.

Funshooter45
July 19, 2011, 04:28 PM
How much harder would it make it to use a non Lee powder meassure? That is, to dispense and pour from a Lyman #55 or something like that. Seems like it could be pretty negligible, and still a hell of a lot faster than single stage.
Sure, you could mount a 55 in place of the Auto Disk if you wanted to. I think it would need an adapter, but those are easy to come by. But I have a Lyman 55 and there's no way that it would work as good as my Pro Auto Disk does for pistol loading. That setup is really nice with the Lee Classic turret working with the Auto Disk.

And lest anyone get down too much on the Lee Perfect Powder Measure, I will say that I have one of those as well. Mine always worked very well and I still use it a lot. For certain powders like H-1000 and IMR-7828, the Perfect Powder measure works a whole lot better than my Lyman 55. The Lyman is not consistent with those long stick powders and bridges the drop tube shut every throw, whereas the Perfect Powder measure will throw the long powders to within +/-0.2 gr every time.

RandyP
July 19, 2011, 05:24 PM
Yes, I use it for pistol rounds. That is all I presently reload. I have not had the need to find out just how heavy a charge it will dispense of the Win 231/HP-38 powder I use. It handles my 9mm and .45 load demands without issue.

For .380 I will usually switch over to use a micro-disk instead for the tiny loadings.

snuffy
July 19, 2011, 05:59 PM
A couple of pics to clear up the mystery.

The adjustable charge bar in place;

http://photos.imageevent.com/jptowns/cannont2ifolder/websize/7-19-11%20003.jpg

The standard 6 hole disc;

http://photos.imageevent.com/jptowns/cannont2ifolder/websize/7-19-11%20004.jpg

The lee turret, auto disc and both types of measures. It's on top of a 9mm expander-beller and the riser die.

http://photos.imageevent.com/jptowns/cannont2ifolder/websize/7-19-11%20005.jpg

This system just plain works!:D I usually accept whatever the fixed discs will give me, as long as the powder thrown is over minimum and not over max. If I'm trying out a new powder and bullet, I may trickle a test batch, then choose a disc that's close to the best combo.

I also have the double disc set-up, so you can fine it down better by combining two smaller discs.

Hope this helps clear up the questions.

DC Plumber
July 19, 2011, 06:24 PM
I started with Lee equipment and have been happy with everything. I did add the Redding Turret press so that I can leave my 45acp and my 30-06 dies in place and never have to adjust them. I mostly load .357, .44, .454, 30-6 and .458winmag. I use a variety of powders and have never had a problem with the Lee perfect powder measure or any Lee equipment and have never had a problem with my Redding Turret press. I give all of them a thumbs up. Oh, and I use some RCBS dies and love them too.

mallc
July 19, 2011, 08:42 PM
I have Redding and Lyman turrets but if you already have a single I'd go with the Dillon BL-550 Basic Loader and upgrade it when you get to feeling flush.

Scott

Too_Pure
July 19, 2011, 09:17 PM
I started with Lee equipment and have been happy with everything. I did add the Redding Turret press so that I can leave my 45acp and my 30-06 dies in place and never have to adjust them. I mostly load .357, .44, .454, 30-6 and .458winmag. I use a variety of powders and have never had a problem with the Lee perfect powder measure or any Lee equipment and have never had a problem with my Redding Turret press. I give all of them a thumbs up. Oh, and I use some RCBS dies and love them too.

One thing I notice there is you are doing pretty big loads. I did get better results loading 10mm over light 45 target rounds. And I got better consistency with 223 too.


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EddieNFL
July 19, 2011, 09:35 PM
The green one (not the RCBS shade of green).

flashhole
July 19, 2011, 10:28 PM
OP - The Lee Classic Turret is a highly versitile press and you just can't go wrong. Factory Sales has the best price < $90. I bought my second one recently and set up a portable system I haul to the range. All I have to do is swap out turrets between the protable rig and bench mount rig for loading.

Snuffy - Excellent post. Thanks for the pics. What is the need/advantage of the riser die? I'm contemplating getting a Pro Disc Measure for loading 40 S&W but I use my Classic Turret for just about everything, including large caliber rifle.

FWIW - The only thing I have had a problem with on the LCT is 221 Fireball and I think it is a shell holder issure more than a press issue. Slightly off center for sizing is what I experience.

flashhole
July 19, 2011, 10:31 PM
Snuffy - Does that disc slide forward when it dumps the charge? If yes it explains why some folks recommend lapping the surfaces to prevent it from "leaking".

DC Plumber
July 19, 2011, 10:55 PM
Too Pure,

Ya, true. I once read that if you jiggle tap the powder measure each time as you rotate the drum, you will get a consistent full charge to the drum. I've never chrono'd a lot of 30-06 or 458 loads to check deviation, but for the kind of work I'm doing, it works great. If the steel plate makes noise, I know I'm in the kill zone and I'm happy.

Lost Sheep
July 20, 2011, 01:30 AM
Snuffy - Excellent post. Thanks for the pics. What is the need/advantage of the riser die? I'm contemplating getting a Pro Disc Measure for loading 40 S&W but I use my Classic Turret for just about everything, including large caliber rifle.

The riser is to raise the Autodisk powder measure up enough that it does not hit the Lee Safety Prime device (specifically the primer flipper tray). Some people use two. The swivel adapter is a big help, too. It will let you put the center of gravity of the AutoDisk over the center of rotation of the turret.


This system just plain works! I usually accept whatever the fixed discs will give me,
It is fairly easy to ream out a too-small hole to make just the right size powder drop. Spare disks are easy to come by. Just be sure to modiify mark the modified disk/hole.

Good Luck

Too_Pure
July 20, 2011, 01:24 PM
Just added the charging bar and swivel adapter to my order. I have a full shopping cart on Midway just waiting for me to click "Checkout Now". Upgrading all reloading equipment, except dies. I can't frickin wait to get all of this stuff set up and running :)

snuffy
July 20, 2011, 02:07 PM
I may be dreaming, but isn't the swivel adapter part of the pro auto disk?

Too_Pure
July 20, 2011, 02:15 PM
I may be dreaming, but isn't the swivel adapter part of the pro auto disk?

The riser isn't so I thought the swivel wouldn't be. Thanks for that. I'll check before finalizing.


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Funshooter45
July 20, 2011, 02:21 PM
I believe Snuffy is correct. That's why I now have 2 swivel adapters. I wanted to make sure I got it and it turned out to be included in the Pro model. You might want to think about buying 2 risers though. I just use one of them, but sometimes the powder measure still hits the primer tray if I don't have the measure pointing in the perfect orientation.

Too_Pure
July 20, 2011, 02:54 PM
I believe Snuffy is correct. That's why I now have 2 swivel adapters. I wanted to make sure I got it and it turned out to be included in the Pro model. You might want to think about buying 2 risers though. I just use one of them, but sometimes the powder measure still hits the primer tray if I don't have the measure pointing in the perfect orientation.

Thanks for the tip.


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Spammy_H
July 20, 2011, 03:15 PM
I love my Lyman T-Mag II.

Too_Pure
July 20, 2011, 05:52 PM
Wow. I ordered all my new stuff from Midway a few hours ago and I already have a tracking number. Impressive.

hAkron
July 20, 2011, 06:10 PM
I have the T-Mag II also. I like the versatility of 6 holes. I use an RCBS Uniflow powder measure in one of the holes with the case activated linkage and the micrometer screw.

I have not purchased any additional tool heads for it though.

It didnt speed me up as much over single stage as. Had hoped, so once we are done moving to our new house I'm going to buy a Hornady LnL progressive.

Shmackey
July 20, 2011, 06:15 PM
Redding, Redding, and also Redding.

RustyFN
July 20, 2011, 08:11 PM
Lee classic turret with the pro auto disk is hard to beat. Been loading on mine five years and couldn't be happier.

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b8da27b3127ccec398914a0e3000000010O00DZOGblm4Yg9vPhI/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

flashhole
July 20, 2011, 08:45 PM
I like the Classic turret too but I always wondered why Lee didn't design a recess into the base of the press to accept and steady the indexing rod.

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