Lee 3-Hole Turret - Cracked Base


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Lord Kimbote
October 17, 2011, 10:45 PM
I have an older Lee 3-Hole Turret press that I have used to reload about 3000 rounds in the last month. After some 30-06 to 8mm resizing and a few other strenuous tasks, the base cracked all the way through on the right side, around the ram roll pin.

I ordered a new base from Lee (for the current model 3-Hole, which looks identical to mine).

My questions are:

1. Should there be an issue using the new base with the old components? I understand that these turrets were "improved" in 2006.

2. Is this failure common? Has anyone out there had a problem similar to this?

Thanks for reading.

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Hondo 60
October 17, 2011, 11:05 PM
1. no, as long as Lee didn't change any dimensions through the years.
2. Again no, the "improvements was to make a 4 hole turret press, so they could sell FDCs (factory crimp dies).

evan price
October 18, 2011, 02:10 AM
Talk to LEE, they may send you a new one for free.

bds
October 18, 2011, 02:19 AM
1. No
2. Well, not sure but Lee did increase the ribbing in the newer base of Pro 1000 which is same as the 3/4 hole deluxe turret press.

(ignore the white circle, the photo was used for another thread).
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=148625&stc=1&d=1315260034

ArchAngelCD
October 18, 2011, 02:39 AM
I agree with the above, you should have talked to Lee about sending you a new base for free. That's not a common break and they probably would have sent you a new base for free.

Lord Kimbote
October 18, 2011, 02:57 AM
I probably should have waited, but I read the warranty (2 years or 1/2 purchase price for repair) and didn't think I would have any luck. Also, I don't want to be without a press for any length of time or I will have to buy factory ammunition again.

I will call Lee tomorrow and talk to them anyway to see what can be done. The $20 shipped for the replacement base is almost exactly what they charge for a custom trim length gauge for .357 SIG...

Though my faith in Lee is not necessarily shaken, I think I might buy another press just to have in case the excrement comes into contact with the oscillating cooling device.

smokey262
October 18, 2011, 07:07 AM
What lube are you using?

mgmorden
October 18, 2011, 09:52 AM
Though my faith in Lee is not necessarily shaken, I think I might buy another press just to have in case the excrement comes into contact with the oscillating cooling device.

I wouldn't worry too much about it. That press is mostly viewed as a pistol press - occasional rifle-duty is probably fine but you were stressing it.

I currently use two of their presses - the O-frame Challenger and their absolute cheapo C-frame press (I got that one because I was buying their loading manual and noticed that the manual + the press was only $5 more than the manual alone . . .).

I load almost exclusively pistol and usually prefer the C-frame press as it's open and easy to work with. I've loaded thousands of rounds of .380, 9mm, and .38 special on that press.

About two months ago though my dad called up and told me he needed some hunting bullets for his .270 (I have a specific load I make for him when he needs it). I started to use that C-frame press and I swear I thought I was going to tear it in two :). Didn't work well AT ALL for rifle. After switching to the O-frame it was working again, but I'm strongly considering just getting a Lee Classic Cast (or a used steel-frame RCBS) for rifle stuff.

If you really want to keep the turrent though Lee's Classic turret has a cast iron base that should hold up a lot better.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
October 18, 2011, 06:35 PM
If you don't have a lot of three hole turrets, my recommendation is to go to the Lee Classic Turret. Cast iron and no base cracking.

Ridgerunner665
October 18, 2011, 06:40 PM
When you talk to Lee...ask if you can trade up to a Classic Turret press and you pay the difference.

Just a thought...

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
October 19, 2011, 09:26 AM
Good idea Ridgerunner has.....

Lord Kimbote
October 20, 2011, 09:21 PM
Just an update:

After I bought the replacement base ($15), I called Lee and told them what happened. They told me that if I sent the broken base back, they would refund the cost of the new base.

Also, the new base took only 2 days to arrive, and I am already back in action.

Thanks to everyone for the input.

bds
October 20, 2011, 09:55 PM
I love happy endings. :)

ArchAngelCD
October 21, 2011, 02:54 AM
Very cool. I had a feeling Lee would send you the part for free.

fpgt72
October 21, 2011, 12:21 PM
Yes...pretty funny how many people bad mouth Lee, but their customer service seems to be great from everything I read....Plus they are so much more inexpensive to boot.

Why pay more for a different color of paint?

Ridgerunner665
October 21, 2011, 08:52 PM
Why pay more for a different color of paint?

Lee has some neat stuff....I emphasize "some".

Their dies are as good as any, their Classic Cast presses are as good as any, and their push through sizing dies are just plain great...BUT...you're usually getting more for your $$$ than a different color with those other presses.

I'm not bad mouthing Lee, I just bought a Lee Classic turret press with all the fixins myself...but the more expensive presses are generally longer lasting (not much plastic in them)

StaTiK
October 22, 2011, 03:01 PM
Did the $15 replacement part include shipping? Lee showed good customer service there, but it wasn't exactly a great deal. $10 in return shipping to receive $15 off... for a cracked frame no less. But I guess they have to have you send it back to prevent people from abusing the system.

The good news is that they're taking care of you by 1)providing inexpensive repair parts and 2)standing behind a warranty that has expired.

-StaTiK-

ranger335v
October 22, 2011, 08:45 PM
"What lube are you using? "

That's not an irrelivant question. I too wonder how much pressure you had to put on the base (and how many times) for such cracks to occur. A good case lube GREATLY reduces press base stress. And Lee's lube, in the white toothpaste tube, is a very good lube IF it's applied correctly. (No lube's very good if it's NOT applied correctly!)

Lord Kimbote
October 23, 2011, 12:38 AM
No, Lee is not reimbursing me for shipping from them or to them. So, really I am only netting a $5 savings.

I use Hornady One Shot lube, but I think I know why the press broke: one of the roll pins may not have been fully seated into the ram assembly. I will obviously be more careful in the future.

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