Lee Classic SS vs Lee Classic Turret


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AK Gun Man 88
January 29, 2012, 09:21 AM
Quick question. I know turrets are faster at making rounds and people have had great things to say about lee. People have stated that one can use the lee turret to single stage. My question is how is the turret (in single mode) compared to the lee classic ss as far as strength and durability?

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benzuncle
January 29, 2012, 09:34 AM
If you remove the index rod from the Lee Classic Turret (LCT) press you will be able to do one process only, such as decapping or priming. With the index rod installed you move through all 4 processes of decapping and priming, powder charging, bullet seating and crimping on each round, completing a round before moving on to the next round. So, the Turret press may eliminate your need to purchase a single stage press. That decision is up to you. I chose the LCT 4 years ago. I load 4 calibers on it and have never regretted the choice. YMMV

RandyP
January 29, 2012, 10:24 AM
For loading what calibers, pistol or rifle? Most every press out there is built stronger than it 'needs' to be, and most every press out there will last a lifetime if properly used and maintained.

There are MANY reloaders who have run many tens of thousands of rounds thru their Lee turret, Deluxe and the beefier Classic models. The press does not care if it is used in auto-advance or manually advanced mode. With the Lee it is a 20 second task of removing or leaving in place 1 spiral metal rod.

AK Gun Man 88
January 29, 2012, 10:52 AM
Ill be loading 9mm,40,10mm,45acp and Lc, 223, 7mm, 3006,7.62 x54, and 338 wm.

oldreloader
January 29, 2012, 11:10 AM
RE the strenght of LCT:
I can't imagine doing anything the LCT wont handle. I have never seen a weakness in mine.

AK Gun Man 88
January 29, 2012, 11:41 AM
If y'all could get only ONE press, would you get the SS or Turret? Time put into reloading isn't a factor for me, I have plenty of time.

res7s
January 29, 2012, 11:48 AM
Lee Classic Turret for me, unless I'm going to load 50 BMG.

RustyFN
January 29, 2012, 12:34 PM
If y'all could get only ONE press, would you get the SS or Turret?

Classic turet for me. I have had mine six years. I know a few guys that load 30-06 on their classic turret's with no problem.

CMV
January 29, 2012, 12:54 PM
Classic turret. While I do run it as a single press for batch operations at times, it really speeds things up when you want to do 2 or more operations in a row. Even without the auto-index, just twisting the turret to manually move to the next die is much faster.

Another thing I really like about the turret press is once my dies are setup, they're set. Not a big deal for many people I'm sure, but to me it's nice. For an extra $8 I can get a turret ring with a new die set. Once the dies are all set up, when I'm done with that caliber, I just remove the whole turret & shell holder (tool-less, 10 seconds total which includes putting it away). When I go back to it, another 10 seconds & I'm all set. I *think* I get better consistency from batch to batch of the same thing because I'm not resetting each die every time.

john16443
January 29, 2012, 01:13 PM
If y'all could get only ONE press, would you get the SS or Turret? Time put into reloading isn't a factor for me, I have plenty of time.
Bought a Lee ss breech lock as my first press and into to reloading. Used it for a month and bought a Lee turret. Not because there was anything wrong with the SS, it just didn't keep up with my consumption in 2 pistol calibers. If you're getting just one, it's a no brainer for the turret.

Legionnaire
January 29, 2012, 01:19 PM
Turret. I've never used the index; pulled it first thing. I prefer to batch 50 through each stage, and with the turret, I just rotate to the next die. When done with loading that cartridge/caliber, just pull the turret head and insert a different one for the next (different) cartridge you want to load for.

Certaindeaf
January 29, 2012, 01:23 PM
^
True. I came this close to getting another SS (hiatus from reloading for some time) as I was under the mistaken assumption that all turrets were manual.. it really didn't click, even with all the raves, for me until I watched a utube video showing the auto indexing. Done.

AK Gun Man 88
January 29, 2012, 02:22 PM
Would the turret work well if I set up one turret with 3 dies...the depriming die and the RCBS Primer Pocket Swager (x2 one large and one small)? I have a great deal of 5.56 that needs to be prepped.

RustyFN
January 29, 2012, 02:37 PM
Would the turret work well if I set up one turret with 3 dies...the depriming die and the RCBS Primer Pocket Swager (x2 one large and one small)? I have a great deal of 5.56 that needs to be prepped.

Yes it will work fine. What I did with a four hole turret and three die's is I would pull out the completed round with my left hand, while I was putting it in the bin and grabbing a new case I would cycle the handle with my right hand to get past the empty hole in the turret. worked very well.

greyling22
January 29, 2012, 02:39 PM
Personally l like the turret for handgun and the SS for rifle. Be sure you check out lee's clearance/refurb area. you can usually find a SS there, and shipping is only $5. you will not ever find a classic turret there though.

oldreloader
January 29, 2012, 02:58 PM
If y'all could get only ONE press, would you get the SS or Turret? Time put into reloading isn't a factor for me, I have plenty of time.
Classic Turret hands down.. If you have any doubt about them just try to find a used one!!They are scarce as hen's teeth.

germ
January 29, 2012, 08:37 PM
Another vote for the LCT.

Sport45
January 29, 2012, 09:22 PM
Would the turret work well if I set up one turret with 3 dies...the depriming die and the RCBS Primer Pocket Swager (x2 one large and one small)? I have a great deal of 5.56 that needs to be prepped.

Sure. You can put whatever dies you want on the turret. One turret of mine has a couple of two-die sets, 7.7jap and .223 if I remember right. My universal decapper shares a turret with one of my 3-die sets. I have never used the auto index feature on mine either. Instead I use it in batches single stage, as described by Legionnaire.

Get a few extra turrets, you'll wind up needing them.

RustyFN
January 29, 2012, 09:47 PM
Sure. You can put whatever dies you want on the turret. One turret of mine has a couple of two-die sets, 7.7jap and .223 if I remember right.

Yea good point. I forgot that I even have a turret set up with my Lee bullet hardness tester set up in it. The classic turret really is a very versital press.

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9dc33b3127ccec60cb9309ac700000040O00DZOGblm4Yg9vPhI/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

brody
January 29, 2012, 10:00 PM
Lee does have one in their closeout section but it doesn't say classic or delux turret. I got one last year and got the classic turret press, but other than a die plate, that's all you get. No instructions, no primer tray, no powder funnel - just the press.

http://leeprecision.com/reconditioned-4-hole-turret-press-with-auto-index.html

Sturmcrow
January 29, 2012, 10:11 PM
With regards to the RCBS primer pocket swager on the LCT, you will have to remove the whole plastic clamp on top of the press ram, not just the indexing rod to use it (because of the sleeve that goes over the ram to remove the swaged brass). It only takes a minute, plus whatever time I need to find my screwdriver, though I do worry about stripping out the threads someday as it is a metal screw into plastic.

I too have a turret plate set up with dies that I only use in SS mode. The universal decapper is there as well as the full length sizers for some of my rifles, as I usually only neck size except for range pickups.

With all the LCT love in this thread, can anyone tell me why my regular 4-hole turret likes to turn 1.5 stations almost every time I bring down the ram? It really drives me crazy, and I have to watch that I do not go too far, plus it means I can't use longer cases with it as it limits my overall ram travel.

Certaindeaf
January 29, 2012, 10:23 PM
^
You need to adjust it. Also, if it hurts your shoulder when you rub the top of your head, don't do that.

Hondo 60
January 29, 2012, 11:09 PM
Only one press??

The CLASSIC turret press!
If you buy a Lee Turret press, make sure it's the CLASSIC.
It's beefier than the their so called -"Deluxe".

And the spent primer elimination system is light years better.
With the Classic 99.9% of the spent primers end up where they're supposed to be.
With the deluxe, it's more like 50-60%, the rest get spit all over the place.

AK Gun Man 88
January 30, 2012, 12:41 AM
Sturmcrow...since you have to remove the plastic clamp on the Turret, do you think the RCBS PP Swager will work on a lee handpress? I am brand new to reloading (looking at buying equipment and I keep thinking of all these questions)

res7s
January 30, 2012, 01:04 AM
With regards to the RCBS primer pocket swager on the LCT, you will have to remove the whole plastic clamp on top of the press ram, not just the indexing rod to use it (because of the sleeve that goes over the ram to remove the swaged brass). It only takes a minute, plus whatever time I need to find my screwdriver, though I do worry about stripping out the threads someday as it is a metal screw into plastic.



Keep in mind the Lee has a bigger ram. If the sleeve will not fit, call RCBS. They sent a fella on another site a (free) bushing that fits his Lee. Good folks in Oroville, just sad they live in anti gun, anti business taxafornia.

Lost Sheep
January 30, 2012, 02:34 AM
So far no one has answered your specific question (one I have wondered myself)
(edited for focus) My question is how is the turret (in single mode) compared to the lee classic ss as far as strength and durability?
The Lee Classic Turret is an assembly of parts. By definition, not as surely rigid as a one-piece casting. But the turret has three posts, widely spaced, so is rigid enough.

The turret also has the turret (aluminum) riding in a ring. This must have some clearance which translates to movement. After a LOT of use, the aluminum turret may show some wear. But it is only a $10 part.

As the comparison between the strength of the Lee Classic Cast vs the Lee Classic Turret, I believe the linkage is the same. They do use the exact same parts for the lever and ram.

Lost Sheep

jmstevens2
January 30, 2012, 02:42 AM
It's close. I have both, I use the CC for swaging and such and load with the turret.

Sturmcrow
January 30, 2012, 11:12 AM
I was actually wondering about the primer pocket swager with the hand press myself. General consensus from a quick google search is that it would work, but that you would need arms like Popeye and would get old fast. It does require a lot of force even with a bench mounted press.

The bad news is that I got other confirmation that the ram is oversized and will not work with the standard swager, so you would need to get an oversized collar thing as a fellow mentioned previously.

Honestly, swaging the pockets is a PITA. After just a bit of reading this morning, I am thinking very hard about trying out a Hornady reamer instead. At under $10, it might be just the ticket. It's got excellent reviews on Midway as well.

dickttx
January 30, 2012, 11:14 AM
No contest. The LCT will do anything you want to do. And if you ever hang a Pro Auto Disk and a Safety Prime on it and insert the index rod, you will be amazed.

5thSFGroup
January 30, 2012, 03:33 PM
I did exactly as Benzuncle described. Many people I have spoken with had the index rod fatigue (it is plastic). I took it out and I like being able to use one stage at a time. Works flawlessly.

Certaindeaf
January 30, 2012, 03:40 PM
. Many people I have spoken with had the index rod fatigue (it is plastic)..
No. The sacrificial plastic grail is plastic, not steel. The steel rod is steel. Perhaps elaborate.

RandyP
January 30, 2012, 03:45 PM
Some users who try to hand rotate the turret when the ram is in the wrong position have managed to break the square black plastic ratchet. With the ram in the correct position, the ratchet cannot be damaged. On a plus side it is very inexpensive and designed to fail under undue stress rather than break a metal part of the press system.

A spare comes with every new press, and replacements are availalable online from many sources. http://www.midwayusa.com/find?userSearchQuery=lee+turret+ratchet

5thSFGroup
January 30, 2012, 04:02 PM
The "grail" is what I was addressing. The rod is fine.

AK Gun Man 88
January 30, 2012, 04:02 PM
How many more rounds per hour are we talking using the LCT in "batch mode" compared to SS?

Certaindeaf
January 30, 2012, 04:11 PM
How many more rounds per hour are we talking using the LCT in "batch mode" compared to SS?
Plenty enough perhaps. Have you ever reloaded? Either visualize and or utube.
I'd say it's a 4-1 difference.

---

Sorry, there's no difference given that. A single stage is a single stage.

AK Gun Man 88
January 30, 2012, 04:29 PM
Certaindeaf...never reloaded before. I'm just trying to research as much as I can before I take the plunge into reloading (financially). I make very little money. I appreciate everyone's advice. Thank you.

RandyP
January 30, 2012, 04:30 PM
Using the Lee turret as if it were a single stage it will still be slightly faster than a single stage press, since all the dies are already installed and set, you just have to manually rotate the turret holding them. So 'maybe' 75 rounds per hour or a bit more?

RustyFN
January 30, 2012, 04:52 PM
How many more rounds per hour are we talking using the LCT in "batch mode" compared to SS?

A single stage will give you around 50 rounds per hour. The classic turret will be a little faster batch loading but not sure how much. The classic turret in auto index mode with the safety prime and pro auto disk will give you 175 to 200 rounds per hour.

Certaindeaf
January 30, 2012, 05:09 PM
Certaindeaf...never reloaded before. I'm just trying to research as much as I can before I take the plunge into reloading (financially). I make very little money. I appreciate everyone's advice. Thank you.
I hear you and understand. I did make a mistake with my first response but I think I fixed it. I wish nothing but the best for you in your efforts.

tonkawa
January 30, 2012, 05:56 PM
I also have both, and I use the CC primarily for depriming (I like to deprime first before tumbling the brass). Virtually all reloading (mostly pistol) is done on the turret press. I also use the CC for reloading 45-70s with black powder loads, since I use a drop tube for the powder.

AK Gun Man 88
February 1, 2012, 03:45 PM
Thanks for all the responses everyone. Since taxes came in I'm thinking I might just get both.

RandyP
February 1, 2012, 04:15 PM
Since you live up there near Santa - you could always just fly over and ask him for reloading stuff?

Seriously - good luck whichever way you go - I find reloading to be a fun, relaxing and educational hobby plus survival skill.

hey_poolboy
February 1, 2012, 10:00 PM
As to the OP's original question...I started with a single stage, and bought a Classic Turret years later. Since then I only use the SS once in a great while and only for doing a small handful of odd loads or load work up. The turret does it all just as well and faster.

Lost Sheep
February 1, 2012, 10:21 PM
How many more rounds per hour are we talking using the LCT in "batch mode" compared to SS?
I have used both single stage and the Classic Turret (and progressive Pro-1000)

I am slow, and cautious, so my speed on all three types of presses should be a valid comparison (hence the apples to apples subject line).

I can do about 50, maybe 60 rounds per hour on a single stage, operating in Batch mode.

My first time out on my Classic Turret, operating in continuous mode with the auto-index, I loaded 100 rounds in 47 minutes.

I never really was able to establish a benchmark speed with my Pro-1000 presses but I am confident I never achieved more than 100 rounds in less than 47 minutes, though momentarily I might have achieved 4 or 5 per minute (340 to 300 per hour), I never was able to sustain that rate without having to stop and fiddle with something.


The times reported above included filling the powder hopper and primer device(s), so could be sustained indefinitely, or until suppertime comes.

I hope this helps

Single: 1 to 1.5 per minute (at the top end, using a powder measure rather than weighing)

Auto-advancing Turret: 2.5 to 3 per minute

Pro-1000: 2.5 to 3 per minute

Perfectly operating Pro-1000: (guesstimate) 5 to 6 per minute

Perfectly operating Pro-1000 with assistant to keep case feed, primer feed and powder hopper filled: 10 to 15 per minute (guesstimate)

So, between single stage and turret, double or a little better. Between single stage and progressive, quadruple or better. Or, with a less finicky progressive (Lee Loadmaster, or Hornady or Dillon) 5 to 20 times faster.

But that's just me, and like I said, I am slow. (Or to put a better face on it, relaxed, or cautious).

So, tossing money into the mix, you can double your output from a single stage for about $40 more money by going to a turret. You can double your output again from a turret to a progressive (Lee Loadmaster) for additional $180. And double again (Hornady L'n'L) for an additional $250. (Disclaimer: These are just ballpark figures I took about 30 seconds to grab off the web.) Each doubling of speed is another increment more expensive.

Lost Sheep

AK Gun Man 88
February 7, 2012, 11:26 PM
Well gents ... signed onto midway today...clicked reloading presses...found one and hit add to cart. Happy to say a Lee Classic turret will be on my bench this weekend.

aerod1
February 7, 2012, 11:43 PM
I have both and they are both very fine presses. If I was going to have only one it would be the LCT.

Lost Sheep
February 7, 2012, 11:47 PM
Well gents ... signed onto midway today...clicked reloading presses...found one and hit add to cart. Happy to say a Lee Classic turret will be on my bench this weekend.
Congratulations.

What other parts are you getting.

Books?
Scale? (Lee's works, but others' are easier to read, though no more accurate.)
Powder Measure (The Lee Pro Autodisk is a natural for Lee Dies and the Turret Press)?
Did you get the Lee Primer dispenser? (A no-brainer for using the Turret in continous mode.)
Other goodies?

Lost Sheep

AK Gun Man 88
February 7, 2012, 11:55 PM
Lee Auto disk pro, redding scale, lee safety prime, lee book, abcs o reloading, prolly hornady manual or lymans for second reference, and im going stainless steel cleaning cuz I got little one running around. Zip trim too.

oldreloader
February 7, 2012, 11:57 PM
Congratulations. I think you will be happy with it. I KNOW I am. I agree with Lost Sheep, The Safety Prime and Pro Auto Disc are great add ons!

Lost Sheep
February 8, 2012, 03:17 AM
Lee Auto disk pro, redding scale, lee safety prime, lee book, abcs o reloading, prolly hornady manual or lymans for second reference, and im going stainless steel cleaning cuz I got little one running around. Zip trim too.
The Pro Auto-disk Powder Measure should come with the swivel adapter for mounting the measure atop the Lee Powder-Through case mouth belling die. This makes it easier to swivel the measure over the center of the turret. However, the auto-disk riser is highly recommended to put the measure up higher than the primer dispenser device.

Using both is a LOT more convenient.

Lost Sheep

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