lee classic turret press kit


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frankenstein406
February 21, 2013, 07:46 PM
Would a lee classic turret press be a good quality kit? First time reloader looking for a good kit to last me a bit. Mainly would be reloading for casual shooting and hunting loads depending how it goes. Thanks for any advice :)

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Triumph
February 21, 2013, 07:52 PM
Can you find it? I've been looking for the Lee Classic Turret Press with no luck.

frankenstein406
February 21, 2013, 07:55 PM
seems hit and miss to be honest.

jb27
February 21, 2013, 08:07 PM
Good quality kit - yes
Good kit for a 1st timer - debatable

I have one and it serves its purpose well.

If you search this forum you will find tons of threads on these very topics.

egg250
February 21, 2013, 08:11 PM
Yes it is a quality piece of gear. I have the Lee 4-hole turret press and really enjoy it. I bought it from fsreloading.com. The site indicates that Lee Precision is 4-5 weeks behind due to recent surge in demand.

mike.h
February 21, 2013, 08:25 PM
The LCT is what I started with and I have no complaints. I got comfortable with 45acp and now also reload 9mm. I'm now getting set up for reloading 223.

GI_Jared
February 21, 2013, 08:30 PM
I just started reloading and would some day like to get the Lee Turret Press. To get me started I went with the Lee Hand Press, because it takes the same dies as bench mounted press and it was only $35.

BemidjiDweller
February 21, 2013, 08:30 PM
I started on a LCT too, still use it and it has been perfect.

BBQJOE
February 21, 2013, 08:38 PM
I started with the 5 hole turret.
I figgered I'd eventually end up wanting it anyway, so I just went with it. No regrets.

It's just how I roll.

jmorris
February 21, 2013, 08:40 PM
I would say out of all of the presses I have ever owned the Lee turret I had was the best value. Paid $20 for it used with extra turrets and two die sets.
I gave it to a good friend 10 years ago when he wanted to start reloading, it has been all he has ever wanted.

leadchucker
February 21, 2013, 08:50 PM
I started on a Lee Classic Turret a couple of years ago. Couldn't be more pleased. It's everything I could ask for in a press.

One thought. Don't get a kit. There are items you'll want to upgrade on, and after you do that, you'll find that the kit didn't save you any money.

Case in point. The Lee Safety Scale. Forget it, and get a more usable scale. My humble suggestion is an RCBS 502 or 505, or equivalent. And the Lee standard Auto Disk powder measure. Forget it, and get the Pro auto disk powder measure.

hey_poolboy
February 21, 2013, 08:50 PM
My LCT has thousands of rounds under it's belt and I've never had an issue with it. The only dislike I can think of is that the pro powder measure tends to rotate itself to the off position as you load. I just made a little filler plate to prevent it from rotating.
Mine stays set up for .45acp most of the time, but I have several turrets so each is set for my popular calibers. One extra is available for infrequently loaded calibers or my buddies calibers.

Sent from my Motorola Galaxy s3 using Tapatalk 2

garth64
February 21, 2013, 08:54 PM
Had mine for 3 years; never had a problem;loading 357 mag, 9mm. Only have about 5000 loads through it.

rondog
February 21, 2013, 09:25 PM
This one.....great! Have one now and use it for 13 calibers, love it.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/ammo%20and%20reloading/ClassicTP.jpg

This one.....not so great. Had one in my youth, snapped the handle in half once, snapped a turret ring another time. And it has no good means to catch the spent primers. Pain in the butt, I gave it to my brother years ago, I think he still uses it for minor things.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/ammo%20and%20reloading/lee3hole.jpg

Oh, and I agreed about the Lee Safety Scale. It'll work, and it's accurate, but it's not very user friendly. An RCBS 5-0-5 is far better.

jb27
February 21, 2013, 09:28 PM
Check out Kempf's to get one of their 'kits'. It's not the typical kit you'd get at a 'big box' store. You can call them to customize the kit to what you want to load. When I ordered mine from them a few years ago, they put together a kit with .223, .45 ACP & 9mm. They'll be able to steer you in the right direction and get you set up with what you need. I don't think they sent me anything that I didn't need.

Lost Sheep
February 21, 2013, 09:41 PM
Of course, only Lee makes any autoindexing turret press and, as rondog pointed out, superior to the other one Lee makes (the Deluxe). The Classic is cast iron and steel. The deluxe is aluminum and steel.

The Classic has a 1" taller opening, drops its primers down through the hollow ram whose diameter is larger than the Deluxe's (leading to better alignment and longer wear) and has better leverage in the linkage, which is stronger, to boot.

Other turret preses exist, but none autoindex (which you can turn on or off, at will) and all the others (while they have more die stations) have higher prices on their spare turrets. All turret presses have to have some movement (or "slop") to allow the turret to rotate at the operator's will. Other turret presses also have their turrets secured on a center post allowing the turret to tilt. The Lee has its turret secured around the periphery, in a ring. The turret can lift, but lifts straight up.

Yes jb27, Kempf's kit is excellent and Sue Kempf is VERY good to work with. Kempf's is the only ket I recommend, as it allows you to avoid the Lee Scale (not a bad scale, it is as accurate as any, but if you can't get used to a vernier you will hate it). It also only weighs up to 110 grains.

Lost Sheep

joecil
February 21, 2013, 10:11 PM
I started with a pair of used Lee Pro 1000 and after about 2000 rounds decided it was too much for me. I sold them both and bought a Lee Classic Turret and a Lee Classic Cast. I load 9mm, 45 ACP, 45 Colt and 45-70 on the LCT and use the LCC for black powder shot shells, sizing lead bullets and anything else I need an extra station for.

Fire_Moose
February 21, 2013, 10:25 PM
My LCT has thousands of rounds under it's belt and I've never had an issue with it. The only dislike I can think of is that the pro powder measure tends to rotate itself to the off position as you load. I just made a little filler plate to prevent it from rotating.
Mine stays set up for .45acp most of the time, but I have several turrets so each is set for my popular calibers. One extra is available for infrequently loaded calibers or my buddies calibers.

Sent from my Motorola Galaxy s3 using Tapatalk 2

Take the Hopper off, look at the bottom. Tighten that screw just a touch.

Sent from my CZ85 Combat

holdencm9
February 21, 2013, 10:47 PM
I followed Lost Sheep's advice several months ago and went with the Lee Classic Turret Press Kit from Kempf's, and I have absolutely no regrets. For me, the turret process just makes sense. 4 pulls of the lever = 1 loaded cartridge.

If you want to start out slow and batch-load (as you would on a single stage press) just take out the auto-index, or do what i do...just don't lower the ram all the way.

I think it is the perfect press for beginners.

gspn
February 21, 2013, 11:06 PM
The Lee Classic Cast is a GREAT first press. That's what I started on and it has served me very, very well. No complaints.

If you want to use it as a single stage press then just remove the index rod (takes maybe 5 seconds with no tools).

If you want to load at a faster rate then leave the index rod in. Using that press I've loaded:

45 acp
38 spcl
357 mag
44 spcl
44 mag
41mag
10mm
45 colt
7mm rem mag
30-06
243

It loads them all well. Changing calibers is fast and cheap. I have a separate turret for each caliber (at 8 bucks each it's pretty cheap). It takes me maybe 20 seconds to change calibers.

I'd recommend that press to anyone starting out...it's really that good a deal.

oldreloader
February 21, 2013, 11:07 PM
I like mine so well that my old RockchuckerII seldom sees action.

Lost Sheep
February 22, 2013, 12:30 AM
The Lee Classic Cast is a GREAT first press. That's what I started on and it has served me very, very well. No complaints.

If you want to use it as a single stage press then just remove the index rod (takes maybe 5 seconds with no tools).

If you want to load at a faster rate then leave the index rod in. Using that press I've loaded:
(edited for brevity)
I'd recommend that press to anyone starting out...it's really that good a deal.
The Lee Classic Cast is a single stage press. The Lee Classic Turret is a Turret press. They share the same operating lever at the bottom end, but the uppers are completely different.

Lee could use a better naming convention, but what else is new?

Lost Sheep

flipajig
February 22, 2013, 12:44 AM
I started on a LCT 5 years ago and load every thing on it.
I was given a RCBS Rockchucker II and I'm going to start loading all my rifle and SP rounds on it.
Is a LCT a great press yes it is.

joeschmoe
February 22, 2013, 01:13 AM
The Lee Classic Cast is a single stage press. The Lee Classic Turret is a Turret press. They share the same operating lever at the bottom end, but the uppers are completely different.

Lee could use a better naming convention, but what else is new?

Lost Sheep
There is also the Classic Cast Turret press. I have the 4 hole, and I think there is an older 3 hole version. (limited edition maybe)

Lost Sheep
February 22, 2013, 02:59 AM
I think there is an older 3 hole version. (limited edition maybe)
Lee's 3-hole turret has been around for years and used to be called the Deluxe Turret Press. Now you can get it in a 4-hole version as well as the original 3-hole version.

The "Deluxe" turret uses the same aluminum base as the Pro-1000 press. The Classic Turret uses a stronger cast iron base but operates exactly as the aluminum-based (4-hole model) does.

Lost Sheep

ThePenguinKnight
February 22, 2013, 01:00 PM
I have wanted a Lee Classic turret press for a couple years now. I procrastinated for a long while as I bought other things I wanted, and now that I'm shooting my pistols again I really wish I'd gotten one while they were findable. Of course now I can't get one, and every time I get ready to put one on backorder I talk myself out of it and buy ammo for other guns or primers instead. Lol

gspn
February 22, 2013, 01:12 PM
There is also the Classic Cast Turret press. I have the 4 hole, and I think there is an older 3 hole version. (limited edition maybe)

That's the one I have...mine is the four hole turret.

And I agree...clearly Lee could use some help in the "naming of things" department.

ATLDave
February 22, 2013, 01:18 PM
I'm another one who started with the LCT. I only got into reloading last year, but with several thousand rounds down the pipe, it's been working well so far. I don't think it's any more inherently difficult or prone to foul-ups than a single-stage. Since it's only working on one cartridge at a time, it basically is a single stage with dies that change themselves.

4season
February 22, 2013, 02:02 PM
All of the Lee stuff is a compromise. It is certainly value priced. I mean you do get good bang for your buck, but there is always better stuff out there. I would recommend Lee for any beginner, because you can learn without a huge investment, but you will want to upgrade soon if you find that you like reloading. For example I started with the Lee Anniversary Kit. I loaded some very accurate rifle ammo on it but when I started loading pistol I found that the powder measure leaked fine powders and was very inconsistent. I never liked the scale and upgraded to a Redding Scale and Lyman Powder Measure at the same time. In other words there is nothing wrong with starting with the Lee kits, just don't expect that you will be happy with everything included, but if it turns out that reloading isn't for you, then you haven't dumped nearly as much money into stuff that you will never use.

GT1
February 22, 2013, 03:05 PM
All of the Lee stuff is a compromise. It is certainly value priced. I mean you do get good bang for your buck, but there is always better stuff out there.

I think not.
That is definitely not the case for a lot of Lee's stuff. As far as the LCT I don't think it can be outdone by any other brand of turret, nor single stage press.
There isn't anything better out there, at three times the price.

Fire_Moose
February 22, 2013, 05:41 PM
True day. I will never shoot enough to justify a progressive, nor would I trust one.

The LCT is the best and safest press for anywhere between 100-900 rounds a month.

Sent from my CZ85 Combat

leadchucker
February 22, 2013, 08:35 PM
All of the Lee stuff is a compromise. It is certainly value priced. I mean you do get good bang for your buck, but there is always better stuff out there.

I disagree. Each maker has it's advantages. I did shop around a bit, and I did not find another turret press, at any price, that delivers what the Lee does.

Now if I were looking at a progressive press, I probably would pass over the Lee in favor of a Dillon.

gspn
February 22, 2013, 09:24 PM
All of the Lee stuff is a compromise. It is certainly value priced. I mean you do get good bang for your buck, but there is always better stuff out there.

I would disagree with this because everything is a compromise and this statement tries to paint the Lee equipment as somehow inferior. I've got years of experience on my Lee with lots of calibers and the ONLY reason I bought a Hornady LNL was for volume. It had nothing to do with the quality of the reloads I put out with my Lee Classic Cast turret.

I got the Hornady because I needed to reload a LOT of several calibers. The Lee still sees weekly service on all of the other calibers and cranks out great ammo.

If you shoot a modest amount then the Lee could be a perfect fit for many reloaders for their entire lives. I'll have mine on my bench until I'm dead or done reloading simply because it does it's job exceedingly well.

bobpcfl
February 23, 2013, 10:07 AM
I have been reading here for years. I have only posted several times. Every brand of equipment has it's champions and detractors. Over the past 20 years I have produced tens of thousands of rounds with a Lee 3 hole turret press, Lee dies, Lee Auto-disk pro powder measure, Lee hand primer, - rifle and handgun calibers. All of it 20 years old. While my buddies are fiddling with the adjustments on their progressive setups, I am cranking out hundreds of rounds for Saturday at the range. The ammunition I produce must be at least as accurate as everyone else's. Don't see many people, field or range shooting any better than me. Equipment from all of the manufacturers makes good rounds. Lee included. - bp

twice barrel
February 23, 2013, 10:10 AM
I don't agree with the "compromise" observation either, or atleast not today. Years ago....maybe.

But I've owned and loaded on Lyman, Pacific, RCBS, and Lee Presses. Every one of them did the job but for years the RockChucker's stood out with their smooth powerful operation. Today all I own is the Lee Classic Turret and it is every bit as smooth as the older American made RockChucker's I owned and much more convenient.

I like my Lee dies as much as any I've owned and those include RCBS, Lyman, Hornady, Pacific, and Forster. If I were still using a single stage press I would change out the lock-rings but on the turrets Lee's o-ring lock-rings work great.

And lastly to my knowledge Lee is All-American. How many others can say that?

JRWhit
February 23, 2013, 10:28 AM
I've been using the LCT for handgun reloads and have been satisfied with the result. I was able to recover investment cost within about 1300 rds. However you mention rifle and hunting loads. I have been loading 300 wby mag in mine but it is somewhat of a chore as the turret cannot rotate with the longer cartridges. I plan in the future to purchase a challenger for the longer rifle cartridges. The turret press also has less leverage for sizing larger brass. If your primary focus is going to be on rifle cartridges, a Challenger or comparable single stage press may be better suited. The LCT will do the rifle cartridges, but I feel I'm pushing the limit of the press when I do.

Xfire68
February 23, 2013, 10:43 AM
The LCT IMO is one of the best presses a reloader can own for the money.

It works each and every time without fail.

Those that have had issues with the LCT have issues overcoming minor issues/problems.

The LCT is one press I will never get rid of. I have the LCT, Lee single stage, Lee Load-All and Hornady LNL AP with case feeder.

USAFRetired
February 23, 2013, 10:53 AM
I've also loaded 300 wby on my LCT without issue. (And 270 wby all the way down to 40 S&W). I just take out the cam rod and use it like a single stage press. That's the beauty of this design.
I also tend to use a batch method, so I've got allot of my brass prepped & primed, but not loaded. Again, if you take out the central rod you can rotate the turret by hand for the drop, seat, & crimp processes. If you are knocking out a bunch of pistol ammo, then leave the cam rod in and go to town.
All your dies are already set up (if you have enough holders), so allot less fiddling & adjusting. If you need more leverage, get the roller handle.

I love mine...

RustyFN
February 23, 2013, 11:48 AM
All of the Lee stuff is a compromise. It is certainly value priced. I mean you do get good bang for your buck, but there is always better stuff out there.

Well that;s the usually normal statement from somebody that has never owned or used a Lee press. That's how they justify spending three times more for what they have. That's why you see threads where people have had a RC press on thrie bench for years and wanted another SS press so they added a Lee CC. After using the CC for a while they have taken the RC off the bench.

OP the classic turret is a great press for a beginner or experienced loader. I have had mine for seven years and loaded thousands of rounds of 9mm, 38/357, 45 auto and 223. I bought a Dillon 550 last year to speed up a couple of calibers and while the Dillon is also a great press I still used my classic turret just as much as the Dillon.

tcanthonyii
February 23, 2013, 05:22 PM
I too started on a lee classic turret. For the money even with the kit you won't go wrong. Will you want to upgrade some of the items? Yes. But it get you started and you can lean what upgrades you want to make down the road. Is it good for the beginner? Absolutely. You can use it in single stage and as you grow pop in the indexing rod and move a little quicker. It's the best of both worlds.

The lee scale is quite usable. I will not be upgrading any time soon. The slider is quite stiff new but breaks in and gets smoother with time. I'm cheap. I can't justify spending spending 75+ on a scale to get the same results and I do not trust a digital. Not for pistol loads anyway.

I have only been loading a couple months and have already gotten several others involved. Once they see my setup and research on their own they all have ended up with the same setup. I'm not saying others aren't good and usable the value is just awesome. My dad actually bought me the kit on a whim. He likes it so much he's going o get one for short pistol runs and for his 308 reloading. He bleeds blue too.

Lost Sheep
February 23, 2013, 05:52 PM
He likes it so much he's going o get one for short pistol runs and for his 308 reloading. He bleeds blue too.
Now THAT's a testimonial! A Dillon user adding a Lee Classic Turret.

The Turret cannot keep up in production with a good progressive, but for ease of caliber changes and simplicity of operation it is the perfect machine between single-stage presses and progressive presses. It can do batch processing and continuous processing with equal ease.

I have used a couple of single stage presses, Lee Pro-1000 presses, researched other progressives and turrets and have come to the conclusion that for 80% of handgun shooters who shoot less than 3,000 rounds a year, one or the other of the two Lee Turrets is the best choice. If the shooter would load more than 3 chamberings, that percentage would go up to 95%.

My opinion. And the percentages and ammo consumption figures are estimates based on what I shoot and conversations I have had and overheard (overread?) on these forums.

But here is one unarguable fact. The Lee Classic Turret press is the best auto-indexing turret press in current production in this country, if not on the planet. Of course, there are only two autoindexing turret presses in current production. The Lee Classic Turret and the Lee Deluxe Turret.

Thanks for reading.

Lost Sheep

Hondo 60
February 23, 2013, 05:57 PM
The CLASSIC press is a GREAT choice of press.
Especially for a beginner!

If you want you can remove the auto advance rod & begin to learn in single-stage mode.
Then when you understand what's going on, put the rod back in & crank away.

While it's not the speed of a progressive press, I think progressives have WAYYYYY to much goin on all at once for beginners.

I hope you have a reloading manual or three to go with that press.
There should be NOTHING more important than several reloading manuals!

Gadawg88
February 23, 2013, 09:16 PM
I'm new as well and have had my LCTP for about 2 months. I did lots of research before I bought and decided on the LCTP kit and so far I am glad I did. Everything is quality but not overbuilt. I got mine here: http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/item.asp?sku=0000690304
The kit is a good value IMO. The scale works just fine for what it is, but you are going to want a digital scale if you are loading handgun in any quantity. You can spend a lot more money but IMO it would be for marginal benefit if any. Granted, I am a noobie to reloading, but I know a value when I see one. Good luck.

tcanthonyii
February 23, 2013, 09:40 PM
Gadawg88-- why would one need a digital for pistol loading? The lee beam is quite fast once you've weighed the first charge. And if using the auto-disc i don't feel one needs to weigh as many charges. When I started loading a couple months ago I weighed every 10-20 charges. What I found was that I needed to keep the hopper full. Other than that I never threw a charge that was more 1/10th of a grain off and always low. Probably even less than that. Now I weigh every 50th pistol charge. Granted i dont have the experience of others but after 3-4000 rounds its incredibly consistent. The beam is more than adequate even weighing every 10th. That and I don't trust electronics. Probably bc I'm a computer guy by trade. But pistol charge weights have a vary small margin of error. I cannot trust that an electronic is working all the time. Especially at these very small charge weights.

To each there own.

That's mid south price is phenomenal. I hadn't seen it that cheap yet.

bogon48
February 24, 2013, 12:45 AM
I love mine and use it for rifle and pistol calibers. I've used Lee components for years, especially their dies. In fact, I used a Lee Load-All in the beginning. I have some components from other makers too (RCBS,Lyman,etc.).

I've adjusted the handle on my LCTP to allow me to use it as a single stage for some repetitive operations, like when I just want to decap and size some cases. But a full stroke of the handle still allows the turret to rotate through stages like you would normally. If you want to do this, you'll need to experiment a bit with handle position and angle, through the stroke. But it was worth it for me. I don't do powder charging through the dies, so that gives me some extra handle room at the top of the stroke. Other people just remove the rod that moves the turret.

rondog
February 24, 2013, 02:54 AM
The only major caveat to the Lee Classic Press....is never turn the turret manually by hand UNLESS you raise the ram about halfway first! There's this little square black plastic doodad that's a vital piece of the indexing stuff, and if you turn the turret by hand with the ram all the way down it'll ruin that little doodad. Just raise the ram some first and all is good, it'll last for years.

GT1
February 24, 2013, 03:26 AM
I bought a half dozen of those little black plastic ratchet squares thinking omg, I'll break one a week after reading about people snapping them. I think they cost 39 cents each or some such.

I found the little ziploc bag of them the other day looking through my Lee supplies. Still running on the original after a few thousand handle pulls.

tcanthonyii
February 24, 2013, 06:44 AM
To what Rondog said--- that only applies if you have the indexing rod installed. Just wanted to clarify that. I'm sure he was thinking that too.

HOWARD J
February 24, 2013, 10:46 AM
Best part of this machine is the primer catcher----the old turret press dumpted primers all over the floor---this machine is great---:)

Gadawg88
February 24, 2013, 11:33 AM
Tcanthonyii: I am new at this so I don't profess to have it all figured out. When I start my reload session, I calibrate the electronic scale with a test weight, then I check a load on the Lee scale and then on the electronic. So far it has always been right on. I just find it much faster and I have not had any reason to doubt it...yet. I would classify it as a convenience not a necessity.

tcanthonyii
February 24, 2013, 12:42 PM
Hey I'm probably just as new as you. If it proves accurate then I'd trust it but if do as you are. Test on a beam.

va1911
February 24, 2013, 12:58 PM
The classic turret was my first press and I've only been using for a few months (xmas gift to myself) but I love it and the quality is excellent. I don't think there is a better buy for the quality.

I mail ordered from kempfs and thought they didn't have any 9mm dies they had my 45 and 30-06 dies so that's where I got started and honestly 45 is where my pain point is for ammo anyway so it's where I'll do most of my loading.

http://www.kempfgunshop.com/
https://kempfgunshop.com//index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=shop.flypage&product_id=630&category_id=190&manufacturer_id=0&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=41

That second link is the whole kit they put together for you and other than a scale it's basically all you need to get started with a single caliber. I ordered an additional 4 hole turret for each caliber and they shipped it in just around 4 weeks minus the 9m dies.

Lost Sheep
February 24, 2013, 02:17 PM
The only major caveat to the Lee Classic Press....is never turn the turret manually by hand UNLESS you raise the ram about halfway first! There's this little square black plastic doodad that's a vital piece of the indexing stuff, and if you turn the turret by hand with the ram all the way down it'll ruin that little doodad. Just raise the ram some first and all is good, it'll last for years.
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=606394

It's not the position of the ram, but the direction of last movement.

The square ratchet (otherwise known as the "little black square thingy") slides up and down the indexing rod, forced by the indexing arm (the square ratchet is trapped inside of it). Since there is some drag, the square ratchet is forced against the interior underside of the top of the indexing arm when the ram movement is downward. The underside is where the ratchet notches are. If the square ratchet is engaged with those notches, and you rotate the turret (and the indexing rod) in the backwards direction, you will feel resistance. If you force it, you will break the square ratchet. It's that simple.

Let me simplify it further.

It does not matter where the indexing arm is located. It only matters where the square ratchet is in relation to those notches. But you cannot SEE the position of the square ratchet, so you have to rely on remembering the direction of travel of the ram, the primary determining factor.

If the last movement of the ram was downward, the square ratchet will be up and engaged with the notches. If it was upward, the square ratchet will be down and not be engaged. If not engaged, no breakage. If engaged, you can break the square ratchet, almost guaranteed. Do not pass go, pay 50 cents and start over.

I will repeat. The stationary position of the ram is irrelevant. The position of the hidden square ratchet is relevant. The position of the square ratchet is determined by the direction of the most recent movement of the ram.

Most recent movement UP disengaged; breakage impossible. DOWN, engaged; breakage possible.

In mnemonic form:

Most recent movement up, OK. Down, not ok

Remember the signal from the Roman Coliseum:
Thumbs up, your square ratchet lives.
Thumbs down, your square ratchet dies.

Lost Sheep

p.s. one exception: If you lift the indexing rod up and then lower it down (there is about 1/8" feee movement), this will disengage the square ratchet no matter what. So, if my ram is at the bottom of its stroke (last movement HAS to have been downward) I just grab the rod with thumb and forefinger, lift and drop.

RustyFN
February 24, 2013, 02:55 PM
I bought a half dozen of those little black plastic ratchet squares thinking omg, I'll break one a week after reading about people snapping them. I think they cost 39 cents each or some such.

I found the little ziploc bag of them the other day looking through my Lee supplies. Still running on the original after a few thousand handle pulls.

I have been loading on mine for seven years and am still on the orriginal ratchet.

Fire_Moose
February 24, 2013, 03:17 PM
Now the real question. Does the square ratchet get replaced with the tiny wall that runs around one side, up or down??

Sent from my CZ85 Combat

ATLDave
February 24, 2013, 04:54 PM
Gadawg88-- why would one need a digital for pistol loading?

Because you can't tare/zero on a primed cartridge and check weigh the actual charge the thrower puts into it without dumping and measuring. Because you can't measure final, finished cartridge weights, or at least can't switch back and forth quickly. I use an electronic scale to do lots and lots of in-process spot checks, and to weigh EVERY single round I make. Beam scales are very good at a few specific tasks, but they are not as flexible as electronics.

deadeye dick
February 24, 2013, 06:29 PM
Love my turet also. What everyone says about the ratchet is correct. The only thing i can complain about is the priming tool. If you don't hold it with your finger after seating the primer it will fall to the floor on the other stations. It seems to stick in the shell holder on the powder drop and seating stations. I think it should be locked onto the ram so it dose not dislodge. Am I doing something wrong? Anyone have this problem?

leadchucker
February 24, 2013, 06:46 PM
I heard all the horror stories about how those "little black square thingies" break all the time with no provocation. Lee includes a spare with the press. They will break if you try to turn the turret while the ratchet is engaged. Lee sends out lots of those to owners who have broken them (at no cost, BTW.) As Lost Sheep said, all you have to do to disengage it is raise the ram a wee bit.

In my two years of ownership, I haven't broken one yet.

Fire_Moose
February 24, 2013, 08:55 PM
Love my turet also. What everyone says about the ratchet is correct. The only thing i can complain about is the priming tool. If you don't hold it with your finger after seating the primer it will fall to the floor on the other stations. It seems to stick in the shell holder on the powder drop and seating stations. I think it should be locked onto the ram so it dose not dislodge. Am I doing something wrong? Anyone have this problem?

No offence. Bur have you tried lubing the sides and inside the ram on that little bar?

Sent from my CZ85 Combat

Lost Sheep
February 24, 2013, 09:41 PM
Love my turet also. What everyone says about the ratchet is correct. The only thing i can complain about is the priming tool. If you don't hold it with your finger after seating the primer it will fall to the floor on the other stations. It seems to stick in the shell holder on the powder drop and seating stations. I think it should be locked onto the ram so it dose not dislodge. Am I doing something wrong? Anyone have this problem?
I have heard of this problem. Aside from what Fire Moose said in post 59, you could try smoothing down any tool marks or burrs that might be catching. Either on the sides of the primer arm or in the channel in the ram or the center hole of the shell holder.

Fine emory cloth or very fine sandpaper should do. Don't take off large amounts of metal, or even small amounts. Just smooth it out.

Lost Sheep

Lost Sheep
February 24, 2013, 10:17 PM
Now the real question. Does the square ratchet get replaced with the tiny wall that runs around one side, up or down??

Sent from my CZ85 Combat
The wider part should be up. It actually will work either way, but the engagement is fuller if the part that is .43" square is up instead of the 0.30" square part.

I don't know why Lee makes it that shape. As far as I can tell, it would work fine if it was a full .43" wide throughout its full 0.136" height. It would make it stronger, I think and eliminate the pesky question of "Which way is up?".

I hate the question because it took me a LONG time to figure it out. Took the arm apart, strong light, magnifying glass, calipers... and I still wasn't sure until now.

Lost Sheep

leadchucker
February 25, 2013, 09:06 AM
The only thing i can complain about is the priming tool. If you don't hold it with your finger after seating the primer it will fall to the floor on the other stations. It seems to stick in the shell holder on the powder drop and seating stations. I think it should be locked onto the ram so it dose not dislodge. Am I doing something wrong? Anyone have this problem?

If a shell holder is present on the ram, the primer seating piece should not be able to come out of the ram at all. Maybe a non Lee shell holder? Maybe something broken or missing on the primer seating piece or the ram? Maybe the top part of the ram is not aligned properly, causing the primer seating piece to not align with the bosses on the press bottom.

4season
February 25, 2013, 10:43 AM
Well that;s the usually normal statement from somebody that has never owned or used a Lee press. That's how they justify spending three times more for what they have.

Lots of people getting defensive about the Lee stuff.

I DO own a LEE press, not the turret press but my first reloading equipment was the Lee Anniversary Kit. And I reloaded to real accurate ammo with it as well. But I upgraded later to an easier to use scale (the Lee scale is plenty accurate, but is a pain to use) and a better powered measure.

Why is everyone arguing like Lee stuff isn't compromise? Maybe I should have said the Lee kits will get you started but you will find some stuff in the kit that you will want to upgrade later. Actually I did say that. I recommend the Lee Kits to get started with, but if you get serious about loading you will upgrade to something you like better at some point.

RustyFN
February 25, 2013, 11:01 AM
Lots of people getting defensive about the Lee stuff. Why is everyone arguing like Lee stuff isn't compromise?

Because you said everything Lee makes is a compromise. Well everybody that I have seen that own both the RCBS RC and the Lee CC single say the Lee is the better press. So if the Lee is better and is a compromise then does that make the RC a piece of crap?

You also say you owned a Lee anniversary kit press. So from that one press you can tell every thing they make is a compromise? Also the OP was asking about the classic turret which you said you have no experience with but say it's a compromise. Just like I said in my other post, a typical comment from somebody that hase never used one.

ajwinkis
February 25, 2013, 04:06 PM
I just got a Lee Turret press from a friend. Its missing parts and was wondering how to tell how old it is. I'm almost 100% sure its a Lee 3 hole turret press after looking it up on Lee's website. But I have I guess you can say just the main peice of it no dies or anything. I looked and found an 4 hole update kit with auto index put the question is that Lees website says pre 2005 for example. How can I find out what all I need to get this up and running. I can email you pics of it if that will help. And I know everyone isout of everythin dealing with reloading but would like to go ahead and get on back order lists. Thanks ajwinkis

Xfire68
February 25, 2013, 04:18 PM
ajwinkis, just contact Lee. They will tell you what too look for if no one here knows the differences.

4season
February 25, 2013, 04:52 PM
Because you said everything Lee makes is a compromise. Well everybody that I have seen that own both the RCBS RC and the Lee CC single say the Lee is the better press. So if the Lee is better and is a compromise then does that make the RC a piece of crap?

You also say you owned a Lee anniversary kit press. So from that one press you can tell every thing they make is a compromise? Also the OP was asking about the classic turret which you said you have no experience with but say it's a compromise. Just like I said in my other post, a typical comment from somebody that hase never used one.

Well let me apologize for saying ALL Lee equipment. My kit came with the Challenger Press, not the Turret Press so I have no knowledge of the turret. However the Turret kit comes with the same Safety Powder Scale that my kit came with that I HATE. I am not saying that it can't be used or that is not accurate, but that it was such a pain for me to use that I upgraded to a better scale within a month of starting reloading. I still use my Challenger Press that came with my kit, but it too has some shortcomings. But it comes back to the old saying "you get what you pay for." If the Lee kit cost less than what some others charge for the press alone, what does that say for the quality?

By all means, get the Lee Kit to get started. There are lots of useful things in it and it will get you loading without a big investment. But be warned that reloading is addictive and if you like it you will be upgrading some of the basic equipment soon.

Centurian22
February 25, 2013, 04:55 PM
I started with the lee classic turret but assembled my own kit. Very satisfied.

gerrym526
February 25, 2013, 05:56 PM
I've had mine for 2yrs now and it works very well. Load 45ACP, 9mm, 38sp, 357.
It was my first press and I wouldn't be put off from purchasing it as a newcomer to reloading.
I only use it in single stage, not progressive mode, and can still turn out almost 100 rounds per hour. Not the volume of the folks using progressive presses, but a very respectable volume of rounds for a beginner who needs to pay attention to every step of the reloading process for safety considerations.
Gerry

Xfire68
February 25, 2013, 06:02 PM
4season posted:I still use my Challenger Press that came with my kit, but it too has some shortcomings.

Pretty much all of the presses have some negative that some users would point out.

My Hornady LNL AP with case feeder that cost over $1,000 when all said and done with shell plates for both the press and the case feeder had a number of issues that I ended up fixing and it now runs great. My Lee Challenger press has never had a issue and I would expect it to last much longer then I will be around.

The LCT has loaded well over 10k of 5.56/9mm in the last 4 years and aside from me ruining a plastic ratchet it has never failed me either. For the most part and I will side with you on the scale but, with Lee products you Do "Get what you pay for" and much much more!

leadchucker
February 25, 2013, 07:54 PM
...I have no knowledge of the turret....Then how can you say that everything Lee makes is a compromise?

...However the Turret kit comes with the same Safety Powder Scale that my kit came with that I HATE. I am not saying that it can't be used or that is not accurate, but that it was such a pain for me to use that I upgraded to a better scale within a month of starting reloading.... I think that if you look back in this thread, you'll see numerous other people agree that a press kit may not be the best option because the Lee Safety scale that comes with it is not really satisfactory.


I still use my Challenger Press that came with my kit, but it too has some shortcomings. But it comes back to the old saying "you get what you pay for." If the Lee kit cost less than what some others charge for the press alone, what does that say for the quality? If paying more helps you sleep at night, by all means buy something more expensive.

By all means, get the Lee Kit to get started. There are lots of useful things in it and it will get you loading without a big investment. But be warned that reloading is addictive and if you like it you will be upgrading some of the basic equipment soon.You've based your entire argument against Lee on your experiences with a single Lee KIT. It goes without saying that reloaders will be upgrading equipment at some point. It also goes without saying that most kits do not provide you with the ideal combination of equipment you might need. That's still no argument that Lee equipment in general is some kind of compromise.

RustyFN
February 25, 2013, 08:05 PM
...However the Turret kit comes with the same Safety Powder Scale that my kit came with that I HATE. I am not saying that it can't be used or that is not accurate, but that it was such a pain for me to use that I upgraded to a better scale within a month of starting reloading....

I think that if you look back in this thread, you'll see numerous other people agree that a press kit may not be the best option because the Lee Safety scale that comes with it is not really satisfactory.

Actually the classic turret kit from Kempf does not include the scale. Instead it includes one set of dies. That's why I always recommend that kit. I'm not a fan of the Lee scale either.

You've based your entire argument against Lee on your experiences with a single Lee KIT. It goes without saying that reloaders will be upgrading equipment at some point. It also goes without saying that most kits do not provide you with the ideal combination of equipment you might need. That's still no argument that Lee equipment in general is some kind of compromise.

Exactly,I don't care what somebody starts with they will upgrade some or all of the parts.

Centurian22
February 26, 2013, 01:19 AM
I will be one of if not the only lone supporter of the Lee Safety Scale. I was worried about buying it at first due to the almost constant bashing it receives. I couldn't be happier! It is repeatably accurate, simple, inexpensive, and solid. I can not see why so many people have so many problems with this scale. A new reloaded on a budget is FAR better off with this scale than ANY other possibility available for the same $30 price point.

I believe I will go start a threa to find out what the problems really are.

JRWhit
February 26, 2013, 06:44 AM
I may include a safety notice. As said in my previous post, I'm very satisfied with the LCT press overall.But....

Be aware, when using ball powders and pay special close attention to the auto disc.
After a certain amount of use it can become clogged with powder in the mechanism, keeping it from resetting fully. If this happens it can result in a squib load if it goes unnoticed. I have only had this problem on certain volumes. Make it a point to visually confirm that it reset before proceeding.

ATLDave
February 26, 2013, 09:28 AM
After a certain amount of use it can become clogged with powder in the mechanism, keeping it from resetting fully.

If you're encountering this with ball powder, it may mean that you've got liquid lubricant still somewhere in the drop tube or elsewhere. I've taken to only using dry graphite lubricant on the expander/powder drop dies and the autodisk.

germ
February 26, 2013, 09:29 AM
I will be one of if not the only lone supporter of the Lee Safety Scale. I was worried about buying it at first due to the almost constant bashing it receives. I couldn't be happier! It is repeatably accurate, simple, inexpensive, and solid. I can not see why so many people have so many problems with this scale. A new reloaded on a budget is FAR better off with this scale than ANY other possibility available for the same $30 price point.

I believe I will go start a threa to find out what the problems really are.
All I can suggest is, if it's the only scale you've ever used and you're happy with the Lee, then do yourself a huge favor and don't ever try any others. While I don't recall reading about anyone disputing it's accuracy, the hassle factor is just too much for many to bear, including me. I think I had mine for about an hour before deciding it had to go. Bought an RCBS electronic which worked well for about 2 years before beginning to wander. Bought a Dillon beam and have been happy ever since. As far as I'm concerned, 30 bucks is 30 bucks too much for the Lee.

As for the hassle factor, I feel exactly the same way about the loadmaster. Sure it can be made to work, but jeeeeeze. That said, my LCT is a prized possession that sits on the bench right between the rock chucker and LNL. As many have said before me, it's arguably the best value in reloading.

And to (sort of) address some of RustyFN's comments: I have many Lee dies. In fact, just last night ordered a 2nd sizer in 45acp for the LCT because I'm too lazy to pull the LNL bushing off the other one when I want to do short runs. Most of the other dies from the Lee sets have been replaced with something else due to personal preference, not because I find anything vastly inferior about Lee dies. Lyman M die expanders, Hornady seaters, Lee or anyone's taper crimp in place of pistol FCD's (or knock the carbide out), Redding profile crimp for 38/357, RCBS X sizers for 223 and 30-30. I do sometimes use the powder thru on the LCT to either activate the auto disk or to stick a funnel in. Generally, I don't buy sets any more, just individual dies so I get exactly what I like. So, I guess in a way this helps make Rusty's point about upgrading after a while, but it is after all just MY preferences.

budman46
February 26, 2013, 12:36 PM
i remember questioning the statement of a self-styled expert who said "all lee equipment is junk!!!"...what a firestorm! you guys speak from actual experience, not prejudice.

re. buying a lct to augment a dillon for pistol and short runs of .308s: my three dillons (two sdb's and 550) sit unless i plan to load at least 100 of a caliber. usually it's 40-50 rounds before i switch to something else, my lee gets 90% of the work.

i don't use the index rod. it's easier for me to size/bell, lee hand prime, add powder with an rcbs 'lil dandy, then seat/crimp to finish up. i can tumble the brass after the size/belling operation, as well.

i really like most of lee's stuff...dies, bullet moulds, bullet sizers, case trimmer system, etc. what i don't care for is their cheesy, all plastic scales and powder measures. i use a jennings digital i've had for years with a 50 gr sierra bullet as a check weight and an old o'haus to keep things honest

i really enjoyed this string...

JRWhit
February 26, 2013, 09:20 PM
If you're encountering this with ball powder, it may mean that you've got liquid lubricant still somewhere in the drop tube or elsewhere. I've taken to only using dry graphite lubricant on the expander/powder drop dies and the autodisk.
Let me clarify, It's the disc itself that gets caught up when ball powder get between the hopper and the disc. For some reason it only happens with certain disc volumes. When I load 45 acp with disc # .53 I have never had it happen. When using smaller sizes I've noticed it to be a problem. The disc binds under the hopper and the cavity does not refill. Even then there is a remedy, I loosen the hopper screw ever so slightly to reduce pressure against the disc. It can be overcome but if your in a rhythm loading and don't include a visual check for reset, it can easily go unnoticed. I've never used any oil on it.

frankenstein406
March 3, 2013, 05:58 PM
Thanks everyone! Luckily found just the press locally for a good price and a redding 325 grain oil dampened vintage scale and box at a gun show. Now just have to try and find more stuff in stock lol

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