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A few questions on using the Lee Classic Turret Press...

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by bukijin, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. bukijin

    bukijin Well-Known Member

    I have a Lee Classic Turret Press which comes with a 4 hole turret. Up to now, I have been using it as a single stage press by removing the indexing rod until I built up confidence in reloading. Now I want to use it as a progressive press to reload pistol calibres however I only have the 3 die sets not the 4 die sets.

    If I bought a 3 hole turret would it fit into the press ? Or should I buy a factory pistol crimp die to put in the fourth hole and simply use my third die for bullet seating? Or can I just put the indexing arm back in and use it as a progressive press with only 3 dies in the four hole turret ?

    I have been using the hand held auto prime for priming which works really well. Does anyone prime simply by using the Lee Lever Primer System ? Or should I buy the Lee Safety Prime for the press ?

    Thanks in advance for your help...
  2. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Well-Known Member

    It's really up to you....

    nothing wrong with leaving one station empty, as cycling past the empty hole takes little effort....

    Call Lee to verify, but I don't believe the 3 hole turrets work in the 4-hole press, and visa-versa.

    I like to crimp as a separate function, as it keep the adjustments separate. This way, when I'm fussing with inconsistent bullets, like .223 Rem FMJ bulk bullets, I can tweak the seating depth over and over and not have it affect the crimp. Likewise, I can tweak the crimp and have it not affect seating depth.

    I never "batch load" pistol, as the brass prep is a no brainier. start with a pile of brass and a pile of bullets, put the case on the press once and remove it once and out comes a finished ammo.

    I prime on the press with the safety prime. It works well and once again, eliminates the need to do separate operations in batches.

    Prepping rifle brass is another story as you have to add case trimming and primer pocket prep. to the "to do" list. Also, I find it necessary to either swab out the lube on the case neck with a cue-tip or toss them in the tumbler again. Otherwise, I always get some powder that sticks to the lube.

    I'm looking to pick up an Auto-Prime, just so I can prime rifle cases while watching T.V. with my wife.

    Hope that helps
  3. jfh

    jfh Well-Known Member

    SSN Vet covered all the bases--but to reiterate:

    1. Since you have a 4-die Classic Cast press, get 4-die turrets--the 3-die ones will not index correctly. As you said, "...just put the indexing arm back in and use it as a progressive press with only 3 dies in the four hole turret."

    Personally, I find the 4th die--e.g., the FCD die--invaluable for separating the seating and crimping functions. The post-sizing function is typically not needed, but is automatically there, so to speak.

    And, I never batch load pistol rounds--just the 4-stroke cycle.

    The standard primer levers will probably work OK--but when I converted my older Turret to a 4-die, I added the Safety Prime. Once you get it tweaked a bit and get used to it, it makes the cycle just that much smoother.

    Jim H.
  4. mhillsing23

    mhillsing23 Well-Known Member

    I have the 3 die carbide set and I just leave a station empty. It doesn't throw off the index at all.
  5. RustyFN

    RustyFN Well-Known Member

    What SSN and JFH said. I use all four die sets on my classic, I prefer to seat and crimp separate. I use the safety prime. I think it makes loading much faster to do everything while the case is in the press rather than having to batch load.
  6. bukijin

    bukijin Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your help gentlemen. All is clear now. I'll buy the crimp die for each calibre and get the safety prime. You gotta love THR.

    Im only loading pistol at the moment but soon I'll start .308 also since I am building up a mountain of brass. No doubt some more questions then. :)

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