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Lee Turret Frustration

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by coloradokevin, May 1, 2008.

  1. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Well-Known Member

    Well, I resized some brass tonight on my brand new Lee Classic Turret Press.

    A problem came up that I can't seem to figure out...

    For some reason the small lever prime arm gets jammed up on the down stroke of the ram (in other words, instead of pivoting under the shell holder and raising straight up into the primer pocket, it lifts up and strikes the outside of the shell holder, jamming the whole thing up).

    I can manually manipulate it to the correct position when I am working the ram, but this is slow and time consuming. I intially noticed this quirk right out of the box, but it resolved itself spontaneously while I was trying to diagnose the problem... I chocked it up as new equipment, and didn't think twice about it. However, as soon as I sized my first piece of brass, the problem began again, and it won't stop happening.

    Haven't resized any large primer brass yet, but I never had that problem with the large prime lever when I was just playing around with the press either. The small (problem) lever prime arm appears to be correctly machined, at least on all outward appearances.

    Any of you Lee owners have any thoughts? This isn't encouraging on my first run at things here!
  2. Quickdraw McGraw

    Quickdraw McGraw Well-Known Member

    Try taking out and cleaning it good and spraying a little brake cleaner down inside the ram. Then oil it a little. There may be a little factory lube or gunk on it or inside the ram. I've had the same problem with mine when it gets dirty.
  3. sig228

    sig228 Well-Known Member

    This has been discussed before

    Happens to a few people. Most have just used some "ingenuity" such as letting thier thumb guide the primer arm as it goes down. Some have glued a washer or popsticle stick at the based to help guide the arm in. Other than that mine has functioned perfectly.
  4. cracked butt

    cracked butt Well-Known Member

    I had a similar problem with mine when new, but it was very easy to fix.
    You probably have a burr somewhere on the priming arm. Take the priming arm out and dress the edges with a fine file or emory cloth. You don't need to take much off, just enough to soften the edges a bit.
  5. rbernie

    rbernie Well-Known Member

    I take the priming arm off during resizing-only operations.
  6. jon123

    jon123 Member

    This is what I did (I used glue to keep the bullet in place).

  7. strat81

    strat81 Well-Known Member

    +1 on the lube. While yours is new, in time you'll be amazed at how filthy that arm and channel get.
  8. jtf650

    jtf650 Member

    I had much the same problem- as the ram descends and the primer arm enters the slot in the ram, the top of the primer drags on the bottom of the shell holder, sometimes to the point of jamming. The primer arm seems to actually rise a little bit at the end of its travel rather than follow a smooth arc. I emailed Lee and got this response: "Look at the base you may find a small bump or sand like projection between the locator bumps on the base, file away any bump or rotate the end of the ram that hold the shellholder and primer arm a small amount left or right to prevent your problem."

    I didn't realize that the top of the ram can be rotated- just stick a flat bar in the slot and pry slightly- it will move. Tweaking it left or right corrected the problem and centered the lever arm between the locator bumps, which prevented it from hanging up ever so slightly and catching the bottom of the shell holder. It seems to have corrected the problem, but I haven't put hundreds of shells through it either, so we shall see. Hope this helps.
  9. FullEffect1911

    FullEffect1911 Well-Known Member

    I used a folded piece of paper and some tape. Just stick something in the slot for the primer arm that will allow it to cam forward sooner.
  10. schloe

    schloe Well-Known Member

    make sure the primer lever arm is positioned exactly in the middle of the two raised notches on the base of the press. you can rotate the top part of the ram to make it so. this is all i had to do to fix mine.
  11. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Well-Known Member

    Thanks again for the advice everyone...

    I looked more closely at the ram position, and although it was dropping the lever between the notches, it was just slightly off-center.

    I stuck a wrench handle in the slot, and rotated the ram slightly. So far it appears to be working, though I've only tried re-sizing another 15-20 .223 casings.

    I will keep you posted as a run through the next batch, hopefully this will solve the problem!
  12. floydster

    floydster Well-Known Member

    I used a felt bumper for a drawer about 1/2' dia. works great.
  13. jfh

    jfh Well-Known Member

    In addition to the cleaning-deburring solutions discussed above, check to see your press is level.

    If there is a slight pitch "forward," that can hang up the primer arm on the shell holder as well--even if both are clean and have no burrs.

    Be sure to swab the ram channel clean--both from the front and the back.

    Jim H.

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