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Recommend a Good Intro Turret or Progressive Press for Pistol Calibers

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Olympus, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. Olympus

    Olympus Well-Known Member

    I think for Christmas I'm going to get started in the world of reloading and wanted to get some good input on what kind of press everyone would recommend for a new reloader. I don't plan on reloading for any rifles and don't have any plans to transition into that in the foreseeable future. So I'm strictly looking to load pistol calibers in 9mm, 38/357, 40, and 45. I don't shoot a ton in a year's time, so high volume reloading isn't what I'm looking for. I may shoot 750 rounds a year of each of those 4 calibers, so approximately 3000 rounds a year.

    My father in law has a Lee LoadMaster and I mentioned that one to my old man as a gift for Christmas. I guess he tried to order it and said that Natchez and Midway are sold out and backordered until after Christmas on the LoadMaster. So my questions are: 1.) Is there an introductory turret or progressive press that would be better or more affordable for a beginner? 2.) If so, where should I look to find good prices on one? Ordering online isn't a problem. And 3.) If the LoadMaster is a good choice, is there somewhere other than Natchez or Midway to purchase one? I looked on Cabela's website and didn't even see the LoadMaster listed.

    Thanks for your help fellas!
  2. GNLaFrance

    GNLaFrance Well-Known Member

    I'm a new reloader also and have a Lee Classic Turret Press. No complaints so far.

    You could also start with four or five basic Lee Loaders. If I were starting over, I think I'd go that way because I'm not shooting as much as I thought I would, and they take up less space.
  3. Olympus

    Olympus Well-Known Member

    I'm thinking that I'd rather have something that can switch between calibers more easily than the Classic. I don't have a lot of room to work with and I would prefer something that I can easily switch dies and plates with.
  4. GNLaFrance

    GNLaFrance Well-Known Member

    Ah, then you get a plate for each set of dies and set them up. Switching plates is much faster than swapping and adjusting dies. I keep my die plate setups in 4 inch diameter PVC pipe sections cut to 1.5 inches long.
  5. dsv424

    dsv424 Well-Known Member

  6. dsv424

    dsv424 Well-Known Member

  7. dsv424

    dsv424 Well-Known Member

    For some reason I can't show you the page with the kit. Must be me with internet illiteracy. Just go to the kits when you get to the Kempf's website. Sorry about that.
  8. GNLaFrance

    GNLaFrance Well-Known Member

  9. Racinbob

    Racinbob Well-Known Member

    With what you're looking for....Lee is the way to go. I use a Dillon Square Deal now and like it way better than the Lee progressive but you want a turret press. You won't beat the dollar/value of their presses.
  10. Skip_a_roo

    Skip_a_roo Well-Known Member

    Kempf Gun Shop is about an hour and a half from where I live. They will have what you want on the shelf. Ordering online is the best way to go about it. In person, old man Kempf can be kind of cantankerous! His daughter Sue is a world class SASS shooter and they have a ton of stuff for that discipline, clothes and all.

    They are a big time Lee dealer with mould on the shelf too. There are several of the Lee progressives set up in their shop to oogle over. They aren't for me, I like the blue ones!

    As far as turret presses go though, there is none better than the Lee CAST in my opinion. Get enough "turrets", they can be found on flea bay, so you can simply take them out and put them in, no quicker change over can be made than that!

    Dillon has an entry level press now too. It will do rifle as well though.

    With the criteria you have mentioned though, I would suggest the Lee.



  11. HOWARD J

    HOWARD J Well-Known Member

  12. Olympus

    Olympus Well-Known Member

    I guess I forgot to mention that I was kind of swayed toward the Lee LoadMaster because my father in law has about 15 turrets and plates for different calibers and they're already set up. My thinking was that if I bought a LoadMaster too then he'd be willing to loan me his different caliber turrets and plates.

    My thinking was that I could get this kit: http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=536731 and then I could just go over and borrow other my FILs turrets and floor plates and I wouldn't have to buy all the different dies.

    Is my reasoning flawed?
  13. greyling22

    greyling22 Well-Known Member

    you might have to tweak the dies a bit moving from a turret press to a loadmaster. if 100 every hour to hour and a half is an acceptable speed for you you might just buy a turret press too.

    And I'm seeing shell plate tossed around a lot in this thread in conjunction with a turret press. shell plates go to progressive presses, shell holders go with turret presses. they come with a die set. shell plates are sold separately.

    but I think your logic is sound. make life as easy on yourself as possible and get your FIL to help you start reloading.
  14. chbrow10

    chbrow10 Well-Known Member


    If your dad is willing to share toolheads and shellplates, then yes, the loadmaster is the way to go for your application. I wouldn't recommend a progressive to a "cold start" reloader, since there are a lot of moving parts on a progressive machine (and a lot of things to go wrong at once). If your dad can teach you on his machine, then you are in pretty good shape. So much of reloading is problem solving by yourself (and THR) that having a mentor/teacher is a real advantage, especially if his press is the same as yours.

  15. MrWesson

    MrWesson Well-Known Member

    I agree but make sure you hit lee factory sales and order about 10 square ratchet(they're cheap) which is the bearing used for the auto index(makes the turret spin) and they are plastic and wear out pretty quick.
  16. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Well-Known Member

    Midway shows the kit you list in stock today.

    Dies may need to be readjusted when turrets are moved from press to press due to manufacturing variations. Not a big deal but it may not be as convenient as it seems on the surface.

    greyling22, FYI, the Loadmaster uses shell plates not shell holders.
  17. greyling22

    greyling22 Well-Known Member

    I know, that was the point I was trying to make. I guess I failed. loadmaster, shell plate.
    turret press, shell holder. be sure to check out pricing on midsouth or check for a midway coupon code. heck, cabelas runs coupons too.
  18. Olympus

    Olympus Well-Known Member

    Good suggestions so far! Thanks everybody!

    I didn't know that about having to tweak the dies if I borrowed turrets and shell plates from my FIL.
  19. mallc

    mallc Well-Known Member

    Another Red Press

    Hornady’s Lock-N-Load AP is an automatic, five-station press with the most user-adaptable and innovative patented quick tool change technology of all progressive presses.


    Low price seldom means good value.

  20. JoelSteinbach

    JoelSteinbach Well-Known Member

    The dillon square deal B will make you thankful that you invested in it.

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