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Turret Presses??

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by 68lemans462, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. 68lemans462

    68lemans462 Well-Known Member

    I have recently learned about turret presses. I'm specifically looking at the Lee to replace my single stage RCBS press. I load alot of handgun ammo and I would like to increase my efficiency.

    What are some honest opinions about the turret presses? Limitations? RCBS/Lyman/Lee, which one is best?? ANY suggestions are welcomed. Thanks guys.
  2. RandyP

    RandyP Well-Known Member

    There are a ton of posts on this subject, and a LOT a fierce brand loyalties - lol

    I own, use and very much like the Lee CLASSIC turret - I can at my highly relaxed pace make 150-175 rounds per hour with ease. The auto-advancing feature of the Lee makes the process quick and easy - four handle pulls turns empty brass into ammo.

    Note that I have the CLASSIC, not the Deluxe, a lighter weight older model.

    Progressives will churn out 300-400+ rounds per hour if that better matches your realistic ammo needs. I would have NO problem buying a Lee Loadmaster, MANY others would scoff at the notion and demand I buy Dillon, cuz it's the best. But them folks ain't sendng me any money, so I buy what I want - LOL

    I don't know how to answer the question of 'Best'? My turret is a perfect match to MY needs and wallet so for ME it is "best".
  3. 68lemans462

    68lemans462 Well-Known Member

    What is the difference between the "classic" and the "deluxe" lee turrets??
  4. NeuseRvrRat

    NeuseRvrRat Well-Known Member

    the Lee turret is the only one that auto-indexes. if the idea is to increase productivity, then that pretty much settles it.
  5. Old krow

    Old krow Well-Known Member

    There are several differences, one being that the base of the classic is cast and the deluxe is aluminum. I have had both and greatly prefer the classic over the deluxe. I believe (I only have the classic now) that the classic has a larger ram diameter as well.

    Another thing to consider is that many turret presses are more along the lines of a "mulit-stage" press while the Lee Classic Turret is an auto-indexing turret press.

    In my opinion (which is just that) the LCT is a great turret press and it's tough to go wrong with it. However, a turret press isn't a progressive which isn't a single stage.

    Why did you build your bench so small? :D I hadn't intended on buying a LCT, but I ended up with one in a trade a while and it sits beside my Redding SS.
  6. mdi

    mdi Well-Known Member

    Lee's Auto-indexing Turret press is a "semi-progressive"...
  7. RandyP

    RandyP Well-Known Member

    The Classic also has the superb spent primer collection system - clear plastic tube under the ram, same as on their breech lock Anniv single stage press as opposed to the Deluxe's little cast in 'cup' that then needs to be cleaned out.

    As has been said, NOT a progressive press, and slightly different than other makes of turret which need to be hand advanced thru each stage. IMHO the auto-advancing limits the likelyhood of a dropping a double powder charge, but that is a minor concern if one is careful.

    My standard caveat is that all the name brands out there make GREAT machinery, one just trades $$$$$ for some features and speed. I defy ayone to tell the difference in finished rounds made by all the different makes and models if the same components were used.
  8. 45lcshooter

    45lcshooter Well-Known Member

    My dad has a Lee Classic progressive. He likes it but changing from pistol to rifle can be a pain, so he has that just set up for the semi auto pistols we have. I load all the revolver pistol and rifle on my Rockchucker, those are more for accuracy than quanity.

    If you want quanity go progressive, accuracy go single stage. I can nock out 200 rds an hour on my Rocjchucker.
  9. RustyFN

    RustyFN Well-Known Member

    Lee doesn't make a classic progressive. They only make a classic single stage and classic turret.
  10. RandyP

    RandyP Well-Known Member

  11. Centurian22

    Centurian22 Well-Known Member

    I ordered the lee classic turret. As has been said cast iron in place of aluminum and I believe higher clearance for longer calibers.
  12. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Well-Known Member

    If you'll go to THIS LINK and look in the left hand side bar you'll see lots of great demo videos of the Lee turrets in action.

    The advantage the Lee has over your current single-stage is that it reduces the case handling. You insert the case and pull the handle 3-4 times and out pops a finished round. It is definitely faster than a single stage, but not nearly as fast as a true progressive.

    As an intermediate step, the Lee classic turret gets rave reviews from everyone.
  13. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Well-Known Member

    Be careful because Lee makes 2 different Turret presses.
    One is good, the other is crap (atleast that was my experience).

    The Lee Classic Turret Press is very good.
    The old primers go down the center of the ram & deposited in a plastic tube.
    That tube can hold hundreds of old primers & is emptied at your convenience.
    The construction of the press is also significantly better than their other model.

    The so-called "deluxe" model is quite a bit less in quality as well as primer disposal.
    I think I had about 85% or so of the primers all over the floor rather than where they were supposed to go.

    You can get a Classic model for about $100, the deluxe is closer to $85.
    (just the press, not a kit)

    The Lyman or RCBS presses are gonna be SIGNIFICANTLY more $$$
    (closer to $200)
  14. Flt Simulation

    Flt Simulation Well-Known Member

    I was thinking very seriously of buying either a Dillon or a Hornady L-N-L progressive press, but since I only load about 300 cartridges per month max, I just couldn't justify the extra expense of a progressive press.

    Bought a Lee 4-Hole Classic turret press (SKU: 90064) and have been very happy with it for loading .45 ACP (that's all I load).

    I like that it has uses 4 dies and is auto-indexing which really speeds things up.

    Make sure you also get the Lee Carbide 4 Die Set, the Pro Auto-Disc Powder Measure, the Safety-Prime Primer Feeder and the Auto-Disk Riser (needed when using the Pro Auto-Disc Powder Measure)

    Total cost for all this will be approx $210 + shipping

    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  15. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Well-Known Member

    Apologies for repeating

    I wrote this summation a while ago, so I apologize for those facts that are repeated from earlier posts.

    The Lee Classic Turret (not to be confused with the Lee Classic Cast, which is a single stage press) and the Lee Deluxe Turret operate in exactly the same manner. (Except for some older, now discontinued models of the Deluxe which have 3 die stations - and, no, the 4-hole turrets do not interchange with the 3-hole turrets.)

    Same speed, many of the same parts and same operating mode and technique.

    But there are differences.

    Evolution: The Classic Turret is the newer design of the two.

    Durability: The Classic Turret's base is cast iron, the Deluxe is cast aluminum. Iron wears better than the softer metal, aluminum.

    Ease of use: The Deluxe has a 1" smaller vertical opening than the Classic Turret. Though either is capable of taking rifle cartridges, the Classic Turret will take longer ones and if you have big hands is the clear winner

    Spent Primer Handling: The Deluxe drops primers out of a slot in the ram to fall into a cavity inside the press base. But only about 90% succeed in their intended journey. The Classic drops primers down the center of the hollow ram and into a clear plastic tube which can contain a few hundred primers or be directed into a receptacle of your choice. The difference in the behavior of the debris (products of combustion) from the spent primers is even more striking. With the Deluxe, you wind up with primer detritus all over and have to dismount the press and sweep up the pile of spent primers every several hundred rounds.

    More on Durability: The Deluxe ram is smaller in diameter than the Classic's ram. This gives a much different bearing surface for the ram to be guided as it moves up and down. The Classic press will last much longer because of the increased surface area and because iron is tougher than aluminum.

    Even more on Durability: The Deluxe's linkage is aluminun and stampings. The Classic's linkage is more robust. I believe the leverage on both is the same.

    In summary:

    The Deluxe is aluminum, spills spent primers and has a slightly smaller opening (which you may find important when loading long cartridges or long bullets. Kempf's gun shop (online) assembles a kit containing the Classic Turret and does not force someone who already reloads to take other stuff you already have (except a set of dies and some cartridge boxes).

    I think that's about it.

    Good luck.

    Lost Sheep

    P.S. The first time used my Classic Turret (after a practice run of a handful of rounds) I loaded 100 rounds of 45ACP in 47 minutes. That included filling the primer tray and powder hopper. And I am SLOW and careful. But thas was using the automatic indexing.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  16. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Well-Known Member

    Don't forget Redding.

    The Lee turrets are the only turrets that offer auto-indexing. If you want to do continuous loading (as opposed to batch loading) this is a great time saver.

    Lee's turrets mount inside a ring. Every other turret mounts on a center post. This means the Lee turrets don't tilt (they may appear to, until you note that the entire turret lifts, where other turrets lift in front and depress in back). For all but the most discerning loaders, this is a non-issue.

    Lee Turrets mount inside a ring with lugs and take only a twist of the turret to remove or install. Most others, mounting on a center post, take a bit of unscrewing with a tool of some kind. Lee turrets only have 4 die stations. Most others have 6 or 7 (there may be a 5-station or two out there) Lee Turrets list for $13. Most others are 3 or 4 times that. But if you need (or want) more than 4 stations, the Lee is out.


    Lost Sheep
  17. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Well-Known Member

    How much loading? How many calibers?

    How much loading? How many calibers?

    If the answer to the first question is more than a few hundred a week and the answer to the second is 1 or 2, you might want to consider a progressive.

    I don't like to use a progressive myself (too many things going on simultaneously for my comfort), and I find loading to be relaxing (except when using a progressive, which is unnerving to me). A matter of taste, style and personality, I guess. But it is something to consider.

    Lost Sheep
  18. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Well-Known Member

    I like my Redding T-7 a lot. It's a really stiff, precise machine.
    I like having 7 stations.
    Because it's manually advanced it probably isn't as fast as a 4 station auto advance turret press.
  19. codefour

    codefour Well-Known Member

    MY vote goes for the Redding T-7 as well. It is built stronger than a Sherman tank! No, it does not auto index but I do not know how well the Lee turets will size large brass cases, especially over time. I know the T-7 will never ever wear out.

    I gave up on Lee products a couple of years ago. Yes, I have some of their dies for odd calibers that I rarely load.
  20. mike.h

    mike.h Well-Known Member

    Pretty happy with the LCT for .45 ACP and 9mm. Just purchased the stuff to start reloading 223.

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