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Using a Turret Press?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by mbopp, Mar 5, 2010.

  1. mbopp

    mbopp Well-Known Member

    I picked up a used Lyman 6-station turret press to load straight-walled handgun calibers. I'm loading 50 at a time since that's what my loading block holds. Here's what I'm doing (3-die set):

    1) Size and decap

    2) Rotate the turret and expand the case

    3) Prime off the press (Lee hand primer), put the cases in a loading block, charge, inspect the powder level, and start a bullet.

    4) Seat and crimp the round.

    I've thought about adding a primer feeder to prime on the press and also mount my powder measure on the turret.

    So what's your setup? And before anybody mentions it I don't shoot enough to justify a Dillon :)
  2. Cajun CB

    Cajun CB Active Member

    I think the Lee primer will be a lot quicker and less mechanical problems.
  3. Slamfire

    Slamfire Well-Known Member

    I mount all the dies on the turret head but I don't rotate the turret and perform mulitiple operations on individual cases. I think it takes more time to rotate the turret than simply sizing everything, then belling everything.

    I prefer to hand prime in front of the TV.

    Cleaning powder spills is messy, so I do that on a bench with a pan under the measure.

  4. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Well-Known Member

    Back when I had a turret press I would do batches of 200 or more. I would do one station at a time with however many cases I had.

    1. Clean cases in tumbler.
    2. Resize/deprime (station 1)
    3. Bell the mouth (station 2)
    4. Hand prime with a tool in front of the TV
    5. Charge as many as I could with the few loading blocks I had with a Uniflow Powder Measure.
    6. Seat the bullet (station 3)
    7. Crimp (station 4)

    I think it went about twice as fast as a single stage but this was before the lock n load collets and all that stuff which makes things a little less of an advantage these days.
  5. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

    I have the same press (except it's black) that I use for short runs of odds and ends. Depending on what I'm loading (.38SPL, for instance), I use the primer feed that attaches to the press. The tubes provided are on the short side holding about 60 primers, IIRC.

    I setup the powder measure (Hornady) so the throw is backwards. This helps with uniform charges as the powder isn't "settling" into the cylinder as I'm stroking the press and moving the turret.

    It's a decent press for $50.00 used.
  6. BruceB

    BruceB Well-Known Member

    My Lyman All-American was first mounted on my bench in 1968. It's been in constant use ever since.

    The RCBS powder measure is mounted in the 4-station turret. The case is not removed from the press until it's fully loaded. Size-deprime-reprime CLICK expand case mouth (handgun) CLICK charge powder CLICK seat bullet/crimp as needed.....remove loaded cartridge.

    Handling each case four or more times in the "batch method" DOES take more time than rotating the turret. Without forcing things at all, I load about 150-200 rounds per hour. One great advantage to this method is that I have LOADED ROUNDS coming off the press as soon as I start (i.e.: something to actually SHOOT), not partially-processed cases. If I need more volume than this, I'll switch to the Dillon 550.

    Experiments have proven to my satisfaction that cleaning primer pockets is not needed. My Lyman sees thousands of rounds per year, times forty years of use....it adds up to a lot of successful handloading, and also a lot of practical experimentation. I didn't arrive at the current method without a lot of trial along the way.
  7. OB_WAN

    OB_WAN Member

    I asked the same question :)

    Regarding the Lyman Turret press, another problem I was having was deflection issues of the turret head. everything was tight but it would still deflect a little during loading which slightly misaligned the bullet in the case.

    I called Lyman to see if something was worn out on the press that I could replace. They asked me what model of TMag press I had, I had the original orange one. A way to tell is to look on the back underside of the turret head and see if there's an adjustable pin that would ride near/against the turret head to stop it from deflecting. I confirmed that I did NOT have this adjustable post but rather a fixed post that had a small gap from the turret head. They said they couldn't do anything for me.

    I took a piece of 18 or 20 guage sheet metal(whatever size to fill the gap), and cut it/bent it to wrap around my fixed deflection post and remove the gap between it and the turret head. No more deflection. You may or may not have this dilemma depending on what age your turret press is.
  8. mbopp

    mbopp Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the replies. Methinks I'll try priming and charging on the press like BruceB. I'll steal my priming tube from the Rock Crusher and see if it fits the Lyman.
    OB WAN - no gap on my TMag. In fact I have a slight burnishing around the turret from it dragging over the back post.

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