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Choosing a Turret Press

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by angelino, Jan 17, 2006.

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  1. angelino

    angelino Member

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    I've loaded with a number of presses over the last 10 years. Most of my experience has been with the Forster Co-Ax single stage press. I bought a Hornady Lock-N-Load Auto Progressive press a few years ago and have been very disappointed with it. Had a 10% failure rate with the powder measure (i.e. failure to throw a charge), cases do not always stay seated in the shellplates, etc. Finally gave up on it. Recently been using a friends Square Deal B. This one has a 8%-9% failure to seat primers correctly (i.e. seats them sideways or upside down) and those that are seated seem to be seated too high (i.e. almost level with the case head) such that ignition is unreliable.

    I'm trying to find a press that will let me produce ammo more quickly but without these failures. I am now considering a turret press. The Redding T-7 seems like it's the beefiest. The RCBS also seems strong. The Lyman looks good but reviewers on Midway's site complain consistently about sloppy linkage. I've seen many complaints about Lee's turret presses failing to align the ram with the dies correctly, but I also note they are coming out with a heavier, cast iron version right now. Anyone out there have any input on the functions of these presses? Help!!!
     
  2. Don of Kalifornia

    Don of Kalifornia Member

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    Buy the Redding..You can get them under $200 at many stores, and online. When you work a Redding next to an Lyman and RCBS there is no comparson..
     
  3. RyanM

    RyanM Member

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    I've had no trouble at all with my original style Lee 3-hole Turret press, except for one mistake setting the auto-index (instructions weren't very clear), and it spits spent primers all over the place. The problem with alignment is most likely failure to set the auto-index. It shipped set that the auto index would turn the turret so there'd still be a quarter inch left to go. Setting up the auto-index is a little touchy, and took me about a half hour to get it just right. But now that it's set, it works great.

    The new version of the turret press only uses the ram and handle of the Classic Cast press. It's not actually cast iron, it's just the same old turret body. It has the option of using the new Safety Prime system, which is supposed to be faster than putting the primers in the little holder by hand.
     
  4. Uncle Don

    Uncle Don Member

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    I have one and it works great. Like the Classic Cast, the primers go through the ram and into a tube below the press. There is additional clearance so you can do many rifle rounds without even having to disable the auto index. If you do disable it, I don't think there is a rifle round it won't do.

    I also like the new primer attachment - it allows me not to have to touch them and it works fine. I've been averaging not quite 10 minutes per box of 50 - works out to 6 boxes an hour. For the price, I think it's a great value. Here is mine.
     

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  5. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    i can't help thinking neither the LnL or SDB were tuned properly. what brass are you using?
     
  6. Kamicosmos

    Kamicosmos Member

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    The RCBS was my choice.

    I was a bit like you it sounds like. Had a Lee Loadmaster Progressive. Got tired of the constant running maintainence and frequent mess-ups. I sold it, and bought the RCBS Turret. Love it.
     
  7. ClarkEMyers

    ClarkEMyers Member

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    Buy the Redding -

    I use a Hollywood Universal Turret but that's just because Elmer Keith did when the choices were far more limited. The mention of Square Deal B suggests you may be loading handgun only - the CH pistol champ may be your best choice for another rarity.
     
  8. 1911user

    1911user Member

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    +1

    I've never heard of 8-9% failure rate on priming decent brass with anything Dillon. The Hornady powder measure is one of the better parts of their progressive press. I'd call Dillon and/or Hornady and let them help you setup the machines properly; something isn't right.

    If you want a turret press, they have there uses, but many rounds of competition ammo are loaded on progressive presses with no problems. The 2 presses you've used are both capable of making good ammo.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2006
  9. Uncle Don

    Uncle Don Member

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    What running maintenence? Mine is well over 15,000 rounds now and I replaced a single $1.00 part. I don't even clean it anymore and it still keeps chunking away without fail. What kept messing up, the primer system? If so, there is a an easy way to (as Ron Popeil says) set it and forget it.
     
  10. countertop

    countertop Member

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    Uncle Don,

    What press is in that picture.

    I got a 4 hole Lee turret press for christmas and while similar to yours, looks very different (the gun powder hopper is different and it doesn't have the primer attachment).

    How does the primer attachment work?

    Also, how do you set the auto index? Mine works perfect until after the factory crimp die - which turns the plate halfway between the decapper and the powder charge die.
     
  11. mrapathy2000

    mrapathy2000 member

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    seems lee released a new press the Classic Turret. I have same questions about the priming system.

    lee has information on its website www.leeprecision.com apparently they have a update kit for older presses listed price $40 for update kit.

    I have a lee 4 hole turret and I am happy with it. that Classic Turret looks nicer. if you have the money to blow for something nicer go ahead.
     
  12. Uncle Don

    Uncle Don Member

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    The one in the picture is the new Classic Turret. The above poster is correct in that you can get an update kit for the priming system for the one you have. It consists of a new ram and priming arms. Then, if you like, you can buy the Safety Prime System and you are good to go.

    To use it, you would size the case and with the case in the die, push the primer dispenser forward which drops a primer in the priming arm, then when the ram comes down, the arm moves in automatically under the lowering case to be primed. If for some reason a primer doesn't drop in the cup, you see it right away, so you can simply push it again, but my experience with has been great.

    As to the indexing, I would give Lee a quick call at (262) 673-3075 and I'm sure they can get you taken care of. The four hole index doesn't require or use any adjustments as it's in the rod - give them a call, I'm sure it's an easy fix.
     
  13. countertop

    countertop Member

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    Will do, thanks.

    Since I've only loaded 175 rounds so far - and priming hasn't been a problem for me (though i can see where its an annoyance if I was loading thousands of rounds at a time) Im gonna hold off on the upgrade for now.

    One thing I was worried about with loading that downed on me just the other night are repetitive stress injuries. Has anyone come down with muscle injuries from the repeated actions involved in reloading?
     
  14. bfox

    bfox Member

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    Uncle Don

    Where did you buy the press ?
    I haven't seen them listed anywhere yet .

    Thanks Bill

    ps I got my Loadmaster working good .
    I Thank you and everyone for the help .
     
  15. Kamicosmos

    Kamicosmos Member

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    Bad choice of words on my part. What I mean is a Progressive, especially the Loadmaster, requires a constant eye for detail, and lots of little tweaks to keep it running smoothly. Mine was a low count producing unitm as in I loaded under 3K rounds on it, total. But I still had to tweak the main shaft to keep it indexing correctly. The primer system (any priming system) was prone to flipping primers. A friend of mine has had one for almost ten years now. Probably 30K rounds loaded. And he has to fiddle with his to keep it running. Even a Dillon needs tweaking from time to time and has its own host of little bugs and annoyances.

    For my reloading style, single stage and turret presses work better for me. That's why I sold my Loadmaster and bought the Turret.
     
  16. Uncle Don

    Uncle Don Member

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    I used the press that way for years and could still easily do 4 - 5 boxes per hour. As to muscle injuries - have been at since 85 and nothing that I noticed - except that I can tip a beer back a little faster than I used to be able to. :)
     
  17. Uncle Don

    Uncle Don Member

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    I was in Wisconsin a few weeks ago, and stopped and picked one up at the factory. Glad you have the Loadmaster working - when it's set properly, it pumps them out as fast as you can set bullets on cases.
     
  18. MGK

    MGK Member

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    A primer failure rate that high is the result of your technique or something mechanically wrong. I use a Lyman T-mag2, Dillon 550B, Lee single Stage and a hand held Leed press, all can make excellant ammo. After a while you get a "Feel" for the press. When the "Feel" isn't right or the sound isn't right, look for a problem. I think sometimes people are in too big of a hurry or are distracted and rush reloading, that is when problems occur. Take the time to understand whats going on and you will find the "problem"

    My .02
    MGK
     
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