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Lee Three Hole Turret

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by jsnake, Mar 10, 2010.

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  1. jsnake

    jsnake Member

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    Fellas,
    Is there any good reason that an old auto-indexing lee three hole turret could not be setup to deprime/resize in first position, powder drop in the second, and use an RCBS tapercrimp/seater die in the third? I have read (here and elsewhere) that some prefer separate steps, but I like the combo RCBS die. Have used one in 40 and 45 for a while now (lead, plated and fmj).

    Also, I would like to find another three hole turret press (auto-indexing). So, any leads would be appreciated. Thanks. Joe
     
  2. jfh

    jfh Member

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    I see no reason not to set it up that way. In fact, one could use the standard Lee 3-die set that way--it's the way Richard Lee designed it. I think you can still order a Lee 3-die turret; check with Graf's.

    Jim H.
     
  3. jsnake

    jsnake Member

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    Thanks for the info. I believe all the new three hole presses are non autoindexing, but I will take a look.
    Joe
     
  4. jfh

    jfh Member

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    Well, maybe they changed it--but turrets have always come with auto-indexing rods in the past. Graf's has an extensive inventory, and some items don't turn over, I think.

    Of course, I bought mine about twenty years ago. If they are sold without them now, I'll bet a polite e-mail to Lee 'complaining' about this detail would elicit one at little or no cost.

    Jim h.
     
  5. jsnake

    jsnake Member

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    Thanks,
    I can't really tell from graf's or from Lee's site if the three hole is auto-indexing. The four holers are called autoindexing but the three hole is just called a turret press. I will give them a call. Thanks again. Joe
     
  6. Dimis

    Dimis Member

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    this one has the indexing rod shown so i can only assume that its an auto indexing system

    http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/40411-1.html

    midway only listed the manual indexing 3 hole

    most of the AI models have jumped to the 4 hole systems
     
  7. jsnake

    jsnake Member

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    Many of the pics (e.g. Graf & Sons) show the indexing rod in the pic, but do not mention the auto indexing. They seem to all mention the auto indexing for the four holer.

    Curious.
    Joe
     
  8. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    I believe the Pro-1000 is (or was) available in 3 or 4 hole. However, the Pro-1000 was their first progressive and, unlike their more recent offerings, some people find it troublesome.
     
  9. bds

    bds Member

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    Right from Lee's website - http://www.leeprecision.com/html/catalog/turretpress.html



    Pro 1000 only comes with 3 hole turret. Yes, some find it troublesome ... I find it adorable progressive that pops out accurate match bullets. :D
    FYI, if you deprime/size and hand prime separately, you can use the 3 holes for the rest of 4 die set.



    MidwayUSA has the conversion kit for $14 - http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=206578

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2010
  10. swampboy

    swampboy Member

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    There you go giving me ideas! :rolleyes:
    I prime off-press, sooo, I could start with primed brass, get a round with every pull of the handle and do away with one of the biggest gripes folks have with the 1000 (primer feed).

    I'm thinkin' this method would be much faster than my turret and should run pretty much 100% without much tweaking.
     
  11. GMFWoodchuck

    GMFWoodchuck member

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    I was going to start a thread of this sort. I had the same questions regarding the difference between the 4 hole and the 3 hole turret press.

    Is one "better" than the other? Quality wise I mean. I could care less about one being an auto index or not. Actually I'm thinking that I would disengage the feature for the time being if I got one soon. But, there seems to be a significant difference in design between the Lee Turret versus the Lee Classic Turret presses.
     
  12. jsnake

    jsnake Member

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    I think the pro 1000 might be a viable option for me since I prime by hand now anyway. However, the question remains. Does Lee still sell the three hole turret with autoindex?
    Joe
     
  13. jfh

    jfh Member

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    GMFWoodchuck: Google is your friend; there are many discussions about these two presses in this forum. Here's some general observations:

    1. The "original" turret--with the aluminum base--works just fine, save for the erratic primer capture problem. It is more limited in (rifle) cartridge size, and I think there is little doubt it will wear out faster. It is / was available with a 3-die setup; the 4-die turret upgrade kit is available as bds has shown. Generally, people have been satisfied with it.

    2. The Classic Turret--with the cast iron base--works even better since it has an improved primer capture system. It is stronger and can handle bigger rifle cartridges; nobody has reported wearing it out. It is available only with a 4-die setup. People almost uniformly praise it has an excellent, best-value press.

    AFAIK, either press will come with the auto-indexing rod. Lee's design, which enables removal or installation of that rod in seconds, is the ingenious part of this press for it allows real flexibility in adapting the press to different workflows. Use the press for rifle cartridge reloading? remove the rod and use it as a conventional turret / single stage press. Ready to load handgun cartridges for range fodder? Install the rod, and obtain quasi-progressive features for output of 150-200 rph.

    The 4-die turret allows for separate seating and crimping dies, and I generally prefer that. However, the 3-die paradigm also can work just fine--it just takes a bit more fiddling with the seater-crimper to get it just so. I updated my standard Turret to a 4-die configuration nearly three years ago, and am entirely satisfied. Both presses can have the Safety Prime installed, and people have had trouble tweaking this to work reliably. Once it is sorted out, it works fine.

    I've loaded perhaps 30,000 rounds on my updated / older Turret. It still works fine. Were I buying a new turret today, I'd get the Classic, no questions asked.

    Jim H.
     
  14. bds

    bds Member

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    No - That's why Lee offers the auto index kit ($14).

    MidwayUSA has the 4-Hole with auto index for $73 and 3-Hole with manual index for $68. $68 + $14 = $82, so it's cheaper to just get the 4-Hole.

    As jfh posted, there's definite difference between regular 4-Hole Turret and the Classic Turret. Not only is it cast iron, the rest of press design and parts are better too. Classic press is $95 - http://www.midwayusa.com/browse/Bro...***680***&brandId=1262&sortBy=RetailPrice asc

    If you are going for a Turret press only, many here consider the Classic worth the extra money - and I would agree. BTW, I have been loading over 250,000+ rounds the past 15+ years on my two Pro 1000 and plan on continuing - why fix something that's not broken? $78 and $159 for the kit - http://www.midwayusa.com/browse/Bro...***680***&brandId=1262&sortBy=RetailPrice asc


    ---------- Regular Turret ------------------- Classic Turret ---------------------- Pro 1000 ------------------------- Pro 1000 kit:
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2010
  15. jsnake

    jsnake Member

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    Lee just emailed me and the current three hole is NOT auto-indexing. Only the four holers come with auto-indexing.
    Thanks guys.

    Joe
     
  16. GMFWoodchuck

    GMFWoodchuck member

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    @JFH. You seem to think the classic is the better machine. Good enough for me.
     
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