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Moving into a turret press (for handgun only)...

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Ridgerunner665, Oct 10, 2011.

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  1. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Member

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    Got a Lee Classic 4 hole turret on the way, along with an auto-disk powder measure and a powder through expander die...

    I had to do something, my old RockChuckers and I can't keep up with demand anymore.

    I've never been a big fan of Lee stuff...but I like the looks of that press for the $$$. As long as I can get the rest of it to work I'll be happy.

    I only plan on using for pistol rounds anyway (45acp, 38 Spl, 357)
     
  2. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    JMO: I think you'll be satisfied if your shooting hasn't already outgrown the Lee press "comfortable" level. I'm shooting around 250 9mm/wk. avg--sometimes more, and have started to yearn for a progressive.

    If you shoot all three calibers regularly, you'll need three turrets with dies for convenience.

    It's a good press.
     
  3. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Member

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    Yeah....I'm gonna get at least one more turret (I'm think I'll just use weak 357 loads, and not fool with the 38 stuff...no need for 2 different kinds of brass that way)
     
  4. Fishslayer

    Fishslayer Member

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    I've been very happy with my Lee Classic Turret for those calibers + 9mm.

    I bought a turret and riser for each caliber. Changing calibers is a snap.

    x2 on reloading .357 brass only. I've built up a stock of .38 Special but only because I had a ton of brass & hated seeing it wasted.
    For range use I just load 4gr of Green Dot under a 158gr LSWC in the Magnum case.
     
  5. 16in50calNavalRifle

    16in50calNavalRifle Member

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    1SOW has it right. Good press. Of course your volume of shooting will determine whether it meets your needs.

    I am/will be loading the same calibers as you, plus 30 carbine. So far it's worked quite well (as has the Pro Auto Disk and the Safety Prime - they seem flimsy at first, esp. compared to the press and turrets, which remind me of an Iowa-class battleship, but actually work very well).

    I plan to do some of that 38 load-in-357 brass thing myself, to reduce the carbon ring in revolver cylinders (esp. a somewhat special snub that I want to shoot but pamper).

    Actually I have not yet done high-rate indexed production, just some slow familiarization reloading, single-stage (just yank out the indexing rod) and low-rate indexed. One reads about 100-150 rounds/hour for handgun ammo when you're really in the groove. Seems possible. Set up a good work-flow arrangement and you should be able to crank out plenty.

    I bought used (very slightly used). The black plastic index clamp is stripped - emailed Lee about it over the weekend, woke up today to a response saying a replacement was in the mail free of charge. So customer service should not be a problem if you need it.
     
  6. hAkron

    hAkron Member

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    I started with a Rock Chucker single stage, moved to a Lyman T-Mag II Turret, then to a Hornady progressive. The Lee turret presses with the auto index are supposed to be amazing.
     
  7. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    you're going to want their safety prime gizmo too if you don't already have on on order. (probably a spare index ratchet ring as well) Watch the setup videos, smear a little 10w30 around the turret ring and you'll be in business. I think you'll really enjoy the press.
     
  8. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    I started with RCBS Jr, but quickly traded to a RockChucker (happened upon a fortunate trade). Then moved up to Lee Pro-1000 progressive, which I never really got comfortable with. So, after 35 years I discovered the Lee Classic Turret. I repopulated almost my entire loading bench with Lee gear and could not be happier.

    I have my RockChucker for anything that needs a lot of leverage or absolute rigidity and the Classic Turret for 9mm 357 mag, 44 mag, 45 ACP, 45 Colt 454 Casull and 480 Ruger/485 Linebaugh.

    I believe you will be very happy with the two presses you have.

    Congratulations.

    Lost Sheep
     
  9. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I have been loading .38 Special, .357 Magnum, .45 Auto, 9mm and 45 Colt ammo on a Lee Classic 4 hole turret press for over 6 years now and I'm very glad I bought that press. I'm sure you will really like that press. I can safely load between 180 and 200 rounds an hour. I even use it for some rifle loading too. I like not having to change out dies and it's especially good for loading .223 ammo.
     
  10. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    My Lee turret puts out very consistant HG ammo! I still use my SS press for all sizing and hand prime in batches, so when I need fast ammo production the case prep is done. Can easily put out 400rds per hour using this method.
     
  11. dickttx

    dickttx Member

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    +1 one the LCT w/Pro Auto Disk and Safety Prime. I have never tried for much speed, but have found that if I am not careful I lose a lot of time fiddling with the bullet at the seating station. I think if I put just a little more flare in the case mouth I could just "set and forget" and the output would increase significantly.
     
  12. chhodge69

    chhodge69 Member

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    I have that same setup and only have minor complaints. Overall I'm happy with the press, it's the accessories that give me problems. Save yourself some headaches and 1) stay away from flake powders like Unique; 2) don't waste your money on the adjustable charge bar; and 3) don't depend on the auto-index gizmo, it's designed to break.
     
  13. RandyP

    RandyP Member

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    I totally disagree - using Win231/HP-38 my adjustable charge bar has been super-consistent. As to the black plastic ratchet? It seems to ONLY break/strip if the user tries to rotate the turret by hand with the handle at full stroke - namely operator error. It is designed to fail if the user goofs up rather than damage the mechanicals.

    At a very relaxed pace I'm doing 150-175 rounds per hour.
     
  14. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

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    I like the RCBS turret because it has six stations, enough for at least two sets of dies per turret head.
     
  15. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    You're going to love the LCT for handgun, IMO. WAY faster than single stage, and super quick and easy caliber/primer changes and refills. I love mine.

    Here's a quick vid to whet your appetite while you wait.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iHPmGXyB6g
     
  16. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    For new-to-the-press reloaders, you have to start AWARE that the turret can't be moved by hand UNLESS the lever is at least half-way down raising the square index above the spirals on the indexing rod.

    When I first started using the press, I blew through two of the plastic square index parts. I now load many thousands of 9mm on one square index.

    It is a good idea to have a few spares when you start. They are somewhere around 25/50 cents (?) each + shipping.
     
  17. oldreloader

    oldreloader Member

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    I have a LCT w/Pro Auto Disk and Safety Prime. I load 9MM and 45 ACP. I also bought the adjustable charge bars (several) and once I get one set for a charge I like I don't change it. Just Check them when I change bars. I use HP38, AA#5, AA#7, and Bullseye. They are accurate with all those powders. I'm still using the same plastic rachet that came in the press.
     
  18. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Member

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    I changed my order to the Pro auto disk measure last night...
     
  19. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I'm glad you did, it's a MUCH better tool than the standard auto-disk.
     
  20. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Member

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    Someone mentioned the RCBS turret...

    I've been reloading with green equipment since I first started, hard core dedicated RCBS guy here (and still am)...but I just don't like the design of ANY of those turrets (Redding or RCBS) with a bolt through the center...sure, it makes room for more dies but it gets everything too far off center to suit me...

    4 holes is plenty anyway...those Lee turrets are only $12 each...if I need to change calibers, I'll just change the whole turret...no need for more than 4 dies, for me at least.
     
  21. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I agree, the Lee press is just fine as are the 4 holes in their turrets. I have 8 turrets set up ready to go since they are so cheap. That setup is very convenient. BTW, turrets with dies are very easy to store when you put them in the Lee round die cases. I even bought a bunch of round cases to use for storage when the dies come in the square box. (Lee 4 die pistol sets)
     
  22. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    Position not as important as direction.

    It does not matter what the position of the ram is. The more important factor is what the direction of the most recent movement of the ram was. If the ram last moved up, you are OK. If the ram's last movement was DOWN, the ratchet is engaged with the notches and will break if the turret is moved in opposition to its normal direction. If moved in it's normal direction, it should still be good.

    Even so, I try never to move the turret while the indexing arm is covering the twisted portion of the indexing rod. Camming action might cause the ratchet to engage the notches and that could break the ratchet, too.

    The last price I saw quoted from Factory Sales (a popular seller of the Lee goods) was $1.00 for two square ratchets. The indexing arm is $6.00 each. It makes sense to make the 50 cent ratchet sacrifice itself to protect a $6 part.

    Lost Sheep
     
  23. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    IF THE RAM IS up, the disc can be turned either way. It is disengaged.
     
  24. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Member

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    I really like my Redding T-Mag Turret Press. Built like a tank, very minimal slop or play in the turret, bought it after reading 35 five star reviews on MidwayUSA.

    Worth every penny. The Lee products are good and priced right, but the cast iron Redding T-Mag is the best turret press on the market.

    Just my .02,
    LeonCarr
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2011
  25. Jeff H

    Jeff H Member

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    This is a correct statement.

    The indexing is a bit of a mystery until you take it apart to replace your 1st plastic thinge. Once you see how it slides up and down to engage/disengage, it is pretty apparent that any up movement disengages the ratchet and any down movement engages it. Once the plastic thinge is disengaged, you can turn the turret without damage. Even if you are right over the twist in the rod. It won't matter.
     
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