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turret press reloading process - thoughts

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by OB_WAN, Nov 3, 2009.

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  1. OB_WAN

    OB_WAN Member

    Jan 31, 2009
    Roseville, CA
    I began reloading not long ago using a lyman turret press. I purchased RCBS pistol dies, a RCBS powder measure, and a lyman multi expander/charge die.

    When I first started I was running a bullet through the entire turret(minus the priming, I do hand priming in front of the tube). flair/charge, turn turret, seat bullet, turn turret, crimp bullet, turn turret back to flair/charge die, restart.

    when I did this I noticed 2 things. first, with my mind wandering, it was easy for me to forget whether I charged a shell or not. this could cause a squib or double-charge, either way makes the gun go bad boom. Second, the vibration of the rotation of the turret made me worry I'd be throwing the charge off.

    So... I separated the flair/charge process from the bullet seating using a charging block(? is that what they're called, where you set 50 cases in a holder between steps?). When I got done charging all 50 rounds and placing them in the charging block, I'd visually inspect the powder level(no squib, no double-charge) and set the bullets on the cases for the next step. rotate the turret to the seating die and continue the process.

    By doing the above process, I can process 200+rds/hr from flair/charge through seat and then factory crimp. All with charges w/in .05 grains accuracy and 100% confident it will have a healthy bang.

    I don't recall seeing these steps listed before and I just read on another thread that someone else was rotating their turret through the entire process for a single round so thought I'd chime in.

    Thoughts? Is this what almost everyone does with a turret and I just missed that important reading assignment? :)
  2. loadedround

    loadedround Member

    Feb 18, 2006
    Valley Forge, Pa
    I can only answer your question by relaying my experience with my 2nd press many years ago. It was a Lyman All American Turret Press and at that time I was shooting bullseye competition and loading 100's of 45 ACP's a week. With this press, I started loading one round at a time by cycling the the turret 360 degrees and after several weeks I just realized all I was geting were strong fingers and not that much more speed than a single station press. I started loading my ammo in batches, using the dies and powder measure mounted on the turret. I found my loading speed to be two times faster that way. I did put by charged cases in a loading block for visual inspection before bullet seating. I used this Lyman AA Press for many years before I bought my first Dillon 550 and have never looked back.
  3. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

    Nov 30, 2003
    For revolvers, I do it the way you do, except I prime on the press on the downstroke after resizing, turn to the flaring die, then out to the loading block. Then charge in the blocks, 50 at a time, inspect, back to the press for seating, then crimping.

    For auto pistol rounds I've streamlined my process. Resize, reprime on the downstroke, turn to the meter on the press, charge, turn to the seater, inspect the charge as I'm placing the bullet, seat. (no flare, no crimp with jacketed/plated bullets)

    With revolver rounds, I can't see into the cases while they're on the press, so I need to take them out to inspect.

    With .38 Super and .45acp, I can see the charges on the press, and inspect as I'm placing the bullet. Double charges or no charges will be obvious in the short cases. I use a Redding competition seater die which will seat the bullets straight without flaring. Bullet tension is improved by not flaring, and no need to crimp.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  4. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    My own routine, so far...though on a Turret Press which is earlier than yours ( Lyman 'Tru-Line Jr.' )...is...

    Pistol Cartridges -

    Sort 50+ Cases for uniform length.

    Lightly Wax Case outsides...

    Deprime 50+ Cases...set them bottoms up in a Cartridge Box Tray.

    Inspect Primer Pockets, and, apertures, discarding any odd-balls, as I go.

    Size and ('barely') Bell...and, Prime everyone, (Press Primes on Handle's up-stroke, sizes and Bells on down stroke) set bottom up again, inspecting as I go by feel, and, once done, visually, for any High Primers.

    In a different Cartridge Tray, I set 5 Cases at-a-time, bottoms down...and, with a Scoop-Measure, and Funnel, I Charge each one...in good, over-head Light, and, visually double-check every one has the same level of Powder.

    If a small Charge, then I will use a flat-end Dowel, with a Witness-Mark, for double-checking depth, double-checking Powder level.

    Lube 50 Bullets, or, insert Lube-Wads into Case, onto top of Powder.

    Start Bullet in Case with Fingers, Seat and Crimp on the Press...same Die does both...inspect visually...set into final Tray...Box-Up...Label Box with Cartridge Loading details.


    Timed myself the other night...and, this took 42 Minutes.

    On a new 'Lock-and-Load' Progressive, prolly take 4 minutes!

    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  5. RandyP

    RandyP Member

    Jan 28, 2009
    On mine all the processes are done on the turret as 'typically' laid out on a Lee including priming. I have found the micro-adjustable charge bar to work well and provide repeatable charges. To verify the powder charge I have a small desk lamp aimed to light up the inside of the case and check as I'm placing the bullet each time.

    My turret auto-indexes so 4 pulls per finished round. Taking it slow I reckon I load 150+ per hour.
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