turret vs single stage?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Axis II, Feb 13, 2016.

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  1. Axis II

    Axis II Member

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    i am barrowing a lee c press and have to return it so going to get my own press. I'm torn between lee single stage, rcbs rock chucker kit, lee classic turret kit.

    i will be loading 9mm-38spl and 223 for varmint bolt gun. i have successfully loaded 223 on the c press. I'm torn what to get. i would like to shoot idpa and one person says get the turret to pump out handgun faster but I'm not sure this is the way to go.

    whats your advice?
     
  2. AnselHazen

    AnselHazen Member

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    I bought a Lee Classic Turret and held on to my Lyman Spartans for all of two weeks. The LCT is the bomb as far as I'm concerned.
     
  3. dragon813gt

    dragon813gt Member

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    Buy both Lee presses and be happy. You can easily reload 223 on the turret. You can FL size larger rifle cases on it as well. But I prefer to do it on the single stage. The rock chucker was a great press back in the day. But the Lee press has better ergonomics and primer disposal.
     
  4. Gadawg88

    Gadawg88 Member

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    Of the choices you listed, no question I would go with the LCT. If you plan on shooting IDPA you are going to go through a lot of handgun ammo. The LCT will allow you to produce quality ammo more quickly than with a single stage. I do 180 rounds per hour on the LCT. That's actual output timed over a full hour period. That includes weighing initial charges and checking every tenth round or so. That is at what I consider, for me, a safe operating speed, not rushing to "beat the clock." Some are faster, some are slower. Some might even suggest a progressive, but that wasn't one of your options. I have a LCT and use it for pistol and .223 rifle loading. You can always operate it like a single stage by taking the indexing rod out. Takes all of two seconds.
     
  5. gspn

    gspn Member

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    From an economy of movement standpoint, an auto-indexing turret like the Lee Classic Turret, saves you a lot of hand movements...and therefore a LOT of time.

    The auto-index turret saves you from having to handle every single case 3 or 4 times (depending on how many dies you use). It saves FAR more time than merely changing the dies out.

    If I use four dies and load 500 shells on the Lee turret I have to physically move each shell twice...once onto the ram and once off...for a total of 1,000 movements to and from the bench.

    If I use a traditional single stage I have to move those same shells 4,000 times...twice for each of my four stages...once onto the ram and off of the ram for each die I use.

    So...using the auto-index turret I make 3,000 fewer movements of the brass by hand...that is a big time savings. If you figure that it takes a second to move the shell each way then you are talking about a time savings of roughly 50 minutes for those 500 shells by using the auto-index vs single stage just from moving shells back and forth.

    The auto-index turret provides tremendous economy of movement over the single stage "batch process".

    I've used the Lee Classic Turret for the past 7 or 8 years, and load somewhere around 15 calibers on it. It's done an outstanding job. It reliably produces high quality ammo as long as I want to sit there pulling the handle.
     
  6. gspn

    gspn Member

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    ...
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016
  7. Axis II

    Axis II Member

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    is there any difference in quality between loads form a turret and single stage?
     
  8. StrutStopper

    StrutStopper Member

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    Definitely LCT. I have a single stage Lee and it works well. I have a LCT also and it is what I mostly use now. I won't get rid of the single stage because I may decide to use it for certain rifle cartridges I don't shoot that often. It works great for handgun rounds, but the LCT increases production significantly. Not as much as a true progressive press, but enough for me. You can use it as a single stage too if you want to. If I was starting over now, I'd have gotten the LCT to begin with.
     
  9. springer99

    springer99 Member

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    In a word, NO. If you plan to shoot pistol rounds in any quantity, you need to go with the LCT.
     
  10. RandyP

    RandyP Member

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    + a bunch for the Lee CLASSIC turret. IMHO it's the best bang for the buck in the reloading hobby for the recreational shooter. HIGH volume shooters would benefit from a progressive but for most of us the output of the turret is sufficient and affordable.

    The VERY low cost of caliber changes make the Lee a best buy.

    Again just my opinion, but it would impossible to tell the difference in ammo made on a low end single stage press from one made on a $30K Camdex factory machine. They all can produce safe, accurate and reliable ammo.
     
  11. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    After using an RCBS JR3 since the mid'70s, a little over a year ago I treated myself to a Lee Classic Turret Press.

    I thought that I would probably need the JR3 when sizing the rifle cases, but it has not worked out that way, even with small base .308 & .223 sizing dies.

    The ~$10 turrets are very handy to have so that once setup for a particular cartridge load, you can quickly & easily swap them out.

    Loading 9x19, .45acp, .44spl, .44mag and .32-20 I have found that I can produce 200+ per hour.
     
  12. ericuda

    ericuda Member

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    For loading the turret is the way to go for sure. I prime off the press so i usually only use 3 stations. i switch to a ss press for multiple sizing and depriming operations, seems the be faster for me. currently depriming and sizing 3000 9mm i just received.
     
  13. JO JO

    JO JO Member

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    I have the Lee Classic Turret press it's a great set up for the cost , I have added the lee auto powder drum measure it the one that has no disc to use
    works great you can not go wrong with it,
    I also have a Redding big boss press but the lee is used more often
     
  14. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    Don't forget that the LCT press is also a single stage press all you do is take out the turret rod and it will not auto index.

    Also be sure it is the CLASSIC which is cast not aluminum. Much heavier press.

    Get the safety prime, risers and the new Auto Drum powder measure and you are ready to load!. You probably want 3 extra turrets so you keep your dies in the turret and not have to remove them and screw other calibers in.

    Review:

    http://www.realguns.com/archives/122.htm
     
  15. tcoz

    tcoz Member

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    Based on what you're loading, it's the Lee Classic Turret. For pistol and 223 it's very hard to beat. If you eventually start handloading heavier rifle cartridges you might want to supplement it with something a little heavier (I use a Redding T-7) but for now do yourself a favor and go with the LCT.
     
  16. berettaprofessor

    berettaprofessor Member

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    Lee Classic Turret by far. You can also use it as a single if you want by removing the indexing rod.
     
  17. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    You can also use the LCT as a single stage for some things without removing the indexing rod. ;)
     
  18. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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  19. Hondo 60
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    Hondo 60 Member

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    No - only your technique & attention can change the quality of your loads.
     
  20. CraigC
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    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    IMHO, the turret has several advantages over a single stage and no disadvantages. They just cost a little more.
     
  21. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

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    My only press is the RCBS turret. Been using it for 6 years.

    When I first set it up, I had a lot of issues with part fitting. I attribute this to pre press and parts being manufactured during the great panic of '08. Plus, I am a perfectionist about operational machinery, which really slowed things down. Since then, I have been very satisfied with the press. With 6 stations, it is a very versatile press. Need to add in an additional die, such as a Lee decapper, it's easy.

    I use the press for loading .380 ACP to .45 Colt, and rifle cartridges .223, .300 AAC & 7.62 X 39.

    If I do my part, the press does its part, turning out quality ammo. The only problem is my speed, which is slow, due to physical issues, which is why I chose to go with the Turret.
     
  22. Axis II

    Axis II Member

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    well guys I went with the classic turret. was on the way to fin feather fur for it but called and all they had was the kit. I have most the things in the kit and due to everyone saying go with the auto drum I asked for just the press and can get the other stuff when needed. the rep said the press should be here in a few days.

    tomorrow I'm building a new reloading table. was using an old computer desk made of fiber board and it shook too much. 2x4 and mdf tomorrow.

    thanks so much for all the help guys!
     
  23. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    BTW, ohihunter2014, if your initial mention of the "Lee C Press" is a reference to the flimsy little ~$25-$30 aluminum press that they make, you will be much happier with the much stronger (as well as more versatile) LCT.

    Quite frankly, I find it very hard to imagine reloading .223 on an aluminum Lee C Press. I got one a few years ago to use exclusively for seating bullets ... and found it to be very flimsy, but OK for a bare-minimal-strength task like bullet seating.

    Enjoy your new LCT! :)
     
  24. Axis II

    Axis II Member

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    GBEXPAT

    yes I agree its not really the best. my buddy uses it for 44-45 colt cowboy guns, lead bullets, etc. I wanted to try reloading cause my varmint rounds and target rounds for 223 were very expensive. I like it and now jumping in feet first.

    the only thing I need now is a new scale as the hornady $30 digital one I have is junk. ive accumulated a lot of 9mm brass over the years so figure why not load for that too.
     
  25. Mauser69

    Mauser69 Member

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    The Lee Classic Turret press and the Rock Chucker (or any similar square frame cast iron press) are both excellent and will serve you well. But as a new reloader, I think you should consider a few more things before you make that decision:

    It is my personal opinion that EVERY reloader should only start with a quality single stage press. And even if you decide to add a progressive or turret press as you get more experienced, this will never be a wasted purchase because there is ALWAYS a need for or value in having that single stage available on the bench too. I have been reloading since the 70s, and while I do most volume pistol loading on my Lee Pro 1000 and Lee Classic Turret presses, my original Rock Chucker gets regular used for lots of things, plus it is my preferred tool for all rifle loading. Frankly, there are many specific things that are just so much better to do on a single stage that it would be total misery for me to try and live with only a turret press.

    The most important reason why I would ONLY consider a quality single stage for a new reloader is that it will require you to develop good safe practices as you learn this hobby, things like using loading blocks to batch process ammo in stages, careful inspection of all cases, comparison inspection of all powder charges together to prevent squibs and doubles, etc. These skills and process will quickly become habits that will serve you safely for your entire life, and many of them are NEVER learned (IMHO) by folks who start with a turret or progressive press.

    Yes, the Lee Classic Turret can be used like a single stage just by removing the advance rod, but I personally believe that virtually no one who starts with it will ever actually stick with it in a true single-stage mode long enough to really develop those processes and habits; it is just too tempting to play with the advanced features of your new toy! It is a great press, but do yourself a huge favor and start with a quality single stage.

    Good luck and load safe.
     
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