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Which Turret Press to Start With

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by CardboardDisaster, Jan 2, 2009.

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  1. CardboardDisaster

    CardboardDisaster Member

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    Hi Everyone!
    I'm about to start reloading and want to ask for your comments about
    these presses. The Lee Classic Turret, Lyman T Mag 2, and RCBS 88901. Which one would you recommend and why. I've already researched all of these presses but have not seen any clear comparisons between these three by people who have used them.

    General comments welcome but specific input based on experience will be more useful.

    I'll be shooting approximately 5500 rds 9mm Luger per year ( IDPA & range ) so accuracy is important but not critical. Presently I'm only shooting 9mm but in the future will shoot 40 S&W, 38 SPL, 223, and 308 although the bulk of it will continue to be 9mm, then followed closely by 40 S&W.

    Let's get this started with a few specific questions:

    1) Which one do you think is better - the Lyman T Mag 2, RCBS, or Lee CT
    and why ?
    Lee has the obvious advantage in startup cost so that point really
    isn't as important to me as other facts that would substantially
    distinguish these presses from each other.

    2) Can I use the Hornady LNL bushings on all three presses ?

    3) How many rounds can one comfortably produce on a turret press ?

    Thanks!

    CBD
     
  2. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    My turret press is a Redding T-7. It has 7 die stations that I keep mostly filled with various reloading projects and is built like a tank.
     
  3. CardboardDisaster

    CardboardDisaster Member

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    I've read some very good reviews of the T-7 but the cost; along with all the extras necessary to get started, puts it a little too close to the progressive presses. Plus it's on back order every place I've checked locally. I narrowed my search to the three I listed for both cost and availability. And all three can be purchased in kits that have everything you need to get started..minus caliber specific stuff. I found all three on the shelves locally whereas everything else this particular retailer carries is sold out, and won't be resupplied for at least a week.

    Do you have any experience with the ones I listed?
     
  4. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    No, I have no experience with the ones you listed. Welcome to the forum by the way.
     
  5. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Buy an LNL or a Dillon and be done with it, or get the Lee Classic turret (cast iron) and see how it goes. I think you will end up with a progressive though.

    Welcome to THR
     
  6. jfh

    jfh Member

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    FWIW, the Lee Turret, when loading pistol / .223 rounds with its auto-indexing rod installed, will load about 180-200 rounds per hour.

    I've not used the other turrets. But, they don't have auto-indexing, and the most partisan user hasn't reported over 100 rph from any non indexed turret.

    With that in mind, I'll second Walkalong's advice, at least insofar as the startup--get the Lee Classic Cast turret and see how it goes.

    You won't regret owning the Lee, and it will give you an idea about how you want to load as you become more experienced.

    Jim H.
     
  7. CardboardDisaster

    CardboardDisaster Member

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    Thanks for the input guys.

    The Lee Classic Turret has definitely moved up on my list. Just finished reading some more reviews on it and the latest version seems like a very solid press. Does anybody know when it was redesigned ?

    Other than cost is there any other reason to go with the Lee over the Lyman T Mag 2 ? I'm asking because they sell that Lyman in a kit with everything needed to get started except the dies ( and the cost isn't much more than initial investment in the Lee w/accessories ).

    I realize the auto indexing on the Lee means it will crank out more rounds per hour and that's definitely of interest to me, but after having read so many good reviews of the Lee one might assume there is no reason to bother with any other....but that can't be true..right?:) Is there any noticable difference in the quality of the round from one press to the other, or difference in quality or durability between the Lee and the Lyman or RCBS ? The cost of either is not an issue, just want to get the press that will have fewer problems to operate, and the best design.

    Thanks again for your comments.
     
  8. Uncle Chan

    Uncle Chan Member

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    The Lee is a great machine. I have one that I use religiously, more so than my Dillon 550B. Easy to work, cheap to get additional dies plates for, makes quality ammo.

    The only problem I have with it is a good quality powder measure for it. I've not found one I like yet. I currently use the Lee Pro Powder Measure, but had to modify it considerably to get consistent drops.

    Lee will give you every bit as good a round as a Dillon, Lyman, RCBS, Redding, etc. Don't let anyone tell you different. And, Lee dies are every bit as good as those others. Believe me, I've used them all. Dollar for dollar, you can't beat Lee.
     
  9. D. Manley

    D. Manley Member

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    +1.

    If you're wanting to get your feet wet with a turret, the LCT is a no-brainer. The others mentioned are top-notch machines but once fully equipped, approach the price of progressive machines. Down the road if you decide a progressive is for you then your much smaller investment in the LCT becomes even more attractive. FWIW, I'm not a huge fan of most Lee equipment but the LCT is an exception...very good value.
     
  10. benzuncle

    benzuncle Member

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    Cardboard, Welcome!

    I did just what Walkalong said, I got the Lee Classic 4-Hole Turret Press and saw how it went. Just shy of a year later, I'm stickin' right where I'm at. When I purchased my kit from Kempf Gun Shop, I upgraded to the Pro Auto Disk Powder Measure and the Safety Prime Systems at the time of purchase. I'm very pleased with this arrangement. And the money I saved by purchasing the Lee stuff allowed me to buy another 45! :D I have loaded about 3500 rounds of 45acp and 380acp since last January. I am content with the "up to 200 rounds per hour" capacity of the Lee 4-Hole Classic Turret Press. Good Luck in your research and decision. You won't really hear much bad talk about most of the makes and models out there. All of them build accurate ammo.
     
  11. rondog

    rondog Member

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    I have the Lee Classic Turret, so it gets my vote. This is the kit I bought. http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/t...indexId=cat20847&hasJS=true&_requestid=113883 I can't speak to how many you can make per hour, I just can't go that fast for that long of a stretch, but you can hump 'em out pretty good once you get the hang of it.

    I personally DO NOT recommend this one, the Deluxe Turret Press. Big differences between the two, I've had this model before and won't have another. The Classic though, works great. http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/t...parentType=index&parentId=cat20847&id=0032404
     
  12. lgbloader

    lgbloader Member

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    I'd have to agree with Walkalong. The Lee Classic Turret can load about 150 -200 rounds per hour and thats okay but from what you're talking about would make me lean towards a Dillon 550B or the Hornady LNL.


    LGB
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  13. CardboardDisaster

    CardboardDisaster Member

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    Uncle Chan - Is the Lee Pro Powder Measure you mentioned the same as the Pro Auto Disk Measure? I've read good reviews on those.
     
  14. Oldcoyote

    Oldcoyote Member

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    Card
    Where did you price the Lyman vs. Lee?

    Thanks
     
  15. CardboardDisaster

    CardboardDisaster Member

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    I found the Lyman T Mag 2 Expert kit at a Cabala's for the same price as advertised online at a few places including MidwayUSA. Lee pricing has been consistent across the board depending on how you buy it.
     
  16. Uncle Chan

    Uncle Chan Member

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    Yes sir, one and the same. I'm sure the are good measures, I've just had bad luck with mine. It works, but I wouldn't say it does much more than that. I've had to modify it to make it work.

    Perhaps I just got a lemon. :)
     
  17. depoloni

    depoloni Member

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    I started with an RCBS Rock Chucker single stage press.

    I got into pistol shooting, at which point I immediately stepped up to the Lee Classic Cast Turret Press, for which I purchased a half dozen turret plates and pre-set all my die sets in them (for pistols). I LOVE that thing, and I don't even use the auto-indexer in favor of manual indexing and batch loading. I start with clean brass, and in one step prime/resize/bell, then do the powder of my Lyman #55, then in step two do seat/crimp. LOVE IT.

    My next press, if I bother, will be a Dillon 550. The 650 and other "better" ones make things easier but I refuse to let the machine control what's happening beyond a point. Powder being the BIG point for me, which is why i still prefer to use the LCT and hand-charge in between.

    Long story long (sorry hehe), you won't be disapointed in the LCT coming from a guy who doesn't know how much "better" the Hornady LnL is.

    Biggest perk for the LnL is the free bullets they have going - by the time you figure it all the press is almost free - with a free thousand 44cal 240 XTPs. If I was buying now, based on value, that'd be a consideration. But love my LCT anyhow.

    Good luck!
     
  18. floydster

    floydster Member

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    I have four of the Lee pro powder measures, one for each of my pistol calibers. Every one works great, I have my turrets set up for every cal. I load, no dinking around, pop the turret on the press and go. I have the Classic Cast turret press.
    Floydster
     
  19. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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    I have only used the Lee classic turret. I think it's a great press. The priming system on the classic for me has worked near flawless. Needing 5500 rounds a year you are looking at around 450 per month. That's around 2.5 hours of loading. Another thing I like is you can add a caliber for the price of dies and a $9 turret. You can change calibers including primer sizes in around 60 seconds. The spent primer disposal is through the ram into a clear tube and keeps the press, bench and floor very clean.
    Rusty
    ry%3D400.jpg
     
  20. flying

    flying Member

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    Ok stop the presses :)
    Rusty where did you get the cool 3 Ball knob for your Lee?

    Also to stay on topic I just ordered a Lee CTP also.
    I use to have a RCBS 4x4 & am just getting back into reloading.
    From everything I read the LCT looks like it will work great for me. I also bought 3 additional heads & also went with the Lyman55 powder measure instead.
     
  21. CardboardDisaster

    CardboardDisaster Member

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    Thanks everyone for all the responses. I've got a new found sense of confidence in the Lee turrets. Just out of curiousity though...how many rounds a year are ya'll churning out on those LCTs ?

    CBD
     
  22. CU74

    CU74 Member

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    I seem to keep following RustyFN to these threads:cool:. The only apparent difference between our reloading set-ups is his #3 ball - it looks like I even have the same electronic scale:uhoh:.

    I did a lot of research and comparing before deciding on the Lee Classic Turret, the Pro Auto Disk Powder Measure and the Safety Prime. I use it to reload .38 Special, .357 Magnum, 9mm, 45ACP and .30 Carbine. I also use it for bullet seating and crimping for necked rifle cartridges, (I use a Lee single-stage press for necked brass decapping and resizing). I am happy with the Lee equipment.
     
  23. jfh

    jfh Member

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    I don't have a Classic Cast yet; I still use an (updated) 'standard' turret--over the last eighteen months, I have loaded about 20,000 rounds on it.

    The bulk of these loads were 38/357 'load development' sets--e.g., 10-to-20 rounds, then a powder charge change, another twenty rounds, etc., etc.

    This is for the 'short barrel' (revolver) data base I'm building.

    Under these conditions, I load about 160-180 rph. For the standardized loads, I use a progressive--the Load-Master.

    Had I not had this gear already, I would have bought the Classic Cast Turret.

    Jim H.
     
  24. slpmmp

    slpmmp Member

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    I have both the Lyman and the Lee Turret presses. Both get the job done, but the Lee is the one I use most often when loading since it has to auto index which saves on wear and tear on your elbows. Both have pros/cons. Lyman pros are very smooth action and the #55 powder dispenser is extremely consistent once set up. Cons are the dies were extremely hard to screw in, and basically the whole primer system from seating new to disposing of old kinda sucks. You'll be picking up lots of dropped primers. As for the Lee the pros are auto index, easy change turrets, and auto powder dispensing, plus their priming system from seating to disposing is worlds apart from Lyman and others. I haven't really found a con yet other than the turret sometimes get out of sync with shell plate. My vote is for Lee. Once you see how they put their stuff together you'll appreciate the thought that goes into it. Buy the Lee reloading manual as well if you decide on the classic turret press. It goes into great detail about their products and how to properly use them. Check out this link if you haven't already seen this: http://www.realguns.com/archives/122.htm
     
  25. Right Wing Wacko

    Right Wing Wacko Member

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