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View Full Version : lee turrent press good enough for first time reloader?


ns3v3n
02-07-2007, 12:37 PM
i've only have enough money to get this one, the lee 4 hole turrent press. is it ok for a first time reloader?

PJA
02-07-2007, 1:30 PM
Yes, it is, but a starting reloader is much better served by a single stage press IMHO.
Pete

grammaton76
02-07-2007, 1:38 PM
Eh, a turret press is more or less just a single-stage press with a convenient quick-change setup.

Although personally, I would wait up to try and buy a different brand of press... Lee doesn't exactly set industry standards for durability.

Fjold
02-07-2007, 2:05 PM
OK, I'll play devil's advocate. I like turret presses for beginner reloaders because one you set your dies correctly you never have to reset them, just change out the press head. There's less chance of making a mistake with an incorrect setting.

I learned to reload on an old three hole Lee turret that I bought in 1982. It has loaded 100,000's of pistol rounds in 45 ACP, 44 Mag, 7TCU, 223 and 9mm and thousands of rounds of 308, 243, 25.06, 300 WSM, 7 mm Mag and still works flawlessly today.
Here it is on the left hand side of my reloading bench:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v214/Fjold/DSC00343.jpg

ocabj
02-07-2007, 2:09 PM
The Lee turret is cast aluminum. If you want a press, get a cast iron.

Also, try to go RCBS, Redding, Hornady, or with another manufacturer with a lifetime warranty. Case in point: My friend recently sent his RCBS Rockchucker (older model) to RCBS to have it refurbed because the linkage was loose. They sent him back a brand new Rockchucker. Aside from the cost of shipping his press back, it was all free (as part of the warranty).

The cost of the press is not just for the press itself. You're also paying for the quality of the press, the quality of service, and quality of it's use in creating quality reloads.

Personally, I'd rather get a used 1960s Rockchucker over a brand new 2007 Lee turret press.

ns3v3n
02-07-2007, 2:26 PM
well what do you guys recommend for a budget of $120 bucks??? the lee turrent press on ebay is 119 plus a free set of carbide dies of my choice, is there anything better?

Cazach
02-07-2007, 2:40 PM
You can find the Lyman Turret for around $120 and the RCBS and others can be had for around $150-170.

Buy a quality rig once. Even if you later switch to a progressive you will probably keep your original single stage (or turret) for smaller/special batches.

vega
02-07-2007, 5:18 PM
If you're going for Lee I suggest go get them from Midway.
http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=880135

I don't know what caliber you intend to load but they are not that expensive.
http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=434975

Don't forget the manual, powder scale, powder hopper and caliper.

ocabj
02-07-2007, 5:46 PM
I posted the Hornady "Get Loaded" promo a few weeks ago.

http://www.hornady.com/get_loaded.php

If you get the Hornady Lock-N-Load classic press, you get 500 free bullets.

If you go to Midway's site:

Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Single Stage Press
Product #: 197894
Dealer Price: $109.99
Retail Price: $116.99

Or Graf's site (free shipping)
HRN PRESS LOCK-N-LOAD CLASSIC w/o PRIMER FEED
Item Number: HRN085001 Availability: Out of stock
Add to Cart Price: $123.99

So for about $125, you can get the Hornady Lock-N-Load classic press and 500 free bullets. Go the Hornady link above for more info.

Both Midway and Grafs show out of stock, but Midway says it will be back in stock on 02/19.

The RCBS Rockchucker Supreme press goes for about $115.

As already mentioned, you still need a scale, check weights, calipers, dies, shellholders, and a reloading manual at the bare minimum.

461
02-07-2007, 5:57 PM
There's nothing wrong with the Lee, I've had a Lee turret for 15 years and it turns out ammo as good as any other brand and I doubt you'll find anyone who's worn one out. I've got untold thousands of rounds loaded through mine without a hitch. I'd rather save some cash than have snob appeal but everyone makes choices, that extra cash will buy some other reloading gear. Check around, you should be able to find a Lee turret cheaper than $120.00

ns3v3n
02-07-2007, 8:25 PM
well the 120 buck lee turrent includes a set of 4 carbide dies of my choice, and that alone at midway usa is 28 bucks, so i think it's a good deal. :) !

Matt-man
02-07-2007, 10:34 PM
The Lee Classic Turret - the new cast iron one, not the old aluminum model - is $84 at MidwayUSA. Buy that one and your choice of dies and you're still below $120, probably even with shipping.

ns3v3n
02-07-2007, 10:54 PM
that lee classic turrent, is that with one hole for the die? so does it mean you have to screw/unscrew everytime you use a different die?

vega
02-08-2007, 3:41 AM
Lee Classic TURRET (not turrent) have more than one hole. You just buy extra turret hole for another caliber. I'd go Midway rather than ebay.

ns3v3n
02-08-2007, 10:40 AM
dont you need the stuff to measure out the powder and stuff?

ocabj
02-08-2007, 10:52 AM
Get and read The ABC's of Reloading (http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9780873498517&itm=1). This will pretty much cover all the basic aspects of handloading and then some.

Run through the step-by-step guide on the RCBS website: http://www.rcbs.com/guide/printsteps.html

This should give you an idea of what you'll need and what you'll want.

ns3v3n
02-08-2007, 11:00 AM
sorry for all these questions, so a lee classic turret press, a set of dies, a scale, lee perfect powder measure or a pro disk powder measure, and maybe a prime feeder will do the job? i'm planning to get the modern reloading manual from lee soon, but just want to get an idea how it works.

ns3v3n
02-08-2007, 11:02 AM
oh i forgot to say, thanks for the help to a newbie like me :)

ocabj
02-08-2007, 11:22 AM
For reloading pistol, at the bare minimum I would have:

Press
Scale + check weights
Calipers
Reloading manual(s)
Powder measure
Dies + shellholders
Hand priming tool (easier to use)
Tumbler

If rifle, then add a trimmer.

vega
02-08-2007, 3:09 PM
oh i forgot to say, thanks for the help to a newbie like me :)
Hey, everyone was a newbie once.
Where are you located, maybe one of us can help you set it up.

ns3v3n
02-08-2007, 5:38 PM
fremont, california.

461
02-08-2007, 5:58 PM
Books before equipment!!! Don't even think about touching powder and primers until you've read step by step procedures and preferably had a session with a seasoned reloader. Good luck, and please feel free to ask questions here often.

ns3v3n
02-08-2007, 6:03 PM
ok, should i get the lee deluxe turret kit? or am i better off buying the classic 4 hole turret press and buy the individual parts?

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=622290

or

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=814175

with all the other stuff? i'm getting the modern reloading manual in the next few days, i just want to do some research before i spend my money on equipment . once again, thanks for your help guys.

jmlivingston
02-08-2007, 6:52 PM
I purchased the kit a few years ago, and I'm happy with it. I don't use it enough to justify purchasing a more expensive outfit, and this does all I need it to do. Mostly I just reload 9mm and 9x18 on it, and it works just fine for that.

John

vega
02-08-2007, 7:25 PM
ok, should i get the lee deluxe turret kit? or am i better off buying the classic 4 hole turret press and buy the individual parts?

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=622290

or

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=814175
I'll go with the Classic.

http://www.midwayusa.com/mediasvr.dll/image?saleitemid=814175
Before you do any ordering, call Lee and ask which other parts you need to complete the set. Make sure you get the new improved powder hopper and new priming system. I used to have the complete list but I don't know where I put it. I'll check in the office tomorrow. Before you know it you'd be buying another press. It won't stop with one, yeah just like firearms.

ns3v3n
02-08-2007, 7:48 PM
you'll go with the classic because it's cast iron and not aluminum? i've been reading about that. people said if you reload larger caliber, it might break on ya.

xrMike
02-08-2007, 9:08 PM
I have the Classic Turret, very happy with it, good beginner setup, and if you ever graduate to a progressive you will probably STILL use the Classic for doing low-volume, critical stuff.

Here's what you'll need. The part numbers are for Midway, prices shown were valid 5 months ago when I compiled this list:

-- Lee classic turret press, #81475, $74.99 (this was a sale price at that time; might be $10 higher now if not on sale)
-- Pro auto disk powder measure, #348753, $30.99
-- auto disk powder measure riser, #114080, $6.99
-- adjustable charge bar for powder measure, #150005, $10.29
-- safety prime (for large & small primers), #548630, $19.99
-- safety magnetic scale (to double-check the disk powder measure), #712103, $18.99

Comments on above items:

-- you will also need to buy die set(s) for your desired caliber(s). If you're loading straight-walled pistol brass, you should buy the Lee 4-die sets that include their very popular Factory Crimp die.

-- i included the adjustable charge bar because it gives you much more control over throwing an exact powder charge (versus the non-adjustable disks that come with the Pro powder measure kit; if that doesn't make sense, PM me and I'll explain it better)

-- the scale I included above is not a great one, but okay for beginning user to load pistol rounds with. if you're going to load rifle rounds for high accuracy you're going to want to get a better scale eventually (as I plan on doing)

-- the press comes with one turret. If you're going to load for multiple calibers, you should get an additional turret for each one. The sweet thing about this press is that once you get your dies all dialed in and adjusted for each step correctly, that's all you ever have to do. You lock 'em down and you're done with it. When you want to load a different caliber, you just put in the turret with those dies, and you can start loading right away. No time wasted figuring everything out again.

-- you'll also need some calipers to measure overall length (OAL) and crimp. Midway sells a good-quality digital caliper made by Frankford Arsenal for about $25 or $30.

I can load +100 rounds per hour on mine (.45) but I'm slow and methodical, measuring my powder throws/OAL/crimp every 10 rounds. I've heard of people loading 200-300 rounds per hour with these.

You can't go wrong with this press if you're a beginner. I'd have to shoot an awful lot more than I do now before I'd start looking at a progressive, although they are nice if you've got the scrilla, no doubt.

Edited to add photo of my setup:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v84/xrMike/guns/ReloadTableSetup.jpg

Whitesmoke
02-08-2007, 9:23 PM
I'd buy the classic too...That Lee stuff is fine for a beginner.

My only advice is this....don't waste your money on the Lee scale, spend a few extra bucks and buy a good scale (I pd $18 for my used RCBS scale on ebay). I used the cheap Lee at first...but it's a pain in the rear because it's not magnetically dampened. It bounces are forever before it settles down for a decent reading. A good scale makes weighing loads a lot faster and consistant IMHO.

grammaton76
02-08-2007, 10:36 PM
You can't go wrong with this press if you're a beginner. I'd have to shoot an awful lot more than I do now before I'd start looking at a progressive, although they are nice if you've got the scrilla, no doubt.

Hey, I've gotta know - where did you pick up the word 'scrilla' from? One of the ex-mp3.com folks used to use that word, and folks just thought he made it up.

vega
02-09-2007, 4:53 AM
That's the set-up (xrMike) that you should get! Watch the Lee video so you'll get an idea.

http://www.leeprecision.com/html/HelpVideos/videos/Turret%20Press/loading%20on%20turret-1.wmv

anothergunnut
02-09-2007, 9:11 AM
I have a Dillon SDB turret press that I have used for pistol calibers for quite some time so I am familiar with using that style press. I am contemplating doing some low volume rifle reloading but the Dillon cannot be used for that. If I get a non-turret press, do I have to set the depth etc on each die every time I use it? Or can you set them up initially and then reinstall them the same way, without checking, every time?

xrMike
02-09-2007, 9:27 AM
Hey, I've gotta know - where did you pick up the word 'scrilla' from? One of the ex-mp3.com folks used to use that word, and folks just thought he made it up.Heheh, don't remember where I first heard it -- probably online in another forum. My understanding is that it's "rap-speak" for "money". I tried using the word a couple times around the office, and people just looked at me like: "WTF did you just say?" :D so I stopped using it in real life...

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=scrilla

Hey Gram, thanks for the call about my CWS order and tweaking it over the phone like you did... It was delivered exactly as desired, with the double-hook trigger, and less the handguard I no longer wanted. My dealings with CWS have all been very satisfying (although I have to admit, Michele sounds a lot HOTTER than you over the phone). ;)

ns3v3n
02-09-2007, 12:45 PM
i just ordered my press last night, and the other stuff, the only thing i need is a scale. any suggestion?

grammaton76
02-09-2007, 3:02 PM
Heheh, don't remember where I first heard it -- probably online in another forum. My understanding is that it's "rap-speak" for "money". I tried using the word a couple times around the office, and people just looked at me like: "WTF did you just say?" :D so I stopped using it in real life...

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=scrilla

Very interesting!

Hey Gram, thanks for the call about my CWS order and tweaking it over the phone like you did... It was delivered exactly as desired, with the double-hook trigger, and less the handguard I no longer wanted. My dealings with CWS have all been very satisfying (although I have to admit, Michele sounds a lot HOTTER than you over the phone). ;)

Glad to hear you're happy... and Michelle had better sound hotter than a unix admin! :)

Matt-man
02-09-2007, 11:37 PM
If I get a non-turret press, do I have to set the depth etc on each die every time I use it? Or can you set them up initially and then reinstall them the same way, without checking, every time?

It depends. If you have good die lock rings, the kind that can be tightened down on the dies like the Hornady and Redding lock rings, you can tighten the ring on the die. Then when you pull the die out of the press the lock ring stays in place and when you re-install the die just turn it in until it's snug.

The other option is to get Hornady's Lock-n-Load conversion kit and a press that can use it, like a Lee Classic Cast or a Rock Chucker. Then you have a quick-change die system.

SnWnMe
02-10-2007, 12:52 PM
Scrounge the internet for handloading info and data and read them for free.