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  #1  
Old 07-08-2013, 11:52 AM
Not a Cook Not a Cook is offline
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Default Lee 4 Hole Classic Turret Press Kit - Good for New Reloader?

Reloading newb here who is interested in getting into reloading .38 and .357 MAG, and could use the input of some experienced reloaders. I'm interested in a turret press, and am seriously thinking about a Lee 4 Hole Classic Turret Press kit. I'm seeing them for +/- $300 out the door, including the dies and shipping. Depending on how things go, I might get into reloading some of the other more common rounds. The question is basically this: would the Lee 4 Hole Classic Turret Press Kit be a good place to start, with the goal of NOT having to move up to something much pricier for a long time (if ever)? Is there another turret press you'd recommend instead to someone in my place? Also, is there a way to run a powder check die in the Lee 4 Hole Classic, or would I have to move up to something like the 7 hole Redding T-7 turret press (for a lot more money!)? Any thoughts/advice? Any help is appreciated!
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Old 07-08-2013, 12:11 PM
Divernhunter Divernhunter is offline
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Where are you located and someone might be able to show you the how's and do nots about reloading. You could also could see what it is like to load for yourself.

I am not big on the turret presses and have used them.
I suggest a single stage. It takes 30 seconds to change dies. Not a big deal. I batch process my brass and it is best to hand prime which can be done while watching TV.
If you buy dies with real locking rings or replace the rings on lee dies with real ones the dies will only need to be adjusted onece and they are set for life on a given press.
PM me if you would like some help. If you are close to me you can come over and see what it is all about.
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  #3  
Old 07-08-2013, 12:40 PM
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I think the Lee 4 hole turret is great to start out without, and can make a fair bit of ammo. I highly suggest the turret over the single stage as you can put all your dies in at once, set them up, and run it single sage without the indexing. You are looking at maybe 100-150 rounds an hour indexing or 80-100 single stage if you get into a good groove. If you are going to shoot a lot though, and need much more throughout, this would not be a good choice; e.g., I you are willing to spend 10 hours to bang out 1,000 rounds vs 2-3 hours on a progressive.

No powder check, but use and auto disk pro and they are fairly accurate, jusdonegal go for max loads; you could also use a scale to verify. I'd recommend getting the kit which includes the powder autodisk pro, primer system, and reloading handbook. I didn't use the rest of the items and purchased a digital scale, caliper, 2 loading blocks, and another reloading handbook.

Last edited by Raralith; 07-08-2013 at 12:42 PM..
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  #4  
Old 07-08-2013, 1:12 PM
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Default +1 Lee Classic Turret (LCT)

I learned how to reload on the LCT. I got the kit but ended up getting a better scale (RCBS Rangemaster 750). I pretty much used it in "single" stage mode in the beginning (removed the indexing rod and manually advanced the turret). Once I got comfortable with the loading steps, I put the rod back in and cranked out the ammo.

The powder drops are pretty consistent and I've never really had any problems with the priming system.

The Lee carbide 4-die pistol sets are pretty cool, I load 38/357 and 9mm with them.

The press was plenty fast for me when I shot 100 to 150 rounds/week.

And all the lessons you learn from loading on LCT, you can apply towards the progressive press if that is in your future.
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Old 07-08-2013, 1:13 PM
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The LEE Classic Turret Press is probably the best bang for your buck. You can change out calibers as fast as a single stage and can be used as a single stage by simply removing the auto indexing rod. Here is a quick video on operation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zrhd56fQsrw
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Old 07-08-2013, 1:18 PM
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And I like how small the press is, it is easier to move around, mount, and store. I have mine clamped down on a mobile computer desk. I just wheel it around where I want to reload.
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Old 07-08-2013, 1:52 PM
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I like mine a lot. It's pretty easy to use and adjust. Just take your time. Being able to convert it to a single stage is pretty nice too. The only thing that took some adjusting is the safety prime system, after a a few adjustments its been good to go since. Take your time and you'll do fine on any system.

If you go with the Lee classic I highly recommend purchasing extra turrets, because it makes changing calibers that much easier. Once the dies are set and adjusted, changing calibers only takes seconds.
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Old 07-08-2013, 3:10 PM
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For someone who wants to reload pistol rounds I don't think there's a better first press than the LCT. 50 rounds an hour on a single stage gets old pretty quick.
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Old 07-08-2013, 4:25 PM
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Old 07-08-2013, 4:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Not a Cook View Post
Reloading newb here who is interested in getting into reloading .38 and .357 MAG, and could use the input of some experienced reloaders. I'm interested in a turret press, and am seriously thinking about a Lee 4 Hole Classic Turret Press kit. I'm seeing them for +/- $300 out the door, including the dies and shipping. Depending on how things go, I might get into reloading some of the other more common rounds. The question is basically this: would the Lee 4 Hole Classic Turret Press Kit be a good place to start, with the goal of NOT having to move up to something much pricier for a long time (if ever)? Is there another turret press you'd recommend instead to someone in my place? Also, is there a way to run a powder check die in the Lee 4 Hole Classic, or would I have to move up to something like the 7 hole Redding T-7 turret press (for a lot more money!)? Any thoughts/advice? Any help is appreciated!
The answer is NOT YES.

The answer is HELL YES!

What city are you in? Some members would be glad to possibly show or help you out aside from videos. I love my Lee Classic Turret (LCT) and it has done a LOT. It is a freaking trooper and I am glad that I chose it as my first press. The only other thing you can also do is get hand primers. Because, EVEN though it is easly to setup and operate, after doing several thousand .45ACP and .44 mag loads, it might get to be a pain in your elbow for pulling that lever on HARD primers like Tula. That is all that I load for money savings but I want to switch over to hand priming now and see what speeds I can pick up there. BTW, I have NEVER had a messed up/flipped/upside down primer in my LCT with the on press Safety Prime. As long as you watch it and load it properly you shouldn't either.

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Old 07-08-2013, 4:44 PM
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I started with a LEE classic turret and I would recommend it. It can be used with the auto indexing rod or without to be used as an single stage press. The turret heads are cheap making caliber changes fast and affordable. Its built well. I'm sure I'll be keeping it even when I move up to a full progressive one day.
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  #12  
Old 07-08-2013, 5:24 PM
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The LEE Classic Turret is awesome. I load several calibers. I bought it with the intention of moving up to a "blue machine" but I found that the LCT does everything I want. I would highly recommend it. Easy to master, easy to operate and understand, I can crank out 150 rounds per hour of 9mm, .38spl, .357mag, .45ACP and .45Colt. I also load 7X57, 30.06 and 7.62X39 on it. Kicks ***.

If you are in the Sacramento area I would be happy to let you try mine out. I have taught several people to operate it and they have all bought their own and they love them.

I do agree that I would upgrade the powder scale. The LEE balance scale works and it is accurate but for $30 I bought a Frankford Arsenal digital scale at Sportsmans Warehouse, also kicks ***.

I am a LEE fan, I have a Loadmaster, a LEE Classic cast single stage and my old LEE Load-All from 1979.

A final note that some experienced guys may or may not agree with. A lot of people new to reloading tend to over estimate their ammo needs. If you load 100 rounds an hour, in an evening you could have 400-500 rounds. That's a lot of ammo. When I practice I don't fire more than 50-100 rounds in a session. Most instructors will tell you that after that your form starts to suffer and bad habits crop up. Also, some people load 500 to 1000 rounds of a a particular load then decide that they want to try another powder or bullet or load, etc. but they are stuck with all of these old rounds they have to shoot up to free up some brass. This has happened to me several times.

So, welcome to reloading, it is great. Keep your eyes open, read a lot and get a LEE Classic Turret.

If you think that you have the fever bad now wait until you decide that you have to cast your own bullets from scratch.

Last edited by sghart; 07-08-2013 at 5:31 PM..
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  #13  
Old 07-08-2013, 5:31 PM
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Awesome little press. It's what I started with and I still use it. I've loaded about 5000 rounds on it, .223, 45 ACP and 38/357.

Great way to get started and unless you need a very high volume it's all you'll need. I get an easy 150 rounds per hour of pistol ammo when I'm working it.

It paid for itself VERY quickly, how many things can you buy that can do that?
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Old 07-08-2013, 7:12 PM
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That would be a great choice. I have had one for a few years now and I gotta say its a great press. I like that I can monitor every aspect of the process.
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  #15  
Old 07-08-2013, 8:35 PM
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I'm new to reloading, just finished up my first rounds of .303 and .223 on my Lee Classic Turret press. I had to use it as a single stage set up because my powder won't meter well in the Lee Auto Disc powder dropper. I purchased the kit and feel it was worth it. Like many have said, you can't go wrong with a LCT. I'm looking forward to getting better metering powder and cranking out the .223 and pistol ammo.

If you want to do a few different set ups it will be easiest if you by a turret head for each caliber since they are fairly inexpensive. That way you can leave your dies in and set up for each caliber and simply swap turret heads. It will make changing from one caliber to another just a matter of seconds so you can spend more time reloading. You also might want to look into the double disc kit for the powder dropper to allow for more options of powder drops.
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Old 07-08-2013, 8:45 PM
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I got one recently from Grafs and I love it, had to buy a few more things( case gauge 223, digital scale, 9mm and 223 dies). The only thing I wish I had is, more TIME....enjoy
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Old 07-08-2013, 9:29 PM
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If you don't already, get the lee double disk kit for your autodisk powder dispenser for rifle powder measured dispensing. Lee second edition reloading manual, it has all the autodisk settings for your powder(s).
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:26 AM
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Since OP mentioned pistol loads, it is also nice to get the little adjustable powder bar for the auto disk pro because it lets you fine tune your settings when you build up loads. Literally the best $10 I ever spent for a reloading accessory...
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:33 AM
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I disagree with any promotions to anyone who jumps straight into progressive reloading. get a single stage.
As a new loader, you have no business pumping out large quantities of ammo. your business is becoming confident and focusing on "brilliance in the basics".

besides, each progressive press is different and have their own learning curves respectively.

Not saying you can't do it. its your money do whatever you want with it, but you will benefit more from a single stage press as a beginner.
Incremental learning is undoubtably more efficient and productive than trying to start at the top.
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:43 AM
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I started with a lee classic tourett press and then went to lee single stage for rifles and my precission stuff as well as for cast bullet lubricating. For most of my handguns and 5.56, i still use it, but for 308 and bigger its single stage.

Anyway, if I were starting all over again, I'd start with Lee single stage and then graduate to classic t or better. It really makes more sense.
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Old 07-09-2013, 1:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HPBrowningMK3 View Post
I started with a lee classic tourett press
Is that because it caused you to curse when the @#$^@%&! primers flipped over?

I started with a Lee Pro 1000 for my .45 then picked up various Lee presses before finally getting a single stage. The 4 hole press I have has an attachment that seats primers and is worth it. The only thing I use a single stage for now is to re size before trimming to length.
Drop your location and I'm sure one of us are close enough to help you get started. Also, check out these links for pricing.
https://fsreloading.com/
http://leeprecision.com/
Pro tip: The Pro 1000 is sensitive to movement and will flip primers over. Make sure the table is solid and the press is properly mounted.
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Old 07-09-2013, 1:16 AM
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Oh you have no idea...many issues with it. Primers, indexing, etc. But I did get it figured out after cussing at it like a sailor for a while. Thus the spelling. Good catch. If i were starting again, I'd start with a single stage; a lot simpler, and a lot more reliable. Live and learn, right?
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Old 07-09-2013, 1:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Germz View Post
I disagree with any promotions to anyone who jumps straight into progressive reloading. get a single stage.
As a new loader, you have no business pumping out large quantities of ammo. your business is becoming confident and focusing on "brilliance in the basics".

besides, each progressive press is different and have their own learning curves respectively.

Not saying you can't do it. its your money do whatever you want with it, but you will benefit more from a single stage press as a beginner.
Incremental learning is undoubtably more efficient and productive than trying to start at the top.
Uhhhhhhh. Psssst. LCT is not a progressive. It is a single stage turret with an auto index rod that allows you to not have to screw and unscrew dies all night long...
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Old 07-09-2013, 2:42 AM
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Yea you're right stilly. however if its got more than one station I'm not about it for a first press. I'm just stubborn.
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Old 07-09-2013, 4:53 AM
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You get the best of both worlds with the LCT. If you think people need to learn to load on a single stage, use it as a single stage. When loading 50 rounds an hour gets old (like after a week) convert it to turret mode and load 100 an hour. When you feel comfortable with that convert it to auto indexing mode and load even faster.

No experienced reloader loads handgun rounds on a single stage. It's a waste of time.

Single stages are useful for many things. I have three. Universal decapping, sizing, swaging, loading small test batches, pulling bullets, etc...
But they are not useful for loading handgun rounds.
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Old 07-09-2013, 6:00 AM
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In the sense of the word the LCT is not a progressive press in the fact that the handle must be pulled once for every operation an one case at a time. You may either batch load on it or you can complete one round at a time. However on a true progressive a completes round is made with every pull of the handle once it is set up and going. Not so with the LCT. I am not knocking the press, as it is a fine press. Especially if the uses only intends to load 200-300 rounds per month.
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Old 07-09-2013, 7:05 AM
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The turret press, especially Lee Classic Cast, is your friend and not only a good place to start but quite possibly the only press you will ever need for revolver ammo.

You will need almost all the accessories, so look at adjustable charge bar; powder riser, so your powder hopper can clear the other dies; the swivel adapter, so the powder hopper can be centered over the other dies, clear of the primer, ram and ram handle and the powder charge inspection light.

I suggest you get Lee dies, but otherwise you will need Lee lock rings, because they are compact enough to fit in a 4 die cluster without interference. I actually have Hornady and Lee mixed, so I learned that lock ring trick (or lesson).

It's possible to use a powder cop or such with some offsetting compromise, but I suggest you instead go for a flexlight that will brightly illuminate the inside of the case as it approaches the bullet insertion station. I prefer my big one, which I got at Lowe's in the plumbing tool area. I attached it to the press's frame upright using elastic bandage.
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Old 07-09-2013, 9:44 AM
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I use the Lee Classic turret press for both pistol and rifle with great results. IMO the press is a great value.
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Old 07-09-2013, 6:20 PM
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The LCT is the best bang for the buck in the reloading world! You could drink the blue Kool-Aid but I can do 200 pistol rounds an hour which is enough for the shooting I do.
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Old 07-09-2013, 6:58 PM
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Against the trend...I'm a big fan of my Redding T7. 10X the press of the Lee. I can pretty much keep 2 cals ready to go. I run in single stage mode, batch processing each operation. I might size, prime, bell 1000 cases, then charge and seat however many I want at a different seating. There's always gonna be a shell or two that needs to be reprocessed. The turret makes quick work of that. My powder check die is my eyes with 50 in the loading block (pistol).

I do charge at a dedicated bench mounted measure.

I'm also a big fan of mastering single stage before even considering progressive unless your soul interest is high volume of pistol cals only.

U do get what you pay for. The Redding will last generations and handle tough jobs usually resigned to sturdy single stage presses.
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Old 07-09-2013, 7:12 PM
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Started with a single now using the LCT. I think its fine for a beginner. Really depends how mechanically inclined you are. You can always use it as a single stage until.you feel confortable.

ill admit, I have screwed up the process a few time by loading the Buller into the powder feeding die causing a mess, but like anything else you learn with practice.

I'd say go for the lee classic turret unless you.can find a single.stage for dirt cheap like I did.
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Old 07-09-2013, 7:17 PM
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I guess I'm the only stickler for punishment who went with the Lee Handpress to learn to reload .357/.38.
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Old 07-09-2013, 8:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CityHunt3r View Post
Started with a single now using the LCT. I think its fine for a beginner. Really depends how mechanically inclined you are. You can always use it as a single stage until.you feel confortable.

ill admit, I have screwed up the process a few time by loading the Buller into the powder feeding die causing a mess, but like anything else you learn with practice.

I'd say go for the lee classic turret unless you.can find a single.stage for dirt cheap like I did.
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I guess I'm the only stickler for punishment who went with the Lee Handpress to learn to reload .357/.38.
Yeah you are... I only have decapped with that hand press. It is the ninja nunchuk of decapping for me.
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