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Old February 24, 2007, 08:17 PM   #1
wicker
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Turret press questions

I've been loading on a Lee Challenger Anni kit for a year now and I've been pretty happy with it. I've recently picked up .38 spcl and .40 S&W dies though. This mean more reloading and more time at the bench and I'm considering my options.

How much faster is a turret press than my single stage set up? I work in batches, sizing several hundred at a time. I don't change the dies unless it's to do quite a few rounds, making the most of my time. Is the turret any faster or just allowing me to work free of the batch method? How many rounds can I produce an hour?

Some of my dies are 4 dies sets and some 3 die sets. How does this work on a 4 hole turret? Is there a dead pull when you only have three dies?

I see Lee presses dirt cheap at gun shows all the time. Today I could have picked up a Lee press for ten bucks. I'm wondering if it wouldn't be easier to just have several single stage presses set up to quick mount to the bench as I'm a fabricator and could easily make quick change mounting blocks for my bench.

Your thoughts on which way to go would be appreciated.
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Old February 24, 2007, 08:43 PM   #2
James A. Mullins
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The turrent is about 4 times faster than a single stage press. Other options are a Poisnen Warren(spelling) progessive press, or the Dillons. The Dillon 550B will load several hundred a hour. After cleaning and trimming cases,if you do that, all you do is put a new case in station 1 and after the 4th case everything out the last station is ready to shoot. The P.W is advanced by hand each stage and you finish each round before loading another case. If you want to go fast the Dillon is the only way to go. In my humble opinion.
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Old February 24, 2007, 08:48 PM   #3
Arub
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The turret should be much more efficient than multiple single stage presses.

I use a Lee four hole turret. First, I deprime and size 100 cases then hand prime them (very much like a single stage). Next, I hook up the auto indexer and load powder, seat bullet, then crimp w/the decapping/sizer die as a dead pull. You can load a couple of hundred rounds, or so, per hour like this (never timed myself).

The main advantage is that all dies stay set up in each set (mounted on a die plate) and all you do is change out die plates and shell holders.

Last edited by Arub; February 24, 2007 at 08:49 PM. Reason: added mfgr of press
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Old February 24, 2007, 08:59 PM   #4
CrustyFN
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Quote:
I've been loading on a Lee Challenger Anni kit for a year now and I've been pretty happy with it. I've recently picked up .38 spcl and .40 S&W dies though. This mean more reloading and more time at the bench and I'm considering my options.
I don't know how many you load per hour on your SS but with the classic turret if you get the safety prime you will be able to load 200 to 250 per hour.
Quote:
Some of my dies are 4 dies sets and some 3 die sets. How does this work on a 4 hole turret? Is there a dead pull when you only have three dies?
Yes with a three die set you would have a dead pull. You can always add the FCD to the three die sets. FCD's don't cost that much.
Quote:
I see Lee presses dirt cheap at gun shows all the time. Today I could have picked up a Lee press for ten bucks. I'm wondering if it wouldn't be easier to just have several single stage presses set up to quick mount to the bench as I'm a fabricator and could easily make quick change mounting blocks for my bench.

Your thoughts on which way to go would be appreciated.
I would advise you to go with the classic turret press. I have never owned a SS but I do own the classic turret and can tell you that it is an excellent press. I don't think you would get close to 250 rounds per hour with four SS's set up. Check out this link and you can see one in action. http://www.leeprecision.com/html/Hel...20turret-1.wmv The classic was my first press and it was very easy to set up and use. For somebody with experience like you there probable won't be much getting used to it.
Rusty
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Old February 24, 2007, 09:15 PM   #5
DaveInGA
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Wicker,

I agree with CrustFN's assessment. I have a Lee Classic Turret and a Hornady LnL AP progressive. The Lee Classic Turret is about the best deal going these days in a compromise between cost, quality and production. Had they sold these when I bought my Hornady, I would never have needed the Hornady.

I've got mine set up very ergonomically and have tuned it a bit. I can get 300 per hour out of mine if I work at it. But an easy 200-250 an hour is much less work.

I highly recommend buying one of the Lee Classic Turret presses over the multiple single stage stuff you're thinking about. Get the safety prime, a Pro Auto Disk and a riser as well, those are where you get the production.

Regards,

Dave
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Old February 24, 2007, 09:27 PM   #6
benedict1
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Follow Dave's advice and check

http://www.kempfgunshop.com/products.../KempfKit.html

for the real deal on a kit with everything you need, including dies. If you already have dies then buy the individual pieces you would need. Just call Kempf--good people to deal with; shooters and reloaders.
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Old February 24, 2007, 09:34 PM   #7
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The nice thing about the Lee turret is everything except the primer fits on the head. you can change heads in no time flat. If you get an autodisk for each head all you got to do is put powder in the autodisk and check the charge for proper weight usually it's still right where you left it, but check it anyway and your good to go. I don't know the current price for an autodisk measure so I'll just say they are under $50. but it's closer to 25.
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Old February 24, 2007, 10:05 PM   #8
wicker
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Watced the vid. Man is that fast! That fella has obviously had some practice but jeez. Looks like the press is set up with the pro auto disk. That is a much slicker set up than I'd have ever thought.

What is the advantage of the pro auto disk?

I guess I could get the kit in 9 or some caliber I don't have Lee dies for, but am likely to in the future and get the gear needed to prime large primers, additional turrets, etc. No reason to remove dies from a turret and re-adjust them over and over.

I just can't get over how fast that is. I shoot a lot of 45acp and that press could really free up some time. I don't mind reloading. In fact I like it. Reloading has a zen sort of quality to it, but I don't want to do it all day long. I reload first and foremost to make shooting more affordable, leaving more cash free for gun purchases. Enjoying it is a bonus. You just gotta love Lee.
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Old February 25, 2007, 02:54 AM   #9
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The auto disk can speed up the process a bit. It can be wildly inaccurate with some powders, though, especially flake powders.
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Old February 25, 2007, 09:18 AM   #10
rwilson452
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one small ooops. I forgot you may or may not need to change the shell holder.
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Old February 25, 2007, 11:36 AM   #11
benedict1
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Lee Pro Auto Disk Powder Measure is very accurate when used properly.

Quote:
The auto disk can speed up the process a bit. It can be wildly inaccurate with some powders, though, especially flake powders.
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I respectively disagree with this--it is inaccurate below cavity volumes around .4cc with most flake powders because they tend to clump, bridge and gather lots of static charge, especially in dry winter weather. Some people also don't set the powder-through expander die properly either, and the auto disk doesn't ride far enough out over the drop hole, into the cartridge, and some powder gets hung up.

I load Unique which is supposed to be a big problem--I drop 4.7 gr for 9mm with 124 gr bullets and it drops 4.7 gr ±0.05 gr every time.

I also load Clays, which is a flake powder but smaller flakes and they seem more polished than Unique and it flows better--

I drop 3.0 gr with a .46 cc cavity in the auto disk, again with better than ±0.05 gr.

I'm not sure what more you would want. The Pro Auto Disk is the most consistent powder measure I have used and most reloaders would agree with that.

Lee warns in all their literature that flake powders can give erratic results at small volumes--so the way to find it out is check it yourself with the powder of choice. If it's a problem then find a ball powder substitute--they flow much better, even down to 1.5-2.0 gr from a Lee Micro Disk.
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Old February 25, 2007, 02:23 PM   #12
DaveInGA
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"What is the advantage of the pro auto disk?"

It's an improved version of the Auto Disk and works a good deal better. It's Lee's best powder measure for ball powders. I have been real impressed with mine for the 30 bucks or so it costs.

"I guess I could get the kit in 9 or some caliber I don't have Lee dies for, but am likely to in the future and get the gear needed to prime large primers, additional turrets, etc. No reason to remove dies from a turret and re-adjust them over and over."

I would definately advise going ahead and getting the safety prime for both large and small primer sizes as well as two or three extra turrets. I didn't order extra turrets with mine and now wish I had, as I've recently added a bunch of die sets and don't have the turrets to put them in. I did get the combo safety prime kit up front though. Amazing how fast you'll decide to add another caliber. 9MM s a good choice, as is any commonly shot caliber.

"You just gotta love Lee."

Yep, they've always been very economical, but their recent offerings have shown great quality, innovative design and extremely competitive pricing. Tough combination to beat.

Regards,

Dave
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Old February 25, 2007, 03:18 PM   #13
jdmick
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I just got the kit from Kempf's last week and get it running a couple of days ago. It worked out great since I needed some .38 Special dies. I also got and extra turret and crimping die for 9mm and should have gotten at least two more for .357 and my rifle dies (to use single stage). What a great deal. I may still use my Rockchucker for rifle but I can't see where I really need it anymore. It takes a little tinkering to get it set up and running properly but no big deal. I can already load about 3-4 times faster than before and of course not near as much taking cases in and out of the shell holder. I got the regular auto disk (non pro) and it works great. Very consistent measuring with Power Pistol and no powder mess.
The only problem I've had is a broken plastic piece on the indexing rod ratchet mechanism. Luckily they had an extra one in the box so no big deal but I'll have to get another extra just in case. I probably broke it by forcibly turning the turret during removal but it seems like a strangely cheap delicate piece on an otherwise fantastic and sturdy press.
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Old February 25, 2007, 05:21 PM   #14
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Kempf's Gun Shop

I'll second what some one has said. They are very nice to deal with, as a Newbie Sue treated me great, and was very helpful. Prices are very competitive I think, and the LEE Equipment is excellent even though it is not expensive (comparatively speaking).
PS: No, Sue is not my Mother (haven't figured out how to drag these smily faces into my posts yet)
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Old February 25, 2007, 05:56 PM   #15
TEDDY
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I deal with midsouthshooters.com the disk measure is $18.00 also with graf.com for brass.i use my lee with out the auto advance just do one stage at atime.that gives me chance to check powder in cases.i only check powder wt one time when i set up or change lot no.
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Old February 25, 2007, 06:49 PM   #16
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teddy

I take it your not concerned with how many rounds per hour you turn out, or the resulting cost. Which is fine, I'm not knocking your choice of operation, we all want to do it right and have confindence in how we are doing it, right?
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Old February 25, 2007, 07:19 PM   #17
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I installed a light on my classic so I can see every powder charge before the bullet goes on. This gives me the peace of mind that I don't have any squib loads. I can still load 200 per hour and do a visual check on every case.
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Old February 25, 2007, 08:53 PM   #18
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If your looking to get loads out of the auto disc for less than .4 cc, just order the micro disk. I use it for my 32 acps and it works great. If my memory is right, I think I'm metering 2.2 gr of unique, and it's pretty darn close when I draw one at random to weigh.

I also use the old style 4 hole turret, and the new. I had some problems right off the bat with the press, which they fixed, and it's been zero problems since.

I got mine from midway, like most things, as they seem to have the best prices.
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Old February 26, 2007, 01:33 PM   #19
ShootingNut
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CrustyFN

Light is a good idea, where did you pick it up at?
What are you loading in the Pic, .40SW or .45?
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Old February 26, 2007, 05:41 PM   #20
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I spent years loading .38 spl and .45 ap on a lee turrent press wth a disc powder measure. It was a decient press that made safe ammo with good consistancy. It took three strokes to a round and would produce 150-200rounds an hour depending on my mood and preparation. Best $65 I ever spent in relaoding as it paid for itself in the first 10 box's of ammo.. Having said that, I upgraded to a Lee 1000 full progresive ( a true progresive w case feeded) and was able to speed up producion even furher. It stillcost me under $90 for the 1000 and it had significant advantages. FWIW, you used to be able to call Lee customer service and buy a refurbished turrent or 1000 for near 40% off. I bought several that way. Great deal!
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Old February 26, 2007, 06:34 PM   #21
CrustyFN
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That is a 9mm. You can pick up a light like this almost anywhere. I bought mine at Grainger but it was a little pricey there. I think you can even buy them at the auto parts store. I saw one on the web last night for $14 but I don't remember if it was Midway or someone else.
Rusty

Edit: Shootingnut, you don't have to drag the smileys just click on the one you want and it will add it where your courser is.
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Old February 27, 2007, 11:19 PM   #22
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operative word: CAN--- yes under 4 grains or so, using certain common powders, if static is an issue, if it cuts grains--and it does, etc... why bother with worrying about a measure that CAN screw up your load--and always at the worst time? The new digital scale/dispenser systems fix all that and they are not that expensive.

Even without them--as a long time Lee user-- and in some circles considered a rabid Lee booster, I will say Lee has had many excellent and innovative tools and accessories on the market for years. Many of them are copied and shipped in green boxes for a lot more money than what lee charges. Lee makes some great products. The auto disk does not happen to be one of them.

The PRO auto disk is an improvement and with some fiddling and the addition of a baffle can be made to operate with pretty fair accuracy. I've had mine for years and it has worked reliably until the day I trusted it--not long ago-- and it failed to load any appreciable amount of powder in a case that took an 8 grain drop of unique. This resulted in a squib round and a bullet stuck in the barrel of my CARRY GUN. If you want a free one let me know--pay the postage and it's yours--complete with the baffle Lee thinks you don't need..
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Old March 5, 2007, 03:00 PM   #23
bob k
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I load .45 Colt, .45 ACP and .44 mag. on a Lee 3 hole turret. I have the auto disc, safety prime and auto-indexing on it. it is no problem loading 200 rds. an hour with this set up. I check the power on the 1st, 5th 10th, 20th and every 20th rd. after. Charge weight has never varied more than 0.10 gr. with 110, 296, Unique, HS 6 or W231 which are the powders I've used to date.
With my Ponsness Warren turret press, it is more efficient to size and prime separately and then flare, charge seat and crimp on the Ponsness Warren. I can run 200 rds an hour through this press no problem but when I consider the time spent sizing and priming my output is considerably less and not much more than if I just used my single stage in batches.
Cabella's has about the best deal going on the classic turret press. akit consisting of the press, safety prime, auto disc pro, small rifle charging die an extended powder tube for use with dies other than Lee's and a scale, $149.99
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