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Old January 22, 2013, 09:34 PM   #26
hounddawg
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I used a Lee Classic turrent for three or four years, worked like a champ until the wife decided she loved shooting 9mm. Went to the Hornady LnL for the pistol and 223 plinkers and load my precision rifle on a Lee single. Someday going to replace that Lee with a CH4D though when I have a couple of extra hundred that is burning a hole in my wallet
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Old January 23, 2013, 01:54 AM   #27
Lost Sheep
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Not crazy at all

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnum Wheel Man
been thinking progressively, & think I talked myself out of a progressive...
anyone play the multiple single stage press game ??? I reload alot of different cartridges & currently have 3 single stage presses... in my temp loading area ( where I've reloaded the last 15 years ) I only have room for one press & my case prep center at a time... my new permanent loading area, has space for 4-5 presses...

one of my problems, with making the switch to progressives, is I load for around 75 different calibers, & the progressives would be of limited use to me... I started thinking, what if I set up 3-4 presses, all to be used for a single stage of reloading, I'd bang out 50, move to the next press, bang out that stage, move over to the next... won't be as fast as a good working progessive, but would be functional for every cartridge I reload...

crazy ???
My choice would be the Lee Classic Turret (and I use it with auto-indexing so I can do continuous processing rather than batch mode).

But inexplicably, no one has suggested getting a single stage breech-lock press. Each die screws into a bushing (just as they do into a press) and the bushing which pops in and out of the press with a 1/4 turn.

The next best thing to a turret and closer to what you are already used to.

But seriously, the Lee Classic Turret will be almost 3 times as fast if you switch over to continuous processing and use the auto-indexing feature (less handling of the cases - only one per finished round instead of once for each operation).

The turret disk has a little bit of clearance (all turrets do) so wear on the disk is not so great and you can spray a little dry-lube on it. The clearance is not a problem, as the disk "puck" lifts straight up the same amount every time (all turrets move a little, but other makers' disks tilt ever so slightly). In either case, it is not known to be a factor in the quality of the finished rounds to any but the most demanding of handloaders.

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Last edited by Lost Sheep; January 23, 2013 at 02:29 AM.
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Old January 23, 2013, 08:23 AM   #28
Magnum Wheel Man
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Had a chat about the press styles with my machinist buddy ( wanted to talk turrets, since he has several on his equipment, & we did discuss the speed differences over batch loading, so I agree with only handling the case once or twice is better than once per stage...

...Well I did mount up my lil RCBS Junior to my new bench last night ( new custom made stainless bench top... so I was really procrastinating about punching holes in it, as I've been watching the reloading bench thread for ideas... I've decided to screw threaded plates to the underside of the bench, & have plugs made for the bolt holes, for when the press is stored under the bench ) ... I've done alot of loading of smaller cartridges ( heck, even up to 45-70 ) on that little press, but it'll now be dedicated to my universal decapping die, or later down the road, perhaps to just file trim dies, if I decide to replace one of my rock chuckers as a main reloading press, & move it to the decapping station...

I'm leaning towards the turret press, & a few spare turrets to start with... may even buy a pair of them, if I like the 1st one ???
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Old January 23, 2013, 09:34 AM   #29
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Magnum Wheel Man,

You have a lot of chamberings, but didn't talk about the one-session loading volume of any of them. That seems to me to be the deciding factor for progressive over sequential (turret) or batch (single-stage) loading. I have a Dillon Square Deal that's dedicated to .45 Auto because that's what I shoot most. The dies on it never change. I have a 550B mainly for other handgun rounds I load less often, but still do at least five hundred of at a sitting. The 550 will also function as a single-stage press, since the indexing is manual. But switching out the priming system to change primer size constitutes enough extra bother that it pretty much just gets used for cases that employ small pistol primers. I load few enough .44 Mag and .44 Special rounds currently that I just batch them on another press.

All my match rifle loads get done on my Forster Co-ax press. I used to run some .223 on the Dillon, but between pre-decapping and cleaning before sizing, and trimming and cleaning off case lube after sizing, seating and setting primer depth to gas gun specs, there are simply enough interruptions to the flow of my process that I don't find the 550B saves me a lot of time with them. It can charge and seat, saving me one handle stroke or two if I am crimping for some reason (seldom), but that's about it.

Of the several single-stage presses I've accumulated over the years, the Co-ax is my clear favorite. Dies pop straight in and out same as putting a case in shell holder and just as fast. It lets dies and cases self-align to produce very straight (coaxial; hence the name) ammunition. I don't need to change shell holders for anything I do on it, since the small plates cover the head diameters Edward5759 mentioned. I would have to change to its larger plates for .45-70, so my Lee Classic Cast single-stage press gets to do those.
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Old January 23, 2013, 09:49 AM   #30
Magnum Wheel Man
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that's a good point... I'm a busy guy, & can't often dedicate a whole Saturday or Sunday to reloading, so I find I often bang out 100-150 on week nights, after supper... I'm guessing if I had something fast, those numbers could increase... ( beside what I shoot regularly, I'm trying to work my way up to 500 rounds of ammo for each gun, or in some cases barrel, for the Contenders... this is a long term goal, as it can be both expensive, & time consuming, in the cases where I'm making brass from another caliber )

so some I could load say 500 rounds, to get my ammo cans full, but once I get to that point, I usually shoot less than 50 rounds of 2-3 cartridges when I go out shooting ( so the single stages have been fine in the past, just hard to get the cans full, where I'm going from something I might have only had 20 rounds )
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Old January 23, 2013, 10:36 AM   #31
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Not as fast as a progressive but with the Classic turret you'd be looking at 30-35 minutes for 100 rounds, if you use an on press powder dispenser.
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Old January 23, 2013, 10:58 AM   #32
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Ever consider the Hornady Lock-N-Load progressive? I had a Lyman T-Mag II, and was very happy with it, but wanted to move up to a progressive for faster reloading speed.

What I like about the press is that you don't have to buy a whole die plate per caliber. Since I only use 2 dies per caliber (resizing & seating/crimp), I only need 2 die bushings per caliber. Powederfunnels.com makes an after market powder through expansion funnel (PTX) for Hornady's case-activated powder measure. Out of the 5 stages, I'm currently using 4 (resize, powder/expansion, powder check, seating/crimp).

Per caliber, I have the following:
Dies w/2 bushings
shell plate (some are shared between calibers)
PTX linkage (sets expansion depth per caliber)
Powder metering insert (adjusted per caliber)

Caliber changeovers look like this:
*replace resize and seating/crimp dies via bushings
*swap PTX linkage
*swap powder metering insert
*change over priming from small/large or large/small (if necessary)

Caliber changes are less than 5 minutes.

I use the Lee universal decapping die to decap everything first, and clean with an ultrasonic cleaner.

I can also set up for single stage decapping without wasting a die plate due to the bushing system.

The high cost is in the shell plates ($25-$30 ea.). Bushings cost about $3 each. PTX linkage is $7, powder metering insert is $9.
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Old January 23, 2013, 11:04 AM   #33
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In that case, I'm going suggest the Lee Classic Turret may make the most sense. It's slower to operate, but quicker to set up and involves much less investment since you already have the dies and shell holders. If you count the changeover and primer tube filling and intend to stop and changeover again after 500 rounds, the 550B will probably only be about twice as fast. It will let you get to 500 rounds pretty easily in one sitting of two hours. The Lee, if you leave it set up at the end of one evening, will let you finish a 500 round stockpile plus 50 rounds for the next range session on the following evening.

This guy is getting about a round every 10 seconds off the turret press, not counting setup or supply replenishment. Figure three times longer with setup, supply replenishment, and working at a somewhat more careful, less frenetic pace for a couple of hours.
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Old January 23, 2013, 11:09 AM   #34
Brian Pfleuger
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One every 10 seconds!? Holy crow! That's cooking. Counting resupplying primers, I can do about 200 an hour on the Classic turret using the Lee Auto-disk dispenser. An hour is only 1 reload of primers and everything else is just bulk in a box. Powder (at least those I use) lasts longer than an hour in that dispenser.
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Old January 23, 2013, 11:21 AM   #35
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With the auto-index, you can do 200 per hour, or more as mentioned. I can get about 100 done in 1 hour 20 minutes with a classic turret, but I hand prime and use dippers and use it in single stage mode and I am in no hurry. Each step takes about 20 mins per 100 at a very steady relaxed careful rate.
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Old January 23, 2013, 11:29 AM   #36
Magnum Wheel Man
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one thing the "progressive die guys" don't talk about is case prep... I often spend way more time on case prep, than actual loading... normally those 100-150 cases I loaded on Thursday night, may have required Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday nights decapping, tumbling, checking case length, & timming as needed... in the past, that also included running through the RCBS case prep center, camfering, brushing out the primer pockets, & picking that gosh darned corn cob media out of the primer pockets & flash hole, & final inspecting the cases...

I also prefer to hand prime as part of my case prep, I find I make a lot less mistakes, not having to run the press handle backwards to seat the primer...

now with the stainless pins & universal decapping die, I expect to cut the prep time in half, I'll still likely hand prime as part of my prep, which make the turret even more attractive
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Old January 23, 2013, 12:00 PM   #37
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Yep, sounds like that's where you're headed.
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