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Old January 11, 2007, 01:03 PM   #1
TNBulldog
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Which press to buy, how much?

I went to the Lee Precision site and saw a 3 Hole Turret Press Kit and a Loadmaster Press Kit on the clearance rack. I'm wanting to reload .44 magnum, .454 casull and 30 carbine shells. I have no experience with this and was curious if either of these would be suited for reloading these calibers well. I'll likely reload 200 rounds per sitting I assume. If these are not good choices, what should I go to? Being a novice, I don't need the "Cadillac" of presses, just one I can use from month to month without much trouble.
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Old January 11, 2007, 01:31 PM   #2
rwilson452
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Lee presses

You can load all of those with either press. Some here will of course tell you to get a Dillon. I have owned both the Three hole turret and the loadmaster. I gave my turret away to a new reloader when I bought the loadmaster. In either case you will want to get a turret for each caliber you load. that way you only need to set up the dies once. If you decide you want to load .50BMG you will need the Classic Cast press. Shell plates for the loadmaster cost more than shell holders for the turret press. Naturally, the loadmaster is much faster than the turret. With the turret loading 200 of one caliber in an hour is not out of reach once you get the hang of it. I would caution you against rushing things especially when starting out. Safety first, ALWAYS! Unless you get separate powder measures for each caliber your not going to get that kind of speed with switching calibers as you must readjust your powder measure. ALWAYS CHECK the powder drop EVERY session. and once every 10 -20 rounds anyway. beware of double charges. visually check the powder level in EVERY case EVERY time. Never have more than one can of powder on your bench at any given time. Loading the wrong powder and or the wrong amount of powder can ruin your whole day. It is very bad JU-JU.

I went to the Lee Precision site and saw a 3 Hole Turret Press Kit and a Loadmaster Press Kit on the clearance rack. I'm wanting to reload .44 magnum, .454 casull and 30 carbine shells. I have no experience with this and was curious if either of these would be suited for reloading these calibers well. I'll likely reload 200 rounds per sitting I assume. If these are not good choices, what should I go to? Being a novice, I don't need the "Cadillac" of presses
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Old January 11, 2007, 01:40 PM   #3
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Read the FAQ.

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...d.php?t=230171

...and also look at earlier posts on this same subject!

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Old January 11, 2007, 04:02 PM   #4
benedict1
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Lee Classic Turret Press and a possible supplier

The most solid press in the market today at the lowest price is the Lee Classic Turret Press--not the older turret presses; the new one that came out last year. Has 4 holes for dies and is made of steel and cast iron. This is one tough, auto-indexing press.

It can also be used single stage while you're learning. You can get one from Midway, Graf and Son, etc at a good price. You can also call

http://www.kempfgunshop.com/products...ion/index.html

Sue Kempf at Kempf's Gun Shop. She is a shooter/reloader and helps new folks get started all the time. Her prices are competitive and you will get solid advice on what you need to start out. She will not try to sell you something you don't need. I bought my press and accessories from her and don't regret it at all.

There are other good starting presses out there but none at the price/performance point represented by the Lee Classic Turret Press, IMHO.
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Old January 11, 2007, 09:22 PM   #5
cheygriz
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Look at Lyman, Redding, RCBS, Hornady, Bonanza.

A Lee press will get the job done, but they qre the absolutely bottom of the heap qwuality wise. Of course, the price reflects that.
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Old January 12, 2007, 08:53 AM   #6
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I have both

I have the standard Lee Turret press and I have been using it for the past couple of years. Prior to that I used my dad's Dillon 550 progressive and single stage pacific for many years. My turret press is auto indexing, but I disabled that option as I wanted to use it as a single stage. I bought mine on Ebay for next to nothing, and it came with 2 turrets. I bought 4 more turrets from Midway on sale for like $8 each. Mine is the 3 hole turret, but I believe the 4 hole turrets will fit it as well but i'm not sure. In my 3 stations, I have the decapper/sizing die, case flare die, and the seating die. That fills each of the 3 stations on each of the turrets that I have set up for my calibers. I load 3 pistol calibers that I run through a factory crimp die (9mm, 40 S&W and 357 Mag), I set these 3 dies up on another turret and call it the "crimp turret", so I just swith out the turret quickly when it is time to crimp. I also have a couple of rifle calibers set up on their own turrets and I keep an empty turret handy for the calibers that I don't load that often. This standard Lee Turret press has worked well for me, no doubt that the Classic Turret press is probably better, but this one I have has not given me any trouble loading even magnum rifle calibers.

About a month ago I added a Loadmaster to my operation and now I load the 9mm, 40 S&W, and 357 Mag on that. If you are just starting out, I would not recommend the Loadmaster to you as it is a bit of a chore to set up learn, and for a beginner you should be spending more time learning to load and not setting up a progressive press. Having said that, the Loadmaster is not a bad press. I am ultimately happy with mine and feel that it was the best deal going in the line of progressive presses for my specific needs. It has not given me any issues or demonstrated any short falls.

My opinion on Lee would NOT be that they are "the bottom of the barrel in quality", but that they are all that you need to get the job done. Actually, they have proven to have very good quality. Why pay more for something that can give you something you don't need? Let's face it, presses do a pretty simple operation in one axis....

There are many good presses out there, find one that fits you feel fits your needs and your budget and go have some fun.

JSF

Last edited by jsflagstad; January 12, 2007 at 09:32 AM. Reason: clarificationn and typo
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Old January 12, 2007, 09:25 AM   #7
benedict1
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Quote:
A Lee press will get the job done, but they qre the absolutely bottom of the heap qwuality wise. Of course, the price reflects that.


This is just not right. I have a Classic Cast Turret Press that will outlast me and my grandchildren. It is steel and cast iron. I have a Load Master that churns out rounds as fast as I can feed it. It has an aluminum casting, aluminum turret and steel shellplate/carrier assembly that are all precision made. I'll stack these presses up against anything available in the market on a price/performance basis. IMHO they can't be beat.

Lee equipment is designed using materials that fit the job. Wherever a part is made of nylon or plastic is always an area where if a user error occurs, then the inexpensive part will give way before something bad really happens due to too much force. Some people confuse this, sadly, with poor quality or cheapness. Nothing could be further from the truth.

This type of comment, based on no data, helps no one. People seem to get irritated because a company can make tools that do the job very well, for a long time, at half the cost, or less, than other presses. If spending twice as much to get the job done gives somebody peace of mind, okay. The other companies mentioned make good stuff too. But let's not confuse overbuilt with quality---
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Old January 12, 2007, 09:43 AM   #8
skipjack
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For someone brand new to loading, I would suggest a single stage or turret press that has the indexing feature disabled. The 3 or 4 hole lee turret will get the job done, and there are numerous single stage presses out there.

I suggest starting out by performing each task to a number of cases. Once that stage in the process is done, perform the next task.

For example, I do the following in this order.

Tumble

Deprime/resize

Prime

Flare the case neck

Charge the case

Seat the bullet

Crimp

I will do this to case lots of 50 or 100 at a time. It takes longer than a progressive, but there is less chance of a squib or double charge. It forces me to s-l-o-w d-o-w-n! Quality, not quantity, is what is important, to me, anyway. Reloading should be fun, economical, enjoyable, but above all, safe.
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Old January 12, 2007, 10:21 AM   #9
fourrobert13
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Split the difference...

For what you are wanting to load and the ammount you are wanting to load, I would go with the Lee Pro 1000. It takes the same 3 hole turrets as the turret press you mentioned, and IMO is just as easy to operate. It can load both calibers you want and you can buy it set up for one caliber and then get a another turret, shellplate, and dies for your other caliber. The cost would be just a bit more than the turret press and well under the cost of the loadmaster. I have been using Lee reloading equipment since I started reloading 10 years ago. There are 2 things I have learned in that time, 1 the Lee .223 do not resize the case small enough to funtion in a semi automatic rifle, and 2, the loadmaster will give you nothing but problems if not set up correctly. That's my 2 cents.
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Old January 12, 2007, 10:36 AM   #10
Mike Irwin
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The Lee Classic Cast Iron Turret Press is, as far as I'm concerned, an incredible value.

I've been using mine for several months now and I wish Lee had been making this thing 20 years ago.

I've just started messing with the press mounted primer assembly, and so far I'm not all that impressed, but I'm very early into using it.
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Old January 12, 2007, 01:01 PM   #11
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I started with Lee, and so far, I can't find any reason to change brands.

Their stuff will likely outlive me.
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Old January 12, 2007, 01:42 PM   #12
benedict1
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Mike--check out the video at the Lee website on using the Classic Turret Press with the Safety Prime, it might help you get going faster. The thing actually works very well; just be positive with the trigger when you push the primer in--push forward and it sort of snaps downward to put the primer in the cup.---

http://www.leeprecision.com/html/Hel...5%20case-1.wmv

Note how the user pushes the trigger forward, firmly. It is really about the best priming system I have used or seen--it is positive and you know if the primer is in the cup with no questions.
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Old January 12, 2007, 03:26 PM   #13
Mike Irwin
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benedict,

Thanks for the link, I'll review it this evening when I get home.

I think a large part of the problem is that I'm not getting it adjusted quite right, and that the primer dispenser isn't quite lining up with the priming ram.

I did determine that if you have fewer than 10 primers in the mechanism chances are it's going to be very spotty dispensing primers, and once you get down to two or three, forget about it.
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Old January 12, 2007, 07:40 PM   #14
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Mike Irwin,

I agree...I'm not used to the Safety Prime device yet, either.

-- John D.
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Old January 12, 2007, 08:58 PM   #15
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I read a post on another forum where someone was having trouble with the safety prime on the classic turret. He said he opened the end and there was a little dirt in it. He cleaned it out and said it has been working very well since. As far as presses I don't see how the Classic Turret wouldn't be the best value around. The Classic is a very sturdy press and would last anybody a life time no matter how young you are. I don't understand how people can associate quality by price only. Sorry in case it wasn't obvious, yes I do own a Classic Turret.
Rusty
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Old January 12, 2007, 10:05 PM   #16
K96771
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Since I'm new and don't even know what I don't know, I followed the oft given advice of starting with a single stage press and ordered the Lee Anniv Kit with reloading manual for $75 and carbide (38/357) dies for $28 from Midway. How can you go wrong for that price?!?
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Old January 12, 2007, 10:45 PM   #17
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K96771,

I think you made the right choice! These starter kits are the best way to learn. They make you focus on one thing at a time which is important when learning anything.

Chris
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Old January 12, 2007, 11:43 PM   #18
CrustyFN
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K96771 you didn't go wrong. I'm sure you will be happy and most important thing is learn to reload safe. If you shoot a lot like I do you will out grow the single stage very fast. I shoot a lot of IDPA, GSSF, Bullseye and other matches and wouldn't be able to load ammo fast enough on a single stage. I started with the classic turret and can load 200 to 250 rounds an hour. At that rate I can keep up with my ammo needs. If you do upgrade to a turret or progressive some day the single stage will always come in handy to have around. Congratulations on your new press. Load safe and shoot often.
Rusty
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Old January 13, 2007, 12:34 PM   #19
Buckythebrewer
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Im still using my starter kit.My challenger press is still a champion after all these years.
Like mentioned,speed is what turret + progressive presses will help with.But starting out having to many things to figure out can slow you down as well.You made the right choice.
And will always have a use for a single stage even if you get a turret sometime.
That is a GREAT DEAL BTW
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Old January 13, 2007, 05:36 PM   #20
K96771
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Thanks, Buckythebrewer, Shadow500 and CrustyFN. It's on it's way (due to arrive Wednesday) and today I picked up a few things at a gun show in Phila. Powder, primers, calipers, loading blocks and a few other dodads. I started reading the Lyman Manual and look forward to the Lee manual that comes with the kit. I'm sure I'll move up to the turret, but, like you say, this will force me to pay attention and learn a bit more before I do. Thanks again

TNBulldog - good luck with your setup!
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Old January 13, 2007, 06:10 PM   #21
James A. Mullins
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which press

I don't know why but I believe Lee has some how gotten a bad rep. I started loading with a hammer and a loader bvack in 1964. I still have the set. For awhile I bought into the cheap die's BS. Over the last 10 years i have learned better. I load 20 different calibers and 17 are lee carbide. Before lee came out with their turrent, I invested in a Poisden Warner metalic turrent. Has 6 stations and you can buy a rapid prime for it and extra turrents. Had the Lee been out at that time I would have given it a try. Good luck in what ever you decide.
James
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Old January 13, 2007, 06:15 PM   #22
sanson
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bought a lee challenger years ago with one set of dies(came with it).. still loading with it. lee auto-disc powder charger works great also
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Old January 15, 2007, 10:56 PM   #23
DMF38
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I have a Lee Classic Cast Turret Press and it's great! They have kits for these now, for $150 at Cabelas. Great deal!
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