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Old June 21, 2007, 08:36 PM   #1
Black Adder LXX
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Lee 3 or 4 hole turret press?

Hello to all. I've been learning a lot from reading the posts here, and am about to take the plunge for the first time. I have decided that I will go with a Lee Turret Press, for the obvious bang-for-the-buck factor. I've got the ABC's of reloading on the way from Midway as the sticky suggests, and don't plan on buying ANYTHING until I read it.

Now that said, I have a question involving the type of reloading I'm looking into. I'd like to immediately reload for 38/357 to start, followed by 9x18 Makarov. I'd also like the future option of reloading for rifle cartridges as well. Well, blah blah here's the question: I notice standard cartridges have the Lee deluxe (4 die) kits available, where more exotic/rare cartridges like the Makarov only have the 3-die sets. Does this present a problem in a 4-hole turret setup? I like the added safety/quality of the factory crimp die and want to go that route if possible.

Sorry if this has been answered recently, I really have NO idea how to search for this one...
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Old June 21, 2007, 09:01 PM   #2
MrApathy
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the 4 hole is just a turret. lee has a 3 hole progressive pro 1000 IIRC.

would recommend 4 hole turret or 5 hole progressive ie loadmaster.
depends on where you are though.

I started on lee single stage then went to lee 4 hole turret and now use a
Hornady LNL Progressive 5 hole.

would recommend the turret if starting out. progressive can be a bit of a overwhelming pain if new. lee 4 hole with priming system is not to bad can go stage by stage like a single though dont have to change dies out still requires tweaking per die and operation. can use the turret as a single stage first and move onto turret when ready.
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Old June 21, 2007, 09:08 PM   #3
rwilson452
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3 vs 4 hole

Assuming you buy a separate turret for each caliber you load, The only problem you will have using a 3 die set in a 4 hole press is looking down the empty hole when the press is in that position. Should you later go to rifle stuff you will find they are usually 2 die sets. then you have two enpty holes to contend with. I would suggest using opposing holes for the 2 dies in a 2 die set. No, there are no issues in leaving a hole in the turret unused.
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Old June 22, 2007, 05:39 AM   #4
CrustyFN
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I would buy the four hole and buy the Classic Turret.
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Old June 22, 2007, 07:50 AM   #5
Usaro4
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I own and use both the original 3 hole auto index and the new 4 hole classic press with auto index. The classic 4 hole is probably the best press for the money available. It is also easier for a beginner to set-up and maintain. I would recommend that you buy a separate turret for each caliber you reload then you only have to adjust them one time when you set them up. After that its just a matter of switching turrets to change calibers. If you're switching back and forth between 38 and 357 with one die set you will still have to adjust each time though. If you want a 4 die set with the makarov you can buy a factory crimp die separately and add it to your 3 die set. Study the ABC's of Reloading and ask questions here and you will be up and running in a fascinating and rewarding hobby. Good luck.
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Old June 22, 2007, 08:36 AM   #6
benedict1
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Lee Classic Turret Press is the best solution

The Lee Classic Turret Press is the best turret press made today IMHO. Cast iron and steel construction; massive ram and linkage system; change dies cheaply and quickly; the Lee Safety Prime System is the most foolproof priming system on any auto-indexing or progressive press out in the market.

Go to next link for a great deal on a kit that will include everything you need, including a set of dies for your first caliber; add the upgrade to the Pro Auto Disk and the large/small priming system; buy a scale and calipers from the same shop, all at very good prices and minimal shipping--they have 3 die sets too. Get extra turrets for each die set--set 'em up and just switch as needed.

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

Go to next link for a super review of how to set up and install--lots of great photos that will verify what I said above about materials used in construction. Easy to setup and operate--you'll be loading ammo within an hour of bolting it to the bench.

http://www.surplusrifle.com/reviews2...ress/index.asp

Go to here to see the Safety Prime in operation.

http://tinyurl.com/lxapv

Here you can watch the whole reloading process being done--

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

This is by far the best solution for anyone who wants to load 200+ rounds per hour with nearly flawless operation, IMHO
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Old June 23, 2007, 03:38 PM   #7
amamnn
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4 and skip all the BS and buy the classic
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Old June 25, 2007, 02:15 PM   #8
xjz
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Quote:
This is by far the best solution for anyone who wants to load 200+ rounds per hour with nearly flawless operation, IMHO
You must be really moving or not checking you powder loads in any regular interval because I have the Lee 4 hole Classic Turret Press and I can only get about 100 rounds an hour for both my 9mm and 45 ACP I reload. I check power charges every 10 to 15 cartridges made but I cant do any more than that no matter what I try to do. The best time I've ever had was 100 rounds in 45 minutes but I was only checking powder charges every 20 rounds.

None the less the 4 hole classic turret press is my first press and I've been reloading for nearly 18 months and am still pleased with it as I was the day I got it. I'd get the "classis turret press" not the "turret press" as there is a big difference in my opinion.
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Old June 25, 2007, 03:04 PM   #9
benedict1
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It's really pretty easy--just organize bullets and brass, fill an extra primer tray and have a bin for the loaded rounds.

Why are you checking powder charges? IMHO, once the right disk is in place and you know what it throws it's going to hit that number ±0.1 gr every time, or better. I have a small LED light mounted so I can see inside the case but with auto-indexing that is sort of overkill. I always check the weight when I start just to make sure a gremlin hasn't got into the machine while I was sleeping!

Statistically, if you are really nervous about the powder drop weight, just checking every ten to fifteen rounds isn't going to find a wildly inaccurate charge if there is one; you need a random sampling program that, with 100 rounds being loaded, would require a lot more charges to be sampled. After collecting data on 5-600 rounds you could calculate the expected variation at the 95% confidence level. With the Autodisk and any charge weight over 5 gr. my guess is you would find weighing anything more than the first charge coupled with visual inspection is not needed.

However, all this statistical business doesn't mean much if you're still nervous. Keep weighing if it provides a comfort level for you.

On the Lee website there is a demo video showing a guy loading 5-6 rounds per minute and he is not rushing. I agree re: The Classic Turret--best deal for the money! Super press.
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Old June 25, 2007, 03:31 PM   #10
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I load like Benedict1. Once the powder measure is set I don't check any more. I also have a small LED light mounted to my press so I can visually check every case before the bullet goes on. I load the safety prime with 200 primers at a time. Organize the bullets and brass and I can load 200 per hour.
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Old June 25, 2007, 04:44 PM   #11
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Organizing

Takes time Guys, sorry but placing your casings upright like little soldiers and the bullets as well (2-3 hundred of them) so you don't knock them over like Dominoes takes time. After you do that, the race is on. And after doing all the grafite and pencil leading routines, I still have to weight every now and then. Maybe your equipment is "nut's on", but I still every now and then get a wild throw in powder. I'm not nervous about the whole proceedure anymore, but still want to be sure. I light my loads, to be sure powder is there, but hey nobody is going to check grains with their eyeballs.
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Old June 25, 2007, 06:52 PM   #12
CrustyFN
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Quote:
Takes time Guys, sorry but placing your casings upright like little soldiers and the bullets as well (2-3 hundred of them) so you don't knock them over like Dominoes takes time.
I agree, that doesn't sound like very much fun. I have a bowl to hold my bullets and a bowl to hold the brass. I can pull one out and have it upright and where it needs to be before I need it.
Quote:
I light my loads, to be sure powder is there, but hey nobody is going to check grains with their eyeballs.
I'm not looking for a few grains difference. I am looking for enough difference for the round to be to light or to hot. It has worked for me so far.
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Old June 26, 2007, 06:02 AM   #13
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Powder check

Rusty,
I know what your saying, and I also have found (last Sunday) one casing with considerably less powder. It was obvious when I dumped it back into my Lee Pro Auto Powder hopper. Now, doesn't that verify that you just cannot rely on the Lee Powder equipment to always drop precisely the right amount as some have suggested? One just posted something like, once I put the right disk in, I just load away and don't check the weights.
Sorry Lee, but my confindence in your powder charge equipment isn't that great, when I run into these swings.
And yes, I use full strokes etc.
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Old June 26, 2007, 08:05 AM   #14
benedict1
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What powder? What weight? If it's a flake powder below about 4.0 - 4.4 gr. you will have variation, but always on the low side.

Unless you weigh every charge under those circumstances you will have an occasional light charge get by. Visual inspection is the only practical way to do it for volume handgun loading.

And it's not just Lee equipment--why do you think so many Dillon 550/650 owners put a powder check die in the tool head? I had the problem in spades with a Dillon powder measure trying to load light .38 Spec. ammo. Finally switched to ball powder and it ceased. Same with any cavity/volume dependent charging device at lower weights--beware of flake powders!

Lee even warns about this in their instructions for the Auto Disk measure.
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Old June 26, 2007, 10:14 AM   #15
CrustyFN
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ShootingNut, I think that would depend on what powder you are using. I load with a lot of Titegroup. I can measure all day long using Titegroup with zero variation. I hear Unique doesn't meter well in most powder measures.
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