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Old October 26, 2010, 08:21 PM   #1
Bird3897
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Going nuts decided between presses!

I hate to bring it up again, but I am torn between the Lee Classic Turret and the Redding T-7. I have read any posts and watched video and I'm ready to pull hair out, I am very finicky when buying new things. I like things about both. I will probably mostly load handgun ammo but eventually would like to load some rifle. I also read a lot claiming the redding will load more "accurate" rounds. Is this true? I am not rich by no means but the price difference to me in the two doesn't really matter that much if the redding is "that much more quality". Also, is it true that an auto-indexing turret can't load as "precise" rounds as a stationary turret such as the Redding or is that just bs?
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Old October 26, 2010, 08:31 PM   #2
SQUAREKNOT
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Lee Classic Turret. Go with the cheap Lee. I have yet to find a Lee anything that doesn't work well. If you don't like it your not out much.
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Old October 26, 2010, 08:41 PM   #3
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If you don't like it your not out that much. OK now you have to buy the Redding and your out the price of two presses and one you do not like.:barf:

Someone use's this as a sign off: "The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory." Aldo Gucci

Use that statment as a guide to what you buy.
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Old October 26, 2010, 08:47 PM   #4
graham82
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I went with the Lee Classic Turret and am still very pleased after 3 1/2 years of reloading. I am almost anal about getting the most impact for my limited money (tightwad is the term).

I reload for 45acp, 40 S&W, 223 Rem, 30-30, 308 Win, 30-06, and 6mm BR Norma. I built my Savage 6mm and bought Redding competition dies for it. All of my other dies are Lee and I am satisfied with the consistency and accuracy of my reloads. The money I saved by buying the Lee went towards the other tools needed for accurate reloading.
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Old October 26, 2010, 09:07 PM   #5
Rusty W
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I have a Lee Classic Cast Turret, Hornady LNLAP, Lyman T-mag turret, & Lee challenger. I haven't used a T7 but have read a lot of great reviews about them. I've been reloading on the Lee CCT for about 3 years, the Hornady about 2 years and the Lyman, about 7 years. I load pistol ammo mostly. I use the Hornady if I'm going to reload more than 100 rounds. I use the Lee CCT if I only want a box or 2 of ammo. The turrets are so easy & fast on the Lee I can change calibers, primers, powder charge, in less than 5 min. I seldom use the Lyman Tmag, but sometimes it comes in handy. If time is an issue and you only shoot a couple hundred rounds on an outing, I'd go with the Lee Classic Cast Turret. I load 300 win mag and 45/70 on the Lee and things get a little cramped with long bullets, but it still works. I'm not a good enough shooter to tell a difference in accuracy between any ammo I load on any press. I'd say whatever press you decide on will be capable of loading excellent ammo.
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Old October 26, 2010, 09:29 PM   #6
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I too have read glowing reports of how fine the ammo made on a T-7 is. But, I've NEVER seen anyone attempt to prove it's any better than any other press by loaded cartridge measurements taken with a concentricity gage; I doubt that's an accident or oversight.

No question, I would get the Lee Classic Turret. It has an auto-indexing turret. The heads can be swapped by hand in a few seconds and extras are inexpensive enough to have one set up with dies for every cartridge I reload. The method of afixing the head limits their springing under sizing pressure. It has a fully adjustable operating lever for angle and length of throw handy for working with both small handgun rounds and large rifle rounds. But, other these few points, I think the T-7 is just as good even tho it costs a LOT more. ??
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Old October 26, 2010, 10:11 PM   #7
Lost Sheep
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Batch or Continuous?

Bird3897

Thanks for asking our advice.

I believe you have correctly identified the issues: The Lee will be faster, but the speed difference is due largely to the fact that you don't have to remove the shell from the press. You would slow the Lee down if you powder charge or prime off-press or remove the auto-indexing rod and use it in batch mode. You would speed the Redding up if you used it in a continuous mode like the Lee, but it does not auto-rotate the head like the Lee does, so is not likely to ever quite match the speed of the Lee.

If you are going to load by the batch process (Deprime 50 cases rotate the turret head to the next die, Case mouth bell, then rotate the turret head to the next die etc, etc) and you will NOT be using Lee's case mouth expander which allows charging the case with powder right through the case mouth belling die, then the Redding might be better for you. Because it allows more dies / dies stations to be available and allows more room between dies.

Drawback, you will be handling the cases multiple times, which will slow you down.

If you will load in a continuous manner (size/deprime, rate the head, case mouth bell/charge with powder/reprime, rotate turret head, place bullet/seat bullet etc and produce a finished round without ever removing the case from the shell holder from start to finish, you will probably be better off with the Lee Classic Turret.

Press flex is not supposed to be a problem with either press. The Redding, with the dies further from the axis of rotation has more off-center load to contend with, but that load is balanced by the rear support being 180 degrees from the ram exerting the force. On the Lee, the force is much less off-center and is actually supported quite well by the turret ring, very close to the line of the ram's force. Keep the support posts tight and you will not have a problem (and I have never heard of them loosening by themselves).

My recommendation:

If you will use the Lee "Powder through" case mouth belling die (sold separately if you want to use other manufacturers' sizing and seating dies) and use the Lee Auto-Disk powder measure (or drop powder manually through the Lee die with a funnel), get the Lee Classic Turret.

If you will use more than 4 dies or a press-mounted powder measure not from Lee or will be pulling the cases out of the press for any off-press processing (for example, priming with a hand tool, or full-out batch processing), get the Redding.

Good Luck

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Old October 26, 2010, 10:21 PM   #8
jmortimer
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I read owner reviews/ratings on Mideway USA and Cabelas - Lee Precision Classic Turret $94.99 and has 92 reviews/ratings and is essentially 5/5 stars - it does not get any better than that. The Redding T-7 costs $234.99 on sale and has 32 reviews and is essentially 5/5 stars as well. For me the choice would be the Lee Precision Classic turret but you can't go wrong here.

Last edited by jmortimer; October 26, 2010 at 11:16 PM.
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Old October 26, 2010, 10:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
is that just bs?
Yes it is just BS. Long story short, 7 yrs ago purchased a Lee Classic Turret press (My 1st press). First loads 45 ACP, then bought dies for 30-06, then 270, then 243, then 7.62x39, then 223, then 9mm, 380, 357 mag, 38 spl, 40 S&W and finally 357 Sig.

First three years loaded nothing but rifle on it. Then bought a RCBS Rockchucker used (could not pass up the deal). Take the indexing rod out and you can load anything up to a 300 win mag on the Classic Turret. Put the indexing rod back in and load pistol like there is no tomorrow. Set your dies correctly and you will get accuracy each and every time you pull the handle.

Get what you feel comfortable with.

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Old October 26, 2010, 10:35 PM   #10
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I am another fan of the Lee Turret press!

I load 9mm, .380, .40 S&W and .223 on it.

I load .45 LC on my Lee single stage press as I don't have all that many to load.
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Old October 27, 2010, 09:35 AM   #11
Bird3897
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Thanks for the suggestions. I am a little confused concerning using a funnel to pour my own measured powder through the die. I am interesting in doing this with the shell in the press, can I only do this with the lee press? Also, can you leave the funnel in the die while you index it or do you have to pull it out every time? I am assuming I would have to precharge all my cases off the press to do this with the redding??
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Old October 27, 2010, 09:41 AM   #12
jaguarxk120
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If your looking speed of operation and cartridge output then start looking at a Dillon.
It seems to me that reloading to some is not a hobby but a way to make lots of ammo so one can shoot it off at the range and start over.
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Old October 27, 2010, 12:10 PM   #13
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A lot of new guys are too concerned with "RPH" (rounds per hour loaded). If you're in a hurry or want (need) a lot of ammo fast, just buy it. If you buy in bulk and are only concerned with ammo that goes "bang", you can find some pretty cheap. If you want custom ammo for your specific gun, reload.

Rant over...

You mentioned quality and others have mentioned you'll need to buy another press once your Lee breaks. I don't believe that. My personal experience with Lee presses is they are as good quality, and will last as long as most any press. I have only heard (read) of one Lee press breaking, and that was the little "C" press, and no telling how it was used. And has anyone "wore out" a single stage or turret press? I have a Lee turret that's only 11 years old that still works as good as when it left the factory. I reload four pistol rounds and 3 rifle rounds on my Lee and it produces ammo as good as any press I have owned (Lee, C-H, Redding, Lyman). Either press you mention (I know that doesn't help) will prolly last you for years and thousands of rounds reloaded, so at this point it boils down to what looks prettiest to you...
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Old October 27, 2010, 01:47 PM   #14
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I have loaded several pistol and rifle cartridges on my Lee Classic Cast turret with no problems of the press itself. I really don't see what difference the press makes as long as it pushes and pulls the cases through the dies properly. The Lee press is supported by three posts on the outer rim of the turret so there is no way it could flex, and the ram is pretty sturdy as well.

I think the bigger difference would be in the dies. The nature of pistol shooting just does not require the same precision as rifle. You are shooting closer, your hand/arm support is not as stable, and for "combat" or defensive shooting you are trying for 2"-3" groups at 25 yds (typically), not sub-MOA at 100 yds - 300 yds.

The only negative I can find against the Lee is that it is smaller and lighter weight and thus really does not support the heavier cast iron/steel powder measure of other manufacturers. I like the AutoDisk measure for pistol so that works well on the Lee.

But for rifle the AutoDisk cannot handle much beyond the .223 (well almost to .308 for faster powders). And the Rotary Perfect Powder Measure I have leaks powder. Maybe I messed it up somehow. But I have reverted to using my old RCBS Uniflow measure. But for me rifle cases need so much prep and measuring, and I load so many fewer than pistol (except .223) that I end up using it as a single stage anyway, as I would with any other brand of turret press.

A turret press is very handy having all your dies loaded into turrets and you can quickly switch back and forth between calibers (like during case prep steps).

What I really like about the Lee CCT press is the Safety Prime tray style loader. It makes seating primers easier than anything I have seen besides a progressive. And the spent primers just fall down through the Ram into a plastic tube.

Redding is going to be at least twice as expensive for most every piece of equipment as the Lee: press, dies, turrets, measure, etc. If cost and space is not an issue than why not? I don't know if it is any better than a Lee in terms of loaded ammo, but you would have the satisfaction of having a Cadillac press.

If cost is a concern then the Lee will load ammo just fine. I went through the same dilemma when I was shopping for a turret press.

I had always aspired to have a Redding press, but the more I investigated, the less reason I could find to get the Redding over the Lee. I learned from a friend that the old presses often had 6, 7, 8 or more die holes so that you could load die sets for 2 or 3 cartridges in one turret. I couldn't come up with any scenario in which I needed more than four dies in a turret.

I really spend more than enough of my budget on more die sets, tools and components. I could never load for as many cartridges if I was buying Redding stuff, as much as it might be nice to own the more expensive equipment. Sort of like I would enjoy owning a BMW, but my Accord does everything I need and I couldn't justify spending that much more on a Beemer.

If I was going to spend that much more than the Lee, I would go Dillon for the progressive capability.
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Old October 27, 2010, 02:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
But for rifle the AutoDisk cannot handle much beyond the .223 (well almost to .308 for faster powders). And the Rotary Perfect Powder Measure I have leaks powder. Maybe I messed it up somehow. But I have reverted to using my old RCBS Uniflow measure. But for me rifle cases need so much prep and measuring, and I load so many fewer than pistol (except .223) that I end up using it as a single stage anyway, as I would with any other brand of turret press.
You can get a Double Disk Kit and double the amount of powder and combos for many more weights. It works fantastic.

I also bought the Lee Auto-Disk Adjustable Powder Charge Bar but, it's only good for pistol as it does not go high enough for .223 other then the lightest load.

I added the Lee Auto-Disk Powder Measure Riser to clear the dies better and it also allows you to use dies from other manufactures that are in some cases much taller.

I am vary happy with my Lee press. There are reasons for me to buy a progressive (Shoot allot) but, I will still use this press for certain calibers.
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Old October 27, 2010, 02:51 PM   #16
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"I am a little confused concerning using a funnel to pour my own measured powder through the die. I am interesting in doing this with the shell in the press, can I only do this with the lee press? Also, can you leave the funnel in the die while you index it or do you have to pull it out every time? "

You can do this with the LCT and use the Lee Dipper Cups to charge cases. The photo shows the 45-70 case. I cut the funnel to the appropriate size.


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Old October 27, 2010, 04:30 PM   #17
Bird3897
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Ok, so I see I can leave the funnel in while the press indexes, which step am I shorting myself by using the funnel system instead of the dispenser? Also, I can't do this on the Redding?
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Old October 27, 2010, 04:57 PM   #18
flashhole
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In the setup I'm showing there is no FL sizing die. I do my sizing on a single stage press. You may consider both a single stage and a turret as you can get both the Classic Cast single stage and the Classic Turret for a lot less money than you will pay for a Redding T-7. You will get a lot of use out of both types of presses.

To your point ... I don't know if the relief on the back side of the turret support on the Redding T-7 will allow clearance of the funnel as shown in my photo.

I'm a big Redding fan by the way. Here is a shot of my bench. You can see I'm also a big fan of Lee equipment.

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Old October 27, 2010, 05:15 PM   #19
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I should add that at one time I owned a Redding Model 25. It was the T-6 equivalent to the T-7. Built like a tank but having the backward tilt was a non starter for me. The T-7 is an upright press, no tilt, and I like that design a lot better. I went through a Rock Chucker and a Forster B-2 but when I bought my first Ultramag I was convinced I had the right press and sold the others. The Lee Classic presses were a curiosity but they are such great value I can't see selling them for any other brand. Lee has some really good designs and their Classic line is fantastic. Nothing wrong with the Rock Chucker and Forster presses and I'm not dissing them in any way, I just found ones that fit my reloading style better.
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Old October 27, 2010, 05:56 PM   #20
Lost Sheep
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Powder charging on the press

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bird3897
Thanks for the suggestions. I am a little confused concerning using a funnel to pour my own measured powder through the die. I am interesting in doing this with the shell in the press, can I only do this with the lee press? Also, can you leave the funnel in the die while you index it or do you have to pull it out every time? I am assuming I would have to precharge all my cases off the press to do this with the redding??
You can use the funnel or the Lee Auto-Disk powder measure (mounted on Lee's die) on any press. So charging your cases off-press is not necessary, though if loading in batch mode may be easier.

You don't have to remove the funnel to index (or rotate) the turret head. Just lower the ram in the normal course of loading. If your funnel has a REALLY LONG drop tube, you may have to cut it shorter.

If you use Lee's case mouth belling die, you can drop powder right into the case through the hollow die (either with a funnel or with the Lee Auto-disk powder dispenser). Otherwise, you devote a die station to the charging, either as flashole shows in his picture on post #16 or with a press-mounted powder measure. The Lee Turret only has 4 stations, which is enough to do that only if you don't use a separate, dedicated crimping die.

If you buy all Lee dies and powder measure, you can do everything in the four die stations. If you already have someone else's 4 die set, you may have to substitute Lee's case-mouth belling die (sold separately for just such circumstances), use only 3 dies or get the Redding.

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Old October 27, 2010, 06:12 PM   #21
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I have also spent some time researching turret presses. I haven't bought one yet, still using my single stage press. A big thing to me, besides the initial cost of the press itself is the cost of the individual turrets. I can buy addtional turrets for the Lee for $10. A turret for the Redding is about $43. If you have a bunch of different calibers to load for, that cost alone can be very large.
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Old October 27, 2010, 07:38 PM   #22
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Hello, Bird3897, I don't own a Redding T7, but I do have an old HEAVY CH "O" type press, and a Forester Co-Ax. When I got involved in pistol shooting, back in late 1970's, I purchased a Ponsness/Warren turret reloading tool. I was loading mainly .38 wadcutters. Later, when I became involved heavly in IHMSA, I loaded .357 & .41 mag. This tool was adequate for these pistol rounds, and although the mfg. said it was designed for rifle loading, I would never dream of using it for this. When full length sizing .357 & .41 brass, there was a slight "Give" or flex felt. This press has two heavy solid steel posts that the aluminum bottom plate rides on. For the heavy full-length sizing of rifle brass, and because I want all the accuracy I can get out of my handloads, without having a doubt in my mind if concentricity was off due to press flex, I favor the heavy cast-iron press.
As for the post that there was no testing done on the T7, there was an article written..I can't remember if it was in Precision Shooting, or Hand Loader magazine. But they did test it with dial indicators..This was with the earlier Redding turret press..the newer T7 is beefer I think.
The way I look at it is I am going to be handloading the rest of my life...
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Old October 27, 2010, 09:41 PM   #23
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I've used the Redding T7 for a few years and have had very good luck with it. It's great to have room to leave a couple die sets, set up at the same time. It's well built and easy to use.
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Old April 16, 2012, 05:32 PM   #24
Bird3897
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Just wanted to update my purchase of the Lee press. I am very pleased with it, it has turned out excellent 9mm ammo for my M&Pc. I've got about 500 rds of reloads through it without a single hicup, very accurate rounds too. Plan to start reloading 44mag in the near future.
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Old April 16, 2012, 08:11 PM   #25
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Good choice. Honestly either way you went would have been a good choice. The lee will make just as accurate of ammo as the other does, and the auto index is really nice! I went to make some 9mm the other day, it had been a while and I couldn't remember where I put the indexing rod.... I was only making 50 rounds, so i decided to just index my hand and find it later.... After about 5 rounds, I stopped and FOUND the dang rod.... Once you have done it with the auto index, its maddening to do it without, SOOOOO much slower...

Quote:
If you don't like it your not out that much. OK now you have to buy the Redding and your out the price of two presses and one you do not like.:barf:

Someone use's this as a sign off: "The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory." Aldo Gucci

Use that statment as a guide to what you buy.
Since the OP has purchased his press, I can asking without fear of hijacking....

Please tell us what specificaly you didnt like about your lee press?
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