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Old October 29, 2010, 09:22 AM   #1
mikejonestkd
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Lee Classic Turret Press

Good day all, I am in the process of upgrading from a single stage press ( RCBS rock chucker) and have been looking at the Lee Classic Turret press for pistol ammo reloading, specifically the kit that is available at Cabelas:

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Lee-C...classic+turret

Most of the responses in other threads here that have mentioned the Lee classic turret press have been positive and it is helping me move in that direction.

I am going to be mostly reloading 9mm, .357, .44 mag, 45 acp, and 45 colt in it - probably around a few hundred rounds of each every month. I am probably going to use a separate turret for each die set so there is less fuss when changing calibers.


I am very interested to hear from users about the features that they like the best about their Lee classic turret press. I'd like input on the quality, durability, set up, ability to maintain an adjustment, and the overall thoughts about keeping separate turrets with the dies already properly adjusted. Any thoughts on the priming system? ( it looks a little flimsy to me ). Is there anything that you don't like about your Lee? Is there any other brand press that I am leaving out that is similar in quality for the money?
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Old October 29, 2010, 09:37 AM   #2
jmortimer
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You will not get a better press for the $$$. There is no contest there. I like to hand prime so can't answer your question about priming on the Turret press but the primer attachment may seem suspect but from what I have seen and read it works. All I can say is that the Lee Precision Turret Press is all I'll ever need.
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Old October 29, 2010, 09:47 AM   #3
Mike Irwin
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I love my Lee Classic turret.

It's the press that Lee should have been making 30 years ago.

I didn't buy a kit, just the press, as I already had all of my reloading tools. I had a Lee 3-hole turret that simply wore out.

Set up is no problem with the Lee. If you're used to the Lee dies and their friction-style lock ring you'll do fine. The Lee is no more prone to getting out of adjustment die wise than any other press once you have it dialed in.

One thing that you will need if you use the powder measure with the auto prime is risers to get the measure above the level of the priming system. They're relatively cheap.

I keep several turrets set up with my most common reloading calibers - .38 Spl., .357 Mag., .41 Mag., and .45 ACP., and am slowly adding turrets to get all of my calibers set up in dedicated turrets.

The only thing I do is switch my powder measure (I have the Auto Disk Pro) between turrets.

The Lee priming system does look flimsy. I thought it was a cheap assed piece of crap when I first got it. Then I started using it, and was about 97.5% won over. It can be a bit annoying in that you can skip primers out of the ram occasionally, but in general, if you get into a rhythm and learn just how hard and fast to push the primer trigger you won't have many issues at all.

The only thing I do NOT like is Lee's Safety Scale. I've never been impressed with the design or its lack of ease of adjustment.
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Old October 29, 2010, 09:48 AM   #4
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I started back reloading a couple of months ago with the Lee Turret but the other model.So far I have loaded,9mm,.41 mag,.38 special and .357 mag,and have been very happy with the press.I purchased the Lee Auto prime for small and large primers and at first I was a little apprehensive on how well it would perform,but for the $30.00 it works very well.I bought 3 extra Turret plates so I dont have to adjust dies every time I want to change calibers.All in all I am very happy with the performance and price value.
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Old October 29, 2010, 09:58 AM   #5
BarbreJ
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I like it

I started on the turrert and I like it. I removed the indexing rod, and haven't took advantage of index option yet. Figure I will get about 10,000 rounds done before it try it the other way. No reason, just an abitrary number I set.

I only reload for .40, so my dies stay in, but I have reloaded the last 1,000+ with out have to adjust my dies.

The priming tray is flimsy, but I have had no issues with it once I realized it had to be lined up perfectly and not to just push it in quickly. Not hard to use, but I would say you have to be carefull and deliberate when priming. Once it was lined up correctly I have not had to adjust it or any issues.

The turret is the only system I have used. I wouldn't say it is lightning fast but I shoot 200-500 rounds a month and have no issue keeping up with the reloads. I just figure 1 hr for 100 rounds. Not sure if thats accurate. since I tinker in my garage when I start and finish.
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Old October 29, 2010, 10:14 AM   #6
Brian Pfleuger
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I love my Classic turret. I have separate turrets for every cartridge for which I reload. The turrets for the rifle cartridges have been on and off the press, over and over again, and consistently produce the exact same ammo. Easily sub-moa, 1/2 MOA in the guns that will do it.

The handgun set-up includes the autodisk powder measure and with a powder that dispenses well I can easily produce 200 rounds an hour.

I have not lost the adjustments on any die yet.

I absolutely recommend the Classic turret. I can't see why anyone would need anything else, unless they shoot SO much that 200 rounds an hour is simply not fast enough. I'm not convinced that there is any accuracy disadvantage for rifle rounds versus a single stage. There are certainly plenty of guys who speculate that there "should" be, but absolutely no proof.
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Old October 29, 2010, 10:40 AM   #7
Doodlebugger45
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I assume you don't need the scale. If you go to Natchez for instance, you can buy all the individual items you need to get rolling for $153. Plus, Natchez is selling extra turrets for only $8 each. You will want/need:

Lee Classic press $88
Small & lg safety prime $19
Pro Auto disk powder measure $33
Adjustable charge bar $7
Riser for powder measure $6

Total $153

Plus however many extra turret heads you need for $8

I checked and the Lee factory sales place has almost identical prices, but their extra turret heads are $13, so if you need a lot then Natchez is a better deal. I checked Midway and actually their total comes to $167 for the same items, however they are running a special that gives you $15 off orders of $100 or more, $30 off orders of $200 or more, so they are in about the same ballpark.
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Old October 29, 2010, 11:20 AM   #8
wncchester
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"..reloading 9mm, .357, .44 mag, 45 acp, and 45 colt in it - probably around a few hundred rounds of each every month. I am probably going to use a separate turret for each die set so there is less fuss when changing calibers."

Sounds like the Classic Turret was made for you.
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Old October 29, 2010, 11:26 AM   #9
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I'm really happy with my Lee Turret (old model). I'm not bound by any quota so I usually take my time and I have disabled the auto index feature on my press. Much of the time I reload in stages; clean and deprime a batch, later prime and flare, then finish (charge, seat bulltes, crimp). So, mebbe I'm using my turret in a single stage mode but if necessary I can pop out 100 rounds per hour by hand indexing. I've been reloading for 25+ and find this method works for me...
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Old October 29, 2010, 11:35 AM   #10
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Looks like Doodlebugger45 did some good homework for you. If you don't need the extra powder scale then pass on Cabela's offering and do some shopping at Natchez. I've been loading on my Lee Turret for over 25 years now. Its had several updates and is now a four hole press (it started life as a 3 hole). I would not buy a 3 hole press today. I would add a Swivel Adapter to the shopping cart (about 6 bucks). It will allow you to easily move the auto disk powder measure from die set to die set. Since you already have a rock chucker you might want to get a universal decapper.
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Old October 29, 2010, 12:45 PM   #11
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I really like my Classic Turret press. The Safety Prime system is the best and easiest priming system ever. Just make sure you use the correct small or large connector (I marked with Sharpie after a couple of mishaps).

I also use the Auto Disk Pro with disk doubler, and riser. The doubler not only allows you to use it for larger capacity but also to get much smaller increments than the single disk. You can get up to about 40 grains of Varget which is plenty for .223 but marginal for .308 and .30-06 (I use RCBS measure off press for those).

Doodlebug laid it pretty well. I prefer the disk doubler to the charge bar (which I find less reliable on small charges of flake powder like Unique, but fine for ball powders). If you use the charge bar then stick with ball powder such as W231/HP38, W296/H110, etc.
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Old October 29, 2010, 01:03 PM   #12
BombthePeasants
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The current Graf & Sons flyer lists the Deluxe 4-Hole Turret Press w/ Auto Index KIT (press, measure, scale, etc.) for $109.99

The Natchez Shooters Supply flyer has it for $99.99!!

WOW, I wish I had money...but that's HALF the price of the Cabelas listing.
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Old October 29, 2010, 01:14 PM   #13
Doodlebugger45
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That is a good price for sure, but that is for the Deluxe Turret, not the Classic Cast Turret. The Classic costs about $25 or so more than the Deluxe.
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Old October 29, 2010, 01:17 PM   #14
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BombthePeasants, The Cabelas listing is the version with the "Pro" Auto Disk powder measure. You also get the Auto Disk Riser. But, as I did you are better off buying those separately.
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Old October 29, 2010, 01:47 PM   #15
mikejonestkd
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Thanks for the replies everyone. I think I am going to buy it in pieces, as I already have a 505 scale and don't need another. The press is on sale at cabelas for $89 and I'll pick up the pro auto disk powder measure, two classic primer feeders ( large and small), and a riser. They have free shipping right now, and I happen to have a few gift cards too....my total out of pocket expenses will be under $50....NICE!!!
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Old October 29, 2010, 01:50 PM   #16
Xfire68
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Mike that's the best way to get your reloading equipment!

My brother was nice enough to buy most of my stuff because he wanted me to load .223 for him. Free stuff is good stuff!
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Old October 29, 2010, 03:19 PM   #17
BombthePeasants
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Oh...OOPS. It gets confusing, you must admit.
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Old October 29, 2010, 03:22 PM   #18
Xfire68
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Quote:
Oh...OOPS. It gets confusing, you must admit.
Yes and I think they do that on purpose! A smart shopper might buy X kit thinking that was the best deal when Y+A+D+Q is best! Now that is confusing!
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Old October 29, 2010, 03:25 PM   #19
BombthePeasants
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then may I interject a question into this thread?

What separates the "Classic Turret Press" from the "Deluxe Turret Press w/ Auto-Index"? Please note that I cannot visit gun-related sites here at work (and yet I can get on this site...weird).
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Old October 29, 2010, 03:30 PM   #20
Xfire68
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The Delux has the non Pro version of the powder measure and the press handle is made from aluminum where the Classic's is steel. Aside from that I don't know of what else?

Edit: I am getting a closer look at it and the press base looks different as well. The priming system looks like it might be different as well?
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Old October 29, 2010, 03:55 PM   #21
wncchester
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The Lee Classic Turret press is all steel and cast iron except for the die head which is very thick/strong aluminum alloy. It's plenty big and strong enough to do any reloading chores up to the largest magnums.

The older, less costly Lee Delux turret presses have alum alloy bodies and toggle links but their lever, support rods and ram are steel. They also have basically the same alum die heads. They are also strong but not to the same degree as the iron press. Even so, they are strong enough for all but the most difficult reloading work; those that "break" usually do so because of operator error by not keeping the lever's locking bolt tight. (I've seen photos of the top strap on cast iron Rock Chuckers snapped too, proving that nothing is really strong enough to be fool proof to a sufficently capabile fool.)

Both have auto-indexing of the heads, either three or four hole.
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Old October 29, 2010, 04:00 PM   #22
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I'll approach this from a different angle.

OP - what is it about your RC that you feel the need to change? (RCBS does offer a piggyback conversion). I ask because I used to use a progressive of a different color - gave me the BLUES after a while - and I went back to my RCBS Jr. as I like loading in "batches - i.e., size and deprime a batch, reprime and flare a batch, than charge,seat, and crimp a batch. Now I am not c=grinding out thousands of rounds a month ( I do THAT with my shotgun press), but for only a few hundred as you say, is it worth the switch for that amount? If you were talking a few hundred a WEEK, than I might understand the need for a progressive, even over a turret.

Just askin'...................
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Old October 29, 2010, 06:00 PM   #23
mikejonestkd
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One ounce, good questions! The Rock chucker is not mine, it a loaner that my relative wants back this winter. Also, I do load a good number a month - probably 800+ a month between all my pistol calibers, and my time is getting more valuable recently so I want to speed things up a bit. I really do want the ability to keep all the dies in one turret and change the whole assembly out when I change calibers - which is one thing that has really drawn me to the Lee turret. And, the cost is significantly less than other progressives.

Any last comments/ suggestions before I place an order tonight?
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Old October 29, 2010, 06:09 PM   #24
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Why not look at a Dillon?
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Old October 29, 2010, 06:22 PM   #25
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I am in my second year of reloading and I still love my Classic Cast Turret. Just three days ago, I started doing 30.06 for M1 Garand. That is a tall bullet for the CCT but it still works well. Fwiw, I do 9mm, .40 (occasionally), .45 acp, .223 and now 30.06. I would do it all over again, given the choice!
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