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Old June 16, 2011, 10:10 AM   #1
serf 'rett
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Lee Classic Turret Advancement Problem

I'm in the market for a turret in the next year, so while traveling this past weekend; I went by Bass Pro to see if they had a Lee Classic Turret, which they did. I've been reading good reports about the press and wanted to take a look at it. After all the good reports I’d read on the Lee, I was surprised to find the press seemed to have a problem with advancing the turret. The turret would not fully advance when the press handle was raised, unless the handle was snapped upward. The turret moved to within about an eighth of an inch of the next engaged position and stopped. I could twist the turret slightly and it would “pop” into place. After tinkering with the press, I found I could move the handle up rapidly at the end of the stroke and the get the turret to fully rotate. I don’t like the idea of needing to yank the press handle to get the advance mechanism to operate properly.

Questions: Is this a common problem with this press design or just a problem with the press I was testing? Is this tied to the complaints about the “plastic piece” which seems to be a problem in the Lee turret presses?
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Old June 16, 2011, 10:23 AM   #2
Doodlebugger45
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That problem is a simple adjustment. It is not caused by the plastic ratchet, but I suspect some of the problems people report with the plastic ratchet wearing out quickly is caused by the problem you describe. Lee has instructions on how to make that adjustment. I can't remember right now how it was done, but I also had the same phenomenon occur when I first got my turret press. It would almost advance to the correct position, but not quite. After reading the directions, it took about 15 seconds to make the proper adjustment and it was indexing perfectly. It still indexes perfectly and I still haven't wore out the first little plastic ratchet.
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Old June 16, 2011, 11:04 AM   #3
gregjc9
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Adjusting the turret indexing is a very simple process, and covered in the manual, as well as videos I believe, on Lee's web site. The Lee Classic Turret press is a nice outfit.
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Old June 16, 2011, 11:14 AM   #4
serf 'rett
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Got it! Looked up instructions and ya'll are correct - adjustment looks to be a simple tweak of the index rod.

The Lee Classic Turret and the Lyman T-Mag are being considered for my next press purchase. Both have things I think I'd like.

Thanks!
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Old June 16, 2011, 12:54 PM   #5
Doodlebugger45
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Those were the 2 that I boiled my choice down to also. Hard to go wrong with either. The Lyman doesn't automatically advance, but it's not a big deal to turn it by hand each stroke. The Lyman turrets cost a lot more if you have multiple calibers, but we know you're a rich dude.
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Old June 16, 2011, 02:59 PM   #6
serf 'rett
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Me Are Rich Dude!

Rich Dude? Yep, you got that right. All of us reloaders are Rich Dudes. Got to be true, 'cause this ain't a cheap hobby.

Getting into reloading can be like buying a Sears router for $49.99. After you get the router, you discover it will take $1,200.00 of bits, tables, guides and assorted accessories to make the router useful.

I think I may be a small time rich dude bacause I currently am thinking in how many pounds of powder could have been bought for the money my wife just spent on something. Example: wife just had the hedges trimmed = 2.5 pounds Power Pistol or 1.5 pounds of VV N320. I suspect the big time Rich Dudes think in terms of 5K to 10K bullets to run through their blue ammo makers.
And the Super Rich Dudes think in terms of New Firearms.
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Old June 16, 2011, 03:33 PM   #7
10Ringmagic
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Be sure to grease the sides of the aluminum turret heads with a good quality white lithium grease, makes the process operate much smoother, and really lengthens the life of the square plastic ratchet.
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Old June 16, 2011, 05:50 PM   #8
ipscchef
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My .02$

I bought my Lee Classic Turret a few months ago, and although I have only run a couple hundred rounds through it so far, I really love it. I bought it to replace my Dillon 650 so that I can load for several calibers and the fact that the tool heads can be had for about $7 apiece has made it very usefull to me. I now have five different calibers set up in different heads that I can just pop on the unit and I am ready to go in a flash. For what I want to do, this unit is the perfect tool. I am going to post a followup thread as to why I switched out my 650 for the Lee. I am vry happy with it.

TenRing,

Thanks for the tip, I am going to try it ASAP.

Willy
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Old June 16, 2011, 05:55 PM   #9
CrustyFN
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The problem with the demo press at BPS was because of all the abuse of people doing things to the press that shouldn't be done. Once you get the indexing adjusted it stays there and you won't have to do it again, unless you have to change a ratchet piece. You can buy the replacement ratchets for around 50 cents each. I have been loading on a classic turret press five years. I have loaded thousands of rounds and am still on the original ratchet. I load 9mm, 38 spcl, 45 auto and 223. For me it has been an awesome press.
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Old June 17, 2011, 07:03 AM   #10
benzuncle
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I purchased my LCT going on 3½ years ago. I load 45ACP, 380ACP and 357SIG with it. Changing calibers is quick and easy. Once you have the dies and turret set to your liking, they stay there.
Unlike Crusty, my plastic indexing ratchet didn't last long. The culprit was the operator, not Lee. A spare comes with the LCT when you buy it. You may not know what it is and Lee doesn't tell you, but it's in a small plastic bag and looks unimportant. Stow that sucker! Don't throw it away.
The only problem I've encountered with Lee equipment is the assembley/operating instructions. What little customer service I've needed from them (mainly reseaching loading 357SIG) was excellent. Fortunately there are forums like this one with a lot of folks that are only too willing to help out. For many of us, on the way to reloading so we could shoot more and/or save money, we discovered another hobby.
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Old June 17, 2011, 10:18 PM   #11
Lost Sheep
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I second that notion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by serf 'rett
The turret would not fully advance when the press handle was raised, unless the handle was snapped upward. The turret moved to within about an eighth of an inch of the next engaged position and stopped. I could twist the turret slightly and it would “pop” into place. After tinkering with the press, I found I could move the handle up rapidly at the end of the stroke and the get the turret to fully rotate. I don’t like the idea of needing to yank the press handle to get the advance mechanism to operate properly.

Questions: Is this a common problem with this press design or just a problem with the press I was testing? Is this tied to the complaints about the “plastic piece” which seems to be a problem in the Lee turret presses?
As mentioned by other posters, this is not common, nor is it right. The turret should move all the way into place no matter how slowly you raise the arm (lower the ram). "Snapping" the ram/arm is certain to shorten the life of the square ratched.

Lubrication of the turret and adjustment of the indexing rod appear to be appropriate.

Better writing in Lee's literature is also appropriate, but harder to get.

I took my spare square ratchet and slid it onto the indexing rod, all the way up to the top (it hides under the turret) where it is out of the way and (as long as I remember that I put it there) will not be lost when I need it.

Good Luck,

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Old June 18, 2011, 07:45 AM   #12
CrustyFN
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Quote:
I suspect the big time Rich Dudes think in terms of 5K to 10K bullets to run through their blue ammo makers.
I wonder what they would call those of us that buy primers 50,000 at a time and powder 48 pounds at a time.
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Old June 18, 2011, 08:16 AM   #13
serf 'rett
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To answer Crusty's musing:

Quote:
I wonder what they would call those of us that buy primers 50,000 at a time and powder 48 pounds at a time.
Kings and Lords of the Reload Realm We, of the peasant masses, genuflect in awestruck wonder.

Lost Sheep – After reading all the good reports on the Lee Classic Turret, I really felt that something was out of kilter on the display press.
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Old June 18, 2011, 03:30 PM   #14
CrustyFN
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Quote:
After reading all the good reports on the Lee Classic Turret, I really felt that something was out of kilter on the display press.
I guarantee it. I haven't met anybody yet that bought a classic turret and didn't like it or had a lot of problems with it. A lot of people will move on to progressives because they out grew the volume of the CT. If you are going to load a lot of pistol calibers the CT is the way to go.
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Old June 19, 2011, 10:20 AM   #15
tkcomer
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The main thing to remember is not to turn or adjust the turret with the ram down. That's how the ratchet get's damaged. You need to do your adjustments with the ram about halfway up. That is when the ratchet is disengaged.
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Old June 19, 2011, 10:57 AM   #16
Sid
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I have have had the Lee Classic Turret Press for about 3 years and I really like it. My only complaint is the lousy instructions that came with it. It took me quite a bit of time before I was able to figure out the indexing process with the little square plastic thing.
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