The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old May 5, 2015, 03:41 PM   #1
rfxcasey
Member
 
Join Date: February 20, 2013
Posts: 54
Reloading Press Questions

I was thinking about getting a Lee Classic Turret press which to my understanding can also be used in single stage mode. My question is can I do the same with this press http://www.amazon.com/Lee-Precision-...ee+load+master
rfxcasey is offline  
Old May 5, 2015, 03:48 PM   #2
Dave P
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 16, 1999
Location: North Florida
Posts: 1,178
The turret press is great.

The auto press is a pain in the rear. I inherited one recently, and I lose more hair every time I use it.
__________________
... still waiting for that stimulus to kick in ...
Dave P is offline  
Old May 5, 2015, 03:53 PM   #3
DaleA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 12, 2002
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 2,164
I've got no first hand experience with the press so I cannot comment on it but you could check out the 1-star reviews in Amazon if you want some critical reviews of the press.
DaleA is offline  
Old May 5, 2015, 05:42 PM   #4
g.willikers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 28, 2008
Posts: 6,446
Purty sure the answer is no, the Loadmaster can't be used as a single stage press.
The turret can be used as a single stage press because the shell holder is stationary, and the part that rotates the dies can be removed.
But the Loadmaster progressive action can't be disabled that way.
The dies stay in place and the shell holder rotates.
There's plenty of youtube videos showing how both presses work.
__________________
Lock the doors, they're coming in the windows.
g.willikers is offline  
Old May 5, 2015, 06:55 PM   #5
PolarFBear
Junior Member
 
Join Date: April 22, 2015
Location: Chickamauga, GA
Posts: 10
You are contemplating a Lee Press?

I have loaded for over 15 years; and am STILL learning. I started on a Lee Classic Turret. EXCELLENT BEGINNER press, highly recommend. Moved on to a Lee Pro 1000. Thank goodness I am mechanically inclined. Finally got it to work and made some good 38 special rather quickly. Stepped up to a Load Master. More mechanical frustrations. Made some decent ammo of various sizes. But what a pain. Finally "graduated" to a Dillon 550B. Everything you hear about a Dillon is TRUE. Expensive, but worth every penny. My Lee equipment stays tucked away on the bottom shelf of my reloading cabinet. I DO use other Lee products. Most of my dies are Lee, all of my "active" lead molds are LEE, though I do have a few from Lyman that I have never used. I am not a Lee "basher", but at 63, I have had ENOUGH frustration in my life. Only feature I miss on the 550B is the auto-index feature. That is available on the 650 but you enter a much more expensive realm of "gear". With the 550, my error, I did double charge a 38 Special. Fortunately I was firing a S&W 640. That double charge error is really minimized with an auto-index feature.
PolarFBear is offline  
Old May 5, 2015, 07:03 PM   #6
Sevens
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 28, 2007
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 9,825
There are different ways of looking at what makes a turret press specifically useful:

--ability to do different things to the same piece of brass while handling the brass only once

--ability for LIGHTNING fast caliber swaps

IMO, the second point is the true genius in a turret press and only the Lee turret presses have that ability. The first point is far down the list, as I see it. As a "poor man's progressive", a turret press fails to deliver and always will because it lacks the key ingredient of a progressive -- a shell plate. If you don't have a shell plate, every thing you do will always require a pull of the press handle and only one piece of brass will be addressed.

For these reasons, I beleive that any Lee brand turret press is a wonderful upgrade to a single stage. But as a substitute for a progressive, no turret press will do.

Between the two listed choices, I would prefer the Lee Classic Turret press.
__________________
Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
Sevens is offline  
Old May 5, 2015, 08:26 PM   #7
snakeye
Member
 
Join Date: July 5, 2013
Location: Arlington, TX
Posts: 41
Of the two the Lee Classic Turrent Press is the only way to go to do what you want it to do and trust me you will not regret it
snakeye is offline  
Old May 5, 2015, 09:14 PM   #8
Lost Sheep
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2009
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Posts: 3,220
Yes, sort of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rfxcasey
I was thinking about getting a Lee Classic Turret press which to my understanding can also be used in single stage mode. My question is can I do the same with this press {the Lee Loadmaster progressive press-for the link, see the Original Post}
With respect to G.Willikers (who knows a LOT and is right on this one, too, sort of):

You CAN use any progressive as a single stage. You remove all but one of the dies and run your batch of cases through the press and they will be processed by that one die (riding around the shell plate, rotating under the empty stations). Then you (just as you do with a single stage) swap to the next die and run your batch of cases through the press. Repeat with all the dies and you are done.

There are other drawbacks than the obvious one of being slower than continuous processing (which the progressive is designed for and turrets-particularly the auto-advancing turrets offered by Lee, but other makers' manual-advance turrets can do it, too).

The press ram is not aligned under the die. This off-axis alignment (depending on how stiff and strong the press is and how much force is required to process the cartridge in any particular die) can give rise to some eccentricity (or runout) in the finished cartridge.

There may be a bit of increased wear on the ram (also due to the off-axis forces), but I suspect this to be minimal.

There may be other drawbacks but I cannot think of them at the moment.

In many threads, I have seen testimony of people who recommend using progressive presses (and turret presses) in single stage (batch processing) during one's learning to load. So, I infer that it is not an uncommon practice. I never felt the need. When I picked up progressive presses, I just slowed my speed, checked each station in turn after each stroke and after each and every station passed muster, made another stroke of the ram.

Having said that, let me tell you that I traded off my Lee Pro-1000 presses for a Lee Classic Turret. I am much more relaxed after a loading session now. Caliber swaps are a matter of seconds and I achieved a production rate of 100 rounds in 47 minutes my first time out (and that included replenishing the primers, powder bullets and brass as well as boxing and labelling the finished product).

To my mind, your choice depends largely on your 1) quantity of ammunition required and 2) number of different chamberings you will be loading 3) how much space you will devote to your loading bench, 4) if you will leave it set up pernamently or put it away after loading sessions and 5) how much you want to (or can) spend.

Thanks for asking our advice.

Lost Sheep
Lost Sheep is offline  
Old May 6, 2015, 10:45 AM   #9
Reloader270
Member
 
Join Date: March 14, 2015
Posts: 32
I bought one and it worked very well for the first few hundred rounds. But one day it did not want to index. The plastic shoe got damaged I do not know how. I could not get any replacement parts in South Africa. So I sold it. I then bought a RCBS PiggyBack and found it to be exciting. RCBS replaced all missing parts. That is service! I had bought a RCBS Ammo Master yesterday and it would probably replace the PiggyBack later.
Reloader270 is offline  
Old May 6, 2015, 04:49 PM   #10
F. Guffey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 18, 2008
Posts: 3,576
Only 10 left in stock

wait

(more on the way).

No rush.

I have a Herters turret press, 6 positions and I have the Herter 2 ram press.

F. Guffey
F. Guffey is offline  
Old May 6, 2015, 06:24 PM   #11
JeepHammer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 27, 2015
Posts: 249
I started with a hand press, no bench mounting.

Then I got a Lee 'C' (open side) bench mount, one die at a time.

My next press was an RCBS Rock Chucker when I got into bench shooting,
Ultra accurate rounds from a Rock Chucker.
One die at a time makes it slow.

Competition rimmed wheel gun rounds were just too slow,
I got a Lee Turret press, 3 stations in the turret, and I still use it for small batches to this day.
It's what they call a 'Classic' Turret Press now, mines been running for 30 years with no issues at all.
Caliber changes take about 30 seconds.
Changing from one die to another is a flick of the wrist, and your dies are always set up after you adjust them once.
Can't really recommend it higher! No plastic parts that give up, no complicated parts to adjust, uses common dies and shell holders, works exactly as advertised, maybe better.

When the Lee Progressive came along, a buddy got one,
Spent a month trying to get it set up correctly and waiting on parts that have up right away.
Plastic parts will always be a weak link...
It was a pain in the butt I finally gave up on.

I finally decided to make the jump to a progressive,
About two years ago I got a Dillion XL650.
Good thing I'm a machinest and parts designer by trade or this thing would have made me beat it with a hammer...
Half the press has been redesigned or tinkered with in some way,
And it took two weeks to get it running for reasonable match quality rounds.
Caliber changes take close to an hour by the time you tear it down, change shell plates, feed ramps, bushings, swap cams around, pull the primer feeder down to loose parts and swap everything, then get it tuned to run the new caliber...

In my spare time I'm working on a CNC produced aluminum version of a couple critical parts that are plastic on the Dillon
I made a point of buying a spare parts kit, but I still don't trust plastic parts.
__________________
Information found on the 'Internet' is worth EXACTLY what you paid for it...
Everyone on the internet is an 'Expert'.
JeepHammer is offline  
Old May 6, 2015, 07:19 PM   #12
Lost Sheep
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2009
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Posts: 3,220
JeepHammer,

Thanks for the review of your loading career (and the prsses that populated it) Very informative and echoes my experiences.

I do have one correction.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepHammer
I got a Lee Turret press, 3 stations in the turret, and I still use it for small batches to this day.
It's what they call a 'Classic' Turret Press now, mines been running for 30 years with no issues at all.
Lee's Classic Turret and Deluxe Turret, the Classic Turret design is the newer of the two and has never had a 3-station turret disk.

The Deluxe Turret has an aluminum base, the Classic Turret base is cast iron.

The Classic Turret has a full inch more vertical space/clearance (the base being flatter and the base of the Deluxe being taller, thus losing some clearance).

The Classic Turret drops spent primers down the center of the ram. The Deluxe turret has a smaller-diameter ram and drops primers down alongside the ram. (and a percentage of them bounce onto my floor)

There are other differences, but the Classic Turret is clearly superior to the Deluxe Turret, though they both operate exactly the same way and both will perform admirably (as long as you don't need more than 4 -or for the older models, 3- die stations).

Lost Sheep
Lost Sheep is offline  
Old May 6, 2015, 10:52 PM   #13
F. Guffey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 18, 2008
Posts: 3,576
Quote:
drops primers down alongside the ram. (and a percentage of them bounce onto my floor)
Reloaders chasing primers, nothing I can do about it, I am always reminded of a commercial by Chevy Chase. Seems he wore golf shoes with cleats to a board type meeting. I was asked to remove my shoes at Newark International airport, I had at least 20 primers that had imbedded into my shoes, they had been there long enough the only thing left was small metal rings.

F. Guffey
F. Guffey is offline  
Old May 7, 2015, 11:51 AM   #14
stubbicatt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 15, 2007
Posts: 1,313
Oh I agree on the Safety Prime system. Great system all around.

Unfortunately seems I lost the large primer lever, and had to order another.

Even so using the RCBS hand priming tool is likewise a pleasure.
stubbicatt is offline  
Old May 11, 2015, 03:45 PM   #15
GaryC4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 5, 2015
Posts: 1
Quote:
I was thinking about getting a Lee Classic Turret press which to my understanding can also be used in single stage mode.
I started out a few years ago with a Lee Classic Turret press and I'm still using it - love the simplicity and the fact that you can swap dies at a moments notice by setting up a turret plate for each caliber. And yes, you can lift out the center rod and use it as a single stage press (when powder was scarce I primed 100's of rounds this way.)

I'm not as pleased with Lee's auto-disk powder measure, mainly because IMO most powder throws seem to vary by more than 3/10th's of a grain. Plus, it hates larger flake powders. Worst of all, even when it was throwing consistent charges once in a while I'd get a heavy charge that put me a few 10th's over the Never Exceed charge. I discovered this when I collected my brass one day and found a round that was obviously seriously overpressurized. I started checking every charge I threw and got some seriously scary results! I bought a Lee charge bar and again, just not consistent enough for my tastes.

I ended up buying an RCBS Loadmaster to throw charges for my .40 S&W because I need these to be as consistent as possible, and I love the thing so much I use it for all the calibers I reload now.

Good luck with the Lee Classic Turret; it's a great value for the money, and so what if you have to pull the handle 4 times to make a round? I'm not in it for speed, but quality and satisfaction!
GaryC4 is offline  
Old May 11, 2015, 04:35 PM   #16
Sevens
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 28, 2007
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 9,825
You didn't go in to detail about what you saw, but I would suggest that you may have jumped to the wrong conclusion. While I will also NOT allow a thrown charge variance of three-tenths of a grain, it's not at all likely that a perfect load at X charge weight will then show a piece of ejected brass that is "obviously seriously overpressurized" with visual signs on the brass at X+0.3 grains of powder.

Especially with .40 S&W, my first suspicion would be unintended and completely unnoticed bullet setback.

Looks great when you seat the slug, in the ammo box and even in the magazine, but a rough feeding cycle slams the bullet deeper in to the cartridge case inside a pistol that's in full battery-- the shooter would never be able to see it before firing and only witness evidence of it after discharge.

It has long been my theory that this is a large part of the source of .40cal's reputation in this regard. High pressure cartridge, small space to operate, case mouth tension/bullet pull becomes CRITICAL.
__________________
Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
Sevens is offline  
Old May 11, 2015, 05:10 PM   #17
Gunnels
Member
 
Join Date: March 23, 2013
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 76
To answer you first question, yes a Load Master be used as a single stage press and a turret press and as a progressive.

I had a Lee turret press and then moved on the Load Master. I am glad I learned on the turret press. With a single stage press and a turret press one thing is happening each time you pull the lever. You can feel each time you pull the lever what has happened. In general, you can tell based upon the feel if it happened correctly. With a progressive press and specifically a Load Master, five things are happening at the same time and you loose that feel. With a progressive press you can mess up a lot of bullets in a short period of time if you are not experienced and careful.
__________________
Beretta Model 84BB Cheetah
Beretta Model BU9 Nano
Beretta Model 92FS
Beretta Cougar 8045F, 8040D, and 8000D
Gunnels is offline  
Old May 13, 2015, 09:24 PM   #18
THEWELSHM
Member
 
Join Date: February 20, 2015
Location: Brandon Fl
Posts: 39
Buy a Hornady LNL and take the bullet rebate
THEWELSHM is offline  
Old May 13, 2015, 09:42 PM   #19
tdocz
Member
 
Join Date: November 30, 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 19
To throw in my two cents, if you are thinking you will be a long time handloader/reloader go Blue. That is, consider purchasing a Dillon press I own several presses, including an old Pacific C , a Lee Classic Turret, a RCBS Rockchucker, and several Dillon progressive presses. I use the Pacific, Lee and RCBS as designated presses for small batch single stage loads, usually for bolt rifles. And my Dillon presses, a XL650 and a Square Deal, for larger batch handgun and AR-type loads. If I could only keep one it would be my Dillon XL650 hands down. It is easily the fastest, most reliable and versatile press I own. Switching calibers takes all of about 5 min, 10 min if you change primer sizes. Not only is the XL650 an auto indexing progressive press, Dillon sells a kit that converts a 550 or a 650 to a single stage press, as well. The 650 is expensive but WELL WORTH IT plus the Dillon customer service is excellent. -Tony
tdocz is offline  
Old May 13, 2015, 10:19 PM   #20
kostner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 28, 2007
Location: Kommifornia
Posts: 117
I would prefer the Lee Classic Turret press have one and it a pleasure to use. It main job these days is to turn our a few hundred 223 a week. Use it mainly for rifle ammo. It can turn out hand gun ammo with the best of them. 45,38, 9mm and 380 are a few that worked great for me. Changing calibers is the charm it takes two minutes. If you enjoy reloading it a true bargain. Can't do that with Loadmaster.
I also own two Dillon Square Deals in 45 & 9mm if you can afford them do it.
kostner is offline  
Old May 15, 2015, 11:56 PM   #21
oldreloader
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 31, 2009
Location: Magnolia, Arkansas
Posts: 219
If I could only have one press it would be the Lee Classic Turret. But since I can have all I want , I have the Classic Turret AND the Classic cast.
oldreloader is offline  
Old May 16, 2015, 10:52 AM   #22
cheygriz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 11, 2002
Location: high up in the rockies
Posts: 2,289
If I could have only one press, it would be this one.

www.dillonprecision.com

But you often need a single stage, and this one can't be beat.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/271...ProductFinding
__________________
If you think a mighty military force is expensive, wait 'til you see what a weak one costs.
cheygriz is offline  
Old May 16, 2015, 11:19 AM   #23
tobnpr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 1, 2010
Location: Tampa Bay
Posts: 3,595
Quote:
Buy a Hornady LNL and take the bullet rebate
I often use my LNL AP as a single stage.
I can't speak for other manuf's ease of use in this context as I have no direct experience.
What I can say, is that it would be impossible for it to be any easier than it is on the LNL press.

Shells are held in the shellplate by a simple spring- you simply take a case out, put it back in just as easily.

When doing load workup, or precision loads where I need to make sure I'm spot on with the powder, I just load a single case into the shellplate. Decap/size at the first station, seat the primer at the second.
Pop the case out, weigh it- then back into the shellholder.
Drop the charge, take out the case, weigh it to verify the charge.
If it's right, back into that station and advance to the bullet seater.
If not, empty the case back into the powder dispenser, and drop the charge again.

The LNL dispenser is almost always within a tenth even with extruded powders.

If you really intend on using a progessive press as a single stage a lot- the LNL definitely deserves to be considered as part of your due diligence.
__________________
Mosin-Nagant Custom Shop/Bent Bolts
Gun-Kote/ Cerakote Refinishing
Criterion Barrels/ Savage Re-Barreling
www.biggorillagunworks.com
tobnpr is offline  
Old May 16, 2015, 11:33 AM   #24
GyMac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 19, 2012
Posts: 162
I have the Lee Classic Turret and have been very happy with it. I can load all the ammo I need to shoot my 200, maybe 300 rounds a week w/o problem. I had a LeePro 1000, but it became pretty "loose" after a few years and it was always very touchy as to operation. I've done a good bit of considering and reading and were I to get another progressive, it would be the Hornady. The bullet rebate really drops the cost, but even aside from that, I like what I've learned about it.
GyMac is offline  
Old May 16, 2015, 01:24 PM   #25
TMD
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 9, 2011
Posts: 696
I've had my LCT for almost 10 years now and probably have loaded 50-60k rounds with it to date. I keep telling myself I need a progressive press but somehow when I sit at the bench I always think to myslf why. I guess its because I load for over a dozen different calibers and there isn't another press out there that allows you to change over to a different caliber in a matter of seconds.
TMD is online now  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:57 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2015 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13218 seconds with 9 queries