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Old February 26, 2012, 05:19 PM   #1
lah2420
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Lee Classic Turret press

I know I do more lurking in the background than posting of anything, but I'm extremely happy with a purchase I just made. I've been using a Breechlock press on my handgun and rifle rounds for a few years now. I have a hunting friend that has greatly helped me learn the starting points of reloading. Now it's just obvious how little I do know. But back on track. I bought the turret press after speaking with Lee about it or the Pro 1000. They said that for what I do, I would probably be happier with the classic turret. I just loaded just under 250 .45acp rounds this afternoon in about an hour and a half. Normally that would have been 50 rounds on the single stage. WAY cool. That was with stopping every few rounds to measure everything on the first 50 and gauging all of the rounds. I'm impressed---of course it doesn't take much to impress me.
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Old February 26, 2012, 05:43 PM   #2
CrustyFN
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The classic turret is a great press. I have had mine six years.
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Old February 26, 2012, 10:07 PM   #3
Lost Sheep
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If you are happy with that rate of production, you are gold.

I had two Pro-1000 presses and never got comfortable with monitoring multiple simultaneous operations. I also did not like the way the Pro-1000 would drop the spent primers outside the cavity in the press' base where they were SUPPOSED to go (which, by the way is the same system used with the Deluxe Turret). I also did not like the way the new primer feed would not feed the last few primers. Gravity required a stack of new primers always be pushing the primer to be inserted in the current case. Unreliable at the end of a loading session.

Watching all these operations, I could never achieve the production rate a progressive press is supposed to be capable of.

So, I traded "up" to a Lee Classic Turret and couldn't be happier.

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Old February 27, 2012, 02:40 PM   #4
willr
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What concerned me about the turret press is that occasionally the measure would fail to drop a proper charge. After several squib loads in my 38 spl., I have taken to using the turret press like a single-stage so that I can inspect every round for a proper charge.

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Old February 27, 2012, 02:44 PM   #5
ScottRiqui
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Which powder measure were you using? With the Auto-Disk, there's really no way for it not to charge a case, unless you've let the hopper run dry, or you've manually twisted the hopper to the "OFF" position. You can watch (and hear) the disc(s) slide back and forth as you cycle the press.
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Old February 27, 2012, 04:05 PM   #6
markr
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Instead of using it single stage you could just observe the powder charge in the case prior to seating.
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Old February 27, 2012, 10:35 PM   #7
Lost Sheep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willr
I have taken to using the turret press like a single-stage so that I can inspect every round for a proper charge.

willr
Another solution different from those proposed by ScottRiqui and markr (both good ones) is to remove the Auto-disk powder measure (off to a separate stand) and put the standard collar on the die with the $4 Lee funnel. Then as each case needs charging, drop a powder charge into your scale's pan and pour it into the funnel.

If you don't want to use the Auto-Disk, you can use a dipper to mete the powder charge. If your technique is consistent, your charge weights will be, too.

I think it is better than resorting to batch mode which will cost you some speed to provide your peace of mind.

Now, if you are using a powder that is prone to "bridging" you will be well advised to follow markr's advice and actually SEE the powder in the case and gauge the depth. A mirror and small light is handy. You can attach them to your press' frame as a number of handloaders I know of (sorry, I don't have links) have done.

Good luck.

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Old February 28, 2012, 07:12 PM   #8
benzuncle
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Quote:
Instead of using it single stage you could just observe the powder charge in the case prior to seating.
+1 on that method. I have a 4ft fluorescent light mounted underneath the top shelf of my 6ft tall setup. That puts the bright light from those two 4ft. lamps 22 inches from the charged casing on my LCT and gives me plenty of light.
The photos of CrustyFN's LCT that he has shared with this forum shows a small flex-light shining directly into the charged casing. Enough light eliminates the need to remove the index rod to view the charge.
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Old February 28, 2012, 09:10 PM   #9
lah2420
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Not a problem here, but I am just curious. I'm using the Pro Auto-Disk measure. The included sheet said to use the .37 hole for 4.8 gr of titegroup powder. I ended up having to go up to the .49 hole to get 4.5 gr. Their chart is way off. A friend found the same issue with his when he started loading 223 cartridges. Is this what others have found? Like I said, it's not a problem because I tend to dump the powder and measure every once in a while to make sure it is being consistent.
I have a double flourescent light above my bench too. I can see in the case after the powder drops and make sure it looks right. So I don't foresee any short charges.
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Old February 28, 2012, 09:26 PM   #10
ScottRiqui
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Quote:
I'm using the Pro Auto-Disk measure. The included sheet said to use the .37 hole for 4.8 gr of titegroup powder. I ended up having to go up to the .49 hole to get 4.5 gr. Their chart is way off. A friend found the same issue with his when he started loading 223 cartridges. Is this what others have found?
Yes, that's par for the course. I loaded up some .380 ACP ammo this weekend, using three different powders (W231, Unique and Power Pistol). In all three cases, I had to go up one or more hole sizes from the ones recommended in the manual. Once I found the correct volume for the required charge, though, the measure threw consistent charges, so I just make a note on the ammo box which disc(s) I ended up using to get the desired weight so I don't have to go through the experimentation the next time.
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Old February 28, 2012, 11:26 PM   #11
Lost Sheep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lah2420
Not a problem here, but I am just curious. I'm using the Pro Auto-Disk measure. The included sheet said to use the .37 hole for 4.8 gr of titegroup powder. I ended up having to go up to the .49 hole to get 4.5 gr. Their chart is way off.
Yep. Lee's charts show a heavier weight than you actually get, from both the Auto-disk and from the dippers.

Better that they drop too light than too heavy. With the AUto-Disk, it would be easy to ream the holes a little larger to get the charge you want. But if you ever trade off the Auto-Disk, do something to make the new owner awar of the changes. Etch a warning in the disk or something.

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Old February 29, 2012, 04:35 PM   #12
willr
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Its the Lee Pro-Auto Disk measure. All suggestions are appreciated, but over the years, I have done all of them, and still have gotten squib loads. Using the Lee funnel is also dangerous because it is all too easy to get ahead of oneself and forget to drop the charge. That has happened. With the funnel method it is also too easy to get double charges. My only solution has been to inspect every charge visually. The problem with doing that while the case is still on the press is that with some long cases it is very difficult to see the charge -- 9 mm and 45 acp aren't difficult, but 38 spl and 327 mag are a different story.


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Old February 29, 2012, 04:54 PM   #13
ScottRiqui
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Have you figured out exactly *how* you're getting squib loads from the Pro Auto-Disk? I haven't used every powder out there, but I haven't run across one yet that wouldn't drop from the hopper into the disc and then from the disc into the case.
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Old March 1, 2012, 11:13 AM   #14
willr
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Unique doesn't meter well with small loads -- even the Lee Manual says that flake powers can't be expected to meter well.

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Old March 1, 2012, 02:38 PM   #15
GTOne
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If you can't see down into the case while loading you have your press or yourself at the wrong height. Change whatever needs to be changed to make it so. Reload standing up if that is what it takes to see into the case. Get a clip on light or desk light that can be aimed on to your shell holder.
I use one that clips right to a post on the press.



Talking of squibs like they are sort of normal means there is a serious issue with one's process.
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Old March 7, 2012, 10:03 PM   #16
Daggitt
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GTOne is right. You should not be having any squibs. I have shot thousands of rounds reloads and factory. I had one box of S&W 32 from my local gunstore that had two squibs. Squib is not goood. Blow up your gun or worse.
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Old March 8, 2012, 08:55 AM   #17
floydster
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If you are having squibs, it's your own fault, period!!
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Old March 8, 2012, 12:07 PM   #18
ScottRiqui
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willr
Unique doesn't meter well with small loads -- even the Lee Manual says that flake powers can't be expected to meter well.
There's a difference between "doesn't meter well" and "will fail to drop entirely, giving you a squib". I don't know what a "small load" is, but I've used plenty of Unique, with loads as small as 2.9 gr, and I've never had a charge fail to drop from the hopper through the disc and then into the case.

With some powders/charges, I might not always be getting the exact same charge evey pull to within 0.1 gr, but that's a far cry from getting squibs.

Check your equipment and your processes, because there's something seriously wrong somewhere.

Last edited by ScottRiqui; March 8, 2012 at 12:17 PM.
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