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Old December 21, 2012, 08:14 PM   #51
dickttx
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After being out of reloading for about 40 years I started again a couple of years ago. My late 60's CH Champion still worked as smoothly as ever and probably nothing stronger. They had the used primer drop through the ram way back then. Started loading 9mm and soon saw that the SS was VERY slow. After a lot of research I bought an LCT with the Pro Auto Disk and Safety prime and four-die pistol die sets. Don't believe there could be a better system for what I wanted. I am completely inept mechanically and it took me about an hour of reading instructions (gasp!!) and tinkering to get it working, as the powder and primer systems were completely new to me. The die setups were all different form my old RCBS and Lyman dies.
After several thousands of rounds the 400 pulls of the lever for 100 rounds of ammunition was getting to my shoulder.
Again, after careful investigation, I bought a LnL AP. Again it took me awhile to learn to operate it. To cut down on my learning, I transferred my Lee dies and PAD to the LnL. They work as well there as they do on the LCT.
Back in the 60's I also had a Lyman All-American press and several Ohaus items. They used to make a lot of reloading tools, scales, powder measure, casting equipment, etc. Also had several of the gadgets that Lee made back then, and as now, they worked and were economical. Their 50¢ gadget to camfer case mouths worked better than the $7. ones from other companies. My first primer seater was Lee's hand primer with the screw in shell holders. Still works good today. Can't really say that I really had any bad products, except maybe a few small items from Herters.
As some others have said, if I had to go to only one set up, without a doubt it would be the Lee Classic Turret.
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Old December 21, 2012, 09:18 PM   #52
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Quote:
Lee's lock rings don't work well with the Hornady bushing system. I could have replaced the lock rings, but I chose to replace the dies.
You can take the o-ring out and turn the Lee lock ring upside down and it works just like any other lock nut. I don't lock them to my dies so don't care at all about the split lock rings or those with set screws in them.
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Old December 21, 2012, 09:57 PM   #53
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Dillion for progressive...Lee for Harbor Freight...RCBS for old times sake...(China bad move), Pacific & Forester & Sinclair for the engineer types with lots of money and time.
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Old December 21, 2012, 10:19 PM   #54
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Press spring? I got my precision dial indicator maybe 10 years ago. Since I do most of my loading on a Rock Chucker II I wanted to see how much it springs under real reloading pressure. With a single box of fired .30-06 I measured the spring while FL sizing to restore the shoulder to the prefired position; almost 3 thou. Then I did the same test with my two little Lee C "Reloader" presses I use for de- and re-priming, same cases, dies, shell holder and end position of the necks; less than 1 thou, it moved the .001" needle but not enough to take a reading. And that was with both of my very small alum alloy C presses! I later confirmed my RC's flex with the same test done on another guy's green press so mine is no fluke.

I'm not silly enough to suggest that the little presses are as beefy strong as the big chunk of green cast iron but, within their strength limits, the little guys are absolutly more rigid. Meaning the 'expert' pronouncements that Lee's alum alloy presses flex more than iron ones are BS based on popular opinon and 'it just has to be so' crap than any real knowledge of the issue.

I'm not defending Lee out of loyalty, I'm too mature to have emotional attachments to any inanimate object one way or the other. What I do defend is the truth and most of what I read on the web about Lee's lack of quality, performance or durability is silly. Ditto how great everything made by some magic brand is supposed to be.
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Old January 5, 2013, 12:14 AM   #55
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No is no comparison RCBS is far superior, it's like comparing a Cadillac to a Chevy. RCBS has the best no questions ask warranty in the business.
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Old January 5, 2013, 12:37 AM   #56
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Quote:
No is no comparison RCBS is far superior, it's like comparing a Cadillac to a Chevy
Rubbish!^^^^^

The green presses from China are what they are. From China~!
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Old January 5, 2013, 01:52 AM   #57
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Some people think cost equals value and you'll never convince them otherwise.
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Old January 5, 2013, 07:07 AM   #58
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Those championing the phrase "No is no comparison RCBS is far superior, it's like comparing a Cadillac to a Chevy" should compare the side play in an RCBS Rockchucker made back in 1980 to one made these days. Both my early 1980's Rockchuckers have about .003" of side play at the shell holder with their ram's all the way to the top. I've checked half a dozen or more of the in-store new ones in the last couple of years and they all have ten times that much play so measured.

But virtually all the new presses these days have the same, huge amount of slop. I've not seen any that are as tight as my old RC's that have "worn out" several barrels. The high-dollar Hornady, Lyman and RCBS are decent, but I'd check one out when new before keeping it. Return it if you feel any side play in the ram at the top of its stroke. If there's play, it'll get worse. If there's no play, it'll probably last a long time if the metal's decent.

Note also that different folks have different standards of quality and expectations to be met. A few dozen folks checking out a given press will typically have a wide range of opinions on its performance based on an even wider range of expectations.
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Old January 5, 2013, 08:11 AM   #59
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this might qualify as the dumb question of the day but once the case enters the die what does press stiffness have to do with anything? The case is free floating in the holder, or at least has several thousandths free movement in any given direction. That case is going to align itself with the bore of the die. If the mechanism holding the case did not allow movement the brass would look like crumpled tissue

What am I missing here?
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Old January 5, 2013, 10:04 AM   #60
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I'm very new to reloading and I bought a used Lee Turret press off of Craigslist. This is the Value Turret press, not the Cast Classic Turret. Needless to say, I got it home, set it up and said.Oh no, what have I done!!
But, due to limited funds, this is where I started.

Well, it needed a few parts (bought used remember), which I ordered for under 20 bucks. Once I tweaked it in with the new parts, it runs like a top! Excellent positioning and repeatability. I also got excellent email support from Lee on all my issues.

I am using Lee dies and once I had them properly set, they don;t move, so I don;t know if it is the set up or the dies as to why some can not get them to properly repeat. I have had no problems with the first 1000 rounds I have loaded (see, I told you I was a new re-loader!).

All that said, I have been a machinist for 40 years and now having this press for a bit and then just looking a a picture of the LCT, I can tell that the LCT will be my next purchase. It is just a better built press and it is obvious from just looking at pictures of it. But, they both use some interchangeable parts, like that stupid plastic square that rides up the indexing shaft. Should be made of aluminum. Sure it will still wear, but not at fast. Also, the LCT has the through shaft hole for easy primmer catching. The Value Turret Press is a PIA to clean up you spent primers from.

Apples to Oranges in Lee. I think this may be where some confusion and dis-satisfaction comes in when talking Lee. Spend the extra 25 bucks on the LCT and never look back for inexpensive re-loading in my humble opinion. I'm happy with Lee all in all, but have never had to worry about using any other press
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Old January 5, 2013, 10:30 AM   #61
Sport45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkmaker
that stupid plastic square that rides up the indexing shaft. Should be made of aluminum. Sure it will still wear, but not at fast.
That plastic bushing will last a long, long time if you operate the press right. Make a mistake and you'll tear it up. Then you'll be glad you're replacing a fifty cent part instead of a ten dollar part. It's plastic for a reason.

That said, I still have those parts in new condition because I've never wanted to use the auto-index feature. I load in batches instead.
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Old January 5, 2013, 10:54 AM   #62
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"...I still have those parts in new condition because I've never wanted to use the auto-index feature. I load in batches instead."

You and me both. The turret is the best "single stage" ever, with the dies pre-set in the turret.
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Old January 5, 2013, 12:33 PM   #63
Bart B.
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hounddawg asks an intelligent question:
Quote:
once the case enters the die what does press stiffness have to do with anything? The case is free floating in the holder, or at least has several thousandths free movement in any given direction.
Yes, the case can move in any direction horizontally, and typically does in the shell holder or with the shell holder in the ram's top.

But its the long axis of the case relative to the die's long axis that is the issue.

Depending on the type and amount of lube on a clean fired case as well as the taper of a full length sizing die's body and the diameter differences between the die and case, as long as there's some clearance between the bottom of the die and the top of the shell holder when the ram's all the way up, the amount of spring the press has will cause a dimensional problem with sized bottleneck cases. Sized case headspace, the distance from the case head to the reference point on the case shoulder will vary. Sometimes as much as .004" to .005" depending on all those factors mentioned.

If the die's not set down enough in the press, some cases so sized may not chamber easily. Others may have their shoudlers set back too far which leads to case head separation at the pressure ring. And best accuracy as well as case life happens when the fired case shoulder's set back no more than .002" and there's no more than a .002" spread across all the sized cases' headspace.

Therefore, a press with the least amount of "spring" typically produces more consistant size case dimensions for bottleneck cases.
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Old January 5, 2013, 12:44 PM   #64
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thanks Bart, that makes sense I think, spacial orientation is not my forte but now I have a reason to start saving my pennies for a CH4D. If I am going to drop 150 on a single stage I might as well drop a few more
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Old January 5, 2013, 02:40 PM   #65
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Just announced: RCBS's latest single station press, The Summit.
MADE IN AMERICA. (BTW, according to RCBS Chief Engineer, no Rock Chucker or Pro 2000 has been manufactured outside Oroville, California.)


Quote:
(from RCBS.com) For reloaders who need to quickly crank out precision rounds, the new RCBS® Summit Single Stage Reloading Press is the perfect tool for the job. Unlike other presses, it operates on top of the bench; the case does not move, the reloading die comes down to the case. Its all-steel linkage and cast iron frame provide the stability and ruggedness all reloaders need. The ambidextrous design allows unprecedented access to your cases, and you can quickly change dies. Made in the USA.
Quote:
(From RCBS.com)Features & Benefits
• Bench-top operation
• Ambidextrous handle operation with compound leverage
• Massive 2-inch diameter ram
• Full frontal access
• Accepts bushings for 1-inch die bodies
• Press adapter bushing
• Zerk fitting for lubrication
• Spent primer catcher
• 4.50-inch operating window for convenient access
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Old January 5, 2013, 02:44 PM   #66
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Quote:
MADE IN AMERICA.
Good to see that they are heading in the right direction again.
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Old January 5, 2013, 02:49 PM   #67
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I added a line, you missed. They tried some Chinese manufacture on bottom line Alum. Presses, but never on the cast iron stuff, according to him. But the rumors persist and persist. Electronics is another matter.....just like every other company....until we take back our electronics and computer industry, there's not much choice.

This new press reminds me of a Dillon 1050 and a Forster Co-ax cross breed. Die moves not the case but stronger than a Co-ax. Yet, it appears to me to be a design one could make portable and take to the range!! Will be interesting to watch! $208 listed (maybe prematurely) on Midsouth Shooter's web site.
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Old January 5, 2013, 03:06 PM   #68
hounddawg
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looks like a beefy press, wish the gun shows in the area had more reloading stuff. I would like to see one up close and personal
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Old January 5, 2013, 03:09 PM   #69
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Quote:
They tried some Chinese manufacture on bottom line Alum. Presses, but never on the cast iron stuff, according to him
I have read it both ways but, I have seen emails from RCBS that when asked if the presses were made in China they could only say

" Most of our products
are still produced right here in our factory in Oroville CA. However,
we do purchase some items from China or other countries around the
world. Any items we source outside of our operation are closely
monitored to insure they meet our quality expectations. The only reason
we choose certain items to be produced over seas is to provide our
customers with the best possible products for the lowest possible cost,
or in other words, to give you the best value for your hard earned
dollars."

Now without them coming out and saying that 100% that their presses are not made/produced in China I have to lean to the side that they are.

If there is not a Made and manufactured in the U.S.A stamp on the presses then I have no other choice but to believe they are made elsewhere.
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Old January 5, 2013, 03:31 PM   #70
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From what I understand, some Chinese cast iron was used by RCBS for presses for a time, Rock Chucker, but that was discontinued. Not sure. But, a number of their products are made in China and those products work well. Good example is the Charge Master which is well liked and I don't believe there is a better choice in that category which is unfortunate as I believe it is made in whole or part in China. I like Lee Precision but it sure is easy to get the RCBS fan-boys all riled-up.
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Old January 5, 2013, 05:40 PM   #71
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For the record I do know that many RCBS products are of good quality and that they have fantastic customer service (I have used it a few times. Just 2 weeks ago was the last time) but, "IF" I can buy a American made item that does the same job as well or better I am going to buy the USA product.

I think it really is a shame that we make just about nothing here anymore but, if we don't buy it they won't sell it.
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Old January 5, 2013, 06:53 PM   #72
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I'm old and have happily used too many reloading tools from every maker around and several that aren't around anymore to have any emotional attachment or antaganism towards any brand or inanimate object. I'm not a Lee fan, as such, but I do defend many silly attacks on Lee's tools. Most such arguments are no more than snob appeal anyway but anyone who buys the improper tool for the job to be done is unwise. Most of Lee's stuff is for the low volume loader and it works well in that catagory. But, their iron presses, the Cast Turret and Cast Classic, are precisely made, are as stong or stronger than others in their general class and have far better user features than any of their competitors. Buying a little Lee Reloader or hand press to reform .30-06 cases to .22-250 is a mistake, that needs a big iron press. But buying a big iron press to use with a universal decapper or bullet sizer would be foolish to buy a Redding Ultramag for such trivial work. There's a lot of lattitude between those extremes where it won't make a big of difference what color press gets used, the loader's skill counts for a lot more than brand!

Fact is, Lee's alum alloy presses are much better and much stronger than most people seem to realize, the only reason some of them break is that the users are such mechanical klutzes they need a 3# hammer to drive tacks without breaking the hammer. I've tested the spring of two Lee Reloader C presses against a Rock Chucker under identical FL sizing loads and there's no comparison - the RC sprung almost 3 thou while neither Reloader moved the needle enought to measure.

If anyone has the little Lee Perfect Powder Measure that leaks very much ball powder then they aren't setting it up correctly - and that's a fact. The PPM has better consisitancy with coarse tubular powders than any other measure I know of.

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Old January 5, 2013, 10:03 PM   #73
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Sorry folks, but RCBS presses have been made in Oroville, CA forever. That is directly from RCBS and not some Internet rumor
I have had Lee items, all were so-so and felt cheap like they were. RCBS is well made, as is Hornady, Dillon, Redding, and Forster, and all of those have lifetime free parts and online or phone tech support, speaking to Americans and not some phone bank in India
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Old January 5, 2013, 10:18 PM   #74
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^ Clueless
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Old January 5, 2013, 10:51 PM   #75
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Quote:
RCBS is well made, as is Hornady, Dillon, Redding, and Forster, and all of those have lifetime free parts and online or phone tech support, speaking to Americans and not some phone bank in India
I've never spent any time on hold or in voice mail hell, when I called Lee on a warranty issue or tech question ..... a nice lady answered the phone, told me what I needed to know or took my shipping info.... part arrived promptly, at no charge. If she was in India, then they sure have mastered the middle aged upper midwestern matron accent.....
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