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Old March 11, 2013, 10:28 PM   #1
j357
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Advice on a 2nd press

I have found a need for a second press for some chores and to share with my father to cover some tasks he has brought to the table. He has been assisting with my bad habit by collecting brass and wants to disassemble several hundred .223 rounds he has (long story, they were subject to a flood).

I have a Lee Classic Turret that has served me well for the past five years, and have been very happy. I have occasionally found a need for a second press and am considering purchasing one to loan him for several months.

My thought is to get a Lee C or O press and an RCBS Collet Puller for the 223 and universal depriming die.

I am also considering buying another LCT press as the cost between that and a Challenger press seem close, and could give him a good start if he decides to get into loading himself. Any suggestions on a press and universal die, or should I just get the puller and loan him my press?
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Old March 12, 2013, 12:34 AM   #2
rg1
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Buy a second press because even loaning yours out to your Father isn't a good idea as I'm sure you will need it while it is on loan. I would have suggested to buy a used one on a auction site but they are selling higher than normal at present. I'd get a single stage press to add to your bench and to buy the RCBS collet bullet puller with any caliber you might be pulling. I used an impact puller for several years and recently bought the RCBS collet puller and I had to kick myself several times for not going to the collet puller a long time ago. It pulls bullet easily and does not damage them, powder stays in the case, and it's fast.
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Old March 12, 2013, 07:57 AM   #3
Jimro
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Get another turret. The single stage presses are great for heavy duty jobs like case forming but a turret is better for reloading a lot of ammo.

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Old March 12, 2013, 10:50 AM   #4
A pause for the COZ
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I believe that no matter what type of set up you have. You always have a use for a good single stage press.
I recommend what I have done. Get a LEE classic cast press.
I dont recommend the one with the aluminum breech lock inserts.
Personal choice on that, I dont like any extra wiggle to account for.
I found I was getting different shoulder set backs on rifle brass with the inserts. You have to account for the movement in the insert when setting it up. Problem is different brass has different hardness. That changes the pressure on the insert, changing slightly the shoulder set back on some brass. Not all the time and not so much that if throws allot of brass out of spec. But it does and when it does your scratching your head to figure it out. So I just dont deal with that.

Since getting mine. I find I use it a lot. Mostly case prep work but also sizing cast bullets.
I may be working on a pile of 308, 223 or Mauser brass.
And still load other calibers on the turret.
I like it.


Last edited by A pause for the COZ; March 12, 2013 at 11:06 AM.
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Old March 12, 2013, 11:11 AM   #5
david_r
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You (he) could setup all your oddball dies on turrets for around an extra $3 per die. Then if he decides to do some reloading or you guys want to reload at the same time, you have two turret presses ready to go.

I'm interested in the downside of using a turret press as a secondary press.
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Old March 12, 2013, 11:19 AM   #6
g.willikers
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As a side note, the water damaged rounds might not be.
Plenty of mine have taken rides in the washing machine, in pants pockets, without harm.
A bunch of reloads suffered a basement flood and worked just fine.
Try a few, they might be ok.
Might save a whole lot of work.
Assuming the cases aren't corroded or damaged, of course.
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Last edited by g.willikers; March 12, 2013 at 11:34 AM.
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Old March 12, 2013, 11:28 AM   #7
A pause for the COZ
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Quote:
You (he) could setup all your oddball dies on turrets for around an extra $3 per die. Then if he decides to do some reloading or you guys want to reload at the same time, you have two turret presses ready to go.

I'm interested in the downside of using a turret press as a secondary press.
There is not, You could do it if you want.
For me it was removing unneeded wiggle when resizing rifle brass.
The turrets wiggle way more than even breech locks.
I did a test with 223 brass because I had a head space gage for them.
I gage all my 223 brass after resizing.
I found brass that would not gage after sizing on the turret.
Once through the single stage and they gaged.
Its rare, Because when setting up the dies. You set it to have the shell holder touch the bottom of the die. Then screw it in a extra 1/4 turn.
Thats suppose to take up the wiggle.
Mostly that works.
Mostly..... But not always. Its just one extra variable you need to worry about.
I choose not too.
Plus you have variations in the thickness of shell holders, I measured a few and they are not all the same. You take a in spec short shell holder and a little extra sloppy turret. You get a mess.
it took me a while to figure out it was the combo of one particular shell holder and one particular turret that was causing the miss feeds in my AR.
Since gaging and use of the single stage exclusively to resize, I have not had one fail to feed in any of my Autos. That was enough for me.

Last edited by A pause for the COZ; March 12, 2013 at 12:15 PM.
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Old March 12, 2013, 10:30 PM   #8
j357
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Thanks for the replies so far folks.

Strongly considering a second turret press at this point.

@Coz, not sure what to make of your first line, sounds like you agreed that there is no reason not to get a turret as a second press, then go on to describe issues with said thoughts. Please clarify.

@ g.willikers, we're dealing with more than a short wash here. These were under water for for between two to three days about 12 years ago. Recent test firing of factory pistol ammo showed about 40% that did not fire. The pistol cases show a lot of black staining on the cases. Manual extraction of two reloaded .223 rounds showed clumps of powder that did not completely flash when hit with a flame. I figure its not worth a squib and possible second firing as compared to pulling 400 of them. We are going to shoot the 7.62x63 and 7.62x39 military ammo as the pulled cartridges showed good dry powder and sealant on the bullets.
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Old March 14, 2013, 04:03 PM   #9
dickttx
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I really like my LCT. However, the RCBS collet type bullet puller will not work on it. The ram is too large and the plastic collar that contains the auto advance disk is in the way.
Also, check the bullets you want to pull. There has to be a substantial amount of the full diameter of the bullet outside the case mouth for the collet to grasp.
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Old March 14, 2013, 04:45 PM   #10
wild willy
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I have one of the Lee Reloader presses.I use it with a decapping die and a RCBS bullet puller. Works great being open in the front nothing in the way.I bought it when they first came out Lee was running some kind of special it was less than $10.00
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Old March 14, 2013, 07:41 PM   #11
david_r
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Thanks dick. I guess I'll be keeping my little RCBS single stage around.
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Old March 15, 2013, 12:34 AM   #12
A pause for the COZ
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Quote:
@Coz, not sure what to make of your first line, sounds like you agreed that there is no reason not to get a turret as a second press, then go on to describe issues with said thoughts. Please clarify.
Its a tough one because, I have loaded thousands of rounds with my Turret press. I still use it every week.
Having a 2nd turret certainly will not hurt a bit, And I do not want to come off as if I would not recommend one.

As a second press though... Not so sure having two of the exact same machines is taking advantage of the opportunity presented.
It is really nice having both. I find there are some jobs that go real smooth on the turret and others I enjoy doing on the single stage.
Example for me is resizing 308 military brass. I can do it on the turret, but it complains about it.
Doing them on my Classic Cast is a much smoother operation.

I like my turret press and would get another, but I would never trade my single stage for one.

if that makes sense?
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Old March 15, 2013, 02:54 AM   #13
GTOne
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Quote:
I did a test with 223 brass because I had a head space gage for them.
I gage all my 223 brass after resizing.
I found brass that would not gage after sizing on the turret.(sic)
You failed to do something, then.
The LCT will resize much larger cases than .223 with no issues. There is no 'wiggle' in the stroke. Those posts didn't stretch, and the turret puck didn't give. *shrug* You aren't following through all the way on the handle like you should, most likely, it is not an uncommon thing to do.

As far as having one for a second press when one already has one, I'm not seeing the logic. I'd pick a classic cast original, just for the fact it will bolt into the very same place the LCT is(Lee presses have the same base bolt pattern if I recall.).
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Old March 15, 2013, 05:47 AM   #14
A pause for the COZ
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GT what I found after trying and measuring all the different shell holders and turrets.
None of them measured the same, They all have tolerances.
Of the ten turrets and 5 #4 shell holders i Have it was one particular combo that was the problem.
It did not matter how hard I pushed on the handle or how much I adjusted the die to take up the slack. It would not size the cases correctly.
I could mix a different shell holder with that turret and it would work.
Or use that shell holder with any different turret and it would work.

Believe me, I thought I was going nuts. I checked and triple checked every thing I could think of.

Not fun at all. I would have rather been shooting than trying to clear a fail to chamber from my AR. Those are the ones you have to wedge the bolt back open. Yuk!!!

Measure your holders you will see how different they are. From the top of the holder to the spot where the shell base sits. That distance varies from holder to holder. Couple that with a loose fitting turret. You never will get a case to head space.


Going through that explains why I am anal Annie when it comes to press mounting now. I eliminate any variances I can. hence the steel mounts for my presses. I dont re size using pucks that move or breech locks, No wiggle allowed.( strait walled cases dont count. Or any case that does not head space on the shoulder) Head space can get tricky with rifle cases. Esp in autos.
Do I need to do that? Nah not likely to run into some whacky combo problem like that again.
But I have lowered those odds even more. If some thing goes amiss I can find what it is right away.


Last edited by A pause for the COZ; March 15, 2013 at 06:30 AM.
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Old March 15, 2013, 08:42 AM   #15
floydster
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The bolt pattern on the Lee Classic Cast single stage and the Lee Classic turret press are not the same, the bolt pattern on the turret is much larger--I have both prsses.

Smokeyloads
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Old March 16, 2013, 12:17 PM   #16
GTOne
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I stand corrected. My apologies.

That's what I get for assuming.
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