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Old March 14, 2013, 12:17 AM   #1
44smith
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Join Date: January 16, 2013
Posts: 44
Need help deciding a press

I need advice. I'm going to get into reloading.
I've been trying to figure out what press to get. Manufacturer and model. Money is a factor, but I would like to
get a good quality press at the best price. I've read a lot on the forums and kind of got it down to a few.
I'll be reloading rifle and revolver ammo.

These are some I've looked at and have questions about:

The Lee presses are;
Lee Classic 4 hole turret press - Like the idea of setting up my dies and not having to reset them everytime I
want to use them again. And the way the primers are dispatched when depriming. Also, it seems to be a little
faster than a single stage, by watching videos.
Does the aluminum turrets wear out or break very fast?
Does this turret press make as good quality of reloads as the single stages?
But, not sure of the quality, and it only has a 2 year warranty.

Lee Classic Breech Lock single stage. I like the way it is easy to change dies, and again not having to reset the
dies the next time used. Not sure how well the breech lock works, if it is sturdy or if the dies can work loose while
loading like I've heard that Hornady dies do on there press sometimes. And can dies from other manufacturers
be used in the breech lock system.
I don't like the primer catch system as well as the one that goes down the middle of the shaft. Why did they
change that? Maybe the other one had problems I haven't heard about. 2 year warranty.

Lee Classic Cast single stage. Looks like about the same as RCBS Rockchucker, but don't know if it is as good. I
like the depriming catch system on it. But, You have to reset dies everytime.

RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme. Ive heard it's a good press. Have to readjust dies every time used. More money
than Lee. Like the lifetime warranty.

RCBS Turret Press. Like the idea of not having to reset dies. But, more money.

I'm not sure if resetting the dies is that much of a big deal but it seems like if you have your dies set to what youwant why mess up the settings. And it would be more wear on the dies.

I really appreciate your help.
Thank you,
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Old March 14, 2013, 12:25 AM   #2
Fire_Moose
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Re: Need help deciding a press

I am supremely happy with my Lee classic turret.

I use my breech lock for rifle rounds but would have no problem using the turret once the spare turrets are available again.

Most dies can be used in any press, with the exception of the dillans square deal dies. And maybe a ffew vintage dies that you prolly wont come across.
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Old March 14, 2013, 12:30 AM   #3
44smith
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Thanks Fire_Moose. You like the Classic Turret over your Classic Breech Lock then?
Does the turret make as good a quality and accurate bullet? I'm not into long range or competition shooting, just target shooting and hunting, so they don't have to be extremely accurate.
Have you heard of much problem with them after the 2 year warranty runs out?
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Old March 14, 2013, 12:34 AM   #4
BigTex308
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Location: Texas
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You can't beat RCBS. Their warranty is top notch. Basicly no questions asked. You break a part, you call them and they ask where to send it. Really outsanding customer sevice.


I would reccomend a turret press. You have all the advantages (simplicity) of a single stage but when you're comfortable you can speed up the process. I have a Rockchucker and it is great. But it is slower. I have a progressive too but I reload a ton. At least 10-15k rounds/ year. Unless you're reloading quite a bit a single stage or turret is best, but it looks like you've figured that out. I digress...


I know money is an issue, but my advice would be to invest in a quality press now. Buy once cry once. Get the RCBS turret and it will last you a lifetime and you can pass it down to your kids.
The Lee will work just fine, but the quality and customer care just isn't the same as RCBS. I would HIGLY reccomend the RCBS. Nothing wrong with the Lee, but you will want to upgrade later and you'd be better off starting with a good one.


Check craigslist, gunbroker, ebay, etc. and see if you can find a used one.


Don't worry about getting the powder throw. If you're loading rifle then you really need to weigh each charge indvidualy, and while the powder throws are accurate, they aren't as precise as weighing each charge yourself.

If you're loading pistol where 10 shots touching eachother isn't vital, then a powder thow will get you plenty close and you won't be able to tell a difference in accuracy.



When starting out I'd keep it simple and not try to do too much at once. this is serious $H***. A mistake here can kill you.

Get a couple mauals and study study study before you load. And ask questions here. There's a ton of people here that know a heck of a lot more than I do and you can learn a lot.



Good luck with your search, but my reccomendation is to make the wise investment and get the RCBS turret.





Ike
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Old March 14, 2013, 12:42 AM   #5
Lost Sheep
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Location: Anchorage Alaska
Posts: 3,060
Quote:
Originally Posted by 44smith
Need help deciding a press

I need advice. I'm going to get into reloading.
Thanks for asking our advice.

Aside from eye protection and manuals, you only need three things (physically) to load good ammo.

Press because fingers are not strong enough to form metal
Dies because fingers are not accurate enough to form metal to SAAMI specs
Scale (or calibrated dippers) because eyeballs are not accurate enough to measure out gunpowder

Everything else can be done without, substituted for or improvised until you can afford to buy good quality gear.

But it is more efficient and cost effective to get equipment that fits your needs in the near future.

We could target our advice better if you shared some information about yourself: (What I use has no relevance to you if our needs are not similar.)

What calibers will you be reloading?

What quantities will you be reloading for those calibers?

How much time will you be willing to devote to those quantities

What is your budget?

Will you be putting your gear away after each session or leave it set up permanently?

How much space will you devote permanently to a loading area, if any?

Do you want it to be portable?

What are your shooting goals? Cheap ammo? Ultimate long-range accuracy? Casual plinking, Serious competition - what kind? Cowboy Action Shooting? Strictly hunting?
Quote:
Originally Posted by 44smith

I've been trying to figure out what press to get. Manufacturer and model. Money is a factor, but I would like to
get a good quality press at the best price. I've read a lot on the forums and kind of got it down to a few.
I'll be reloading rifle and revolver ammo.

These are some I've looked at and have questions about:

The Lee presses are;
Lee Classic 4 hole turret press - Like the idea of setting up my dies and not having to reset them everytime I
want to use them again. And the way the primers are dispatched when depriming. Also, it seems to be a little
faster than a single stage, by watching videos.
Up to about 3 times as fast if you make use of the auto-indexing and do your loading continuous rather than batch.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 44smith
Does the aluminum turrets wear out or break very fast?
Keep them clean and lubricated, they should last a VERY long time. Besides, they are only about $13 each.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 44smith
Does this turret press make as good quality of reloads as the single stages?
But, not sure of the quality, and it only has a 2 year warranty.
Single stage presses tend to be stiffer and have no moving parts in the frame, so there are no clearance movements. Forster Co-Ax is reputed to be even better than single stage at keeping alignment. It is very difficult to tell any difference.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 44smith
Lee Classic Breech Lock single stage. I like the way it is easy to change dies, and again not having to reset the
dies the next time used. Not sure how well the breech lock works, if it is sturdy or if the dies can work loose while
loading like I've heard that Hornady dies do on there press sometimes. And can dies from other manufacturers
be used in the breech lock system.
I don't like the primer catch system as well as the one that goes down the middle of the shaft. Why did they
change that? Maybe the other one had problems I haven't heard about. 2 year warranty.

Lee Classic Cast single stage. Looks like about the same as RCBS Rockchucker, but don't know if it is as good. I
like the depriming catch system on it. But, You have to reset dies everytime.
The Lee Classic Cast Single Stage also comes in a breech lock version.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 44smith
RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme. Ive heard it's a good press. Have to readjust dies every time used. More money
than Lee. Like the lifetime warranty.
There is a lot to be said for a "no questions asked" warranty. But, as you noted, you pay for it in the initial price. "You pays your money, you takes your choice."
Quote:
Originally Posted by 44smith
RCBS Turret Press. Like the idea of not having to reset dies. But, more money.
The Lee Classic Turret is the best auto-indexing turret press currently made. (Of course, no one else makes an auto-indexing turret press.) If you can make do with 4 die stations, it is the best choice, bar none unless you REALLY want that lifetime warranty.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 44smith
I'm not sure if resetting the dies is that much of a big deal
It isn't.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 44smith
but it seems like if you have your dies set to what youwant why mess up the settings.
Setting dies is not that hard, and it is a good practice to keep you focused on what you are doing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 44smith
And it would be more wear on the dies.
Not really. Clean threads pretty much will wear forever.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 44smith

I really appreciate your help.
Thank you,
You're welcome.

Lost Sheep
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Old March 14, 2013, 01:07 AM   #6
44smith
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Join Date: January 16, 2013
Posts: 44
Thanks Lost Sheep.

Quote:
What calibers will you be reloading?
Rifles: 270 Win., 7mm-08, 30-30
Revolvers: 44 mag., 38 special

What quantities will you be reloading for those calibers?
Rifles around 100 rounds a year each.
Revolvers I'm not sure, maybe 500 44's, 2000 38's year.


[QUOTE]How much time will you be willing to devote to those quantities.
Times not a problem. Got lots of that.

[QUOTE]What is your budget?
Was hoping to get started with no more than $400, if possible.

Quote:
Will you be putting your gear away after each session or leave it set up permanently?
Leave it set up.

Quote:
How much space will you devote permanently to a loading area, if any?
I have a 28 inch by 5 foot bench, shelves, cupboard in an 8' x 10' heated building.

Quote:
Do you want it to be portable?
No

Quote:
What are your shooting goals? Cheap ammo? Ultimate long-range accuracy? Casual plinking, Serious competition - what kind? Cowboy Action Shooting? Strictly hunting?
Hunting, bear protection 44 ammo, cheap pistol practice.
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Old March 14, 2013, 01:12 AM   #7
44smith
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Join Date: January 16, 2013
Posts: 44
Thanks Big Tex 308. I really do like the looks of the RCBS Turret and the warraty too. Just not sure if I can fit into the budget. I think your right about the turret press would be better for the pistol ammo. Would be a lot faster.
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Old March 14, 2013, 02:29 AM   #8
Lost Sheep
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Location: Anchorage Alaska
Posts: 3,060
Be aware that, human nature being what it is, you will probably load and shoot twice what you estimate. Being able to work up super-accurate loads is a lot of fun and relaxing with a couple hundred rounds of 44 mag that cost a quarter of what you used to pay for ammo at retail is hard to resist.

400-600 rounds a year times 3 rifle calibers calls out for a single stage press. But 200 to 400 rounds a month of handgun ammo, while imminently doable on a single stage is a bit more convenient on a turret press.

A turret press can do what a single stage press does 98% as well.

I mentioned that Lee makes the only auto-indexing presses in current production. Auto-indexing makes continuous processing (where you put an empty case in the press and don't take it out until it is a complete finished round, ready to shoot). Not handling the case multiple times saves a significant amount of time.

Rifle cases do take a fair bit of handling between operations, so the time savings is not so great as with handgun cartridges.

You might be able to tell that I favor the Autoindexing Turret Press. I have never used the RCBS Turret, but my friend has a Lyman turret he loves. He is content to process in batches and likes not having to swap turrets often (he can have two sets of dies in each turret head).

I don't mind swapping turrets on the Lee because it is a 10 second operation with no tools needed. Also the turrets are only $10 to $15 where the Lyman's are $60 and you need to unscrew the center bolt.

I have a RCBS RockChucker single stage and Lee Classic Turret and the RockChucker hasn't seen any use in two years.

Plus these wild estimates into your budgeting plans to get you started in your shopping. 5 sets of dies (same dies whether single stage or turret) will set you back about $150 to $200. A decent balance beam scale, about $75 (though the very accurate Lee scale is only $25-$30, it only weighs up to 100 grains and some find it hard to operate). Miscellaneous tools and accessories $50 to $100. Now, find a press to tie all those tools together. There's your budget.

Here are some web sites you might like. Go get a large mug of whatever you sip when you read and think and visit these sites.


Sticky-contains much general information.
thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=230171
http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=230171

Sticky-contains much general information.
thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=238214
http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=238214

"Newby needs help." (A typical new reloader thread). My posts are 11 and 13
thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=430391
http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=430391

"Just bought my first press. Needs some info tho." (A typical new reloader thread)
thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=659358
http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=659358

"I am looking at getting into reloading for the first time" (A typical new reloader thread)
thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=658971
http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=658971

"Considering reloading" (A typical new reloader thread)
thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=488115
http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=488115

"Interested in reloading" (A typical new reloader thread)
rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=13543
http://rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=13543

"The ABC's of Reloading" will help, too. Check one out at your local library.

Lost Sheep
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Old March 14, 2013, 02:31 AM   #9
Lost Sheep
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Join Date: January 24, 2009
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Posts: 3,060
My 10 Advices for the Novice Handloader

Here's an article I drag out of my archives every once in a while.

Anyone who can both follow a recipe in the kitchen and change a tire can handload safely. It takes care and a bit of humility. Handloading is not rocket science, but it does involve smoke and flame and things that go very fast, so care is to be taken.


I have thought of a few things I think are useful for handloaders to know or to consider which seem to be almost universally mentioned, so I put together this list of 10 advices.


Much is a matter of personal taste and circumstance, though. So, all advice carries this caveat, "your mileage may vary".


So you can better evaluate my words, here is the focus of my experience. I load for handguns (44 Mag, 45 ACP, 45 Colt, 454 Casull, 9mm, 357 Mag, 480 Ruger) a couple hundred per sitting and go through 100 to 500 centerfire rounds per month. I don't cast....yet.


When I bought my first gun (.357 Magnum Dan Wesson revolver), I bought, at the same time, a reloading setup because I knew I could not afford to shoot if I did not reload my own ammo. My setup was simple. A set of dies, a press, a 2" x 6" plank, some carriage bolts and wing nuts, a scale, two loading blocks. I just mounted the press on the plank wedged into the drawer of an end table. I did not use a loading bench at all.


It cost me about 1/4 of factory ammo per round and paid for itself pretty quickly.


I still believe in a minimalist approach and and try to keep my inventory of tools low. I do not keep my loading gear set up when not in use, either, but pack them away in small toolboxes until the next loading session.


Now, here are my Ten Advices.


Advice #1 Use Reliable Reference Sources Wisely - Books, Videos, Web Sites, etc.


Study up in loading manuals until you understand the process well, before spending a lot of (or any) money on equipment.


Read as many manuals as you can, for the discussion of the how-to steps found in their early chapters. The reason you want more than one or two manuals is that you want to read differing authors/editors writing styles and find ones that "speak" to you. What one manual covers thinly, another will cover well so give better coverage of the subject; one author or editor may cover parts of the subject more thoroughly than the others. The public library should have manuals you can read, then decide which ones you want to buy. Dated, perhaps but the basics are pretty unchanging.


I found "The ABC's of Reloading" to be a very good reference. Containing no loading data but full of knowledge and understanding of the process. I am told the older editions are better than the newer ones, so the library is looking even better.


There are instructional videos now that did not exist in the '70s when I started, but some are better than others. Filter all casual information through a "B.S." filter.


Only after you know the processing steps of loading can you look at the contents of of a dealer's shelves, a mail-order catalog or a reloading kit and know what equipment you want to buy. If you are considering a loading kit, you will be in a better position to know what parts you don't need and what parts the kits lack. If builging your own kit from scratch, you will be better able to find the parts that will serve your into the future without having to do trade-ins.


Advice #2 All equipment is good. But is it good FOR YOU?


Almost every manufacturer of loading equipment makes good stuff; if they didn't, they would lose reputation fast and disappear from the marketplace. Generally you get what you pay for and better equipment costs more. Cast aluminum is lighter and less expensive but not so abrasion resistant as cast iron. Cast iron lasts practically forever. Aluminum generally takes more cleaning and lubrication to last forever. Just think about what you buy. Ask around. Testimonials are nice. But if you think Ford/Chevy owners have brand loyalty, you have not met handloaders. Testimonials with reasoning behind them are better. RCBS equipment is almost all green, Dillon-blue, Lee-red. Almost no manufacturers cross color lines and many handloaders simply identify themselves as "Blue" or whatever. Make your own choices.


About brand loyalties, an example: Lee Precision makes good equipment, but is generally considered the "economy" equipment maker (though some of their stuff is considered preferable to more expensive makes, as Lee has been an innovator both in price leadership which has introduced many to loading who might not otherwise have been able to start the hobby and in introduction of innovative features like their auto-advancing turret presses). But there are detractors who focus on Lee's cheapest offerings to paint even their extremely strong gear as inferior. Ignore the snobs.


On Kits: Almost every manufacturer makes a kit that contains everything you need to do reloading (except dies and the consumables). A kit is decent way to get started. Eventually most people wind up replacing most of the components of the kit as their personal taste develops (negating the savings you thought the kit gave you), but you will have gotten started, at least.


On building your own kit: The thought processes you give to assembling your own kit increases your knowledge about reloading. You may get started a couple weeks later than if you started with a kit, but you will be far ahead in knowledge.


Advice #3 While Learning, don't get fancy. Progressive, turret or Single Stage? Experimental loads? Pushing performance envelopes? Don't get fancy.


While you are learning, load mid-range at first so overpressures are not concerns. Just concentrate on getting the mechanical steps of loading right and being VERY VERY consistent (charge weight, crimp strength, bullet seating depth, primer seating force, all that). Use a voluminous, "fluffy", powder that is, one that is easy to see that you have charged the case and which will overflow your cartridge case if you mistakenly put two powder charges in it.


While learning, only perform one operation at a time. Whether you do the one operation 50 (or 20) times on a batch of cases before moving on to the next operation - "Batch Processing" or take one case through all the sequence of operations between empty case to finished cartridge - "Continuous Processing", sometimes known as "Sequential Processing", learn by performing only one operation at a time and concentrating on THAT OPERATION. On a single stage press or a turret press, this is the native way of operation. On a progressive press, the native operation is to perform mulltiple operations simultaneously. Don't do it. While you can learn on a progressive press, in my opinion too many things happen at the same time, thus are hard to keep track of (unless you load singly at first). Mistakes DO happen and you want to watch for them ONE AT A TIME. Until handloading becomes second nature to you.


Note: A turret press is essentially a single stage press with a moveable head which can mount several dies at the same time. What makes it like a single stage rather than a progressive is that you are still using only one die at a time, not three or four dies simultaneously at each stroke.


On the Turret vs Single stage the decision is simpler. You can do everything on a Turret EXACTLY the same way as you do on a single stage (just leave the turret stationary). That is, a Turret IS a single stage if you don't rotate the head.


Learning on a progressive can be done successfully, but it is easier to learn to walk in shoes than on roller skates.


Also, a good, strong, single stage press is in the stable of almost every reloader I know, no matter how many progressives they have. They always keep at least one.


Advice #4 Find a mentor.


There is no substitute for someone watching you load a few cartridges and critiquing your technigue BEFORE you develop bad habits or make a dangerous mistake. (A mistake that might not have consequences right away, but maybe only after you have escaped trouble a hundred times until one day you get bit, for instance having case lube on your fingers when you handle primers; 99 times, no problem because primers are coated with a sealant, but the hundredth primer may not be perfectly sealed and now winds up "dead")


I started loading with the guy who sold me my press watching over my shoulder as I loaded my first 6 rounds to make sure I did not blow myself up, load a powderless cartridge or set off a primer in the press. I could have learned more, faster with a longer mentoring period, but I learned a lot in those first 6 rounds, as he explained each step. I educated myself after that. But now, on the internet, I have learned a WHOLE LOT MORE. But in-person is still the best.


After you have been mentored, mentor someone else. Not necessarily in loading or the shooting sports, but in SOMETHING in which you are enthusiastic and qualified. Just give back to the community.


Advice #5 Design your loading space for safety, efficiency, cleanliness


Your loading bench/room is tantamount to a factory floor. There is a whole profession devoted to industrial engineering, the art and science of production design. Your loading system (layout, process steps, quality control, safety measures, etc) deserves no less attention than that.

Place your scale where it is protected from drafts and vibration and is easy to read and operate. Place you components' supplies convenient to the hand that will place them into the operation and the receptacle(s) for interim or finished products, too. You can make a significant increase in safety and in speed, too, with well thought out design of your production layout, "A" to "Z", from the lighting to the dropcloth to the fire suppression scheme.


Advice #6 Keep Current on loading technology


Always use a CURRENT loading manual. Ballistic testing has produced some new knowledge over the years and powder chemistry has changed over the years, too. They make some powders differently than they used to and even some powder names may have changed. However, if you are using 10 year old powder, you may want to check a 10 year old manual for the recipe. Then double check with a modern manual and then triple check with the powder maker.


Read previous threads on reloading and watch videos available on the web. But be cautious. There is both good information and bad information found in casual sources, so see my advice #10.


Advice #7 You never regret buying the best (but once)


When you buy the very best, it hurts only once, in the wallet. When you buy too cheaply it hurts every time you use the gear. The trick is to buy good enough (on the scale between high quality and low price) to keep you happy without overpaying for features you don't need. "The delicious flavor of low price fades fast. The wretched aftertaste of poor quality lingers long."


Advice #8 Tungsten Carbide dies (or Titanium Nitride) rather than tool steel.

T-C dies instead of regular tool steel (which require lubrication for sizing your brass) for your straight-walled cartridge cases. T-C dies do not require lubrication, which will save you time. Carbide expander button for your bottlenecked cases. Keeps lube out of the inside of the cases.


Advice #9 Safety Always Safety All Ways.


Wear eye protection, especially when seating primers. Gloves are good, too, especially if using the Lee "Hammer" Tools. Children (unless they are good helpers, not just playing around) are at risk and are a risk. Pets, too unless they have been vetted (no, not that kind of vetting). Any distractions that might induce you to forget charging a case (no charge or a double charge, equally disturbing). Imagine everything that CAN go wrong. Then imagine everything that you CAN'T imagine. I could go on, but it's your eyes, your fingers, your house, your children (present of future - lead is a hazard, too. Wash after loading and don't eat at your bench). Enough said?


Advice #10 Take all with a grain of salt.

Verify for yourself everything you learn. Believe only half of what you see and one quarter of what you hear. That goes double for everything you find on the internet (with the possible exception of the actual web sites of the bullet and powder manufacturers). This advice applies to my message as much as anything else and especially to personal load recipes. Hare-brained reloaders might have dangerous habits and even an honest typographical error could be deadly. I heard about a powder manufacturer's web site that dropped a decimal point once. It was fixed REAL FAST, but mistakes happen. I work in accounting and can easily hit "7" instead of "4" because they are next to each other on the keypad.


Good luck.


Lost Sheep
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Old March 14, 2013, 03:09 AM   #10
david_r
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The quantities that you are loading could all be done with Lee Loaders and a plastic hammer throughout the year. They could also be done over a month of weekends on a single stage or over a weekend on a turret.

I think a helpful question on choosing a press is, how many rounds of a given caliber do you want to reload at one time. With a single stage, you have to have enough loading blocks and real estate to hold every round in that batch. Not such a big deal for 50 rounds. 200 rounds become a bit cumbersome.

Even with a turret press, you can load in batch mode like a single stage press. I would recommend one do that anyway when starting out to get familiar with all the steps. When operating in continuous mode, it is really easy to seat a bullet and then ask yourself, "Self, did I check the powder level in that round?"

The biggest time saver with the turret is the handling of shells. It is amazing how much time is wasted putting the shell in, taking it out, wash, rinse, repeat.

I looked at both the LCT and the RCBS. I would recommend you look very hard at all the presses in a given category. I did and chose the LCT.
Here is a video of the RCBS starring one of their engineers. It left me with cold feet.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5KyQzigVLk

Here is a video from Lee Precision on their LCT. More of what I was looking for in a turret press.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=FDfOO2j0zYI

Here is a google search if you want to look further into the RCBS turret. Lots of insight from owners of them.
site:thefiringline.com rcbs turret Just copy that into google.

RCBS customer service is apparently the best there is. I hope they never start enforcing their warranty. That would be a real bummer for all their fans.

As far as wear and quality on the LCT. The whole thing is steel and iron. There is a plastic piece that is a guide clamp for the indexer and a plastic drive bushing for the indexer that is designed to break if you do something silly. In pictures, the top of the press appears to be aluminum. My magnet says it is definitely steel. The turrets are cast aluminum. The turret is held in position around the edge. This is actually a great design feature. When you run a shell up into a die, the entire turret rises until the teeth of the turret contact the inside of the steel top piece. There is no way for the turret to rock backwards like on the other brands designs.

This is the only turret that can auto index. I think it might also be the only turret that can run in a full circle instead of having to index back and forth to get to the die you want. as mentioned, turrets are so cheap, there's no reason not to have one for each die set you own. If you need a fifth die, you are out of luck but I don't have a need for five or more dies in any single round.

Regarding single stage presses and resetting dies. Once you have your lock rings set for a particular press, it is really quick to change your dies back and forth. It takes about 20 seconds to get a bullet seater back where you need it to be, flaring is simply accomplished by eye and crimping is easily set with your pistol barrel.
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Old March 14, 2013, 03:36 AM   #11
Lost Sheep
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Wise words there, David_r

Quote:
Originally Posted by david_r

Even with a turret press, you can load in batch mode like a single stage press. I would recommend one do that anyway when starting out to get familiar with all the steps. When operating in continuous mode, it is really easy to seat a bullet and then ask yourself, "Self, did I check the powder level in that round?"
The biggest weakness of continuous processing, in my opinion.

Batch processing, you can have a block of 50 cases and shine a light in them to see the powder levels in all the cases for side-by-side comparison to see the depths are all the same. No double charges, over charges or substantially light charges.

Every loader has to design their own "factory floor" for best quality control (which includes safety guaranteeing checks) and efficiency. There are universalities, of course, but person is unique in needs and in style and we all evolve and adapt our designs as we go.

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Old March 14, 2013, 11:19 AM   #12
44smith
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Thanks everyone. A lot of good advice to think over. If I got the turret press I would be using it as a single stage until I was certain I could handle the rest.
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Old March 14, 2013, 02:03 PM   #13
Fire_Moose
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Re: Need help deciding a press

Quote:
Originally Posted by 44smith View Post
Thanks Fire_Moose. You like the Classic Turret over your Classic Breech Lock then?
Does the turret make as good a quality and accurate bullet? I'm not into long range or competition shooting, just target shooting and hunting, so they don't have to be extremely accurate.
Have you heard of much problem with them after the 2 year warranty runs out?
Honestly, I like them both. They compliment each other. I exclusively size and deprime on the single.stage. keeps the LCT cleaner.

Yes I beleive they do equal quality work as long.as I'm doing my part.

Have not heard much about their warranty stuff. I suppose because their stuff doesn't break. I've only had the single stage.for 2.5 years and just over. Year on the turret.

I would definately go for the LCT if I were you. It'll give you extra money for other things in yer set up AND it will always be used, even if you get a dillan 1440 down the line, the LCT will still see use.
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Old March 16, 2013, 09:41 PM   #14
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Thanks everyone for all the help. I'm getting a lot of recommendations for the Lee Classic Turret. It must be a pretty good press or I don't think I would get such a feed back on them.
I'm leaning toward the Lee Classic Turret Press because of that and I think it would fit into my budget a lot better for now. If need be I can always save up for a better one later, but I think this one will probably last me for a long time. Can't pay too much for a press and not have the money for the other things I need or the press won't do me any good either.
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Old March 16, 2013, 10:14 PM   #15
44smith
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On the Lee Classic Turret Press can the auto indexing rod be pulled clear out and left out so the auto index can't be used at all?
The reason I ask is because I have a son that wants to learn to load too and I don't want him to be able to sneek the auto index rod in if I'm not around. He has a tendency to learn how to do something and then think he knows all there is to know. So I don't want him to have access to the rod until I know he can handle it. I will lock it up in our gun safe where he doesn't have access to it.
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Old March 16, 2013, 10:15 PM   #16
ssilence
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Re: Need help deciding a press

Absolutely. Just take the rod completely out (very easy to do) and hide it and no more auto index.
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Old March 16, 2013, 10:20 PM   #17
44smith
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Thanks ssilence. I'll be running it quite a while single stage too until I feel confident enough to run the auto index, but that makes me feel safer about my son.
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Old March 16, 2013, 11:46 PM   #18
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44smith,
It will still be a turret that is really easy to index. So if you want to force him to work in batch mode, you are going to have to come up with something else.
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Old March 17, 2013, 02:48 AM   #19
A pause for the COZ
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Lost Sheep pretty much covered it. Good job by the way. Some body maybe should sticky that.


My advice given your preference for pistol loads. is the LEE Classic cast turret.
You wont be disappointed. it does what it is suppose to do.
Take that from some one who does not have the Classic cast turret.
I have the LEE" Deluxe" turret press. When I first started loading I did not have a clue. They both looked the same to me. But Deluxe must be the better one. HA! on me.

I could have sold mine and purchased the Classic cast. But I put allot of work in getting mine to perform how I want. I have fixed the main problems with the Deluxe. I.E. Slinging spent primers all over the bench and disposing of the ones that do fall into the hopper, Stopping the primmer arm from landing on the floor every time you raise the ram.

I took the money for the Classic turret and scratched my Classic cast itch with the Classic cast single stage.

Moral is, The Classic cast turret will serve you well. After a year you will figure out what kind of reloader your gona be.
If your needs are the same. Your set for life.
But if your like most of us, lead heads.

One aint gona be enough any way. Then it will be. " What should my second press be?" 3rd, 4th ect ect
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Old March 17, 2013, 06:09 AM   #20
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Someone mentioned a single stage press requires dies to be adjusted every time they're installed.

I've never had to readjust any full length sizing die in my RCBS presses once they were set for a given cartridge for a given press. The only adjustment ever made was on the bullet seater for different seating depths.
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Old March 17, 2013, 06:49 AM   #21
the led farmer
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lee classic turret and never ever look back
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Old March 17, 2013, 11:29 AM   #22
44smith
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david_r, Thanks for the help. If I need to I will plug off the other 3 holes on one turret so he can only use on die at a time.

Coz, That's what I kind of figure. The Classic Cast Turret will kinda of grow with me on the reloading. And if I need more I can add more later.
Thanks

Bart B, I'm not sure if someone told me that the dies had to be reset everytime you change them on a single stage, or if I just misinterpreted something wrong. Not sure how I got that in my head, but I probably just misunderstood what someone was telling me.

the led farmer, Thanks for your input.
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Old March 17, 2013, 01:57 PM   #23
snuffy
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Quote:
I need advice. I'm going to get into reloading.
I've been trying to figure out what press to get. Manufacturer and model. Money is a factor, but I would like to
get a good quality press at the best price. I've read a lot on the forums and kind of got it down to a few.
I'll be reloading rifle and revolver ammo.

These are some I've looked at and have questions about:

The Lee presses are;
Lee Classic 4 hole turret press - Like the idea of setting up my dies and not having to reset them everytime I
want to use them again. And the way the primers are dispatched when depriming.
As Bart B said, dies that are set and locked when you first use them don't need to be re-set when simply screwing them back in a single stage press. Edit; you can do it repeatedly WITHOUT re-setting the dies.

That misconception,(having to re-set dies), (myth), gets repeated so much, it has become an accepted fact.


Also, it seems to be a little
faster than a single stage, by watching videos.
Does the aluminum turrets wear out or break very fast?
Does this turret press make as good quality of reloads as the single stages?
But, not sure of the quality, and it only has a 2 year warranty.The lee tools say a 2 year warranty, but in reality they will usually send you a part outside of the warranty, no cost. Even if you say "it was my fault"!

Lee Classic Breech Lock single stage. I like the way it is easy to change dies, and again not having to reset the
dies the next time used. Not sure how well the breech lock works, if it is sturdy or if the dies can work loose while
loading like I've heard that Hornady dies do on there press sometimes. And can dies from other manufacturers
be used in the breech lock system?

The breech lock and the Hornady LNL system of adapters to hold the dies, are an answer to a non-problem! It only means you don't have to screw dies into the top of the press or turret each time you use them. Again, the myth about "re-setting dies" rears it's ugly head! Hornady has had trouble with their system with the LNL bushings working loose. Quality control, bad machining.


I don't like the primer catch system as well as the one that goes down the middle of the shaft. Why did they
change that? Maybe the other one had problems I haven't heard about. 2 year warranty.

Lee Classic Cast single stage. Looks like about the same as RCBS Rockchucker, but don't know if it is as good. I
like the depriming catch system on it. But, You have to reset dies everytime.
The classic cast is built like a tank. It has an all steel leverage system, unlike the older aluminum casting of the challanger presses. In my mind, it is BETTER than the RCBS rockchucker.

RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme. Ive heard it's a good press. Have to readjust dies every time used. More money
than Lee. Like the lifetime warranty.

RCBS Turret Press. Like the idea of not having to reset dies. But, more money.
As said, the RCBS turret is the old design of simply being able to turn a turret to line up another die. No auto indexing.

I'm not sure if resetting the dies is that much of a big deal but it seems like if you have your dies set to what you want why mess up the settings. And it would be more wear on the dies.

I really appreciate your help.
Thank you,
A couple of other things; The lee classic turret can be upgraded with the lee safety prime, and the lee disc measure to handle the priming and powder handling in an automatic way. A die addition to raise the powder measure up to clear the primer feed to allow straight through shell processing. Of course this means more expense, but you can start out by taking the auto advance rod to do all your first loads in a batch mode. The disc measure simply screws into the top of the lee powder through expander die. If you go with the lee disc measure, be sure to order the pro model.

One more thing; This is NOT a good time to be starting loading. Presses, dies, primers, bullets, and powder are very hard to find right now. My best advice would be to find a local gunshop that sells the the press you decide on. Then ask if he has components and at least one set of dies reserved for the buyer of a new press. Some do that, hold back enough stuff to set-up one loader for a new customer.

What press do I use most? My lee classic turret, followed by my lee classic cast. I retired my co-ax, after 30 years it deserved a rest. I also have a Dillon XL-650 for when I want a mess of 9's, 40's, and 45's.
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Old March 17, 2013, 03:53 PM   #24
rodfac
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Save your money and buy a Dillon 550B...you'll never have to upgrade it. They are worth every penny you spend on them...and the customer service is the very best of any in the industry. Lee makes good dies, small tools for reloading like case trimmers, primer seating etc...but I'd buy the Dillon if I were you. Rod
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Old March 17, 2013, 04:13 PM   #25
lee n. field
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Quote:
The Lee presses are;
Lee Classic 4 hole turret press - Like the idea of setting up my dies and not having to reset them everytime I
want to use them again. And the way the primers are dispatched when depriming. Also, it seems to be a little
faster than a single stage, by watching videos.
Does the aluminum turrets wear out or break very fast?
I don't know yet. I've only had my Classic Turret since Christmas time, and I've run out of bullets testing it.

However, turrets are cheap.

Quote:
Does this turret press make as good quality of reloads as the single stages?
Appears to.

Quote:
But, not sure of the quality, and it only has a 2 year warranty.
That's the warranty on all Lee's stuff.

The Lee Classic Turret is unique, vs. other manufacturers' turret presses, in being auto advancing. It's quite fast.

Quote:
Lee Classic Breech Lock single stage. I like the way it is easy to change dies, and again not having to reset the dies the next time used.
I'm not sure what you mean in your post by "resetting dies".

With a good lock ring, you don't readjust the dies each time. Adjust it once, set the lock ring and screw down the set screw on the lock ring. Voila! Next time you screw the die into the press, run it up against the lock ring, and you're correctly adjusted.

Lee's system would be good for swapping the dies out quickly. I'm not so concerned about that, personally. Screwing them in and out doesn't take that much time or effort.

Quote:
RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme. Ive heard it's a good press. Have to readjust dies every time used. More money than Lee. Like the lifetime warranty.
Very good press.
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