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Old December 24, 2013, 08:27 AM   #1
Garycw
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First loading setup on a budget recommendation

I've seen the praises on the lee classic turret press and it seems like a good value. I think? I'm assuming these are a single stage press. What would you recommend as a next step up for a progressive press? Is it better to buy these in a kit or piece mill? A used set up would be ok too, but I wouldn't really know what to look for as far as function & wear. I would possible like to load .45,.40,9mm, 38spl, 357& maybe either .380 or a rifle caliber?
Weather a kit or piece mill- new or used, what do you really need and what is just extra to make things easier.Think I would really prefer a progressive press if not cost was not so much a factor. Also recommend a good book for beginners.
Thanks for your help, tips & suggestions

Last edited by Garycw; December 24, 2013 at 08:38 AM.
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Old December 24, 2013, 07:10 PM   #2
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A Lee Turret press isn't a single stage press. It's a turret press. They're kinda sorta the same thing, but not really.

A single stage press has one die at a time. Period.

A turret press has (room for) multiple dies (usually) on top, but only ones one brass at a time, and you would theoretically spin/index the turret to change dies making each round. Size/deprime, prime on the upswing, spin, charge, spin, seat the bullet, optionally spin, optionally crmp.

A progressive press has room for multiple dies, and multiple brass. The brass will usually spin on a shell holder wheel under the dies, and advance from die position to die position. Additionally they will often have accessories to feed cases and/or bullets, so often it's just a matter of pulling the handle over and over like a slot machine.

Among the three or four most common brands RCBS and Hornady make single stage. Lee and RCBS make Turrets. Hornady, RCBS, Lee, and Dillon make progressives.

The Lee Turret is supremely popular because of it's price point. Their warranty is not nearly as good as RCBS and Hornady, but the price is almost disposable anyway. Hornady's single stage is almost a Turret because of their Lock N Load Bushing system. Lee's progressive system is not particularly popular given bad reviews. RCBS's is also not particularly popular for an unknown reason. I haven't heard complaints, I just don't hear of people using it. Dillon and Hornady are the popular Progressive people.

Just to give you more information overload, Lee also makes a hand press. While you can make ammo on it, and a few people swear by it, most people use it like I do- They stick a universal decapping die in it, and deprime there prior to tumbling rather than using a full press.

As for the Kits: There isn't a Perfect kit out there. Looking at the Hornady LNL Classic kits, or the RCBS Rock Chucker kits, none of them are perfect, not of them are bad. Both of them will likely include a redemption form for free bullets (from a limited selection -Hornandy) or a Cash Rebate (RCBS)

Keep in mind whatever kit you get, you will likely need more parts to reload, beyond dies for your caliber. For example, the Hornady kit scale is less than impressive. The RCBS powder thrower is likewise a might puny. Both of them come with a less than ideal lubrication system for bottleneck rifle cases, but a tub of unique or imperial is cheap.

As for books, most reloading manuals will have an instructional section at the beginning of the manual, but most of us continue to recommend the ABC's of reloading, What it looks like is here, buy it where ever you want/find it if you're interested.

I suspect you will eventually want two presses, a single stage or turret and a progressive. The Single/Turret will be more manageable on rifle rounds, the Progressive if you have a large volume of pistol rounds.

As far as what you need to load at a bare minimum:

A Press
A powder scale.
Some method of dispersing the powder, most often a powder thrower and something called a powder trickler.
A reloading manual with recipes for rounds, try and match the manual to your bullet manufacturer for the most comprehensive list of recipes.
A Die set for your caliber
(For Bottleneck cases) some case lube, Unique and Imperial are preferred.
A case trimmer, partnered with a deburring tool

Things you'll find very helpful that won't break the bank:
A Kinetic bullet puller (This is a plastic hammer you can put your rounds in to pull apart without firing. You'll make a lot of dummy rounds- no primer, no powder- while setting up your dies and learning the mechanics- this lets you reclaim those bullets and brass if you don't muck them up.

A Tumbler/cleaner. There are several choices, from vibratory with media (walnut, corncob or both) which is cheapest and slowest, to Ultrasonic and Stainless Steel. Stainless Steel will cost the most for startup, but the pins don't wear out. Not that the walnut/corncob wears out particularly quickly or is expensive.

And after certain point you'll likely get all sorts of gizmos and gadgets for uniforming primer pockets, deburring flash holes, and on and one.
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Old December 24, 2013, 07:31 PM   #3
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Thanks Jim, lots of good info. What I've researched so far the lee classic turret press sounds best for my needs. The kits seem the way to go.. I still need to decide which die set to start with. Most Likely .45acp. Or.. 357 mag which I assume will load 38spl also? I'm sure there's other gadgets I'll acquire starting with that hammer/ puller to experiment with.
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Old December 24, 2013, 08:17 PM   #4
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Thanks for asking our advice

I did a quick review of your other postings, but still do not have an idea of your requirements, which would help "fine tune" my advice.

But first don't get Lee Classic Cast press (single stage) and Lee Classic Turret press (turret) mixed up. Nor get confused by Lee's Deluxe Turret press which is identical in operation to the Lee Classic Turret but not as good. It is good, but not AS good.

What I use has no relevance to you if our needs are not similar.

These are my stock questions for a novice looking for purchase advice, one of which you answered in your original post.


What calibers will you be reloading?
Your o.p. stated ".45,.40,9mm, 38spl, 357& maybe either .380 or a rifle caliber"

What quantities will you be reloading for those calibers? (Per month)

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

How large of production runs before swapping calibers?

What is your budget for the initial purchase? (Not components, just the equipment)

Will you want to get your entire setup at once or, after an initial setup that does all you need, add accessories and conveniences as your experience suggests and finances permit?

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? Personal defense? Skills development?

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Old December 24, 2013, 08:20 PM   #5
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To kit or not to kit? That is the question.

Kit will get you into production faster. Building your own kit will get you into loading more thoughtfully.

Kits are often assembled by marketing "geniuses". Fortunately, in the reloading arena, most of the manufacturers' marketing people also seem to actually know and use the products, so are fairly good for the customer. Remember, though, that what is a best selection varies according to the needs of the user. What is best for you is not the best for someone else. Best fit for your needs is what you are after.

There's the rub. How do you learn what you need to know to pick what is best for YOU? And how do you figure that out without buying a few mistakes in the beginning? Might as well get a kit?

A kit will get you started with ALMOST everything you need. They always lack something, though. They also have things you use, but will be unsatisfied with and trade in (at a loss, it goes without saying). So the savings in getting a kit is largely illusion. But it probably will get you started loading a little quicker and with less fuss than assembling your own kit.

A Kit will probably also have things you don't need at all, which is a waste of money. But does provide some trade goods.

Building your own kit MAY be a little more expensive, but carries with it the research (and knowledge gained therefrom) you do in selecting the equipment best for you.

How long is your foresight?

Let's start out by looking at the bare essentials.

These two, you cannot load without, physically. Press and dies.

Powder can be measured out by scoops, by scale or by a powder measure or a combination of those and it would be exceedingly foolish (or suicidal) to load without measuring your powder accurately and reliably.

So, count three items as absolutely essential. (press, dies, scale) Everything else adds safety, effectiveness/accuracy and speed. (e.g. safety - eye protection while loading; effectiveness/accuracy - calipers; Speed - powder measure). Most additional tools can be done without, improvised or substituted for (e.g. a lube pad: fingers, paper towel, or sponge can do, or spray lube can substitute).

The "more than are essential" items, though, are necessary for reasonable safety. A loading manual with load recipes and instructions of how to go about the process. A pair of safety glasses (just in case a primer goes off, which is rare, but can happen).

So, five things HIGHLY HIGHLY recommended, plus one extra.

A way to place primers in the priming cup on the press is a great help (rather than using your fingers) and will speed things up as well as reducing the chance that skin oils will contaminate the primers.

Six things and your are reasonably set up for everything you can expect.

Press
Dies
Scale
Primer handler of some kind
safety glasses
manual(s)

But there are always things you don't need to start with but will need or want later.

A bullet puller will enable you to disassemble any rounds you put together that are out of spec (or that you suspect might be). Loading blocks let you keep a batch of cartridges together conveniently. Micrometer will help measure things when you find that you want to measure something. Most store-bought bullets are the right size, so yo might not need the micrometer for a while.

As you load and develop your personal style, you will find more things you would like to have. Pick them up as you go.

How you populate your loading bench, and with what pieces of gear is largely, then, a matter of personal style. There are several different ways to approach your question.

1) Buy a ready-made kit.

2) Assemble a kit of your own, choosing as complete a kit as you can get, of premium gear you will never outgrow.

3) Assemble a "bare essential" minimal kit piece-by-piece with the components you expect you will never outgrow and expanding as you find need for each additional piece, slowly, and as money and knowledge allows.

4) Assemble a complete kit (of economy equipment) of your own choosing you know you will outgrow, by which time you will have figured out what you will never outgrow, then trade up to those pieces.

5) Assemble a minimal kit of your own choosing with the least expensive components and upgrade as your tastes reveal themselves and as money allows. Spend money for upgrades as your taste spurs you.


Each approach has its proponents. Each approach has its virtues and its drawbacks.


1 Store-bought "complete" kit. Swap out components as needed:
virtue: easy and requires little thought; gets you into production very quickly
drawback: can be wasteful, and requires little thought

2 Self-Assemble complete Kit:
virtue: requires you think about and learn loading BEFORE you commit money and body parts
drawback: requires a lot of study, and even so you may make less-than-optimal purchases

3 Slowly self-assemble premium components kit & add-on as you go
virtue: you learn about loading and your equipment thoroughly and only spend money as you are sure of what you are buying
drawback: takes more time (weeks, maybe before you are completely set up, though you can be loading the first weekend)

4 and 5 are variations on 2 and 3 and have much the same virtues and drawbacks.

The approaches I outlined should provide you some food for thought. What type of hobbyist are you? Are you analytical and thoughtful or do you jump right in and improvise as you go? Got more time than money, or more money than time?

My first advice: Read "The ABC's of Reloading", an excellent tome on the general processes of reloading.

Having said that, let me share with you some posts and threads I think you will enjoy. So get a large mug of coffee, tea, hot chocolate, whatever you keep on hand when you read and think and read through these.


The "sticky" thread at the top of TheHighRoad.com's reloading forum is good, entitled, "For the New Reloader: Thinking about Reloading; Equipment Basics -- READ THIS FIRST"
http://www.thehighroad.org//showthread.php?t=238214

The "sticky" thread at the top of TheFiringLine's reloading forum is good, entitled, "For the New Reloader: Equipment Basics -- READ THIS FIRST "
http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...d.php?t=230171

The first draft of my "10 Advices..." is on page 2 of this thread, about halfway down.
http://www.rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=13543

http://www.rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=22344

http://www.outdoorsdirectory.com/showthread.php?t=43055

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=448410

Thread entitled "Newby needs help."
http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...d.php?t=430391
My post 11 is entitled "Here's my reloading setup, which I think you might want to model" November 21, 2010)
My post 13 is "10 Advices for the novice handloader" November 21, 2010)

http://www.Thefiringline.com/forums/...d.php?t=439810

"Budget Beginning bench you will never outgrow for the novice handloader" was informed by my recent (July 2010) repopulation of my loading bench. It is what I would have done 35 years ago if I had known then what I know now.
http://www.rugerforum.net/reloading/...andloader.html

Minimalist minimal (the seventh post down)
http://www.rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=107332

It seems to me that with your attitude, you have the ability and will to study up, select carefully and build an ideal kit of your own pretty quickly.


Summary: Kit will get you into production faster. Building your own kit will get you into loading more thoughtfully. In a few weeks or months you will be at the same production level either way. I suspect, if you build your own kit, spending time thinking about your equipment selections you will be happier with your gear, have fewer trade-ins and perhaps produce better quality ammo.


Good luck,


Lost Sheep
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Old December 24, 2013, 08:21 PM   #6
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Gary if you still are in my area, give me a shout (PM me if you want my number) if you need help.

I am using a single stage for the next few monthes and am moving to a progressive.

As far as kits go, they are a great value and depending on what you settle on (single, turret, or progressive) there are some additions you will need for reloading that don't come in the kits.

I see you mentioned a bullet puller, good idea, gonna need one. Definately will need a case collator for the progressive if you go that rout. Micrometers if you don't have any. I would assume you will be reusing brass, might need a tumbler for your brass.

I also have some places to get bullets, powder and primers you might want to check out as well as reloading books.
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Old December 24, 2013, 11:41 PM   #7
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WOW!! I've got a lot of reading and info to absorb. Thanks for all the suggestions, advice, info and help. I can see there's lots of things to consider. I will have to think more about some of the questions asked before answering.
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Old December 25, 2013, 12:04 AM   #8
bt380
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I don't see how you can put the words reloading press and budget in the same room. This hobby has legs and a mind of it's own. It will snowball and there is always one more thing. You can end up putting a grand in it easily. Then again, you use $20.00 a box per ammo and count the number of boxes and you can end up with a grand there as well in 50 boxes of ammo. Then you make your ammo and you save. But wait, you start shooting more because you can make more of it so easy. There goes the savings. The only time you save money in this hobby is when you have the flu!
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Old December 25, 2013, 12:37 AM   #9
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Not my thread but I found it extremely useful nonetheless. Thanks for posting this question and thanks to those who responded so thoroughly.
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Old December 25, 2013, 02:11 AM   #10
Lost Sheep
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There's the rub, bt380

Quote:
Originally Posted by bt380
count the number of boxes and you can end up with a grand there as well in 50 boxes of ammo. Then you make your ammo and you save.
I have about $600 worth of gear (turret press, 7 sets of dies, miscellaeous other stuff). Another $400 of brass, powder, bullets and primers and I have $1,000 invested and enough stuff for $1,000 (retail cost) of ammo. But the next $1,000 of ammo only costs me $400 more. And the next and the next.

Quote:
But wait, you start shooting more because you can make more of it so easy. There goes the savings. The only time you save money in this hobby is when you have the flu!
But instead of shooting 300 rounds of 22 rimfire and 50 rounds of store-bought ammo, I shoot 200 rounds of homemade centerfire ammo and 200 rounds of 22 rimfire.

Where did my savings go? And don't get me started on the wages I pay myself to load my ammo. That is for another thread.

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Old December 25, 2013, 03:16 AM   #11
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Go with the best, a Dillon 550B
Youll never regret it EVER.. oh and the no BS warranty is pretty nice too!
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Old December 25, 2013, 04:14 AM   #12
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I started doing 45 and 40 recently and can relate. I bought the Hornady classic single kit in Feb while supply for all gun supplies was very low. It took a few months with lots of backorder waiting but over the year had to buy in addition to the kit:

Lee 40 and 45 die sets, I chose the 4 die sets with FCD.
A pistol sized rotor/meter for the powder dispensor. The one that comes with it is suited for rifle.
Additional manuals, don't settle for just one source of data.
Powder based on reading from the manuals.
Used brass from MidwayUSA.com and other sources.
Primers from local stores to avoid online hazmat fees.
Bullets, plated are cheap local and got 500 free HP'S after about 5 months wait from Hornady.
Brake cleaner to clean all parts with, powder sticks to everything.
Tumbler, I made a rotating drum with corn cob media but there are cheap tumblers out there. I also bought the Hornady sonic cleaner as well and love it.
Primer pocket cleaner.
Deburr/chamfer tool.
Kinetic bullet puller.
Extra bushings for mounting additional dies in the press without unscrewing and reseting each one.
Dont forget your caliper measure!!!!

I'm starting to look at progressive presses. For the money I wish I'd have bought the hornady AP and just started slow with it rather than start with a single then go to progressive but I do like my single very much and will probably continue using it to deprime spent brass.

I also record every penny spent and every cartridge made/fired/bought in an Excel spreadsheet. I'd at least get a paper log to do this with. I've so far spent a total of $1500 over the course of the year on EVERYTHING but have also pumped out about 800 rounds included in that cost and I always have a couple hundred rounds ready for the range each weekend.

Last edited by Ashbane; December 25, 2013 at 05:19 AM.
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Old December 25, 2013, 04:26 AM   #13
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As for 357/38 special Lee makes 2 sets, a 357 set and a 38 special set that also does 357.
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Old December 25, 2013, 04:44 AM   #14
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After rereading I can say I use everything from the kit except the hand primer. I prefer priming in the press, but many people prefer the hand primer. I also use the digital scale because it's all I have and it works but I think I'd rather have a beam scale. Sometimes the digital wanders a bit and sometimes I get a different reading when I simply pickup a measured cup and set it back on it. And read the manuals. They don't just have load data, the front of the book is all introduction to reloading info and gets you pointed in the right direction.
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Old December 25, 2013, 05:09 AM   #15
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This is going to get me flamed but I'm still going to say it.

Buying things that are cheap can get expensive in a hurry. In my opinion a good place to start for an inexpensive progressive press would be a Dillon 550b or a Hornady LnL AP......you could spend much more money but starting with one of these will get you in at the ground floor and guarantee that you will not be throwing your hard earned money out the window.

As to what to read....The ABC's of reloading and Lyman's 49th are great places to start. Keep in mind that no manual or internet video can take the place of sitting down with an experienced reloader and going over the process step by step.
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Old December 25, 2013, 05:24 AM   #16
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Yeah I wish I'd have started with the Lnl AP. I've nothing against Dillon but Hornady is based in my hometown and have good warranties so I'm biased.
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Old December 25, 2013, 05:59 PM   #17
Garycw
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How does the Lee deluxe turret press and Lee classic turret press differ. I've noticed the deluxe is less $money. With Both in kit form?
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Old December 25, 2013, 06:19 PM   #18
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Quote:
How does the Lee deluxe turret press and Lee classic turret press differ. I've noticed the deluxe is less $money. With Both in kit form?
Gary, the kit you are looking at IS the deluxe kit, it is the exact same kit marketed as EITHER the "Lee Classic Turret Press kit" OR the "Lee Classic 4 Hole Turret Press Deluxe Kit" The price difference is just MSRP vs retail pricing.

Compare these two links classic-turret-press-kit
lee-classic-4-hole-turret-press-deluxe-kit

You can either go for the press itself or the deluxe kit.

Just a personal opinion but check reviews for individual items in a kit and decide for yourself if they will be adequate for long term use or if they will need to be upgraded over time. I'm a firm believer in buying quality the first time instead of upgrading 2-3 times. It usually ends up being less of a headache and usually comes out to be about the same price over time.
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Old December 25, 2013, 06:48 PM   #19
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Ok thanks. I see now the classic 4 hole turret kit has a few more items with it than the deluxe kit. $112 vs $185.
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Old December 25, 2013, 11:34 PM   #20
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Ashbane, I started with the Lock N Load Ammo Plant, the full monte with the case feeder, and bullet feeder.

I still picked up a Single stage for my bigger rifle cartridges, and I have a Lee Hand Press to decap. Hand Press stick a universal decapping die in that one, and you just have to swap out shell holders to decap your brass while you watch TV.
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Old December 26, 2013, 12:53 AM   #21
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If it were me I'd be asking myself what kind of volume I want to do. If you want to roll out 1000 pistol rounds in an hour or two, a progressive is the best choice for the actual loading. I'd be surprised if you could do more than 250 in an hour on a turret of any kind. Once you get into rifle, things slow down a LOT due to inspecting/trimming brass.

As I have said before, I am really fond of the lee turret regardless of cost. I tolerate my Loadmaster and probably would buy it again. The loadmaster primer feed is iffy and a couple of fasteners routinely work loose. They were both inexpensive and they both work. I don't know how many I have loaded, but it's somewhere in the range of 10-20k rounds. Virtually all on the progressive.

One other detail with most progressives, and all true turret presses is that switching from one caliber to another is EXTREMELY simple. Just switch the turret in and all the dies are already dialed in. Caliber switches on the progressives are not as fast.

The classic turret primes on the downstroke, so once you place a shell on the holder the whole process can be completed with 3 pulls of the handle. One more if you want to post-size. I'd buy a package kit personally.

If you go progressive, I'd still really consider the turret press to ride alongside. Or a cheap single stage at least.
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Old December 26, 2013, 01:40 AM   #22
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DennRN's post has links to two kits which BOTH feature the Lee Classic Turret Press. The inclusion of the word "Deluxe" in the one kit is just a marketer's attempt to make it sound different (aside from the differences in the accessories). The "Deluxe" in Lee Precision's naming convention is a specific term. The "Deluxe" in the kit from Midway is the less specific general word.

The true Lee Deluxe Turret is a design that is older than the Lee Classic Turret, has a taller base unit (making a shorter vertical opening for the cartridges). This is the easiest was to tell them apart in pictures.

This is the Lee Deluxe Turret Press
http://leeprecision.com/4-hole-turre...uto-index.html

This is the Lee Classic Turret Press
http://leeprecision.com/4-hole-class...ret-press.html

Here is my summary of the differences between the presses.

They operate in exactly the same way, but have differences in detail that (in my opinion) make up for the difference in price.

The Lee Classic Turret (not to be confused with the Lee Classic Cast, which is a single stage press) and the Lee Deluxe Turret operate in exactly the same manner. (Except for some older, now discontinued models of the Deluxe which have 3 die stations - and, no, the 4-hole turrets do not interchange with the 3-hole turrets.)

Same speed, many of the same parts and same operating mode and technique.

But there are differences.

Evolution: The Classic Turret is the newer design of the two.

Durability: The Classic Turret's base is cast iron, the Deluxe is cast aluminum. Iron wears better than the softer metal, aluminum.

Ease of use: The Deluxe has a 1" smaller vertical opening than the Classic Turret. Though either is capable of taking rifle cartridges, the Classic Turret will take longer ones and if you have big hands is the clear winner.

Spent Primer Handling: The Deluxe drops primers out of a slot in the ram to fall into a cavity inside the press base. But only about 90% succeed in their intended journey. The Classic drops primers down the center of the hollow ram and into a clear plastic tube which can contain a few hundred primers or be directed into a receptacle of your choice. The difference in the behavior of the debris (products of combustion) from the spent primers is even more striking. With the Deluxe, you wind up with primer detritus all over and have to dismount the press and sweep up the pile of spent primers every several hundred rounds.

More on Durability: The Deluxe ram is smaller in diameter than the Classic's ram. This gives a much different bearing surface for the ram to be guided as it moves up and down. The Classic press will last much longer because of the increased surface area and because iron is tougher than aluminum.

Even more on Durability: The Deluxe's linkage is aluminum and stampings. The Classic's linkage is more robust. I believe the leverage on both is the same.

There is an optional roller handle, which is said to be easier to use, so an upgrade over the standard, stock handle might be nice, but I believe it is available for either press.

In summary:

The Deluxe is aluminum, spills spent primers and has a slightly smaller opening (which you may find important when loading long cartridges or long bullets.

I think that's about it.

Lost Sheep

p.s. Kempf's gun shop (online) assembles a kit containing the Classic Turret and does not force someone who already reloads to take other stuff you already have (except a set of dies and some cartridge boxes).
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Old December 26, 2013, 06:26 AM   #23
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Thanks Lost Sheep. You are a wealth of information. That answers my question perfectly about the different between deluxe and classic. The classic seems like the extra $ would be well spent. I will also look in the other site too. I was looking at FS Reloading site which are back ordered two weeks. Since I'm new I would need all the stuff in kit and then some. I already have some good digital calipers for id/od measurements, digital scale,glasses etc.
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Old December 26, 2013, 02:15 PM   #24
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Wow Lost Sheep, thanks for the clarification on these models.

I have a couple things to add to that: I have the aluminum base "Deluxe" apparently, and seeing this thread made me take a much closer look at it. I quickly came to the same conclusion that the "Classic" will last longer.

But this was not based on the diameter of the ram or the aluminum base. I would wager that the first thing to wear out will be the pivot link hole on the operating lever. It pivots the most and has the most deflected force out of all the components. Made me think of a plan to deal with it when the time comes- probably bore it out and press in a steel sleeve when (if) the day ever comes.

Also, the Classic not only appears to have a larger ram, but the ram looks to have a chrome hard coat. For my application the cheaper Deluxe is probably fine since I almost exclusively use it as a support press. But if I had noticed the differences, I probably would have bought the Classic.

Knowing this, I would also advise the Classic over my Deluxe for someone who might do *significant* loading without "upgrading" to a progressive.
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Old December 26, 2013, 04:53 PM   #25
RC20
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Join Date: April 10, 2008
Location: Alaska
Posts: 2,118
I like the kits. They get you started and have the basic items needed to get going. Once you have some experience you have some basis of experience to decide you want more or now.

I would get a kit that has a heavy enough press to easily do rifle even if you are going to do pistol. The lights ones will do rifle but its a struggle and not worth it whereas the heavy does pistol just fine.

You can then expand or do a full change but some things like a powder dispenser or a beam scale never are wasted. They may be fall back or cross check or if the nice electronic dispenser goes south you can still load.

My first kit was a RCBS Junior, I still have it and use it, the scale, the funnel and I don't know how many other tools from it. I never saw any need to get any other press as this works wonderful for my needs. Others feel differently. A Dillon would be wasted on me. If I am going to spend money a good electronic powder dispenser is where it would go.

I latter got a Rockchucker for the rifle rounds and continue to add.

I think a good hand primer is the way to go, I never did use the press one other than to try it initially and did not like it.

I do think a low cost electronic scale is mandatory now. Its got so many uses and if you are cross comparing something it works better and faster than a moving weight around on a beam. Beam is still great for cross checking the electronic.
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