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Old August 28, 2017, 03:45 AM   #76
TruthTellers
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I haven't bought either press yet, but I did decide to buy the Lee press stand from Midway. Used the birthday discount and got free shipping, so I figured that if I ever wanted it, now was the best time to get it.

And since I have the stand now, I think I'll go ahead and buy the Turret press at a later date.

I figured it was better to spend the money now on what I want and not something that's just a stop gap.
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Old August 30, 2017, 12:09 PM   #77
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When I started loading there were lot's of C frame press's around. Everybody claimed they were fine except for heavy case forming. I used an old Pacific for a short while and never had a problem with it. The difference between that old Pacific and the Lee your looking at is the Lee is cast aluminum and the old Pacific was steel. The problem with the Pacific when reforming case's was the press could spring! I never did any reforming like that. Left an impression though and I've never owned one. Depending on what your doing, the Lee C frame might do what you want. Right now your loading everything on a Lee hand press. Anything you can do on the hand press, you can do on the C frame I'm sure. I don't believe your arm can apply more pressure than the press and you haven't broke the hand press yet. I would not attempt anything with it you wouldn't do on the hand press.
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Old August 30, 2017, 12:20 PM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikld View Post
OK, K.I.S.S. Get the "C" press and load with it. If you have any problems (which I never had) you can get an "O" press later. And you are not locked into one press for the rest of your life (I've had mebbe 8 or 10 presses, still have 4, from gigantic cast iron "O" to lightweight aluminum "C" presses. All made good, safe accurate ammo, from start to finish, when I did my part.). Don't overthink this. You can load safely and accurately with the Lee "C" press. I have never experienced press "flexing" and prolly wouldn't recognize it if it did occur.
This say's it all!
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Old September 1, 2017, 03:25 PM   #79
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TruthTeller- I think your plan is good.

The turret is way faster and versatile than single stage. I do all my loading on a progressive and use the turret for other operations. But I *wish* my progressive worked as well as the turret does. If you change direction to tack driving and get a single stage, or want more volume and go progressive, I think it's unlikely you will regret having the turret.

As far as "flex" I wouldn't worry too much about it. Or "slop" from the turret for that matter. SERIOUS tack drivers might take issue- but it sounds like you aren't there yet. The brass will have no idea how much flex or slop there is, it will only know if the die makes firm contact with the shell holder or not. Which will not happen if the paper thin webs of the Lee C aluminum investment casting break.
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Old September 1, 2017, 04:00 PM   #80
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^ They aren't paper thin, but I get it. Ha ha.

You're right that serious tack driving won't be happening for a while and when it does, I'll probably get a Forster Co-Ax press to do it.
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Old September 1, 2017, 04:26 PM   #81
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The LEE Turret is the way to go 4 holes so you can set up your dies all at one time and you can load faster that way you can use the factory crimp die. I have loaded over 4000 rounds this year and shoot a lot less this year.I have loaded off of her for 20+ years any thing 25Acp to 454 cal 223 to 30.06 it has been a very good one but I keep it clean and lub.
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Old September 1, 2017, 05:31 PM   #82
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I looked on eBay and Gunbroker, and even a used Challenger press is listed above Midway and MidSouth's new prices in both places, so the used market seems like a dead end at the moment. It seems like the options you've got are already the best you can expect right now. The Challenger won't take up significantly more space than a Reloader, but at twice the price you would do better to go with the Reloader for now and start throwing your pocket change into a coffee can every day until there's enough there to get a Classic Cast press, which can be had for a little less than twice the Challenger price.
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Old September 1, 2017, 07:36 PM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TruthTellers
Would this "O" frame press be more robust and hold up better over time with more intense loading operations like full length re-sizing?

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/17...le-stage-press

It's frame is also aluminum.
Yes ... MUCH better. The first one you showed us is okay, for what it is, but it's not in the same arena as any 'O' press (which, if you haven't figured it out yet, is a press with a second vertical leg, so the top with the die can't flex under load). I have the earlier version of the Challenger press, and it has served me well for more than ten years. The upgrade to Lee's "breechlock" system makes it easier to swap dies without changing the setting.

That said, I eventually got tired of swapping dies. I load mostly for semi-auto handgun, so I'm less interested in gnat's eyelash accuracy and more interested if having enough ammo to shoot when I get to the range. I wasn't ready for (nor could I afford) a quality progressive press setup, so I moved to a Lee Turret Press. It's much faster than any single stage, without getting into progressive press territory (and expense).

You can get into a Turret Press very affordably: https://www.natchezss.com/lee-4-hole...press-kit.html

The kit includes both a scale and their Auto Disk powder measure (which works fine for handguns -- doesn't have the powder capacity for rifle ammo). All you need is a set of dies and this kit will get you started.

Last edited by Aguila Blanca; September 3, 2017 at 02:00 AM.
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Old September 1, 2017, 10:23 PM   #84
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Lee tools have filled the need for both beginners & seasoned reloader's since the second half of the last century. _"A long time Lee has been around pleasing their customers year after year." Yes indeed.

As for me.
Over the years my reloading bench has slowly turned from worn-out Pacific Red tools to RCBS Green.
Although I still happen to own two Lee press's. A long ago put in-storage pro-1000 and a Lee Breech Lock hand press. {Breech lock press is in use.} <_Without a doubt the ideal press for my travel bag.
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Old September 2, 2017, 10:56 AM   #85
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jmorris wrote:
For me aluminum isn't a deal breaker. I have spent lots of hours flying around, floating in and driving things that have engines, transmissions and structures made from the stuff.
Those are all completely different applications.
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Old September 2, 2017, 03:45 PM   #86
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Aluminum super alloys (Like 7075 and 6061) exceed mild steel tensile strengths once precipitate hardened (heat accelerated aging) but even in it's softer forms can function quite adequately in these applications. All it takes is a thicker casting to achieve similar stiffness.

In theory the wear and friction coefficient might be a hurdle, but in the real world most folk are *never* gonna wear out a bore- especially if lubing occasionally.

So I'm generally in the same boat as Jmorris. Aluminum is a good choice to drop cost since it's very easy to cast, and cast cheaply. As long as it is properly designed to accommodate any differences in yield (not tensile) strength. Would I prefer a drop forged alloy steel press? Well, yeah. But I'd also like to have titanium wheels on my ride. The question is what will I *pay* for them!
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Old September 3, 2017, 08:31 AM   #87
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Quote:
Those are all completely different applications.
Yes, aluminum as a material is used in every thing from beer cans to components of the space station.

Including benchrest reloading presses. http://www.sinclairintl.com/reloadin...prod33635.aspx

I have won lots of matches wi ammunition loaded on aluminum framed presses. That's why aluminum isn't a deal breaker for me, I already know that it works as good as cast iron as I also have presses made from that material as well.
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Old September 5, 2017, 07:32 PM   #88
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Honestly though I'd wonder why you would wanna move to a single stage and not a progressive
For some reloaders that's all that is needed, self included. I reload .45 acp, 44 mag, 444 marlin and 500 S&W but not in large enough numbers to justify a progressive. If I want to I can pump out rounds at a fairly decent rate. All my dies are set in locking rings for quicker set up and faster caliber transition.
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Old September 7, 2017, 04:32 PM   #89
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The truth is, it's a introductory reloading mistake, utter piece of crap.
Deflects/bends when you try and size anything,
I've personally broken two doing nothing but decapping with a universal decapping die trying to knock out crimped primers.

Waste of time and thankfully not a lot of money.
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Old September 8, 2017, 09:20 AM   #90
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The trick with aluminum is its modulus of elasticity (force needed to stretch it a certain amount) is about 1/6 to 1/3 that of steels and cast irons, which result's in Lee's recommendation that you tighten a sizing die 3/4 of a turn deeper than light contact with the top of the ram for their aluminum presses, rather than the 1/8 to 1/4 turn usually recommended for cast iron presses.

Mild steels usually have tensile strength on the order of 50,000 psi to 80,000 psi. 7075 T6 aluminum is in the same range. 6061 T6 is 40,000 psi-ish. But if you look up cast aluminum blocks, the tensile strength is down in the 10,000 psi range and they are not tempered. I don't know enough about aluminum casting to say exactly which alloys are most commonly used for something like a reloading press.

But it may all be a moot point, as reloading presses are not cast from aluminum given a T6 temper, nor are they injection cast from steel, but rather are cast from iron when they aren't cast aluminum. Gray iron can be no stronger than the cast aluminum block data I found. 10,000 psi-ish. The precipitated graphite can weakens it considerably compared to steel. Ductile ion can get you back to the mild steel range, though. Other than Dillon's mention of using ductile iron in their 50 BMG press, I don't know what the other presses being cast of iron are made from. There are also machined steel presses available, though not cheap, like the one Corbin makes.

Richard Lee has a photo in his book of one of his presses that has steel rod verticals and where he has turned the three of them down to 1/8 inch and can still resize a case, so steel strength levels are greater than are strictly necessary, as long as there is more aluminum in the frame than that.

I don't think aluminum is necessarily an inferior choice where thicknesses are adequate and as long as you allow for the increased ease of stretching. In that regard, the O-frame press is, in fact, a design that will keep die and ram alignment better through the stretch than a C-press design will. However, I have resized .308 cases in a Lee Hand Tool loading at the range before. It was hard, but it did it and the ammo shot just fine. I would not try to use it to resize once-fired brass out of someone else's gun, much less out of a military full-auto weapon that was fatter and/or longer than my own chamber leaves brass. I would not try to use a small base die in it. But brass fireformed in my own rifle and minimally resized could be made to work. Not fun, but doable.
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Old September 9, 2017, 10:04 AM   #91
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Quote:
...a design that will keep die and ram alignment better...
That, in a nutshell, is what it comes down to. How much force are you going to need. There are a number of rounds one could reload fine on the cheap and "flimsy" Lee C press and some it wouldn't be the best choice for. Machine a block of forged aluminum though and it can be pretty stout, like 10,000 horsepower from 500 cubic inches stout.

http://sip-trunking.tmcnet.com/news/...02/7952726.htm

And no the crank isn't aluminum but it's not cast iron either.
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Old September 10, 2017, 05:33 PM   #92
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That cast aluminum lee press is pretty basic.

BUT...it is good for decaping brass.

Save you money and get a good single stage from Hornady ..RCBS....forrester... Redding etc. ... you will be happier in the long run
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Old September 11, 2017, 09:00 AM   #93
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It's just Forster. No trees involved.

Rereading the whole thread, which I should have done before, I see the OP has solved the problem. He only wanted the Lee Reloader press to decap and charge cases, which would put no significant load on it. Indeed, it's a good choice for that kind of light duty second operation press. It could also be used with the Lee Quick Trim as a case trimmer when reloading rifle cases. But he's decided to spring for the Lee Turret (I assume this is the Lee Classic 4-hole Turret Press, which is all steel and cast iron except for the die plate itself is aluminum). This press is a favorite among many members here, has the more rigid "O" frame strength from opposing steel support rods and is faster to use than a single stage.
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Old September 11, 2017, 12:28 PM   #94
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Correct on all accounts Unclenick. I had been leaning towards the C press for those reasons, but when I saw the discount price for the Lee stand, and the free shipping, I had to get it. The 4 hole cast turret press has been THE one press I have been wanting to get since I really committed to reloading last year. I figure instead of waiting for no real reason, to just get what I want.

I had been hoping to get a reloading bench together, but given my living situation, I don't have the space to put it and the stand takes up less space and is easy to disassemble for when I move. And, if I ever do get a Forster Co-Ax or MEC Marksman press, that can get mounted onto the bench and the turret can remain on the stand and make more room on the bench top and if I want to, I can sell the Lee stand for 70 bucks and get most of my money back.

I may still get the C frame Lee press to use for the Lee lube and size kits in the future.
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Old September 17, 2017, 09:57 PM   #95
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I wouldn't get it (cheap Lee C) for that application either.

When casting, every so often you will get an oddball batch from something hanging up in the mold. These fat ones should be remelted, but all it takes is *one* to break that weak press.

When sizing normal bullets, it should *easily* handle the minimal loading. But the first fat one that accidentally makes it in *will* break that press. I have had them sneak in on the turret, and simply forced them through to be remelted. But the force was WAY WAY higher than what broke my C press- swaging primer pockets.

I really see no reason for it anyhow. Get another turret for your bullet sizing dies. This is actually one of the things that my turret sees a lot of action on. Works great. All my pistol calibers on a single turret, and just swap out the shell plate for the right caliber. The little catch hopper obviously can only sit on one die at a time, but so what?

Another thing that might be an issue is if you decide to coat your bullets rather than lube them- the forces of sizing unlubed powder coated gets into the breakage range. And again, absolutely NO fears on the turret. Though I do do a really light lube on my PC stuff- especially after having unlubed process cause flaking of the coating now and then.

I think you might be in for a pleasant surprise as to how versatile the Lee turret press is. A turret swap and shell holder change and it can be pretty much any operation you want- with no tools. Super *super* easy to swap to a different operation. The thing is a snap. The C press? Different kind of snap!
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Old September 19, 2017, 08:12 AM   #96
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These fat ones should be remelted but all it takes is *one* to break that weak press.
I have learned that there are folks that could ruin an anvil with a rubber mallet.

Kind of like folks that can set off primers when seating them. Hmm, this thing feels stuck, well what kind of man would I be to stop and see what the problem is, I'll show this thing where it belongs! Then blame the results on components or equipment vs its rightful place...
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Old September 20, 2017, 11:29 PM   #97
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Oh please. :P When you are pushing hundreds of pills through and find a bad one that sneaks through and is now in the die, you make a choice. But let me point this little detail out: While my rubber mallet might break that iron anvil of Lee's best $30 of awesomeness, it certainly failed to do so on their turret press. And frankly, there are a lot of operations I perform on the turret which far exceed the forces to OD size projectiles. Even a random goofy one.
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Old September 21, 2017, 07:21 AM   #98
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I have sized many, many thousands of bullet on a Lee single stage not sure that I have had any bad ones sneak into the die for the diameter I was currently sizing but haven't broke it yet.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8tWaN5PrTY

That said it can only input a certain amount of force if the operator of the cheap Lee press does the same, he won't break it either.

The key to longevity with equipment is knowing when to not force things.
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Old September 23, 2017, 11:58 AM   #99
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I have the challenger and I am very happy with it. It's the only press I have ever tried but it seems fine to me. It might sound wierd but one thing I like about it is that it is weak enough to give you a feel for what's happening.
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Old September 24, 2017, 02:53 PM   #100
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…And I think we know who lines up on what side of what, here. The thread has run its course.
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