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Old December 14, 2009, 07:13 AM   #1
Headgear
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Single stage or turret

I would like to get a press for rifle reloading. I don't shoot a great deal, actually I think I like reloading as much as shooting. I have a Dillon 650 for my pistols but I'd like to get more detailed for rifle loads. I am shooting 300 wsm, 223 and have a friend who wants to load 30-06

I'm looking at Redding presses. I am wondering if a turret can do everything that a single stage does and have a lot more versatility for doing other things with it in the future.

What are the pros and cons between the two, other than cost?

Thanks!
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Old December 14, 2009, 07:30 AM   #2
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I am sure others will disagree. But the Redding Boss is the Cadillac of single stage presses. If not loading for a semi auto. You can’t beat it. Lower volume. But O-type presses are by nature stronger than Turret presses. Also the Redding gives you a little more room for long cartridges. My brother just switched over from his older RCBS to the Boss for 338 Mag. That extra ram length makes a big difference in long cartridges.
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Old December 14, 2009, 07:52 AM   #3
Grollen
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Hi,

In my opinion each reloader needs a single stge press, but I really have no preference, RCBS Rockchucker or Redding, i really don't like the Lee's

I also have a Dillon and use my Rockchucker for rifle reloads, for Resizing and depriming only,
Than I clean the cases in my tumbler again (free of lube) and prime and do all other stages on my Dillon.

Greetings,

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Old December 14, 2009, 08:39 AM   #4
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I took the auto index feature off of my Lee Classic Turret before I ever used it. It is now my go-to single stage press. The ability to switch quickly between 4 dies on each head is a big plus for me. Extra heads cost less than $15. The linkage is the same as on their Classic Cast press so I have no trouble at all sizing or forming rifle brass. It's a stout press to be sure.
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Old December 14, 2009, 09:29 AM   #5
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"I am wondering if a turret can do everything that a single stage does and have a lot more versatility for doing other things with it in the future."

Not in my opinion. Any conventional turret head has more spring than I like for precise rifle loading, it has to be that way or the head couldn't turn. Turning the head manually and taking care to insure the positionioning detent was in the right place ate too much time to load from start to finish. I quickly began to batch process my cases, same as with a single stage. I used to tighten the head-holding bolt to make it more solid but all that did was make it a really funny looking single stage. Finally bought a single stage and got happy. Fact is, I can seen NO advantage for any conventional type turret press at all.

But, even tho it will make equipment eletists shiver to hear, the Lee Classic Turret is different. I agree with Sport45, it's much the best turret currently available, IMHO. The method of retaining the head prevents excessive springing even with rifle cartridges. The heads are easily swapped in seconds without tools AND they are inexpensive enough to make having a head set up for each die set reasonable. The unique auto-advance system works like a semi-progressive and speeds loading a LOT. It handles spent primers and their trash very cleanly, dropping them into a container instead of on the floor! The lever system is fully adjustable for side, length and angle. The cast steel frame and toggle system are much stronger than older such tools and it's big enough for any sporting cartridge. It's made in the USA and the price is RIGHT!

Other than that, I don't know much about them!
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Old December 14, 2009, 09:35 AM   #6
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Duplicate
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Old December 14, 2009, 11:06 AM   #7
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I use a simple RCBS single stage for rifles and have for over thirty years. (I also use it for pistols since I got rid of my Dillon - another story). I reload in steps - that is, I deprime, neck size and reprime in one step and fill a loading block. Then I weigh each charge and fill the case. Last, I seat the bullet. A simple single stage will do it easily enough, especially on those larger calibers mentioned
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Old December 14, 2009, 11:17 AM   #8
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I have three Lee presses. the Lee Classic Cast, the Lee Classic Turret and the Lee LoadMaster. I use all three. All my precision Rifle loading is done on the Classic Cast. Some .223 for my AR is done on the turret. Some Pistol stuff is done on the turret for load development. Large batches (100+) of pistol ammo is done on the LoadMaster.

Although there is some "spring" in the Lee turret, the "spring" is exactly the same for each pull of the handle. This can't be said of the turret presses that are of the "T" design.
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Old December 14, 2009, 11:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Fact is, I can seen NO advantage for any conventional type turret press at all.
Couldn't disagree more. I keep a pair of die sets preset in each turret head. I do not have to readjust my dies unless I change the projectile, which is easy enough to just adjust the seater plug. So no adjusting dies between stages or caliber changes and if I screw one up I can easily go back a step without changing dies. The turret press saves A LOT of time over a traditional single stage. The RCBS turret was intended for batch loading, not used as a pseudo-progressive.
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Old December 14, 2009, 12:10 PM   #10
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Headgear,

Because you mentioned the turret, I assume speed has some value for you? Because you mentioned more details (more operations, like brass prep steps), I assume precision and accuracy matter to you? Based on those two considerations, I think the press you want is the Forster Co-ax press.

I read somewhere that among non-benchrest match winners using handloads, and this would include Palma and F-class and other long range matches, Service Rifle and NRA Match Rifle, more winners were using the Forster Co-ax press than any other. The reason is the nature of its pop-in, pop-out die holding system. That system lets you change a die as fast as you can take a case out and put another one in, which makes it almost as quick as rotating a turret manually, but it also floats the dies, letting them self-center over cases as the ram moves it up. That cuts down on cartridge runout, which A. A. Abbatiello showed years ago could contribute up to an MOA to group size in .30-06 match ammunition (Handloading, NRA 1981, ISBN 0-935998-34-9, p. 87). That was with the Lake City 173 grain boattail FMJ. Bullets with shorter bearing surfaces can do worse.

The Co-ax press makes some very straight ammunition. Add to it the Forster or Redding sliding sleeve competition type bullet seating dies, and you will have ammunition straightness rivaling bench rest arbor die output. It is a very, very good combination.

Like the Lee Classic Cast single-stage press, the Co-ax also has a completely captive spent primer catch system. It features a universal shell holder system, so there are no shell holders to change unless you go to .45-70 or other wide rim cases. In that instance the shell holder plates have to be swapped. I run .222/.223 and .308/.30-06 heads on the small plate with no change.

Additionally, the Co-ax has one feature I've seen nowhere else; not even on Forster's own Co-ax bench priming tool. The primer seater is designed to force primers a metered 0.004" below flush with the bottom of the case head. That is ideal when loading for floating firing pin military gas guns, with which high primers are the number one cause of slam fires. It is also the average for primer pellet bridge compression used in commercial ammunition. Unless you are going to use a hand priming tool like the K&M with its dial indicator option, so you can touch the anvil to the floor of the primer pocket by feel, then add a measured 0.002" (small rifle) or 0.003" (large rifle) additional pellet compression (what Federal recommends), the Co-ax primer seater is likely to give you ammunition with the most consistent pellet bridge.

The bridge is the thickness of the primer pellet between the cup and anvil. It requires a nominal degree of compression for best primer sensitivity and ignition consistency. Setting the bridge thickness correctly leads to lower muzzle velocity extreme spread (Precision Shooting Reloading Guide, Precision Shooting, Inc. pub, 1995, p. 271). That matters only a little at 100 yards, but the error grows in disproportion to distance. It varies with ballistic coefficients, but a typical observation would be that what is a tenth of an inch vertical dispersion due to velocity variation at 100 yards grows to about half an inch at 200, over an inch at 300, six inches at 600, and almost two feet at 1000 yards. You can see why the long range shooters worry over it.

Good luck with whatever you choose.

Nick
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Old December 14, 2009, 12:26 PM   #11
m.p.driver
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I have a Lyman T-Mag which was my first press ,but what i fall back on is two old Pacific single stage presses.I load for mostly Hi-Power rifle so volume isn't mandatory accuracy is.I would still like to go the Dillon route just to churn out paper punching ammo.But i resize in batches so i havent really felt a drawback.
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Old December 14, 2009, 05:03 PM   #12
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"The turret press saves A LOT of time over a traditional single stage."

So, what time saving turret press are you refering to?
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Old December 14, 2009, 05:59 PM   #13
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RCBS.
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Old December 14, 2009, 06:03 PM   #14
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single stage or turret

I reload for hunting rifles. Most of the the loads for different rifles are tuned to the barrel I got from the factory. ( I haven't yet ordered custom barrels.)Many of the loads are max or plus max with varying OAL. A turret press can not dispense an accurate amount of powder to be safe when you are working with what may be a maxium load especially when you are tuning up a load for a specific barrel. When you are working with max OAL that will eject an unfired round from the chamber a turret press is also lacking in the .001 inch range accuracy.
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Old December 14, 2009, 08:39 PM   #15
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"RCBS (turret is faster)."

Okay. But that raises another question, "How is the RCBS turret operationally different - faster - than a Lyman T-Mag or a Redding T-7 turret of the same basic design?"

Batch processing is batch pocessing, so that's a draw no matter the press. Since I, or anyone, can exchange individual dies in well under 30 seconds in a single stage, how is loading with the RCBS turret significantly faster than a single stage in view of the fact the RCBS turret requires a large wrench to remove/replace (expensive) pre-loaded heads? I mean, how quickly can that be done, from start to finish?
\
I can install and swap a sizer and seater in well under a minute, without hurry, in a single stage. Even if you use dies that are already installed in an already mounted head, in a total loading session you will be "faster" by a minute - at most? - over what it takes me. Is that really significant in the course of an evening of loading?

Last edited by wncchester; December 14, 2009 at 08:51 PM.
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Old December 15, 2009, 02:43 AM   #16
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Quote:
A turret press can not dispense an accurate amount of powder to be safe when you are working with what may be a maxium load especially when you are tuning up a load for a specific barrel.
Turret presses, or at least mine, do not "dispense powder".


Quote:
"How is the RCBS turret operationally different - faster - than a Lyman T-Mag or a Redding T-7 turret of the same basic design?"
No idea, don't care.

Quote:
...how is loading with the RCBS turret significantly faster than a single stage in view of the fact the RCBS turret requires a large wrench to remove/replace (expensive) pre-loaded heads?
You mean as opposed to the large wrench you need to change a die??? Actually, it's done quite quickly and not with a wrench. I don't know, how tired do you get of changing dies three times just to load a handful of cartridges for load testing? How much do you think all those minutes add up to in a lifetime of reloading? This ain't meant to be a peeing contest. You may choose to spend more time working with your single stage if you like. The convenience of having all your dies preset and readily available with a flick of the wrist cannot be arbitrarily dismissed.
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Old December 15, 2009, 04:17 AM   #17
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Since the Lee Classic Turret can be used with, or without the index rod, I do not see an issue here. I got the Lee Classic Turret press and used it without the indexing rod until I was ready to use the turret feature, which was very soon, as the Lee Turret press did about 2 1/2 times the loading rate as when used as a single stage.

If the same is true for Redding presses (removal of the index rod with the turret press), I see a real advantage.
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Old December 15, 2009, 06:43 AM   #18
Headgear
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Thanks guys,

I think after reading and considering what you all have said, Nick pretty much nailed it for me. Speed is important to me but I'm not going to shoot a 300 wsm like I am my pistols. I'll go out and shoot 20-50 rounds and go back out two weeks later and shoot again. What I will enjoy most is accuracy and working with well made, precision tools, both producing rounds and shooting them.

The whole thing is a hobby and I'll want to enjoy the process as much as the product. That Forster press looks like it would be a joy to work with and sounds as if it would produce the outcome I,m looking for. Not to say that that some less expensive equipment could not produce very nearly the same product. Why not spend the little extra on equipment. I'll probably not buy another press in my life. (ya right)

In the long run, I could see my self going slower but producing something that I was proud of and enjoying working with fine equipment. But that is why I asked you guys what you thought. I had know idea that Forster even made a press. Who knows what else is out there? I appreciate all of your input!!!
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Old December 15, 2009, 08:35 AM   #19
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I have a Redding T-7 turret press. It is very heavy duty. Like a feekin tank is a better descrition.
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Old December 15, 2009, 09:57 AM   #20
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"(1) How much do you think all those minutes add up to in a lifetime of reloading? (2) This ain't meant to be a peeing contest."

1, Not much. "Time saved" means nothing if the time isn't used in some constructive way. A few seconds saved in a loading session are NOT likely to improve the quality of my life in other ways.

2, No, it isn't and even suggesting it might be is uncalled for. You quoted me and made a strong statement of disagreement to the effect that your specific turret press saves a lot of time. I thought perhaps you had valid reasons for it and wanted to learn what you have found that I have not, so I asked. With your answer (RCBS), I was even more puzzled about why you disagree so I asked for further explaination so I, and perhaps others, could learn from your experience.

Now you say you don't know anything about other turret presses even though they are all made very much like yours. And you indicate you don't realize that dies are not meant to be installed with a wrench, they need be finger tight only. In fact, that's why so many makers use knurled lock rings. The Forster/Bonanza Co-Ax press, perhaps the premier single stage press for accuracy, has no threads at all, the die lock rings simply slide into a groove.

Those dies that have hex rings do so not for wrenchs but because it's easier - meaning less costly - to just bore and thread common sizes of hex bar stock on automated machines set up for doing that. It takes an extra machining step to make knurled rings on round stock so few makers do it But a hex shape doesn't mean they should be locked down with wrenches.

I have a Lyman turret and have used others. My Lyman is good. The Redding T-7 is clearly king of the hill for turrets but it's still a turret (and both are made in the USA, not China). So, from experience with both turrets and single stages, I know a conventional turret press doesn't save any significant amount of time AND they have the mandatory disadvantage of a lot more head spring than any single stage. So, my main point is/was that will I happily sacrifice a few otherwise useless seconds for better precision when sizing and seating. It's up to any individual to decide what is more useful for himself but in my many years of loading a lot of calibers on turrets and single stages I've found time saving with a non-auto indexing turret to be more illusion than fact.

So, okay, you disagree, it's your opinion and you stated it. But, I disagree with you and have defended my position with easily confirmed facts. ??

Last edited by wncchester; December 15, 2009 at 11:00 AM.
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Old December 15, 2009, 01:40 PM   #21
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I used a Lyman Spart-T for about 40 years and recently got a Lee Classic Turret. Have used them on 2.5 Mag rifle down to 38spl with no problems. My reason is laziness in setting dies one time and flip to the next.
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Old December 15, 2009, 07:21 PM   #22
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I use the RCBS single stage, its there better one cant remember the model, and to lazy to go down stairs. But I dont reload as much has some of you folks, and I can see where the turret would be nice to have. Like one post said it would be nice to have them both.
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Old December 22, 2009, 01:29 PM   #23
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Sorry for the delayed response. I had a long reply typed up when my browser crashed. Plus I had a skunk spray close to the house and the basement, where the instructions for my RCBS dies lay, got the brunt of it.


Quote:
Now you say you don't know anything about other turret presses even though they are all made very much like yours.
I may assume that all turret presses are similar but would rather not. I have no experience with other turrets, having not even closely examined them in more than ten years, let alone putting them to use. So I "choose" not to comment on them.


Quote:
And you indicate you don't realize that dies are not meant to be installed with a wrench, they need be finger tight only.
I indicate that I read the instructions that came with my RCBS dies. I reckon I must've misunderstood when it stated to "set the lock nut" or "tighten the lock nut" once the dies were adjusted properly. Or the statement, "All RCBS dies feature an improved steel lock nut with a "hex" design that allows even tighter control over precise adjustments."


As a veteran handloader with experience with both types of presses, I'm sure you've done testing that proves that the "spring" in turret presses is a detriment to accuracy? Consistency is the most important factor, does the turret head not move the same every time? So the "spring" is such a detriment in a turret press but the lack of locking threads on the Co-Ax is not?


Quote:
Fact is, I can seen NO advantage for any conventional type turret press at all.
Quote:
So, my main point is/was that will I happily sacrifice a few otherwise useless seconds for better precision when sizing and seating.
Make up your mind. Your initial point, which is what I disagreed with, was that turrets have "NO advantage" over a single stage. This statement quoted above indicates that you understand that there IS an advantage to turrets, you just choose to disregard it. My point is that this advantage, that you now admit exists, is worth the little extra money to save some time TO ME. No, it's not the huge increase in productivity you get with a progressive but it's not meant to be. It didn't cost $800 like my Dillon 650 either. Maybe your pursuits require a little more precision (which may or may not even be a factor between a turret and a comparably priced single stage), mine do not. However, the turret press does not keep me from shooting sub-MOA groups with my rifles and 2" groups at 50yds with select loads in revolvers.

The Co-Ax may be comparable to a turret in volume with its ease of changing dies but its cost is twice that of a regular single stage press. It's higher than my turret press.
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Old December 22, 2009, 03:05 PM   #24
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"Time saved" means nothing if the time isn't used in some constructive way. A few seconds saved in a loading session are NOT likely to improve the quality of my life in other ways.
Really? I personally think it's a pain to take a die out, put a different one in, reset it to the correct length, etc. That time does add up and is time I could spend cranking out a few extra rounds... or a few extra minutes that I could spend on my couch watching TV.

So do you consider the extra time it takes to swap out each die a "constructive" use of your time?
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Old December 22, 2009, 04:32 PM   #25
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You know a few month's back I decided to get into reloading again. Alway one to like quality equipment I was all set to get a Redding Big Boss II press. But I did some online research for a few weeks and learned about the Lee Classic Turret press. Decided it was so inexpensive that I'd just get one to see for myself what all the rave reviews were about knowing I could always get another press if I didn't like it.

Well I can honestly say I'm glad I did it. It is a very clever well made product for the fella that will take the time to get to know it. Once you mount your dies in a turret-head and adjust them for the amount of play in the press you're good to go. Install each caliber in its own turret-head and adjust them properly and you can switch calibers in seconds. (minutes if you transfer a powder thrower between caliber changes)

Rather than try to envision it in your mind one only needs to use the auto-indexing at one sitting to realize how it speeds you along. I found that out of the entire cost to get set back up the $88 the press cost was really a non-issue. You don't have to use Lee dies but the powder thru set-up along with their auto-disc powder thrower and riser is really nice for pistol rounds. For large capacity rifles I'm not certain a press mounted powder dispenser is all that great of an advantage and would have to see it in action to believe it is.

For low volume high precision loading I'd probably opt for a good single stage and prime and dispense powder off-press if only because I just like doing it that way. But now that I've loaded a few hundred rounds on my Lee Classic Turret press I would likely get the Lee Classic Cast press and Lee hand held auto-prime set and shell holder set. Would have to research the current powder throwers though. My last one for rifles was the RCBS Duo-throw and I don't think its around anymore. It worked but were it not for its capacity I much prefer the function of the Lee auto-prime units.

I'm not brand loyal and tend to pick the component I like from whatever manufacturer makes it. I like quality as long as its associated with value.

Regards,

TB
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