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-   -   Turret presses (https://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=1008696)

Slattin 01-29-2020 12:09 AM

Turret presses
 
I'm currently running an old hand me down single stage rcbs rock chucker and wanting to upgrade to a turret press. I don't shoot enough to warrant a progressive, but enough a turret would be faster than single. I was looking at the Lee classic turret press, but read a lot about how the Lee auto powder and primer aren't that great. Can I use my rcbs uniflow on this and get a different primer feeder? What do others use for turrets and how much modifications are needed? Looking to spend around $200ish for one. I'm loading 45acp right now, will be loading 9mm and 223 in the future.

filthy phil 01-29-2020 02:09 AM

i prime off the press using a lee hand press then finish up with a lee turret

DWARREN123 01-29-2020 05:44 AM

I use a LCT and have no problems with the powder disk and priming system.
Put quite a few thousand of reloads thru it.
Some powders measure much better than others and the priming system is basic but works.

Nitro.45 01-29-2020 06:17 AM

Not sure about the Uniflow, but do not use the “Auto Disk” system unless you want your entire bench showered with granules of powder! Their Auto Drum is a vast improvement.

Black Jack 01-29-2020 03:05 PM

The Lee Classic Turret is a great press. It s not as robust as some of the others, but it is made well enough that it will outlast me.

I have since moved up to a Dillon 550, but still keep the LCT mounted on my bench because I like it and have plans of using it for small batch jobs and when beginning to load new calibers.. It is inexpensive to setup for additional calibers and easy to change calibers.

I have loaded 9mm, 45 ACP, 223 REM and 308 Win on the LCT, all with good results. I do use the Safety Prime System and find it easy to use and reliable.

I also use the Auto Pro Disk powder measure. While this powder measure does have its limitations, it has proven to be very consistent and reliable. I have not had any issues with powder leakage, but I can see that as a possibility if you use extruded powders. I use primarily ball and flake powders and find that the powder drops are very consistent with no powder leakage at all. The reason that this powder measure doesn't handle extruded powders well is because it is mostly plastic parts and when a piece of extruded powder gets stuck on the edge of the powder slide, it pushes the parts away from each other rather than being cut, like it would if the parts were made of metal. This could definitely cause powder leakage. The biggest issue I have found with this powder measure, however, is that since it uses disks with fixed sized cavities, it has no way of making fine adjustments. If you happen to be able to find a cavity that meets your needs, it is actually a pretty good powder measure. For pistol calibers, it worked great for me. For rifle calibers, I was never able to adjust the powder measure fine enough to get the SD I was looking for with velocities.

In general, for an inexpensive, reliable turret, I would highly recommend the Lee Classic Turret.

Edit:
Also the fact that it gives you the option of auto indexing is nice.

FLSlim 01-29-2020 06:39 PM

I used a LCT for several years before going with a Hornady progressive. I had no problem with the Lee primer system except the last couple of primers in the tray wouldn't feed readily. The powder disks are limited in the charge weights available, so you stay within those limits or use some alternative powder drop. Overall I thought it offered a good bang for the buck.

Oldspad 01-29-2020 07:46 PM

I really like my LCT...I DON"T like the priming system, prime with a Lee hand primer, or prime on Dillon and I use the Lee Auto Drum powder measure, I like it so much that I have three of them on Dillon heads. Do like my 550B also...but there are a few calibers that get the Lee treatment, mainly tall slim pistol cases like .38 Special, .357 Mag and the equivalent .44 cases. Oh, I don't shoot much rifle, do load M1 Carbine and .223 on Lee...

TRSOtto 01-29-2020 09:50 PM

I don't understand the attraction to a turret press over a progressive. Cost??? Cost isn't an advantage unless you place absolutely zero value on your time. And time is what a progressive is all about. As in less of it spent humping reloads and more time shooting.

Can someone explain to my why they chose a turret press over a progressive,???...and don't say cost.....cause that dog don't hunt.

Slattin 01-29-2020 10:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TRSOtto (Post 13052222)
I don't understand the attraction to a turret press over a progressive. Cost??? Cost isn't an advantage unless you place absolutely zero value on your time. And time is what a progressive is all about. As in less of it spent humping reloads and more time shooting.

Can someone explain to my why they chose a turret press over a progressive,???...and don't say cost.....cause that dog don't hunt.

It's not all cost, but like I said, I don't shoot enough to warrant a progressive, but enough that it's faster than single stage. I know some place a price on their time, but I enjoy sitting in my shop for a few hours, peace and quiet and loading some shells... And I don't place a cost on my time during the weekends, I'm not getting paid anyways, might as well load some shells!

scubadad 01-30-2020 12:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Slattin (Post 13052238)
It's not all cost, but like I said, I don't shoot enough to warrant a progressive, but enough that it's faster than single stage. I know some place a price on their time, but I enjoy sitting in my shop for a few hours, peace and quiet and loading some shells... And I don't place a cost on my time during the weekends, I'm not getting paid anyways, might as well load some shells!

I agree. On my lee classic turret I can easily load 100 per hour. Slow I know LOL. For me it is a comfortable pace with safety checks along the way. I can go a lot faster but then it seems like work and then it is no fun.

The priming system is not the best so I just manually add primers to the arm. I know slow way to do it.

The auto disk powder measure works if you evenly torque the hopper screws. There is also an adjustable charge bar so you can dial in any weight you want. Make sure to get the auto disk riser to go on your expander/powder die.

Rifter 01-30-2020 01:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Slattin (Post 13052238)
It's not all cost, but like I said, I don't shoot enough to warrant a progressive, but enough that it's faster than single stage. I know some place a price on their time, but I enjoy sitting in my shop for a few hours, peace and quiet and loading some shells... And I don't place a cost on my time during the weekends, I'm not getting paid anyways, might as well load some shells!




Just because a progressive is faster than a turret and may be more than you need is not a valid reason. Easy of operation is also a significant factor. I started on a single stage, and was loading a thousand rounds a month, month in and month out, for ten years. That's all I did, and the repetitive handling of the rounds was mind numbing. While a turret is faster, you still have the handling issues, so you aren't really gaining much.


A progressive eliminates a lot of the repetitive stuff, and whether you run it slow or run it fast, you turn out quality ammo with less effort and that is worth something. Kind of like owning a 70s muscle car. You can have a lot of fun driving it at posted speeds and such, but if you ever need the extra power its just a slight push of the foot away.

devildog93 01-30-2020 02:12 PM

I will second the lee auto disk showering the bench with power. That is the next upgrade i am going to make. I currently use a lee classic turret that i started with years ago. The worst feature is probably the powder system. It still works and everything weighs out pretty well, but you always get a little bit on the bench and it adds up across 100 rounds.

fast eddie 01-30-2020 02:45 PM

If you reload enough, you will get powder on your bench, no matter what. Lees has just streamlined the turret press with a much more efficient expended primer catch system. I just set one up for 6.8 SPC. The new drum powder thrower is better and the disks can be messy at times, but a quick pass of the shop vac clears that right up. For a few more dollars, you can get a progressive Pro 1000. Many here will poopoo them, but I have loaded over 100 thousand rounds on Pro 1000's. They are cheap enough to buy a whole new press with no need for changing shell plates and machine heads. There CS is also top notch. I buy my parts from Lee and they typically send me additional free spare parts, at least those that wear out with every order.

Andyk 01-30-2020 03:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Black Jack (Post 13051688)
The Lee Classic Turret is a great press. It s not as robust as some of the others, but it is made well enough that it will outlast me.

I have since moved up to a Dillon 550, but still keep the LCT mounted on my bench because I like it and have plans of using it for small batch jobs and when beginning to load new calibers.. It is inexpensive to setup for additional calibers and easy to change calibers.

I have loaded 9mm, 45 ACP, 223 REM and 308 Win on the LCT, all with good results. I do use the Safety Prime System and find it easy to use and reliable.

I also use the Auto Pro Disk powder measure. While this powder measure does have its limitations, it has proven to be very consistent and reliable. I have not had any issues with powder leakage, but I can see that as a possibility if you use extruded powders. I use primarily ball and flake powders and find that the powder drops are very consistent with no powder leakage at all. The reason that this powder measure doesn't handle extruded powders well is because it is mostly plastic parts and when a piece of extruded powder gets stuck on the edge of the powder slide, it pushes the parts away from each other rather than being cut, like it would if the parts were made of metal. This could definitely cause powder leakage. The biggest issue I have found with this powder measure, however, is that since it uses disks with fixed sized cavities, it has no way of making fine adjustments. If you happen to be able to find a cavity that meets your needs, it is actually a pretty good powder measure. For pistol calibers, it worked great for me. For rifle calibers, I was never able to adjust the powder measure fine enough to get the SD I was looking for with velocities.

In general, for an inexpensive, reliable turret, I would highly recommend the Lee Classic Turret.

Edit:
Also the fact that it gives you the option of auto indexing is nice.


Lee sells an adjustable cavity for the turret, replaces the fixed disks. For rifle loads you can use a disk and the adjustable instead of double disks. It costs like 10 bucks.

Slattin 01-30-2020 05:57 PM

I actually think I'll get the LCT stand alone and just get the powder drum instead of the disk and won't get the auto primer attachment as I have the rcbs bench primer. Probably get a could extra turrets for 9mm and 45acp. Should be go to go? Oh and a riser

jsirles 01-30-2020 07:40 PM

I have a Hornady Lock n Load that I load mostly handgun cartridges on. I have 3 different powder measures that I keep set up, one for 45acp, one for 9mm and the last for 38 Super. Two of the three powder measures are Lee Pro Auto Disks and the other is a Hornady LnL. I much prefer the ease of use and simple design of the auto disks. They throw the same charge on round #500 as they did on round #1. Set it and forget it. Best $49 I’ve spent.

Chris1971 01-30-2020 07:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TRSOtto (Post 13052222)
I don't understand the attraction to a turret press over a progressive. Cost??? Cost isn't an advantage unless you place absolutely zero value on your time. And time is what a progressive is all about. As in less of it spent humping reloads and more time shooting.

Can someone explain to my why they chose a turret press over a progressive,???...and don't say cost.....cause that dog don't hunt.

Agree, I see the turret press as a much better version of a single stage press and not as a substitute for an auto-indexing progressive press. If I’m going to crank out hundreds of rounds of pet loads, it won’t be on a single stage or turret press. I no longer own a single stage press.

fast eddie 01-30-2020 09:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Slattin (Post 13053010)
I actually think I'll get the LCT stand alone and just get the powder drum instead of the disk and won't get the auto primer attachment as I have the rcbs bench primer. Probably get a could extra turrets for 9mm and 45acp. Should be go to go? Oh and a riser

You might find hand feeding the primers easier than running them through another press. That way you can just drop in the correct primer tool and go.

lhawkins 01-30-2020 10:05 PM

I have a LCT. Loaded thousands of rifle and pistol on it before my LnL. I still use it as a single stage for precision rifle and depriming rifle.

Buy the extra disk pack that allows you more combinations of powder drop. I think the powder charge is the weak link of the press especially when changing calibers/powders. Drum type droppers are WAY easier than disks.

The primer can be finicky and takes some learning to get the right touch. Once you have it figure out, priming is pretty easy.

Is a LCT a good value? I think so. I could not imagine though to use it for loading the volume I do now though.

Good luck on your decision!

Andyk 01-30-2020 10:41 PM

nothing wrong with the lee turret press but a basic Dillon 550 is 299.00. Save for a while and you won't be sorry. Less press time, more shooting time. Otherwise you will be wanting to upgrade in a couple years.

Nitro.45 01-31-2020 06:21 AM

Not sure where you see that....a base 550 is a couple hundred more than that...

RealGun 01-31-2020 07:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andyk (Post 13053262)
nothing wrong with the lee turret press but a basic Dillon 550 is 299.00. Save for a while and you won't be sorry. Less press time, more shooting time. Otherwise you will be wanting to upgrade in a couple years.

A general indictment of Lee presses does not apply to the cast turret, which is just so easy to use productively that I do all small batches with it and with turrets for 13 cartridges. A Dillon 550 gets a lot of respect but does not auto index. I don't know about comparative cost and effort of cartridge changeovers.

scubadad 01-31-2020 08:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Slattin (Post 13053010)
I actually think I'll get the LCT stand alone and just get the powder drum instead of the disk and won't get the auto primer attachment as I have the rcbs bench primer. Probably get a could extra turrets for 9mm and 45acp. Should be go to go? Oh and a riser

Good choice. I have extra turrets and just swap and pull the lever. Don't count out the disk measure. Like I said if you evenly torque the hopper screws you will not have issues. Also keep the hopper at least half full and gravity will take care of the rest.

When I set up my auto disk I take an empty case and run it up to drop powder a few times then weigh it to verify. You can short stroke the press and stay on that station so you are not going all the way around. Same thing when finished. Rotate the hopper to shut off the powder flow and cycle an empty case a few times to clear the disk.

Lee may not be the same quality as dillion but for the casual shooter it will give good service for years. If you are shooting competion then yes step up to a progressive.

Tensaw 01-31-2020 07:05 PM

I load 9mm and .45acp and started out with a Redding T-7 turret press. Had a turret for each caliber and it was a good set up. Last year I sold it and bought a Dillon 550C and it is so sweet! I learned a lot starting with the turret press but kind of wish I had gotten the 550 first.

Nitro.45 02-01-2020 07:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by scubadad (Post 13053502)
Good choice. I have extra turrets and just swap and pull the lever. Don't count out the disk measure. Like I said if you evenly torque the hopper screws you will not have issues. Also keep the hopper at least half full and gravity will take care of the rest.

When I set up my auto disk I take an empty case and run it up to drop powder a few times then weigh it to verify. You can short stroke the press and stay on that station so you are not going all the way around. Same thing when finished. Rotate the hopper to shut off the powder flow and cycle an empty case a few times to clear the disk.

Lee may not be the same quality as dillion but for the casual shooter it will give good service for years. If you are shooting competion then yes step up to a progressive.

I get it that Lee is trying to hit a certain price point, but just a little attention in a few areas could make them so much better. The disc measure hopper screws are a perfect example. If the connecting piece (plastic hopper) that receives the screws was metal, the stupid things wouldn’t strip/break. I had several that were caked with epoxy. Any operator can quickly pick out 5 very weak points on their progressives. Concentrate on those, charge $50 more and we can have a civil conversation. Until then, they will remain as crap in the reloading world.


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