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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:13 pm 
Hawkeye
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Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2003 1:01 am
Posts: 8955
Location: Richmond Texas USA
Hey Guys,
I thought I would give my 3 cents worth on using a Lee Classic Turret Press. I won this about 3 years ago at a CAS shoot and have not used it a lot. As luck would have it I also won a Square Deal B that I sold to a RF member. I have probably loaded around 1000 rounds. I also have a RCBS Rock Chucker and a Dillon 650. Use the 650 most of the time and the RSBS for 45-70s.
This isn't about which is the best press, or the one you like. It is about what I think of this one for the guy starting out or someone that wants to load faster than you can on the RCBS single stage type. This whole package cost around $225, I did buy the micrometer adj. charge bar. Lot easier to use. IMHO
All have have loaded so far is 45 Colt with 700X, Triple 7, Pyrodex and Goex. All loaded great. One advantage loading BP is that you CAN double charge so it allows you to fill the case at the powder station. Can't do that with the 650. Mic. on the Lee will not allow a full case full to drop.
I plan on loading some 45-70 and 30 carbine in the future.
The only thing I don't like is the way the primers are fead into the machine. I just install them with by fingers. Works for me.
I know it's hard to tell in the pictures but my RCBS and Lee are just C Clamped in place and the 650 is bolted to a 3/4" ply and C clamped to the table. Makes it easy to move stuff around
Anyway a good press for the money. Is it a $900, 650 with case feed and powder check??? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOo way
Jim

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Last edited by Wyandot Jim on Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:42 pm 
Blackhawk
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Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 5:41 pm
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Location: 7th Realm of hell, Va.
This is the reloading press I started with. I bought it in November at on eof the local gun shows. The press was $120. I also bought a hornandy digital scale for $20. I had to get the dies from my local gun shop, it was less expensive to buy the 4 dies set from them than to buy the 3 die set and the crimping die seperate. i also bought the seperate peice that the dies screw into. I also found that to make life easier I needed to buy a seperate poweder charge peice for each caliber. I could not take the charging die or the ppowder charge device off with out taking two of the other dies off the top piece.

I found loading the .40 S&W and the .45 ACP to be neat, easy and consistant.

When loading the .45 Colt I have to go slower than the other two calibers in the powder charging stage. When using the powder charge size over about .80 cc if I go too quickly it will dump a small amount of powder. The little hole will over shoot the edge of the aluminum.

I have onbly loaded 300 total rounds so far, 100 each of .40 S&W, .45ACP, aND ..45 Colt.

Over all I am very pleased with the Lee Turret Press. It will pay for its self in short order.

Matt

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:33 pm 
Hawkeye
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Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2003 1:01 am
Posts: 8955
Location: Richmond Texas USA
Good fer you.
Ya can't see from the picture but the Lee press has Dillon, RCBS, and LEE dies on it. Everything works great. Lee dies are hard to beat for the price
Their Factory crimp die can not be beat IMHO.
Jim


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:20 pm 
Blackhawk

Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2003 2:01 am
Posts: 577
Location: NW Colorado, USA
Have about 3,000 rounds through my cast turret. About 2K handgun and the balance rifle, from 300 Weatherby, 32 special, .308W, .280 Rem, 25.06, 25.35 W, 22.250 R, .222 R, .204 Ruger, .22H. Up to 13 loaded turrets now and one more with a universal desing die, Collet bullet puller, and 30 Cal neck sizer. Haven'r broken a piece yet and figured out the "fine tuning" to make the priming system deliver. It's a tad picky about picky about cleanup and lube every month or so.

Am not having bullet concentricity problems to date with the slight lift on the ram upstroke seating bullets. It's a handy outfit for certain. On the rifle loads I pour powder, as well as on the high end handgun loads.

I like it a lot, but have not used presses other than Lee.

Jim


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 6:52 am 
Hawkeye

Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 8:11 pm
Posts: 6014
Location: missouri
I use the plain jane LEE 4 hole turret to load 223 and some handgun ammo. I size separately and hand prime, using the 1st station for a sizer die set to just check the sizing and even out case necks.On 223, I can use #2 for powder measure, #3 for powder check or seater, #4 is either seater or separate crimp die depending on what is in #2.
I've worn out one turret press and numerous Challenger presses over the last decade. No idea how many rounds were loaded on the turret but would estimate 20-30K.
Now I'm using a Pro1000 for 9mm which will speed things up when I get it restarted.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:33 pm 
Blackhawk

Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2008 3:42 am
Posts: 868
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Quote:
(posted by norfolknova) I could not take the charging die or the ppowder charge device off with out taking two of the other dies off the top piece.

Matt (norfolknova),

The solution to that is to use the Auto-Disk Riser (part # 90041) in conjunction with the Swivel Adapter (part # 90477). Using these also makes it possible to raise the powder measure above the primer device and above other dies (if you have some extra-tall dies, maybe from some other manufacturer than Lee). The swivel adapter makes it easy to position the powder measure so its center of gravity is close to the center of the turret's rotation, reducing centrifugal force imbalances. Making the powder measure easier to mount and dismount is supposedly another advantage, but I have not found it so.

Quote:
(posted by wyandot Jim) The only thing I don't like is the way the primers are fead into the machine. I just install them with by fingers.


I find that if I have the position of the "pez dispenser" thingie adjusted JUST RIGHT, it does work as well as my fingers, and faster with less chance of finger oils contaminating a primer. I still think Lee should have been able to do better and am working on a solution as I find the time.

I traded off my progressives for a Classic Turret for two reasons. One, I never got comfortable with monitoring multiple simultaneous operations. and two, switching calibers is dead simple on the turret and involves no extra shell plates or such. I can change calibers in a few seconds instead of minutes. I know it is not reasonable (the amount of time saved is an extremely small percentage of total loading time) but I like the simplicity.

I opine that for the handloader who needs no more than 4 die stations, wants to load more than 50 rounds per hour and does not need more than 250 rounds per hour, and especially one who loads multiple cartridges per session, the Lee Classic Turret is the best choice at any price. It is the only turret in the world that auto-indexes.

It works as a single stage to load in batch mode and loads in continuous mode (like progressives do), but without what troubled me, simultaneous functions distracting my (feeble :wink: ) attention.

Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing.

Lost Sheep

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Last edited by Lost Sheep on Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:45 pm 
Blackhawk

Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2008 3:42 am
Posts: 868
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Here's a thread I started over on Rugerforum.net that was informed by my experience repopulating my loading bench the way I would have done it 35 years ago if I knew then what I know now.

http://rugerforum.net/reloading/29385-b ... oader.html

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:21 am 
Hawkeye
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Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2003 1:01 am
Posts: 8955
Location: Richmond Texas USA
:shock: :shock:
Very good Lost Sheep
Maybe you could have a sticky for it here. Or at least post it.
New guys ask these type of questions all the time. You also bring up some very good points on the Lee press.
Like I said. IMHO the Lee is very simple and safe to use and fairly fast compared to a single stage. Like you stated you can use it as a batch loader also.

Quote:
the "pez dispenser" thingie adjusted JUST RIGHT

Let me know when you get that sorted out :wink:
Thanks,
Jim


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:37 pm 
Blackhawk

Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2008 3:42 am
Posts: 868
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Wyandot Jim wrote:
:shock: :shock:
Very good Lost Sheep
Maybe you could have a sticky for it here. Or at least post it.
New guys ask these type of questions all the time. You also bring up some very good points on the Lee press.
Like I said. IMHO the Lee is very simple and safe to use and fairly fast compared to a single stage. Like you stated you can use it as a batch loader also.

Quote:
the "pez dispenser" thingie adjusted JUST RIGHT

Let me know when you get that sorted out :wink:
Thanks,
Jim

Thanks for the compliment, Jim. I think I am too wordy for a "sticky". Maybe if I can edit it down.

As far as getting my primer feed sorted out, I guess I am one of the fortunate ones. My Lee Safety Prime (a.k.a. "pez dispenser") bolted right onto my press, did not require any extra shim to get the vertical positioning right and both my large and small primer feed arms drop right in and line up indentically and well.

After a few trials to refine my thumb/fore-finger operating technique, the thing works 100% (until the last two primers, which don't feed all that well without the weight of following primers to push them).

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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 8:15 pm 
Blackhawk

Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2008 3:42 am
Posts: 868
Location: Anchorage Alaska
JM wrote:
Am not having bullet concentricity problems to date with the slight lift on the ram upstroke seating bullets. It's a handy outfit for certain. On the rifle loads I pour powder, as well as on the high end handgun loads.

I like it a lot, but have not used presses other than Lee.

Jim

I think you may find that the front of the turret disk lifts when you seat bullets the same amount that the rear of the turret disk lifts. A little sooner, probably, but by approximately the same amount. Thus explaining the lack of concentricity/alignment irregularities.

Check it out next loading session.

Lost Sheep

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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 6:06 pm 
Buckeye
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Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:34 pm
Posts: 1882
Location: Kenly, North Carolina
My LEE Classic Turret Press just plain works. I have reloaded 5000+ Cartridges of 38s,357s, 44Magnums, 45ACPs, 45Colts and 223s. I could not be happier with this press. But I do not use the Auto index as that is a PITA to set up, so I just index with my Hand. One other thing, my Press is just as tight now as it was when I first started using it. I would highly recomend this as a 1st or second press. BTY: I still use my RCBS Rockchucker for sizing/decapping, Boolit sizing and working up Loads...........................

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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 5:40 am 
Blackhawk

Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2006 1:01 am
Posts: 650
Location: Ohio
I bought mine when they first came out for $74 along with more $ for all the attachments from Midway. The only press I've used.. not sure on the round count but must be over 10K.. .357 - .45 Colt - 45 ACP - 32 Mag - .223 - 30/30 - .380 - .38 spl. I really like the primer setup and have had no problems at all with it other than the small primers will not set the last couple .. large one works all the way to the last one. I have replaced the rubber seal on the bottom of the pro powder charger ($.99 from Lee) and replaced one indexing plastic ring (another $.99) but auto indexing works fine on mine. I have loaded 200 per hour on this press and it remains as tight as the day I bought it. I use all Lee dies and swear by their Factory Crimp dies... I can't imagine a better bang for your buck


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 1:13 pm 
Blackhawk

Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 1:01 am
Posts: 985
Location: Hamilton, Ohio USA
I am a fan of the Classic Cast Turret press. I have two Dillon 550B's that I use for the majority of my work.

However, you cannot beat the quick set up with a Lee Turret press (Classic) and if I am doing small runs, the Lee will handle that before I can get the Dillon set up.

Regarding the primer feed. I have the PEZ feed (aptly named) and discovered that it wasn't quite lined up correctly as shipped. I CAREFULLY used a file an enlarged the hole that mounts to the press until it DID align. Now, it works just fine.

If you are having problems with that, chances are seeing that it is aligned properly may solve it for you, also.

FWIW
Dale53


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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 8:19 pm 
Hawkeye
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Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2003 1:01 am
Posts: 8955
Location: Richmond Texas USA
Dale53 wrote:
I am a fan of the Classic Cast Turret press. I have two Dillon 550B's that I use for the majority of my work.

However, you cannot beat the quick set up with a Lee Turret press (Classic) and if I am doing small runs, the Lee will handle that before I can get the Dillon set up.

Regarding the primer feed. I have the PEZ feed (aptly named) and discovered that it wasn't quite lined up correctly as shipped. I CAREFULLY used a file an enlarged the hole that mounts to the press until it DID align. Now, it works just fine.

If you are having problems with that, chances are seeing that it is aligned properly may solve it for you, also.

FWIW
Dale53


Dale,
I fiddeled with my primer thing and finely got it to working OK. Not perfect but better than useing my fingers.
Jim


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