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I am new to this forum and I am all fired up about reloading after spending some time reading your posts. I have a 44mag and have had thoughts of reloading for years. This forum gave me the push I needed to get started. I have a few questions to about getting started. I am looking at the Lee kits, in particular the deluxe handgun kit. My question is should I start with the turret press or is that something I should work up to? In my mind, for the little price difference, it makes more sense to by the turret the frist time and be done with it. But then again I have no clue. Second question, if yes on the turret press, Lee calls it a "handgun" kit but says it will also work for rifles. How well does it work for rifles? I also own a 30-06, 22-250, and plan on a few larger calibers yet to be determined, and would eventually like to reload these as well. Thanks in advance and let me say this is the greatest site ever!!!!!!
 

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RH

The Lee turret press works fine for loading most rifle rounds. I've been using one for several years to load 30/06, 7x57mm etc. as well as handgun rounds. I've found a bit of slop/play/misalignment can develop in the turret/press junction over time. Nothing serious, no problem if you're full length or partial sizing rounds for most off the shelf rifles. If you plan on doing any neck sizing or benchrest type loading, you'll want to go with a single stage press for better die/ram alignment. If you go with the Lee turret, be sure to buy a 4 holer, mine is a 3 holer and I'm always needing another die station when loading pistol rounds. Also forget the Lee press mounted priming arm, it'sa pain in the nether region! Buy a Lee auto-prime. BTW I recently bought a Lyman turret press to go along with my Lee. After using the Lee for years and being happy with it, I was surprised at how much of a difference there was! I'm not saying the Lee presses are junk, far from it, I think they're a great press for the price. It's just that the Lyman has more die stations (6) and seems to have a more rigid die/ram alignment system. I now use it most of the time, but I still use my Lee for some jobs (like 30/30 rounds). Just my $0.02 worth.
 

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RH
I am glad to see new faces gettin' in to reloadin' so welcome aboard!
I have several reloading presses an RCBS Rockchucker, several LEE single stagers from the little hand held job which is real handy at the range for workin' up loads away from the bench, to a Loadmaster full progressive and like em all, however even with these to choose from I do alot of my loadin' on a single stage Rockchucker, I would recommend gettin' a single stage for starters because you'll always have a use fer it ifin' you become an addict like most of the rest of us.
They are the simplest to learn on and the best way to not make any mistakes on the learnin' curve. You will find that the LEE Challanger is an "o" frame and the cheapest route to a strong press. While Ya won't go wrong with any of the pricier "o" types either. With proper care your grandchildren will still be able to use these tools.
Good Luck with whatever you choose and pay attention an be safe. :)
 

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RH - I agree with DOUBLEJK a single stage press is the way to go when starting to reload. Progressives are great but until you get a good, safe routine developed, a single stage is better because your doing one thing at a time and not trying to watch 4 stations at once. I've been using a Rockchucker press for over 25 years and never had a need for a progressive press. Take your time and you'll have a great hobby that not only saves you money but let's you shoot more often! Good luck.. CEJ..
 

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RH
I would also recomend the rock chucker. I started reloading after 25+yrs when I looked at my inventory of "old ammo" and whileit maybe ok at the range i would hate for it to fail now. The point is then I loaded every thing at a time. Now I want fresh ammo, so I use the Rock and measure every load, measure my col., and produce more often and shoot more. It doesn't take that much time when its a hobby. Other wise buy factory ammo it is a lot better now and more affordable than ever.
J
 

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I noticed that Redding has upgraded or redesigned their turret press. It's up there in bucks and I'm not recommending it to you but just thought I'd relate the upgrade for anybody interested.

Regards
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I like my progressives but can't see doing without a single stage.

I suppose a turrent blurs the line, and could certainly be used exactly as a single-stage, so that would not be handicap.

Anyway you are headed down a slippery slope, soon you'll have one press, then another, then another, then......
 

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I've been reloading for 17 years, a pittance in comparison to some here. My first press was a single stage, and although upgraded from an RCBS RS3 to a Redding Ultramag, I would NEVER be without a single stage press. I have never owned a turret press and see no point in doing so unless you load two or three calibers and wish to leave your dies set up in the press without removing them. I don't discount turrets based on my previous statement in any way, it's just that I shoot more catridges. If you want to start inexpensivley, I'd start with the Lee single stage press. If you want to make an investment that will last you the rest of your life and that of you children, I'd get a Redding turret, put your 44mag, 22-250, and 30-06 dies in it. leave em there, and never look back. I have 4 progressive presses, but I'll NEVER give up my Ultramag. I've often thought of purchasing a Redding turret press, but I don't have the reason. It would be loading bench "fluff" for me, but your situation sounds as though it would be very ideal. Not having to set up your dies every time you load would be a great convenience which is not to be underestimated in it's importance to the whole experience and motivation to do it. The press and dies are the foundation of any handloading journey. The Lee dies are on par, from what I can gather, with the rest. The Lee presses do not compare to the more expensive, sturdier, models from other mfg's. Buy a good press and you'll use it for life.

Good luck with your reloading. Use this forum for the wealth of information that it is and you WILL be succesful.

If you want a good, used, RCBS press to get started with, send me a PM.
 

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The Lee is the only turret that I know, but I think it's hard to go wrong starting with one. Use it as a single stage until you get some experience, then turn on the auto-index feature. I agree with the recommendation to get the 4 hole model.

Can anyone here tell me if any other turret press can be set to automatically index from die to die as can the Lee?

Darrel
 

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Tio,
I'm not aware of any other auto indexing presses except for the Lee. It would seem a moot point to me as the benefits of auto indexing are usually associated with progressive presses. The convenience, in my thoughts, of a turret would be to be able to leave several sets of dies set up for immediate loading with no set-up/adjustment. The benefit of auto indexing is apparent to me ONLY in presses that spit a loaded round with each pull of the handle.
 

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kciH
The Lee turret splits the difference between a single stage and a progressive. The value of the auto indexing is that you insert a case, pull the handle three, (or four), times, and have a finished round. You only have to handle each case once.

Darrel
 

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I have only reloaded 2 times over the past 2 months, so I'm a rookie too. 100 rounds total.

I recently purchased a Lyman turret from Ebay. Mind you I paid a little more than I should have for it, but I'm extremely happy with the purchase. It is solid and tight. It is clearly overbuilt for anything I would ever load. However, I use Lee carbide dies including the carbide factory roll crimp die. I load 454 Casull.

The reason I liked the turret so much is that I can set up my dies and leave them there, just like was mentioned by kciH. Maybe I'm lazy but I like that. Only minor adjustments to the seating die are required each time I change bullets. I use it like a single stage press for now, and just rotate the turret after I'm done with all the rounds. In the future I will likely perform all stages on one round before moving on to the next. I would do this for time's sake, in order to load as many rounds as possible for a day at the range.

I was looking at the Lee 4-hole progressive, and I almost bought a kit new. It would have cost me less than the Lyman. However, I had heard about the loose tolerences of the Lee, and knew that at least for my hunting handgun I was going to want more quality, tight tolerences, better alignment, etc.

I intend on purchasing a progressive in the future for loading 45 Colt, 357 Mag and 7mm-08, and there is a very real possibility I will get either a Lee 4-hole turret or a Lee 1000. Perhaps one day Lee will upgrade the 1000 to a 4-hole design as well (the Lee 1000 is effectively a full progressive version of the Lee turret). If so I will purchase it immediately.

As for the single stage press. I could see using one, and for reoading on the cheap they are a great way to go. You can get a quality one for not much money. However, with the quality of turret presses by RCBS, Lyman, Hornady and Redding, the convenience of the turret is a strong point. To me, it's worth the extra money spent.
 

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Searoy,
I wouldn't call loading on a single stage as being on the cheap. A premium quality single stage press cost more than anything Lee even makes. I would discourage you from purchasing anything Lee makes to load .308 family rounds as far as progressives go. I think lee dies, and a few of there other products, are quite useful and a good deal. They do not make any press that is of comparable quality with the other big names. This IS an example of getting what you pay for. If you want a progressive, go with one that LOTS of people know works, it's called a Dillon Precision RL550B. It is the best $330 you can spend on a progressive press. It does not automatically index, but I consider this a plus when loading rifle rounds. You'll have no problem turning out 3-500+ rounds of handgun ammo an hour on one of these and there is no second guessing the quality of your ammo. If you like to load and anticipate doing it for a long time, buy equipment that will last a long time and promote loading by not being crap that undermines your confidence in your equipment.
 

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If your time is limitted and you just need to whiz bang those shells out, go for the turrett, but if you treat reloading like foreplay, get the best made single stage you can. You see loading is something you can take your time with. Each shell should be enjoyed like that first cup of coffee in the morning on your day off. Fondle the brass a little, treat each one to some special handling. If they are each serviced right they in turne will give you great pleasure when you fire them off. Sometimes I think I shoot just so I can reload.
Enjoy the Journey my friend
In his service
Bob
 
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