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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Having never seen a turret press I have a basic question. What moves and how? Do you place a brass in the press and operate the lever as the dies rotate or do you move the brass from stage to stage by hand? I may sound really dense, but I've actually been loading single stage for over 40 years and mainly want to speed up loading straight wall pistol cartridges. I can't afford a Dillion and I don't really trust the other progressives.
 

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Even if you could afford a Dillion, in my opinion there is no better place to start than with the Lee Precision Classic Turret press. The shell is "locked" in place in a shell holder and the dies in the Turret move around into place with each stroke, Go to the Lee Precision web site and you can see it in action. Here http://www.leeprecision.com/html/HelpVideos/video.html At least on the Lee, the Turret moves by virtue of a spiral piece of square metal stock and the movement is called "auto-index" - I have my auto index disabled and use it as a glorified single stage.
 

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I have to second the Lee Classic Turret. It's a bargain and a half. My ammo from the Lee is every bit as good as from the XL650 I used before getting married.
 

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+3 on the Lee Classic Cast Turret. It is a super deal. I bought mine at Lee Factory Sales two summers ago for $62 + shipping. They've creaped up a bit in price but still a great value.

This is mine set up for 45-70. I size the case on a single stage press (the Lee Classic Cast) and I will use turret as both single stage (rotate the turret by hand) and auto index and really like the fact I can choose between the two. The turret rides in a machined track and has detent locks that keep it positioned properly for the die in use.

 

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Dusty, here's another plug for Lee Classic presses - different and more solid than their standard line (which I would also advocate). I don't think there's a better price per quality press out there. For every press of the handle, the upper die station rotates like Jmortimer said, providing your next step in the process. It's not a progressive press, though, so if you're looking for the ultimate in speed for straight-walled cartridges, you'll still be left wanting.... In that case, and if it were me (it aint), I would save my money for a Dillon progressive.

Flash, what kind of seater die is that you have in the press?
 

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I'd go with the Classic CAST turret press, not their standard turret press. I wore one of those sloppy after about 12,000 rounds or so. The Classic Cast turret seems much stronger.
 

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Flash is showing the Lee Classic Cast Turret.

I love mine and it is the cat's whiskers for straightwall pistol cartridges. I do .357 Magnum and .45Colt with mine. :D Fanfreakingtastic Press!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you all for the info. I'm not crazy with the need for speed, but powder charging is the "slow" in using my single stage. Is there a way to automate powder charging with the turret press? Maybe something like the Lee Pro AutoDisk Powder measure???
 

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I have an RCBS turret that doesn't have any auto moving linkage like the Lee and it has 6 holes instead of three or four.

I have no idea on the current cost, but I paid around $130 3 years ago. Its an RCBS so its rock solid and you'll never have to worry about it.
 

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I have an RCBS turret that doesn't have any auto moving linkage like the Lee and it has 6 holes instead of three or four.

I have no idea on the current cost, but I paid around $130 3 years ago. Its an RCBS so its rock solid and you'll never have to worry about it.
If you want to disable the auto turning of the lee turret, and use it in batch mode versus progressive, it's super easy to do. Just lift out the spiral actuator.
 

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The cast turret press from Lee is just called the Lee Classic Turret, there is no cast in the name like there is for the single stage Classic Cast. One just has to make sure that the word "Classic" is in the name, and one is set.

I have both the Classic Cast and the Classic Turret in addition to a Dillon Square Deal B set up for .45 ACP. The Classic Turret is by far my favorite press, and I've used several others in addition to those on my bench at the moment. The Classic Turret is probably the best buy available in presses right now.
 

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I have the standard Lee Turret Press (3-hole), and my main interest in it was to make it easier to switch from one caliber to another, as well as being able to go back and prep a spare case or two if one get's crunched. I have at last count, 17 different turrets, both rifle and handgun calibers. Switching calibers becomes literally a 'plug&play' proposition. I also have two Lee Perfect Powder Measures, one for rifle and one for pistol - this minimises the amount I have to adjust the grain amount from one caliber to another. Lately though, I have begun using a digital scale, dropping the initial powder into the tray by Lee Dipper (closest to the weight I want) then trickle up. This becomes very consistent for rifle loads.
I disconnected the linkage on my turret press, as I like to do one function for all cases of the batch. Being that I am a mainframe batch programmer, this comes naturally to me. ;)

I loaded just four calibers on a single-stage Lee for years, before 'getting serious' about my loading. The turret gives me the speed and versatility I want while remaining economical.
 

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You will want the Pro Auto Disk and the Safety Prime, don't try to save a few bucks and get the standard Auto Disk. The cases get charged with powder during the flaring operation. You're going to like this press. Be sure to buy extra turrets. It's very nice to just put the turret with dies already adjusted into the press. If you go at a relaxed pace you should get about 150 rounds per hour. You can do 200 per hour without any problem.
 

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You guys caught me in a weak moment. After reading all of these posts, I just ordered the Classic Turret and 3 extra die heads.

I own a Rock Chucker, 3 Dillon SDs and a 550. The Lee press and die heads cost less than 2 Dillon 550 conversions. I just wanted something quick for occasional loading of cast bullets in .38-55, .375 Win, .450 Marlin and .25-35.

Thanks for the education and testimonies. By the way, Natchez had the best prices. Even added a scope on sale to the order.
 

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Another vote for the Lee Classic Turret (4-hole). I also removed the index spindle for most loads. I have my dies all ready to go in a turret, typically do the deprime/resize and flare the case mouth in one pass indexing by hand. I then process the cases on an RCBS case prep center and primer all the cases in the press using an empty slot or with the turret removed. Charge the cases with an RCBS Uniflow and loading blocks which goes quickly. Then I seat bullets and crimp if desired.

For pure speed (like my handgun loads), I put the indexer back in and use the Lee Pro version of the auto disk powder dispenser.

For more info check this series of articles out at Realguns.com

http://www.realguns.com/archives/122.htm
 

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I have an old Herters turret press that is getting close to 40 years old now and I am thinking it may be getting worn out. When I was much younger we never worried that much about making precision ammunition it was more about getting some shells loaded and get back to shooting.
Now I am starting to pay a little more attention to things like seating length and am finding it hard to keep my OAL within .005 of deviation is this about all I should expect from a turret press or are people doing much better with some of the new ones mentioned here in this thread.
 

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I started with a Lyman T-Mag press, and am now using a T-Mag II. IMO the turret press is a great alternative to the full progressive.
 
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