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Discussion Starter #1
I'm almost certain that i'm gonna get in to reloading, because 357mag and 45ACP can get very expensive after awhile, and never mind how much is 6.5Jap ammo is going for these days($45/20rd last time i checked)



I'm thinking about get reloading starter kit(Like this one from MidwayUSA http://www.midwayusa.com/rewriteaproduct/133068).



But my reloading friend tells me that if i want to load alot - like shooting several hundred round every weekend like i have been doing this past several month($$$
), then what i want is this thing called turret, instead of single stage press like most starter kit comes with.





Can someone explain to me this "turret" press - pro and cons, and possibly good starter kit that comes with this turret press?





thanks!
 

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The Lee Classic Turret press http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/...&t=11082005 is considered the best base model turret press under 100 bucks. Kempfs has kits all the time featuring this press, your choice of caliber dies (9mm, 40S&W, etc), the safety prime (a must) and a powder measure (upgrade to the Auto-Disc Pro).



This press Auto-Indexes, meaning it is basicly a single stage that holds all three or four dies at the same time. Each pull of the arm performs one stage of loading operation at a time, equalling 4 pulls per round, or so. This is NOT the same as a progressive. A Progressive press performs each stage to four or five cases at once, meaning that after you get going, each pull has one round dropping from the final stage into your bin.

The Auto-Index can be disengaged for use as a single stage. A turret at full tilt can make 2-400 rounds per hour (I've never gotten my progressive that fast, but is is an art, not a science), but a beginner should take it slow.



I've been reloading for eight months now, and I still have a lot to learn, but I'm confident in my loads. I started on the Lee Single Stage press, and I still have it. It's boxed up right now for space reasons, but when i finally get a bench with room, it'll be there. My Lee Loadmaster can crank out rounds, but you have to know what you're doing in reloading before even trying to set it up.



The Lee Classic Turret is a good beginner because it gives you the level of speed you can handle as a beginner and as a more experienced loader. I'd recommend it over a progressive. Lee's aren't the cat's meow of loaders, but they get the job done when you're on a budget, they're easy to set up and learn, and they have an unconditional 2-year warranty. Others will say to go with the Blue Kool-aid(Dillon) or Hornaday, but those cost three times as much (at the least). Start out inexpensive, so if you don't like it or have to dump it as a hobby, you're not out much.



Last thing before I go. Reloading does NOT save you money, no matter what a calculator tells you. You might not spend as much on ammunition as you would factory, but you end up shooting twice as much, so you're spending the same. Then you get into dumpster diving for brass (dove in a trash barrel for 6 30-06 casings just the other day).



Check out the reloading forum sticies on The High Road, and pick up "The ABC's of Reloading". This will tell you most of what you want to know about the process and other aspects of reloading.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
now this is sort of basic bewbi queation..



So turret press - everytime you press the lever, turret spins like revolver? So that once i get really good at it, i can perform like 3 or 4 stages (depends on the model) every press of lever?



Then whats progressive?



Sorry for the newbi question..
 

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mity2 said:
now this is sort of basic bewbi queation..



So turret press - every time you press the lever, turret spins like revolver? So that once i get really good at it, i can perform like 3 or 4 stages (depends on the model) every press of lever?



Then whats progressive?



Sorry for the newbie question..


No what you just described IS progressive, anytime you are doing multiple bullets at the same time with each in a different stage simultaneously, that's progressive I do believe.



Think of turret basically like a single stage, but you don't have to swap dies. The turret holds your 3 dies and powder dispenser. You put one case in at a time and start the process, when each stage is complete the turret itself rotates around setting you up for the next step. Then pull the lever again, repeat until you have a completed round. You'll have 4 pulls per bullet basically.



Watch some of these videos from the Lee website. They really helped me get a good picture of the overall process. Check the "turret" section at the top:



http://leeprecision.com/html/HelpVideos/video.html
 

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The easiest way to distiguish a Turret press from a progressive is the shell holder. In a single-stage and turret, the ram holds the shell holder, which holds one case. The ram moves up into the die, retracts on the down stroke, and spins the turret to the next stage. Then you raise it again to do the next stage, etc.

The progressive has a five-shell slell-plate. In full-tilt, all five will be ocupado, with one complete cartridge being ejected, and the next empty one being staged to be sized. It's pretty impressive to watch, actually. I forgot to set a link to the Lee Vids section, sorry.
 

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Okay, for reloading, you have the following tasks



1) decap/resize

2) trim the case to length (rifle/bottlenecked cartridges)

3) prime

4) bell

5) charge (i.e. put the powder in it)

6) seat the bullet

7) crimp



step 2 is usually done off the press (dillon 1050 is an exception)

many presses combine steps 4 and 5 into one station.

3 is usually done on the upstroke with one of the stations.



For discussions sake, lets say all that is done with a total of 4 dies.



With a single stage, to make one loaded cartridge, you have to pull the handle 4 times, and swap dies 4 times. So with a single stage, you usually batch load. Which means if you are making 100 rounds, you decap and resize 100 cases, prime the 100 cases, swap dies, bell and charge 100 cases, swap dies, and seat 100 cases, swap dies and prime 100 cases. LOTS of handle pulling. For pistol, it absolutely sucks. For rifle, where you have to trim the cases and very often trickle charge powder to the exact weight, and shoot much less of it per hour, it's not necessarily a bad choice. What you need to do to get really accurate rifle ammo benefits form the workflow to some extent.



With a turret, you put all the dies in one toolhead, and you CAN do all your steps in order on each round of ammunition. So basically put in brass, pull handle to resize, prime on the upstroke, advanve the toolhead to the belling die, pull the handle to bell, etc. SO basically in the 4 die example, you pull and advnace 4 times for each loaded round. However, on something like the lee turret, the priming function is so awful, I chose to batch resize and prime, then do the rest of it like normal. DOing that, I could get up to 100 rounds per hour. Still very tedious. Some turrets are auto advanceing, but I find that I trust manual more to avoid mistakes.



Then there is progressive. Where once you get fully under way, there is one piece of brass in each station, and each pull of the handle makes one round of loaded ammunition. This can get you up to the neighborhood of 300-400 rounds of ammunition and hour without a case feeder. Add a case feeder, and you cna get up to about 600 an hour. Some progressive presses are manual advancing, but I trust automatic advancing presses more to avoid mistakes.



As for price vs. quality, I'd avoid that RCBS kit. Best bang for the buck IMO if the lee 4 hole turret kit, but deactivate the auto advance (which really means just don't put it in when assembling the press), and get a hand primer, as it's teeter totter priming arm SUCKS.



If you are shooting 300-400 a week, get a progressive. There's no point screwing aorund with anything less. While you are getting the hang of things, you might only run one round through at a time to keep things simpler. Hell, if you can afford 300 a week, you can probably afford to get two dillon 650s, one for large primer and one for small primer. Then it's jsut swap out toolheads.
 

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Single Stage

My suggestion would be this single stage press:



http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/...&t=11082005



Since you reload for rifle you will always need a single stage around, pain to create 10 rnds at a time on a progressive during load development. You can also set days aside to batch your ammo. When you have a sufficient number of fired cases sit down size and deprime all of them, then clean and then prime. You will need more than what is in the kit and I would also get at a minimum of this manual:



http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/...&t=11082005



You'll get more help from others but it would help if you could find someone to watch as he/she reloads.



Hope this helps



Mark McDermott

Alabama

Les Baer TRS, Ed Brown Cobra Carry, CZ 75B,

S&W 65, S&W 66, and Dan Wesson CBOB
 

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I use a 3 hole Lee turret press. Have been loading and using one of these since 75. I have 2 of the Lee 3 hole turret presses.

The one in the picture I leave set up for loading the 40s for my M&P. the other press I use for decaping, priming, and loading rifle ammo. The steps I use to load my practice rounds for the 40 follow. Times listed are for 100 rounds.



1. Clean the cases.

2. Deprime. 5 min. on press 1

3. Prime. 5-1/2 min. ( Lee Autoprime 2 ) on press 1

4. Load on press 2, with auto index. 14-1/2 min.



total time for 100 rounds = 25 min.



I usually batch 500 rounds. Lubricate the turret and the operating rod with STP before starting. Clean it off when I'm done. This keeps things turning smoothly and helps it lock into the correct position while operating. The attached picture shows how arranging the components helps. The second picture shows the pill bottle for catching primers. The plastic around the shell holder area forces the primers to pass through the press and into the bottle.





 

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very nice setup. I got the anniversary set to start off with as I was initially only going to reload for my .30-06 and my .44mag for hunting but now that the wife and I both have M&P .45's I have gotten the dies and supplies for those. I want to learn on my simple setup first and get comfortable with it then was going to look at progressive or turret but seeing your setup rowe_s I like that and think that would work great for me. Thanks for sharing it the pictures help out a ton.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I guess I can buy single stage kit, and learn before move up to progressive or turret. Most dies would fit most turret right? So that I can move up to turret in future?
 

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Most dies are 7/8-14 thread. So chances are most dies you buy will be usable in most presses.



Good luck fellows.
 
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