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View Full Version : Lee Classic Turret / Lyman T-Mag II



Bisbee
07-02-2012, 01:18 PM
Iím thinking of retiring my Load Master and replacing it with a turret press. The two Iím considering are the Lee Classic Turret and the Lyman T-Mag II. For those that own these presses would you please share with me your proís and conís of ownership and help me decide which one to go with. Your input is much appreciated.

Jailer
07-02-2012, 03:37 PM
The Lee has auto indexing and tool heads are cheap. Caliber changes take literally less than a minute.

Ben
07-02-2012, 04:04 PM
I've used them both. I'd got with the Lee Classic Turret and never look back.

Ben

leadman
07-02-2012, 04:06 PM
Tthe Lyman has to be manually indexed for each die. The Lee has the turret that holds 4 dies and cheap enough to buy them for each die set. IIRC the turret for the Lyman is around $80 and you have to take a large nut off to change it.
I had one of the older Lyman presses called Spar-T and it was a good press, but not near the convenience or speed of the Lee.
It is also simple to disable the auto advance on the Lee by just removing the rod that turns the turret. No tools needed.

9-toes
07-02-2012, 04:17 PM
Lee Classic - I only had to play with the timing a bit but was simple and works flawless now.

geargnasher
07-02-2012, 09:11 PM
I've had a Lyman T-Mag, RCBS turret, and they are both gone. With the money I got for them I bought some other stuff, among them the Lee Classic Turret and all the accessories (small and large Safety Prime kit, Pro Autodisk, and riser for it, and a bunch of extra turret heads.) It is the best press I've ever owned, bar none. Both the design and the manufacturing were top-notch on mine, although last year there were some production problems involving the shellholder holder being mis-machined. I can load .30-'06 in auto-index mode, and it makes straight, square ammo due to the outside-support design of the turret head, rather than the center pivot of the other designs that tends to wobble. The auto-index feature is really nice, but buy some extra square ratchets for it because you'll probably break the first one getting the hang of using it. Lubricate the turret around the edges and lubricate the auto-index rod and it runs smooth as glass. If I could have only one press, this would be it. I keep extra turret heads loaded with pre-set dies so all I have to do it swap the head, powder measure (if I'm using it), shellholder, and maybe the primer gizmo, all of which takes less than two minutes including the powder measure. Extra turrets, die parts, and shellplates are stored in the small, plastic Folger's coffee cans with a dessicant bag inside. If I thought I would ever wear this one out, I'd buy two more, but so far one is all I need, although I keep an old aluminum-base three-hole Lee turret set up for three-station calibers. I also keep an extra turret head with a universal decapper, universal expander, RCBS swager, and powder charging die, and one other one with all my Lee push-through boolit sizers all in one place. It really saves space.

Yes, I'm a Fanboy. You will be too if you get one, it's an excellent press for any job.

Gear

41 mag fan
07-03-2012, 10:07 AM
Had the Lee Classic 4 holer for yrs now. Probably have close to 50k of loads on it.
The only complaints i have on mine, is the square ratchet is plastic and wears out pretty easily if it's not set up exact.
But for .50 ea i bought a bagful that'll last me for 10yrs.
The other complaint, is the turret head will lift ever so slightly when a round is pushed into the die.
But for the price of the press and the turret heads, you cant beat it, hands down.

I use a small gatorade can to hold my turrets with dies in, and my extra turrets.

One thing I like is Lees closeouts have the turret heads for $9/ea and with the flat $5 shipping, it can't be beat.


I, myself don't like the Lee powder measure, and on the norm, just use my Lee for pistol loading only, so I use my Lyman DPS3 to throw a charge. By the time I set the pan back on the scale, and finish a round, the Lymans thrown my charge and is waiting.

trixter
07-03-2012, 12:13 PM
I bought the Load Master and am happy with it for the most part. The priming system is problematic, then I bought the Classic turret to do rifle; 300 Savage, 30-06, and 223. Some of the primers were not seated deep enough from the Load Master on some 45's, and I ran them through the Classic Turret and wow, I'm Impressed. Now I know I should adjust the Load Master, and I have a jillion times but I just can't get it right, So I might even start doing my 45's on it too. I like it, I like it a lot. I would recommend the Lee Classic Turret press.

FergusonTO35
07-03-2012, 03:01 PM
I'm planning to get a Lee turret press also. Could someone please explain how priming works on one of these machines? If you buy just the press does it come with any sort of priming tool?

JonB_in_Glencoe
07-03-2012, 03:30 PM
a BIG + 1 from me for the Lee classic turret press !



I'm planning to get a Lee turret press also. Could someone please explain how priming works on one of these machines? If you buy just the press does it come with any sort of priming tool?
Ferg,
the press comes with priming arms, like nearly all presses do.
so you can put primers in by hand, one at a time.

Order the Safety Prime kit from Lee if you don't want to handle each primer.
Yeah it's plastic and seems flimsy and a little tricky to get setup right the first time.
but once it's setup, it works awesome.
There is a tiny little spring in each saftey prime arm.
I've broken two of those, they are easy to replace.
Lee sent spares to me free upon request.

Or just order them with the extra "index" disks to have them on hand,
so when you do break down, your not waiting 3 or 4 days to have them
shipped to you.

BTW, I've broke one index disk early on...my fault
I used the press to load more than 10,000 rounds.
so 1 disk and 2 springs doesn't seem like a big deal for that many cycles.
But worth mentioning them here.
Jon

soldierbilly1
07-03-2012, 06:33 PM
I've used them both. I'd got with the Lee Classic Turret and never look back.

Ben

THIS.

The Lee is too easy. The lyman does not lend itself to on the fly loading. Its too slow!

The Lee enables you to load one round with 4 ups and downs. The Lyman is too awkward for this. You would Size 50 rounds, then flare 50, then seat 50 etc. too slow!

billy boy

rintinglen
07-03-2012, 08:54 PM
The Lee CLASSIC Turret press is by far their best press. The Lyman is good, but the Lee is better.
I am no fan of the Lee Progressives, but the Lee Classic Turret press is the best turret press there is--bar none.

Danderdude
07-04-2012, 01:32 AM
For the turret guys, how do you set up your rifle stations? The way I'm seeing it, I'd like to have 5 holes:
1. Size/Decap
1b. Prime on downstroke
2. Rifle Case Mouth Flare (http://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/product/productId/8145)
3. Powder Charge
4. Seat
5. Lee Rifle FCD

2 & 3 might be able to be combined for .30 cal rifles if the 7.62x25 Tokarev or .30 Mauser powder-through expander could be adapted to use on them, but I have no idea if this is viable, or which style of expander Lee uses for those. Does anyone happen to have one, or a lead on whether or not this might work?

Gibson
07-04-2012, 02:02 AM
I have never owned a Lyman Press, so I'm not really qualified to make an either/or judgement. All I can do is to tell you that I own a Lee Classic Turret and many accoutrements and it works as advertised. No complaints. Matter of fact, I could say many good things about it.

EDK
07-04-2012, 02:40 AM
Since I am reloading for lever actions or semi-autos, I full length re-size on my ROCK CHUCKER, tumble the cases to remove the re-sizing lubricant, and check the case length with a LEE trimmer in a cordless drill. Then it is time to fire up the DILLON 550B.

1. A LYMAN M die for neck expansion and re-prime on the down stroke.
2. Powder drop.
3. Seat the boolit....or dreaded "J word" for 5.56!
4. Crimp/smooth out neck flare.

30/30, 7.62 (.308) and 5.56 (.223) are almost as easy as running the pistol calibers on the DILLON. I'm using DILLON dies plus an assortment of LYMAN or RCBS. If I shoot more of one of the auto loader calibers, I will try a RCBS X-die to eliminate case stretch and trimming.

I got a lot of brass to reload in the shack, but it's just too d*** hot to do a lot! MIHEC invoiced 434640 to me, but it won't get fired up unless it is late at night.

I'm glad I'm retired 'cause power plants are hot year round...and any high priority repair job is gonna get you dehydrated and in a world of hurt in short order this time of year.

:redneck::cbpour::guntootsmiley:

geargnasher
07-04-2012, 04:04 AM
For the turret guys, how do you set up your rifle stations? The way I'm seeing it, I'd like to have 5 holes:
1. Size/Decap
1b. Prime on downstroke
2. Rifle Case Mouth Flare (http://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/product/productId/8145)
3. Powder Charge
4. Seat
5. Lee Rifle FCD

2 & 3 might be able to be combined for .30 cal rifles if the 7.62x25 Tokarev or .30 Mauser powder-through expander could be adapted to use on them, but I have no idea if this is viable, or which style of expander Lee uses for those. Does anyone happen to have one, or a lead on whether or not this might work?

Either size/decap in a separate operation, seat/crimp in one operation, or FCD crimp in a separate operation. You can prime on the press at any point before dropping the powder charge.

Lee intended the use of the Rifle Charge Die and Autodisk combo on the press, but it's iffy for longer cases like .30-'06 because the die body is too short to take the ram full-stroke before the die body runs out of threads. For longer cases, I think they intended for the Perfect Powder Measure to be mounted on top of a Universal Charge Die (not the same as the RCD), but I've never used this setup. PowderThruExpander dies for .30-caliber can be modified or made (.30 Carbine PTE spud in the longer Rifle Charge Die would work, but you risk powder bridging with heavy charges of stick powder and sometimes the spud won't guide into the case neck very well since there's nothing to guide the outside of the case). Besides, the Lee expanders are too short and often the wrong outside diameter for true neck expansion, although they can make a good flare; for example I use a .38 Special spud in a Rifle Charge Die body to charge .35 Remington with the Autodisk.

For the most accurate ammo, you're better off expanding with a good, dedicated expander die like RCBS makes and charging in the next station.

Gear

rromeo
07-04-2012, 08:14 AM
I think of the Lee Classic Turret as a Toyota Corolla. It will last for years and do what you need it to. So far, mine has only been used for handgun rounds, but I have plans to expand.

monge
07-04-2012, 08:41 AM
The LEE has been good to me no problems I would recomend it fast simple and strong!

Danderdude
07-04-2012, 09:27 AM
Either size/decap in a separate operation, seat/crimp in one operation, or FCD crimp in a separate operation.

Separate operations, that's a hassle. I know some people like to size/decap before tumbling, but I don't see tumbling as necessary between every firing. As far as crimping with the seating die, I've had nothing but **** luck with that. If I go full stroke (shellholder contacts bottom of die) it tries to overcrimp, binds and ends up belling the shoulder of my 7.5 Swiss ammo or bulging the throat of my 7.62x39. The Lee's don't have a repeatably-precise ram stop, either, so holding off from the die gives inconsistent crimps.

Also, I've found that once the mouth is flared, rather than fully expanded, the GC "clears the way" for the boolit so that the neck tension doesn't swage it down. That said, I'm betting that the .30 Carbine expander would work just fine for my .30 cal rifles, but then you're stuck with the Autodisk when I'd much rather have the Universal Charging Die (http://www.grafs.com/catalog/product/productId/7726/) and Perfect Powder Measure combo.

But then the PPM/UCD are designed for chain pullback on a progressive rather than spring pullback on a turret. I'm sure something could be rigged up though.

The options are just unsavory.

1bluehorse
07-04-2012, 10:40 AM
Separate operations, that's a hassle. I know some people like to size/decap before tumbling, but I don't see tumbling as necessary between every firing. As far as crimping with the seating die, I've had nothing but **** luck with that. If I go full stroke (shellholder contacts bottom of die) it tries to overcrimp, binds and ends up belling the shoulder of my 7.5 Swiss ammo or bulging the throat of my 7.62x39. The Lee's don't have a repeatably-precise ram stop, either, so holding off from the die gives inconsistent crimps.

Also, I've found that once the mouth is flared, rather than fully expanded, the GC "clears the way" for the boolit so that the neck tension doesn't swage it down. That said, I'm betting that the .30 Carbine expander would work just fine for my .30 cal rifles, but then you're stuck with the Autodisk when I'd much rather have the Universal Charging Die (http://www.grafs.com/catalog/product/productId/7726/) and Perfect Powder Measure combo.

But then the PPM/UCD are designed for chain pullback on a progressive rather than spring pullback on a turret. I'm sure something could be rigged up though.

The options are just unsavory.

If the LCT press won't work for you because you need more stations then go with the Lyman or RCBS turret presses (or Redding). They're more expensive, aren't as easy/fast/convenient to use (my opinion, I've owned both, {not the Redding}) but they are good presses and have more stations for die configurations...I'm not real sure of the PPM setup on a press (I use the disc Pro model) but I was under the impression it would work like the other rotor type measures, ie; lever operated with some kind of automated "arm".

JonB_in_Glencoe
07-04-2012, 11:28 AM
I Decap and size (FL or neck only) one a single stage press.
then trim and or clean as necessary.
I only load 223 and 30-06 on the LCTP, all others are done "old school"
on a single stage press.


Lee intended the use of the Rifle Charge Die and Autodisk combo on the press, but it's iffy for longer cases like .30-'06 because the die body is too short to take the ram full-stroke before the die body runs out of threads.
Gear,
your statement is interesting, I have loaded a couple batches of 30-06 on the LCTP.
It has been a while since I loaded a batch...maybe 12 months ago.
I recall the Universal charge die was only threaded halfway into the turret.
I wonder if I was short stroking the ram ?
OR Maybe Lee's Universal charge dies aren't all the same ?
maybe Lee updated it at some point ?
I bought my LCTP in 2006 I think ??? and the Universal rifle charge die about two years later.
Jon

rexherring
07-04-2012, 11:45 AM
I'm still using the older three hole pre indexing model. Had it for ever it seems, when they first came out. Loaded mucho thousands of rounds with it and still works great. I love being able to just change a shell holder and a turret that's already set up with the dies.

Le Loup Solitaire
07-04-2012, 01:30 PM
To return to the original question posted; The Lyman T-Mag is a turret press, but you have to index it by hand. It has adequate strength thanks to the use of the power punch press style linkage. The PITA is the old style "dumpster" primer catcher that is on the front of the press. Its better than nothing, but is rather outmoded. The Lee turret is the more modern of the two. It is sturdier and better engineered. It is self indexing (if you want it to be...or not), so you don't have to turn the turret by hand. The spent primers go directly into the inside of the ram and are routed into a plastic hose. Turret changes are quick and easy. Cost and convenience-wise it is the better/ best choice. LLS

geargnasher
07-04-2012, 02:48 PM
I Decap and size (FL or neck only) one a single stage press.
then trim and or clean as necessary.
I only load 223 and 30-06 on the LCTP, all others are done "old school"
on a single stage press.


Gear,
your statement is interesting, I have loaded a couple batches of 30-06 on the LCTP.
It has been a while since I loaded a batch...maybe 12 months ago.
I recall the Universal charge die was only threaded halfway into the turret.
I wonder if I was short stroking the ram ?
OR Maybe Lee's Universal charge dies aren't all the same ?
maybe Lee updated it at some point ?
I bought my LCTP in 2006 I think ??? and the Universal rifle charge die about two years later.
Jon

Jon, I said Rifle Charge Die in combo with the Autodisk measure and .30-'06. After that, I mentioned the Universal Charge Die and the Perfect Powder Measure combo, which I have not tried. I'm fairly positive there is a difference between the RCD and UCD, and I was trying to make that distinction previously.

Gear

geargnasher
07-04-2012, 03:12 PM
Separate operations, that's a hassle. I know some people like to size/decap before tumbling, but I don't see tumbling as necessary between every firing. As far as crimping with the seating die, I've had nothing but **** luck with that. If I go full stroke (shellholder contacts bottom of die) it tries to overcrimp, binds and ends up belling the shoulder of my 7.5 Swiss ammo or bulging the throat of my 7.62x39. The Lee's don't have a repeatably-precise ram stop, either, so holding off from the die gives inconsistent crimps.

Also, I've found that once the mouth is flared, rather than fully expanded, the GC "clears the way" for the boolit so that the neck tension doesn't swage it down. That said, I'm betting that the .30 Carbine expander would work just fine for my .30 cal rifles, but then you're stuck with the Autodisk when I'd much rather have the Universal Charging Die (http://www.grafs.com/catalog/product/productId/7726/) and Perfect Powder Measure combo.

But then the PPM/UCD are designed for chain pullback on a progressive rather than spring pullback on a turret. I'm sure something could be rigged up though.

The options are just unsavory.

It may not be the press for you then, but I have zero problems with roll crimping and seating rifle ammo on my Classic Turret. It has a very positive stop and delivers consistent crimp. But I don't use my boolits to expand my case necks, either, and I trim all my cases exactly the same length. Using the boolit to force the case neck open doesn't do much for consistent case length (even after trimming) or cartridge concentricity because it can push the neck back into the shoulder some or bend it.

Gear

JonB_in_Glencoe
07-04-2012, 04:03 PM
Jon, I said Rifle Charge Die in combo with the Autodisk measure and .30-'06. After that, I mentioned the Universal Charge Die and the Perfect Powder Measure combo, which I have not tried. I'm fairly positive there is a difference between the RCD and UCD, and I was trying to make that distinction previously.

Gear

My bad !
I use the rifle charge die in combo with the Pro autodisk.

I'm not sure why I typed Universal...I don't own one.
Jon

Danderdude
07-05-2012, 12:45 AM
It may not be the press for you then, but I have zero problems with roll crimping and seating rifle ammo on my Classic Turret. It has a very positive stop and delivers consistent crimp. But I don't use my boolits to expand my case necks, either, and I trim all my cases exactly the same length. Using the boolit to force the case neck open doesn't do much for consistent case length (even after trimming) or cartridge concentricity because it can push the neck back into the shoulder some or bend it.

Gear

Gear, have you used the Lee Universal Expander? You might want to give it a try.

Just to test, today I impact pulled a few 7.62x39 boolits that I loaded last week. They cast out at .3125 and were GC'ed and sized to .312. Cases were sized with an RCBS sizer w/ .311 expander button, flared just a hair with the universal expander, charged and seated to the crimp groove. Each boolit came out the same exact .312 it went in as.

geargnasher
07-05-2012, 01:54 AM
Danderdude: I have and still use the Lee FLARING tool for one or two things still, but there will never be a substitute for a good, parallel-sided expander spud that has an integral bellmouth shoulder. The cones in the Lee "expander" (HAHAHA) can easily make the bellmouth off-center and ruin concentricity. If you're shooting an SKS (just speculating) you likely won't see the difference a quality expander can make to accuracy.

JonB: I was hoping you or someone had some experience with the Lee Universal Charge die, at this point I'm wondering it it exists and what it looks like! I'm thinking it's the die that the Perfect Powder measure screws into so you can mount it on a turret press? Or am I smoking crack? I looked at the purty, glossy Lee catalog a while back and couldn't tell exactly what to buy to charge cases with the Perfect on a press. I think the catalog said it couldn't be done on a turret press, but then I don't know what the die was for. Obviously the pullback chain or automatic linkage wouldn't work with a turret, but manual mode sure would provided you didn't go to sleep at the press and seat boolits on top of a bunch of empty cases.

Gear

JonB_in_Glencoe
07-05-2012, 07:16 AM
Gear,
I can't count the number of times I've bought Lee accessories thinking they go for what I want to do and then didn't...poor advertising for sure. It took three different orders to get to where I wanted to...to use lee's case length guage to trim cases with a rechargable drill. I'll have to load some 30-06 soon and see what I did with the pro autodisk...and maybe look into the "universal" and "perfect".
Maybe someone will chime in...that's used it on the LCTP or one of the progressives.
Jon

ukrifleman
07-05-2012, 04:10 PM
The Lee Classic Turret Press is a great piece of kit, I would recommend it to anyone who wants to progress from a single station press.
ukrifleman.

dragon813gt
07-05-2012, 04:40 PM
I think the universal charging die and PPM are for use on the progressives. I don't think there is a way to automatically throw a charge w/ the PPM on the turret. That's why you use the rifle charging die in conjunction with the auto disc. There is nothing stopping you from manually throwing the charge w/ the PPM on the turret as far as I know.

I spent hours trying to figure out the combinations that work and don't work. To the best of my knowledge that's it.


Brought to you by TapaTalk.

geargnasher
07-05-2012, 08:17 PM
So the "Universal" die goes with the PPM? I wonder what it looks like on the inside. The Rifle Charge Die works great with the spring-loaded kit installed on the Autodisk or Pro-Autodisk, but the insert is pretty long and you have to short-stroke the press to charge longer cases. If the insert had about an inch chopped off of it it would work great.

Gear