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View Full Version : Have you ever modified your turret/progress press?



DaveInFloweryBranchGA
04-01-2006, 11:55 PM
I got to thinking about how one might improve any of the various brands of turret or progressive presses by using equipment from a different company or modifying the press in some way on one's own.

I'm thinking this is a good way to generate cross-pollination of ideas and perhaps a bit less razzing between brand owners. Personally, I see potentially useful stuff with all brands, if one could think of a way to adapt it or realize it's usefulness with other brands.

So I'd like to ask you if you've ever modified your press to improve something, the following questions:

1. The brand of press you modified.

2. Why you modified it.

3. How you modifed it, what you used.

4. Were you satisfied with the results.


For example,

I modified my Hornady Lock N Load.

I modified it to give me powder through expansion for pistol cartridges.

I modified the case activated powder drop using a Lyman powder through die expander from the Lyman powder through expanding die set.

The results were ok, but took quite a bit of fiddling to set up. If I were to do it again, I'd just buy a Lee expander die and use the Lee Pro Auto Disk to dispense powder for pistol.

Since Hornady is coming out with a new expanding/powder through case activated powder dispense, I'm thinking about buying it. I'm also considering the Dillon measure, since the Dillon measure works well for pistol, has case expansion and may end up being less expensive than the new Hornady CAPD and I want an extra measure as I'm adding a Lee Classic Turret press and am also adding several milsurp rifle calibers I haven't previously been reloading.

Anyone else?

rbstern
04-02-2006, 12:02 AM
Lee Turret Press.

Spent primers fell into and got stuck in the primer tool slot because the "drain hole" in the bottom of the slot is too small.

Drilled the existing hole in the bottom of the slot with a 1/4" drill bit to enlarge it.

Primers fall through much more readily.

crazy mark
04-02-2006, 12:08 AM
Lyman turret. Didn't like using a screw to hold in the shell holder. sed a RCBS ram with the spring clip. Also put a set screw into the side to hold the turret screw so I didn't have to worry about it coming loose after I changed out turrets. Mark

454PB
04-02-2006, 01:43 AM
I just posted this tonight, but will paste it in here because it applies to your question:



I recently got the new Lee Classic Turret press. I have owned two of the three holer turret presses since they first came out. I liked the first one so much, I bought another as a spare. I bet I've loaded 40K rounds on the first one, the other was only used to verify that it worked.

Yes, the classic can be converted to use the three hole turrets, but it requires changing out the top portion. Since I already owned two of the older turrets, it was no biggie. I just robbed the head off of the spare. I own 9 of the 3 hole turrets with different caliber dies installed, so it was worthwhile not only expense wise, but I didn't have to change all my dies. Changing it back to the original 4 hole top takes about 2 minutes.

The handle is fully adjustable for length and angle, a neat feature allows the rod to slip into a friction grip at the bottom of the linkage.

One disappointment was the fact that the classic doesn't have the same hole pattern to fit the bench. My presses are mounted on steel plates that are drilled and tapped, then the plate is lag bolted to the bench. I had to make a new mounting plate with the same lag bolt pattern to avoid drilling more holes in my bench. The good part is that I can swap back and forth between the older turrets and the new one by removing two 3/8" lag bolts.

The main reason I wanted the new classic was to eliminate spent primers flying all over my loading room. I don't (and won't) use any press for priming, but found that the primer mechanism has to be in place on the classic or the spent primers still fly out the front every so often.

omgb
04-02-2006, 03:24 AM
I put an RCBS Case-Kicker on to my Redding Turret. It really sped things up.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
04-02-2006, 10:58 AM
These are great posts gentlemen. I posted this on a couple of forums, but felt I'd get the better responses from the cast boolits group, because of the "Can do it ourselves" attitude here and I was right. Thank you for the reponses so far and please keep it going. I've already learned one piece of information I can use for my own press and I can see the other items will help owners of those respective presses.

Regards,

Dave

Johnch
04-02-2006, 02:15 PM
I am mounting a Lee bullet feeder on my Dillon 550 press .
A freind did it and it increased his out put a lot

Johnch

mooman76
04-02-2006, 02:43 PM
This isn't on the turret press but on the Lee Challenger press allot of the spent primmers would miss the tray an end up all over my garage. I fashoned a piece of sheet metal about 4 " high and bent it around the edge and fasteded it using the exhisting hardware and it works like a champ! It catches 99% of them now.
I have the same problem with my Lee turret press only it is designed different so it won't be as simple. I invision something like a funnel or something to catch the spent primers plus there is nothing to stop the primers from falling through so I need something to catch them also!

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
04-02-2006, 03:07 PM
I am mounting a Lee bullet feeder on my Dillon 550 press .
A freind did it and it increased his out put a lot

Johnch

Can you get pictures of that? I'd love to see how it's done. Maybe it can be done with a Hornady.

Regards,

Dave

j4570
04-02-2006, 10:29 PM
I put an RCBS Uniflow Powder Measure with an RCBS case activated linkage kit so I could use IMR stick Powder better in my Dillon 550B. I only use this for rifle cartidges. Also, you don't need to buy seperate funnels for each caliber like with the Dillon. I use one toolheads, and adjust the dies, and tighten the set screws.

I have loaded:

7x57
8x57
7.5x55
308

Granted, I was using IMR 4320, which is pretty short. But nevertheless, it's fine provided you aren't approaching max loads (which I almost never do).

With great success and not weighing charges, plenty accurate for me.

Jason

Catshooter
04-03-2006, 12:08 AM
I use an RCBS Ammomaster, five station progressive primarily. Here are some mods I've done.

There is a small OD but longish spring that returns the primer feeder arm to home that was just clipped over a stud on each end, nothing to keep it from flying across the room, which it had done. I drilled & tapped one stud for a 4x40 screw and now the dang thing is captive. The spring looks like this: O/////////////////O.

The case ejector is held in place with a 6x32 set screw, tiny, wants to bend the case ejector. I D & T for a 10x32 which holds the ejector without wanting to bend it so much.

The rod that causes the shell plate to rotate was held to the shell plate by two 8x32 thumb screws, I replaced them with 8x32 button head allan headed cap screws and they use the same wrench that the 10x32 set screw for the case ejector does.

I put the micrometer adjustable head on the RCBS powder measure on a whim. Man that thing is worth it's weight in Universal Clays!


Cat

Ranch Dog
04-03-2006, 07:49 AM
Greetings guys...

I've got a bunch of rounds through my Lee turret press and decided to do something about the spent primers. My reloading bench has a lip on it, so I simply placed a brass hook under the lip and hang a pail from it. It is out of the way and catches 100% of the spent primers. I actually work with it there as it makes a very convinent "catch-all".

I did lap the exit hole these spent primers follow so that they would not hang up where as they exit the press base for there slide down the connecting links.

rbstern
04-03-2006, 10:14 AM
I've got a bunch of rounds through my Lee turret press and decided to do something about the spent primers. My reloading bench has a lip on it, so I simply placed a brass hook under the lip and hang a pail from it. It is out of the way and catches 100% of the spent primers. I actually work with it there as it makes a very convinent "catch-all".

I have exactly the same setup. The primer pail is a great addition to the loading bench.

Bucks Owin
04-03-2006, 11:56 AM
For sentimental reasons, I still use my Dad's ancient Pacific C-press quite often. You used to have to buy a new ram when changing calibers rather than just changing shell holders. I had a ram cut by a machinist so that it now accepts standard shell holders. I also built a primer catcher for it from a sardine can....

High tech now!

Dennis

Frank46
04-04-2006, 04:08 AM
I modified my rockchucker by throwing away the priming arm, as I decap with punch and base. This may sound funny but for me it works out better. As a matter of fact all my one armed one at a time presses do not have the priming gizmo installed. My reloading setup is located in one of the bedrooms that was made into my hobby room. Since it has carpeting I don't have to worry about "She Who Must Be Obeyed" complaining about getting spent primers in the vacuum cleaner.
All in the interest of domestic tranquility. Besides I can watch the boob tube while decapping. Frank

Cherokee
04-04-2006, 09:10 AM
I removed/do not use any of the priming attachements on any of my three presses. All priming done by hand with Lee tool. On my RCBS, I added a plate in front of the front support to catch more of the primmers that usta hit the floor. I do a lot of modifications on nose punches on my lathe to better fit the bullet being seated and nose/base punches for Lyman and Star sizers.

Bucks Owin
04-04-2006, 10:13 AM
I removed/do not use any of the priming attachements on any of my three presses. All priming done by hand with Lee tool. On my RCBS, I added a plate in front of the front support to catch more of the primmers that usta hit the floor. I do a lot of modifications on nose punches on my lathe to better fit the bullet being seated and nose/base punches for Lyman and Star sizers.

Those Lee hand priming tools are THE KIND huh? :drinks:

Love mine too,

Dennis :Fire:

MTWeatherman
04-04-2006, 01:37 PM
Two modifications to Lee Turret Press...both involving priming.

1. Press would not fully index in priming mode. After resizing and priming...press was about 1/2 indexed to next stage...had to carefully raise ram to just clear primer arm (to avoid a full index and miss next stage), then manually move priming arm back and lower ram to complete the 1/2 index to a full one. Problem solved by cutting off bottom of priming am so bottom of the "t" on the t-shaped priming arm just cleared the press. This allowed full indexing while priming by allowing the ram to move further downward and complete the index.

2. Seemed like about 20% of the primers would go pinging off the press onto the floor. I figured that if the priming arm wasn't quite so far back during the depriming operation...it would block most primers coming out of the ram slot. So, I thought I'd tap the back of the priming arm slot to hold an adjustable screw so as to adjust the priming arm to barely clear the ram. To check out the theory, I used a piece of electricians tap to tape a small washer on the inside rear of the priming arm slot. It held the priming arm forward enough to just clear the ram slot. Worked like a charm...most primers now hit the priming arm and bounce forward to fall into the primer catcher...a few get caught between the arm and the ram and a light touch drops them into the catcher too. The rigged tape setup worked so well, I never bothered to tap in the screw...been using it for three years that way now. A few still make it to the floor, but I would say it eliminates at least 90% of those that formerly made it.

With the number 2 fix, it's success to no small extent requires the number 1 fix. Since the priming arm barely clears the base of the press, there's no room for a primer to slip under it.

Lee
04-05-2006, 01:24 AM
You boys already beat me to the punch with the LEE TURRET PRESS, and the LEE CHALLENGER PRESS. Drill a bigger hole, fit a short piece of hard nylon tubing, and watch those spent primers slide down into a small catch pot. Also made a taller aluminum shield, use the existing holes, to deflect spent primers down to the "chute" on the Challenger Press.
I do all my depriming on a Lee single (read "cheap" press. ALL depriming goes thru there, nothing else. Like some of the other members, I use a LEE hand primer. I have 2, one for large and one for small primers. Can't beat 'em.
All 3 of my presses are bolted to "risers" that lifts and extends(sounds like an ad for a bra, huh?[smilie=1: ) the press out from the bench. Also did the same for the LEE powder measure. That way I have the press/measure out and away from the bench a bit. Easier to get a block of cases under to charge with powder. Easier to "scrunch" up to when doing some higher volume reloading. I might try to send a pic. Iffn I can get the dang 'puter to cooperate(Lightning 2 days ago knocked things digital fer a loop)
I've got a thought for the depriming station that I want to try B4 I say anything. It might be a bust, might be a big convenience.
Recommendation: If any of ya own a turret press, buy a couple dozen extra of the "ratchets" as spares. Maybe also the "ratchet holder" or whatever the heck they call it. Over time, the ratchet especially wears, and your alignment and registration starts to degrade(read "goes to hell). I didn't realize just how much difference a new one makes until I replaced it. The ratchets are only $0.50 each, ya can't go wrong. Trust me on this. Also grease the **** outta 'em when you do the replacement. My opinion is that will help make them last. (My 1st one lasted 10,000 rounds B4 giving up, best guess)
Sorry, not to be long-winded........................
Hey, when yer names LEE, what other kindsa press is there?? ..........:)

Swagerman
04-05-2006, 10:03 AM
Herter's Big-O-Maximum press with my swaging automatic bullet ejector from swaging die set-up.

Jim

Swagerman
04-05-2006, 10:17 AM
This picture is of a C-H four die station press with primer catcher on shellholder platform that rides up and down and drops spent primers in cup.

The orange Lyman has a primer catcher with brass shim to hold to shellholder platform where the knurled knob is in front.

Jim

http://www.hunt101.com/img/386410.jpg (http://www.hunt101.com/?p=386410&c=500&z=1)


http://www.hunt101.com/img/393055.jpg (http://www.hunt101.com/?p=393055&c=500&z=1)

Frank46
04-06-2006, 02:26 AM
Dog, I did something similar some years back when reloading surplus 5.56 cases I got from weideners. I "C" clamped my rockchucker to our picnic table and used one of those large plactic bins you get for storing stuff to catch the primers. Thought it was doing ok but looked at the concrete floor and a lot of 'em didn't make it into the tub. Still had a bunch to sweep up. Guess I'm not the only one doing their decapping using something other than my press. Just don't want a mess and getting the grit into the works. Frank

9.3X62AL
04-07-2006, 10:26 AM
Not a "modification" per se, but the use of the Lyman powder-thru-expander die on my Ponsness-Warren P-200 combined two die steps into one operation, which over a given lot of ammunition saves a substantial amount of time and motion.

CII
06-11-2017, 05:26 PM
Can I drill and tap a RCBS bench mounting plate to accept a Lee Turret Press?
Thanks, CII

Smk SHoe
06-12-2017, 10:20 PM
Not much of a modification but, I replaced a few dillion parts on a 650 with some after market ( Ebay) parts. The shell plate advance bracket and the guide rod with roller bearing on contact point. Also have a needle bearing set and a ceramic ball under the shell plate. Seems to have smoothed things out.

Kraschenbirn
06-12-2017, 11:17 PM
Dunno 'bout "modification" but my old DL450 is more like a "DL500+" with every factory upgrade ever offered. Only difference between it and a DL550 is that it doesn't have interchangeable die plates. Oh yeah, my Dillon powder measure has a set of fixed-volume charge bars that I milled and bored to drop my most common handgun loads.

Bill

jmorris
06-12-2017, 11:19 PM
An 11 year old thread back up top, no one can accuse you of not using the search function.

omgb
06-12-2017, 11:35 PM
I took my old 1990s LNL and converted it to use both the auto case feeder and the new case ejector. I added a roller handle (not really an improvement) some LED lights and the entire line up of bullet feeders and sensors.

I took two of my old RCBS powder measures and converted them to the Hornady case-fed powder drop. Then I had a custom made expander powder through die made in .112 for 32-20.

I had one of my T7 die heads modified to take the gianormous dies Lachmiller made for 12 and 16 gauge.

Ole Joe Clarke
06-13-2017, 06:09 AM
I just posted this tonight, but will paste it in here because it applies to your question:

"The main reason I wanted the new classic was to eliminate spent primers flying all over my loading room. I don't (and won't) use any press for priming, but found that the primer mechanism has to be in place on the classic or the spent primers still fly out the front every so often.

My Lee Classic Turret will still kick a spent primer out on occasion, so I put a short piece of soda straw in the top of the ram, just under the shell holder and on top of the primer arm. I don't lower the ram all the way to the bottom of the stroke when removing spent primers.

Walter Laich
06-13-2017, 09:38 AM
Dillon SDB
tried a shovel and 90 handle--went back to ball as neither were secure enough
old primer mod to allow them to drop into bottle on floor (mine is homemade but they can be bought new)
added a counter to mine before dillon/aftermarket came out with them
modified low primer sensor to have flashing lights as well as buzzer
added 'side flap' to front of cartridge chute to keep 357 cases from falling out of the chute on floor
glued tiny model airplane washers to the brass pins so I can remove them with a magnet-on-a-stick--I have fat fingers so this really helps
also tried strips of gallon water jugs under the pins--this works too but can get in way as you work the press
added Smoke's primer rod holder to blast tube. Keeps me from dropping it and stepping on it or bending it on the bench
added a piece of day-glo ribbon to screw on powder bar (again by magnet) so I can better see the bar moving each time I pull the handle.
added a jam screw to long screw that holds the bellcrank on powder measure.

on a side note took the dillon bullet tray and mounted it on a chunk of 4x4 so I can move from press to press (I'm too poor to have bought more than one of those pricey things.)

Bubba w/a 45/70
06-16-2017, 12:42 AM
On all of my presses I find wooden balls at the local Hobby Lobby and use them on my handles. I just much prefer the feel of wood as opposed to plastic.....and I can find a size that works better for me.

On my RCBS turret press I have attempted (an failed due to wrong thickness and poor "machining" on test pieces) to put a brass shim piece in between the head and the rear support arm to reduce the slop inherent in a turrent press. This will work, I just need to actually make the time to get it correct.

fralic76
06-16-2017, 09:18 AM
I have made a spacer for the Lee C press to stop primers from not going into the hole. Replaced the tin plate on a Lee Breech Lock Challenger press with a lexan one. Also for the same press made a 3D printed primer arm replacement part to keep the spent primers to go where they should. For the Lee Classic Cast turret I have a led light holder up under the turret, made a round counter, homemade ergo roller handle and use a Hornady 9mm bullet feeder die that was polished so I can use it for cast bullets.https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170616/a101e895a763bce036bfd91fb914246f.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170616/251408fcdb6c4326c244174173bcb400.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170616/03199e721b5a7c997a50d69169c6bfaa.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170616/7453e671c8cdff03c7e685b91df7c778.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170616/2ae68ce3f7f200926d7932788ea573ba.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170616/4242513a18353f8e5c2468cb22da1c04.jpg

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castalott
06-21-2017, 07:56 PM
Dunno 'bout "modification" but my old DL450 is more like a "DL500+" with every factory upgrade ever offered. Only difference between it and a DL550 is that it doesn't have interchangeable die plates. Oh yeah, my Dillon powder measure has a set of fixed-volume charge bars that I milled and bored to drop my most common handgun loads.

Bill

Now that is a good idea...even if this thread is ancient....