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Thread: Lee Classic Turret Press Setup

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    TXCOONDOG's Avatar
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    Lee Classic Turret Press Setup

    I’m considering buying a four hole Lee Classic turret Press for reloading 9mm, .40, 10mm, 38 special and .357 mag.

    Need some suggestions on the best setup such as:

    Priming system
    Powder measure
    Do I need a riser ?

    PS: Other recommendations welcome!
    Last edited by TXCOONDOG; 10-07-2017 at 10:13 AM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I have the turret and load most of my ammo on it. Pistol and rifle, doesn't matter. I use the autodrum measure without a riser all the time. The Auto Drum seems like a perfect match for the turret. You may need the riser if the primer tray hits on the powder measure.

    If you lget the turret, be sure to get a few of the plastic drive bushings for the operating rod, as they do wear aand need replacing now and again. Extra turret plates for each caliber is nice to have. Set dies once and they should be good to go.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    DerekP Houston's Avatar
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    If you buy the "kit" it comes with the lee auto disk and the safety prime setup. If you buy them separate you will need to buy those 2 pieces. When using the safety prime attachment for the turret a riser is needed so the drum doesn't hit the primer tray on each rotation. I 2nd the recommendation for getting a few of the extra plastic bushings.

    I'd just buy the basic press, and get the safety prime and the powder measure. You will also want a decent scale, the one in the kit is really finicky I went with a digital hornady scale.

    https://leeprecision.com/auto-disk-powder-measure.html

    https://leeprecision.com/square-ratchet.html

    Short stroking the press is what damaged mine the fastest, I swap them out every 6-12 months depending on wear. At 50c each its cheap investment to keep the indexing tight.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master



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    The Lee Classic Turret press is a dandy. I have two Dillon 550B's that I dearly LOVE but use my Lee Classic Turret press when I want to load just a few. If you have extra turrets (which is the only way to go IMO), once your dies are set up takes only a couple of minutes to change calibers. It's also a really good way to get started in reloading for a reasonable price. If you don't shoot a lot, it may be all you ever need. You can load 150-200 an hour of most calibers, and if you are careful, they can be match quality.

    FWIW
    Dale53

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I’ve been reloading on a single stage press for precision rifle. However, I prefer a little faster method for my pistol calibers and shoot 100-200 rounds a week so it’s hard to justify a progressive press.

    I understand that the turret press takes the same amount of handle pulls to complete a round (as a single stage) but thinking it would be faster with priming, powder drop, etc on a turret press with auto indexing.

    All my shell holders are Hornady and I’m not sure if I need to buy the Lee shell holder kit?

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

    DerekP Houston's Avatar
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    It is quite a bit faster and the benefit of a completed round each 4 pulls. I like it because I can finish the round I'm working on and set it away in case I get called away. less chance of missing a charge or double charging. The Auto powder drop is nice once you get a load dialed in on the proper disk. They typically run on the light side so it takes a bit of estimating before you'll find the right cc comparison. You can always drill it out slightly larger or use epoxy to make it smaller as needed. The disks are pretty cheap to replace as needed.
    My feedback page if you feel inclined to add:
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    I prime off the press because I find it faster. Also when loading cast I put a Lyman M die in the first position followed by the auto drum for powder then seating die and the crimp die. The riser is not needed for most pistol calibers. If you want to speed it up by about 30%, get a reverse rotation case ejector system from inline fabrication.
    As silverboolit said get about 5 extra of the square drive bushings. They do go out. They are only $0.50 each, but shipping will be about another $5.
    Have fun with it, I have loaded 10's of thousands with mine. .380 up to 308 and 45-70.
    There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialismóby vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide. Ayn Rand

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXCOONDOG View Post
    Iím considering buying a four hole Lee Classic turret Press for reloading 9mm, .40, 10mm, 38 special and .357 mag.

    Need some suggestions on the best setup such as:

    Priming system
    Powder measure
    Do I need a riser ?

    PS: Other recommendations welcome!
    Priming system On the press
    Powder measure Lyman 55
    Do I need a riser ? Not IMHO

    I removed the indexing rod on mine and use it as a single stage. It is simple and I don't think I lose much time to self-indexing. I just like the Lee turret for the convenience of keeping the dies set up in their own turret for quick changes.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    How much experience do you have reloading? If none/very little, get a copy of The ABCs of Reloading. it will show how to reload and the equipment you'll need. I did not want my turret press to be a "semi-progressive" and I prme and charge off press. For starters there's nothing wrong with a Lee Perfect Powder Measure. I started using one in '75 and still keep one handy as with some powders it is more consistent then my $$$ C-H powder measure. I'm not a fan of hand priming tools so for many years I've used a ram prime (I just found an empty hole in a turret and used it there). I'm in no hurry (if I needed 500 rounds right now, I'd get a Dillon) so my K.I.S.S. batch reloading suits me fine and I can easily crank out 60-80 rounds a session (one to two hours). I have waaaaay more time to reload than I have to shoot, so I'm doing just fine...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  10. #10
    Boolit Mold
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    I prime by hand on press. I bought an adapter so I could use my Uniflow. I love this press.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    https://gun-guides.com/UNIVERSAL-Per...2%AE-p83298045

  11. #11
    Boolit Bub sparkyv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXCOONDOG View Post
    Need some suggestions on the best setup such as:

    Priming system
    Powder measure
    Do I need a riser ?

    PS: Other recommendations welcome!
    I use Lee Safety Prime system on the press for pistol loads. It is OK but drops a primer from time to time. It is definately faster for me vs. priming off the press.

    Lee Pro Auto Disk measure is awesome. Weighs out charges accurately and repeatably as verified on a beam scale. Setup can be cumbersome because you have to change out the volumetric disks, but keeps on going charge after charge once set up.

    Riser will be needed when using these two devices together.

    I recommend a 4 hole turret per set of dies, which will make swapping calibers an easy operation. I've loaded over 5000 rounds and not (yet) had to replace the polymer bushing; I suggest keeping moving parts well lubricated.

    One more recommendation: a little light source positioned to light up the top of the case so you can visually verify the charge. Simple but important upgrade to my system.

    YMMV

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Have one and use it all the time. Do not put powder in the case with the press. Use a Niel Jones powder measure for putting powder in the cases. After powder installation the bullets are seated and crimped on the Lee press. Got the press for free from a lottery at a local lottery at a country fire station. A primer will fall on the floor from time to time with the Lee primer handling system.
    Put a square pieces of old carpet on the floor underth the press to catch the loose primers.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master rondog's Avatar
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    I too use a LCT, but I'm one that despises the on-press Safety Prime contraption. It gave me nothing but hell, so I pre-prime my cases. Sometimes I use a hand primer (until the arthritis is screaming), sometimes other ways.

    Other than that, I love my LCT and really have no desire for anything else. I already have more ammo than I'll ever shoot up, I don't really need a higher production machine. But yes, get a turret for each set of dies and leave them set up. I also have turrets for a Universal depriming die, bullet sizing dies, bullet pullers, powder measures, and other things.

    DON'T turn the turret by hand, unless the ram is near the top of the stroke (handle down)! That will quickly ruin that square black plastic ratchet thing. I believe it's supposed to fail, as a safety device of some kind. As long as you don't do that, it'll last a long time trouble-free. But call Lee and buy some extras anyway.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Ole Joe Clarke's Avatar
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    I have the LCT and it does a good job. I prime off press, so I gave the safety prime contraption away. All standard shell holders will fit, and the spent primer chute works good, except for a few that escape and hit the floor. I received the square bushing and the holder free from the Lee website. I can't remember if I had to pay postage or not. I also bought the reverse rotation, clockwise, shaft from inline, works good. A good light helps, but you gotta be careful not to double charge the powder.

    Get a good reloading book first. I recommend the Lyman 49th or 50th edition.
    Above all be safe.

    Have a blessed day,

    Leon

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


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    I've used it successfully for 9 different cartridges - have separate turrets for each and as said above it is a 'quick' change. Never had a problem with the Lee auto disk and the safety prime setup. The auto disk has it's limitations of specific powder weights and usually throws about a tenth of a grain light so be aware of that. If you want to get the EXACT weight of some powder the disks aren't drilled for you can use this https://leeprecision.com/adj-charge-bar.html ALWAYS us a scale to verify. You need a riser to clear the onboard priming system but just a cost of doing business. The priming system works fine if you watch where you press it in on the down stroke - once you get the idea you very seldom drop a primer.
    Kansas Hunter Ed Instructor
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  16. #16
    https://inlinefabrication.com/search...c+turret+press

    I have mine on a Harbor Freight grinder stand with ergo handle and auto eject. And the powder drop riser.

    With a .38 three die set on a 4 hole turret I can crank out 4 - 5 .38s on a minuet. The forth pull being eject.

  17. #17
    Boolit Mold
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    I'm just about to buy this same press and trying to decide on just the press or if the kit makes more sense

  18. #18
    Boolit Master PS Paul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wdfwguy View Post
    I'm just about to buy this same press and trying to decide on just the press or if the kit makes more sense
    Get the kit. You can always sell the extras. The powder measure and priming system are quite good. Like ANY press/system, one needs to make minor adjustments to make them work correctly. Spring for the extra riser as well. It helps.

    I manually index and have removed the indexing rod, so I never have the broken plastic piece. Works nearly as fast with zero worries. The auto disk powder measure has limitations, but I own three other measures for other duties. For most revolver, pistol and light rifle cases, the disk system is terrific. I really like it and it's consistent.
    A government that robs from Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

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    I have the LCT and use the standard auto disk with riser. I prime on the press,but single load primers by hand. I found the Auto Prime to be garbage.
    I do like how the spent primers are captured in a tube at the bottom of the ram.
    Overall a decent press for the money.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master dikman's Avatar
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    Once I got the hang of it I found the priming attachment great, much better than fumbling with primers with fat fingers!! Yes, it drops the occasional primer but it's always due to me, not the device.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check