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View Poll Results: What kind of press to load boolits on?

143. You may not vote on this poll
  • Single Stage

    52 36.36%
  • Turret

    73 51.05%
  • Progressive

    58 40.56%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Results 61 to 69 of 69

Thread: To turret or not to turret?

  1. #61
    I started with a single stage, then bought a Lee Classic Cast Turret.
    I used it for a year before finding a deal on a used Dillon 550b.
    The Dillon is much easier to use and faster. That being said, the Lee Classic Cast Turret is a good press. With the auto index it is reasonably fast in production. It is a Lee, so it takes some time to figure out and more fiddling to keep it running well.
    Now I use the 550b for anything with small primers, and the Lee for large primer. I need fewer large primer reloads, and it keeps up with my demand just fine.

    You might look at Lee's new Auto Breech Lock Pro. It looks like it is a progressive based on the Classic Cast Turret frame.

  2. #62
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    I started with a Lee Turret press when they first came out, 30 or so yrs ago. Very good press that works well. I never used the auto rotate system but that would be nice to have. Not a high volume system but it works and is reliable. I would not consider the other turret systems as I consider them overpriced and not as good as the Lee. FWIW, I have tested the strength of the original Lee Turret Press and it will take a lot of abuse. I have swaged small lead 'bullets' with it although I would not recommend that as a regular practice.

    Later on, ~15 yrs ago, I got a Lee Loadmaster, mainly cause I wanted to be able to load rifle ammo as well as pistol. I load everything on it. I set up pistols with the automatic powder measure. For rifles I weigh each charge (most of the time) and use one of the charge dies to add powder on the press. It has 5 die stations so you can do just about any sequence you want. For example, the 9mm and .45 get deprimed, sized/primed, mouth expand/charged, bullet seat, taper crimp. Hand work is putting the bullet on the charged case (that can also be automatic but the Lee bullet system has not been reliable for me so I set them by hand). I also sometimes put the cases in by hand instead of using the auto case feed.

    Now I also have a Lee Breechlock Pro. Good for pistol and .223 but not for .308 and longer. Also a bit more time intensive as the primer is best done manually so it slows the process. It is a smaller press and less finicky. Probably good for someone first starting out with progressive. Fairly inexpensive as well.

    FWIW, the Lee presses use std reloading dies as well.

    But, if you want trouble free, no fiddling, high volume, then the Dillon 650 would be my choice. I never reloaded enough to justify one but that would be my choice. Probably the best cost/performance, IMHO, until you get to the production grade and motor driven systems.

    Sent from my SM-P580 using Tapatalk

  3. #63
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    texas city tx.
    I used a Dillon 550B for many years. I loaded over 40 different calibers on it. I load mostly pistol calibers on it but some rifle. I've timed myself a couple of times and I can turn out one box(of 50 rounds) in 10 minutes of just about any pistol caliber.(ok, this is after I have 50 cases ready to go, the primer tube with at lease 50+ primers in it.and the powder hopper full.) the powder bar is one of the greatest parts of this machine.
    it stays pretty close to what you want, the whole time your loading that batch of ammo. there is no better warranty on the market, they replaced my machine because of something I did to it! no cost to me.(except to send my broke machine to them. and it very easy to change calibers.(and yes, I had to pull the rifle cases to trim before i reloaded them.I still use one for .30 caliber carbine, 6.8SPC and 300 blk out.

  4. #64
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by 44Blam View Post
    My ammo requirement went up a bit when I started shooting local steel matches. Now I'm starting to get into the IDPA type matches. So, each one of these takes 70-100 rounds and I'm doing 3 or 4 a month at this point... AND I still go out to the range and plink maybe a couple times a month.

    I think the most time consuming thing I do when reloading is I weigh each charge on a beam scale. But I figure if I'm reloading ammunition that is specific to my firearms, so I want it to be the load that I found to be accurate.

    So, I'm wondering if going to a turret is really going to help...

    Anyway, I timed myself loading some 44 mag and it took a little over 2 hours to load 100 from primed brass. I loaded them with my Lee hand press at my dining table and was listening to TV and wasn't really in a hurry.
    You're using a Lee hand press, That's good but not meant for high production, more for using when there's no space for a bench mounted press or at the range.

    If you go to any bench mounted press you should see a jump in production. Turret should be better than a single stage, progressive should be better than a turret.

    Like all things there's a learning curve, the time to load will decrease when things go and flow smoothly.

  5. #65
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    If I had to do it again, I would have bought a turret press. As it turns out, experience has taught me that most of the time saved by a progressive press is due to a lack of the penalty of swapping dies.

    But I can't go back, so I'm sticking with my Rock Chucker. Now amortized over years of reloading, the cost of my entire reloading set-up costs a fraction of a penny per round.

  6. #66
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    I've had four progressive presses over many years. All were used for loading handgun ammo. For loading and shooting somewhere between six and ten thousand rounds a year, I didn't really need a progressive machine. A 60s model Texan turret that I've used for almost forty years works very well and is likely not as slow as some think. I continue to enjoy load development and experimenting with many different loads. For such work, the turret is a far more versatile tool than many progressives.
    Last edited by lotech; 07-21-2019 at 08:29 AM.

  7. #67
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    That is one of the reasons I liked the Lee turret or auto lock pro. You can easily use either as a single stage or just a couple of stages. The nice thing is the dies stay in the turret and you just change out the turrets (like a bolt action). Rotate by hand to use the dies you want or activate the auto rotate feature.

    I alos like using the auto feature when doing things like depriming brass. It is just one die in the turret but it is just a stroke of the lever. For pistol I use the auto case loader. For rifle I have to hand feed them.

    Sent from my SM-P580 using Tapatalk

  8. #68
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    I did not vote because I use a Lyman T press and a Hornady single stage . One I do the size and deprime and the rest on the T press. I stated on the T press and then later got a used single stage. It works for me . The down side on the Lyman T press is the bolt of the old style in the center they do not have any replacement for it if it got broke that is why I got a single stage after. Some brass I was sizing and depriming was rough on the T press
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  9. #69
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    I have a single stage RCBS press and a Lee classic turret. I loaded thousands of rounds on the RCBS before buying the Lee. I can easily load 3 times the quantity per hour of anything I've tried with the Lee, even setting the primers in the press one at a time. Next time I order anything I'll add the safety prime system and hopefully speed things up even more.

    One thing I'd add to this discussion is you have to pay better attention to what you are doing. I have had a few cases slip past without getting a primer or even setting the primer upside down. Be careful and pay attention.

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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