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Thread: Lee Classic Turret Press Issues

  1. #1

    Lee Classic Turret Press Issues

    Just got my Lee in the mail and got it setup, I am having an issue with shell holders not sitting flush in the press. When I bring the ram up it touches the shell holder in the back and leaves a slight gap in the front? These are Hornady shell holders, I believe that the shell holders are junk. I tried about 5 others and 1 sat flush, 1 I couldn’t even get into the press at all but it fit into my LNL press. Press press was gritty and had scratches on the ram but has smoothed out after messing with it for awhile. I also see my brass case hits the side of my die but the case will still enter the die. I can live with the other querks of the press but the shell holder things has me pulling my hair. I have an App press with the same issue. I have a metal lathe but I don’t think there is any way I could indicate the rear face and make a truing cut across the front to square it up.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Do you still have a gap when you put enough pressure on the handle to take all the slack out of everything ?

  3. #3
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    It's likely the spring that holds the shell holder
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.”
    ― The Dalai Lama, Seattle Times, May 2001

  4. #4
    Yep, I watched it with a light on the other side of the shell holder and you can see some light. I tried twisting the shell holder all around while checking and seems to be the same no matter how it’s positioned. I can see the die and turret itself lift up and when pressure is applied it will straighten out some but not completely. I also had to screw the die down so the press has a little cam over if you will do it will completely resize a 9mm. If I adjust it like it shows on YouTube from Lee’s channel it will stay about 1//64 off the shell holder.

  5. #5
    Don’t get me wrong I really like the press as I will only be using it for pistol but my OCD will drive me nuts till I get that shell holder flat. The press will have to pass my concentricity gauge to even be considered for any rifle rounds. If it can’t hold 0.002 then I’ll load for my SR10 in 308 for plinking ammo. Bolt gun gets the LNL which will hold 0.001 or less on almost every round with my setup. Was kinda weird I had to seat my bullets .013 deeper cause they were hitting the rifling? A problem I never had on the LNL, makes me wonder about that concentricity thing.....

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Have you tied to determine what part is crooked ?
    Could it be a problem with that particular turret , or perhaps the piece the turret mounts into or the pillars not seated properly.
    I checked mine after reading your post and the my shell holder does make full contact with the bottom of the die.
    One more thing you might look at if you haven't is remove the shell holder and screw the die down far enough to touch the top of the ram and see what kind of contact you have.
    Since this press bolts together a metal filing or any kind of trash in any of the joints would might cause that problem. Seems more likely to me than multiple shell holders machined crooked . But just guessing.

  7. #7
    I’ll have to check, I didn’t think to do that.

  8. #8
    It doesn’t make any difference, the case and shell holder ‘float’ so it doesn’t affect case alignment in the die. Just adjust so once the case is completely in the sizing die there is no gap, or very little gap. Usually this winds up around half a turn past the die touching the shell holder with the ram fully extended. Even a small gap usually isn’t an issue on pistol brass, rifle brass though should be as tight as possible for shoulder set back. Another thought, make sure the bolts on the upright supports are nice and tight and that none are stripped out.
    Last edited by jetinteriorguy; 04-30-2021 at 08:02 AM.

  9. #9
    Well found the issue, it was the turret. I had another one and it sits flat, at least I know now that it’s not the press. The original turret I was having the issue with is loose and kinda sloppy, the other one tight and sits flat. I don’t think the offset will matter loading 9mm so I’ll just use it. Seems Lee needs to make a better fixture for machining or they need to reevaluate who is running it. There should not be variations of this kind on machined parts.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Can you see a burr or anything obvious that may be causing it to not seat correctly ?
    I have 7 turrets and all are good , and have not seen anyone else mention this problem.
    You might call Lee they may send you another.

  11. #11
    No the only difference is mine has a small shoulder on it where the middle and lower cast part meet

  12. #12
    My guess is that the top piece that the turrets snap into is at minimum spec and won’t let the other one fit for whatever reason. I also noticed that some of my Hornady shell holders will not go into the ram. I researched both of these problems and found a few different instances where this occurred.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    So the internal recess the turrets fit into is causing trouble then? Take the turret that will not fit and Mark it up with either layout fluid or a felt tip marking pen and try to reinstall it. Then do that to the corresponding registers in the head of the press.

    The same with the top of your ram. The problem there could be the relief cut on the underside of the ram but getting a marking medium there might be pretty difficult. Try the shell holders that give trouble.

    The bright spots where the marker has been punched off will tell a story.

    In ordinary times you send it back to Lee and tell them to “lick their calf over” but these are far from normal. If you have adequate means without this turret press to keep loading I would send it back and prepare for a longer wait. If not, you have a dilemma.

    Three44s
    Quote Originally Posted by Bret4207

    “There is more to this than dumping lead in a hole.”

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Well the good news is , if it is just the turret that is the problem problem it's a $12.00 part in normal times .
    I don't know that I would spend to much time messing with it irritating but to me not a big deal , glad you narrowed it down to that one part.

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I used a Lee turret press for 17 years, with 11 different turrets and my mish-mash of shell holders. Regarding turret "slop"; yes the turrets are not machined +/- .0005" tolerance and yes they move up and down with pressure. But, they move the same distance every time, easily compensated with die adjustment. Proper adjusted and consistent components I often held +/-.0015" in OAL. If the turrets were tighter in the frame there would be many complaints of "turret binding".
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  16. #16
    Yea it’s either the turrets, which I suspect or the turret ring on the press. The shell holder is prob a minimum spec aswell. There are a few complaints on the net about it the shell holder causing problems and one instance Lee admitted some on these got out with undersized shell holders. I’m not sending it back, if I have to I’ll just use the one turret for now. I would buy a few more turrets to try but I’m not spending what people want for them nowadays. However it would be nice to have a few samples to try and see. I did receive another on from a friend and it will snap in but will NOT even turn. He said he has never had a problem with that turret and it worked fine in his press.

  17. #17
    Found something interesting on the turret ring while messing with the press today. While I was checking the fit of the turrets I noticed that the front right side pulled up higher than the left rear side. The left rear side has less movement up and down so I pulled the turret and I found what looks to be an unmachined part of the ring. I checked the other 2 turrets and had the same thing, loose on the right front side and was NO movement up and down on the rear left side of the turret. Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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  18. #18
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    Wow. that turret ringmount isn't machined correctly. Send Lee those photos.
    If this is a new manufactured press, they likely have a bunch of them out there.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.”
    ― The Dalai Lama, Seattle Times, May 2001

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Are you referring to the groove that runs around the inside under the rectangular lugs ?
    If so mine does not have that groove on the in the space before and after the detent ball .

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Here is a pic of how mine looks .
    Click image for larger version. 

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