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Discussion Starter #1
Got a few questions for everybody. I need advice about buying a turret/progressive press. I need the versatility of being able to switch from single stage to progressive, so I am leaning more to the RCBS turret press kit. With that kit, it looks like the brass stays in place, and you turn the turret by hand, is that correct?
My other option is to buy a full blown progressive press, and use it for my 223 and 357, and use my Lee single stage for loading hunting loads, since they require more consistency and accuracy in the loads.
Am I off in my thinking about this? It seems that the progressive presses are for loading practice and plinking rounds.
Any advice on brand, or set-up would be appreciated.
 

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If you plan to load multiple calibers, and don't need competition volumes of ammo, the turret is the way to go. I use progressives for my high volume pistol ammo and the turret for everything else. A turret or progressive will produce good quality hunting ammo, not bench rest quality, but good ammo that is more consistent and accurate than we are. There are good turrets available from Lyman/RCBS/Lee. Just find the one that you like and jump in, you won't be disappointed!!!
Savage
 

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You may want to check out the Hornady with LNL press. Hornady is offering 1000 free bullets when you buy a new progressive press through the end of the year. The LNL is a quick, cost effective way to change calibers.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for all the advice. I'm thinking about the Lee turret press kit, due to budget considerations. I had a Lee 3 hole turret press a long time ago, which got stolen. The only thing I didn't like about it was that the die poate would lift up like 1/8 inch on the downstroke. I had to allow for that when seating the bullet every time. I hope they fixed that. Any experience with the Lee sets out there?
 

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I highly recommend the Lee classic Cast Turret press, have had one for a little over a year now and love it! I use it as a single stage, but loading for 22 different chamberings, it's nice to have the dies all set up in a turret ready to load ammo! Extra turrets are $9 at Midsouth.

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductreview.exe/GetReviews?productid=814175

http://www.surplusrifle.com/reviews2006/leeturretpress/index.asp

http://www.realguns.com/archives/122.htm

http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/item.asp?sku=0000690064

http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/item.asp?sku=0000690269
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Quick. That confirms it for me then, it's the one I have sitting in my cart at Cabela's, waiting for checkout.
BTW, I'll be in the market for a SB2 frame in the near future. Would you be willing to sell me back the one I sold you?
 

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This one I hope, the other one, while serviceable, isn't as good. ;)


Sorry, I'm looking for a couple more myself!! Sent one in for 44mag and 357mag barrels, need another one for the 44 barrel.

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Quick- That's the one, the classic turret press kit. Here's a question for you. When using the powder funnel attached to the press, how often should I check powder throws for accuracy?
 

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ive got a few thoughts on it. For one i can load just as good of ammo on a 550 as i can on a single stage press. Same goes for a good turent press with no deflection. I very very seldom load any ammo anymore on a single stage press. I still keep them for specialty things but my time is to limited to load ammo on them. Id rather be shooting. Most shooter can proabably be served well with a turent press for all of there loading. there much more conveint and fast then a single stage press and simpler and safer for a beginner then a true progressive. Im not a fan of lee presses. But those predudices are aimed toward there progressives which i personaly think are junk. theres absolutely nothing wrong with one of there turrent presses for the avearge loader though. If a guy is only shoot a couple hundred rounds a week they will keep you going for a lifetime. If you need the versatilty of loading single stage and sometimes need production, somethng like a 550 dillon is hard to beat. It can be used both ways. I hate to choose and cover all of my bases. Ive got 2 single stage, a turrent, a 550 and 5 square deals I load on. Even a couple hand presses for when i real bored. No doubt an overkill for most loaders but i load ammo to be able to shoot and loading time takes away from shooting time. Some guys load for fun i load to shoot.
 

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Benaiah said:
Quick- That's the one, the classic turret press kit. Here's a question for you. When using the powder funnel attached to the press, how often should I check powder throws for accuracy?
Sorry, I can't help ya with that, all I've ever used is a beam scale for a while, then switched to a digital dispenser and never looked back. But I'm sure others can share their experience with it.

Tim
 

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Benaiah:

The amount of ammo you need and the amount of time you want to spend on reloading should be the main criteria in deciding whether a turret press is adequate for you. I don't know about .223s because they need case lube and lube removal but estimate about 1 hour to load 250 rounds of .357 on a good, reliable progressive press like the Dillon. That is not a hurried pace, and time includes setup and cleanup. After getting to the point where I wanted to shoot more than 100 rounds per week, I bought a progressive. The routine that fits my busy schedule best is to do 500 at a time in one caliber. That keeps me in ammo for at least a few weeks, and often longer.

Contrast that with my output on a single stage where it took about an hour and a half to do 100 rounds of 45acp. I'd spend more time loading than shooting. That was just too tedious.

Some like the turret press, but I regard them as curiosities that date from the era before progressives were as cheaply available as they are today. I believe that shooters with ammo needs consistent with the normal output of a turret. Speed gained in using a turret is dependent on the forethought and efficiency of the operator, so if you get one, make sure you think the process through or you'll find yourself loading no faster than with a single stage.

If you get a Dillon and want to alternate between .223 and .357, it will be fast to change calibers because they both use the same size primer. If primer size was different, then it would take significantly longer to switch.

Finally, beware of claims about cartridge per hour productivity. If it doesn't include all of the time you spend, from setup to cleanup, then you can easily be misled. The companies that make progressives have a very optimistic rates that cannot possibly include setup, cleanup, periodically checking powder weights, and other things that take time. Certain true fanatics claim they their turret is as fast as the claims made by the progressive press makers-- shades of John Henry.
 

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...Some like the turret press, but I regard them as curiosities that date from the era before progressives were as cheaply available as they are today. ...
that about says it as well as i have ever heard it said.
 

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Benaiah - I use a Lyman turret (Tmag II I think) and like it well enough - but I'm looking hard at the new Lee Classic Turret. I can't ignore the MANY good reviews you'll find on the Midway site. And the Lee turrets are much cheaper, easier to switch and its really designed to work in what I call semi progressive mode.

I have a Lee Pro Auto Disk powder measure and Lee thru the die expanders for 9mm, 38/357, 41 Mag, 40SW. I prep my cases separately while watching tv, including priming. Then set up and load 50-300 rounds at a shot. I expand, deposit powder in one stroke, seat bullet and use separate Lee Factory crimp dies. I rotate the turret on one round but it takes a little concentration and attention to detail. That's where the new Lee press would be handy as you would keep the rotation going the same way. While with my Lyman I rotate back and forth between 3 stations and there's more room for error.

I load rifle cartridges single stage.

The Pro Auto Disk is pretty consistent depending on powder used. I was loading H110 last night and I think its one of the most consistent. But I'm getting leakage lately - just started. I might have worn the elastomer wiper ring a bit. When first getting started I check the first 5-10 powder throws to make sure the powder is settled and I'm using the right disk. Then I check every 5th or 10th throw depending on the powder and how much is in the hopper. I try to keep the hopper at a consistent level unless I'm loading to use up powder. I usually only throw small grain powders in the Pro Auto - ball, and small flake. Stick powders for the rifle loads are done one at a time on a scale or I use my RCBS Uniflow if I'm doing over 30 loads at a time. Even with the uniflow I check every 10th or so - some times I throw low, then scale and trickle each up to weight when I'm messing with max loads.

I have never noticed a difference in accuracy when switching from my old RCBS Jr press to the Lyman. This fall I shot the most accuratly ever with my 300 win mag and some ballistic tips I loaded on the Lyman.

If I were to start today I'd grab the new Lee Classic turret. And though I get very good service from Cabela's I'd compare prices at MidSouth and Midway first, maybe even Natchez as sometimes there can be a real savings with them.

Good luck.
 

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The Hornady Lock-‘n-Load, Things that I like, ‘n things that I don’t like:

The “like” list:

1) The Lock-n-load system itself. This is a great system. You can change from one caliber to the next in a minute. In fact, I bot a RCBS single stage rockchucker and did the LNL upgrade for when I do those 5 to 10 round work-up loads.
2) The unit is made of cast iron and is as solid as a rock. The center plunger is 2” thick and will yield to nothing. Oh, nothing X-tra to buy! No mount plates for $48…no plate hold this or handle roll $49 that. It’s all there for the price.
3) The cartridges are held in the shellplate by a spring. This is a very nice feature and makes taking the brass in and out of a shellplate (if you have too) quick and easy. Much easier than the Dillon brass pin system. Ever try to find one of those little brass pins on the floor?
4) Powder measure. Yeah….this should be the clincher. You only need one with the LNL because it’s easy to take off, dump the powder and put a different powder in. You gotta go thru your craftsman tool box to remove the Dillon powder measure. The reason Dillon owners have so many powder measures (at $70 a pop) is because it takes 20 minutes to change powder types. In the 2.5 years of owning my LNL, I never once thought of buying a second powder measure. Just buy the $15 quick change powder die and have it pre-set for each caliber you load. Then your change over is quick and easy. Or, if you don’t want to spend the $15, you will just have to adjust the powder die you have (cheapskate).
5) Auto-advance. This is really nice. Pretty tough to get double powder charges when the unit advances the brass. This can still happen (a double charge) if your foolin around during setup…so caution is always recommended. But, the auto indexing is a wonderful thing!
6) Auto case feed. I bot the case feed when I got mine. If you have the bucks and load a bunch, get it. I love mine. ‘Nuff said.

The “could be better” list”

1) The primer feed needs to have some kind of “weight” to keep a small amount of pressure on the primers to keep them feeding. I bot a $.40 wooden dowel rod, and marked it so I know when I’m going to run out of primers. Works like a charm.
2) Remember those springs that hold in the brass? You know how I said they are just wonderful? Well, they are, but they do break…so, order about 10 replacements and keep ‘em hangin on your bench. ‘Cause if your loadin away and your spring breaks and you don’t have a replacement….you can’t load no more.


That’s about it. Yup….only 2 items on my “whine” list. It’s a great unit. Put it on your “consider to buy it” list.
 

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I load 308 for my M1A fully progressive, as fast as I can pull the handle, with 2-3" accuracy at 200 yards. Also for 6.8 SPC fully progressive for an AR15 with same accuracy results. All on a Dillon 550. I can make soooooooooo much ammo in one hour. Or, make mass quantity and stock pile. The 550 can also be used as single stage.

Cheese
 
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