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  #1  
Old 02-03-2011, 06:01 PM
Steve in Vermont Steve in Vermont is offline
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Default Lee or RCBS Single Stage Press?

I'm looking to get back into reloading (last time was in the 70's) and have narrowed my choice to either a Lee Classic Cast Press or a RCBS RC Supreme. The prices are almost identical and I see no other real differences between them. To aid in switching dies I'm looking at the Hornady Lock N Load Press and Die Conversion Bushing Kit (for the RCBS) or the Lee Breech Lock Quick Change Bushings. I've been going through past posts and appreciate all the information I've found. I'd like your thoughts regarding this and will probably be back again with more questions.
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Old 02-03-2011, 06:14 PM
Sully Sully is offline
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There is no comparison between Lee presses and RCBS. I have both and also a Dillon....but if I could ONLY have one...it would be the RCBS.

Dont be smoozed by any "quick change" feature. Once the dies are set and fully adjusted...you can screw any of them in or out. Some die sets have locking nuts so they dont move....etc...etc.
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Old 02-03-2011, 07:08 PM
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RCBS is the way to go
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  #4  
Old 02-03-2011, 07:16 PM
Chubbs103 Chubbs103 is offline
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I have never seen better customer service on a product than what I have received from RCBS. No questions asked. No BS. For life. I hear the same is true for Dillon, but I have no personal experience with them.

The RCBS products (as a whole) cost significantly more than Lee products. I look at it in terms of a lifetime investment. From my experience, I have never regretted buying RCBS.

Let the brand wars begin.

Chubbs
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  #5  
Old 02-03-2011, 07:55 PM
Skip Sackett Skip Sackett is offline
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Either one will perform as they are designed. Remember, you aren't married to either one should you buy it. There is always ebay or the classified section of some firearms forum where folks are always looking for a deal.

Customer service will be good from both companies. They know we talk about them on the world wide web. None of them can stand too much bad publicity.

All of that being said, I have an old RS -3. That thing will work when none other will! The Lee will too. No doubt about that.


If I could make a suggestion. I wouldn't waste time with a single stage press. What I would get is the Lee Classic Cast TURRET press.

It can easily be used as a single stage press as you learn. Put the advancing rod in and you have an "auto-turret". The dies are held in place with a removable turret and change over is seconds if you have extra turrets with dies left in them from the last time. Literally, seconds.

Get the Cast 4 hole turret. You will not be disappointed. As a matter of fact, if you buy it and don't like it or it doesn't work for you, I'll buy it from you for what you paid for it. There, money where mouth is!

(Which is a WHOLE lot better than putting (keeping) one of your feet there!)

p.s. try kempfgunshop.com. Their prices are usually the cheapest and they have special kits put together. No, I'm not affiliated with them.
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  #6  
Old 02-03-2011, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matsu View Post
RCBS is the way to go

I agree 100%. Had mine for over 10 years, built like a tank.


augy
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  #7  
Old 02-03-2011, 08:23 PM
Beemer-mark Beemer-mark is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smith crazy View Post
If I could make a suggestion. I wouldn't waste time with a single stage press. What I would get is the Lee Classic Cast TURRET press.

It can easily be used as a single stage press as you learn.
I'll second that. I have a Dillon Square D progressive for 45 acp, a RCBS single stage (my very first press) and the Lee Classic Turrent Cast. The RCBS is great, but really over engineered. The Classic I use like a single stage but it is really handy to have all the dies in place and adjusted ONCE. I use the RCBS rarely anymore. The Lee stuff is almost under engineered but it does the job.
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  #8  
Old 02-03-2011, 08:52 PM
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I've used a Lee Classic turret press for three years and no problems or faults. They are simple and easy to use. I think it depends on how much you use them. I've reloaded a couple thousand rounds, but some will do much more with their presses. If you don't do a huge amount, Lee is probably cheaper and will do the job. But as the saying goes, you get what you pay for, so I would assume the higher priced ones are somewhat better.
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  #9  
Old 02-03-2011, 09:04 PM
Bat Guano Bat Guano is offline
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R.F. Wells C press, $12.65, built to last. Oops, that was in 1962.

The RCBS Rock Chucker is a pretty good second choice, but I only have about 35 years out of it so far and don't know how it will stand up for the long haul.
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  #10  
Old 02-03-2011, 09:11 PM
Mike, SC Hunter Mike, SC Hunter is offline
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I started with a RCBS Junior press in 1974. It's still going strong. My others are Dillons and Mecs. I use a lot of Lee stuff but I pass on their presses.
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  #11  
Old 02-03-2011, 09:25 PM
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Might want to take a look at the forster coax too. Lots of great features that make loading easier..captured spent primers, universal shell holder and lightning fast die swap out..
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  #12  
Old 02-03-2011, 10:18 PM
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for me RCBS all the way.....
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  #13  
Old 02-03-2011, 10:23 PM
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I had an RCBS Jr before and I have to say that I am really impressed with my Lee Classic Press. I have loaded thousands of rounds with the Lee and not a hitch.
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  #14  
Old 02-03-2011, 10:28 PM
gmiller0737 gmiller0737 is offline
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I started out with the RCBS over 20 years a go & It was good,Moved to a Lee Turret Press & for what I do 90% Handgun Ammo I really like the Lee Better,Either Lee or RCBS Will turn out good ammo.
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  #15  
Old 02-03-2011, 10:40 PM
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Get both; it's good to have at least 2 presses. I'm sure that when you reloaded in the past things would come up from time to time. It's easier to set up a new press to do minor/other reloading things rather than change a press in the middle of a project.

Used presses are a dime a dozen right now. Buy 2 used presses & use the money you saved on primers, powder, ECT.
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  #16  
Old 02-03-2011, 10:41 PM
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My first press was a Rock Chucker and i guess it will be my last one.
Never a problem. Some fancier but none better.
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  #17  
Old 02-04-2011, 10:49 AM
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I am in about the same position as you. I started getting things together to reload again after not having done so since the early 70's.
I had good stuff then. C-H CHampion press, Ohaus Duo-Measure, Ohaus 10-10 scale, Lyman TC dies. As i started pulling it out and assembling it, it was all good as new.
However, as I started using it, I have gradually replaced it with new. Lee Classic Turret press, new scale, just about all Lee 4-die sets, Lee powder measure.
The Lee is just so handy to use. I am still using it as a single stage, but have bought a primer feeder for it (frozen in at the Denton, TX UPS since Monday) and will probably start trying as an auto-index.
I know some of the other brands are really built well, but I can't see that the final product from them will perform any better than from my Lee. It seems to me that Lee has been able to determine what is important, and what is not important in designing reloading products. About the only thing Lee had when I was reloading before was the $10 hand loader, which was my first equipment.
AND, the price difference is ridiclous.
Before anyone jumps on me and tells me that the others will last a lifetime, let me say that I am 74 years old, and I expect the Lee to last my lifetime too, even tho my Dad is 97 and my Mom just passed away at 94.
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  #18  
Old 02-04-2011, 11:42 AM
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the way i look at it is both presses will do what you want them to do, (the turret press is the way to go) also just think of all the money you will save by getting the lee, money needed for power, primers,bullets and such....
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  #19  
Old 02-04-2011, 11:48 AM
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I’ve used many reloading presses over the years. Single, turret and progressive type. Pacific “C” frame, RCBS -RC-, Lyman Crusher, Spartan Turret. Lee 50BMG, “C” frame, Pro-1000 and Classic Turret. Hornady AP- LNL, Redding 7-hole turret and Dillon, both Square D and 550. And after all these years of reloading most of them are gone other then Redding 7-hole Turret and Dillon Square Deal. Redding for my rifle and “special project” reloading and Dillon for all my pistol jobs. I have an enjoyable memory of Lee Pro-1000. It was a good AP press for a “volume” pistol shooter (1000-1500 rounds per week) like I was back then. Anyway, going back to an “O” press…I really dislike RCBS priming system on RC model press. Love the Lee toggle priming system and spend primer catch setup. All said and done…I, (just as the other member said) personally, wouldn’t go back to an “O” single stage. A quality turret and an AP press is the way to go!
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  #20  
Old 02-04-2011, 01:01 PM
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As a suggestion on RCBS, you might want to give their number a call, as they do have factory seconds that they sell at pretty reasonable prices. I'Ve been told that some of the factory seconds are actually display models that they used for shows. I ordered an Automatic Bench primer from them, and had it delivered for $25 less than I could find it anywhere else, and it looks new.
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  #21  
Old 02-04-2011, 01:13 PM
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I've always been a RCBS guy for single stage. My old RS-2 is still going strong, after many decades. For auto presses I am a strong Hornady L-N-L fan and have 2.

I think today, if I were looking for a good single but possibly thinking of faster loading capability in the future, I agree with Smith Crazy that the Classic Turret Press is an option I would definately consider. It seems to be the best compromise of both worlds.
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  #22  
Old 02-04-2011, 01:28 PM
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If you must single stage then the Rock Chucker is a tank. But I highly recommend the Lee Classic Turret. I haven't even touched the RC since I started using the turret. I keep it at the ready for rifle reloading only.
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  #23  
Old 02-06-2011, 05:56 PM
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The weekend warrior can't wear either out. Get the one that has the best deal.
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  #24  
Old 02-06-2011, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forrest r View Post
Used presses are a dime a dozen right now.
I'm not finding any good deals on used presses around here. Maybe I'm not looking in the right places.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smith crazy View Post
p.s. try kempfgunshop.com. Their prices are usually the cheapest and they have special kits put together. No, I'm not affiliated with them.
They do have a special Classic Turret kit, but it doesn't come with all the stuff the Lee kit has... It seems to have the better steel and iron press, and it comes with a die set and an upgraded priming system (I think). But, it looks like it's missing a few tools (chamfer tool, primer pocket cleaner, trimmer cutter and lock stud) and a powder scale. I'm just learning about reloading, so I don't really know how important some of those "missing" parts are or how much better some of the "upgrades" are.
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  #25  
Old 02-06-2011, 09:11 PM
Skip Sackett Skip Sackett is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sean79 View Post
I'm just learning about reloading, so I don't really know how important some of those "missing" parts are or how much better some of the "upgrades" are.

The only thing you cannot live without, at least in my opinion, is the scale. Now, Lee's isn't the best BUT it is better than nothing. Measuring volumetrically is fine but setting up you need a scale.
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  #26  
Old 02-07-2011, 12:19 AM
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Thanks. Not to hijack the OP's thread any further, but I'm guessing this info. is probably useful for anyone getting into reloading... What are the:

1) chamfer tool,
2) primer pocket cleaner,
3) trimmer cutter and lock stud?

I know that, all together, they only cost 11 dollars, but are they tools a new reloader doesn't really need? Honestly, the 11 dollars isn't the issue - just not sure how important these tools may be in the process (after all, they're not included in the Kempf kit).
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  #27  
Old 02-07-2011, 06:31 AM
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The primer pocket cleaner is just what it says. A tool to clean out the primer pocket. Something not needed for range fodder handgun loads. Benchrest rifle? Yes.

The other two items have to do with case trimming. The chamfer tool is to remove the burr that comes from using the trimmer cutter with locking stud (setting and maintaining length). Again, something not needed for the average handgun shooter.

If you purchase new brass, they might have a place in your arsenal of tools. If so, all one has to do is spend the extra $11 and get them.

My suggestion is to get a good manual before you take off reloading. The Lee, Lyman are both good for the new reloader. The most important thing about them is in the front though. Make sure that gets read before you start loading! A word to the wise.
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  #28  
Old 02-07-2011, 07:15 AM
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I have a Cheap Lee single mounted to a 2"x6"x16" that I take to the range along with a set of scales , power trigger to work up loads for the rifle or pistol. Set up on the bench and go for it.
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  #29  
Old 02-07-2011, 02:24 PM
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I have an old RCBS single stage and I thought it was just fine until I saw a video on youtube;

Hickock45 reloading on a Dillon progressive .

Do your self a big favor and watch him load those 9mm`s and listen as a completed shell falls into the hopper with each step.

And to think I am still placing a single primer at a time -What`s wrong with me???
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  #30  
Old 02-07-2011, 02:36 PM
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I haven't read all of the posts, so this may be a repeat. I really don't like the new RCBS Supreme. This press is significantly larger than the old Rock Chucker and was enlarged for todays large magnum rifle cartridges. The extra ram throw makes a very long stroke for reloading handgun cartridges. So, unless you reload the long magnum rifle cartridges, look for one of the older Rock Chucker presses.
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  #31  
Old 02-07-2011, 02:45 PM
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Cabelas currently has a rebate offer posted:

$10.00 Mail-in Rebate with the purchase of $50 in RCBS products. Valid through Mar. 31, 2011.
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  #32  
Old 02-07-2011, 03:08 PM
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i have been loading from 1969 to present day, you get what you pay for. on a scale of 1-10 lee is 1 rcbs is 10+ i have a rock chunker it was made 1973 and a rcbs 2a it was made from 1959-63 it is a large scale rock chunker. they will out last me.
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  #33  
Old 02-07-2011, 07:07 PM
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I guess I'll be a little different even though it wasn't in your list, but, I got a Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Single Stage Press for Christmas and I love it. Very solid and I like the bushing setup for multiple calibers.
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  #34  
Old 02-07-2011, 07:39 PM
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Lee Classic Cast is made from surplus US steel (railroad rails) in Wisconsin. RCBS I believe is cast in China.
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  #35  
Old 02-07-2011, 11:58 PM
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I own some RCBS equipment. It is some good stuff. But until they decide to leave California for a more gun friendly state, I can not in good conscience buy anything more from RCBS. I don't want my money contributing to fill the coffers and tax base of a bunch of gun hating liberal politicians. But that is just me. As goes California, so goes the nation.
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  #36  
Old 02-09-2011, 06:25 PM
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RCBS for sure.
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  #37  
Old 02-09-2011, 07:16 PM
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Lee makes good stuff.

Targetslayer
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  #38  
Old 02-10-2011, 01:00 PM
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After I bought a Lee Classic Turret to speed up my reloading, I liked the way it handled spent primers so well that I bought a Lee Classic Cast single stage for rifle reloading chores. Ended up liking it so well that I sold my used RCBS Rock Chucker at the local gun show for what I had paid for it. I like that the Lee's are made in America from American steel.
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelgun1958 View Post
Lee Classic Cast is made from surplus US steel (railroad rails) in Wisconsin. RCBS I believe is cast in China.
I thought it was in low gravity on the backside of the moon!!!....geeze!
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  #40  
Old 02-10-2011, 08:45 PM
Sully Sully is offline
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Originally Posted by RidgwayCO View Post
After I bought a Lee Classic Turret to speed up my reloading, I liked the way it handled spent primers so well that I bought a Lee Classic Cast single stage for rifle reloading chores. Ended up liking it so well that I sold my used RCBS Rock Chucker at the local gun show for what I had paid for it. I like that the Lee's are made in America from American steel.
It does matter to me if the cast iron is cast in lower Slobovia...its a better product and will outlast the stamped Lee loaders ten fold. I have both brands...with a Dillon 550 alongside
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  #41  
Old 02-10-2011, 09:05 PM
chingachkook chingachkook is offline
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Originally Posted by smith crazy View Post
What I would get is the Lee Classic Cast TURRET press.

It can easily be used as a single stage press as you learn. Put the advancing rod in and you have an "auto-turret". The dies are held in place with a removable turret and change over is seconds if you have extra turrets with dies left in them from the last time. Literally, seconds.

Get the Cast 4 hole turret. You will not be disappointed.
Skip you convinced me, I just ordered the Lee 4 hole Classic Turret Press. I've been using a single stage press since around 1963, but often wondered about those turret presses and soon UPS will be bringing me my very own. Thank you Sir!
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  #42  
Old 02-10-2011, 09:20 PM
Skip Sackett Skip Sackett is offline
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Thank me AFTER you use it!

Using the Lee loader as the bottom of the comparative scale and a Dillon 1050 as the upper end, the Lee Turret is probably at midrange. Both in quality and production ability. One thing it will do, work just as designed. If something goes wrong, a phone call in the first two years will get you new parts. They are good about that.

The thing that really sells me on the Lee Turret is that it can be used as a single stage press too but with the dies stored in the tool head. I don't know how many folks remember the Lyman Spar -T. That press only had one head but could store 6 dies, 2 3 die sets for pistol or 3 2 die sets for rifle. Kinda the same thing with the Lee only the turrets can be swapped out muy pronto.

Not to mention, they are relatively inexpensive.

One word to the wise, the little square plastic index thingy. Make sure you don't try to go backwards with the handle all the way up and maintenance it like the instructions say.

Use it safely!
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:44 PM
RidgwayCO RidgwayCO is offline
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"It does matter to me if the cast iron is cast in lower Slobovia...its a better product and will outlast the stamped Lee loaders ten fold."

Not sure about castings from lower Slobovia, but the Lee Classic Cast is not "stamped". It's made in Wisconsin from cast American steel (used train rails I believe).
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:56 PM
Rule3 Rule3 is offline
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Originally Posted by chingachkook View Post
Skip you convinced me, I just ordered the Lee 4 hole Classic Turret Press. I've been using a single stage press since around 1963, but often wondered about those turret presses and soon UPS will be bringing me my very own. Thank you Sir!
Here check out this review. I have one also and load pretty much every handgun caliber and 4 rifle calibers. Buy your extra turret plates at Natchez as the are cheapest. Once you set up it a snap to change calibers.

Real Guns
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Old 02-10-2011, 11:03 PM
Skip Sackett Skip Sackett is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RidgwayCO View Post
"It does matter to me if the cast iron is cast in lower Slobovia...its a better product and will outlast the stamped Lee loaders ten fold."

Not sure about castings from lower Slobovia, but the Lee Classic Cast is not "stamped". It's made in Wisconsin from cast American steel (used train rails I believe).
Um, a wise man once told me this, it has been hard to live by, I have to admit.

Quote:
"Never argue with an (fill in the blank). Someone standing nearby won't be able to tell which one is which."
Lower Slobovia or Ohio or Wisconsin or, China for that matter, if it fits my budget and will do the work I want it to do with minimal repairs, I consider buying it.

If it performs to my expectations, I will consider buying another.

It is a matter of focus. We need to stay FOCUSED on the issue. A cast press is not a stamped anything and a Lee loader is not a Lee Classic Cast Turret press.

Apples to apples, not pineapples.
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  #46  
Old 02-10-2011, 11:35 PM
chingachkook chingachkook is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OCD1 View Post
Here check out this review. I have one also and load pretty much every handgun caliber and 4 rifle calibers. Buy your extra turret plates at Natchez as the are cheapest. Once you set up it a snap to change calibers.

Real Guns
OCD1,

Thank you Sir! I read your link and then saved it to my files for future reference.

Sorry to say that I ordered three extra turret plates with the press to accommodate the other calibers I reload for now, but should some new caliber handgun come along, like the 32 S&W Long I've been eyeballing I will remember Natchez for future purchases.
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Old 02-11-2011, 05:43 AM
Skip Sackett Skip Sackett is offline
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Don't be afraid of ebay for that kind of stuff either. There are still "stores" on there that have LOTS of reloading stuff. From Lee to Dillon. Throw in the "garage cleaning" folks and you can come up with a good deal on something that cannot go "bad".

FWIW
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