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Old 09-06-2018, 11:54 PM
smoothshooter smoothshooter is offline
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Default Turret Presses

I have no experience with turret presses.

What is the proper method for use?
Put a brass hull in the shellholder and run it up and down as you rotate the various dies around to size, expand case neck, dump powder, etc., then remove the hull from the shell holder, or run all the brass through for one function at a time, and only rotate the turret when moving on to the next operation?

I guess I should say that I know either method will work, but what is the most common method?

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Old 09-07-2018, 12:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smoothshooter View Post
I have no experience with turret presses.

What is the proper method for use?
Put a brass hull in the shellholder and run it up and down as you rotate the various dies around to size, expand case neck, dump powder, etc., then remove the hull from the shell holder, or run all the brass through for one function at a time, and only rotate the turret when moving on to the next operation?

I guess I should say that I know either method will work, but what is the most common method?
Either way will work. I do both methods. You can ask 10 reloaders and everyone will have a different method.

I have a Redding T-7 Turret Press and use it allot to do load development. Also, I have a Dillon RL550B progressive press for large run of batches and sometimes I get "bored" running my progressive press.

So, I set my turret head up to run as a turret press. Most of the time, I will just turn out a few hundred.

I also use my turret to load for my lever action rifles. As to a turret press, there is just so much that it can do. I can even size lead bullets on it after I get done casting.

I have a few turret heads, so change over take very little time. But, there is one thing that I don't due on my turret press that I have read and seen others on youtube do. I will never have two different caliber of dies on my turret at one time. Just not my cup of tea.
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Old 09-07-2018, 01:19 AM
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I use both methods depending on the process.

Deprime and resize in one action. Hand prime then case flare/powder drop, seat bullet and crimp bullet.

I do have multiple Cali res in one head but only rifle deprime/resize as only one die at a time is required.
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Old 09-07-2018, 07:46 AM
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I run two Lee Classic Turret presses and generally keep the Auto Index feature engaged to run a piece through from raw case to finished round in 4 strokes. This method produces 4 rounds/ min or 150-160 rounds/ hr (with breaks for replenishment, coffee refills etc) .
The issue with running a batch of brass through one station at a time is that you end up handling each piece of brass 6-8 times. That takes time and robs efficiency. Still, Turret presses are versatile and it is nice to have that option for experimentation /small batches.

If your Turret press has Auto index (or if you rotate it by hand between strokes) you only handle the case twice ( unless you decide to interrupt the cycle.) Also, it is much easier to get into a rhythm this way. It goes much faster and still gives you the control that Turret presses are famous for.

If you go to U tube and search "Turret Presses" you'll find some good Demo video's there. Lee's website has some too.
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Old 09-07-2018, 07:56 AM
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I have different turrets for each caliber I load so changing from one to another is a matter of seconds. For handguns I use the 4 die sets. Being retired now I'm not really in a hurry so the turrets work fine. For rifle loads I still use the RCBS Rockchucker.
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Old 09-07-2018, 11:16 AM
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I use the same methods as wee hooker and joeintexas. To me the biggest advantages are speed and safety. With the auto indexing method you are much less likely to throw a double charge since you are running one round at a time through start to finish. My production rate is the same as wee hooker's with 150 to 180 rounds per hour at a relaxed pace. I am very tempted to purchase one of the new Lee progressive's but my Lee turret works so well it's hard to justify. I do shoot quite a bit though so maybe one day.
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Old 09-07-2018, 11:28 AM
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I also use the auto index on the LEE Classic Turret Press.

The only addition I have is a case kicker from Inline Fabrication. It works great and eliminates the need to remove the finished round from the press.
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Old 09-07-2018, 11:44 AM
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As you can see from the members' posts above, there are those that prefer "semi-progressive" loading on an auto-index press. I prefer to "batch load" with my turret (Lee with the auto index disabled) and I normally keep a couple hundred cases processed/primed waiting powder and bullet for each cartridge I load a lot. I feel more control this way, but some like to insert a case, pull the handle a few times and remove a finished cartridge. This is one process that is entirely personal choice, what one is comfortable doing (and each side can easily justify their opinion)...
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Old 09-07-2018, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by castleadslinger View Post
But, there is one thing that I don't due on my turret press that I have read and seen others on youtube do. I will never have two different caliber of dies on my turret at one time. Just not my cup of tea.
I started to agree with you, then recalled doing that exact thing while following an online video of making 45 acp shot shells from .308 brass. It requires 2 or 3 different dies from different calibers, which a turret press was great for.

And they work & feed just fine.
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Old 09-07-2018, 12:20 PM
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I process my brass in steps. Then keep primed brass in containers ready to load.

In the turret I keep as many as 5 seating dies ready to go. I can replenish my loaded round supply at anytime.
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Old 09-07-2018, 12:23 PM
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I like method #2 .
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Old 09-07-2018, 12:52 PM
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What works for me with rifle brass is to deprime and size, clean and reprime. Then place primed clean brass in the turret and charge, bell cases and seat. I shoot 60% lead in rifles.
With handguns I try for all at once. The main help here is a Lyman DPS 1200 that has the charge electronically weighed and is ready when I am, if I pushed the button. If I throw from a measure I prefer to weigh one of every 10 at minimum and that slows the process some.
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Old 09-07-2018, 01:55 PM
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The Lee Classic Turret's auto indexing option makes it a different animal than the turrets made by Redding, Lyman and all the other manufactures I'm familiar with. Lee's is the inexpensive way to almost buy a progressive.

I use my Redding turret one die at a time. Both of my turret heads usually have dies for multiple cartridges installed. It's for efficiency loading different powder charges every 5 or 10 cartridges while working up loads and for rifles that I only shoot small amounts of ammo through. My Bonanza Co-Ax's leverage makes full length sizing effortless but its long handle arc is a nuisance seating bullets so the seating die is left in a turret press head.

I have progressive presses for large lots of pistol cartridges so I do not load complete pistol cartridges one at a time in my turret press. Owners who do not also own a progressive have more motivation to speed up turret press loading.

Speeding up turret press loading reminds me of a C-H (brand) H press I owned before I owned my first turret press. The H press used 4 shell holders on a bar that went up and down under a top piece that held 4 dies. Between handle pulls 4 cases were advanced through the shell holders. Dillion and common ownership of progressives was still off in the future.

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Old 09-07-2018, 02:09 PM
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I started with a Lyman SparT press, then went to a Dillon, and now a Lyman Turret. Like the Lyman Turret as I can put two sets of pistol dies in each turret head. I have three turret heads and can use them to load .38 Special, .357 Mag., .45 ACP, .45 Colt, 9MM, .38 ACP. and .38 Super.
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Old 09-08-2018, 03:18 PM
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So all this discussion brings up a good point. Different folks prefer to use their presses in different ways. Some of that may be driven by user preference . Some by their press's features. So, rather than try to adapt a tool to a task, it is likely better to determine how you want to use your press and then pick the right tool to do it.
At the risk of repeating some of the above, Turret Presses differ slightly but generally offer good flexibility, dependability and control ability. For me the right tool is the LCT but for you (the OP), a different press might fit your needs better. A search here (and on the Net) of any of these models will lead you to lots of discussions on their benefits and drawbacks.
In any case, get one and get started!
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Old 09-09-2018, 06:39 AM
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My first press was a Lyman T press back in the mid 80's and use it one stage at a time for all the brass I load. that way less time to have to move the dies around.It works for me. I also have a single stage press also mainly use it for depriming and sizen the case.Also doing one stage at a time you able to keep track of what is going on with each case easyer.
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Old 09-09-2018, 09:05 AM
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Use a turret press as you see fit.

Many handloaders are experimentally inclined and try a variety of loads in search of of accuracy, velocity, etc. In this regard, the simple versatility of turret machines is equalled only by the slower single stage tools but unmatched by the faster progressive presses.

I've used four progressive presses over several decades of handloading and always seem to return to my 1960s Texan turret press for loading all handgun cartridges. I guess a turret press would work fine for rifle cartridges, but for one loading less than a few hundred rifle rounds per month, my single stage Co-Ax is sufficient.

For one doing no experimental load work and needing to produce thousands of rounds of ammunition per month, a turret press may or may not be the best choice, something the operator will have to decide. Other advantages for the turret press user are the capability of closer examination of cases and primer seating depth as well as general overall condition of loaded cartridges.
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Old 09-09-2018, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by cds43016 View Post
I also use the auto index on the LEE Classic Turret Press.

The only addition I have is a case kicker from Inline Fabrication. It works great and eliminates the need to remove the finished round from the press.
I use the Lee Classic Turret press and use the auto-index feature. I use different 4-hole turret heads set up for different calibers so it's very simple to change to a different caliber.
I picked the most efficient brass cleaning method for me. I do NOT de-prime before cleaning. Some people don't clean their brass.
Step 1. Place brass with used primer in shell holder and de-prime and size on the upstroke and re-prime on the down stroke.
Step 2. Powder. Charge the empty brass with powder and bell the mouth of the brass on the up stroke. Eyeball for powder in the case on the down stroke.
Step 3. Set bullet on top of brass at the start of the stroke and seat bullet at the top of the stroke.
Step 4. Crimp the cartridge on the up stroke. The cartridge automatically ejects on the down stoke because I am using an Inline Fabrication Case Ejector System.
Anywhere between step 2 and step 4 I am picking up another brass shell to be ready to place in the shell holder.

I agree with cds43016. I use a Lee Classic Turret press and I am satisfied with it. The Inline Fabrication Case Ejector System makes reloading more efficient by not having to remove a finished cartridge and is relatively easy to set up. I also use the Inline Fabrication Ergo Roller Lever which saves wear and tear on the elbow. Both additions make reloading easier, more efficient, and more enjoyable. I agree with the other posters regarding the rate of reloading with the Lee Classic Turret (about 150 per hour with pauses/breaks). I would estimate the Inline Fabrication additions improve the rate to about 175 per hour.

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Old 09-09-2018, 12:50 PM
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The most efficient way to run a turret is one round thru the entire process. Same number of handle pulls as a ss press, just less brass handling, so about twice as fast. Before reliable progpressives I yhink thete was a good argument for the turret, but today, the turret is sort of a tweener. Same amount of work as a ss with less production of a good progressive.
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Old 09-09-2018, 01:19 PM
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I don't entirely agree with fredj338. With a turret press you manually insert the case and the bullet. Other than that it's just 4 handle pulls. With a single stage you are constantly changing dies, weighing charges, and performing one step at a time. I was never able to produce 150 to 180 rounds an hour with a single stage press. I was never even able to get half that amount. For those who prefer a single stage just remove the auto indexing rod from a lee turret press and you have a single stage press without the hassle of changing dies all the time.
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Old 09-09-2018, 02:38 PM
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I use a redding T7 press for almost everything anymore. I start off with clean, deprimed brass and I usually hand prime them before hand. I also have my powder measure set up in one of the turret holes. So size, expand, dump, then seat/crimp.
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Old 09-09-2018, 03:42 PM
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Use your turret press any way you want to use it. I use mine more like a single station press. After cleaning the brass, I will size and deprime several hundred cases. Then I will bell them. When I decide to load some ammo for shooting, I will prime, powder and seat the desired slugs. This works for me.

If you will look at the picture I posted in Post# 14 you will see plastic containers on the shelf. These are 13"X10"X3" and hold several hundred cases.
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Old 09-09-2018, 03:42 PM
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The most efficient way to run a turret is one round thru the entire process. Same number of handle pulls as a ss press, just less brass handling, so about twice as fast. Before reliable progpressives I yhink thete was a good argument for the turret, but today, the turret is sort of a tweener. Same amount of work as a ss with less production of a good progressive.
I think turrets are great starter presses to learn on and get comfortable with the reloading process. I started with a Lee Classic about a year ago and have probably cranked out in the low thousands 10mm, .40, .357sig and .45ACP. I plan on sticking with it a while longer and eventually move up to a progressive. Iím still reading about them and doing research before I choose one, but Iím sort of leaning towards a Dillon 650 based on what Iíve read here and opinions given on it.
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Old 09-09-2018, 03:48 PM
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Use your turret press any way you want to use it. I use mine more like a single station press. After cleaning the brass, I will size and deprime several hundred cases. Then I will bell them. When I decide to load some ammo for shooting, I will prime, powder and seat the desired slugs. This works for me.
Does that gain any overall efficiency? What is your specific reason for doing it that way? Iíve always just cranked them out assembly line fashion, cleaned(but not deprimed) case in and finished cartridge out the other end.
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Old 09-09-2018, 03:59 PM
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The most efficient way to run a turret is one round thru the entire process. Same number of handle pulls as a ss press, just less brass handling, so about twice as fast. Before reliable progressives I yhink thete was a good argument for the turret, but today, the turret is sort of a tweener. Same amount of work as a ss with less production of a good progressive.
We are getting a bit off topic here (and it's a topic that's been covered in this forum on numerous occasions) but I would point out that while your last sentence is true, it's not the whole story.
The Progressive gives the reloader a tactile feel ( and view) of the one operation going on on one case at one time. A full progressive has all operations going on on all cases at one time. Yes it's faster but it's harder to view and or feel a mistake . It's also hard to experiment with small batch's , set-up etc. They both have their place in the reloading world. Again, it gets back to matching the tool to what is important to you.
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Old 09-09-2018, 04:24 PM
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Does that gain any overall efficiency? What is your specific reason for doing it that way? Iíve always just cranked them out assembly line fashion, cleaned(but not deprimed) case in and finished cartridge out the other end.
This method works for me. I have had a progressive press (a Dillon) and found I prefer to do each step separately. For me i feel that I have better "control" of the process. Like I stated what ever works for you. The book that I record the ammo I load starts June 21, 1975. That was when I got my SparT and started recording what I loaded. Prior to that I was loading for about 2 years using a Lyman 310 Tool. Maybe that is why I prefer to do one process at a time.

If what you are doing works for you great.
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Old 09-14-2018, 11:48 PM
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I just recently acquired a Lee turret press after some 50 years of chugging along with a single stage press. After I lost my shooting range, I transitioned from mostly rifles to handguns and the turret press is definitely faster for the volume of ammo needed for handguns. By purchasing adequate turret heads and extra powder drums, it is relatively easy to change from one caliber to another. I found the Lee press easy to use after a brief learning period. The powder measure seems a bit quirky but I suspect that it more my not being consistent rather than the product.
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Old 09-18-2018, 12:25 PM
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I don't entirely agree with fredj338. With a turret press you manually insert the case and the bullet. Other than that it's just 4 handle pulls. With a single stage you are constantly changing dies, weighing charges, and performing one step at a time. I was never able to produce 150 to 180 rounds an hour with a single stage press. I was never even able to get half that amount. For those who prefer a single stage just remove the auto indexing rod from a lee turret press and you have a single stage press without the hassle of changing dies all the time.
Same handle pulls was my argument. Yes a turret is faster, but then you are till doing the same work. As far as changing dies, I don't know why this is so daunting for some. Set the lock rings, screw then in & out, takes less than 1min a die, 4m total time to your reloading???
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Old 09-18-2018, 12:26 PM
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We are getting a bit off topic here (and it's a topic that's been covered in this forum on numerous occasions) but I would point out that while your last sentence is true, it's not the whole story.
The Progressive gives the reloader a tactile feel ( and view) of the one operation going on on one case at one time. A full progressive has all operations going on on all cases at one time. Yes it's faster but it's harder to view and or feel a mistake . It's also hard to experiment with small batch's , set-up etc. They both have their place in the reloading world. Again, it gets back to matching the tool to what is important to you.
Yet you are free to run the progressive as an inverted turret. The turret is just that, a turret. So options, I love options.
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wee Hooker View Post
So all this discussion brings up a good point. Different folks prefer to use their presses in different ways. Some of that may be driven by user preference . Some by their press's features. So, rather than try to adapt a tool to a task, it is likely better to determine how you want to use your press and then pick the right tool to do it.
At the risk of repeating some of the above, Turret Presses differ slightly but generally offer good flexibility, dependability and control ability. For me the right tool is the LCT but for you (the OP), a different press might fit your needs better. A search here (and on the Net) of any of these models will lead you to lots of discussions on their benefits and drawbacks.
In any case, get one and get started!
I already have a Dillon 550b and on old RCBS Rockchucker single stage I bought new in about 1971 or 1972.

I just can't make myself trust the automatic powder measure on the Dillon and prefer to charge my brass as a separate operation off the press with another measure and actually look down in each case to be sure the powder charges all look like they come up to the same level. Some of my pistol caliber loads are fired in replicas of 1866 and 1873 Winchester rifles which do not have the strongest actions. One inadvertent double-charge could wreck the actions of either of these fine rifles.
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  #31  
Old 10-10-2018, 11:08 PM
smoothshooter smoothshooter is offline
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Originally Posted by fredj338 View Post
Same handle pulls was my argument. Yes a turret is faster, but then you are till doing the same work. As far as changing dies, I don't know why this is so daunting for some. Set the lock rings, screw then in & out, takes less than 1min a die, 4m total time to your reloading???
I agree.
I have to do many things in the course of the day much worse than spending 4 minutes or so changing dies with pre-set lock rings.
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:35 PM
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We are getting a bit off topic here (and it's a topic that's been covered in this forum on numerous occasions) but I would point out that while your last sentence is true, it's not the whole story.
The Progressive gives the reloader a tactile feel (and view) of the one operation going on on one case at one time. A full progressive has all operations going on on all cases at one time. Yes it's faster but it's harder to view and or feel a mistake . It's also hard to experiment with small batch's , set-up etc. They both have their place in the reloading world. Again, it gets back to matching the tool to what is important to you.
I think you meant to say...
"...The TURRET gives the reloader a tactile feel (and view) of the one operation going on on one case at one time. A full progressive has all operations going on on all cases at one time..."

Didn't you? Obviously the progressive can't do both ONE operation at a time and ALL operations at the same time. Seems to me that the two are mutually exclusive.

FWIW, I also use my LCT to produce a completed round every 4 pulls of the handle. I thought about getting one of those Inline fabrication Ejector kits, but decided I prefer giving each finished round one last inspection as I pull it out of the shell holder and put it into the MTM box.

Last edited by BC38; 10-10-2018 at 11:44 PM.
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