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Lee Turret Press only good for pistol reloading
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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mcat7
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 4:09 am    Post subject: Lee Turret Press only good for pistol reloading Reply with quote

Confused Being new to reloading and reading several forums to learn all I can. I hope that learning from other’s mistakes I’ll be able to make interesting new mistakes for the amusement of all.
I’m new to reloading and have been reading all I can to learn what are the best ways of doing things. I have a question that I can’t find the answer to and hoped to find out what I need to know here.
I’ve been seriously thinking of getting a Lee 4 hole Torrent Press because of the easy change between calibers. I like the idea of setting up the dies then refining the adjustments for best results in my rifles. Having a turret for each caliber or even each rifle might be a good idea to keep from making mistakes and blowing myself up in setting up the dies every time.
Yesterday I found an article that said that the Lee Turret Press is only good for pistol ammunition reloading. To quote the article: “The overhead clearance of a Lee Turret Reloading Press is limited to 2.312" overall cartridge length because anything longer will still be in the die when the carrier begins to rotate.”
30-06 cartridge case length is 2.494” and the length of the loaded cartridge is 3.34”. The empty cartridge case is .182” too long, and a loaded cartridge is 1.028“ too long. This could tip over cartridge making it impossible to load 30-06 cartridges with the Lee 4 hole Turret Press.
Is the information correct? If it is I’ll have to go to a single stage press.
Any help and advice will be appreciated.

mcat7
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Aloysius
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 4:42 am    Post subject: Re: Lee Turret Press only good for pistol reloading Reply with quote

It's ALWAYS better to start your reloading on a single stage press. That way you'll learn to look to check and control. A single stage press is always safer and more accurate.
Alltough I own a Dillon 550 for several years and I have everything at home to also reload rifle ammo on this press, I've never done it. I still do all my rifle ammunition on the Lyman or the RCBS single stage press. And I'm convinced that most shooters not using a full-auto machinegun don't use a progressive press.

So I would advice to go for the single stage now (and start saving money so that you can ADD the best available progressive press afterwards).
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SingleShotLover
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:00 am    Post subject: Re: Lee Turret Press only good for pistol reloading Reply with quote

Aloysius wrote:
And I'm convinced that most shooters not using a full-auto machinegun don't use a progressive press.

Well, I don't have a "machine-gun" but I do shoot an awful lot of .45 ACP, .44 Magnum and .45 Colt cartridges, so my progressive does get a pretty good workout.

I do agree that for rifle cartridges a single-stage press is probably the best way to go. I never really like the idea of any form of movement or "slop" in turret-type presses when trying to load the most accurate rifle rounds I can. I have used a Lee Turret Press in the distant past (and still have it) and loaded .30-06 cartridges with it with no problem. Maybe Lee has changed their dimensions.

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RePete
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:08 am    Post subject: Re: Lee Turret Press only good for pistol reloading Reply with quote

I agree with the other 2 posters.

The only rifle caliber worth progressive loading for is the .223 for an AR type rifle. .223 bolt action then a single stage is the way to go.

I have a Dillon 1050 that I load 4 pistol caliber on (I've got to get the .223 conversion), but for my bolt guns I use an RCBS Rockchucker that's '70's vintage and one caliber I load on it is the .338LM.

I started with a Lee turret for all reloads, then the Lee Progressive 1000 (20 + years) for pistols only, picked up a used RCBS RC, and then the 1050.

Good luck.

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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:01 am    Post subject: Re: Lee Turret Press only good for pistol reloading Reply with quote

Add my vote for the single stage press to begin with. I've used the same RCBS press since I got started reloading in the mid-70s. For a quicker change over you might look at the Hornady kit >> www.hornady.com/store/...assic-Kit/

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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:08 am    Post subject: Re: Lee Turret Press only good for pistol reloading Reply with quote

Though I feel one should start with a single stage press (Lee makes an excellent cast iron "O" press). The Lee turret cast iron press can be used as a single stage press by removing the vertical shaft and manually turning the turret. The Cast iron four hole Lee turret has a 4" clearence and is quite capable of loading .30-06 and longer cases.

If you deside to go with Lee Presses. Spend the few extra bucks and get the ones with the cast iron base. Not the aluminum ones.

I have both. There are many uses for the single stage press.

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Last edited by Bushmaster on Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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Suzanne
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:10 am    Post subject: Re: Lee Turret Press only good for pistol reloading Reply with quote

Don't know if you've seen Lee's web site but they have a description that states;

The long stroke allows rifle cases over three inches long to be loaded using the automatic index. Deactivate the Auto-Index and cases over 4 inches can be loaded.

Here's the turret press link. Hope this helps, but I have to agree with the other's, a single stage for rifle, and it's really a matter of keeping track of what you're doing and paying attention to details. Bottle necked cases need to be prepped more than straight walled cases. A pistol case can be sized with a carbide die (no need for lubing the case) but a bottle neck case needs to be lubed if you're full-length sizing. I would full-length size my first loading of a cartridge and if I'm only shooting that caliber in one rifle my follow up reloading would be only neck sizing the case. Although I do have a rifle that requires full length every time. No need to lube for just neck sizing.

I guess what I'm tryin to say is your main concern is not going to be speed. There are a few steps to follow that you need to do repetitively, accurately and uniformly. I would not recommend starting off with a multi function press where you need to set up each die specific to a cartridge, load a few cases and find out later that something was set up wrong, or you got your set-up instructions for one die mixed up with another die.

You are more apt to catch a flaw if you do each step separately and progress from there. Each step has to be fine tuned, to get it right. Once you are confidant with the loading procedures and have got some reloading under your belt, you might want to get that turret press. Once you start reloading with a single stage, you'll see what I mean. There are lots of little details, lots of things to keep track of (write down and keep a log) and you don't wanna get bogged with sensor overload, when it can really hurt you.

You can get some great reloading info. on the Lee site and also many reloading manuals will have step by step instructions. YouTube also has videos that are sort of remedial but if you watch enough of them you'll find that it's not as difficult as deciphering how-to articles.

Personally I've considered going to a turret press for pistol ammo but decided to get a powder meter that fits on my single stage press and that's all the speed I need to get cartridges pumped out. I've been very satisfied with the arrangement and find that I have no need for speed. I only load about 50 at a time, either rifle or pistol anyway, so it doesn't take long anyway. If something is screwed up then I only have 50 bullets to pull and do over (which is a lot of pulling).

thas
my
2 cent

Suz

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Aloysius
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:51 am    Post subject: Re: Lee Turret Press only good for pistol reloading Reply with quote

SingleShotLover wrote:
Aloysius wrote:
And I'm convinced that most shooters not using a full-auto machinegun don't use a progressive press.

Well, I don't have a "machine-gun" but I do shoot an awful lot of .45 ACP, .44 Magnum and .45 Colt cartridges, so my progressive does get a pretty good workout.


You are right, I should have had added "for their rifle ammo". I myself use the Dillon 550 for 9 mm Para, .38 Sp, .357 RM, .44 RM and .45 ACP Smile
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Ominivision1
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:37 am    Post subject: Re: Lee Turret Press only good for pistol reloading Reply with quote

Also if your just starting out, I would recommend

1. 2 or 3 loading manuals, (Lymans, Sierra, Hornady)
2. Reloading dies for your caliber, (carbide dies optional).
3. Case lube (imperial)
4. Safety glasses
5. Hand operated primer tool (optional)
6. Powder scale
7. Powder funnel
8. Dial indicating caliper
9. Case trimmer with pilots for your caliber
10. Deburring tool
11. Shell Holders
12. Powder trickler
13. Bullet puller

Later on you can add more goodies like a case tumbler for cleaning your
cases. Loading blocks, or make your own blocks, case gauges, but from the list above, it should get you started. I would recomend the Lyman 49th edition reloading book as the first book you get and read the first 116 pages and then turn around and read it again. Good Luck and happy reloading. Smile

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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 2:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Lee Turret Press only good for pistol reloading Reply with quote

By the way, search this site some and you'll find some good reloading advice!

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gelandangan
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 3:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Lee Turret Press only good for pistol reloading Reply with quote

Pumpkinslinger wrote:
By the way, search this site some and you'll find some good reloading advice!

+1 TO THAT..
it almost seems that some of us here reloads more than go out shooting..

me included Sad

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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Lee Turret Press only good for pistol reloading Reply with quote

Gelan, I can reload at home but have to drive 35 miles to the range!

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camel
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Lee Turret Press only good for pistol reloading Reply with quote

Best advice I could suggest is to start slow, keep everything as simple as you can, then check everything twice. I started with little Lee loader kit and scales, then bought new when necessary. You dont have to get everything before you start. These blokes and gals on here are a true fountain of information, and gladly and freely give great advice. Ive only been on here short time and have already learned heaps. Never be afraid to ask advice. Thanks to all

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Elvis
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Lee Turret Press only good for pistol reloading Reply with quote

lee put out a good starter kit
I bought one 2nd hand and have never looked back.
a sigle stage press
dies
hand primer
case deburring tools
powder funnel
beam scales
thats about what I started with I now have a powder thrower to make things faster.
as the others have said start slow and double check everything.

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Vince
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:22 am    Post subject: Re: Lee Turret Press only good for pistol reloading Reply with quote

I agree wholeheartedly with everything that the others have said MCat.

A Progressive/Turret press is great for loading volumes of cartridges, but as Aloys says, unless you are loading for a machine gun there really is no need for one...a quality Single Stage Press is a much better option. Less chance of making mistakes and it is also a great learning tool because you do the same action with every case before you move onto the next step...repetition is a good teacher. You also have to opportunity (a most important one) to check all of your charged cases for uniform charge weight/capacity before seating a projectile.

Now that the business is done...welcome aboard mate...grab a beer and pull up a stump...yer welcome at the campfire.

Cheers, Vince

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