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Thread: Lee Turret Press - How Good?

  1. #1

    Lee Turret Press - How Good?

    I have a friend who is going to start loading for 243, 7mmRem Mag & 9.3x63. He wants a cheap press that he can leave his dies fixed in, all set up.

    On paper the Lee 4 hole Classic Turret press looks like it may do the job for him, if he gets a couple of turrets for it.
    Does anyone have practical experience using one & what are the positives & negatives of the design? - He doesn't want to use it as a progressive press - simply as a turret that can be manually indexed.
    I've never had a good look at one of these presses & wonder how rigid & repeatable the indexing turret system really is. The base & toggle system is quite good I think - comments are invited.

    I'm more in favour of a single stage press as these are most rigid by design, a possible variant would be one with "Breech Block" inserts. The trouble with this option is the cost of the adapters - my friend would need nine or ten to have one for each die that he will use.

    Ian

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Yorric View Post
    I have a friend who is going to start loading for 243, 7mmRem Mag & 9.3x63. He wants a cheap press that he can leave his dies fixed in, all set up.

    On paper the Lee 4 hole Classic Turret press looks like it may do the job for him, if he gets a couple of turrets for it.
    Does anyone have practical experience using one & what are the positives & negatives of the design? - He doesn't want to use it as a progressive press - simply as a turret that can be manually indexed.
    I've never had a good look at one of these presses & wonder how rigid & repeatable the indexing turret system really is. The base & toggle system is quite good I think - comments are invited.

    I'm more in favour of a single stage press as these are most rigid by design, a possible variant would be one with "Breech Block" inserts. The trouble with this option is the cost of the adapters - my friend would need nine or ten to have one for each die that he will use.

    Ian
    Had one. Gave it away to a newbie.
    I would advise a single stage without inserts. It only takes seconds to screw in a die to the stop ring. Practice makes perfect and soon it will become like second nature. I have one turret press permanently set for 357 magnum and 38 Special. The closet thing I have to a press with 'inserts' is a pair of Forester Co-Axials that I just push the pre set die into from the side.

    Keep it simple.~Muir

  3. #3
    I agree Muir - I too only use single stage presses - I have 5 -- Lee hand press, Pacific ("O" frame), Lyman Spartan, RCBS (RC2) & Forster Coax & am more than happy to reset the dies each time in any of them, although it isn't necessarry on the Forster - My friend has a bit of a hang up about setting dies so I'm trying to find out which way to go for him. I may end up insisting he uses his brain a bit more, teach him how to set dies up & give him the Pacific!

    Ian

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Yorric View Post
    I agree Muir - I too only use single stage presses - I have 5 -- Lee hand press, Pacific ("O" frame), Lyman Spartan, RCBS (RC2) & Forster Coax & am more than happy to reset the dies each time in any of them, although it isn't necessarry on the Forster - My friend has a bit of a hang up about setting dies so I'm trying to find out which way to go for him. I may end up insisting he uses his brain a bit more, teach him how to set dies up & give him the Pacific!

    Ian
    Ian,
    Truly. Make him man-up to the task. If he can't get the mechanics of setting up dies in order he's going to be lost down the road. It's not hard and really, locking die rings work; even the O-ring seated Lee units. The best thing you could do for him at this juncture is go over his place with the Pacific (I had one of those when they were painted red -before Hornady took them over) and have him put on a pot of coffee. Then show him how to set up dies, explaining the logic behind the settings and the relationships of each die part to the others on that particular die. Get the first set locked as he likes them....then trash the settings and explain it to him again as he readjusts the dies, repeating with all his die sets until he is tired of it! I mean, screw the expander ball stem out of place as well.(if possible)

    It will be tedious for you but it beats the frantic phone calls when the die goes the least bit out of adjustment. Ask him to explain the purpose of each part of the process to you as he does it. He will remember it always and on some windy cold night when he's got a brand new set of dies for an untried cartridge, he'll thank you for the hard lessons.~Muir

    (I love teaching newcomers.)
    Last edited by Muir; 27-02-2015 at 03:26.

  5. #5
    'He wants a cheap press that he can leave his dies fixed in, all set up'.


    ​Nice idea but doesn't really work well if you want to produce good ammunition. A single stage press is much much better....follow Muir's advice. ATB
    Blaser K95 Luxus Kipplaufbüchse .25-06Rem. Zeiss 8x56, 110gn Nosler Accubond = Game Over!

  6. #6
    I have one. It is gathering dust after now as I decided that it wasn't up to the task when I wanted more out f my ammo. I'm also planning on getting rid of it. My main press is a Co-Ax now.

  7. #7
    I have one, it came with 2 rifles I bought. It's all i've ever used and I don't have any complaints. I can see how accuracy could be better, for my purposes it's fine I don't chase extreme accuracy. My BLR 243 and cz 22H are sub Moa with my home loads, and it's quick to load 3 different caliber's when your short of time.

  8. #8
    The classic (cast) turret is a pretty decent press and has the headroom to produce .308 etc using the indexing option that the standard turrets don't have. If he's producing ammunition for hunting it will do a perfectly acceptable job.

    However, as has been said above, a good quality single stage press is simplicity itself and more consistent in operation. I use a Lee Classic Cast Breech Lock Press for my larger rifle rounds and it gives excellent results. The breech lock feature is handy for quick changes and gives very consistent die placement.

    As to the cost of the breech lock adapters, even here in the UK they're only £7.50 for a pack of 2
    There's room for all Gods creatures ........... right next to the mash and gravy

  9. #9
    Chuckle!
    I haven't even told my friend that I am even considering the turret option - He just keeps mentioning it.
    I suppose I just want confirmation whether the turret indexing mechanism is accurate enough or not & that it is man enough to resize his biggest cases (7mm Rem Mag). With that question answered I can point him in the right direction.

    Murrayb - in which way did you find the turret press inferior? Can you measure the difference in results when comparing it to the "better" press?

    Trouble is my friend is a very slow learner & can forget details if he doesn't think about or apply them regularly. We live 650 miles apart & our time together for me to teach him is limited.
    I'll be giving him a thorough going through the reloading course that I use to do training for the BDS. After a day at that I think he will be ok. --- The one saving grace is that although he is a slow learner he does remember safety related stuff very well. - I will obviously concentrate on die settings for him. It will be fun whichever way it goes.
    Muir - I too like providing the training - It's how I keep myself updated. The questions that newbees ask always stimulate me to learn more - You never learn more than when you teach!

    Ian

    p.s.
    I do like my Forster a lot but there are a couple of areas that I want to improve on it & will get round to doing soon.
    The side toggle links get in the way & I will replace them with some bannana shaped ones to give better side clearance / access & the cast iron platen edges are a bit sharp & need filing round. Both minor annoyances - It's a pity that Forster don't make the press that way - It wouldn't cost them much.
    To make it better ergonomically, I plan also to make a base to lift the press up higher off the bench & get it set back from the front edge.

  10. #10

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