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Thread: standard press with quick change bushings or a turret?

  1. #1

    standard press with quick change bushings or a turret?

    Another in the continuing series of questions I ask about reloading kit prior to buying some.

    Looking at presses and I'm unsure between a single stage press with a single die and a turret press. As I understand it from reading books, each time you put in a die, it needs to be adjusted for correct placement, which involves tweaking with it. Alternatively you could use something like the locknload bushings so that once the die is correctly set, it's an easier change out. Alternatively, you use something like the Lee turret press and set the dies for each calibre up in their own turret which you can easily change out.

    Are there advantages/disadvantages to each of these options? I don't plan to load lots of different calibres, only .308 for now but potentially .223 at some point in the future. The Lee Classic Turret seems to receive very favourable reviews compared to many other presses and seems very convenient for setup. The quick change bushings though mean similar setup convenience can be brought to a regular single stage press such as the classic cast press and they're about the same price. Just wondering what would be reasons for choosing one over the other.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    IMHO setting up a die only takes seconds & you get perfectly repeatable performance as long as you do it properly each time. So a simple single station press is more than adequate. Best option if you are a beginner.
    More complexity means more can go wrong & pre-set dies open up the possibility of assuming they are set & screwing up.
    Quick swap systems on a single stage press work ok but cost more than plain screw in types.
    The only turret press I have owned was big solid Redding one. - Very expensive when new & it didn't make better ammo than my single station Lyman & RCBS Rockchucker 2.
    Light weight turret presses are available from Lee - never played with one so can't comment other than as above - although more complex means more opportunity for errors or breakdown.

    Ian

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by mr_magicfingers View Post
    Another in the continuing series of questions I ask about reloading kit prior to buying some.

    Looking at presses and I'm unsure between a single stage press with a single die and a turret press. As I understand it from reading books, each time you put in a die, it needs to be adjusted for correct placement, which involves tweaking with it. Alternatively you could use something like the locknload bushings so that once the die is correctly set, it's an easier change out. Alternatively, you use something like the Lee turret press and set the dies for each calibre up in their own turret which you can easily change out.

    Are there advantages/disadvantages to each of these options? I don't plan to load lots of different calibres, only .308 for now but potentially .223 at some point in the future. The Lee Classic Turret seems to receive very favourable reviews compared to many other presses and seems very convenient for setup. The quick change bushings though mean similar setup convenience can be brought to a regular single stage press such as the classic cast press and they're about the same price. Just wondering what would be reasons for choosing one over the other.

    Thanks.
    I am in a similar boat and have watched (much to my girlfriends dismay) loads of you tube clips on both single stage and turret press use. I was sold on the auto indexing system until I noticed that the turret seemed to shift up very slightly as the ram hit the die (Lee Turret). Now this might be ok as by then the die has done it's work but instantly put me off. I will look out the video if I have time. Might have been old and worn but I would rather have a simple system and no moving parts when it comes to reloading.

  4. #4
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    The criticism of turret presses, such as the Lyman, for rifle calibres was that as the press in not an "O" style but a "C" style (by not being a closed O shape but an open C shape) than it would not stand the stresses of repeated full length re-sizing of rifle case. OK for pistol cases but not good for rifle cases. Eventually, it is believed, you get wear where the rotor is attached to the top of the pillar on the press and as a result the die eventually rests at an angle when the case enters it.

  5. #5
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    You can't beat a good solid single stage press I used one for many years before getting a Dillon 550 I use it for pistols only and still use the single stage for rifle, the Redding T7 is by far the best turret press on the market the Lyman is second and I don't rate the Lee
    But you will find you need the single stage even with a turret, if you want to speed up die changes then go for the Hornady single stage with the breech lock system, I wait until I have a large amount of cases to process then resize and prep them at one time and
    only load what I need so i don't have a lot of loaded rounds on hand, changing dies is not time consuming a few twists is all it takes,
    and once they are setup they don't move, only adjustment need is if you change projectiles, I know some guy's that have banks of Dillon presses setup on their loading benches just because they can, keep it simple you make less mistakes

  6. #6


    Around and about 55 seconds watch the turret move as the case enters the die. I might be overly concerned but I would not be 100 comfortable with that level of lift in the turret.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by enfieldspares View Post
    The criticism of turret presses, such as the Lyman, for rifle calibres was that as the press in not an "O" style but a "C" style (by not being a closed O shape but an open C shape) than it would not stand the stresses of repeated full length re-sizing of rifle case. OK for pistol cases but not good for rifle cases. Eventually, it is believed, you get wear where the rotor is attached to the top of the pillar on the press and as a result the die eventually rests at an angle when the case enters it.
    That's strange, I've got a Lyman Spartan "C" style press - It's 30 years old & has been used all those years sizing rifle cases up to 30-06 & 303 with no flex or brakage. It's a strong cast iron build & you'd have to be really brutal to break it! - Not the same as the cheaper alloy versions out there made by other manufacturers.
    Also the old Redding turret press I used to have was extremely heavy & strong & didn't flex when used similarly up to 30 cal rifle. It was made to close tolerances & was in no way not up to the job or fit for purpose - unlike some of the crappy light weight alloy offerings out there.

    Ian

  8. #8
    That video was really interesting. I've just bought the Challenger kit myself. I can see how the turret press would be a huge advantage if you're loading a lot of rounds at a time

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Woodsmoke View Post
    That video was really interesting. I've just bought the Challenger kit myself. I can see how the turret press would be a huge advantage if you're loading a lot of rounds at a time
    Would be keen to know what you think of the challenger. I've had one in the "basket" for a few weeks but am still not 100%. I'm not keen for a turret cause I am OCD and taking time to check and measure will be easier doing processes in batches rather than round by round in my world.

  10. #10
    I wouldn't worry about the turret moving up a little when you raise the ram. The important thing is that it goes up consistently the same; some people would argue that a little play aids in the self-centering of case within die.
    Even in the best press there's some play in the system. For example when you set up resizing dies, the instruction say something like raise the ram up until the shellholder touches the bottom of the die and then a quarter-turn more. That quarter-turn is to take the slack out of the die/press thread interface.

    Triffid

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