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Lee Classic Turret Press

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Russ P, Mar 2, 2017.

  1. ksdhd21

    ksdhd21

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    Speed is no thing I want a part of in reloading. Never had a mishap on either press so knock on wood. I like the hobby and the time is never wasted in my mind. Just because people do it different doesn't mean to bash them or their equipment. It's funny how Dillon guys bash the hell out of lee.
     
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  2. Uncle Don

    Uncle Don Wood butcher

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    While I've got nothing against Dillon, the OP was asking about the CT. I make a point to stay out of Dillon threads because my info is so limited. However, it does seem that there can't be a Lee thread without a pitch that Dillon is a better choice.

    Even though I know that C4W has Dillon(s), his statement about why the CT is a good choice, even if you own a progressive was better stated than I've been able to do.
     
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  3. unclebob

    unclebob

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    Sorry if you thought I was bashing Lee products. I probably have convinced more people in getting the Lee LCT than something else. I had a LCT and a friend of mine that works at the indoor range wanted to buy it. I wanted to try the LM. First mistake was selling the LCT and the biggest was buying the LM. After getting a face of whatever from setting off about 20 primers. And after working up about 20 rds. for testing and had a KB loaded on the LM, it is now in a box under my computer table. Yep it only took me about a million rds. Loading to have a KB and it was on a Lee LM. Yes i now it was my fault. The primers no.
    There is a lot of Lee products that I like and use and also suggest to other people to use. I will also suggest in products in not what to get including some products from Dillon.
    I know that not everyone needs a Dillon press. I was only pointing out the difference in how long it takes to load on a LCT and a Dillon.
    Some people have the time to reload and others don’t and only think of the price difference in making the decision on what press to buy.
     
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  4. fredj338

    fredj338

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    You can go as slow as you like with ANY progressive, but you can only go so fast on any turret. FWIW, pulling the handle is not weight lifting. It only causes repetitive motion injuries over time, plus is just pure boredom.:drool:
     
  5. fredj338

    fredj338

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    IT's also funny how Lee owners feel like they are being bashed?????? Some of us just like to point out facts & then you can decide on your own if it applies to you.
    Many new reloaders or guys wanting to "upgrade" from a ss press only think of progressives as high volume tools, but never think about the amount of work saved. You can go really slow on a 550, as slow as any turret. Just pointing these things out so people can make a better informed purchase.

    I teach on ss presses so the student can learn how to set up dies. I NEVER recommend a ss press as a starter for any serious pistol shooter, just painfully slow. I do recommend the LCT if someone needs to start on a budget, but they will eventually get a progressive to feed their pistol hobby. Unless you just have gobs of free time, a turret is just too slow for even 200rds a week, about what most competition guys are running thru. So I recommend starting on a progressive & using it as an inverted turret to start.

    Even at 500rds a month, cost of equipment should NOT be your driving factor. Quality of ammo, which is achieved on ANY press, then amount of work, then volume should be your driving issues. At 500rds a month, 6000 a year, you pay for your LNL, 550 or 650 progressive in a year of just 9mm. You also only pull the handle something like 6060 times vs 20-24,000 times on a turret. We won't even go into the time saving thing as you can control that & go as slow as you like.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
  6. Overkill777

    Overkill777

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    I like my Lee classic cast turret because it's easy and inexpensive to have multiple turrets ready to go. Makes changing out calibers really easy. It's a good press for loading low to medium volume of multiple different calibers.

    I will probably get a progressive eventually just for 9mm which is my highest volume caliber. But I will always keep my Lee turret for all other pistol rounds and my rock chucker for precision rifle rounds.
     
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  7. hardpan

    hardpan

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    I don't have a dog in this fight having not reloaded in 35 years or so with my rcbs junior, but currently contemplating a revisit. I do compliment the participants in this discussion for honest evaluations and I think comparison to the 550 is fair as it seems to be the standard to which others are judged. Thanks.
     
  8. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    I made it from a 550 handle that I bent using a jack and drilled and tapped for the roller.
     
  9. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    You guys arguing about Dillon over LCT are missing the point. I don't think most people who use the LCT are loading huge amounts of ammo with it. It's a press used for lower volume.
     
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  10. Russ P

    Russ P

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    And there you hit the nail on the head! I will probably load 500 rds. of 7.62 x 39 this year and maybe about the same 38 special for my lovely wife.

    My main reason to reload is for better accuracy for my Mini 30. I want to shrink the groups from 3-4 MOA to 1-2 MOA and I don't think I can pull that off with the factory ammo I've been using.

    I'm thinking about 9 mm too. I shoot a lot of that in my 19 and 43.

    Russ
     
  11. dudel

    dudel

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    My point was that not everyone who tries reloading sticks with it. Not everyone enjoys the hobby. If you find you don't like it, and don't want to reload, a Dillon is easier to sell with the least loss of investment.

    You might be loading a small volume now, but as new reloaders quickly learn, they end up shooting more. 500 a month can easily turn into 1000 a month. Then what?
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
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  12. Uncle Don

    Uncle Don Wood butcher

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    So by that logic, Dillon is the only logical choice for every type of loading, correct? I'm guessing any other choice is just wasted money.
     
  13. WeeWilly

    WeeWilly

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    I think if you were just speaking brand, the choice of Dillon would always be the preferred choice. I think Lee makes some good equipment that can fill a need met for a better price, but they also build some very subpar products. When it comes to CS, while I have had some good CS from Lee, I have also had some very poor CS. Only RCBS stands on the same shelf in my mind when it comes to CS with regard to Dillon. I think Dillon is even above RCBS but it really is splitting hairs.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
  14. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Define lower volume? I probably wouldnt even bother reloading if we are talking less than 1000rds a year of anything. For some, 500rds a month is a lot, for others that isnt much. A turret handles 500rds a year easily, a month, not so much, a week, gorget it.
    Again, not always about volume or time but also less work. 500rds a month, 6000rds a year. That is 18-24,000 handle pulls. On a decent progressive, 6003. Then over 10yrs, so it is about efficiency, whether you go fasr or slow. The cost seems to put so many guys off but over 10yrs of reloading, its a pittance.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
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  15. Uncle Don

    Uncle Don Wood butcher

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    Like anything, we make choices and live with the benefits/disadvantages. That's the point, it's a choice made by the individual regardless of which way they go. It doesn't have to be either contentious, or one way.

    As mentioned, I don't disagree that volume needs a progressive, but like C4W, I use mine for that and the CT for rifle and lower volume handgun. By the time I make a caliber switch for 50 rounds on my progressive, I can have them done on the CT which is a bit less than 15 minutes. For rifle; on some I use the auto index (neck sizing) and others, remove it and batch load. Not sure why that is so objectionable to some.
     
  16. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Which is why i still have my 550 after buying the 650. I still use the ss press for some things, but the 550 is easy & fast to switch calibers. The slowest part is swapping the priming system, so if you only wanted say 50rds & you have the wrong size priming arm, just prime off press & load accordingly.
    Lots of ways to skin the cat. A 550 has far more versatility than the lct but yes, it cost more but then you get more for that $$.
     
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  17. Uncle Don

    Uncle Don Wood butcher

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    In loading 50 rounds, I don't see the point - I can switch quicker, more inexpensively and not have to prime off the press on the CT. By the time you do as you said, you'll still have the same time invested, or possibly a bit more than 13-14 minutes. You may also need to change shell plates.

    I don't need a SS because it's built in by simply removing the index rod which takes maybe a full second. That said, the 550 in that fashion you stated is right for some and I acknowledge that.

    The whole point (dead horse) is that people should be able to make their own choice without challenge, regardless of press color. We agree on 95% of things regarding reloading, this is the only sticking point to my recollection. Take the last word, I have to move on from this.
     
  18. dudel

    dudel

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    Certainly not wasted it if serves your purposes. Problem is that for a new reloader, they really don't know how much or how they will end up using the press.

    How many of us started out on a single stage because that's all we thought we needed? I did.
     
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  19. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    Congrats on your order. If you need help setting it up, you should start a new thread about that and I'm sure we can all help :)

    I've had my Lee Classic Turret for about 6 months now. I like it very much. Built myself a little bench, and mounted it so I can sit down while using it. I only have to stand to pour powder into the hopper once, and then can sit and relax the entire time.

    As for the thing about some saying it is only another $300 to get a better/faster progressive press. Well the whole LCT setup only cost about $250 for everything needed to reload (the press itself is only $115 of that). So if we ever decide to get something else in the future it's not like we have a lot invested in the LCT. And if we jumped up in brand/cost, we might still want the LCT in the corner for some jobs anyway, or to give to a son. Either way, only $250 need be spent to learn on. I would not have gotten into reloading at all if it had cost me an additional $300 on top of that.

    Anyway, I'm reloading .38 special and .308. For the .38 I use the auto index and with 4 die mounts on the turret: [1] resize and deprime (and the primer dispenser mounted at top of the LCT works at that moment, feeding at the upstroke and seating at the downstroke), [2] auto drum powder drop, [3] bullet seat, then finally [4] the crimp. All 4 of those pulls are done on one shell, then take the completed cartridge out and put in a new empty shell. Brass prep is minimal before starting, just a wipe around the outside with lube so as to clean them and lightly lube them (some don't do this step at all for straight wall pistol). I do that to a box of 50 before starting, then I wipe all 50 again when done, that's my entire brass check. As I wipe each one, I'm quickly inspecting the final product. I use a loading block tray for the holding of them before and after, and then after that final wipe they are placed in an ammo box for the range. I only check the powder weigh on the first and last for a box of 50 that I'm creating. For the powder weigh, I'm pulling the cartridge off the turret to do the check and then putting it back to complete the bullet seating. During my first box of 50, I had checked 10 of them in a row but they had so little variation that I now check the only first and last in a run of 50. The powder drop with auto drum using Win 231 is very accurate and consistent.

    With .308, I bought an extra turret so I'm leaving all the .38 dies setup, and just swap the turret for a changeover. As I swap from pistol to rifle, I pull the index rod out; and when going back to pistol I put the rod back in. The whole change only takes 1 minute, including changing the shell holder, primer arm, and primer feeder (they are change because of going from small pistol primer to large rifle primer).

    The reason for me to pull the index rod out is because with rifle, I load in a batch and don't have the turret auto-index. I had tried the auto drum powder dump with H4895, but it is not accurate with that powder (because of the stick shape of the powder). Accuracy is relative, and the powder drop works well enough for some rifle shooting purposes. But if wanting 1 MOA, you might instead choose a batch method using the LCT as if it were a single stage press.

    Prepping brass for rifle is more involved than straight wall pistol. I clean the inside with a brush, then lube and wipe the outside, and lube the inside neck. Then I run the entire batch through the resizing/depriming die. I check them in a Lyman gauge for length and head space. If they need trimming, I use a cordless drill and the Lee trimmer attached to that. When gauged ok, I clean the primer pocket, and brush the inside again if I trimmed, because of shavings.

    Then in a batch I prime them all using the LCT. Note that with the index rod out, the turret doesn't auto rotate, so you just turn it by hand to the station you want to line up, and there is a detent built into the LCT to line up each and it holds in place.

    With the shells all in a loading block tray, I use a Lee dipper to scoop powder from a small powder jar (that I labeled for this) onto the scale. The dipper that came with the dies works for me. Very easy to know how much to dip, and the weight is close, then I add or take away a couple grains to get the exact weight. Then pour from that scale into a shell, using a little powder funnel designed so as to sit perfectly on an empty shell (shell is in a reloading block tray that holds 50, so it can't tip over). Each shell is filled individually like that, very quick and easy to do, and each powder measure has been scale weighed exactly by that process.

    Next, turn the LCT to the bullet seating die, and run them all through that. Then if you want a crimp, run them all through that die. Finally, wipe and visually inspect each completed cartridge as they are placed in the range ammo box.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
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  20. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Well exactly. I started reloading 40yrs ago. All that was really available was a ss press. Progressives & even turrets were very expensive compared to today. Thanks Mike Dillon. I still have my rcbs jr press, it is a training tool today as I have moved well beyond it's practical applications, especially for handguns.
    A turret is a logical first press today, cheaper than they used to be, but I have no issue recommending a good progressive for any handgun reloader. Even semi serious, 500rds a month, it just saves so much work & eventually time. Even for a retired guy, time is important, but work saved, maybe even more so as we get older. I have reloaded more than 300K rds in that 40yrs & truly don't love doing it anymore. I do like bullet casting & time saved reloading lets me cast & coat bullets.
     
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