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Discussion Starter #1
I missed out on the Lee turret thread running last month. I'm reloading with a single stage, wanted a Dillon, looked at my wallet, getting a Lee. Anyone had experience with the press? And what is the 4 hole turret all about. You have a sizer, seater, possible crimper and...?
 

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I understand that you can't afford a Dillon right now, but know ahead of time that you are going to need a lot of patience with a Lee. I bought a Pro 1000 nearly 8 years ago, and I keep using out of pure irish stubborness more than anything else. The 4 stations are generally sizer, powder drop, seater, and crimper. If there is any way for you to wait, do so and get the Dillon. Lee presses are very unforgiving!
 

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Yikes!!! I have a Lee Turret Press (3-station) that I have used and loved for a few years now. It has never given me problems, and even though it is not as fast as a true progressive set up, I feel I have better control over all stages.
 

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I also like the Lee turret press and believe this is the only Lee press worth looking at.

The 4 hole is a waste since you'll end up with either an empty station or be horribly frustrated trying to use that disgusting excuse for a primer feed. Better to get a 3 hole unit and resize in batches with the auto-index feature removed (takes about 10 seconds), then prime using a hand priming tool. After that, stick the auto-index rod back in and load semi-progressively.

You can handle at least 500 round a week with this press(I can do about 350/hour with primed cases) and I'd be shocked if you could ever manage to break anything. I've loaded at least 40,000 rounds on mine and prefer to use it over my Dillon 650 unless the quantities involved are over 1000. I've still got some plastic spare part that I've yet to use. The Dillon is a fine tool, but I prefer to reload, not be a machine operator.

The auto-disk powder measure that would come with the $100 or less turret kit will do an excellent job, mainly because the turret rotation will cause the powder to settle really consistently.

I've got presses from every manufacturer out there I think, and am of the opinion that no press OR brand is made for everyone. The number of reloaded ammo failures I've been seeing lately tell me that not everyone should run out and buy a Dillon(certainly not as a first press) as not everyone is disciplined enough to use one.

Back to the Lee press. The 4 hole feature is supposed to be for the sizer, expander, bullet seater, and factory crimp die. While this is possible, the priming "mechanism" is simply a "T" shaped piece of metal that requires you to place a primer on it by hand each time. I can't see that this is a practical way to do things. Resize in batches, tumble the cases, hand prime them, then load using the expander/powder die, the seating die, then the factory crimp die.
 

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I knew WP would elaborate better than I could due to time restraints, but I agree completely with all his comments.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys,
I feel bad gaffing off the others on the Dillon advice, but I just don't have their shooting lifestyle. I like to K.I.S.S and basic. As long as I can produce rounds a little quicker than what I can with a single stage and can save time by just switching out turret sets, I think I will be moving forward.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Through Midway, I can piece together for $117.03:
1. 3 hole turret w/auto index
2. .45 ACP die set
3. Case prep tools
4. Auto disk powder measure
5. 2 extra turrets (for .223, .22-250)

NOTE: Midsouth was more expensive this time.
 

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The Dillon is good advice for those who can afford it, and load enough to make it worthwhile. When I get sick of reloading, then I crank up the 650 and knock out rounds in a hurry. Basically I shoot the stuff, then reload it that evening on the turret press. The 650 comes out when I get behind.

I will say that I would never recommend any other Lee press. I don't think their progressives would be worth the effort and I know their C frame press is crap as my daughter broke the one I bought for portable use before I ever tried it. 2 year olds should not be able to break presses. The hand held press looks and feels really cheesy as well.

Their case timmers, dies, turret press, and auto-disk measure is all that I would recommend.

Keep the turret press well lubed and be very gentle with the screwdriver when removing the hopper on that auto-disk measure (too tight = broken).
 

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I'm with Walking Point,
I had a Lee Turret and had no problems but the primer tool (auto prime is what I used to fix the problem)Best bang for the buck...I did .38 aand .45ACP...ROFI
 

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i have single stage presses a lee turret and dillon 550. the singles are stored, the lee does 50 round or less batches, and deprimes everything, the dillon for 51+ batches - dillon has over 400,000 rounds loaded with little drama
 

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Discussion Starter #12
How exactly does Lee figure in case prep with the 4 hole turret? If you were to size then you have to trim and chamfer before the next pull step which would be the powder drop. Or is this already figured in with the process?
 

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Gargoyle,
What caliber(s) are you reloading? I agree with everything Walking Point said above. I used a Lee single stage press for a couple of years and moved up to the Lee 3-hole Turrent press. I recommend using a hand priming tool. Others may disagree, but I never encountered a problem with the Lee hand priming tool in over 20K rounds.
When I got heavily involved with competition shooting, I broke down and bought a Dillon. I now use this press exclusively. Nonetheless, I have nothing negative to say about the Lee Turrent presses. Follow the advice above and you should be in pretty good shape.

good shootin', gf

[This message has been edited by gunny (edited 06-05-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm all ears on the advice given, I was trying to figure the logic in the 4 hole press. Why, in theory, it would be quicker than or better than a three hole. There has to be a purpose behind the production of the 4 hole. I don't see Lee forgetting about case prep.
 

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Case prep is something that not everyone believes in.

From what I've seen, Lee came up with the 4 hole turret so people could use the factory crimp die. Lee tends to assume people use the turret press to: Size/decap - prime - expand/charge - seat/crimp. The extra hole is so they can: Size/decap - prime - expand/charge - seat - crimp.

I believe RCBS and Lyman actually think people use their turret presses in the same manner, using the turret to move the dies until a single case is transformed into a completed round. I guess they never tried to move those turrets a few hundred times.

Are you getting the turret pres kit or buying the pieces individually? If individually, then look seriously at the Pro Auto-Disk powder measure. Disk changing is much easier and you won't have to worry about breaking the hopper overtightening screws. Midsouth has it for 29.84 versus 18.55 for the standard measure. Well worth the extra money if you plan on changing disks on a regular basis, but it can be upgraded later.

One note on the turret press: I've bent a piece of aluminum and use a 1" C-clamp to cover the front opening on the press when I use it to size/decap in batches. I've found the spent primers tend to fall on the floor on fill up the opening where the priming "thing" goes. Even if the priming "thing" is in place, a lot of primers end up on the carpet.

These days I tend to resize using an RCBS Partner press, although my old Spar-T does a great job as well. It has 6 sizing dies on it and I've rigged up a plastic funnel to catch the spent primers. A piece of surgical tubing connects the funnel to a plastic container that will hold many thousands of spent primers. It's very unusual for a primer to miss the funnel. It woudl be cool if it I didn't have to use duct tape to hold the funnel in place.

The Lee hand priming tool is a good value, but the thumb handle (for lack of the actual term) either breaks or the whoseit connector wears out so that primers are seated too high. I load around 60K rounds a year, so having a tool break during the middle of a session is a pain. You could easily get cheap spare parts from Lee, but I only remember that after breaking a part in the middle of a session, so it does me no good.

I prefer the RCBS hand primer because it lets me use my entire hand to prime the case instead of just my thumb, hasn't worn out after at least 50K uses, uses standard shell holders, and the tray cover doesn't fall off.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Turret press is in the Mail! I thought the pro auto disk was for the pro 1000 progressive, so I went with the regular auto disk. Auto disk will be primarily used for the .45. I can drop powder manually, measured from my digital set-up, for
my 22-250 and 223. I will really benefit by being able to switch die sets in and out in the complete turrets with less die resettings.
I [email protected] hate the Lee primer tool. I'm going with the hornady "plier grip" set.

[This message has been edited by Gargoyle (edited 06-06-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Originally posted by Walking Point:
Case prep is something that not everyone believes in.

Isn't this one of the signs that the Rapture is near!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well, whether I wanted it or not, I got a 4 hole sent to me instead of the planned 3 hole. Guess I got a 4 hole at the 3 hole price.

My opinions so far.

Positives:
1. Sturdy
2. Love the interchangeable turrets.
3. Nice and smooth operation.
4. Can adjust the pull handle
5. 4 hole looks good for pistol

Negatives:
1. As mentioned, weird primer throw, ejecting straight down
2. As mentioned, primer T-bar is a joke

I'll have to actually use the auto disk measure to see if it is worth switching between turrets.
I got exactly what I wanted, a small upgrade form what I was working with before. Still in control of the steps and get to save time by not having to constantly switch check the position of dies.




[This message has been edited by Gargoyle (edited 06-08-2001).]
 

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Watch the auto disk powder measure. Mine would occasionally miss a charge. If a cartridge with no powder is fired, the bullet will lodge in the barrel. If you don't realize what happened, clear the "malfunction", and fire another round, you may have pistol parts salad for lunch.

My Lee 1000 has been known to blow a primer, which blows the whole tray, which is an attention getting experience. Wear your glasses, and don't have any open powder anywhere nearby.

The 1000 has been dishonorably discharged, and is available to anyone who wants to come get it and sign a waiver saying I am not responsible for any damages.

I have been using Lee products for a long time. The dies are great, especially the collet neck sizing die. Bullet moulds and hand priming tools are great. Trim tools and balance beam powder measures are adequate. But the auto disk powder measure and progressive presses you can have -- literally.
 

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Avoid any of the flake powders with the auto disk measure. The large flakes tend to bridge in the measure. Stay with something like ww231.
 
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