Lee Classic Turret Press - Shooting Sports Forum


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Old 03-01-2017, 03:53   #1
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Lee Classic Turret Press

Do any of y'all use this press for reloading? The price seems right to get started out to see if I want to move forward.

Mostly going to reload 762 x 39 and maybe 38 sp. for the woman.

Russ P
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Old 03-01-2017, 05:07   #2
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Been using one for nearly a year now. I started out with the Lee Challenger Breech Lock Single Stage Press first. If had it to do all over again I would have started with the Lee Turret. I really like mine & recommend it. Search youtube videos & you can learn a lot about it.
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Old 03-02-2017, 09:27   #3
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Thanks for the reply Greyfox. I appreciate it.

It doesn't seem like there is a lot of traffic here. I posted the same on another gun forum in the reloading section and got 3 very positive replies and 1 it sucks reply.

Everybody loves the Dillons. I'm not sure if I'm ready to dive that deep into reloading yet.

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Old 03-18-2017, 05:11   #4
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It works great, you will not be disappointed. I do bulk 223 and 40 S&W.
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Old 03-18-2017, 05:45   #5
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I used one for my first press. It worked very good. Found I didn't use the auto indexing too much. Mostly used it as a single stage press. It did a very good job. After about five years I moved on to a Co-Ax. You can't go wrong with a Lee Turret Press.

If you want to know if a press is good, you can check on ebay for current prices for used ones. If they are going for almost as much as a new one, then the press is a good one.
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Old 03-18-2017, 07:20   #6
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I ended up with two of them. One is mounted to the main bench. The other I made into a portable setup I haul to the range. Just have to swap turrets once everything is dialed in.

The Lee Auto Drum powder dispenser with the riser die is a great complement to the press.
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Old 03-18-2017, 07:24   #7
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This is my portable setup. At the time of the pic I was loading 45-70.

BWM and Rockys Pop like this.
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:43   #8
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That looks like a nice portable set up flash. I just started using mine this last weekend. I loaded up some 762 x 39 using H4198 with the .311 Sierra 125g.

I ordered some SST .310 Hornady that just came in. I hope to load some of them this weekend.

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Old 03-22-2017, 09:54   #9
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Very nice setup.
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Old 03-22-2017, 13:48   #10
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I have one that has loaded thousand,s of rounds and is going strong. I load from a 32 long up to a DW 375 and from 223 up to a 30.06
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Old 04-08-2017, 13:47   #11
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I just dove back into reloading after a 25+ year hiatus. I went with the full Lee Classic Turret press kit with the auto drum pro, scale, etc for about $200. Can't beat that value. So far I've probably loaded 5,000 rounds of 9mm, 38, 357, 30-30, 308, and 7.62x39. I've had great luck with everything except the 7.62x39 for my mini-30. I just can't seem to find a load the gun likes.

I can easily crank out 400 rounds of 9mm after dinner before bed time (i blow through a lot of it between pistols and a CZ Scorpion carbine) but rifle rounds I weigh one at a time and use it as a single stage press.

The auto drum measure seems pretty accurate but some times can take 20 throws before it settles into an accurate powder drop.

Btw the next thing you'll be trying to figure out is a good case trimmer. For the 7.62x39 don't waste your money on the Lee Quick Trim deluxe. I cannot get it to work reliably or consistently on that stubby case (works fine in 308 and 30-30 for me)
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Old 04-13-2017, 05:13   #12
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Hey SBH, I have the Lee Quick Power trimmer and have found it to be accurate to .001 or .0015 as a rule. I use light pressure while trimming/chamfering. I start a low speed battery drill then move the case up into the die/trimmer as it spins.

I handload for my Mini 30 with H4198 with 24.5 g and SST .310 bullets and have cut my group sizes in half. I am going to bump up some more and see if I can do better.

Russ P
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Old 04-13-2017, 08:58   #13
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Originally Posted by Russ P View Post
Hey SBH, I have the Lee Quick Power trimmer and have found it to be accurate to .001 or .0015 as a rule. I use light pressure while trimming/chamfering. I start a low speed battery drill then move the case up into the die/trimmer as it spins.

I handload for my Mini 30 with H4198 with 24.5 g and SST .310 bullets and have cut my group sizes in half. I am going to bump up some more and see if I can do better.

Russ P
Interested to hear what kind of groups you're getting with he 4198. I could not get good results, but didn't try the SST bullets. I wanted to find a cheaper plinking load with Berrys or Xtreme bullets (or bulk Hornady FMJ) and best I found was maybe 5" at 100 yds. I now have a load with the 123g FMJs and 25.0g A1680 that is shooting 2.5 to 3" groups at 100.

Good to hear the LQT is working for you. I hate the stupid thing; I find that the chamfer/debur blades just continue to cut the case long after the limit stop is reached, which causes horrific inconsistencies. I finally gave up and removed those blades and just use it as a trimmer and chamfer/deburr by hand as a separate step. I still find that the case mouths are trimmed unevenly (not totally flat) but that might be because im using the hand crank model.
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:20   #14
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Anyone have a single stage press they want to get rid of? I also need a trimmer, deburrer, and I think that's all I really need. Maybe a rock tumbler. And some old 7.62x39 dies. I need them.
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:30   #15
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Anyone know if I can use this RCBS single stage press with a set of Lee dies?
https://www.midwayusa.com/product/53...s-short-handle
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:35   #16
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Originally Posted by octhed View Post
Anyone know if I can use this RCBS single stage press with a set of Lee dies?
https://www.midwayusa.com/product/53...s-short-handle
Thats just the handle (not a press). It would be a heckuva deal if it was the whole press! :-)

Here's the press:
https://www.midwayusa.com/product/22...le-stage-press

And to answer your original question, most reloading presses use Standard 7/8"-14 threaded dies, so the dies are usually interchangeable (especially in single stage presses).
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Old 04-17-2017, 23:30   #17
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OK so I bought this:
Lee 4 Hole Turret Press with Auto Index Value Kit
https://www.midwayusa.com/product/62...ndex-value-kit
...seemed like a good deal.

This kit seems pretty sparse. Is there anything I'm going to find out I need that I don't have???????????????????? I'll be reloading 7.62x39.

Of course I also ordered the dies and bullets, and I'll get the primers and powder local.

I have lots of once-used brass. Do I really _have_ to get a rock tumbler? Or is there some other, perhaps more tedious way to get the cases clean?
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Old 04-18-2017, 12:19   #18
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Originally Posted by octhed View Post
OK so I bought this:
Lee 4 Hole Turret Press with Auto Index Value Kit
https://www.midwayusa.com/product/62...ndex-value-kit
...seemed like a good deal.

This kit seems pretty sparse. Is there anything I'm going to find out I need that I don't have???????????????????? I'll be reloading 7.62x39.

Of course I also ordered the dies and bullets, and I'll get the primers and powder local.

I have lots of once-used brass. Do I really _have_ to get a rock tumbler? Or is there some other, perhaps more tedious way to get the cases clean?

That's not quite as robust as the slightly more expensive "Classic" turret press, but it will work to get you started, I'm sure.

With regard to tumbling brass, if you're trying to save $$ right now, you don't really need a tumbler. You can just wash your brass with some Dawn and something with a bit of acid (heck, I'll bet you could squeeze lemons in there and it would work).

Personally, if I'm not going to tumble brass (first step cleaning with filthy range pickup for example) I wash in a bucket with warm water, a few drops of Dawn, and some Barkeepers Friend

The Barkeeper's Friend has a fine abrasive and oxalic acid which really shines up the brass nicely. I put about 3 TBSP for about 3 lbs of brass and stir it with a wooden paddle and swirl it around then let it sit for about 15 or 20 minutes and repeat, then rinse well.

A "media separator" like the Frankford Arsenal one are SUPER handy for getting loose dirt out (before washing) and then draining (after washing). Much better than using your Wife, girlfriend, or Mom's spaghetti colander. :-)

Note that for only about $30 more than the cost of the separator, you can also get the same separator in a kit that includes the vibratory tumbler and some media and polish.

One last thing you'll need to invest in is a good set of calipers to make sure your cases are in spec before reloading. Then you have a choice - either buy a case trimmer (see MANY other threads on that subject!) or just separate the ones that need trimming into a "future" pile for when you do eventually buy a trimmer.

Opinions vary, and I'm just returning to reloading after a long absence, but I personally like to sort my brass by headstamp and then quickly measure for length, setting my calipers to a bit UNDER max length (assuming that resizing will lengthen some cases just a tiny bit). Anything that fails the test (i.e. won't fit into the caliper) goes into a "trimming" pile for when I'm sitting in front of the TV or listening to music. The ones that pass go into the "processing" pile where they will be run through the press.
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Old 04-19-2017, 03:33   #19
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Originally Posted by SBH2OMan View Post
Interested to hear what kind of groups you're getting with he 4198. I could not get good results, but didn't try the SST bullets. I wanted to find a cheaper plinking load with Berrys or Xtreme bullets (or bulk Hornady FMJ) and best I found was maybe 5" at 100 yds. I now have a load with the 123g FMJs and 25.0g A1680 that is shooting 2.5 to 3" groups at 100.

Good to hear the LQT is working for you. I hate the stupid thing; I find that the chamfer/debur blades just continue to cut the case long after the limit stop is reached, which causes horrific inconsistencies. I finally gave up and removed those blades and just use it as a trimmer and chamfer/deburr by hand as a separate step. I still find that the case mouths are trimmed unevenly (not totally flat) but that might be because im using the hand crank model.
I'm at about 2-3" MOA at 100 yds. also. I am going to bump up some more of the H4198 to see if I can do better.

I can live with that if I have to. Its a fun gun to shoot.

Russ P
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Old 04-19-2017, 03:35   #20
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OCTHED, you might want to get the Lee Auto Drum powder measure for reloading rifle. I've heard and cannot state myself that the disk loader doesn't go high enough for larger rifle rounds.

Russ P
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Old 04-22-2017, 05:52   #21
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Mid Way USA has some good brass cleaners ultrasonic by Lyman and Quick-N-EZ case tumbler use walnut in the 2 one and i like the Lyman cleaner for the ultrasonic
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Old 04-22-2017, 09:41   #22
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Originally Posted by Russ P View Post
OCTHED, you might want to get the Lee Auto Drum powder measure for reloading rifle. I've heard and cannot state myself that the disk loader doesn't go high enough for larger rifle rounds.

Russ P
Yes, the Auto Drum comes with two drums, one small capacity and one large capacity. I bought two Auto Drums and leave them set up with the different drums, on small, one large.

Lee advertises the use of many different drums to keep them dedicated to one powder, one charge. The drums are cheap so you can certainly do that. I don't like the idea of changing out the drums.

What intrigues me about the Auto Drum is you can buy a brass drum assembly for it. Not cheap at $45 each but I can see where it would take the measure to a whole new level.
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Old 04-23-2017, 19:48   #23
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I have owned all the Lee presses EXCEPT for the Lee CAST CLASSIC presses and they all suck in my opinion. The Lee LOADMASTER is a load of SOMETHING alright! The editor of RIFLE magazine said, in print, that he has never seen a working LOADMASTER. I haven't either. Oh I keep hearing about them, everyone who can't be pinned down has one that works, but every time I am invited to see this 8th Wonder of the World, it is always "packed away", "kids/wife sick", "going out of town", or some other lame excuse, EVERY SINGLE TIME!

Lee has a two year warranty they DO NOT STAND BEHIND! Everyone else has a LIFETIME WARRANTY they DO stand behind! Worth a few extra bucks to me to buy quality that the company stands behind!

Buy a RCBS RockChucker (my 40+ year old press still works as good as new!) to start. Used Lee presses are dirt cheap for a reason! Dillons can be sold for about the 80%-90% of new, because the buyer knows they can get the press fixed or updated with out a run around.

Just my INFORMED $0.02.
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