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Old 09-26-2011, 19:29   #1
mike g35
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LEE turret press????

I just got offered the deal of the century on a Lee turret press. I was planning to buy a Dillon but for the price I can get this LEE for I would have enough money left for whatever I want, even a new gun. Are they any good??? I am a beginner, most of you know me, and I only need something simple to start with anyway. I decided on a Dillon 550B (because thats what Brian Eno's suggested) but this LEE comes with alot of extras and its at a price you wouldn't believe. Help me guys, I don't want to make a mistake. I am buying one or the other this very week so time is of the essence.
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Old 09-26-2011, 19:37   #2
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Keep in mind a NEW Lee Turret press complete Kit is only $110 new. And you don't need or want most of what comes in the kit anyway.

For the record the Lee Turret isn't 1/4 the press the 550, if you want better and simple get the Lee Classic Turret.
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Old 09-26-2011, 19:44   #3
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The Lee Turret (that comes in kit form) is perfectly adequate. The Classic Turret is considerably better, though. I have the kit Turret. I do around 200 rounds per hour. It can be a real chore. The dies don't stay tight. The powder measure either sticks or leaks powder everywhere. But it's cheap, and like I said, gets the job done. Though it is not a press you'll end up keeping, it is an inexpensive way to get into the hobby. After your first thousand rounds I guarantee you'll start saving for a Dillon.
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Old 09-26-2011, 19:50   #4
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Mike. Really think you'll be happier with the 650. Don't be askeered. But with all the shooting you and your Dad are doing, you need a higher output (and more dependable) press.

My 550 has gotten the job done, but if I'd known then what I know now (and had the few extra hundred), 650 all the way.
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WTF?! How a cheap can an old, the old fart get?!
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Old 09-26-2011, 20:01   #5
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Ask yourself these questions.

1) How many years do you see yourself reloading?
2) How many bullets a year do you see yourself making?
3) How much do you enjoy using quality equipment?

I still don't remember you saying how much you actually shoot? Just because you have a bunch of race guns doesn't mean you actually shoot them that much. So remind me. How much do you actually shoot a year in each caliber? Ballpark it. Be honest and we can give you a honest answer of a couple ways you could go.
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Old 09-26-2011, 20:11   #6
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Mike, I have used Lee turret presses for over twenty five years and never had all the BS you keep hearing on all reloading sites. Just trade both them in for a Lee Classic Turret and love it . Reloaded 30-30's today and works fine. Some people just don't need to spend that kind of money on a press when raising a family. I now own a couple Dillon Square Deals and use them for 45 acp & 9mm. All rifle and odd ball calibers are done on the Lee.
Like 3006, 30-30, 762X39 and 303 and all my dies are Lee because the price is right and have never had a problem. We also use Lee molds for casting. Good luck

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Old 09-26-2011, 20:18   #7
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Like 3006, 30-30, 762X38 and 303 and all my dies are Lee because the price is right and have never had a problem. We also use Lee molds for casting. Good luck[/QUOTE]


Not meaning to hijack the thread but just wanted to mention that I have never seen 7.62X38 mentioned before. I also reload it. I have 2 1895 Nagants and they are such a kick to shoot.
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Old 09-26-2011, 20:33   #8
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The LCT is a great starter press.... but if your shooting 1000 - 1500 a month you will quickly out grow it. I did in 2 months.... a 550B would be my minimum recommendation for you Mike.
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Old 09-26-2011, 20:40   #9
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Originally Posted by kostnerave View Post
Mike, I have used Lee turret presses for over twenty five years and never had all the BS you keep hearing on all reloading sites. Just trade both them in for a Lee Classic Turret and love it . Reloaded 30-30's today and works fine. Some people just don't need to spend that kind of money on a press when raising a family. I now own a couple Dillon Square Deals and use them for 45 acp & 9mm. All rifle and odd ball calibers are done on the Lee.
Like 3006, 30-30, 762X38 and 303 and all my dies are Lee because the price is right and have never had a problem. We also use Lee molds for casting. Good luck
I reload my 10mm and .380 on my LCT. But my 9mm is on my 650. Both have a place. But for high volume, low drama, for me it's Dillon all the way. I learned my lesson with my Load Master and LnL.
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:48   #10
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I started with a LCT and I love it. I still have it and use it regularly. I've added a 550 and an SDB to the press family, but the LCT will not be going anywhere.

It's a fine press. Yes the 550 is faster. If time is of the essence for you, then get the 550 or something faster. If you have time to load the rounds you want with the LCT, then load and enjoy and don't look back.

I got the 550 for my very short lived IPSC career. I had trouble making enough ammo in the 15-30 mins that I'd give myself each week. Shooting about a hundred rounds a week at the matches burned up my supply faster than I thought I could supply with the LCT.

In truth I can load about 150 rounds per hour with the thing. I load about 220 or so on the Dillon 550. I know that figure to be accurate because I use one of Alan's Press Monitor Devices. www.pressmonitordevice.com Some folks go faster and some folks just think they go faster than that.
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:58   #11
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Mike-
If you would like to take the LCT for a spin before buying, I am just down the road in Huntington. You're more than welcome to take mine for a spin.
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:31   #12
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Didn't we go through this already with you Mike? You were going to get the 650. What happened? There are no "deals of the century", you get what you pay for. IIRC, you said (correct me here if I'm wrong) "I build and tune race guns I should be able to run a 650". Did you say that? If not, I apologize. If so, what gives? Don't think yourself (or super deal yourself) into a corner.

FWIW, I just sold my last LnL AP to a guy who bought a 550, after I told him not to do it. He wanted me to drive 1.5 hours to help him get started and I said, bring YOUR dies, YOUR bullets and brass (I don't reload 9mm and he already had his own dies) and drop the $30.00 for a 9mm shell plate and come to my shop and I'll get you started. Short story...he went home, put the Dillon in a box and sent it back. When he left here I knew he was sending the 550 back, but thought he was getting a 650 instead. He now has loaded 2500 rounds (2000 on his machine, 500 on mine) and when I order the case and bullet feeders for myself, he is going to get them as well. I normally wouldn't post this because all the Dillon fan boys will flame me, but IDK. So...if you have NOT yet bought anything, take up the fellow GT'r who is just down the road from you and TRY his Lee turret. Hell, you may love it. But...look around. I'll garandangtee that someone within an hour or so of your house has a 550, 650 and maybe and LnL AP to TRY BEFORE YOU BUY. Check them out before you drop your coin. I had the chance to use all the presses mentioned above (well not the 550 because the guy who had the presses calls the 550 the most over valued, under featured press out there) But he had 650's LnL AP's and a couple of Load Masters. I chose the LnL AP because it was right for me. You will never know unless you try them out. Spend some TIME before you spend your MONEY. You may change your mind about what you want.

Best of luck.
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Old 09-27-2011, 19:28   #13
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I keep seeing that the Lee Turret is junk, but not why... I have a Lee Turret that I have been using for 2-1/2 years. I've probably only loaded around 3,000 rounds, but have had zero issues. What gives?
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Old 09-27-2011, 19:41   #14
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I keep seeing that the Lee Turret is junk, but not why... I have a Lee Turret that I have been using for 2-1/2 years. I've probably only loaded around 3,000 rounds, but have had zero issues. What gives?
I agree, but only 8 mounths with mine and it does all I ask of it.
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Old 09-27-2011, 19:45   #15
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I keep seeing that the Lee Turret is junk, but not why... I have a Lee Turret that I have been using for 2-1/2 years. I've probably only loaded around 3,000 rounds, but have had zero issues. What gives?
It's not that it's junk. It's probably not the right press for the OP who is going to load a buttload of rounds. And there are 2 different Lee turrets. One is preferred over the other.

So it's not always that something is junk. It may not be the correct tool for the job. And for the life of me, I can't figure out why someone would buy a press knowing in 6 months to a year they will upgrade. The money you spent on the first press could have been spent on a new firearm, upgrades to existing arms, TRAINING (you can't go wrong spending money on quality training) or many other worthy causes. Instead, you have just given the press manufacturers money they didn't need. JMHO.
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Old 09-27-2011, 19:48   #16
mike g35
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Mike. Really think you'll be happier with the 650. Don't be askeered. But with all the shooting you and your Dad are doing, you need a higher output (and more dependable) press.

My 550 has gotten the job done, but if I'd known then what I know now (and had the few extra hundred), 650 all the way.
I'll try not to be askeered Ron!!! Good one by the way. I think I will just stick with the Dillon. Thanks for all the info guys.
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Old 09-27-2011, 19:49   #17
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It's not that it's junk. It's probably not the right press for the OP who is going to load a buttload of rounds. And there are 2 different Lee turrets. One is preferred over the other.

So it's not always that something is junk. It may not be the correct tool for the job. And for the life of me, I can't figure out why someone would buy a press knowing in 6 months to a year they will upgrade. The money you spent on the first press could have been spent on a new firearm, upgrades to existing arms, TRAINING (you can't go wrong spending money on quality training) or many other worthy causes. Instead, you have just given the press manufacturers money they didn't need. JMHO.
I have the non-classic. What is better about the classic over the non-classic?
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Old 09-27-2011, 19:49   #18
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I'll try not to be askeered Ron!!! Good one by the way. I think I will just stick with the Dillon. Thanks for all the info guys.


Thank God, we almost lost one.
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Old 09-27-2011, 19:56   #19
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I have the non-classic. What is better about the classic over the non-classic?
Smoother, more robust frame/less flexy ram, better spent primer setup. It just feels better in every way. The other works. The Classic is just much nicer.
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Old 10-20-2011, 17:11   #20
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I have the old 3-hole Lee Turret press from probably around 1988 or so.
I recently upgraded to the 4-hole setup for $20 plus another $12 for a spare turret.
The goldarn thing just works and works and works. I only load about 50 rounds a week, but it works great. The old "T" primer, aluminum base, "small" ram, plastic turret actuating, etc. But, man, this old thing still works, rusty dies and all.
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Old 10-20-2011, 19:26   #21
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I have the non-classic. What is better about the classic over the non-classic?
The classic turret has spent primer disposal through the ram, is taller to load larger rifle calibers, larger diameter ram, steel linkage with better leverage and is steel instead of aluminum.
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:57   #22
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Glad to know the Classic is taller. I load 375H&H on Classic, with just enough room. Can't use the auto index bar though.

Will the regular one load H&H length?
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