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Old 02-17-2011, 11:58 AM   #1
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Default Lee Classic Turret, is this a good deal?

As my love affair with guns is steadily progressing it appears I need to start reloading. I have been discussing this with a friend of mine for some time and have tried to do as much research as possible, but since I'm a hands on type of person I really need to have everything in front of me to understand what I'm reading and what is really going on.
My friend(guy I work with) has 3 different press setups and we are trying to negotiate some type of deal. Here is what I am trying to buy, I've added the prices of each item from MidwayUSA.

Lee Classic 4 hole Turret Press $104.99
Lee Pro Auto-Disk Powder Measure(2 @38.99) $77.98
Lee Auto-Disk Adjustable Powder Charge $9.99
Lee Auto-Disk Powder Measure Double Disk Kit $10.99
Lee Zip Trim $18.99
Lee Pro Auto-Disk Powder Measure Micro Disk Conversion Unit $9.19
Lee 4 Hole Turret(5@ 12.99) $64.95
Lee Small and Large Primer Feeder $21.95
Lee Auto-Disk Powder Measure Riser (2@7.49) $14.98
Lee Primer Pocket Cleaner $2.09
Lee Case Trimmer Cutter and Lock Stud $5.99
Lee Chamfer and Deburring Tool $2.79
Lee Deluxe Carbide 4-Die Set 9mm $39.99
Lee Case Length Gage and Shellholder 9mm $4.49
Lee Deluxe Carbide 4-Die Set 45acp $39.99
Lee Case Length Gage and Shellholder 45acp $4.49
Lee Pacesetter 3-Die Set 223 $25.99
Lee Case Length Gage and shellholder 223 $4.49
Lee Deluxe 3-Die set 308 $30.99

It totals up to 495.35 retail, and he is offering to me at 350.00

Most of the items have only been used once or twice and are in very good shape. Does this sound like a deal I should go for especially since I am determined to start reloading. Also is there anything in the list that i dont need? Thanks in advance for you opinion and help.

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Last edited by jwhirl413; 02-17-2011 at 11:59 AM. Reason: rewording
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Old 02-17-2011, 12:20 PM   #2
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I started my reloading with a 4 hole turret press. I bought a starter kit for much less then $350 but it didn't include everything you've listed. I got the press, one set of dies, a scale, the auto disk powder measure and I think that's it. I've loaded thousands of 45 auto on that press with no issue at all. What you have listed for $350 is a good deal.

I will warn you about the auto disk though. I have found that with smaller charges(in 38 special for me) the charges can be inconsistant. I haven't tried using the double disk which will allow finer adjustment but I don't think that is the problem.
Lee told me that static electricity can build up on the disk which will cause irregular powder charges. I was told to wash them in warm soapy water and this would solve the problem. I don't have any issues with washing them once in a while but if I want to sit down an load 500rds how many times am I going to have to stop and wash that thing?
For that reason I have only been able to use the press as designed for loading 45 auto and I check my charges constantly. I will sell my press as soon as I can swing buying a better one....probably a Dillon.

I've been a Lee supporter here and recently when all of this came to light and after several attempts to fix it permenantly failed, I've decided to move on to something better.

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Old 02-18-2011, 03:30 AM   #3
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The classic turret's shell holder cants when the shell hits the die. It has too much slop between the shell holder and the top of the press that holds it.
Any cant means the shell is not going in strieght. I was going to chuck the one I bought as a back up press, but instead used washers to hold the turret down and level, just can't move the turret anymore, It's now a single stage press.

Reloading equipment is a lifelong investment. Lee stuff is cheap. Get a RCBS or Hornady single stage press with the reloading kit. About the same price you are looking at, you may have to spend some money on a few additional things, but once you get into reloading you will realize that quality equipment is worth it's weight in gold. I bought an RCBS set 30 years ago, it all still works as good as the day I bought it.
Quality costs a little more, but is worth every dime. The lee disk powder measures are a real pain and not as accuracte as the better powder measures.
Get qualty, you will be glad you did. Lee stuff works OK, but it's all plastic, there is a reason it's low cost.
Some lee stuff works, their shell trimmers and factory crimp dies are good.
I bought one set of lee dies, while accurate, I always clean my cases well and it was not long before the aluminum neck in the die became scored, it scored the necks of my cartridges. Buy Hornady New Demention dies, you get a free box of jacketed bullets with them, it makes the die only cost $12.00 after the price of the bullets are taken away. They are steel, have bullet guides, almost no bullet run out and will last a lifetime if taken care of... Buy Quality, you will not be sorry.

John K

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Old 02-18-2011, 04:33 AM   #4
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You can find a lot of Lee equipment a little cheaper than the prices you listed, but I still don't think you'll save $145 buying them separately even if you can find everything in just two or three places. So it does look like a good deal for what you're getting. It also looks like Midway has increased their prices on several items recently, I remember getting my die sets and extra turrets a little cheaper.

I actually own and use everything in your list except the Zip Trim, and my rifle dies are 270, 30-30 and 22-250 instead of 223 and 308. I also have the same pistol dies listed as well as Lee's 38-Special, 357, and 9mm Makarov.

The only problem I've had with the Pro-Auto Disk Measure is when the hopper gets below 1/4 full, the flake powders get inconsistent when the hopper gets that low, especially with Hodgdon Clays. I keep my hopper 1/2 full or more when loading with flake powders to avoid the issue. Static hasn't been a problem with the disks, it has effected the hopper sometimes, but a light tap from a small screwdriver usually knocks all the powder stuck to the sides of the hopper down with the rest. The Pro-Auto Disk measure throws consistent charges from round one all the way to round 250 of 45ACP, or round 400 of 9mm Luger. With the Adjustable Charge Bar and the Micro Disk you shouldn't have a problem getting the charger you need, I know I don't.

What I don't see on your list is a good set of balance beam scales and a set of calipers, you'll need a set of scales to measure your loads to make sure your powder measure is throwing the correct charge and the calipers to measure your cartridges. I prefer dial calipers myself, but some would rather use the digital. The Lee scales that came with my Lee Classic Turret Press kit from Cabela's didn't work, so I bought the RCBS 5-0-5 scale.

The only complaint I have with the Lee was the scale issue and I had to special order the Makarov Factory Crimp Die for $35, they don't sell the Makarov in the Deluxe 4-die set. Other than those, the press and all the other equipment from Lee has been great. I have yet to see a canting issue with the press I own in the nearly 3000 rounds I've loaded, the 8 radial locking lungs on the turret ring and turrets are there for a reason. The ammunition I've loaded comes out straight and is more accurate than the factory ammo of the same caliber. Everything I've shot that's been produced on the Classic Turret Press loads, chambers and fires without a problem in my rifles and handguns. Haven't had a change to shoot any of the reloaded Makarov yet.

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Old 02-18-2011, 11:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rifleman55 View Post
The classic turret's shell holder cants when the shell hits the die. It has too much slop between the shell holder and the top of the press that holds it.
Any cant means the shell is not going in strieght. I was going to chuck the one I bought as a back up press, but instead used washers to hold the turret down and level, just can't move the turret anymore, It's now a single stage press.
I have to disagree with this because even if the turret does cant slightly the brass is not held so tightly in the holder that it can't move. Also, once inside the die the bullet and case will be inline, canted turret or not.

If your press is that sloppy, send it back. I've called Lee a couple of times on issues and while their products aren't the best out there, their customer service is outstanding.
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Old 02-18-2011, 11:44 AM   #6
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I'm going to take a look in person today, and if all goes well hopefully I'll be bringing it home. I appreciate all the info and advise. I'll let you know how it goes.

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