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Is this Lee press kit a good package to get started in reloading?

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As the title states... Any opinions on this kit??  Reviews seem good and price seems great..

Ive looked and found used RCBS presses for 50-75, press only.. Then ned to figure out all the other components i would need and purchase seperately..  This Lee kit seems like its got pretty much everything needed to get started at a basic level.

I would be reloading 9, 40, 45, and .223/.556

Also, at some point, would be reloading .303 brittish and 7.7 jap..  have rifles in both calibers but have not shot them yet, more for the scaricity and cost of ammo.

 

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https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003ISVWC6/ref=ox_sc_saved_image_2?smid=AQ2CZ6MY1SO4N&psc=1

 

 

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It's a nice package that gets you started for minimal outlay.  If you decide reloading isn't for you, you could sell the package and get most of your money back.  If you decide to really get into progressive presses and such there is always a need for a single stage.

Lee makes quality stuff.  Their customer service is greatm

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I’ve been using the Lee turret kit for a couple of years now, no quality issues so far and the equipment is very reasonably priced. I don’t think you’ll have any problems with their stuff. 
The lee reloading book is actually one of the more interesting ones to read as well. 
That kit should serve you well for a long time.

I would also think about a digital scale, I am using this one: Frankford Arsenal DS-750 Digital Reloading Scale with LCD Display for Reloading https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002BDOHNA/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_HHgHEb31SQA55

The balance scale in the kit is fine but the digital is more compact and easier to use if you are paranoid and like to weigh all your powder charges like me :)

-Jim

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Will it work?  Yes.  

Would I suggest spending a bit more and getting the RCBS or Hornady kit?  Yes.

LEE stuff is decent and will work.  RCBS is better and will work with less rattle.  Both will produce ammo.  I will say that I won't buy LEE dies any longer for rifle cartridges.  Maybe if I was just looking to build blasting ammo.  I'm not. Their handgun stuff seems ok.  Their universal decapper and factory crimp dies are respectable.  

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9 hours ago, GRIZ said:

It's a nice package that gets you started for minimal outlay.  If you decide reloading isn't for you, you could sell the package and get most of your money back.  If you decide to really get into progressive presses and such there is always a need for a single stage.

Lee makes quality stuff.  Their customer service is greatm

I agree with this.

Seems like a good deal for someone putting their toe in the water for reloading.

If you decide to stick with it (and if you shoot a lot) I think you'll quickly outgrow the single stage, particularly for the pistol ammo.

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The kit you linked will get you started and soon frustrated of you want to reload any quantity.

Consider stepping up to the classic turret press. It automatically rotates the turret with each lever throw so the 4 different dies get used in sequence - 4 swings and you have a complete round rather than having to do each stage in batches.. The turret is also quick swapping so you can switch calibers much easier. Also, once you set the dies to the right height in in the turret you don't have to set them again. With the single stage press you will be changing dies often.

It is not a progressive as you are still only making 1 round at a time, but it's a lot faster than a single stage. I can make about 200 pistol rounds per hour with mine once it's set up.

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51 minutes ago, Mr.Stu said:

The kit you linked will get you started and soon frustrated of you want to reload any quantity.

Consider stepping up to the classic turret press. It automatically rotates the turret with each lever throw so the 4 different dies get used in sequence - 4 swings and you have a complete round rather than having to do each stage in batches.. The turret is also quick swapping so you can switch calibers much easier. Also, once you set the dies to the right height in in the turret you don't have to set them again. With the single stage press you will be changing dies often.

It is not a progressive as you are still only making 1 round at a time, but it's a lot faster than a single stage. I can make about 200 pistol rounds per hour with mine once it's set up.

This is what I do too. Not sure how it works for long OAL rifle cases since I only do pistol rounds but 223 should be fine.

-Jim

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A single stage press isn't that hard to use to make a quantity of pistol ammo — you work in batches

Size 200 cases

prime 200 cases

expand 200 cases

seat 200 bullets

crimp 200 cases

It doesn’t take long, you get a rythm going on the press — I would recommend the little dandy pistol powder measure — powder charging on the included tool will be slow with the included measure

Yes a progressive is faster, more expensive, and more involved — you don’t need to start with a progressive

Just realize that you will outgrow this kit quick if you do actually become a reloader — even if you stay single stage you will probably upgrade every piece of this kit 

 

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Thats the kit I started with. 
 

upgraded the powder measure, it’s all plastic - staticky and it binds

 

got a digital scale - the balance is slow af

 

got a hand primer and don’t use the prime feature but that’s a small thing

 

i have a progressive now but I still load rifle on the Lee and work up ladder charges when I change powders or what not. If you have components I would unbolt my Lee and let you play with it for a few weeks if you wanted and promise not to break it, lol

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It's a cost-conscious kit that is decent for the money. You don't have to spend a lot of money and should easily get a feel for whether or not reloading is for you.

It looks like it doesn't include dies. To start, you'll need a full body sizer die and a bullet seater (at least for .223). Crimper if you are firing semi-auto. I have not done pistol rounds but I understand it's supposed to be easier.

Digital caliper. Gotta be able to measure case lengths and COALs.

Looking at the shell holders you get with it, #4 will work with .223 rem, #19 for 9mm luger and .40 S&W, #2 for .45 ACP. So all the ones you need are covered in this kit.

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My opinion: for the same money go with this kit:

https://kempfgunshop.com/Kempf_Kit_w/_Lee_Classic_Turret_Press_-90064Kit-6575.html

this place is a good place to deal with.. and this kit comes with a set of dies I believe. I have loaded thousands of rounds using this press and lee dies before moving to a progressive press. I still have it.

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Great starter Kit. Starting with a single stage allows you to slowly learn how to pay attention to detail which will result in you making quality ammo at a great price.

I started on an Old 45 degree angle Lee Challenger press. Still use it.

I have loadmaster for Handgun, Turret for Rifle, Lee Breach lock for odds and ends, I just got the New Lee APP for processing, works great by the way.  I have the Lee auto bench prime for priming. I don't Prime on any Press.

Stick with the kit and learn, If yer anything like the rest of us it will only be yer first tools of reloading.

 

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1 hour ago, Bagarocks said:

Great starter Kit. Starting with a single stage allows you to slowly learn how to pay attention to detail which will result in you making quality ammo at a great price.

I started on an Old 45 degree angle Lee Challenger press. Still use it.

I have loadmaster for Handgun, Turret for Rifle, Lee Breach lock for odds and ends, I just got the New Lee APP for processing, works great by the way.  I have the Lee auto bench prime for priming. I don't Prime on any Press.

Stick with the kit and learn, If yer anything like the rest of us it will only be yer first tools of reloading.

 

Lee classic turret is a single stage press.

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1 hour ago, carl_g said:

Lee classic turret is a single stage press.

No - it's a turret press. 4 dies are mounted all at the same time.

Yes, it only uses 1 die at a time, but they are all staged and ready to go. It also auto indexes the turret for the next step in the process.

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1 hour ago, carl_g said:

That APP device looks pretty slick. I wonder how the military crimp Swager works? Have you used it for that yet?

Ive decapped and sized. I haven't swaged yet. however with the multitube adapter you can decap or resize as fast as you can pull the handle. The unit likes speed not slow cycling. This thing just cut my processing time (which takes more time than anything) by 75%!

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8 minutes ago, Mr.Stu said:

No - it's a turret press. 4 dies are mounted all at the same time.

Yes, it only uses 1 die at a time, but they are all staged and ready to go. It also auto indexes the turret for the next step in the process.

A turret press is simply a single stage press with positions to hold your dies as they are needed. It's not complicated and you can take out the auto indexing rod and index it with your hand if you would like.

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A Turret Press is not a "single stage press" A single stage Press is limited to one process per pull of the handle. Limited to one die station. If you have 4 processes you will need to change the die station 4x's.

A Turret Press is an automated Press that can be auto indexed or indexed manually. Holding minimum 3 up to 7 Die stations depending on the Press and Brand. None of the Manufacturers list or call their "Turret Press" a Single stage Press.

The Flexibility of a Turret Press enables you Run like a Progressive Press or Run 4 single die stations manually.

Turret set up One, Decap station 1- resize station 2 - expanding die station 3. 

Turret set up Two,  Powder Measure Station 1 - bullet seat station 2 -  Lee crimp die station 3.

To do the above process with a Single stage press you would need 6 die changes. compared to changing out one turret.

A Turret Press will run circles around a Single stage press operation, just as a progressive press will run circles around a Turret press operation.

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I started with the breech lock single stage, then I got the lee turret, and then "graduated" to a Dillon 650 with most of the bells & whistles.

The single stage I still use, I use it for all my rifle reloading and also for depriming.  I use it to deprime only because I'm OCD and wet tumble so it makes clean primer pockets and dries easier.

You mention several pistol calibers, I would avoid doing these on a single stage.  As a newcomer to reloading, I would also avoid doing these on a progressive (there's just too much going on).  The turret is the "sweet spot" of speed and ease while maintaining cost effectiveness since it doesn't really cost much more than the single stage.  With a turret I can do about 100 rounds an hour, I haven't timed the single stage with pistol rounds but it will be noticeably slower.

You lose some of the speed advantage with rifle rounds on turrets and progressives because you have other case prep like trimming that interrupts the cycle.  This is why I just take it a little slower and enjoy the benefits of the accuracy of the single stage although this is a preference thing, many people reload rifle rounds on turrets and progressives.  I've dabbled with "blaster" 30-06 on my turret but I find it's barely any faster than doing batch work on the single stage.

If you really want to reload all those calibers to start, I'd get both presses.  Set the turret up for your pistol calibers and set the single stage up for the rifle calibers.  You'll enjoy a little bit of the best of both worlds and the additional expense will be >$100.  You'll also always have a use for both.  I use all three presses (breech lock single, turret, and progressive) as they all have their own benefits and drawbacks.  I do my high volume pistol on the 650, low volume pistol (.500 S&W, 8mm Nambu) on the turret,  rifle on my single stage, and like i mentioned I do depriming on the single as well (and swaging if necessary).

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1 hour ago, Bagarocks said:

A Turret Press is not a "single stage press" A single stage Press is limited to one process per pull of the handle. Limited to one die station. If you have 4 processes you will need to change the die station 4x's.

A Turret Press is an automated Press that can be auto indexed or indexed manually. Holding minimum 3 up to 7 Die stations depending on the Press and Brand. None of the Manufacturers list or call their "Turret Press" a Single stage Press.

The Flexibility of a Turret Press enables you Run like a Progressive Press or Run 4 single die stations manually.

Turret set up One, Decap station 1- resize station 2 - expanding die station 3. 

Turret set up Two,  Powder Measure Station 1 - bullet seat station 2 -  Lee crimp die station 3.

To do the above process with a Single stage press you would need 6 die changes. compared to changing out one turret.

A Turret Press will run circles around a Single stage press operation, just as a progressive press will run circles around a Turret press operation.

We can disagree till the cows come home.. With a lee classic turret you are reloading one round at a time. And yes you can set up to 4 different dies at once per that press. The beauty of that is you can buy multiple turrets and set it once per caliber, and you are good to go. You are still only doing one operation per pull.. it is just that you don't have stop and change dies in order to move to the next stage. If you are getting into re loading pistol ammo, a single stage(with one die) just wont cut it in my opinion It's too slow and monotonous. You can take your time and learn all the steps on a turret press and go at your own pace. It is a far better way to load pistol ammo vs. a traditional single stage press.

 

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7 hours ago, carl_g said:

We can disagree till the cows come home.. With a lee classic turret you are reloading one round at a time. And yes you can set up to 4 different dies at once per that press. The beauty of that is you can buy multiple turrets and set it once per caliber, and you are good to go. You are still only doing one operation per pull.. it is just that you don't have stop and change dies in order to move to the next stage. If you are getting into re loading pistol ammo, a single stage(with one die) just wont cut it in my opinion It's too slow and monotonous. You can take your time and learn all the steps on a turret press and go at your own pace. It is a far better way to load pistol ammo vs. a traditional single stage press.

This is essentially how I've used my Lee Turret Press. I have it so the turret doesn't rotate automatically. Deprime all my cases. Turn the turret one stage. Resize them all, turn the turret a stage. Seat the bullet for them all. Done. Then I have two four hole turrets, one set up for .223 and one for 6.5 creedmoor. Pretty convenient.

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14 hours ago, Greenday said:

This is essentially how I've used my Lee Turret Press. I have it so the turret doesn't rotate automatically. Deprime all my cases. Turn the turret one stage. Resize them all, turn the turret a stage. Seat the bullet for them all. Done. Then I have two four hole turrets, one set up for .223 and one for 6.5 creedmoor. Pretty convenient.

You may want to consider doing a time study on doing it your way vs letting it rotate and doing one whole round at a time.

The reason I say this is that you're handling the brass 4 times more.  If each time you're handling it adds one second, that's 4 seconds your way vs 1 second the normal way.  I don't see any time savings in disabling the auto rotate, so for every 100 rounds you're adding 300 seconds or 5 minutes which adds up because that's 50 minutes per 1k.

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I like the turret because it gives me a lot of options to how I reload. I batch stuff like a single stage press a lot too.

It's sort of a zen thing to just zone out and do one step at a time for 250 cases and it's not like I am in a rush to pump out ammo as fast as possible, if I was I'd be using a progressive press. I generally reload at night after my wife goes to bed so it's just hang out and listen to music time for me...

-Jim

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39 minutes ago, Pew Pew Plates said:

You may want to consider doing a time study on doing it your way vs letting it rotate and doing one whole round at a time.

The reason I say this is that you're handling the brass 4 times more.  If each time you're handling it adds one second, that's 4 seconds your way vs 1 second the normal way.  I don't see any time savings in disabling the auto rotate, so for every 100 rounds you're adding 300 seconds or 5 minutes which adds up because that's 50 minutes per 1k.

I'm not really trying to save much time though. I clean between depriming and sizing to make sure primer pockets get clean too. And I'm only loading about 50 rounds or so at a time for league. So I'm making sure everything is as precise as possible. I feel like I'd lose a little bit of that if I automate it.

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1 hour ago, Pew Pew Plates said:

You may want to consider doing a time study on doing it your way vs letting it rotate and doing one whole round at a time.

The reason I say this is that you're handling the brass 4 times more.  If each time you're handling it adds one second, that's 4 seconds your way vs 1 second the normal way.  I don't see any time savings in disabling the auto rotate, so for every 100 rounds you're adding 300 seconds or 5 minutes which adds up because that's 50 minutes per 1k.

Disabling the auto rotate is definitely the way to go. 

That's because the auto rotate isn't super slick and thus isn't much faster than manually advancing the turret, AND more importantly the little see-saw arm priming mechanism is shit. At least in my version you had to slow down in order to not out run it's return to proper alignment.  Even if that weren't so, loading a primer into it by hand is stupid slow and dealing with flipped primers was stupid and slow. 

Additionally, for rifle you need to trim between size and powder anyway, so you handle the brass no matter what. 

So for me the best course of action was size a bunch of brass. If rifle brass, trim it. Use a standalone hand primer to prime it. And then manually advancing the turret do a charge, seat, crimp process for each piece of primed brass. 

If you are doing rifle and want to weigh each charge, you aren't even going to be able to do that. I wasn't weighing each charge though in general unless it was small batch and I just didn't want to set up the powder measure. 

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4 minutes ago, Greenday said:

I'm not really trying to save much time though. I clean between depriming and sizing to make sure primer pockets get clean too. And I'm only loading about 50 rounds or so at a time for league. So I'm making sure everything is as precise as possible. I feel like I'd lose a little bit of that if I automate it.

If your main objective is to load small batches of match type rifle ammo, then IMO you bought the wrong press. You should have bought a Reading or a RCBS Rock Chucker single stage. I am not a Lee hater, I own a LCTP with set ups for 9mm, 45ACP & .223 and for blaster ammo I wouldn't think twice about using it. I don't have any scientific proof regarding this though, just my opinion..  think there is a slight amount of play in that turret that is not there on a true single stage press which could result in small differences working against your original intent of loading uber-precise  ammo.

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1 hour ago, carl_g said:

If your main objective is to load small batches of match type rifle ammo, then IMO you bought the wrong press. You should have bought a Reading or a RCBS Rock Chucker single stage. I am not a Lee hater, I own a LCTP with set ups for 9mm, 45ACP & .223 and for blaster ammo I wouldn't think twice about using it. I don't have any scientific proof regarding this though, just my opinion..  think there is a slight amount of play in that turret that is not there on a true single stage press which could result in small differences working against your original intent of loading uber-precise  ammo.

100% correct. Lee Turret Press isn't a great choice for small batches of precision ammo. But considering how much stuff I got from the selling for a great price, it was a hell of a bargain for getting started.

I actually JUST got a MEC Marksman yesterday after a bunch of other people recommended it to me. Did 50 rounds today. Holy crap was I thrilled with it. The turret has a little wobble in the Lee Turret Press resulting in inaccuracies with bullet seating. Today, 48/50 COALs came out to 2.7500". The other two came out to 2.7495".  The action of the lever on the Marksman is so smooth and effortless. So stable.

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On 4/1/2020 at 9:52 AM, Mr.Stu said:

The kit you linked will get you started and soon frustrated of you want to reload any quantity.

Consider stepping up to the classic turret press. It automatically rotates the turret with each lever throw so the 4 different dies get used in sequence - 4 swings and you have a complete round rather than having to do each stage in batches.. The turret is also quick swapping so you can switch calibers much easier. Also, once you set the dies to the right height in in the turret you don't have to set them again. With the single stage press you will be changing dies often.

It is not a progressive as you are still only making 1 round at a time, but it's a lot faster than a single stage. I can make about 200 pistol rounds per hour with mine once it's set up.

Right after i posted to start this threat about the particular kit i linked too; i went browsing the net and learning more. I realized what the turret style were, and quickly realized thats they way to go... I come back to thread and found all the great advice and numerous replies..   At this point, the Lee classic turret kit seems to be the no brainer for entry level reloading.. The sad part is, cant find it ANYWHERE in stock. Out of stock everywhere. TitanReloading has the best price at 195ish.. Wish it was in stock, id buy it now..

Anyone have anything they want to part with!!?

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On 4/1/2020 at 11:23 AM, Shocker said:

 

 

i have a progressive now but I still load rifle on the Lee and work up ladder charges when I change powders or what not. If you have components I would unbolt my Lee and let you play with it for a few weeks if you wanted and promise not to break it, lol

Very generous of you! I would have taken great care of it, but at this point i don thave enough components so ill hold out to find a Lee classic turret kit in stock somwhere!

Thank you though!

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