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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I don't reload a ton. I've been using the same Lee Loader (Whack a load) for several years. Every Spring, I'll buy 100 rounds of Federal, and shoot the same brass till Summers end. (Outdoor range) I load gently, so brass last. Now, however, I'm starting to want to load more calibers. .44 Spcl, and 9mm are about to be added to my reloading task, and that's a lot for a Lee Loader system. Initially, I was thinking of the Single stage, but the turret press isn't that much more. My reloading isn't going up as much as it may sound. Most of my range time is .22LR, which will not be reloaded. Still, a box of 50 .223 and a box of 50 handgun centerfires will go down range.

Thoughts
Lee Breach lock Reloader, or Lee Classic 4 hole turret?

Not concerned about speed. (I reload in stages it takes me a week, for a box of 50)
I've been using dippers, probably still will for a while.
I'll be reloading:
38spcl, 44spcl, 9mm, .223,
 

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Well for many years I was happy with a single stage. I still am really but a friend sold me a used turret press so I'm easing my way into it. For the pace you are loading I would say a single stage would suit you very well. If you want to pick up some speed then the Lee Classic turret is an excellent choice. A single stage keeps thigns simple which I seem to like.
 

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I purchased the Lee Classic and haven't regretted it. I still do some parts in single stage like depriming. You can just remove the rod that rotates the head. Then when I'm ready to load, I just put the road back. Set everything and starting loading like a fool.
 

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I don't use Lee presses but it sounds like a single stage will suit you fine. Although from what I understand the turret can be operated as a single stage so there is a lot of flexibility there.

After the 2020 elections you may want to be loading a lot quicker! ;)
 

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Go with the turret. As Scotland said, you can remove the indexing shaft and run it in single stage mode or run it as a turret press. That gives you ample growth without moving into a progressive (like the Pro-1000) or a pseudo-progressive (like the Lee Auto Breech Pro). You can go with either a 3 hole or 4 hole setup, I'd recommend the 4 hole. If you're loading a maximum length under 2.3", you can go with either the turret or the classic turret. If longer, you have to go with the classic turret.
Best suggestion... you should have started saving brass this past fall if not earlier.
 
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Any single stage press will do whatever you want but if doing pistols single stage gets tiresome quickly. Either of the 2 Lee turrets presses will be excellent investments and be a bit quicker than a single stage.

This video may help.

 

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If you do rifle at all, go for a 4 hole classic turret press - otherwise, the 3 hole classic will serve you just fine. You can mount a Lee drum powder dispenser and the good ol' EZ Prime on it and either use the auto index rod or not (I never do, and use it exclusively for rifle rounds) and, without the auto index rd, it's a single stage press with all dies ready.
 

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Turret press. Most versatile.

All the Best,
D. White
 

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I've loaded thousands of rounds on a single stage and see no reason to change. Like the OP I do my loading in stages and I'm not in a hurry.
 

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Go with the Lee Classic Turret, four hole, with a powder dispenser. You will not regret it. Mine is ten years old and has produced many thousands of quality rounds. I load .380 Auto, 9mm, 38 Special, .357 Magnum, 45 ACP, 44 Magnum, .223 Remington, 300 BLK, 32 Winchester Special and 45-70 Government on mine. I recently started loading the 9mm and 45 ACP on a Lee 1000 and so use the Turret as a single stage to prime those cases before they go into the 3 stage progressive.

I took the indexing rod out a long time ago and never put it back. I can flip the turret by hand as fast as the indexing rod does it and when I pull a case to check the drop, I can leave the charging die in position to re-charge the case.

If you want, you can use it as a single stage, doing each operation as placing them in a tray and just flipping to the next die for the next function...but I'll bet that you won't. You can easily turn out 150 rounds in an hour and that's moving very deliberately and checking specs often.

Let us know what you decide on. PM me if you need some 9mm brass!
 

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Lee Classic 4-hole Turret all the way. I load 8 calibers on one. Perfect compromise between a single stage and a progressive. With extra die plates, caliber changes are a snap. I had a second one I bought used to have for spare parts a couple of years ago. Haven't needed any parts so I sold it for $75.
 

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Lee Classic 4-hole Turret all the way. I load 8 calibers on one. Perfect compromise between a single stage and a progressive. With extra die plates, caliber changes are a snap. I had a second one I bought used to have for spare parts a couple of years ago. Haven't needed any parts so I sold it for $75.

Lee is great for spare parts. If they charge at all, it's usually just for freight. Extremely responsive and helpful. Plenty of YouTube videos to help setup and troubleshoot if needed.
 

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Not a doubt in my mind - the Lee Classic 4-hole auto-advancing turret has served me well for 10 years now. For those who don't realistically need the output of a progressive it is IMHO the best money you can spend in reloading gear.
 

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Nothing wrong with the turret, but given what you've said the single-stage will be more than adequate. Yes, the turret is not much more but there is a bit more complexity to it. Keep it simple...a box a week...single stage.

Even taking your time you can do a box in an hour on a single stage.
 

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Nothing wrong with the turret, but given what you've said the single-stage will be more than adequate. Yes, the turret is not much more but there is a bit more complexity to it. Keep it simple...a box a week...single stage.

Even taking your time you can do a box in an hour on a single stage.
I am afraid that I must disagree. I found nothing too complex about the Lee Turret press that couldn't be solved within a few minutes. What is more complex to my thinking is handing 50 or 100 empty cases to place in a shellholder to perform one operation and placing them back into a tray to then change the die over to that needed for the next operation. Once the die is in place, you handle each case back into the shellholder to do that next operation.

For the 80-120 dollar difference, spread out over many years that the equipment is in use, the turret press over a single stage is a slam dunk decision.

 

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I started poking around to find who has deals on a kit which includes a lot of add on items that you will use and was surprised to see that someone still has the old stock "value" press kit available. This is the one I have and it differs from the "Classic" in that the latter has a solid cast base where the Value turret has an alloy cast base that collects spent primers in the base. If I were going to buy another one, it would be the Lee Cast Turret, although they do cost more. The Value press that I have works exactly the same and as well, but is a bit of a pain to handle the spent primers that way. A lot of people have the Value Press mounted over a hole drilled in the bench and the spent primers fall through into a pan or bucket:

https://www.amazon.com/Precision-Value-Hole-Turret-90928/dp/B00162PT16/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1546611465&sr=8-3&keywords=lee+four+hole+turret+press


Here's the Cast Turret press kit and the powder hopper is the better, more advanced model:

https://www.amazon.com/LEE-PRECISION-Classic-Turret-Press/dp/B008M5TSCG/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1546611877&sr=8-4&keywords=lee+four+hole+turret+press
 

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I also run a LEE Classic Turret. But it's quite a bit different than most. Tried the Pro Disk powder measure and it leaked too much powder. Went to their newest measure and didn't like it. For some time now I've been using my old RCBS Uniflow with the RCBS auto charging system. One single powder drop die body that uses easy to change expanders by caliber.

Another difference is that I do not use the auto-index rod at all. For a couple of reasons. First: the weight of the RCBS powder measuring system is heavier and would likely cut down the life by half of the plastic parts associated with Auto-Index operation. Secondly, I've found that I can actually run the press a tad faster by manually indexing the turret. Get one turret for every caliber and you can leave the dies set up in them.

I owned the Classic Turret a few years before I ever started using it. Mainly because I have a REDDING Boss single-stage that's really great. BUT, there's something common to both presses, and a feature you'll find on all of REDDING's presses: Top-Dead-Center. This is a feature that ensures that the ram stops at the same exact point with every stroke while the shellholder holds the same position each time. LEE added this feature to the Classic Single-Stage and the Classic Turret, and it works. The overall cartridge length variations are very minimal and comparable to what I could do with the REDDING. Rarely over +/- .002" provided the bullets are that uniform.

With that kind of uniformity, I decided to load 5.56mm NATO with the Classic Turret, operating as a manual turret pressure and essentially single stage mode. Same uniformity with the Hornady 75 gr. BTHP Match w/cannelure. And with a very fine grained and dense powder like Ramshot TAC, the Uniflow throws precise powder drops and you really don't have to trickle the powder charges. So, yes, the Classic Turret is a very effective "single-stage" and I even load hunting rifle cartridges on mine.

It's also advisable to start out using the Classic Turret one station at a time. You need to learn what is occurring at each individual die station. I don't know how many threads and posts I've seen from guys having essentially basic reloading problems because they jumped right in with a Progressive press without understanding what should occur at each station. Start out manually indexing, or even single stage and automate with your comfort level.

My opinion of LEE's Customer Service runs a bit different from Czechbikr's. A wile back I mentioned the problems I've had with the Safety Prime. Luckily, I have both small and large and they're the old style where evidently, LEE has corrected the issue with the new version. Anyway, I diagnosed the problem which was the return spring on the push button part. Called LEE and they wouldn't just send me another. We're talking about a part that runs about a $. I was told to contact the order dept where they would replace it free, but charge me shipping. For a spring that's essentially flat that could be dropped in a business envelope. Being hard-headed as I am, I was rather annoyed. Never ran into this with other reloading tool makers. So I thought I'd dwell on it a while and I also have an older unit I could rob the spring from. But, in operating the older Safety Prime without the spring, and manually returning the push button part manually each time, I found that I could eliminate the occasional events of losing primers. I hold one hand below the shellholder when I prime and usually catch the primer, but not always. By manually returning the push button unit, I don't lose any! Just had to find the best way to incorporate the method into my regimen. BTW, this is not a single case situation with LEE. I got an out of spec set of dies when the .40 S&W was introduced and ended up having Midway replace them because LEE wouldn't. Since then, other than the Lyman and RCBS dies I already owned, it's been strictly REDDING Titanium Carbide Handgun dies sets for me.

The newer and less expensive Turret Press may have a quasi top-dead-center feature in just looking at it, but I'm not certain. With the Classic Turret there's no doubting it when you look at the heavier steel linkage parts. You will see the flanges that are cut into one set of the arms and it's very effective.

So, in short, there's no reason any new reloader shouldn't start with the Classic Turret. The Classic Single-Stage looks great as well and has the heavier steel linkage. But the one advantage that any turret press has over any single stage is the ability to set your dies up once, and leave them in the turret for future loading. Then only minor adjustments will be required like bullet seating depth.

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Handloading!;)
 

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^^ Re: the Safety Prime springs...I got one about 8-10 months ago but at that time I recall them saying that they were discontinuing them. I should have gotten a few more apparently. I don't like futzing with the return manually to get the next primer to drop so when these wear out I'll just order a whole new setup...even though I like the round canister more than the folding triangular one.

Regarding the removal of the indexing rod being faster...it doesn't require a full downstroke of the arm when doing shorter cases. I use the Pro Disc and the Auto Disc and suffer along with small amounts of powder leakage. ( I don't smoke! :eek: )
 
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I love my classic turret. It works and I don't have the leakage problem no matter what powder. Could be because I also put in the adjustable charge bar. I've only done pistol loads also. I use the old style primer and it works with only one small issue. It sometimes will drop a primer and won't push out the last few primers.
 
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