Is a turret press much faster than a single stage?
This is a discussion on Is a turret press much faster than a single stage? within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I'm planning on getting started in reloading. I reloaded approx 750 rounds single stage about 25 years ago but nothing since. I plan on 1-2 ...
November 19th, 2008 01:43 PM
Is a turret press much faster than a single stage?
I'm planning on getting started in reloading. I reloaded approx 750 rounds single stage about 25 years ago but nothing since. I plan on 1-2 thousand rounds a year. I'm torn between press choises thinking a single stage might be to time consuming. Is a turret press that much faster than a single stage? Or, should I consider a progressive press (I have concerns I won't use it enough to be worth the money). I like quality equipment only!! Does anyone have first hand experience with RCBS turret presses?
If I go progressive I would go Dillon from friends recommendations.
Your advice will be appreciated! Thanks!
November 19th, 2008 01:43 PM
November 19th, 2008 01:55 PM
Some will say that dillon progressives are the only way to go, but for that volume I don't think it's worth the extra$$. I'm very happy I went with the lee classic turret.
November 19th, 2008 02:03 PM
A progressive / turret press will be faster. I guess you need to decide if it's worth the extra $$.
"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson
Nemo Me Impune Lacesset
November 19th, 2008 02:27 PM
The Lee is a good machine, if you have the model that feeds the primer automatically; if you have to place each primer separately, it is not that much faster than a single stage.
When I was into Silhouette, I would always use the single stage, it makes more consistent ammo.
Now, if you are reloading SD practice rounds, and if you can afford it, get a progressive. If you catch any kind of bug, like IDPA or others, you'll be reloading a lot more than you plan now
The first rule of a gunfight: "Don't be there !"
The second rule: "Bring enough gun"
jfl (NRA Life Member/Instructor - GOA - IDPA - GSSF - ex-IHMSA)
November 19th, 2008 02:36 PM
I picked a turret press, Lyman in my case, but nothing wrong with the Lee's or others.
The reason I picked the turret is because I can set up each turret with either 2 pistol or 3 rifle cartridge sizes, and once they are set up, I am done. I can switch between calibers in about 30 seconds.
The way I do my reloading I can do a little over 100 rounds per hour. If you calculate it out, if I were to spend 100 hours a year, or 2 hours a week roughly, you should be able to get 10,000 rounds of ammo cranked out. Well within the 1 - 2 thousand you want to do.
I do not use my turret press like a progressive though. I don't decap and resize, then immediately go to the neck expansion and prime, followed by the powder fill then bullet seating.
I instead to all the calibers in stages. For instance I decap and resize all my .357, then 9mm, then .45, and so on. Then I go back and expand the neck and prime all the cases. I use old plastic rice containers or such to store the primed cases in. Then pick which caliber I am going to finish and will charge, and seat all the rounds in that caliber at once. Then I will move on to the next caliber, and so on.
I find it much easier to do all the different types of ammo like this in stages, since I can pull one bolt, swap turrets and shell plates and be ready for the next caliber in such a short time, no resetting dies, or anything like you would on a single stage, or recalibration for a progressive.
Price was another factor in going with the turret. I didn't want to spend the $ on a progressive, and since I don't shoot more than 5 or 6 thousand rounds a year, I can get that many easily out of my turret press. Oh, and I don't use the powder measure on the dies. I have it mounted to the work bench permanently, so that I only am doing the powder by itself.
Good luck with your decision.
Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
Texas CHL Instructor
Texas Hunter Education Instructor
November 19th, 2008 05:56 PM
I use a dillon 550 and reload about 1000 rounds a week
"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
--Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .
November 19th, 2008 06:17 PM
I'd love to have the time and $$ to load and shoot that much ammo!
Originally Posted by dukalmighty
November 19th, 2008 07:30 PM
I have had my Lee Turret (non-auto indexing) press for 15 years. It's a good, reliable press. One will serve you well.
I would consider a progressive if you plan on loading much more than 1K round a year as it will take you a while to amortize the cost of the press, dies, and ancillary equipment at that rate to make a progressive worth your while.
USAF: Loving Our Obscene Amenities Since 1947
November 19th, 2008 07:45 PM
I swear by my Dillon Square Deal!
In fact I have two of them. One is set up for small primer, and one for large. That way I can reload 38/357, 9, 44, and 45 by only changing the tool head assemblies. I must have replaced every part of each over the years (including a cracked frame), all under warranty. Great service. If you're only loading pistol calibers, it's the way to go IMHO.
CCW permit holder for Idaho, Utah, Pennsylvania, Maine and New Hampshire. I can carry in your country but not my own.
November 20th, 2008 02:54 AM
I have the Lee classic turret press, I can load about 150 rds an hour, the plus side is that you are involved in every round and know it's correct. Mine has the autodisk and powderhopper through the die setup. You can get a primer feeder kit for it at $41.
Lee Precision, Inc. Reloading Tools and Equipment: Lee Turret Press
autodisk powder measure
Lee Precision, Inc. Reloading Tools and Equipment: Lee Powder Measures
November 20th, 2008 07:12 AM
I can run about 200 to 250 rounds per hour on my 550 Dillion once I am set up.
Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.
Senior Instructor for Tactical and Defensive of Texas
November 22nd, 2008 08:51 AM
And then there are those of us that can get pretty anal about our reloading. I have had all three-single stage,turret,and progressives.
I now mostly use a turret for handgun chores and a single stage for the large rifle stuff.
November 22nd, 2008 02:10 PM
Thanks to all of you for the great advice!
November 22nd, 2008 11:04 PM
Had a Lee Pro 1000. Had lots of trouble with the primer system. Got rid of it and got a Lyman turret press. It is great for me. I load about 2500 rounds per year of 9mm, .38/.357 and .45acp.
I have not used a Lee turret press, just the progressive pro 1000.
We the unwilling, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible, for the ungrateful. We have done so much, with so little, for so long, we are now able to do anything with nothing.
November 22nd, 2008 11:57 PM
Actually, there is a difference between a "turret" press and a "progressive" press.
The turret press has a rotating head in which several dies are held. You have a singe shell holder and each step of the reloading process is done before revolving the head to another die.
The progressive press uses multiple shell holders and each holder has a case in it which completes a stage. When the shell holder is rotated to the next die, the ram is pushed and another process occurs. It is much faster than the turret press, and even the turret press is faster than the single stage because you don't have to change dies and fiddle with the right settings.
I own all three types.
The RCBS single stage can load about a box of shells an hour, from start to finish. A box being 50 count.
The Lyman turret can do a box of shells in about 30 minutes.
The Dillon 550b can do about 10-12 boxes in an hour.
I loaded over 30,000 rounds last year on all of them, the majority being the Dillon 550b.
If your time is valuable, the progressives are the way to go.
If not, it is more convenient to use a turret.
The single stage will work and work well, but it is the slowest way to go.
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