Turret Press Review


NES Member
Nov 11, 2005
Northern, MA
Feedback: 161 / 0 / 0
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Nice review, I am going to make me one of those alignment tools. Had to do some work on one of my old Spar T's and it would have been easier to index the head.
Can the redding turret press prime as well?

It can if you get the optional primer arm/tube setup. I opted not to get it for several application-related reasons. It also mounts right in from of the ram, and I don't like the way it impedes access to the case.
The Review said:
Note - The bench in the photos was suppose to be eight feet long and two feet deep. That's the last time I work with unconverted metric drawings.

Jim, what are you using a turret press for that isn't handled better by a single stage or a progressive?

I use it for loading .460 and .500 S&W Mag. I leave it set up with three dies each caliber, and one powder measure in the middle.

It's a lot faster than doing them on a single stage because with the turret, you handle each case less.

I'm only loading 500-1000 per year of each caliber, so a progressive isn't necessary, but at the same time, that's a lot for a single stage. The turret press cost less than the caliber conversions, tool heads, powder measures, etc for my 650, and I can just leave it set up.
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I am a big fan of the turret press for certain functions. I have a progressive that I use for common handgun calibers and .223 and a single stage. However I load a lot of oddball and blackpowder calibers. I have the Lyman T mag which has 6 die stations. So for a black powder cartridge like 50/90 Sharps I can size, deprime and prime in one step. Expand in the next step and I have a drop tube set up for the third. Then a compression die, seating die and finally a taper crimp die. Slow compared to a progressive, but way faster then a single stage. Way faster. Also for calibers that I load in smaller quantities like .32 Rem., .35 Rem., .455 Webley, 9mm Steyr, 11mm Mauser, .38 S&W etc. I can use inexpensive Lee dies and the set up is fast and easy.
Cool stuff thanks for posting. What do you think about using the T-7 instead of a single stage press for precision 308 loads and bottleneck case prep? Or small batches of test loads? I was going to pick up a rockchucker but the turret press might be a better option.
I have the Rockchucker and it is a fantastic single stage press. However, I often use the turret press for precision .22-250 loads. Even if I use the single stage for either full length of collet neck sizing I will often use the turret for priming, charging and bullet seating. As an example if I have 100 sized and trimmed cases already prepped I can prime, charge and seat relatively quickly on the turret. Or I can use the turret for all of the steps just as precisely as a single stage.
I use a single stage (either a Rockchucker or L-N-L) for precision rifle reloading. I haven't tried the turret.

I can tell you that the turret head deflects under load. I haven't measured it, but I can see it. I have no idea if this has a measurable effect on accuracy, but if it does, it won't be positive.
Hhhmm. Food for thought. I use to load .22-250 on my single stage only and recently started using the turret. I don't think I have noticed any difference, but I don't shoot that much .22-250 these days. Despite my love of the turret if I had to choose one it would be the Rockchucker first.
I know I'm going to get flamed for saying it, but I love my Lee classic cast turret press.

Its incredibly versatile.

I got it originally because a friend had given me 2 sets of .44 Magnum dies, 600 .44 magnum bullets and 300 pieces of once fired brass. I figured I could justify the cost of a press or parts considering that I'd end up making about $300 worth of .44 magnum for essentially "free".

First I looked into the cost of a full cartridge change for my Dillon 650. It was about $200 with a new powder drop.

Then I looked into the cost of doing it with a single stage. Essentially only the cost of the press.

Then I read some stuff online, talked to some friends, and watched some Youtube videos and came to the conclusion that making 1 bullet at a time for a handgun would be counterproductive.

Another friend suggested the lee. I looked into it and after some research found that I could do over 100 rounds per hour with the indexing bar installed.

AND it only cost about $11 for a caliber change over. (The Brownell's article referenced by Eddie above mentions that the Lee turret is small. They don't tell you that you can get one for each caliber for $11 ea.)

Once all was said and done with their better powder drop and all the necessary parts, I was into the Lee for about $180 with a couple of spare turrets.

It worked great making .44 magnums and in a couple of nights I was able to make over a years worth of .44 magnum for "free". A couple of weeks later I was at a tag sale run by my gun club and picked up a set of RCBS .357 magnum dies for $10. I screwed them into a spare turret, slid in a different shell holder and I was in business.

Fast forward a year and I want to try reloading bottleneck rifle cartridges. I bought another couple of heads, dies, and started reloading rifle ammo. When reloading rifle ammo, I defintely run in batch mode. So the auto indexer is removed to facilitate this.

I also individually weigh each charge rather than using the powder drop.
Even when using the Lee like a single stage, its very convenient because all the dies necessary for any caliber are on the same turret. I presently have a half dozen turrets with dies already installed.

With a set of redding dies and hand weighed powder charges, I was able to make .308 ammo with a standard deviation in muzzle velocity of 6 fps. I really love this press for all that it can do, keeping in mind that it will bring misery and frustration to you if you ask it to do things that it doesn't do well, like feed primers.


p.s. recently I tried making .223 using the powder drop and TAC powder in the non-batch mode. I put a sized cartridge on the press, manually put a primer in the cup, stroked it forward to seat the primer, stroked it back to drop the charge, set the bullet on the press, index the turret and stroke again to seat the bullet - - Done.

Its fast and makes ammo that is more accurate than black hills in my old Bushmaster CMP gun.
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