Turret Vs. Standard Press

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by lfosburg, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. lfosburg

    lfosburg New Member

    Apr 1, 2008
    My name is Luke. I am new to this forum and to reloading in general. I have recently done some reloading with one of my experienced friends and loved it. I am about ready to buy a new kit either from rcbs, whatever but I was wondering what is the benefit/ downside to using a turret press. I wonder because it seems too simple that the powder measure and primer work all in one with the press as opposed to using each component individually on a bench. Someone who has reloaded many shells may be able to shed some light on this. As of now my main loads will be a .357 9mm 40cal and perhaps a 25 or similar rifle. THanks!!
  2. Oneida Steve

    Oneida Steve Well-Known Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    Upstate NY
    I own a turret press, but I use it as a "semi-automatic". I resize/deprime on it, but I prime with a separate (RCBS) bench-mounted priming tool.

    I then take the primed cases back to the turret press and drop the powder (one step) and seat/crimp the bullet (next step).

    I like the convenience of loading the powder and seating the bullet w/o removing the case from the case holder. Speeds things up a bit.

  3. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    With a Standard press you do the reloading in stages. You set up the press for one operationa and do it to all the cases you want to reload. Then you set up the press for the next stage and do all the cases for that operation. And so on.

    With a Turret press you set the press up to do all the operations including adding the powder through a special die on the press. First you put the case on the press. You then pull the handle and do the first operation. Then either the table rotates or the turret rotates to put the case in line to do the next opertion, then the next. It typically takes three pulls of the handle and a couple of rotations of the table or turret and you have a finished round verses three setups, three loading and unloadings of the cartridge onto the press, along with the three pullings of the handle for a Standard press.

    A Progressive press works similar to a Turret press (in fact you can use the Progresive press exactly as you do a Turret press, if you so choose). But there are at least three cases on the table at once, each getting their process done, and every pull of the handle results in a finished cartridge. With a Turret it takes three pulls to get one cartridge.

    Its all about speed and convenience. It takes three times longer to get your batch done with a Turret press than with a Progressive and more like five times longer doing the same batch with a Standard press. I like my Dillon Progressive but if were not available I'd go with a sturdy Turret press.

    I suppose the Lee Turret press is OK but I have had bad luck with Lee stuff breaking or wearing or plain not strong enough and would not recommend it at all. For Turret presses the Lyman one is good. There are others but any press must be strong (regardless of what Lee claims) when you start doing rifle cartridges.

    Reloading can be fun but it takes time. The more time you save reloading the more time you have for shooting or other activities. Before retiring when my time was very limited I needed to do lots of ammo in a short time and the Dillon Progressive was just the answer. To even think of doing reloading with a Standard Press to me seems like drugery and a total waste of time, even though I'm now retired and time is more plentiful.

    Progressives and Turret press made ammo can match Standard press ammo anytime, at least for me. I reload over 30 different cartridge calibers on my Progressive and have been for over 20 years (same Dillon RL550B!).

  4. lfosburg

    lfosburg New Member

    Apr 1, 2008
    Nice, I guess my main concern is primer safety and powder accuracy, is it just as easy to check the powder output often with a turret press, and is it consistent with the full throw of the lever every time?
  5. Terry_P

    Terry_P New Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    I use a single stage as I weigh each charge on all rifle I reload. Handgun I get the thrower set (except 44 mag hunting loads I weigh all) where I want it and check every 15th or so. Time is also not an issue for me as I am retired as well.

    The single stage is a less expensive than a turret or progressive so the savings could be put toward an electronic scale and other goodies like a case tumbler.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2008
  6. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA

    "primer safety and powder accuracy"

    Both progressive and turrets have built in precautions for primmers. My Dillon and other presses store the new primers in a tube attached to the press. The tube on the Dillon is actually a piece of pipe that is perhaps twice a thick as needed and would contain any primer mishaps. In twenty some years of regualr reloading with the Dillon RL550B I have NEVER had a primer go off in the tube or during primer seating. I am carefull but I think the concerns for primer safety are over stressed by some.

    My Dillon has its own powder measure that is so accurate that once set I never check it during the reloading session. I know, it says here check it every ten rounds but after years of use I find that totally unnecessary. For the Turret press you can get a regular powder measure, afix it to a special die and operate it by hand just as accurately as if it is seperate and on a bench mounted stand. If you get the sequencing down you will never throw a double charge. Most really good powder measures never throw under charges, especially if you stay away from long extruded old IMR powders. I like most of the Hodgdon powders as they have short cut versions of old favorites and since they now own IMR are short cutting the IMR line as we speak.

    It has been shown many times by many people that super accurate measurement of the powder is a waste of time. It turns out that other varibles in reloading swamp out any gain you might get by having super accurate powder measurement. Throwing charges from a GOOD powder measure is plenty accurate enough for even bench rest shooters.

    I would challenge you and others to give a close look at the Dillon RL550B. Since it includes a powder measure and one setup for one caliber (verify this!), the primer tooling and virtually all that you will need to reload, the total cost of the package, compared to buying the parts and pieces for either the Standard press or a Turret press, might be closer than you think. The Dillon does not have to be used progressively and can be used exactly as you would use a Turret press. But I think if person uses it for a bit he will recognise that using it progressively is really not that much different form using it as a Turret press and the volume of production goes up by a factor of three.

    This is, of course, my opinion and yours and others may differ. I have used all three of the reloading presses and would never go back from my Progressive press. The Dillon RL550B, in particular, is superior with their absolutely great customer service, unlike Lee and Hornady. But you choose and feel free to ask whatever questions here that might come up. We are opinionated (??) here, but very helpful.

    Last edited: Apr 2, 2008
  7. detroit25

    detroit25 New Member

    Jan 23, 2008
    I would not give up my turret press (dillon 650) for my pistol and plinking loads. At the same time I am still old school with my target loads and weigh out every charge by hand with a standard press. I all come sdown to how patient you are it is hard to spend an hour or 2 then shoot it up in 5 minutes.

    Just my 2 cents.
  8. stash247

    stash247 New Member

    Oct 18, 2003
    Central Texas
    I have a RCBS Rockcucker, that works quite well,for forming cases, and such, but the Dillon 450 I bought, some twenty years ago, seems to do that, and all the rest, just fine,and a lot faster.
    if were shooting, and I am, a weekend league, fresh, accurate ammo becomes a real issue, every weekend; there is no better place than the dump box, at the right side of a good progressive press, to find it.
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