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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Posts: 16
(1/7/02 12:18:50 am)
Reply | Edit | Del All Just Getting Started In Reloading
OK so I'm new to 1911's and reloading......

I bought a Lee Deluxe Turret Press Kit a year ago and never did anything with it, due to time and space. One of my close shooting buddy's has a spare room that he is converting to a gun room for us to use. I'm planning on setting up my reloading press there, which isn't the ideal situation, but is what is available.

so here are my questions:
1) since I bought this press, Lee came out with a 4-die model. What's the 4th die for? Do I need it?

2) I'm starting with .357 Mag only because I figure it is safer to reload for a revolver than an auto starting out. Why? Gut instinct. Is there any basis in this or am I just crazy?

3) I'm sure I'll have many more questions, so we'll just save #3 for a later date. :)

Posts: 766
(1/7/02 1:57:42 am)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: Just Getting Started In Reloading
Darkstar, I am glad you are getting into reloading. I am not real familiar with the Lee, but I would say that it is for either a bell case mouth expander if you use that, or for the crimper if you use a separate one like a taper crimp for automatics. More than likely it is for the tapercrimp.

If you are reloading with a die that has a crimp built in, (once again, I don't know Lee) You will not need the taper crimper.

As for revolver reloading being safer than auto, all reloading is a very safe sport if you Go by the rules. Follow the rules and You will never have a problem. Almost all data books have data that is well below the standards for pressures. My first advice is to read up on all the steps. Follow all those steps to a T. Reloading safety is what you put into it. reloading can have some very subtle tricks. Pressures cause velocities to go up or down, and there are a dozen different ways to affect pressure. If you run into any questions give us a holler.

V.I.P. Member
Posts: 188
(1/7/02 2:40:05 am)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: Just Getting Started In Reloading
most bullet-seating dies incorporate a case-crimp in the body of the die.
I deliberately set my seating die high in the die-holder (I use a Dillon 550), adjust the inner bullet-seater to make up for it, and use the fourth station for a seperate seating die.

nothing inherently safer in reloading for a revolver instead of a pistol that I know of, except for this - if you somehow miss adding powder to a round, and you are rapid-firing with a pistol, you'll hear the minor 'pop' of the primer, and the gun will not cycle a fresh round. With a revolver, you'll advance the cylinder to the next round, and fire another round down a blocked barrel.

New to reloading? Go slow. Be careful. Inspect everything. No grab-ass, no distractions while operating the press.

Another safety technique if you are really worried, or frequently having problems with your reloads, is use a slower-burning / bulkier powder, so that if you accidentally double-charge a case, it will be enough powder to overflow the case and make it obvious.

Another precaution if you get really worried about it ( ) - use your scale and weigh every single round - if it's way too light, no powder, way too heavy, too much powder.


Senior Chief Moderator Staff
Posts: 1423
(1/7/02 10:11:51 am)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: Just Getting Started In Reloading
rayra gives some excellent advice.

Loading for an automatic is safer than loading for a revolver, for the reasons he stated.

Keep your loading bench neat and clean. NEVER have two (or more) different types of powder on your bench at the same time! NEVER!

Start with mininum loads, and work up from there.

After you've poured your powder, visually check EVERY round! Pour out and weigh every 4th or 5th round until you're absolutely, completely, totally sure that your powder measure is throwing the correct load of powder!

Inspect and measure everything! Then inspect and measure everything again!

We're not trying to discourage you.....on the contrary.....but reloading is sort of like learing to drive. At first you've got to concentrate on EVERYTHING. Once you get more experience, safe reloading becomes a second nature to you.

Posts: 1090
(1/7/02 9:19:33 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: Just Getting Started In Reloading
Hya, these fellows are giving good advice, just be real slow and cautious at first and only load one caliber at a time. Keep other gear and calibers off the loading zone so there won't be any accidents.

I don't recomend having your reloading press over at a friends house. If you are strapped for room, they got steel pedestal tables for reloading presses, hardly take up any room at all. Or you can mount the press on a hardwood board or metal plate and c-clamp it to your kitchen table or small work bench.

Your press over at a friends house makes it his press, possession is 9/10 of the law.

When you get comfident with reloading, get yourself a Dillon AT 500 Progressive or Dillon 550 B Progressive press.

Good luck on your new reloading hobby.


V.I.P. Member
Posts: 110
(1/8/02 10:58:34 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del reloading
The forth hole in the turrent is for you to " post Crimp " if you choose to.

With the new dies that Lee makes, there is NO need to post crimp for the 357mag, it can be done in the seating die.. ( ALLWAYS GET THE CARBIDE DIES ) for hand guns.

The only round that i " post crimp " is for my 45acp, lee sells a " Factory Crimp Die " for the 45acp, has greatly improved my accuracy

I have Three ( 3 ) Lee press, #1 LoadMaster, #2 turrent press w/auto indexing, #3 single stage.

I load 357 on my loadmaster, about 500rds an hour. The Dillion presses are a little better, but a hole lot more in price.

If your going to stay in this for the long run, in the near future, buy a " FULL PROGRESSIVE PRESS ", if you dont, you will kick yourself in the butt forever.

imho jmtcw


Posts: 21
(1/8/02 11:48:35 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: reloading
Thanks to all for the input. I think I've decided to start with .45 ACP instead of .357 Mag, or perhaps I'll do both.

AGunguy, can you steer me to a link for one of those pedestal tables you mentioned? I really don't like the idea of setting up at my friend's house, either, because it seems like something I need to do when I need/want to do it, with absolute concentration and not driving 30 minutes to get there. I'm checking with my apartment complex tomorrow to find out if the garages have electric outlets in them. If they do, I got me a reloading room!

Posts: 1104
(1/9/02 12:36:13 am)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: reloading
DarkStar, I seen them ads in the gunney magazines, you just have to check all the ads...usually in the rear section of the mags.

If I run across it, I'll post it for you or check to see if you get email.


Posts: 2
(1/17/03 8:58:05 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Lee turret press
I have a 4 slot Lee turret press. It works great. The extra slot is for the factory Crimp die. I recommend it, if your going to crimp, the conversion is cheap. The reason is, when you seat and crimp at the same time, the crimp varies slightly along with seating depth due to slight variations in bullet and case dimensions. Now that I seat and crimp seperatly the OAL is consistent and makes my crimps closer to the same on each round. The crimps are very important to me loading for a 44 mag, using W296 & H110. Chrono data showed loads with the exact same digitally weighed charges varied 30 fps between rounds. Getting the crimps closer to the the same reduced it to around 10 fps for me. Made a difference in accuracy needless to say. But, to each his own, just my 2 cents worth on the subject.

****** Hunter

Posts: 39
(1/19/03 8:23:11 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del midway usa
midway has the reloading stand,and they carry all the componants you'll need at excellent prices and shipping.straight walled cases are easiest,and cheaper than bottleneck cases.have fun and be safe.
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