Yes, I know my bench is a mess… that will change soon.
Awhile back I wrote about my quest for a new reloading setup and my final decision to go with the Lee Classic Turret press. Well, almost exactly 48 hours ago I decided to commit to the purchase while sitting on my couch watching Leno. I have a C&R FFL which entitled me to really good discounts from Grafs. The Classic Turret Kit, which came with press, Pro Auto Disk Powder Measure, Pro Auto Disk Riser, Large and Small Safety Prime units, scale (which I won’t use due to already having a scale), Lee Lock Stud/Cutter, Chamfer Tool, Primer Pocket Cleaning Tool, and lube only ran me $166. The kit also came with a copy of Modern Reloading 2nd Edition, Lee’s reloading book. The 9mm 4-die deluxe carbide set cost $35, and I picked up the adjustable powder charge bar for $6.49. 1,000 124gr Berry’s plated bullets ran me another $65. All told, including shipping, I ended up at $303.
Much to my surprise, the box was on my doorstep this afternoon. Yup… placed the order late Thursday night, and here it is on Saturday in my hands (and this was just standard ground shipping). Needless to say, I wasted no time getting this set up, which proved to be very easy and straight-forward.
Cut to the chase: I have loaded my first 50 rounds of 9mm with this press and am very impressed. Everything works like it should and the press feels like a quality piece of equipment. The safety prime system works well… very well so far. The turret rotates with ease, and the Lee dies are of course excellent. I’m most impressed with the Pro Auto Disk measure. I’m using the .43 hole in the disk to throw Bullseye powder, and I checked it about 6 times during the process since this is all new to me. All six checks came out at EXACTLY 4 grains, which is precisely what I wanted. This powder measure is outstanding and very accurate; just as accurate as weighing each charge by hand.
I’ll say that what impresses me most is how simple this whole setup is engineered. I thought I was missing parts to the priming arms until I realized they just sit inside the ram… no extra springs, pins, etc. And they work well. The safety prime is very handy, more so than my RCBS Rockchucker’s priming system. And, as I mentioned, the powder measure is so far outstanding. The turret just lifts out without any tools, and if the user wants to disable the auto index feature it’s a matter of just pulling the index rod out. Yes, there are plastic parts, but they seem to be the parts that CAN be plastic and still fulfill their function well. Most of all, I appreciate that Lee doesn’t gouge on price. They seem to charge what products SHOULD cost vs. what most other companies charge.
I used to think that Lee products were on the “cheap” side; boy, was I mistaken. Even though I grew up using RCBS, this new Lee setup has me impressed. Lee seems to take a simple, straight-forward and creative way to making reloading happen. Even the way their books and instructions are written are very matter of fact and to the point. And, best of all, my first box of reloaded 9mm cost $4.98!
Here’s a pic showing the precision to which the powder measure is throwing charges:
My first 50 9mm rounds on the Lee Classic Turret. All for less than a McDonald’s value meal!
A close up of a few of the finished product: