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Thread: Oh, really?

  1. #1
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    Oh, really?

    I 'm probably going to get myself in hot water with somebody for posting this, but I can't keep it bottled up inside any longer. The only question is whether to post it in the Ammo & Reloading discussion area, or make it the daily laugh in General Discussion. But ... it's about reloading, so I'll put it here.

    The vast majority of my reloading is .45 ACP. Despite owning a single stage press and three progressive presses, I do all of my reloading on a Lee Turret Press. Why? Because it works, and it's fast enough for me to load enough ammunition to supply my shooting needs. If and when I find that my loading can't keep up with my shooting -- well, that's why there are those three progressive presses waiting in the wings.

    So I know what a turret press is and what it can do. The Lee Turret Press, in fact, offers something that I don't think any other turret press offers -- auto-indexing. Each time I pull the handle, after performing the operation it automatically advances the turret so the next die is lined up for the next operation. It's pretty slick ... I have, on occasion, described it as a "semi-progressive" press. Working with cleaned and pre-primed brass, I typically produce roughly 50 rounds per hour. I could increase that throughput a bit, but when working with something that can blow your fingers off if you make a mistake, I don't care to rush things.

    Imagine my surprise, then, when I peeked into a discussion on another web site and saw a gentleman claiming that HE can produce 320 rounds of handgun ammunition per hour, using cleaned but unprimed brass, on a turret press that doesn't offer autoindexing.

    Really?

    Let's break that down. First up, a turret press is just a gussied up single stage press. One pull of the handle only performs one operation on one cartridge. I use a 4-die set, so I have to pull the handle four times to produce one round. The gentleman in question didn't stipulate whether he uses a 3-die or 4-die setup. To be generous, we'll say maybe he only needs three pulls of the handle for each round. But he doesn't use a Lee press, so he doesn't have auto-indexing. Hmmmm ...

    320 rounds per hour means 5.33 rounds per minute ... for every single minute of a 60-minute hour. That's 11.26 seconds per round. In those 11.26 seconds, he has to

    • Insert a case into the case holder
    • Pull the handle to resize
    • Push the handle up, while flipping a primer into position to be pressed into the case
    • Advance the turret to the next position
    • Pull the handle to flare, and (I guess) charge the case
    • Push the handle up
    • Advance the turret to the next position
    • Look into the case to verify that it has been charged
    • Pick up a bullet and place it on the mouth of the case
    • Pull the handle to seat the bullet and crimp
    • Push the handle up
    • Remove the finished cartridge and drop it into a receptacle of some kind
    • Advance the turret to the starting position
    • Pick up an empty case and prepare to do it all over again -- 319 more times


    That averages out to 3.75 seconds per pull of the handle ... continuously, without stopping or slowing down, for a solid hour.

    Or, he could be using the turret like a single stage, and doing each operation in batches. But doing it that way means having to handle each case three times before it finally gets finished. I don't even want to think about laying out the time-task sequence for doing it that way to get 320 rounds per hour.

    Bottom line: I think he's either exaggerating massively on his production ... or he's on crack.

    If anyone else uses a turret press (any brand or model), please feel free to chime in and tell me what your production rate is. If I'm missing something, I'd really like to know it.
    Hawkmoon
    On a good day, can hit the broad side of a barn ... from the inside
    Likes (7) :
    donkeydan71 (19th December 2018), LarryM (7th August 2019), mus (18th June 2019), MuyModesto (17th December 2018), PolyKahr (20th December 2018), Sergio Natali (5th June 2019), Tree Top (4th June 2019)


  2. #2
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    I cal bollocks on that Hawkmoon.

    I use a single stage press for rifle and a Dillon 1050 for handgun. Now!

    When I started reloading handgun, I used my Rockchucker until I got a Lee Progressive 1000. On a good day, I could get between 90-100 or so rounds per hour from the RC, but I got about 250 on the Lee.

    Now using the 1050 with a KISS BulletFeeder I can get about 1200 - 1500 rounds per hour.

    Remember that you still have to add to the powder measure, keep the primer tube full, keep the bulletfeeder full and the casefeeder full. I do have the Dillon primer tube filler. I could , also, prefill the primer tubes (extras) to speed things up.
    MFWIC
    DILLIGAF
    Stercus Accidit
    WTFDTSG

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BHP9 View Post
    Remember that you still have to add to the powder measure, keep the primer tube full, keep the bulletfeeder full and the casefeeder full. I do have the Dillon primer tube filler. I could , also, prefill the primer tubes (extras) to speed things up.
    I can see 250 rounds per hour on a Pro 1000 -- but that's a true progressive press, with only three stations. But the Lee Turret Press? It doesn't have a primer tube. If you prime on the press, it uses a round primer tray, and Lee doesn't want you to have more than 20 primers in the tray at one time. (The new trays are trapezoidal, IIRC. And I guess maybe some other brands of turret presss may use a primer tube.) There isn't any bullet feeder or case feeder -- both of those operations are all manual.

    320 rounds per hour? I don't think that's possible on a turret press -- any turret press -- even if you have six hands.
    Hawkmoon
    On a good day, can hit the broad side of a barn ... from the inside
    Likes (1) :
    Sergio Natali (5th June 2019)


  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkmoon View Post

    320 rounds per hour? I don't think that's possible on a turret press -- any turret press -- even if you have six hands.
    Exactly. Which is why I called bollocks.
    MFWIC
    DILLIGAF
    Stercus Accidit
    WTFDTSG

  5. #5
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    I have the Lee Classic turret. I can double your rate, topping out at best at maybe 100 rph.

    I have to have a pile of bullets available to my left hand and a primer auto feed. That still must be refilled. That time is included if it is necessary to refill before the batch is done. My primer tray can hold 100 or a few more so for my best rate I do not refill it. At that I average one round every 36 seconds to do so. A light is affixed to the press so I can do a lean in to check powder level but sometimes it is easier to observe the disk deliver the powder charge from above and see the drop tube through the die is cleared.

    I do not load 45 ACP on it as I have a dedicated progressive for that. The turret press is for 32 Long, 38 special, 25-20 WCF, 380 ACP, and others. I cannot average 320 rounds an hour even with the progressive as the primer feed holds only around 100 at a time and refilling, while not as slow as some, adds to the elapsed time. As does refilling the case feeder tubes. At best I cannot do even half its claimed production rate of 600 rph, which is in my opinion is false advertising. But you gotta lure the buyer with lurid claims, right?

    If I had pre filled primer trays and did not care to run the press to account for caution and the “feel” needed to detect whether the primer was seated correctly I suppose I could improve on that a little bit, but the quality of the ammo would suffer and my level of production mistakes would go way up. Not gonna do that.

    Absolutely no way anyone can make 320 RPH on a non indexing turret. Or even on a self indexing turret press. It takes time to flip and orient the case, refill primer feed tubes, etc.

    Put up a hundred dollar bet with witnesses. Better yet, ask him to demonstrate loading 50 rounds on YouTube. Should just take him under nine and a half minutes. To verify the 320 claim, ask him how long it takes to fill the primer feed tubes by showing and timing that, and extrapolate from there. Won’t get it done.

    This is like all the revolvers that shoot averages of one MOA at 100 yards, or your second cousin’s friend’s 22 he bought cheap from Sears back in the day that shoots bugholes at the same distance with cheap bulk 550 count box Thunderbolt.

    Found on the internet and nowhere else. Which means that when you try to find them in person, they can’t be found. Which is the same thing as not actually existing.
    Last edited by 1944Colt; 22nd December 2018 at 12:34.


  6. #6
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    I've used one of the turret presses, it didn't auto rotate and was many years ago. I don't see how that rate of production can be done.
    Lynnie, "Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal. "
    - Albert Camus
    Likes (1) :
    Sergio Natali (5th June 2019)


  7. #7
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    I can do 225 on a Lyman AA Turret running wide open but it is not sustainable for more than two hours..lol

    Greg

  8. #8
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    Last time I looked speed reloading was not a sanctioned Olympic sport and no first place prizes or trophies are given for the person who can reload the most ammo in an hour .
    You want to reload , or claim to reload , 250 , 350 , 500 rounds per hour ...Go for it !
    I would rather load safe accurate ammunition...ergo, I don't even bother to count rpm's (rounds per minute) , it's just not important.
    Gary
    Likes (4) :
    DocWyatt (16th June 2019), Mark75H (3rd June 2019), mus (18th June 2019), MuyModesto (4th June 2019)


  9. #9
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    When I reload I pause to think about how many I want to do in the free time available. I have plastic loading blocks that hold 60 rounds. I've had them for maybe 40 years or so. Usually 120 (2 blocks) or 180 (3 blocks) is about right for me. I can do a quality job without getting to the point of feeling rushed or unhappy about what I'm doing.
    i sold all my handguns. . . . . . . . . . except for the 1911 style pistols in .45 ACP.

  10. #10
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    I've just seen this thread.
    I agree completely with Hawkmoon.
    I've got two presses, a LYMAN for cal .308 Winch and my 20+ years old LEE Turret 4 stations that I've used to reload 38 SPL, 357 MAG., 44 S&W, .45 ACP and 9x21 IMI.
    I'm sure that in the years I've reloaded many thousands rounds, especially of 9x21 IMI and .45 ACP.
    I've never been in a hurry, if I need more ammo, I reload until late at night.
    Calm and concentration are always useful when reloading, and in fact I've NEVER had any issue.
    Buy the gun not the story and don't be drawn to an example that is not original, originality isn't something that can be restored. I've never seen a 1911 I didn't like.
    Likes (1) :
    MuyModesto (5th June 2019)


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