Buying a reloading press? You’re in the right place. In my last article I started by discussing the most basic form of reloading press, the Single Stage Press. The next level of sophistication is the so-called Turret Press, which I’ll cover in this article.
The basic single stage press is limited in that it can only hold one die at a time. This die needs to be removed and replaced with further dies to perform additional tasks, typically involving three separate die changes. This is time consuming, especially if the dies need to be readjusted each time.
The Turret Press tackles this problem by adding a rotating disk (the “Turret”) which has a number of holes in which to mount dies, usually referred to as stations. These holes are tapped most commonly (but not always) with a 7/8”-14 thread/inch (TPI) thread which is the industry “standard” for reloading dies. The number of stations varies with the type of press and manufacturer, but is commonly 4 – 5. The turret is fitted with the necessary reloading dies and rotated over the case holder so that all the necessary reloading operations can be performed on a single case. This rotation may be manual or automatic (auto-indexed), where the turret rotates to the next station each time the press handle is pulled. A typical manually indexed press is shown in Figure 1 (note the handle to rotate the turret), and a typical auto-indexed press is shown in Figure 2.
Turret presses vary in price depending on the level of optional capabilities available or installed, e.g., the ability to add a primer punch. Typically, turret presses start at around $200, but may go as high as $400.
Die sets for turret presses generally contain 3 dies. A decapping die (Station 1), a resizing die (Station 2) and a seating/crimping die (Station 4). If you have a combined decapping/resizing die this would go into Station 1, the seating die into Station 3 and a separate crimp die could go into Station 4.
A fourth die, the powder funnel or powder thrower is fitted between the resizing die and the seating die, which may be Station 2 or 3 depending on your specific configuration. The dies used on turret presses do not need the locking grub screws highlighted in the article on single stage presses as turret presses can have their dies adjusted and left untouched unless you need to adjust your loads.
Assessing reloading rates for turret presses is not easy as it depends on the specific equipment configuration. i.e. the number of dies used, whether or not you have a primer punch fitted and the means of adding powder, manual or via a powder thrower.
Average reloading rates may be only slightly better than for a single stage press (around 100/hour), or as high as 200 rounds/hour if you have the additional primer and powder facilities fitted. Essentially turret presses relieve you of the task of removing and replacing dies, but depending on the exact configuration, may not significantly increase your reloading rates.
A turret press may be worth considering, especially if you are only reloading a single caliber of ammunition and your budget is tight. If you are reloading more than one caliber, look for a turret press that has interchangeable turrets so that you can install your dies into a single turret, and simply change the turrets as necessary.
Another option if you have the bench space available may be a couple of cheaper turret presses, one set up for each caliber.
In the next article I will go to the most elaborate level of reloading presses, Progressive Presses.
Featured Image Courtesy of www.rcbs.com