An increasing number of people are looking for the best turret press these days. That’s because the turret press is considerably more efficient than a single stage press, but it’s not as complicated or as expensive as a progressive press.
With the best turret reloading press, you can substantially increase the number of rounds you can reload in a single hour. It should still be easy to use, which is crucial if you’re still a newbie to reloading.
But which one is the best turret press for reloading? To help you make that choice from so many potential options, we’ve compiled a list of the best turret presses for your inspection.
- 1 Top 4 Turret Presses: Comparison Chart
- 2 Best Picks for Turret Press
- 3 What is the Best Turret Press?
- 4 How Does the Turret Reloading Press Work?
- 5 How Turret Press Differs from Other Reloading Presses?
- 6 Advantages of Owning a Turret Reloading Press
- 7 Things to Consider Before Buying Turret Reloading Press
- 8 How to Reload with A Turret Reloading Press?
- 9 Who Makes the Best Turret Reloading Press?
- 10 Final Verdict
- 11 FAQs of Turret Reloading Press
Top 4 Turret Presses: Comparison Chart
Here’s a convenient overview of what you’re getting from each of the recommended turret press options on our list:
|LEE PRECISION Classic Turret Press Kit||
|LEE PRECISION Classic Turret Press||
|RCBS C-Frame Cast Iron 88901 Turret Press||
|Lyman All American 8 Turret Press for Reloading||
Best Picks for Turret Press
Here’s a closer look at the turret press options you should consider first. These are all from the famous brands, as these manufacturers all have a long history in providing topnotch reloading presses for the reloading community.
LEE PRECISION Classic Turret Press Kit
- This kit and a set of Lee dies is everything you need to begin reloading
- Note: the Bench Plate system the Classic Turret Press is mounted to in the photo is sold separately.
- Made in USA
- The kit includes the Pro Auto-Drum powder measure and riser, perfect for all handgun and small rifle cartridges.
Last update on 2021-04-14 / Affiliate Links (#ad) / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
This is the Classic turret press kit, and it comes with all the accessories you’ll need. We’re going to look more closely at the turret press (that’s next on this list), so for now we’re going to check out what other items are included here.
This kit offers a budget turret press, along with these accessories:
Auto-drum powder measure
This will accurately dispense powder for the case, so that you get the right amount of powder each time. This won’t spill a charge, and with a bottle adapter you can just put in a different bottle of powder at any time.
This may not be the best powder measure for reloading, but it’s better than most.
Powder measure riser
This lifts the powder measure out of contact with the safety prime system. This is a necessary accessory if you’re using the Lee auto-drum powder measure.
Large and small safety prime
This is the priming system for large and small primers.
Case conditioning tools (lock stud, large and small primer pocket cleaner, chamfer tool, cutter, and tube of Lee case sizing lube)
These are the tools you need for case prep, which means preparing the case properly for reloading. With these, you can clean the primer pocket, chamfer the case, cut the case to the right length, and lubricate the case for the resizing die (if the die isn’t made of carbide).
Cartridge-specific case length gauge
This gauge tells you if the case you have needs to be trimmed first.
Lee Safety Powder Scale
This will let you weigh your powder so that you know just how much you put in for each cartridge. Once you’ve dialed in the amount in your powder measure, you can check about 1 in every 10 powder batches to confirm that you’re still getting the right amount of powder.
Modern Reloading 2nd Edition
Every reloader needs a reloading manual, so that you know what recipe to follow for your powder and caliber. This manual has a great section on the basics of reloading, which is great for newbies.
All these accessories work well, and they’re all designed to work together efficiently. The only thing you may want to replace is the balance scale, as lots of people these days prefer a digital scale instead.
Still, this is an excellent option. It’s easy to see why the typical Lee Classic Turret Press Kit review raves about it.
LEE PRECISION Classic Turret Press
- If you are using the Auto-Disk Powder Measure on this press, the Auto Disk Riser will need to be Purchased to Provide Adequate Clearance for the Lee Safety Prime.
- Features Solid Steel Linkage
- The Industry's Largest Ram is Drilled Completely Through to Dispense Primers in an Attached Clear PVC Tube
- Heavy Duty Construction
Last update on 2021-04-03 / Affiliate Links (#ad) / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Now let’s take a closer look at the turret press that’s at the heart of the kit listed above. If you’re a pistol owner, this may be the turret press for reloading pistol rounds you want.
This is one sturdy press, with the cast iron base, solid steel linkage, and hardwood for the lever. This will last for generations, especially with the proper maintenance.
This also comes with mounting holes, so you can set it on your workbench or stand. You do have to buy the mounting hardware separately.
Its features include auto-indexing, which makes it extremely easy to use. You can use this feature for pistol rounds, and for cartridges that’s 3.313 inches in length.
You can still use this for longer rifle cartridges, but then you’ll have to advance the case manually through the stations.
This comes with 4 stations, and you don’t really need a lot of stations anyway (especially for pistol rounds).
Even the handle is great, with the wooden ball offering comfortable continuous use. You can even change the length of the handle to give you the right amount of force for different calibers.
This is extremely affordable, as the other models on this list are much more expensive. But the overall design and efficiency makes this perhaps the best turret press for the money.
You do need to maintain it properly, so that it will work well for a long time.
You should regularly take out the spent primer crud, and lubricate the turret press maybe after every 500 reloaded rounds.
With its 4 stations, it’s simple enough for even newbies to start with. It’s one of the best beginner turret press kit options around.
But if you’re looking to upgrade from a single press, this is also a viable option. In its price range, it’s likely the best turret reloading press for accuracy.
RCBS C-Frame Cast Iron 88901 Turret Press
Last update on 2021-04-03 / Affiliate Links (#ad) / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
With this one, you now have 6 stations on the turret head. Plenty of RCBS turret press review articles like it for just that reason alone.
One of the stations is for your primer feeder, so you can put in 5 dies here for reloading. You do have the option of mounting your dies in any sequence you prefer.
What you have here is extremely simple to operate, as it doesn’t have anything overly complicated for a newbie. You can get the control you want for every step, so that you’re able to get the match-grade rounds you’re aiming for.
In fact, you can use this for either single stage or progressive mode, with the single stage mode giving you about 50 rounds reloaded per hour. But when you switch to the progressive mode, you can increase the output up to 200 reloaded rounds per hour.
This comes with a rugged frame made from cast iron. You also get a baked epoxy finish that resists chipping and fading, and it’s very easy to clean.
The turret head is secured with a single bolt, so that you can change over to different dies more easily.
The pin assembly and the ball handle are also ambidextrous, so you can position them for left-handed use.
The design seats the primers away from the stacked primers, and there’s a primer catcher as well for your spent primers.
Lyman All American 8 Turret Press for Reloading
Last update on 2021-04-03 / Affiliate Links (#ad) / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
This offers 8 stations, which is extremely awesome and convenient. You can put in just about every reloading die you have to make the reloading easier.
Or you can put in 2 sets of 4 dies, so that your turret press is always ready to reload 2 different calibers.
This comes with a large frame, made from heavy-duty cast iron. The durable coat finish helps this to last for a very long while.
This also comes with a straight-line primer feed, which is easy to use and completely reliable. You even get a heavy steel shield surrounding the primer tubes for extra safety.
The frame is large enough for even the longest rifle cases. Quite a few folks see this as their best rifle turret press.
The ball handle can also be set for left-handed use.
All in all, it’s a solid turret with the convenient 8 stations that you rarely find in other turret presses.
The innovative priming system is awesome with its reliability, and this turret press can really speed up the reloading especially with different calibers. The size makes it the best turret handloading press for rifles for lots of reloaders.
Perhaps the main problem here is that it’s made in China, so sometimes quality control is an issue. The good news is that a quick email to Lyman tends to solve your problems without any charge whatsoever.
What is the Best Turret Press?
The “best” turret press will have different definitions, depending on who you ask. But in most cases, the best turret presses for you are the ones that meet your needs perfectly.
Basically, it’s all about meeting your standards regarding the number of cases you can reload over a given time period. At the same time, each reloaded case should meet your expectations regarding its quality.
Reloading your own ammo can actually be a lot of fun, and that’s part of the reason why it’s so popular. It’s certainly more fun with a turret press, as it’s more efficient than a single-stage reloading press.
If you’re able to reload as many cases as you’ve reasonably expected, then you have yourself a good turret press. If the reloaded ammo gives you the shooting performance you’d hoped for, then you have a terrific turret press.
If you find yourself looking forward to your next reloading session because it’s just fun—well, you sure found the best turret press for yourself.
How Does the Turret Reloading Press Work?
The turret press lets you reload your own ammo with greater efficiency and at a faster rate.
First of all, you have several stations for your dies, instead of a single station. That means you can put in several dies at the same time.
These are the dies that does specific tasks relevant to reloading. These dies can be used for tasks such as resizing the case, removing the spent primer, trimming the case to the right length, funneling the powder into the case, seating the bullet into the case, and crimping the case.
Once you’ve secured the dies to the station, you can then set the case into one of the stations. You turn the handle of the turret press, and you set the bullet into the die to get the task done.
After that, you just set the case into the next station for the next task. You continue doing this, moving the case from one station to the next, until you’ve finished reloading the brass.
Some turret presses even have an auto-indexing feature, which means the case moves automatically from one station to another. That really speeds up the process.
How Turret Press Differs from Other Reloading Presses?
The turret press may be considered the “compromise” model, between the simpler single stage reloading press and the more advanced progressive press.
Turret Press vs. Single Stage Press
With the single stage press, you have a reloading press that can only accommodate 1 die at a time. That means you’re only able to accomplish one task at a time, such as sizing the die.
Once you’re done with that task, you then have to remove the die and put in a new die for a new task, such as seating the bullet into the casing.
With the turret press, you have several stations so you can put in several dies at once. You can then just move the case from one station to another to finish the reloading process, without having to replace dies for each new task.
This improvement in the design gets things done faster, and with less frustration. While you can probably do 100 rounds per hour with a single stage press, you can reload at least 200 (or maybe even more with practice) with a turret press.
Turret Press vs. Progressive Press
The progressive press also has several stations for dies, but its main advantage is that you’re not limited to working on a single cartridge at a time. Each station can work on a different case, so that you have a virtual assembly line working on your cartridges to get them reloaded.
However, progressive presses are much more expensive than turret presses, because of its expanded capabilities. A progressive press is also a lot more complicated, which can be rather overwhelming for newbie reloaders.
Even veteran reloaders like using turret presses over progressive presses sometimes, especially for reloading match-grade rounds. By working on a single round at a time, the reloader can take more care with each round, and they’re able to see if things go wrong.
Advantages of Owning a Turret Reloading Press
So why own a reloading press? Here are several good reasons:
You can use a turret press to reload your own ammo, using fired cartridges. That can save you a lot of money in the long run.
That’s especially true for rifle rounds, as you can cut down on your ammo expenses by as much as 50%. That means you can spend the same for ammo and then get double the number of rounds, which you can fire to maintain your firearms skills.
The turret press isn’t as expensive as the progressive press, which cuts down on your initial investment. It may be more expensive than the single stage press, but then you’re able to produce even more rounds (and get more savings) by the hour.
More Accurate Rounds
With a turret press, you may be able to reload your ammo so that you have more accurate ammunition than the factory-made rounds. This gives you an advantage in shooting matches, as well when you’re hunting.
It’s this reason why some experienced reloaders still use this type of reloading press. Since you’re still working on a single case at a time, you can immediately notice any issue or problem that can lead to inaccurate rounds.
Easy to Use
While the single stage press is still ideal for absolute reloading newbies, an increasing number of beginners are opting for the turret press. That’s because it’s still easy to use, and not as overwhelmingly complicated as the progressive press.
You’re still working on a single case at a time, but you’re spared the tedious step of replacing the die when you need to do another task in the reloading process. That advantage gives you more rounds per hour than a single stage press.
Things to Consider Before Buying Turret Reloading Press
You should read the spec sheets closely, and check out the reviews for the turret presses you’re considering. When you read these turret reloading press reviews and product specs, pay attention to the following factors:
Brand Name of Turret Reloading Press
When it comes to reloading presses, you have to stick with the name brands. These are the brands that have consistently offered the best turret presses for decades.
It may be fine to experiment with newer brands for your reloading accessories, but your reloading press is the centerpiece of your entire reloading gear. You have to go with the brands that won’t risk your money.
Kit or Standalone of Turret Reloading Press
It’s well-known that reloading presses won’t work well without the right accessories. The problem is that you then have to make sure that the accessories you get will actually work with the turret presses you have.
Again, this is the reason why you want to stick with name brands. Famous brands like Lyman, RCBS, and Lee Precision tend to offer a wide range of accessories, so you get the accessories from the same brand that made the turret.
If that’s what you want to do, then you should seriously consider getting best turret press kit.
It saves you the problem of finding the right accessories, and you may even enjoy some cost savings by buying everything at once. It saves you a lot of time, too, so that you can immediately start reloading your ammo once you get your kit.
Even if you go with a standalone option, see if the purchase comes with a few free accessories (or built-in features that are like accessories). The more accessories you get, the better.
Of course, in most cases you still need to get your own set of dies for the calibers you’ll be working on. You also generally have to buy your stand or workbench separately.
Number of Stations
This is one feature you can easily check. The more stations you have, the more dies you can set in.
Most turret presses offer at least 3 stations, but go for at least 4 stations to be on the safe side. Some turrets offer even more stations, which means you can have 2 sets of dies (for 2 different calibers.
This feature may add to the cost, but you may find it worth your money.
This feature automatically indexes the case for the next station, so you won’t have to do this manually. This can really speed up the reloading process, and it’s great for high-volume reloading.
It ought to be predrilled for mounting (best for preventing tipping), and it’s great if it also comes with the rest of the mounting hardware you need.
It should be easy to set the dies in. It’s even better if it has a feature that speeds up this process of replacing dies for a different caliber to reload.
The best turret press for beginners will be a press that’s simple to use.
Check out all the other features that can help make things easier for you. These features should speed up the reloading process as well.
For example, if you’re left-handed, look for an ambidextrous handle. Make sure that the handle is easy to use (whether you’re left-handed or right-handed).
Durability of Turret Reloading Press
For the highest quality turret press, look for strong materials for the build, and check out how many complaints there are among the customer reviews. This press should last for many years, and you really don’t want a lightweight cheap turret press that will fail too soon.
How to Reload with A Turret Reloading Press?
The specific steps on using a turret press will depend, of course, on the specific turret press model you have. Each one tends to have its own set of features, and will require its own operational process.
On the other hand, most turret presses work alike in many ways, so the general steps are the same.
First you will have to assemble the item, which means you have to consult the manual for the specific assembly instructions.
Then you typically have to mount it, normally in your reloading bench. It should have the mounting holes already predrilled, though you may have to get your own mounting hardware.
You then have to set the dies on the stations. If you’re working on a different caliber that requires a different set of dies, that means you have to remove the dies and set in a new set of dies for that caliber.
There are 2 main ways to use a turret press once you’ve mounted it. You can use it for batch processing like a single stage press, or you can it for sequential case reloading.
Let’s say you want to use the turret press to reload 100 rounds.
With batch processing, this means you set each round on one die, such as the resizing die. When you’re done resizing all 5 rounds, you can then go on to the next die for all the 100 rounds.
This means you work on a single case until you’ve done all the tasks on it to reload the case. You can then work on one case at a time until you’ve reloaded all 100 cases.
This works much faster if you have the auto-indexing feature. This feature automatically sets the case for the next die whenever you pull the handle, which really speeds things up.
You may also have other accessories that increases your efficiency. You can use an automatic feeder, so that you won’t have to manually set a case into the turret press.
Who Makes the Best Turret Reloading Press?
Here’s the simple answer to this question: it’s a famous US brand with a long history in the reloading community.
This is why we stuck with Lyman, RCBS, and Lee Precision. These are the name brands that have consistently manufactured excellent reloading presses and accessories.
It’s too much of a gamble to go with an unknown brand when it comes to your turret press. Stick to the name brands, as you will get your money’s worth.
If you’re an experienced reloader, you can decide for yourself which turret press will suit your needs. You may want to go with the turret press with lots of stations, such as the RCBS C-Frame Cast Iron 88901 Turret Press or the Lyman All American 8 Turret Press for Reloading.
But if you’re a newbie, do yourself a favor and just get the LEE PRECISION Classic Turret Press Kit. It’s extremely affordable, and it’s super-easy to use.
As it’s a kit, you also save yourself a lot of time and trouble as you have the accessories you need. Just get the die set for your caliber, and you’re good to go.
We’re not the only ones who have come out with a rave Lee turret press review. This is the best turret press for lots of people, and those included longtime reloaders.
FAQs of Turret Reloading Press
Is the turret press simple enough for newbies?
That depends on the turret press you get. However, we made sure that beginners can handle the turret presses on our list.
Just how necessary is the auto-indexing feature?
It’s not absolutely necessary, especially if you want to carefully monitor each step for your precision rounds.
But if you want to speed things up for high-volume reloading, this is the most important feature to get.
Do you have to get the dies from the same brand?
You can get dies from different brands, as long as the threads match. Most of the time, the turret press and the dies use the standard 7/8”x14 thread.
How many holes do I need on a turret press?
To be safe, look for the best 4-hole turret press you can find. The best way to mount a turret press is to set it on your workbench.