Best Turret Press – 2021 Buyer’s Guide

Loading cartridges can be an enjoyable process as you tweak your ammunition to fit your gun perfectly. A single-stage press slowly and individually loads the rounds, and a progressive rapidly loads cartridges. If you want something in between, a turret press lets you make bullets quickly while also providing excellent precision.

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Best overall
  • Has impressive strength and construction
  • Takes universal shell holders
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  • Lightweight and compact
  • Works with different cartridges
  • Auto-indexing capabilities
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  • Best value for the money
  • Easy to use and set up
  • Has comfortable grip and lots of hand clearance
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  • No Auto Indexing
  • Accommodates long rifle cartridges
  • Heavy-duty and durable cast iron frame
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  • High quality cast iron C-frame and Turret
  • No Auto-Indexing
  • Has Six stations
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What is a Turret Press?

A turret press allows you to make ammo. If you need to make a few hundred bullets per hour, you may want to consider this item for its power and speed.

single-stage press works well for beginners, and you can precisely shape the bullets. You can use one case and die at a time. The turret limits you to one case but allows for multiple dies. The multi-die system lets you rotate quickly, thus speeding up the bullet-making process. 

While slower than the progressive, the manual-index presses provide greater accuracy. You can opt for an auto-indexing model to save time, but this limits the precision.

When Would I Use a Turret Press?

You use a turret press to make ammo. It has some benefits over other models that make it more suitable for certain uses.

When I’m On a Budget

Turret presses are readily available and accessible. While costlier than single stages, they are typically in a mid-price range. For speed and accuracy at a fair cost, the turret press can meet your needs. They are slower yet more precise than the progressive presses. Unless you need to make thousands of bullets an hour, you may as well get the turret.

When I’m a Beginner

If you are beginning reloading, consider the turret press. It requires little time, effort, and experience to assemble with a small learning curve. Turrets take more practice than single stages to handle, but they are still extremely user-friendly.

When I Need to Bulk Produce

An auto-indexing turret press will allow you to produce hundreds of bullets per hour. These presses effortlessly rotate between dies and require less manipulation on your part. While more complex and less accurate than manual indexing, auto-indexing helps you produce high-quality bullets quickly.

How to Choose a Turret Press

The most expensive presses are not necessarily the best. Plenty of other factors come into play.

Construction Quality

Durable presses require heavy-duty construction. The best material depends on the turret’s purpose. If you want to produce bulk ammunition, use a cast-aluminum press. For greater precision, consider a steel option. Another quality material is cast iron.

Indexing

There are two main indexing types: auto and manual. Auto-indexing saves time, but the turret loads shorter cartridges. If you prefer larger rounds and simplicity, manual indexing may be your best bet.

Caliber Support

Ensure your turret press lets you create rifle and pistol bullets. Even if you primarily work with one, it is useful to have the option for both. In the long run, this feature will save you money.

Ease of Assembly and Use

Turret presses may have less complexity than progressives, but they have more components than single stages. Nevertheless, the best turret press should have only a couple of parts to attach, all included in the purchase.
Also, ensure that your press is usable. It should be comfortable and straightforward to operate. The handle should be easy to pull down to activate the die, and the knobs should be readily adjustable.

Review of the Best Best Turret Press

Below we have compiled the five best turret presses available today.

Top Pick

Redding Reloading – T-7 Turret Press with Primer Arm

Redding Reloading - T-7 Turret Press with Primer Arm

PROS

CONS

 

What Recent Buyers Report

The Redding T-7 has a sturdy build and works well, but some users reported it rusting. Cast iron is prone to rust, so you may have to clean it before use. It has a primer disposal system to keep clean. Overall, it produces excellent, precise bullets with minimal user fatigue.

Why It Stands Out to Us

The T-7 Turret Press has impressive strength and construction, a 7-station turret head, and precise turret rotations. 

You only get the press and smart primer arm, but Redding offers a slide bar primer feeding system, dies, and shell holders. You can also buy additional turret heads to switch between calibers without requiring depth readjustment quickly.

The Redding reloads cartridges rapidly and hassle-free, and it is easy to use. It runs smoothly, and the cast iron lasts a long time. You have the option to improve it with additional features, but what it comes with is enough to tide you over.

Bottom Line

This product is our top pick for the best turret press because of its durability, versatility, power, precision, cleanliness, and simplicity. While you can improve it, the base produces quality bullets. Unless you are left-handed, you’ll love the Redding T-7.

Runner Up

LEE PRECISION Classic Turret Press

LEE PRECISION Classic Turret Press (Red)

PROS

CONS

 

What Recent Buyers Report

The Classic Turret Press is easy to use and requires minimal assembly. You can automatically rotate between dies, making it an enticing option for beginners. However, it is more robust than necessary, requiring extra force. Nonetheless, Lee Precision is a beloved brand, and this product is incredibly versatile.

Why It Stands Out to Us

The Lee Precision Classic is often considered the best turret press because of its durability, sturdiness, auto-indexing capabilities, caliber options, and speed.

The steel and cast iron frame employs solid steel linkage and a primer disposal system. The large ram has a drilled hole to dispense the primers in a clear tube for easy cleaning. It also allows for larger cartridges. However, this press only has four holes.

We love how you can switch between manual and auto-indexing, giving you greater control over the accuracy, speed, and amounts you can produce. 

Bottom Line

This turret press makes a worthy choice for beginner bullet makers looking to reload with speed and precision. It gives you production options as you can choose its index type and load it with various cases, and it features quality construction.

Best Capacity

Lyman All American 8 Turret Press for Reloading

Lyman All American 8 Turret Press for Reloading orange, silver, One Size

PROS

CONS

 

What Recent Buyers Report

This press is sturdy with an easy assembly. It allows you to set up multiple calibers for reloading and produces precise bullets. However, the priming system loosens with seating issues. Also, several buyers reported shipping damage and defects, but Lyman responds promptly and sends replacements. It needs adjustment before use.

Why It Stands Out to Us

The Lyman All American stands out with its large turret capacity and its ability to hold humongous cartridges. It is heavy and durable, made entirely of cast iron. This made-in-the-USA product lets you customize it with other tops and a new primer system. We also love how it works for left- and right-handed people.

Keep in mind that it needs tweaking before you can use it. You may need to tighten some screws, change the shell holder clips, glue on the handle, or secure the ram pin. Also, many dislike the priming system, but it will sufficiently prime your cartridges.

Bottom Line 

If you don’t mind product manipulations and ordering extra parts, this makes for an affordable, long-lasting, and efficient turret press. Make sure to support it properly and figure out the elements needed in the warranty period as Lyman often sends free replacements.

Best Progressive Shotshell Reloader

RCBS C-Frame Cast Iron 88901 Turret Press 7/8″-14 Threaded Die

RCBS Turret Press

PROS

CONS

 

What Recent Buyers Report

The RCBS C-Frame is robust, precise, and smooth. The assembly is somewhat involved, and when improperly done, it works poorly. However, once correctly assembled with RCBS shell holders and dies, reloading becomes a breeze. The cheap primer works with other brands, but the system is most efficient with RCBS.

Why It Stands Out to Us

This manual indexing turret press is sturdy and great for beginners. One lever pull works on sizing and priming simultaneously, adding the powder and automatically setting the bullets. It has a 6-station turret head that’s easily removable. You can insert other turret heads, shell holders, and dies as needed.

You will need to buy the shell holders and dies separately, which ramps up the price. However, this best turret press is simple and effective. Also, consider getting a better priming system that will last longer, as many buyers have had to tape it onto the press to keep it together.

Bottom Line

The RCBS Turret Press is an excellent choice to produce 200 rounds an hour, but you need to purchase RCBS parts and a new primer system to work correctly. This product is best for RCBS fans who want a hefty turret press.

Best Budget Option

Lee Cast Aluminum 4 Hole Turret Press with Auto Index Md: 90932

Lee Cast Aluminum 4 Hole Turret Press with Auto Index Md: 90932

PROS

CONS

What Recent Buyers Report

This best turret press is easy to use and set up. While slower than many turret presses, it still loads much faster than single stages. The auto-indexing feature is difficult to time, but it exceeds the expectations for its cost.

Why It Stands Out to Us

The Lee Cast Aluminum Turret Press is a budget-friendly way to make bullets. It may not be the best available, but it is the best for the money. The ergonomic design features a comfortable grip and lots of hand clearance while also leaving room for 4-inch cases. For longer cases, you’ll need to deactivate the auto-indexing. It comes with a decent primer catcher as well. 

We appreciate how this model works well with items from different brands. Also, Lee provides exceptional customer service if your product defects. They even give you a 2-year warranty.

Bottom Line

If you are on a budget, this model will exceed your expectations. It is modern with manual and auto-indexing. Its unique design promotes stability. With tons of useful features and few reported defects, the turret press makes a wonderful budget option.

Advantages of Investing In a Quality Turret Press

Investing in a quality turret press is advantageous to you in several ways.

Compared to a single-stage press, the turret works much faster, creating 100-300 bullets per hour. While not as rapid as a progressive press, this in-between option will meet most needs.

Turret presses are often in the middle price range. The cost depends on the number of holes in the turret head, indexing capabilities, size, and materials. You can find good budget options because the price is not the biggest determinant of quality.

Since turret presses lack the complexity of progressive presses, you can set them up and operate them with ease. Many beginners opt for single stage presses for their simplicity, but the slow turnout rate detracts from them. A turret press has a larger learning curve, but they let you produce many bullets with minimal effort.

Unless you are bulk producing or hate the bullet-making process, you probably won’t need a progressive press. Progressives are costly and complicated, so you should only look towards them if you have a big budget or need to produce thousands of bullets.

Conclusion

The best turret press overall is the Redding Reloading T-7. It is heavy-duty and durable with a large capacity and versatility. Depending on your needs, one of the presses above might be your best option. Check out the turret press’ construction, caliber support, indexing, and ease when shopping.