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Lyman T-Mag II Turret Press on the way.

JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior MemberPosts: 6,554 Senior Member
Amazon.com came through again and they had the lowest price I could find on this press--with free shipping. I'd been reading reviews and watching YouTube videos for months researching this press. It seems to be very solid and I based my decision to buy as such:

1. The press has a small spacial footprint, but still offers 6 positions on the turret head. This saves work bench space and since I don't crimp ammo and I charge powder and primers off-press, I can install 3 separate calibers on one turret head.

2. The distance from the die centers to the turret center is shorter than other similar turret offerings from Redding, etc, so forces from press use will have less leverage to cause deflection of the turret head. Also, the turret has a metal post on the back of the press body that can be raised up to meet the bottom of the turret to mitigate turret deflection during bullet seating.

3. Extra turret heads are inexpensive ($35-45 depending on sites and sales, Wideners has them for $36 regularly) and they swap out easily as well.

I'll post up a review once I get it mounted up and start making ammo. Here's a stock photo:

lyman_reloading_t_mag_ii_turret_press-1292981_1_og.jpg
“There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers

Replies

  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,349 Senior Member
    I've got one that I've had for like 20 odd years now. I like the turrets being fairly cheap, and once the dies are set up they can be left that way, and a new caliber change just needs swapping turrets.
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  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,554 Senior Member
    tennmike wrote: »
    I've got one that I've had for like 20 odd years now. I like the turrets being fairly cheap, and once the dies are set up they can be left that way, and a new caliber change just needs swapping turrets.

    Precisely. And the design is very simplistic...always a plus for anything mechanical.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,349 Senior Member
    The press was designed with a huge mechanical advantage. Makes resizing big rifle cases easy.

    Edit to add:

    You can make a turret holder from a piece of 2X6 and some pvc pipe and a few other items. 2" pvc pipe for main supports; cut pipe to 3"-4" length. 3/8" fender washers cover top of pvc pipe, and appropriate length 3/8" dia. carriage bolts through the 2X6 spaced out for the diameter of the turrets.

    That's one idea to get the ideas for extra turret supports going.
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  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,554 Senior Member
    tennmike wrote: »
    The press was designed with a huge mechanical advantage. Makes resizing big rifle cases easy.

    Good to know. I thought it may and I'll be doing .280Rem and .30-06 cases so it's a plus. Not magnum cases by a long shot, but ease of resizing makes the chore of case prep all the more bearable.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • tubabucknuttubabucknut Banned Posts: 3,520 Senior Member
    This intrigues me. I do all my precision reloading on a single stage, and have recently been lamenting the constant changing, and readjusting of the dies.
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 6,920 Senior Member
    I've never owned that particular press, but I've used one a couple times, and was very impressed. If I ever buy another press, that's the one it'll be.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,490 Senior Member
    That should press should serve you well. I have an older Lyman Spar-T or S-T turret press I picked up some 10 years ago after having used a borrowed one for 10 years prior to that. It's heavy, being cast iron, but it does all I need it to. Never thought to see if I can swap heads on it, as I don't think it's that hard to set up the dies IF you have a proper dummy rounds set up. That thing should give you decades of service.

    I don't know why folks jump from single stage to progressive presses, usually. The turret's fast and unless you're doing tremendous amounts of volume shooting, can produce plenty of ammo.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,349 Senior Member

    I don't know why folks jump from single stage to progressive presses, usually. The turret's fast and unless you're doing tremendous amounts of volume shooting, can produce plenty of ammo.

    Me, either. I size and deprime all cases in one operation. With pistol cases I also do the case mouth belling right after. Priming is by hand tool as I can get a much better feel of the primer seating than with a press. Then I charge 50 cases at a time with powder, and then seat the bullets. I can do a few hundred rounds in an afternoon.

    Reason I never went to a progressive press is because of the powder charging step. I charge 50 cases at a time and check, and recheck, powder level in the cases. That is the one single step that can bite you HARD if the powder bridges on one powder charge and then dumps the extra in the next one. One squib followed by an overload. :silly: Guess when it comes to reloading I'm a little OCD challenged.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • tubabucknuttubabucknut Banned Posts: 3,520 Senior Member
    I don't know why folks jump from single stage to progressive presses, usually. The turret's fast and unless you're doing tremendous amounts of volume shooting, can produce plenty of ammo.

    I use the Dillon for one reason. It turns out a lot fast. When I shot comp. years ago I could burn several hundred every Sat. at a match, and could burn several hundred during the week getting ready for that match.
    tennmike wrote:
    Me, either. I size and deprime all cases in one operation. With pistol cases I also do the case mouth belling right after. Priming is by hand tool as I can get a much better feel of the primer seating than with a press. Then I charge 50 cases at a time with powder, and then seat the bullets. I can do a few hundred rounds in an afternoon.
    With the 650 I could do several hundred in an hour. I never had any issues with double charges. I check each round afterward for High primers. If I did my part there were none to be found.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,349 Senior Member


    With the 650 I could do several hundred in an hour. I never had any issues with double charges. I check each round afterward for High primers. If I did my part there were none to be found.

    Like I said, it's an OCD thing with me. I HAVE TO KNOW that I didn't mess up a powder charge. With the newer ones they have the powder alarm if a charge is short or high, but I don't load the volume required to do that. I do have Dillon manual press that auto indexes that I use for a few chamberings, but I still make sure the powder charge is where I expect to see it before seating a bullet. Just an old habit that I don't intend to change.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
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  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,572 Senior Member
    Cool, cool. I've been eyeing that press, too. I love my Rockcrusher, but I want a turret press for high volume stuff.
    Awaiting bench report!
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    That should severe your needs very well. Three 2 die rifle sets or two pistol 3 die sets on a turret. Or add a separate Lee FCD or precision bullet seat only die or whatever you fancy.

    Lyman made/makes a good powder measure/dropper model #55 I think it was called. I owned a Lyman turret press for a few years, sold it on a Army move. I didn't care much for their dies, too many broken decap pins.

    You will crimp handgun cartridges if you decide to load them either with the bullet seat/crimp die or a separate one like the Lee FCD.

    I use a Dillon 550B and Lee hard cast turret presses. I have a Turret press like similar to yours in the garage, I think it is a Lyman, but may be a Redding (?) I dunno, I'll have to dig it out and see. I inherited several presses from one of my brothers who passed. That and the ones I already had..................

    At any rate you are off to a good start in the reloading game.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,827 Senior Member
    I have the T-mag II. Have been using it for several years now. It works very well. It is a solid press, overall. I see a tiny bit of flex in the turret head when resizing brass, but I guess that's to be expected to some degree. There is an adjustable stop under the turret head opposite the ram that is to prevent excessive flex in the turret head. The destructions for the press state that you should not adjust that stop to touch the bottom of the turret, but I adjust it until it just touches and use some gun grease on the bottom of the turret to lube it. That takes the flex out of it.

    The priming system on the T-mag is complete junk. Don't waste your time. I use an RCBS hand priming tool. Slows the process down a bit. Resize/deprime and flare if necessary, then prep all the brass in the batch I'm working on. Then hand prime them all, charge all with powder (in 150 round batches if I'm doing 150 or more rounds), then back to the press to seat bullets.

    The primer catch container works, but you'll have an occasional primer pop out and end up on the floor. I also tried mounting my Redding 3BR powder measure on the turret for high volume reloading of 38 special plinkers, priming by putting primers in the priming arm cup by hand, but the jolt of the turret changing positions tended to make the 3BR throw inconsistent charges. That's when I mounted the measure on the bench next to the press and went to charging in a separate step. Still saves time having dies set in the turret head and not having to switch and adjust dies all the time.

    I switched from a progressive press to the T-mag for more control over the process. Specifically the powder charging process. I was seeing too many errors in powder charging for my comfort on the old Hornady progressive I was using. The only reason I wish I had kept that old press was to use it for high volume case resizing. I could kick out 500 pieces of resized brass in no time. Then just prime, charge and seat bullets.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    If I ever manage to wear out the Lee 3-hole turret press I've been using for 30-something years, that's the press I'll probably replace it with. Of course, the 20 or more 3-hole turrets I've accumulated over that time frame might make me consider just replacing it with another Lee press! If I didn't have so much invested in turrets, there's also a conversion kit to go to a 4-hole turret. Lee stuff gets a lot of criticism by the guys who think expensive is automatically better, but the ammo I make on the Lee doesn't care how much the press costs.
    Jerry
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