Which Reloading Press is Best for You: Turret or Single Stage?

When you factor in the upfront cost of a turret press vs a single-stage unit, the decision is a no-brainer. So what’s the deciding factor? It’s the type of person who will be using the press. If it’s going to be a novice who has little or no interest in becoming a hands-on, gearhead enthusiast, then get a turret. Otherwise, go with the more advanced, yet easier-to-use single-stage press.

It’s hard to make a case for investing in a turret reloading press when you have a single-stage die that does the job just as well. However, if you’re looking for a low-cost option, the single-stage is the way to go.

This article will help you decide whether you need a turret reloading press or a single-stage machine.

Single-stage Reloading Press

A single-stage press is a type of reloading press that performs one reloading operation at a time. You need to remove and reposition the dies manually for each step of the reloading process. Single-stage presses are typically less expensive than turret presses and are often the preferred choice for precision reloading.

Single-stage reloading is a great way to cut down on the number of pieces you have to assemble and disassemble when reloading your handgun. Not only that, single-stage reloading is a great way to make sure your pistol is 100% ready to go when you pull the trigger for practice or a real-life shootout.

A single reloading press is the most basic type of press that is determined by which die is being used. A single-stage press will only perform one operation.

Turret Reloading Presses

A turret press is a type of reloading press that allows you to load multiple dies on a rotating turret. This means that you can switch between dies quickly and efficiently without having to remove and reposition them manually. Turret presses can accommodate up to 7 dies, depending on the model, which makes them highly versatile and suitable for a wide range of calibers and reloading tasks.

Turret presses are simple to operate, easy to clean, and don’t require any special tools or maintenance. Turret presses are very good for loading ammunition. They are also very strong. Many models have adjustable turrets to accommodate various cartridge sizes and loads. Some presses are designed for use with pistol cartridges, while others are made for rifle cartridges. Most of these turret presses have automatic feeders and they can reload multiple cartridges.

The press is compact, portable, and lightweight. It comes with a solid steel base and two solid steel arms. There is a large lever on the base which allows you to push it down and down. This lever is used to lock the cartridge in place and to set the number of chambers in the press.

Turret press vs Single-stage: How They Work?

A turret press has three main parts: a ram, a rotating turret, and a feed tube. The ram has two jaws that move up and down together. Rounds are loaded into the front jaw and the rear jaw comes down and clamps on top of the round. As soon as the front and rear jaws are locked onto the round, the ram starts to move down and forces the round down into the barrel of the gun. The feed tube guides the rounds as they are fed down into the chamber.

A single-stage press has only one moving part, the ram. Rounds are loaded into the top of the ram and then, the ram is forced down onto the rounds. When the round is in place in the chamber, the bolt is closed, securing the round in place.

Different Between Turret Press and Single-Stage?

Turret reloading presses are a big deal. They can save you 50% or more in reloading costs… and… they are easy to use. On the other hand, single-stage presses require much more skill to use, but they can produce higher-quality bullets.

A single-stage press is much less complex and costly than a turret press. However, they won’t produce high-quality ammunition. Also, you will be limited to just one or two types of ammunition that can be created with a single-stage press.

A turret press allows you to “switch out” the different barrels without having to purchase a whole new machine. Not only that, but with a little know-how and a lot of practice, you can use the same turret to create all sorts of different cartridges—from 9mm Luger to.50 calibers.

A single-stage press does not perform all of its resizing operations on a single-size die. That’s because using a single-stage press is much slower than using an automated press.

A single reloading press will have one set of fixed dies at a time that performs one specific function. A turret-style press, on the other hand, will have a fixed upper punch, a fixed lower punch, and a movable middle punch. The turret will rotate so the middle punch can move up and down. This allows the press to perform multiple operations.

In addition to being a powerful tool, the turret press is also known as the “one-man reloading machine”. It’s a simple, compact, easy-to-use reloading press. You only have to load one bullet at a time. You don’t need to keep track of all the different bullets and their size.

Comparison table between the turret and single-stage presses

Feature Turret Press Single Stage Press
Production Volume High Low
Speed Fast Slow
Versatility High Low
Setup Time Low High
Precision Moderate High
Power Moderate High
Cost Moderate High
Ease of Use Easy Moderate
Required Experience Beginner Advanced
Ideal for High-volume reloading, reloading a variety of calibers Precision reloading, reloading a small number of cartridges
Examples of Presses Lee Classic Turret Press, RCBS Turret Press RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Press, Redding Big Boss II Press

Why Turret is very popular over Single stage presses?

Turret presses are becoming very popular with reloaders because they offer several advantages over single-stage presses.

  • A turret press is easier to operate and can be operated by one person with no need for an assistant.
  • Turret press requires much less set-up time.
  • Turret reloading presses are produced higher quality rounds and can be used to create multiple different types of ammunition.
  • It allows the user to inspect and verify each individual round as it is being fed into the chamber.
  • It requires much less physical strength to operate.
  • The lack of a loud clanking sound is associated with a single-stage press.
  • Turret presses are much quieter than single-stage presses. That means fewer distractions for the operator, which in turn translates to more accurate rounds.

Turret Press vs Single Stage: Which One Should You Choose?

Choosing between a turret press and a single-stage press depends on your specific needs and goals as a reloader. Here are some factors to consider:

Budget – If you’re on a tight budget, a single-stage press may be the better choice because it’s less expensive than a turret press.

Desired Production Volume – If you’re reloading a large number of cartridges, a turret press may be the better choice because it’s faster and more efficient than a single-stage press.

Type of Reloading – If you’re reloading a variety of calibers and cartridges, a turret press may be the better choice because it’s more versatile and can accommodate multiple dies on a single turret.

Personal Preferences and Experience – If you prefer the precision and control of a single-stage press, or if you have more experience with this type of press, it may be the better choice for you.


The main difference is the way each type of die cuts material. With a single-stage die, the material is cut by a single blade that comes down from the top of the die. With a multi-stage die, the material is cut by multiple blades arranged in a stack.

Are turret presses faster?

Yes, turret presses are generally faster than a press brake. They have two advantages though – firstly, they are more flexible, so they can easily bend metal in any shape, and secondly, they can be set up to operate independently. This allows them to be used as a standalone unit or part of a larger machine such as a CNC milling machine or lathe.

Is the Rcbs turret press any good?

The RCBS turret press is one of the best reloading presses out there. It is very well-built, has a huge amount of features, and comes with an industry-leading warranty. The only caveat is that it’s almost impossible to find a trained technician who knows how to use this thing. Most gun shop owners just shrug and say, “Oh yeah, I can fix that. No problem.” But you should never assume anything when it comes to your hobbies, especially not something as important as your press. At the very least, get a few books or videos to educate yourself on how to maintain and service your press, and make sure that someone you trust is able to help you if needed.

What is a Lee turret press?

A Lee turret press is a large, extremely the heavy machine that was invented by Dr. Ernest R. Lee in 1953. It has two large rollers that clamp down on the material being printed, and then, a third roller pushes down on the clamped-down material with immense force. This makes the impression or “strike” into the material. The impression left behind can be text, graphics, or whatever else you wish. The press itself is so heavy and difficult to operate, that it takes 3-5 men to turn the crank which moves all the rollers and the bed up or down. Hence, it is not surprising that this type of press is primarily used for high-end, long-run production runs.

Are reloading dies interchangeable with different presses?

Reloading dies are most often designed for a specific brand or type of press. Hence, you should check with the manufacturer to see if they have any compatible replacement parts. You can also try contacting other reloaders in your area to see if they have any spares.

In conclusion, It is very important to know what type of press you are using before you start to work. If you don’t, you could end up damaging your work by attempting to use a different die. If you do that, you could end up with a bunch of unusable parts. If you aren’t sure, check the manual that came with your press. Or, if you are not using a manual, ask your salesperson, or someone who is familiar with the equipment. You should only use the dies that were included with the press. Don’t try to “custom fit” a different set of dies into the press. That will almost certainly result in you breaking the press.

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