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  • #19825
    Profile photo of 74
    74
    Survivalist
    rnews

    Lee equipment versus other manufactures is an argument that has no end just like 9mm vs 45acp, Ford or Chevy. Just like those dialogs there are differences between the products that give rise to the discussion.

    If you have a favorite, or dislike one or the other add your comments here.

    #19853
    Whirlibird
    Whirlibird
    Survivalist
    member10

    Lee has some good products, I have a number of their products but I am selective about which I get.
    However the presses in general aren’t ones that I will buy again.

    The presses aren’t bad, and will do the job, but I’ve broken a few and I can’t abide that in serious gear that may not be replaceable.

    I have two Lee hand presses, one has a Lee Decapping die basically permanently installed, the other is in my mobile loading kit. Back when I used to spend 3 weeks out of every month in hotels, I used my spare time in the hotel room reloading and kept a mobile kit with me.

    I normally use a Pacific press that’s as old as I am (40+ years), and it’s still in perfect condition.
    My Dillon press is nearly 20 years old and running fine. And I make custom ammo commercially.

    Buying new today, I’d be getting a RCBS Rockchucker single stage or the Bonanza (now Forster) CO-AX press and never look back. Not as fast or fancy as the progressive presses, they’re simple and utterly reliable.

    Again, the Lee presses aren’t bad but most people graduate out of them quickly.
    And they won’t handle the stress heavier models will endure easily.

    #19873
    Malgus
    Malgus
    Survivalist
    member8

    I view reloading tools the same as I do anything else – they’re tools. Some companies, like Lee, they make good primers/deprimers and dies at a reasonable cost for first time reloaders. Whirl is correct about their presses – they’re adequate, but not bomb-proof. There are other companies that make superior presses. My own reloading stuff is a mish-mash of companies and components… Which, I think, reflects my own preference to use what I think is best and hang the name brand loyalty…

    74’s comments were directed towards portability. To me, that means it needs to make decent cartridges and be small and light enough for portability. Bench mounted rigs are pretty much non-portable, so I’m going to ignore them…

    I mentioned the Lyman 310 tool in other posts. Lyman still makes it. Die selection is pretty skimpy, but other caliber dies exist and are out there for sale, if one cares to look. Yeah, sure it doesn’t have the flash and capacity of the shiny Progressive presses, but

    a) It doesn’t have to be mounted anywhere to work. You don’t need a bench.
    b) If you’re on the move, it’s small and light.
    c) Most importantly, it MAKES DECENT CARTRIDGES.

    There’s drawbacks. It’s slow. It’s a pain to use compared to the bench mounted models – even the single stage ones. I’ve never tried to full-length resize a spent rifle case with one, but I think one would need the hand strength of a Mountain Gorilla to do more than a couple – those handles are mighty short. Not much leverage.

    The Lee hand press has the advantage of being able to full length resize rifle cases. I have found that if you put it between your knees like the old Thigh-Master, it’s loads easier to full length resize anything… (Hey YOU! Yeah YOU! I see you laughing! You ain’t foolin’ anyone… if it’s stupid, but works, then it ain’t stupid. So stop laughing.)

    The only other alternative I can think of is the Lee Loader. The older ones are made of better stuff – steel and brass as opposed to the newer ones having some plastic. I’ve never used them to load ammo, but I’ve handled both old and new and if I had to choose between the two, I choose old.

    The only other thing I can think of, for small, light, portable reloading, is to have someone with the machinist skills make you a dedicated set for your personal use.

    The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1

    #19915
    Whirlibird
    Whirlibird
    Survivalist
    member10

    The best compact and portable press available is the HDS Compac Tool.

    http://www.huntingtons.com/store/product.php?productid=19293&cat=744&page=1

    You can bang out a handful of cartridges a night on the old Lee Loaders, but they aren’t for volume loading and are slow, slow and did I say slow?

    The Lee Hand Press is decent, as I said I have two.
    They can be a little awkward depending on what cartridge/bullet combination you are using.

    The old 310 tools do not full length size so they are fine for straight wall cases but most bottleneck cases will eventually need to be full length sized in standard dies or they will no longer fit in the chamber.

    #19930
    Profile photo of undeRGRönd
    undeRGRönd
    Survivalist
    member8

    Whirlibird wrote:

    Buying new today, I’d be getting a RCBS Rockchucker single stage or the Bonanza (now Forster) CO-AX press and never look back. Not as fast or fancy as the progressive presses, they’re simple and utterly reliable.

    Buying New Today, describes me, likely…
    That Forster Co-AX was very impressive.
    Thanks for sharing! Prolly very fast for a single stage, due to the self-aligning jaws and other features. Looks like the winner of the undeRGRönd reloader sweepstakes ;) (now all I need is a price) :p :P

    "ROGUE ELECTRICIAN" Hoping to be around to re-energize the New World.....

    Cogito, ergo armatus sum

    #19935
    Profile photo of higherview
    higherview
    Survivalist
    member2

    I began my hand loading carrier many years ago with a couple of Lee-Loaders for a couple of calibers. I only had a couple of calibers to load for then and only a little money. More time than money so the Lee-Loader was the ticket. It has other limitations besides more time. For rifle brass the case you reload can generally only be shot in the same rifle that it was originally shot in as the Lee-Loader only neck-sizes the brass.

    I still have a number of these and have picked up others at yard sales and gun shows for other calibers I now have. I hadn’t used one of years, but I have them in case I need to travel light & still want to hand load.

    #19936
    Profile photo of higherview
    higherview
    Survivalist
    member2

    The Lee presses can work but if you break a part (and on some of the larger ones and the progressive press – you eventually will) you must purchase a new part yourself. Same goes for the powder measure. I have broken one of their “Unbreakable” dies – the de-priming rod & pin. They made me send them a photo, but replaced it. Their dies rarely break but do not always adjust as deeply into some of the other presses as you may like. Other companies stand behind their presses and dies and replace parts. I have had RCBS send me de-priming pins, de-priming rods, taps, drill bits, etc. all just for calling in over the phone. Dillon also stands behind their products 100%. I recently wore out the lower part of the actual crank assembly on my 550B (that’s a lot of hand loading). They had a replacement part in my hands in a couple of days with some extra parts to boot. I have even called to order some small parts I had lost and had them send me the replacement for free. You get what you pay for.

    I jumped from the old Lee loader to the RCBS Rockchucker press many years ago. I still have & use the single stage press. It’s good for loading when you aren’t loading hundreds of rounds in one sitting. It’s also nice to loan to you friends when they come over wanting to handload. It’s simple and easy to get them set up and leave them to their work in the garage.

    Years ago a friend asked to store some of his possessions at my home while he moved. He let me set up his Dillon 550B and used it until he needed it. When he finally came calling for his stuff I refused to give him the press back until I had time to get one of my own. This happened to be a few months later as a Christmas present from my understanding wife. I never would want to be without it. I love the press and use it to load a few rounds or hundreds and hundreds. If I am loading for hunting or match purposes with rifle ammunition I still weigh each charge. If handloading for handguns or for lots of plinking ammo I set the powder measure and skip weighing each charge. It is not in the garage but in my “loading room” which is a closet that opens into my office. I can close the closet folding doors and it’s just a closet. When I open the doors it is a reloading room and it is a great way to relax for a while.

    #19938
    Malgus
    Malgus
    Survivalist
    member8

    Never saw the HDS before. Interesting design. Looks more like a ThighMaster for the reloading crowd than the Lee hand press does… :) Might could have to pick one up… love the description – “Sorry, we’re out of stock now… we’re expecting more in “late summer”, soooo give us your money now and we’ll send it to you when they come in….” No ambiguity there at all…

    And yeah, the Lee Loader is slow. But you forgot that it’s also slow.

    The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1

    #19940
    Profile photo of 74
    74
    Survivalist
    rnews

    undeRGRönd,

    Picking a good press is important but the same is true of the other required tools. Get a good (accurate and easy to adjust) powder measure, a mechanical scale in case you don’t have power. The priming tool should be very easy to use. I like the RBCS hand primer, they now have 2 models. Not sure what the new one does differently then the old model though. Be careful of crimped primer pockets they need re-sizing.

    Please everyone throw in their recommendations for the rest of his kit.

    #19951
    Profile photo of 74
    74
    Survivalist
    rnews

    While I appreciate the need for a transportable reloading kit I could never convince my self that the Lee Loader or the Lyman were the best tools for me. If I was only interested in a few rounds while I was packed up into the woods maybe. But with all the stuff you need to reload it’s not like a backpackers going to take one with him on a journey.

    My solution was to make a table top base for my Rock Chucker. I can use any flat top like a table or desk and secure the press with a C-clamp. When I need to move the press it just a few turns of the clamp and I can just walk away with it.

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    #20092
    Profile photo of undeRGRönd
    undeRGRönd
    Survivalist
    member8

    74 wrote:
    undeRGRönd,

    Picking a good press is important but the same is true of the other required tools. Get a good (accurate and easy to adjust) powder measure, a mechanical scale in case you don’t have power. The priming tool should be very easy to use. I like the RBCS hand primer, they now have 2 models. Not sure what the new one does differently then the old model though. Be careful of crimped primer pockets they need re-sizing.

    Please everyone throw in their recommendations for the rest of his kit.

    :D
    Thanks!
    ;)

    "ROGUE ELECTRICIAN" Hoping to be around to re-energize the New World.....

    Cogito, ergo armatus sum

    #20104
    Profile photo of higherview
    higherview
    Survivalist
    member2

    I use the older Lee hand prime tool, as well as the built in primer seater on the RCBS and Dillon presses. I use a digital scale these days but have an old Lyman scale – you must have an accurate manual powder scale no matter what! There are many good ones.

    I have various loading dies all are good – Redding, Lee, Hornady, RCBS. The Redding is a Micrometer model for very accurate seating. For sizing where they are available (popular calibers) I recommend the RCBS X-Sizer Die – this die limits the growth of the overall length of the case and eliminates the need to trim as often (maybe ever). I have some .308 match brass that has been reloaded more than 2 dozen times and still going strong.

    #21989
    Profile photo of sledjockey
    sledjockey
    Bushcrafter
    member8

    In surfing through, I decided that I would toss my list into this mix as well:

    I use a Dillon 550b for my mass reloading jobs such as .45 ACP, 9mm, and .223.

    For hunting I have 2 Lee presses, 1 old turret style that I have had for years and 1 single stage press. They work great for my hunting loads where I am measuring and remeasuring. For priming my hunting rounds I use a hand primer so I can feel how well I seat it, check to see if I need to swage the pocket, etc.

    My powder measures are either Lee or RCBS. My Lee is set for my .300 Wby and I don’t mess with it. I have 1 RCBS with the pistol cylinder thing and 1 for rifle. The pistol is set for .44 mag, but the other one for rifle changes between 30-06, 8 mm, and 30-30. I went with multiple measures to make things easier for me while reloading. The less I have to change around for each caliber the better.

    My dies are most RCBS, but I do have a Hornady die for my 9mm. They are just what I ended up with and have used for years. No real thought into buying them.

    RCBS primer swager.
    Frankford case tumbler.
    Various scales… RCBS beam, Lee (most accurate) beam, Lyman beam, Hornady beam, and Frankford digital.

    http://ageofdecadence.com

    #22048
    Profile photo of undeRGRönd
    undeRGRönd
    Survivalist
    member8

    “woodsbum” :D

    Nice Blog SJ

    "ROGUE ELECTRICIAN" Hoping to be around to re-energize the New World.....

    Cogito, ergo armatus sum

    #22068
    Profile photo of sledjockey
    sledjockey
    Bushcrafter
    member8

    <div class=”d4p-bbp-quote-title”>undeRGRönd wrote:</div>“woodsbum” :D

    Nice Blog SJ

    Thank you… I did the whole blog thing because I wanted a reference (or library if you will) on various topics that I could easily link to…… Orgainization for the lazy, maybe? It also gives me an outlet for me to “brag” of sorts about new toys I get. Going to be doing something on my AR I built, my new 30-30 I got 2 weeks ago, new 45-70 on layaway now and the Beretta CX4 I am ordering in a couple weeks. Oh yea!!!!

    “Gunguy” is on this forum as well, btw….

    Sorry for the little sidetrack……… Uh… Reloading is good!!!!

    http://ageofdecadence.com

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