View Full Version : Lee Loader questions
05-22-2002, 12:57 PM
I have about 500 pieces of brass shot through my bolt action .223 just sitting on a shelf. ###This represents a couple, maybe 4 years worth of shooting that gun. ###I see Lee sells a kit called the Lee Loader for under $20 for a single caliber. ###Question is, for my volume and gun, is this system a reasonable alternative to the $300 for a full on press, etc?
I don't need to reload any other handgun or rifle calibers, so it looks like a good way to try my hand at reloading for this rifle. ###I reload shotshells now, so I have a scale, is this Lee product all I really need? ###What kind of results are common with this? ###I appreciate any advise.
I haven't used one but I have read good things about them. If your only going to reload for one caliber then it'll probably serve you just fine. However for alittle more money you counld get a Lee Hand Press which would give you far more options if you decided to reload for more calibers later on. It would also give you the ability to full legnth resize instead of neck sizing only. I got one last week and I am going to use it at the range to decap while I am waiting for barrels to cool down.:smile-big-blue:
(Edited by Bou at 10:03 pm on May 22, 2002)
05-23-2002, 02:00 AM
I don't have anything against lee as some of there products are good, but buy rcbs and you will never be sorry, check out this auction on ebay # 1830462604. IMHO your wasting your money on the lee hand loader.
05-23-2002, 07:57 PM
You can get a Lee Challenger press kit with dies for $50 from Wideners It will work faster than the Lee Loader, Cheaper in price than any other press you can get & they work great, I've never had a problem with any Lee product even forming brass or sizing belted mag cases. The Lee loader will work the only draw back is it is alot slower than a press . Have fun when you reload .
Well I loaded 40 rounds of .308 using my ultra expensive Lee Handloader and standard Hornady dies this weekend. ###Checked the reloads with my RCBS CaseMaster and the run ###out was acceptable .01-.04mm. Pretty much the same results as my RCBS single stage press and Redding Competition seater die. Used Hornady Match 168gr seconds so we'll see how they shoot.
Shot the loads I made with my Lee Handloader. Got the same gropus as my RCBS and Hornady presses. 1/2 inch at 100 yrds with a makeshift rest. No problem hitting a 700 yd steel deer target. Gonna load some more too see how they'll stand up on sand bag rest. Not bad for $19. :smile-big-blue:
07-08-2002, 12:24 PM
I picked up the Lee Loader for $13.50 at Natchez last week. ###Just need to get bullets, primers and powder and I'm reloading. ###That's about the cheapest startup cost for a hobby that I have ever seen. ###Right now I get 7/8" groups with my .223, we'll see if this reloading thing can improve on that. ###Mainly I want to use premium bullets without the premium cartridge price. ###I'll keep you posted.
07-08-2002, 06:48 PM
Do you have a scale or you just using them little yellow scoops:skeered:
07-08-2002, 07:26 PM
This Lee thing came with a scoop, but I plan to weigh with the scale I recently bought for shotshell loading. ###My wife doesn't know what to make of me lately, I keep adding to the gun collection, now I have machinery to feed it too. ###I probably should pick up a chamfering tool as well, then a hand priming tool. ###With this Lee you actually 'tap' the primer in!!
07-08-2002, 09:30 PM
Your going to need a case trimmer also.
I'm glad to hear you have a scale other wise I would suggest your wife increase your life insurance policy or have a good hospital plan that pays while your in.
07-12-2002, 11:34 PM
I've been reloading with the "Little Yellow Scoops" for 20 years now. Never a problem and first class reloads. There isn't always the EXACT charge weight you want but there are very useful loads you can make up. Volumetric powder measurement is an Industry standard. If the listed charge weight for the given CC's of the scoop is what you want, you'll load powder charges just as accurately as if you'd dropped them from a $200 powder measure. Huntducks, Man. Quit scaring the guy! They are perfectly safe when used correctly. ###
The Lee handloader will, by the way, produce finer ammunition than a standard reloading press. Benchresters use a very similar setup. It's slow, but the quality of ammo produced is second to none. If you're knocking the Lee Loader it's because you haven't used one. ###Lee made a few of those sets as Deluxe Benchrest sets with micrometer adjustable seaters. I'd buy one of those used ###in Triple Deuce or 223 in a heartbeat! ~Andy
Well I haven't used those yellow scoops but they would be a blessing right about now. I've been filling each case by hand straight from the bottle to the case! Tap tap tap, hhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm not enough tap tap. LOL. Don't worry I weight each round to make sure that they are right. I don't see a problem with using those yellow scopes, but I'd consider a scale too. That way you can be sure of your powder weights. Then after just get the right method for your maddness you can be fairly confident of constistency. IMHO.
BTW Lee has come out with a case trimmer that's about $10.
(Edited by Bou at 8:46 am on July 14, 2002)
07-14-2002, 08:26 PM
AMMOE and the other non scale users :no no:
PLEASE DO ME A FAVOR PUT A SIGN ON YOUR BACK NEXT TIME YOU GO TO THE SHOOTING RANGE SAYING (I DON'T USE A SCALE) THAT WAY I CAN MOVE DOWN 20 OR SO BENCH'S :hair raisin blue:
07-14-2002, 09:33 PM
Huntducks is right, and I don't think he is trying to scare anyone needlessly. There are three rules to reloading: SAFETY, SAFETY, and SAFETY.
Now I would agree with both Huntducks and AMMOE and I don't see where AMMOE suggested not using a scale. A scale is of course an invailable tool. However there are times where measuring each load is not necessary. Lower range loads or mild target load is one of those instances. It's common practise and even mentioned in some of the reloading manuals and reloading videos. You measure one of every five drops and load away, then visually inspect your charge inside the cases for obvious over or under charges. Now for max loads or long range target loads I measure each and every load. The point is mute anyway, SoCalxJR has a scale.
07-16-2002, 05:03 PM
Huntducks: Just for you, I'll wear the sign. In return, answer me this: Do you weigh each and every charge, for every case? Do you think ammunition makers weigh each charge? And, as was pointed out earlier( thankyou), where did I say I didn't use a scale? No nastiness intended but you need to read up on powder handling and charging cases. Much of how you treat each cartridge is determined by they type (burning rate) of the powder and the charge you desire. I load for a 5mm that requires me to weigh every charge to the exact weight with an Ohaus triple beam scale. I also load 223 target loads with H-4831 that I can't get enough powder into the case to cause any pressure problems. Scoops are fine! They aren't a random collection of little plastic scoops with which you "guestimate" a charge. They are marked with a precise volume in cubic centimeters ("cc's". The box with the little scoops has a very comprehensive list of powders and their corresponding grain weight per given volume in CC's. ###As I said, the exact charge weight you want ###may not have a scoop available, so you then choose the next one smaller. No. Not suitable for all applications, but the scoops that Lee supplies with the Loader kits can be used with a wide range of powders and deliver good, safe, efficiency. I recommend that you buy / borrow, a copy of "Modern Reloading" by R. Lee. You'll learn alot. You do that and I'll dig out my crayons and make that sign. ~Andy
07-17-2002, 07:38 PM
I have been loading for 44 years, so I have run a bullet or shotshell through a press once or twice, and the picture at the top of the Reloading section is just my shotgun area.
No I do not wieght every round but I do use a pair of Redding PM which IMO are the best on the market, and yes I have a set of the lee scoops and use the large one instead of a powder trickler which is a pain to use IMO.
The way I read your post was you really don't need a scale as the lee are fool proof, if I misunderstood you sorry, but you can not impress safty enought on a new or seasoned reloader.
Each lot of powder can change by volume, I have a Ohler 43 and have noticed that one lot will produce one pressure and a second lot of same like 4831 or will produce a different pressure, so if your loading max loads just scooping to me would have a lot to be desired.
I have a magic marker in my loading box that shows up better then crayons i'll throw it too you.
07-17-2002, 11:13 PM
Huntducks: As long as it's not a permanent marker. I might change my ways! ###All is cool. I NEVER load maximum, generally speaking, and I do agree that doing so without scale verification is a bit foolhardy. Luckily, when Lee supplies a dipper with their kits it is never in the maximum range for any of the powders listed on the loading data included with the set. They are, in this specific instance and when used properly, as fool proof as you can get. My 5mm is one of those cartridges that goes from being absolutely tame to a bit wild with a .3 grain variance. It's the 5mm Remington Rimfire Magnum/CF conversion and a full case of Hodgdon's "lil Gun" amounts to just 6.9 grains of powder. Tiny case! With something like this it's necessary to weigh each charge if going for safe performance loads ...VS switching to a slower powder, of course. I understand "LOT" variances. One hardest things to get new shooters to understand is that you need to back off your hotter loads every time you buy a new pound of powder.(A good argument for 4 and 8 lb kegs!) ###I avoid alot of that by loading the bulkiest (slowest) powder that meets my requirements. It's a bit lazy but trouble free with regards to such pressure variances. I once had a customer that was a total idiot. Despite our klaxon-like warnings he insisted on measuring powder in handgun cases "by eye" and managed to blow up some very fine revolvers before he switched to rifle loading. When he did we sold him a 1903 Springfield and a can of 5010 machinegun powder. He'd scoop the powder into the case leaving just enough space to seat a bullet. the gun went boom, was reasonably accurate, and never blew up! Living proof that some folks weren't meant to reload,eh? ###Have a good one... ~Andy
07-18-2002, 12:04 AM
I use to have a 591 Rem but when the ammo got to be worth more then the rifle it's self
I auctioned it off on ebay a few years back, now i'm stuck with 17 boxes of 5mm RF poor me, I had about 40 at one time and was doing a real good business on ebay selling it till they put a crimp in that also.
I have a 225win that goes wild pressure wise with a increase of 1 grain of 4895 or 4064 and will shoot BL-c2 all day at 3-4K psi less at same fps.
To me one of the saftest cases to load is the 270 fill a R&P or Fed to the top with H- 4831 and you got 59 grs fill a Win and you got 61.
Take Care Greg
(Edited by huntducks at 12:10 am on July 18, 2002)
07-19-2002, 06:39 AM
Have an off topic question, you didn't happen to sell about 500 Fed Topgun shotshells to a guy in Ohio about a year or so ago off of E-Bay?
07-19-2002, 10:18 PM
Not me, i've sold a lot on ebay but nothing like that.
Where you the buyer?, I hope all worked out OK, as most in the hunting section seem to be good guys.
07-20-2002, 02:09 AM
As far as the yellow scoops go I've been able to keep my loads within about 1 grain from scoop to scoop I don't try max loads with it mainly because you get higher pressures, more case stretch, little trajectory change & they usually are not as accurate. I've used those dippers for everthing from .223 to 45/70 in rifles, muzzleloaders, & handguns from 25acp to 45 long Colt. never had a problem with them but as HuntDucks said Safety Safety Safety, if you don't feel comfortable using the dippers then don't, use a scale.
08-06-2002, 09:11 AM
Yes, the merchandise was exactly what I had expected, but the guy had miscalculated the shipping and I owed him a couple of bucks extra. Lost his address before I could send it out to him and I just wanted to settle up so that I could stop feeling bad about it.
Your handle just sounded like what i thought his was and since you have quite the array of shotgun reloading stuff.... well I guess 2+2 didn't equal 4 this time.
09-05-2002, 08:38 PM
I highly recommend the Lee loader to newbiesfor two reasons, alot of people will lose interest in the hobby within the first year or two and second is the "challenger" loader is very strong for what it is and their "Anniversary Kit" has everything you need at a very very reasonable price till a person decides to upgrade.IMHO Handcannon
09-10-2002, 08:14 PM
And on the subject of Lee products, they make the handiest and least expensive
case trimmer (and if ya load a cartridge a few times, you'll need one) on the
market. Get the one with the drill attachment -- it is FAST!
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