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Thread: lee handloader kit

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    Default lee handloader kit

    Just curious if this thing can produce repetitively tight tolerances? or is a bench model worth saving up for instead? I dont shoot a ton so volume isnt a question or concern...but I do want consistency.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TradBow View Post
    Just curious if this thing can produce repetitively tight tolerances? or is a bench model worth saving up for instead? I dont shoot a ton so volume isnt a question or concern...but I do want consistency.
    They work and are not a bad way to learn reloading and can be very handy out at the range. As far as I know they neck size only on rifle brass so if you have more than one gun in a caliber your loads may not be interchangeable between guns.

    You will get better answers to your question if you tell us what you want to load, how much of each, and why it is you want to load it. These three things are critical to any informed equipment choice.
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    They neck size only, so if you use new brass or brass fired from your gun they work fine and can load some very good ammo. Lee makes a very inexpensive hand held press and a bench model that use normal dies. You can still get into reloading for what a couple of boxes of premium ammo costs. Tell us how much of what you want to load for what purpose and you will get a much better answer.

  4. #4

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    I have a 22-250 and a 7mm I'd like to build up some loads for. Honestly I dont shoot much actually hardly at all. I would like to see what these two rifles can do though accuracy wise. The 250 is good, but I know it can be better. The 7mm is good also, but it too could be much better I think. Somewhere down the road I'd like to build a long range rifle. I do enjoy shooting, dont do it often enough...

  5. #5

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    The Lee basic press ("Challenger" I think), would be worth paying about $30 more for. I have been using Lee stuff for 25 years. I started because they were the least expensive, and continue to use all Lee for numerous caqlibers because I have found them to be still the least expensive, easiest, most accurate, all around best with FANTASTIC customer service. I tried and sold off the more expensive brands.

    Like you, I just did a little at first.........be careful, it is very addictive and fun. You can make better, more accurate and cheaper rounds.
    My suggestion is to spend about 100 bucks for Lee basic stuff with a bench press, Lee scale and an ebay $10 electronic caliper. You can get lots of free advice in this forum. you will probably find yourself enjoying shooting more and refining your shooting and reloading skills. At least, with as crazy as the world is getting, a handloader with bullets and powder is an excellent item for the survival minded. Good Luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rifleshooter View Post
    The Lee basic press ("Challenger" I think), would be worth paying about $30 more for. I have been using Lee stuff for 25 years. I started because they were the least expensive, and continue to use all Lee for numerous caqlibers because I have found them to be still the least expensive, easiest, most accurate, all around best with FANTASTIC customer service. I tried and sold off the more expensive brands.

    Like you, I just did a little at first.........be careful, it is very addictive and fun. You can make better, more accurate and cheaper rounds.
    My suggestion is to spend about 100 bucks for Lee basic stuff with a bench press, Lee scale and an ebay $10 electronic caliper. You can get lots of free advice in this forum. you will probably find yourself enjoying shooting more and refining your shooting and reloading skills. At least, with as crazy as the world is getting, a handloader with bullets and powder is an excellent item for the survival minded. Good Luck.
    I agree on everything. The Challenger is a good press and the kit will do you proud. Avoid the cheap Lee $25 "C" bench press as I have broken many of them (always replaced free) resizing rifle rounds and now use mine only as a dedicated primer punch.
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    I have used the Lee Loader to reload for .45/70 for a number of years. This is the one where you hammer the bullets in rather than a press. I think I paid $15 dollars for it.

    Results have been impressive at least for me. If I take my time in reloading the rounds, I can get 4 round groups that have all holes touching at 100 yards out of a Marlin guide gun.

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    The Lee Loader sizes down the neck from the outside, but doesn't expand it from the inside like conventional dies do. So, maybe it's not as exacting, but maybe it is. ????

    Nevertheless, they work well, at least until you need to size the body of the cases, and that would depend, somewhat, on how hot you load them. Which, would probably not be an issue, if you load with the Lee Dipper, etc.

    Neck sized cases should fit the rifle they were fired from, plenty tight enough.

    I say, "Go for it."

    I wouldn't recommend a Lee Challenger Press for a 7mm Magnum. For a cartridge like that, IME, you need a HEAVY press, without FLEX.

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  9. #9

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    Now remember guys you're talking to a complete green reloader. SO some of the responses mean almost nothing to me if not confuzing lol.

    I guess I'm almost more confuzed now...is this a worth while investment? The lee handloader? Or should I wait a few months and buy a bench vise? (which for now is not a realistic purchase unless I can find a good used one somewhere).

    Is this little hand loader accurate enough to get consistent results shell after shell? or am I asking to much from it?

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    I consider the Lee Loaders to be a worthwhile investment for anyone who actually uses one.

    You will have everything you need to make accurate loads, but you won't have the flexibility you would have with a press etc. By comparison it is PRIMATIVE.

    If you go with a Loading Press, etc. you will need a LOT of other stuff to get started, and there is a Learning Curve.

    Get a Handloading Manual, and educate yourself, because you will need at least one anyway, and it will help you decide.

    Successful handloading requires some investment in time and study. It's not entirely a "means to an end", but an end in itself.

    I knew a person who usta say.... "Handload to Shoot, and Shoot to Handload".

    When I was first trying to learn about computers, the guy I was questioning, finally told me... "Buy a book, and then you'll be able to ask some intelligent questions."

    I hope dat heps.
    Smitty of the North
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    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
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  11. #11

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    lol...thanks smitty, I knew I was asking stupid questions...but jeesh

    Right now I'm just looking at options costs etc. I'll likely have something by spring so I'm in no rush. Have learned the hard way not to run out and buy without educated decisions being made....figured this place was a good place to start. And I already have some reload ammo to copy if it works out they are good rounds.

    I'm sure I'll have a bench vise somewhere down the road. The handloader would get my initiated into the reloading world enough to get my feet wet without spending 500 bills out of the gate.

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    Default Like they say, the only stupid question is the one you didn't ask.

    Tradbow:
    I'm sorry. I didn't mean to imply you were asking stupid questions. I think you're goin about this the right way.

    After you study a Handloading manuel, you will ask better questions, and better understand the answers.

    Smitty of the North
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    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  13. #13

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    no need to apologize man! I definatly appreciate the advice!

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    And good advice it was.

    I would advise you to get a copy of ABCs of Reloading as your first book. It's more of a "how to" book than a reloading manual and you will still need a manual. They keep making new powders, bullets, and chamberings you will need new data for so over time you will have a stack of reloading manuals like the rest of us. ABCs of Reloading dose a very good job of making since from the information overload you are in now and is the best place to start.

    Lee Loader is a good place to start and a good investment if you will ever load in the field like a bench rest shooter. However if you will never load in the field and are planning to use it as a stepping stone to a bench model I would say skip that step and start with an "O" type bench model.

    The Lee Challenger will give a lifetime of good service loading all but the very hardest to size cases and a kit like this is not that much cash.
    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=423081

    You can find a used RCBS Rock Crusher (the gold standard heavy duty press that will handle anything) at a gun show or the web for $50 or so if you keep an eye out for a while.
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    According to Lee, his load it with a hammer kits have been used to produce bench rest winning ammo. That may be true as they will make good ammo. There are limitations. You cannot full lenght resize. Bottle neck cases will stretch in length and the shoulder will need to be set back after a few firings. this can't be done with the Lee hammer kit. Mininum cost to get started with the hammer kits will be the cost of 2 kits ( one for each cal). I'm not sure what they cost now but about $25 each. 2 lbs powder $50, 1 box primers 4$, 1 box of bullets for each $60+ and a hammer of some sort. Total cost of less than $200. It will load very usable ammo. If trying to wring out all that your gun will do,it will get more expensive.The lee starting kit using a bench press with normal dies and a powder scale and measure I think can be bought for around $120. You still need dies powder primers and bullets and for around $300 you will have much better options. Also get a good loading manual first. The ABCs of loading is good as is Lees loading manual. There are other good ones as well. But , do get a good manual and study it first. Then come back with any questions. Also, if you want, I am willing to show you my setup and why you may or may not want to go a particular route. Pm or my number is 688-3849. Roger

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    I started reloading about 35 years ago with the Lee hammer model. That worked for a while then I bought a cheap press and cheap scales. That worked for a while also but did not meet all of my needs. I finally bought much better equipment and have used it a lot in the last few years with much enjoyment. As the others have said get you a couple of good books, read, study, and never be afraid to ask questions if you are uncertain about something. Good reloading equipment will last a lifetime if taken care of. Buy what you can afford now and add to it as you go. It is a hobby that you can enjoy for years to come, and well worth the investment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    Lee Loader is a good place to start and a good investment if you will ever load in the field like a bench rest shooter. However if you will never load in the field and are planning to use it as a stepping stone to a bench model I would say skip that step and start with an "O" type bench model.
    I'm with ADfields here. I first considered the Lee Hammer loader but passed on it for an O Frame. I now have an O Frame Lyman Crusher, O Frame RCBS Rock Chucker, and a Lyman T-Mag Turret. All of them very good presses and worth the money I paid for them.

    I am now looking for a press to take to the range and load there while I'm shooting. I am looking very closely at the RCBS Partner Press and will probably go that route. I don't know very much about Lee equipment but will look their comprable press closely before purchase. With these I'll continue to use the same dies that I use at home on my reloading bench. Now after having my presses at home I don't think I would consider the Lee Hammer Press for anything. In short I would say save a little more money and get an O Frame press. IMHO I think you will be much happier.

    FWIW along with the ABC's Of Reloading I also recommend Lyman's 49th reloading manual and Lee's 2nd Edition reloading manual. ABC's goes more into reloading and how to do it. While Lyman and Lee's manual go into the steps of handloading these books are more about load data. Each of them very good resources.

    Welcome to the affliction of handloading!! It only gets worse from here.

    Dan

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    I would also note you will not "save money" by reloading. You will still spend as many dollars on ammo as you ever did. You will just get more bullets per dollar and spend more time creating them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunbugs View Post
    I would also note you will not "save money" by reloading. You will still spend as many dollars on ammo as you ever did. You will just get more bullets per dollar and spend more time creating them.
    Nice words GB. I've got the same sentiments about spending and reloading. I'll even add that you'll probably spend more due to the increased joy and satisfaction that you'll get from your handloads so you'll want more trigger time.

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