Lee Loaders

Smitty of the North

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A long time ago I had a Lee Loader for 357 Mag. with which I loaded rounds for my 357. It was the only tools I had to load that round.

After acquiring more conventional tools, sold it, BUT I bought another one at a Gunshow, a pretty recently, and tried it out and it worked fine.

Then later, at another Gunshow, I purchased a Lee loader for 30-06, and I don't even own a 30-06.

Tonight, I ordered a Lee Loader for 7mm Rem. Mag. It is one of the few cartridges they still make Lee loaders for.

IME, the Lee Loaders are the simplest tools there are for handloading. All you need are the tools, a plastic hammer, and a hard surface. Granted, you would also need some gauges, chamfering tools, a PP cleaner, but it should make for a very small package.

IME, the 7mm RM is a perfect match for Lee Loader. BECAUSE the 7 mag has such a short neck. I load it now using a Neck Only sizing die and I don't even hafta lube the necks. I do however, brush out the inside necks, to remove the carbon.

My plan is to use the 7 Mag. Lee Loader for load development at the range.

Do you think it will work OK, or is it too primitive for that?

Whaddaya Think?

Thanks
Smitty of the North
 

rbuck351

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You can load some pretty good ammo with the "whack a mole" Lee Loaders although a Lee hand press would be a bit easier to use. I believe that on bottle neck cases they only neck size as well.
 

Kruger

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Not sure what one of those Lee's cost. But have you looked into an arbor press and a Wilson chamber seater? They were designed to be used at the range. Very simple and produces very constant loads. It is a fully portable set up. The press does not mount to the table.
 

Cast Iron

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When I do load development I weigh my loads and sometimes only change them one or two tenths of a grain. I would need my scales to do this and I am not a big fan of carrying my scales around and getting them beat and jarred around. I will load several rounds at home and put in zip-lock bags with notes as to the load in the bag. I will shoot these and return the brass back to the zip-lock bag after looking for signs of over pressure. After I get back to my reloading bench I will look at my brass under magnification and my note with the load is still with my brass. I don't have to travel far to shoot, if I did I might change my way of doing this some.
 

BrownBear

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...weigh my loads....

That will probably be the biggest downside in using a LEE loader, packed with it's one and only powder scoop. At the very least I'd also buy a whole set of their scoop-type powder measures (not much money). With a round like 7 mag, you can box yourself into a corner real fast if you are limited on the varieties of powders you can buy, yet you only have one scoop. I'd also buy a good reloading manual to go with the scoop set, since so little data comes with the LEE Loader.
 

Smitty of the North

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OK
Rbuck:

Right now, I use a Lee Hand Press for loading Cast bullets in 7mm RM. The hand press uses conventional dies, and will do virtually anything a bench press will. I use a Neck Only die for all 7mm RM loads, but could also use a FL sizing die.

Kruger:
Yeah, those are spendy, and so is the Arbor Press. Not what I'm lookin for.

Cast Iron:

I have a very small Electronic Scale, and a Redding Powder measure with micrometer adjustments, that is mounted on a board that will clamp to the shooting bench. I envision loading direct from the powder measure using different incremens, and checking with the scale.

This should work well, in theory, anyhow.

BrownBear:

I know what you're sayin. I have 2 sets of the Lee Powder Dippers, one is the older Red ones that are different from the other set. I use them quite a lot, and after I settled on a load, using the scale, I could hopefully, go to a Dipper that matched close enough. Then I would be back to primitive loading, like the Lee Loader was designed for.

I think I would pick a powder charge, (probably H1000, but I have H4831 SC and some others that could work.) and shoot it till it proves it is no good, then go to another charge, and continue the process.

Using the Lee Loader, I might prove that successful handloading doesn't hafta be expensive.

For me, handloading has always been a learning thing, and a fun thing. So, maybe I do some weird stuff. ????

Thanks All
Smitty of the North
 

Amigo Will

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Use the Lee Loader for everything now but also use scale. They worked in the sixties then went big and back to simple around 2000
 

BrownBear

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If you're going to get serious about them, I'd also include one of the LEE hand priming tools. It was a big "revolution" for LEE users when they intro'ed the hand tool about 4 decades back. Only problem I ever had with LEE loaders in my youth was occasionally setting off a primer while seating it with a mallet. Not really a problem, but not popular with the household.
 

TADSR

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Just to let everyone know that American Reloading is holding a 20% off sale thru Christmas day!!
 

BrownBear

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And your connection with American Reloading would be????

Fessup time for new members. If you're with American Reloading, there's a procedure here where reliable and responsible companies buy their ads rather than chimping for freebies.

If you're not with American Reloading, thanks for the pointer.
 

TADSR

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No, I am not with them or connected with American Reloading in any way. I just placed an order this morning and got a great deal and thought I would pass the sale information on. Didn't mean to step on anyone's toes! Thanks.
 

Smitty of the North

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If you're going to get serious about them, I'd also include one of the LEE hand priming tools. It was a big "revolution" for LEE users when they intro'ed the hand tool about 4 decades back. Only problem I ever had with LEE loaders in my youth was occasionally setting off a primer while seating it with a mallet. Not really a problem, but not popular with the household.

BB:
Ya know, I was going to ask about that. I don't like the Lee hand priming tools, but perhaps I would consider another type. ???

If I was only using the Lee Loader for load development at the range, (As I said) I could go with cases sized, and primed already by some other means.

So I guess that was just an excuse to justify doin it.

Thanks
SOTN
 

BrownBear

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BB:
...the Lee Loader for load development at the range....

It's a good theory, but I doubt you'll like it at all in reality. Open containers of powder, scoops, hammers, pieces rolling off the bench.... Gonna make you nuts even if it doesn't rain.

In the dim past when I was serious about benchrest, I used an arbor press and conventional powder measure to load at the bench, and that was bad enough for keeping organized. We all had the goofy notion that if we did all our shooting with the same single case, we could get better groups. Quite the fashion for a few years, and you were NO ONE unless you did it. I finally decided I was happy being NO ONE and quit doing it, winning and losing just as many matches as I did fiddlefarting around with a single case.
 

rbuck351

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I tried the loading at the range once and found it almost impossible to get the powder scale to settle down as the least amount of breeze pushed it all over the place. I even tried putting it inside a cardboard box set on it's side but that didn't work either. I'm getting ready to fix all that. I'm in the process of buying a 40 acre place where I will build a reloading/shooting shack at one end of a range. Load a few, open a window, poke the barrel out and shoot.
 

Smitty of the North

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It's a good theory, but I doubt you'll like it at all in reality. Open containers of powder, scoops, hammers, pieces rolling off the bench.... Gonna make you nuts even if it doesn't rain.

In the dim past when I was serious about benchrest, I used an arbor press and conventional powder measure to load at the bench, and that was bad enough for keeping organized. We all had the goofy notion that if we did all our shooting with the same single case, we could get better groups. Quite the fashion for a few years, and you were NO ONE unless you did it. I finally decided I was happy being NO ONE and quit doing it, winning and losing just as many matches as I did fiddlefarting around with a single case.

Thanks Again BB:

you most always provide the kinda feedback I'm lookin for.

I think I know now the things I might expect.

SOTN
 

Smitty of the North

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I tried the loading at the range once and found it almost impossible to get the powder scale to settle down as the least amount of breeze pushed it all over the place. I even tried putting it inside a cardboard box set on it's side but that didn't work either. I'm getting ready to fix all that. I'm in the process of buying a 40 acre place where I will build a reloading/shooting shack at one end of a range. Load a few, open a window, poke the barrel out and shoot.

I'm purty shore my lil digital scale will not be effected by gentle breezes, but I need to check that out.

SOTN
 

rbuck351

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All you have to do to test your scale is to blow gently on the scale and see what happens.
 

Smitty of the North

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I received my Lee Loader in 7mm Mag. I loaded 7 test rounds today, in primitive style using the Dipper and 160 grain Sierra BTs. And, data that came with the set.

I think the load may be undercharged. Hopefully, I will shoot'em tomorry.

Things went like clockwork, but I did have to refer to the instructions. The only cheatin I did was to use a funnel for the powder.

SOTN
 

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