Lee Loaders

hodgeman

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Will the Lee Loaders give the same results as a press?

More or less. The Lee Loader neck sizes only- not full length. In a press that's a function of the die and some folks neck size only on purpose. You should only use that ammo in the rifle it was previously fired in as it will be slightly oversize from spec and may not chamber well in another rifle.

The Lee is pretty neat for someone who wants to load (relatively) few rounds with a minimum of investment...in that role it's pretty much the only game in town.
 

Smitty of the North

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Will the Lee Loaders give the same results as a press?

That would depend on the particulars, of course.

Like hodge says the LL only neck sizes, but there is another difference. The Lee Loader only sizes the Outside of the neck, and doesn't have an expander. Therefore it doesn't squeeze the neck down as much as standard FL dies do.

The dies we're most used to, size the outside neck down too much for bullet seating and expand it back to what is spose to be correct.

That can work the neck more, and one can see how that could be better or worse, depending.

Lee doesn't advertise the LL as being more accurate, but as being economical.

However, Some additional items, are desirable for good success. (For,, cleaning PPs, measuring case length, chamfering, weighing charges, etc., whatever is called for.)

I would not hesitate to recommend the LL based on the fact that I used one for loading 357, and the ONLY way I loaded 357, for years, before I had the other kind of tools.

It can give you a basic understanding of how handloading works.

Smitty of the North
 

Smitty of the North

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Trubble with the Lee Loader

Trubble with the Lee Loader

I loaded the 7 rounds, and farrd'em with no issues.

HOWEVER, when I went to do it AGAIN with the same brass, only having just been fired and FFed to my rifle, I found that the Decapper was so tight in the case neck that I hadda force it in and after it was in there, and pushed out the old primer, the blame thing didn't wanna come OUT.

On 5 of the 7 cases, I needed to chuck the Decapper in my vise and twist, and pull HARD to get it out again. I had brushed the inside necks too.

I noticed on the first go around that I had 1 or 2 cases that were a little tight, but nothing like the 2nd.

I guess, I'll hafta put the decapper in a drill motor and polish it. Or maybe not, if it's an issue with the brass.

Smitty of the North
 

Smitty of the North

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I loaded the 7 rounds, and farrd'em with no issues.

HOWEVER, when I went to do it AGAIN with the same brass, only having just been fired and FFed to my rifle, I found that the Decapper was so tight in the case neck that I hadda force it in and after it was in there, and pushed out the old primer, the blame thing didn't wanna come OUT.

On 5 of the 7 cases, I needed to chuck the Decapper in my vise and twist, and pull HARD to get it out again. I had brushed the inside necks too.

I noticed on the first go around that I had 1 or 2 cases that were a little tight, but nothing like the 2nd.

I guess, I'll hafta put the decapper in a drill motor and polish it. Or maybe not, if it's an issue with the brass.

Smitty of the North

I had time this morning, to check some OTHER Winchester FIRED cases, and the decapper was LOOSE, in the necks. What's goin on hyer?

It don't make no sense, a'tall. I'm gonna try loading some different cases.

Smitty of the North
 

Smitty of the North

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Mystery Solved:

The problem cases were way too LONG.

I had neglected to check them/trim them. I NEVER neglect that. I ALWAYS check/trim cases. BUT, I didn't this time. I know better, but I FAILED.

Apparently, the very end of the case neck wasn't allowed to expand properly, and the that very end was where it was tight on the decapper rod.

The primers were flattened on these long case loads, but not excessively. (It was a low end charge.) The loads with the cases that had proper length cases Did show slightly less flattening. So, all this is confirmed by pressure signs.

Although, the instructions do mention case trimming and suggests the Lee Case Trimmer, it wasn't mentioned in the 1, 2, 3,s.

There is no provision for checking case length. They should include a gauge of some sort in the set. And, some way to trim, chamfer, etc.

So, I got a Simple, basic, portable, perhaps, even primitive set of tools to handload with, but in reality, one should have some more advanced tools to use it effectively.

Something to measure case length,
Something to trim to case length.
Something to clean Primer Pockets.
Something to chamfer case necks.
A powder scale, A funnel, and whatnot.

The Lee Loader SET, is not a complete one, but I spose we all knew that already.

SOTN
 

travelers

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Mystery Solved:



..............................................

So, I got a Simple, basic, portable, perhaps, even primitive set of tools to handload with, but in reality, one should have some more advanced tools to use it effectively.

Something to measure case length,
Something to trim to case length.
Something to clean Primer Pockets.
Something to chamfer case necks.
A powder scale, A funnel, and whatnot.

The Lee Loader SET, is not a complete one, but I spose we all knew that already.

SOTN

They used to make Lee Loader TARGET set. It had case trimmer, neck reamer, etc. included.
I bought a target set years ago, in .308, if I remember right.
 

Smitty of the North

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I got 2 good 5 shot groups today, using a Lee Pdr Dipper to measure the charges.

Tests had previously shown me that such measuring with H4831 SC, would result in wide variation of weights, YET, the loads were surprisingly accurate.

1, 1/4 and 1, 1/8" at a HUNNERT yards.

A lot enters into obtaining a tight group, but it would appear, that the charge variations didn't have a great effect, here.

I guess, next, I should weigh them and record the variations, and test. Then test some in which the charges are weighed.

I recognize that I would need to fire a lot more rounds than I have so far, or plan to, for any definite conclusions.

Smitty of the North
 

rbuck351

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Too much of this is still a mystery to me. Some bench rest loaders measure their charges and some weigh them or so I've been told. I tend to weigh max charges in rifle but I'm not sure that's any better than going by volume.
 

Cast Iron

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Black powder and black powder subitutes are measured by volume. Smokeless powder should be weighted. Smitty try dipping a few loads and then weigh them and see how much they are off.
 

Smitty of the North

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Today, I dipped, then weighed and recorded it, for 20 cartridges, enough to shoot 4, 5 shot groups.
,
The variation, heaviest to lightest was MORE than a Grain.

I hope I can shoot well when I get to test them. Like I indicated before, I dunno if I'll be proving anything. An accurate load/pwdr charge, will shoot better, so maybe, I should be trying a proven load.

Really, I'm just testing the practicality of using the Lee Loader Dipper method of measuring the powder.

These cases were not prepped with a Lee Loader, but they were already ready, to load.

I will continue to weigh charges when using extruded powders, for my hunting loads, just to be safe, even though, I don't load to the absolute maximum velocity possible.

Thanks for your comments.

Smitty of the North
 

Smitty of the North

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Too much of this is still a mystery to me. Some bench rest loaders measure their charges and some weigh them or so I've been told. I tend to weigh max charges in rifle but I'm not sure that's any better than going by volume.

I'm not sure either.

From what I'm been able to determine by talking to BR people, and reading books, from both persuasions, the 1K BR guys weigh their charges, but the shorter range folks use accurate measures.

Whether I use a measure or scale, depends on the type of powder I'm loading. If it's ball powder, I use a measure.

SOTN
 

Smitty of the North

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I got 2 additional LEE LOADERS at the last Gun Show, 44 Mag. and 30-30.

I shoulda been more careful, since the one for 44 Mag. hadda broken Decapping Pin, and the die that sizes, was dinged up and a bit rusty on the outside. I was able to order another Decapper, and MAY hafta order the other part.

Lee sells all parts for the Lee Loaders, even Rifle or Pistol instructions. I had the parts in the mail bout 3 days later, reg postage, US mail.

I loaded a box of 30-30 rounds, and damaged 2 cases. Man, you gotta be kereful when Seating Bullets OR when Crimping if you crimp.

Lee Loaders provide a SIMPLE, and Fun way to handload, but you need,,,,

a Plastic Hammer,
and a way to check, trim, and case Length,
and I suggest a something to chamfer the necks,
a funnel,
and a powder scale.

And, what else?

I guess, I don't actually NEED them but I've got FIVE Lee Loaders, now.

My Dad usta say,,,, "A fool and his money are soon parted."

Smitty of the North
 

Smitty of the North

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I loaded 1 Round with the 44 Mag. set. ONE STEENKEENG round. Good thing though. I couldn't have managed more, since it didn't work as was spose to, at least not nearly as well as my 357/38l set does.

The Die was beat to.... Well it was beat up fore shore. As was the priming rod. I just KNOW, the previous owner didn't Force things, he just used a bigger hammer.

I'll be ordering a couple more parts from LEE, just to bring this 44 Mag. set up to snuff.

One more it of binfo, It appears like you need to Lub the case with the 44 Mag. I had to, but with the other sets for other cartridges, I didn't. All the instructions say, use paraffin.

Smitty of the North
 

gbflyer

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You will most likely not see a powder scale at an NBRSA event. Cases are filled to basically 1/3 up the neck with a powder measure. There are some very pricy custom ones out there or Redding makes one that work fine too. Some guys use the Wilson neck die, others bump the shoulders in a portable press. The Wilson bullet seaters are used almost exclusively, by hand (no arbor press). Reloading takes place on site, it would be odd to see someone show up with everything preloaded and ready to go.
 

Louis

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I just got started reloading .45LC with my Lee Loader. It seems like resizing takes some doing. I'm using case lube and it still seems to take a bit of beating to get the case flush into the die, and a bit more to get it back out. I worked in and out of the die a few times before priming, since I don't really feel comfortable pounding too hard in the priming process. Any more experience with this? Am I missing something? Thanks.
 

Amigo Will

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If you are use using one pistol the fired cases are already sized for your chambers or should be. Fire six rounds then try each case in all cylinder holes.If all fit fine full lenght resizing is not needed and just adds stress to case life.
 

Louis

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Thanks. That makes sense. I do only have one revolver I'll be using. The only other question, is that the instructions seem to call for seating the primer when the case is flush in the resizing die. Is there another way to safely seat the primer?
 

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