Lee Loaders

Louis

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Thanks. It looks like a priming tool will double my investment in reloading equipment, but still not a whole lot of money and will be well worth it if I can get more reloads from the brass.
 

Smitty of the North

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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.

You should size the NECK portion of the case, and, if I understand correctly, that means the case goes all the way into the die. You need the NECK TENSION to hold the bullet. Bell the mouth to start the bullet into the case, easier. And, do the Crimp. 44s and 45s need the Back Pressure for reliable ignition.

As to priming, or any operation, the idea of the Lee Loader is to do it all, with just those simple tools. Everything you do requires some skill, so don't get discouraged. Practice, do it carefully, and it'll be easier.

I do recommend a powder scale, to determine the powder charge and maybe, make your own powder measure from a fired case. You can use Data OTHER than that from Lee.

I got the parts in, so as time allows I can work with my 44 Lee Loader. My intention is to do it all with the Lee Loader, but perhaps, use a different dipper. I have a Set of the Newer (Yellow) dippers and 2 Sets of the Older (Red) ones, and some extrys I got with Die Sets.

I'll post to let you know, how I do. If you have problems, you can contact Lee. They have responded to me on other matters.

Smitty of the North
 

Smitty of the North

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I did some more 44 Mag rounds today using ONLY the Lee Loader tools, and a cupla hammers on the anvil of the vice on my workbench.

I can load 44 Mag. just fine now, using the NEW PARTS and Lubing the cases before sizing them. I used some Burts Bees Hand ??? that has always worked well for case lube, as well as patch lube in my ML.

I used the Soft Hammer for Sizing, Flaring, and Seating, and a little claw hammer for the other operations.

I also, used a different Dipper and different Powder, than the one that came with the set.

After sizing, and then seating the primer, I found it wise to clean the Lube out of the die, because when the powder passes through it can stick.

I suggest, making sure the seating is correct, before crimping.

The 44 Mag. Lee Loader is the first one that I've used, that required lubing the case. The others, 7mm RM, 30-30, 357, 30-06, didn't require lube, although the Instructions suggest it. (There is just more surface to size on the 44 Mag. and similar cartridges.)

BTW, you can order Instructions as parts from Lee. The instructions are needed I think, because the operation of these "simple tools" are not so simple to me, just yet. The die is turned Up or Down, depending on the particular operation.

1, Decap all cases.
2, Clean all Primer Pockets.
3, Size, then Prime, (which partially removes the case, them remove the case, on All.) (Two operations)
4, Wipe off Lube on All cases.
5, Flare the necks on All.
6, Clean Lube from Die.
7, Dip the powder, then seat the bullet on All. (Two operations)
8, Crimp All the rounds.

9. Wipe them All Off

Smitty of the North
 

Louis

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I finally tested some loads I made with my Lee Loader. I was a little disappointed in the results and am trying to figure out what went wrong. I shot the 45LC SRH (7 1/2"bbl) off a rest at 50' and got groups measuring a couple of inches. It also seemed to be throwing sparks, like maybe there was incomplete combustion. I followed the instructions, and according to the chart used the provided dipper with 200grain bullets and V-N 320 powder. Any thoughts on what could be amiss? Thanks.
 

Smitty of the North

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I finally tested some loads I made with my Lee Loader. I was a little disappointed in the results and am trying to figure out what went wrong. I shot the 45LC SRH (7 1/2"bbl) off a rest at 50' and got groups measuring a couple of inches. It also seemed to be throwing sparks, like maybe there was incomplete combustion. I followed the instructions, and according to the chart used the provided dipper with 200grain bullets and V-N 320 powder. Any thoughts on what could be amiss? Thanks.

2" at 50yds would be good shootin for me.

If you normally do better with other loads, maybe the LL load is not a good one. You might try another of the loads listed. ???

As to the "sparks", I don't recall ever encountering that.

"Incomplete Combustion", ??? Did you size the case All the Way??? And Crimp the bullets? ???

Did you have any unburned particles of powder left in the barrel or cylinder???

Smitty of the North
 

Louis

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The range was actually 50 feet. The crimp looked good and I did resize the case all the way. There appeared to be a few particles left in the case but I didn't notice anything in the barrel or cylinder. Trying a different load sounds like a good idea. The V-N 320 powder was the only one listed in the load chart I could find so that's why I went with that load. Thanks...Louis
 

Smitty of the North

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The range was actually 50 feet. The crimp looked good and I did resize the case all the way. There appeared to be a few particles left in the case but I didn't notice anything in the barrel or cylinder. Trying a different load sounds like a good idea. The V-N 320 powder was the only one listed in the load chart I could find so that's why I went with that load. Thanks...Louis

I don't always use the Dipper that comes with the LL Set.

I have a complete set of Lee Dippers, both the Old (Red) ones and the New (Yellow) ones, plus some Homemade Dippers made from Cartridge Cases.

I use a Scale to determine the amount the Dipper will Dip. I've noticed that the Lee Dippers most always dip far less than Lee says they do.

Anyway, you are not stuck with using the Lee Data that comes with the Lee Loader.

Smitty of the North
 

Louis

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Thanks (belatedly) for the great advice. I got back to shooting some more of my loads from the Lee Loader. They were very inconsistent with a lot of unburned powder. I heard that too light of a load could result in not enough pressure to burn all the powder. Any experience with that? Sounds like it's as you say, the scoop is dipping less than advertised. I'm going to try a scale and loading table. Any recommendations for a lower priced, yet reliable scale? The lower end electronic scale I was looking at wasn't getting very good reviews....Louis
 

BrownBear

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Don't recall what you're loading, but from the description I'd bet handgun, specifically revolver. Much of what you describe can happen with slower powders, especially 2400 in revolver cartridges when you don't have sufficient crimp. Inconsistent crimp was about the biggest bugaboo of all for me using a LEE Loader with 2400 in 357 way back when. Accuracy was bad and unburned powder all over the place.

Refresh us on what you're using, and I'm sure you'll get a rainbow of speculation. But if my description fits what you're doing, I'm pretty confident about my diagnosis.

BTW- When I switched to Unique I still got a little undburned powder now and then with the LEE Loader, but the inconsistent accuracy issues from poor crimps mostly went away.
 

Louis

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Thanks, BrownBear. I am loading 45LC (Ruger SRH) I was loading 200gr bullets with VihtaVuori V-n 320 powder. I chose the V-n320 because that was the only powder listed on the Lee chart (the little one that came with the loader) that was in stock here in Fairbanks at the time. I'll check my crimps again. They looked okay, but I'm certainly no expert on this. My only other reloading experience was back in the late 70's when I was using a Lee Loader to load a few 308 and 300 magnum rounds. It seemed like those worked okay (to the best of my recollection) All I'm interested in doing at this point is to get one accurate low powered load for target practice.
 

BrownBear

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For the 45 I'd sure have a close look at Unique for low to moderate velocities with cast bullets. It's been my standard for over 40 years. For good reason!
 

rbuck351

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I haven't seen any Unique in stores for a while but Universal clays has been showing up now and then and it performs very closely to Unique and meters a bit better.
 

Smitty of the North

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Thanks (belatedly) for the great advice. I got back to shooting some more of my loads from the Lee Loader. They were very inconsistent with a lot of unburned powder. I heard that too light of a load could result in not enough pressure to burn all the powder. Any experience with that? Sounds like it's as you say, the scoop is dipping less than advertised. I'm going to try a scale and loading table. Any recommendations for a lower priced, yet reliable scale? The lower end electronic scale I was looking at wasn't getting very good reviews....Louis

I like the little Frankfort Arsenal Electronic Scales. They're inexpensive too.

SOTN
 

Louis

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I got a powder scale and upped the load a bit. My results were a little better, but was still scattering shots more than what I was getting with a box of factory ammo that I was shooting in the same session today. I'm still not sure if my crimps are all consistent. Would the low end Lee press likely get a more consistent crimp than the lee loader? I'm trying to keep this reloading low budget with a minimum of extra clutter added to my collection, but I would like to get some accuracy out of it. Thanks.
 

Smitty of the North

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I got a powder scale and upped the load a bit. My results were a little better, but was still scattering shots more than what I was getting with a box of factory ammo that I was shooting in the same session today. I'm still not sure if my crimps are all consistent. Would the low end Lee press likely get a more consistent crimp than the lee loader? I'm trying to keep this reloading low budget with a minimum of extra clutter added to my collection, but I would like to get some accuracy out of it. Thanks.

I guess, I was more interested in experimenting with the LL than loading on the cheap.

Considering that the crimping is done with a mallet, consistency could be hard to achieve.

I've learned that some cartridges load easier with the LL than others, of the 5, I have, 44 Mag is the hardest.

In answer to your question, yeah, a low end press and set of Lee dies with the Factory Crimp die, included, making 4 in all would make better loads easier, for sure.

You already have the scale. The low end Lee presses I've seen do not have a priming arm, so to keep from having to use the LL for that, you would need to make some provision for that. I have something called the Lee Prime, and then Lee has the thingy that uses special shell holders.

You CAN handload economically, if you don't get carried away with more and more tools.

I'm gonna PM you. I think I got a cupla things you can use.

Smitty of the North
 

Smitty of the North

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I got a powder scale and upped the load a bit. My results were a little better, but was still scattering shots more than what I was getting with a box of factory ammo that I was shooting in the same session today. I'm still not sure if my crimps are all consistent. Would the low end Lee press likely get a more consistent crimp than the lee loader? I'm trying to keep this reloading low budget with a minimum of extra clutter added to my collection, but I would like to get some accuracy out of it. Thanks.

Your mailbox is FULL.

SOTN
 

Louis

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Thanks, SOTN. I tried clearing out my mailbox and it wasn't showing full at this end. Let me try it again.
 

Louis

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Done. Thanks. I can't figure out what is going on here. I was only showing three messages stored out of fifty allowed.
 
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