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Thread: All the Complaining That Goes On About Lee Precision

  1. #401
    Boolit Master kmw1954's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Adams View Post
    He never fails to remind me that you take a pencil and a sheet of paper and spell out the word 'L-E-E' all day and not see one 'R', 'C,' 'B,' or 'S' anywhere in it. That should tell you something, he says. .
    I would also remind him that if you write out that whole statement in the End you will find B.-S. every time. Then after hearing it the third time he would find himself a much lonelier person.

  2. #402
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    Quote Originally Posted by GWS View Post
    Have to agree with most of 1hole's post.....but I like RCBS products....they've been good to me for 45 years. Hype aside, they are tools that work....
    Don't misunderstand what I said about hype; you are right, RCBS tools do work. What I meant is that Hornady, Lyman, Redding, Forster, et al, tools also work. Ditto Lee. I simply consider it hilarious that some folk actually think the reloading sun only rises on RCBS green when it's obvious that all maker's tools work - including Lee's red - if used correctly. Nothing works very well if it's used incorrectly!

    I'm old, I've been doing this a LOOONG time and with tools from virtually every maker, including several brands that no longer exist. I started with a brand that gave me excellent service so I developed a childish brand loyalty early. BUT, when exposed to other tool brands that also function, I grew out of any emotional blind loyalty to inanimate objects!

    For decades I've bought new tools based on their functional features. Sometimes that's RCBS, sometimes it's Lee, sometimes it's something else. I can do that safely because I know it all works ... if used correctly!

  3. #403
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    look at it this way, how often do you use some of your dies? if I only load say 100 rounds of 7x57 a year, im far better served with a 35$ lee 3 die set, then I am by purchasing around 200$ in RCBS or Hornady dies

    IF you don't believe that, look at how many Lyman or RCBS dies are sold separately compared to how lee does it.

  4. #404
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikonuser View Post
    look at it this way, how often do you use some of your dies? if I only load say 100 rounds of 7x57 a year, im far better served with a 35$ lee 3 die set, then I am by purchasing around 200$ in RCBS or Hornady dies

    IF you don't believe that, look at how many Lyman or RCBS dies are sold separately compared to how lee does it.
    I will spend the extra 9 dollars on the RCBS

    https://outdoors.natchezss.com/bestsellers/7x57-Dies
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

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  5. #405
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    My last two Lee moulds;

    One is their 200g swc 45. I have a H&G 68 BB,so got the Lee version to cut/ream the BB off for a flat based model. Really looking forward to this.... it's in the shop,waiting..begging haha,for attention.

    But the other has been nothing short of amazing. Nothing too special about the design,it's their 309-150F . It just so happens to drop perfectly round(huge points right here),but also the "numbers" on diameter happened to match up with a 2016, R700 CDL '06 to the umpteenth degree. 37g of Varget,as cast(slightly enhanced WW) body and nose. With a little attention twds getting the bases scraped(l use 18g sheet metal,modeled after a cabinet scraper) to really sharpen them up,and a cpl other minor tricks.....

    It shoots bugholes @100.... IF,you can hang onto it. But I'd have paid 100$ to get a mould this perfect. We check roundness in "tenths" (.0001's) and base to centerline squareness just as carefully. Cost like 25$ or some such?

  6. #406
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    I doubt anyone has ever paid $200 for 7X57 dies unless they were a custom set or some of the late model Reddings. I was loading 7X57 long before Lee ever made a single die. The dies I used then were second hand RCBS that I probably paid $7 or $8 for.
    Today I still have those RCBS dies belong to my brother. I gave them to him with an old rifle. I bought another set of RCBS used for about $15 and then Bonanza Benchrest dies in 7X57 that I paid about $20 for.
    BTW I also have a set of Lee 7X57 dies made when they still had the crimper built into the seater just like everyone else. Lee had so much trouble with newbies crushing cases because they could not read the instructions that he designed the collet type FCD. Anyway Lee was such a rocket scientist that the first generation of his dies had a plastic seater stem that held the seater plug in place. That little winner of a design feature did not last long. I removed it from my dies and tossed it in the trash and replaced it with a later version that was made from aluminum. I paid a whopping $3 or $4 for those old Lee dies at a gun show about 1990 so I have had them at least 30 years.
    The used price of loading dies is a better reflection of their demand and quality. Check Ebay sometime.

    Quote Originally Posted by nikonuser View Post
    look at it this way, how often do you use some of your dies? if I only load say 100 rounds of 7x57 a year, im far better served with a 35$ lee 3 die set, then I am by purchasing around 200$ in RCBS or Hornady dies

    IF you don't believe that, look at how many Lyman or RCBS dies are sold separately compared to how lee does it.
    EDG

  7. #407
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-Tecs View Post
    I will spend the extra 9 dollars on the RCBS

    https://outdoors.natchezss.com/bestsellers/7x57-Dies
    I was questioning that $200 price tag myself. I'm guessing it was just a figure of speech. But you do have to buy the shell holder while Lee furnishes one.

  8. #408
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    That is true is you are a newbie starting out. The fact that Lee provides shell holders in their die sets is a trivial matter for older more experienced reloaders since they often already have a wide array of shell holders. At least I did before Lee ever went into the die business.

    That common 7X57 shell holder is one that most reloaders will already have. In the last 30 years the only shell holders I have bought are for really odd things like a 6.5 Carcano made by Honady that really fits. I also bought a .405 Win shell holder for forming brass from .405 cases. I don't think Lee makes a .405 shell holder and I know they don't make .405 dies. I also bought a .43 Spanish shell holder because the RCBS version has a different deck height to work with RCBS dies. It seems Lee made theirs the standard depth and they will pull the top off due to the thick rim of the .43 Spanish.
    Mostly I bought Lee screw in shell holders for the original Lee priming tool.
    I got the .22 Hornet and a .25-20 shell plus a few obscure pistol shell holders.

    Quote Originally Posted by lightman View Post
    I was questioning that $200 price tag myself. I'm guessing it was just a figure of speech. But you do have to buy the shell holder while Lee furnishes one.
    EDG

  9. #409
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    go to midsouth website, its redding with them expensive *** dies for 7x57. 1 "competition" grade is 259.00$ other is 359$ while little old "substandard lee" wants 30$ for a FLS, seater, and crimping die.

  10. #410
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    Ya gotta just love those Lee Die lock rings

  11. #411
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    A 6-pack of the Hornady lock rings cures all !!!

    Sorry, I still appreciate Lee dies. More than your money's worth !!
    Last edited by ReloaderFred; 04-10-2020 at 05:48 PM. Reason: Same subject

  12. #412
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    Say what you want. I would not have gotten started in reloading or casting without Lee and all of the things I have bought work just fine and in fact, just as good as the bigger names costing much more.

    Lee fan for life
    I am become death. The destroyer of worlds

    We all do our duty when there is not cost to it, honor comes easier then. Sooner or later there comes a day in every man's life when it is not so easy, a day when he must choose and live with it for the rest of his days.

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  13. #413
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    There are some here remember the fifties and sixties ,when a reloading press was a major investment. I wanted a RCBS press real bad ,it cost more than a weeks wages ,and I had to do with a local effort ,well made ,but flimsy ,and suited to 22s rather than bigger cases.....I still have it ,but I also have a Lee castiron from when they first hit the market.....And if anyone doesnt think Lee have pulled down excessive prices on reloading gear,look at some of the precision inline stuff.Which is where all prices would be now.

  14. #414
    Boolit Master dkf's Avatar
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    Since RCBS dies was brought up, I am not a fan. The "lock rings" always come loose, the die scratches fairly easy so I need to polish it fairly regularly and the decapping pins don't last. All three are a big problem with my most problematic die the RCBS .223 SB X Die used for crimped and non crimped primer brass. If Lee made one of those I would buy it in a heartbeat. I got to the point I run a Lee universal decapper before the RCBS so I don't have to be buying RCBS replacements all the time. I've not had that many issues with any of my other dies, Lee included. I've had some Lee stuff that was junk but thus far the good vs junk ratio is higher with RCBS for me.

  15. #415
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    I bought my first metallic cartridge loader in 1966 or 67. It was an RCBS Reloader Special for $29.95 with a set of dies of your choice. I'm not sure if Lee had a press at that time but I had a whack a mole 12ga for 5 years. That $29.95 wasn't quite a weeks wages but took a pretty big bite out of a weeks check. I was 19 and working as a motorcycle mechanic at $1.75 per hour. Lee has certainly kept the prices from going out of control and they make a lot of good equipment, but like most companies, they occasionally make something that doesn't work out all that well. What's with all the Lee bashing? The other side of that coin is, Nothing Lee has ever made is less than perfect!!! Let's be real here.

  16. #416
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    Ok, I have three of the Pro 1000s with the Lee powder spitter on each. I have made several mods to the press and the powder spitters and have managed to make them work. Generally speaking, I expect a new press to work without mods. The Pro 1000 is quite inexpensive for a full progressive but it's more of a kit with mods and fitting necessary before it works like my 550b did right out of the box. Actually they probably never will work as well as the 550b because of the primer system.

  17. #417
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    When a lot of people compare Lee to other tools particularly the progressives they seem to think that 120.00 dollar press should be the equal of a 3 or 400.00 press that is kinda ridiculous . The ABLP or Lee 1000 is never going to match the detail quality of a Dillon but they are definitely worth what they cost and can produce ammunition of equal quality .
    I have no doubt Lee could produce a press equal in every way to anything else on the market if they chose to and it would have to cost close to as much but they have aimed at the typical hobby reloader and have done an excellent job at innovation and implementation of some great Ideas with the huge assortment of tools they have marketed , some are truly excellent and some not so much but most are as good as the competition at a bargain price I see them as a great American company that has seen a need and finds ways to fill it.
    Who would have ever thought you could buy a press that will accept dies or shell holders on the ram or press body with an auto case/bullet feeder and a excellent spent primer retention system that you can buy for 75.00 and made in the USA what a crazy excellent little tool.
    Last edited by onelight; 04-10-2020 at 11:17 PM.

  18. #418
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    Onelight......well said! I have some expensive presses that I love.....but I love my APP and my modified Tube case collator just as well. They do IMO more for less, and do it plenty well, and sometimes faster.

    There are more than a few who are convinced that a progressive isn't worth a damn unless it has an electric case collator. They might have a point if they shoot competitive pistol for a living and make one caliber of fodder over and over and over. But there are many of us who would rather load four calibers in a given week and maybe in a given day......and changing all the parts to make that happen using an electric collator using one progressive is a slow changover.

    I'd rather load 4 36" tubes in under a minute and drop them into Lee's 4 tube feeder.....when changing calibers takes zero to 10 seconds ..... and I have a lot of tubes I can load. Lee has it's place, and for me I found a few spots for them.

  19. #419
    Boolit Master
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    GWS I know what you mean the 25.00 feeder and 15.00 collator on ABLP will not work as well as the 200.00 one on a Dillon 550 but it is a great buy for 40.00 I am to cheap to spend 200.00 on one at the volumes I need. But 40.00 I will spend .

  20. #420
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbuck351 View Post
    .... What's with all the Lee bashing? The other side of that coin is, Nothing Lee has ever made is less than perfect!!! Let's be real here.
    I've never seen anyone claim Lee's tools are "perfect". Nor are Hornady's, Lyman's, RCBS tools "perfect"; if they were perfect in every way then no product's perfect warranty would matter would it? What they are, what ALL of them are, is "good enough" and when the makers do screw up - which they all do - they all fix or replace actual defective stuff don't they?

    Without a rational sense of perspective, chasing perfection in manufactured products can be a losing game. Our sizing dies are the most demanding tools most of us use; all makers make them to SAMMI specifications and that is a range for all dimensions, i.e., a plus or minus a few thousants of an inch. ALL dimensions are considered to be fully in tolerance if they fall into that range. If any mythical die maker decides he wants to make his dies to "tighter" tolerances what would he aim for? I mean, should his target be precisely the minimum size or the largest size or precisely in the middle? And wouldn't even that precise target have a tolerance range? And chambers have tolerances too so how could his "tighter tolerance" dies deal with that? Bottom line, all we need is SAAMI tolerances for everything and ALL of our makers make that or replace the tool.

    Thus, anyone buying any brand of tools can spend whatever it takes for them to feel good about themselves and their choices but the quality of their ammo depends on their own skills and components, not the color of the boxes they may choose to buy.

    IF any maker could demonstrate that their tools are "more precise" than others they would advertise that and capture a larger part of the market but false advertising laws won't permit such lies, therefore no maker has the audacity to say their's is better than others but their smug proponents can (and do) effectively proclaim it on the net! Those who condescendly smile and post that "Lee is good enough for poor and starting loaders but even they will want 'better tools' later" are silly; that's just ego driven nonsense. I can afford what I want but I know what works best is not determined by cost so sometimes I buy Lee tools and sometimes I don't.

    Examples: (1) NO ONE, at any price, makes a "better" single stage or turret press than Lee's excellent cast iron "Classic" presses. 2) Only Forster and Redding's "competition" seating dies are worthy of that label, all others are tied for second place. (3) Only those who don't know how - and refuse to learn - to correctly use Lee's "O" ring die lock rings dislike them.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check