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Thread: Vintage vs New Lee hand press.

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Vintage vs New Lee hand press.

    I've decided I must have a lee hand press. Im not sure if I want to pull the trigger on a new one with the breech lock system or find a good older one.

    I dont want to use the breech lock feature I think. Im concerned that the insert will be come lose and be annoying every time i have to remove a die from the press.

    What is others opinion of the breech lock hand tool vs the vintage solid design.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Ben's Avatar
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    I prefer the new, take a look at this :

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...Lee-Hand-Press

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    I have two of the new ones. I use them for everything except really hard sizing. I do all of my loading on hand presses.
    Colt 1860, it just feels right.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    First off there is a button the breech lock snaps into. Only comes out or moves if you push the button.

    Second, while it may take a while to get breech lock collars for all the dies you use with that press. Once you do no more threading dies out. Screw it into a bushing, snap it into the press, adjust your die, and your done.

    Caliber changes or changing from sizing to powder through expanding die happen in a couple of seconds.

    There is only one thing that I am not thrilled about with my lee hand press. It keeps all punched out primers until you can't get the next piece of brass in the shell casing. And you can't get the shell holder out until you manage to get a few to fall out.

    This is the only thing I don't like about it. And I see why they did it that way.

    So I just invested 30$ in a Frankford arsenal hand depriming unit that catchs the spent primers.

    Both tools are IMO worth the price.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Ditto !

  6. #6
    Boolit Master 35 shooter's Avatar
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    I've used nothing but a Lee Handpress for years now for all of my loading.
    It's the original design, but i want a new breech lock hand press to go with it.

    I put together a small reloading kit to go with the press and love the freedom of loading anywhere anytime with it.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I must have overlooked the ring lock when I checked out the new one in academy sports the other day. Preciate the info. I dont know how i'd like the quick change rings, as i do plan to use both the hand press and a bench press. Guess i'd have to try it.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    Newbie to reloading here but I love mine. Just snagged a used non breech lock of the classifieds here.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I used two of the older models for quite a while and then when considering the purchase of a third newer design I had some reservations about the breech block feature. I took a shot and ordered the newer one. It works the same and everything stays put like it is supposed to. I agree with the primer collection chamber filling up and requiring a stoppage to empty it seemingly too often, but the rest of the operation works fine. LLS

  10. #10
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    I have the Breech Lock Hand Presses and Challenger Breech Lock presses and the Lock-Ring Bushing are a must. Really like the Breech-Lock systen and the hand presses are handy to be sure. I use the Harvey Hand Deprimers and recommend them. The Frankford Hand Deprimers look useful as well. No dirty/spent brass gets anywhere near my presses.

  11. #11
    Boolit Man
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    Like mine a lot. Use it mostly for seating in 358 win. With the breach lock the dies using Lee lock rings are snugged once and for all into place and you don't have to readjust them when switching calibers. Very convenient and the dies always float for that little extra in concentricity.

  12. #12
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    I use mine with the breech-loc bushing that came with it and simply change the dies as needed just like you'd do when loading on a single stage press. That way it's no different than the old one.

    Incidentally the cavity in the Ram holds 20 spent LR Primers before you have to dump it. Typically everyone processes cases 50 at a time since that's how many Cartridge Boxes and Cartridge Blocks hold.

    Really there is no difference in the two tools if used like the old one, however the new one gives you the option of changing between multiple dies quickly.

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Motard's Avatar
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    Usually for bench press I don't mind about breech lock sistem. Of the two Classic Cast I have I way prefer the old style one because of the separable ram insert and because the few second it take to screw and unscrew dies are not to count. For working at the range I got the BL Hand Press for the opposite reason. Having the ability to have each dies perfectly set up when whorking outside is a must. And with the lee lockrings eliminators there is no possibilty of mistakes

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I ended getting fair deal on an older, but like new hand press of ebay. Sized some 30wcf brass, and its not "easy", But is doable. Pistol brass was no problem. Seems the press springs a fair amount with the 30wcf and has to be set so that the press flexes to get a complete resize. I assume this the norm for this press.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Artful's Avatar
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    Yeah, it's a nice little press but not near the leverage of a bench -
    I have a HDS compac reloading press and it seems to have more leverage than the lee.
    je suis charlie

    It is better to live one day as a LION than a dozen days as a Sheep.

    Thomas Jefferson Quotations:
    "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

  16. #16
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    "I have a HDS compac reloading press"

    I was looking at getting one of those, and sadly, it is no more.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Artful's Avatar
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    Wow - I knew they made it more and more expensive but shame they took it out of the lineup. Best keep your eye on E-bay I guess.
    je suis charlie

    It is better to live one day as a LION than a dozen days as a Sheep.

    Thomas Jefferson Quotations:
    "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

  18. #18
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    For months the Huntington site said more were coming and then poof. Sad to see the loss of an excellent tool by all accounts.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master Artful's Avatar
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    I remember giving measurements to someone from my tool and he made his own just because of the cost (at that time) that Huntington charged. I guess the lee press just out sold it.
    je suis charlie

    It is better to live one day as a LION than a dozen days as a Sheep.

    Thomas Jefferson Quotations:
    "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

  20. #20
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    It is pretty hard to beat Lee when it comes to making good tools inexpensively. They have production capabilities second to none. They also have excellent tool designers. There is no other outfit that has any product similar to Lee that is less expensive or any significant amount better. Lee does have a few cheesy things in the lineup, but the vast majority of their stuff is pretty good and definitely good value for the money.

    I have looked at designing a Hand Press for some time. I would make something like the Lee as far as the operation, it would probably look a little different and have larger hand grips, but the operation would be the same.

    The problem with doing this is,,, Lee already has this market cornered and what they are producing is pretty hard to beat both for operation in use, cosmetics and lastly Price.. IE: the Lee press looks good and it works good. It is also priced at $36, and I couldn't make anything similar for that amount.

    I never liked the Huntington Press simply because it requires a table or something to anchor the press to while you push down on the levers.

    The Lee Press doesn't need any other support, it is used like a Thigh Master!

    I consider this to be a superior design. Plus that Suzanne Sommers can't be wrong?

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

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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