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Thread: Lee loaders, which you like better?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Lee loaders, which you like better?

    Which era Lee loaders do you use and or prefer? I ask as I've seen some older kits going for the price of new ones, same calibers. Are the older ones better looking, do they make better ammo?

    I've a few older Lee kits in decent shape in the black and red cardboard boxes. Nicely made and do what they are meant to do.

    Your thoughts?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master flyingmonkey35's Avatar
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    They do what they do across all brands of presses.

    However they also have thier quirks just like other presses.

    Res green orange or blue.

    I really like the design of the newer lee presses.





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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Although different, they all work well. Just learn the one you have and go for it.

  4. #4
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    i like the older red box versions... i have one of each for what I consider my primary cals.. not that they are any better, but I been using them for a very very long time, and have taught all my kids how to use the same version... now at least one of my sons has them for his primary cals in his bug out bag.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy Cheeto303's Avatar
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    I have 39 calibers in the black and red cardboard boxes and 4 calibers in opaque red plastic hinge top box.I also have black and red cardboard box 10,12,16,20 & 410 Lee Loaders. I like the black and red cardboard box. They stack nicely and look good on the shelf. They work great and I use them to load some ammo when the love of my life is "getting ready to go out".
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  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    One major difference is the powder scoops are in different units of volume. Have to make sure you don't use conversion to grains for the wrong unit of measure.

    The wack a mole kits are as good as they are. Do a good job, just not as fast as a bench press. I like them better than the Lee hand press. Seating primers generally works well, but it isn't will I set one off but when will I set one off.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    The Mequon version of the black and red boxes contain that plastic body version of the Gen 1 priming tool. I much prefer that to putting in a primer with a hammer! Other than that, Lee Loaders are Lee Loaders in my experience, at least.

    Froggie
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
    One major difference is the powder scoops are in different units of volume. Have to make sure you don't use conversion to grains for the wrong unit of measure.

    The wack a mole kits are as good as they are. Do a good job, just not as fast as a bench press. I like them better than the Lee hand press. Seating primers generally works well, but it isn't will I set one off but when will I set one off.
    I've read the difference on the variations on scoops, tx. I'll check them on a scale before using one if I do use one.

    I don't have them in front of me and 2 of the 6 I have are for shotgun which I have yet to try. IIRC one may have metal scoops in it, will check later.

  9. #9
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    I like the old kits (1962) that have the metal powder scoops. I have one for each caliber I load except for the 6.5x55mm. I have never heard or seen one in that caliber and I doubt that they did make a metal scoop for that caliber. james

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Maybe not a kit with a metal scoop.
    But the scoops are numbered and are not specific to a particular caliber. If you have a spare metal scoop of the right volume it could be added to a kit with a plastic scoop. Check the list of calibers on one of the old red box sets to see if the 6.5X55 kit was made back then.

    Quote Originally Posted by TNsailorman View Post
    I like the old kits (1962) that have the metal powder scoops. I have one for each caliber I load except for the 6.5x55mm. I have never heard or seen one in that caliber and I doubt that they did make a metal scoop for that caliber. james
    EDG

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    GOD,on FLEA- BAY THE old cardboard kits are going in excess of $100.00+ now! can you beleave it?? aren't you glad we all saved them from a time of long long ago??

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by toot View Post
    GOD,on FLEA- BAY THE old cardboard kits are going in excess of $100.00+ now! can you beleave it?? aren't you glad we all saved them from a time of long long ago??
    I'm guessing this is sarcasm, but in case it is not, I'm seeing the cardboard box version around $20, maybe a bit more. A brand new set runs about $35.

    I've used Lee loaders of various vintage, from cardboard box with metal scoop, to plastic box with yellow scoop. A couple shotgun, mostly pistol, one 30-06 rifle.

    This is my opinion, but I can't think of one reason why anyone would still buy these. And this is coming from a guy who still owns a 12 gauge set, and a 41 magnum set. The Lee hand press with a couple dies does more than the lee loader can, faster, and easier. If you have multiple calibers, the hand press with dies is more compact. One caliber, the lee loader is more compact. A $35 for a lee loader is cheaper than a lee hand press, dies, and ram prime; about $90-$100. So for the guy with a single odd caliber, like 41 magnum, a lee loader makes sense, but that's about it.

    For anyone living in a condo, apartment, or similar, the lee loader is not an option.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    The only one I ever used was one in 222 Remington back in the 80’s in the red and black cardboard box. Worked good and made me move on to the Rockchucker I still use.

  14. #14
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    Some of us just enjoy reloading and how fast you can load a cartridge is not a factor for me at least. I have had several Dillon presses over the years but that was when I was competing somewhere every weekend. And the little Lee Loader will load just as accurate of ammo as the most expensive loader out there. It just takes more time. Everybody has different wants and needs when it comes to reloading. I am retired from competitive shooting and at 78 I no longer need the speed of the Dillons. I sold them all. I am now down to a RCBs Rockchucker and the Lee's and I would not go back to a Dillon, way too expensive for the time I get to spend on the range. I am happy with my hobby and that is what reloading is to me--a hobby just as much as the guns. my .02 anyway, james

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNsailorman View Post
    Some of us just enjoy reloading and how fast you can load a cartridge is not a factor for me at least........

  16. #16
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    I've used both the old cardboard red and black, and the newer transparent red box versions. Both work well. I actually loved using lee classic loaders back when I was able to reload. Only proviso was I used an old set of hand primers to prime my brass. I know if done safely it's basically just noise, but setting off a primer was an idea that always made my hair stand on end.

    One thing I WOULD advise with either. There is a little case flaring tool for each caliber, looks kinda like a steel loaded around, but knurled round the end ya tap with the mallet for grip. They don't include them with the Lee Classic Loaders, but they are worth ordering for each caliber. Only a few bucks, and it helps to stop lead shaving, particularly with fairly soft cast rounds. Mine should still be stored in the boxes with the rest of the loader tools for each caliber. Tap 'em once gentle and you get a nice little flair, just enough to load well without over flexing the case mouth too much.

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  17. #17
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    Opps duplicate

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNsailorman View Post
    Some of us just enjoy reloading and how fast you can load a cartridge is not a factor for me at least. I have had several Dillon presses over the years but that was when I was competing somewhere every weekend. And the little Lee Loader will load just as accurate of ammo as the most expensive loader out there. It just takes more time. Everybody has different wants and needs when it comes to reloading. I am retired from competitive shooting and at 78 I no longer need the speed of the Dillons. I sold them all. I am now down to a RCBs Rockchucker and the Lee's and I would not go back to a Dillon, way too expensive for the time I get to spend on the range. I am happy with my hobby and that is what reloading is to me--a hobby just as much as the guns. my .02 anyway, james
    I like the way you think , good for you.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master 44magLeo's Avatar
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    I have never shot in any kind of competition or owned an auto loader other than 22RF.
    I think quality is more important than quantity.
    If I did any of the things I mentioned in the first line I might think differently.
    Leo

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    My first reloads were done with a 243 Win. Lee Loader, I used that for two years before I bought a press and the other peripherals to go with it.

    I used a borrowed 410 Lee Loader to load a couple boxes for that cartridge, took a while but they all cycled fine in a 410 Remington 1100. I would like to find a reasonably priced 410 LL now so I could load a few boxes a year for shooting Contender Skeet The occasional ones that show up for sale are very near as pricey as a MEC 600, which is far easier/faster to use.
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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