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Thread: where did they get the name?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    where did they get the name?

    where did OLD LEE HAND LOADERS get the name WHACK A MOLE??

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    It would have been from the carnival game where 'moles' pop up out of holes all over a big table top for a second or so,
    and you hit them with a mallet before they go back down.

    With the old Lee, the process of using it required whacking the case with a hammer for each step.

    In the Service, I had Duty NCO one night and heard what sounded like a shot in the barracks.
    I found one of the guys sitting on the floor in his area with a hammer in one hand, a Lee loader die
    in the other, and some primers nearby.

    He'd been a little over zealous seating one.
    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 03-18-2020 at 03:28 PM.
    It wasn't playing the blame game, finding fault, and complaining about every little thing that made America great.
    It was God, guns, and guts.


    Never pick a fight with old people.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Gets your attention the first time you overload a primer in a Lee Hand Loader. No harm no foul though. Ringing in ears. Dark smudge around whichever hand was holding the seating dowel. Wife and kids to help down off of the ceiling. Other than that, don't try so hard.
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Set a primer off, no big deal. Just go change undershorts and go back to loading.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Nobade's Avatar
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    And I always thought it was the Tap 'N' Pray.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nobade View Post
    And I always thought it was the Tap 'N' Pray.
    The kid probably did that normally.

    We had full ranges there, and nobody cared if you scrounged brass.

    I think he had been accustomed to loading for a .223 rifle for years,
    but that was his first experience with GI crimped in primers.
    It wasn't playing the blame game, finding fault, and complaining about every little thing that made America great.
    It was God, guns, and guts.


    Never pick a fight with old people.
    If they don't think they can win it: They'll just kill you.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    All of which reinforces my preference for the Mequon unitized tool with the red plastic priming tool. You’ve really got to screw up big time to make a primer go off using one of those.

    If you use a small arbor type press for the other steps, the only hammering you do is on the spent primer which is by definition incapable of going off, so the safety factor goes way up. Unfortunately, adding said arbor press increases size and decreases some of the flexibility of the Lee Loader package.

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    Frankly, I never heard the “whack-a-mole” designation before I started reading Internet forums. If anybody used such a term in the old magazines, books or instructions, I never came across it.

    My first cartridge reloading experience was a Lee Loader in .22 Hornet. I “tapped” rather than “whacked” and still got one primer pop out of every 150 or so loaded. Of course, the shielding setup of the base meant nothing would happen, but I finally got tired of it (and the slow operation), went to a gunshow and bought a Pacific Super Deluxe press and a set of Lachmiller dies (both used).

    The odd thing was that the “new” setup took about six months of use before the ammo I was loading got to the accuracy level produced by the Lee Loader.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Kinda my experience as well BentRR, to include the accuracy of loads put up on my first press, a used Lyman Spartan. I think of all the years I used Lee hand loaders I popped one primer. I remember exactly where it happened, on the living room floor of our duplex at 591A N. Fresno, Chandler, Arizona in 1973 when I was stationed at the old Williams AFB. I certainly don't remember popping any more. I still have the Lee 16 bore loader Dad started me on in 1961.
    "In general, the art of government is to take as much money as possible from one class of citizens and give it to another class of citizens" Voltaire'

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  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    My first experience with the "whack-a-mole" Lee loader was in 1964. I was helping a friend make some handloads (literally) for his m-1 carbine. We were outside on a concrete sidewalk and neither of us knew much about it. We were too poor to buy anything else. We missed the part about lubing the cases before sizing and we literally pounded to shreds his little hammer with the hard plastic ends. It was a terrible amount of work and our quality from load to load was probably not too good. Looking back on it, its a wonder I took to the reloading bug the way I did. But I remember it was fun and we were very slow but got enjoyment out of it.
    Mark 5:34 And He said to her (Jesus speaking), "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be healed of your affliction."

  11. #11
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winger Ed. View Post
    It would have been from the carnival game where 'moles' pop up out of holes all over a big table top for a second or so,
    and you hit them with a mallet before they go back down.

    With the old Lee, the process of using it required whacking the case with a hammer for each step.

    In the Service, I had Duty NCO one night and heard what sounded like a shot in the barracks.
    I found one of the guys sitting on the floor in his area with a hammer in one hand, a Lee loader die
    in the other, and some primers nearby.

    He'd been a little over zealous seating one.
    Yep. Did the same thing... In the barracks too. Cheapest way to load and shoot .44 Mag... Bobby

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    Started in the mid-60’s with a 12 gauge Lee kit, never set off a primer with it, probably because the shot-shell primers were not as easy to crush. I learned a couple years later on a 38 special Lee Loader that a supple leather left hand glove was a good accessory for priming and salvaging live primers from pull down brass.

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I like Lee Loaders. I started using one in '69 and even though I now have 3 presses, 13 die sets and 1.32 tons of assorted reloading tools I still occasionally get one of my 7 Lee Loaders out and pound out a few handloads (38 was my first and still my favorite). I had to change skivvies once too often when pounding out some 44 Magnums so I searched for a remedy for the unscheduled/surprising primer pops. I started chamfering the primer pockets just like I did for military crimped primer pockets and made sure the spring and plate in the priming base were free and clear. IIRC the last primer pop I had was around 1980 (?). When priming 38 Specials with the Lee Loader I can't remember any pops, but sometimes I'll use an HF arbor press although I prefer a dead blow hammer...

    For those not familiar with a Lee Loader (and those that think they are "slow"); https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeEl9wZyabc
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  14. #14
    Boolit Master


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    Never heard that term until right now. I have one in .44-40, never used it.
    My Dad absolutely Hated them. Said the only thing that Lee made that was worth anything was the decapping base & rod.
    Back in 1974 when I was stationed at Bethesda, I wrote him that I had just bought a 1903A3 & S&W K-Frame .38Spl with Lee loaders, Wrote back immediately and ordered me NOT to use them. He was sending Lyman 310 Tong Tools & a scale. At least I wasn't making noise. Except for the decapping, I used my shoe as a hammer while I waited for the Tong Tools to arrive.
    I HATE auto-correct


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  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdi View Post
    I like Lee Loaders. I started using one in '69 and even though I now have 3 presses, 13 die sets and 1.32 tons of assorted reloading tools I still occasionally get one of my 7 Lee Loaders out and pound out a few handloads (38 was my first and still my favorite).

    For those not familiar with a Lee Loader (and those that think they are "slow"); https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeEl9wZyabc
    "1.32 tons"....gotta love it mdi!!!! I understand all too well. I haven't used a Lee Loader since the early-mid 70's that I recall. I sold or traded all mine except for the 16 bore I got from Dad. I do occasionally get out my 310 tool to load some 32-20.
    "In general, the art of government is to take as much money as possible from one class of citizens and give it to another class of citizens" Voltaire'

    The common virtue of capitalism is the sharing of equal opportunity. The common vice of socialism is the equal sharing of misery

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  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master

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    You've never played the arcade game " Whac-A-Mole" man that was my favorite one....it was FUN!
    It was created in 1976 by Aaron Fechter who worked for Creative Engineering .
    Plastic moles popped up & down out of holes and if you could hit them fast enough and hard enough with a soft black plastic mallet...you got points .
    Since the Lee Classic Loader involved hitting the case with a plastic mallet to drive it in...Whack-a-Mole sounded funnier and was easier to spell than Lee Classic Loader... We like funny names like boolit !
    I can honestly say I've whacked many a mole !
    Gary
    Certified Cajun
    Proud Member of The Basket of Deplorables

  17. #17
    Boolit Master



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    A Lee Loader in .38 Special was my introduction to reloading, clear back in the stone age times of 1969 or so. The price was a whopping $9.95, brand new, which was my limit at $99/week paycheck. I read the instructions carefully and deprimed all the cases. I then began the priming process, ever so gently urging each one into place with moderate hammer taps. I think I got about ten done and thought "I don't like this. Not at all".

    I went back to the same store and bought a used C press and used .38 Special dies. And a reloading legend was born............... Oh, I gave the Lee away.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I'm like Typhoid Mary. Although I have several many of those kits around, I seldom use them. However I inspire others to use them and they seem totally happy with their results. It's like they get infected, but I'm immune. Interesting concept, huh?

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Chuck E. Cheese pizza and game parlors had "whack a mole" games about 35 years ago.

    EDG

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy MrHarmless's Avatar
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    I've actually had really good luck with the Lee Smack-N-Shoot kits. I haven't used mine in a while, but methinks I might take it to the range next trip to show it off.
    Member of the FAIP Mafia
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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