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Thread: Question about Lee hand press

  1. #1
    Boolit Master



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    Question about Lee hand press

    I love the Lee hand press! I often use an adapter for 310 dies and use those Lyman die sets when I'm just piddling around, much easier than the Lyman tong tool but I have one problem with it... the short hand grip. I thought I had once seen a Lee press with an longer grip area and it might even have had finger grooves. Has anyone seen a version like that with a longer grip?

    The normal short grip cramps my hand petty quickly. Or maybe some one here has had a brilliant idea on something to add to the grip to extend it a bit. I was thinking of a length of pipe sealed on the bottom somehow and cast full of lead to serve as an extended handle. I'm sure someone here has a better idea, pretty sure the lead would loosen up pretty quickly in use.
    Dan in FL - Call me TD Savage 219 & 220 rifle/shotguns wanted.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    You're probably thing about the Lyman Accu-Press it can be used by hand or mounted for more leverage.

    Scott
    Scott

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  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    I saw one that was modified with some tubing that was squished on one end so as to slide over the Lee's handles and affixed with a set screw, and had rubber bicycle handles on the other end of the tubing. But, although it greatly improved the leverage effort required to operate it, the down side was that it became more cumbersome and ungainly to operate.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

    rancher1913's Avatar
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    look into the buecannon hand press(spelled wrong but its phonetically close) I think he is a vendor here and he makes a larger easier to operate version.
    if you are ever being chased by a taxidermist, don't play dead

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Lee's hand press is aimed at the narrow range of portable reloading needs and is excellent for that market, it is not meant to be the tool of choice for normal reloading.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I like my hand press, and I don't find the handles uncomfortable. That said, it isn't meant for high volume loading. I once took a hand press and made wooden handle inserts to fit on each side of the web of the grips. I followed the shape of the web, just making a solid surface instead of a an angle iron surface to grab. I JB welded them I'm place and stained them red. I didn't make the grips longer, just more comfortable to pull against. It helped some but ultimately I went back and bought an unaltered press.

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master
    Mk42gunner's Avatar
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    I've got one of the Lyman Accu-Presses.I think it is easier to use than the Lee hand press; but I don't use it very much.

    About the only time I break it out anymore is if I am shooting BP loaded cartridges, and want to deprime at the range.

    Robert

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    I bought one thinking it would be a great way to size and deprime while watching tv. Don't watch tv anymore and it's not that comfortable to use don't really use it for anything anymore.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I use my hand press outside a lot. I really like the design of the lee press but it just needs a few tweaks.

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master

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    The Lee hand press is what it is. I wasn't made to replace a bench mounted press and is an upgrade from a Lee Loader and it uses standard dies. It works perfectly for a portable, low production press even though some use it for "normal" production. I have done everything on my Lee hand press that I did on a bench mounted single stage press but some processes were uncomfortable (F/L sizing 30-06 brass.) and I even sized a bunch of my cast bullets when my normal "sizing press" was busy.

    Hmm, reminds me, I got a bunch of 9mm cases to be deprimed and I might just get my Lee hand press out and reacquaint myself with it...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  11. #11
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    Buy cheap, buy twice.

    The Lee hand press is easily bent out of line when used to the limit of its' leverage. Ask me how I know. OK for pistol cartridges and neck-sizing rifle cartridges, not OK for FL sizing anything bigger than .32-20. Adding a length to the handle will only exacerbate the problem. If you load away from the bench, get a Buchanan hand press. Expensive, yes, but you'll never bend it, break it, or wear it out no matter how long you live. It will handle even the big belted magnum cases with ease.
    Last edited by uscra112; 05-26-2020 at 12:29 PM.
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  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I have used mine pretty hard without bending it. For resizing large rifle brass I sit in a chair and hold the press between my knees and use both legs and arms to push the handles together. I use Unique case lube which lessens stress on the press compared to other lubes I have used.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    i full length resized 308 brass 1000 of them no problem

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    I place one handle on my chest and pull in the other with both arms. Keeps the press nice and straight. Might not be fun but it works, I've FL sized 30-06 with no issues.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I've resized a lot of 30-30 with my hand press. I've done a dew 30-06 but it is a fair amount harder. I've found Hornady one shot reduces the amount of force needed over imperial case lube.


    Having never used a Buchanan press, I can only theorize it being slower and more cumbersome than the lee if there wasn't a table to use it with. Yes I'm sure it's way better quality, and I'd like one for that reason.

  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master
    Mk42gunner's Avatar
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    The only thing I have found that my Accu Press isn't up to, even with compound leverage, is forming .40-65 from .45-70. There is just no way, even with the press on the floor and leaning on it; while it is almost effortless with the bolted down Rock Chucker.

    Moral of the story is to know the limits of you tools, and don't exceed them.

    Robert

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy


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    I used my Lee Hand Press in the evenings when I was working out of town to deprime and resize pistol brass. It's been a few years since I used it, but it takes so little space, I'll keep it for now.

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Hmmm. Does Lee sell two hand presses? The one that many use and will F/L size large bottle necked cases and the "buy cheap, buy twice" ones that break on 38 Special cases? Any time Lee is mentioned the "experts" grace us with their expert opinions on everything from metallurgy to engineering and modern manufacturing materials and methods...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  19. #19
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazoo View Post
    Having never used a Buchanan press, I can only theorize it being slower and more cumbersome than the lee if there wasn't a table to use it with. Yes I'm sure it's way better quality, and I'd like one for that reason.
    You don’t need a table but it helps. I’ve used mine w/out one sitting in a hotel room and using it on my lap. I don’t do any “heavy” operations like that. In general I don’t do any “heavy” operations w/ it. It will resize rifle cases. But it takes considerable effort, case dependent. There are better tools for that job. What it allows me to do is load ammo when I’m away from home. I have a portable kit made up for this exact purpose. Some operations are done on a conventional press in advance.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragon813gt View Post
    You don’t need a table but it helps. I’ve used mine w/out one sitting in a hotel room and using it on my lap. I don’t do any “heavy” operations like that. In general I don’t do any “heavy” operations w/ it. It will resize rifle cases. But it takes considerable effort, case dependent. There are better tools for that job. What it allows me to do is load ammo when I’m away from home. I have a portable kit made up for this exact purpose. Some operations are done on a conventional press in advance.
    Thank you for the information.

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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