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Thread: Lee Loader

  1. #1
    Boolit Master rbstern's Avatar
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    Lee Loader

    Many of you guys seem to be old hands at reloading, having started with a Lee Loader kit. I had a couple of kits (30-30, 357) sitting on the shelf, and decided to try them out, just to see what it is like to make ammo with them. The 30-30 kit was particulary intriguing because it has a hand priming tool that seems to work pretty well.

    Using those kits was fun! Slow, but I was impressed with how uniform the rounds came out, and how well the tool did what it was supposed to do.

    Now, to go shoot those rounds. I have a high degree of confidence that they will function well based on the way they went together.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


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    I have a kit for every caliber of gun I own. Some took some finding to obtain. Even have one in 450 Marlin! This one would have been custom made right before Lee stopped doing the custom made kits.

    You have to have a method of flaring the case mouth to use cast bullets with these kits.
    Michael

  3. #3
    Boolit Master rbstern's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranch Dog
    You have to have a method of flaring the case mouth to use cast bullets with these kits.
    Both my 30/30 and my 357 kit have a flaring tool, and the 30/30 flaring tool has a crimper on the other end. Perhaps because these are older kits?

  4. #4
    Boolit Master



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    Lee used to make MATCH hand die kits. One feller set a National Bench Rest Record (modern) while using one of these sets.

    Many years ago, Richard Lee made me custom sets for my .222 Remington and also my .257 Roberts. The amount charged was absolutely a "Piddling amount". This was probably thirty years ago. I have been a fan of LEE's ever since.

    Dale53

  5. #5
    Boolit Mold
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    Smile Lee Loaders

    I can comment on the use of the early Lee hand tools as well. Some 30 years or so ago I loaded all of my 12 ga trap shells with a hand tool. While it took considerably longer than a regular press, it was just fine and my investment was certainly minimal. As I got older and saved a few dollars I upscaled my press but kept the old Lee as a backup. Even now, I'll load a box or two of duck loads using the old hand press.

    Regarding the Lee Precision company, I can't say enough about them. I live in a small town about 17 miles from the Lee plant. I trap shoot in the summer with two of Richard's sons and they are fine people. What I particularly enjoy is they are ordinary people trying to bring cost effective products to the market. They understand they can be charging more for many of their products but they are happy with what they do. I can't say I know Richard personally but the sons have always been good with me.

    Their warranty is second to none. I broke the decapping pin on a RCBS die and I had to buy replacement pins. With Lee, it only happened once, and they just sent it out in the mail, no charge. I like to buy Lee whenever I can. I don't get any special factory pricing but typically the going price is less anyways.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master at Heavens Range

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    I've been a Lee fan since the day 30 or so years ago when I called with a question. The girl who answered the phone said, "Just a minute." Then a fellow said, "This is Dick Lee. How can I help you?"

    Bruce Hodgdon did the same thing.

  7. #7
    Boolit Man Pystis's Avatar
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    Are those older Loaders significantly different when comparing to those recent models?

  8. #8
    Boolit Master


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    The only real difference in the early kits is the powder dipper. The early kits use a dipper calibrated in cubic inches and the current kits have a dipper calibrated in cubic centimeters.

    I wonder how many of those kits they have sold?
    Michael

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    My Lee Engineering, not Lee Precision, 20ga and .30-30 loaders have the original dippers that were just given an arbitrary number, some where I have a Lee dipper set from Lee Engineering, too.
    Used the .30-30 on .30-30, .303 Savage, 30-06 and .30-40 until I finally had room for a press.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master steveb's Avatar
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    Though I use a Lee turrent press I also have Lee loaders for every caliber I reload for(357Mag, 44Mag, 30/30). They are fine tools and are a very economical way to get introduced into reloading your own.
    [SIGPIC]http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m193/stevensavage/avatars/reloadnPalacescriptresized.jpg[/SIGPIC]

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Jetwrench's Avatar
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    I have one, for the 38 spcl. Got it after I started reloading. That kit is a fine primer (middle English) in itself, and handy I spend alot of time in motel rooms with work. It keeps me out of trouble. JETWRENCH
    When the chips are down, the buffalo is empty.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master



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    Ther target model is much in demand

    Wasn't it the target model hand kit that included a neck reamer? The early target models are much sought after for that feature I've heard. You can load some fine ammo with a Lee hand loader, it certainly is a straight line seater. My first reloading was done for .30 Carbine using a Lee kit.

    I also credit Lee with bringing the cost of reloading down, dies in particular. It was interesting how quickly die prices came down once Lee started making them so cheaply.
    Dan in FL - Call me TD Savage 219 & 220 rifle/shotguns wanted.

  13. #13
    Called Lee this afternoon with a question on lubing a (tumble lube design) bullet mold (can't get ahold of Lee...or any other stick lube locally, and don't want to wait until a new order arrives in the mail to use the mold). They picked up on the second ring, and in less than 5 minutes I had an answer to my question. They recommended beeswax or never-seez lubricant until I could get Lee stick-type bullet lube. A lot of places would have just said "buy our lube, and wait till it gets there". These guys are first class, and I will buy from them again.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    if i counted right i have 23 lee hand loaders,,,,encluding an 8mm and a 30'06 lee target. i also have a 7.62x54 that has an out of spec neck sizing section. 310 bullet or smaller fall in the case, but its excellent for cast ! i like one for each rifle if its a low volume fun gun.
    only accurate rifles are interesting

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Scrounger's Avatar
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    I have .222 Remington and .30-06 loaders looking for a home.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Scrounger, Have sent you a PM. 725

  17. #17
    Perma - Banned


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    I can't even begin to say how many rounds of 32-20 I loaded with a Lee loader. Slower than death, weren't all that pretty and I ruined a lot of cases being young and very impatient. But I have no qualms about using them even today. They work, period. They aren't perfect, but they work.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master


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    In 1978 I loaded 1000 rounds of ammo for my dad's M94 (30-30 Win). I heard him shooting up on the range while I was working in my reloading room so walked out there and asked him why he was busting caps. He said my mom dropped his rifle as he handed it down from the tower blind when she picked him up the previous night and he wanted to make sure the gun was still on. I asked him how many cartridges he had left and he said "eight". I asked if he wanted me to go ahead and load some more up for him and he said "no", he'd just borrow "that Lee Loader and knock some out".

    As I write this I realize how lucky I am to have my dad out on the ranch with me. Think about it, he is 78 years old and my mom is 77. He is out in the back pasture hunting from a "Texas Tower" 15' high! My mom is driving him out there and picking him up in the dark with my PUG (looks like a mule). I couldn't take him out as I was in Victoria but he went anyway!

    He has had that Bushnell Banner 4X on his rifle since he bought a new M94 in 1968 (B-Square Side Mount). It's not the first time the scope has taken a lick. We have not changed the zero since the rifle was originally sighted in! In the 38 years he has hunted with the rifle (this is the 39th year) he has taken several hundred big game animals. Whitetails, antelope, feral hogs and javelina.
    Michael

  19. #19
    Boolit Master




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    Just got 2 sets of the 20 and 12 ga Lee loaders. Very cool. A guy on another site GAVE them to me! Wow that was really cool. I loaded 14 rds of 1 1/8 oz 12 ga last night with it. Gonna shoot them when I get home from work!

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Got a question. I've got a couple Lee Loader shotshell jobs and in the instructions it refers to a "crimp starter". I haven't used them yet and was wondering if there was any problems loading without that tool. Back when the set was new, the info sheet refers to a $.95 crimp starter that should be used with the Lee Loader set. An email message to Lee was less than satisfying. Anyway, I was wonder what others do. 725

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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