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Thread: Lee Loader

  1. #21
    Boolit Master and Generous Donator
    floodgate's Avatar
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    725:

    What gauge(s) are you loading; and do the shells have six- or eight-point crimps? One of our friends here recently sent me a double handful of old shotgun tool accessories, including a number of Lee and other crimp starters. One of them was just right to fill the 8-point 20 ga. gap in a Lee Loader I got off eBay that was otherwise totally complete. Lemme know via PM - with an address - what you need, and I'll see if I have it and will send it off. No charge: "What goes around, cones around." And I've had more than my share of good ones.

    floodgate

  2. #22
    Boolit Master




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    I have a 6 and 8 point crimp starter for the 12 and a 6 for the 20. I loaded the 14 12 ga shells without using the starter at all. When you use the die at the second to last stage it starts a reallly nice crimp and then you finish up with the ram to complete the crimp. I only shot one last night and it went bang. Worked like a charm.

  3. #23
    another fan of the lee loader here!

    i've got one for each chambering (.308, .30/30, .7x57 and .280). wouldn't be caught dead without one and wouldn't have a rifle that doesn't have a corresponding lee loader!

  4. #24
    Boolit Master
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    Smile

    I bought one in 308 Win when I was twelve years old, killed my first legal Javelina,deer and elk with ammo I loaded with it, I retired it when I was fifteen, I still have it.

    I still have my original home made hammer built just for the Lee loader. It was made by a old Hermit I met one day out it the hill's and became good friends with, ED Whetstone was his name I called him Flintstone, he was from Wisconsin had marital problems told the judge and his ex- wife good luck with collecting any alimony from him and disappeared into S. AZ and became a prospector, hard rock miner, and mechanic second to none, he made my hammer out of solid brass both handle and head, knurled the handle and inscribed the head.

    A few years later I came real close to killing him one night about two in the morning. He had a Zinc mine on the SW end of the Hauchuca MTNS, he would work there all week then on Friday I would come up and relieve him while he went to town for the weekend, I had a old hound named Dooley he would go with me, so this one Friday I met Flintstone on the road and he said to be careful at night because a bear had been coming around the shack , so on Saturday night about two in the morning old Dooley woke me up and he was baying and growling under the shanty and about that time I heard crunch crunch out side in the leaves, this shanty had four steps up to the front door with a small landing at the top, I kept a old gold pan there to feed Dooley in, the door didn't have a lock so I propped a chair up against it at night, anyway the crunch crunch led right up to and on the step's and then I heard the gold pan go tumbling off the landing well by this time I was out of bed and had the 44 in my hand leveled at the door, hammer back and about that time the door came flying in off the hinges and then a gun went off but it wasn't mine and in the muzzle flash I made out the silhouette of Flintstone, he had kicked the door in and fired a shot from his 45 into the ceiling at the same time, he was drunk had a couple of bar queens in his truck that was stuck down the canyon and had hiked up and decided to scare me in the process. I was sixteen at the time.

    MEMORIES

    GOOD LUCK

  5. #25
    Boolit Master
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    I have a number of the old Lee Loaders. I generally use one of the presses, however just to relax I'll dig out a Lee and leap light years back in time. They are worth every penny and so is Lee Precision.
    Lucky Joe
    "There's always a way."

  6. #26
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    Thumbs down

    I was once a big fan of Lee equipment but the last two times I have dealt with them left me deciding not to do business with them again. First I was told to read the instructions and I would find that the Lee Collet die was not to be used with a cam over press. My Collet dies must be old ones because I have read and re-read the instructions and no where does the instructions even mention cam over presses. But the young man did tell me what to do to get then dies operating again. It just took taking them apart and filing the ridge off the top of the mandrel where it had been peened. The second time I ask about some primer punches that had broken and the lady got kind of ill with me, informing me that the punches in question were from old sets(true) and that they were from a "different" Lee company. Evidently Lee has at some time undergone some sort of corporate change and my lifetime guarantee is no longer good. She did offer to sell me replacements at retail prices. I could buy them locally at Widener's for about 2/3rds what she quoted me. I have never had a problem with either RCBS or Redding or Lyman or C-H. Even when I loose pieces or break them, RCBS has never let me pay for them even though I explained the problems were my fault. I do like some of Lee's products, just not the attitude I ran into.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master


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    I bought a 30-30 Lee Loader at Foster's Sproting Goods in Dallas, Oregon with part of $20 my Grand Mother gave me for my 15th birthday. Learned to reload with it on the tailgait of a PU parked on Main Street in front of the store (Polk County Courthouse is accross the street) with the help of a very fine old gentlemean. He showed me how to flair the case mouth with a tapered punch and gave me a dipper made from a steel 9mm case. The dipper was for Unique powder to load under the 118 gr 32-20 bullets he gave me (a coffee can full!). I was a confirmed reloader then.

    I've got several Lee Loaders including a couple Target Loaders (.308 and .223). I actually use them a lot even with the single stage press there along side of two Dillons. They are handy at the range and I've sat in many a camp and reloaded.

    Larry Gibson

  8. #28
    Boolit Master and Generous Donator
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    TNsailorman:

    Yes, there was a big upheaval at Lee many years ago. They started as Lee Custom Engineering (first ads in the 1962 First Edition of "Handloader's Digest" for the little shotshell loader - of which Herter's also offered a clone); then, around 1980, Lee-like shotshell and metallic loading products began appearing under the MRC ("Mequon Reloading Corp") logo. A few years later, the same "MRC" tools showed up made by Lee Precision Corp., as still used at the present day. I'm sure there is a LOT more to the saga - if anyone has more details, please share them with us.

    floodgate
    Last edited by floodgate; 12-21-2007 at 07:34 PM.

  9. #29
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    Thumbs up

    Thanks for the information floodgate. I knew that something had to be going on in Lee land. I still have quite a bit of the old Lee stuff including a couple of the Target Loaders in 30/06 and 8x57mm. I would not trade them for gold. I also have several of the old regular hand loaders and still use them on occassion. I still like some of their equipment but I do wish they would learn some people skills. You don't attract customers by talking down to them. I'm not the only one who has run into this problem. I frequent several reloading sites and I have heard from more than a few people who ran into the same kind of treatment with Lee's customer representatives. Lets just hope that things change for them as they do offer some fine tools at good prices.

  10. #30
    Boolit Master JIMinPHX's Avatar
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    The only complaint that I had about the Lee Loader was that every once in a while I’d set off a primer while seating it. It would happen if I was careless & let the punch bounce up between hammer blows. If I hit that punch while it was up off the bottom of the case, then the primer would sometimes goes off. If I kept the punch down against the brass, then this did not happen.

    Lee loaders have allowed me to start reloading calibers that I could otherwise not afforded to add to my collection at the time. They were always a welcomed addition to my toolbench. Over the years I have given away all my Lee Loaders to help friends get started in reloading. I do miss them sometimes.

    I’ve always had good luck with Lee over the twenty some odd years that I’ve been using their stuff. The last ting that I got from them was a custom size boolit sizing kit. They delivered before the promised date & the price was reasonable. The Tech person that I spoke with on the phone knew what he was talking about, which is a lot more than I can say for the people in India that I get when I call Norton for computer tech support these days.

  11. #31
    Hello
    See some one has a Old 7.62 x 57r for the .311 cast bullet
    borrow a Lee loader for the 303 British and try that sizer
    should work for .308 Bullets - John

  12. #32
    Boolit Master
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    I have several Lee Loaders. First one I ever got was .45/70; latest metallic cartridge one I got was a .22 Hornet. But I was recently given one I had been looking for, for awhile: .410 shotshell! Now if I could just find a crimp starter...

  13. #33
    Boolit Master
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    I've run into the service personnel's attitude a few times, too. When asking about older Lee Products, I've gotten a very dissatisfing and abrupt brush off. I know there may be some legaleaze **** that separates the two entities, but I don't really care. It's the same company. They say they have been in the business for so many years, blah, blah, blah. Seems it suits them to claim a heritage on one hand and deny it when it the rubber meets the road. I love my Lee products and especially the hand loaders. I just hate it when a stearling company lets either pencil pushers or corporate wiz kids take over and make it just another business. Slows down my patronage as I just reel against that kind of attitude.

  14. #34
    Boolit Master
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    I just sold my last 2; they worked well but having not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, but SIX presses (sicko) I really don't need them anymore.

  15. #35
    Boolit Master





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    Quote Originally Posted by 725 View Post
    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
    No - not if you are using once-fired hulls. You really only need the starter for NIB/unfired hulls.

    I have a Lee Loader in every caliber I shoot, and a few I don't. (Still gotta get one for 20ga though)

    I reload my .45-70 solely on a lee loader - and I'm very nearly as fast as using a turret press (sans-powder feed).

    As for Customer Service: I just emailed them asking for a product they don't stock... a .45-70 Case Mouth Flaring Tool (like the one with the .357 kit).

    They are making me one for $12. ($8 + $4 shipping) Tough to beat.

    Quote Originally Posted by JIMinPHX View Post
    The only complaint that I had about the Lee Loader was that every once in a while I’d set off a primer while seating it.
    That's why, for GP, I use a Lee Hand Prime. I don't take it to the field with the kit, but at home I pre-prime all my cases with the hand prime.
    Last edited by Old Ironsights; 04-15-2008 at 11:48 AM.
    A Democrat that owns Guns is like a Vegan that owns Cats...
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  16. #36
    Boolit Master

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    What is interesting is that the LEE LOADER was nothing new when it came out. Ideal had been selling a hammer in hammer out die set for years and the earliest set i saw was a military kit dating from the 1880's. I had occasion to see and copy a kit somewhat like the Lee Loader that was made for Buffalo Hunters in the 1870's. Lee's improvments included the combination primer seater and bullet seater and his packaging and promotion. Lee took up just about the time that Lyman dropped their hammer in dies and he caught a whole new generation of reloaders. Although I had a Lee loader or two back in the late 60's I actually prefered the 310 tool and used the hammer in Lyman Die for F/L resizing. The Lyman dies were harder to use as they were F/L sizers and Ideal and Later Lyman recommended using a vise to squeeze in the cases if possible.

  17. #37
    Boolit Bub
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    Have several Lee Loaders, started with a 7X57. I do wish that Lee would have a place on their site where you could download the charge cards.

    The first rifle with scope that I bought while a cousin was helping me sight it in he fired a group that you could cover with a dime; just figured it out, group measured .294" or smaller. Not bad for a regular (not Target) model Lee Loader useing Hornady bullets. One of these days I am going to have to see about getting a Lee Target model in .308 and try to find out what that rifle can really do.

  18. #38
    Boolit Master Scrounger's Avatar
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    The loads made with Lee Loaders using the plastic dippers were accurate because the load was way under max pressure. Try that on your regular press, just drop the powder about 6 grains under maximum.

  19. #39
    Boolit Master





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    Quote Originally Posted by chris112 View Post
    Have several Lee Loaders, started with a 7X57. I do wish that Lee would have a place on their site where you could download the charge cards. ...
    Just call/email them and ask for one. They will probably oblige.
    A Democrat that owns Guns is like a Vegan that owns Cats...
    C2N14... because life is not energetic enough.
    Gott und Gewehr mit uns!...
    Death is only The End if you assume the Story is about You.
    1.618034 Fnord
    מנא, מנא, תקל, ופרסין - Daniel 5:25-28 - Got 7.62?


  20. #40
    Boolit Master





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    I've messed up FAR more cases on a progressive than I EVER have on a Lee Loader.

    I use my LL exclusively for .45-70 and can whack out around 100 rounds an hour.

    That may not be practical for handgun/autoloader loads but it's far more than sufficient for low to intermediate volume rifle shooting.
    A Democrat that owns Guns is like a Vegan that owns Cats...
    C2N14... because life is not energetic enough.
    Gott und Gewehr mit uns!...
    Death is only The End if you assume the Story is about You.
    1.618034 Fnord
    מנא, מנא, תקל, ופרסין - Daniel 5:25-28 - Got 7.62?


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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