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Thread: .375 Winchester Lee Loader?

  1. #1
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    .375 Winchester Lee Loader?

    Was there ever one, or a 38-55?

    Sent from my SM-A716U using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Yep, I have one for 375 Winchester. Actually bought it on the S&S sub forum.
    ďYou donít practice until you get it right. You practice until you canít get it wrong.Ē Jason Elam, All-Pro kicker, Denver Broncos

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Lee Custom, about the time they became Mequon Products, made a 38-55 set. I bought one years ago from Dixie GunWorks. I’m not sure why, I didn’t have a rifle in that caliber(???)

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  4. #4
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    Anticipation, Froggie, anticipation!
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    You know me too well, Wayne. I guess that's because you're a Shrink!

    I was in the early days of my Single Shot Period and knew I was going to try and find either a 32-40 or 38-55 (maybe both) for competition, so that may explain it. Who can really know what's going on in the amphibian brain?

    I wonder what I did with that 38-55 set? I still have the 32-40 set unused on the shelf.

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  6. #6
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    Naah - It's because I know myself - and we are so similar! Maybe we are both amphibians?
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post
    Lee Custom, about the time they became Mequon Products, made a 38-55 set. I bought one years ago from Dixie GunWorks. Iím not sure why, I didnít have a rifle in that caliber(???)

    Froggie
    I've done the same thing ... more than once

    I got 8x57 mauser dies ... but never got a deal on a rifle !
    Gary
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  8. #8
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    I have a few Lee Loader sets, including an odd one in .351 WSL. I must confess to never having used one of the metallic cartridge ones, we loaded with the shotgun ones as kids.

    For those of you more experienced with the simple lethods, how do Lee Loaders stack up against Lyman 310 tools and Pacific Pak Kits?

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Before I chipped in with my brothers for a RCBS JR., I loaded with Lee Loaders for my only rifle and my only pistol- 22-250 Remington 788 and .38 S&W Enfield commando. They load good, albeit slow ammo. I wouldn’t mind having one in 38-55 to go with my lever action.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I've one for 38-55, have yet to use it. Or the rifle for that matter.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by richhodg66 View Post
    I have a few Lee Loader sets, including an odd one in .351 WSL. I must confess to never having used one of the metallic cartridge ones, we loaded with the shotgun ones as kids.

    For those of you more experienced with the simple lethods, how do Lee Loaders stack up against Lyman 310 tools and Pacific Pak Kits?
    Friend Rich, this is like asking “how do Mopars stack up against Chevys and Fords?” Each has its proponents and antagonists, some strongly placed in one or the other camp. I personally use the 310 the most, usually with great satisfaction, but in recent years have “gone hybrid” by using the old style priming tool from Mequon vintage Lee sets but belling and bullet seating on the 310 tool. Remember those classic T-bucket Ford street rods with small block Chevy engines? It’s sorta like that!

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post
    Friend Rich, this is like asking “how do Mopars stack up against Chevys and Fords?” Each has its proponents and antagonists, some strongly placed in one or the other camp. I personally use the 310 the most, usually with great satisfaction, but in recent years have “gone hybrid” by using the old style priming tool from Mequon vintage Lee sets but belling and bullet seating on the 310 tool. Remember those classic T-bucket Ford street rods with small block Chevy engines? It’s sorta like that!

    Froggie
    I have a complete 310 set for .22 Hornet, I really should take that down and spend soem time with Dad showing me how to use it.

    I bought a Pak Kit about a year ago and it seems rather intriguing. They don't seem to show up used often and are pricey when they do.

    I need to dig out that .30-06 Lee Loader and run through the process just so I know. Just lazy, I guess.

  13. #13
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    Well I'm glad I didn't answer until people with more knowledge came along. I would have said Maybe on the .375, and highly doubtful on the .38-55. Unless they can be used for both cartridges???

    So that out of the way, let's continue the thread drift.

    Rich, I have never loaded any metallic cartridges with a Lee Loader. I did load quite a bit of .410 and 20 gauge with Lee Loaders as a kid. To my mind, any shotshell press will be better/ faster/ make a better crimp.

    I have loaded a box or so of .22 Hornet with the 310. I have a steel handled five die set and a separate four die set. They have different sized expander plugs; one was .223, the other .224.

    As I reported back then, the 310 is a viable way to load rounds, but not my favorite. I do like Mr. Frog's idea of combining various tools to load, I already do that by priming with an RCBS hand priming tool in lieu of using the priming arm on the Rockchucker.

    Things I like about the 310 system:

    Decapping. It works for most rounds, even crimped in military primers come out easily with the tong tool.

    Neck sizing. Hard to get the case crooked with a straight in push, as long as you have the right adapter.

    Things I don't like:

    Priming. This is even worse than trying to prime on a press. Much easier to use most any hand priming tool.

    Things I'm ambivalent about:

    Bullet seating and crimping. I listed these together because the only complete rounds I have done were for the Hornet, and I didn't crimp them. It is a fine balancing act to hold the tong and insert the case with out spilling anything. It does make good straight ammo.

    Like any single stage loading operation, it pays to batch process your cases. That may be the only part that is better about the Lee system.

    To end this short essay, I will say that I am not planning on selling any of the 310 dies that I have accumulated, while the only metallic Lee loaders I have ever bought were passed on via S&S.

    Oh and a loading block is very handy after you charge the cases.

    Robert

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Mk42gunner, your excellent post is quite exemplary of how one person's tastes differ from the next person's while they are both absolutely right! For instance, the person who had the greatest effect on my early casting development (and let me shoot his 4 screw S&W pre-29!) was a strong loyalist to priming everything on 310 tools... and he had the resources to use whatever tools he wanted. I took his opinion as carved in stone on Mt Sinai, until I developed my own tastes for using a Pope-style priming tool for rifles and the early Lee priming tool for handgun cartridges. I do like to deprime and FL size on the bench press so I can take advantage of the TC die... probably the greatest advancement in reloading since WW II!

    I have a single stage press permanently bolted to the loading bench, but have lately turned back to the old 310 (with appropriate dies) for expanding and then seating/crimping my 9mm rounds, even when standing next to the bench with perfectly good "full size" dies and the press. It just comes down to what feels right.

    Loading blocks? Don't go to the bench without them! I say +1 and many, many more to that comment. This is most critical as I prime cases and put them in the block mouth down then turn them base down as I add powder and check for equal powder levels in the complete batch (under a strong light) for all cases before moving on to the next step.

    Regards,
    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  15. #15
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    "Loading blocks? Don't go to the bench without them! I say +1 and many, many more to that comment. This is most critical as I prime cases and put them in the block mouth down then turn them base down as I add powder and check for equal powder levels in the complete batch (under a strong light) for all cases before moving on to the next step."

    This is how Dad taught me and I still get nervous doing it any other way.

  16. #16
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    I have used the 310 a great deal in the past, mostly 45 Colt, but some 30-30. Liked the 310 over the Lee because priming with a hammer always bothered me. In the 50's/60's many accuracy shooters used the 310 for priming due to the 'feel'. Later Lee and others came out with their hand primers as the equipment race gained speed. I still have the 310 and try to have a set of dies for everything I shoot. I do have a Lee 20 Ga Shot Shell Loader that I have used just a little but also have the Lee Bench Mounted so it no longer gets used.

  17. #17
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    I think a lot of it comes down to how we did it while learning. There is a lot to be said for experience with what works, and what doesn't.

    For example, I learned to load metallic cases by loading .22-250 on the kitchen table with my best friend. He ran the Rockchucker and primed on the press; while I weighted each charge of 3031 trickling powder granules from a teaspoon into the scale pan.

    Close to forty years later I still prefer to trickle the last bit of powder with a spoon or dipper. I detest powder tricklers, they take too long to fill out the charge. I have bought a couple over the years, sol most of them when I didn't like using them.

    I did keep the last one, just to keep me from wasting more money on yet another. Any time I feel like trying again, I run a few loads with it, then set it back on the shelf.

    Right now I am satisfied with single stage loading or using hand tools. If I were to go back to the higher round counts of my younger years, I would get a Dillon Square Deal B (or whatever letter they are on now) for handguns, and a 550 for the longer rounds.

    For just loading, I have found I like a C frame or a turret press, but for case forming the Rockchucker is awful hard to beat.

    In casting I have found I like using a ladle a lot more than a bottom pour, but for high use boolits some times a bottom pour works best.

    Robert

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Robert,

    I find myself increasingly agreeing with your sentiments... I too have never found a powder trickier I really liked using. Fortunately, most of my loading gets sufficient accuracy of powder charge by using a good powder measure, matched to powder type and charge. Fortunately I sort of collect measures so getting one that works for a given application is easy.

    About the only place our opinions really diverge is on casting. Try as I might, I can’t warm up to casting with a dipper... friends who are dipper aficinados have given up on try to convert me. I just can’t seem to get the hang of it. I guess since I learned casting first with a bottom pour, I’m stuck!

    I bet if we sat down at the same table over a pot of coffee we’d find ourselves nodding in agreement more often than not!

    Regards,
    Charlie the Frog

    PS Just so I don’t get accused of too much of a thread hijack, I’ll go back to the OP and say yes, you should be able to find a Lee set in .375 or 38-55, and either should work. If you can find one of the “Improved” sets from Lee Custom or Mequon with the priming tool you’ll avoid the “Big Bang” phenomenon. It’s worth finding such a set or adding the tool-trust me on this!
    "It aint easy being green!"

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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