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Question about a classic lee loader

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5thelement View Drop Down
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    Posted: March 17 2006 at 10:11am

I found a classic lee loader today at a local gun store for 9.00 bucks! (one on cheaperthandirt is 16) The packaging and pamphlet inside made it sound like this kit contained all that would be needed to reload ammo. First, is this true? (albeit the extremely slow pace of reloading w/ it) Would it be a good buy to learn to reload at a slow pace? And finally, the kit comes with a "die"(don't know if thats the right term) in 270 caliber. Can I buy a replacement in .303 or do I have to buy the whole kit in the right caliber? 

Thanks guys, I want to learn how, but need to keep it cheap to appease the wife. speed doesn't matter to me know.

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Ed Hill View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ed Hill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 17 2006 at 10:50am
No, you have to get the whole set in the correct (303) caliber. The powder dipper and the charge table that come with the set are matched to the cartridge. Midway USA has the set for $13.79. If you have new or once fired brass, the set will work as is.
After a reload or two, you will need to trim the cases or at least check for length.
It neck sizes only, so won't work with cases that were fired in a different gun.
In addition to the hand loader, the minimum would be a lee case trimmer($4.49) and a lee case length guage ($3.49). Add in the Lee deburring tool ($2.79) and you're good to go. $25.  You could also get the hand press kit for $28, plus the case length guage and trimmer, and a set of RGB dies for $10 and have a nice little set up.
Ed
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote shotgunminister Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 17 2006 at 11:09am
What exactly dose the hand press do?   Also how does one set the bullet?  I almost bought a lee loader but the money I was going to use for it never came and the guy still owes me money.  Maybe I should charge interest??
I've seen the future and I don't like it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ed Hill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 17 2006 at 11:28am
The Lee hand press uses regular dies, but doesn't mount to a table. You can store it in a drawer, or take it to the range with you. Very handy to size cases and prime shells while watching tv. Unlike the lee loader, you can change calibers just by adding another set of dies.
HTTP://www.midwayusa,com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?sale itemid=624416

You'll have to cut and past to your browser, Can someone tell me how to paste a hyperlink? I use the little u-turn arrow, still doesn't work?

You seat the bullet just like any other press, set it in the cartridge, push it up into the seating die.

Ed

 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jdgiii Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 17 2006 at 11:37am
Originally posted by Ed Hill Ed Hill wrote:

The Lee hand press uses regular dies, but doesn't mount to a table. You can store it in a drawer, or take it to the range with you. Very handy to size cases and prime shells while watching tv. Unlike the lee loader, you can change calibers just by adding another set of dies.
HTTP://www.midwayusa,com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?sale itemid=624416  

You'll have to cut and past to your browser, Can someone tell me how to paste a hyperlink? I use the little u-turn arrow, still doesn't work?

You seat the bullet just like any other press, set it in the cartridge, push it up into the seating die.

Ed

 
  Check out the forum codes for how to make links hot
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 17 2006 at 11:53am
Ok may I suggest that you visit the Lee site ! There is a full list of their products dies Presses ect 

  THe Hand press is a sissor type arangement  which in which you fit the dies to reload  They were once known as Tong type reloading tools ! I don't know whether this would full lenght resize though ?


     Now a basic run down of reloading

       First up you start off with your case  either new Unprimed or fired  to reload it is easier to use what is known as a Boxer type Primer which has a single flash hole
  Most Mil .303 was Berdan primed & had twin flash holes & in my opinion are more trouble than what they are worth!

        You take a case chamfering  tool  & clean the inside of the mouth of the case
        Then you lube the inside of the mouth of the case grafite (powdered works well ) or a light coating of LEE sizing lube will do
         Next comes the resizing depriming stage  Now if it's new brass or brass you've been using in your rifle only( if you have two or more I'll explain in a moment) You set your sizing Die up to Neck size only this just forms the case back to the dimention of the chamber of one rifle  (For each differant cal you need a set of dies corrisponding to that Cal ; ie .303 =.303 dies ,270 requires ,270 dies ) with the Lee Classic Loader the die is set to neck size the cal of the kit it is supplied with & no other ! If you are using these cases in mre than one rifle you will have to full lenght resize .This sizes the whole case back to the dimention of the origanial case as it left the factory ! On a normal resizing die the depriming operation is done at the time of resizing ,with the hand loader it is done with a punch & hammer !

       Ok now we look at the case lenght  Brass has a nasty habit of streaching so you cases grow in lenght so they must be "Trimmed)  back to their correct lenght other wise you end up with pressure problems The Lee trimmer is ideal as it will trim to the correct lenght every time ! You must chamfer the mout of the caes again after trimming as it leaves a rough edge on the mouth of the case !

        We then Prime the case now some presses come with a priming arm ,or you can buy a priming tool that you hold in your hand & press the primer into place (I prefer this methord ) or in the Hand loader you use a rod & tap the primmer into place with a hammer (Never been a fan of that idea )

         Charge the round  Now the simplest methord is a Powder dipper (the small plastic scoop suplied with the Lee hand kit & the delux die kits ) these are supplied with a set of tables of what charge each powder will approx throw ! A set of scales are invalueble at this stage of the operation ! There is also a Powder thrower which you set the required charge for doing large volumes of loads (But you are advised to check the load being thrown every 5 loads or so ! A powder funnel is also a invaluble tool here as well for pouring the charge into the case (even with the Lee Hand loader ) This is where the loading manual comes into play for deciding which load for each bullet X powder

         Seating the Bullet , now the seating die is ajustable you  seat a bullet in the mouth of thre case & then push the case into the die & remove it & reset the Plunger or seating punch down a liitle at a time until the bullet is where you want it  .Your manual should have a Max over all lenght for a loaded round never excide this !

       This is a very simlified discription of the process please refer to a good reloading manual  as it really discribes the methord clearly

 Dave  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ed Hill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 17 2006 at 12:19pm
jdgiii, thanks! Still not sure I got it, I'll fiddle around.

Dave, you are correct, the early Lyman or Ideal tong tools neck sized only, the Lee hand tool will full length resize. ( wouldn't want to try a 300 mag, though)
Also, your suggestion to go to the Lee site is a good one, they have streaming video of the various  operations there. I sometimes see old reloading manuals at used book stores, I would not use the load data, but the basic techniques would still be correct.
Ed
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 5thelement Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 17 2006 at 12:21pm

So If I bought a Lee classic loader (MidwayUSA part # 117962), a Lee Cutter with Ball Grip (#136199), a Lee Chamfer Tool (#389104), and a Lee Case Length Gage and Shellholder (#625878)....would I be set to go aside from bullets, cases, primers, and powder? And if I added getting the Lee Hand Press Reloading Kit (#624416) to make the process a little more smooth, would I be set also, just in a more smooth way?

Or would I still need something else?

Sorry for my nievity in the subject and thanks for the patience guys!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 17 2006 at 12:42pm
Originally posted by 5thelement 5thelement wrote:

So If I bought a Lee classic loader (MidwayUSA part # 117962), a Lee Cutter with Ball Grip (#136199), a Lee Chamfer Tool (#389104), and a Lee Case Length Gage and Shellholder (#625878)....would I be set to go aside from bullets, cases, primers, and powder? And if I added getting the Lee Hand Press Reloading Kit (#624416) to make the process a little more smooth, would I be set also, just in a more smooth way?

Or would I still need something else?

Sorry for my nievity in the subject and thanks for the patience guys!



 No mate that would set you up to start rollin your own ! Never appologize for asking questions that's why we all come here for the shareing of info ! Plus the fact it makes me think & that can't be a bad thing ! When I first started loading I had to do it on my own & blunder through it so it's great to be able to help a new guy in the game ! With the  Hand press you would have to buy a set of .303 dies but the added advantage is that you would be able to Full lenght  resize

     Dave
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ed Hill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 17 2006 at 12:45pm
5E, the only other $2 item would be the primer pocket cleaner.

If you picked up the Hand press, you will need a set of dies ( starting $10.99)
but if you did that, you wouldn't need the lee loader at all, so you'd save the $13.99.

I'd also get the Lee powder measures for $6, this gives you the whole set of powder scoops and gives you many more options for loads and powder.

And as Dave mentioned, a good reloading manual. 
Ed
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ed Hill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 17 2006 at 12:59pm
Oops!, sorry Dave, you beat me to the draw! ( pretty proud we gave the same answer, though)
Ed
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 17 2006 at 2:29pm
Originally posted by Ed Hill Ed Hill wrote:

Oops!, sorry Dave, you beat me to the draw! ( pretty proud we gave the same answer, though)
Ed


 Ha! no need to appologize  Great minds think alike at least you remembered the primer pocket cleaner  & the Dipper sets ! I completely forgot em !

 Dave
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ed Hill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 18 2006 at 5:42am
5E, one last item, if you get the hand press you will need a shellholder to hold the cartridge in the press, a Lee #5, $3.29. This is included with the more expensive Lee dies, but not the $10.99 set.
Ed
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kombi76 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2006 at 9:53am

Umm, I'll just add one thing to the fount of wisdom offered by the excellent and experienced gurus.

Of all cartridges the 303 British really benefits from neck sizing over full length sizing. It suffers a lot of case stretching and neck sizing helps to limit this a little while also custom tayloring it to your particular rifle. If you have more than one 303 then it may become a little fiddly keeping brass seperate but even then a neck sizing die of some kind is invaluable. Some permanent marker of different colours on the brass for different rifles over comes this. So keep this in mind. I know of people who advocate owning a Lee Loader and some Full Length dies to get the most from their 303. I already have a set of RCBS FL dies although I don't own a rifle in 303 at present. When I get one I'll either buy some Lee Collet dies, which add up to the same thing as a neck sizing die, or go cheap and buy a Lee Loader as I don't anticipate owning more than one 303 rifle at once.


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