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Lee Loader Kit .303 British

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Stumpkiller View Drop Down
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    Posted: August 04 2020 at 12:54pm
The good 'ol days.  I started reloading in 1976 with a Lee Loader for a .30-40 Krag.  Still have the loader set - and the Krag.

I can't listen to the Beatles' Revolver album without the smell of IMR 4064 coming to mind. 


Rubber Soul brings Channel No. 5 to mind . . . but that's another story.
Charlie P.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 04 2020 at 10:15am
Originally posted by TomcatPC TomcatPC wrote:

I started reloading with the Lee-Loader in .303" Calibre.  As little as I shoot .303" these days, I have never got a set of .303" dies for my Lee-Hand Press yet.  Might do that someday, but for now the Lee-Loader Kit works just fine.

Too bad Lee did not make a kit for the .577"-.450" Martini-Henry Cartridge!!!
Mark
 
Mark, you can get 577/450 dies from CH4D.  Lee also made dies (not sure if they still do), but they were set up for a .458 bullet; the martini needs a .468-.470 dia bullet to shoot well.  I got a bushing neck sizer with a few different bushing diameters and a bullet seating die from CH4D; they worked great.  They are 1 inch diameter IIRC, so you need a larger press with the inserts.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 03 2020 at 4:54pm
I gave my Lee Whack-a-mole to the guy I taught to reload on it.
He just liked it so much & we were in the middle of nowhere.
I really should replace it.
Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TomcatPC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 03 2020 at 10:59am
I started reloading with the Lee-Loader in .303" Calibre.  As little as I shoot .303" these days, I have never got a set of .303" dies for my Lee-Hand Press yet.  Might do that someday, but for now the Lee-Loader Kit works just fine.

Too bad Lee did not make a kit for the .577"-.450" Martini-Henry Cartridge!!!
Mark
The .303" Cartridge, Helping Englishmen express their emotions since 1888.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote philtno Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 23 2019 at 1:19pm
Thank you all for the good advice.  I'm fully aware of the risks and, as I said to Stanforth in my reply, I apply those very strict rules...and my wife knows that I need to be left alone when I'm reloading.  I'm reloading with the basic Lee Loader with the exception that I'm using a scale so the amount of banging the hammer forces me to lock all doors or do that when the wife goesline dancing Haha. I'm also going through every step for 50 or 100 round at the time so when I'm decaping I'm going through the whole batch and only progress to the next step only when I'm done with decaping..., same when preparing my loads etc... also I never drink and drive, same when my Old Boy or ammunition are around.  At this stage, I just reload 303's...so no risks to mismatch powders or loads... but who knows, I can see myself acquiring a 30-30 or a 30-06 one day.  That day I might need a refresher on those advices 😉
Cheers
Philtno
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 23 2019 at 7:45am
Best tip I ever got.
Only ever have one of each component (powder, primer, bullet) on the bench at a time. store them separate from the load top.
Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote englishman_ca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 23 2019 at 6:24am
A horror story for you.

Dont drink booze while you load. Give it your undivided attention.
Shut the door, give yourself some peace and quiet. 
Hand reloading can be very restful and therapeutic!

I reload smokeless for my Webley .455. I also reload black for Adams .450.

 I have a routine when loading. I use dippers and a baby food jar. Close enough measurements for the mild loads that I make.
So I loaded my batch. As I was putting everything away, dies, powder, trays, I got called to the phone and was gone for an hour.
I missed the baby food jar of smokless powder and it stayed on the bench. (You know where this is going, dontcha?)

When I got back, I set up to reload .450 Adams. I loaded very mild soft cast lead bulleted loads for an antique Bulldog clone for plinking.

Loaded just that first round before I realised that I had used smokeless powder and not black. The powder looks very different, but it took a minute for it to sink into my thick head with me looking at it, but byb then I had seated the bullet.. 
Phew! glad that I caught that mistake. Stupid me! I should pay more attention. 
Oh well. Nothing hurt..
I put that round aside to pull the bullet. I even went and got the inertia hammer out of the drawer. I was called to the phone again and had to go out once more to run an errand. So I just quickly put all the powder away, left everything else out on the bench and locked up.

The next day I finished up loading for the Adams with black being very careful that I used the correct powder. Took my time. No mistakes. All good, I was happy.

Took the pistol out to my range, and shot it until the one shot felt very different.
I looked at the frame of the revolver and it was busted through the top strap.

Apparently, the cat had been playing with a pistol round on the kitchen floor scooting it around. Goodness knows as to where he found it, I think that I might have knocked it off the bench onto the floor and kicked it, who knows. My significant other, took the round away from the cat and brought it to my gun room. She put it in a dish with some others on the loading bench that looked exactly the same. Yup, it was the smokeless miss-loaded round.

Smokless powder has ten times the brisance of black. So that one round was kind of over pressure! 
Wrecked my pistol. Lesson learnt.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 22 2019 at 8:17pm
Stanforth gave good advice.   This needs your undivided attention, particularly when you start out.  After 20 years and thousands of rounds, you will develop some brain muscle memory, but don’t ever break the routine.  

Screwing up pistol cartridge loads is admittedly easier because of the small charges in a large case, but what ever you do, DON’T EVER A LOAD RIFLE CARTRIDGE WITH A PISTOL POWDER!  (Not unless you know what you are doing and it’s a cast bullet load with very small charges of pistol powder).  Look at the powder container, read the label out load, read your load data out load, be sure you are loading the case with the correct powder.  Keep the powder container out and return the powder back to the same container when you finish charging cases.  

In all the years I have reloaded, I’ve only had one instance of a problem.  The powder did not ignite in a reloaded pistol cartridge, the primer power was sufficient to lodge the bullet in the barrel.  Fortunately, I realized what had happened and did not just chamber another round and fire.  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote philtno Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 22 2019 at 1:52pm
Thanks a lot for the tip, Shamu 👍
Cheers
Philtno
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote philtno Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 22 2019 at 1:50pm
Yes, that's a very good point and I apply that strict rule myself as well.
I have my own office space at home where I reload... no wife around, door closed 🙂
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 22 2019 at 7:40am
Its thin & already moved in the crimp area. The trick is to not over do it. You're only tying to "break " the sharp edge, not create any kind of taper. Light pressure & a 1/2 turn should be fine.
Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stanforth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 22 2019 at 2:02am
A small point when starting reloading. Make sure there is nothing to distract your attention
  No other people and no radio or TV on.

I have only been reloading for 53 years and I stick rigidly to that rule.

Good luck and enjoy.
Life.. a sexually transmitted condition that is invariably fatal.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote philtno Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 21 2019 at 3:48pm
Thanks for the tip, Shamu Thumbs Up
I'll try that.  The brass should be soft enough, I guess...
Cheers
Philtno :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 21 2019 at 3:39pm
Its just because the crimp is a sharp stamped edge & so it makes inserting the primer harder & more prone to going BANG!
It won't hurt you, there's too much metal surrounding it, But it WILL get your attention & start the ol' ticker racing.
If you have a "countersink", or "rose" bit you can hand turn that 1/2 a turn to clean it out. Even a big(ish) drill bit will do it.
Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote philtno Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 21 2019 at 2:09pm
Fantastic!!
Thank you very much, Shamu Thumbs Up

I have a side question, though...
I'm reloading milsurps that also have crimps.  Why is it important to remove the crimp? 
I have reloaded those I have 6-7 times now for some of them and never had an issue inserting the new primer or any signs of pressure etc.  The main reason is that I don't have the proper tool to remove the crimp.
Can that potentially create a problem, I mean in terms of safety or integrity of the rifle??
Thanks a lot for your help.
Philtno
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 21 2019 at 7:04am
It's been so long I had to view it again to remember!
Nothing drastic.
1: Chambering un-sized brass. Not really a good test, because case neck expansion alone can make a good case fail. Resize in the lee THEN see if it chambers.
2: There's no need to drive the case in the die twice the first time does the resize just fine.
3: He's using a crimped case (you can see the crimp where he shows the case head). You need to remove the crimp before re-priming.
4: Tap the resized case free BEFORE priming then prime. (It drastically reduces the possibility of primers igniting when seated if the case isn't SLAMMED into the primer so much.

Extra tip:
You can use a factory load to set the basic bullet seating depth as long as its a similar profile. just put the factory load in the same as you'd have a finished reload, & screw down till you feel it contact the bullet nose! (Then back off 3/4 turn & fine tune with your reload.

Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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