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Old November 7, 2007, 06:56 PM   #1
Uncle Don
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Lee's new press

Review of the new Breech lock press from Lee. Anyone pick one up yet. It's not as stout as the Classic Cast, but I can see where the breech lock system would be handy and it's quite an improvement from the Challenger press its replaced.

http://www.realguns.com/Commentary/comar142.htm
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Old November 7, 2007, 08:57 PM   #2
Selfdfenz
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I have no experience with the new press but based on my many years of using the old Challenger they seem to trying to answer a question with these little locking inserts I've never needed to ask. The regular dies used in the old Challenger screw right back into the same position everytime in my expereince so for me personally the new fature is not an advantage but rather sumething else I have to buy a bunch of to fit all my dies. Since I prime away from the press the new primer system just seems to add another layer of complication. Still like all my Lee equiment all the same.

Now if I was a first-time buyer this unit and these features might be more attractive.

Best

J-

PS Wheels on a bench that small might not work out so well when you are really putting pressure on the system or working fast.
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Old November 7, 2007, 09:04 PM   #3
BigJakeJ1s
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Interesting press and breech-lock system. While interrupted threads are used in a lot of high strength applications, such applications in aluminum are uncommon. Why did they have to pick such an oddball thread?

I'd still take the classic cast over this one, for the small differential in price. Too bad they don't build kits around the CC though. The CC takes the LNL quick change die system conversion kit just fine, and those have been around a long time.

Andy
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Old November 7, 2007, 10:31 PM   #4
Sigma 40 Blaster
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I've been looking for a single stage to reload my rifle calibers on...I don't think I like these features enough to buy it over another Lee product if they are still available.

I wish I would've jumped on the used RCBS single stage I saw for used 60.00 at the gun shop...
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Old November 8, 2007, 09:13 AM   #5
Leeman
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Testing the Breech Lock Challenger

The new Breech Lock Press is great improvement over my old Challenger. I felt the same as Seldfenz about the lock-N-load type feature. The extra cost for inserts didn’t thrill me. You don’t have to use them as you can screw your dies in and out as before. Because you get 3 Breech Lock insert with the press, I had to try them and found they it certainly speeded die changes. I'll keep them on my favorite 222 Remington Magnum. I’d like to see a Breech lock hand press for loading at my shooting bench.

The obvious other improvements are great. The press has all steel linkage, no zinc castings. The primer catcher is flawless and convenient. The fit and finish is great. Actually my press was set up too tight and I had to loosen the toggle bolts slightly for that silky smooth feel. Virtually no play in the linkage.

I do like priming my handgun ammo on the press and the lever prime system is slick. With the Lee Safety prime I can use any brand of primer.

I agree with Seldenz about loading rifle cases. I prime as a separate operation after case trimming. Many times I know case won’t need trimming so those can be done on the press and save a lot of time. Be sure to leave the promer arm in, as it directs the spent primers into the hole in the ram.

Aluminum presses don’t bother me. Pound for pound aluminum presses are at four times stronger than cast iron. Figure it out. Cast iron has 30,000 PSI tensile strength. A380 die cast aluminum has 47,000 PSI tensile strength. Aluminum is 1/3 the weight of iron.

http://www.realguns.com/Commentary/comar142.htm

Last edited by Leeman; November 8, 2007 at 03:25 PM. Reason: added link to real guns for more info
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Old November 8, 2007, 01:23 PM   #6
Selfdfenz
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Good reposrt Leeman from someone who has had it both ways.

I did give the BLP a look but after I calculated it would cost about $90 to $100 to put the twists locks on all my dies (at least the favs) I decided that $ worth of components was worth more to me personally. It seems to me if you really want to max out the good features you've paid for on this unit it needs the inserts. Also I wasn't 100% sure if the dies would fit in their little containers with the twisters in place. Since I haven't primed on-press in 20 years that part was neither pro or con.

What attracted me to the BLP was the assumption I made that it shoots spent primers into a tube or the trash like my my big Lee. That little tray was a real messy weakness of the old Challenger.

Thanks for the comments.

S-
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Old November 8, 2007, 01:24 PM   #7
jdmick
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Looking at the Realguns review I would be interested to see how one operates a press mounted on a TV cart with wheels.
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Old November 11, 2007, 02:59 AM   #8
Bigbore35
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Well I just bought a Lee cast press with the 1 1/4 thread . I will take the ! !/4 x 7/8 bushing out and replace it with a bushing from Hornady which will accept the Hornady Lock-N-Load bushings. I can now use My Hornady Lock-N-Load equipped dies in both presses. The Lee cast press is more robust than the Lee Breech lock challenger press and over all not that much more expensive and now my primers go right into the tube or trash. Slick
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Old November 11, 2007, 08:47 PM   #9
GASCHECK
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Loaders:

Well, I just buy a turret for each caliber and nothing could be faster for a change-over. Store easily in those neat plastic dome things.
I don't like the rubber locking ring system on Lee dies, and I think Hornady uses it? Like the big hex nut and setscrew. Can't do nothing about the stem adjustments.
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Old November 11, 2007, 09:20 PM   #10
BigJakeJ1s
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Hornady lock rings are among the best designed and built, though they won't fit on a lee turret (not enough space between dies). The hornady lock rings have the clamping action (not set screw or o-ring) to securely lock in place without marring the threads, and they have wrench flats, which no other clamping lock rings have (Lyman or Forster).

Andy
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