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Old July 9, 2001, 11:45 PM   #1
OkieCruffler
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Lee Loader?

For some reason I feel the need to do some really primative reloading. One at a time by hand monotonous repetitive activity to calm my soul on those days that are too hot or too wet to hang out at the range. My only reloading experience is with my lee load all, loading 12,16,and 20 gauges. I saw a lee loader for sale online and have become intrigued. Apparently you have to use a rubber mallet or some sort of thing and its only good for one caliber. I was thinking either .38 special, .303 british, or 7.62X54R. Anyone have any experience with these kits?
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Old July 10, 2001, 02:51 AM   #2
Point Blank
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I am reloading 30-06 with one of them kits.Only thing i find is a must to have besides kit is a cheap scale.You can buy a Lee refurbished for $20.Them dippers wasnt very accurate.Even though you couldnt pay some people to use the kit,i really enjoy it.Cannot wait to go shooting as i have three "custom" boxs to shoot,plus a new scope to tinker with.You will like reloading.
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Old July 10, 2001, 06:59 AM   #3
Redneck2
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Lee Loader

Back in my youth I loaded thousands of rounds for my 22-250 on a Target Model Lee Loader (I don't think it's available anymore). Remember that different powders have different densities so the scoop thing is subject to variations....still, all powder measures that I have seen measure by volume, not weight.

You can load "utility" ammo and get by. Lee has a section in their reloading book about high power shooters setting records using only the Lee Loader. I'm sure that's true, but I'd bet that it was set up specifically for that rifle. If you have 3 calibers you can probably get into a single stage for a reasonable cost per caliber and have better control of the end product. If you just want something to get by and aren't looking for optimum accuracy the Lee will probably do.
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Old July 10, 2001, 01:34 PM   #4
Point Blank
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The powder measure (dipper) that came with my 30-06 kit is a 3.4cc .The kits contain suggested loads using several different powders and bullet weights for the 30-06.The reason i say the dippers are not very accurate is one load suggestion for 150g JSP says use one level dipper of IMR 4064.They claim one level dipper is 45.6 grains,trust me...not even close.Three kernels of IMR 4064 weighs 1/10 of a grain.I also just sold the complete 13 dipper(LEE) set which i thought would make reloading easier.Guess if i was hunting deer where the loads did not have to be accurate the dippers would have been great,but if you are trying to find loads that your rifle shoots best break down and buy a $20-$50 scale,unless a + or - of 3/10's or 4/10's of a grain isnt important.
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Old July 10, 2001, 01:44 PM   #5
Southla1
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I started loading with a Lee Loader back in 1963. I never used the dipper as such. I was loading 30-06 with a 190 grain Sierra Match King and H-4831. We checked and a full case was slightly below a max load so it was a full case and the 190. It shot fine, and to this day I still use the Lee now and then if I only have a few to load.
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Old July 10, 2001, 03:45 PM   #6
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Actually, the Lee dippers work pretty well, considering...

The chart they give you with 'em, is pretty much a throwaway tho... Best thing to do is get your jug of powder, a scale, and try a few dippers. It might be that one (or a combination) of 'em will work for a load...
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Old July 10, 2001, 11:31 PM   #7
444
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I started out loading in high school with a Lee Loader for .38 Special. I loaded a lot of ammo with that tool. Since then, I have spent quite a bit of money on reloading equipment and components. There is a guy that I work with that has been talking about reloading for years but never did anything about it. I saw a Lee Loader in .30-06 for like $8 on the used rack at a store, so I bought it to demonstrate to him, how easy it was to reload. I loaded 20 rounds for him and it was fun. About the same time I got interested in old milsurp rifles. I bought a few and decided that instead of buying the dies, I would just buy Lee Loaders. I have been loading .303 Brit, and 7.62x54R since then using the Lee Loader. I actually think it is faster than using a press since you are neck sizing only and don't have to go through the trauma of lubing the cases and all that. Of course I am not doing "pure" Lee Loading. I am priming with a Lee hand priming tool, and throwing the powder charges with my regular RCBS Uniflow measure with the weight checked by an electronic scale. I also am trimming the cases with either my Forster tool or the Lee trim tool. With the .38 loader, I never had a primer detonate while I was seating it with the Lee Loader. However, with the rifle cases, I was setting them off regularly, so I went with my priming tool. These are real cheap and I recommend that you buy one to use with your Lee Loader. I bought mine around 1980 and have used it to load 10s of thousands of rounds since. A note on the powder dippers. The charges thrown with the powder dippers supplied with the Lee Loaders are generally very light (meaning the loads given are light loads, so it would be hard to get in trouble as long as you follow the load table supplied). Just for the heck of it, I threw 50 charges of Allient Power Pistol powder with the scoop to see how accurate it was. I dipped it just like they tell you in the directions, then leveled it off with a business card. I weighed all 50 charges on an electronic scale and had three of the 50 measure 1/10 of a grain off. The rest were right on the money. I didn't try this with any other powder, but I consider this very accurate. Another point I mentioned before, you are only neck sizing with the Lee Loader. Therefore, you can only fire your brass in the one gun that it was originally fired from since the case is fireformed to your chamber. I have three Enfields and have to keep the brass seperated as to what gun it was used in.
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Old July 11, 2001, 06:46 PM   #8
OkieCruffler
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Thanks for all the replies. I ordered my .38 lee loader today and if it goes well, might get a few more. Mainly just wanted something to do on rainy days, if we ever get any around here.
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Old July 16, 2001, 01:28 PM   #9
seadog
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I load all my 303 British ammo on a Lee Loader. I size the cases, then prime with a Lee auto prime, then powder all cases with a Redding measure, then seat Sierra 174 grain HPBTs with the Lee Loader. Those bad boys will shoot into 1.5 inches from a Longbranch Mk4 #1 Enfield...Not bad. I've got a pile of presses, but it's fun to play with one of these loaders on occasion.
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