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Old March 2, 2005, 11:28 PM   #1
Bass Man
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Tired of LEE junk!

My Auto-Prime broke tonight. The connecting rod broke off on the smaller diameter end. I went to Bass Pro to get a RCBS hand Primer and they were out. So I returned my whole kit and got a new one. I almost stepped up to a Partner press kit but it would be antoher $150 by the time I had to also buy a powder measure and that doesn't fit my shootin/reloading budget my wife set for me. I brought home my new Lee kit and the Auto-Prime is already starting to get "STICKY". I went to start throwing charges and I can't get the scale to calibrate to even know if the powder measure is throwing accurate charges. The powder measure seems smoother but that coulsd be a bad thing. I guess tomorrow I'll have to get a good scale and be in debt to my budget.

What is a good scale at a good price? Should I stick with RCBS or is the Lyman decent?
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Old March 2, 2005, 11:36 PM   #2
CaptainRazor
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I've got an RCBS scale, I think it's a 502 or a 505 model. It's about 15 years old but still does the job very well.

One of these days Im gonna get me one of those new fangled electronic jobs.
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Old March 3, 2005, 12:54 AM   #3
hivel37
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Tools from every manufacturer litter my bench. I have a Lee auto-prime I've been using over 20 years. Generally, Lee is the cheapest in every category. I've had to pay for replacement parts, when other companys would give them to you. However, I think if Lee weren't around, we might be paying twice the price for any reloading tool. Competition is a good thing.
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Old March 3, 2005, 01:12 AM   #4
Leftoverdj
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Bass, if your AutoPrime is getting sticky, you did not read the instructions and lube it first. That's likely why the first one broke.

Never had a Lee scale, but it's a simple balance beam, and there ain't a lot that could be wrong with it. Most likely thing is that the surface you have it on is not close enough to level.
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Old March 3, 2005, 01:28 AM   #5
redrooster2
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The RCBS 505 is a decent scale and can often be found on eBay --- Midway puts them on sale from time to time.
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Old March 3, 2005, 07:37 AM   #6
Austin Charles
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Just like Leftoverdj said!!!!! This time read the directions

I have used Lee auto prime for over 50,000 loads and mine still works fine. I lube mine once in awhile.


As for the scale, I don't like them but they are accurate. Again read the directions to fully understand it. But I would still go with a RCBS 505 scale.
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Old March 3, 2005, 07:52 AM   #7
Bass Man
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My Auto Prime would get stuck on the little tab that sticks down at the end of the handle. It would get caught on the burr from the mould on the opening on the bottom of the body. This time I will lube it and I also filed off that burr. Ir broke when I was pulling it backward. It in essence pulled the casting apart.
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Old March 3, 2005, 12:39 PM   #8
Mike Irwin
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I've also got many many thousands (pushing 50K) primed with my Auto Prime.

The ONLY reason it "gets stick" is if it's not lubricated.

I'm still on my original everything with it.
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Old March 3, 2005, 03:23 PM   #9
Bass Man
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Maybe I just got the one lemon out of the run. The rest of my last kit worked fine execpt the auto prime (which was not lubed). I'll exchange this scale and hopefully be happy for quite a while.
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Old March 3, 2005, 04:49 PM   #10
G56
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Been there done that! The poor quality of Lee products almost ran me out of reloading all together, of all the Lee products that I bought when I first tried reloading, the only thing left is a Universal Decapping Die, it's kind of hard to mess that up.
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Old March 3, 2005, 06:29 PM   #11
CaptainRazor
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While Lee doesnt make the best out there, they are the "economy" version for the reloader on a tight budget.

I have a Lee Auto Prime, I have used it for years with little to no trouble.
I also found that I had to "debur" it and lube it to make it work well.
Other than that, I have no complaints with it. I mean, what should I expect for 10 bucks?

Lee dies are a different story, I really don't care for the locking rings, and thier "precision" leaves a lot to be desired.
They are great dies to buy for a caliber that you don't load as much for.

I much prefer RCBS dies myself, they make the tiny adjustments a lot easier.
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Old March 3, 2005, 08:08 PM   #12
donkee
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I got the anniversary kit almost 2 years ago. The only thing I don't like is the "perfect" powder measure. I picked up the auto disk and love it. The ppm is for working up rifle calibers now, I would go nutz if I had to use it for pistol calibers again. LEE dies have been great except for my 9x18 carbide die that I broke when I ran a .40 case in it and my expander for 7.62x38R Nagant revolver was screwed up from the factory. LEE replaced both without question in under a week. The only other thing I am going to trade up to is a classic cast press.
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Old March 3, 2005, 09:23 PM   #13
Austin Charles
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You will like the Classic Press. Worlds above their other press.

Every bit as good as my Rock Chucker
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Old March 3, 2005, 09:52 PM   #14
Tim R
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I just ordered another Auto Prime as mine like some of the others has seen 20 years of hard use with the plastic turning yellow. Number 1 isn't broke yet either but thought I would just have another one on the shelf in case. This is the only peice of Lee equipment I will allow in my house.

If you are loading a lot of rifle I solved the scale and powder throw problem by getting the Lyman DPS 1200.
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Old March 3, 2005, 10:31 PM   #15
drinks
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Lee

I have been using Lee, Lyman and RCBS tools for over 40 years, have never broken anything, nothing has worn out and except for a RCBS mold that does not do very well, I am pleased with everything, that said, 90% of my equipment is Lee, even back to the early '60's Lee Engineering Lee Loaders.
If you have any Lee equipment you want to give away, or even sell at 10% Midway list, just let me know.
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Old March 3, 2005, 11:13 PM   #16
Robert M Boren Sr
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I have used lee products with great success. I don't use the powder scale though, I didn't trust it at first. Then I bought a rcbs check weight system and found out it actually ballances really accurate. Another problem I had was with the powder measure. First off, it has to be the most accurate measurer I've seen to through stick powder consistantly. But when using fine pistol powders it has a tendancy to work it's way out the side between the drum and the body. It throughs okay, it just gets hard to through. So I use my hornady lnl powder measure and hornady ballance beam and no more problems. Lee dies and other things are very good stuff in my opinion and will continue to buy them. You have to read the instructions as that's very important to how lee stuff is taken care of.
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Old March 4, 2005, 01:47 AM   #17
Leftoverdj
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I'm gonna put in a plug for the Lee AutoPrime II, the press mounted version. It's all steel except for the plastic tray and feed channel, and they are cheap enough to keep spares on hand. It takes standard shell holders, and it gets that magazine full of primers away from your body.

Another gadget I like is the line of pushthrough sizers. They do as good a job as anything on the market and they are blazingly fast with stuff you can tumble lube.

I like a lot of Lee stuff. If it does not have a lot of moving parts, it probably works pretty good. I'm a tinkerer anyway, so a little deburring, polishing, etc. does not bother me at all. Do some of that even on the much more expensive stuff.

Imho, the Lee line is characterised by brilliant design and borderline execution.
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Old March 4, 2005, 09:06 AM   #18
dgm
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I haven't been loading very long, so I really don't have a lot of experience with other tools, but when I decidced on what to buy, I went with the Lee Aniversary Kit. I've had nothing but success so far. The press is a little flimsy, but more than strong enough for my applications (I neck size only). I like the priming tool, and the scale seems adequate. The powder measure is the only tool I don't fully trust; I use it, but I weigh each charge as well. Overall, I'm quite happy with the whole setup, we'll see how it holds up over time.
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Old March 4, 2005, 11:11 AM   #19
Mike Irwin
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Virtually all of my dies are Lee dies. While I'm not fond of the "locking" ring, they work very well. I'm not interested in match precision accuracy, so I'm not looking for the most closely machined and fitted dies possible.

I really like the Lee press mounted disk powder measure, the one with the round hopper.

I'm not, however, at all crazy about the Lee Safety Scale. Far too easy to misadjust it inadvertently.

I flat wore out my Lee Turret Press. I could probably rebuild it, but I'm loading on a Lyman turret now, and it's working well.
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Old March 4, 2005, 09:27 PM   #20
dgm
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Hi Mike, do you use the locking stud on the adjustment slide of your safety scale to lock in your setting?
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Old March 5, 2005, 03:44 AM   #21
Dgremlin
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I just got the Hornady small portable digital scale from Graf & Sons. It was on sale for $99.00. Seems to work great. (I also bought the Lee kit and even though I love the dies and press I don't care for the scale or powder dispenser either.)
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Old March 5, 2005, 04:13 PM   #22
Mike Irwin
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"Hi Mike, do you use the locking stud on the adjustment slide of your safety scale to lock in your setting?"

I don't own a Lee Safety Scale. The one's I've handled in the past made me know that it's a false economy.

I have an RCBS 505.

If you're going to spring for only ONE high-end piece of equipment, spring for a quality scale by one of the major manufacturers, along with a set of scale weights.
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Old March 5, 2005, 04:24 PM   #23
maxinquaye
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"I can't get the scale to calibrate to even know if the powder measure is throwing accurate charges."

Huh? It's a balance beam scale...set it down somewhere reasonably flat, set the indicator to 0.0, turn the brass knob till the end of the beam lines up with the level mark on the left. What's to screw up? Not to get personal, but the fact that the above procedure is too complicated for you could be an indication of why you can't get their other products to work.

Tired of Lee bashing...my press just passed 10K rounds since I bought it in November last year. My first press, and I guarantee it'll smoke a 550B in both consistancy and output. OTOH, I RTFM, ya know? Dillons are mediocre presses that are overpriced. At least on my Loadmaster if a primer goes off it does not blow the whole stack like 3 people I know have personally done on their Dillons. Free replacement parts don't mean crap when you've got burns/blood blisters/worse on your hands.

Flame away boys...
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Old March 5, 2005, 05:09 PM   #24
Austin Charles
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I'm not going to flame away,

I am glad that Lee can put out a starter kit (anniversary kit) for people who want to see if they want to get into reloading. How many times have you wanted to try something and put out a s*hit load of cash to find out that you are not that into it? With Lee you can try your hand in reloading for a very small price.

I use a lot of the Lee products...Dies, trim guages, Powder measure, Classic Press. In fact I prefer my Lee powder measure for long powder over my RCBS The Lee does leak some for the fine powders.

I think that just about everyone (who stays with reloading) will upgrade a few things to make it easier on them, but Lee will get you a bullet made that will shoot down range and it will be much more accurate that any bought ammo. That is what Lee aims for and that is what they have accomplished.

I am also glad that Lee is out there, because they tend to keep the rest of the people's prices to a certain level.

I have to say that the scale that Lee put's out could be a little more user friendly. But it is accurate and will give you a accurate charge. It is just a little to cumbersome for my liking. But the powder measure can't be beat for the price.
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Old March 5, 2005, 06:33 PM   #25
Rtlesnake
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I like the Lee stuff

Yeah, you may want to upgrade a few things but overall, I find Lee to be one of the best equipment for the money. Period.

I too wasnt really happy with some of the stuff but after using it, I really like it. Just have to get use to it I suppose. Its not cheap, just inexpensive!

My last setup was RCBS. Everything on my bench was RCBS. I prefer the Lee over it. As far as the powder throw and scale, I find them to be the most accurate I've used. Maybe it does take more tinkering to get them exact but when you get them dialed in, they beat just about everything out there.
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