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Old October 10, 2015, 12:23 PM   #1
849ACSO
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Lee Loader

So........ I've thought about one of these for a while now, but never could bring myself the $30-$40 for one. I have 2 presses that I reload with, so it seemed somewhat counterproductive money spending.

I'm a cop and my brother in law is a retired cop, and I knew at one point he used to dabble on reloading, but not in YEARS. My son recently started shooting trap for his high school team and my brother in law offered up his Lee shot shell loader (bench mounted) so we could save some coin on practice rounds. It arrived while I wasn't at home, along with a box with all of the bushings, etc.

As I'm going through the box, I find a Lee Loader for .38 SPL. I call and he says he don't have a .38 anymore, so it's mine. In the box was the receipt from when he bought it in 1985 for $11.00............

I loaded a cylinder full with it just for fun and I must say, I'm missing the boat. This thing is way cool. Time to put it in the "the world is falling apart" bag with some empties, some bullets, some primers and a pound of powder.

SCORE!!!!
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Old October 10, 2015, 12:28 PM   #2
palabman
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You betcha! Those Dillons are hard to keep set up while on the move during the zombie apocalypse.
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Old October 10, 2015, 12:57 PM   #3
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The only real downside to 'em is the silly scoops. CC's are a metric unit of liquid measure. The scoops can vary the powder charge plus or minus a full grain too. However, lots of reloaders started with a Lee Loader and decent reliable and safe ammo can be loaded on 'em. But throw the scoop away and use a scale.
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Old October 10, 2015, 01:09 PM   #4
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There is a definite technique to accurate & consistent loads with a scoop.

My usual suggestion is a wide & fairly deep container for the powder & then a "D" shaped pass through the powder with the scoop. The curve going in till the bowl is totally submerged & then out vertically & strait.

You can practice using your existing powder scale to get a good feel for it before you start loading.
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Old October 10, 2015, 02:08 PM   #5
mkl
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Many years ago I used hot melt glue to stick a .22 long rifle case to a small wooden dowel to make a scoop for .38 Special powder.

I can't remember which powder I used, maybe Bullseye, Red Dot, or something similar. Try a .22LR case as a scoop, and if it weighs close to the your favored load, you may have found the perfect scoop!
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Old October 10, 2015, 05:18 PM   #6
849ACSO
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I've been playing with it. With the scoop that's with the kit, I get +/- .1 with titegroup, which is the powder I run with 158gr jacketed bullets. Good enough for me.
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Old October 11, 2015, 11:44 AM   #7
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I used dippers for quite a while, even after I got a powder measure. With a little practice and once I got on a "roll", I could hold .1 grain variation of W231. I started with a Lee Loader (in '69) so I may be prejudice. I have 5 and whenever I feel "retro" or just 'cause, I'll get one out and pound out a few rounds, .38 Special being my favorite. Lots of folks report primer pops with a Lee Loader but I've only had that happen with one set, my .44 Spec/Magnum kit. No damage to anything just needed to change my panties a couple times...
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Old October 12, 2015, 05:49 PM   #8
Shimpy
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I started with the Lee Loader about 1970 and found the scoop to produce .357 mag loads to well under normal starting loads. From that I got started into advanced reloading with a scale and RCBS Rockchucker press. Usually Lyman carbide dies also if I remember correctly. I know my bullet molds were Lyman.
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Old October 12, 2015, 08:33 PM   #9
Average Joe
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that's how I started, give it a try, its fun.
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Old October 12, 2015, 10:20 PM   #10
AL45
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I also started with a Lee Loader in .308. My Son killed his first deer with a cartridge produced by a Lee Loader.
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Old October 12, 2015, 10:42 PM   #11
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The Lee Loader was OK but they were NOT the only one that was on the market. Pacific shotgun reloaders circa 1958 are much nicer to use if you can find one. I just sold two of them last week. Made of wood with a few steel parts the Pacific sets are a joy to work with.
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