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Old March 10, 2012, 02:49 PM   #26
sir_n0thing
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I bought Lee equipment to get started in reloading without tearing my bank account apart. Everything worked exactly as advertised.
The only item I did not like was the safety scale. I ended up buying a Dillon scale off coworker, and it's been way easier to use... which is a good thing for a new reloader. I imagine getting the charge weight wrong is one of the bigger "bad things" that I'd rather avoid.
The Lee scale felt cheap and "fiddly". I never felt confident that it was adjusted properly and weighing accurately. Seemed like just breathing at it could throw it out of calibration or something. Might be just me, but I had no confidence in it.
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Old March 10, 2012, 03:04 PM   #27
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I have just about every color on my bench, even some unpainted Sinclair stuff, all of it works well, some better than others, some not so good, but all of it works as needed.

I've owned cars from every American manufacturer, from Studebaker on. all ran as needed, some more comfortable than others, some not, but they all got me to where I needed to be got.

Only manufacturer I actually really disdain is Smart Reloader and that is because they are an Italian company getting their products made in china with a warranty where you need to return anything defective to Italy. Their pricing structure is comparable to U.S. made products which makes it even more ridiculous to purchase them with the shape our economy is in. Plus, when looking carefully at their products the all seem to be direct copies of U.S. companies products. If it was a fake Rolex watch the out cry would be loud and long.

Oh well, I guess I've now spoken my piece.
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Old March 10, 2012, 03:21 PM   #28
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I have quite a few Lee dies, rifle and pistol. I have had complete satisfaction with them. I also have a Lee single stage press that gets used regularly, no problems there either. My other stuff is from other makers so I can not comment on the quality or user friendliness of Lee's scales, powder measure (except dippers) and so on. I do have Lee priming tool, works just great. I suppose I am a Lee fan with no apologies at all.
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Old March 10, 2012, 04:07 PM   #29
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I was a heavy equipment mechanic/electrician for 25+ years working for a large city Power company. Most of the shops I worked in had at least 4 other mechanics and as many as 15. I saw a lot of what I call "tool snobery". Guys would buy tools solely because of their name (SnapOn, MAC, etc.). Some would buy tools because of their price (the most expensive must be the best, right?). And some would buy tools because their favorite NASCAR pit crew, or their favorite TV motorcycle builder used them. I've found reloading tools to be much the same; there are those that buy equipment solely because of their name, and some because they are the most expensive (cost the most so it's gotta make the best ammo, right?). I'm sure there are those too, that make purchases based on what their favorite gun writer uses.

Then there are those that buy tools because they work (Craftsman, Williams, etc.), and those that purchase reloading equipment because they can make good, accurate, and safe ammo with them (Lee)...
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Old March 10, 2012, 05:11 PM   #30
Mike Irwin
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"Reputation matters to me. At times, you have very little else to go on, as this thread demonstrates.

Lee has a bad reputation, others have much better reputations."

That doesn't make much sense.

What would you rather go on... generic "reputation" on the web that someone's uncle's brother's dog's father's sister's son's nephew's friend's acquaintance once chipped a fingernail on a Lee die, so they're the crappiest crap that has ever been crapped?

Or out and out first hand testimony from a dozen or more people who have used Lee products for years, can testify to their utility, usability, durability, and suitability for reloading ammunition?


If you're going to go with the "well, I heard on the internet that...", I hear that Wikipedia has high-paying jobs open as entry editors...
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Old March 10, 2012, 05:39 PM   #31
wingman
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Quote:
"Reputation matters to me. At times, you have very little else to go on, as this thread demonstrates.
Lee has a bad reputation, others have much better reputations."

Odd statement, I would thing Lee sells higher numbers of dies and machines simply due to cost so therefore you will see more comment on Lee vs Dillon.

Over 40 years I've used Dillon,lee Lyman, Rcbs, all have there faults mostly it's a matter of how the tools are set up and maintained,I've never had a failure with any reloading product other then a Dillon cartridge cleaner motor.

In today's world of global economy and poor quality control reloading tools are IMO the least to be concerned with when purchasing.
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Old March 10, 2012, 06:24 PM   #32
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What amuses me is some guys louding claiming they KNOW Lee makes "junk" because they had "the Lee press" and it broke while resizing. That's worthless 'info' because Lee makes the widest range of presses on the market. By not saying what failed for them is lumping the tiny "Reloader" (an excellent little press for what it was made for by the way) along with a massive "Classic Cast" for total strength and that's just silly!

Most of those that do get broken is due to the user misusing the tool and then blaming IT for their screw-up! If someone is so clumsy he needs cast iron tools he should get cast iron to start with, no one who has a cast iron/steel Classic Cast has any cause for concern about a lack of strength.

Ditto claims bout Dillons better progressives; they are made at a different price point for different needs, buying less than you need is as foolish as paying for more than you need.

Bottom line, know what you need and get it. Brand or color of any tool isn't the issue, knowing what the smell you're doing when selecting it is.
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Old March 10, 2012, 07:01 PM   #33
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I used to buy one brand(I'll say X) of pickup(it was what my whole family liked),I had three new ones in a row.I got sick of the constant interior rattles and plastic squeeks(my last one,I had chucks of paper crammed between dashboard parts within three days,even after multiple warantee repairs,I still had chunks stuffed in the dash four yrs later when I traded for another brand(Y). For about 6months I had a $100 bill in my wallet because every brand X guy,when I told them I was sick of the rattles,inssisted "their truck doesn't have any", I would bet them that $100 that we go 2 miles out and 2miles back I WILL point out a rattle. Out of 14ish guys that I tried to bet, NOT 1 would take the bet. Why not?
Every time I here "I've never had any problems with all my Lee products",That truck story is the first thing I instantly think of. After I saw first hand what the products I bought looked like and didn't function,I will never believe. Just like you guys are bringing up how "brand blind" us others are, GO LOOK IN THE MIRROR
When I first read thid thread I knew just as soon as anybody says something bad about some Lee products, the fists would come out and every post from then on would be to try and cut down "how blind" the "others' are and not even allow any others to post without jumping on them.Wasn't this thread supposed to be about just the problems that someone had with any brand?Not to jump on anyone who posted ?
Do I think they make nothing but junk? No but they tend to have more issues from trying to make their products cheaper(price).
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Old March 10, 2012, 07:23 PM   #34
jcwit
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I had a LEE press break, what a piece of...................................................................

No wait, I had a Lee C Press break because I tried to size 30/06 and missed lubing some of the cases. I disassembled the press and sent the casting to LEE Precision with a letter explaining what I did and being as it was my fault I would send them a check for whatever they requested. I also made note to LEE that the age of the press was unknown but knew for a fact I had owned it for over 5 years.

In less than a week I received a package from LEE with a whole new press and a note that I owed them nothing, but to be sure to lube all cases.

Great customer service and excellent warranty=Great Company as are most of the companies we deal with in this hobby.

Just a thought, if Lee sold a press in the $350 dollar range, I'll bet folks would claim it was the best press on the market, but Lee wouldn't sell very many to really make it profitable.
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Old March 10, 2012, 07:56 PM   #35
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"new products for 2012 from Lee: Auto prime XR" ... so it only took Lee how many years to see how big the primer trays are?!
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Old March 10, 2012, 08:04 PM   #36
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I don't understand what you are asking. Do you have a problem with Lee reloading equipment, or not? If so, what's the problem? If not, why did you title the post as you did?
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Old March 10, 2012, 08:40 PM   #37
chiefr
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I think Lee aluminum moulds are superior to any of the steel moulds that cost 4 times as much. All my casting equipment is Lee with the exception my bullet sizer. I have a Lee production pot that is well over 30 years old. THis pot has melted close to a ton of wheel weights and other scrap and it still works.

I like and use Lee dies, however I never liked their O-ring locknuts, especially for use on seating dies. I have replaced all of mine with the split ring type. O-rings are OK for sizing and belling. I do not like to have to adjust the seater constantly to compensate for the compression of the O-ring when I change dies. Their FCD and collet dies are outstanding.

The new Lee auto prime is a turkey in my opinion. The step up of the primers can allow a primer to fall out unless the unit is held a the proper angle. The flimsy tabs that are supposed to hold the cover in place break easily thus you have to hold or tape the cover down. I know 2 other people that have broken off at least one tab. Having said that, the old autoprime is a superior unit and I am fortunate to own one.
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Old March 10, 2012, 09:26 PM   #38
Jim243
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But I would like to replace all 14 sets of Lee dies I have had for the last 8 years, but they just keep making great ammo. Yes, I have broken a few decaping pins (should not use them with a hammer to get stuck cases out). I don't even think I have cleaned them more than once, and they still keep going on.

Now for three (3) times the cost, I could get RCBS dies that crush my 357 cases, need more adjustments than a NASA rocket and gives me ulcers ( I do not like their locking rings they never stay locked, unlike the Lee's)

However, you will need a 12 gauge to get me to give up my Rockchucker press and I bought it used or my RCBS Charge Master 1500 (just won't happen).

And as far as Lyman is concerned I could live without their equipment except for their tumblers, mine is still working after 8 years of case cleaning about 30 or 40 thousand cases cleaned. And I just finished off trimming 500 223 cases with their Universal case trimmer (thank God that is done)

If someone has a problem with a product, well stuff happens, get it fixed or replaced, but like Lost Sheep said, DO NOT paint their whole product line as inferior.

Jim
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Old March 10, 2012, 09:58 PM   #39
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Quote:
When I first read thid thread I knew just as soon as anybody says something bad about some Lee products, the fists would come out and every post from then on would be to try and cut down "how blind" the "others' are and not even allow any others to post without jumping on them.Wasn't this thread supposed to be about just the problems that someone had with any brand?Not to jump on anyone who posted ?
Do I think they make nothing but junk? No but they tend to have more issues from trying to make their products cheaper(price).
Interesting, I havent seen a single lee owner with their firsts up here... Whats funny is most lee owners dont get all up in arms when people diss lee, like I have seen other press owners do.
Generally its more of a "oh? you think lee is the crappiest crap ever? why? what specific problem did you have problems with.... Curiosity you know, we KNOW what a great product they make, so are curious what causes such rabid dislike of a brand... Just like I am curious what issues YOU have personally had with your lee products?

One recent thread asking about which pres to get a poster chimed in "anything but lee"... Of course after some prodding and more lee bashing it turned out he had never used a lee press in his life.... which I have found is the case for most lee bashers.
Of course there is the odd unlucky person that doesnt like lee because they got a few bad products in a row, which can happen to any MFG. I recently read a post about someone who bought a high-point pistol, which had some problems, but rather than take advantage of the lifetime warranty, they chose to stick it in a drawer and become a lifetime high-point basher... its sad really....
But for the most part, the people who are the loudest in their lee bashing, are the ones who know they paid way too much for their press because it wasn't red, and have never (and would never) touched a lee press in their life.

I dont think I have seen anyone say lee is the best product out there, but they are without a doubt the best product for the money, and honestly, deer and paper dont know what color your press is, they just know they now have holes in them....
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Old March 10, 2012, 10:30 PM   #40
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As long as folk keep proclaiming Lee to be the crappiest crap ever the prices will have to stay low. That way I can keep buying the stuff and won't have to increase my reloading budget.

Almost all of my dies are Lee and I don't have any trouble with any of them. Many have quite a bit of external rust. I never worried about oiling the outsides of the things so rusting is just something that happens to exposed steel in Houston area garages...

My Lee, Dillon, and Lyman presses all work fine. The rams shine, but the rest of the exposed steel shows some corrosion.

My Lyman tumbler has been working fine for at least a decade.

My Lee Safety Scale resides in its box. But then so does my Dillon beam balance. The PACT BBKII is just so much faster and easier I don't have much use for the beams. Yes, I do have check weights and use them.

It's all good.
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Old March 11, 2012, 12:00 AM   #41
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I have never used a Lee press, powder thrower, scale, etc, but I've used several sets of their dies and love them. I replace the lock rings on the seating dies with Hornady lock rings that run about $2-3 a piece leaving them still a lot cheaper than other brands of dies. I've got a couple sets of RCBS dies and I much much prefer the Lee dies to them. I've had nothing but headaches from both sets of RCBS dies. The .243 resizing die causes big dents in the shoulder, and the .380 seating die cuts into the bullets fairly often. I need to call RCBS about both of them I guess. I've also got Redding dies I do like although I've not used them much.

That said, I love my RCBS press, and other RCBS stuff, it's just their dies I've had issues with. So I really don't see a problem with Lee. What I've used from them has been good. I've also used their primer pocket cleaner and a few other small things like that with success.
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Old March 11, 2012, 12:14 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dacaur
I dont think I have seen anyone say lee is the best product out there, but they are without a doubt the best product for the money, and honestly, deer and paper dont know what color your press is, they just know they now have holes in them....
Well, here I am.

Lee makes the BEST 4-Station Auto-Advancing Turret Press on the market today, bar none.

They also make the second best 4-station Auto-Advancing Turret Press on the market.

Of course, Lee Precision makes the only two auto-advancing turret presses on the market today.

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Old March 11, 2012, 12:29 AM   #43
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I guess I'm weird but the more I use the Lee lock rings, the more I like them.
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Old March 11, 2012, 01:03 AM   #44
Hawg
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Quote:
I guess I'm weird but the more I use the Lee lock rings, the more I like them.
I've been using them for over 30 years and I prefer them. I have some other brand dies because I got them used and cheap but I much prefer Lee. I still use the same Lee single stage press I bought 30 some odd years ago. Lee Rocks!
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Old March 11, 2012, 06:52 AM   #45
Rifleman1776
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Quote:
Just like I am curious what issues YOU have personally had with your lee products?
When their progressive press first came out, I think it was in the 80s, it had many design flaws. Some were downright dangerous. It had the capability of setting off a primer directly into the open powder canister, plus more.
I complained to several consumer protection agencies who forced Lee to rethink their design. Lee would not refund my purchase price. But, they did make changes to the design.
To this day, I am down on Lee because I believe a company that will market something so potentially dangerous has no conscience and I choose to do no (actually very little) business with them.
I do use their moulds because of price. Lymans are infinitely superior, IMHO, but on my very limited retirement income I simply cannot affor them.
BTW, somewhere packed away, I probably still have the file of correspondance about the progressive press. And, no, I'm not going to search for it to satisfy one poster here.
And, yes, I have looked at their current line of presses and belive them to be very flimsy compared to the other name brands out there. I wouldn't trust them for consistent and accurate loading.
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Old March 11, 2012, 08:25 AM   #46
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And, yes, I have looked at their current line of presses and belive them to be very flimsy compared to the other name brands out there. I wouldn't trust them for consistent and accurate loading.
I don't know how anyone could look at the Classic Cast single stage press and call it "very flimsy".
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Old March 11, 2012, 08:41 AM   #47
Mike Irwin
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"I don't know how anyone could look at the Classic Cast single stage press and call it "very flimsy"."

Simple.

It won't survive a direct hit by comet.

It can't be wrapped in nookulur detonators and compressed into a singularity.

It won't survive being thrown into the fires of Mordor.

Ergo, it's flimsy crap, not worth the money.


My biggest gripe with Lee, something I've discussed with them a couple of times over the years, has been the quality, or lack there of, in their documentation.

Some of its OK, but some of it looks like it was written by drunken monkeys break dancing on the keyboard.
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Old March 11, 2012, 09:08 AM   #48
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Quote:
Some of its OK, but some of it looks like it was written by drunken monkeys break dancing on the keyboard
YES. I couldn't agree more. Except for the "some of it is OK" part. I use quite a bit of Lee stuff. And like it. But I've had to figure out HOW to use it from alternate sources. Which is odd, because I find the Lee Modern Reloading book to be great, easy to read, and quite informative. Lee, please get those guys to write your tool instructions.

I seriously wonder how much of Lee's problems stem from misunderstood instructions?

I also use Dillon, Lyman and Hornady tools. I haven't really found any reloading tools that I would call "bad". Some are easier to use than others, some are more durable than others.

I'm looking to add a turret to my stable. I really want a Redding T-7, just because it looks like it COULD survive being blasted by a nuclear explosion into the fires of Mordor and still be used by the next three generations of my descendants (maybe with a little repainting). But I haven't been able to talk myself into the money. I may just wind up with a Lee Classic Turret. Which, based on knowledge from several friends that have them, will make perfectly acceptable ammo at maybe 20% the investment.
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Old March 11, 2012, 09:33 AM   #49
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I have mainly used RCBS dies, I do also have a Lee hand loader for 300 savage. I have no problems with any of them. MY last set of dies I ordered is RCBS because they were out of stock on the Lee RGB dies in 223 cal. other wise I was going to try the Lee ones. I like my RCBS press and powder dump, but I have not tried other brands as the ones I have work fine for me.
What I have I am happy with and cannot bash Lee or other brands because I have not personally used them.

Reviews for anything even tires for your truck should be taken with a grain of salt. Products with a rating system of 10 stars will run all the way from 10 to 1 and to me are mainly useless. You cannot bash a product that you have not personally used, read the full instructions and understand them and used them properly. That is where I think some people go wrong, improper use of the product.
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Old March 11, 2012, 12:13 PM   #50
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Equating item cost w/ efficacy of performance can be folly. My $20.00 timex watch keeps time more accuratly than my buddy's $5200 Rolex. My Lee RGB 8mm dies loads rounds that will shoot into 1 ragged hole @ 100 yds from my milsurp Czech Mauser-can more expensive dies do better? I doubt it.

I agree w/ above posters that their instructions are not often the clearest & the Lilliputian pictures do a disservice to the reader.

Take the Lee presses,paint them blue & call them a Lee-to-Dillon conversion kit & sell them to the "Go blue or go home" crowd for a steep profit
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