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Old March 11, 2012, 12:37 PM   #51
dahermit
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Without the cheap, simple, hand loading tools that Lee sold back in the late 60's, I would not have been introduced to hand loading. I wore out several one-at-a-time primer tools with the screw-in shell holders. They were "Junk"...but were cheap to replace and effective.

Thank you Lee, for introducing me to a hobby that I otherwise could not have afforded.

I can afford Dillon now, but I will be eternally grateful to Lee.
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Old March 11, 2012, 01:06 PM   #52
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Quote:
Without the cheap, simple, hand loading tools that Lee sold back in the late 60's, I would not have been introduced to hand loading. I wore out several one-at-a-time primer tools with the screw-in shell holders. They were "Junk"...but were cheap to replace and effective.
In what way were they "Junk"? I've purchased a few this last year from the Bay and like using them, have yet to have any trouble with any of them. I use them as decated tools for certain calibers that I take to the range and reload there.

The same as I do with my K & M and Sinclair priming tools.
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Old March 11, 2012, 01:22 PM   #53
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I have Lee, Lyman and RCBS. What I don't like I replace. I have Lee dies because I can build better ammo with Lee dies. The only RCBS dies I have now are 223 and a universal decapping die, I don't use either of those. The decapping pin bent on the 16th case. The 223 bullet seater takes too many other tools to adjust. If you could adjust once and be done with it that would be fine, but in loading 100 rounds of Hornady match bullets i had to make adjustments three times. I have 2 RCBS presses, a Turret and a Rock Chukkar, and 1 older Lee 3 hole turret. All presses work great. Powder throw and scales are RCBS. Case trimmers are Lee ( love those). Lyman takes care of case polishing. I like evrything I have and think it is good quality equipment or I would trade it for somthing that was.
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Old March 11, 2012, 02:47 PM   #54
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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.
I concur about the documents.
Personally I use all Lee equipment, 5 calibers, 4 hole turret press, single stage is now packed away.
The tumbler and media separator are Frankford Arsenal's.
20,000+ rounds loaded to date and all is good. I did find the lock rings would loosen up during use. I cured that by using a wrench to snug them up and all is good in my Lee reloading corner of the world.
Knowing what I know now about the other brands out there I would still but Lee's reloading equipment. It works and makes home made ammunition to shoot at the range.

The guy shooting in the same match and on my squad can't tell if I loaded my stuff on Lee's or Dillons equipment, can he?
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Old March 11, 2012, 04:09 PM   #55
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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.
A perfect example of someone who tried one product, didn't like it, so is now a lee hater for life..... First off, claiming something has the "capability" of having a problem, therefor is junk, is bogus. You might "think" there is a possibility of it setting off a primer into the powder, but my guess is it never happened, right? Something being "theoretically possible" is different from an actual problem. Get enough people looking at a "potential" problem and it doesnt matter if its a real problem or not. Any company would change its design to to avoid bad press. My guess is if there had been an actual problem, you would have gotten a refund. "plus others".... ALL progressives are finicky, thats just a fact of life.

Quote:
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.
Again, see my first sentence above.... good luck with that. A Dodge Ram 1500could be called flimsy when compared to a ford F650..... I guess all the rest of us that use our "flimsy" lee presses to load consistent and accurate ammo are... what? lucky?.... hmmm... Whats the word for someone that buys something because it WORKS, rather than because of what color it is or how much it costs?
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Old March 11, 2012, 04:20 PM   #56
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I guess I just don't know any better. I bought a Lee 3 hole turret press in 1984. I have loaded 270, 308, 45acp, 9mm, 44 mag, 357 mag and 38 spl. I didn't have any problems with it until last Tuesday. The roll pin holding the linkage on the left side of the base started flexing real bad. The hole was starting to elongate. I called Lee and the nice lady said to send it in and they would take a look at it. She also said that it was possible that I would have to buy a new one. The cost of the new one would be 50% of their retail price. Friday they called and said they replaced the base and the ram. I asked how much I owed them and they said "no charge". They are sending it back on Monday. They told me that they replaced the roll pin 15 years ago with a shoulder bolt. I am sure they know that that press is 28 years old. All of my dies and powder handling equipment is Lee and never a problem. I even use the lock nuts that come with the dies. I do have a RCBS scale. I think that was the only one that I could find way back then. I am happy with my Lee stuff. I have no pros or cons on the other manufactures as I have never used any of their stuff. Oh I forgot that I do use a RCBS hand primer and it works fine also.
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Old March 11, 2012, 04:24 PM   #57
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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 have a Ford that has the capability of going faster than the speed limit, there by earning me a speeding ticket if caught. Knew I should have bought a smart car.

Quote:
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.
This is flimsy http://leeprecision.com/classic-cast-press.html

I guess if you say so.
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Old March 11, 2012, 04:52 PM   #58
Peter M. Eick
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Here is why I don't like lee tools. They break. Usually just when you need them the most.

So I now have 3 sets of them. When two break I ship them back and get replacements at the price of a new one. I just keep a box for broken lee parts and then make a shipment every few years.

I figure a lee primer loader is good for about 10 to 20 thousand rounds then it breaks.

It is interesting that they don't all fail the same way.
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Old March 11, 2012, 05:07 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dacaur in post #55
Quote:
Originally Posted by post #45
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.
A perfect example of someone who tried one product, didn't like it, so is now a lee hater for life..... First off, claiming something has the "capability" of having a problem, therefor is junk, is bogus. You might "think" there is a possibility of it setting off a primer into the powder, but my guess is it never happened, right? Something being "theoretically possible" is different from an actual problem. Get enough people looking at a "potential" problem and it doesnt matter if its a real problem or not. Any company would change its design to to avoid bad press. My guess is if there had been an actual problem, you would have gotten a refund. "plus others".... ALL progressives are finicky, thats just a fact of life.
Not quite a perfect example, I think. He had a problem with the press and then subsequently had a problem with the company, apparently over a long period of time. So, his feelings may indeed be justifiable.

I don't have any idea what Lee progressive presses were like at the time, but if it involved an open powder container (as part of the press design, not the user's discretionary placement of his supply), I would agree with him on that point, at least.

On the other hand, I argue that Lee has changed. Nowadays, Lee refuses to market a columnar primer feed because of the danger of a gang ignition should a stray vibration set one off. The complaint was not just about the danger, but the refusal of Lee to provide accommodation or even acknowledge the complaint. (I am reading a little into the post, here.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcwit
I have a Ford that has the capability of going faster than the speed limit, there by earning me a speeding ticket if caught. Knew I should have bought a smart car.
That is a legitimate criticism. If I bought a press whose design (I knew or should have known) placed my gunpowder in a vulnerable location, I would be hard pressed to justify asking for a refund, or bringing in consumer protection agencies to protect me from my own folly.

Whether you decide to come down on the side of the "Nanny State" protecting handloaders from themselves or "Let the Buyer Beware" is up to you. In my mind, either extreme is wrong. The complainant in this case may have been concerned with improving the breed by offering feedback to Lee and been rebuffed, thus starting a chain of rancor. I don't know and I won't assume.

So, this is why I started this thread, to encourage anyone who posts advice against purchase of a product, should give the REAL REASONS behind their advice and opinion.

And I have posted here to add the sentiment that if anyone denies the potential for rehabilitation (of a person or a company) then they reject the possibility that they may someday need or receive forgiveness.

Thanks for reading,

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Old March 11, 2012, 05:16 PM   #60
jcwit
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Here is why I don't like lee tools. They break. Usually just when you need them the most.

So I now have 3 sets of them. When two break I ship them back and get replacements at the price of a new one. I just keep a box for broken lee parts and then make a shipment every few years.

I figure a lee primer loader is good for about 10 to 20 thousand rounds then it breaks.

It is interesting that they don't all fail the same way.
Sorry to see your bad luck with Lee Priming tools, Did you lube them as the instructions say to do?

Does this make the whole line of Lee Products bad, I think not. I've seen this picture of yours in other forums.

Ya know, back in 1971 I purchased my first brand new car, a Chevy Camaro, worst car I ever owned, was in the shop just about every other week for the 6 months I owned it. It was followed by a 1972 Corvette which I also purchased new, in fact I ordered it in 1971, arrived in January 1972. Was one of the best cars I ever owned, I also ordered a 1972 Chevy Vega at the same time I ordered the Corvette, actually the Vega was one heck of a good car, kept it for over 120,000 miles and the company I worked for way more than paid for it.

The Chevy's line is not all bad, no more than the LEE Precision line is all bad.
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Old March 11, 2012, 05:20 PM   #61
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Cool picture

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter M. Eick
Here is why I don't like lee tools. They break. Usually just when you need them the most.

So I now have 3 sets of them. When two break I ship them back and get replacements at the price of a new one. I just keep a box for broken lee parts and then make a shipment every few years.

I figure a lee primer loader is good for about 10 to 20 thousand rounds then it breaks.

It is interesting that they don't all fail the same way.
Thanks for the pictures.

They don't all break, though. And, I am told if you lubricate the cam and other bearing parts they last much longer. Many people don't bother to lube.

I had a Lee priming tool and did not have to break even one to decide it was junk (to me, to others it is pure heaven). It felt flimsy to me and I much prefer priming on the press because I use my Lee Turret in continuous mode.

I recommend the RCBS bench mounted priming tool if you want something unbreakable.

Apropos of the purpose of the thread: Does the short life span of the Lee Priming Tool turn you off of the whole product line?

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Old March 11, 2012, 06:47 PM   #62
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Wait.

You guys recommend equipment with documentation known to be bad for new reloaders?
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Old March 11, 2012, 06:48 PM   #63
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Quote:
Here is why I don't like lee tools....
@Peter-

Two suggestions:

1. Clean your cases, and primer pockets in particular, first..... By the filthy look of the broken tools, you are forcing primers into groady cases w/ pockets half full of crud.....

2. The primers are only supposed to go barely below flush. Once you bottom them out, you can, by applying enough pressure to break the priming tool, make them seat deeper, but this is not beneficial in any way..... and may, as my brother found out, make for erratic ignitions/misfires.
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Old March 11, 2012, 07:21 PM   #64
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everything I own is made by Lee other than one press and primer pocket tool.I load for 8 different cals all with Lee dies and I have never had any type of trouble with them.the only trouble I have ever had just ended up being my fault.( starting days of reloading )

just taking care of the products I own has given me some of the best ammo I have ever shoot.for the most part people think all they need to do is to just own them and use them.cleaning the tools makes a huge difference with anything you own.( for the most part ) most how start reloading save to start blind with no one to help out.then they get on the net and in they get the wrong ideas or info for the most part.having some one to help out is the real way to go.I had two before they both passed away.one was even a sniper while in the Marine's.I now have to get on the net when needed.

the Lee scale has even given me some great ammo ( 5 shots at 100 in one hole )but now with my eye sight I use a digital scale,but when needed I still have the little Lee one.

the primeing tool has been the best.it has reprimed many a case.now I hate that Lee stopped making the one I own.I do not like the new one.( but cannot say to how it works ) I don't own one yet.just the looks of it makes me hate it.

the biggest thing I think why most hate Lee products is because Lee builds cheap.( I like that part ) if you can over look that part and really take the time to learn how to use a Lee product.I think you will find as I have found.their product has and can loaded just as good of a bullet as any other out their.yes,their idea of instuctions can make things tough at times.for the most part just having the hands on skill with working with tools helps out alot.

so here ya go on my idea or thoughts on Lee's products.I just love them.heck I just made an order to set up my press to load for my wifes new P238.I cannot wait to get the order in to start up a load for her.
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Old March 11, 2012, 07:35 PM   #65
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I don't like Lee reloading stuff too much. I had a shooting buddy that had one of their progressive presses that was problematic. I looked at it and it sure didn't impress me.

I've always been the mind to buy quality once and forget the frustration with the junk.Give me Craftsman, Ridgid, Snap-On, and RCBS. I have shopped at Harbor Freight, but not for anything that had moving parts, lol.

I'm not totally against Lee. They're kinda like Harbor Freight, if you choose wisely you can get a good deal on something that will work. For example, Lee moulds. I have many Lee moulds including several 6 cavity moulds some custom ordered through group buys. No, they are not the best moulds on the market. Not even close. They do work though. I have no complaints with Lee moulds, Lee 10 LB melt pot, or their fine dipper set.
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Old March 11, 2012, 07:47 PM   #66
jolly roger
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Bought a Lee Classic Turret to replace a Lyman turret that broke after about 25 years. Absolutely satisfied. Even the Pro Disk Powder Measure works fine. Several sets of dies that have done very well for the last 25 years or so. Their collet dies are fine too IMHO.

Will agree the safety scale is an abomination and their progressive presses frankly suck too.
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Old March 11, 2012, 07:49 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer Six
Wait.

You guys recommend equipment with documentation known to be bad for new reloaders?
Afraid so. Some of the instruction is better than nothing (my experience with the Lee Scale proved that to me.)

While the factory documentation is less than perfect, there are excellent tutorials on line and plenty of experienced hands to lend instruction on these forums. Not a perfect solution but it works.

The main thing is that you can fix the documentation shortcomings with training. You can't fix shortcomings in the equipment nearly as easily.

So, given a choice between a better press (or cheaper for the same quality) with poor documentation or a lesser press with good documentation, I will pick the better press.

Besides, the Lee documentation isn't THAT bad. It's their naming conventions I hate the most.

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Old March 11, 2012, 08:12 PM   #68
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Perfect powder measure. Deluxe dies.

Reminds me of the people selling magic elixirs in the early 1900's.

I remember how the manual for that junk scale went on and on and on about how great and indestructible the beam material was. Big deal. The scale was a frustrating piece of crap that I would be ashamed recommending no matter what the freaking beam was made of.

A **** covered in gold colored paint is still a ****.
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Old March 11, 2012, 08:32 PM   #69
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I don't like their scale or powder throw. Other than that I'm ok with their products. I've only been reloading and target shooting for 4 years and have been very pleased with the dies especially. I've considered purchasing other brands but based on results I've yet to do so. I believe the reason I haven't gotten better results has more to do with my lack of experience as a hole puncher than Lee equipment.

I probably pay more attention to the bullet seating die than any other piece of equipment. I pay a lot of atttention to proper seating depth, concentricity, run out and have made it a point check these after I've loaded a few rounds. Out of twenty rounds I usually have to chuck 2-3. I don't think thats too bad. Since my focus is now on shooting 600 yards I will be paying close attention to how every piece of reloading equipment that I use performs. For now, I will continue to use Lee products until I see a reason to change.
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Old March 11, 2012, 08:39 PM   #70
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I just got into reloading and got the LCT setup. Its a good thing that we live in the age of the internet because the instructions would have driven me nuts. I probably watched 20 videos on how to setup and use the press. (There are some great videos out there by the way). Lee needs to make their instructions bigger and also explain why you are doing what they tell you to do. Instead of just saying to turn this die back off 1 full turn - tell me why I am doing that. End rant.

Other than the instructions I love my new press setup. I also got great advice from this forum and ordered everything seperate instead of a kit and saved some money (which I used to get the dillion scale instead of the Lee safety scale). Thanks everyone for helping me start out in this great hobby.

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Old March 11, 2012, 08:45 PM   #71
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All I can say is that 90% of my stuff is Hornady and it's good quality.
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Old March 11, 2012, 08:52 PM   #72
jcwit
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Well its come back to the same old idea that LEE's price structure "as in being less expensive aka cheap" is the deciding factor as to why LEE lacks quality. Mayhap you folks who call LEE cheap should look into the meaning of value.

Another thought and I've personally seen this, LEE gives you no BRAGGING RIGHTS, you need to brag to your buds hey look, I've spent xxxxx hundreds of dollars, don't you wish you could, my stuff is better than yours, etc., etc.

This is coming from someone "me" who uses L.E. Wilson dies and Sinclair equipment along with RCBS, Lyman, LEE, FORSTER, Saeco, Hornady, K & M, the list goes on.

All of my equipment works as intended and to my satisfaction. I no linger need to impress anyone.

BTW to those that think Craftsman is such a great tool and Harbor Freight is not, the next time you see a New Craftsman tool in the store, look for the country of origin. The same goes for Plumb tools.
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Old March 11, 2012, 08:53 PM   #73
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Steve, that'd be relevant advertising if Dillon's products were all implanted with silicone ...... but alas, "the picture is unrelated".
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Old March 11, 2012, 08:57 PM   #74
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Bragging Rights?

It's not right to bragg, and especially about something you did not accomplish or make, but rather something you bought.

Where, exactly is the accomplishment in buying an expensive thing?

Lee stuff generally works well, and if you break it, they are polite and helpful folks, or have been the only time I've ever called them.... and I've been using their stuff for over a decade.
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Old March 11, 2012, 09:02 PM   #75
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The Perfect Powder Measure is one of the most accurate measures out there, especially with extruded short stick powders. Many Benchrest shooters use them. Of course many also use the Harrell's measure at a cost of $240.00 to $330.00.
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