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Old March 28, 2012, 09:51 PM   #1
Vermonter
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Lee Loader

Thinking of getting one of these to load .38spl. It is advertised as "everything you need". I know bullets and primer wouldn't be included. I assume a gauge and everything else would be included. I figure If I can save any $ that would be a positive. I don't want to spend valuable time reloading when I should be shooting. I would just like to add something to my rainy day activities list.
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Old March 28, 2012, 10:04 PM   #2
Ethan.G
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are you talking about the lee 50th kit? because i bought one and it was missing some essential things
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Old March 28, 2012, 10:09 PM   #3
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You can see what's included from a picture of the open box. Better yet, the Midway site shows the parts on a white background, and describes them in the text below the picture -

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/459...der-38-special

As it says, it includes everything but a hammer.

If you want to just follow the Lee instructions, you select a powder that matches their fixed volume powder measure. You select a bullet identical to a factory bullet, and then adjust seating depth until they match.

If you want to get more adventurous, you can get a scale to weigh charges and make a custom powder measure from an old case that throws the desired weight.

And you can get a cheap pair of calipers so you can follow the COL listed in a reloading manual.

But, with some limitations, you can reload with just what is in the kit.

I'm not sure what you meant by "includes a gauge". The little dipper thing is referred to as a powder measure. No gauge that I can see in this kit.
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Old March 28, 2012, 10:37 PM   #4
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Yes it comes with everything you NEED, as a bare minimum, just not everything thats recommended by most people.... There are other things that you dont NEED, but that will make things a lot easier and/or more accurate....

There is a difference between having "everything you need" and having the right tools. You can build an entire house using nothing but a sharp rock tried to a stick to chop down trees. It will take a long time, and certainly wont be the best house ever built, but you could do it

Not that using the lee loader is just like using a sharp rock to build a house, its more like using nothing more than a length of string, a hand saw, and a hammer to do it...
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Old March 28, 2012, 10:46 PM   #5
m&p45acp10+1
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Ok pluses and minuses for the Lee Loader

Pluses
Cheap realy cheap.
Simple to use
It works

Minuses
For pistol loads it takes more effort to size cases. Though a few whacks will get it done.
It is loud. If your signifigant other is bothered by the sound of you whacking something with a hammer for a half hour or more. It is not for you.
It is slow. When you get the hang of it you can load 40 to 50 rounds in an hour. (You will know you were swinging a mallet at the enf for sure.)
You will more than likely pop a few primers using it. Though it will startle you it wont hurt you.

If you want faster get the hand press and some dies, with a manual. If you have the room, and a few more dollars then get the single stage Aniversary Kit.
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Old March 28, 2012, 10:58 PM   #6
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I have been reloading for 30-06 using my lee loader for over a year now. Now though you can load just with the tools provided I bought myself a digital caliper from harbor freight. And i had a rcbs powder scale given to me by a family friend along with a powder trickler. With those extra tools I can do any load in the manual and I can load about 20 or 30 in an hour keep in mind im trickling every one of my charges and they are 50 plus grains it takes a while.
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Old March 28, 2012, 11:31 PM   #7
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I have been loading my .357 shells with a Lee (whack-a-mole) Loader since 1987. I think it paid itself off the first weekend. (And I have never set off a primer when seating them.)
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Old March 28, 2012, 11:36 PM   #8
Old 454
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Lee Turret Press

Check out www.kempfgunshop.com they have a great deal on a Lee Classic Turret press.

that includes the press and dies and a few other goodies
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Old March 29, 2012, 12:57 AM   #9
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Lacking these things

DO NOT use a hammer. Steel on steel is not good. It will work, but a wooden mallet will work better. Rawhide mallet, hard rubber or plastic will work, too. Even a brass hammer, but not steel. If you MUST use a steel hammer, put a piece of wood between the hammer and the tool.

You will want eye protection and ear plugs (every whack is noisy, and after a while it will tire your ears)

You will want a piece of wood (a 4" long piece of 2x4 will do) to use as a work surface. You probably don't want to work on a dining room table. Dents.

A scale would be my next purchase. The one Lee dipper included with the kit limits you in your choices of powders and power levels. A scale opens up a universe of choices by comparison.

A manual, or several. Lee's Modern Reloading and Lyman's

There is no gauge included, so a micrometer would be good to have. Not really necessary to assemble rounds, but REALLY good to have to make sure they are correct.

A bullet puller would be nice to have in the event you assemble a round and then decide it should not be fired, but disassembled instead.

Good luck,

Lost Sheep
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Old March 29, 2012, 01:12 AM   #10
Lost Sheep
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An answer to a question you did not ask

You will spend, what, $40-$50 on the Lee loader ($65 to $75 if you add the scale, and around $100 to include a manual) and have a tool that will produce ammo at the rate of 30 rounds an hour and fit in a small shoebox.

Consider spending $130 more for the kit Old 454 suggested (that includes the same extras-scale and manual). You will be able to load 100 round in one hour (including setup and cleaning up time). And it will be much quieter. The whole shebang will fit in a medium size toolbox (24"x10"x10" or so).

While the Lee Classic Turret is a bench-mounted press, I mount mine on a board and clamp it to a folding workbench. An end table works just as well.

A hand press is in between in price and size, more convenient than the Lee Loader, but not nearly as fast as a bench-mounted press.


Many people started loading with the Lee Loader. A few stick with them. Most decide to move up to a press of some kind.

Good Luck

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Old March 29, 2012, 02:38 AM   #11
sob (sweet ole bill)
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Lee Classic Kits

Y'all must not like quiet. Have been using "whack-a mole" kits for years. Throw the hammer on your workbench.
Use a bottle capper (with a short length of 4X4) as your cheap little press.
Quiet (my wife can't hear it) cheap (under $10, Yard sale) durable (outlasted two other wives).
Faster than the hammer, but max, is about 50 rounds.38/.357/hr.
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Old March 29, 2012, 05:24 AM   #12
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Lee Loader and a bottle-capper is all I used for years for 06 and .44...

Moved up to a Lee hand press and dies with a scale, etc...Been more than 20 years with the hand press...I don't need or want anything more 'progressive' or faster...

Heck...I still occasionally load paper shells with a roll crimp with my sets of hand tools from the turn of the last century...
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Old March 29, 2012, 06:14 AM   #13
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what Tim learned

-Wear eye protection WITHOUT EXCEPTION

--Wear a sturdy glove (I use a motorcycle gauntlet) on your 'rod' hand when seating the primers (I had particles embedded in my fingertips for over eight years)

---Pay attention.



I still have two 38 kits and one 357 kit packed in a FUBAR bag.......
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Old March 29, 2012, 08:59 AM   #14
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Good advice!
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Old March 29, 2012, 03:31 PM   #15
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I just bought another Lee Loader in .38 Special (very first reloading I did was .38 with a Lee loader in 1969). I paid less than $30.00 with shipping. Everything needed to reload safe accurate ammo is in the Lee Loader. Depriming/sizing, flaring tool, powder scoop, load data, seating/crimping tool. 90% of revolver bullets are crimped in the crimp groove/cannalure so no need to measure OAL. Lee states only two cartridges require "extra effort for sizing", the .44 Magnum and 45 Colt, otherwise loading with a Lee Loader is a piece of cake.

Some folks complain about Lee Loaders being slow and popping primers. I'm not quit this fast but a guy on youtube loads a bottlenecked cartridge in under 40 seconds! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeEl9wZyabc. As far as primers popping goes, yes sometimes a primer goes off when seating, but no big deal for me, anyway. BTW, my 30-30 lee Loader and my old .38 Special Lee Loaders do/did not pop primers, but my .44 magnum will, about 1 out of 50. It's easy to knock out the case after sizing, and hand prime, then continue with the Lee Loader.

I have 5 Lee Loaders I use when I don't want to set up my single stage or turret, or for a short run, or I just feel "retro".

In my opinion, Lee Loaders are great for learning to reload, you learn what every step does and why. Also you can use a regular powder measure and/or a scale, a bottle capper or arbor press, and get ammo as accurate/repeatable as you want...
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Old March 29, 2012, 05:32 PM   #16
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If you want a kit that has everything you need get this

https://fsreloading.com/lee-pro-1000...ial-90636.html

Yup it is more than the whack a mole but you can kick out 300 rds per hour. Yea you will hear lots of negative about this press from those who have spent 2 to 3 times this price on a blue or green or orange one but take it from some one who has one. I have one and LOVE it!!!
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Old March 29, 2012, 06:08 PM   #17
dacaur
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I really dont think a progressive press is the way to go for a total newb who just wants to load .380 acp..... Thats just my opinion, but I think its a pretty good one....

A delux turret kit would my my actual recomenation, for about 100 it actualy includes everything you need for pistol reloading except dies and calipers.....
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Old March 29, 2012, 06:38 PM   #18
Dakotared
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The pro 1000 is what I learned to reload on. Just take your time to get use to it, don't try to crank out 1000 rounds an hour out of the box and YES IT IS A GOOD PRESS TO LEARN ON!!!!
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Old March 30, 2012, 04:03 PM   #19
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I have the Lee Loadmaster press, yes they can be temperamental but they do work and once you understand them and get it tinkered up there great presses, good place to buy Lee equipment is at www.Titanreloading.com

The guy who ownes it is named Dennis, and you can buy the presses at a great price from him, also check out his web site for some really great tips on press set up and trouble shooting.
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Old April 1, 2012, 11:28 AM   #20
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Learning to reload on a progressive press is kinda like learning to drive in a Kenworth with a 13 speed trans, pulling doubles. Sure, it can be done, but everyone is better served using a simpler method; a Lee Loader or single stage press (like a '90 Toyota Corolla, with auto trans.!).No need to over complicate the process right off...
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Old April 1, 2012, 11:54 AM   #21
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Old April 3, 2012, 12:56 AM   #22
Jim243
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Quote:
I don't want to spend valuable time reloading when I should be shooting.
LOL, 38 spl is not that expensive. You want a rainy day activity? LOL, I have heard that before. I am warning you all it takes is one sniff of gun powder and a trip to the range with your reloads and you will be hooked like the rest of us. Then comes better bullets, better equipment, just one more caliber (13 of them now) maybe another gun to try, geee that scale looks good, should I buy a tumbler or a sonic case washer?, why not I like shiny brass, or I need better lighting to work on those reloads, I need a bench to set up all this equipment I keep buying, which gun powder should I use, I think I'll get two or three different ones to try, now what do I do with all that extra gun powder, might as well get some more dies in different calibers to match the new gun I want to get. And on and on and on and on.

You have been warned.
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Old April 3, 2012, 08:14 AM   #23
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The Lee Loader is fun to fart around with, I have an old one that I keep around just for kicks. If you wanted something very small to take with you somewhere to reload on the go, it would be the tool for the job.

If you're reloading at home, a Lee single stage press and a set of dies is a pretty small increase in initial cost and will save you quite a bit of time and headaches.
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Old April 3, 2012, 08:20 AM   #24
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Yup. I still have my loader that I got for my 30/40 krag. That was back in '58. Dad didnt want me messing with his stuff and told me that it was time I started getting my own stuff. I was about 10 at the time. Since most of my income came from my allowance, it was the only way for me to go. It taught me what was absolutely needed and what makes the job easier. Please keep in mind that I did not reload without supervision.

You mentioned that you didnt want to spend a lot of time reloading except on rainy days. Well, you better hope for a lot of them.
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Old April 3, 2012, 10:03 AM   #25
Dakotared
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With the progressive you can put only 1 shell in at a time. So saying that learning on a progressive is like learning how to drive with a big rig is beyond ridiculous you deserve "What you just said is the dumbest thing I have ever heard, and every one in the room is now dumber for hearing it"
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