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Old November 20, 2012, 09:04 PM   #26
Xfire68
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"LEE is the Harbor Freight of reloading equipment"
Actually, RCBS would be the Harbor Freight of reloading as many of their products are made in China. The Lee Precision Classic Cast and Classic Turret are the highest rated single stage and turret presses on Midway USA regardless of price. I find the RCBS users to be even more sensitive due to paying too much for over-priced equipment and having so many products made in China.
+1

The Harbor Freight of reloading equipment is "Smart Reloader" equipment.

Lee is quality equipment for budget prices. Are all of Lee's products great or even good? NO!!! But the same can be said about Green, Red, Orange, Blue or (Smart Reloader) Yellow.

Lee's Classic Turret press is one of those reloading items you can't really bad mouth because if you do you have never used one or can't figure out how to.

Yes many of RCBS's product are made outside of the US Of A and for that reason alone is why I won't buy any of their presses.

I own some of their dies and they are good but, Redding and Hornady IMO are better. Dillon would be on my short list as well but, if you can reload fantastic ammo with the "RED Harbor Freight" why pay more?
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Old November 21, 2012, 10:32 AM   #27
JimDandy
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Because I like Hornady a little better? And it came with a bullet feeder!

And Lee isn't AS red as Hornady. But I'm comfortable with "If it aint red, it stays in the shed" applying here.
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Old November 21, 2012, 02:40 PM   #28
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Bought my RCBS Rock Chucker in May of 1975. Has worked flawlessly ever since. Reload Works great on pistol rounds and every round up to 338 Win Mag.
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Old November 21, 2012, 02:53 PM   #29
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By the way, there's two greens... Redding appears to be, ironically, green.
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Old November 22, 2012, 02:56 PM   #30
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"Bought my RCBS Rock Chucker in May of 1975. Has worked flawlessly ever since."

Me too. I got my RC about '77 and it still works fine even tho it does toss a lot of spent primers around. In fact, the only current single stage presses I consider equal are Lyman, Hornady, Redding and Lee's Classic Cast is fully equal and has much better user features - if they had made that press when I got my RC, my main press would be red!

Well, Forster's Co-Ax may be 'better' if you like the ergonomics; I don't. And if anyone wants the ultimate in strength and leverage Redding's UltraMag is the way to go.

I have some 50+ die sets in 30+ calibers, in all current brands but Dillon and several brands long gone. I've never had 'trouble' with any brand of dies or lock rings and in 47 years of reloading I've only seen a single die, an FL sizer, I felt was defective. ???

Last edited by wncchester; November 22, 2012 at 03:06 PM.
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Old November 22, 2012, 03:07 PM   #31
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I've used a Lee single stage press since I started reloading and love it. I prefer RCBS (full length) dies however.
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Old November 22, 2012, 04:21 PM   #32
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I find that both my RCBS press and my Hornady press are equally good presses. My Hornady is a progressive, it is a ProJector and functions very well. I bought both presses used, the RCBS first and from a family member. He got it used at a garage sale. So I have no idea how old it really is.

My Hornady was also purchased used from another forum. I find its quality to be somewhat depressing as it reminds me of when stuff was made with pride and confidence. I fear that our reloading companies are the last manufactures that realize that made in America should symbolize quality, ingenuity, and pride in your job and who you are.

It seems that all the new Hornady and RCBS equipment that I have seen is very similar in quality and construction.

While I have never bought a Lee press, I have bought quite a few Lee items because they were more affordable. Some of their stuff is well made, However saying that, I have never bought something from Hornady or Lee that was made from plastic when it should have been made from some form of metal.
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Old November 23, 2012, 04:06 PM   #33
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It is hard to beat the Lee Classic Turret press for price and reliability
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Old November 26, 2012, 12:46 AM   #34
HarleyJim03
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Put me down in the Lee corner. I am a new loader, and have the Lee classic turret press. I've had no problems with it at all. I'm loading 9mm and .45acp, and use all Lee dies. I should say, however, I do find it difficult to get the right disc in my pro powder dispenser. The charts in Lee's load book say one thing, but I get different results,they seem to never throw the charge it says they should, and don't get me started on "scales", that's a whole other topic....LOL
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Old November 26, 2012, 01:43 AM   #35
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HarleyJim, the Auto disk system works great but, your right the Lee data does not match up. What I did once I found a load I was going to run I would figure out the right disk or combo of disk's if your loading rifle and recorded the data for each powder and load.

I find the Pro Auto Disk drops accurate loads 99% of the time.
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Old December 20, 2012, 11:20 PM   #36
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I despise Lee reloading equipment. I have two sets of their dies and they are both rough and scratch brass. The seating die in one set was so bad at seating bullets you could visibly see the difference in seat depth. Having locking rings on dies that have a stupid O ring and no locking screws is absolute stupidity.
They might make something that is good, but I have not found it yet.
I take that back, I have as set of their shell holders and they are OK.
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Old December 21, 2012, 12:32 AM   #37
solocam72
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I started out with a rockchucker and it was a really good press, I sold it to a good friend and I bought a redding big boss single stage press, I honestly can't say the redding is one bit better than my old rockchucker, I got on a redding kick and made my mind up that they were the best of the best, but RCBS had never let me down in anyway! I wasn't impressed with the RCBS hand held priming tool so I bought there bench mount priming system and love it. I have very few lee products as I've always felt they are a lower end product, I had a hand held priming tool from lee that I loved but wore it out and instead of buying new parts for it or just replacing it with a new unit I went with the RCBS bench mount priming system as I figured it would outlast a truck load of lee hand prime tools, I have some lee shell holders that are fine and a few other odds n ends from lee, my main tools are RCBS, and REDDING. In my 25 years of experience handloading I have found you get what you pay for, not always the case but a pretty good rule of thumb. I have a friend that has some kind of lee single stage press and I HATED it! Again I believe lee makes some ok products that do the job but IMO There are a lot better choices if one is willing to pay for it
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Old December 21, 2012, 12:44 AM   #38
tkglazie
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Quote:
It is hard to beat the Lee Classic Turret press for price and reliability
I will take this a step further and say it is just plain hard to beat a LCT regardless of price.

Unless someone is forced to start out on a very very low budget or will be loading primarily for rifle, I would highly recommend skipping the single stage press and start with the LCT. An LCT with the indexing rod removed (a 5 second process) is nothing more than a good single stage press with extra die storage built in.

That said, there is no reason NOT to start on a single stage of course, heck, one can always find a use for an extra press down the road. I keep a cheap Lee single stage in my prep area just for decapping rifle cases.

I heartily agree with the poster who said that anyone who bashes an LCT has never used one. A good tool is a good tool- and an LCT is a great tool.
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Old December 21, 2012, 12:57 AM   #39
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Quote:
Many people report no problems using Lee equipment and I don't think they lie. I think they are mechanically inclined and don't mind tweaking and fiddling with the equipment to get it to run right.
As far as single stage presses go: how much "tweaking" could ther possibly be? It's pretty simple stuff, really.

I can't see as there is hundreds of dollars difference between the green presses or the red ones .... (mine's light green, because it was ON SALE for less than the light red one I was looking for) ......

Given my druthers, I'd druther have a Lee Classic Cast, and 1000 230gr Berry's plated 230gr .451" bullets than just a Rock Chucker.......
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Old December 21, 2012, 02:01 AM   #40
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You know.. I have and use LEE, Hornady, RCBS and Lyman presses.
There is not one that is perfect at every thing. Each one has features I absolutely love about it and features that I hate.

I love how Hornady auto advances and the fact it rotates clock wise.
I hate how it retains the cases.

I love how the RCBS retains cases but the auto index is jerky to use with full cases.

I love the smooth action of my Rock chucker, but hate the spent primer collection and on press priming. The working area is too small. Can only be used right handed.

I love how my LEE classic cast deals with spent primers and the on press priming. Love the ambidextrous handle settings. Large work area.
But its not near as smooth as my Rock chucker.

Lee turrets press gets lots of med volume work. Love the turret/ Auto indexing. Hate the flex in the turret.

Lyman turret is more robust but not near as easy to use.

All that being said. If I could only have one press. (Perish the thought)

It would be the LEE Classic cast turret press.
It has the best mix of value/ performance/ features of any thing out there.
2nd place is not even on the same page.

I have not tried a Dillon. If I did it would be the 650. Probably for the same reason I havent tried Coke.
Afraid if I did I would like it. Then where would I be? hooked and strung out.

Last edited by A pause for the COZ; December 21, 2012 at 02:10 AM.
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Old December 21, 2012, 06:11 AM   #41
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I have a Lee Challenger breech lock I do rifle with. It does what it was designed to do, bring a shell holder with a case in it up to the die.

I do my handgun and large runs of .223 on a Hornady LnL but the Lee has cranked out dozens of runs of 50 or 100 .308, .260 and .204 rounds now. I check all my finished rifle rounds using a Hornady concentricity gauge and I rarely have one off by more than .001 and never had one off by more than .003. I am sure the RCBS unit is good but the Lee has worked fine for a few thousand rounds now. If the bushings ever wear out I may replace it with a RCBS
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Old December 21, 2012, 09:58 AM   #42
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Quote:
The Harbor Freight of reloading equipment is "Smart Reloader" equipment.
That statement is even yet an insult to the quality of Harbor Freight! HeHe
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Old December 21, 2012, 10:24 AM   #43
Xfire68
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Quote:
I despise Lee reloading equipment. I have two sets of their dies and they are both rough and scratch brass.
You have limited experience with Lee products as you have posted. You can send your dies into Lee and they will replace them or polish them free of charge.

You can buy dies from any of the manufacturers and get substandard quality from time to time. Do I think Lee makes the best dies? Nope, I prefer Redding and Hornady dies.

I have to add I did get my Hornady LNL AP with case feeder running like a Swiss watch!
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Old December 21, 2012, 10:43 AM   #44
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Few years ago I ordered a brand new Corvette and paid cash for it, less than 2 months after I took delivery of it, it developed a crack in the rear fender, which General Motors fixed.

Does this mean all General Motors cars are junk, or just the Chevy brand, or only the Corvetts?

Lee would have been gone years ago if their products where in fact poor. They give excellent value for dollars spent.
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Old December 21, 2012, 10:56 AM   #45
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I have a Lee Challenger for seating ... a Lee Cast Classic for my 'seriously heavy" case forming/refrming (read: Wildcatting) and a OLD RCBS Rock Chucker for lighter, regular work. I have NO problems with Lee at all.
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Old December 21, 2012, 11:10 AM   #46
Spammy_H
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Lee makes great entry level reloading equipment. You can use it for years, and make quality ammunition on it without ever upgrading.

However, Lee is not of the same level of quality or functionality as Redding, RCBS, Hornady, or Dillon. That doesn't mean it's a bad choice. It just means that you will have to live with some limitations, and if you can live with them, you'll be fine.

I started with a Lyman T-Mag turret press and Lee dies. I never had a problem. I wanted to be more efficient, so I upgraded to a Hornady LNL AP. While my Lee dies worked great on the Lyman T-Mag, I didn't feel comfortable using the shorter dies in the LNL due to the thicker die plate, so I upgraded to Hornady dies.

Lee's lock rings don't work well with the Hornady bushing system. I could have replaced the lock rings, but I chose to replace the dies.

While many think the Lee progressive works great, I wouldn't recommend it. You'd be better off with Dillon, Hornady or RCBS, and not necessarily in that order.

However, if you are getting started, and either don't have a lot of funds, or aren't sure what you want to do, starting out with a Lee single stage or turret is a good starting point until you get some more knowledge and experience. I'd recommend the Lee single stage, which you can use as a dedicated decapping station later, should you choose to upgrade.
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Old December 21, 2012, 11:19 AM   #47
tkglazie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spammy_H View Post
However, Lee is not of the same level of quality or functionality as Redding, RCBS, Hornady, or Dillon.
Your post is solid, but I have to disagree with this part. Redding, RCBS, Hornady and Dillon do not have a product that matches the functionality of the autoindexing LCT. If they did, I would consider it.

Last edited by tkglazie; December 21, 2012 at 05:51 PM.
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Old December 21, 2012, 05:45 PM   #48
Xfire68
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Quote:
Redding, RCBS, Hornady and Dillon do not have a product that matches the functionality of the autoindexing LCT. If they did, I would consider it.
I agree. The Lee Classic Turret is unmatched in value and function.

It's a must have for anyone that wants to start reloading or for anyone that does not need a progressive.

I have a LNL AP and still will not part with my LCT.
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Old December 21, 2012, 05:53 PM   #49
tkglazie
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I love hearing that xfire- my next purchase is going to be a LnL AP to supplement my LCT. I will be shooting .45s in sufficient volumes to warrant a progressive, but for sure the LCT will still be the workhorse for the rest of my calibers that get loaded 1-2 boxes at a time. Good to know someone else is happy with the LCT/LnLAP combination.
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Old December 21, 2012, 06:42 PM   #50
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if you think about all any single stage press does is just that. It brings the shellholder and case up to the die so the die can do it's thing on the case. As long as the frame is sufficiently sturdy to withstand the load and the leverage is sufficient to accomplish the work it is good to go. Some may have a better fit and finish, some may have bearings instead of bushings but other than that what make one better than another? This ain't a space shuttle, it's just a press
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