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Old February 2, 2013, 12:46 AM   #1
deerslayer303
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Anyone besides me leary of a Basic Lee Loader?

I have had one of these for quite a long time. And I load .303 British hunting rounds with it. Because of the neck size only feature. That and I can reload them anywhere. I just CRINGE every time I have to pound the bullet into a primed and charged case. Nothing has ever happened other than I had a primer go off while seating one time, but I still get that uneasy feeling EVERYTIME. Does anyone else have that feeling or is it just me? But I must say, since I've gotten this Lyman 310 the Lee will be retired to the shelf.
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Old February 2, 2013, 03:56 AM   #2
thump_rrr
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I've only been reloading for 2 years now and I started on a Lee Single stage and have since moved up to a fully loaded progressive.

For some reason I am attracted to the basic Lee Loader in a way that I can't explain.
Not only do I buy them for calibers that I own but also for calibers that I think I will one day own.

I especially like the old sets in cardboard boxes.

I have no problem driving the bullet into a charged case since there is no way of striking the primer the way the tool is designed.

I have yet to pop a primer but I know that day may come.

I know that the chances of me needing to rely on a Lee loader to make ammo are slim but they are nice to have around.
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Old February 2, 2013, 09:24 AM   #3
under_dawg
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I just bought one in 45 colt for my son who bought a Blackhawk recently. I'm going to give it to him as a birthday present. He wants to get a press soon, but until then I thought he could save a little money reloading with the Lee Loader. After it arrived, I have been infatuated with it. I guess it is the simplicity of the thing. You could take it about anywhere and make ammo if you had to. My components arrived this week for 45 colt, and I'm going to try it out soon. I ordered a set of Lee Deluxe Pistol dies and set them up in my LCT, but that little box with the Lee Loader keeps calling me.....
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Old February 2, 2013, 12:11 PM   #4
Vance
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http://leeprecision.com/breech-lock-hand-press-kit.html
I think this kit is kind of a neat idea. Still a hand press, but with the use of the breech lock bushings you can use standard dies.
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Old February 2, 2013, 12:37 PM   #5
A pause for the COZ
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I have a few sets of them. 308, 30-30 and 38 special.
I have poped one primer. No big deal sounds just like a cap gun, nothing went flying.
Scared the poo out of me though. Safety glasses are mandatory.
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Old February 2, 2013, 12:43 PM   #6
RC20
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I bought one in 44 mag back in the early 70s and my brother got one for a 357 mag.

Both separated the shells above the web after the 2nd or 3rd loading. We did not over charge the cases and no pressure signs.

We both gave it up and bought a single stage press when we were in a position to do so.

That things are simply brutal. Its a wonder they still are available. Left a bad taste in my mouth for Lee anything
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Old February 2, 2013, 01:20 PM   #7
deerslayer303
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The thing is they work, and for case life on a .303 they're great. Its just that uneasy feeling pounding on something that could EXPLODE lol. But I'll go with the 310 and make bullets watchin TV . I gotta get my equipment built back up. Then I'll move on to a Breechlock. I like single stage presses. I like measuring each and every charge, etc.
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Old February 2, 2013, 01:31 PM   #8
mikld
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I learned to reload with a Lee Loader in '69. I have 4 Lee loaders now along with my 4 presses and assorted dies, powder measures, scales, etc. I personally think you would have to try pretty hard to set off a round when you're seating a bullet. I have a pet 30-30 single shot that I like to reload for using my Lee Loader, and I get good, accurate ammo. When I feel "retro" or don't want to set up a press for a small run of .44 Magnums or .38 Specials, I'll use a Lee Loader. To solve my "primer pops" when seating primers I often use an arbor bress, works great. Another hint, use a large/heavy hammer, like a deadblow hammer. Fewer primer pops and easier on the hands/ears...
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Old February 2, 2013, 02:10 PM   #9
Lost Sheep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deerslayer303
Anyone besides me leary of a Basic Lee Loader?
My shooting/reloading buddy is. I am not. I have never had a primer ignite. But then, I don't use them that often, preferring my press.
Quote:
Originally Posted by deerslayer303
I just CRINGE every time I have to pound the bullet into a primed and charged case. Nothing has ever happened other than I had a primer go off while seating one time
Were you seating the primer or seating the bullet?

If this happened while seating the bullet I would be very surprised. Nothing should be touching the primer at all but the surrounding metal of the cartridge.

If this happened while seating the primer, I would suggest these remedies;

Use a wooden mallet. (You did not specify what driver you use)
Use little taps to seat the primers.
Clean the primer pockets of any debris that might jam up the primer's anvil.
Use a primer pocket uniformer (once per cartridge is enough) to ensure primer pocket depth is adequate.

Last ditch. Don't seat the primer that way. Get a Lee Hand Primer. Less than $20 and it gives excellent service (just keep the critical points lubricated).

Good luck

Lost Sheep

p.s. I notice that mikld posted while I was composing and his suggestion of using a heavier hammer/mallet might seem to be the opposite of my suggestion of little taps, but consider that both methods share the same characteristic of delivering less ENERGY. The heavy, slow-moving "deadblow hammer" has more MOMENTUM, but less energy than a lighter, faster-moving mallet/hammer. So, mikld's suggestion has my endorsement as well.

Last edited by Lost Sheep; February 2, 2013 at 02:16 PM.
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Old February 2, 2013, 02:38 PM   #10
jcwit
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As others have said, NOTHING should be touching the primer.

Never POUND the bullet into place, tap, and preferably with a rubber, plastic, wooden, or leather mallet. Never use a steel hammer.
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Old February 2, 2013, 03:02 PM   #11
deerslayer303
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The primer popped while I was seating it (the primer) on the primer seating base. I usually clean all the primer pockets with the little reamer tool. I use a section of an old hickory axe handle for the pounding...err tapping. It only happened that one time. But every time I seat a bullet that incident is in my mind. I do think that the Lee Loader is probably MUCH faster than the 310. Which I can't say for sure yet, cause I haven't used the 310 yet.
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Old February 2, 2013, 04:21 PM   #12
wncchester
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"Anyone besides me leary of a Basic Lee Loader?"

Probably not but it doesn't matter, there's no justification for it.
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Old February 2, 2013, 05:46 PM   #13
Lost Sheep
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Uh, double meaning?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wncchester
"Anyone besides me leary of a Basic Lee Loader?"

Probably not but it doesn't matter, there's no justification for it.
It depends on what the meaning of "it" is.

"It", meaning being leery?

"It", meaning the Basic Lee Loader?

I disagree with both notions, recognizing that you have a different opinion, which I cannot fault you for. On the one hand, an appropriate amount of caution is worthwhile. On the other hand, the Lee Loader is not that much more compact or less costly than a basic press setup (once you add a scale, calipers and other tools advisable for the handloader).

So, there is SOME justification for "it".

Respectfully,

Lost Sheep
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Old February 2, 2013, 08:04 PM   #14
dickttx
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The Lee loader (still $9.95) was my first loader in the 60's. I popped several primers, with no damage except to my underwear. I finally sprung for a Lee primer seater (I think $2.95 + a dollar for the screw in shell holder). Sure made life easier. Don't know what happened to the 38/357 I acquired first, but I still have the 20ga. The primer seater is still going strong.
With no justification for it they have sure introduced a lot of people to reloading over the past 60 years or so.
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Old February 2, 2013, 09:22 PM   #15
deerslayer303
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There is plenty of "Justification" for it! Even before I moved when I had and ENTIRE reloading setup, I used the Lee loader for my British rounds. It puts out quality ammunition, anywhere, anytime. The 310 is nice, but not as compact. I'll have to order a hand primer like you guys suggest.
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Old February 9, 2013, 12:47 PM   #16
A pause for the COZ
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I use mine quite often when working up a new load at the range. I take a bunch of pre preped cased. Sized and primed.
Load up a recipe. Try it out, try another.
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