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Old June 8, 2014, 07:40 PM   #1
Mosin-Marauder
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Any Experienced Reloaded have some tips for a newbie?

I am looking into getting a Lee Classic Loader to start fine tuning my target/hunting loads for my Mosin-Nagant. First off I have some questions though.

Is the Lee loader a good beginning tool? I won't be reloading other calibers and this seems like a good way to learn.

Where would I go about getting different measures for loads? My dad's reloading manual does have my caliber and I'm not sure what powder and stuff I want to use.

What powder, primers, and bullets do you reccomend? Not loads, just brands.

Finally, how would I go about tweaking loads and finding out other stuff like if my primer is seated correctly or if the bullet is?

If a a few folks could help a newbie, I would appreciate it. Thanks!
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Old June 8, 2014, 08:22 PM   #2
lee n. field
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Quote:
I am looking into getting a Lee Classic Loader to start fine tuning my target/hunting loads for my Mosin-Nagant. First off I have some questions though.

Is the Lee loader a good beginning tool? I won't be reloading other calibers and this seems like a good way to learn.
You won't be "fine tuning" anything with the Lee Loader.

Quote:
Is the Lee loader a good beginning tool?
IMHO, no. At the bottom end of what you can get away with spending, you'd be better served with a Lee Hand Press.

For working with different loads, you'll need a scale. For repeatability, you'll want a powder measure of some sort.
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Old June 8, 2014, 08:56 PM   #3
Doc Hoy
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I have a Hornady measure

I had a Lee measure. Now I have a Hornady and the performance is much better.

There appear to be several good deals on used presses on the eVil bay presently.

I started with a Lee Turret press which I upgraded to four positions, but I left out the progressive linkage. I like four positions because I use factory crimp dies on some of the rounds I make. Changing the turret is quick and for the most part the dies stay in adjustment for the round without a bunch of grief.

As a backup press I bought a Lee single stage press.

I like both of these presses but please understand I am not an experienced loader not am I a purist. These presses work fine for me but I do acknowledge that most handloaders agree there are better presses out there.

I just sprung for a Dillon 650 and I suppose that reflects my personal development in the realm of handloading. (Or maybe it is just that a fool and his money are easily parted)
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Old June 8, 2014, 09:23 PM   #4
Lost Sheep
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Thanks for asking our advice. Welcome to reloading.

I agree and disagree with Lee's conclusions

The Lee Classic Loader (the one driven by a mallet, right?) is adequate for turning out quality ammunition if you do your part. But it requires diligence and time, not to mention nerves of steel. Whacking a live primer into a cartridge case makes onlookers (at least) nervous. And the banging away is noisy (it takes at least five strokes of the mallet to produce a single loaded cartridge).

Then there is the cost. It may SEEM less costly, but do the math all the way to the end. The Classic Loader (or Load-All, depending on the packaging) is about $30. But without a scale, your ability to fine-tune is limited. So, add a decent scale ($25 to $80). By the time you have a decent setup, you will have spent close to $65 to $100. Not much more money would buy you an adequate press, capable of a much greater quantity (per hour) of ammo with greater control over the final product and a MUCH quieter production area.

There are bench-rest shooters who use the Lee Loader, but I suspect more use a press.

The Lee Loader (also known as the "Whack-a-mole") is compact. The kit (about the size of a paperback book) plus mallet, scale, piece of wood (to act as a work surface) and dropcloth can fit in a shoebox or small toolbox. But a press takes up only about twice the volume (if you don't count a folding workbench on which to work).

I, like Lee N. Field, encourage you to consider a press. The Lee Classic Cast single stage is excellent. The Lee Challenger is less expensive and perfectly adequate for your purposes. If your budget is extremely tight, the Lee Reloader press (aluminum and simple linkage) may do as well, but lacks a priming feature.

Check out these web sites and remember, when you buy the best it only hurts once, in the wallet. If you buy inadequate, it irritates every time you use it.

Go get a large mug of whatever you sip when you read and think and visit these sites.

Sticky-contains much general information.
For the New Reloader: Thinking about Reloading; Equipment Basics -- READ THIS FIRST - THR
thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=238214

Sticky-contains much general information.
For the New Reloader: Equipment Basics -- READ THIS FIRST - The Firing Line Forums
thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=230171

"Is the lee classic loader a good starter loader?" A thread from someone considering the Mallet-driven Lee Classic Loader.
Is the lee classic loader a good starter loader? - The Firing Line Forums
thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=497313

"Lee Classic Loader Kit" My post, Minimalist minimal is the seventh post down.
RugerForum.com ? View topic - Lee Classic Loader Kit
rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=107332

"45 Colt question-Lee loader" Another Lee Classic Loader thread
45 Colt question-Lee loader - The Firing Line Forums
thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=498638


New guy considering if/how to get started reloading
New guy considering if/how to get started reloading - THR
thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=678589

On the fence
On the fence - THR
thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=678626

"Newby needs help." (A typical new reloader thread). My posts are 11 and 13
Newby needs help. - The Firing Line Forums
thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=430391

"Just bought my first press. Needs some info tho." (A typical new reloader thread)
Just bought my first press. Needs some info tho. - THR
thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=659358

"I am looking at getting into reloading for the first time" (A typical new reloader thread)
I am looking at getting into reloading for the first time - THR
thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=658971

"Considering reloading" (A typical new reloader thread)
Considering reloading - The Firing Line Forums
thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=488115

"Interested in reloading" (A typical new reloader thread)
RugerForum.com ? View topic - Interested in reloading
rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=13543

"Best starter kit?"
http://rugerforum.net/reloading/3325...beginners.html
rugerforum.net/reloading/33252-best-starter-kit-beginners.html

Informed by my 2010 repopulation of my loading bench (If I knew in '75 what I know now)
outgrow-novice-handloader.html
http://rugerforum.net/reloading/2938...andloader.html
rugerforum.net/reloading/29385-budget-beginning-bench-you-will-never-
Thoughts on The Lee Classic Turret Press

RugerForum.com ? View topic - Thoughts on The Lee Classic Turret Press
rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=135951


Use what type of scale? (poll)
Use what type of scale? - The Firing Line Forums
thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=448410

Good luck

Lost Sheep
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Old June 8, 2014, 09:48 PM   #5
AL45
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I started reloading with a Lee Loader in .308. It produced accurate ammunition and my son killed his first deer with a round I loaded with it. You will need calipers, a case trimmer and priming with a hand primer is a LOT better than trying to seat a primer with a mallet. I got a Lee dipper set and a scale as well. I now use a single stage press and dies, but I still use the dippers to measure. If I want extreme accuracy, I weigh every charge. I also added a magnifying glass to inspect the cases before each reload.
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Old June 9, 2014, 05:51 AM   #6
Mosin-Marauder
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My dad has a press and a scale and a table mounted powder measure. I just never could find any stuff for his press. If I could a Lee wouldn't be necessary. Thanks for all the advice so far!
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Old June 9, 2014, 07:30 AM   #7
lee n. field
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Quote:
My dad has a press and a scale and a table mounted powder measure. I just never could find any stuff for his press. If I could a Lee wouldn't be necessary.
What do you need to find?
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Last edited by lee n. field; June 9, 2014 at 10:45 AM.
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Old June 9, 2014, 11:15 AM   #8
mikld
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Hundreds (of not thousands) of people got started reloading with a Lee Loader, I'm one. The Lee Loader will show what each step does and why it's done in a very simple, easy to learn manner. I made .38 Special rounds 2 boxes at a time using the Lee Loader with the dipper included, and shot 'em for several months before I got a press.

But the first purchase I recommend is a copy of The ABCs of Reloading. Read it and it'll give you an idea of what equipment is suited for your reloading needs. My second purchase was a scale and I started making my own "custom" dippers, and my inventory of equipment grew as I needed it.

30 years later I have 4 presses, mebbe 3 powder measures, 5 scales, digital and beam, and mebbe 12 die sets (once I dumped all my reloading equip. due to a messy, aka $$$, divorce), along with all the other tools needed (I was a lifelong machinist/mechanic so I had a lot of tools anyway and some good measuring tools). I'm not a fan of "kits" and I researched each tool before I purchased it and bought what I felt was the best for my needs, and not by what color the piece was nor the name on the side. I still use one of my 6 Lee Loaders when I don't feel like setting up my press or I just feel "retro". If the user is as careful with a Lee Loader as they would be with a regular press, the ammo produced will be as good as any...
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Old June 9, 2014, 12:58 PM   #9
WESHOOT2
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my tips (okay, a few)

1) Wear eye protection always.

2) When in doubt throw it out.

3) First it must go bang; it must do so with controllable accuracy.

4) Load data is not a recipe, it is merely a guide.

5) Start low work up slow.

6) My gun is always different from your gun, same with all my components and tooling.

7) Assume nothing.

8) Test then know.

9) Make ten test ten, then make more.

10) False economy is exactly that.

11) Safety first. And always.
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Old June 9, 2014, 03:46 PM   #10
lee n. field
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Every once in a while I run through the exercise of pricing out a rock bottom minimal reloading setup.

Lee Hand Press kit $55. Inc. case lube and ram prime die.

Lee 7.62x54 die set (includes shell holder), $28.

Lee Safety Scale, a bargain at $22.

That's an absolute minimium, at just over a hundred bucks. (It could be cut a few bucks, but going with the Lee Reloader press. I like the Hand Press.)

Any of this you buy, will continue to be useful as you get more into the hobby obsession, and upgrade equipment. The Lee Loader kits are inflexible -- they only do one thing.
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Old June 9, 2014, 07:03 PM   #11
pathdoc
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I like my Lee Loader and I have loaded ammo with it which does the job I ask it to do.

I keep one in each calibre I reload for, in case I break something or want to take kit on the road (the compactness is a huge advantage).

I've loaded over a hundred rounds without the primers going off, but I can't bring myself to do it without eye AND ear protection.

It will give you shootable ammo in a compact kit when the chips are down. But if you want really decent results, you'll need to add at least a scale (to vary charge weights in a controlled fashion) and a pair of calipers which can measure to 0.001 inch, to properly set seating depth. Otherwise you're sort of limited to bullets with a cannelure unless you have a factory round or a dummy you've made up, using the same sort of bullet with which to set the depth.

If you want to take something compact to the range to knock up a few rounds and play with charge weights, it's the ideal thing (but remember that scale, even if it's a cheap digital!). That isn't to say that the hand press isn't better, but there's a lot less mechanical to go wrong with the Lee Loader, and since it only neck-sizes, you don't need case lube.

If you start with it, I see you moving up gradually to bigger and better things - and that's fine. If it's what it takes to get you into reloading and see if you really like it, it's the least you can spend on equipment and still get started. To some people, that means a lot!
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Old June 9, 2014, 08:14 PM   #12
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Have you asked your father these same questions ? If so, what was his answer ?
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Old June 9, 2014, 08:39 PM   #13
Mosin-Marauder
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To be honest, I haven't asked him about my caliber, but I have reloaded for his caliber before. And on one case messed up to the point where the case got stuck in the die because I forgot to lube it.
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