View Full Version : which hand loader lyman or Lee

December 24, 2004, 11:17 AM
ok, i am new to this BP hand loads, i have done my semi auto handguns and know some othe basics, keep things clean, go slow, read the book, stay in the powder tables, but i dont want to buy another loading press for just BP. i see these handpresses mentioned and wonder if they are worth while, i did some searching and Lyman 310 comes up alot but what does everyone think about the LEE press. also is this really worthwhile, should i just stick to the factory cowboy bullets. is there any special changes for BP loads verses current ammo reloading. Brass, Primes, Powder, and bullets.

LEE : http://www.midwayusa.com/rewriteaproduct/624416

Lyman : http://www.buffaloarms.com/browse.cfm/4%2C1779.html

Jim Watson
December 24, 2004, 12:45 PM
What kind of press have you got?
You can't load .45-70 on a SDB but you can on most other presses, even progressives.

I think those hand tools are a step back in time that I enjoy taking with the old guns, but I have NO interest in loading ammo by 19th century methods.

Even the Lee classic or challenger bench press would be better, if you don't already have a suitable press. It will not be a large expense compared to the price of a Shiloh and will help you load good ammo with a lot less fuss than a hand tool.

Storebought ammunition will not do what I want my Winchester to do. I am a BPCR silhouette and midrange shooter so I expect my rifle and ammunition to perform at 500 metres and 600 yards. I don't know what your plans are but everything I do is directed toward accuracy at distance.

The Cowboy stuff is very lightly loaded with bulk cast bullets, suitable for CAS sidematches and plinking. Standard factory ammo is lightly loaded with jacketed bullets suitable for deer hunting and plinking. Premium factory ammo (Buffalo Bore, Garrett) is heavily loaded with jacketed or good cast bullets for big game hunting, too expensive for playing around. I know of no factory load suitable for serious target shooting.

You can handload to equal any of those factory loads. A handbook recommended powder charge and a suitable bullet assembled just like any other rifle cartridge will shoot pretty well. A Shiloh Sharps is of the old style but it will shoot the big loads listed for modern rifles, if you want an elk or bear.

Or you can do it right. Black powder and a cast bullet with a black powder lubricant, loaded with the extra attention it requires. You can buy pretty good cast bullets at rather high prices but the best approach is to cast, inspect, and lube your own. It isn't hard but it is a little tedious. The Black Powder Cartridge Primer from SPG is a good source of information, as is Shooting the Buffalo Rifles by Mike Venturino. More up to date information is on the Shiloh board. A Buffalo Arms print catalog is very handy, too.

Cleaning up after shooting BPCR is a little messy but is not long or difficult, you don't have to "wash" your rifle, just swab and brush with something like Windex and oil with Ballistol, what I use from a dozen or more suitable products. You will be done sooner than you can clean the nitro and copper fouling out of a .30-06. You do have to wash the brass, though.

I bought my Winchester for CAS sidematches, but that did not hold my interest. By the time I have shot the main match with carbine, scattergun, and sixguns, I am ready for a break, not a relatively few shots with the single shot. A friend got me started in BPCR and I think it is a lot of fun, and have shot myself into AAA class silhouette and Expert midrange in less than two years.