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Old November 16, 1999, 09:45 PM   #1
Join Date: September 4, 1999
Posts: 18
Another new guy question. Are either the Lee hand press or Lee Loader kits good for an introduction to reloading? I'd like to get my feet wet before I dive into dropping a lot of $$$ on the good equipment. OR are they so awkward that they would sour me on a hobbie I might otherwise find enjoyable? All opinions welcome! BE
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Old November 16, 1999, 09:53 PM   #2
Join Date: October 20, 1999
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 68
My first reloading was with a Lee loader for .30 M1. Slow, but satisfying when you take it out and it goes bang.

My second loader was (and is) a Lee turret (non-progressive) which I load .38, .357, .45 ACP and soon 9mm. Again, slow but tons 'o fun if you're into this kind of thing.

I also have a Lee Load All Jr. for shotgun. I don't use it much, but it gets the job done.

If you're going for the experience, you should consider casting your own bullets as well. Greatly reduces your cost and adds to the "I did it myself" thing.

Hope this helps.

ps Midway is a full-line Lee dealer, great prices and they ship free. Cheeck them out at

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Old November 16, 1999, 10:15 PM   #3
Peter M. Eick
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Join Date: August 3, 1999
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 2,991
I started out now 21 years ago reloading 38 special and 30-30 winchester with a lead loader kit. I still have the 38 special unit. I used it so much that the chrome came off the dies years ago. I keep it around because of sentimental value, but:

It works! and it works well!
It is simple to use and fun.

I always tell poeple to start with one because it is cheap, simple and you understand the details of what you are doing quickly.

good luck
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Old November 16, 1999, 10:33 PM   #4
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Join Date: December 10, 1998
Location: NY
Posts: 680
I've worked up loads at the range with a Lee Hand Press. Neat little press for portable usage. At home, I'll use it to decap and size pistol brass when I'm not into sitting at the bench. I've also used it when travelling. Beats drilling mounting holes through the dresser in a Hotel room.
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Old November 16, 1999, 11:00 PM   #5
Robert Foote
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Join Date: December 31, 1998
Posts: 623
The Lee hand press is an excellent little tool and uses standard 7/8" x 14 dies. I have had mine for about 10 yrs and used it quite a lot for pistol and '06 with good success. I would imagine that you could use only that for all your reloading for a long time to come. I feel just the opposite about the Lee Loader; it will get the job done but is very labor intensive and I never learned to like the sound of primers going off in the priming process. If you do get the hand press for straight sided pistol cases get the carbide sizing die as it will speed things up greatly.

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Old November 16, 1999, 11:51 PM   #6
Mal H
Join Date: March 20, 1999
Location: Somewhere in the woods of Northern Virginia
Posts: 15,547
Robert, I'm glad you said that about the primers going off. I thought maybe it was only me getting a little too enthusiastic when priming. I used a Lee loader for 30-30 about 35 yrs ago. It did a good job, but be aware that AFIK, it only does neck resizing. I've kept it all these years because I thought that if the SHTF, it might come in handy. That device, some shells, powder, bullets and you have a large supply of ammo in a small kit.
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Old November 17, 1999, 07:18 AM   #7
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Join Date: October 9, 1998
Location: Ohio USA
Posts: 7,951
I've had a Lee turret press for about 25 or so years. It gets a fair amount of use and has held up pretty well. If I were starting all over agin though, I would go with a Dillon. Lee's presses are OK for the light stuff like the .38, which mine does well with. When I resize .44Mag cases, I can see the entire press flex and strain to an uncomfortable point. Next year I am going to buy a Dillon and regulate the Lee to just loading either .38 or 9mm. I do have 4 of the original Lee Loaders, the pound em in and out ones, and agree, they are a good way to get into reloading.

CCW for Ohio action site.
Do what you C.A.N.

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Old November 17, 1999, 02:11 PM   #8
Nestor Rivera
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Join Date: October 20, 1998
Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Posts: 446
Unless portabality is the primafacia reason for the Hand press you can get a bench press kit form
for very little more

Hand kit W dies is $40.94

Challanger Kit $45.91

Anniversary kit $71.99 (that is what I got about 2 years ago with out book for $99

No I don'nt work for F&M
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Old November 17, 1999, 05:48 PM   #9
Join Date: September 4, 1999
Posts: 18
Thanks all for the info. I just ordered a Lee Loader kit from F&M in .32acp. Can't wait to get started!

[This message has been edited by BronzeEmu (edited November 17, 1999).]
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