The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 23, 2013, 05:48 PM   #51
Senior Member
Join Date: August 27, 2012
Posts: 321
I used the wack-a-mole Lee reloader starting in 1976 for a 30-06. It made good ammo and I worked up a sub-MOA load pretty quick.

I would not want to use one today but I might consider using it at the range.... it is actually pretty handy and very portable.

These things are not available for a lot of popular rounds, however. I remember trying to buy a Lee wack-a-mole for a 35 Remington lever gun - NO DEAL. They don't make them for this caliber.
rajbcpa is offline  
Old April 23, 2013, 06:38 PM   #52
Senior Member
Join Date: November 20, 2000
Location: Ohio
Posts: 3,876
Like many, I started off loading with a "Classic" Lee Loader (before it became a classic).
My first one was in .38 Special. I owned 100 cases. My uncle gave me a keg of Unique powder. During the summer, assuming the weather was nice, I would shoot 100 rounds in the late afternoon, then spend the evening loading those 100 cases. I loaded quite a bit of ammo with that tool.

Years later I got into milsurp rifles and I ended up going on a Lee Loader buying binge. I have at least a half dozen of them. I know I have .38 Special, .45 ACP, 7.62x54R, .303, .455 Webley, .30-06 and I probably own others but am too lazy to look.

I still occasionally break one of them out and load some ammo. They are kinda fun to use and bring back good memories. If I only shot a moderate amount, knowing what I do now, I might not even buy any other reloading gear. The Lee Loader works fine, and I personally don't think it is a whole lot slower than a single stage press. However, I must point out that I am using some additional accessories like a Lee Auto Prime, and a powder measure/scale.
You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled,
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.
444 is offline  
Old April 24, 2013, 05:58 PM   #53
Senior Member
Join Date: February 20, 2005
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 2,072
It was stated back a couple pages that these handy-dandy reloading tools will only neck size a case, TBS, one should cycle any brass that wasn't fired in the gun you are reloading for.
I had a lot of trouble years back with my 1894 30 WCF if I didn't test every case.
I still take one to the hunting shack for the youngsters to use.
For the message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, But to us who are being saved, It Is The Power Of God. 1Corinthians 1-18
Gbro is offline  
Old April 25, 2013, 12:09 PM   #54
jolly roger
Senior Member
Join Date: August 15, 2011
Location: Virginia
Posts: 161
Got one of these in 303 British since I don't shoot massive quantities of 303 ammo. With neck sizing and using Sierra 174 match bullets and an appropriate dose of 3031 these loads will make my Enfield SHOOT. Way better than surplus ammo or Prvi Partisan.
jolly roger is offline  
Old April 25, 2013, 05:03 PM   #55
Old 454
Senior Member
Join Date: August 15, 2011
Location: Chesterton Ind.
Posts: 457
Look at that, loading on a picnic bench having a great time.

I bet he will tell that story to his friends. Nice to see the youngsters getting into our hobbie!
Old 454 is offline  
Old May 5, 2013, 03:08 PM   #56
Senior Member
Join Date: February 12, 2013
Posts: 575
When seating the primer with the primer rod the primer will make a very distint sound when it seats, and no more primer pops!

Components all came together, I got mine out and was finally able to have a play with it this afternoon after much waiting.

The change of "note" once the primer is seated is quite easy to pick out, even with earmuffs on in the event of a premature. I seated one, then a few more, and finally finished the box of twenty without a premature. Not bad for a first time. (Cases had all previously been FL resized due to change of rifle.) After the first ten I was actually enjoying myself.

The only thing I haven't got sorted out is throwing a good, consistent charge weight with the scoop. Right now I'm just practising, throwing a charge, weighing it and then returning it to the container (I locked all the cases away before I started this!). I'm getting up to a grain above or below the charge weight I'm promised for the scoop and powder I'm using (2.8cc, Varget). I expect this will get better with time - an article in the 8th edition of Handloader's Digest suggests that variances of no more than half a grain either side of average should be possible.

Now here's the interesting thing - maximum loads at the high end are two grains higher than any amount of Varget I can get into that scoop (40gn), and both the Lyman 49th manual data for the Hornady 174gn RN and the Hodgdon website's data for the 174gn Sierra FMJBT agree with the Lee "no-maker-specified" load card that 42gn is tops. The Hornady 7th edition handbook (YES, I have ordered the 9th but it's not here yet) says different - according to them, 40.8gn is tops and some of my scoop thrown charges are nearly there, but the undercharges I was throwing (nearly down to 36gn) are well within limits. Depending on who I choose to believe, I'm either covered at both ends or risking trouble via near-max or gross undercharge!

Assuming the high-end data are correct, I'll be loading (and hopefully finding time to fire) some live rounds as soon as I get my scoop-inconsistency problems sorted out.
pathdoc is offline  
Old May 6, 2013, 10:03 PM   #57
Junior member
Join Date: June 9, 2011
Location: "In the swamps of Montana" with the gators
Posts: 84
RE: Reloading With the Old Whack-a-mole Lee Classic Loader

Hi folks!!

1. Can you, with much ease, and using the Lee Loader, reload .38 Special brass with lead semi- or full-wadcutter bullets?

2. I watched a few YouTube videos on this loader, but I might have missed, if there were any comments that "the scoop" was factory-formed to hold "'X' grains" of powder. Are they?

3. Somebody mentioned 'a glove' for safety reasons with primers being tapped into place. Which kind would suffice? One of those "mechanix"-style gloves, or something a little heavier?

Thank you for your time.
SFsc616171 is offline  
Old May 6, 2013, 10:17 PM   #58
Senior Member
Join Date: November 20, 2000
Location: Ohio
Posts: 3,876
1) You can load any bullet you want. After this thread started, I got mine out and loaded 50, lead SWC bullets. The bullet seater appears to be made for a round nose bullet. However, I have never had any problem loading wadcutters or semi-wadcutter lead bullet. I am not sure, but I think I am safe in saying that every round of ammo I ever loaded with a Lee Loader in .38 Special was a lead bullet. When I just loaded these 50 rounds, I specifically looked for any kind of indentation or damage to the bullet nose caused by the bullet seater: there was none.

2) The dippers are measured in CCs. Different powders have different densities, so a given scoop gives you a different number of grains depending on what powder you are using. The Lee Loader comes with one scoop and a chart giving recommended loads using the included scoop.

3) I have never used a glove and have loaded thousands of rounds wiht a Lee Loader. If you take your time and pay attention, I don't think there is much danger in setting off a primer. Yes, I have done it. But that was when I was a teenager and was in a big hurry and I didn't fully understand what I was doing. when the primer seats, it is obvious because the case starts backing out of the die and the sound made by the mallet is different.
You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled,
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.
444 is offline  
Old May 9, 2013, 04:42 AM   #59
Senior Member
Join Date: March 20, 2011
Location: Willamina, OR
Posts: 879
I bought one for the 7.7mm Arisaka back in the late 1970's. I loaded a bunch of rounds for that rifle. I started with 2 boxes of Norma ammo and I reloaded it until I got a set of 7.7x50 RCBS dies about 10 years later. After that I resized military 06 cases down and fire formed them for the Arisaka.

I gave the Lee loader to a friend along the way. I'd buy a couple of the shot shell ones if they still made them. The originals sell for way too much on eBay...

Geezerbiker is offline  
Old May 9, 2013, 07:23 AM   #60
Join Date: September 9, 2009
Posts: 80
When I was 14 or 15,I was given a .30 cal carbine and a case of ammo. I burned through the case within a month. I was then given a Lee "whack a mole" reloader. I loaded with it for several years and untold thousands of rounds. Then I discovered RCBS
USCS is offline  
Old May 9, 2013, 04:33 PM   #61
Senior Member
Join Date: April 14, 2013
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Posts: 2,236
I'd buy a couple of the shot shell ones if they still made them. The originals sell for way too much on eBay...

Well that's some info I didn't know. I have a 12 gauge one that I actually used today to remove a primer and make a dummy shell to check the firing pin of my Mossberg after disassemble/reassembly without having to shoot a live round.
Blindstitch is offline  
Old May 12, 2013, 08:19 AM   #62
Junior Member
Join Date: April 6, 2010
Posts: 1
Lee Classic Loader

MidwayUSA has the Lee Classic Loader in 303 British for $26.99 available to ship. They also have the Lee 2-Die set for $18.79 and the Deluxe 3-Die set for $33.99.

I started with the Lee Loader in 7x57 Mauser about 47 years ago. Popped about 3 primers over the years due to my own inattention.

After I got married and also in the Navy, I got a Lee Loader for the .357 magnum and a Speer manual. The dipper was slow and didn't offer the loads I wanted so I got a Lyman scale. Production was pretty good when my bride weighed the charges and I did the 'whacking'.

However, one day she spilled the beans. She was only doing the weighing because she didn't have anything else to do. Next purchase was an RCBS uniflow powder measure.

Still use the Lee Classics for test loads or just decapping cases, etc.
Rggates is offline  
Old May 12, 2013, 02:40 PM   #63
Peter M. Eick
Senior Member
Join Date: August 3, 1999
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 2,991
I still use mine for 38/357's that I picked up almost 40 years ago. It works great, easy to use and is helpful for occasionally little things like tapping out primers, tightening up crimps, flaring the occasional piece of brass.
10mm and 357sig, the best things to come along since the 38 super!
Peter M. Eick is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:06 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2017 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10819 seconds with 7 queries