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Old February 5, 2001, 08:39 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: February 5, 2001
Posts: 2
Well, kind of a newbie - I haven't reloaded for almost thirty years, used a Rockchucker.
At the last gunshow my wife bought me a turret press. She knew that I am thinking about rolling my own again.

Now my problem; The guy talked her into a Lee press, auto index, etc., & about $200 worth of bullets, powder (all Win 231 ball?), small primers (for 357?), dies, & "Modern Reloading" by Lee. This is their newest press (made after their "Anniversary Press").

She put it in the trunk, so I didn't know about it until last week (birthday). This seller lives about 130 miles away from me.

When I used to reload, I stuck to RCBS - Lee was the equipment you didn't admit owning to "serious reloaders" (I did like their little hand primer).

Is it still the same, or has Lee's quality caught up? This thing seems pretty flimsy compared to that old rusted Rockchucker (Wonder if RCBS will rebuild that).
Should I bring it back, & exchange it for something more simple (& solid) made by Dillon (can't afford a 550).

Just one more question, he didn't sell her any lube - he told her that carbide dies don't need it. I remember going through that in 1972, I popped for RCBS's carbide dies "that didn't need case lube",,, yeah, right!
Have they changed so much that you can really get away without lube? Any criticism is welcome, this thing looks like it'll flex like crazy. It'll be used for 9mm, 10mm, & 45ACP - probably only one rifle cal., 223.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old February 5, 2001, 08:50 PM   #2
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Join Date: October 13, 1998
Location: Chandler, Az, USA
Posts: 125
Your WIFE bought you a reloading setup?!!! Man, your lucky!I mainly use Dillon presses, but I do have a Lee, and while it may not be a robust as the dillon, I've done thousands of rounds successfully with it. The .357 Mag. does take small pistol primers. You don't need magnum primers with Win 231. All of my pistol die are carbide (OK not the bottlenecked 400 Corbon, since nobody would pay the cost 8^)), and to save them from wear I always use the dillon spray lube. Put them in a box, lightly spray, shake around, wait 5 minutes, then reload. I get about 20,000 round per their spray bottle. It's worth it not to get a case stuck, or cause the Carbide "bulge". wolfz
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Old February 6, 2001, 07:37 PM   #3
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Join Date: February 5, 2001
Posts: 2
Thank you wolfz, that's what I wanted (but never expected) to hear!
I thought I was stuck with a terrible POS.

Guess I'll open it tonight, &,,,,, well, just start doin' it.
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Old February 9, 2001, 01:22 AM   #4
Junior member
Join Date: January 22, 2001
Location: Utah
Posts: 479
On a Lee turret I loaded over 25,000 rounds. God only knows how many 1000 rounds my friend loaded. All were shooting IPCS and NRA Action pistol and loaded 45, 38 and 357.
Now case lube is differnet...Pistol, forget it. Rifle, I was having one Heck of a time using Lee stuff (maybe a bad tube) I picked up some Hornady Unigue and .308 LC brass runs great.
Oh and the press for rifle is a Lee O press


PS...Your wifey seems nice, if your unhappy with the press...send wifey and the stuff herejust kidding

[Edited by Karsten on 02-09-2001 at 12:10 PM]
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Old February 9, 2001, 01:42 AM   #5
Mike Irwin
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 39,226
I, too, have loaded a TON of rounds on my Lee Turret. It's not the greatest thing on the face of the planet, but it gets me to where I want to be.

I do like Lee dies. I have about half a dozen sets of the carbide dies. I've never lubricated a single case, and I figure that I've loaded maybe 15,000 rounds with these dies - .32 Long, .41 Mag., .38 Spl., .357 Mag., .45 ACP & Auto Rim, and 9mm

I also REALLY like the Auto Disk powder measure. It handles 231 and 296 like a freaking champ.

One of these days I'll spring for a Dillon, just to have it, but as of right now, why the heck should I?
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
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Old February 9, 2001, 09:26 AM   #6
Join Date: April 25, 2000
Location: Pensacola, Fl
Posts: 54
Just one more voice saying your wife (and the Lee stuff) is a keeper! I started with a Lee single-stage and now have the turret; I have no complaints except with the primer arm - I continue to do the priming as a seperate stage using the auto prime (usually while watching TV). I also use W231 for .45acp and .44mag. The Auto-disk is real consistent with 231 but not always exactly what the chart says is should be - weigh the charge to be sure of its actual weight. I didn't care for the Lee "Perfect" powder measure, could never get really consistent charges, but the auto-disk is great. I also never lube with carbide dies, and have never had a problem after many thousand rounds. From what I hear, most complaints with Lee presses are with the progressive models - the single-stage and turret seem well enough made.
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