Disrespecting Lee Reloading Gear
one member signs off with the clause "LEE RELOADING EQUIPMENT IS JUNK". as a former lab rat, i prefer digital scales to any beam balance but have ohaus/rcbs balances left over from my old days...they're slicker than lee's product but i doubt they're more accurate.
i prefer my rcbs uniflow to lee's powder measure but dillon still pays lee a royalty for the design.
lee reloading dies are inexpensive and first rate, featuring an unbreakable decapper/tapered expander assembly, free shell holder and most include a factory crimp die.
lee's classic cast presses equal or surpass anything in the industry...my turret version idled my 3 dillons for most chores and rendered an rcbs rockchucker superfluous.
as a long-time bullet caster i have lots of lyman/rcbs equipment also...what do i buy today? lee. sometimes their equipment needs tweaking, but info is out there on how to do it and for $$$ savings one should start with lee...if you like reloading/casting and want to spend $$$ for the redding/rcbs experience, that's great..they make good stuff, but for many of us lee works really well...well enough to retire the "BETTER STUFF".
lee got many of us started in the 60's...today's equipment prices make their economical approach to reloading that much more important to new folks.
chevy's aren't rolls-royces, but they get us there comfortably...sometimes even faster and cheaper.
Hell yes Budman,I also have enjoyed my Lee Precision dies and Turret press for many years.
Are there better reloading tools on the market-Yes.
Will they make a better bullet-No!
Now when it comes to a Competition Shooter,there are some very close tolerance dies from Redding,RCBS that would probably be worth the added expense.But for the average shooter,using average bulk bullets,there's no need in the added expense and most wouldn't be able to tell a difference.
I can't wait for Tango to come in and trash this thread.
Tango,Your a great guy,but lay off the Lee bashing.LOL THB
Guys if it weren't for Tango bashing this and that, these threads would be
blah, blah, blah. I really think you owe him an apology otherwise all we got is "my dogs bigger than yours".
Don't be so sensitive. This kinda $hit keeps it interesting.
I'll have Tango's back anytime he needs it,but I have to give him crap on the Lee bashing,just like I do about Muzzlebrakes.
I'm going to have to bring the muzzlebrakes out to El Paso,and see if I get my butt kicked! Tango looks like a pretty good sized fella,but I ain't scared!
I use a few Lee products in my re-loading but my press is and RCBS as is my dies and scales. Not because I think they are better it is because it is what I have.
I do use lee dies,for .455 but my turret press is a Lyman All American that I bought new in 1954.
You just can't break it! The only upgrade to it is an adapter to use the current shell holders instead of the original ones and of course the later primer holders.
Also have a Dillon 650, and a RCBS BIG MAX as the Martini-Henry and Snider dies are larger than the standard.
Powder measures? Redding, Hornaday,Lyman, (one for smokeless and one for BP) and of course the ones for the Dillon.
Still have a beam balance scale, but the digital scale has replaced it in use.
Dies? several brands,RCBS, CH4D, Lyman, Redding,Lee, Dillon, N.D.F.S. Roughly 51 different at last count.
I think you just coined your own signature:
"lee works really well...well enough to retire the "BETTER STUFF""
I have stuff by Lee, RCBS, LYMAN and some other odd ball stuff I can't think of the name right now. My Lee stuff works just fine. I have broken an RCBS decapper. But, really I can't remember breaking anything else. I have no problem with any brand out there. Some are a little better than others. But I just can't justify spending 3 times as much. I have a lot of Lee bullet molds. I have a couple of Lyman molds. I actually prefer the Lee. It's not just 1/3 of the price. The Lee stuff warms up faster. It also cools down faster. I like to pour 4 or 5 different types of bullets at a time. I just rotate the molds doing about 50 rounds at a time. That way I can keep moving.
If I was into Benchrest, I would use an arbor press and custom dies. Since I am just shooting stock or limited customized handguns where accuracy is measured in inches and not 0.001", I find Lee equipment does the job, but not as "nicely" as others.
If I had to get an inexpensive press, it would be a Lee.
If I absolutely had to have a single station press, it would be a Forster Co-Ax (haven't seen anything better since I bought in the late '70s).
If I had to load a lot of rifle (bottleneck) cartridges, I would get a turret with auto-indexing (I just do not see an AP for bottleneck cases—too many check length of case/case mouth OD and ID/neck uniformity/runout and who knows what else).
To load a lot of many different cartridges, I would go right back to my Hornady L-N-L.
To load a LOT of just a few cartridges, I will stay with the 1050.
For straight-wall dies, my preferences are—
Seating dies: Lee or Hornady
Expander dies: Lee, Hornady, or Dillon
Specialized expander dies: Lyman or RCBS
Powder check die: RCBS Lock-out or Dillon
Bullet seating dies: Dillon, Lee, or Hornady
Specialize seating dies: RCBS or Lee
Crimp die: Dillon, Lee, or Hornady
Specialized crimp die: Redding Profile Crimp (for roll crimp) and Lee FCD.
Buying dies for a new cartridge: Lee
Buying dies for use with messy lubricated cast bullets: Dillon
Options I would like to try on my 1050s: Lee's manual case feeder with the "hula" bowl to fill it (too many problems with case feeders and the Lee system is inexpensive and looks like it would do what I want) and the Lee bullet feeder (again, it may be manual, but it would be nice to load a bunch of tubes and just crank out rounds without picking up and placing bullets on the case—the only bullet feeder I would invest in would need to work with Remington's messy 148gn L-HBWC and other cast bullets).
The first rule with any progressive press (AP) is to never force anything. With the Lee's I have seen, forcing will almost always break an inexpensive plastic part and not lead to detonations or bending some expensive metal part. Someone who works on a Lee press will learn patience and thinking before forcing.
Despite having 3 1050s, I have this urge (if I had the money to waste) to get a LoadMaster with the case and bullet feeders and see if I could get it to work. It couldn't possibly have the feel of a 1050, but just getting it to work would be interesting.
I personally think my lee loader 100 turret is a piece of Sh!t. Having said that I am stuck with it until I can afford a better one. Dillon has my vote for the next one. The powder measure is crap on the lee, the primer feed is even worse. I got a good deal and the guy I bought it from was probably laughing all the way to the bank.
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