Lee reloading equipment, why is it looked down on?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by spittinfire, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    I got into reloading a couple of years ago and as any newlywed, I was on a tight budget. I went for a Lee 4 hole turret so I could load a reasonable amount in a reasonable amount of time. I've loaded thousands of rounds with it, mainly 45 and 38 with only a couple of minor problems that were remedied. So why is Lee looked at so poorly? I know they aren't the best but why the hate? One day I'll step up to something better but for the $130 I spent to get started I think it does well.
     
  2. doctherock

    doctherock New Member

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    I have the lee loader 1000. Has a few quirks and is way bigger than the dillon. My dad had a dillon and i definatly liked it better. Less room taken up on the bench for sure.
     

  3. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    Everything that said Lee on it that I owned SUCKED ARES.

    I had Lee shell holders none of my brass would fit in them. They fit in RCBS shel holders though.

    Had a Universal decaping die it broke after 3 shells not 3 uses but after 3 45acp cases it broke the pin. I didn't hit a berdan primed case either.

    I had a lee hand primer again after about 4 cases it snapped in half. I am talking like blew in half in my hand. It was in at least 20 different pieces cost me 96 CCI BR4 primers. No I was not using mil brass with the primer crimp.

    My brother had a classic cast press and he went to resize a 222 rem case it snapped in half as well.

    After all this I vowed to never purchase another lee product ever again. You can spend slightly more and get much better quality from Lyman stuff.
     
  4. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    See, I haven't had that experience. I've only been loading target pistol loads but I haven't had a single poblem. Don't get me wrong, I won't argue that RCBS or Lyman is nicer or better but to me it's like buying Craftsman vs Snap On hand tools. Craftsman gets the job done but they don't have the finish or the feel that Snap On does.
     
  5. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    It's obvious to me Rusty, if everything is going right while using your Lee, you're doing something wrong!

    Glad to be of help.

    cane
     
  6. anm2_man

    anm2_man Member

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    Lee presses are ok. I'm a Dillon fan, but I also have a Lee Single Stage press.

    Here's a picture:

    [​IMG]

    I use it to de-mill all of the mistakes that the Blue machine makes.

    Correction: The mistakes that the operator of the Blue machine makes.

    :D
     
  7. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    Thanks for clearing that up.

    I would like to get something better one day, just curious why people are against them. If I had tang's experience I'd swear against them too but I haven't.
     
  8. BILLYBOB44

    BILLYBOB44 Active Member

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    You did well.

    Rusty, you got to loading ammo for around $130.00 to start up. This could not be done with one of the big name brand loading co. Lee offers economy built equipment at an economy price. For this reason milions of rounds of ammo have been loaded by people who would not have loaded at all if they only had the premium (Hi $) equipment to choose from.
    Most of us do not hate Lee tools. Most of us do not like Lee's quality, two year warranty, overall fit, and use of plastic parts when better should be used. Most of their tools work, at least for awhile.
    I use Lee's universal decap die, and Lee Factory Crimp Die on most of all my handgun loads. The rest of my tools are RCBS and Dillon. The difference in quality is obvious, as well as the difference in price.
    Lee tools are the reason that a lot of people hand load that would not otherwise get into the hobby. For that they serve the shooter well.:D
     
  9. opaww

    opaww New Member

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    I got a few items of Lee equipment and everything is ok with them, I just had one Lee priming tool break but the replacement seems to be holding up
     
  10. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Active Member

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    Tango,Are you a damn gorrilla or what?
    I have used a Lee 4 hole turret press for years and the only thing I have broke is the auto index,which I don't need/use anyway.
    I did buy a Lee Progressive press a couple years ago,and send it back the day after I received it,it was made cheap IMO and I knew I'd break things on it.

    Now I will agree,Lee isn't the top of the line but they aren't that bad either.Unless you are a benchrest/competition shooter Lee dies are as good if not better than other brands. I have bent several decapper pins over the years getting stuck cases out of the dies,but those stuck cases were all used brass that I had picked up at the range,and I think the brass was the problem.

    I would like to get a Dillon,but don't really need it for what I reload.
     
  11. gschnarr

    gschnarr New Member

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    First, I have not used the Lee press. Back in the 70's, I started with the Lee hand set and then got a RCBS. Still have it. Though the years, I have used a variety of Lee products and have been very satisfied. There are many products certain people hate or love. For me they work, period. They may not have the fit, finish or extras others may have, but I will be buying them again if needed. With all firearm related products, there are strong opinions and sometimes unrealistic expectations. The Lee presses are not for high volume or heavy uses like forming large cases or for benchrest shooters but they are great for the normal user.
     
  12. Ruzai

    Ruzai New Member

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    I baught the Deluxe Lee 4 hole turret and it seems sturdy enough, nothing on it is plasticy except the auto-primer I bought extra. The only problem I've had so far with the press is the primer cup falls out a lot if you move the ram too fast, its an irritating issue but I can deal with that for a press that can put out a good deal of ammo for me. I've only loaded a few 45acp but it seems pretty alright to me. Cant really speak for the long term yet.
    I never really like the whole hand-held primer deal, dont really feel like blowing my hand off. I wont be putting more than 50 CCI primers in the auto-prime ro prevent stuff like Tango's experience.

    My question is, are the complaints from old versions of presses or something?
     
  13. doctherock

    doctherock New Member

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    I have had trouble with the auto powder feed and the plastic shell feeder broke. other than that all the dies are good i just hand feed the shells.
     
  14. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    Not starting a flam war.

    But from the time I opened the box to current day my Dillon has not had a single problem. Plus I have a lifetime no BS warranty. Really when Mr. Dillon says no BS he means it. press caught in a fire they will replace it. Press falls out of a chopper they will replace it. You use it as a sledge hammer they will replace it.

    My RCBS RS5 press has been through 3 owners and still is going strong. My RCBS Uniflow has been through 3 owners and it is still going strong. I sent the powder measure back to RCBS and they fixed it the only thing not brand new was the casing. They did all that for the cost of shipping it to them.

    That right there is why I use Dillon and RCBS.
     
  15. Ruzai

    Ruzai New Member

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    So what's the next step up from Lee you would recommend for putting out large amounts of pistol ammo and 7.62x39 and .308?
     
  16. TXnorton

    TXnorton New Member

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    It depends on how much time you want to spend doing the re-loading of "large amounts" of that ammo. If you want lower cost and do not mind slower production, then a basic RCBS starter kit will do it for you. If you want high production with less time involved, then a Dillon 550 would be my recommendation.

    Disclaimer: I do not load any rifle rounds in my Dillons, other than .223. I spend so much effort (I am very anal retentive) on case preparation, case cleaning and case trimming that a Dillon would not save me that much time for my many larger bore rifle calibers. I do use my old RL-450 for the .223 mainly because I already had it.

    As to Lee, I have been using my original RCBS press and gear since 1976. I have never had any failures other than occasional de-cap pin breakage. And for that I keep 5 - 10 spare pins in my tool box. I gave up on Lee products after my second hand priming tool broke, I repaced it with a RCBS hand primer.

    I have had no problems with my Dillon 450 or 550. Dillon sent me free parts when I was refurbishing the 450 after 15 years in storage. They sent me free parts when I converted my 9mm set up from the old 450 to the new 550. I cannot speak highly enough about Dillon's service department.
     
  17. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

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    I take a you get what you pay for approach when it comes to making live ammunition. And because of that I"m a Dillon fan. I know a few Lee fans and I can't say it's junk. I don't have enough time using their equipment to make that call. But when it comes to making things to achieve a controlled explosion I'm not really all that willing to take chances. I've used Dillon stuff from the beginning. It's always worked. And if I screw up a part I can call them and it's replaced. I use a Square Deal for most all my loading needs. I don't do much long gun reloading so the SD has done me just fine. I do wish they made a 30 carbine die set for it but so far no. I am planning on adding a 650 soon though so it will all be moot at that time.:)
     
  18. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    I agree 100%.

    I have my dillon set up for 308 and 30-06 but I use it as a single stage with no powder dispensing by the press. I just got tired of changing dies all the time.

    Now with my AR in the heard I may have to step up to loading blasting ammo for her on the dillon.

    If all you can afford at the time is a Lee set up them by all means get it. I would rather have some one start reloading and get into it than to think that if i buy a lee everyone will look down on me.

    I love my Dillon but I don't drink the blue kool-aid. I understand that Hornady's L-n-L AP is a great press that is built like a tank. Plus you get free bullets when you buy one. Also not everyone can afford to drop aprox $500 just on a press. I got lucky and my Dillon was a birthday present from the wife.

    If you don't want the cost of a full progressive then look at a turret press RCBS, Lyman, Lee, Redding all make them.

    Never forget that your single stage press will still get plenty of use even though you have a progressive.
     
  19. Last Crow

    Last Crow New Member

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    Any one have any experience with a Lee 30 carbine die set? Lee’s die set is 30 something dollars and RCBS is 80 something. I will be getting a 30 carbine die set sometime. I would not be using it a lot.
     
  20. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Active Member

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    Last Crow.I don't have 30 Carbine dies,but Lee dies are good,as are RCBS,Hornady,Dillon.