What's wrong with Lee reloaders?


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3rdpig
July 21, 2006, 09:31 PM
I'm a long time reloader on a single stage press and am considering the move to a turret or progressive.

Yes, I know "save up and buy the Dillon 550". But before I do that can someone tell me just exactly what is wrong with the Lee progressive and turret loaders? I know the Classic Turret seems to be well liked, but everyone I've spoken to warns me away from the Pro 1000 or the Loadmaster, but no one can tell me why, they just keep repeating "get the 550".

Will someone tell me what's wrong with the Lee progressive loaders, and if one is better than the other or if they're both no good? I don't need to know what's good about the Dillon, I have that figured out, but just can't seem to find out what's wrong with the Lee loaders.

I shoot mainly 9mm and 5.56 but may also load several other pistol calibers. Right now 5.56 is the only rifle caliber I plan on loading. I shoot 300 to 500 rounds a month.

Any real info would be appreciated.

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cherryriver
July 21, 2006, 09:49 PM
Mostly, the priming system. I threw out my Lee Pro 1000 after only 1000 rounds, with two squibs and I don't know how many otherwise defective rounds.
It wasn't just me- I've loaded many tens of thousands of rounds on Dillon progressives without even a tiny fraction of those problems.
In the end, the Dillon Square Deal B was cheaper.
Bill

loadedround
July 21, 2006, 09:56 PM
3rd: There really isn't anything mechanically wrong with the Lee progressives for light reloading single calibers. Their biggest problem with using them is that they are cheaply made and a royal PIA to keep in adjustment. Basically the quality is not there and Lee offers a much poorer warranty and customer service than Dillon and the others. If you buy a Lee progreeive press and change caliber often, you will spend more time adjustiing everthing intead of loading. JMHO

frenchwrench
July 21, 2006, 10:02 PM
The Lee cast turret is great. The progres:rolleyes: sives.....if you like to "tinker" get one.

OldSchooler
July 21, 2006, 10:17 PM
I was leaning to a Lee or Lyman manual turret set up for mostly rifle and of course some handgun reloading. Now ya'll are scaring me...

SASS#23149
July 21, 2006, 10:25 PM
the 2 are different in many way.The turrets are more solidly built with fewer moving parts,so way less downtime.Supposedly this also translates into fewer rounds per session,but that depends on how well the progresive is behaving.
dillons just behave better.:):evil:

lamazza
July 21, 2006, 10:33 PM
I hate my Lee pro 1000-as stated ad nauseum the primer feed it horrible and the setup is cheaply made. The price makes it tempting , but its not worth it.

3rdpig
July 21, 2006, 11:42 PM
I appreciate all the reports of your experiences with Lee progressive loaders. I'm convinced that it probably isn't what I'm looking for. Shame though, I wonder why Lee hasn't corrected the problems? They seem to be responsive to customer desires.

I'll have to decide how much I'm willing to spend, it looks like my options are, on the low end, the Lee Classic Turret or on the higher end the Dillon 550 or one of the other better progressive loaders. If I go that way I'll probably go Dillon, they're only about 10 miles from me.

1911user
July 21, 2006, 11:57 PM
Ditto the primer feed on the Lee progressives; it's just not worth the trouble if you plan to be reloading for the long term. It can be made to work most of the time but you really have to babysit it. Also keep a stock of the plastic primer parts, they'll get crunched and have to be replaced every so often.

If you are using a single stage press efficiently, you will not see much (if any) speed increase with a turret press. 250 an hour is about the max out of a turret press (even the lee with auto-indexing) and you will be physically working hard to keep that pace.

I hate to see progressive and turret used in the same sentance; they are not similar and should NOT be compared as close to the same thing. One is a single stage press that happens to hold several dies and the other performs reloading operations on 4-5 cases at a time.

There really is a long-term difference in the quality of different reloading presses.


Shame though, I wonder why Lee hasn't corrected the problems?
Because Lee stuff is made to a low price point and they can't do things like everyone else and keep the same pricing. Plastic is a hell of a lot cheaper than machined metal. You get what you pay for in my experience. It's nice to sit down to reload and have confidence the press will produce quality ammo without having to constantly tweak and babysit it. Sometimes being cheap is expensive; BTDT.

Rabid Rabbit
July 22, 2006, 12:14 AM
I have both the turret and loadmaster. The turret was eaiser and more accurate to set up and load. Not bad for 250-300 rounds per hour. The load master took some careful setup and following instructions. The priming system is the weakest part but considering how you feed primers to a Dilion I'm not sure that is a strong point for dilion. The lee case feed system is great and very inexpensive. If I have everything set up right without rushing I load 8-900/hour. Now if I can only get the bullet feed working right.

I thought about the dillion but I think I got a better deal. Sure I have to pay for replacement parts but since the only part I break is a $1 primer piece that lasts 10,000 rounds I'm doing much better price wise. The thing is so inexpensive that in a couple of months I'm buying another loadmaster frame so I don't even have to change calibers.

benedict1
July 22, 2006, 12:49 AM
I hate to ruin the Lee bashing parade--I am at a loss to understand the animosity about Lee products. If you had the time I could tell you the horror story of all time about a Dillon SDB and all the stuff that came with it which I just sent back for a full refund. The priming system was totally messed up and no amount of fiddling, adjusting or replacing worked. I was on the phone with Dillon people daily for 10 days. No dice.

I now have the new Lee Classic Turret Press with 4 hole turret, Lee Safety Prime, LeePro Powder measure and three sets of DeLuxe Pistol Dies--it all works, it is simple, it is auto indexing and even though I've had it only a week, I can load 150 rounds per hour easily. I expect that to hit 200 as I get my routine down. That's about all we shoot at our house in a week so this works out well.

I'm in no hurry--I want a good round every time I work the sequence--I can see what happens, or doesn't. Sure once in awhile a primer fails to come out of the primer trigger--but I see it and can do something about it without having to dismantle the whole machine. There isn't a progressive press out there that doesn't lose a primer once in awhile and when it does, you end up with a case with powder and bullet, with no primer, that goes into the bullet puller pile.

And, oh yes, everything I have cost half of what I spent with Dillon and I still didn't have the third die set from Dillon that I still needed. The thought of trying to get the Dillon large pistol primer system running when changing over the SDB to .45 ACP was too horrifying to contemplate after all the trouble I had.

Thousands of Dillon machines very work well--thousands of Lee machines of all types work well. A clunker can show up anywhere. But for simplicity and low cost, the Lee auto indexing press is just too good to pass up. Any and all progressive loaders can give you fits. To really learn to reload, to understand the steps and the equipment's capabilities, at reasonable cost, you cannot beat Lee. There are other turret presses that work very well, but most cost a lot more.

Why don't we all work at helping each other to learn about the quirks and solve the problems we all have from time to time with machines, share our reloading results and quit knocking each other's equipment. ALL of the reputable manufacturers, Lee included, give a 30 day money back guarantee with no questions asked. Just send the stuff back if it isn't right. Dillon graciously accepted my stuff and promptly refunded, so would Lee, or RCBS or anyone else.

3rdpig
July 22, 2006, 01:21 AM
I'd be thrilled with 250 an hour. When I was using the single stage press on a regular basis I could do 100 an hour when things were flowing smoothly. Trying to go faster than that was begging for a bloody fingertip. But I've got big fingers and I tend to be clumsy with small stuff unless I go slow.

Interesting information here, seems not everyone hates Lee.

My needs aren't heavy, if I can get a progressive, or turret (sorry!) loader that I can load 300 to 500 in a single 2 hour session, once a week, I'd be happy. Having fast caliber changes, and not having to remove/replace/adjust dies every time would be a big deal to me also.

What I DON'T want is one I have to repair or tinker with every time before I load. I don't mind a little fine tuning, but I've got more than enough stuff in my life that has to be tinkered with every time.

3rdpig
July 22, 2006, 02:38 AM
I've been sitting here in front of Dillons and Midway USA's websites.

3 different presses. All set up to do 2 calibers, 9mm and 5.56. Dillon 550, Lee Loadmaster and the Lee Classic Turret.

For the Dillon all I added was one caliber conversion kit, I'll use my existing dies. I don't believe anything else is necessary, but it's hard to tell, Dillon's site isn't exactly detailed in what comes with the press and what you need to switch from pistol to rifle calibers.

For the Loadmaster (it's a kit, with one set of dies, powder measure, case feeder, primer feed, etc, etc) I added in one turret, one shell holder, case collator, rifle size case feeder and a universal charge die. I get one set of dies with the Lee set, not that I really need them, but I do shoot .40 and have no .40 dies so I'd probably order it in .40 if I decided on this press.

For the Lee Classic Turret (press only) I added one extra turret, two shell holders, powder measure, primer feeder and universal charging die.

Dillon RL 550 B - $410 (I'll have to pay tax, but no shipping.)
Lee Loadmaster - $275, not including shipping.
Lee Classic turret $138, not including shipping.

I've read positive and negative reviews on the Loadmaster, most of the negativity comes from some small parts being cheap and breaking or from the lack of good instructions to set it up. Once the initial setup is done most people seem to like them.

I've only seen postive reviews for the Classic Turret, but it's pretty new. It seems like Lee listened to what users didn't like about the earlier turret presses and fixed them on this one.

I've read many positive reviews on the 550, any negativity I've come across concerns cost of turrets and other add on features, most which aren't absolutely needed but are rather pricey.

$410 is going to be tough for me to handle, I'd probably have to sell a gun to afford that. $275 is on the outer edge, I could do it without selling anything important like a gun, but it's more than I really want to spend right now. $138 I could do easily.

Of course, I could stick with my single stage press and it won't cost me anything, but I'll still be buying ammo, I doubt I'd find enough free time to load as much as I'd shoot.

I'm not really asking anyone to make the decision for me, I can handle that, I just thought some might like to see what I worked up.

benedict1
July 22, 2006, 02:40 AM
Caliber changes take seconds with an extra turret and dies set up and adjusted in them. I also found that putting a new set of dies in takes no more than 5 minutes, maybe 10 if I drop one on the floor and have to find it under the bench. The instructions with the Lee DeLuxe Pistol Die Set are very clear on what to do.

I also like the Factory Crimp Die--I get a lot of range brass and a lot of the 9 mm has the Glock "bulge" near the base, or whatever. I resize, deprime, prime, flare and add powder, seat the bullet and then final Factory crimp and full-lenght post-size in that last die. They will chamber after this, no matter where they came from. The Factory crimp is a nice slant/taper for the auto cartridges and puts a solid roll crimp on the revolver stuff without you having to do anything. For a duffer like me this is super.

Going from large to small primer and back with the new Lee Safety Primer is a matter of seconds. (this system will take a little getting-used to--it works really well--if a primer doesn't feed, you know it right away and can do something about it--I like that very much)

I can go from 9 mm to .38 Special, especially if using one of the Auto Disks for powder dropping, in about two minutes flat. If I use the variable/adjustable charge bar I have to set it and weigh charges but that is the same with any press. I also just made a calibration chart for it and I can set it very close to what I want on the first try. I stick to one powder, Unique, and load everything with it. That makes things more convenient.

I'm not a Lee salesman, just want to load some good cartridges with no hassle. The Auto-Indexing Turret Press, the New Classic, is a tough piece of machinery that really can go once you get your rhythym established. Will it beat a well-tuned progressive? Nope. But it is far easier to deal with. That's how I got there.

Someday, if the need arises, I will try a Progressive press again, but it'll have to be a slam-dunk before I spend the dough.

benedict1
July 22, 2006, 02:51 AM
Check out these two links for an indepth review of the New Classic Press with all the bells and whistles. They give you complete step-by-step how-to setup instructions between the two sites.

http://www.surplusrifle.com/reviews2006/leeturretpress/index.asp

http://www.realguns.com/archives/122.htm

Cost was definitely a factor for me--I had no dies or anything.

Whatever you do keep in mind that if you don't like it you can send it back. I know that is a hassle but it is a great option. You will get a lot more reloading kick for your $$ from the Lee setup.

People have complained about the Lee Safety Prime--hard to adjust, won't feed primers, etc. Those two links both show how to set them up and the Lee website has instructional videos to set up about anything you buy from them. I have loaded the small primer tray with a hundred primers several times and run right down to the very last one. All you have to do when they get low is tap the primer feed trough/tray and one is always in the trigger for the next insertion into the cup on the lever prime ram. For the life of me I can't figure out why people are complaining about this system?? I am no mechanic and my fingers are like clubs sometimes but it seems to work just fine.

I'll help in any way I can. If you go to Glock Talk there is a guy there with the moniker Uncle Don who is a real Lee expert--he helped me make up my mind.(here is the link to the Reloading part of Glock Talk where he hangs out--http://www.glocktalk.com/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=26 ) There is also a fair number of Lee Bashers--can't get away from it. You just have to make up your mind and get what you can afford.

benedict1
July 22, 2006, 02:57 AM
Just noticed your comments about what you need with Dillon--and with Lee.

Whatever you do, call your order in and make sure you have the right stuff. Neither Lee nor Dillon websites are real clear cause they have lots of stuff. I bought my Lee equipment from Kempf Gun Shop

http://www.kempfgunshop.com/products/reloading/leeprecision/index.html

They were a little higher than Midway but if you call them and talk to Sue she knows Lee stuff inside and out and will tell you just what you need, and she won't try to sell you too much. Her dad runs the shop and I'm sure he could help too, but I talked to her.

As for Dillon, they have a bunch of guys who can help if you call them. They know the stuff inside out too.

I don't know about the Midway folks but I'm sure if you ask for a reloading guru to help you, they will find someone fast.

3rdpig
July 22, 2006, 03:15 AM
benedict1 - Thanks for all the info, I'm a user over at GT but after asking about Lee loaders on another website (which shall remain nameless) and being roundly attacked as an idiot for even considering purchasing anything but Dillon, I came here assuming that the attacks wouldn't be allowed and I could get some real info. I've since gone over to GT and read through the reloading section, I see the same Blue vs. Red. vs. Green vs. Orange battle is going on there too.

Unless I find a used Dillon, I'll probalby wind up with one of the Lee loaders, which one depends on how much I want to spend and if I think I really want to mess with a progressive loader. I'm liking what I'm hearing from you and from the reviews you sent me on the Classic Turret. The price is right, it sounds easy to set up and use and it sounds as if it's built to last. And most importantly, it sounds like it will do what I need.

unloaded
July 22, 2006, 04:14 AM
I went through the same struggle you are having now. I decided the LoadMaster was right for my needs. I only load for .40 S&W right now, so I got it setup for that. $199+shipping, just watch for sales. If you do get it setup for .40 it comes with the large casefeeder but it has the small slide. I didn't realize this until looking into setting up for other calibers. Not a big deal, just something easy to overlook and could ad a few days waiting on an extra part or two. I've probably loaded about 5,000 rounds since getting it early this year. So far nothing has broke or been a problem. Between the videos on Lee's site and Uncle Don's tips, setup was fairly easy. I'd say the main thing to ask yourself before buying one is how mechanically inclined are you? If you have no luck with mechanical things, you might want to shy away from a LoadMaster, and possibly other progressives. If you don't mind doing a bit of tinkering or adjusting, you will be fine with it. I do a lot of tinkering with mine, but that is because I try a lot of different things. I've got 6 different kinds of powder that I use, probably same amount of different bullets and three pistols I load for. I load OAL's from 1.125" to 1.200" depending on what I'm after. There are times though I'll leave it setup for a particular load for weeks, and not have to make any adjustments. All the fiddling is caused by me, not the press. It will stay where you want it if you set it up right. I'm very pleased with mine, it is the only thing ever used though, so I can't make any direct comparisons. Did I mention I can really crank out the rounds....?

peace.
unloaded

Lennyjoe
July 22, 2006, 11:16 AM
I have a Lee Classic 4 hole turret press that I purchased used here last year. Also have 4 extra turrets with dies and auto disk measures on each. I can load around 250 per hour on this press and the only complaint is the indexing. Sometimes it doesnt index exact but a slight adjustment with the hand works fine. I just need to replace a worn part but havent done it as of yet.

For the price the Classic is worht it. Works just fine for me for reloading .45, 10MM, .44 Mag and .223 range loads. I use a single stage for 30-06 and 22-250.

Sure, I'd rather have the 550 but with so many projects and not enough cash something has to give;)

jjohnson
July 22, 2006, 03:44 PM
Well, the last Lee I ever bought (and ever will buy) was a cheap aluminum cast single stage press that I broke the casting on while swaging primer pockets on maybe 100 military 30-06 shells. I'd bought it as an "extra" press I could use for small jobs not worth converting setups on my Dillon 550. I'm not a big guy, but I broke the casting muscling the thing less than 100 cycles.

On the other hand, my wife bought me a Dillon about 8 years ago, and I load at least 10,000 rounds a year on it in ten or twelve calibers. The speed and repeatability of operation (consistent ammo) was worth it. The few things I've needed from Dillon, whether it's hotline advice or something on the press I wrecked by not following instructions have been taken care of immediately, no charge. Once a small part popped loose and got lost on my floor - when I called them for a replacement part, no problem... and when I told the guy that if it popped off once, maybe they should send two.... they promptly did just that. I now have an extra 'bellcrank' in my kit.

I'm not saying all Lee products are junk - I have some of their dies, and they're good enough - but I'm turned off by the experience I had with their press and way too happy with Dillon to do anything else. Good luck.:cool:

Darth Muffin
July 22, 2006, 04:57 PM
I have a Lee Loadmaster bought less than a month ago for loading .40S&W. It's been problems since I got it. I am very mechanically inclined and have followed setup tips in the manual and on Lee's web site. The primer feed is the biggest problem. Case feeding is the second biggest problem, but if the primer feed would work I'd be OK manually feeding it.

Best I got out of it was 200 rounds over 3 hours! I kept having to stop and tinker, adjust, or repair things. After that evening I decided that my Loadmaster was officially "fired" (anyone want a barely-used one, cheap?).

I've ordered a Hornady Lock-N-Load AP. I suggest you take a look at them and read up on recent reviews--Dillon 650 features at a 550 price!

quiknot
July 22, 2006, 05:48 PM
i bought my lee 3 hole last year, added an auto disk powder loader and have reloaded over 1000 rounds and except for a few minor adjustments....where lee helped me over the phone...i have not had any issues, just to let you know i reload 45LC lighter loads where the brass has to be re sized after each shot so it has to handle the task of pushing the entire length of brass inside the resizing tube....and does it without a problem...as the primer is removed

Uncle Don
July 22, 2006, 08:16 PM
Best I got out of it was 200 rounds over 3 hours! I kept having to stop and tinker, adjust, or repair things. After that evening I decided that my Loadmaster was officially "fired" (anyone want a barely-used one, cheap?).

How cheap? If it's worthless to you, keep that in mind when determining a price.

benedict1
July 22, 2006, 08:39 PM
I'll make the same offer I made at GT--I'll pay the postage for any Lee equipment that has been "junked", "officially retired" or "in the garbage". You pack it and weigh it and send an email so we can work out the shipping cost and it's off your hands.

Must be Loadmaster or Lee 1000 Pro in .45 ACP, 9 mm or .38 Special. However, same calibers with Lee 4 hole press or Lee Classic or Lee Challenger also accepted.

bfox
July 22, 2006, 11:07 PM
To Uncle Don and Darth

Uncle Don you need to lead Darth to your tips on setting up his
Loadmaster .
After using them mine works great .
Thank You very much !
It worked so good I bought another . :D

As to original poster I have the Lee classic cast turret
it works great I think you would be pleased with it .
If you would get 0ne order the safety prime and a riser
for it . I Didn't know to get those when I ordered .

Got a Dillon SDB don't use it that much though .

Good Luck , Bill

Crosshair
July 23, 2006, 12:05 AM
Don't know about their presses, but the Lee dies are simply superb, I just LOVE them.

benedict1
July 23, 2006, 12:53 AM
Yes, Uncle Don, I can't find that link in GT. I would like it too so I can print it out for my files. One of these fellows may take me up on the "I pay postage and they give me their unwanted Loadmaster--;) "

Even if they don't give me one, I'll probably buy one if the loading volume increases here.

Uncle Don
July 23, 2006, 09:55 AM
He no longer even "wants" it to work. He's convinced that it doesn't and that it's the presses faulty design as opposed to him setting it up incorrectly. Once set up, you don't need to "tinker" at all. If this is necessary between caliber changes as some have described, it's a tell tale sign of set up issues. If he is so adamant, I'll step forward to take it off his hands for him. I'm hoping for a PM with a good price for this "worthless" press as I have a friend that is strapped for cash and would like one very much. I'll get it going and pass it along.

By the way, I have a one minute video that is about 1.5 meg of myself operating this worthless thing at a rate of 900 rounds per hour and that is without a case feeder or my busting my butt to do it. I'd be happy to send it to anyone who wan't to see it for themselves.

benedict1
July 23, 2006, 11:48 AM
I know many of us would like that link you wrote at GT on how to adjust and setup the Loadmaster. I have also sent you an email requesting the video but I wondered, is there someway you can upload a link here with the email? I have never tried to attach anything in this forum. It would be great so that many could get the video and have access to your great discussion of Loadmaster.

Uncle Don
July 23, 2006, 12:15 PM
http://glocktalk.com/showthread.php?s=&postid=5830137#post5830137

This is the one I think you are referring to. Since the video doesn't reside on a website, I can't link it because it's 1.6 meg. I'll send that to you (and anyone else that wants it) privately. It's isn't rocket science, set it up right and it will work faster than you can feed it. Additionally, I haven't had to "tinker" either.

robctwo
July 24, 2006, 01:42 AM
I learned on a Lee LoadMaster my friend bought. I bought the Hornady LnL when I felt I needed my own. It is a step up in quality and ease of use. Priming and powder drop are much better. I've used the Hornady for rifle rounds this last year as well. It is beefy enough to set the shoulder on 300 WSM cases, and that takes some bumping. I've even thought about a single stage for that function, but the Hornady is up to the task so far.

I've run over 29,000 through mine so far. 9mm, .40, .45, .243, .308, 300 WSM, .45lc, .380

I'm sure that the Lee will do an adequate job for pistol. My friend is still cranking out .40 and .38 on his. It takes some tinkering to keep running good.

BluesBear
July 25, 2006, 04:22 AM
I have a Lee Progressive set up for 9mm that was given to me because the previous owner decided it was a POS.




He was pretty much correct.

Well... it's not a total POS. It works. After a fashion. It just doesn't work well.
A completely new primer feed helped some, for a little while if you were vigilent.
It produced much better ammo after the sizing and seat/crimp dies were replaced with RCBS dies.
But then I have never really liked Lee dies. You can load safe ammo that will work with them. But I outgrew them somewhere around 1977.





Years Ago™ Gibson guitars principle competition was from the Epiphone company.
(Yeah, yeah I know they're the same company now, but Gibson didn't buy out Epi Stathapopulos until 1957)
Gibson came out with a marketing slogan in, if I remember correctly, the 1940s that stated, "Only a GIBSON is Good Enough!"
Shortly later they dropped the slogan because Epiphone started using the slogan, "Epiphone - When Good Enough isn't good enough!"


Luckily for many companies, good enough IS good enough for enough people.


After the way Lee managment treated a THR member and after the things Lee managment had to say about it on THR they will never get a penny of my money.

Bronson7
July 26, 2006, 10:56 AM
3rdPig, Considering your budget, I don't think you'll go wrong with the Lee Classic Turret.
Bronson7

Uncle Don
July 26, 2006, 04:49 PM
After the way Lee managment treated a THR member and after the things Lee managment had to say about it on THR they will never get a penny of my money.
__________________

What was their response here on the HR? I seem to recall it was a humble apology with a story about a snippy store owner. While it's always possible I missed something, don't mix up facts with the result you wished for.

g56
July 27, 2006, 03:05 PM
What's wrong with Lee reloaders?
It's cheaper to buy a good product up front than the buy a cheap one and then have to replace it.

Some people call me a Lee basher, I believe the correct terminology would be a former Lee customer, lessons learned the hard way.

benedict1
July 27, 2006, 03:42 PM
Uncle Don, I think we're fighting a losing battle. I am so happy with my Lee Classic 4 turret press and dies!

I have been loading with them for about 10 days and I easily load at 150 rounds per hour. And with the new Safety Prime system I KNOW if there is a primer, or not, and if it is going in the right way, or not. The Factory Crimp die is super--I get a lot of Glock range brass in 9 mm and all of it has some kind of bulge near the base. Once the Lee dies get finished it will chamber in any gun.

I am at a total loss about this argument, raging on every website I frequent. I just got back from the range where we shot 9 mm reloads and .38 Special wadcutters. Couldn't ask for any better performance. I am seriously considering a Pro 1000 and a companion Challenger with Factory Crimp die for 9 mm 'cause we're going to be shooting lots of it. But not until I feel time-limited with the New Classic 4 turret setup.

Thanks for helping all of us who listen to the straight stuff re Lee. With the money I saved I can get a .22 conversion kit for one of our 1911s, and more.
:) --;)

Uncle Don
July 27, 2006, 04:01 PM
It's no sweat. I've come to know that Lee bashers come in two types. The first are those that had Lee equipment and were either too ham handed or couldn't figure it out and blamed the design because they certainly aren't going to point to themselves as the weak link. The second are those that chose something far more expensive and feel they have to bash something that offers value and quality in order to help justify the expense.

There are also those that have chosen another brand for no other reason that they felt it was right for them. For those people, I completely respect their decision, but those are also the ones that don't bash anyone else for their choice.

Sistema1927
July 27, 2006, 04:09 PM
I have been loading with a single stage press for almost 30 years now. I just received a Lee Classic Turret, along with the safety prime and auto-disk, and WOW!

It took me about 20 minutes to bolt it down to the bench and set it up, then I sat down and cranked out 50 .45 Colt cartridges in about 30 minutes. Why so slow? Because I checked the charge weight on the first 10, then on #15, then # 25, and finally on round # 50. I didn't find even .1 grain difference, and this set-up crankied out very nice ammo without any problems. Now that I "trust" the auto disk, I have no doubt that I will be able to turn out 150-200 rounds per hour, easy.

Yes, a Dillon would be nice, but for the price (using C&R discount at Midway) this rig can't be beat.

benedict1
July 27, 2006, 05:10 PM
My experience, exactly. Although a new handgun shooter/reloader, I have loaded shotshells of all gauges/types for 45 years. Used either Pacific/Hornaday or MEC. The Lee equipment was easier to set up and use than many of the shotshell loaders. The only problem I had was one of the Safety Prime triggers wouldn't spring back and they sent me a new one, immediately, free. Turns out I took the other one apart and discovered the return spring has slipped out of the keeper hole. Slipped that back in and haven't looked back.

The New Classic 4 turret press is one tough dude. I bought extra turrets so I can switch calibers, fast. I agree on the Auto Disk system--I loaded 60 .38 Special WC last night and checked the first two powder charges, a mid-stream one and the last one. I wanted 3.1 gr of Win 231. That's what I got on every check. Won't worry about that disk until I go to a new batch of powder in the future. Then I will check again.

I had a very bad experience with an un-named, but very popular progressive press. Got my money back and bought Lee--

Car Knocker
July 27, 2006, 05:11 PM
After the way Lee managment treated a THR member and after the things Lee managment had to say about it on THR they will never get a penny of my money.


I wasn't able to find this incident through the search function. Could you please post a link? Thanks.

redneck2
July 27, 2006, 06:44 PM
One thing I get a little tired of is the "yeah, but this is cheaper..."

There's a reason cheap stuff is called "cheap". I have a friend that has 4 Lee Progressives and is (supposedly) going to sell them (if he digs them out of his basement). He got tired of the fiddling with the primer adjustments IIRC

I think guys here make the mistake of lumping all Lee equipment in the same category. I suspect the single stages and turrets are fine. It's the progressives with the little bead chains and plastic parts that are the downfall IMO.

I use Lee dies and they seem fine. Never had a problem, and IMO they are finished considerably better than RCBS. The finish and workmanship appear exceptional. Their FCD's can be a godsend.

That said, I use a Dillon 550 after the Lee progressive experience. I suppose there are people that have gone back to a Lee (progressive) after using a Dillon, but I can't imagine why.

Buy good, cry once. Buy cheap, cry forever.

YMMV

m0ntels
July 27, 2006, 07:10 PM
How do Hornady, Lyman, and Redding all manage to stay safe from these debates? ;)

Randy

shenck
July 27, 2006, 07:46 PM
I inherited most of my reloading equipment when i was 18 or 19, I have bought a few things over the years, but most of what I have is as old or older than I am. I have A Lyman single stage press. A herters powder measure
various RCBS, Herters, Redding, and Bair dies. I have not had ANY problems with any of my equipment. I also don't have any desire to get a progressive or turret. I load for fun and hunting ammo mostly, 200 or 300 rounds a week is plenty fast enough for me. My point is that any quality equipment taken care of reasonably will perform longer than I will be alive. I am now 37 years old and I don't see any signs that any of my equipment is starting to wear out. By the way I am thinking about buying a Lee auto prime 2. Just my 2 cents worth

redneck2
July 27, 2006, 08:06 PM
How do Hornady, Lyman, and Redding all manage to stay safe from these debates? Well, there have been some Hornady L-N-L vs Dillon. These tend not to get so heated. For whatever reason, it appears Lyman and Redding have never been a big player in presses other than maybe single stage. I can't see that much debate over single stage. How can you get excited over a frame with a moving ram?? Turrets are just a single stage with a revolving head.

When you get into the primer feed seems to be the bugaboo. Primers are tiny little things that tend to hang up. Progressive by their nature are made for guys that want to load a lot in a hurry. If you can change calibers quick, that's way better.

Again, I think we tend to think in terms of "better" as what is better for us. In my case, I want something that makes a LOT of quality ammo in a hurry, is quick to change, and I don't have to screw with. I have enough income to buy 10 presses if I want. I have little to no use for whiners that bitch because something costs $100 more, but they'll spend $5,000 on stereo equipment or some stupid do-dad for their car. The same guy that bitches about spending $500 on a reloader that will last a lifetime has 500 CD's at $15 each.

My wife has 10x the cost of my reloader in shoes in the closet. She probably has 20x the cost in clothes hanging in the basement. She's got 20x the cost in Longaberger baskets. I've got 20x the cost in boats and fishing equipment. I've got 60x in guns.

A reloader and all the stuff you need to reload costs maybe 1/2 what one decent rifle/scope or less than what one decent pistols costs. Buy something decent and enjoy.

benedict1
July 27, 2006, 08:31 PM
Well I bought one of those "loaders to last a lifetime" After two weeks it went back for full refund. If anybody could have gotten the primer feed to work without losing primers, putting them in upside down, sideways and just dropping them and losing them inside the machine, it would have been a small miracle. I was told to bend, twist, adjust, stretch, tighten everything that was available and finally, just lost confidence in the whole thing. Oh, and did I mention the rubber band on the powder measure to make it snap back? And the spent primer cup that needed a little X-Acto knife work so it would fit? This was on a $300+ brand new machine.

I now have Lee equipment that will last a lifetime, or two, at half the cost. It turns out a perfect round every time I cycle through the sequence. It is not a jazzy progressive--but I can load 150 rounds/hour with powder charge variation too small to measure. It sure suits my needs.

I'm sure glad some people have the money to buy "the best" That's what keeps the "best folks" in Fat City. In reloading equipment, as in everything else, the most expensive is not necessarily the best. Buy what you can afford to do the job. But please don't complain about other people just because you happen to have lots of $$$.

Uncle Don
July 27, 2006, 09:40 PM
Again, I think we tend to think in terms of "better" as what is better for us. In my case, I want something that makes a LOT of quality ammo in a hurry, is quick to change, and I don't have to screw with. I have enough income to buy 10 presses if I want. I have little to no use for whiners that bitch because something costs $100 more, but they'll spend $5,000 on stereo equipment or some stupid do-dad for their car. The same guy that bitches about spending $500 on a reloader that will last a lifetime has 500 CD's at $15 each.

My wife has 10x the cost of my reloader in shoes in the closet. She probably has 20x the cost in clothes hanging in the basement. She's got 20x the cost in Longaberger baskets. I've got 20x the cost in boats and fishing equipment. I've got 60x in guns.

A reloader and all the stuff you need to reload costs maybe 1/2 what one decent rifle/scope or less than what one decent pistols costs. Buy something decent and enjoy.

Believe it or not, I'm really not trying to pick a fight with you but review your post. While I personally am not into steros, CDs or even cars, if someone is, that is their vice and their business. You quickly tell us about how much money you have tied up in shoes, clothes, whatever a longaberger basket is, and boats and fishing equipment. I have no use for spending and discrestionary income on any of those things. That doesn't mean I have any issue with anyone else doing just as you should have no issue as to where others place their priorities.

For the recrod, I too can afford any loader and I would like but see absoultely no reason to "upgrade" from equipment that loads just as quickly and just as high a quality as yours. Your term of "decent" and mine differ. I don't have to "fiddle" with my equipment either - the fact that you did does not mean you set the standard. I ran a 550 that a friend has and it does a good job too - it's not as fast as my Loadmaster (to which he readily admits) and it puts out no better ammo but it made him feel better at the time he bought it that he was with the "in" crowd. That apparantly was something that was important to him, but it has never been important to me.

By the way - my vice is woodworking and I own allot of Grizzly equipment. If you are not familiar, they are the "Lee" of woodworking tools. Those who own Powermatic, Delta, Jet and others are happy with their purchase too, but I guarantee that no one can tell from finished product which machine produced it - that goes for loaders too.

redneck2
July 28, 2006, 06:21 AM
Suppose my post didn't come across as I had hoped. I like to get the best deal I can on everything I get. The rub comes in with the endless "what's the cheapest AR, or what's the cheapest rifle that will shoot 1/2 moa, or where can I get a super great scope for under $100?" It just seems that most guys can come up with all the money they need for some things and poor mouth when it comes to others. In this case "others" can be a lifetime investment.

I tried to get by cheap for years on reloading stuff. I finally broke down and bought (what I consider) the correct stuff. Makes reloading a joy instead of a job.

If a certain model or brand was totally inferior, the marketplace would get rid of it pretty quick. Guys want to get into a fistfight over Ford vs Chevy, but in reality either will do the job or they wouldn't sell.

m0ntels
July 28, 2006, 09:30 AM
Some people just dont use their equipment enough to justify buying the very best. The trade off is sometimes iffy performance.

Some guys can load all the ammo they shoot in a year on a progressive in a weekend. At even 150 rounds/hour, 2 4 hour work days will spit out well over a case of a single caliber, which might last a guy a year, but that is more than that guy would want to do on a single stage. Does that justify buying a $500 Dillon, or even the $300 Hornady? Same applies with the $500 AR rifles and $100 scopes. Some people dont have range access or the ability or desire to reload and only shoot a couple days a year. Why act like everyone is cheap when they are spending in proportion to use? Let them buy cheap and use a little, and if they end up liking their cheapy stuff, they might decide to spend a little more on the next purchase to have even more fun.

It's not the price tag on the equipment, but how ya use it.

Randy (My Hornady Pro-jector is the best press ever made btw!) ;)

Bronson7
July 28, 2006, 03:04 PM
Lee is getting with the program with their presses. The Classic series have been very well received by re-loaders and it wouldn't surprise me a bit if they have a Classic progressive in the works.
Bronson7

Stinger
July 28, 2006, 08:34 PM
Car Knocker

I wasn't able to find this incident through the search function. Could you please post a link? Thanks.

Search under my name...grab a cold drink and some popcorn, because it is a long read.

Uncle Don

What was their response here on the HR? I seem to recall it was a humble apology with a story about a snippy store owner.

I guess I missed the humble apology. The situation is the same today as it was then. No change. No apology, except the CYA he did after he completely proved my point about their service.

Regards,

Stinger

Uncle Don
July 28, 2006, 09:17 PM
I remember an apology. Granted, you were the one effected and it's completly your right to feel however you like, but to present your version as fact about any companies overall service as opposed to your experienceis a little presumptious. I had a bad experience with Lyman once, but I know that isn't common of thier service or they wouldn't be in business. Does anyone else that has experienced good service with a company you don't like simply mistaken?

Car Knocker
July 28, 2006, 09:43 PM
Stinger,

Found the link:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=87394

I certainly have to agree with you about Lee's poor attitude and mishandling of this incident. To term Lee's response to you (posted at the above link by Stephanie Lee for her father, Richard Lee) as an apology would be a stretch.

Uncle Don
July 28, 2006, 11:17 PM
What I said to ā€œStingerā€ was inexcusable and I am sorry. I am sorry because it was not a Christian thing to do and it fails my rule I preach to my kids that ā€œ if you canā€™t say anything nice donā€™t say anything at allā€ I also apologize to ā€œStingerā€ for my unnecessary and rude comment.

I apologize to our loyal Lee Customers for giving them concern and pledge to count to 10 before engaging my vocal cords and promise to get out before I become the ornery owner.

While I understand why you were upset, it appears to be an apology to me.

Meta
July 28, 2006, 11:23 PM
Here is the truth, as best that I know it to be:

Virtually no person who has used a Dillon 550/650 and any of the progressive presses that Lee makes will say that Lee is even in the same league as Dillon. The difference in quality is vast. You do get what you pay for in this instance.

Car Knocker
July 28, 2006, 11:31 PM
it appears to be an apology to me.

I missed Mr. Lee's second post. I concur that it was definitely an apology.

Uncle Don
July 28, 2006, 11:38 PM
Here is the truth, as best that I know it to be:

Virtually no person who has used a Dillon 550/650 and any of the progressive presses that Lee makes will say that Lee is even in the same league as Dillon. The difference in quality is vast. You do get what you pay for in this instance.


Fair enough - that's your opinion. Here is mine, there is no way you can come close to keeping up with my Loadmaster with your Dillon 550 and with your 650, you can't go any faster or produce any better ammo even though you have about 4 times the price invested. The difference is that I know how to set up the press as it was designed to run. In my opinion, Mike Dillon is a great marketer in that he strengthens it up beyond what is needed for ham handed operators, gives you a lifetime warranty which I've read several people take advantage of "even though it was my fault". I prefer to pay for my own mistakes as opposed to paying four times the price so that they will keep sending parts to others who break theirs out of ignorance.

I'm not anti Dillon - I'm simply responding to the ignorance of those who belive that the Loadmaster is a press that doesn't work as intended. Granted, there are those that can't run them and I attribute it to ignorance and then they move to Dillon who builds a press that overcomes that issue.

Meta
July 29, 2006, 12:08 AM
A Kia and a Mercedes both will get you to work on time, both will go at least 100 MPH, both are `safe' to drive. I make the same comparison between a Dillon 550/650 and a Lee progessive. The Kia will take a turn, but not with the effortless grace that a well designed, well built machine like a Mercedes will. A Lee press will crank out rounds, when its set up properly, but not with the effortless grace that a Dillon will. The Dillon makes reloading better, just like a Mercedes makes driving better. Overbuilt? Overengineered? Nope. Neither is the Mercedes.
I can crank out about 900 per hour on my Dillon 650 with casefeeder if I have all my primer tubes filled and don't have any pile ups with the casefeeder at the point where the cases drop into the tube. The rest of the system virtually never jams or goes out of adjustment. Like I said, you will find tons of people who have made the switch from Lee and all the others to a Dillon and are delighted with the switch, but you will rarely find someone who has loaded on a Lee and a Dillon who praises the Lee over the Dillon.

rick_in_lb
July 30, 2006, 10:57 AM
Well I started and still use the Lee 4 Hole Turret. I also use the Dillon 550B. If I did not like the Lee I would not still be using it. I have the Lee set up for 45's and on the Dillon 38/387, 40 and the 45's also. My son and I reload together at times that is why 2 presses. The Lee was inexpensive enought to get started with and still good enough to use today.

Quinch
August 6, 2006, 01:07 AM
I read it all, his apology was hollow, as far as I know. This can only be answered by Stinger.
Did he ever apologize to you personally? He certainly insulted you personally.
Were the replacement parts you needed shipped, and were you charged for them. After all that, He should have sent you a new freaking press.
Is your account with Lee still flagged ?

3rdpig
August 6, 2006, 06:14 PM
Since I started this thread a couple of weeks ago I thought I'd post an update.

I bought a Loadmaster from Midwayusa. While I intend to load mainly 9mm and .223 I ordered the press with .40 dies because that's the only caliber I shoot that I don't have dies for. It came with the dies, auto disk powder measure, primer feeder and case feeder for $189. I also bought the case collator, extra turrets, shell plates, through the expander dies for other calibers, etc. etc. All in all I spent about $350 and am now completely set for 4 calibers, 9mm, 38/357, 40S&W and .223. This includes case feeders, extra turrets so I don't have to dismount the dies, shell plates, powder through expander dies, a riser for the powder measure so I can use my non Lee dies, rifle powder die, and a universal decapper which sounded like a good idea.

I mounted the Loadmaster and spent the first half an hour just running it through with no cases, then with cases and no dies, just enjoying watching it whir, click and spin cases around and drop them in the bin. By the time I was ready to load for real it I'd found I broke the small plastic primer slider. Fortunately Lee provides a extra one in the spare parts kit. So I proceeded to set the dies, get the powder measure on and try running a single case through at a time. I loaded about 50 rounds this way and decided that the primers weren't set deep enough (they were flush, but I prefer to have them set slightly deeper), so I tweaked the setting and promptly broke the second primer slider. Too late I found one of Uncle Don's posts saying that if you're breaking primer sliders your primer depth is set wrong. My fault and I called myself some approriate names.

After a few days I got a few more primer sliders from Midway and was back in business. This time I set the primer depth according to the Lee video (and went back over all the other settings as well per the Lee videos and Uncle Don's notes) and was ready to rumble again. This time I had no parts breakages, and loaded another 50 going one case at a time. Next I started letting the case feeder work for me and started pumping out one round with each handle pull, about 5 seconds apart. I loaded the rest of the 500 .40 rounds that I got components for with no problems at all, not one sideways or upside down primer, just the occasional sideways case from the feeder, which takes about 3 seconds to pick out. Those 400 rounds really went fast and easy, I was grinning from ear to ear as I was watching them drop into the bin like clockwork.

With only 500 rounds under my belt my current opinion of the Loadmaster is that first, the press Must be adjusted correctly, it's not hard to do but you must do it or you'll have nothing but problems, it has little or no forgiveness built in. The docs that came with the press and tools aren't much to brag about, but the online videos are great and Uncle Don's notes are also very helpful. The Auto Disk powder measure is really good, very reliable and super consistant, at first the chain seems chintzy, but it's easy to adjust and works well. The press indexes really well and works smoothly. One thing, lubing the cases, even with carbide dies, makes a BIG difference in ease of operation. The primer feed also works well but there is NO feel in primer seating and the slider part can be broken without even knowing you're doing it. The depth adjustment is all important here, get it wrong and you'll break that part, get it right and it works very well. The case feeder is good but not great (but I'm still tweaking it), but it's still better than loading cases manually, I'm still getting one sideways case about every 20 rounds or so. The lip on the case being fed hangs on the base of the case above it and the feeder kicks the bottom out. So far I haven't found the adjustment point to completely stop this. The more cases that are in the tube (more weight pressing down on the bottom case) the more likely it is to happen. It never does it with 10 or less in the tube. I'm hoping I can adjust this out, but keeping less cases in the tubes may be the final answer, possibly even shortening the tubes and reinstalling the collator. The case collator works very well. Die adjustments MUST be made according to the Lee videos or Uncle Don's notes and not like how you'd do it on other presses or you'll have trouble. Consistant and full handle strokes are mandatory to proper operation, lubing the cases really helps with this. Using powdered graphite in the primer feed parts seems to keep the primers flowing properly, but to be honest, as soon as I set the primer depth adjustment according to the Lee video my problems with the primer feed disappeared.

After some initial trouble (my own fault) the press is running well and the ammo coming out is very consistant. I bet almost every new Loadmaster owner, no matter how careful, is going to break a couple of those primer sliders before understanding the press operation and adjustments and getting it running well. It's a 99 cent part, might be worth picking up a half dozen with a new press just to save the time and extra shipping costs.

So, at least to this point, count me a happy Loadmaster owner.

I'm going to setup and run 9mm next week, hopefully I won't have much hassles changing calibers now that I understand how to make the proper adjustments (and have a few spare primer sliders!)

Sorry to run so long, I hope this helps some others with their press decisions.

Uncle Don
August 6, 2006, 07:41 PM
I'm happy things are working out for you. As you have discovered, set it up and it works as designed. To cure your tipping cases, consider reducing the space between the top of the case and the bottom of the black assembly that they come out of . You are pumping out more at a time than I do, so I don't use the casefeeder that much unless I'm got large numbers to do. I'm also happy that the notes I've provided have been of use to you and as you have discovered, everything starts with properly set dies. I think that if the primer seating system was on the bottom of a stroke, many people would have less problems because it would be a non-adustable feature. Personally, I like it the way it is but it's because we understand how it works - as a result, everything is done at the top of the stroke.

JoseM
August 6, 2006, 08:01 PM
Uncle Don...what notes are 3rdpig referring to? Is it in this thread or did you publish something seperately somewhere?

Sistema1927
August 6, 2006, 08:09 PM
I don't know if I will ever have a need for a progressive. I just finished loading 100 rounds of .45 Colt using my Lee Classic Turret. Took a total of 40 minutes, and this included:

Changing out the turrets from .45 ACP to .45 Colt, and
changing the adjustment on the Auto-Disk, and
Filling the hopper on the Auto-Disk, and
Loading primers into the Safety Prime, and
weighing the first 3 rounds and 5 others at random, and
putting the excess powder back in the jar when finished.

Uncle Don
August 6, 2006, 09:21 PM
Uncle Don...what notes are 3rdpig referring to? Is it in this thread or did you publish something seperately somewhere?

He is referring to some notes I made that are in a sticky in the reloading forum of Glocktalk. There is a link at the bottom of the first post that has the text he is speaking of.

Uncle Don
August 6, 2006, 09:28 PM
I don't know if I will ever have a need for a progressive. I just finished loading 100 rounds of .45 Colt using my Lee Classic Turret. Took a total of 40 minutes, and this included:

Changing out the turrets from .45 ACP to .45 Colt, and
changing the adjustment on the Auto-Disk, and
Filling the hopper on the Auto-Disk, and
Loading primers into the Safety Prime, and
weighing the first 3 rounds and 5 others at random, and
putting the excess powder back in the jar when finished.

That's a good point and one I've been trying to make. Even though I enjoy my progressive and have gotten used to it's speed, I enjoy using my Classic Turret and contend that very few of us have a need to load more than the four to five boxes an hour that it can turn out. In my opinion, it's the best value going when considering cost, throuhput, ease of use and the inexpense of caliber changes.

P0832177
August 7, 2006, 02:21 AM
Ford VS Chevy will always exist. But, I know first hand that if you are not gifted at following directions Lee will frustrate a person. As long as the ammo goes bang, who cares if it was Red/Blue? Certainly not me! I drank the Blue Kool Aid a long time ago! I will not recommend to people to buy anything but Dillon Blue. They flat out stand behind the product!

3rdpig
August 7, 2006, 12:54 PM
P0832177- you're right, the Loadmaster requires a user who's willing to work with it, it's unforgiving to an out of adjustment condition or to a user who won't learn to make full and steady handle strokes. A person needs to take the time to learn how it operates so he can understand what the adjustments actually achieve, that way he realizes what is needed when it's out of adjustment. A reasonable level of patience is also required when first getting started with it. Anyone who thinks they're going to take a Loadmaster out of the box and just start producing ammo is going to be ordering a Dillon by the end of the day, and I'm willing to bet they'll have some problems with that too.

I'm also willing to bet that the Classic Turret would be much more forgiving and may be a better choice for someone like this than any progressive loader, even one more forgiving such as a Dillon.

And while 500 rounds isn't much (I should be at 1000 by tomorrow evening) to base an opinion on, it seems to me at this point that if you're reasonably mechanically minded, have the patience and willingness to understand the machine you're using, that the Loadmaster offers a heck of a lot of bang for the buck and turns out quality ammo very quickly.

Sorry for the time out, we'll now return you to our regular schedule of Lee bashing. ;)

Rico567
August 8, 2006, 04:32 PM
Uncle Don said: "I enjoy using my Classic Turret and contend that very few of us have a need to load more than the four to five boxes an hour that it can turn out. In my opinion, it's the best value going when considering cost, throuhput, ease of use and the inexpense of caliber changes."

I couldn't agree more. I sold my two Lee Pro1000s because I wanted to consolidate my reloading and reload bottleneck rifle rounds on a single machine. I've got a Dillon 650 that I like a lot, but freely admit that it's overkill for my reloading volume, and the caliber changes are complicated. In retrospect (and since the Classic Turret wasn't available when I made this transition) I would have been as well off, and out a lot less money, to settle on it as my "single machine." I have pointed out to several people that an entire Lee Classic Turret, plus their Safety Primer Feed, can be had for the cost of a single caliber conversion kit for my Dillon 650. As for the people who complain about Lee's aluminum construction, hold a magnet to any of those big blue parts on a Dillon 650- and watch it fall off.
I have no complaints about my two decades loading on Lee Progressives. Most of the problems I had, in the beginning, were of my own making, and those that weren't were quickly put right by Lee customer service.

3rdpig
August 10, 2006, 02:24 AM
I loaded 500 rounds of 9mm last night on the Loadmaster. I had some problems that I didn't have loading .40, which were my fault. I didn't have the dies setup in a turret, so I ran through all the adjustments for both press and dies.

When I was loading the .40 I was using once fired WW cases. Loading the 9mm I had a totally mixed bag, including some military cases and dumb me didn't chamber the primer pockets, so I had some primer problems, mainly primers going "crunch" when pressed into the non chamfered pocket. Most of these are shootable, but some had to be decapped, chamfered and reprimed.

The case feeder worked better with 9mm than it did with .40, I had none of the bottom of the case kicking out like I did with .40. The .40 case feeder setup uses the large case feeder with the small case slider, which I think why it's less reliable than the small feeder with the small slider. I've got a modification in mind, and it just so happens I've got a spare small slider. I also had a problem getting the cases belled right, resulting in me wrecking about 10 of the copper plated slugs.

I would have made both these mistakes with any press, and hopefully won't make them again. Oh, and I ran the powder measure dry and had to pull some bullets. Dumb! I'm rusty and it shows.

But I still got the dies setup and adjusted and 490 9mm's loaded in about 2.5 hours, even with all my stupid mistakes. If I hadn't made any mistakes (yea, like that's ever gonna happen!) I could have easily produced the 500 rounds in less than an hour, specially if the dies setup and in a dedicated turret. With a properly set up press and dies and a skilled operator the Loadmaster cranks them out at a suprisingly fast rate.

I've also started preparing .223 cases. I set up the rifle case feed and the sizing/decapping die in an otherwise blank turret. The case feeder for the .223 works surprisingly well, better than I expected really considering how tall an narrow the cases are. It was pretty fast running them through just sizing and decapping. Now that they're sized, decapped, tumbled, trimmed to length and CHAMFERED (D'oh!) I'm going to run them back through the Loadmaster to prime, charge and seat the bullet. Since I don't have any slugs yet that will have to wait.

whitechevywhite
February 8, 2010, 11:51 PM
i'am new to reloading, i have purchased a kit and other extras. im reloading 243win. and 30.06 iv'e had to tinker a bit! but i like it so far. i was upset i could not buy a case feeder for my cases so i went to work to get the large rifle case feeder to work. what i come up with is a longer 1/4-20 bolt that mounts the case feeder,a piece of 3/8 Outboard Marine Corp. fuel line [i am a marine technician.] 'duck taped to the top of the case inserter.'there is better way to do this but it works for me' cases now feed.yeah the plastic parts are cheesey haven't broken any yet but there is a reason they send extras, i am sure of this.i would like to find a way to make a bullet feeder kit work for my rifle bullets. im going to be setting up to load 45acp soon and im going to buy the the bullet feed kit for 45 cal then i can see how it works and take it from there. any body like to shed some light on these subjects, no i am not going to buy another press, i refuse to give up! :D:banghead::barf:

bfox
February 9, 2010, 12:05 AM
If you haven't try here .
http://forums.loadmastervideos.com/forums/

Good Luck with the Bullet feeders .
They are Cool when they work .
But in my case they were more trouble than they were worth .

bds
February 9, 2010, 01:05 AM
My bullet feeder: :D

http://grantcunningham.com/blog_files/page19_blog_entry260_2.jpg

chineseboxer
February 9, 2010, 02:28 AM
I have never used anything other than my Lee Classic Turret press and it has been simple to use and has not given me any problems. i am loading 9mm and .223. One thing I will say is I am not really in a rush so I have never even counted how many pcs per hour. It seems everyone is hung up on speed and paint color. I haven't really seem a bad review of the LCT. For the $$ and my needs it was the perfect purchase.

evan price
February 9, 2010, 03:25 AM
Nearly all of my gear is Lee. There are a few pieces and parts that are RCBS or Lyman but only a few.

If you're the kind of person who wants to open a box and push a button and VIOLA it works, Lee progressives are NOT for you. If you have no idea how to clean the carburetor in your lawn mower, Lee progressives are not for you. If you have enough money that you can afford to just toss it at a problem to make it go away, then Lee gear is probably not for you either.

I've said it so many times- some guys want the John Deere or Kubota lawn mower. Some guys do fine with the Sears lawn mower. A commercial operator needs commercial gear. A homeowner with 1/4 acre does fine with Sears. Some guys have the money and want the best. They buy Dillons. I'm not bashing Dillon's products. They are good, solid pieces of kit. But if all we had to reload on was Dillon, lots of people would not be able to afford to reload because of the upfront cost involved.

Lee's market niche is building a machine with the features of high end gear and the cost of K-mart. Sure, a lot of plastic and aluminum and some things seem sort of kludgy. But with appropriate tweaking they work. Once you get used to how they like to run, they work fine. I've loaded tens of thousands of rounds on my Pro-1000; Sure I've had a few primers get mangled. By and large, that is mostly an operator error, either in setting the timing of the shellplate advance, or due to a dirty primer chute or punch pin pocket, or letting the primers get low in the feeder.

If I was shooting competitive events, needing thousands of rounds every month, I'd have a Dillon 650XL with case and bullet feeders on my bench.

Since I shoot maybe five hundred a month now, the Lee does fine by me.

Seriously, I'm not writing this to try to sway over anybody who doesn't like Lee. You are entitled to your opinion. You are probably right. For you, Lee stuff is junk. You can't make it work, and it won't work for you. Buy a Dillon or a Hornady or whatever you want.

For someone on a budget who wants to get into reloading, you could do far far worse than a Lee turret press. The newer classic cast 4-hole turret is a heck of a press. As strong as an RCBS or anything else out there. The progressives are tricky at first. Most of the problems involves setup; caliber changes are where you can get it wrong if you don't time the shellplate right. I wound up buying complete carrier assemblies for each caliber I would normally change; this means they stay setup right and it takes only a few minutes to change calibers.


If you need any assistance making your mind up, feel free to post. Good luck with whatever you choose.

chagasrod
February 9, 2010, 04:17 AM
My Loadmaster comes out of adjustment all the time, when it's not the case feeder system is the bullet feeder system.
Like many other people i agree to say that Lee makes an affordable product so people can get started in the hobby.
I am slowly changing all my equipment to RCBS products.
I Just bought a Single Stage (Rock Chucker) and soon will be replacing my Progressive Loadmaster for the RCBS Pro 2000.
I Just think that RCBS has more quality than Lee.

EddieNFL
February 9, 2010, 08:11 AM
If I have everything set up right without rushing I load 8-900/hour.

I'd pay a dollar to see that...on any non-commercial press.

mcdonl
February 9, 2010, 08:38 AM
My bullet feeder:

Do they eat much?

I like that. Pretty cool.

bds
February 9, 2010, 08:58 AM
To me, I don't think it needs to be Lee vs Dillon vs RCBS vs Hornady etc.

Like the Corvette vs Porsche vs Ferrari etc. or the Hyundai Sonata vs Honda Accord vs Toyota Camry, comparison discussions may never end. Some will say they will never buy anything but Porsche or Ferrari because ... Others will say Accord or Camry is better than the Sonata ...

:scrutiny:

The three sports car mentioned all have 2 doors, 4 wheels and engine/suspension that will move you quickly and handle the road well. The three sedans mentioned all have 4 doors, 4 wheels, trunk and move around a family and groceries well.

But different people will buy different make/model of vehicle for different reasons. It may be that Corvette buyer wants to drive a Chevy, be frugal and have the similar or better performance than the other vehicles. The buyer of Sonata may want reasonably priced, reliable transportation that also comes with a 10 year/100K mile warranty. Just because one buys a Corvette or a Sonata does not mean that they made a bad purchase and their driving experience will be poor. I for one love my Corvette Z06 and the Sonata - I do not feel that I have sacrificed my driving experience.

:scrutiny:

Reloading press (regardless of make and type) all have ram, lever, shell holder/plate and move the case up and down. Just like the vehicles mentioned above, each make and model of press has their individual characteristics good and bad.

I was taught to reload on both Dillon 550 and Lee Pro 1000 with their pros/cons identified with solutions. With Dillon, I was told: Clean and lightly lube all moving parts, verify your powder charge every 50-100 rounds, fill your primer tubes with primers properly, make sure you index the shell plate to avoid double charge, etc. With Lee, I was told: Clean and lightly lube all moving parts, make sure the primer feed ramp is filled, check your shell plate timing, etc. I reloaded quality match grade bullets with both and ended up choosing the Lee not because of the price, but preferred the auto index and the auto disk powder charge features.

Heck, sometimes I see the never ending Dillon 550 vs 650 vs 1050 discussions all the time at the range (If you are a "real" shooter, you "must" have the 650/1050) - and the discussions do get heated for some reason.

What's wrong with Lee reloaders? Like other reloaders, each Lee press has individual pros/cons. My Pro 1000 has primer feed issues, but I resolved that problem forever by depriming and hand priming separately.

Some say they just don't like the color. :eek:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=497331&page=2

EddieNFL
February 9, 2010, 09:29 AM
What's wrong with Lee depends on what you expect from it. Honest owners admit it takes constant adjustment/maintenance. I read tip on how you drag your thumb to prevent something from happening. If you're happy with that, then nothing is wrong with Lee.

Continuing the automobile analogy above: Lots of guys buy project cars because they love to work on them. I worked with a guy who bought a new Harley. He sold it after about six months and bought an older version. Said he hated not having to work on the new one. Other folks like to turn the key and drive away. Different strokes.

Walkalong
February 9, 2010, 09:47 AM
If folks could just keep their ego's out of the equipment debate, it would sure help.

There is equipment out there that is machined more nicely than the stuff I have, but I like what I have.

Every piece of machinery out there has its little quirks, as well as its strong points.

I have multiple brands of dies, all of which I am happy with. I have had more quality control issues with one of the "better" makers than any other, but they make some great products.

I have inexpensve stuff, and costly stuff. Sometimes the costly stuff is worth every dime, and sometimes it isn't.

bds
February 9, 2010, 09:58 AM
I have hard time considering my Corvette Z06 as a project car ... :eek::scrutiny: My Pro 1000 is a work horse I will continue to reload on until I die. :D
It needs a little bit of lube and nothing else (maybe a little turn of Phillips screwdriver here and there).

BTW, I have Lee, RCBS and Lyman presses happily mounted on my bench - love em all the same.

EddieNFL
February 9, 2010, 10:04 AM
I have hard time considering my Corvette Z06 as a project car ...

So do I. :confused:

helg
February 9, 2010, 10:22 AM
Honest owners admit it takes constant adjustment/maintenance. I would not say that constant adjustment is needed. You need to set it up correctly for a caliber only once. Sure, when you change the caliber, or e.g., use different bullet, you need readjustment. You have to do this with any other press as well. Probably, you misunderstood owners claims.

The maintenance: regular cleaning and lubing is indeed needed for the Loadmaster. I do understand why it is needed. Claims that a mechanical device, which is not isolated from the environment, does not require the cleaning and lubing, sound like fairy tale of an ideal car that never needs an oil change.

EddieNFL
February 9, 2010, 10:33 AM
Probably, you misunderstood owners claims.

In the words of a friend who has loaded on a Lee for years, "I have to adjust (I don't recall what) pretty often and I know which parts to keep on hand, but overall, for what I paid I'm happy with it." I've heard similar remarks from a few guys.

By maintenance (my word), I took him to mean changing worn or broken parts, not routine cleaning and lubrication.

helg
February 9, 2010, 10:50 AM
In the words of a friend who has loaded on a Lee for years, "I have to adjust (I don't recall what) pretty often and I know which parts to keep on hand, but overall, for what I paid I'm happy with it." I've heard similar remarks from a few guys.

By maintenance (my word), I took him to mean changing worn or broken parts, not routine cleaning and lubrication. Arguing with blurry claims of some mystery friend with no details against first-hand experience on the Lee press does not sound convincing.

Nate1778
February 9, 2010, 11:22 AM
I like my Loadmaster, I would not say it needs constant adjustment, it needs initial adjustment and then runs pretty smooth till you switch calibers, then it needs re-adjustment. I unlike others have a priming system that works. roughly 7000 rounds and still on the original parts. Timing myself I have done 450 rounds an hour including putting them in the boxes. I would guess 500-550 is doable but one would need to be hustling.

EddieNFL
February 9, 2010, 12:44 PM
Arguing with blurry claims of some mystery friend with no details against first-hand experience on the Lee press does not sound convincing.
I guess I could call a couple of Lee guys and ask, but it's not that important to me. If you cruise around various handloading forums, you find the info.

You satisfied with your Lee? That's all that matters.

AFA first hand experience, I owned a Lee some years ago.

orthodoxy001
February 9, 2010, 01:18 PM
On the whole lee / dillon / hornady thing, I've done a lengthy and somewhat infamous review: http://www.comrace.ca/cmfiles/dillonLeeHornadyComparison.pdf

There's a link at the end to a video showing the LNL AP in operation (with a bulletfeeder).

Objective feedback always welcome.

fourdollarbill
February 9, 2010, 01:30 PM
I have had the Lee Load Master for a few years now and loaded about 8,000+ rounds through it for 40 S&W, 38SPL and 357mag and all 8,000+ rounds have gone bang and worked well. So this goes to show how crappy it is. One time I had to buy a new primer arm and it cost $1.29 ! *** 8,000+ rounds and I keep having to dump money into it.

Okay now that the BS is done... I have found the value to be more than worth it. I get a very well made round with accurate powder drops. I'm not sure of the "its going to wear out" claim because mine is still going like the Energizer Bunny and is far from worn. I would buy another if I had a bigger table.

bds
February 9, 2010, 01:50 PM
orthodoxy001, nice comparison work (now that's how you do comparisons - actual first-hand experience). :D

Until my wife buys me a Hornady reloader, I will just keep chugging away on my Lee Pro 1000. :cuss:

Actually, I have used many other reloaders but I guess it's kinda like Corvette vs Porsche vs Ferrari thing ... doing my own thing and it works for me ... :rolleyes:

fourdollarbill:
The Lee Loader is Junk

I absolutely agree!!! Please, don't ever buy one!!!:D;):D

helg
February 9, 2010, 02:16 PM
I guess I could call a couple of Lee guys and ask, but it's not that important to me. If you cruise around various handloading forums, you find the info.

You satisfied with your Lee? That's all that matters.

AFA first hand experience, I owned a Lee some years ago.
1. If it would not be that important to you, you would refrain writing to this thread. Once you continue answering, your claim does not smell good.

2. Your referring to friends' experience only - above in the thread, and then claiming that you have your own, again, does not sound truthful.

EddieNFL
February 9, 2010, 02:34 PM
Shrug...

Your continuing contributions seem to indicate I've struck a nerve.

helg
February 9, 2010, 02:49 PM
Shrug...

Your continuing contributions seem to indicate I've struck a nerve.
That is correct. I understand that people may be wrong. I condemn person, who is lying instead of admitting that he was wrong. If this person owns guns, it becomes dangerous. This is the nerve.

Steve 48
February 9, 2010, 02:54 PM
I have a Rock Chucker RCBS and a Dillon 550 and would not trade them for anything. I use the RCBS for big rifle rounds but everything else goesw on the 550. Lee is cheap cast iron if that ad many regret buying them and some love them. It really depends how much you shoot and the volume you reload.

helg
February 9, 2010, 03:42 PM
I have a Rock Chucker RCBS and a Dillon 550 and would not trade them for anything. I use the RCBS for big rifle rounds but everything else goesw on the 550. Lee is cheap cast iron if that ad many regret buying them and some love them. It really depends how much you shoot and the volume you reload. I have a Loadmaster and Lee single stage press. I load pistol and small rifle rounds on the progressive Loadmaster and high power rifle on the single stage. Dillon is overpriced piece of junk, but some love them. It really depends on whether are you ready to toss $1k to start reloading.

David Wile
February 9, 2010, 04:32 PM
Hey folks,

When I started reloading in the 1950s, the first loader I bought was a Lee Loader for about $4. I loaded one box of 30-40 Krag cartridges and immediately returned it to the store. To me, that Lee Loader was enough to drive one insane. Since money was an issue, and a Lee Loader was out of the question, I started buying used presses and rebuilding them. I had enough money to buy RCBS and Lyman Dies, and I was able to stick with mostly RCBS and Lyman metallic stuff in the early years. I was also able to buy and rebuild Pacific shotshell presses along with some MEC single stage presses. The last new press I bought was a Hornady LNL AP in 1997, and even though our kids were gone by then, that press was a lot of money to me.

I have always considered Lee stuff to be pretty much junk even though I still use their dippers and their Auto Prime hand tool. And you still couldn't get me to trade an old RCBS Junior press for a Lee press. However, having said all the bad things I think about Lee products, I have to recognize that I am saying those bad things after I have spent about 50 years accumulating a whole bunch of what is really now pretty darn high dollar equipment. I have at least four or five single stage RCBS metallic presses, a Hornady LNL AP, three MEC single stage shotshell loaders, and three Pacific/Hornady 366 progressive shotshell reloaders. None of that stuff has been purchased since 1997.

If I were just starting to buy reloading equipment today at the prices they sell for today, I am pretty sure I would start thinking that a lot of Lee Products just might be a very good buy. Now I am not about to suggest that Lee makes a progressive machine the equal of my Hornady LNL AP or a Dillon 650, but I don't have any idea how younger folks today can afford to buy the Hornady and Dillon machines. I know I sure couldn't. I reloaded on single stage machines for 40 years before I felt barely half justified in spending the money on my Hornady LNL AP. It seems there are a lot of folks out there who own several of the expensive progressives just so they don't have to change dies. That just boggles my mind.

I like my old "Old Name" presses that I have accumulated over the years, but I can certainly understand why Lee has made such an impact in the reloading industry since I started reloading. Lee is still targeting their product toward the vast majority of folks who either cannot or do no spend all their family resources for high dollar equipment. And the best thing about the folks using Lee equipment is that they produce good quality ammo if they learn the craft of reloading properly.

I may not be a Lee user, but I take my hat off to those who do use Lee equipment and learn to make qood quality ammo.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

bds
February 9, 2010, 04:43 PM
And the best thing about the folks using Lee equipment is that they produce good quality ammo if they learn the craft of reloading properly.

Thank you. I could not have said it better myself. :D

Since I have produced several hundred thousand quality ammo on Lee Pro 1000, does that mean I have learned the craft of reloading properly?

Hooah! :D

EddieNFL
February 9, 2010, 05:13 PM
Dillon is overpriced piece of junk, but some love them.

Priceless!

Hunt480
February 9, 2010, 05:28 PM
QUOTE]If I were just starting to buy reloading equipment today at the prices they sell for today, I am pretty sure I would start thinking that a lot of Lee Products just might be a very good buy. Now I am not about to suggest that Lee makes a progressive machine the equal of my Hornady LNL AP or a Dillon 650, but I don't have any idea how younger folks today can afford to buy the Hornady and Dillon machines. I know I sure couldn't. I reloaded on single stage machines for 40 years before I felt barely half justified in spending the money on my Hornady LNL AP. It seems there are a lot of folks out there who own several of the expensive progressives just so they don't have to change dies. That just boggles my mind.
[/QUOTE]
Price alone was the reason I bought Lee equipment when I started reloading,
I have the breech loader single stage and the classic 4 hole turret that are absolutely perfect for my needs. They work great and turn out very good ammo.I can't speak for the 1000,but I'm sold on the Lee equipment I have used. I do use other dies sometimes but that 4 hole classic turret works any way you want it to, and very easy to use. As I said ;perfect for my needs. And on another subject;I can't beleive that everybody that loads does not own Lee's carbide die sets at Lee's price.
my2cents...

aerod1
February 9, 2010, 06:27 PM
Don't throw away your Lee reloading equipment. I'll take it off your hands!!!:banghead:

GIJOEL
February 9, 2010, 10:00 PM
i personally have a dillon 650, but i've used the square deal B and it's a great press for pistol loading. if i were you i'd get a Square deal B and load your rifle on the single stage untill you can get a good turret. i reload 223 on my 650 but it auto indexes so working up to a close measurement is a pita. i'm looking for a turret for 30-06 and my more accurate 223 loads.

whitechevywhite
February 9, 2010, 11:56 PM
i am not going to say anything bad about anybody's stuff just that im young and have kids,wife,house payment ect. i cant afford expensive stuff. and for the $ i've spent on the loadmaster and the cust. service i am pleased and will buy more lee products.:what::neener:;)

bfox
February 10, 2010, 12:22 AM
I'd Like to Know what everyone thinks of the Lee Bullet Feeder ?
When mine worked they were great !
I only used cast bullets lubed with Lee alox .
Not a good combo in my opinion .

In progressives have 2 Loadmasters ,2 pro 1000's a Hornady LNL and a Dillon SDB .
Use the LM's the most !

lgbloader
February 10, 2010, 12:37 AM
Some of you folks need to chill out and take The High Road. I have three Dillons that are great machines but I also have a Lee Classic Cast single, an old Lee Challenger without the breech locks along with a RCBS Rockchucker and a Redding T7, and personally I would love to have a Lee Classic turret. I love tools and that is all they really are. Tools... Try to remember that someone's junk is also someone's treasure, Red or Red or Blue or Green or Orange or Black!!!

Now you youngsters play along nicely or you will have to go home and take your presses with you.

LGB

rfwobbly
February 10, 2010, 01:01 PM
Some of you folks need to chill out and take The High Road.

+1

To me, presses are like cars: Some have more features, some get better gas mileage, some have more comfort, some are safer in a collision.... but they all get you to work. How you get to work is your business based on your priorities, your family needs, and your financial situation.

Besides, after about 15 years of reloading you'll have collected all the colors anyway!

Roccobro
February 10, 2010, 01:33 PM
Did anyone notice this thread is 2006??!? Bumped yesterday and jumped right back to hurting poor reloaders feelings!

Justin

Glock20
February 10, 2010, 02:12 PM
I have both a Lee pro 1000 and a Hornady LNL AP. Loaded on a single stage for years, then wanted to try a progressive so I picked up the pro 1000 for 9mm. For less than $150.00 w/dies the Lee is a bargain. After growing tired of the "glitches" especially the priming system and having 3 stations, I bought the LNL AP.

For someone on a budget that want's a progressive, Lee just cannot be beat. It is not the same quality as a Hornady, Dillon, RCBS or a few other's, and one needs to be somewhat mechanically to operate it, but it's also less than 1/3 the price.
Any press will load good ammunition. Ammo loaded on my Lee or Hornady all look the same and shoot the same.
Although I much prefer to load on my LNL as it's as smooth as silk, but the little Lee still has a place on my bench.

KHughes
February 10, 2010, 10:47 PM
If anyone has a used loadmaster they want to get rid of I'd be interested. Either for the price of shipping if you hate it so much you just want it gone or for a fair used loader price. I like to fix things that are "unfixable".

I am serious. If anyone has a load master they want to get rid of let me know.

Kent

1SOW
February 10, 2010, 11:44 PM
+1 for get the safety prime AND the PRO-Auto Disc. It has a powder shut-off, is hand removable with brass knurled knobs--no tools needed--, a better powder seal and a more durable round powder hopper. It's not expensive.

Also order about 1/2 dozen of the little plastic index squares--part # TF3567--$2 for 2+/-?. Until you get the press figured out and running smoothly, it's easy to stretch them out of shape so it doesn't index accurately.

I really would like have the Dillon progressive, but can't justify the luxury. Economically, the amount and size of calibers you shoot, and how long you plan on being a shooter would matter . If I was young, the Dillon would be the choice for long term use. The warranty is unbeatable.

I shoot 150-200+ 9mm rds/week, sometimes more. I also have a son that likes my reloads.
The Lee has loaded around 10K rds that chrono great with a small es. I load slower than what I've heard above (about 1/2), but can feed my habit easily.

You can use your single stage to deprime. With no depriming the Lee needs very little cleaning and lubing.

whitechevywhite
February 11, 2010, 09:55 AM
thank you bfox for the link to the bullet feed videos. i plan on loading 45acp soon and i'm going to buy the 45cal. bullet feed kit,and i will let everyone know how it works for me.i already load 243win.,30.06 and i like how things work out. like another guy said, i take it slow also it takes a little time for all the powder to drop, a couple seconds i wait 3.:)

xephael
May 29, 2010, 02:00 AM
...RCBS Rockchucker and a Redding T7...

What's your opinion on the T7? It's on my too buy list eventually :)

Duckdog
May 29, 2010, 08:41 AM
I have 4 or 5 presses and quite simply, the Lee Classic Turret rocks! I've loaded probably 5000-6000 rds through it and have had no problems to speak of. Excellent tool. I have lots of red stuff on my bench and will continue to buy Lee products.

WyrTwister
January 3, 2012, 01:39 PM
I recei9ved the Lee LoadMaster in June . After a few bumps in the road and a fairly steep learning curve , mine is running fine . I am using the second generation priming system . After a little breaking in , they are doing fine also .

I am happy with the press .

I transitioned from the Lee cast iron turret press . That is one of the greatest values / presses going .

God bless
Wyr

twohightech
January 3, 2012, 11:17 PM
Lee make's good presses for the money. I used a loadmaster for years when it is "set right" it puts ammo out quick. The Loadmaster has many more parts to get out of adjustment/break then most presses. The primming system was what gave me the most trouble but keep it clean and use I die for primming fixed it. I was able to get an LnL and it broke while setting it up? Easy fix but then went back to the Lee for a while because I could load faster just sold it to buy a case feeder.

GT1
January 4, 2012, 01:58 AM
Did anyone notice this thread is 2006??!? Bumped yesterday and jumped right back to hurting poor reloaders feelings!

It has been bumped up once again, and I enjoyed reading it for some reason.

I have a LCT still in the box(I am building a bench very soon) and a Lee hand press that I have set up for decapping and sizing my .45 acp factory ammo brass that I shoot at the range.

I'd have to say, if it wasn't for the $84 price tag and inexpensive accessories that go with the LCT I'd probably still be reading and saving up pennies for a day quite a ways off instead of building a bench.

Lost Sheep
January 4, 2012, 02:03 AM
Lee's Classic Turret fits my style. To start, Lee makes the ONLY TURRETS IN THE WORLD WITH AUTO-INDEXING.

I wonder about the squibs cherryriver mentioned. My Pro-1000 only gave me squibs when I ran my powder measure dry and did not notice. I suspect the squibs were the fault of the powder measure more than the press itself.

On the other hand, the primer feed was always a problem for me. I probably could have cured it by spraying some dry lube in the chute, but that still would not have cured the other two problems, debris from the spent primers getting in the works and the unreliability of feeding the last two primers of each batch.

I hated the fact that the ejected spent primers would fall on the floor a high percentage of the time instead of into the base cavity of the press.

I never had a problem with keeping the press' shell plate in adjustment, but changing calibers was not something I ever looked forward to. I only had the one carrier for each of my two presses and I reload for 7 calibers.

The miser in me objected to buying a new shell plate for calibers for which I already had a shell holder. Irrational, I know, but it irritated me.

SASS#23149 in post #6 is absolutely consistent with my experience. Up to the Dillon. I don't have one. Always wanted a 650, but the money is a barrier.

The MAIN reason I have eschewed progressives, though, is that I am constitutionally incapable of trusting mechanical devises to the extent progressive require in order to achieve the speeds of which they are capable. That is, when using my Lee Pro-1000s, I would stop at every stroke of the press to check each event. Stroke down, check primer movement, powder drop, etc. Stroke up, feel for primer seating, remember to place new bullet on the case adn so forth.

I found that with all the pauses I imposed on myself that I could produce rounds at about the same speed and with more certainty and safety than I could on the Pro-1000s.

I disagree with 1911user's assessment of the speed increase you could experience with the turret over the single stage. He is right if you stick with batch processing on the turret, but where I usually get about 50-60 rounds per minute. I ran 100 rounds in 47 minutes (including filling the primer feed and emptying the powder hopper back into the original powder bottle and boxing the finished ammo when I was done). That was my first time out. But that was in continuous mode, not batch mode.

I ratify benedict1's post (# 16), especially what he says about Sue Kempf. I talked to her (email, mostly) and she was very generous with her time and advice.



I had intended to read the entire thread, but just notice that I have only gotten through one-fifth of it. So, I will cut to the finish.

I switched to a Classic Turret because it fit my reloading needs and is dead reliable. Caliber changes with my dies pre-installed on spare turrets) are swift, simple and cheaper than any progressive. I was able to produce as much ammunition per hour on the turret as I could on my Pro-1000 (mostly because of my caution, but this would probably not be much different with a progressive on any maker).

I also like to put my gear away after loading (I am partial to portability) and my Turret and all gear fits in three medium-small toolboxes, plus a folding workbench and a vibratory tumbler. I can pack my gear up in 5-10 minutes after finishing a loading session. I can also pack up with three trips to my car and have a loading session at a friend's house.

The big thing is that I have never been comfortable with trying to monitor multiple simultaneous operations. I like continuous processing better than batch, so the turret really fits my "style" better than single stage and I feel safer and more certain than with a progressive.

Safety and control over my reloads. That's the bottom line. (Relatively) high production rates, lower equipment cost, less storage space and easier, cheaper caliber swaps are peripheral benefits.

Lost Sheep

WyrTwister
January 6, 2012, 04:40 PM
The Lee cast iron turret press is probably the greatest value going !

The Lee LoadMaster I received in June , is a good press with a steep learning curve ( at least for me ) . I had my ups and downs with it . A lot of the problems were self inflicted . There is a lot of things going on at the same time an many need to be watched .

There have been some major changes to the priming system , in the last several months . I am using the second generation priming system . After initial break in , it is running pretty good .

I like it much better than gen one . The current one is gen 3 B .

Right now , the only complaint I have about the LM is it sure gobbles components . :-) Of course , it spits out a lot of ammo in doing so . :-)

A progressive is much more suited for straight wall calibers .

Due to the nature of bottle neck rifle calibers , it is less productive for them . This is due to the brass prep that is necessary .

If you are only shooting the same brass , over and over , ( no military and / or range brass added each trip to the range ) in one and only one gun , maybe not so much . If you use the Lee collet die .

I am glad I have my LM . :-)

I am way too cheap to pay the cost of the other progressives . And , then look and compare the cost of the caliber conversion parts !

I am lucky , I already had the dies . And , with my C&R FFL discount , it cost me $ 30 to convert to one of the other calibers I load for .

I currently can load for the following calibers on the LM .

9 x 19mm , .38 Special / .357 Mag , .44 Mag , .45 ACP , .45 LC , .30 Carbine , .30-30 and .223 .

I can not say anything good or bad about the other progressives .

I can say the following ;

If your ego demands you to buy what others perceive is the best , skip the Lee LM .

If you are all thumbs and have little or no mechanical aptitude , skip the Lee LM .

If you have little patience to work with the machine , skip the Lee LM .

If you can not follow instructions or directions ( oral , written or visual ) , skip the Lee LM .

Or if you perceive you do not have the time to do any of the above , skip the Lee LM .



God bless
Wyr

777TRUTH
January 6, 2012, 06:22 PM
An old thread I enjoyed reading. I own some Lee presses and think very highly of them.

All in all I think WyrTwister summed it up very nicely on the LoadMaster and it could also apply to the Pro 1000.

I can say the following ;

If your ego demands you to buy what others perceive is the best , skip the Lee LM .

If you are all thumbs and have little or no mechanical aptitude , skip the Lee LM .

If you have little patience to work with the machine , skip the Lee LM .

If you can not follow instructions or directions ( oral , written or visual ) , skip the Lee LM .

Or if you perceive you do not have the time to do any of the above , skip the Lee LM .

kingmt
January 6, 2012, 06:59 PM
Add:If you often bad mouth quality tools because you don't know how to use them skipping Lee tools is a good idea.

TwoEyedJack
January 6, 2012, 07:30 PM
I load with either a Dillon RL550 (started life as an AT500 then upgraded over time) or a Rockchucker. The Dillon has been great, but most of the dies and powder measuring are Lee. The Lee carbide dies are short, so sometimes I have to put the locking ring underneath the tool head. I have a Lee Autodisk measure that has dropped many thousands of charges on the blue press and it does not seem to care. I actually prefer it to the Dillon powder measure since there is no linkage to adjust. If and when it ever wears out, I will get another.

Lost Sheep
January 7, 2012, 12:12 AM
I have a Lee Autodisk measure that has dropped many thousands of charges on the blue press and it does not seem to care. I actually prefer it to the Dillon powder measure since there is no linkage to adjust. If and when it ever wears out, I will get another.
If your AutoDisk ever wears out, don't get another. Just get the Upgrade kit to the Pro Autodisk. I replaces most everything breakable with the Pro parts and they are even more durable.

Lost Sheep

777TRUTH
January 7, 2012, 08:51 AM
My vote for the best one liner in this 6 year old thread.

Dillon is overpriced piece of junk, but some love them.

I don't necessarily agree with the statement but I did get a good laugh out of it.

RandyP
January 7, 2012, 09:15 AM
The term for this I 'think' is necroposting - lol - reviving old dead threads and giving them new life.

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