What to do?


July 26, 2009, 11:20 PM
Here's the short short story. I have had Lee presses since I started reloading. They have always done what I needed them to do and have been happy. Tonight while trying to neck down some .308 to 7mm-08 (for my new Ruger Hawkeye) I broke my Classic Cast. :banghead: It is the lever sleeve ($4.00). I like the press, and will get it fixed regardless (at least for loading pistol). Is this a common occurance? I am thinking of going with Lyman or RCBS (single stage) as this has me scared. I am the type that loads-as-I-go. I am often times loading the night before I go the range. As it sits now, I am unable to reload and was hoping to get some shooting in tomorow:cuss:. Has anyone else had this problem? I am not that familier with any other brand of presses, just looking for a litte input.

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The Bushmaster
July 26, 2009, 11:58 PM

July 27, 2009, 12:18 AM
wow... I have one and I guess it is obviously possible. But I need to see a picture, too.


July 27, 2009, 01:06 AM
I'd grab a cheap single stage press for your rifle and necking. A lot of people say you get better accuracy with the single when it comes to rifle.

Use the turret for pistol.

July 27, 2009, 01:38 AM
How old is the press: Lee has a 2 year warranty.

July 27, 2009, 07:27 AM
My Lee press was showing signs of fatigue when resizing 30-06 cases. I scored a used RCBS Rock Chucker from Ebay and use that for my rifle case resizing. I still do most of my handgun brass on the Lee as well as all of my loading chores.

July 27, 2009, 07:32 AM
Hope this works, never put a picture up before.

The press is about 3 years old.

July 27, 2009, 07:49 AM
Call Lee and see what they say.

July 27, 2009, 08:22 AM
I have an RCBS Rock Chucker that that is going on 30 years old. It hasn't ever had a problem. Look around for a used one.

July 27, 2009, 08:59 AM
Not untypical of a Lee Press. :(

The Bushmaster
July 27, 2009, 09:23 AM
Now why would you say that loadedround...I have no problem resizing .30-06 cases on mine. I have both the classic cast "O" press and classic cast turret. Both use the same parts for the lever... My bet is either a defective part. Not the proper amount of lube or none at all. Another thing to look at is whether the bolt and nut were tight. If loose this is what can happen...

July 27, 2009, 10:46 AM
Update: My press is not in warrenty anymore. I have placed an order for the new sleeve. Like I said before, I really like the press and am chalking this up to, as stated above, the screw was loose. After thinking about it, it was probably my fault. I couldn't check after, as the whole thing was loose. I used enough lube, as I was able to finish the necking of the case and it came out good. These cases were the first I have tried to neck down and got about 20 of the 50 I was planning to do done.

July 27, 2009, 10:59 AM
wow. my lee is set up a little diferently (different press) but still has a peice of pot metal holding the arm in place. i guess i will keep an eye on it and make sure it never gets very loose. as for other presses. i used to have a rockchucker. i faded out of shooting for roughly 15 years. after about 6 or 7, i sold all my reloading stuff. anyway, a rockchucker is called that for a reason. unless you put it between two cars crashing @ 70mph each, you could not hurt that press. it is built so overkill it is rediculous! lee on the other hand, is build to whithstand normal use. which is adequet for most of us. i have thought about picking up a used rockchucker from time to time, but i have other things i need more.

Marlin 45 carbine
July 27, 2009, 11:23 AM
I had a problem with breakage of Lee press and as said somewhat attributable to bolt looseness. I was useing it for forming brass which is tough on a press.
I got a good deal on a chucker at a garage sale which I use for forming and sizeing bottleneck rifle. the Lee in tandem I use for seating and FCD and mostly sizeing/decapping pistol brass.

July 27, 2009, 12:33 PM
Well, you get what you paid for.

The Lee was built to be a cheap :scrutiny: (really cheap) press. I busted mine using a primer pocket swager to remove military crimps.

My other single stage press is one of those cast iron "o" type presses, made to outlast me. I've been using THAT one since the early 1970's. I'd return it to Lee, but I wouldn't get all worked up over it. Look at this as your reason to get a sturdier rig that will last you.

tasco 74
July 27, 2009, 12:50 PM
contact lee... they will stand behind their products and probably send you a replacement part for your press........................ i have had nothing but good from lee co. .................


July 27, 2009, 12:59 PM
That is surprising, and I would say defective part or loose caused it.
It does appear to be a cast metal part though.

Still, if my 1970 era RCBS Rockchucker was ever gonna break, I think it would have done it a long time ago.


The Bushmaster
July 27, 2009, 01:22 PM
For 20 years I used a Lee turret, the aluminum one, for every thing from resizing .30-6 cases to pressing automotive generator and alternator bearings and bushings. I retired it to a box in my closet. Just in case the new Lee Cast turret fails....

Ol` Joe
July 27, 2009, 08:06 PM
Lees warrenty

Guarantee and Repair policy

Lee reloading products are unconditionally guaranteed not to wear out or break from normal use for two full years or they will be repaired or replaced at no charge if returned to the factory.

Our lifetime conditional guarantee states that any Lee product of current manufacture, regardless of age or condition, will be reconditioned to new, including a new guarantee if returned to the factory with payment equal to half the current retail price.

Another option is to send the product of any age back to the factory for repair. Labor is free and you are charged only for any parts that are necessary to get your product functioning properly.

Our address is:

Lee Precision, Inc.
4275 Highway "U"
Hartford, WI 53027
(262) 673-3075

The 1st two years they cover it IF YOU pay to return it to the factory. After that 2 yrs you pay 1/2 the price of a new one to have it repaired plus shipping, or parts and shipping with no further warrenty. Most others will repair their tools for little or nothing for life unless obviously abused. RCBS will even cover that, no questions asked.

Necking 308 to 708 isn`t a big job. I`ve done it on my old RCBS Jr although a RockChucker or Lyman Orange Crusher is a better choice. I`d look at replacing the Lee with a stouter press and useing the Lee for sizing smaller brass and bullet seating, etc.

July 27, 2009, 09:04 PM
As I stated earlier, I placed an order for the new sleeve (and a set of linkage for a challenger that broke long ago). I have also placed an order for a new Lyman Crusher 2 from Midsouth. I weighed the issue for much of the day and after researching both Lyman's press and a RCBS I decided on the Lyman. Last nights "oops" ended up costing me $107 for the Lyman and $10 for the Lee parts (and related shipping costs) but I figure it bought me piece of mind. I hope to get the Lee up and running as good as it has for the last 3 years and mount both presses (as I have been thinking about doing for quite a while). Thanks for the input and thank you for not turning this thread into an equipment brand war (as would have happened on so many other boards.).

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