Where does favoring superior products end and snobbery begin?


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762NATO
March 8, 2010, 04:29 PM
I'm new to reloading and currently reading the Lyman manual and digging thru a lot of posts here to learn all I can before biting the big bullet on a list of reloading equipment.

A friend of mine is a seasoned match shooter and we both share a love for the M14, though he carried the thing in Vietnam and I just shot one for the first time less than two years ago. :) He is an avid reloader so I hope to learn a lot from him. We went to a gun show together the other day and I was milking him for as much info as possible regarding reloading equipment.

I've been strongly considering the Lee Classic Turret and their 4-die set for my 40S&W pistols, but I also will be reloading for my M14. He told me to stay away from everything Lee except for their hand priming units. When I asked why he said because their market share is not from bench rest or match shooters...that their tolerances and quality is based upon the needs of people making blasting ammo or hunting deer. He told me for the essential gear (i.e. presses and dies) to stick with Redding or Forster as they have the best reputation among match shooters. I also had been considering the RCBS X-dies for 7.62x51 ammo. He told me he tried them so that he would not have to trim his brass so often, but they they did not give him as accurate a cartridge as his Redding dies.

What do y'all think? Is he right on for the most part? Is there a qualitative difference in the accuracy of the cartridges produced by Redding or Forster gear vs other companies and that it comes down to what you can afford? What about long-term reliability and build quality? Or is my friend stuck in his ways and pushing the snobbery boundary line?

I am not a match shooter. I will be making ammo for blasting, deer hunting (LOL, in regard to his response) and for SHTF. However, I am not ruling out the possibility of becoming a match shooter in the future as I have been shooting for less than 2 years and it has come very naturally to me. I wouldn't mind being able to make match-quality ammo in the future.

I expect all sorts of answers here. I'm looking to cut thru all the responses that wreak of offense because the poster owns RCBS or Lee gear. I'm most interested in responses like, "I own Lee but I used a Forster press and wish I had it instead," or, "I own (or have repeatedly used) both Lee and Redding presses and can tell no appreciable difference in the quality of ammo produced." ETC.

Thanks!!

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rcmodel
March 8, 2010, 04:47 PM
I think many of us older reloaders are stuck on RCBS, Redding, and others because thats what we have had excellent success with for 40 years or more. I haven't bought any major new Lee equipment because I can't wear out my old RCBS stuff.

I have nothing against Lee dies or equipment, and even have been buying Lee dies in odd ball handgun calibers for the last few years.

I'm not a fan of their aluminum presses, or powder measures, or primer tools.
Mainly because I had bad luck with them years ago, and will never buy any more of them.

On the other hand, there is no less inexpensive way to get set up & reloading perfectly good ammo.

If after you learn to reload and find some of it lacking, you can probably sell it for close to what you paid for it and buy something more expensive and/or better suited to your needs.
Once you find out what your needs are.

rc

7.62 Nato
March 8, 2010, 04:48 PM
I own and use the Lee Classic 4 hole Turret Press. It works very well. I'm also not a competitive match shooter. If you want to compete you have to practice, that takes ammo and lots of it. From the beginning my reloads have been more accurate than factory ammo and I don't even consider myself a "good" reloader yet. Most peoples ability will not surpass their equipment. If you get to that point you can upgrade.

By the way, nice screen name.

lykoris
March 8, 2010, 04:51 PM
I own redding/lyman decapping dies and wish I had first bought the lee decapping die.

price is what you pay an value is what you get, each person has a price point and their own subjective opinion of what constitutes 'value'.

Jesse Heywood
March 8, 2010, 04:59 PM
By the way, nice screen name.
You two must be long-lost brothers!

I can't speak about anything but RCBS. I used their equipment in years past, and it was very good. Last fall I got back into reloading, and bought RCBS. The new stuff that is made in China is junk. I had to hand fit, chase threads, and deburr everything but the dies.

loadedround
March 8, 2010, 05:01 PM
You only get what you pay for these days. With 45 years worth of reloading experience, and a retired engineer, I find the Lee press to be very light for reloading rifle cases because of it's overall construction. I don't see the precision or the tolerance in any of the Lee presses compared to my favorite press, the Redding Boss or Big Boss. I have also used Lee dies and they work well, however because of some of the aluminum components in them, they also will wear quicker. For light reloading use, consider the Lee, but for volume reloading consider Lyman, RCBS, or Redding presses; or go all the way and invest in a Dillon 55B. You will not be sorry.

jfh
March 8, 2010, 05:01 PM
I think the issue rests less in what kind of shooter you are--i.e., you said you are "not a match shooter"--and more in what kind of reloader you might become. IIRC, a recent long-range (1000-yd?) record was set using cartridges built on Lee gear. Generally, however, that is not the brand's reputation.

By your characterization, you don't (at this point) need the gear with a "match" reputation. With that in mind, what RC says is good advice. To this I would add one more observation--since Lee gear can require fiddling and some trouble-shooting skills to run efficiently all the time, it helps a lot if the user is process-oriented and not goal-oriented. One who is minimally 'mechanically inclined' will have no trouble with the fiddling, and you clearly already have enough sense to ask questions.

So, there's no reason to not consider Lee gear. As 7.62 Nato points out, he's happy with the Lee Classic Turret, and if you get that you can learn reloading and efficiently load all your calibres quite handily.

Jim H.

oneounceload
March 8, 2010, 05:03 PM
If you want to compete you have to practice, that takes ammo and lots of it.

In the BR community, that also means making the most accurate round every time as well - it's a combination of quality and quantity, with the focus on quality.

raz-0
March 8, 2010, 05:12 PM
My current high volume pistol setup has Lee, dillon, and redding dies in it. I started with lee, and replaced whatever wasn't working for me at the time. For me, for the most part, I start with lee dies, and replace the bits that don't work.

In general, their dies are pretty decent. Their single stage presses are as solid and rigid as anyone elses. It's not exactly high tech equipment there. The turret has compelling reasons for and against (I started with one, and moved on, but it makes a great "trying things out" backup press). Their progressive presses are pretty easy to argue against. About all they have going for them is cheapness, and for high volume reloading, the press is definitely on the razor side of the equation rather than the razorblades.

As for the forster press. It is stupidly expensive. For carefully built match ammo, I could see the appeal at one point, but now that both hornady and lee have bushings for your dies that allow you to remove and replace them while keeping everything set, I don't see what you are paying for these days with the forster press.

I really don't think anyone produces dies that are bad these days. What I think you will find is that different pieces of gear do the job slightly differently, and some have advantages that may or may not be relevant to you, and some don't.

For example, the redding micrometer seating die, rcbs x-die, lee factory crimp die, and egw-u die are all based around a gimmick/feature they do that other things don't do the same way. Each one of them is genuinely useful if you need that gimmick. If you don't, you will be left wondering why you paid the money for it.

As for your friend having a poitn or not. Well i'd keep in mind that there is probably less accuracy to be realized between cheap lee .308 dies and expensive redding .308 dies than the difference between an well set up m14 and a decently set up bolt action rifle.

As for benchresting, you get lots of wildcatting going on, and forster will make you more special one off dies for cheaper while still caring about precision to the nth degree than the next guy. When chasing that last little bit of accuracy, that matters.

Also, for that last little bit, case prep matters a lot. Forster and redding have had a lot better case prep tools as single brands than pretty much anyone else for a while. However, hornady is making some significant inroads in this area, and a umber of small manufacturers have always produced some very high quality, price competitive equipment in this area.

My $0.02

Grumulkin
March 8, 2010, 05:13 PM
The only things I like about Lee stuff:

1. Factory Crimp dies.
2. Collet dies for some applications.
3. Their priming tool.

I have an RCBS single stage press and a Redding T-7 turret press both of which I'm quite happy with. My dies have run the gamut. I now buy mostly Redding dies but have also been happy with RCBS dies. Hornady dies are fine except one size fits all and they're big and clunky. I therefore only buy Hornady dies when RCBS or Redding doesn't make them economically for a cartridge I wish to load for. I tried RCBS X-dies, didn't like them and divested myself of them.

I don't like the case trimmer from Redding. It's overprice and I don't think it's that well made. I have the big motor powered RCBS case trimmer. For a hand trimmer I'd go with Wilson or Forster.

showmebob
March 8, 2010, 05:23 PM
I have used RCBS, Dillon and Hornady presses. Lee, RCBS and Hornady dies.
I think the pressed I've used were all equal quality. For dies I like RCBS the best.
If you can try out whatever press you are considering.
Good luck.

243winxb
March 8, 2010, 05:29 PM
You would do well to follow your friends advice.

mongoose33
March 8, 2010, 05:37 PM
Lee stuff, generally, is cheaper-made. Not always--the Classic Cast press is pretty darned good for the price. But the dies, I'm not that enamored of.

Much of their stuff is made of plastic. Take the Lee Perfect Powder Measure. Costs circa $21 on Midway. It's ok--not perfect, but it's fair. I also have a Redding powder measure. All metal (except the powder reservoir). Solid, consistent, excellent.

Is there a market for the Lee measure? Sure--if you can't afford anything better, it'll work. But it's not as good as the Redding.

Lee is a great way for people to enter the reloading arena, if they are budget-constrained. Lots of people make good ammo w/ Lee stuff, and there are some longtime users who are perfectly happy.

But I've learned over a long life--this isn't snobbery, it's life experience--that you generally get what you pay for. Further, it has been my experience that if I compromise on quality, I'm almost always disappointed.

I had this confirmed with Lee 9mm dies. They're cheaper than other brands, and there's a reason. The locknuts are cheap, and secure the die to the press w/ a rubber o-ring. Contrast that with the excellent lockrings one finds on Hornady's dies. Quality stuff from the get-go. And the dies are, too.

Lee doesn't tend to warrant their products as long as others, and that too is reflected in the price.

I've used Redding, Lyman, RCBS, Hornady, Dillon reloading equipment. All of the above is quality stuff, IMO. In my view, Lee is a level below that, with the exceptions of the FCD, the Classic Cast, and maybe one or two other things.

bds
March 8, 2010, 05:52 PM
I can only speak for pistol reloading.

I have RCBS and C&H single stage and Lee Pro 1000. The RCBS Reloader Special 5 has been great for sizing requirng little effort. The C&H Champion is industrial. Pro 1000 has put out over 250K accurate match grade reloads (I am on my second press) average 600+/hour.

I have only used Lee carbide dies, but many shooters I know have switched to them after using other dies. I am still using the dies I bought back in 1995 and never needed to use case lube.

I hand prime all of my cases using Lee Auto Prime and yet to break the handle nor plan on using anything else.

I hope this helped.

jcwit
March 8, 2010, 06:02 PM
Let your wallet be your guide! Remember value is like beauty, its all in the eye of the beholder.

With that said Lee seems to be going like crazy, if they were terrible they would have gone the way of the Yugo.

But then again so are all the other mfg's.

Unless you're into benchrest or real heavy competition I doubt you'll ever know the difference.

Also Ammo loaded with all Lee equipment held the 1,000 yds world record a few years back.

JimKirk
March 8, 2010, 06:42 PM
I think many of us older reloaders are stuck on RCBS, Redding, Forster*and others because thats what we have had excellent success with for 40 years or more. I haven't bought any major new Lee equipment because I can't wear out my old RCBS stuff.

* added Forster CoAx as that is the press I changed to after moving up from a RCBS press.


There are several ways to go about buying reloading equipment:

Purchase as cheap as possible... think Yugo-Nano

Purchase middle grade... Think Chevy-Ford

Purchase high grade... Think Lexus-Benz

All of them will get you where you want to go:

If you don't mind pushing, get the Yugo-Nano.

You can go Ford-Chevy and ride without a lot of extras, but you don't have to push.

Or you can get the Lexus-Benz, it'll park itself, adjust the seat for you automatically, do everything but wipe your butt(I hear they have a prototype), but it cost some $$ to ride in class.

It's your choice!

Buy a $2000 rifle and put a $69.95 scope on it!

Jimmy K

NuJudge
March 8, 2010, 06:48 PM
If you are shooting cast bullets in pistols, especially Tumble Lubed cast bullets, I recommend the Dillon Seating Die, because you can disassemble it to clean out lube without losing adjustment.

I don't like the Lee Zip Trim, but I believe that's all Lee makes I don't like.

There are things Lee does not make, such as specialized neck bushing size dies, and micrometer seating dies. Then again, there are specialized things such as their rifle Collet Dies and some of their 6-cavity molds which are very nice.

Do yourself a favor and try to scrounge stuff cheap through Craig's List and other sales forums. There's a lot of good used equipment out there cheap. Buy it before new, except when you have a specialized need.

homeyclaus
March 8, 2010, 06:50 PM
Almost all of my gear is Lee. I run a Lee Load Master progressive with more than 10000 rounds on the clock, and have a Classic Cast for general purpose use.

The Classic Cast is top-notch. Everyone that's used mine (and many have green presses at home) thought it was a steal for the price. No slop, anything.

Progressive presses from all makes have a Rube Goldberg quality to them. The Lees are probably most known for using plastic friction parts. In their defense, they're the ultimate test of your ability to follow instructions. If you think you know better than the guy that designed it, then yes, they can be frustrating. If you're willing to go through your instructions thrice to make sure you got them right, you'll find that all of a sudden, it just works. Once it works, you can develop the feel for the way it should be feeling, after which there isn't all that much that goes wrong. I think that so far, in 4 years of use, I replaced 4 primer sliders, one primer ram, and the "flipper" part (which to its credit, lasted 8000 rounds or so, and cost $1.50).

Lee pistol dies are as good as any other, and their auto disk powder measure (the pro one, not the old one) is as reliable as you can make a sliding disc. The rifle dies, IMO, are great to start with. I have others, and depending on what I am doing I may mount up the X-Die, but in the grand scheme of things I have few complaints, it all works as promised. My 308 dies will load ammo that'll cloverleaf at 100 yards if I sandbag my rifle, and I don't think that's unreasonable.

Now, for ultra-precision, palma-style matches, sure, I'd treat the brass better, get Redding dies, hand-weigh charges, uniform flash holes and meplats, and generally sort everything by weight. But for things like 3-gun, IDPA, or bet-you-can't-hit-that-pop-can stuff, the target won't know the difference. Is it worth it? Up to you.

RustyFN
March 8, 2010, 07:08 PM
I only have experience with Lee and Dillon. I bought the Lee classic turret four years ago. I couldn't afford over $1,000 for a Dillon to load four calibers so I bought the Lee. I have loaded on a friends Dillon 550 and it was very nice. I am also very happy with my classic turret. It doesn't require any tinkering. Nothing has broken or needed to be replaced. The safety prime system has worked near flawless. The pro auto disk powder measure is very consistent. I do shoot pistol competition and load quite a bit of ammo. My classic turret loads just as good ammo as any other turret or progressive. This is just my experience. If you do a search you will find that most people that have actually used one are happy with it.

Ateam-3
March 8, 2010, 07:13 PM
+1 jcwit

I have a lot of Lee dies and I have not experienced any problems with them at all. Likewise, I have RCBS, Pacific, Lyman All-American and Hornady. Again, no problems with any and some sets are 40+ years old. I have loaded many rounds of ammo, both rifle and pistol, and believe they yield ammunition every bit as accurate as I am.

Find what you like and what you can afford and do not be intimidated by the comments about Lee being that much inferior to the more expensive products.

Bush Pilot
March 8, 2010, 07:13 PM
Lee makes a darn fine scale, haven't had any papers fly away since getting one.

Balrog
March 8, 2010, 07:14 PM
One thing I have noticed is that in general, the more something costs, the less I have to screw around with it to keep it working.

mallc
March 8, 2010, 07:22 PM
five years later I have no LEE equipment whatsoever. It works just fine but just about everything else works better.

Ask why people prefer Smith and Wesson over cheap imports and you'll get the same answers.

Scott

warnerwh
March 8, 2010, 07:57 PM
The Lee Classic Turret is a bargain and a half. I have zero issues and it will turn out 200 rounds per hour if you go just a little fast. Build quality is also very good. No pot metal on this press, it is all cast iron and steel. Years ago I would have never considered any Lee press and my last press before I got married was a Dillon. I'm sure the accuracy of the ammo coming off of the Lee is just as good as what came off the Dillon.

Historian
March 8, 2010, 08:23 PM
I have been reloading for a few years now and I am still using my reliable RCBS Rockchucker. I can afford to buy any set up that I want but I like the idea of hand crafting my rifle rounds. With that in mind, I have found that Forster sizing dies and competition seating dies give me outstanding results with a middle-of-the-road press. I truly believe that Forster seating dies are the best that you can buy and will make up for many shortcomings that the average reloader might find with his/her equipment. Welcome to the hobby and, however you choose to go, may all your rounds shoot true.

Historian

Devil Dog
March 8, 2010, 08:39 PM
I started out with an RCBS Rockchucker setup about 25 years ago because that is the brand my uncle used and he is the one who taught me handloading. I'll probably never replace it. My kids will probably not wear it out either after I am done with it. Over the years I've acquired bits and pieces of other branded reloading gear. I like the RCBS dies, but the LEE ones seem to work just fine too. For much less. Loaded some match .223 for 600 yd. use on LEE dies and made some ammo more accurate than I am. I had an RCBS powder measure that sucked, so when I acquired a Redding one, I tossed the RCBS one into the trash. I also replaced the RCBS hand priming tool with the LEE one and have never looked back. Finally broke the lever after 5-7,000 rounds. My fault for bein cheap and trying to use up some slightly oversized primers in some tight primer pockets. A new lever and a spare from LEE $4.00, shipping $4.00. Great, friendly customer service people too. I have a Forster case trimmer and will never look for another. It suits my needs just fine. My RCBS powder scale became erratic over time for some reason (banged around in several cross country moves probably) and I replaced it with a Lyman scale and am happy with it. I think the advice to start out on LEE and replace things you don't like over time is good. You can get set up to load good ammo and the money you can save will help buy more componants, which are not cheap right now! All of the reloading gear I have besides the original RCBS stuff was bought used, which is another good alternative to LEE.

Devil Dog

rfwobbly
March 8, 2010, 09:46 PM
I'm with Jim Kirk on this.....

All the equipment out there makes great ammo. Just like automobiles, the difference in the prices you see reflects the different levels of "features". And just like with cars, some people opt for better sound systems, some people opt for better handling, some for better fuel economy. The options you pick are based on your needs and your desires.

I can tell you this much. There's really no way to make good rifle ammo fast, so you can rule out all the progressive presses, cheap or expensive.

In your shoes, I'd look around for a old timer getting out of the hobby and try to buy his cast iron RCBS Rock Chucker. Those things have been made since the 70's and used to sell for under $100. You pay his asking price and you'll both be happy. And you get all his tools, library, bullets, dies and spare powders.

That way you'll start with a high-end single stage press for cheap, AND get all the extra stuff that takes years to accumulate thrown in. It's a win-win.

Then if/when you get into accuracy, you can slowly buy the high-end dies and special trimmers as needed.

Hope this helps!

Arkansas Paul
March 8, 2010, 10:23 PM
All our equipment is RCBS, but we use Lee dies and find them to work just fine. If I needed to replace something and was on a tight budget, I wouldn't think twice about trying Lee.
As far as the question in the headline. Snobbery begins when one uses their personal preference to put down someone else because of theirs. I have brand preference in just about everything but I also realize that different people prefer different stuff and no one is necessarly right or wrong. To each his own.

GMFWoodchuck
March 9, 2010, 08:05 AM
What type of metal a press is made of means nothing. Engine blocks, fighter aircraft frames, hydraulic pumps and motors are all made of aluminum. And they all are subjected to far greater stresses and wear and tear than what a single stage press (being used properly that is) will ever see. In fact the Hornady Press is aluminum from what I understand and that's regarded as one of the best.

Now are Lee's as good as the others? I don't know. I don't have one. I have the Redding Boss. I wish I had a Lee single stage press, though. Why? Because they have a quick change bushing for quickly changing dies without losing the setting. I didn't think it would matter much when I got mine. I was wrong. All of the maunfacturers have single stage presses that have a bushing or some other type of quick changing die set up. I absolutely recomend that you get one of those, no matter what brand you get. Do not buy one without that ability like I did thinking that I was getting a "better" press. I should have either gotten the bigger BOSS II or one of the others with that ability.

It doesn't matter what brand you buy. They all are good. Some feel cheap. Some are cheap. Some have 2 year warrantees, some have lifetime warrantees. How much you want to spend is the question. And how much can you afford to spend? Is this something that you will do on a consistent basis? Do you think that your great grandchildren would like to have it as an heirloom long after your death? If you're not quite sure, just get the Lee press. It's fine. It works. It's makes just as a good ammo as the others. If you make a very good living and are comfortable with your finances, have children that seem to take an interest in what you do, plan on doing a lot of reloading get a more expensive one with a lifetime warrantee.

It's sort of should you buy a hyundai or a BMW. They both do the same exact thing. Get you to work. They both do it well. They both can do it so well in fact, that you can even get in trouble with the law by speeding. Is the BMW better that the Hyundai? I don't know. The Hyundai is cheaper (and has a longer warrantee oddly enough), but the BMW sure is an awful lot nicer ride.

I doubt the gun(s) you will be shooting will ever know what brand of press you're using.

Just make sure you get a press (if you go with a single stage) that has a quick changing die bushing of some sort.

mcdonl
March 9, 2010, 08:13 AM
Where does favoring superior products end and snobbery begin?

When your needs and personal budget are considered before a brand is considered.

If you could afford any product on the market, you would look at them all and see which one suits your needs. If all products function and work the same, but one is made of higher quality products and you can afford it, nothing wrong with buying it.

If your budget is the limiting factor, then there is nothing wrong with buying a lower priced solution if it works as well as the higher priced that are made from better products.

762NATO
March 9, 2010, 09:11 AM
Thanks for all the responses. There's been a lot of great info shared here and I'm gonna go thru them again and post a few more questions. So glad I joined this board!

-cp-

762NATO
March 9, 2010, 09:15 AM
By the way, nice screen name.

LOL, good stuff...same to you! Not sure why I forgot the decimal in mine though!!

762NATO
March 9, 2010, 09:24 AM
I don't like the case trimmer from Redding. It's overprice and I don't think it's that well made. I have the big motor powered RCBS case trimmer. For a hand trimmer I'd go with Wilson or Forster.

Thanks. I've been looking at both the Wilson and Forster hand trimmers. I wish they made a manual trimmer that could also hook up to a hand drill so it could also be used as a power trimmer. Or a power trimmer that could disengage from it's own motor. I don't want to have to rely on electricity for any of my reloading needs just in case the SHTF.

762NATO
March 9, 2010, 09:26 AM
I also have a Redding powder measure. All metal (except the powder reservoir). Solid, consistent, excellent.

Which Redding measure are you talking about? There are several. Quite pricey, though.

ranger335v
March 9, 2010, 09:27 AM
"Is there a qualitative difference in the accuracy of the cartridges produced by Redding or Forster gear vs other companies"

No.

".. and that it comes down to what you can afford?"

ALL of our reloading tool makers give us high qualty tools. Some are prettier, some have plastic parts where metal strength isn't needed, but what effect does that have on the ammo we make? None at all.


" What about long-term reliability and build quality? Or is my friend stuck in his ways and pushing the snobbery boundary line?"


What is effective "quality?" High surface polish? Pretty knurling? Massive over-kill strength? Expensive metal parts where plastic will do as well? Given proper use and moderate care, the least expensive presses, etc, will out last the use 90% of us put them too.

No matter what we can afford, reloading tools are VERY simple devices. There are no secrets to making good tools so heaping more money on will not make much, if any difference in what can be done. Most of us really LIKE slick, shiney tools (including me) but a cheap, rusty wrench will turn a nut and bolt as well as a new Snap-On. Ditto inexpensive reloading tools.

I've been reloading since '65. I now have mutipule dies, presses, measures, case trimmers, scales, etc. and have used others from various makers, running from the most costly to Lee's least expensive. If I've learned anything at all it's that accuracy comes from loading skill, it can't be bought, it doesn't come from - or get lost with - any color paint.

Some people like different features or like to think they "get what they pay (a lot) for", and that's cool, but such personal tastes don't convey any mechanical facts. When comparing apples to apples, and given equal skill/care of the user, I've repeatedly proven there is NO average qualitative difference in the ammo that can be made on any of them; NONE due to brand.

Certainly there are differences in tools but the differences I've seen have been in individual tools, which happens to them all. NO maker has shown me they have any better average tolerances or freedom from manufactoring defects than others.

Many people have an (improper) knee-jerk reaction against Lee's "light, weak aluminum/pot metal" presse and compare them to more massive cast iron presses that sell for 4-5x the cost of their favorite. That comparision is intellectually dishonest. Compare any alum alloy Lee press to an alum alloy RCBS Partner or Reloader Special and the "differences" go away. Compare Lee's Classic Cast (all steel body, not cheaper, weaker cast iron) with the others and the Classic Cast is stronger, better designed, and probably more accurately machined (Lee has lots of CNC tooling in their plant, not the older manual machines). The Classic Cast is GREAT press, even tho it's MUCH less costly!

In what sense Lee's Perfect powder measure is less useful than my much older Redding, Lyman, Herter's measures is a question I don't have. Yeah, mine are cast iron, only plastic is where it's useful; the hoppers. My young buddy's Lee Perfect is all plastic. But, seems they all dispense powder quite well, there's certainly no vast difference between them. Well, actually, mine do work a tad "better" with fine grained powders (they don't leak those few bits) but his is more consistant with the coarse grained rifle powders I generally use, so who has the "better" measure? Well... after using his, I'm gonna get me a Lee Perfect too!

Buy any loading tools you can afford or like, they WILL load quality ammo after you learn to use them to the best of their limits. And that can take a lot longer than you may think.

762NATO
March 9, 2010, 09:36 AM
If you are shooting cast bullets in pistols, especially Tumble Lubed cast bullets, I recommend the Dillon Seating Die, because you can disassemble it to clean out lube without losing adjustment.

Do yourself a favor and try to scrounge stuff cheap through Craig's List and other sales forums. There's a lot of good used equipment out there cheap. Buy it before new, except when you have a specialized need.

Thanks for the tip on the Dillon Seating Die. I am planning to buy a schload of cast bullets in 40S&W. I can't justify buying FMJ when cast are so much cheaper.

I wish the Craigslist thing was valid for me. In my area, there isn't squat for sale as far as used reloading gear is concerned. And I'm bummed about that 'cause buying locally is king. I've checked Ebay and there really isn't much there in terms of used presses. I'm not sure what gear I should buy used and what gear I should only buy new. I wouldn't have a problem buying a used press or powder measure, but I'd be leery of used dies. Also, when you tack on shipping for used gear, the total price is often times close to the price of new gear, and when you buy a ton of new stuff at once (e.g. Midway), the shipping charge is negligible when divided by the number of items.

EddieNFL
March 9, 2010, 09:42 AM
Most of us really LIKE slick, shiney tools (including me) but a cheap, rusty wrench will turn a nut and bolt as well as a new Snap-On.

I have to disagree with that. I've used Snap-On, MAC, Matco and cheap tools. Cheap tools do not last as long and loose tolerances will cause you the round a nut or bolt long before a quality tool.

762NATO
March 9, 2010, 09:45 AM
In your shoes, I'd look around for a old timer getting out of the hobby and try to buy his cast iron RCBS Rock Chucker. Those things have been made since the 70's and used to sell for under $100. You pay his asking price and you'll both be happy. And you get all his tools, library, bullets, dies and spare powders.

rfwobbly, now that would be the ultimate, wouldn't it?!! Easier said than done, though, but a great idea! I'll see if I can find my infrared old-timer-reloder-identifying goggles to spot them. :)

762NATO
March 9, 2010, 09:49 AM
What type of metal a press is made of means nothing. Engine blocks, fighter aircraft frames, hydraulic pumps and motors are all made of aluminum. And they all are subjected to far greater stresses and wear and tear than what a single stage press (being used properly that is) will ever see. In fact the Hornady Press is aluminum from what I understand and that's regarded as one of the best.

Now are Lee's as good as the others? I don't know. I don't have one. I have the Redding Boss. I wish I had a Lee single stage press, though. Why? Because they have a quick change bushing for quickly changing dies without losing the setting.

Thanks for the reminder about aluminum. I was looking at the Hornady at first but moved away from it when I found it was aluminum.

Regarding the quick-change bushings, I thought only the Hornady LNL was designed around those but that you could buy a LNL conversion kit that would work for just about every other press??

qajaq59
March 9, 2010, 09:55 AM
Where does favoring superior products end and snobbery begin? If whatever equipment you buy is just to load your ammo, then yup, it's probably just functional and you needed it. However, if the very first thing you want to do when you get it is show it to me, then I'd probably have to say that snobbery has played at least a small part in it's purchase.

762NATO
March 9, 2010, 09:56 AM
ALL of our reloading tool makers give us high qualty tools. Some are prettier, some have plastic parts where metal strength isn't needed, but what effect does that have on the ammo we make? None at all.


" What about long-term reliability and build quality? Or is my friend stuck in his ways and pushing the snobbery boundary line?"


What is effective "quality?" High surface polish? Pretty knurling? Massive over-kill strength? Expensive metal parts where plastic will do as well? Given proper use and moderate care, the least expensive presses, etc, will out last the use 90% of us put them too.

Does this apply to reloading dies as well? As I indicated before, my friend insists that the ammo he made when trying out his new RCBS dies was less accurate than the ammo he had been making with his Redding dies. Also, I can see, especially where dies are concerned, that the quality of one die over another would cause it to last longer. Faulty thinking?

budiceman
March 9, 2010, 10:50 AM
I personally got scared away from Lee after using a buddy's powder measure. I though I was going to wreck the thing. It was flimsy and was not a accurate as others. I have bought some Lee dies but probably will replace them with something else. Dont get me wrong the lee stuff does work, but not to MY satisfaction!

EddieNFL
March 9, 2010, 11:03 AM
I was looking at the Hornady at first but moved away from it when I found it was aluminum.

That rules out Dillon, as well. Is that some sort of material snobbery?

762NATO
March 9, 2010, 11:21 AM
That rules out Dillon, as well. Is that some sort of material snobbery?
You're quoting me out of context. Materials snobbery? I'd prefer that my guitars be made of solid wood instead of laminated plywood, so I guess so.

Cast iron is going to be stronger than aluminum, but in the context of reloading, it's probably not going to make a difference.

John Wayne
March 9, 2010, 11:32 AM
I have no doubt that Redding and other high-end manufacturers produce better equipment, but in this case the law of diminishing returns applies. My Lee equipment, while it sometimes feels cheap, has not broken. I consistantly produce ammunition that is equal or better to factory ammo, for less money with my Lee equipment, so it is good enough for me.

If I were shooting at 1,000 yards, or being sponsored by a gun company, I might need better equipment. But for handgun ammo (which is mostly what I shoot), I see no point.

Start out with a cheap Lee single-stage press. If you upgrade to nicer stuff later on, you can keep the Lee for decapping or something.

dubbleA
March 9, 2010, 11:39 AM
Lee makes a darn fine scale, haven't had any papers fly away since getting one.

Now that's just wrong!:D:D:D

Been handloading for about 35 years now, I started out with RCBS equipent and it's still being used today. Their motto was something like this... "precisioneered, you might as well start with what you are going to wind up with"

That said, over the years I have acquired a little bit of everything...Redding, Lyman, Wilson, Hornady, RCBS, Lee, Forster, C-H,4D , Pacific come to mind.

There are a few factors that can weigh in on your purchases. In my case, one company doesnt make what I consider the "best" of everything. So I might choose brand X over Y on account it suits my needs better or ease of use. We all have budgets to adhere to, sometimes that is a deciding factor or even availability might come to play. Redding and RCBS have outstanding support and customer service in my experiences, that's something to consider too.

As already stated, any brand offered today will load quality ammo. Some folks just dont want or need a $250 press when a $40 one will do. Buy what matches your budget and needs, there is always time and room for other things in the future.

HOWARD J
March 9, 2010, 11:53 AM
I Have been reloading for over 40 years.
I have 2 Dillion reloaders, 1 mec for shotgun & 3 Lee presses.
The kids are gone---I don't need 1000 rounds ( misc. cal ) every weekend !!!!!!!!!!!
I reload:
380
9MM
45ACP
38 spl.
357 mag
7.62 X 39
.223
30/30
30m1 carbine
I use a 4 hole Lee turret press for all these cal. The ammo is just as good as anything from my fancy presses.
I use a RCBS priming tool, powder drop & beam scale.
The lee press for depriming,resizing, Bullet seating & crimping.
I have enjoyed reloading all these years---be careful--it is addicting...................

GW Staar
March 9, 2010, 12:13 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumulkin View Post
I don't like the case trimmer from Redding. It's overprice and I don't think it's that well made. I have the big motor powered RCBS case trimmer. For a hand trimmer I'd go with Wilson or Forster.
Thanks. I've been looking at both the Wilson and Forster hand trimmers. I wish they made a manual trimmer that could also hook up to a hand drill so it could also be used as a power trimmer. Or a power trimmer that could disengage from it's own motor. I don't want to have to rely on electricity for any of my reloading needs just in case the SHTF.

Forster has two accessories you might be interested in for their case trimmer (Original not Classic). One is the part that screws into where the handle goes and converts it to a drill. The other is a 3-way cutter (made for .223,.243,.308 so far) that trims, chamfers and deburrs all at once.

I use these accessories to mount a dewalt drywall screw-gun above my forster, using a foot pedal/pully system to raise and lower it. I use the $80 screw-gun because it disengages on the up-stroke (cutter stops). Of course if electricity goes away, I can unscrew it and screw the handle back on.:)

BTW I use RCBS single and progressive, Forster, Lee & RCBS dies, and have for 39 years. I haven't been burned yet, so....that must be what makes me partial. Lee presses are for tinkerers, those not afraid of mechanics, who instead of reacting to a problem with a temper tantrum, analyze and tweak a machine to make it purr. Lee's can be made to purr...no question. The question is...do you have the patience? I do...but Lee didn't make a press when I started...and RCBS wasn't so expensive either. (Truth be known, I did start with a Lee. It was a no-press-required, Target Lee Loader in .243);)

RandyP
March 9, 2010, 12:16 PM
well jeez!~?

What's the point of spending the most if you can't be a snob about it!

LOL

EddieNFL
March 9, 2010, 01:52 PM
You're quoting me out of context.

Perhaps, but I can only draw a conclusion from what you posted.

Since I consider several different progressives superior to the Lee offerings, I guess I'm a snob, as well.

Offfhand
March 9, 2010, 02:52 PM
Snobbery can be described in a number of ways, with good examples for each. But regarding reloading equipment it is difficult to apply the label "snob" and make it stick. That's because the prices of reloading equipment are closely related to quality rather than just a "name." As an example of snobbery let's take Rolex watches. Sure, they are fine watches, but no way does the material and worksmanship in a Rolex equate the price. So their premium prices are for the snob effect, like "I can afford it" which may be important to some people. By comparison, the prices of reloading equipment is closely related to their materials, worksmanship and features. In other words, you can see why some tools cost more simply by looking at them, which you can't do by looking at, say a Rolex watch. Sure, some tools cost considerably more than others but the reason people are willing to pay more for certain tools is because they may offer certain features, material quality, accuracy and durability not available in cheaper tools. As an extreme example, perhaps, I'm attaching a photo of a RFD press. It costs a good bit more than most other presses but at the same time it offers unique features not available in other equipment and therefore the buyer wanting those features may consider the price a bargan. As a general rule for reloading equipment.."Beauty is often more than skin deep." So what might be considered tool "snobbery" may be only the pride and pleasure of using good equipment.

762NATO
March 9, 2010, 03:33 PM
As an extreme example, perhaps, I'm attaching a photo of a RFD press. It costs a good bit more than most other presses but at the same time it offers unique features not available in other equipment and therefore the buyer wanting those features may consider the price a bargan. As a general rule for reloading equipment.."Beauty is often more than skin deep." So what might be considered tool "snobbery" may be only the pride and pleasure of using good equipment.

Dang. I wanna lick that thing. Or something. It sure is purrty!! :D

What features does it offer over other presses? I'm not considering it since you said it's super expensive, but I'm curious.

762NATO
March 9, 2010, 03:35 PM
Forster has two accessories you might be interested in for their case trimmer (Original not Classic). One is the part that screws into where the handle goes and converts it to a drill. The other is a 3-way cutter (made for .223,.243,.308 so far) that trims, chamfers and deburrs all at once.

I'm dense. Thanks. It looks like Forster, Wilson and Hornady all have power adaptors, according to the Midway catalog. DUH! :)

ranger335v
March 9, 2010, 03:46 PM
"I have to disagree with that. I've used Snap-On, MAC, Matco and cheap tools. Cheap tools do not last as long and loose tolerances will cause you the round a nut or bolt long before a quality tool."

And I have to say you seem to have missed my whole point. Consider that as a rusty Snap-On wrench, in which the surface appearance means nothing.

7.62, it certainly includes dies, they are perhaps the simplist tools to make. All makers use standard SAAMI spec reamers bought from others and that's all that controls the inner dimenstions. All makers case harden the inner die walls, the "best" of them might last for some 300.000 rounds while Lee's less deeply cased sizers may only last for 200,000 rounds. Will you ever notice the difference? I sure don't!

Saying I or a buddy got better accuracy by switching to a different brand of dies only tells us the tolerances in the second set better matched the rifle, that was luck and not exactly the same as saying one brand is better than another. Next die set, same caliber-brand, may well be as poor a fit to the rifle as the original set. It takes a LOT of anything to statiscially "prove" any manufactoring difference, individual items vary too much.

About ten years ago I begged and borrowed twelve sets of .243 dies from several makers, Forster, Lee, Lyman, Pacific, RCBS. Herters and Savage Arms (yeah, they marketed reloading tools for a short time) to do a test run with my then new concentericity gage. I also made chamber casts of the sizers. I loaded, miked, gages and fired ten cases from each (same ten cases). Forster's comp dies were the "best" by a slight average on run-out, all of the rest were basically in the same range except the Savage set, they were definetly the poorest and it's no wonder they were ignored by the market pretty fast.

My total sample was far too small to say any brand is better than others but it was sure sufficent to prove none had any large advantage. The Lee one die set fell between the two RCBS sets for the ammo produced. ?? Wasn't what I expected, but there it was.

Anyone wanting to say their favorite is best needs to bring some data, not guesses or impressions or isolated instances, for proof.

I've bought a lot of used dies from the web and flea markets, maybe two dozen sets? Never had a problem that I couldn't fix easily. But today, buying used dies on Ebay is a poor deal, they will often sell for new prices, with shipping they commonly cost even more than new ones!

EddieNFL
March 9, 2010, 04:18 PM
And I have to say you seem to have missed my whole point. Consider that as a rusty Snap-On wrench, in which the surface appearance means nothing.

No, I got it. You originally said a cheap, rusty wrench works as well as a Snap-On. A rusty Snap-On versus a clean Snap-On is a different argument.

EddieNFL
March 9, 2010, 04:20 PM
But today, buying used dies on Ebay is a poor deal, they will often sell for new prices, with shipping they commonly cost even more than new ones!

I've seen people bid more than retail. Maybe those RCBS .30/06 dies really were rare.

Offfhand
March 9, 2010, 04:27 PM
Post from above:
"What features does it offer over other presses? I'm not considering it since you said it's super expensive, but I'm curious."

762Nato, I didn't say it is super expensive, or mean to imply that, only that it is somewhat more expensive than most presses. It has several nice features, mostly that it is quite lite and compact, measuring less than 6" from benchtop to top surface. The photo doesn't show clearly, but the base has two integral and very sturdy clamps for attaching to bench or other work surfaces. Making it highly portable and convenient for use at shooting range or anywhere else. (Which is why benchrest shooters love it. Plus the fact that even the clamps are beautifully made.) It is also a high leverage tool, considering its compact size, and extremely smooth operation. It is also easily adaptable to the JLC "click adjustable" (the knurled ring under the die) unit that allows precise and repeatable changes in degree of sizing without unscrewing and resetting the sizing die itself. And like you say, it's a cute thing to look at, but is this snobbery?

BigJakeJ1s
March 9, 2010, 04:34 PM
I would not recommend a Dillon seating die unless you have a Dillon press and tool head where it will be locked in its whole life. The lock ring is a simple hex nut (no set screw) that will lose the settings as soon as you remove it from the press. You also have to screw the whole die in and out of the press to adjust seating depth (rather coarse too).

If you load a lot of cast lead bullets, try the Hornady seating die. It also comes apart by removing a spring clip (at the bottom) for cleaning, and goes back together without affecting the settings. It has a sliding alignment sleeve, an excellent cross-bolt lock ring, and an optional micrometer seating adjustment. It can also crimp while you seat the bullet if you so desire.

I have some Lee stuff that I like, and some I don't. I like their collet-type neck sizing dies, collet type factory crimp dies for rifle and bottleneck pistol cartridges (but not their carbide FCD for straight wall pistol cartridges), Lee lock stud trimmer setup (for pistol cartridges when they need it, but I prefer the Wilson trimmer for rifle cartridges). The Lee Perfect Powder measure is plastic, but mine works amazingly well.

I dislike their seating dies (the seating plugs are shared between multiple calibers of bullets, so they do not center the bullets well at all). I abhor their die lock(less) rings. The Lee autoprime worked fine except it tires the thumb out quickly, so I replaced it with the RCBS universal hand primer which I like much better.

I have a Lee hand press which is poorly manufactured (mis-aligned ram & die hole), and the design allows too much flex in the frame to be able to feel when something is not right. It does work well for decapping cases with a unversal decapping die, though.

Even some of their products that I like, I would like even better (and pay more money for) if they were built with better finish and materials. The collet dies usually require me to polish the closer and the collet to get them to operate smoothly and consistently. The aluminum caps on them have minimal thread engagement, are weak and prone to breakage, especially if the collet is rough, which is often the case.

I have not tried their classic cast press, but I understand it is an outstanding reloading press, with features not found in presses twice its price. I use a Forster Co-Ax reloading press, and am extremely happy with it.

Andy

EddieNFL
March 9, 2010, 04:39 PM
The lock ring is a simple hex nut (no set screw) that will lose the settings as soon as you remove it from the press.

Pretty simple to add a setscrew. Even easier to switch to a different lockring. I like the Hornady rings with the flats.

I like the Hornady seater dies, as well. Just don't lose the retaining ring when you disassemble to clean. :o

JimKirk
March 9, 2010, 05:07 PM
Isn't being cheap a form of snobbery?

If I can be a snob for buying what I want...

Then cheap people can be snobs too...

for being cheap!

All goes back to the rifle guy...

Guy #1 buys a $1930.05 rifle ... then puts a $69.95 scope on it !

Guy #2 buys a $1104.01 rifle ... then puts a $895.99 scope on it !

Who's the snob? Who's the cheap Azz?

Jimmy K

Offfhand
March 9, 2010, 06:14 PM
JImKirk, you are spot on. Thank you. Reverse snobberly is absolute the worst kind and the most insulting. It's like the ultra rich people who run around in old pickup trucks (When they have a Rolls in the garage.) and pretending "look I'm just an ordinary guy, like you." Total bull hockey and insulting to guys like me who work hard and feel we've succeeded by owning a car, or reloading tool, we can be proud of owning and worked hard to get.

Bush Pilot
March 9, 2010, 06:54 PM
Offhand, do you know many people with a Rolls in the garage and drive an old pick-up? I actually know a guy with an 8 place jet and drives a 15 year old Toyota (BTW, he also drives a new BMW)

Offfhand
March 9, 2010, 07:24 PM
Bush Pilot, like you point out, they are not that all uncommon. Perhaps the best example was Sam Walton (founder of Wal-Mart) who drove a pickup to his headquarter offices in Arkansas.

Bush Pilot
March 9, 2010, 08:21 PM
How many people really know a "Sam Walton" type? The only reason I know this guy is because we're both in aviation. I still say people like that are uncommon.

billybob44
March 9, 2010, 08:39 PM
I have to disagree with that. I've used Snap-On, MAC, Matco and cheap tools. Cheap tools do not last as long and loose tolerances will cause you the round a nut or bolt long before a quality tool.
++1-Eddie speaks the truth on quality tools. The cheap tools MAY get the job done, but you are taking more chances using cheap tools. I use my tools to draw my paycheck, and yes most are Snap-On.........

1SOW
March 9, 2010, 08:49 PM
Where does favoring superior products end and snobbery begin?

When the buyer gets no "benefit" out of the expensive "benefits".

EddieNFL
March 9, 2010, 09:01 PM
How many people really know a "Sam Walton" type?

Not Walmart wealthy, but I have a good friend who lives in a 4-5 million dollar house and drives an '02 Chevy truck. Unless you've been to his house you would never have an inkling.

RustyFN
March 9, 2010, 09:52 PM
How many people really know a "Sam Walton" type? The only reason I know this guy is because we're both in aviation. I still say people like that are uncommon.

I would say it depends on where you live. In West Virginia I will probably never meet anybody like that. When I lived in San Francisco we had some friends where she was worth 10 mil from selling 128,000 acres that she owned and her husband was a Dentist and was worth 10 mil himself. They had a fancy house and cars but mostly drove a Chevy pickup. When we would go camping she would carry her money in her pocket in an old gas bill envelope. We also knew another couple through them and he was one of the engineers that designed the rover vehicle that they drove on the moon. They were also down to earth people.

bds
March 9, 2010, 10:14 PM
Do you think we'll ever sit around a BBQ and drink beer together? red, blue, green, another shade of red, black, etc.:D

lgbloader
March 9, 2010, 10:36 PM
To the OP-

Tell you what, get an old Lee Challenger press, the really old one with no breech locks and then get yourself a Redding Big Boss II or Co-AX. See for yourself and you be the judge. otherwise we will be pissing and moaning all damn night and no one will get any sleep. Each person can draw their own conclussions in this Lee vs Dillon vs Hornady vs who the hell cares... Does it really matter what every else thinks? Learn to think for yourself.

Sorry for sounding like a grouchy old man, I am just airing the dirty laundry.

LGB

7.62 Nato
March 9, 2010, 10:47 PM
But most important, get some manuals, read them so you know what you're doing, and be safe.

sonick808
March 9, 2010, 11:19 PM
no room for snobbery in handloading IMO.

Too much at stake to clutter the important stuff. Besides, any snobbery you encounter will be in response to the audacity of Lee to offer superior products at an entry level price :D

Anyway, I think your friend is dead wrong. Whatever does the job best for you within your budget is what you should use. Lee is a great starting point, and more often than not an excellent ending point as well.

Seedtick
March 9, 2010, 11:21 PM
But most important, get some manuals, read them so you know what you're doing, and be safe.

AND

get ready to have a :D GREAT TIME!! :D

ST

:)

twofifty
March 10, 2010, 12:30 AM
Doesn't it all begin and end with our own attitude toward ourselves & others?

lykoris
March 10, 2010, 03:41 AM
Post 51 by Offfhand is the best response to the question asked by this thread in my opinion.

As another example take the following

Louis Vitton bags.
45% of the retail price of each bag is pure profit,
55% of the price covers materials/manufacture, distribution costs, eccentric advertising to lure customers to a brand, administrative expenses etc.

I'd like to know the margin/mark-up on reloading equipment between manufacturers.

qajaq59
March 10, 2010, 06:59 AM
I can assure you of one things. No hog that I have ever shot around here has complained, or even commented on, which press I used to load the bullet. Kinda makes ya wonder if it matters much? :D

GMFWoodchuck
March 11, 2010, 08:22 AM
I used to live in the same town as a few actors. James Earl Jones being one of them. He was a regular sighting in town. So much so, no one even cared that he was there. (Not in a mean spiteful way, but as in no difference to any other neighbor. We said hi and bye to him like anyone else) He drove this old beat up jeep pick up truck that a typical high school kid would be ashamed of. But everyday, or however often, he would go to the local grocery store get the paper, food, and whatever else he wanted with it.

It's like what the others said. If you take an interest, you going to want the "best of the best" But if you're just looking to reload good ammo to shoot, what difference does it make. A one inch group made off of a Dillion/Redding is no better than a one inch group off of a Classic Lee Loader.

The difference lies in whether you're a reloader to shoot or a reloader to be a reloader.

SSN Vet
March 11, 2010, 10:50 AM
I suspect that the overwhelming majority of negative comments about Lee presses relate to their Aluminum frame machines. Their cast presses get very good reviews.

The Classic Cast Turret (make sure you get the cast one) is a great press and will keep you occupied for years. Total cost to set up an add'l caliber with it's own dedicated turret runs me ~ $35-45. Setting up individula turrets with the dies adjusted and ready to go is so incredibly easy and cost you a whopping add'l $9.

Almost all my gear is Lee and though I'm only 4 years into this madness, I'm still finding my Classic Cast Turret press meets all of my needs and gives me the option of semi-progressive or single stage loading.

I think the price/performance/value equation for Lee's Classic Cast is very, very good.

I load..

Rifle
.30-30
7mm-08
.223 Rem
7.62x39

Handgun
.45 acp
9mm Luger
.38 spl
.357 mag

IMHO, poeple should buy equipment that meets their needs...

some are bench rest competitors that want the absolute best that money can buy...

some don't need that

and many need their egos stoked

JimKirk
March 12, 2010, 06:34 AM
Egos come in all flavors, Cheap to Expensive and Everything in between!
We all have them!

Jimmy K

Blackrock
March 12, 2010, 06:53 AM
I just got some Redding bench rest dies in a trade and boy do they work slick. Now I want to get the Neck Sizing dies for all my rifle calibers. I run just about all LEE stuff with good results but need an upgrade in my necksizing operation. The LEE neck sizer works fine but the Redding is easier and with bushing changes neck tension is easier to control.

b78-22250
March 12, 2010, 07:29 AM
All company's make good and bad products thats life. Everyone has an opinion. Ask your friend to show you why this is better than that. Then you can make up your own mind and decide if your friend is bias, bragging or bullshi**ing. Talk is cheap when you are trying to spend someone elses money.

Offfhand
March 12, 2010, 08:16 AM
Blackrock, the Redding bushing dies are definately an upgrade. You'll never go back to the old type neck sizing dies.

mcdonl
March 12, 2010, 10:25 AM
Egos come in all flavors, Cheap to Expensive and Everything in between!
We all have them!

I got my ego at the dollar store. :)

GMFWoodchuck
March 13, 2010, 07:56 PM
Talk is cheap when you are trying to spend someone elses money. ~ b78-22250

True enough.

JimKirk
March 13, 2010, 08:55 PM
Daddy gave me mine! :D

Jimmy K

mallc
March 13, 2010, 09:28 PM
That comparison is intellectually dishonest. Compare any alum alloy Lee press to an alum alloy RCBS Partner or Reloader Special and the "differences" go away.

Not true, I have done so. I used to use a LEE Anniversary Special with Redding comparator gauges. I switched to a RCBS aluminum Reloader Special and repeatability of measurement went way up. Now I use the LEE for manual trim dies - it performs well in it current assignment. Later I switched to a cast iron RCBS Rock Chucker for the comparator gauges but that change did not produce a significant gain in repeatability over the aluminum Reloader Special.

Truth is that I don't shoot nearly as consistently as I produce ammo.

Scott

b78-22250
March 14, 2010, 07:55 AM
I can state this for fact. I have owned the lee case trimmer and stud. The hornady trimmer and the redding trimmer. I now own the wilson trimmer,sinclair base and starrett micrometer. This is how they worked out for me.
The cost of the hornady trimmer was about 55 dollars. The redding I think went about 65 dollars. The lee about 13 dollars. And the wilson twice as much as or more than the redding.
The results for me were the cheep lee stud cutter and the hornady were pretty close.
Don't shoot me for this statement but it is true. The redding was the worst of the lot and one of the most expensive. Now If you can find something better than my wilson setup I will be all ears. A lot depends on the person using the tool If you are the neil anderthal type then the lighter material tools are not for you. On the other hand someone with a light hand and good feel can get the same performance and life out of the lighter tools. I use the lee auto hand primer and it works just fine,but it lacks the feel of my sinclair priming tool both do the job. One costs more and I can tell the difference. If I want volume I use Lee if I want precision I use sinclair.Use the best tool you can afford but more important always use the right tool for the job.

EddieNFL
March 14, 2010, 09:58 AM
Now If you can find something better than my wilson setup I will be all ears.

Accuracy wise, there isn't any better, IMO.

Use the best tool you can afford but more important always use the right tool for the job.

Yet another of life's truisms.

BigJakeJ1s
March 14, 2010, 03:12 PM
The Wilson trimmer is just as accurate without all those bells and whistles, and a lot less expensive. The trimmer goes for <$40, and the shell holders for ~$8 or less.

At that price, it is both the best and close to the cheapest trimmer available, especially of those that offer adjustment in trim length.

Andy

bds
March 14, 2010, 04:37 PM
Quote:
That comparison is intellectually dishonest. Compare any alum alloy Lee press to an alum alloy RCBS Partner or Reloader Special and the "differences" go away.

Not true, I have done so. I used to use a LEE Anniversary Special with Redding comparator gauges. I switched to a RCBS aluminum Reloader Special and repeatability of measurement went way up.

I do have to say kind words about the RCBS Reloader Special 5 single stage. Sizing even bulged "Glocked" case is effortless and very smooth. The C&H Champion 205 single stage is industrial. I feel like I am squashing soft peas when I size cases on it.

Although I am a fan of Lee products, I will admit that there are better products out there. However, with that being said, I will also say Lee products are certainly more than "adequate" for doing the job they were designed to perform.

We had many similar discussions like this in past years at ranges/matches and they could not believe I was loading my match loads on Pro 1000 (most were loading on Dillon). Often, side by side comparisons gave smaller shot groups out of Pro 1000 reloads using their match guns. They questioned why this was the case. I told them accuracy is all about consistent bullet weight, case measurements, ignition and powder charge. As long as you can accomplish this regardless of the equipment you use, you will get accurate reloads.

On occasion, some unbelieving reloaders/shooters who use other make progressive presses came to try my Pro 1000 with pre-sized/hand primed cases and their comments were often, "I did not know Pro 1000 could be this smooth and precisely functional." I told them it was a matter of proper cleaning and lubrication before each session. I often do not have to adjust my shell plate timing for 5000-10000 rounds - I check it before each session nonetheless. We tested powder charge measures, OAL, and final case dimensions. I would go over to their houses and do the same. What we found is that while the Pro 1000/Auto Disk powder charges were very consistent (less than 0.1 grain variance), their charges varied over time (Many Dillon reloaders will often check the powder charge every 50-100 rounds).

I do not consider Pro 1000 to be the best progressive press out there. I am very quick to point out to those interested in Pro 1000 that I do not like the primer feed feature and hand prime separately (for more than just this reason). I also point out that sizing on a single stage does a better job and recommend that they buy a used single stage.

FWIW, the new reloaders I have helped set up their Pro 1000 with single stage press have not experienced the "horror stories" often mentioned on various THR thread. They clean, lube and adjust as I recommend and my results are repeatable. YMMV

OP:
Where does favoring superior products end and snobbery begin?
So, is this Lee snobbery? :D

Walkalong
March 14, 2010, 04:44 PM
My aluminum Partner press is still going strong. (If I was sizing lots of big rifle calibers, I would get a stronger press) Back when I got it the kit included everything (even 100 Speer bullets) and was $99. Cheap crap. I can't believe it all still works....:D

StretchNM
March 14, 2010, 04:50 PM
Have you ever been in to a Cabelas where they'll have several presses setup side-by-side? Usually there's a Lee or two in the mix, and if you're lucky there'll be a Lee Classic Cast press. Now, before playing with them, check to see that they're well-mounted and clean. If you're looking for a single-stage press and you're honest and objective, you'll leave with a Lee Classic.

I really do like the lifetime warranties that the other makers sell. And the best part is that they toss in a free press with it! It's really nice of them to do that. If Lee would just triple the prices on their stuff, they'd gain a much larger customer base from the BR shooters. Imagine a Classic Cast for say $289.... even Sinclair would feature them in his catalog! Lee could even one-up the others by saying their press is guaranteed for two lifetimes!

Their little scale, while frighteningly accurate, is truly funny. It'll do in a pinch, though.

Their dies: people have said they're not "finished" as well as other dies. I haven;t noticed that, but then, I wear glasses so I might not see it right away. Others have said their Lee dies rusted, and the other makers don;t. My 6 sets of Lee dies haven't shown any sign of rust, but then, I don;t take them fishing with me. Quality-wise? Whose dies are truly "better"? I suppose if you pay $90 for a Redding Competition bullet seater, it's going to have to be better than a $10 Lee. I mean, it better be, by God!!!

Twice in the last year, at the range, I've talked reloading with people who use OTL equipment (other-than-Lee). In both times, my groups were better than theirs, all variables considered. But now, it never crossed my mind that my groups were better because I use Lee equipment. I'm pretty sure if the best BR competitor in the nation used Lee equipment, he'd still be the best competitor in the nation. He just wouldn;t receive good press because he'd be besmirched as "that Lee guy". Of course, he'd have alot more money for other things....more than his competitors, I mean.

All in all, a guy who uses Lee equipment is just another blue-collar serf..... a humble mud puppy.... a slag.....a wretched creature of obvious ill-repute. He gives up the right to buy from Sinclair and hang with the cool guys. He stands apart, and suffers the mocking and scoffing and snickering. He suffers it gladly though because, after all, his groups are tighter. ((( :D )))

bds
March 14, 2010, 05:51 PM
He stands apart, and suffers the mocking and scoffing and snickering. He suffers it gladly though because, after all, his groups are tighter.

I am usually too busy grinning at my double-tap groups and adding up target points to notice. :D

Actually, some of them have seen the advantages of the Lee Auto Disk and have retrofitted their OTL (other than Lee) presses with Lee powder through die/expander - Darn it! They are catching up to me fast!!! :D

Well, this could be the win-win option for some. Press of your choice and more consistent Auto Disk powder dispensing - and you can put a cover over the red hopper :rolleyes:

qajaq59
March 15, 2010, 02:23 PM
If I buy it and it works the way I want, then it's good. If it doesn't, then it's trash. Regardless whose name is on it. I have very little brand loyalty. And if you ever saw my bench you'd know it.

Offfhand
March 15, 2010, 07:08 PM
Bottom line: Some people are happy with anything as long as it's cheap, and they never know the difference when they have low expectations anyway.

BigJakeJ1s
March 15, 2010, 09:45 PM
Have you ever been in to a Cabelas where they'll have several presses setup side-by-side? Usually there's a Lee or two in the mix, and if you're lucky there'll be a Lee Classic Cast press. Now, before playing with them, check to see that they're well-mounted and clean. If you're looking for a single-stage press and you're honest and objective, you'll leave with a Lee Classic

Actually, I did just that, and went home with the Forster Co-Ax! Actually, I went home and put the Co-Ax on my Christmas list. My wife bought it for me a few weeks later.

My point is NOT whether the co-ax is better for every user's needs than the LCC, but it is simply that when you get a chance to handle each press, side by side, you can make the best decision for your own needs and preferences, not someone else's.

Andy

StretchNM
March 15, 2010, 09:59 PM
You sure can't count the Co-Ax out. It's probably the only one out there that comes close to being worth its price. I probably should have added "....unless there's a CoAx in the mix..." :D

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