Lee Classic Loader for 12ga: Star Crimp?


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Sergeant Sabre
October 18, 2010, 09:18 PM
Starting at 6:40, the guy in the below-linked video uses a Lee Classic Loader to put a star-crimp on a plastic shotgun shell.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7g06a6RWC4A

My research into the Lee Classic Loader shows that it came with a roll crimper designed for paper shells. Was a star crimper ever available for the Lee Classic Loader? Could I buy a crimp starter and crimping die and just hammer it down onto the shell? Would that make an acceptable crimp?

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Pete D.
October 18, 2010, 09:30 PM
I have a few Lee Classic loaders - 12, 16, 20, .410. The only one of them that came with a Star crimp starter was the .410, though the directions in the others refer to that little tool. The starters that I have for the 12 gauge are little plastic cylinders about an inch and a half long with the crimp ridges on the inside - very much like the crimp starter on a MEC press.
Yes, you could use a crimp starter from a press to load with the Lee.
if you are reloading a hull that had a star crimp, the Lee Loader will recrimp that old crimp without the little starter tool, provided the hull still has a crisp shape.
Note: his video about making black powder is not nearly as good - what one ends up with following that video is called "polverone" or green powder. Real BP needs to have the mixture fully incorporated and that usually requires a ball mill.
The slug loads, though, are pretty well done. It is remarkable what can be done with some very simple tools. I know that I'll be casting a few of those rough slugs this weekend...just to see.

Pete

Sergeant Sabre
October 18, 2010, 10:41 PM
Thank you.

I have a new question: I found the below loading kit on eBay. It includes two crimp starters. It seems to be exactly what I am looking for, except the description says it's for 3" shells. I don't see that anywhere on the packaging, though. Is there a reason I could not use this for 2.75" shells?

http://cgi.ebay.com/MRC-Lee-loader-12ga-3-/180576251847?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a0b2eefc7

tactikel
October 19, 2010, 02:22 AM
A star crimp starter was not included, but I bought an optional crimp starter for maybe $1 back in 1974-still have it.
The crimp starter only sets the folds, length of shell is not a factor.
IMHO you will learn more about loading shotshells in one afternoon with a lee loader, than in many months with a progressive press!

Pete D.
October 19, 2010, 08:05 AM
Sgt S: Yes, you can use the three inch set for the 2 3/4" hulls. You will have to be careful about setting the final crimp as the die body will be a tad long and so not push on the hull as much.
Pete

Sergeant Sabre
October 19, 2010, 11:06 AM
Thank you. After watching the video I linked, I really want one of these kits. I see that many of them on eBay go for as much as a Lee Load-All, which is a press-type loader. I still want the Classic Loader, though. It just seems like it will be more satisfying using my ammunition after sitting down with this very low-tech kit and a hammer.

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