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Lee Challenger SS Press for decapping

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by CMV, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. CMV

    CMV Well-Known Member

    I wanted to set this up with the Lee universal decapping die & pretty much just dedicate to that purpose. For those who have done similar - or who use that press in general - how do you deal with spent primers?

    My other is the Lee Classic Turret. Once I inserted a small section of straw just below the shellholder, it became very good at containing spent primers & might let 1 per hundred get loose. But on the single stage, the primers go everywhere - except down the side & into the tube where they should.

    My reloading space is cramped so i can't clear out a 3' radius all around the press and just vacuum up the mess when done. I feel stupid for not being able to just look at it & devise a good solution. But watching how the primers eject in random direction & speed I'm just not picturing it. Best I could come up with is boxing in the left side with index cards or light cardboard. That might contain 2/3 which would still be unacceptable. I'm also left handed so blocking the left side of the press would be inconvenient.
  2. splattergun

    splattergun Well-Known Member

    The Lee Challenger press uses the primer lever, small or large, inserted in the ram to block the channel on the right side of the ram, and divert the spent primers down through the hole in the ram about half way down on the left. If you choose to not use the primer levers, then you can jury rig something to block the channel, such as a piece of straw or aluminum strip from a can.
  3. dsm

    dsm Well-Known Member

    Go with the classic cast model and attach an old water bottom at bottom of ram(primers drop down center).
  4. Springfield0612

    Springfield0612 Well-Known Member

    I've used the Lee SS press, the turret and the pro 1000 all for decapping. I have way less issues with the SS press than the other two. I did a run of 300 9mm last night depriming on my turret press. Maybe 20 out of 100 went in the hole. I tried the aluminum can strip on my pro 1000 and I was never able to get it to work right.

    Good Luck!
  5. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Well-Known Member

    Yup, 99.9% of the primers go where they're supposed to.
    Very good design.
  6. CMV

    CMV Well-Known Member

    I didn't think to try installing the primer arm. I'll see if that fixes it.
  7. GLOOB

    GLOOB Well-Known Member

    Hold your left hand over the side of the ram while decapping, and that number goes up to 99.99%. :)

    CMV. I'd still try Splattergun's suggestion. When I'm sizing/decapping, only, I use that trick. When I started reloading rifle, I made a strip of foam board, shaped and bent just so, to fit in the primer arm slot. This allows me to put a cake pan right up against the right of the press without the primer arm getting in the way. On the slim Breechlock press, you can get the flared lip of the pan within a fraction of an inch of the actual ram. Now, orient the shellholder opening to the right, and the decapped cases are automatically pushed out to fall in the bin when you put in the next case.

    You can also shorten the handle quite a bit, if ur just decapping. This will speed things up and decrease fatigue.

    These are just 3 of the many perks of the Breechlock press.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2013
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    I built this wood base and aluminum slider tray for just such an application with a Lee Reloader press.

    Turned out the dang little press was too small for me to get my hand and a case in it at the same time.

    The primer catcher tray worked 100% though!!


  9. Garyshome

    Garyshome Active Member

    Yes lee ss for DE-capping/Sizing/BHN testing. Essential!!!
  10. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Well-Known Member

    Why not just use the LCT to universal decap? :confused:
  11. CMV

    CMV Well-Known Member

    No big reason not to use the LCT press - that's pretty much what i have done up to this point. Would rather use the universal die and not worry at all about crudding up my FL dies. I can just leave the die in the SS press all the time.

    I'm not using the SS press for anything right now, so may as well have it set up for something.
  12. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Well-Known Member

    I just leave a universal decapping die in one of the turret heads with a set of rifle dies... and decap whatever with that. the LCT deals with spent primers better than any press I've seen.

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