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Lee Classic Loader for 12ga: Star Crimp?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Sergeant Sabre, Oct 18, 2010.

  1. Sergeant Sabre

    Sergeant Sabre Well-Known Member

    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?
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2010
  2. Pete D.

    Pete D. Well-Known Member

    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.

    Last edited: Oct 18, 2010
  3. Sergeant Sabre

    Sergeant Sabre Well-Known Member

  4. tactikel

    tactikel Well-Known Member

    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!
  5. Pete D.

    Pete D. Well-Known Member


    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.
  6. Sergeant Sabre

    Sergeant Sabre Well-Known Member

    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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