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Lee Handload Setup

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by <*(((><, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. <*(((><

    <*(((>< Well-Known Member

    I'm looking for some help in getting started reloading. I want to setup a Lee Handload setup for just doing reloading in the easy chair. I have access to an RCBS single stage, so I'm not looking for someone to convince me to forget the handloader, but simply wanting people to help me make sure I've got everything I need and that I'm not duplicating items bought.

    My list is as follows:

    1. Lee Breech Lock Hand Press Kit - $45.49
    2. Lee Deluxe 3 Die Set - $33.99
    3. Lee Deluxe Carbide 4-Die Set 40 S&W, 10mm Auto - $40.99
    4. Lee Case Trimmer Cutter and Lock Stud - $6.99
    5. Lee Precision Auto-Prime XR - $24.98
    6. Lee Shell Holder Kit - $18.53
    7. MTM Reloading Tray - $8.58
    8. Lee Precision Chamfer Tool - $6.44
    9. Lee Precision Powder Measure Kit - $16.86

    With these three items will I be able to go through all the reloading process, obviously I would need a tumbler, powder measure cups, case lube, bullets, powder, etc. Just wondering if there is anything I'm missing.

    Thanks for helping out a reloading newbie.

    I will be using this to reload: .40S&W & .223 and maybe eventually 6.5 grendel and 30-06.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  2. oldpapps

    oldpapps Well-Known Member

    " obviously I would need a tumbler, powder measure cups, case lube, bullets, powder, etc. Just wondering if there is anything I'm missing."

    You can do with out 'a tumbler', but you would need media (unless wet 'tumbling' and I would still go with ss pins). Powder dippers worry me. I would want to actually check what is being dipped. 'case lube' is included with the hand press. And the big item missing is books (get a couple), if to do no more than to troll for load variables. I would also look at some cheap plastic loading blocks.

    Do study what you are loading and understand just what is being accomplished in each step. And be very careful.
  3. kingmt

    kingmt Well-Known Member

    At least read a manual & you'll see everything you need.
  4. readyeddy

    readyeddy Well-Known Member

    You will also need calipers, scale, priming tool, and a couple of loading trays.

    And a chamfer tool.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  5. oldpapps

    oldpapps Well-Known Member

    "calipers, scale, priming tool, and a couple of loading trays"

    You don't need calipers ( I say as I have three with in reach). A very good item but not required.
    Scales, same as above. But I decline to load with out one (only one set of scales with in feet, cheap electronic one and I'm not in my reloading room).
    The hand press includes what is needed to prime. You will soon find yourself looking for a separate hand unit.
    Loading trays, I've always called them blocks. Never too many.

    That's 2 out of 4 from before.

    Slipped in the chamfering tool. My but the list does grow. No wonder I have stuff spread over three rooms and an out building.

    Load with care,
  6. <*(((><

    <*(((>< Well-Known Member

    The consensus is that everyone measures the powder for each charge on a scale? The only reloading I've done was quite a while ago and we used powder dippers. This won't be a problem as I have access to a nice portable digital scale.

    I also have a digital caliper I can use as well as have access to a tumbler.

    I updated my list as well with your suggestions.

    Thanks for the help, it is much appreciated, and I do plan on doing some heavy reading of the owners manual, but just wanted to get a list together of the essentials to start reloading.
  7. MRH

    MRH Well-Known Member

    Get the shell holders for BOTH the press and the auto prime.
  8. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    I've found good calipers to be invaluable, though I suppose they're not technically required.

    If I was starting out I'd invest in a wet tumbler with some wet cleaner and never mess with the dry stuff at all. It costs a little more though. I have not needed stainless steel rods so far. If you have some mechanical know-how you can build your own wet tumbler pretty easily. It just has to roll the drum around and around for a few hours.

    That's why I stopped using Lee's autoprime tool. The RCBS tool uses the same shell holder the press does. I have two RCBS tools, one set up for small and one for large.
  9. <*(((><

    <*(((>< Well-Known Member

    If you look the die set includes the shell holder, or am I missing something?
  10. GLOOB

    GLOOB Well-Known Member

    Lol, no. Only certain types of people do that.

    Once you verify your dippers, you will only "need" to check it when you use new lots of powder. Even then, if you're sticking with book loads, you should be fine. The scale is for finding out out what your dippers actually throw with your powders and with your dipping technique. When you say "we" used dippers, I'm sure your friend verified the throws long before he handed you the dipper and the powder.
  11. <*(((><

    <*(((>< Well-Known Member

    That's what I thought, I would verify each of my loads out of the dippers with a scale, but I would think it would be getting close enough once you verify where the powder sits in the dipper with a scale to repeat without the scale.

    I realize for precision target shooting getting it down to the grain can be important, but I'm looking for reloading my .40 hollowpoints for my CC M&P Shield, and general target shooting and setting up handloads for wolf hunting with my AR.

    Loading the 6.5 grendel and my 30-06 down the road, I will probably be looking for more accurate loads.
  12. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Well-Known Member

    exactly right. Verify your dipping technique (or your powder measure drop) delivers what you want and periodically do an accuracy/consistency check (every 5 loads, every 10 loads, whatever you are comfortable with)

    I don't trust a digital scale. Battery voltage can cause measurements to vary and flourescent light and other electromagnetic devices can affect them. Even AC power can vary and affect an electronic scale. So, I always recommend a beam scale to double check an electronic scale (I admit they are convenient and fast, so they have their uses).

    Calipers I went without for years, simply trusting factory components to be properly sized. Now that I have a pair, I use them all the time. Mostly for curiosity, but also for reassurance. Especially useful for your bottlenecked cartridges.

    A second loading tray. When I use single stage I start with one full and one empty one to the right and one to the left. It's a matter of style, so do what suits you. No real loss to use only one. But if you can find one that fits 60 cases instead of the usual 50, it allows you to keep a separation (of 10 empty spaces) between cases already processed and ones yet to do.

    You might (since both your available presses are/will be single stage) probably skip the FCD in the 4-die set and use the third die to seat and crimp at the same time. To save strokes and die changes. With a Turret press or progressive it matters a lot less.

    Thanks for asking our advice.

    Lost Sheep
  13. readyeddy

    readyeddy Well-Known Member

    I also use a Lee powder funnel when charging cases.
  14. TenDriver

    TenDriver Well-Known Member

    I bought a Lee kit, and so far I have not used the powder measure, scale, or safety prime. I've been priming on the press, bought a digital scale and use dippers / weigh each charge. It seems to work for me so far, but I will likely end up using the powder measure or something like it at some point.

    I also ditched the chamfer / Deburring tool and bought an RCBS. It is worlds above the Lee.
  15. kingmt

    kingmt Well-Known Member

    Go to the library or Walmart & get a manual to read. It will help you greatly.

    The only thing I have found that will interfere with my scale is a cell phone.
  16. <*(((><

    <*(((>< Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the reply's they are all really appreciated! I will be sure to post up my results after I get money saved and start piecing the equipment together. And I will be sure to keep looking back at this thread to see if there are any more suggestions.

    Everyone's time that they spent helping me doesn't go unnoticed!

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