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Lee Loader or Lee Handpress

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Jenrick, May 4, 2007.

  1. Jenrick

    Jenrick Well-Known Member

    Finally taking the plunge.

    After doing a lot of reading and looking at my environment, for the moment a smaller non-bench mounted setup is the ticket. Should I go for the Lee Loader, or the Lee Handpress? I'll probably end up getting a Lee Autoprimer too.

    Primarly going to be using this to reload .45ACP, .38 Spc, and .308.

    Which one would you fine folks recomend, and why?


  2. DaveInFloweryBranchGA

    DaveInFloweryBranchGA Well-Known Member

    For me, I would go with the hand press, as it's also a tool you could use "later on" to take to the range with you if you take care of it.


  3. skeeter1

    skeeter1 Well-Known Member

    I have a Lee handpress, and I'm pleased with it. It's kind of slow, but it doesn't take up hardly any room and was inexpensive. The kit comes with the Lee "RAM-prime." You can try it before you spring for a separate priming tool. I did spend a bit more to get the carbide dies for .38Spl.

    After a bit of practice, I can load rounds that are every bit as good as factory cartridges.
  4. bakert

    bakert Well-Known Member

    I agree with the other that reccomend the hand press. Much easier and quite a bit faster.
  5. ARGarrison

    ARGarrison Well-Known Member

    You'll want the hand press. The loader only neck sizes rifle brass and you need a seperate loader for each cartridge you load. They are in defacto their own die and not usable with anything else.

    The handpress uses normal dies that can be used when/if you up grade to another set up. I'd like a handpress to do just what Dave had said, take it to the range and do work ups on site.
  6. Jenrick

    Jenrick Well-Known Member

    Thanks to all. So basically the handpress is a single stage press that doesn't need to be bench mounted?

  7. BigJakeJ1s

    BigJakeJ1s Well-Known Member

    If you're going the hand-press route because of price, the Lee hand press is fine. If you want a hand press because you don't have a fixed reloading area/bench, and you have a few extra $$, the Huntington Compac Hand press is a much better tool, especially for rifle (308) reloading. My Lee hand press had quite a bit of springiness when resizing 45 colt; zero springiness with the Compac. The one area where the Lee hand press excels is in depriming. Its hollow ram gobbles up the spent primer and debris very well, and you can deprime while you watch TV from your easy chair. I use a universal deprimer to deprime before tumbling and then sizing, so depriming takes very little effort anyway.

  8. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Well-Known Member

    The handpress.

    The only reason that I ever purchased the Lee Loader was due to the fact that I could pick one up for $3, and with ~ $1 worth of primers, ~ $1 worth of bullets, and about two bits worth of powder I could load two boxes of ammo. Yes, that was a long, long, time ago, and as a High School student I had more time than money.
  9. ranger335v

    ranger335v Well-Known Member

    Thanks to all. So basically the handpress is a single stage press that doesn't need to be bench mounted? -Jenrick

  10. lee n. field

    lee n. field Well-Known Member

    The Hand Press is far and away the better choice.
  11. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    Definitely the handpress --you can add extra calibers simply by buying new dies.

    When I'm pushed for space, I keep an entire loading kit in a large toolbox -- the handpress is the heart of the system. I also take that box to the range when working up new loads.
  12. spooky_t

    spooky_t Well-Known Member

    My set up is almost exactly what Mr. Humphrey has described.
    Tool box (that I happen to have sitting around, all my dies, primers. hand press, bullets, etc. all in a compact case. Nice and portable.
    I also got the carbide 4 die sets and the nice thing about the .38 spl. set is they do double duty as the .357 mag set as well. Nothing like a two-fer:D.
    Works for me. And when I do have the space for a table mounted press I'll keep the hand press for handgun reloading.

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