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Lee Loadmaster

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by floydster, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. floydster

    floydster Well-Known Member

    There is so much controversy over the Lee Loadmaster one doesn't know what to believe, the primer feed is junk, the powder measure is junk, it takes a lot of dinking around to get it to work, so what is the truth. I have the Lee Classic Turret and like it for my pistol loading, but want a press for rifle and
    don't want to spend a fortune.
    Thanks for my venting, all info will be appreciated.
  2. mrawesome22-250

    mrawesome22-250 Well-Known Member

    Why can't you use your turret for rifle?
  3. floydster

    floydster Well-Known Member

    i can, I just wanted a press dedicated to my pistol loading, 9mm,
    38 spcl. and 357.
    I want the loadmaster for my 7.65, 222 Rem. 308, 30-06, 22-250, 220 Swift.

    BAD_KARMA Active Member

    I would keep the classic turret for the rifle cartridges and use a loadmaster for the pistol. The priming system is fine if you can live with using winchester and cci primers. A small price to pay for not having to load them in tubes like some brands. I do not know of a better powder system for pistol cartridges. I have been using one of the original auto-disks for 20 years. It does take a little tinkering from time to time.

    MMCSRET Well-Known Member

    I bought a Loadmaster in 1997 set up for 9mm, since expanded to cover every straight wall pistol and revolver caliber offered from 32 s&w to 454 casull. Approx. 110,000 rounds loaded. Great machine. The videos on the loadmaster zone websight are a great resource. I didn't have them but I did have John Lee and his superb crew of tech assists. I love it!!!!!!
    I still use my 30 year old rockchucker for my rifle cartridges, I custom load 142 different calibers on my class 06 ffl.
  6. darwin-t

    darwin-t Well-Known Member

    Watch the setup videos at my website. Watch for whole new instructions there with close up color photos and a short video for each step - the basic setup will be written, photographed and videos my yours truly. I have about 95% of he writing done, maybe 80-90% of the videos and about half of the photos. We just need to get it put into the new web site.

    Then we'll start on troubleshooting.

    I think we'll have a pdf version available eventually, too.
  7. 04JRB

    04JRB Well-Known Member

    Ive only had mine for a short time, but after watching all the vids on how to set it up correctly (lee instructions arent the best) I have been doing just fine on it. This is the first press I have owned, the learning curve was a little steep since I had 0 backround with reloading but I dont regret my decision on this machine. Especially with the up front cost savings.
  8. darwin-t

    darwin-t Well-Known Member

    That's quite a leap, starting with a progressive press! I hope that you are keeping your eyes open and your attention at 100% as you reload. There's a lot to watch.......

    It sounds like you are on top of things, though. Congratulations
  9. FieroCDSP

    FieroCDSP Well-Known Member

    The LM is a good press for the money. Caliber changes are easy and don't require lots of expensive parts. Once you have the large, small, and rifle case feeders, you're pretty much ready to load anything that'll fit. The right priming ram and shell-plate are also necessary. All of these things come in at a cost far less than the other manufacturers.

    The LM can be a source of frustration, though. If you're on a tight budget, the LM is the way to go. If you have some cash to spend, the LNL or Dillon might be what you're looking for.
  10. jfh

    jfh Well-Known Member

    "I would keep the classic turret for the rifle cartridges and use a loadmaster for the pistol....

    Good advice.

    Even if you are building rifle fodder for a .223 or 7.62x39, you ought to be able to average 120+ rounds an hour on the Turret.

    Jim H.
  11. Rustynuts

    Rustynuts Well-Known Member

    +1 on the Loadmaster, I find it great for the price. Sure some parts are nylon, but they work great for what they do. Some little pieces are almost sacrificial in case of mistakes, which actually is good so you don't mess up something even worse. The small nylon pieces are very cheap (primer slider, bullet feed fingers, etc) so I keep a couple spares on hand. I've never used another press so I don't know how much extra tinkering the Lee takes, but it's not bad. As a mechanical engineer, I love tinkering anyway!

    On the powder throw, go ahead and get the micrometer feed disk, much easier than messing with stacking disks for various loads. Also, don't bother with the bullet feed initially. Get used to the unit first. The auto brass collator is great to have and the auto brass feeder works fine for me. Get a small LED light to shine up the powder throw in the seating die location. Follow the setup videos EXACTLY! On the sizing/priming die location (I use the 5-die approach) I didn't trust the extra turn DOWN into the shellplate and ended up with erratic lengths. The extra push on the shellplate holds it up into the seating and crimping dies on the other side of the turret for consistency. As mentioned, get an extra de-priming die and factory crimp die. This way you will fill every hole in the turret and get more consistent priming, sizing, and crimping.

  12. floydster

    floydster Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys for all the response, it is very helpful and all the support is great!!
    Thanks again, Floydster
  13. jfh

    jfh Well-Known Member

    go to darwin-t's site, loadmastervideos.com

    and use the setup resources there.


    A couple of general observations:

    1. Get the primer subsystem clean, and for now, set it up for the primer size you will load most of, then leave it alone.

    2. If you haven't done it, set up one turret with a five-die configuration--Lee's Universal Decapper in #1, the Sizer (with decapper removed) in #2, etc., etc. That will go a long way towards reliable operation when you're learning things.

    2. Get the case feeder running right, using Chris's videos, and leave it alone or disable it.

    3. Do--and re-do--the die setup.

    4. The Lee pro version with the manual return will work great with the adjustable charge bar.

    5. Order out spare parts--get spare large and small primer sliders, especially.

    Personally, I consider the steep learning curve and tweaking / setup time worth it, and I say that even though I have just been through some hassles with the primer subsystem after I changed it out the other size. I normally load about 400 rounds per hour of my pistol loads.

    If you're really tearing your hair out, I might even consider driving out to help you, just to meet another THR reloader-gunny.

    Jim H.
  14. whitesmoke

    whitesmoke New Member

    How sucessful have you guys been using your loadmaster for rifle cartridges? I like my loadmaster for pistol.....but I have been having trouble getting it set right for 308.
  15. wally

    wally Well-Known Member

    I fail to see how a progressive is much benefit for rifle, how do you trim your cases?

  16. darwin-t

    darwin-t Well-Known Member

    Liberty4Ever has done some videos regarding reloading rifle ammo on a Load Master, mainly about the case prep. You can find them on youtube and my page. It looks like way too much work for me, though.
  17. stubbicatt

    stubbicatt Well-Known Member

    With any progressive press that you use for loading bottleneck, modern, high pressure, cartridges, or others which tend to stretch like .357 mag, you need to trim the cases. Period.

    There are trimming tools which can be used for this, but most require resized cases before you reload them. This sort of defeats the purpose of the progressive press.

    If you can be certain of using only your brass, you can opt for a RCBS X die, which I have found to be quite excellent. If not, I have heard of modifications which can be done to the Giraud trimmer which will enable you to trim unsized cases.
  18. WNC Seabee

    WNC Seabee Well-Known Member

    Videos Are Down!

    So, I've got my brand new Lee Loadmaster on the way, delivery is tomorrow. I bought this setup after watching the videos on http://loadmastervideos.com.

    Now that site is down! :what:

    I'd be happy to BUY the videos if they're available, or, better yet, fund some site hosting services for a time so others can access them too. If you know who's behind these AWESOME videos, PM me and let me know how I can get my hands on them!

  19. WNC Seabee

    WNC Seabee Well-Known Member

    Okay, I freaked out. videos are posted on YouTube.

    Videos are on YouTube. :D
  20. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Well-Known Member

    most of the videos are on youtube, just search out Liberty4Ever, DarwinTe, Abenedict1, or shadowdog500. That should get you going till the site comes back.

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