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''Classic'' loading kit

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Montenegrin, Sep 25, 2011.

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  1. Montenegrin

    Montenegrin Member

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    Let's see how many use these ones, a.k.a ''poor people's kit'' :D I don't have much money for all that presses and can reload with ''classic loaders'',let's say,20 rnds in 10 minutes,and I don't need more than that.Anyone else uses these?
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  2. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    Since the 1970s I have been using Lee Loader kits to load:
    6.5 Carcano
    .30-30 Winchester
    .303 British
    .38 Special/.357
    7.63 Mauser
    .45 AutoRim

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I use a tent peg mallet with leather face pads and a 2ft section of 2x4 across my thighs as a "loading bench" to reduce the noise and avoid marring the wife's kitchen table.
     
  3. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Yes I still use them for certain calibers and at the range/bench fine tuning loads. Frankly they're not as slow as folks would have you believe.

    If tyhey ever go completly away, I'll just move over to L.E. Wilson dies if I need to.
     
  4. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    I have several of them. Some pistol, some rifle, and a couple for shotgun. They all work well for the intended purpose. However the rifle sets only neck size and this would be a problem with use with an autoloader or if using once fired brass from a different rifle. These are great to take on a hunting trip if you want to make up a few rounds to match the conditions at your destination. Also in a survival situation it would be a good way to keep ready ammo with some components (lead, brass) used over thus lessening the overall weight/storage problems. I think that it is really fun to sit around the camp fire in the evening casting lead and reloading the ammo that you used during the day just as the cowboys did way back when it was the norm.:cool:
     
  5. RandyP

    RandyP Member

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  6. scramasax

    scramasax Member

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    I have several of them. tested my use of them and put them in my relocation trunks. Rotate componets once a year. They are good and if you want more precision than a scoop you can always buy a small scale.

    Cheers,

    ts
     
  7. scrat

    scrat Member

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    Heck ya got them for all the calibers.

    From .410, 12 guage, 9mm, 30-30, 45 colt, 44 magnum, 357, 38
     
  8. RevGeo

    RevGeo Member

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    Nut crackers

    I have a collection of Ideal 310 tong tools inherited from my father that I still use quite a bit. I believe Lyman still makes them. They are really high quality reloading tools. I also have an adapter that allows the dies for the hand tools to be used in a regular press.
    The sizing dies only neck size, but they had a pound-in full length sizer much like the Lee Loader.
    A few generations ago these things were quite popular and I find them as practical and easier to use than the Lee Loader.

    George
     
  9. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Member

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    Have a .38/.357 set. If the stuff ever hits the fan and I have extra time and a little space, I'll grab it, a carton of primers, my Unique and a box of boolits to hit the road.

    It's not my favorite but I keep it for hard times and for "just in case."

    Q
     
  10. Montenegrin

    Montenegrin Member

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    Anyone seen one for .38 long colt?
     
  11. GCBurner

    GCBurner Member

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    The .38 Long Colt is the parent case for the .38 Special and .357 Magnum, it's just shorter. You should be able to use the Lee Classic Loader for .38/.357 Mag. to reload the cases, just be careful of the powder loads that come on the Charge Table with the Loader, and don't try stuffing a load intended for the Magnum in the shorter .38 Colt case.

    I've got my old Lee Loaders for a few calibres, and keep them on hand if I want to try testing some loads and only need to run off 5 or 10 rounds.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  12. NewShooter

    NewShooter Member

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    If I wanted to load a second caliber with that kit, would I have to buy a second kit or can parts be purchased seperately?

    I want to try my hand at reloading. I dont want to spend a lot because I would only be loading a few rounds a month.
     
  13. Whacked

    Whacked Member

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    I don't have one of those kits but I do have the Lee handloader.
    works great and perfect for the occasional reloader.
    the cost is not much more than the classic loader
     
  14. GCBurner

    GCBurner Member

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    Yes, each Classic Lee Loader is made for just one calibre, though some can be used for other cartridges that share the same size basic case, like .38 Special and .357 Magnum, .45 ACP and .45 Auto Rim, and .44 Special and .44 Magnum.
    Lee Precision is phasing the Classic Loaders out, and only offers a few in the most popular calibres, now. They used to make them is just about any calibre you could think of, and some of the less common are collectors items nowadays.
     
  15. NewShooter

    NewShooter Member

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    Which would be easier to use, the classic or the handloader?
    Also, which one is safer to use? Lee must be phasing out the classic for a reason.
     
  16. GCBurner

    GCBurner Member

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    The Lee hand press is more versatile, since it takes regular reloading dies in the standard 7/8" size, while the Classic Lee Loader just does one single calibre. Dies are generally cheaper than buying a Classic Loader, particularly used, and you can use dies from any manufacturer, not just Lee.
    They're equally safe, and turn out equally good reloads, the Lee Loader is just a bit more labor intensive, in that you have to hammer the empty case into the resizing die with a soft-faced hammer or wooden mallet, versus using leverage with the hand press, or a bench-mounted reloading press.
    I don't know why Lee is phasing them out, but I suspect the profit margins are higher on regular dies and presses. Nobody else in the business makes anything comparable to the Classic Lee Loader, though, for the few people who just load one or two calibres, and only fire a handful of rounds per year. These seem to be mostly regular hunters, who make one box of shells last through several hunting seasons.
     
  17. Whacked

    Whacked Member

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    with the handloader, Lee now makes them with breech locks, so you will need to buy the breech lock bushings (best to get one per die)
    the beauty of that is once to get the dies properly set, switching dies is a snap, literally. Just push, twist, pull out. no more unthreading of dies from the press.
     
  18. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    The only thing I have needed to replace, using seven Lee Loader kits over forty years before they became classic, have been two decappers (the pins broke).

    The decappers and decapping chambers are sold seperately. They are a great help when dealing with crimped military primers.
     
  19. CmpsdNoMore

    CmpsdNoMore Member

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    I've been looking at these for awhile now. Just the other day I found a .38/.357 set at a gun show for $5, so I figured "why not?". It had some rust on it, but it cleaned up nicely with some steel wool.

    My set seems to be older (doesn't have the "clear" case, like the newer ones) and doesn't have the stop collar or locking ring on the main body. Instead, you adjust the bullet seating depth with something on the bullet seating rod.
    Is that normal for handgun calibers? It seems to lock up well, so I'm not too worried about it.
     
  20. GCBurner

    GCBurner Member

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    The older ones in the cardboard box had the bullet seating adjustment on the rod, the current version has a collar on the die itself to limit seating depth. According to the instructions, you use a factory-loaded round to adjust the depth of seating and overall length with both types; put a factory round in the die, and adjust the screw until the collar of the seating rod is flush with the top of the die.
    The oldest one I have is for .357 Magnum, and the instruction sheet in the box lists all 110 Sizes (!!) these were available in at that time. You'd have to look a long time to find any of these in .22 K Hornet, 7x61 Sharpe & Harte, 8mm Lebel, .401 Win. Self-Loading, or .41 Long Colt nowadays.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011
  21. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

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    I saw one on ebay last year for the .351.
     
  22. GCBurner

    GCBurner Member

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    I hope you snagged it, you might never see another one.
     
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