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Lee Anniversary Kit Fans?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by mattw, Feb 20, 2007.

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  1. mattw

    mattw Member

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    I've been toying with the idea of reloading for about a year now. I've read a little and decided I need to get a single stage press because I plan on loading rifle and pistol, but mostly because I don't have a lot of money and it seems to be the easiest to learn on and not screw up.

    So how many of you started out with or still have the Lee Anniversary kit? How long have you been reloading? Did you find that everything that you needed came in the kit or did you have to add a few things? What calibers do you mostly load on your Lee single stage press? How long do you think it will last for you before you upgrade to something bigger and better?
     
  2. Ian Sean

    Ian Sean Member

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    I started with the Lee kit, I am still single staging it ( I have 2 ) One is my decapping station the other is for reloading.

    Been reloading a few years now, most of my stuff is Lee, with some RCBS, Lyman etc.. All kinds of accessories, tools I have added.

    Re-doing my whole bench as my winter project (I am promising pictures when done :) ) I have really outgrown the single stage...but I find it relaxing and theraputic.

    Currently load....308, 8mm, 243, 30-06, 30 carbine, 38/357, and 45 acp.

    Saving up for a nice scale and a progressive, maybe a Dillon. Single stage is slower but really is the way to start, you will probably keep the single stage and like many others and use it as a dedicated decapping station.

    A good work bench in a quiet area, with good lighting is a must.
     
  3. mattw

    mattw Member

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    I plan on loading .45 ACP, 38 Spl, .308 Win, .30 Carbine, and .30-30. I will be loading a few of the same calibers as you. Sounds like I chose a good setup!
     
  4. Surat

    Surat Member

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    I got a lee anniversary kit for Christmas a few years back from my wife and I still love it. Simple, effective, tough as nails. I find if i manage the work flow I can turn out well made ammo quite fast. It's all a matter of doing it in small batches and working ahead on sizing and priming. I have had no urge to go to a progressive because I only reload several hundred rounds of 38/357 a year (for the wife. . .I get 150 rnds a month from work in 40 cal. . . smart investment on her part I guess :p ) Starting to load .308. . . if i can get the funds together I'll start casting my own bullets and reload for all my milsurps.
     
  5. mattw

    mattw Member

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    Its good to hear some positive feedback for the Lee Kit. Hopefully we will hear from more satisfied owners once its a little later than 3 AM Central Standard Time.
     
  6. Mojo-jo-jo

    Mojo-jo-jo Member

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    Can't go wrong....

    The Lee Anniversary is a great starter kit. It's inexpensive and will help you learn good reloading practices. Furthermore, It will remain useful when you upgrade to a progressive press later as a decapper or making small precision lots for load development purposes. Definitely the best "bang" for the "buck" (pardon the pun).

    Let me recommend that you also buy a couple "loading blocks" that will hold your cases between stages of reloading. This will make your reloading life much happier.
     
  7. ambush

    ambush Member

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    I rejoy my lee anniv. kit. Load .308 with it. Just got back into reloading late last year. Had sold all my previous stuff. I would like to get a more user friendly scale though. Don't get me wrong, the scale that comes with the kit is very usable, its just that a digital would be easier I think.
     
  8. FieroCDSP

    FieroCDSP Member

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    Got my kit back in November, and have been using it weekly ever since.

    The "Perfect Powder Measure" isn't, but with a little practice, can throw fairly consistant charges, especially with plinking pistol loads where .05 grain isn't all that important. The key is consistancy with the lever on it. Move it up at an even pace, move it down at an even pace. I've also used a "move up, tap-twice, move down, tap-once" method that works. Weigh every tenth (or even fifth) charge.
    The scale is functional and easy to use. I'm sure others will recommend another brand of scale, but for starters, the scale is just fine.
    The Auto-Prime is great. While there are some restrictions because of safety concerns, I'm sure many people have used the Auto-Prime with non-recommended primers without issues. I think I read somewhere that you should just use fewer (I think 20-30) Federal primers in the tray instead of 100.

    You will probably never part with the single stage press. I just ordered the Loadmaster, and I know that my single-stage will still get a lot of use with my Makarov and 7.62x39 loads.
     
  9. BeJaRa

    BeJaRa Member

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    I have had mine since december and I enjoy it. only thing I had to have that did not come with the kit was a caliper. I picked one up at harber frieght for $15 on sale, the exact same one was selling at midway for $40+. Right now I am loading 40 S+W and 38/357 starting to load 45 acp come thursday when my dies arrive. I will eventually be loading 30-06 and possibly 7.62x39m in the future so I hope this kit will handle rifle cartridges well.
     
  10. T-Mac

    T-Mac Member

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    I have one.
    Am still using most of the original kit, too.
    As time passed, I went to a digital scale and a different champher/deburr tool ....but, still use everything else.
    Hard to beat it at the price.
     
  11. db_tanker

    db_tanker Member

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    first kit I got.

    I still use some of the parts...but the press has been relegated to doing more mundane things like pulling bullets on loads that didn't pan out.


    I don't honestly think you can beat it for the money compared to what you get.


    D
     
  12. Zippy06

    Zippy06 Member

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    mattm. Go to Midwayusa.com. Buy a Lee turret. Had mine 20+ yrs.
    They sell kits. With the dies. And you can turn the Turret into a single stage.
    For loading rifle. Turret does work with .223.
    You can get setup for around $200. :D
    But, buy primers and powder local. Everyone charges a HAZMAT fee.
     
  13. hornadylnl

    hornadylnl Member

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    The Lee aniversary kit was how I got started. I don't use to much of it anymore because I just went with a Hornady progressive and single stage. I went with the Hornady single stage out of mere convience. I can change out dies in about 2 seconds on the Hornady.

    I'd recommend getting the Anniversary kit to start with and use it for awhile and figure out how much you want to invest. If you decide you really like reloading and want to do higher volumes of any caliber, you'll want to save your money and go with the best. Don't let the initial cost of a press fool you. It is all the accessories and conviences that really add up cost. What you don't want to do is invest $3-400 in a mediocre setup and decide it isn't something you want. I bought a Lee pro 1000 after I got my anniversary kit. I loaded about 750 rounds on it and got to pricing the parts to convert it to different calibers. It got to be about 50-60% of the price of a complete new press ready to go in the caliber you want to change it to.

    Here is a link to Wideners Lee Anniversary kit with manual. They have it for about $79. That is probably the cheapest you will find it.
    http://www.wideners.com/itemdetail.cfm?item_id=2532&dir=210|212|237

    Here is a link to all of their Lee presses to see what Lee has to offer. They have a few turret kits that looked reasonable to.
    http://www.wideners.com/itemview.cfm?dir=210|212|237
    If you ever decide that you want to load high volumes of Large rifle rounds(anything other than 223, and 7.62x39) settle for nothing less than a Hornady LNL or a Dillon 650. To paraphrase all of this, buy the Anniversary kit and get your feet wet. If you decide you don't like reloading, you aren't out much. The longer you reload, the more you will learn and you'll much better understand what you want out of your equipment.
     
  14. mattw

    mattw Member

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    Thanks for all the helpfull replies! I think I will try the Lee Anniversary Kit with book for my first reloading set-up. After two years of chemistry and a semester of college biology I don't mind using a non-digital balance (powder measure, right?). I've got some cheap calipers but I think I'll spend some money on a better set (don't want to use cheap measuring tools when creating ammo).

    I'm trying to stay under $100 (before tax) for the whole set up (minus powder, bullets, and primers), so it looks like the Lee Anniv. Kit is my ticket.

    I also ordered The ABC's of Reloading (7th Ed.), so that ought to fill in some of the blanks before i get started.
     
  15. Vitamin G

    Vitamin G Member

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    I started with the annv. kit. I found that i really enjoyed reloading, so i saved for a classic turret kit.

    I'd never be saving $100's in ammo costs, if it wasn't for the annv. kit letting me "test drive" reloading.
     
  16. SDC

    SDC Member

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    It was my choice when I first started loading for rifle, and it worked out so well that I ended up buying another 2 single-stages just so I could dedicate them to rifle rounds; that way, I can set one up to decap/resize, one to seat to the right length, and one to crimp, and it goes a lot faster than swapping the dies in and out of a single press. The only things I have to say I DON'T like about the Lee kits is their scale and powder measure, but I bought an RCBS digital scale and dribbler to speed that step up as well.
     
  17. WildeKurt

    WildeKurt Member

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    The turret press is nice in that you can very easily (with out tools) remove the index rod and use it as a single stage press. What's nice about this, once the dies are set up, you don't need to fuss with them. I don't think the 'standard' turret press is an awful lot more either.
     
  18. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    I started with the Aniversary kit, and still use the press for sizeing only. I bought a Lee turret press, that I love, but hate the priming system. Been using mine for 17 years, without a problem.:)
     
  19. mattw

    mattw Member

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    It seems like a turret press might save me some time when I'm loading my pistol ammo, but I've read a hundred times: "You'll always need a single stage for something..."

    So I think I'm going to get the Lee Anniversary Kit to start out and if I like reloading I'll move up to a turret press.

    Thanks for all the advice!
     
  20. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    If you pull the indexing rod out of the turret, it is a single stage press:)
     
  21. mattw

    mattw Member

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    So I've heard. I'll have to look into the cost of a turret kit versus a single stage kit and talk to my wallet about it.
     
  22. Dave R

    Dave R Member

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    That's exactly what its made for. You won't regret it.
     
  23. mattw

    mattw Member

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    Another quick question:

    What is involved in reloading shotgun shells versus metallic cartridges? Can I do this with a single stage press? Would it be much to annoying? Should I wait until I decide if I want to get a progressive or a turret press to consider reloading shotgun shells?
     
  24. Declaration Day

    Declaration Day Member

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    I've had the Lee Anniversary kit for about four months now. I've loaded approximately 5000 rounds in various calibers.

    I have a lot of leisure time in the winter, so upgrading to a progressive press would simply eat up my time faster and leave me with nothing to do.

    I am very happy with the kit and don't plan on upgrading for a long time.
     
  25. ranger53

    ranger53 Member

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    I started reloading over a year ago, and I'm 53 yrs old. Got a Lee Anniv. kit with man. The only thing I needed to get, was the primers, bullets and powder, and of course, a set of dies. ;) All total was under 130.00. Now I reload for 30-30, 270, 45-70, 223, 45 colt, 357 mag., and 38 spl. I don't make a bunch of bullets at a time, but what I make are extremely accurate.:D
    tommy
     
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