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Lee Classic Loader (.44 Magnum)

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Mr. Mosin, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    This may belong here, or elsewhere. I don't know. I can not contact Lee via email, so I thought to ask here. Will the Lee Classic Loader (the one that requires a hammer) in .44 Magnum reload .44 Spl ?
     
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  2. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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  3. BullRunBear

    BullRunBear Member

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    Yes, it will.

    Jeff
     
  4. adcoch1

    adcoch1 Member

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    Yes it will, in fact I use one for all my 44spcl loads.
     
  5. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    Dumb question, but... how exactly ?
     
  6. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    The Lee wack-a-mole only neck size.
     
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  7. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    The magnum dies are cut to size magnum cases. The "special's" are just shorter versions and size the same. Most of those sets state you can do both.

    The expander and seat and crimp die's are what need to be adjusted down for the smaller cases. I usually look for a cheap second set of dies on eBay, or yard sales, and use the expander and seat die from them, for the "specials". That way I dont have to keep readjusting when I switch.
     
  8. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    The couple of pistol sets I had of them, sized the whole case.
     
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  9. dickydalton

    dickydalton Member

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    Mine too.
     
  10. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    Still unsure how I would actually load .44 Spl in the Magnum "whack a mole" set.
     
  11. Outlaw75

    Outlaw75 Member

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    That's only certain calibers like .45 ACP or 9x19 that are generally used in auto loaders. The rest are neck size only.
     
  12. adcoch1

    adcoch1 Member

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    You adjust the seating depth to the special length. The sizing and expander work exactly the same.
     
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  13. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    Oh. Ok. So one could load .38 Spl w/ the .357 Magnum loader as well ?
     
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  14. adcoch1

    adcoch1 Member

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    Yes, and I do that too.
     
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  15. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    Its been a good while now, but I could swear my 38/357 set was full sizing as well.

    The only thing Ive ever neck sized, was a short stint with a 308 bolt gun, years ago, and that was using a full press, not the Lee.

    I could maybe see the rifle sets only neck sizing, but even that seems a bit odd. Not that Id want to be trying to load a bunch of rifle rounds with one. It didnt take me too long to get the ***** of doing pistol rounds with one, and to get a real set up going.
     
  16. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    I still don't quite see how the sizing works. You beat the case flush. A .44 Spl case is what ? 1/8 inch shorter than a Magnum case ?
     
  17. walnut1704

    walnut1704 Member

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    The Lee Loaders neck size only in revolver cartridges. You may drive the entire case all the way in, but that doesn't make it full length resizing. They make separate .38 Special and .357 kits, but the only difference is the powder scoop. The dies are cut to adequately neck size the shorter (special) case and neck size the magnum cases just a tad more.

    If you are not convinced, call Lee Precision and ask them. Phone (262) 673-3075
     
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  18. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    Not that I *doubt* any of ya, I'm just sitting here, scratching my head over how it'd actually work.
     
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  19. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    As I said, it was quite a while ago that I actually used mine. I got them new back in the late 60's, early 70's, and they were my introduction to reloading.

    Mine came in the cardboard boxes, and I swear I Ioaded both 38 and 357's with them. The cases did go all the way in the die.

    They were a PITA to load with, but they worked. I moved on pretty quick though, and got a Rockchucker that Im still using pretty much daily today.

    I sold the Lee sets I had off on eBay a few years back.
     
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  20. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    I primarily want a Lee Classic Loader because

    1. It's dirt cheap

    2. It's, quite literally, all I have room for.
     
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  21. walnut1704

    walnut1704 Member

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    The reason for the neck sizing is to reduce the effort required to drive it in and out of the die. Plus it's all that's really necessary. Basically, only the front portion of the case is resized. So think of it as a tapered die. This can cause problems sometimes if you try to reload brass that was fired in a gun other than the one you are reloading for. If the cases were fired in a gun with slightly larger chambers, they may not fit in your gun once reloaded as they will be insufficiently resized in the bottom part of the case. You should check them as you go along, that the loaded cartridge will chamber in your gun if you are using brass you didn't fire in that gun. It's a bummer to go through all that and have them not work.

    It's possible to produce excellent ammo with a Lee Loader. The one weakness (in revolvers) is the crimp. There's really no precise way to control the amount of crimp since there's not a "stop" on the die and it's controlled entirely by how hard you whack it. What I do is I found a washer combination that is just the right thickness. I put this over the cartridge before I crimp and it acts as that "stop" for the crimp die.

    If I do that, I can't tell the difference between Lee Loader .38's and those loaded on my Dillon. You may wonder why I would ever use a Lee Loader when I have other presses. Well, sometimes you need to slow down and get a bit more grounded. You don't need a lot of fancy equipment to make good ammo. The only difference is the amount of time.
     
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  22. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    I think we've all been there. :)

    When I got my first Rockchucker, we were in a one bedroom apartment. I mounted everything on 2x6's and used big C clamps to secure things to a sturdy coffee table, and loaded off of that. Was still a PITA, but still better than the Lee. Don't miss those days, or that pay, at all. :thumbup:
     
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  23. silvermane_1

    silvermane_1 Member

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    They're also "dirt simple" to use as well. ;)
     
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  24. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    At all, thank you for your input and sound advice.
     
  25. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    I've got a couple of the old "wack a mole" Lee-Loaders, in the cardboard boxes....357 and 44 Magnum actually. I got them a few years ago off E-bay mostly for the nostalgia factor. You can indeed load specials in both (And the reverse...I loaded many a 357 using my old 38 Special LL back in the day). I don't know how many 38 wadcutters I put up using one of those little kits back then.

    But today I don't have any more room than I did back then, but I don't use the wack a mole kits anymore. Today I use a Lee hand press and a set of regular dies. I normally dip powder with the Lee dippers, but I do have a powder measure and scale. The dippers are just easier for the type reloading I do. A Lee priming tool, and a few other little pieces like case trimmers that all fit into a desk drawer and I'm in business. It's a lot faster, easier, and quieter than the wack a mole kits. Slower than a progressive or turret, but not much slower than a single stage press.

    001-4.jpg

    I think I paid about $150 for everything, but that was several years ago. Probably not much more today.

    Later I did add an inexpensive case vibrator, but that's in the "nicesity not necessity" catagory. It sits under the desk when not being used.
     
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