Who uses LEE?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Texaszach, Dec 22, 2013.

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  1. Legionnaire
    • Contributing Member

    Legionnaire Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Ditto. I have two Lee presses: a classic cast and a classic turret. Most of my stuff is Lee, but I, too, have an RCBS 5-0-5 scale.
  2. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

    Jul 5, 2006
    West Virginia
    I have a lee classic turret press, Dillon 550, Lee casting pot and lee trimmer for 223. I like the classic turret as much as the 550. I use Lee dies on both presses. Very happy with all of my Lee equipment and never had any problems.
  3. NCdrummer

    NCdrummer Member

    Jan 24, 2010
    Charlotte, NC
    Lee collet dies are great. I have many sets. Also have their factory crimp dies, but I don't crimp much. Just crank the sizing die in a little more for a tighter fit. Great stuff! So is their Classic single stage cast press. Very solid. I did have a problem with the Challenger press flexing on rifle bullets, though. Sold that one to a pistol shooter. I love Lee!
  4. giggitygiggity

    giggitygiggity Member

    Mar 18, 2009
    I have the Lee Deluxe Turret Press with auto index kit. All my dies are also Lee. They all work great. Also, Lee's customer service has been excellent. As stated previously, their progressive presses don't have a very good track record though.
  5. model4006

    model4006 Member

    Nov 24, 2006
    I have a Lee breechlock and lee dies and it works awesome. I use some RCBS dies in it and they work good too.
  6. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Member

    Sep 6, 2009
    Freeport, IL
    10 of my 12 sets of dies are Lee
    My first (& current - single stage press) is a Lee Lee Challenger Breech Lock.
    All 7 of my bullet molds are Lee.
    My Pro disc powder measure works PERFECTLY for Lil Gun.

    Just don't ask my opinion on their progressive presses if you only want to hear positive reviews.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  7. tcanthonyii

    tcanthonyii Member

    Dec 9, 2012
    All my dies are lee -- 380, 9, 40, 44, 45, 223, 270, 30-30 and soon 357/38. I use them on an LCT and trim brass using Lee trimmers. Powder measures are Lee perfect and lee pro auto disk. Even have the adapters to use the PPM on the press or the Auto disk on rifle dies. I have a lee hand primer as well. The only reloading tools I use that aren't lee is my Lyman case prep tool. The lee chamfer tool is utter crap. My lyman tool is the one that has the chamfer tool for inside and outside, de-crimp tools and everything stores inside the handle. I'm even using a Lee safety scale.

    I'm cheap. Lee is inexpensive so why pay more? It does what I want it to do for less than the other colors and my hunting amo is sub moa at 100 yards. Thats good enough for me.
  8. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    Sep 10, 2008
    SW Arizona
    I've used mostly Lee pistol dies, and RCBS rifle dies since I started reloading a few decades ago. But I honestly think RCBS makes a better rifle die, but for pistol, I really like the powder thru die Lee has.

    FYI, whether or not it means anything regarding product quality, the only die I've ever had break on me was a Lee 9mm resizing die. The carbide sizer ring broke. I'm sure there have been those that have had the same issue with RCBS dies as well.

  9. Potatohead

    Potatohead Member

    Mar 9, 2013
    So how do the other guys (rcbs,dillon) get powder to the case?
  10. Guntoter

    Guntoter Member

    Sep 15, 2005
    BFE S. Texas
    Things DO happen even with excellent QC. All my dies are Lee now and have never had a problem one out of them but the first three die sets I bought were RCBS. A few hundred rounds in the sizer die for .45 Colt sheared off at the bottom. Clean break almost at the beginning of the threads. Sent it back to RCBS and had a brand new one a week later. No complaints with RCBS CS but unfortunately for them I picked up a Lee carbide set for not much more than RCBS wanted for their standard dies. Went Lee and never looked back.
  11. Capt. Ct.

    Capt. Ct. Member

    May 30, 2011
    SE Connecticut
    RCBS 505 scale. Everything else is Lee.
  12. jpwilly

    jpwilly Member

    Aug 10, 2007
    Phoenix AZ
    Lee Classic 4 Hole Turret Kit: Saftey Prime, Scale, Auto Pro Disk, etc
    Have added:
    Lee Dies (9)
    Lee Auto Prime
    Disk Doubler
    Perfect Powder Measure
    Lee case trimmer
  13. Rushthezeppelin

    Rushthezeppelin Member

    Sep 19, 2013
    Hutto, TX
    They have to have two steps where us Lee guys get to have it in one. They have to have a belling die and a powder die, at least in the case of pistol rounds that require case mouth belling.
  14. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Southwestern Ohio
    80% of my gear is Lee
  15. GoldieMI
    • Contributing Member

    GoldieMI Contributing Member

    Nov 29, 2013
    The Mitten- SE MI
    Lee Load Master
    Lee Classic 4 Hole Turret
    Lee Classic Breech Lock
    with .223/.45/9mm/.40 die sets

    Really with the exception of the Lyman Case Prep and some Hornandy stuff (powder measure and die sets)

    I'm pretty happy with the Lee stuff...Maybe not the absolute greatest, but hey it works...My Kobalt tools work just as well as my Snap-On tools at a fraction of the cost for most work.
  16. jebova2301

    jebova2301 Member

    Sep 4, 2013
    I use the Lee 4 hole turret press. I am fairly new to reloading, but so far it seems to work fine. It had a few minor issues, but I sort of expected minor imperfections when the single stage Hornady press kit was 50% more.

    Minor issues:
    1. Either the base of the press or the little primer inserter majiggers(I don't know the right term for these things, but the part that holds the primer as it is about to be pushed into the brass) were made wrong. I am going to chalk it up to just being the base cast slightly imperfectly. The primer inserter majigger wouldn't rotate all the way into the shell holder and this caused it to bind up. I took a drill bit, drilled out a tiny hole in the base, and then dropped a sheet metal screw in there. When the ram is coming down, it rotates the majigger a bit earlier and it operates flawlessly. It was a 5 minute fix, with about 4 minutes being me looking for the right size drill bit for the sheet metal screw I had.
    2. The chamfer and deburring tool was alright, but it would wear your fingers out in a hurry. Heaven forbid you have to use it to remove the crimp from military brass. Since supplies were still hard to come by, I ordered a Hornady metal handle and an RCBS crimp remover, screwed the crimp remover tool into the Hornady handle and I can go to town on them. I also ordered the L.E. Wilson chamfer and deburring tool. It makes the job a piece of cake.
    3. I had TERRIBLE luck with the case trimmer. Mine was garbage in less than 250 pieces of brass. I love the simplicity of it, but the execution was awful. The little length gauge tool has a threaded end with a split down it. It is supposed to get pinched when it screws in to the trimmer. My problem came when the split parts got bent inwards. It wouldn't stay in the trimmer any longer. I even tried sticking a cut part of a zip tie in there to give it more resistance, but it was useless. I ended up getting a Little Crow Gunworks trimmer called World's Finest Trimmer. Is it truly the finest trimmer in the world? I have no idea. I will say that if I need a trimmer for a different caliber in the future, I wouldn't hesitate buying another one in that caliber. I can trim my brass to size in about 4 to 5 seconds per piece of brass.
    4. The auto indexing rod was slightly off alignment. I was able to clear this up in about 10 minutes with a pair of vice grips and a wrench. It just took a little fiddling around with to get it just right. Since then, it has been awesome. I also keep the auto indexing rod oiled at all times. I don't know if it makes much difference, but I have loaded over 300 rounds with the indexing rod doing the work and had no problems with the little plastic ratcheting gear stripping like many people complain of.

    I think those were the only problems I ran into with it, and part of it was just personal preference. In the end, I also ordered a universal decapping die just so I could knock out the primers from my brass before I tumble them(I use stainless steel media in a rock tumbler and it cleans the pockets very nicely).

    The good:
    1. The dies were easy to set up. The instructions were clear. I followed them. It worked.
    2. The auto disk pro powder measure isn't really that bad(in my opinion). If you are looking for charges that are within 0.1 grain consistently, it isn't going to cut it. If you are just loading ammo to plink with and don't care about a 0.3 grain swing, it will do good enough. I weigh all my charges, so I really don't care how far it is off. It is nice not having to work too hard to get the charges exactly where I want, though.
    3. The primer feeding system isn't too shabby. It has problems spitting out the last primer or two, but it works perfectly aside from that. When I know I am getting low on primers, I just keep an eye on it and take the last one or two out by hand.
    4. The primer catch tube is a good idea. It is ghetto as it gets, but it is effective. It is nothing more than a hose with a red cap at one end, and you slip the other end over the bottom of the ram. I like being able to empty it out and bend as needed.
    5. The cost was unbeatable. The 4 turret press kit was 100 bucks less than the hornady single stage press kit.

    I typically base my opinion of a product on whether or not I would buy another one in the future if I needed to. In the event of the Lee system, I would certainly look at another one. This one has treated me well, and I expect to use it for many years to come.
  17. Matt Dillon

    Matt Dillon Member

    Jan 4, 2003
    Houston, TX
    Most of my reloading equipment is Lee, I have the classic cast press, lots of dies,and I like the Lee trimming system, and I use the Lee auto prime system for priming. I use an Ohaus 1010 scale and a Redding powder measure.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
  18. Airpirate

    Airpirate Member

    Jul 22, 2013
    Jebova, any chance you could post a pic of your primer "holder bracket" fix? Mine is sticking on the down stroke (handle going up, after primer has been placed into the cup), and sometimes jams against the shell holder as it fails to rotate into position. I thought the problem might be lubrication, but that didn't help.
  19. Katitmail

    Katitmail Member

    Mar 26, 2013
    St Louis
    Dillon works the same as lee. Powder die have expander in it.
  20. kostner

    kostner Member

    Nov 29, 2007
    I use a Lee Classic turret press, lee dies, lee molds and furnace, lee auto disk powder dispenser, all work great.
  21. Mad Chemist

    Mad Chemist Member

    Nov 6, 2005
    Lee classic turret, lee auto disk powder measure (replaced silly disks with micrometer charge bar), Frankford arsenal digital scale, Frankford arsenal tumbler, mostly lee dies with a couple of other brands thrown in, no name calipers from harbor freight, lee trimmer and case gauges, RCBS powder trickler, Frankford arsenal bullet puller.

    Set up works well for what I load.

    If I loaded more rifle rounds I'd pick up an RCBS powder measure and just build a stand for it. $20+ for a riser is just bogus.
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