i need honest opinions on this press!!!

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by socalfamous87, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. socalfamous87

    socalfamous87 New Member

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    how can i go wrong with this press? im looking for something small to start off with. the dillon rl550b would be my dream press but im gonna have to work my way up to it. i was looking to buy a used rcbs but i cant even touch one for less then $90 but at that point i might as well buy a brand new one for $129 at turners. this lee set up includes a ton of stuff for only 89.99whats your oponion on lee? i would like to reload mainly .223 for my ar. 38 special. 9mm and 7.62x39......thanks in advance

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  2. socalfamous87

    socalfamous87 New Member

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    and this is only $99

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  3. Caneman

    Caneman Active Member

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    are you looking for a startup kit or just the ss press?
  4. socalfamous87

    socalfamous87 New Member

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    start up kit. im new to reloading just read my first couple books. been saving brass. now looking to begin reloading. looking for the best bang for my book. but also best bang for my time if that makes sense. my time is somewhat kind of limited. ill be doing things in chapters.
  5. reynolds357

    reynolds357 Former Guest

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    For $99, you cant go wrong. For everything you listed, you are eventually going to want to load progressive.
  6. Dirtypacman

    Dirtypacman New Member

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    Everyone is different but my opinion:

    If your time is limited I just am giving you the heads up - save up and buy a progressive.
    Don't bother with a single stage your just going to want to replace it within a few months of using it anyhow. Just take the plunge and count your pennies. You will be happier in the long run.

    BTW - I load on my dillon550 and can crank out 200-300 rounds an hour and that's with taking my time to check and double check.
  7. Caneman

    Caneman Active Member

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    imo, you should learn on a single stage...

    if you load pistol, you will want a progressive eventually, and when you do take a look at the Hornady LnL AP which you can't beat on a $ for $ value basis, and quality as well...

    i would save up another $150 and get an RCBS kit ($250), it gives you all the equipment you need to get started and it will all last...
  8. socalfamous87

    socalfamous87 New Member

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    i have a 1 year old daughter that i watch all day so this is my game plan. for my .223.

    phase 1) throw all my brass in the tumbler (while shes awake)
    phase 2) size and deprime and trim case (while shes sleeping) ill have about 2 hours
    phase 3) hand prime the brass (while shes awake)
    phase 4) powder and bullets (after i get home from work while everyones sleeping and i have a couple hours of quite time to complete everything)
  9. American Leader

    American Leader Well-Known Member

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    LEE will work just fine for your particular needs at reasonable startup. Also dies and accessories are very reasonable as well. My rifle loads on the LEE Challenger are near perfect. I use the LEE Loadmaster for handgun, however, you will hear LEE is total crap from some members. That being said, many of us use LEE products and have great success, and based on what you stated about starting out, the LEE package deals will be perfect. Then at a later date if you feel you can do better with another maker or need a progressive for handgun you can better familarize yourself with all available options, which will cost substantially more than the LEE start up kits!
  10. RandyP

    RandyP Member

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    Factory Sales sells the very fine Anniv single stage kit for $82. IMHO also look at Kempf's for their kit featuring the excellent Lee Classic auto-advancing 4-hole turret. For about $200 you can be making 150-175 rounds per hour at a leisurely pace.

    https://kempfgunshop.com//index.php...facturer_id=0&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=41

    To the Kempf's kit I would add an inexpensive digital caliper, inexpensive $30 or less digital scale and upgrade to the Lee PRO powder dispenser.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011
  11. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    socalfamous87:

    About the only thing in the startup kit you will want to keep after using it will be the press itself (even LEE can't screwup a single stage press). To me it makes little sense to blow off $100+ when, if you saved some more, you could get what you want. But if you just have to start reloading right now, then you most certainly can not do it for much less than a LEE single stage press kit.

    When I started reloading I made many mistakes in choosing my reloading equipment, in hindsight. I try to make others aware of those mistakes so they won't make them too. I wasted money on the LEE progressive, LEE powder measures (2 different ones), LEE scales, and LEE dies. I'm not prejudice, it is just that this stuff all failed and I ended up replacing it with better more reliable and durable reloading equipment. I wasted money on crummy equipment.

    You of course and others may do whatever as you please and it won't hurt my feeling but learning from others' mistakes is not a bad thing.

    Save up for the Dillon RL550B and forget interim equipment. That's just my opinion and others will have their differing opinions, I'm sure.

    LDBennett
  12. socalfamous87

    socalfamous87 New Member

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    i dont have to use lee dies do i? its a standard size die?
  13. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    No, 99% of all dies/presses will use the standard 7/8"-14 die thread.
  14. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

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    Your question really boils down to two different subjects;

    #1 the brand of press you are inquiring about.

    #2 is single stage right or do I need a semi progressive or progressive

    What is a higher priority, time or your budget? Lee products will draw criticism until they day we all pass, I agree to an extent that they make affordable presses, material quality is where that savings reflects in their products. Most people are fine with their single stage presses and will not challenge the maximum durabilty of the construction. That being said you are sure to see before long lots of replies about LD's and my statement and the Lee lovers vs haters battle continues, nuff said here.

    If you want to minimize time more so than with a single stage press (a batch of 100 .223's will take a few hours to load on a SS press) at least look at a good turret press and begin with a semi-progressive machine. You will find you loading time will be cut in half at least with a turret such as the Lyman, Redding or RCBS. Take a good look at the stickies posted up top and decide what dictates your purchase; time or money.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011
  15. cpttango30

    cpttango30 Guest

  16. American Leader

    American Leader Well-Known Member

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    I read other posts that infer LEE dies cause them issues and that some dies don't work on some presses. Because other members including LD have had experience with different brands of reloading equipment they may have better answers for you. I only use LEE. I can say this, I have loaded many thousands of rounds on my LEE presses using LEE dies and Lee equipment over a number of years. Other than a few products from Hornady and RCBS for other operations related to loading such as gages, comparators, swagers etc., my experience with LEE equipment and reloads has been great. My rifle loads as stated on my Challenger press are perfection and as a reloader I fall in love with them. My handgun loads which I use my Loadmaster for are more than satisfactory as well. By the way, you can reload handgun rounds on a single stage too, just slower as stated above. I load for over 15 calibers all on LEE equipment from start to finish with excellent results. Because I like the gadgets and time savers I do buy equipment other loaders may not, so purchasing LEE has saved me a lot of money. For me it's all been positive. However, for those who have little patience or handle their equipment like a "bull in a china shop", LEE is not for them. LEE uses a lot of plastic/nylon which is great for the purpose (lubrication) but.... does not hold up well when roughly handled. Again, as LD and others have said, a single stage press LEE kit for your purpose is fine. Once you have used it you can decide if LEE is for you or not. If it is, you will save a bundle, if not it will cause you a lifetime of misery. You also may start reloading and not like it. For some of us it is very relaxing and gratifying plus saves us plenty of money if we shoot alot. Different strokes for different folks. One thing is paramount though, read every loading manual you can get, pay attention, and use common sense. As much fun as reloading can be, it is very serious business. And don't hesitate to check in with your questions to this forum. No question is dumb and I truly believe we have an exceptional membership that can answer all your questions. Good luck 87!
  17. Kevin Rohrer

    Kevin Rohrer Member

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    1. Start simple with a single-stage press or a semi-progressive like the PW 200 or Metallic 2, or a turret.

    2. Don't let price be the deciding factor.

    3. You get what you pay for.
  18. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    I have been using a Lee press, like pictured, for a little more than 35 years. I do have a Dillon progressive that I use on the ammo that I shoot the most. I have never really had a problem with anything Lee. Buy it and enjoy it!!
  19. NevadaBob

    NevadaBob New Member

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    socalfamous87...I recently got into reloading as well. The kit caught my eye initially because of the price. But as I started researching online reviews of its component parts, I shyed away from the powder measure device and the scale.
    I ended up buying the Breechlock Challenger press by itself. Then I added the Hornady digital electronic scale and the Hornady hand held primer. I bought the Lee pro auto disk powder measure unit. I picked up a good digital caliper from Harbor Freight for about $15.
    I then bought the Lee 4 piece die set. One set for 38 special & the other set for 9mm. I also bought a breechlock bushing for each die. That way you can set your tolerances then pop it in & out of the breechlock press. Two of the bushings go for $8. I do the bullet seating on one die and the crimping on the fourth die. For kicks I "won" on Ebay a very inexpensive manual reloaders scale.
    As a newby to this, I like the idea of starting with a single stage. That way I'm focused on each step. Time is not a big deal with me. I need to understand the process.
    I bought the "ABC's of Reloading" and the reloading handbook authored by Mr. Lee.
    Everybody starts out differently. I didn't buy everything at once. It took a good month to research and buy the items. But I'm glad I did it this way.
  20. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member

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    Either of those Lee kits will serve you well for your needs. Even if you do decide to upgrade to a turret or progressive in the future, I promise that SS press won't be lonely. I have 2 SS and a turret. They all get their fair share of use.
    I think it'd be nice thing if a Dillon owner would put down a cost of gear to compare. Everything to get started minus the dies.
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