Lee Hand Press, after a month

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Alpo, May 25, 2009.

  1. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    On the 26th of April, I mentioned I had started using my Hand Press (thread is here, if anyone is interested http://www.thefirearmsforum.com/showthread.php?t=59362&highlight=hand+press ). Now it's been a month.

    Pistol ammo is simple. I've done everything from 32 ACP (I've misplaced my 25 shellholder) to 454 Casull. I use carbide dies, and the 454 takes some ooomph to get 'em started, but it works fine.

    I did some 30/30 with it (helpful reloader note: if you misplace your 30/30 shellholder, even though it is not quite the right size, your 44 magnum shellholder works fine). That took less strain than the 454.

    I figger I've loaded about 1000 rounds, this month, spread between 454, 45 ACP, 38 special and S&W, 357 and 32 ACP. But the amount of brass I've processed is staggering. By "processed", I mean take fired brass, tumble, resize, deprime, clean primer pocket, bell the mouth and prime, so it is ready to load whenever I feel the need to load something. I'm not sure how many I've done, but I've been dumping the spent primers into one of those individual yogurt cups (the 6 ounce size), and I have just started on my third one. I have two completely full.

    I'm guessing that I've put more brass though it than most people will do in several years. It's holding up surprising well. I truly expected it to be a thousand-round gizmo, for people that load a box a month, or something like that. For people that get this, so they can get into loading cheaply, and by the time they've loaded 5 or 6 hundred rounds, they either decide they don't like loading, or they invest in a bench press to speed things up. So, I'm pleasantly surprised.

    The only problems I've encountered are:

    The linkage has sharp corners on it. I work the press in my lap (sitting on the couch in front of the boob tube), and they would dig into my leg. A little file work solved that.

    As I said in my original post, there is not room to use the primer pocket swager. I could use it, if I left off the case-breaker-loose-thingy, but then I'd have to wiggle each case off the swager teat. I supposed I could do that if I had to, but it is much easier to swage them on my rockchucker.

    When the primer catcher gets full, it is a pain to empty. If you stop every 25 cases or so, and dump it, then there is no problem. But if you get on a roll, the first you know that it's full is when you can't deprime one, because there is no place for it to go. They you have to try to shake three or four out though the hole in the shellholder, so the level in the reservoir gets low enough that you can remove the shellholder and shake out the 30 or so that's in there.

    I'm gonna give it the acid test. 375 H&H. If it'll do them, it'll do anything.
    Last edited: May 29, 2009
  2. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    I've not used the Lee hand press, but I've put a lot of brass through the Lyman 310 Tong Tool. That was all I had while living in Alaska, unless I flew to town (225 miles, over the mountain range.)


  3. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    I use one as a 'range buddy' They work awesome;)
  4. Trouble 45-70

    Trouble 45-70 New Member

    Just bought one for my 45-70 Sharps copy. Looking for my dies. Thanks for the comentary. Will do the Chinese milling machine work befor I start reloading.
  5. Since I've had very limited room for loading in years past, I've found the Lee hand press very useful and have had very good results with it, even for my long range match loads. I've worn one out and on my second.
  6. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    Did 375 H&H and 45/70 last night. Didn't think the 375 was gonna fit. Had to open it all the way, but it worked.
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