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Tandemkross

Author Topic: Lee Loader Classic hand loader  (Read 4872 times)

Offline masfonos

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Lee Loader Classic hand loader
« on: May 12, 2011, 10:32:09 AM »
I've tried my hand at reloading a couple different times with varying degrees of luck.  As of now I've all but abandoned reloading any type of pistol or rifle ammunition.  With the way gas prices, food prices, etc. are going though I may have to think about giving it another whirl.

The first iteration of my reloading experience was with the Lee Classic hand loader set for 9mm rounds.  I picked this thing up at the local gun/pawn store because, at the time, I was going through a ton of brass 9mm rounds for plinking and other target practice.  I had a bunch of once-fired brass and an appetite for ammunition and this loader was relatively inexpensive so I grabbed it along with some Hodgdon Tite-Group and a box of Hornady 115 grain projectiles.

Use of this kit is dirt-simple.  The first step in using this kit is to knock out the old primer with the de-capping punch.  Place the spent casing on the de-capping chamber, insert the punch and give it a tap (BYOM - bring your own mallet).

Next, the case is sized in the sizing die.  Insert the casing in the proper end of the die and drive it in until seated.  Viola, a sized 9mm casing.

After sizing the casing, it's time to insert a new primer.  The primer is placed in the cutout in the middle of the priming chamber and the sizing die (still containing the newly-sized casing) is placed over it, properly aligning the primer with the pocket by design.  Place the priming rod through the opposite end of the sizing die and give it a couple taps to both seat the primer and partially free the casing from the sizing die.  The contraption is then placed back on the de-capping chamber and given another couple taps to free it the rest of the way.

Next, with the die (whose concave face acts as a funnel) still over the casing, add the powder charge as determined by your recipe.  The kit comes with a 0.5cc powder scoop.  Also included is a table of loads which includes the number of grains of powder that the scoop yields and expected ballistics for various bullet weights and powders.  A powder scale could be very helpful here but is probably not necessary.

The projectile is then dropped into the still-in-place sizing die and seated using the bullet seater (built into the priming chamber, which acts as the tapping surface during seating).  Once the correct OAL is achieved, the lock nut can be tightened so you get the same OAL for future rounds.  I had a little trouble with lock nut coming loose and giving inconsistent OALs but that's nothing that a little blue loctite can't probably fix.



Over all, it's a fairly good kit as long as you have plenty of time and patience and you're not that interested in changing up your recipe.  Even if you did want to vary your recipe it would be pretty easy if you have a powder scale.  If you want to reload for cheap, these kits are OK.  If you enjoy reloading and want a hands-on approach, these kits are good for that.  If you're not willing to sacrifice speed and ease of use to save money or get the hands-on experience, you're better off looking at a press.



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Lee Loader Classic hand loader
« on: May 12, 2011, 10:32:09 AM »

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Offline small

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Re: Lee Loader Classic hand loader
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2011, 02:17:14 PM »
Hey nice writeup I have one for 6.5x55 as well as a few others. All bought used. Tried using it (.65 swede) as the directions said and well the thing failed me. I had to take it all down at the shop stripped and cleaned it all up since the ?Pin? wasn't free and well I was having issues. I have not tried it since, I may now after reading this. I have the Lee Anv, Press and am happy there but wanted to try the hand-loader so that it could adjust loads at the range if need be have a back up J.I.C.   

Offline masfonos

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Re: Lee Loader Classic hand loader
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2011, 11:40:56 AM »
It's a decent kit to have, like you say, as a just-in-case backup.  It's also nice because it's more portable than lugging around a press.  If you had to, you could work up some loads at the range in a pinch.

Offline Uncle Buck

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Re: Lee Loader Classic hand loader
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2011, 11:46:55 AM »
Although I do not have this kit, I have seen them at the range when I use to go.  Guys would use them to develop their loads while at the range.

Because my range begins on my back porch, I do not have to worry about using one.  My neighbor loves his, but I reload on a massive scale.  500 rounds of .38 Special last night (Single stage press).