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Lee hand press (what do you think?)

Discussion in 'Caliber Talk: Ammunition, Reloading, and Shooting ' started by ButchA, May 22, 2017.

  1. CT72

    CT72 Well-Known Member

    Sep 2, 2015
    I started reloading on one of those. I loaded a lot of 45ACP and 40SW with it. I really liked it but it couldn't keep up with my wanting to unload:) I eventually bought a Dillon SDB and never looked back.
    Mike A and ButchA like this.
  2. Bill Ziegenfus

    Bill Ziegenfus New Member

    May 25, 2017
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  3. willnewton

    willnewton New Member

    Nov 21, 2016
    I highly recommend a Lee Classic Turret press. I also recommend you get the Lee breech lock hand press as well. Also buy a RCBS unversal hand primer to prime off the press.

    I use all of these quite often. You can change out the turret fast for caliber changes and I use the hand press for all kinds of stuff like depriming or reloading something unusual.

    Other Lee presses aside, the Classic turret makes VERY precisely assembled .45 rounds. Round 1 and round 100 in a session will be exactly alike. I have not had to touch a thing on it in months.

    I bought a Lee Loadmaster hoping to advance to progressive, but went back to the Lee turret and the Loadmaster now just deprimes and sizes cases.
    ButchA likes this.
  4. lorenzo

    lorenzo New Member

    Jul 26, 2016
    I have used numerous Lee products for years with great success but really even a single stage press like the Challenger kit from Lee will not cost you much more and be faster and much more pleasant to setup and use.
    ButchA likes this.
  5. sevenofclubs

    sevenofclubs New Member

    Nov 10, 2015
    Got one some years ago. It does what it's supposed to do, but I wouldn't recommend it as a primary tool. It's hard to use, especially for sizing and flaring, when a little more strenght is required on the leverage. I use it sometimes with an universal decapping die, just to have my shells deprimed before a sonic washing without setting up my single stage press. It works just fine for that purpose.
    All in all, hand press can be considered a backup for your backup press, a tool to store among other "doomsday" tools (you never know ....).
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  6. wxl

    wxl Member

    Jul 20, 2015
    Have used one for 30+ years. It complements my T7 . Yes it is slow but have used it many times on most every caliber I load (handgun to rifle up to 416 Rigby). Handy when I need to do a dozen or two rounds when I am not in my reloading room.
    ButchA likes this.
  7. polizei1

    polizei1 It WAS Quack

    Aug 18, 2011
    Totally your decision but since you asked...I would not recommend a press like that. At the very least, I would start on a Lee LCT (Classic Turret). The biggest reason why, is so you don't have to change the dies once they are set (and speed). Now, if you're dead-set on a single-stage, you can get around this by using the Hornady conversion bushings.

    I went from a LCT to a Dillon 650, and still have both. I regret not getting a Dillon 1050 from the beginning. The learning curve, especially with pistol, really isn't that steep. A lot of people make reloading out to be some sorcery wizardry that takes years of basic loading to perfect. That just isn't the truth...start with what you think you'll be comfortable with, but if the end goal is loading on a full progressive, and you have a basic understanding of mechanics, don't limit yourself.

    That said, the best thing you can do IMO is find someone local who is willing to run you through the basics. While books and youtube (Ultimate Reloader) are great, they don't compare to actually doing it.
    ButchA likes this.
  8. SkipperE67

    SkipperE67 New Member

    Aug 22, 2012
    What I like about the Lee is you can bring it to the range and make rounds right there for working up custom loads for pistol or rifle.
  9. SkipperE67

    SkipperE67 New Member

    Aug 22, 2012
    What I like about the Lee hand press is that is so portable. You can take to the the range and work up some loads for your pistol or rifle.
  10. Marine24

    Marine24 Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2015
    Nice idea if you have your own range, but if you ever want to see an RSO freak out, do that at a public range.
    gps man and Mike A like this.
  11. Legion489

    Legion489 Member

    Oct 28, 2011
    OK, will now piss everyone off by telling you the truth. I WANT THE TRUTH! You can't handle the truth, but you are going to get it anyway. Yeah I got one of the little Lee hand presses, it is light duty but within it's limitations it works OK. Mostly resizing/depriming cases and really slow. I have or have owned every press Lee makes except for the CAST CLASSICS. From what I have heard from those who do, the CCs are pretty much like all Lee presses, you MIGHT get a good one, but chances are against it.

    Lee presses are cheap either new or used. There is a reason for that. They are basically cheap junk. Lee has a 2 year "warranty" that they DO NOT stand behind, period. Everyone else has a life time warranty they DO stand behind. That should tell you something right there. I have a 40+ RCBS Rock Chucker that is still as good as new. I have yet to see ANY Lee press that has been used regularly that is more than a few years old that doesn't have so much slop in it as to be unusable, but do not know any CC users who use their CC enough to know what they are like IF you get a good one.

    The Lee MODERN RELOADING 2nd is good, I should know, I edited the first book for Lee to turn it into the 2nd ed. HOWEVER, ignore all the lies about how great Lee stuff is. Some is, some isn't. Lee dies are the BEST BANG for the Buck! Redding, Dillon, Forster are BEST, but cost it! RCBS, Lee, Hornady are very good (Lee cheapest) and Lyman is often iffy, some great, some so-so. Like I said, the warranty (mentioned 23 times in the book) is a sick joke and useless. You can some times get Lee to replace some small items, but a defective press? Forget it! Ain't gonna happen!

    The Lee bullet lube can be bought very cheaply if you don't buy the Lee brand, it is simply Z-Bart (developed for the Navy to spray on metal) and sold under various brand names in gallon, 5 gallon, drums. The plastic Lee bottles get brittle quickly and break too.

    Bottom Line? Buy quality to start and you will be both MONEY and TIME ahead! If it has a LIFE TIME WARRANTY they stand behind, go for it! If they have a so-called 2 year warranty they DO NOT stand behind, well they know what they put out and stay in business by offering cheap sucker bait to the unknowing. Avoid them.
    Mike A likes this.
  12. Mike A

    Mike A Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Mar 19, 2017
    Last word from me.
    I have spent most of my life in shops.
    My tools were the way I raised my family.
    I did not get rich & buying the most expensive tools did not help.
    I am only as good as the tools I own & the Warranty is critical to me.
    I still buy the best tools no matter what it is for.

    Sinclair Reloading supply has Imperial Sizing wax.
    I have used Imperial Sizing Wax for all my sizing needs.
    I believe it to be best & it will not kill primers..
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2017
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  13. Denver1911

    Denver1911 Well-Known Member

    Jan 31, 2014
    No doubt quality tools make the experience more rich and rewarding. Plus you are likely to have fewer issues. No doubt Forrester dies are great and Dillon makes great presses. But, I also say don't dismiss Lee products. They'll get the job done. I've loaded tens of thousands of rounds on my Lee single stage. My wife loaded thousands on the same press before I married into it. Thousands of others have done the same. Sure, there'll be more lemons in a batch of Lee products than a batch or Hornady or Dillon,but that's a chance you take with a lower-priced product.

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