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Old 03-20-2007, 09:28 AM
mrmiskin mrmiskin is offline
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Lee products

I see that some folks dont have a lot of good things to say about the Lee line. When I was thinking about reloading I read an article that sang their praises. I guess it comes down to a personal preference but was just wondering what is it about the Lee line? I got their reloading book and a single stage press was included with the book. Maybe that should have told me something right there. Any how I have just started and I know that some of you all really crank out some rounds for all the shooting that you do and i was just wondering about the Lee line. Thanks
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Old 03-20-2007, 09:44 AM
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Rocky Raab Rocky Raab is offline
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A lot of people say, "Lee stuff is junk." But if you ask them what specifically is wrong with it, they can't answer.

The only items from Lee that I wouldn't trust a lot are their scales and powder dispensers. I have read quite a few people having problems with them, but I've never owned any myself, so even THAT might be untrue.

Their dies are just fine. Some, like their collet neck sizers and Factory Crimp Dies are brilliant designs. Ditto for their unique Speed Dies for pistol cartridges.

Some of their items are a bit light duty, but that's all some people need. Those items fill a niche that nobody else even tries to fill. More power to Lee, I say.

Lee has a great warranty, fast service when you need it and a line of clever, well-made products (mostly).
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Old 03-20-2007, 10:03 AM
Jack Jack is offline
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I own quite a few Lee products- their hand press, a couple of their Auto Primes, some die sets, Factory crimp dies, etc.
Here's my .02 worth on Lee products:
Some of their design work is really, really good, like the Auto Prime- simple, clever, works very, very well.
Now for the other side of the coin: every time I have bought a Lee die, or die set, I have had to take it apart and deburr, polish, or do something to make the thing work.
That may sound like no big deal, but, for a new reloader who doesn't know WHY his new die set isn't working right, it is a big deal.
For that reason, my advice is for beginners to stay away from Lee stuff.
I have never run into problems of that nature with stuff that came in green boxes, so my advice to beginners is to stay with the green box folks equipment (RCBS and Redding) , at least to start out.
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Old 03-20-2007, 10:43 AM
skeet skeet is offline
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Lee Stuff

Rocky is right about the Lee stuff. I've never really had too many problems with the Lee Dies and do like the factory crimp dies. He is also correct about the light duty thing. Understand I started out with one of the largest strongest presses RCBS made. An A and then the A2. If Lee made anything to compare...well they wouldn't. Have had good luck with the silly little case trimmers that work well even if really slow. I have a couple of the priming tools and they work pretty well most of the time and a friend buys their dies all the time unless he can find what he wants cheap(in a green box) at a gun show. I guess my real problem is that they rely too much on plastic and cheap to suit me. May work just fine for less ham fisted reloaders Sometimes I swear I could break an anvil
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Old 03-20-2007, 10:48 AM
denton denton is offline
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Practically all my dies are Lee. So you know that I like them.

However, about 1/4 of the dies I've bought from them had a stray burr that needed to be buffed out. Often, these are around the base of the neck, and leave a matte finish on the neck of the cartridge. So I figure that there is a good chance that I'm going to spend 5 minutes doing some clean-up. Still, for me, they are an outstanding value.

I have the Classic Cast press, and it is outstanding. I don't think there is a better, stronger single stage press out there at any price. And it sells for $60.

Having tested the consistency of a few powder measuring/dispensing systems, I can tell you that the $25 Lee Perfect Powder Measure is more consistent than the $100 Hornady product, and as consistent as a good balance when doing ball powder. The bad news? When I first got it, I disassembled it and found molding flash around the mouth of the measuring cylinder. A couple of seconds and a pocket knife fixed it. But it shouldn't have been there.

My first press was the Lee Anniversary Press. The lever linkage is made of cast zinc, which is only slightly less strong than aluminum. With heavy use, the linkage does crack. As it happens, the equivalent parts off their heavier press fit, and for $11 I made that problem go away.

Their case trimmer is clever, works well, and is very inexpensive. The handle is 1/2", so I sometimes put it in the chuck of my drill press. With that, I can trim cases very quickly.

So, it's a mixed bag. There are some outstanding designs, and there are some qualtiy problems. All in all, I think they are an outstanding value, and will make ammunition as good as any you can make or buy elsewhere. I use Lee almost exclusively. But I also plan on doing a little clean-up sometimes, before putting an item into service.

Last edited by denton; 03-20-2007 at 10:56 AM.
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  #6  
Old 03-20-2007, 08:13 PM
bigkevmorgan bigkevmorgan is offline
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LEE STUff

HELLO MRMISKIN HERE'S MY 2CENTS ,I STARTED ON LEE THEN SOLD OUT NOW I'VE BEEN BACK LOADING FOR A COUPLE OF YRS AND MOST EVERYTHING I HAVE IS GREEN EXCEPT 3STES OF DIES ,I REALLY LIKE THE COLLET DIES ,AND LOAD FOR A BUDDY IN THE 500S&W WHAT I THINK IT REALLY BOILS DOWN TO IS SPEND A FEW MORE $'S NOW IT WILL PAY OF LATER HERES A LITTLE TIP WATCH E-BAY I GOTTEN SOME REALLY GOOD DIE SETS THERE JUST SET A PRICE AND STICK WITH IT AND OF COURSE CHECK MIDWAY&CABELLAS GOOD LUCK& REMEMBER ITS A HOBBIE....
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Last edited by bigkevmorgan; 03-22-2007 at 07:54 PM.
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  #7  
Old 03-20-2007, 09:56 PM
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captain2k_ca captain2k_ca is offline
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Im still getting into the hobby, and have a real mix of stuff....mostly I checked out what the store had to offer, researched a bit, then made a decision based on my opinion, others opinion, price, and actually picking the thing up and having a good look at it....

I have a Lee safety powder scale.....it works, but I dont like it and am looking for something better.

Have a Lee Auto-Prime, works great. Gonna keep and use that for sure.

Have Lee case trimmer. Seems to be quick and easy to use, and quality is good on it.

I also have a Lee Auto Disk Powder measure........and havent used it yet, because I need the rifle chargin die for it......so am using my RCBS perfect powder measure. Just waiting for the stand I bought off ebay

I had a set of Lee dies once, and they worked flawlessly, but were fairly low on the quality scale. Have a set of RCBS now, and they are much better.....

My press is a RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme.....wanted that one so I dont have to upgrade at a later date Unless I go progressive.......
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Old 03-21-2007, 09:03 AM
moneychanger moneychanger is offline
 
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i've used both lee and rcbs. both turn out good ammo,but lee is easier to work with.
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  #9  
Old 03-21-2007, 02:12 PM
skb2706 skb2706 is offline
 
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IMHO........no one company makes bad reloading equip. Some just make better than others. It all works...I just like green better than red for the most part.
The Lee items I have are functional and in fact their Auto Prime II, powder funnels and some of their dies are excellent.
On the other hand their affinity to using lots of plastic and cheap cast pot metal leaves me wanting no more. They also seem to have a problem using standard HS steel taps to tap threaded holes....maybe its just me but I have a few examples.
Their customer service sux in all languages....unlike their competition that has lengendary customer service.

Other wise no prob.................
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Old 03-21-2007, 05:13 PM
Adam Helmer Adam Helmer is offline
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mrmiskin,

I have three sets of Lee Reloading Dies and will have no more. On my .45/70, .30/40 Krag and 6.5mm Italian Lee bullet seating dies there is NO positive lock to stop the Up or Dpwn motion of the bullet seating screw! I do not know what Lee was thinking when he omitted a postive bullet seating screw lock like on RCBS dies, but you can have my share of Lee reloading dies.

There is a difference between price and value. In my opinion, Lee offers stuff at a low price and it is worth it.

Adam
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Old 03-21-2007, 05:46 PM
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captain2k_ca captain2k_ca is offline
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Having such a hard time getting anything locally lately it really sux......

Needed a Lee case trimmer for .223.......unknown when the local place will get it....got one bid on ebay.......said screw it, went to the local place and luckily they had a Lyman case trimmer, so I snagged it!!
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  #12  
Old 03-22-2007, 07:49 AM
Catfish Catfish is offline
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I am one of those that slam Lee. I started loading my own in 1965 and have had some of about every brand of reloading equipment on the market and Lee is the onlw one I won`t buy any more. Years ago I found their hand primer and thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread, but it didn`t take me long to wear it out. I bought the second one and wore it out and sware off of them. Their presses are just to lite and cheaply made to hold up under some of the abuse I give a press. I have had trouble with their dies also. I did try their collet die for neck sizeing ans it did work, but I didn`t like the looks of the neck and it was more of a hassel setting it up than my old neck sizeing dies. For someone than will shoot 1,000 rounds in 10 years Lee would probly hold up, but for someone like me that loads several 1,000 rounds a year Lee just don`t cut the mustard.
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Old 03-22-2007, 06:50 PM
denton denton is offline
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I think that those who slam the Lee presses haven't looked at them for the past couple of years.

The Classic Cast Press is steel, and is very well designed. I doubt that you will find any brand of press anywhere that will outperform it or outlast it.

If spending more money on a press makes you feel better, you can buy the Lee for $60, and send another $30 to me.

As mentioned earlier, the old Anniversary Press has a weak linkage, and fairly gets a rap for that. But with the $11 modification I mentioned, it will make all the ammunition that you, your children or your grandchildren will ever want.
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  #14  
Old 03-22-2007, 08:35 PM
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BILLY D. BILLY D. is offline
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Another problem is the buyers lack of of reading comprehension skills. Case in point. A friend of mine bought a Lee Pro 1000 and couldn't get it to index properly. Told him how to make the timing adjustment. He just couldn't master the written destructions. Finally went over to his house walked in went to his basement reloading room asked for a Phillips screwstick made the adjustment in about 20 seconds and left.

Some folks just shouldn't be allowed to operate machinery. As my heroine LILRED would say, "they are idjits". Hope I spelled that correctly.

Bill
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Old 03-22-2007, 09:36 PM
skeet skeet is offline
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Billy,

It ain't just reading comprehension. It's just being a goober. Back when I was a distributor for Ponsness Warren...Had a fellow I knew wanted one. On my way to work so I stopped and set it up for him. Showed him how it worked. Loaded over a 100 shells in just a few minutes. Before I got home he had it messed up. Stopped at his place 4 times to "fix" it. Only had to readjust it. He kept messing with it whan it loaded perfect shells. He finally said to heck with it and asked if I sold Mec 9000G loaders . I said sure...but I don't work on Mec loaders. He traded me even up for the Mec. Said they were bullet proof. Well they mighta been bullet proof...but they sure weren't idjit proof. He had the Mec messed up before I left his house. And it loaded fine shells right after I set it up. I understand..shortly after that, he started to shoot factory shells. They were almost idjit proof!! To be real honest, I ain't sure they shoulda let him handle a gun!

And another thing. It's not quite in the same vein. All the years I sold reloaders and componennts to the shotshell(read trap) shooters in my area....No more than 2 outta 10 had a powder scale. That is why I had a BIG disclaimer sign in my shop about not being responsible for what any body reloaded.
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