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Lee single press opinions

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Sheppick.dan, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. Sheppick.dan

    Sheppick.dan

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    Jun 25, 2012
    Oregon
    I have been looking at getting the lee single but was curious what everyone thought? I have read mixed reviews so far. My one question is can I literally do everything with this press minus measuring the length to make sure it's correct? I know it can't clean the brass. My main concern is can it prime the brass?

    Thanks in advance for your help!
    Dan
     
  2. unclebob

    unclebob

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    Oct 14, 2000
    Mary Esther FL
    Yes, But you would be better off using a different type of priming system. A hand primer would work better.
     


  3. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    Nov 2, 2006
    CO
    Lee Classic presses prime on press really well. Don't know if the others are the same. From a process point of view a hand primer probably makes more sense for a SS anyway.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  4. countrygun

    countrygun

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    Mar 9, 2012
    I've used their singles for years but their hand priming system is cheap and handy enough I don't prime on press with a SS.

    In fact, I used to use one of the "clamshell" type hand presses to deprime/resize and flare while I was watching tv in the living room then I'd hand prime and go to my loading room (cleverly concealed as a "den"), to do the powder and bullet seat/crimp with the SS.
     
  5. dkf

    dkf

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    Aug 6, 2010
    I would get the Classic cast version versus the standard aluminum version. The Lee Safety Prime setup will work very well on the press once you have it set up. It makes a lot more sense to me to prime the case on the press right after sizing.

    Honestly if you plan to load any pistol cartridges with the press just get the Classic Turret press and done. You can use it as a single stage, just take out the index rod.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
  6. Oldgoat03

    Oldgoat03

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    Feb 2, 2012
    Northwest Wa
    I have both a single stage and a Classic Turret and recommend the Turret. The Lee Classic Turret (LCT) is as simple to use as a single stage in my opinion. In fact you can remove the index rod and it will operate one die at a time just like a single. When you are comfortable you can reinstall the index rod (30 seconds) and with each lever pull perform the next die/step function without having to switch dies. Just set-up each die once and leave in the turret. No further set up req'd. Faster than a single and not nearly the complexity of a progressive.

    Also I always prime on the press and its very simple and never have issues.

    Just my 2 cents.

    What ever you decide good luck and enjoy.

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
  7. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Dec 22, 2004
    so.cal.
    When I loaded a lot on a ss press, I always primed off press. The cheap Lee hand primers work pretty well & it's just faster to do off press.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
  8. sessumrd

    sessumrd

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    Aug 25, 2009
    If you are loading mostly rifle, then the Lee Classic cast is a great press. However like the others have suggested, you probably would do better to prime off the press. But if you are loading primarily pistol---get the Turret. I just finished loading 150 @ 9mm tonight in 45 minutes on the Turret press...
     
  9. ilgunguygt

    ilgunguygt Enslaved in IL

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/807734/lee-reloader-single-stage-press

    Not saying its the best, or perfect for everyone, but I sure got a lot of bang for my buck with one of those. It was my first press. I started with that, a lee handprimer, a set of lee dies and a used dillon eliminator scale. I made some damn good ammo too, my most accurate .45 ammo came off that press. To this day its still bolted on my bench, next to my other presses, and still gets used from time to time.
     
  10. Sheppick.dan

    Sheppick.dan

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    Jun 25, 2012
    Oregon
    Thanks for all of the suggestions guys. My main reason for looking for the single stage hand loader was purely because I don't have a work bench area that I could use. With my kids running around the house I am not wanting to leave anything out where they could possibly get to it. And also money is an issue. I was hoping to get into it as cheap as possible but have decent equipment. It hard for me to spend twice as much for buying ammo at the store then what I could do it for on my own.
     
  11. I have the Lee Classic cast. It has worked well. It will do the job of priming but as Fred mentioned the Lee hand primer is a better option (that is what I use to prime cases).

    Good luck but where ever you place the press it will become a magnate to those kids who will want to pull on the handle. At least it is with both my boys.
     
  12. dkf

    dkf

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    The Lee classic turret takes up the same bench space as the single stage presses. Lee also makes a quick mount setup for its presses as do some other companies. If you want to store the LCT away all you have to do is remove the turret with the dies, powder measure and etc and put it in a closet or something. It takes seconds to remove the turret.
     
  13. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

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    Oct 19, 2011
    Yes, many of us have loaded pistol on a single stage press. That's the reason we recommend almost anything else!

    Richard
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
  14. fredj338

    fredj338

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    so.cal.
    True that! If you only want say 100rds of 44mag a month, a ss press is fine. If you want 500rds of 9mm every weekend, a ss press gets old quick.:whistling:
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
  15. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

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    Oct 19, 2011
    No, you can't do everything using just a single stage press. The one operation we haven't discussed is charging with powder.

    If you want to keep costs to an absolute minimum, a tactic I don't support, BTW, you won't be buying a powder measure.

    You will be buying a scale (Dillon Eliminator is a good one) regardless of how you charge the cases so you will be faced with trickling the powder into the scale pan and ultimately dumping it through a funnel into the case. It is better to do this with the cases in a loading block. So, you need a powder trickler, funnel, scale and loading block.

    I predict a powder measure will be on the shopping list after the first batch of reloads. I like the RCBS Uniflow...

    Here are the steps after cleaning:
    1. Install (and adjust) the resizing die. Decap and resize all of the brass.
    2. Prime all the cases using a hand primer tool or some attachment to the press. I prefer the hand tool. On some single stage presses, you can prime right after depriming during step 1.
    3. Remove the resizing die. Install (and adjust) the neck expander die (pistol). Expand all the case mouths.
    4. With all the cases in a loading block, charge them.
    5. Remove the expander die. Install (and adjust) the bullet seating die. Seat bullets in the cases.
    6. Remove the seating die. Install (and adjust) the taper crimp die. Crimp all the cases to just remove the taper. For the Lee dies, buy a 3 die carbide set (this omits the Factory Crimp Die) and buy the taper crimp die separately.
    If the lockrings on the various dies have a setscrew, you can maintain the adjustment between uses. You would adjust the dies the first time and then simply verify the setting before additional uses.

    There are several powder measures for single stage presses but, after they are adjusted and known to be consistent, using such a measure eliminates the need to check each charge on a scale. You just run the ram up with a case in the shellholder and operate the handle on the measure. This will be a LOT faster than trickling.

    But, at some point, your costs are going to approach that of the Kempf Lee Classic Turret (you still need to buy a powder scale) and the turret press will be a whole lot faster.

    If you go with the LCT, make sure it is the Kempf kit because that kit DOESN'T include the Lee scale. Add the optional Pro Autodisk Powder Measure. You would still need to buy the taper crimp die separately. Unfortunately, you are stuck with the 4 die set.

    Richard
     
  16. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

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    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    You have the right idea. Too many people stay away from reloading because they think they need to spend a thousand Dollars and have a dedicated room just for reloading. A single stage press can get the job done and won't be a waste if you graduate up to higher end equipment down the road. If you get the Lee press for $25.00 and use it for 5 years. before buying more expensive gear, you only spent $5. a year on your press even if you gave it away after that term. Of course you would still have it to use for different jobs or for teaching your then older kids how to reload.

    You could leave a SS press someplace mounted to a bench even if your kids could get at it. Unless they smash it with a hammer, they can't screw it up. You can keep your dies and components in a locked tool box.

    My buddy shoots a couple of hundred rounds of 9mm a month. Sometimes not even that much. He got the Lee cheapo SS press, a set of dies, and a hand priming tool for about $100.00 total and has been reloading for two years now while others in our group keep buying walmart ball ammo for twice what he pays for his ammo.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
  17. dkf

    dkf

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    Aug 6, 2010
    Screw the riser for the Lee pro auto disk in the Lee breech lock bushing and you can charge powder on the single stage no problem for relatively little money. All it takes to remove the works is a couple seconds. Of course an LCT would be better IMO but just saying it is possible.

    Or just mount a powder measure stand to the table.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
  18. Kentguy

    Kentguy

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    Nov 22, 2010
    Kent, OH
  19. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    11,682
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    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    He can even use the Lee dipper that comes with the dies and drop the charges right through the PTE die.
     
  20. PsychoKnight

    PsychoKnight

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    Sep 30, 2006
    SoCal - SGV
    When you say single stage "hand loader" and that you don't have any place to mount a press, I assume you are eyeing the "handheld" Lee hand press. That thing is pure misery.

    A mounted single stage is slow enough, but to use a hand just to hold the press, and use another hand to move back and forth between the handle and the cases, its just totally ludicrous. The engineer who designed the Lee hand press did it as a venge-joke as he was retiring from the company, and never thought they'd actually produce for some poor soul to use. I kidding about the engineer. I'm not kidding about the hand held press being the epitome of longsuffering for no purpose.