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Lee Vs. Hornady lock n load

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by wht90lx, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. wht90lx

    wht90lx Glock Fu YO!

    69
    0
    Feb 3, 2008
    East Atlanta
    I am looking into getting into reloading and I want to start with a single stage. What I want to know is the Hornady press worth the extra money over the lee press? I want to start off reloading with .38spl and .357 and work my way into 10mm down the road. Thanks for the help.
     
  2. Black Smoke Trail

    Black Smoke Trail

    875
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    May 17, 2011
    The Lee presses are mostly aluminum but are good quality presses for the beginnging loader who will not be loading large amounts of ammunition. Lee reloading products are very affordable for the level of quality you get. For larger and more challenging cartridges, you may find that you will want to upgrade at a later point.

    The Hornady Lock-N-Load single stage is a MUCH more robust and heavy duty press made of steel/iron and come also is a great classic kit which is on sale right now by the way.

    I think you will find the Hornady components most expensive but with a level of quality and durability that comes with their components.

    I have probably reloaded close to 20,000 12 gauge shot gun shell on my Hornadyt 366 just to give you an idea of how durable they are. Their center fire rifle reloading equipment is of equal durability in my opinion.

    I think you will find that IF and as you get more and more into reload, you will want to upgrade to better quality more durable/reliable components.

    Depending on how much you decide to get into reloading and the volume of ammo you reload both are a good choice for their target niche market.

    I personally would prefer the Hornady equipment. I have both. The Lee presses I find useful for individual odd ball tasks and I have pretty much standardized my reloading equipment as much as possible to Hornady.

    There are other good quality brands out the such as RCBS, Forster, Redding and more.

    Before you pull the trigger on buying a kit or individual components, I recommend that you review the numerous reloader reviews posted throughout the internet. Easily found doing a Google search. I also suggest if possible that you try to get an actual hands on look in a store and compare the brands and components for yourself.

    Good reloading equipment will last several life time if properly cared for. Best to do thorough research before you buy.

    I am sure other will post their experiences, observations, and opinions with the reloading components they have become comfortable and productive with. What really matters is that the equipment and components you decide to buy work well for you and you are confident and comfortable using them with minimal hassles and complications to distract you from your reloading task at hand. SAFETY, ACCURACY, and REPEATABILITY are paramount along with your confidence in your equipment........again get what works best for you.
     

    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011

  3. dkf

    dkf

    5,435
    126
    Aug 6, 2010
    All the Lee presses are not aluminum. Lee offers their Classic Cast single stage press with the Breech Lock system. I think the breech lock system is nicer than the LNL setup because a little button locks the collar/die in place to keep it from rotating. Plus the Lee setup costs less. No brainer IMO. The Hornady LNL SS is cast aluminum.

    https://factorysales.com/html/xcart/catalog/breechlockclassic.html

    That said for loading pistol you may want to consider the Lee Classic Turret.(Cast Iron version) You can use it as a single stage or a turret press. It doesn't use the Breech Lock system but has turrets that are quickly changed and not very expensive.

    https://factorysales.com/html/xcart/catalog/classic.html
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  4. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

    14,937
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    Nov 2, 2006
    CO
    Look more Closely at the Sticky and the LCT kit from Kempfs.
     
  5. Black Smoke Trail

    Black Smoke Trail

    875
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    May 17, 2011
    Correct. An oversight on my part. Correction made.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  6. unclebob

    unclebob

    7,375
    352
    Oct 14, 2000
    Mary Esther FL
    The Lee single stage cast press is made out of old railroad tracks that are melted down and cast formed, then CNCed to make the press. Another option for you would be getting the Lee classic LCT press. You can use it as a single stage press to learn on and then you would have a turret press to speed up production.
    But between the Lee cast press and the Hornady. I think I would lean more towards the Lee.
     
  7. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

    25,800
    1,062
    Jan 26, 2001
    Indiana
    What these guys said.

    If I was gonna stick with a Single Stage however, I'd get the Lee Classic Cast. If you like Hornady's "bushing" system, so you're not resetting dies constantly, you can use Lee's Breech Lock Classic Cast.... However after you're done buying all those bushings, etc.. for 3 calibers.. I'd be cheaper to get an LCT and a few toolheads.

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/824144/lee-classic-cast-breech-lock-single-stage-press
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  8. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

    14,937
    166
    Nov 2, 2006
    CO
    The only thing is the Hornady comes as a kit. So it might actually be cheaper then the Lee. I don't like the scale in the Hornady kit at all. I actually like the LCT Kempf kit because it comes with NO SCALE. Then you don't end up with a POS that you want to replace later.
     
  9. thorn137

    thorn137 Walther

    1,198
    1
    Jan 8, 2006
    Tallahassee, FL
    For loading the pistol rounds you've listed, there's simply no reason to concern yourself with iron vs steel vs aluminum when it comes to selecting a press, IMHO. Given a quality casting, there are other parts that are far more likely to break than the housing itself. If we're talking 50 BMG, then strength and leverage become an issue. For 10mm and 38 spl, not so much.

    In any case, if you're like many people, you're going to find that reloading a decent volume of pistol ammo on a SS press can become rather tedious after awhile. I'm not saying you should start with a progressive (thought i did), but it's something to keep in mind. One advantage the Hornady SS press will offer you is that if you upgrade to the LNL-AP at some future point, you can use those same bushings in each press... no buying additional toolheads, etc.

    Finally, look carefully at the items IN a kit, when considering one. It's not uncommon that kits include things you might be better replacing with something else (ie, the Lee beam scale) or might not need at all (dippers), so compare prices and contents accordingly.

    thorn
     
  10. sdelam

    sdelam

    271
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    Feb 1, 2007
    I have the lee classic cast single stage and it is a great press. I also have a LNL and found that I could install a Hornady bushing system in the lee press. Now I can interchange my dies between the two presses without having to readjust the dies. Very minor height difference (about 2 layers of tape under the bushing set up) and now it is perfect.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  11. dkf

    dkf

    5,435
    126
    Aug 6, 2010
    I don't necessarily buy presses with cast iron castings over aluminum for the rigidity. I buy them because if you keep them oiled the wear will be practically non existant for many many decades. Less wear = less slop.
     
  12. Same here. This IMO is a great set up that functions well.
     
  13. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

    8,033
    268
    Oct 19, 2011
    In my view, you need to step back and think about this reloading stuff. Read the 'stickies' at the top of the forum and get at least one decent reloading manual. Sierra, Speer, Hornady, Norma and Nosler come to mind.

    Here's why: reloading any quantity of ammunition on a single stage press gets old very quick. Sure, it's dead simple and the ammo will be first rate but it takes forever to load 100 rounds.

    I have never even seen a Lee Classic Turret but I have watched YouTube videos about it. At least the shell is only handled once even if it is manually indexed through 4 stations. That is going to be a LOT faster than a single stage press.

    Single stage presses are great for precision rifle. But loading fifty rifle rounds is a big deal and may provide enough ammo for a couple of range sessions.

    I don't shoot wheel guns any more but when I did, I would burn through a couple of hundred rounds every time out. With the semiautos, I go through a LOT more and with 4 of us shooting from my ammo can, we blast through several hundred to a thousand every time out.

    From time to time I shoot my S&W Model 52 (.38 wadcutter semiauto) because it is probably the most accurate handgun I own. I load up a thousand or so Hornady HBWCs at a time. This is done on a relative slow Dillon 550B.

    I started with a single stage press and I still have it. I loaded pistol ammo for no more than a week before moving on to something similar to the LCT. That only lasted for a couple of months before I moved to the Dillon 550B. I just don't have the patience to spend hours and hours to get 100 rounds out of a single stage. I can get 100 rounds out of my Dillon 1050 (.45 ACP) in about 5 minutes.

    Richard
     
  14. BLK RIFLE

    BLK RIFLE

    30
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    Apr 16, 2011
    Mississippi
    I started loading in 1960 and have done so ever since. I started with Lee and they make great presses and other stuff you need for reloading. I still have a Lee single stage Lee that I've had for 30 years. I suggest you start with a single stage and when you think you are ready, go to a progressive. I have a Lee Loadmaster 5 station turret that I load for my pistols and ARs but I use my single stage to load my M1 Garand loads because I do them one at a time for accuracy. You can't go wrong with the Lee loaders.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  15. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

    14,937
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    Nov 2, 2006
    CO
    LCT is a auto indexing press. I have a video on my photobucket page.
     
  16. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

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    Oct 19, 2011
    I stand corrected! I wasn't watching carefully as I viewed a video on YouTube. My bad...

    Richard
     
  17. wanderinwalker

    wanderinwalker 6 of .44

    551
    5
    Feb 13, 2003
    New Hampshire
    I think for handgun loading only, the new LEE Classic Turret is the way to go for learning the ropes. You're only handling one case at a time, so you don't have as much to keep track of as on a progressive, but you're not handling the case multiple times like with a single-stage, so your output is better. It's really a nice compromise, especially with the auto-indexing feature.
     
  18. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    10,016
    1
    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO
    SS stage press. CO-AX. :whistling:

    You'll have a Happy New year.

    (CO-AX has the most precise priming system of every press made... period. Unfortunately that's not that big of a deal but it's nice.)


    Jack
     
  19. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

    8,743
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    Mar 1, 2008
    Washington (the state)
    Saying I want to load pistol rounds with a single stage is like saying I want to learn to hunt so I will start with a rock and a sharp stick. Progressives are faster and safer!
     
  20. wht90lx

    wht90lx Glock Fu YO!

    69
    0
    Feb 3, 2008
    East Atlanta
    I am leaning towards the kempf turret kit. From what I have read it sounds like a good place to start as a beginner.