Lee Anniversary Kit vs Hornady Lock and Load

Lee Anniversary Kit vs Hornady Lock and Load

This is a discussion on Lee Anniversary Kit vs Hornady Lock and Load within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; Im looking to get into re-loading and looking for my first press. I would like to get everything in a kit. Ive narrowed it down ...

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Thread: Lee Anniversary Kit vs Hornady Lock and Load

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array wormy's Avatar
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    Lee Anniversary Kit vs Hornady Lock and Load

    Im looking to get into re-loading and looking for my first press. I would like to get everything in a kit. Ive narrowed it down to these two kits. The Lee kit is only $100. The Hornady is on sale for $319 w/free shipping and you get 500 free bullets plus a reloading manual.

    Like most of us Im looking to spend as little as possible but I want something good. So is the Hornady the better deal? I know Hornady makes good stuff and the reviews for their press are excellent. But Ive read the Lee kit is excellent for beginners also.

    So would you save $200 and go for the Lee or get the Hornady.

    Cabela's: Hornady Lock-n-Load Classic™ Reloading Kit

    Cabelas also has this RCBS kit-

    http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/produ...BC%3BIK-213986
    Glock 22, 27 Gen 4
    Ruger SP101 .357mag
    S&W 637 Airweight
    Ruger Single Six
    Ruger Blackhawk Bisley 45 Colt
    Mossberg 835 Grand Slam


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array zeppelin03's Avatar
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    The lee kit is what I got on my workbench, and it has been a perfect starter kit. I was able to get everything I needed while still affording a few extras. I ended up adding a tumbler, media, and calipers. I also got the lee manual.

    I bought a cheap digital scale and its a waste of money. Doesn't hold a zero. Varies .6 grain sitting still on my table. I have since gone and learned to use the beam scale in the kit. While not perfect it is definitely better than the digital.

    Go cheap. You will probably want to change things out once you see what works for you. Then you have $200 to put towards anything else.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array wormy's Avatar
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    Cabelas has the Lee three die set. Do these dies go with the Anniversary kit? Why would you need 3 dies for the same caliber?

    Cabela's: Lee Carbide Pistol Three-Die Set
    Glock 22, 27 Gen 4
    Ruger SP101 .357mag
    S&W 637 Airweight
    Ruger Single Six
    Ruger Blackhawk Bisley 45 Colt
    Mossberg 835 Grand Slam

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array zeppelin03's Avatar
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    Each one does something different. The first gets the casing into a uniform shape. Also it removes the spend primer. The second flares the casing out. The last presses the bullet in and crimps. They make a four die set too. This has a factory crimp die. I found it easier than trying to do two things on the last die.

    Get a manual and it will explain a lot.

    They will go with the set.

    Do yourself a favor and get a couple packs of these.
    Quick change bushing

    Put your dies into these. Once you set your dies you can remove the whole bushing. This way your not resetting your die every time you change them out.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    1) If you read the actual offer you'll see the MSRP of the 500 bullets is max $142. However, your actual savings is only the lowest price you can find for those bullets if those are the bullets you want to use. If you plan on shooting cheaper bullets, say plated ones, your actual savings is the cost of the cheaper bullets - about $65.

    2) The Lee press will do everything you need/want and they stand behind their product. Is it as sturdy as the Hornady? No. But it doesn't need to be - if you ever find yourself trying to force something, you need to stop and figure out what's wrong.

    3) Each die has a different function. Typically, in a pistol die set the first decaps and resizes (kicks the old primer out and returns the case (close) to SAAMI specs), the second bells the case mouth (creates a very small funnel shape so the bullet slides into the case w/o damaging the case or bullet), and the third seats the bullet and may crimp the case to the bullet. The second die may also allow dropping powder into the case after the mouth is belled. A fourth die, a factory crimp die, is sometimes used in a Lee die set. For progressive presses, yet another die may be used to check for correct powder charges.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array FLSlim's Avatar
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    I agree with the above. Start with the Lee. It is a good way to learn and even if you really get into shooting/reloading and end up buying a progressive press, you'll always find uses for the single stage. Having said that, I would strongly urge you to buy or go to the library and check out the ABCs of Reloading and the Lyman's 49th manual. Understand what you are getting into and get a sense of the process and equipment before you start plunking down hard-earned cash!
    Chose a weapon that goes bang EVERY time!

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    Member Array Fastball's Avatar
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    And to swing you even more towards the LEE kit, here it is for even cheaper at the LEE Factory Sales site;

    Lee Factory Sales - Lee Anniversary Kit
    You never see a motorcycle parked ouside a psychiatrist's office!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array wormy's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. I have guns in .357, .38, .223, 30-06, .40 S&W. Is there one caliber of these that would be better to start with?
    Glock 22, 27 Gen 4
    Ruger SP101 .357mag
    S&W 637 Airweight
    Ruger Single Six
    Ruger Blackhawk Bisley 45 Colt
    Mossberg 835 Grand Slam

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array jem102's Avatar
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    I have to agree with the advice from everyone else...go Lee. As you are new to handloading spend the saved money on good books, powder, primers and bullets.
    If I were to pick one book to start with it would be the latest Lyman manual but Lee's book is good as well. Does it come with the kit?

    If you become addicted to handloading as many of us have you will quickly learn what you want and where to get it. If its just a passing endeavor you are not out much and would guess you could sell the kit here on the forum for at least 80% of your investment.

    Rimmed straight wall pistol cases are the easiest to start with, then rimless straight wall with bottle neck rifle cases requiring a little more skill. I would not recommend starting with .223 if your rifle is a semi as gas operated rifles can sometimes be a little fussy till you get the hang of it.

    Good luck.
    Who is John Galt?

    Sometimes there's justice, sometimes there's just us...

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array wormy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jem102 View Post
    I have to agree with the advice from everyone else...go Lee. As you are new to handloading spend the saved money on good books, powder, primers and bullets.
    If I were to pick one book to start with it would be the latest Lyman manual but Lee's book is good as well. Does it come with the kit?

    If you become addicted to handloading as many of us have you will quickly learn what you want and where to get it. If its just a passing endeavor you are not out much and would guess you could sell the kit here on the forum for at least 80% of your investment.

    Rimmed straight wall pistol cases are the easiest to start with, then rimless straight wall with bottle neck rifle cases requiring a little more skill. I would not recommend starting with .223 if your rifle is a semi as gas operated rifles can sometimes be a little fussy till you get the hang of it.

    Good luck.
    Thanks Jem102, I will start with some .357s and .38. I shoot more .223 in my AR but Ill wait till I have more sperience to do those. I was planning on getting everything from the Lee Factory store that Fastball suggested. They have the Lee manual for 12 bucks.
    Glock 22, 27 Gen 4
    Ruger SP101 .357mag
    S&W 637 Airweight
    Ruger Single Six
    Ruger Blackhawk Bisley 45 Colt
    Mossberg 835 Grand Slam

  11. #11
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    Thanks everyone. I have guns in .357, .38, .223, 30-06, .40 S&W. Is there one caliber of these that would be better to start with?
    I would start with the pistol cases, and in particular, the .38 Special first to build confidence.

    Comparing notes this week with another new reloader (he went with the Dillon 550B, I chose the Hornady LnL AP), we both spent the first several hours at our respective presses making lots of mistakes. For me, it was forgetting to load primers, for him, it was double-charging cases. We each felt like we needed a third hand at first, since with progressive presses you really need to monitor several things with each stroke of the handle. A single-stage slows it down a bit and it will assuredly keep you from getting too confused trying to solve multiple small problems simultaneously.

    Comparing the 550B with the Hornady AP, the Dillon does not "auto-index" - you manually rotate the shell plate after each press stroke. My friend forgot to do that a couple of times, but we're both very technical (aerospace test engineers) and look for detailish-type things. His sharp eye noticed heavier powder charges (from forgetting to rotate the shell plate) before the bullet got seated. That risk in particular - throwing a double charge - is less likely to end up badly for you or your gun with the .38, since it's a low-pressure round. All the others run at relatively high case pressures.

    You'll never go wrong starting with a single stage press, and for running up small batches of experimental loads (like for hunting or target rifles) it's probably more efficient than the progressive.
    Smitty
    NRA Endowment Member

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    That adds another possible die - a small base sizer die for .223 shot out of a semi-auto.

  13. #13
    Member Array Fastball's Avatar
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    I highly recommend the Modern Reloading by Richard Lee!! And the Lyman 49th edt. is considered to be the "bible". I also snagged The ABC's of Reloading, but boy is that a dry read.

    Tons of intel, but a hard read.

    Good luck!
    You never see a motorcycle parked ouside a psychiatrist's office!

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array jem102's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nedrgr21 View Post
    That adds another possible die - a small base sizer die for .223 shot out of a semi-auto.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fastball View Post
    I highly recommend the Modern Reloading by Richard Lee!! And the Lyman 49th edt. is considered to be the "bible". I also snagged The ABC's of Reloading, but boy is that a dry read.

    Tons of intel, but a hard read.

    Good luck!
    "I" have never found SB dies necessary for for my AR's as long as you use a good brand. However, a lot of folks do use them and I believe you can buy the die set that way so no extra if that's what you want.

    Very good recommendation on the books!
    Who is John Galt?

    Sometimes there's justice, sometimes there's just us...

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array wormy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fastball View Post
    I highly recommend the Modern Reloading by Richard Lee!! And the Lyman 49th edt. is considered to be the "bible". I also snagged The ABC's of Reloading, but boy is that a dry read.

    Tons of intel, but a hard read.

    Good luck!
    Yep, I added the Lee Modern reloading book to my order from the Lee factory store. Should have my kit tommorrow.
    Glock 22, 27 Gen 4
    Ruger SP101 .357mag
    S&W 637 Airweight
    Ruger Single Six
    Ruger Blackhawk Bisley 45 Colt
    Mossberg 835 Grand Slam

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