Lee Loader to get started reloading .308?

This is a discussion on Lee Loader to get started reloading .308? within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; Even though I have been saving brass for a while when I go shooting, I have never actually began reloading for a number of reasons. ...

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Thread: Lee Loader to get started reloading .308?

  1. #1
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    Lee Loader to get started reloading .308?

    Even though I have been saving brass for a while when I go shooting, I have never actually began reloading for a number of reasons. And I don't really have space for a workbench, or big set-up to dedicate to reloading. I did however, find this: Lee Loader 308 Win - Lee Precision which claims it has everything you need to start reloading for rifle rounds, although it looks a lot simpler and smaller than the normal set ups.

    So I am guessing this is a slower, hand-held reloader. Are these worth my time if I want to start reloading for this caliber? Is there a better option out there? What else would I need, besides this kit, a manual, and the actual components (brass, bullets, powder, and primers).

    Would this be a good way to get started into reloading, or should I wait until I have more space, and buy a single stage press?
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    While they are kind of fun the novelty wears off pretty quickly. If you want to do any real reloading then you're going to need a single stage press. Lee has a few kits out there with a press, scale and powder measure (plus a couple other goodies) for around $25 to $75.

    If you don't have a workbench then just go buy a small flat piece of lumber (like a 2X8) and bolt your press to it. Then you use a couple C clamps to clamp it to a tabletop when you are using it and put it in a closet when you're not.

    ETA: Link: Reloader Single Stage Press

    This is the press I started with and it worked quite well. It came with a kit for around $50. On Midway I'm not seeing this press in a kit anymore but they do have a kit with the bigger prass for $109. That kit will have everything you need and it will take a little while to outgrow it.

    My first reloading bench was an old particle board 3 drawer dresser that cost me about ten bucks. I kept it in a closet in my apartment with the press bolted to the top.
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    Great way to begin and experience the basics. Then you decide when to step up to a press. Time and volume are the only shortcomings,not quality.
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    While I started with the Lee kit you referenced it is somewhat slow but if you only load a box or two a month it will work well. If you don’t have space another option is the Lee Hand Press. It uses standard 7/8X14 dies the same as bench presses use and is a bit faster, plus it gives the capability to change calibers by switching dies rather than buying another setup, I did notice on Midway’s site they are being discontinued so they ma be hard to find.

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    Member Array jasgo's Avatar
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    Get a single stage bench press if full length resizing rifle cases. Some Lee's are affordable. The hand press is for maybe like range use. Benchrest shooters may only necksize cases.

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    Senior Member Array Ring's Avatar
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    DONT!!!!....

    just get the clasic turret for 120$, and be done...

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    Okay, it seems that the general consensus is to avoid it. Thanks for all the info gents.

    I actually should be taking a reloading class here in a month or two, so I should probably hold off until I do that, and then worry about getting the gear. In the meantime, I'll just keep saving brass.

    Reloading is something I am trying to get started correctly, since the consequences of doing it wrong can be so catostrophic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckeye .45 View Post
    Okay, it seems that the general consensus is to avoid it. Thanks for all the info gents.

    I actually should be taking a reloading class here in a month or two, so I should probably hold off until I do that, and then worry about getting the gear. In the meantime, I'll just keep saving brass.

    Reloading is something I am trying to get started correctly, since the consequences of doing it wrong can be so catostrophic.
    It's not too tough. Even a stinking knuckle dragger like you should be able to do it.

    Shoot me a PM. I have an extra set of .308 dies I don't use anymore and some other freebies for ya.

    One more thing about the Lee loaders. They are fun, so don't be put off by them. They just aren't for serious reloading. They take way too long. They are portable though so you can take them to the range and handload there. It always draws a crowd when you are loading and shooting one round at a time. : )
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    One other thing about the Lee Loader - it only neck sizes your cases. Your reloaded ammo may or may not fit a different rifle than it was originally fired in - which can be problematic if you're using range brass. Another option for a reloading bench is the stand made by Frankford Arsenal. The biggest thing about reloading is to do it with no distractions, take your time, and if in doubt - start over. You'll do fine.

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    Great Tools

    I used a Lee Loader for a year or two when I first started loading. Loaded for .30-06 and .38 Special.

    They are slow, but the user learns absolutely everything there is to know about the mechanics of reloading. And if one doesn't have a bench? I loaded my first ammunition on the floor in the Military Police Barracks at the last Marine Corps Air Station El Toro in California.

    I've lost all the device EXCEPT for the plastic mallet I bought for it. Possibly the oldest artifact still in my possession I bought new.

    Go to your reloading class. That may answer some personal questions for you.
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