Is Lee equipment any good?

Is Lee equipment any good?

This is a discussion on Is Lee equipment any good? within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I have been looking to try my hand at reloading and have been scoping out the different equipment. Lee has a 50th anniversary kit that ...

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Thread: Is Lee equipment any good?

  1. #1
    Member Array major99's Avatar
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    Is Lee equipment any good?

    I have been looking to try my hand at reloading and have been scoping out the different equipment. Lee has a 50th anniversary kit that says it includes everything needed to reload except the dies. That kit is selling for only 140.00. I looked at RCBS and didnt see ANYTHING there for that price. The 140 is well within my price range but I dont want to be throwing the cash away on crappy equipment. Any advice would help. I should also say that I would only be reloading for my practice ammo so I dont need state of the art stuff, just enough to service my needs. Thanks.


  2. #2
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    The Lee kit will work and it will do the job it is intended to do.

    Lee uses mostly cast aluminum for their stuff, unlike others that use cast iron or steel ,but thats the reason that its cheaper.

    It really depends on what you want to do. If you are going to reload a few boxes occasionally to go to the range with, it'll last a long time. If you are like me and tend to shoot alot, you'll be better served with a progressive press just because of the time savings.

    It is a good kit. With the kit, some powder,brass,bullets and primers you'll be able to jump right in it. Nowadays, most of the major powder manufactures as well as some bullet makers have enough reloading info on the net to get you started and there is a wealth of info on all things reloading.
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  3. #3
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    Lee's not bad; I've owned a standard (non-auto indexing) turret press and Lee dies for years.
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    Member Array Jay6's Avatar
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    It all depends on what you are looking to reload. If it is just one pistol caliber you are way better off getting a dillon Square Deal B for and extra $100 or so which comes all ready to go with dies. If you are looking to reload more than one caliber of handgun or rifle (the SDB will not do rifle) then you will be ok with the Lee. It is not as high quality and not as fast but it will make reliable ammo. I still have a Lee Turret press that I use occasionally.

  5. #5
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    I use a Lee single stage (I actually have 3 set up) and I only reload 4 calibers.

    Lee is great to start with, if you like reloading and start doing a lot of it, then you can upgrade in a few years.

    If it is something to save money on ammo costs (as it is with me) and you only reload a few a day/week you will do fine with a Lee
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    If your wanting to stay on the inexpensive side of things, I would consider making a small step to the Lee turrett press. That is if your going to do more than one caliber. It will allow you to leave each caliber's dies set in place on the turrett and make switching from one caliber to another much, much faster.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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  7. #7
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    I have been reloading 45+ years. Started with the Lee Classic Loader and a mallet. Progressed thru RCBS (Junior & Rock Chucker) to a Dillon 450, and currently use a Lee LoadMaster/Pro 1000/ and the Lee Classic Turret presses. I use the LM for my 9mm/.40/.45 high volume stuff and the turret for all the rest. If you want the best single stage value on the market, look at the Lee cast iron press. Guess you'd say I think Lee equipment is a great value, and performs well.
    Nothing wrong with the other equipment. I traded the Dillon for guns, and my son is still using the RCBS stuff.
    str1

  8. #8
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    With everything you create your own headaches. I am using a Lee Loadmaster and to date, all the issues that I was having were of my own doing. The press has done exactly what I set it up to do, I just did not do it right to start with.

    The only complaint I have about Lee is their manuals and online help sections are vague at best. Lots of help and info out there aside from Lee from other owner/operators.

    At a take my time, check everything as it goes speed, I can turn out 300 RPH.

    You can buy a LM complete setup for 1 caliber with lots of extras for under $300 delivered. My outlay for the LM and complete setup for 2 calibers, fru fru extras, bullets, primers, powder for 1k rounds of each was under $800.

    Unless you are going to buy massive bulk quantities of powder and primers, buy local to avoid the haz mat shipping fee.
    Sticks

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  9. #9
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    The lee stuff is fine and it's what I use (I use the turret). If you are going to reload thousands of rounds at a time the you might want the dillon, but after ignoring tons of advice to skip the lee and get the dillon, I'm happy with my decision. I reload infrequently and the extra "awesomeness"? of the dillon would be wasted. The lee works fine, the primer feeder is kind of fussy, but the machine works and cost me hundreds less than a dillon setup. I use it for .380, 9mm, and .223.
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  10. #10
    Distinguished Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    Nothing at all really "wrong" with the stuff from Lee. It will make just as good ammo as any other when used correctly. A little slower than some, but a LOT less expensive.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
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    yes it is. i have used lee dies for years. don't know about their new presses, the old single stage press were good. i like their factory crimp dies.
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  12. #12
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    I've got a Lee Pro 1000. I'm very glad I learned/started with this loader - If I ended up not liking to load, I wouldn't have been out much. As it is, I've probably loaded about 10,000 rounds on it to date. The only issues I have had were user error and some issues with not keeping the machine clean enough(primer feed, powder spills in the bearing, etc.) . If it ever breaks, I can send it in and Lee will recondition "as new" for half the retail price.
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  13. #13
    Distinguished Member Array sniper58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cupcake View Post
    The lee stuff is fine and it's what I use (I use the turret). If you are going to reload thousands of rounds at a time the you might want the dillon, but after ignoring tons of advice to skip the lee and get the dillon, I'm happy with my decision. I reload infrequently and the extra "awesomeness"? of the dillon would be wasted. The lee works fine, the primer feeder is kind of fussy, but the machine works and cost me hundreds less than a dillon setup. I use it for .380, 9mm, and .223.
    +1! I use mine for .45 & .357. The ONLY issue I've had is that sorry excuse for a priming device (so now I hand prime). Lee works for my applications.
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  14. #14
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    I'm surprised there aren't more lee-bashers speaking up. I wanted to argue that saying that you would only buy a dillon because "It's nicer" or "higher quality" is like saying that you'd only buy a Lexus and never a Ford Focus because it's better. That's fine, but my Focus has gotten me to work for over 100K miles now and cost just a fraction, although my seats aren't heated and it doesn't park itself.
    Last edited by Cupcake; January 4th, 2009 at 12:13 AM.
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  15. #15
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    I'm surprised there aren't more lee-bashers speaking up
    That is because we are nice and polite on this forum.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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