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Japsican
12-07-2006, 10:30 AM
Well, Christmas is coming up, and the lady is asking me what I want for Christmas because she never has a clue of what to get me. I could tell her "nothing" but we both know I'd be lying...I like to shoot a lot and ammo is pretty expensive for .223rem, and .45ACP, so I was thinking about getting into reloading. I was looking for some opinions on the Lee Load Master press in particular http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/catalog/browse.cgi?1165519779.1767=/html/catalog/ldmas.html . Is it a pretty good setup? What other supplies would I need, or does that pretty much include everything? I really dont know a lot about reloading, but I am planning on getting some manuals and doing a lot of reading before I get started. Let me know what you guys think, or maybe you can steer me in a better direction. Thanks in advance...:D

Whitesmoke
12-10-2006, 5:14 AM
Hi there....

My main press is a Lee loadmaster....I bought it initially to reload 45 Colt and it does that pretty well. I also, now reload .308 on the same press.....

But the thing is this...the loadmaster is a finicky press. It took me a while to get the bugs worked out too. The main issue is it has a poor primer feeding system.....but the main issue is to keep grains of spilled powder out of the priming system. One of the main things I DO like about the LEE press is that caliber changes are very cheap. It only costs $11 for a new die turret head that holds 5 dies and about $20 for a new shell plate....you set one up for each caliber that you load.) You'll also want to buy a $10 Case Collator.
And spend a few bucks for a few other things to switch it over to rifle.


If you buy the Pistol setup...you'll need to buy these parts to convert it over to .223 rifle use:

Small Primer Feeder
Dies
Perfect Powder Measure
Universal Charge Die

Don't buy the Bullet Feed Kit for pistol...it's known to be a piece of junk.

Overall...the Lee is NOT a great press. But it is decent for the money. I actually wish I had spent a little more and bought a better press...but I don't regret the Lee at all.

Oh...don't buy it from the Lee website though...buy it from midwayusa.com

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=236243

and

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=618843

Only $215 for the whole setup.

Also....you will still need a powder scale (DONT buy the Lee safety scale..I did, and it's apiece of crap). But a used or new RCBS, LYMAN, Honady, or any other Magnetically dampened scale...you won't regret it (and don't buy a cheap electronic scale for your first scale). I bought my RCBS 510 scale for $15 on ebay!

Also, you'll need at least a dial caliper and either a stoney point set:

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=479704

or individual a individual cartridge headspace gauge for any rifle calibers....you can get away with just the dial caliper for pistol cartridges.

Whitesmoke
12-10-2006, 5:16 AM
oh......and first, buy the lyman reloading manual and at least one more manual (many like the LEE manual and its cheap) before you start reloading or even buy equipment.

anyracoon
12-10-2006, 6:55 AM
Japsican

If this is truly your first attemp at reloading & equipment get a RCBS RockChucker set up. It is a single stage press set up but will turn out quality ammo. If you are really going to shoot alot drink the Blue KoolAid and buy a Dillon. Just be sure to read plenty of books and try to find someone that can mentor you for the first couple of times.

Whitesmoke
12-10-2006, 7:21 AM
Japsican

If this is truly your first attemp at reloading & equipment get a RCBS RockChucker set up. It is a single stage press set up but will turn out quality ammo. If you are really going to shoot alot drink the Blue KoolAid and buy a Dillon. Just be sure to read plenty of books and try to find someone that can mentor you for the first couple of times.

I actually agree with what he says....I'd rather see you start on a single stage. And if you can afford it..buy the Dillon....but you don't HAVE to have a Dillon to produce good ammo. It just makes it a lot easier to not deal with all the issues of a cheap machine when you are trying to learn.

I had reloaded for years as a kid on my dads single stage RCBS rockchucker...so when I bought my own press, I was comfortable with the progressive.

TonyM
12-10-2006, 8:40 AM
Japsican

If this is truly your first attemp at reloading & equipment get a RCBS RockChucker set up. It is a single stage press set up but will turn out quality ammo. If you are really going to shoot alot drink the Blue KoolAid and buy a Dillon. Just be sure to read plenty of books and try to find someone that can mentor you for the first couple of times.

If you end up with a Dillon, buy the video tape for $6 that they sell. It tells you how to set up everything and shows you. Remember a picture is worth 1,000 words.

I have a XL650 and never reloaded before I got it. Just used common sense, a couple reloading manuals, web resources (powder manufacturer's websites), and message boards like this one.

Just remember, there are people out there that talk out their arse, so they can give you load data that could hurt you, or your firearm. ALWAYS verify load data with multiple reloading manuals, working up from low power and seeing how each load works in your guns.

Oh, yeah, about the Dillon video, they didn't have it on DVD last I checked, so it will require to to find that "V.C.R." thing that you packed in the garage, or go to your local Fry's/etc and buy a "V.C.R." thing for $12. So total cost of the tape + player might be about $20. ;) Well worth the investment.

Japsican
12-12-2006, 12:36 PM
Thanks for all your comments and help guys, I totally forgot about this thread after the first couple of days when I got no replys...Just happend to stumble across it right now. As for which press I may be going with, it will probably be the Lee Loadmaster in .223 to start with. I know it isnt the best, but it also isnt the worst. No, I havnt done any reloading, but Im the kind of person who likes to go for the whole enchilada right off the bat, so thats why I wanted a progressive loader, I'd have went for the Dillon or something a lot better, but God knows neither me or my girl can afford that right now. I know there is a lot to be learned in reloading, and it can be very dangerous if not done correctly. So I do plan on researching it a lot more and try to gain as much knowledge as possible before I take the plunge...I figure Im going to end up getting into reloading sooner or later, so with Christmas coming up, might as well get into it sooner than later...:D

Once again, thanks for the comments, and any other help anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated.

thmpr
12-12-2006, 12:52 PM
Save your money and buy a Dillon escpecially for the 223. Trust me on this one....:D

50ae
12-12-2006, 1:04 PM
If you buy the Lee you'll buy the Dillon later and chunk the Lee over a bridge. You might as well start with the Dillon.

Bobshouse
12-12-2006, 1:13 PM
If thats the case, chuck that Lee over in my direction...beggars cant be picky.

Japsican
12-12-2006, 3:35 PM
If thats the case, chuck that Lee over in my direction...beggars cant be picky.

Lmao...Im kind of with you on that one...

I already submitted my "request" to the better half, now all I have to do is wait it out for the next couple of weeks and hope for the best :p. I would have asked for the Dillon, but I would have probably just got laughed at after she saw the price tag:mad: Plus, I have found that once I already have something, its easier for me to "upgrade" it without the woman reaming me for buying something new :cool: ...

50ae
12-12-2006, 3:41 PM
Watch yourself with the primer feeder. I blew about 20 primers at once due to it's poor design and that is when mine got chunked off a bridge in favor of a Dillon 650. Absolutely, positively, wear your eye and ear protection at all times when using a Lee press.

Whitesmoke
12-12-2006, 3:49 PM
Absolutely, positively, wear your eye and ear protection at all times when using a Lee press.

Thats not true of all Lee presses...but it is true of the Lee progressives.
Lee sells a cheap $5 primer shield that will help protect you of any primer problems...But the primer system is junk. I usually just hand prime with my Lee handprimer....that is one of the best $20 I've spent.

Can I ask....what brand of primers were you using when your primer tray blew up?

50ae
12-12-2006, 7:20 PM
It was a long time ago but basically a primer ended up half on the primer ram and blew setting off a chain reaction. I think the same thing would have happened no matter the brand of primer.

Thats not true of all Lee presses...but it is true of the Lee progressives.
Lee sells a cheap $5 primer shield that will help protect you of any primer problems...But the primer system is junk. I usually just hand prime with my Lee handprimer....that is one of the best $20 I've spent.

Can I ask....what brand of primers were you using when your primer tray blew up?