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  #1  
Old 10-23-2008, 6:39 PM
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Question Which Single-Stage Lee Press Kit?!?!


Lee 50th Anniversary Kit.


Lee Breech Lock Challenger Press Kit.

Which one? I can't tell what's the big difference between the two. Both kits look very similar?
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  #2  
Old 10-23-2008, 6:43 PM
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Looks like the bottom one has shellholders

I would honestly consider saving up a bit more and getting a Progressive from dillon
its worth it and i wish I had just started that way.
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  #3  
Old 10-23-2008, 6:57 PM
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I will get a Dillon in the very near future but this will get me going and double as a nice backup in the event that something breaks on the Dillon and I have to wait for the part to arrive.
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  #4  
Old 10-24-2008, 7:02 AM
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You can always get the Lee turret press, its about $90.00 from Graf and sons and you can use it a single stage press. The nice thing about it is that it has removable turrets that can be changed in about 15 seconds for each caliber.
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Old 10-24-2008, 7:15 AM
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How much ammo do you plan on loading at one time? And, will it be pistol and/or rifle; what calibers?
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  #6  
Old 10-24-2008, 10:56 AM
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I've been using my Lee Anniversary kit for some time now. It would suck for any sort of bulk loading, but I typically load 50 or 100 rounds of rifle ammo a few times a month, one caliber at a time, so it's fine for that. Mostly .300 Win Mag, .300 Savage, sometimes .30/06 or 7.64x54R, stuff I am not shooting hundreds of rounds at a sitting of.

If I were loading any sort of pistol ammo, or bulk plinker .223 or something, then a progressive is the way to go.
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Old 10-24-2008, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenjay1 View Post
How much ammo do you plan on loading at one time? And, will it be pistol and/or rifle; what calibers?
I probably won't be loading a lot at first since there is a learning curve to reloading but after I get the hang of it I will probably want to process a lot more than 50-100 rounds an hour. I currently plan to reload 9mm, .45 ACP, .223 and possibly .308 in the future.

I posted this because I couldn't really tell the difference between the two kits and wanted some guidance from people who currently reload as to which one between the two would be a better choice.
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  #8  
Old 10-24-2008, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by domokun View Post
Which one? I can't tell what's the big difference between the two. Both kits look very similar?
Go with RCBS Rock Chucker.... a MUCH better single stage press....
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  #9  
Old 10-24-2008, 11:10 AM
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This thread shows which items are exactly is needed in order to reload. Compare those against what is included in the kit you want to buy then make a decision.

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...d.php?t=108907
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  #10  
Old 10-24-2008, 11:16 AM
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The Challenger kit has the breech-lock system, which allows you to change out the dies easier without having to readjust them each time -- might be a handy feature, although I personally don't find that readjustment to be a big deal (I am not trying to do bench-rest stuff either, so YMMV). The Challenger kit also include a case trimmer cutting head (although you still need the length gauge, and a zip-trim if you don't want to do the case trimming totally by hand) and the shellholder set for the auto-prime, which you need anyway. The auto-primer in the Challenger set is easier to use than the safety primer in the Anniversary set (the anniversary set used to include the auto-primer, but doesn't anymore).

I've been perfectly happy with my Lee setup, I will probably get a Dillion one of these days for doing pistol ammo, but for the relatively small amounts of rifle ammo I currently load, the Lee fits the bill.
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  #11  
Old 10-24-2008, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macadamizer View Post
The Challenger kit has the breech-lock system, which allows you to change out the dies easier without having to readjust them each time -- might be a handy feature, although I personally don't find that readjustment to be a big deal (I am not trying to do bench-rest stuff either, so YMMV). The Challenger kit also include a case trimmer cutting head (although you still need the length gauge, and a zip-trim if you don't want to do the case trimming totally by hand) and the shellholder set for the auto-prime, which you need anyway. The auto-primer in the Challenger set is easier to use than the safety primer in the Anniversary set (the anniversary set used to include the auto-primer, but doesn't anymore).

I've been perfectly happy with my Lee setup, I will probably get a Dillion one of these days for doing pistol ammo, but for the relatively small amounts of rifle ammo I currently load, the Lee fits the bill.
Thanks! This was what I was looking for.
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  #12  
Old 10-24-2008, 12:20 PM
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The difference between the two kits is the priming system.
The bottom kit has the hand primer AND press-mount priming.
The top kit only has press-mount priming.
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  #13  
Old 10-24-2008, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sorensen440 View Post
Looks like the bottom one has shellholders
Those shellholders are for the hand priming tool, not for the press.
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  #14  
Old 10-24-2008, 4:33 PM
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The Lee kit would be a good starter and a small investment, usually around a hundred bucks. But if you are going to to do a lot of shooting then a progressive is the way to go. You should save your pennies and get a Dillon. Steve
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  #15  
Old 10-27-2008, 1:22 PM
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if you're new to reloading, start with a single stage press just like the ones you're looking at. You want to learn to reload properly before jumping into a progressive kit. Call some of your local gunshops and see if any of them offer reloading seminars... that's the best way to go...
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  #16  
Old 10-29-2008, 9:49 AM
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I am also thinking about the 2nd kit thanks to Domokun
Im checking out Cabelas and wideners and wideners has a better price of 86.50$ vs 100$ at most retailers.
I dont think in the near future I will be loading more than one hundred or so rounds a month if even that.

So far in my shopping cart is

Hardware
Lee Breech Lock Challenger Press Kit $86.50 Each
LEE PACESETTER 223 DIE $20.50
LEE PACESETTER 308 WIN DIES $20.50
DECAPPER & BASE (.22 CAL) $5.20
UNIVERSAL DECAPPING DIE $7.95


Components
S1477 Sierra Bullets 22cal HV 77gr HPBT MatchKing $11.80/50
S1380 Sierra Bullets 22cal HV 69gr HPBT Match $17.48/100
CCI400 Standard Small Rifle Primers $24.75 per 1000
CCI200 Standard Large Rifle Primers $24.75 per 1000
HDH3351 H335 (1LB) $17.75

Total $253.23 roughly 20$ shipping

Am I missing anything? I plan to reuse the brass I already have.

thanks!
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Last edited by Darklyte27; 10-29-2008 at 10:52 AM..
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  #17  
Old 10-29-2008, 9:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darklyte27 View Post
Am I missing anything? I plan to reuse the brass I already have.
Case length gauges for each cartridge to work with the Lee cutter.
Tumbler, media, sifter and polish to clean cases.
Might want to buy a better quality deburring tool like an RCBS for an extra $10-$15.

The normal reloading dies handle the decapping.
You only need to buy a decapping die if you don't want to size the brass at the same time you are decapping.
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Last edited by ar15barrels; 10-29-2008 at 9:55 AM..
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  #18  
Old 10-29-2008, 10:11 AM
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I'm getting the same one as I am new the reloading.

1. Lee challenger breech lock single stage press kit
-auto prime
-auto prime shellholder kit
-cutter and lock stud
-perfect powder measure
-chamfer tool
-primer pocket cleaner
-safety powder scale
-powder funnel
-resize lube

2. Lee case length gage and shell holder

3. Lee pacesetter 3-die set .223
-crimp die
-sizer die
-bullet seater die

4. Lee zip trimmer

I already have the cleaning stuff like tumbler, media, brass polish, etc..

Let me know if I need anything else..
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Old 10-29-2008, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stphnman20 View Post
Let me know if I need anything else..
powder
primers
bullets

Buy at least 2 reloading manuals and compare the data between them.
Sometimes two manuals will disagree on the same components.
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Old 10-29-2008, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
powder
primers
bullets

Buy at least 2 reloading manuals and compare the data between them.
Sometimes two manuals will disagree on the same components.
I've been looking for manuals for a while now but can't decide which ones.. Which ones do you recommend getting/using?

Powder, Primers and Bullets are on it's ways..
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Old 10-29-2008, 10:25 AM
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thanks for the reply, could you refer some case length gauges?
Also Powder and Primers seem to be an issue.
I read about CCI's 400 small rifle primers but then i hear good and bad reviews.
I do know CCI is one of the best brands from what I have heard.
Choosing the right ones is the issue..

Powder, how the heck do you choose? Besides seeing H335 is good for .223 rds that other people have used how do you know what will or wont work?
Another question, Dies,
How come there are crimp dies, pacesetter, collet dies? whats the diff?

Tumbling stuff I will worry about later, I do and want to clean brass but will get that stuff later.

thanks for all your input, it is greatly appreciated.
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  #22  
Old 10-29-2008, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darklyte27 View Post
I am also thinking about the 2nd kit thanks to Domokun
Im checking out Cabelas and wideners and wideners has a better price of 86.50$ vs 100$ at most retailers.
I dont think in the near future I will be loading more than one hundred or so rounds a month if even that.

So far in my shopping cart is

Hardware
Lee Breech Lock Challenger Press Kit $86.50 Each
LEE PACESETTER 223 DIE $20.50
LEE PACESETTER 308 WIN DIES $20.50
DECAPPER & BASE (.22 CAL) $5.20
UNIVERSAL DECAPPING DIE $7.95
HDH3351 H335 (1LB) $17.75

Components
S1477 Sierra Bullets 22cal HV 77gr HPBT MatchKing $11.80/50
S1380 Sierra Bullets 22cal HV 69gr HPBT Match $17.48/100
CCI400 Standard Small Rifle Primers $24.75 per 1000
CCI200 Standard Large Rifle Primers $24.75 per 1000

Total $253.23 roughly 20$ shipping

Am I missing anything? I plan to reuse the brass I already have.

thanks!

USE CODE: 8HOLIDAY <- free shipping!
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Old 10-29-2008, 10:30 AM
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Powder, Primers, Bullets

Powder: RL15

Primers: CCI400 is ok.... CCI#br4 is better... CCI#41 is made for semi, it is hotter, and beefer; for precision, i personally like Fed215M

Bullets: my fav.... 77SMK HPBT.... that's just me(and many others)... i guess...
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Old 10-29-2008, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stphnman20 View Post
I've been looking for manuals for a while now but can't decide which ones.. Which ones do you recommend getting/using?

Powder, Primers and Bullets are on it's ways..
Hands down, the best manual is the Lyman 48th (and probably the 49th too).
After that, choose a bullet brand such as speer, hornady or sierra.
The Hodgdon manual is really good too as it has loads from many different powder makers.

I have 8 or 9 manuals.
You really can't have too many.
Collect the whole set.
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Old 10-29-2008, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darklyte27 View Post
thanks for the reply, could you refer some case length gauges?
Also Powder and Primers seem to be an issue.
I read about CCI's 400 small rifle primers but then i hear good and bad reviews.
I do know CCI is one of the best brands from what I have heard.
Choosing the right ones is the issue..

Powder, how the heck do you choose? Besides seeing H335 is good for .223 rds that other people have used how do you know what will or wont work?
Another question, Dies,
How come there are crimp dies, pacesetter, collet dies? whats the diff?

Tumbling stuff I will worry about later, I do and want to clean brass but will get that stuff later.

thanks for all your input, it is greatly appreciated.
Get the manuals first and READ, READ, READ...

I'm not a big fan of lee dies because I have been dissapointed in their quality both times I tried them.
You will have to read through Lee's descriptions to understand the differences.
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Bolt actions: www.700barrels.com
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Glock, XD and M&P pistols, Benelli and Remington shotguns: barrel, sight, trigger and receiver work.
Most work performed while-you-wait, evening and weekend appointments available.
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  #26  
Old 10-29-2008, 10:38 AM
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stphnman20, where do you plan on getting your gear from?

Jicko I was going to buy from cabelas with that code but then I found the items from wideners cheaper.
the press alone is 100$ at cabelas, 86.50$ at wideners,
primers, powders, bullets are also a few dollars cheaper.

I want to load for my Stag 6L im getting.
I could use suggestions for match bullets, 69, 77 grain type bullets.

thanks
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Last edited by Darklyte27; 10-29-2008 at 10:40 AM..
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Old 10-29-2008, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darklyte27 View Post
stphnman20, where do you plan on getting your gear from?
I'm getting everything from MidwayUSA..

I was checking out Wideners, but they dont have some of the stuff I need.. Also I just want to purchase everything at once rather then but at different places..

Thx Randall looks like I'll get both..
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Old 10-29-2008, 11:27 AM
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Default Which Single-Stage Press Kit?

Thanks SanSacto for the link referral. I prefer RCBS for a single stage setup.
I've had a Partner JR. kit since 1989, I use RCBS dies as well. Never, never had ANY trouble. I load; 38/357; 380 acp; 9mm; 40SW; 45ACP, LC & Auto Rim; .30 Carbine and .223 with it. I like to take it slow, loads always function and they look real purdy!
Get every manual you can. read 'em all compare data and create perfect rounds! Be like "The Mad Scientist of Reloading. Have Fun and FOLLOW ALL SAFETY RULES!!!
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Old 10-29-2008, 11:53 AM
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Cabelas is NEVER a cheap place.

For 223/77gr recipe, extensive discussion... http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...ad.php?t=54716


Quote:
Originally Posted by Darklyte27 View Post
stphnman20, where do you plan on getting your gear from?

Jicko I was going to buy from cabelas with that code but then I found the items from wideners cheaper.
the press alone is 100$ at cabelas, 86.50$ at wideners,
primers, powders, bullets are also a few dollars cheaper.

I want to load for my Stag 6L im getting.
I could use suggestions for match bullets, 69, 77 grain type bullets.

thanks
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Old 10-30-2008, 10:12 AM
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Ended up placing a order right now..
Hopefully this covers just bout everything.
besides books.



90502 LEE PACESETTER 223 DIE $20.50
90507 LEE PACESETTER 308 WIN DIES $20.50
90114 223 Rem. Case Length Gauge & Shellholder $ 3.50
90139 308WIN Case Length Gauge & Shellholder $3.50
N22421 22cal{.224} 77gr HPBT {Custom Competition} $18.32 Box of 100
CCI34 Military Large Rifle Primers $29.00/1k
CCI41 Military Small Rifle Primers $29.00/ 1000
HDH3351 H335 (1LB) $17.75
HDHVARGET1 VARGET (1LBS) $18.50
90103 DECAPPER & BASE (.22 CAL) $5.20
90102 DECCAPPER & BASE (.30 CAL) $5.20
90292 UNIVERSAL DECAPPING DIE $7.95
RC9350 RCBS Chamfer and Deburring Tool VLD (Very Low Drag) $12.25
90030 Lee Breech Lock Challenger Press Kit $86.50 Each
S2275 Sierra Bullets 30cal {.308} 175gr HPBT Match Box of 100 $28.00

20$hazmat 26$ shipping.
Total came out to $350.20

For those who are following,
I found that the LEE press had a link, but was broken, after a quick search i found the link
http://www.realguns.com/Commentary/comar142.htm

Pretty good review on the press.
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Last edited by Darklyte27; 10-30-2008 at 4:24 PM..
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  #31  
Old 11-05-2008, 8:22 PM
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How is this tumbler?
I know its not the best but im not going to load thousands of rounds a month.
for the money is seems decent.

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpag...369&t=11082005
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Old 11-05-2008, 9:06 PM
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Having moved from a Lee turret press that was used as a single stage to a Hornady LNL progressive I can say that if you are reloading for quantity, a progressive is the way to go once you understand what you are doing. If you are reloading for accuracy and quality, a single stage will work fine.

The Collet dies are for neck sizing, which sizes only the neck. This would be for brass fired in a bolt action and the reloaded rounds are for that same rifle.

Each Lee deluxe set includes a sizer/decapper, a seater/roll crimper and a factory crimper. The crimp difference is that a roll crimp can only be applied to a bullet that has a cannelure (groove around the bullet) and the factory crimper does not need a cannelure. For semi-autos the factory crimper is the better method as it provides a nice, uniform crimp. The roll crimp requires that the brass be trimmed uniform because if the brass is not, and the bullet happens to seat past the cannelure, the brass may deform and be ruined.

The shell holder set in the Lee kit shown above (#2) are for the safety prime (handheld) and will NOT work in the press. Each die set from Lee includes the correct shell holder which will work in the press.

Some shell holders will work with more than one caliber, with .308 and .45ACP coming to mind.

The breech lock option in the above Lee press is good in that you can swap out dies without loosing where you have them adjusted to. Bad part is that you are still unscrewing the larger adaptor. A fix for this is to use the Hornady LNL quick changing adaptor which allows for a quick twist and lock motion to change out the dies. It is a standard feature on the LNL progressive as well as the single LNL press. The LNL adaptors are pricey @ $3 each but are a nice feature if you want it.

For the Lee trimmer I have found that the BEST way to use it is to

1.) Use one cutter per length gauge. If you switch the cutter around with the different length guages, the cutter will dig in to the length gauge and can change the length slightly. I also use loctite on each cutter/length gauge.

2.) put the cutter in a drill and use a pair of pliers to hold the 'shellholder'. The pliers ensure a firm grip in case of slippage. A drill press is the best option but a cordless drill also works.

Get a case headspace gauge for the calibers you are reloading. They are critical for ensuring headspace.

For both .223 and .308, Hodgdon BL-C2 is a good powder. Meters well and is inexpensive.

I used to worry about cleaning primer pockets but aside from .45ACP I have had no problems leaving the residue. Unless you are loading for accuracy, skip this step.
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Old 11-06-2008, 8:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darklyte27 View Post
How is this tumbler?
I know its not the best but im not going to load thousands of rounds a month.
for the money is seems decent.

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpag...369&t=11082005
I have a couple of the predecessor models and they have been great.
I once ran one for two weeks straight, 24/7 and it was fine.
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Old 11-06-2008, 8:55 AM
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sounds good to me, i will be enjoying the General Sherman and Grant trees in Sequoia NP this weekend at 6700 ft Elevation freezing my butt off camping.
Cant wait to get my reloading stuff Monday. I guess I will be ordering that tumbler soon too.
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Old 11-06-2008, 9:02 AM
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Is this the right sizer for .223?

Sizer
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Old 11-06-2008, 9:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stphnman20 View Post
Is this the right sizer for .223?

Sizer
NO.
That's a die for lubing and sizing cast bullets.

The sizer die comes as part of the reloading die set.
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Old 11-06-2008, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
NO.
That's a die for lubing and sizing cast bullets.

The sizer die comes as part of the reloading die set.
Thx. Where can I buy just the sizer and decap alone?

Last edited by stphnman20; 11-06-2008 at 11:19 AM..
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Old 11-06-2008, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stphnman20 View Post
Thx. Where can I buy just the sizer and decap alone?

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpag...943&t=11082005

Aside from getting the sizer/decap alone (only available direct from LEE) this 2 die set is the next best thing.
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Old 11-06-2008, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stphnman20 View Post
Where can I buy just the sizer and decap alone?
Why don't you want a bullet seating die too?

A standard "2 die" set for rifles wil include a full length sizing die and a bullet seater.
A "3 die" set for rifles will include a full length sizing die, bullet seater and either a crimp die or a neck sizing die depending on whose set you buy.
A "3 die" set for handguns will include a full length sizing die, a neck expand die and a seat/crimp die.
A "4 die" set for handguns will include a full length sizing die, a neck expand die, a seat die and a crimp die.
Dillon "3 die" sets for handgun will include a full length sizing die, a seat die and a crimp die as the neck expanding is done by the powder measure.
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Last edited by ar15barrels; 11-06-2008 at 11:35 AM..
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Old 11-06-2008, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
Why don't you want a bullet seating die too?
A friend gave me a single stage Lee reloader with no dies. My plan is to use that just for resize and decap.

I have the Lee pacesetter 3-die set which comes with the bullet seater, factory crimp and sizer and decap die. That set will go on my turret press..
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