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  #1  
Old 04-23-2013, 9:48 AM
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Question Lee Hand Press - any good?

Hello all,

I was looking at these:

http://www.midwayusa.com/Product/410804/lee-hand-press

Lee hand press. Wondered if they are worth it? Only reason I would purchase it is to de-prime brass while sitting comfortably in my living room. Are they worth it? I have no reloading gear at the moment but intend to purchase a press when money and timing is right. My thoughts were to at least get my brass clean and ready for reloading while I wait for a press and components.

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 04-23-2013, 10:14 AM
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They work. I can sit and decap about 150 cartridges while watching TV. I do not watch tv during any other reloading steps. It is a bit slow, but works to learn how to reload. In the future I will probably step up to something bigger, faster...progressive perhaps.
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:43 AM
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As an alternative viewpoint, consider that decapping is a very small step in terms of time spent to prep rifle cases for reload, and not even a separate one if you intend to size and decap in a single stage. If you aren't intending to use the hand press for other things (like range reloading), then I personally wouldn't bother and would just wait for your regular press to arrive. It will be noise in the overall prep schedule compared to tumbling, sizing, (re)tumbling or wiping down, trimming and chamfering.

If you are interested in range loading, then consider other solutions as well - e.g. hand dies and arbor press, or your regular press clamped to a table, and so on.
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afrancke View Post
As an alternative viewpoint, consider that decapping is a very small step in terms of time spent to prep rifle cases for reload, and not even a separate one if you intend to size and decap in a single stage. If you aren't intending to use the hand press for other things (like range reloading), then I personally wouldn't bother and would just wait for your regular press to arrive. It will be noise in the overall prep schedule compared to tumbling, sizing, (re)tumbling or wiping down, trimming and chamfering.

If you are interested in range loading, then consider other solutions as well - e.g. hand dies and arbor press, or your regular press clamped to a table, and so on.
Totally agree on all counts.
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:09 AM
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I loaded 1300 rds of .223 with one. I now have a 550b. My old hand press just sits there. but, it's good if you need to decap a crushed primer real quick, or some other odd job.

You can also use it on your bed and resize, after like 200 or so, it becomes a great deltoid workout!!!
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Old 04-23-2013, 1:05 PM
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I load between 100-200 rounds (just enough for range time) of 9mm/40 a week with the hand press. I batch load and in my opinion it's just as fast as a fixed single stage and in some cases safer.

Sitting in front of TV on couch:
Decap/size
Expand
Prime cases using Lee hand prime

At my "reloading desk" (computer desk) I have my Perfect Powder Measure c-clamped to the edge. There I line up all the brass I worked on whilst sitting on the couch. I'll run a flash light over all of them real quick to double check they are primed.

When that's done I run each case under the PP Measure. I run a flash light over them once again to check for double charges. When that's good to go, I top all of them off with bullets (they sit nice and snug since the mouths were expanded) and then run them through the hand press with the seating die.

I randomly check the powder charges on a scale as well as randomly check the OAL with calipers. I've pressed thousands of rounds this way in the comfort of an air conditioned/heated room while sitting down.
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Old 04-23-2013, 1:14 PM
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That's what I used when I first reloaded. It's decent for decamping or resizing brass in front of the TV. I'ved loaded thousands of rounds of .223, .38spl, .357mag, and 9mm. I use to store all of my reloading tools in a tool box. If you plan to load really small volume then the hand press is not a bad way to go. Even though you use carbide sizing die for pistol caliber, still lube the brass a bit. Trust me it'll help with the stroke.
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Old 04-23-2013, 1:38 PM
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I can't imagine sizing with that little thing you guys must look like Arnold by now.
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Old 04-23-2013, 1:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark501w View Post
I can't imagine sizing with that little thing you guys must look like Arnold by now.


The lube helps .
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Old 04-23-2013, 2:08 PM
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Got one and like it, I use it when I want to kick back in the living room and size casings and do some priming (hand primer for that). Also for field use in a pinch. I keep my reloading tools in a 3 drawer portable tool box that lives on the bench but becomes it's own animal if I take it to the range.

Hint: for the big casings, use lube and use your thighs to help out-ala thighmaster. I've loaded hundreds of rounds of 8x56R and 8x57 and I'm not Popeye yet.
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  #11  
Old 04-23-2013, 3:15 PM
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Save up some $ and get a used RCBS Rockchucker. It's a lot easier having the tool bolted to the bench.
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Old 04-23-2013, 8:25 PM
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I think it's great. Cheap, small and it works great.

When we're having kids. I put all my heavy reloading equipment in storage for a few years. All I kept was a tote box full of what i needed. The press in it was/is the Lee hand press. It was slow but I got done what I needed. Like you're planning, I deprimed, seat and crimp (handgun loads) on that little Lee hand press.

I still use it at the range when developing loads. Not much effort even for full length sizing. Lube the cases like you would normally.

The new breech lock version is better. faster die change, dies won't work itself loose and it floats the dies for a more concentric (less run-out) ammo. It's not a press that would last forever but it's great for the price.
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  #13  
Old 04-23-2013, 10:55 PM
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Great info. I am still mulling it over to see if I REALLY want it. Thank you very much for the insight and advice. I guess part of my interest in the press is my growing impatience on looking for a press. Plus, my lady is not too pleased with me banging out primers with a hammer, decapping pin, and shell holder - all on the coffee table. I thought this might be a more silent way to get my brass prepped.
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:15 AM
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I though of getting one just for portability, mainly to fine tune test rounds at the range. When doing load development sometimes it feels like too long between trips to really get things dialed in and I wouldn't mind the ability to mess with powder charges or seating depth when I'm out shooting.

I also started to learn about hand dies like the Wilson stuff which seems to be a higher end option...

I would probably bring extra fully prepped and primed brass so I only have to worry about powder and seating.

I don't think I would use either at home, I would just stick to my Rockchucker.
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Old 04-24-2013, 6:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExtremeX View Post
I though of getting one just for portability, mainly to fine tune test rounds at the range. When doing load development sometimes it feels like too long between trips to really get things dialed in and I wouldn't mind the ability to mess with powder charges or seating depth when I'm out shooting.

I also started to learn about hand dies like the Wilson stuff which seems to be a higher end option...

I would probably bring extra fully prepped and primed brass so I only have to worry about powder and seating.
That's exactly what I do - bring fully prepped and primed brass, a powder thrower and seater and work up loads right on the spot at the range. I have used an arbor press and hand dies (which works fine but means no resizing) as well as hauling a single stage press to clamp to the shooting bench (which allows for resizing the brass I've just fired, which has significant advantages if I'm dealing with new brass and just trying to blow it out to chamber size).

The one tip I'd give beyond just using this approach is to have a dedicated set of dies and other small tools you'll need just for your range reloading kit. I don't have this duplication currently and invariably I forget something and have to turn back after heading out. I even forgot the powder I wanted to use once - d'ohh! It would be expensive to duplicate literally everything, but a lot less stressful when getting ready for your trip - everything can stay in its place in your reloading bag.

Last edited by afrancke; 04-24-2013 at 6:08 AM..
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  #16  
Old 04-24-2013, 6:03 AM
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You're better off with this.
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/807...le-stage-press

Just mount the press on a piece of 4x6 and c-clamp it on a table.
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  #17  
Old 04-24-2013, 10:35 AM
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I have never seen anyone reloading at the range, although I hear about it all the time. Who has time to reload at the range!
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:43 AM
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Buy a Dillon 550. Buy once cry once.
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
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Buy a Dillon 550. Buy once cry once.
My 550 is great but, I won't get rid of any of my single stage presses including my hand press. I use them all. No one press is perfect for everything.
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Justintoxicated View Post
I have never seen anyone reloading at the range, although I hear about it all the time. Who has time to reload at the range!
Most of my shooting trips are out in the desert generally spend a full day out there shooting and sometimes overnight camping too. It would be pretty easy to find some time to knock out a few extra rounds if I was doing load dev.

I prefer NOT to reload at the range, but if there is still work to be done, time between trips can be a real killer which is why I am considering it.
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Old 04-24-2013, 3:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justintoxicated View Post
I have never seen anyone reloading at the range, although I hear about it all the time. Who has time to reload at the range!
Anytime I am developing a new load I load at the range, that way I don't spend a bunch of time and components between nodes.
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Old 04-24-2013, 3:18 PM
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Bill, what do you use for your powder measure and scale when out in the field?

My biggest concern is the scales operation outdoors. I'm guessing I would have to weight charges in the truck if its a windy day.
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Old 04-24-2013, 4:26 PM
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Quote:
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Bill, what do you use for your powder measure and scale when out in the field?

My biggest concern is the scales operation outdoors. I'm guessing I would have to weight charges in the truck if its a windy day.
I bought some bottles at a pharma supply place, a 50 round 12ga shotshell holder that fits in the bottom of my tool box. I drop and trickle each load and store it in a bottle labeled with what it is. I typically do 5 shot strings using the same case. If I get a bad rung (usually the second or third shot tells the story) I skip that load, get a fresh case and start on the next rung.

Here is my range setup:







I have another small plastic tool box that I keep the arbor press, calipers and other odds and ends. Sometimes I bring it, sometimes I don't.
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Old 04-24-2013, 9:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afrancke View Post
As an alternative viewpoint, consider that decapping is a very small step in terms of time spent to prep rifle cases for reload, and not even a separate one if you intend to size and decap in a single stage. If you aren't intending to use the hand press for other things (like range reloading), then I personally wouldn't bother and would just wait for your regular press to arrive. It will be noise in the overall prep schedule compared to tumbling, sizing, (re)tumbling or wiping down, trimming and chamfering.

If you are interested in range loading, then consider other solutions as well - e.g. hand dies and arbor press, or your regular press clamped to a table, and so on.

^^^^^^^this
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justintoxicated View Post
I have never seen anyone reloading at the range, although I hear about it all the time. Who has time to reload at the range!
There a handful of guys at my rifle club that reload at the range. They are mostly rifle guys but there are 2 guys that bring their gear and load handgun rounds at their bench. Quite interesting to see what they are doing.
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Old 04-27-2013, 5:59 AM
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I'm thinking of picking up one of these to deprime while watching tv. Every review I have read had been positive.
http://www.harveydeprimer.com/
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Old 04-27-2013, 4:29 PM
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^ $50 + shipping and handling. Yikes. It only deprimes so I'd have to run it through my sizing die anyway.. a die which also deprimes.
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Old 04-27-2013, 4:35 PM
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Wow, just clicked on the Midway link and it says "Discontinued by Manufacturer" for the hand press.
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Old 04-27-2013, 5:02 PM
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It's not discontinued. It's probably the model that doesn't have the quick die removal system.
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Old 04-28-2013, 1:01 AM
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You can still find them around but not too cheap. Best I have seen is $40.
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justintoxicated View Post
I have never seen anyone reloading at the range, although I hear about it all the time. Who has time to reload at the range!
I'm guessing you have never shot a muzzleloader.





------------------------------

I haven't used my hand press to load at the range yet, but I have used it for OAL testing at the range. Just loaded up 50 cartridges and pushed the bullet in to the depth of the lands. All 50. Shot a group, then turned the seater down a smidge, pressed 5 and shot a group, turned the seater down a smidge, pressed 5 and shot a group....

No worries about weighing powder in the wind

Last edited by Whiterabbit; 04-29-2013 at 12:55 PM..
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jet Setter View Post
Hello all,

I was looking at these:

http://www.midwayusa.com/Product/410804/lee-hand-press

Lee hand press. Wondered if they are worth it? Only reason I would purchase it is to de-prime brass while sitting comfortably in my living room. Are they worth it? I have no reloading gear at the moment but intend to purchase a press when money and timing is right. My thoughts were to at least get my brass clean and ready for reloading while I wait for a press and components.
^^^^

THIS


+1

You nailed the answer with your question. This was exactly how I started. Then when I got my tumbler and ss pins, into the wash everything went.
Doing it this way also gve me a chance to sort my brass out a bit.
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Old 04-30-2013, 5:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justintoxicated View Post
I have never seen anyone reloading at the range, although I hear about it all the time. Who has time to reload at the range!
A better question is who has time to develop a load in the garage via speculation about where the nodes are likely to be and then make trips back and forth to the range to confirm that via ladder or OCW test, then do the same for seating depth or whatever variation one chooses to make. Have to take your chrono out each time if you use one, too, and set that up.

It is much faster to work up and shoot at the same time, even with a range that goes cold regularly and forces you away from the bench (like most public ranges).

Of course, once you have your load of choice identified, you load en masse at home. But developing that load? Very nice to work it up right on the spot and try it out immediately.
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Old 04-30-2013, 7:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 73Jim View Post
I'm thinking of picking up one of these to deprime while watching tv. Every review I have read had been positive.
http://www.harveydeprimer.com/
WoW. At $50 + shipping and handling and it ONLY does depriming, I tell you what, it is certainly SLOWER then the Lee handpress. The reason why you have only read good reviews is because noobs have purchased it and thought it was golden.

Lee hand press is about $36 + $10 decapper and you can take it anywhere, but you can be VERY fast with it because it allows you to use a shellholder. Shellholders are faster than sticking it on the rod. At least in my opinion. The hand press is much more versatile where this thing is a one trick pony.

https://fsreloading.com/lee-precisio...nly-90685.html

If I were to purchase this My review might be something like this:

Not bad but slow compared to the Lee Hand Press...

Last edited by stilly; 04-30-2013 at 7:20 AM..
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Old 04-30-2013, 7:49 AM
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Some people just prefer well crafted hand tools made by skilled labor in the USA.

Whichever part of that argument you are planning on rebutting, between the LEE press and the Harvey, one of the two will probably make it to your grand kids.

--------------------

Besides TV melting your brains anyways, I have no idea why anyone would expose primer dust inside their home. May as well run the vibratory tumbler with the lid off inside the house. I figured the Harvey would at least manage spent primer control and the particles that process releases, but nope. If it did, it would be worth $100, one trick pony or not.

That's the real need when it comes to decapping tools. Spent primer isolation and disposal without personnel exposure. Thats why for decapping the hollow ram LEE (or any make) presses are so good. large portion of primer junk goes away.

Last edited by Whiterabbit; 04-30-2013 at 7:52 AM..
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Status:
Discontinued by Manufacturer
This should tell you something..
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:37 PM
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you didn't read the thread, did you.



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Old 05-01-2013, 9:55 AM
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Quote:
you didn't read the thread, did you.
You mean the part where demand is so high because this is such an essential tool that the mfgr said screw it?

Yep, didn't notice that at all. I can deprime on a solid surface with a simple pin. I can hand prime sitting on the sh*tter. Completely missed the point.
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  #39  
Old 05-01-2013, 10:37 AM
Davisje011 Davisje011 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdkevin View Post
You mean the part where demand is so high because this is such an essential tool that the mfgr said screw it?

Yep, didn't notice that at all. I can deprime on a solid surface with a simple pin. I can hand prime sitting on the sh*tter. Completely missed the point.

They are still manufactured by lee to this day...

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/665...ock-hand-press
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:03 PM
stilly stilly is offline
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I think the OLD model was discontinued so that the new one that uses the quick change bushings can be sold.

http://leeprecision.com/breech-lock-hand-press-kit.html

http://leeprecision.com/breech-lock-hand-press.html

Looking at that other photo I think that is what happened. The newer ones use a breech lock and that is what the title says. So yeah, old model sucks compared to the improvement they made.

They are fast at decapping because you can hold it against your leg and decap, then tilt as you open it and the shell will slide off onto the floor (or into a box) and you can do that process very fast and efficiently. If need be I can make a you tube video demonstrating that. I can get done about 3k shells or so in a 5-7 hour period watching tv.

Last edited by stilly; 05-01-2013 at 12:14 PM..
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