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Lee vs RCBS presses and equipment

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Old 03-09-2014, 02:51 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: CapeMay NJ
Posts: 34
Lee vs RCBS presses and equipment

Hello everyone,
I am new to reloading and want to buy a press with complete kit. My question is what and how much difference is a lee press to a RCBS?
Will I regret buying a Lee setup in the long run?
Also I have been looking for a used press setup on here but does not seem to be any, to me a used setup is just as good as a new one and for less money. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 03-09-2014, 03:51 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Fort Morgan, Colorado
Posts: 327
Re: Lee vs RCBS presses and equipment

I may get flamed for this but every time I have bought Lee Precision reloading tools I have always ended up replacing them with a better/more expensive brand, except for my two Lee Auto-primes and when they give up the ghost will be replaced with an RCBS unit. Lee makes some well designed products but they are made from inferior materials, in my opinion. I have been using an RCBS Rockchucker press for a lot of years without a single issue, but Hornady and Redding and some others are also well made.

There fellers, I didn't call Lee cheap junk. LOL
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Old 03-09-2014, 04:15 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
Posts: 8,093
Re: Lee vs RCBS presses and equipment

I don't have a lee press but my small cal bullet research shows lee is well accepted by those folks.
I may be the slowest guy on the mountain . . . . but . . . . I'm on the mountain!
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Old 03-09-2014, 04:34 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 45
Re: Lee vs RCBS presses and equipment

I like my rcbs kit. Never owned a lee my buddy dose shots primers all over but it was a lower model I've had issues with my rcbs press called them 2-3 days latter I have parts for free or minimal charge they replaced my tumbler last mounth for free sent me a check for shipping cost I would buy rcbs any day over lee but that's just me ... For casting lead I use all lee
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:52 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 66
Re: Lee vs RCBS presses and equipment

In 1966 I bought a RCBS Jr. 2 it has served me good every since. About 1987 I bought RCBS Rock Chucker. The Rock Chucker is great for full length sizing of large cases. I would recommend RCBS. I have quiet an amount of Lee products. Lee Hand Primer seating tool, Lee Case trimmers in about 6 calibers that work great. I have sets of Lee Alumnium bullet moulds. Lyman, Hornady and other companies make good equipment. If you get an RCBS hand primer tool buy 2 shell holders in sets. The RCBS priming tool uses a standard press shell holder and it takes some work to put a shell holder in just to prime 20 shells. Good Luck and making Custom Ammo.
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Old 03-10-2014, 05:44 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 138
Re: Lee vs RCBS presses and equipment

I have presses by RCBS, Redding and Lee. My RCBS press is a single stage that I've used a LOT for about 30 years with nary a problem. My Redding T7 press is well made; I like it a lot. I also have a Lee Classic Cast press which works well.

All that said, I prefer RCBS presses. Some of the models of Lee presses I've seen didn't impress me that much.

If you can get a decent used press, I'd say go for it unless it's about 300 years old. I think it would take 3 or 4 lifetimes to wear out any of the ones I have unless I seriously abused them.

As for other equipment; I don't like the Lee powder scale. I bought one and returned it. I don't like the newer RCBS scales either but they're better than Lee. I have dies from various manufactures and prefer RCBS but Redding and Lee dies are good as well. For crimping, if you need to, nothing beats the Lee Factory Crimp Die. I don't think Lee Collet Dies are as fantastic as Lee says they are. I would not buy a Redding case trimmer; for trimming, I'd recommend a Wilson or RCBS trimmer or a trim die.
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Old 03-10-2014, 07:16 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,035
Re: Lee vs RCBS presses and equipment

I have been loading for 34 years and have used many different make tools. If you want to buy once and done get the RCBS or Lyman. Lyman makes one of the best kits if you want a kit. Get the kit that has the case trimmer with it. Midway has them. The only press that Lee makes that I would suggest would be their Cast single stage press. Lee makes good dies and I have used their hand priming tools, on my second one now, for years. Other Lee stuff I would stay away from.
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