Lee or RCBS?

Discussion in 'Reloading Equipment and Components' started by trebark, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. trebark

    trebark Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2008
    It's time to add to my addiction and begin reloading. In the past I have used a friends RCBS gear, but my friend has moved to Alaska so I'll need my own equipment and like most projects I'm hoping to keep the expense to a minimum. In my various searching I've found that Lee equipment is considerably less expensive than RCBS. I'm curious if anyone has any particular opinions on this equipment. Is the RCBS really that much better than the Lee?
  2. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    for the most part...yes.

    Lee autoprime can't be beat. Lee classic press works fine, is strong, but the RCBS is a little better. For most lr shooting you should weigh out your loads so the lee powder dispenser is IMO just fine and MUCH cheaper than the RCBS. Lee scales work but are crude. The lee trimmers work, but are very slow to use. Not a big fan of Lee dies, but I guess their crimping die is about the best out there. I started with a lee classic annaversary kit and 17 or so years later I still use the powder dispenser and that is it. everything else was replaced over the years.

    Lee will work, and RCBS isn't the best in everything. Redding, Forster, sinclair... the list goes on.

  3. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

    Oct 8, 2007
    I own dies from every maker but Dillion. All of them LOOK nicer, externally, than Lee's but I sure can't tell any (average) difference between ammo made from any of them. That's excepting of course, the very expensive Comp./BR dies from Forster and Redding, they really are better but few rifles, or shooters, will ever notice the small difference they can make.

    I have five presses; RCBS (Rock Chucker II), Lyman and three Lees. They all do the same thing and do it quite well. Wish I could say my money was better spent on the RC but .... I find it's really no better than any other of its type. In fact, if I had to replace my RC today I'd get a Lee Classic Cast and save a LOT of money with NO loss of effectiveness!
  4. 1357MAG

    1357MAG Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2009
    In my own obsevations, Lee dies have performed flawlessly especially with holding the original, set C.O.L. I use an RCBS press mainly because of the fact that when the ram is in the full extended position, the ram has very little play.
    As far as the Lee Autoprime, this is a very inexpensive investment that works very well giving you the right "feel" when seating a new primer.
    I use a Lyman Universal Case Trimmer to trim my brass, and that seems to be working well.
    In short I have heard alot of people down Lee, when I have had nothing but good results with their product.
  5. roaddog1m

    roaddog1m Well-Known Member

    Nov 8, 2009
    I've been loading for twenty years. I have two Dillon presses, two RCBS and three lee's. It somewhat depends on what you are going to load. The Cadillac is of course the Dillon! But if you are going to just load a few hunting rounds for a rifle and probably a single caliber, I'd save some money and get a Lee press, Lee deluxe die set, Lee auto prime, any digital scale, lee hand trimmer (if one caliber and few rounds) and you will also need a bunch of the little stuff like neck brushes, primer pocket tools etc. As far as reloading books, the Lee isn't so good. Get the Hornady or RCBS.

    That's just my humble opinion and you will find that opinions can vary greatly. Good luck and good shooting!

  6. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

    Feb 15, 2009
    RCBS is now not even a consideration for me since I go to great lengths to not purchase items made in china.

    HUAINAMACHERO Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2008
    I have a RCBS set, works really great, cant talk about the Lee products because I havent used them. RCBS works really good for me. Just my 2cents.