Lee Reloading Kit

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by mrb1982, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. mrb1982

    mrb1982 Well-Known Member

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    Anybody using the Lee Challenger kit, I think it's about $120 at Midway right now? Is it worth it, save the money and buy something different? I load mostly long action and magnum rounds, and sometimes a little 223 stuff. I have been using a buddy's stuff but it is time to get started with my own stuff. I am guessing the RCBS stuff is a little better. The only thing that scares me about the Lee Kit is the scale. I like using the RCBS 505 but I haven't heard a lot of good things about the scale that comes with the Lee kit. If anybody cares to elaborate for me, it would be great. Thanks
     
  2. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    I have a Lee hand loader that I use at our private range for working up loads. Fine to NS with. Personally speaking, I believe the RCBS single stage Rockchucker is a better bench unit. Scale wise, I never used a Lee so can't comment. I use the 505. Don't care for the electronic powder dispensers myself.

    All RCBS or Lyman or Forrester dies except pistol. Those are Lee. and I use Lee collet crimp dies on all calibers.
     

  3. Sully2

    Sully2 Well-Known Member

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    Save your $$. Buy what you need second hand from E-BAy

    RCBS stuff is a quantum leap better than Lee's
     
  4. mrb1982

    mrb1982 Well-Known Member

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    I thoguht about that too but I can't seem to find a way to still make it cheaper than the kit. Right now all I need is a press and scale because I have all the brass prepped and primed, I have done all my testing and have my load, just need to load up some stuff for hunting season and it is under a month away so I am kinda trying to get after it. If not, I am gonna be stuck with some other stuff I loaded alst year, which is ok, but not as good for long range stuff so it kinda limits me a little. I figured the RCBS stuff was probably a little better.
     
  5. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    I don't like kits. None are complete anyway, there are always other things to buy. No brand has a lock on "the best" tools so why not go for the best item for the money to start with?

    Most eBay used reloading tools sell for more than they cost new from any one of several mail order suppliers. Saying RCBS or any other brand is better than Lee without saying exactly what's being refered to - and why - is pointless; RCBS has an aluminum alloy press that's no better than anything Lee sells. That said, I would NOT reccommend Lee's Challenger for reloading large rifle cartridges but their Classic Cast will easily handle up to the .50 BMG. My young friend's cast iron Lee "Classic Cast" press is equal to and better in some respects to my much hyped Rock Chucker.

    Lee's dies produce as good ammo as anyone's; I have some 50+ die sets dies from more than ten makers so I know a bit more about that than most web experts. Lee's simple case trimmers work as well as any and, done correctly, are a whole lot easier/quicker to use than the adjustable but more costly hand lathe types.

    Lee's "Perfect" powder measure isn't perfect but it may be the best measure available for coarse, large grain rifle powders but it can be difficult for some people to use really well for fine grained ball powders.

    BUT - while Lee's little Safety Scale is very accurate AND very sensitive, it is without question the biggest PITA scale to use I know of! ANY other beam scale is excellant for reloading and, used correctly, beam scales give away nothing in accuracy or speed to any costly/quirky digital powder scales. (How helpful a digital powder dumpster may be lies with how fumble-fisted the user may be, klutzes do benefit from the very expensive auto powder handlers.)
     
  6. Sully2

    Sully2 Well-Known Member

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    But your pricing used GOOD equipment against new JUNK equipment!!

    I can find at least 4 RCBS Reloader presses ( one step down from Rockchuckers) for less that $50 each.
     
  7. Sully2

    Sully2 Well-Known Member

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    The WORST press that RCBS sells if still a giant leap about ANYTHING Lee sells. Ive owned about all the RCBS single stage presses at one time or another ( present have 3 in operation) and have fondled all of Lees stuff at shows ( to just lay them back on the table and pass on)


    "Most eBay used reloading tools sell for more than they cost new from any one of several mail order suppliers."

    100% UNtrue. If you find it that way you are just glancing at their "wanting" price and moving on. I BUY the stuff.....I know what I can get it for
     
  8. Sully2

    Sully2 Well-Known Member

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    As an example here is a used RCBS press...
    [​IMG]

    for a whopping $41.99....!


    and another one...
    [​IMG]

    for $41.00

    They are there you just have to scout for them
     
  9. mrb1982

    mrb1982 Well-Known Member

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    So there are a variety of rcbs presses that arebprett good. Is there any I should stay away from? And I see a lot of variation in ram stroke and all that. How long do I need to be able to load up to something like a 300 ultra mag?
     
  10. Sully2

    Sully2 Well-Known Member

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    I do 25-06AI's on one like pictured. I see that loaded 300 Ultra's are 3.600 long. Thats a long one but should fit fine
    Stay away from the El Cheapo that has stamped metal lower arms.
    Any of the Reloader models should do you fine. Compare pics to see the better ones

    On second thought...go and buy the Lee junk....
     
  11. mrb1982

    mrb1982 Well-Known Member

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    I see a lot of the cheaper ones are JR2's. They look like good quality. What is a good price for somethinG like this, not including shipping? I just don't want to overpay in desperation of needing one.
     
  12. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    I agree, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.... and even smashing his gonads won't cause him to inhale......:D

    It's not all junk, their presses are but I use Lee crrimp dies all the time and their pistol dies also work well.

    The Rockchucker will handle anything up to a 50BMG in length. Plenty of room for my extended COAL 338 Lapua reloads.

    I have a Lee hand press I use at the range for quick NS'ing reloads and it's handy and cheap.

    A comment was made that Rockchuckers are aluminum alloy, maybe the brand new ones are but mine is cast iron and heavy and I think it's 5 years old and I use the hellout of it. I have a Dillon too. Dillons are nice and pricey and the issue with a Dillon is their proprietary die holding arrangement, it's Dillon dies or no die....