First Reloading Purchase..... First Mistake!?!

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by TheRoaminRaider, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. TheRoaminRaider

    TheRoaminRaider Well-Known Member

    Aug 1, 2010
    So I decided a few months ago that 2012 would be my year to finally venture into handloading. Been sold on the idea for years, but since I live in a tiny apt I've been limited to studying up on the subject. I'm still here till the summer, but all the reading got me itchy and I decided to pick up some case prep equipment to start processing the spent store bought stuff I've been collecting to save on my start up costs. I guess I got a little excited and what I thought was a great deal on a set of dies, was one of the Lee loader kits instead. In my defense, it was in a taped up box in the clearance section, but I should have been paying more attention anyway. I had previously dismissed the idea of using one of these (mostly because I'm not sure how long it will take me to get comfortable with smacking a live cartridge with a hammer), so I haven't bothered to read up on this method. Since I can't return it, I'm wondering if any of yall out there have any experience with this. It seems like something I'll stick in a drawer and never use since I would prefer to use the press. Am I right to think this or is it something that would be worthwhile to hang on to? It's for a 45 acp so it doesn't exactly have to thread needles and it wasn't very expensive so I don't really need to recoop the money, but if it produces poor quality I won't want mess with it. Any thoughts?
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2011
  2. Nimrod

    Nimrod Well-Known Member

    Aug 20, 2006
    When I first started reloading 40 or so years ago, I started with one of the Lee kits because it was all I could afford. I loaded a lot of excellent ammo with it. You don't "smack a live cartridge with a hammer" you tap with a mallet. The one thing I would recommend is the purchase of a good scale, don't depend on the powder dipper to throw accurate charges. With care and attention to detail you can load many thousands of accurate rounds with the Lee Loader, it will take a long time though!

  3. Hairtrigger

    Hairtrigger Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2009
    Good advise by nimrod!
    The Lee Loader is a very useable piece of equipment but a scale will eliminate guessing.

    I have been looking for one of theser in 375 win but so far have not found one.
  4. newmexkid

    newmexkid Well-Known Member

    Apr 11, 2011
    I started with the same type back in 1970. I loaded a bunch of .270's with it. Never did me wrong. Still have it. If you decided you really want to reload you'll soon enough progress to, "better" reloading products. If not...You won't be out a bunch of money.
  5. Cover Dog

    Cover Dog Active Member

    Mar 24, 2009
    Myself, as with the other who posted started with the same outfit. I was in a highrise on the 9th floor. Loaded 22-250 for about 10 years with the Lee. When seating the primer I will admit I did have a couple go off in the 10 years I used it, no big deal but it does scare you for a bit.

    As someone said, get a scale don't use the dippers from lee.
  6. MNbogboy

    MNbogboy Well-Known Member

    Jul 14, 2009
    I bought one back in the early 60s for my .303 Brit chambered Canadian Ross model 1905...Probably cost me three months profit from my paper route for the loader but my mind was set on it....Shot my first 100 yd groups under an inch with those reloads (that surplus military rifle was a 3" shooter with factory ammo)....Got the fever and have been striving ever since for better and better accuracy ever since...Later I upgraded to a Herter's press when I got a gas station job and still use it to this day....

    You can have all the high dollar equipment with all the bells & whistles but it is nothing but a show case if you don't pay attention to all the small details....Go ahead and use your Lee if you cover all the bases your ammo should may shoot better than a lot of factory stuff.....

    BTW if a primer would have gone off in my bedroom back then I am sure Dad would have ended my reloading days when I was still in junior high....

    Good Luck,
  7. xdeano

    xdeano Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2009
    all that pounding may get the neighbors a little pissy with you also. I used my fathers when I was a boy and it's fun but very time consuming.

  8. fetch

    fetch Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2010
    i load my 308 lee classic reloader that you are referring to. It can be a little unnerving when seating the primer. You can get good quality loads out of these dies.
  9. Buttermilk

    Buttermilk Well-Known Member

    Dec 19, 2005
    Go my start using one of these back when I was 20 years old, loading a 41 Mag Ruger NM Blackhawk.

    Loaded some accurate ammo with it.

    Only negative thing I can say about one is the noise of the hammer pounding gets old, and you do have to be careful seating a primer (had one go off.... 'bout wet myself over that... :) )

    It's a good way to get started with minimal initial expense.

    If a person could convert it to use a "arbor" type press, the pounding of the hammer would go away....