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Old 09-29-2018, 08:56 PM
Usmc5811 Usmc5811 is offline
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Default Lee Loader complete reloading tool

I picked up two of these loaders for a 20 gauge one in 2 3/4” and the other 3”. They seem to have all the instructions and tools with it. They were $5 a piece at a yard sale and I couldn’t pass them up.
I’m sure using this process is slow going, has anyone here tried these out before?
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Old 09-29-2018, 09:11 PM
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Hi,

Nice score! I love Lee Loaders, especially the oldies.
I primarily use a Dillon progressive or RCBS single stage for most of my reloading, but started with the Lee Loader.
My experience is with metallic cartridges, so maybe a few small differences. But, I do reload 16 gauge in full length brass hulls with black powder. So, the process is the same.
The trick to time efficiency is to run each stage in batches for all your hulls, whenever possible, as opposed to doing multiple things to each hull. Use loading blocks if you got 'em to keep your work organized.
The great thing about the Lee tool is it makes you go slow enough to really learn and understand each step.

You got a great deal! eBay prices for these are totally insane!

Enjoy,
Jim

Last edited by 6string; 09-29-2018 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 09-29-2018, 09:14 PM
M E Morrison M E Morrison is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Usmc5811 View Post
I picked up two of these loaders for a 20 gauge one in 2 3/4” and the other 3”. They seem to have all the instructions and tools with it. They were $5 a piece at a yard sale and I couldn’t pass them up.
I’m sure using this process is slow going, has anyone here tried these out before?
Yes, slow going. I used a 12 ga for 4 ~ 5 years in the early 60s and it did a fine job!
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Old 09-29-2018, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6string View Post
Hi,

Nice score! I love Lee Loaders, especially the oldies.
I primarily use a Dillon progressive or RCBS single stage for most of my reloading, but started with the Lee Loader.
My experience is with metallic cartridges, so maybe a few small differences. But, I do reload 16 gauge in full length brass hulls with black powder. So, the process is the same.
The trick to time efficiency is to run each stage in batches for all your hulls, whenever possible, as opposed to doing multiple things to each hull. Use loading blocks if you got 'em to keep your work organized.
The great thing about the Lee tool is it makes you go slow enough to really learn and understand each step.

You got a great deal! eBay prices for these are totally insane!

Enjoy,
Jim
I AGREE WITH JIM. IF YOU HAVE NEVER RELOADED BEFORE, THIS IS A GREAT WAY TO LEARN THE PROCESS......

IF NOTHING ELSE, THAT IS A VERY COOL COLLECTIBLE.......
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Old 09-29-2018, 10:15 PM
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I have actually used a 20 gauge Lee kit like you bought back in the 60's to reload 20 gauge paper hulls. It was a bit slow, but worked just fine. You got a nice score there. I also used the 410 Lee kit, which did a roll crimp over a nitro wad instead of a fold crimp like the 20 gauge.
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Old 09-29-2018, 10:25 PM
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You got a good deal! I have 10 or 15 Lee Loaders, mostly in Metallic cartridges. The only one I ever sold was a few years ago, a 410 2 1/2". Sold it and a bunch of hull and wads to a friends son (22 years old), That was his first step into the world of reloading.

I started with 303 British.

You can use anything to beat them together, but a plastic or wooden mallet is best. You can also use an arbor press, and probably several other ways!

I like to put "Kits" to gather in an ammo can. A Box of bullets, a box of primers, a "Can" of powder (Most often Unique) and a short piece of 2x4 made into a loading block. Some kits have a bullet mould and sizing stuff. Some kits have a scale to allow different charges of different powders! I kept a kit for 45-70 and 45 Colt in the camper for years. Never ran out of ammo when camping!

Ivan
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Old 09-29-2018, 10:42 PM
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Thanks for the info everyone. I’m gonna try my hand with it. I never reloaded by myself but am slowly in the process of sitting up a reloading station for rifle and pistol. I don’t shoot a lot of shotgun so if I was to reload it wouldn’t be a lot. But would be something to take up some time at the hunting camp in November. And there are plenty of squirrel to try them out on.
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Old 09-29-2018, 10:52 PM
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They're actually a lot of fun, my first rifle was a Marlin 336 in .35 Remington I bought when I was about 14 years old. I bought a Lee Loader shortly afterward and it worked fine but the cases really needed to be neck sized after 1 or 2 reloads because the action would be a little harder to close. They would probably work perfectly for revolver rounds or straight wall case rifle rounds. Kinda makes me want to get one just for the fun of it.
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Old 09-29-2018, 10:52 PM
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Just a bit of common sense advice: Never reload by the campfire or fireplace.

There was an idiot that did this and a spark landed in his "Big bowl of Powder", it burnt him pretty bad. A year or two latter he did the same thing, and burnt himself again. Apparently, he likes that!

Ivan
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Old 09-29-2018, 11:13 PM
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Default I haven't done shotshells.....

...but there's a guy on Youtube that shows how to make a pistol round in 40 seconds. It's not magic. He just has everything on a bench in front of him and goes step by step. With all of the operations done on my single stage press, that's not too bad.

I learned how to reload with these. They are totally ingenious and a testament to Mr. Lee.
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Old 09-30-2018, 01:33 AM
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I ran up on a bunch of 'em yesterday. 9 were complete and four were missing stuff. The 4 missing things were the Lee Target Model loaders a 12 ga 20 ga 222 270 30-06 303 Brit an odd one in 6.5 jap 357 in plastic box and a Target model in 30-06 and Partials in 222TM 22-250TM 270TM and 223 TM. I buy them evdry chance I get. Some go to Flea Bay...Some I keep. Bet the 6.5 is a hard one to find. As RW Smith said..they are ingenious and a testament to Mr Lee. The OP did very well. The shotshell loaders usually go for fair prices esp the small gauges. The OP did better than I did on the complete loaders. The TMs that were incomplete I did get for 5 dollars each.
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Old 09-30-2018, 01:50 AM
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My first reloading efforts in the mid-1960s were with Lee Loaders - One in 12 Gauge, one in .44 Magnum. Several others followed during the next few years - .38 Special and .30-'06. I think I paid about $10 new at that time. Not unusual to find them at gun shows priced in the $10-$15 range today. Not too long ago I bought one in .45 Colt for $10, just because I wanted it, and also because it looked to be unused. Can't beat them for portability although they are a mite slow.

When I first started using them I would sit cross-legged on the floor in my crummy apartment and watch my B&W TV while loading. On a good evening I could load a couple of boxes of shotshells. Back in those days, most shotshells had paper cases and the Lee worked OK with them. They were good for maybe 3-4 loadings. I don't remember trying the Lee with plastic cased shells.
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Old 09-30-2018, 09:43 AM
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I started out loading shotshells on these too. 12 and 16ga.
Paper cases and they star crimped just like a factory case.
A small plastic mallet was the power source for anything needed to be assisted through the process. Saves making up the parts with little smiles from a steel headed hammer like you find on many of these old used units now.

When plastic shotshell cases started to become more common,,LEE offered a 'CrimpStarter Guide' for use with these handloaders.
It was a white colored small nylon/plastic 'cap' looking thing with the star crimp teeth up inside of it and avail in 6 or 8 crimp. It was open at that one end and closed at the top.
* there's one for 16ga on Ebay now,,,dark gray color so I guess they did sell them in different hues!. I don't want to link to it fowever as the auction is still open)

You simply placed the cap over the loaded but not yet crimped shell,,the teeth up inside the guide would drop and allaign themselves onto the foldes of the plastic case. Then you gave the guide a gentle wack with your hammer to 'start the crimp' down into place.
Lift that guide off the shell and place it into the Crimp tool that came with the LEE Loader and complete the crimp with the normal use of the plunger and again your hammer if needed.

Sometimes you needed to use that extra step Crimp Guide,,sometimes not. It depends on what shell you were reloading. Seems like the AA's of the time didn't need it, they folded up easily w/o it. But in loading some other brands the plastic was stiffer and harder to crimp, so the CrimpStarter did a pr-crimp job for you.

They probably still sell them. I think I have one or two buried somewhere.

I used to load shells while sitting at a desk on the night shift in one of my many part time jobs while in school.
Try that these days.

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Old 09-30-2018, 12:18 PM
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I still load 410 with a Lee Loader. Those little shells are expensive and I don't shoot many of them.
I got started loading 22 Hornet back around 1980 with a Lee Loader, also because of the expense. I now have an entire section of the basement dedicated to my hobby. Check out the new price on this box. They run $41 now.
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Old 09-30-2018, 01:31 PM
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One of the Target models I got has a price tag of 49.95. Good condition TMs go for that on flea bay these days...some for more. A friend down the road does auctions and flea markets all the time. He recently sold a 3 inch 410 LL on flea bay for somewhere in the 100 dollar range. That is wild. He also paid 5 dollars
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Old 09-30-2018, 01:45 PM
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I'm another who started with a Lee-Loader (I still use a Lee hand press, so I'm not far removed, even now). I've still got three or four around the house. Mine have all be for handguns, except I did have one each for 30/30 and 30/06. Never tried one for a shotgun.

I got the ones I've got now off Ebay, for about $25.00 each. You got a good deal.
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