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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking about getting into reloading, initially I'll just be reloading 9MM for range use but eventually, if I stick with it, I'd like to reload, .40 s&w and .45 acp for pistol and .223 rifle ammo.

I've looked at several presses but feel like the Lee Reloading Kit will let me be more hands on and more into the details of what is being done and why than a press and in the long run the experience with the kit will come in handy, even when/if I use a press.

I don't feel the need right now to be able to reload hundreds of rounds an hour or have a dedicated work space for reloading. I understand the need to concentrate and not be distracted during the reloading process and have a space that will fill those needs but don't want to dedicate it to reloading right now.

What do you all think?
 

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I like Lee products and started reloading with them. I've never tried a hand press. I did start with the turret press and then add a single stage for 357 Sig with the shoulder.
What ever you choose, shoot safe and enjoy. I find it as addictive as shooting. I reload so I can shoot more so I can reload more so I can shoot more etc etc...
 

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I started reloading with a C&H Press when I was 9 years old, but I bought one of the Lee Loaders in .30-06 when I was 15 for reloading when I was out camping with friends. I used it quite a bit and then when I went in the Army, one of my "friends" "borrowed" it and I've never seen it since.

They work well, but take time to make any quantity of rounds.
 

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Lee make very good products, as many here can attest to. I started with a Lee Pro1000, and I was able to produce the range ammo I needed. My issue with it, though, was the primer feed - I really had to struggle to keep it working consistently. My frustration with not being able to find a reasonable resolution (I did try), I decided to go with a Dillon 550B. That said, if I were to do it again, I would start with a Lee turret-style press.

Enjoy your reloading journey! And save brass - when you go to the range, don't be shy about asking others if they are saving their brass. If not, bag it up and take it home.
 

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I recently started reloading, and I went with the RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit.
I'm doing 40 s&w, and eventually 9mm. I tried mt first rounds about a week ago, and they all went bang, and hit the target. It's a great feeling.
I made a small work space in a bedroom closet. It's a little cramped, but it works for me.
 

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I would say give it a try. The initial cost will be lower and will let you get your feet wet and not break the bank. I have used this system for shot shell reloading, but not for any metal cases.

I would caution you to be careful with the powder charges. Some powders like Tight Group have significant pressure increases with small changes in the powder charge. Get a good scale, and be sure of how much powder you are using.
 

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I'm thinking about getting into reloading, initially I'll just be reloading 9MM for range use but eventually, if I stick with it, I'd like to reload, .40 s&w and .45 acp for pistol and .223 rifle ammo.

I've looked at several presses but feel like the Lee Reloading Kit will let me be more hands on and more into the details of what is being done and why than a press and in the long run the experience with the kit will come in handy, even when/if I use a press.

I don't feel the need right now to be able to reload hundreds of rounds an hour or have a dedicated work space for reloading. I understand the need to concentrate and not be distracted during the reloading process and have a space that will fill those needs but don't want to dedicate it to reloading right now.

What do you all think?
I have never used this kit, so I am not speaking from first hand experience. BUT, after 2 years loading 300BLK and 357 Mag on a LEE Turret press, I can only imagine using that kit will be EXTREMELY frustrating when trying to load enough for a day at the range.
For the last 6 years I've used a Hornady Progressive and would never look back, but I know you say your not loading for quantity or speed and that is perfectly fine, a lot of people do that...but you WILL end up getting a full bench press eventually whether a single stage, turret or progressive once you enter the world of reloading.;) Therefore, I would highly recommend a real press to start. Just bolt it to a small, mobile bench that you could tuck out of the way when not in use. LEE, RCBS, Dillon, Hornady, Redding, Forster.. they will all last a lifetime. You will be much better served IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all for the input. It looks like I can get everything I need from Amazon for $98. The 9mm reloading kit, a case conditioning kit (includes chamfer tool, primer pocket cleaner and case cutter and lock stud), 9mm case length gauge, plastic face hammer, digital scale and Lee Modern Reloading 2nd Edition reloading guide. I have digital calipers already.

Am I missing anything besides projectiles, primers and powder?

I agree with those who've mentioned that if I like it I'll probably buy a press eventually but this way if I try it and I don't like it and I sell everything I bought, what will I lose, $50? I wish I could try other hobbies for so little cost.
 

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Just some extras that you might want eventually

Loading block
Brass vibrator/tumbler or ultrasonic cleaner
case lube
Chronograph
Bullet Puller or Collet puller


If you can buy Powder and primers locally, do it. Ordering those on the internet will require an additional $30 HAZMAT shipping fee. So unless you order 10+ pounds of powder, it's more economical to buy Brick & Mortar stores. Bullets and brass are no problem ordering on the web. Precision Delta have some good prices and ship free, but you may have to buy 500 to a 1000 at a time.
 

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Just remember those are neck size only on bottle neck cases as the 223.

L
Fine if you have a robust bolt action, not so fine for semi auto.

Works ok for straight neck pistol, but boy howdy that's a lot of pounding.

Good luck .
Mills
 

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Lee make very good products, as many here can attest to. I started with a Lee Pro1000, and I was able to produce the range ammo I needed. My issue with it, though, was the primer feed - I really had to struggle to keep it working consistently. My frustration with not being able to find a reasonable resolution (I did try), I decided to go with a Dillon 550B. That said, if I were to do it again, I would start with a Lee turret-style press.

Enjoy your reloading journey! And save brass - when you go to the range, don't be shy about asking others if they are saving their brass. If not, bag it up and take it home.
The 1000 does indeed have primer problems.

If you'd gone to the Lee LoadMaster, your problems would have been over. I've got 2 of them mounted on my loading bench, one for small primer and one for large. I load enough that I don't want to spend the 4-½ minutes making a small to large primer conversion.
 

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Unfortunately, I didn't know a lot of experienced reloaders at the time to ask and get answers to questions. And, I had it in my mind that I WANTED a progressive press. Not a good combination. Hindsight is always 20/20, isn't it?

To the OP, make sure your digital calipers have fresh batteries, and will provide consistent readings - I discovered this the hard way. I switched to a dial caliper. Also, I use a beam scale (an older Ohaus-branded 505); I couldn't afford a digital scale at the time (the big boss/CEO/CFO wouldn't approve the funding). I am very satisfied with my scale. It is also my understanding (please verify this anyone, everyone) that some digital scales are susceptible to false readings due to nearby electrical currents, fluorescent lights and slight breezes (I always close the window and turn off the fan when I make my measurements, just to make sure).
 

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Handloading-Get a Dillon

If you are going to load something that you are putting into a handgun, that you want to ensure is properly assembled, I'd get a Dillon. I had a couple of the Lee Turret presses. They were not what I would call smooth.

I used to shoot in competition with the rifle and the pistol. Everyone, and I mean all of the cats that I was shooting with, had a Dillon. I didn't think there would be that much difference until I used one of their presses.

It was like night and day. Once the Dillon is set up you can use different tool heads and swap in minutes. They are pricey, but as I have learned over time, much to the displeasure of my wallet, :eek: you get what you pay for.;) JM2CW Good luck with your decision. I now have one on a Franklin Arsenal reloading stand in the spare bedroom of the house. That Franklin Arsenal stand is a nifty item, too.:D
 

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With the lee loader he is looking at, and for straight wall pistol, he can get by without much else.
It comes with a powder scoop and chart .
No need to mic the cases, hey it's a pistol case.
Just saying.
 

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With the lee loader he is looking at, and for straight wall pistol, he can get by without much else.
It comes with a powder scoop and chart .
No need to mic the cases, hey it's a pistol case.
Just saying.
Speaking as someone who's used one extensively, he's right. All the OP will need is some primers, bullets and powder...plus a hammer.
 

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If you are going to load something that you are putting into a handgun, that you want to ensure is properly assembled, I'd get a Dillon. I had a couple of the Lee Turret presses. They were not what I would call smooth.
I would have to disagree with this. Yes, a Dillon 650 progressive is nice, but you don't have to get one for loading reliable ammo.There are MANY quality reloading presses. The "Dillon is the only press that can load quality ammo" is just more Ford vs Chevy BS.

That being said, If you are loading mass quantities (Like supplying an organization with ammo) then, Yes, a XL650 or 1050 with all the bells and whistles has a huge advantage.
 

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If you are going to load something that you are putting into a handgun, that you want to ensure is properly assembled, I'd get a Dillon. I had a couple of the Lee Turret presses. They were not what I would call smooth.

I used to shoot in competition with the rifle and the pistol. Everyone, and I mean all of the cats that I was shooting with, had a Dillon. I didn't think there would be that much difference until I used one of their presses.

I was wondering when the Dillon fan boys would show up.

If you want something properly assembled buy a Dillon?

No, not even close. All presses out there, regardless of manufacturer or price, will make properly assembled ammo. Many will make ammo that is actually slightly better than the Dillon dies do as Dillon has a major flaw in their sizing/decapping die that they pass off to the public as a "feature". Those people shooting guns with super tight match chambers figured this one out a long time ago and use other brands of sizing dies than Dillon. It they're really smart, they'll also use another manufacturer's seating/crimping die.

I used a Lee Turret press for around 20 years. Is it smooth? Not as smooth as a progressive, but that really doesn't matter at all to the quality of the ammo. And is a 650 smooth? Not compared to some other presses.

I've been shooting and reloading longer than most of you have been alive and Dillon's are the most overpriced and overhyped presses out there. The people I see using them are mostly people who are relatively new to reloading, and by that, I mean less than 25 years. People who have been in it longer have figured out that Dillon is far from being the best press or bang for the buck and no, you're not getting what you pay for. Not by a long shot.

I've got a Dillon SL900, which is a slightly modified 650 mounted next to my 2 Lee LoadMaster progressives and I've had them side by side for over 20 years and I'm here to tell you that the Lee LoadMaster is a superior press to the Dillon in design and smoothness of operation. It's also a ton of money cheaper and will last at least as long.

Now that that's cleared up, I return you to your regularly scheduled programming.
 

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Here's an interesting factoid for the reloaders out there who aren't advanced, but are experienced and even for those who are neither.

The loader the OP is considering buying at one point was the loader used by a shooter to set the world record for a long distance group. The memory banks say it was a 1,000 yard group but I'm not positive of that. It was in the Guinness book of World records and stood for 7 years before someone else beat it.

More recently, a guy used one of the Lee Collet dies when they first came out to win a 1,000 yard competition.

Lee makes some good stuff. You've just got to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff and an awful lot of people don't know enough to be able to do that. That's the reason why I post here from time to time to clear up misconceptions about certain things.
 
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