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Thread: Lee Hand Press for Beginner Reloading Rifle

  1. #11
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    Well you don't even need to find a particularly expensive press, some of the older, used stuff is perfectly adequate. I have loaded thousands of rounds on an old RCBS JR press. It isn't fancy but it is cast iron and indestructible.

  2. #12
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    I bought one of those hand presses for S&G. I’ve loaded .44 Mag, .308, .45-70 and even .375 H&H with it. It works and you can load ammo that’s as accurate as most factory stuff. BUT, you’ll only want to do about 20 rounds in a session, the looking like “Popeye” comment is spot on. Plus using it probably means you don’t have a nice efficient bench set up and you’re probably loading out of a tool/fishing/shoe box. You’re going to need dies, a scale and a bunch of other stuff to get setup and reload that first round.

    By all means buy a couple reloading manuals first and watch some videos on You Tube. Then decide if you want to go down the rabbit hole.

  3. #13
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    The Lee hand press is great for building up your pecs or your wife's bust line..........................but after sizing 10 cases you will wonder if implants would be less work.

  4. #14
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    Iíve used the hand press for years (many years ago), and had no problem producing 1/4 moa ammo at a fast pace. There are ways to be precise and efficient with a hand press. However...., it does require a small investment to buy the right parts....

    The only reason I used it is because I did not have space in a small apt at the time.

    1. It is a PITA depriming / FL size from a Hand press. I got Popeye arms from loading tens of thousands of rounds off that things. Solution = Case lube.

    2. And the rest assuming you already have all the tools/methods to do all the case prep between FL size and loading. Most of these are off the press anyways. Expand and seating is not labor intensive at all. Thatís the easy part.

    3. As others may have suggested, get a good hand primer.

    4. Auto power dispenser w/ trickle settings - throwing powder can be a pain. Especially when you are loading match rounds. A Hornady auto charge at low setting can throw pretty precise charges.

    4. At slow, itís perfectly timed where you can pour powder into case, grab a bullet and then seat at a quick rate. Once you have prepped case ready to go, and auto charger charging powder, the powder is always ready when you need it. Itís a matter of how fast you can go through the process of taking out the loaded round, put a ready to load brass in, pour the powder, grab the bullet, then load. Just the same as you would with a regular press. You can easily average 150-200 / hour.

    Just my personal experience......


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmfdez View Post
    You can easily average 150-200 / hour.
    Even if I triple that time, this feels like something I can do 1-2 times a month and get to the range.

    Buying a few reloading books to further my education and am watching youtube videos on specific calibers. I'm thinking about starting with 9mm subsonic (EVO Scorpion Suppressed), probably easier than rifle and with smaller cases and good light easier to check my work in a loading tray.

    Found a great Tacklebox Reloading Setup for the hand press as well.

    Reloading Tackle Box.jpg

    Thanks everyone for their help.

    Noah

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmfdez View Post
    assuming you already have all the tools/methods to do all the case prep between FL size and loading... Once you have prepped case ready to go, and auto charger charging powder, the powder is always ready when you need it. It’s a matter of how fast you can go through the process of taking out the loaded round, put a ready to load brass in, pour the powder, grab the bullet, then load. Just the same as you would with a regular press. You can easily average 150-200 / hour.
    Really? That seems wildly optimistic, or you're assuming that cases are already prepped and powder is already measured by someone else.


    Example:

    Starting with clean cases and full primer tubes, the other night it took me 90 minutes to bang out ≈350rnds of .40S&W on my RL550B in 90 minutes. That's barely 200rnds/hour.

    I wasn't rushing, but I wasn't dawdling, either. Given that my primer tubes are now all empty, I'll spend the next 30 minutes "reloading" just filling them, as the tumbler runs...

  7. #17
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    I would also drop the 7.62x39 idea, if "plinking" look into the Wolf 6.5G, was pretty accurate in the barrels I had. I don't have a progressive press and only reload for precision using an old Lyman Spartan single stage. If you are set on that hand press, you could always mount it into a vise. If wanting a single stage, as suggested the Rock Chucker is nice. Single stage will burn some time if you are using it for semi auto and "plinking" ammo. Factor in time, materials and volume of shooting to realize when you will have a gain. If you are retired and bored, have to have something to do!
    Like Bimmer said, that case prep can be time consuming! I can say that unless something changes, the cost difference in .308 factory ball and me reloading was so small that I seriously doubt I will reload ball ammo for it.
    GET IN YOUR BUBBLE!

  8. #18
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    I started with a Lee hand press and still own it. I reloaded .38 spl through .30-30 and .45-70 without issues, but it basically occupies a drawer now. It's great for shooting 100 rounds a month or for people who absolutely have no area for a bench mounted press.

    Andy

  9. #19
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    Lee Hand Press for Beginner Reloading Rifle

    I did say assuming all case prepping is done, I find loading on hand press is quite efficient. Charging I suggested auto charger. Thatís the diff maker there.

    And, rifle case prep is a PITA no matter what.


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    Last edited by bmfdez; 03-16-19 at 01:34.

  10. #20
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    LEE Hand Press

    Quote Originally Posted by ndmiller View Post
    Bought a descent bolt gun to join my semi's and after shooting it a few times, I'm thinking about trying out reloading. BUT, I know myself and attention to detail isn't my strong suit. Seems like the Lee Hand Press would allow me to take my time, do each step correctly, not allowing speed to muck up the process. Also need portability as don't have a lot of space today for larger equipment.

    Looking to reload 5.56, 7.62X39, 7.62X51 and possibly 6.5 Grendel later about 100-200 rounds a session.

    Anyone use this to learn, or still use this press? How long would 100-200 rounds take to reload on one of these, couple hours?

    Any insight you can offer would be appreciated.

    Noah
    For an entry level press or to try out reloading it is fine. Reloading 100 rounds is doable with the LEE Hand Press, however a fixed single stage will be more efficient and easier to use.

    With the following limitations in mind: 1) It s fairly slow 2) In my experience. 308 is the largest case I would full-resize (use sufficient case lubes, particularly for the neck 3) Requies coordination (you are holding the press as the case is being seated) 4) Requires a fair amount of strength to use on rifle cases

    If you want to try out reloading find a club or someone local who's willing to teach you. Even spending an hour with a knowledgeable reloader will save you a lot of mistakes and aggravation.

    If that's not possible then YouTube can be extremely helpful. Here's my only caveat; Buy a quality reloading manual First, and read it. I read three reloading manuals and reloading books before I started.

    Gavintoob, Johnny's Reloading Bench, Big Ed, GunBlue490

    Links for online resources: https://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/...splay.php?f=89

    Buying a reloading press is the least important tool, because frankly all of the single stage presses are similar.
    The most important tools are your reloading dies, check gauges, measuring calibers, weigh scales, case trimmer, priming tool/s, and case preparation tools ( primer pocket brush/ deburring tools).

    Reloading is not an inexpensive hobby and it doesn't really save you money. You just usually shoot more and can load some rounds at a lower cost or more quality rounds less expensive than factory rounds.

    In conclusion, I will say that despite the initial start up costs, I believe reloading is an enjoyable pursuit and wish that I would have started sooner.


    P.S. Check Ebay for used presses; Quality single stage: Rock Chucker, Redding Boss, Hornandy LNL, LEE Cast Iron Press, RCBS Junior

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