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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been looking at getting into reloading lately, but definitely can not afford the expensive progressive presses, and in my searching I found this...
YouTube - Reloading with a Lee Loader

Lee Classic Loader Kit : Cabela's
I know this is no 1000 rounds an hr set up (according to the video it seems to be about 90-100 rounds an hr.) but at only $20 for the set up it seems like it would be a good way for a poor man to get started, and kill time while sitting in front of the TV, and would pay for itself quickly.

anyone have any experience with this set up?
 

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Look, I agree with starting slow, but not at the bottom! I use my lee breech lock to load 380 simply because I load very little. My dad had one of those 20$ loaders and I have used it. It's in a box and most likley will never again see the light of day. I'm not saying its a bad thing, but you can get so much more for not that much more money. I love reloading so much that now it seems I go shooting just so I can have more to reload. I could be wrong but if I was still using that loader, I would most likley still be purchasing Factory ammo. Just my 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
the other thing I have thought of is this
90685-LEE HAND PRESS ONLY
with this press I would be able to use the dies when I have the money to get a better set up...the winters here in VT are long..(especial with no indoor shooting range) so I have a lot of time to spend reloading...
 

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I have several Lee Classic reloaders. The bottom line is that they DO work. Now and then you will set a primer off and for this reason eye and ear protection is necessary. Every reloading set-up will cost a little more than expected; there are always extras. Here it is a solid block to work on and at least one soft-faced mallet. At some point you will need to 'calibrate' the powder dippers--this requires a scale!

A better solution might be the Lee hand press and a set of conventional dies--about $50.00 to start, $25-35 for a change of dies/caliber. A hand priming device is also required ($30.00 or so). This is a much safer alternative. I've re-tasked both my Lee Classics and my Hand Press to the 'survival gear' kit.

If you can spare some bench space, an RCBS Partner single stage press is only about $70.00 and this is a very useful tool indeed! Priming is included. I have one set-up 'backward'--i.e. with the tools to pull cartridges apart; right next to my progressives!

I (and many others) strongly caution AGAINST any environment where a distraction is present. Reloading is a quiet, intense, single task operation requiring undivided attention.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
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this is the set up I would like to get in the not to distant future (next year or two, after I get moved into a house and will have room for it) as it stands right now my work bench space is taken up with a metal lathe/mill, wood lathe, and jewelers lathe...so the only place I have for loading for the time being is the coffee table in front of the TV...now I would not let myself be distracted while doing something like loading ammo...

my local shop has the above set up for $300 OTD
 

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My first 'bench' was a salvaged 'sink cutout' from a new counter-top installation. I bolted a 2 by 4 to the bottom center in the long direction and clamped the thing in a Black and Decker Workmate. Occupied about a 3 ft by 3 ft area in the kitchen of a small two bedroom apartment. At one point it had a Partner, a Square Deal and a 550 mounted and working. A little more salvage and I put a shelf on the backside for an Eliminator scale and all the extras like pick-up tubes, flip trays, case gauges and such.
 

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I have been looking at getting into reloading lately, but definitely can not afford the expensive progressive presses, and in my searching I found this...
YouTube - Reloading with a Lee Loader

Lee Classic Loader Kit : Cabela's
I know this is no 1000 rounds an hr set up (according to the video it seems to be about 90-100 rounds an hr.) but at only $20 for the set up it seems like it would be a good way for a poor man to get started, and kill time while sitting in front of the TV, and would pay for itself quickly.

anyone have any experience with this set up?
Pay for itself quickly? Uh huh, sure. :)

That's not a bad setup to start with. It approximates what I began with.

I started reloading this fall; been at it about, oh maybe 3 months, reloading .223 and 9mm. My newbie experiences might be helpful to you.

Started with a used RCBS single-stage press. I've read in several places that it's good to start w/ a single stage so one can learn all the steps of reloading before moving to a progressive. I think that's great advice if, as was the case with me, you have no one to show you how to do it.

I started by making some dummy rounds (no primer, no powder), which is a nice safe way to begin. Once I was satisfied I could produce the package correctly, all I needed was to add primer and powder. Remember, I learned this on my own, with the help of books and some terrific people here on XDTalk (whose help was tremendous).

I've got an order in for a Hornady Lock n Load progressive press. I'm ready for it. The single stage will be kept for holding a bullet-puller and for case prep for .223 rounds. Plus it'll serve as a great backup should the progressive ever need service.

Here are some thoughts on it all as well as a few do-overs I wish I had back, which may prevent you from wasting money and/or time:

1. I bought a cheap digital scale; I wish I'd saved that money and put it into a better-quality model, something perhaps around $100.

2. I bought the cheap RCBS beam-balance scale. Same deal--I don't think it's that good.

I can't get the two scales to agree--I bought the balance scale to validate the digital scale, but it's off by half a grain or more. Or the electronic scale is. Or both are wrong, I don't know. I have a chronograph so I have been able to keep my rounds well within the safe zone, and I know they're close, but as a trained scientist it bothers me that I can't confirm my measuring process.

3. I bought a kinetic bullet-puller, the kind that looks like a plastic hammer. I ended up buying a Hornady cam-lock bullet puller after determining that plastic thing suffers from two issues: First, I *hate* the idea of pounding that mallet to remove the bullet from a *loaded* round; second, and probably more objective, those kinetic pullers make it harder to recover the powder without making a mess. I wish I'd bought the Hornady puller to begin with, though the kinetic puller is fine for disassembling my "dummy" rounds.

4. If you buy handgun reloading dies, I'd suggest you get carbide for the resizing/decapping die. You don't need case lube if you do, and you'll be glad you don't. I can recap/resize as many as 20 cases per minute if I don't have to screw around w/ lube.

5. Anything other than a dedicated setup will, IMO, be very slow. My setup is such that I turn the opening in the shellholder to the left (while I'm facing the press). I can clamp a small cardboard box (4x6 inches) to the press/bench just left of the press, so that as I return the press handle to the top, I can A) with the left hand, grab the next case, and B) with the right hand, use my index finger to pop the case off the shellholder into the box. It's fast once you get into the rhythm.

You mentioned doing this in front of the TV. That is OK so long as you're not doing a critical operation, like powder. The rest is fairly mindless, but don't do powder drops if you're distracted.

I actually have a small 13" tv on a wall-mount just to the left of my bench (got the mount for free, TV was also free). I like it because I can watch a football game while I do the mindless operations. But I'm doing it in a place dedicated to reloading.

6. You can buy loading blocks (the plastic things with the holes to hold the cases as you go through the powder operation), but I've found that some of the 9mm holders from ammo boxes work as well or better for .223 (not for 9mm, the case sits too low). The ones from Blazer ammo seem to work best (they're white plastic).

Since I have a drill press, I made a loading block for myself by drilling a bunch of holes in a piece of 3/4" scrap plywood. That, along w/ the holders from ammo boxes, is all I need.

(BTW: If I were to do it again, I'd use 2 pieces of 3/8" scrap plywood, cut to the size of loading block I wanted. I'd drill holes through one, then affix it to the other which wouldn't have holes. Voila! Loading block, neat and clean.)

7. If you plan to reload military .223 brass, you'll need to swage the crimp. In my case, I bought some new Winchester brass first (no swaging needed), and learned the process with that. There are many ways to deal with that crimp, some pretty inexpensive, some more so. I bought the Dillon Super Swage 600 which is terrific, but others here have had success with less expensive approaches.


You're going to have fun, believe me. The learning is great, the satisfaction from producing your own ammo is tremendous, and it's lots of fun being able to try different things. Make sure you get a good loading manual or two from reputable sources, and ask here if you have any questions. The people here will help you find an answer.

One last thing: You have to test. You mention reloading all winter since there's no indoor range; you'd better have a way to ensure you're producing good rounds before you reload more than some initial test rounds. Even if shooting outdoors. Be certain. And be safe.
 

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I just got the chalenger breech lock anv. kit a couple of months ago, I love it. I load 9mm,357 mag,30-06 and 300 weatherby mag with it, Once you get down a routine it is pretty quick. I have loaded several thousands of rounds with it. With the 9mm I just take about 45 min to deprime and size 500 rds, 25min to prime them ,25 min to bell the cases and about 1.5 hrs loading them, I don't have allot of time so I just do it in stages after the kids go to bed. Just a heads up you WILL get a hand cramp the first couple of times from pinching the brass to pick it up.
The kit comes with almost everything you need I will list the extras you should have that does not come with the kit.

1. Reloading book
2. Dies , I use the pacesetter carbide 3 die sets
3. Bushings for extra dies ( bushings come in a set of two dies come in a set of three do the math)
4. Bullet puller ( everyone screws up now and then.)
5. caliper (I use digital)
6. Tumbler,media and separator
7. powder
8. primers
9. bullets
Get the book before you get the components you need to know what powder works with what bullets otherwise you end up with stuff you cant use most places don't take returns.
Hope this helps
Brian
 

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This is JMO, but having reloaded for 30yrs now, DO NOT waste your money & time w/ either of the cheap Lee loaders. It is the most frustrating way to learn to reload. At the min. buy a cheap Lee single stage & go w/ that. You'll laod more ammo faster & better & w/ less frustration.:rolleyes:
 

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This forum is full of help, advice and encouragement!
I've been reloading for a couple of months now, beginning with 9mm and went through my second "batch" of .223
I got the Hornady Single Stage Classic Kit from Midway and am very happy with it.
I've had my moments going from straight walled pistol cases to necked rifle, but that's how we learn right...
As mongoose33 stated, great help here, sure got me through some trying times.
Have fun, be careful, and don't skimp on the stuff that matters;)
 
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