Strength of Lee press

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Strength of Lee press

    I'm looking at starting reloading soon and went down to my lgs to look at some prices ect.
    I'm looking at buying a 45/70 soon and I don't think I could pay $50 for a pack of ammo hence why I want to get into it.
    The guy I was talking to said a Lee press wouldn't be strong enough to crimp 45/70 brass and pointed me in the direction of the much more expensive hornandy.
    Is he full of shit or do I need a stronger one.
    I'm struggling to believe that a lee couldn't do it.
    He also said I'm looking a spending $800 for everything? Seems a lot steeper then I what I've heard.
    Any advice would be great.

  • #2
    Lee will be fine


    • Yoshie
      Yoshie commented
      Editing a comment
      Full of crap. Lee make a great presses. 45-70 isn't a tough case. If your going to load benchrest or f class the tolerances in the press might not be tight enough to achieve super tight groups, that's where coax presses really shine.

  • #3
    Otheres have already answered about Lee presses.
    Re reloading budget my 2 cents:
    You can get away with spending a lot less to start reloading. You can buy all manner of tools to make the process more accurate and others that make it quicker. You really only need to start with a few basic things. I believe they have been well covered in previous threads.

    Really all you need is:
    1. Reloading manual (MUST HAVE Nick Harveys is a good one). Powder catalogue (get them from powder manufacturer like ADI etc website)
    2. Press
    3. Primer tool (some have on press, if not hand tool needed)
    4. Dies
    5. Accurate manual scales ($80 odd)
    6. Ruler or pref calipers for measuring
    7. Something to hold your shells upright in for loading powder
    8. Powder Funnel

    Most kits should have the basics covered. You can add new tools when you want to speed thing up (eg powder thrower) or get more anal about accuracy.


    • #4
      Thanks guys, as long as they go bang and hit what I aim at I'm happy, only using open sights at 150 metre max so I'm not after sub-moa groups


      • #5
        Beau, the Lee presses are strong and have a good warranty. My humble advice would be to go for an "O-Frame" single stage press with the quick-change "breech-lock" adapters that let you change dies quickly and retain their settings. I would also go for their hand priming tool rather than the priming mechanism that fits on the press. It's only a personal thing but I find the hand priming tool much easier to use than the press mounted one.
        I also find that it's easier to do all your cases in batches, that is: De-prime all the cases and size them ready for the projectile; Prime all the cases; add powder to all cases; visually check each case for powder levels and finally insert projectiles and crimp.
        I use 2 loading trays and work from left to right. Cases move via the press or powder dispenser from one tray to the other. When the tray is full, it's time for the next process. Concentrate. Eventually you end up with loaded ammo.
        One thing you don't need when reloading is distractions. If a mate comes around for a chat, especially if you are new to reloading, pack up and talk, leave the reloading till later.
        Nick Harvey's book is good and he knows what he is talking about. But his guns are top-of-the-line items that are way beyond my financial ability to own. Your gun may be just that little bit less strong than his and loads that he developed for his guns may be too strong for your gun. Proceed with caution. Start off with low power loads and work your way up to where you want to be.
        Reloading requires concentration and discipline. Take care and all will be well. There is a great sense of achievement when your reloaded ammo hits the target just where you intended it to.


        • patrolit
          patrolit commented
          Editing a comment
          what he said ^^^^^^^^^ I have one of these
          I got it second hand, loading .243 ammo. does the job and saves removing dies to do each step of reloading.

      • #6
        Thanks heaps guys.
        The 45/70 I'm looking at is a pedersoli sharps so strong action.
        I'd be doing my 243, 3030 and 303 aswell.
        Appreciate the advice I'll be sure to look into it. I'll be sure to keep you filled in with whatever I buy


        • El-Skippo
          Skip commented
          Editing a comment
          Originally posted by Beau-Jackson" post=37304
          Thanks heaps guys.
          The 45/70 I'm looking at is a pedersoli sharps so strong action.
          Did you get the one that was posted on abusedgun's?

          Scratch that, the one i seen wasnt a sharp's.

          Calibre/Item: 45-70
          Make: H&R
          Model: Buffalo rifle

      • #7
        You will be fine. I used a Lee press for years on various calibers with no problem.


        • #8
          If going a Lee Turret Press be aware they come in Cast (Classic) or Aluminium (Budget) varieties. The Cast ones are good, the Ally ones are bad.


          • Guest's Avatar
            Guest commented
            Editing a comment
            The ally presses are only really good for pistol ammo. They are also shorter than the cast iron presses. They will load .223 / .308 length ammo but not stuff like .270. How do I know? I bought the ally. press instead of the cast iron one.
            The powder scales are OK, they are sensitive and reasonably accurate, just a bit rough around the edges, so to speak. I use a Hornady "Lock and Load" Quick Trickeler. It is a 2 speed gadget that will dump the main part of the load on high speed and then you top off the load with the slow speed.
            Reloading can be addictive. Have fun!!!

        • #9
          I reload 338lm with my breech lock classic press, no probs like anything else use them smoothly and mount them solidly. Look after your gear, if it doesn't feel right STOP. This applies to any press.


          • #10
            I have a Lee press, O Frame, and the die cast fitting that the handle fitted through broke apart. I fabricated a steel one to replace it. So there is a weakness to them. I use mine to reload everything from 22 Hornet to 303/308.


            • #11
              Hi Beau, I use Lee stuff, FLS 303 and 300 WSM no worries. Mine's a challenger press kit. All you'll need then is a set of dies, shellholder, reloading block, eventually a trim pilot, powder, projectiles and cases if you haven't fired any. On advice from more experienced people I bought a hand priming tool right off the bat and never used the press priming feature. Scales are cheap, but why would you complain about that? They are accurate, repeatable, reliable, if a bit fiddly and take a bit of getting used to, but thousands of people load millions of rounds with them, no dramas.

              But be careful mate, once you get into reloading it can take over. I find myself shooting much more now than I used to. I was never one for a lot of range work, but now I am there all the time, just to test new reloading components, loads or techniques. I reckon I spend a lot more $ and time on shooting since I began reloading than I ever did before. Fascinating passtime. Good luck with it.
              If I knew I was gonna live this long I would've taken better care of myself