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Best Progressive Press for a Low volume Shooter?

C*ctus said: Hey all, I have been doing my pistol rounds on a single stage press for a couple years but with the Kel Tec sub 2000 on the way I know my round count will be going up and am looking at going progressive with a press from Lee. I know Dillon is the cats ass but that is out of my price range so I am looking for input and opinions on which one of the Lee progressives to get. Researching the Lee presses is one thing but it is time for some input from the guys that use them. My main concerns are function, ease of setup and changing from 1 set up (9mm) to .357. Thanks Cactus

Gr*zzlypeg said: The turret press is the lowest end cost wise and output of volume of the less progressives. I use one, for both pistol and rifle reloading. It's good for a guy that has an hour to crank out a couple of boxes of handgun ammo. Simple and easy to switch calibers, but not a perfect mechanism. Sometimes it doesn't index right, and you have to make a change or adjustment, or other times flat powders jam or leak slightly from the auto dump. All liveable with considering the price.

br*wning, nb said: I got a lee pro 1000. It works great except the priming system. I could often pump out 500 rounds without issue than other times it was a fight to get 50 rounds. If you are patient you can do some fine adjustments to it making it work pretty good as long as you keep it clean. If money is a issue its worth it. For a low volume shooter, I would buy it again but if you shoot 10-20 thousand a yr I would suggest you save your money.

t-st*r said: i;ve got 3 1000 , an old lee 3 hole turret, and a LOADMASTER- the turret used to go thru ratchets like water every time you changed calibers- now the question is ;are you loading for an automatic or revolver or both?-the 1000 is great on automatics and you only need a 3 die set, provided you set it up properly and ignore the priming system problems- a LOT of that has to do with OPERATOR ERROR, NOT KEEPING THE TROUGH CLEAN, AND INSUFFICENT PRIMERS IN THE TROUGH- the thing works by gravity and relies on the number of primers in the trough to move it along- it also powders where it primes , so a misstep will dirty that station- the loadmaster, on the other hand, will accomodate both rimmed and rimless cartridges, has some 5 stations( really only 4 - one is used for priming,) powders at a DIFFERENT station than where it primes, and is a WHOLE LOT easier to change calibers and shelplates- if i had to do it all over again, i'd go LOADMASTER- there's no bumping to change carrier plates, the priming system lifts out, and the whole thing changes over in a matter of minutes

*STRYX said: Love my Dillon 550!

H*twheels81 said: I have a load master for 9pm, the priming system is a constant issue--- it works then it breaks then it works--- rather annoying really... You know... For the extra couple hundred bucks.. I feel I should have bought the Lock N Load AP... And I just might in the near future and keep the Lee for deprimeing and rifle charging... The auto disc measure is quite accurate on mine.

st*ng said: I had a lee and found it so frustrating that I sold it and went with the Dillon 550. No regrets.

b*n hunchak said: Save your money and get the Dillon or Hornady if you must have a progressive.

HKM*rk23 said: Hornady L&L AP , Budget Shooter Supply (link above) $450. Priced between Lee and Dillon 650. Cheap and easy caliber swaps and a true progressive (unlike 550). Doesn't exactly answer your question but worth a look.

7.62mm said: Save your money and get the Dillon or Hornady if you must have a progressive. This......I would save your money for a few months..... The Lee sets always seem to have problems.....I guess if you are mechanically minded and have a lot of patience......I am mechanically minded.....but have absolutely no use for having to constantly fiddle with something in order for it to work....my $0.02

*pcx6 said: Hey all, I have been doing my pistol rounds on a single stage press for a couple years but with the Kel Tec sub 2000 on the way I know my round count will be going up and am looking at going progressive with a press from Lee. I know Dillon is the cats ass but that is out of my price range so I am looking for input and opinions on which one of the Lee progressives to get. Researching the Lee presses is one thing but it is time for some input from the guys that use them. My main concerns are function, ease of setup and changing from 1 set up (9mm) to .357. Thanks Cactus If you decide on a lee make sure you and anyone else around you is wearing full face shields when you operate it. A previous OP had a full primer magazine explode, peppering his face with plastic schrapnel.

b*n hunchak said: Usually the Lees fall apart before anyone gets hurt.

tjh*ile said: Over the long run the cost difference between a good press and a cheap one is negligible compared to what you will spend on components. Save up a little longer and get a Hornady, Dillon, or RCBS press. I'm very happy with my Dillon RL550B's ability to keep up with my ~500 rounds/month habit. Contrary to what some might think, it is still a progressive press because it preforms multiple operations per throw of the lever; manual vs. auto indexing has nothing to do with it. Automatic indexing buys you practically no benefit in speed unless you plan on using a case feeder.

*asyrider604 said: If you are a low volume reloader...rather, if you are happy with 150 to 200 rounds per hour, you may be happy with a Lee Classic Turret. A turret is not a progressive but it is very easy to use. A complete Classic Turret set-up with dies, powder measure and primer feed would run about half the cost of a Hornady LNL and about a third of a Dillon 550B. Changing caliber takes ten seconds if you have a turret set-up for each caliber you use. Changing primer size takes 5 seconds. BTW, this came up just this morning on the EE: old model aluminum based Lee Turret and accessories....not as strong as the Classic but a buddy has one and it works well if you are a low-volume reloader. http://www.canadiangunnutz.com/forum/showthread.php?t=645536 You can go with the Lee Loadmaster which is a true progressive and can match the output rate of the 550B and LNL. Just watch the instructional videos on Loadmastervideos.com before you do anything with your Loadmaster and you should be good to go. And you should always, always, always...read advice AGAINST Lee reloaders with a grain of salt. I used 550Bs and Hornady Projector in the past...they are very good or even excellent.....but my Lee Classic Turret and Classic Cast are excellent as well and my Loadmaster is very good. Well, the Lee Pro1000 does have its issues but many are happy with it. I wasn't too impressed with mine. You can always try a low priced Lee Turret....just to get a feel for reloading and if you think you are ready to spend more for faster production, then by all means go for the LNL or 550 or even a 650....your money...your toys. When you outgrow your cheap Lee press, sell it on the EE...simple!

444sh*oter said: If you will only be loading handgun, then look at a Dillon SDB. I have one, and it is the cats meow for handgun. But, if you want to load rifle as well, go with the Dillon 550. Don't even think about Lee. The progressives are garbage. Been there, done that.

t-st*r said: If you will only be loading handgun, then look at a Dillon SDB. I have one, and it is the cats meow for handgun. But, if you want to load rifle as well, go with the Dillon 550. Don't even think about Lee. The progressives are garbage. Been there, done that. kind of funny how GARBAGE has lasted for TWENTY -FIVE YEARS in my case -oh, i know, i've got MAGIC FINGERS

S*ndRoad said: It depends on how mechanically adept you are, and if you are willing to play/tinker just a little bit. If you are, then a Lee Loadmaster is a great press. It takes a bit of fiddling to get it running smoothly, but when it is running, no problems. The problems mentioned with primer feeding is because the primer feed path is not degreased. Use alcohol once in a while to degrease it, and no problems. If you are not willing to play at all, then get a Hornady, or Dillon. Read the review in this thread http://www.canadiangunnutz.com/forum/showthread.php?t=127691 Article here: http://www.comrace.ca/cmfiles/dillonLeeHornadyComparison.pdf BTW, a Loadmaster with dies, in the US, is about $220.

C*eZer said: Hornady L&L AP , Budget Shooter Supply (link above) $450. Priced between Lee and Dillon 650. Cheap and easy caliber swaps and a true progressive (unlike 550). Doesn't exactly answer your question but worth a look. +2 I too would strongly suggest looking at LNL AP due to cost, ease AND cost of caliber changes and its great functionality. Great warranty that matches Dillon in every aspect. Henry at Budget Shooter Supply is a great guy to deal with and has competitive prices; I dealt with him several times and sure will in the future again!!

C*ctus said: Thanks for all the input guys, that is just the info I am looking for. You have given me a few more options to look at. Right now I use a Classic Cast single stage for rifle and pistol and a basic Lee C press for bullet seating right after I charge the cases. It works to do a box a night when I have time but I am pretty sure it won't keep up when the new gun arrives. Cactus

r*nword said: I,ve been very happy with the Lee Classic Turret press, change calibres in a couple of minutes, including powder measure and large or small primers. As a pistol shooter I have nearly a dozen sets of dies all ready to go in their own turrets and average 200 an hour quite easily. Not really tempted by complicated fiddly unriliable progressives. The Lee safetey prime system I find very easy to use with no tube pick up just straight from primer case to system, I,ve seen too much evidence of exploding dropped tubes to ever want to use them. My previous Lee Turret lasted from 1981 until the Classic Turret arrived a few years back and gave great service, the Classic is a great improvement, check out the Lee videoes to see one in action.

R*cket Surgery said: I'd steer clear of the Lee Loadmaster or Pro 1000. Their turret press is possibly the best product they offer, and can load 150-200 rounds per hour. It's also quite cheap, and can switch calibers in 10 seconds. If you're looking for a true progressive, the only one I have experience with other than the Loadmaster is the Dillon. I highly recommend it. If you're going to shoot 200-600 rounds / month just grab the turret. I've loaded thousands upon thousands of rounds on it and the only thing you need to replace is the nylon square that indexes the rod. Every few thousand rounds you have to unbolt the press to clean all the spent primers out, but that only takes 5 minutes. People aren't joking around when they say the Loadmaster sucks. The thing has an issue with powder spilling all over, primers not feeding, bullet fingers getting chewed, and just general annoying stuff. It also takes extra time to change calibers. Even if it were the same price as the turret, I wouldn't switch. You get way more sensitivity with the turret. It's like using a single stage press on speed.

*asyrider604 said: People aren't joking around when they say the Loadmaster sucks. The thing has an issue with powder spilling all over, primers not feeding, bullet fingers getting chewed, and just general annoying stuff. It also takes extra time to change calibers. Even if it were the same price as the turret, I wouldn't switch. You get way more sensitivity with the turret. It's like using a single stage press on speed. I don't use the bullet feeder or case feeder with my Loadmaster. It is fast enough without these doodads anyway. Compared to a 550B, the LM takes longer to set-up right and to figure out, but it will sing along with the best of them once you do. I almost lost my patience:D but worth the effort. Again, I am not a fan of the mickey mouse case and bullet feeders. Frankly, the Classic Turret does most of my reloading chores these days (9mm, 40 SW and .45acp)...it is so much fun to use. The LM is for .38 spl/357mag.

*neskilledshooter said: If you will only be loading handgun, then look at a Dillon SDB. I have one, and it is the cats meow for handgun. But, if you want to load rifle as well, go with the Dillon 550. Don't even think about Lee. The progressives are garbage. Been there, done that. I agree - go SDB (square deal B). I got one for $350 used with two calibre set ups. They hold their value very well too. Works perfectly, guaranteed for life.

C*ctus said: Well, after a lot of reading and looking at videos and the link to the EE that easyrider posted (thanks bud) it was a no brainer to buy the 4 hole turret with extra turrets. Based on what was posted here it will meet my rifle and pistol reloading needs with the speed boost I was looking for. I am also very comfortable with the idea that it works like a moving single stage. Thanks again for all the great posts guys Cactus

Skyh*wk said: Great choice Cactus. I started with the Lee Classic Turret, and I've never sold it, nor will I ever. My Lee currently occupies the opposite end of the same bench that my Dillion XL650 with case feeder now sits. I use my Lee for calibers other than 9mm (like .45 ACP) and also as a single stage for bullet sizing and stuff.

n*wshot said: There is a well used dillon in the ee for the low low price of....brand new! Get it before it's gone!

shr*dder said: To those who use turret presses - how are they to load .223? I use a Lee BreechLock single stage right now for both pistol and rifle. For my .308 hunting rounds it works great, but when loading for a couple of hungry pistols and a hungry AR it's pretty slow.

Gr*zzlypeg said: To those who use turret presses - how are they to load .223? I use a Lee BreechLock single stage right now for both pistol and rifle. For my .308 hunting rounds it works great, but when loading for a couple of hungry pistols and a hungry AR it's pretty slow. I load 223 with mine, but remove the indexing rod. I pretty much us it like a single stage press, but like the advantage of the removable turret with the dies remaining in their settings. I also prime my 223 brass with a lee auto hand primer. All powder is weighed, so the turret function doesn't increase my rate of production.

j*wsman said: I had a Lee Classic Turret and it worked great. I had no issue's or problems with it and the changeover like everyone else said was super fast. I got rid of it and upgraded to the Dillon 550 (arrived today). The only reason I needed the upgrade was fro speed. With 2 small children now the 120-150 rounds/hr I could manage in the Classic Turret was not good enough with my time severely limited. The 550 now covers that, and I can make all the ammo I need for a month in an hour or so. Use what you got, but you'll no doubt find the same path as many have mentioned here and as i do now. later....

R*cket Surgery said: Haha good choice on the turret.

Cr*sh2k said: I really like my Lee Classic cast Turret. At the beginning when I've started to reload it's was perfect. I was reloading only for rifles... But not since I have a 9mm pistol, it's another story :-) Reloading 500 cartridges was taking me more than 3 hours, so I just ordered a progressive press. But for sure I will keep my Turret for all my rifle reloading. Enjoy your reload :-)

*mpegor said: All my handgun is done on my dillon 550 (as fast as an auto index once you get the hang of it) and i do my small volume rifle (mostly hunting and plinking ammo on a lee three hole turret - best of both worlds.

bjh*ll said: Dillon SDB

h*avenIsAlie said: i just bought a hornady LNL AP from henry at budget, great price and great guy to deal with. i read this review http://www.comrace.ca/cmfiles/dillonLeeHornadyComparison.pdf and it really helped me pick, 650 was to much and lee didnt seems so great even though it was cheaper.

B*omer686 said: Love my Dillon 550! x2! The machine is awesome, easily converted for other pistol / rifle calibers and their warranty /service rocks! Worth every penny and then some! Regards,

*dinson said: Now that I have the snags worked out, my Loadmaster does the job. It is easy to change calibers and once you get the "Lee Rythm" figured out the ammo keeps rolling out. Pay close attention to setting it up, you will likely run into a headache or two. Also keep a few extra bits and pieces for the primer handling system because it seems to be a week point. Spend the extra $5.00 or so to get the blast shield and like others have said, always use eye protection. The Lee will teach you patience and hone your mechanical skills.