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I just got a lee anniversary kit

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by JohnD, Apr 25, 2002.

  1. JohnD

    JohnD Member

    I am new to reloading and I find the kit comes with very poor instructions especialy on how to actualy set the dies. Enyone else have this problem?. I am usualy good with figguring things out but this is totaly new to me.
  2. Big Dog

    Big Dog Retired IT Dinosaur Wrangler Forum Contributor

    I got my Lee kit a couple years ago, and don't recall having any problem with it. I was very pleased with the first loads I made up, in both .38 Special and .45ACP. I did have a buddy who had this same kit, and helped me get setup, but I did all the adjustments myself alone.
    The Perfect Powder Measure is a different matter. Very confusing! I'm still using scale and dipper. But then, I don't load a whole lot at one time.

  3. Shaun

    Shaun G&G Evangelist

    John its easy to set your lengths have you read the loading manual yet -- on the powder measure I have the same one for commercial reloading and I never use the settings I dial it and weigh the powder until it reaches the exact amount of powder I want
  4. Jack O

    Jack O G&G Newbie

    On powders that meter well I use the method that Shaun uses with the powder measure. As for the die adjustment I found the papers that came with the with the dies to be straight forward. If you have any questions I or someone else will be glad to help. The best of luck to you and have fun.
  5. JohnD

    JohnD Member

    Yes I figgured it out eventualy and am loading .270win. Anyway This may sound like a dumb thing to ask, but how do you measure seating depth? I loaded some shells and just seated them buy an overall length. I have not trimmed or squared the cases but it wil chamber without any problems. It did not come with a reloading manual but the dies had some data. The perfect powder mesure is very simple but the calaberations mean nothing since most data is in grains and the thing reads cubic centemeters but you can write down the number as a rough referance point. The guy at the store said I did not need to trim the cases yet and did not tell me to buy a case trimmer till later. I have some cases that have been fired 2 times and reized each time and they are still no longer than original unfired length.

    I only have one type of powder imr 4831

    Do anyone have any thought on this powder for the .270.

    Best load I have found in one day is 55grains gets under 3/4" 3 shot groups a at 115 yards with 130grain win. pwr.pts. I am using win brass also. Is this good or should I try moving the seating depth around to get even better. I was also using a makshift rest here on the farm with a wooden block on the ground (I am shure I could get under 1/2" and all holes touching with a good rest). The load seems to be verry stiff and the primers go flat is this normal? I tryed 53, 53.5, 54,54.5, 55grains and it likes the 55 the best and 53 gave 3" paterns and it got better the more powder I added. Should I wory about 55 grains being to much and the primers evening out more as a indicator of too much preasure? Oh and the gun is a Browning BBR (the models before the A bolt).
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2002
  6. Jack O

    Jack O G&G Newbie

    Flat primers your kinda skating on thin ice. To much pressure. As for a loading manual get one Lee's modern reloading doesn't cost that much it will answer alot of questions for you
  7. J.A.

    J.A. G&G Newbie

  8. jerry

    jerry Since 2002 Forum Contributor

    jack o 's suspicions are correct. back off the load due to the flat primers. spend $20 on a good book, there are alot. when i first started loading i set my bullet depth to a factory round, figured i couldn't go too wrong. hang in there your doing fine.
  9. JohnD

    JohnD Member

    thanks I only loaded 3 rounds of that stuff so I sould not of hurt anything. A book I read said 56grains of that powder was top load. But it seems to be more accurate with that load, anyway would seating depth have anything to do with the primers flatening? The cases seemed fine and I did not have any problems with getting the primers out.

    Oh and I ment that the primers would flaten but not the dent. I also compared it to a winchester factory round and they are just as flatend and level with the bolt face. I can't get it to shoot under an 1" with anything less than 55grains of that powder. I think it is probably a safe load.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2002
  10. Jack O

    Jack O G&G Newbie

    John the bullet depth has alot to do with pressure. You can't for example use 45acp data for the 9mm round but if you seat the for the 45 deep enough you reduce the case size and cause the over pressure or" flatened primers" A good book to start with would be Richard Lee's Modern Reloading it cost me about $20 and it goes over the Lee equipment it gives minimun and maximum lengths so you can keep your pressures down. Hope this helped ya
  11. JohnD

    JohnD Member

    I have a old horaday (1960's) and I am well over the min seating depth according to the lee data. Anyway the primers do not seem to flatten out any more than factory rounds.
  12. Lee Loaders are fine - great way to start and I wouldn't trade the three that I own, BUT you fellows who are just starting ought to invest a little at a time in a balance, dial caliper, case trimmer, etc. to fill out your capability. Mechanical balances work fine and aren't too costly. Plastic dial calipers are available in stores like Lowes and Home Depot for about $20. A Lee case trimmer will set you back $10 to 12. A loading manual is a real must, even though free info can be had from powder manufacturers.
  13. JohnD

    JohnD Member

    I am getting verry good accuracy from 55 grains of imr 4831 and with wincester 130grn. power points seated to an overall length of 8.4cm using fed.210 primers. 3/4"-1/2" outside diameter groups with 2 touching every time and one half a bullet width apart at 100meters (110yards). Verry happy that I invested the money in the kit.
  14. Jack O

    Jack O G&G Newbie

    I'll second J.A. on that it is one good manual.
  15. Good Manuals

    I have yet to see any manual that does not adequately explain the reloading process and safety, although the quality of presentation varies. You pretty much HAVE to have the most recent manuals of the following types:

    1) All of the free data from powder manufacturers. Any place that sells powder has these. (For all I know, they may even be required to provide them...)

    2) Any and all manuals from bullet manufacturers that you use, or even plan to use their products. If you are shooting a relatively obscure caliber, you need to pay attention to who makes what bullets. For example, if Sierra doesn't make a bullet intended for the Tokarev (I don't actually know), their manual will probably not have 7.62x25 data. Lyman manuals fall into the bullet manufacturer category (molds), but either a) they make just about everything or b) they provide data for calibers for which they do not actually market a mold. The Lyman 45th-47th edition manuals have a LOT of data.

    3) Richard Lee's Modern Reloading. You must have this book if you use Lee products, which means almost everyone at some point. I will discuss this manual further below.

    I have already jumped the gun somewhat and started my recommended list. Here are my mini-reviews:

    Richard Lee's Modern Reloading: I actually made this one required reading, so to speak, with good reason. This manual is a one-of-a-kind in several regards. It is the product of a single mind, which shows (the first section would have benefitted from outside editing, IMHO). If you are mechanically inclined (which I assume includes most people who reload), Lee actually explains WHY he designs equipment the way that he does. The reloading and casting tips are accurate and effective. In a sense, the data is a rip-off, since it is based on free data from the powder manufacturers. However, it is organized in one place, which is darn handy in practice. If you can actually get all of your equipment to work correctly for accurate volumetric measuring, you HAVE to use this manual.

    Hornady: Hornady is sort of the economy premium bullet; I have yet to meet a reloader that has not used their products extensively at some time or another. As such, you HAVE to have it, regardless of other factors. The current (5th edition?) manual set has been frustrating. As many people have noticed, the loads seem to reflect some sort of additional safety ceiling from previous manuals. At the same time, powders DO vary over time, so you feel like you ought to take the data seriously. The second volume is a one-of-a-kind, but pistol shooters like me will never use the ballistic tables. The Hornady data is laid out in a velocity chart, which can be both useful and distracting. Etc.

    Speer: I use a lot of Speer bullets, which makes this required for me anyway. The Speer manual hawks Blount Industries products a little more blatantly than some of the competition (but they're all bad about this). The tips and so forth are adequate. What makes the Speer manual valuable to everyone is that the data in #13 is fairly current as far as powder selection and accurate as far as max. pressure. The Speer manuals tend to emphasize what is selling well at the time, which can be helpful.

    Lyman: As mentioned above, Lyman is all about sheer volume of data. You almost HAVE to have this one, because it may provide the only available comparison to another data source. For example, this was true of some of the "Warsaw Pact calibers" for several years. The Lyman emphasis on "accuracy" and "factory duplication loads" is useful. Lyman's powder selection tends to be very conservative (which means that they may be reprinting older testing?), newer powders are very slow to appear. Maybe they really do re-test all of those loads, because Lyman manuals come out about as often as the British throne changes hands... But I kid Lyman....

    You will noticed that I ended up naming almost all of the majors anyways. This is because you can't have too many manuals.

    I will say this about the also-rans:

    Sierra: Not a bad manual at all, really. I don't shoot many Sierra bullets at all, as they are relatively expensive. Their manual is even relatively expensive. Most odd Sierra bullet weights (i.e. 130 gr in 9x19) can be found in the Lyman or Lee manuals. IMHO, not worth the extra $. The books I listed above you will run you plenty.

    Obscure Brand Manuals: I lump a lot of things into this category, whether they deserve it or not. I am talking about manuals like Nosler, Barnes, etc. These have about 0% value unless you plan to use their products extensively. There are simply too many better buys in the manual aisle. I have not even seen some of the manuals in this category, so I am speaking in ignorance, to some extent.
    My point is that these are relatively expensive for the amount if data presented, and all manuals give an adequate presentation of the reloading process, etc. Admittedly, some are really outstanding. I have read some of the excellent material introducing reloading from the Vihta Vouri manual, and I am told that the remainder is of the same standard. VihtaVouri powders are only available via mailorder in my region, which makes them prohibitively expensive.

    Hope this helps someone...