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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I've been thinking of getting into handloading for a while now. Thing is, I'm on a very tight budget, since I'm a university student.

I've purchased two reloading manuals (one from 1981 put out by the NRA and a more modern one) from Half Price Books and have been reading through both to get acquainted with everything before even buying materials.

I very much like the idea of getting the Lee Anniversary kit, since it has everything but the shellholders and dies (and a good electronic scale and calipers, which I have) and can be purchased at Midway for $70+shipping or $80+shipping with the "Modern Reloading" manual.

Thing is, I've seen about 50% of the reloaders on here say that the Lee press is junk and the other 50% say it's a great way to start out. So, I'd like to hear from the people that don't think I should purchase the Lee kit on what someone on a budget should purchase and references to where and for how much.

Once I have finally made some "proper" normal loads for my firearms and am confident in my abilities, I think I'm going to work on some "cat-sneeze" subsonic rounds. That should be interesting out of the CETME. (Oh, and the old NRA manual has one load with Unique powder that runs at 905 fps, which is a subsonic load, so I'm not "experimenting" here. :D).

Thanks gents!
 

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QUOTE I'd like to hear from the people that don't think I should purchase the Lee kit on what someone on a budget should purchase and references to where and for how much.UNQUOTE
i really want to see what the answer is myself.
 

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I am not going to tell you that you cant get good loads from the Lee anniversary kit.I am going to say a better kit might give better results.I never owned the press they show but have seen them and they seemed to have play and give in them,something more expensive presses dont seem to have,even with years of use.Go to midwayusa website and read the reviews of reloaders that actually use the equipment.I cant advise against Lee as you can buy a lot of components for the difference in price of kits.But if I wanted the best loads I can get,ease in using the kit,and something that will last for years instead of a few months of heavy reloading,I wouldnt personally get a Lee kit.On the other hand if I didnt worry about precision,didnt mind returning broken-worn out equipment,and didnt reload in volume,and placed expense before performance(or just flat a***d couldnt afford anything else)I would go with Lee.You can get good loads especially as long as you use quality components.I would emagine Lee stands for "IF IT DONT FIT,DONT FORCE IT".Good luck and welcome to the wonderful world of reloading. sam.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the reply, samuel. Good, sound advice to follow in most purchases, not just reloading equipment.
 

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samuel what brand do you recomend form your own personal experience ?
AND... I 100% respect yor advice and comments, your another member Gun and Game is fortuinit to have as a member...A.H
 

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I lean toward RCBS for a press both in single stage and progressive but any quality cast steel press with hardened ram will probably do the same thing.As to dies for most loading I still use mostly RCBS but any quality die would do.Even Lee does a decent job and saves money.For competition I used names you never heard of and I cant remember.I prefer RCBS because I have had sucess with them.I emagine others have had great sucess with other brands and Lee satisfy,s a lot of people and that is what counts. sam.
 

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I have the anniversary press kit, and it's OK. The scale and the powder thrower were compelete crap, I could have probably saved money by just ordering the lee press, the case tools and the book seperately.

It's a good setup for a beginner, it will do what you need to do. And it's a way to get into it without spending 350 or 400 bucks. Let us know what you decide.
 

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i think i paid $70 for the lee kit with manual and no it isnt great.
but they have been selling that press for 40 years.
if it was total crap would it still be selling well?
i havent noticed any "play" and it makes ammo that i can count on ....
 

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The Lee Classic Cast press is built just as heavy as any press on the market, and also has the advantage of having the primers drop all the way through the ram directly into a trash can for about $70-80.
 

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someday i may get another but this one does what i want it to
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the input, billy. I'm personally not looking to make "perfect" ammo, but if I can control exact weights of powder and bullet, then I can certainly make them more accurate than factory.

It also allows me to make rounds that the factory just doesn't produce, such as 240gr Sierra Matchking bullets in a .308Win cartridge that goes sub-sonic (Less than ~950fps). :D
 

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The Lee Classic Cast press is built just as heavy as any press on the market, and also has the advantage of having the primers drop all the way through the ram directly into a trash can for about $70-80.
He wasnt purchasing the Lee classic cast press.
 

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He wasnt purchasing the Lee classic cast press.
I understand that. The point I was making is that if he wants to upgrade in the future, he can still do it at reasonable expense. I've got the basic Challenger press that comes in the kit plus an old C and H that I use for decapping only. They both work fine and the ammo produced is better than any factory stuff I've shot-even the 8x57 loads that I reform from 30-06 cases on the Lee press.
 

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i think i paid $70 for the lee kit with manual and no it isnt great.
but they have been selling that press for 40 years.
if it was total crap would it still be selling well?
i havent noticed any "play" and it makes ammo that i can count on ....
He asked for input from people that didnt think he should buy the kit.Even so I only stated that there were advantages in more expensive loading equipment and also stated if that was what I could afford I would buy one.I also stated you could get good loads from Lee equipment.I have nothing against any product including Lee.I just prefer and use other products.I have some Lee products and use them but i dont expect and would be surprised if they produced loads with a maximum deviation of 8fps.I can do this with my equipment but it isnt easy and I probably work a lot harder to get those results. Further some are satisfied with Fords,some like chevys,and some are very pleased with a Yugo or such.It makes no difference.They all get where they are going.I would like to see more people buy a Lee kit or any other just so they get into reloading. sam.
 

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I purchased the Anniversary kit, and if I had known what I was looking for I probably would have bought the parts seperate. The scale and powder trickler are not junk, as some have said, but there are better. Everything comes down to how much money you want to spend, how many bullets you are going to make and do you know what you want.
In my opinion, if you load a couple of boxes of shells per month, all you need is the anniversary kit. If you want to load more than that find a friend that can show you the right equipment that he found by trial and error and what works best for him. I've used the anniversary kit and some additions for 10 years. There are a lot of extra worthless parts to the anniversary kit. They've been sitting in a drawer for 9 years. (Like the press primer installer )
All you really need is the scale, the press, the Lee Auto Prime, the flash hole reamer, dies and shell holder. Everything else is for comfort and speed. I like to use the little cup spoon that came with my Lee Dies for tapping powder into the scale cup. The Lee scale is very accurate if you use it right, and for the price.
I bought a hand press and then I bought the anniversary kit. The hand press is very versatile and mobile, and if you don't load hundreds of rounds will be all you need. The anniversary kit has the bench press which is fine also, obviously less mobile, but more sturdy and less work.
Is this too much information? Most everyone else has said good things, I just can't help butting in.
 

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If you'll come down here, I'll show you every durn thing there is to know about reloading. If I don't know it, I'll make it up...Just Kiddin'. Come on down...I'll get you squared away. I've got a couple of older balance beam scales taking up room, I'll just give you one. I'd rather do that than see you buy a Lee Scale. I've got a little bit of every brand of equipment available. I'll show you the less expensive reloading equipment up to the higher priced, high volume stuff. I'll show you a real good powder thrower, that I've used constantly for over 25 years and it's still as accurate as when I took it out of the box. I ain't gonna' put it on the web, though. Some sumbich may come steal it from me.
 

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I am not going to tell you that you cant get good loads from the Lee anniversary kit.I am going to say a better kit might give better results.I never owned the press they show but have seen them and they seemed to have play and give in them,something more expensive presses dont seem to have,even with years of use.Go to midwayusa website and read the reviews of reloaders that actually use the equipment.I cant advise against Lee as you can buy a lot of components for the difference in price of kits.But if I wanted the best loads I can get,ease in using the kit,and something that will last for years instead of a few months of heavy reloading,I wouldnt personally get a Lee kit.On the other hand if I didnt worry about precision,didnt mind returning broken-worn out equipment,and didnt reload in volume,and placed expense before performance(or just flat a***d couldnt afford anything else)I would go with Lee.You can get good loads especially as long as you use quality components.I would emagine Lee stands for "IF IT DONT FIT,DONT FORCE IT".Good luck and welcome to the wonderful world of reloading. sam.
My over twenty years of reloading on the Lee Challenger press begs to differ with you. I have had some mighty accurate rounds come out of this.:hitwithrock:
 

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Being on a budget, I would look around at Pawn/gun shops for used equipment in good shape. I find it all the time here in Alaska CHEAP ! RCBS or Lyman Presses for 10-20 bucks, scales 20-30 bucks, powder measures 15-25 bucks...Dies at gun shows for 10 - 20 bucks...I just found a complete Dillon Progressive setup with Lots of dies, powder, bullets, cases, for 500 bucks. will be getting it soon...
I mainly use a Lyman Turret press due to large quantity reloading, I have a Texas Turret press, and a Lyman single press I may sell . I have had bad luck with some of the Lee stuff, so I shy away from it personally.
Rich
 

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My over twenty years of reloading on the Lee Challenger press begs to differ with you. I have had some mighty accurate rounds come out of this.:hitwithrock:
Glad to hear you back your equipment and have confidence in your workmanship. sam.
 

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im one that absolutely does not like LEE! now if your absolutely on a shoestring budget, you can get by using lee. if you have a little more money, i would look hard at RCBS, Redding, or Dillon products.
 
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