Shooters Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi there:

I want to learn reloading on a budget, for a .44 sp/mag super blackhawk, and was thinking that the lee loader or one of the lee or lyman tong tools would be a good way to get my feet wet. If I like reloading, I can latter make the move up to a rockchucker.  Can I hear from reloaders who have used the lee loader or tong tools so I might get some kind of idea about strong and weak points of this sort of reloading, for this caliber? I am planing to get a rcbs 505 scale, for piece of mind, and a lee hand primer, otherwise gearing-up is an open question.
thanks, eli
 

·
The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
Joined
·
36,228 Posts
Eli,

I've used both.  They both work fine & can turn out good ammo, but take approximately forever.  Time is basically the downside.

I would suggest, since budget is an issue, to get one of the Lee kits with a conventional press.  They aren't top of the line, it's true, but some of the Lee stuff is suprisingly good for it's price tag.

And when you upgrade to a better press, you'll find a use for the other one, I guarantee it.  Currently I have 3 presses set up and sometimes that isn't enough!

With the kit you should be pretty well ready to go, it will have some of the stuff you were going to buy anyway like a scale and priming tool and a reloading manual.  Add up all those individual components and the kit is clearly the way to go.  Watch Midway, they have them on sale every so often.

After you get your feet wet, you can spring for a Rockchucker or a Dillon or whatever lights your fire.

Good luck and don't hesitate to ask anything else, no matter how basic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
572 Posts
I started with a Lee Loader and still manage to keep one for almost every caliber I shoot. It is definately a sentimental thing since they see little use. I did start my boys on them so that they could get the idea down s-l-o-w-l-y

Mike hit the ten ring with his advice. My personal bench was cobbled together with bits and peices. I could have saved time, money, and frustration by not going the "yard sale route" even though it would have affronted my male ego a tad.

When my oldest son moved away, he got a Lee kit in the mail as a housewarming gift (it did come with a Lee Loader for his favorte .270...purely for sentimental reasons)

If you plan on shooting more than a few times a year, you will not regret getting a minimal set up. Look at it as an environmental good deed. Brass is worth much more than aluminum!

Scotty
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
555 Posts
eli, first off, hello and welcome aboard.

secondly, i use the lee equipment. and am quite proud of it. i have used the rock chucker press and rcbs dies. the r-chucker is definatly more sturdy. NOW with that being said, my 44 mags are quite good. as well as my .458 winchester mags. ( i just need a larger diameter bullet ). best thing to do is get the lee challenger kit. $65.00 ?? with a set of carbide dies, and a factory crimp die. all for less than $100.00. then as time and experience goes by. then you will start having notions of dillon and such. read the directions several times to become comfortable with the set-up. and jump right in.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, ask any and all questions that come up.

the ONLY stupid question is the one that goes UN-asked. there is lots of knowledgable folk here. just waiting to help someone out.

be careful, be safe, and enjoy.

later halfbreed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,168 Posts
I started with a Lee loader in 44. Popped a few primers and decided to move up. Got a Anniversary Lee kit (now 60 bucks) and it has been great. Have not needed anything else yet. I'm loading 44,32acp,308,30.06. No problems.

I learned a lot from the Lee loader and the 44 ammo was possibly the best and most accurate I ever loaded.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
I started with the Lee anniversary ($65) and loved it. I now have 2 Lee Pro 1000's  for 38's and 45's. I still use the Lee and an RCBS pal to load all rifle bullets. If I had to do it again I'd get the Lee kit without a doubt. If you decide to go with a conventional kit get a turret press. Lee offers a 3 or 4 hole kit for a few dollars more. I wish I got one from the start I didn't load pistol at first and the turret helps on set up time.


norville
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,644 Posts
I too started with the Lee loader back in the '60's.

I now use the Lee hand press for most of my loading. This is a very useful tool.

If you have limited space it is the way to go. I load .45-70 and .444's on this press, use a good case lube!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Hi Eli,
As with the previous folks, i too started handloading with a Lee Loader. It all started at a Gun show many years ago. I found a used one in 22-250 remington. I paid $5.00 for it. The only thing that i would like to add in addition to everyone elses' advice are 2 things: 1 consider a hand priming tool by Lee, RCBS etc. In my opinion priming with a Lee Loader is down right scary! and 2 purchase at LEAST 1 data manual. I would have to recommend Lyman's as a must have. I found that one the most helpful when i started out. Enjoy a great and rewarding hobby! (Eli, just re-read your post, noticed that you already are considering the priming tool :) )
Scott in Vermont
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
I started out with the Lee Loader in 44 way back in the early seventies. It works but I don't recomend using the primer part. I set one off and that just hurt. Went out and got a hand priming tool right away.
Probably the best way to go today is get the Lee Turret Press. You can use it as a single station press at first if you want to. You can also turn out good loads fairly quickly after you learn the basics.
The first thing that I always advise a newcomer to do is get a one of the manuals and study it until you feel you are familiar with the process. It is simple and the 44mag is easy to load.
Also I have been using the Lee Factory crimp dies on all my pistol and most rifle loads since they came out. They are worthwile even for a new reloader.
Don't be surprised if you run into problems. we all do. The reloading tool makers will be more than happy to help you over the phone.
Once you start loading, it will open up a whole new part of the shooting sports. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,599 Posts
Welcome,Eli,
I started, before Lee was around,with a Lyman Tong Tool. It IS slow,but makes a quality round.
I still have mine,and use the dies,with adaptors,in my Herter's and RCBS bench tools. I know of no other source for the various diameter expander dies.
In my experience,Lee stuff,except for the excellent factory crimp die,is not equal to Lyman.
FYI,buy two loading manuls. A latest edition(new) and an older one. You will note some differences in recommended loads.
Good luck,
Frank
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
306 Posts
Eli,
Welcome to the site of a lot of good people.
my loading bench looks like a cross between a reloading store and a flea market. I too started with a lee hand loader and after a couple of primers going off started looking for something diffrent. The lee anniversary kits are a good way to go price wise, Have loaded many thousands of rounds with this setup. I load for a hobby plus my wife, daughter, son-in-law all shoot so you know who does the reloading. Over the years finally got a Dillion 550 and have made my loading a lot easyer, looking at getting another one, just have to figger out what I want to take off my loading bench so I can put it their. As stated in other posts a couple of good loading manuals are a must. Try and locate someone in your area that reloads, most reloaders are more than willing to help someone just getting started, and ifin you have a question put it on the site and you will probable get all the help you need from some very experianced people more than willing to help.
The knowlage is here someplace just ask and their is someone willing to help out.

Enjoy and  good luck

Gun Runner
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Hi there:

Thanks for all the feedback, good advice all.  It's reassuring to hear that the hand tools do indeed work and can produce good results.

I think that the slow work rate that the hand methods demand, is the way for me to start off.  

I have two teenage sons and this is the year I  have started them off shooting/hunting.  I want them to learn reloading with me and the pace of the lee loader or tong tools seems ideal! When we have the .44 spl/mag down, we can move on to 25-06 and latter still, the 12 bore shotshells.  Not too much data or material to learn/keep track of and "easy does it" all the way.

Does anyone have any thoughts about H110 for standard powder for spl and mag loads, with a 240-60 grain bullet?

Cheers,
eli
 

·
The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
Joined
·
36,228 Posts
Eli,

H110 is too slow for .44 Special loads.  Great for full house loads though.

You need something faster for that - Bullseye, Unique, WW231, AA#2, Clays, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
572 Posts
Eli,

H110 is one of the "all or nothing" kind of powders...it only seems to work well at full doses and starts to shine when it is compressed...this is NOT a plinking powder.

One thing that helped me alot was reading Paco Kelly's "powder profiles" since I now have a slight clue about what is going on when the primer ignites certain powders.

I would also add that my life got noticeably better when I began to keep a "diary" next to the bench and put date, times, and loading notes in it ALONG with the notes I keep in the manuals.

The diary helped me keep track of little things that seemed to get lost in the shuffle.

I have tremendously enjoyed my handguns and my 45/70 since I started trying to get peak performance or accuracy by rollin my own.

I hope to get set up to do a little casting by fall time since that seems the next step.

I can see one of those "I brake for wheelweights" stickers on my truck soon 8*)

Enjoy,

Scotty

P.S. Be sure to get one of them " little hammer thingies" (Intertia Bullet Puller)...they seem to keep the gremlins away
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Dear shooter, please, dont you ever buy a red machine. The only progresive color is BLUE. If you want to reload your 44 cal bullets, you dont need to tell wich gun you have. Buy yourself a RL550B Dillon Machine, youll have life time warranty and you will be able to put any charge you want. You can put powders in the charge you choose, from 0.1 to 0,1 in grains, not as in the red one. Youll have four stations, the third one to put the bullet to the correct depth and the four station for the crimpling.
Youll be surprise about what that machine is capable to do.
Hope that if you buy the red one you have a very small boat for go fishing, because its for the only thing that you will be able to use it, just as an anchor (only of a very small boat, obviuslly).
Best regards, and better shooting, swagerman.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
If you haven't bought any gear yet, take a look at the Lee Hand press. It uses regular dies so you would not have to buy everything again if you step up to a bench press later and it is capable of loading pistol and rifle ammo. I paid less than $20 for mine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
10 years ago I went mobile, solds most of my guns and left the bench behind. With a lee hand tool, a powder scale, some dippers and my dies I was able to keep a .44 and .338 well fed.

Now I'm settled again and have a bench back but still have the hand tool because you never know...

As for reduced .44 loads I've always used 7gr of unique behind a 240gr bullet, mag primer, whatever brass. There may be better loads but that has always worked for me.

Eric
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
306 Posts
Lee Press

Eli, dont remember if I sent you an e-mail or not, but ifin you want I have one of the lee Challanger presses you can have for the cost of the shipping. If your interested send me an e-mail.


Gun Runner
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
20 Posts
Welcome to reloading. As most of the others have stated, I started with a Lee Loader, for 30-30. I derived a lot of pleasure and satisfaction from that little kit, and still have it after 30 years. My next big move was to buy a LYMAN Spar-T, which I still use. I have a lot of Lee stuff, presses, dies, moulds, etc. and get along just fine. WEAR SAFETY GLASSES, no matter which company's equipment you use. I especially liked the advice to keep a diary. Man, I wish I would have started that when I bought my first Lee Loader. Have fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
I statred with a Lee Loader for my .30-30 many years ago. It was long, slow and tedius, but I didn't do a lot of reloading anyway. Then a bought a Colt Cobra .38 spl and a Lee Loader for that. It was long, slow and tedius, but I didn't do a lot of reloading anyway.

A few months back I bought a Ruger Vaquero in .45. While I was waiting the required number of days to pick it up, I ordered a Lee Turret 4 hole press and dies for my .38 and 45.

It sure has made reloading a lot easier!! I don't do the entire reload process in one step. I decap all the brass and then gather them up and give them a visual inspection. After that I prime them all with a hand primer. The hand primer, for me anyway, does a much better job then the turret press.

When they're all primed, I send them through the press and finish them up.

I don't know if customer support is important to you, but take note of this. I have e-mailed Lee's customer support a couple of time with questions and about a part that I broke. They were EXCELLENT in their customer support and gave me prompt responses to my e-mails and replaced the broken parts for FREE. (My favorite 4 letter 'F' word)
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top