One for those who know Lee Reloaders.

Discussion in 'Cast & Blast' started by Philster, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. Philster

    Philster Active Member

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    Any reason NOT to get the Lee Loadmaster over the pro 1000? Let's face it, compared to the cost of fly fishing equipment $70 more for the Loadmaster doesn't seem like much. I'm mostly going to do 9mm and 45 acp, and maybe a little 223. I understand the loadmaster would be the way to go for larger rifle, but I don't shoot enough of that to bother reloading.

    Of course, I could just do what Mr. Lee does... This is the reloading equivalent of a 70 year old Lee Wulff tying a 16 royal wulff in hand :rofl:
     
  2. Roper

    Roper Idiot Savant

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    Phil, I have the Lee Breech Loader and it's pretty handy. I use it for odd calibers like 45-70 and 32-20 that I don't need the volume I get from the Dillon. If you ever want a show and tell, let me know...

    P.S. 223 can be a pain in the butt...trimming cases, swaging military primer pockets, etc.
     
  3. Philster

    Philster Active Member

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    Roger on the 223. Hence the "little". I have a single stage lee, which it seems your loader is a "free floating" version of. I'm kind of leaning toward IDPA/action shooting type stuff, and I need to crank high numbers. I am looking at the Dillon 550band RCBS but I'm not seeing twice the value for twice the money. They are nicer. No question. But I think the Lee is probably "good enough" for me. Still open to be convinced!
     
  4. EHB86

    EHB86 Member

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    Philster,
    I can't comment on the Lee, I haven't used one, but you did mention a Dillon and I can tell you my experience with them has been excellent. If you're going to shoot IDPA, etc. you will, as you said , be cranking out some rounds. In that case I think you'll find Dillons warranty (lifetime) and service will be worth the extra cost over the long run.

    You'll be running a lot of cases through the machine and with the Dillon 550 or 650, even a conservative, slow loader like myself can crank out hundreds of rounds quickly. It's easy to change calibers, etc. Anyway, rhought I'd throw in my .02. Just like fishing gear, lots of people like Lee's too of course. Have fun, it's a great thing to do, inetresting and saves a lot of money. That is if you don't just shoot a lot more 'cause you can make your ammo!
     
  5. John Dude

    John Dude Learned skills from George Dickel

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    I've used the Lee 1000, and found I spent most of my time clearing jams and weeding out bad rounds. It just lacked consistency. It sits in the bottom of my closet unused now.

    If you have the chance, get the best Dillon loader you can afford
     
  6. Philster

    Philster Active Member

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    "sigh"... Dang it... So I'm looking at $492 for a 500B including dies for 9mm, which is my first priority as I shoot them 3 to 1 over anything else. I could get it without the dies, and buy Hornady, RCBS, etc. dies. They are all about the same price and the Dillons are $62 . Any collective wisdom on dies. Obviously not looking to save on dies, as that's where the work is done, just wondering if Dillon is the way to go on dies as they don't provide them in their "caliber conversion" kits.
     
  7. Roper

    Roper Idiot Savant

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    Phil, Dillon 550Bs' are not cheap, but I have had mine for over 25 years with no problems. Don't skimp on dies, the carbide dies are great for all straight walled cartridges. That's my two cents on that issue...
     
  8. Philster

    Philster Active Member

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    Oh, I know. Like I said, I'm not skimping on the dies, and looking at RCBS, Hornady, and Dillon. Since they all fit, and pretty much cost the same, I'm just looking for recommendations on what folks like. My single stage came Lee came with Lee dies, so I have no experience in other dies.
     
  9. Philster

    Philster Active Member

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    Okay. I had the chance today to try out both the Hornady LNL, and the Dillon 550B. I'm sold on the Hornady. It's definitely at the same quality level of the 550B, has 5 stations so I can use a lockout die (I've always been paranoid after having someone blow a barrel at station 2 when I was on station 4 at a skeet match). Definitely beyond the Lee, and with a comparable reputation for customer service as Dillon. The guy had a faulty shell plate and they sent him 2 on their dime, without him having to send in the bad plate. Good service. Sometime next week I'll be stepping up from my single stage! :thumb:
     
  10. John Dude

    John Dude Learned skills from George Dickel

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    I've been reloading for accuracy for years. I found the Lee dies did OK for straight-walled pistol cartridges when I first started, but once I started using Redding dies, I rarely would consider any other brand. Tolerances are just too well machined. RCBS are also good. Forster are excellent for rifle accuracy niche.
     
  11. Red Shed

    Red Shed "junkyard spey"

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    I used to sell Lee and have loaded a boatload with them including several like the one in Philster's opening pic. There is a learning curve with any progressive but for me the Pro 1000 has a bigger learning curve then the Loadmaster.

    I now run a Dillon 650 and think it is the ultimate in progressives when loading straight walled pistol cases. The Lock and Load is pretty good but the Dillon is better and Dillon's warranty and customer service is legendary for being the very best in the business.

    All of the above being said, buying a progressive loader is like buying a two hander. Get as much info as you can, try them out if you can, and buy the one that pleases "you".
     
  12. Philster

    Philster Active Member

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    It would have been a horse race if I was considering the 650 (a much more expensive horse though), but I wasn't. This is my first progressive loader, and there was no comparison after having the 550b and LNL sitting side by side and running both. Basically the same price, and there was a clear winner. My quick online reasearch shows the same level of customer care and satisfaction between the two companies also. I was very fortunate to have run into a generous soul at the range who said "I have both! Wanna check them out?"
     
  13. Philster

    Philster Active Member

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    After action report. 500 or so rounds later and loving the Hornady. Took a while to get comfortable with powder dropping directly to the shells from the powder station as I was used to hand filling shells in the past. After checking every other cartridge for the first 50 or so, I have more trust in the system and only check every 10th :rofl:
    Never been more than a 10th off. Along with the powder check/lockout die showing me levels I should probably just trust it after adjusting it.
     
  14. tkww

    tkww Member

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    Thanks for the update. I've had a similar conversation with myself. I'm not ready to start reloading yet, but getting there.
     

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