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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What's everyone's opinion of the Lee Challenger press and its use by a newbie? Been talking to a guy in work who wants to start reloading. Right now all he shoots is .357 Magnum, uses it for carry and target shooting. He says he's not interested in shooting anything else (I'm working on it :) ), but doesn't want to spend money on factory ammo for plinking and targets (uses Gold Dots for CCW).

I told him about the equipment I got (Rock chucker) but he was put off by the $300+ price tag (kit + 3 die sets), and figures why not get the Lee, he can get their anniversary kit and the die set he needs for about $100.

IIRC, the Lee press is cast aluminum, which turns me off, and I figure you've got to be losing something for that price difference. But I don't know if it'd make a difference in this case and he could always get something better later.

Anyone know anything about these?
 

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I use the rock chucker too.

have him check the paper / bulletin boards at the ranges, there's usually a reloading press for sale somewhere...

:devil:
 

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The Lee press is okay and would probably last a lifetime for the 357. If he is thinking of loading rifle cartridges in the future, I would strongly recommend the RCBS press. They are available on EBAY for as little as $100.00.

Tell him to get carbide dies.

RIKA
 

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Lee is low quality cr*p, fine adjustment on reloading dies is done with a pipe wrench. Go for RCBS, its given me good service since 1986.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The RockChucker (RCBS) works great for me (and I got it because it's one of the fairly few presses with a large enough opening to load .45-110 and .45-120s, for that Quigley I someday hope to get, see the single shot rifles thread), and I understand what you're saying about the Lees, but is there something specific I can tell him? I've been over the general stuff like this with him already.

RIKA, yeah the RockChucker can be had fairly cheap (brand new $115), but he'd still have to get everything else, too, which is why I sttered him toward the kits.

BTW, unlike some people, "my friend", "guy at work", etc really are my friends or guys at work, not euphemisms for me. Sorry if I took your post wrong Garand.
 

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I dont trust their powder scale for precision work, but it's ok for practice ammo. Their powder measure leaks a bit, but that's no big deal either. the Press can handle a lot of pistol stuff. He really should, however, justlook for bulk priced 38 "remanufactured" wadcutter stuff. 3D or Zero or somebody local probably offers it for 10c a shot. For no more than can be done with 38 wadcutters, a .22 makes more sense, a lot more sense.
 

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that would be money

well spent, for your friend , with that $100 kit, it is cheap crap, but you just 'hooked' another.

he can build up from there! :dgrin: [i started with a hand press and cut down cartridge cases for dippers, lyman plier jobs]


he will love his new found sense of indpendance.


thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Problem is, right now, he wants the one gun. He's shot my Ruger 22/45, but doesn't want another gun right now. He gets jumpy if I probe too much, so I let it go. I figure it's better to have him shooting his one gun than get soured to shooting altogether.
 

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Lee equip for newbie's

I have been using Lee equip for 5 years. Over 10,000 rounds from 32 pistol to 8mm rifle. 9 handguns, 5 rifles.

I have the lee turret press without the turret. In effect is 3 or 4 single stage presses. Aluminium frames are no problem up to 8mm rifle.

The only equp i replaced immediately was the scale. It was accurate but difficult to operate.

Carbide dies are no problem. Easy to adjust and no lube for 357.

Lee is by far the least expensive way to get into reloading. And as you know if you shoot more than 200 rounds a year you already paid for the equipment

I would not hessitate to reccommend it to any newby.
 

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Lee three hole turret, here, I did buy a digital scale, and it really cuts down on the thumbsucking. I currently load three handgun calibers, just change the die loaded base plates and shell holder and I'm good to go.
A set of calipers and bullet puller are also good inexpensive additions. Also get the auto-disk powder measure, once set up he won't change it in a lifetime if he just shoots one caiber/load.
I would advise against carry gun with reloads for everyday use, just train with 'em set up similarly to the bullet weight and charge his defense loads use.
A factory crip die in a second baseplate is nice but not required in the wheelgun. Go with a clean burning powder--Clays, #5, or Bullseye all work well for me.
SatCong
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
pasquot: thanks for the vote.

He did order the Anniversary kit after doing the math and finding out it'd cost a lot more to buy it all separately, even if you got one of the lesser presses, like the "C" press.

SatCong, "I would advise against carry gun with reloads for everyday use, just train with 'em set up similarly to the bullet weight and charge his defense loads use." Doing that cheap is exactly why he wanted to get into reloading. I think he carries Gold Dots.

I lent him a spare set of calipers, and he'll no doubt be asking me for the bullet puller.

I sat with him and went through loading 50 rounds (I get good results from 2400, so that's what we used). I see what you mean about the Lee scale being a PITA, but I think it's a good thing, he'll go slower and be more deliberate in his steps. The press itself seems a bit rickety, not the press itself, but the linkage.but it does the job.

I see Lee has come out with a "Classic" press -- acutal cast iron, looks sturdy as the Rockchucker and Graf's has them for sale for $62. Anyone seen one? The reviews on Midway's web site are suprisingly in favor of it. Maybe it'd be a good upgrade for him in the near future? Then I'll be mean and let him use my Micro Pro scale, LOL, then he won't be able to live without a digital scale! :dgrin:
 
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