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Thread: Hand Loading Presses?

  1. #1

    Hand Loading Presses?

    I want to try my hand at reloading but I don't have the space for a nice bench. I don't really have the room to store a big press and assorted stuff either, TBH persuading the missus to let me have a gun cabinet was bad enough, so sticking a big press on the dining table and then allowing it to take up valuable shoe space in a cupboard is a big no no. One day we will move house and I will have my own "boys room" but for now I haven't the space.

    I therefore need a hand press, some thing that will pack away in a box and go in the "man drawer". A lee loader is out because they don't do them in 7-08 so I was wondering about the lee hand press, seems ok, but before I buy one is there anything similar on the market? I don't want anything that needs bolting or screwing down...

  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Ronin's Avatar
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    Oct 2014
    Lancs / Cumbria Border
    Lee hand press is invaluable as a back up, I wouldnt be without one.

    I wouldn't use one for my usual reloading, if space is an issue, the arbour press's are pretty small - but require at least holding to a bench with a G clamp or similar.

    You can use any 7/8th x14 tpi dies in the Lee press by the way, youre not restricted to using Lee dies with a Lee Press (that would be awful) me anyway

  3. #3
    Thanks Andy, I'm just not sure about going for anything that requires clamping on to anything, I don't need anywhere near the precision that you will be looking for, just being able to make some decent hunting ammo with the bullet that I want as opposed to being limited to what the local dealer can order in, I asked around before choosing caliber and was always told "we can get you anything" now that I am actually asking for it there's a lot of " well we can't order that in this quantity" and "the importer won't sell us that" I'm not blaming them, but I'd like the freedom to pick and choose my own loads rather than be limited to just a few.

    If I go for a hand press I was wondering wether I would be better neck sizing only as this would require less pressure and might be easier with a hand press? What do you think?

    Another no show yesterday BTW. Tomorrow's the day hopefully

  4. #4
    If you are handy with some basic hand tools, you can make a portable loading bench. A lot of guys here in the States do this when they are living in an apartment/flat, (like me) when I was in the military, and in the barracks.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The Lee hand press will also work fine, but if you're intending to load a significant amount of ammo, it could be trying.

  5. #5
    A lee hand press will do just about everything a fixed press will do,as long as you are not loading hundreds at a time, I had no trouble full length sizing. 308 although 7.5x55 were a bit more of a grunt and you can sit in front of the telly whilst recalling and sizing
    "Politicians must be allowed to panic. They need activity. It is their substitute for achievement"
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  6. #6
    If you lived near me you could come and use mine! But a hand press will be just fine.

  7. #7
    Like the Marine says. I loaded with my press mounted on a short piece of 2x6 pine and that was C-clamped to any available flat space. It worked.~Muir

  8. #8
    you could get the bore of a 308 lee loader reamed to 7-08 for custom goodness!
    there's a man who can down the road from you!

  9. #9
    I like marine PMI's idea, I am picturing it with built in storage for bits and bobs too, tools and dies etc. For what it will cost I think I will give the hand press a try, possibly upgrade to something better at a later date.

    I take it no one else makes a hand press?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by bewsher500 View Post
    you could get the bore of a 308 lee loader reamed to 7-08 for custom goodness!
    there's a man who can down the road from you!
    Neat trick, boring 308 down to .284! I'm assuming you mean sleeving? That would entail making a new seater as well as the knockout rods. Not a big deal but the hand press is a better option, short of a small deck-mounted press.

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