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Thread: Lee loader starting to load

  1. #1

    Lee loader starting to load

    I think that I am going to have a go at loading basic accurate enough for stalking rounds for my 243 or 6.5x55,

    presumably a a lee loader, bullets, primers and powder is what I require, and nothing else other than a book or manual to start?

    Does one have to buy large quantities and what can be sold by post? I keep seeing lots of things for sale on here but I don't really know what I'm looking for.
    powder: I presume the Lee loader manual will tell me what type of powder I need in the 'recipes'
    primers: are these a standard size for all centre fire we might use for deer? And any better than other makes that I should consider (note that I just want to make a basic round)
    bullets: pass, but as long as they are the right calibre, grain and soft point of some sort, anything else to look out for again considering I just want a work like stalking round?
    brass: I intend to use once fired cases from my own guns. I gather that ip this means that they are fire formed to my gun and shouldn't need shaping or trimming beyond what the Lee loader will do?

    thanks in advance for any help.


  2. #2
    You're on the right track.

    You'll need Large Rifle primers, any brand that's easily available - they come in boxes of 100 for about 6. Powder is mostly sold by the pound for about 40.

    You won't really need a manual as the Lee loader comes with a condensed manual telling you all that you need. This will tell you what powders are suitable. Bear in mind that the loader only comes with a single powder scoop so you will only be able to use a single charge weight. The best addition would be a Lee powder scale for about 20 I think. I don't think the loader comes with a case trimmer and case length gauge - these are useful if you end up using the cases a few times.

  3. #3
    Thanks Takbok - that's very helpful. seemingly I should get the lee loader and take things from there.

    what quantities do bullets tend to come in? (please educate me now, before I make a fool of myself, the projectiles are bullets not heads? I have seen arguments relating to this on here before.)


  4. #4
    You'll probably be able to find one powder that will will work for both calibres to save you buying different ones - look at the load data that comes with the loader or you'll find it online. You'll need to buy powder, bullets and primers from a RFD. You can buy expanding bullets (mostly in packs of 100) online from Europe ( and other places) if you desire.

    All the best. You'll no doubt produce some accurate and satisfying ammo.

  5. #5
    Yes, the projectiles are most definitely called bullets��

  6. #6
    A couple of things to add:

    A lee chamfering tool is useful to chamfer the inside of the case mouth to allow the bullet to seat easily.

    A cheapish 10 digital vernier caliper is useful for seating the bullets for the correct cartridge overall length (COL or COAL).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Canterbury, Kent and Johannesburg, South Africa
    I started reloading a few months ago in exactly the same way and have been churning out accurate ammunition for my .223, .243 and 30-06 ever since. It's a very satisfying process and, as others have said on numerous threads, it certainly adds another dimension to shooting. I use the Lee Manual and online information from the various powder manufacturers.

    In addition to the items mentioned above, I've added a few other bits and pieces to my reloading kit which might be worth considering including a vernier caliper to measure overall cartridge length and a Lee auto-prime hand priming tool, which is faster than the manual method and removes the likelihood of detonating the odd primer when manually inserting them. That only happened to me once, probably as a result of over enthusiastic tapping, and no damage done but the auto-prime pretty much removes that possibility from the equation. A small tool for cleaning the primer pockets and chamfer/debur tool complete the basic kit for me.

    Good luck and enjoy.

  8. #8
    Please, please read a manual and get yourself some knowledge before you start.
    Whereas reloading can be rewarding and fascinating subject there area few pitfalls that can make it dangerous!
    Too low a powder measure for example, can be as dangerous if not more so than too much!
    Take your time.
    One step at a time & check and you will have no problems.
    Use the correct materials, measure carefully and if in any doubt ask. Someone will help I guarantee you.
    I don't want to frighten you off just remind you that you are dealing with high pressures and need to remember that.
    Reloading is a fascinating subject and can become addictive. I'm certain that once you get started you'll enjoy it.
    Just stay safe!
    If a wolf can take down a deer from either flank, does that make him bambidextrous?

  9. #9
    Look at N160 if you want a powder that will wok for both, provided bullets are at the heavier end for .243 and not 55gr foxing rounds.

    I have no experience with the Lee loader but from what I know of it a boat tail rather than a flat base bullet may make seating the bullet easier....
    Last edited by Boydy47; 12-10-2016 at 16:11.

  10. #10
    Thanks everyone for your helpful posts. I certainly will do plenty of reading before kicking off, I just wanted to understand the basic materials and method before I did so. I started reading a while ago but gave up but it's helpful to read in the context of knowing that I will start with a lee loader and then understand the limitations.

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