.303 Lee Loader experiences

feno

Well-Known Member
Looking into reloading in .303 and thinking about starting with a Lee Loader.



Would be very interested in peoples experience and thoughts of these.



Cheers Jon
 

NullMac

Well-Known Member
Never heard of anyone using one before, so I Googled

"Please note: The Classic Lee Loader neck sizes only."

So if that's the same thing, it is of limited use as eventually you will have to full length resize
 

Sampo

Well-Known Member
I do reload for .303 but using Lee dies and not via the Lee Loader. Not sure if I would be comfortable tapping in with about 40+ grains of N140. If you reload for other calibers, a Lee Die Set for about £35 is all you need in addition to the usual stuff. Also its a lot eaiser if you are doing a large batch.
 

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
There has been previous on here over the years. They are a simple device, but consensus is that they produce good ammo with little effort. Possibly not benchrest accuracy, but more than adequate for hunting.

A full reloading kit will cost the best part of £200 and you will need to add a set of dies.

The Lee Loader costs £35. It will take a bit longer to load a box of cartridges, but with a press - unless its permanently mounted, by the time you have set up your kit on the kitchen table, you are probably 1/2 way through reloading a box of cartridges.
 

feno

Well-Known Member
Never heard of anyone using one before, so I Googled

"Please note: The Classic Lee Loader neck sizes only."

So if that's the same thing, it is of limited use as eventually you will have to full length resize
I think I am right in saying you can only use rimmed cases a few times so this may not be an issue?


I do reload for .303 but using Lee dies and not via the Lee Loader. Not sure if I would be comfortable tapping in with about 40+ grains of N140. If you reload for other calibers, a Lee Die Set for about £35 is all you need in addition to the usual stuff. Also its a lot eaiser if you are doing a large batch.
Would only be small amounts and I have not reloaded before, hitting things full of an explosive substance dose ring alarm bells!!!


There has been previous on here over the years. They are a simple device, but consensus is that they produce good ammo with little effort. Possibly not benchrest accuracy, but more than adequate for hunting.

A full reloading kit will cost the best part of £200 and you will need to add a set of dies.

The Lee Loader costs £35. It will take a bit longer to load a box of cartridges, but with a press - unless its permanently mounted, by the time you have set up your kit on the kitchen table, you are probably 1/2 way through reloading a box of cartridges.
Would be for range plinking and stalking, if it groups so ultimate accuracy is not really required
 

caberslash

Well-Known Member
There has been previous on here over the years. They are a simple device, but consensus is that they produce good ammo with little effort. Possibly not benchrest accuracy, but more than adequate for hunting.

Ammo made with the Lee Loader held the Guinness world record for accuracy at 1000 yards for 7 odd years...

A .303 headspaces off the rim of the cartridge, not the shoulder. Lee Enfield users often prefer a Lee Loader.

Try one and make your own conclusions.

Read the instructions, use a soft faced mallet and not a metal hammer (a numbskull on here complained using a hammer marked his case heads... :doh::banghead:)

Buy a cheap case conditioning set from Lee, and the trimming case length gauge. Some powder, primer and bullets, sorted.

Under £100 all in.

@Muir likes them, which speaks volumes!
 

markyw

Well-Known Member
I have made ammunition for .222 and .308 with a Lee Loader. I do have a turret and single stage press also, but was interested in how and if they work - which they do. No discernible accuracy difference between press-made ammo and loader-made ammo once everything was set up right. I think I may also have a .303 loader, but not used it in anger. Will check.

On that note, if anyone has a 6.5x55 SE Lee Loader they are not using, I would be the grateful recipient, obviously for appropriate remuneration.

Regards

Mark
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
I do reload for .303 but using Lee dies and not via the Lee Loader. Not sure if I would be comfortable tapping in with about 40+ grains of N140. If you reload for other calibers, a Lee Die Set for about £35 is all you need in addition to the usual stuff. Also its a lot eaiser if you are doing a large batch.
Really? Lee has sold many millions of Loaders to millions of shooters since the 1960's. Are you so accident prone that the process makes you uncomfortable? :) -Muir
 

Haggis Hunter

Well-Known Member
I've about 100 222 cases lined up for reloading with my Lee Loader over the next couple of days. It's a simple process although I do prefer to prime them these days using a RCBS hand priming tool (you get a better feel for the seating of the primer).
hh
 

Pedro

Well-Known Member
So, I started to reload .303 with a Lee Loader. Here's my experiences:

First of all, it depends on what you want to shoot your .303 for. If making a big noise, giving your gun a workout and so long as the shots get somewhere near the point of aim is your goal, it's ideal.

I did a good few rounds with mine and never had a mishap. If you are meticulous and concentrate, it's perfectly safe and produces viable ammo. However, there are drawbacks. It's noisy, if that's an issue. If you use the yellow measurer for your powder, you are only going to get the right amount of powder per round occasionally and randomly. Although for plinking, that, you might conclude is good enough. It does only neck-size. Which isn't such a problem with .303, so long as you use the ammo in the rifle it was fire-formed in. However, obviously as you use the brass a few times the length of them will grow, so you might in any case want to acquire a solution for that.

It isn't that bad and is a quick way to get shooting your own rounds. But if you intend to use your rifle on an ongoing basis, then a nice, not too expensive single stage press and a set of dies won't break the bank and is probably the better way to go. You will likely end up doing that anyway. You'll probably end up getting a nice, not too expensive powder measurer or some scales, maybe a case length trimmer and other bits and bobs too. You can pay a fortune, but for around the £100 mark you could get up and running with a press.
 

aris

Well-Known Member
In addition to the loader, it is good to have callipers, and a scale (inexpensive digital one is fine). A bullet comparator is a nice to have too, but I'm not sure who makes one for 303.

also:
Case conditioning combo Case Condtioning Combo - Lee Precision

303 case length gage Gage/holder 303 British - Lee Precision

I have used lee dies with the lee hand press for a 243 (Tikka T3) and get multiple V bulls @300yds at Bisley.


Dug up the photo. Couple of fliers, but that was probably me.

31853DA5-5437-4214-BF3D-17C4002238C8.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Muir

Well-Known Member
So, I started to reload .303 with a Lee Loader. Here's my experiences:

First of all, it depends on what you want to shoot your .303 for. If making a big noise, giving your gun a workout and so long as the shots get somewhere near the point of aim is your goal, it's ideal.
What a sorry description of the Lee Loader's accuracy potential.

I can't tell you how many rounds of ammunition I have loaded with Lee Loaders -from 22 Hornet and 25-20WCF to 308, 30-40, 303, 30-30, 32 Winchester Special, 32-40, and 30-06. I own one for every rifle I have. (Provided they made it)

I gave a Model 700 Mountain Rifle in 222 to a friend along with a lee loader. His 5 shot groups could be covered by -literally- an aspirin tablet. He now loads for a few more cartridges and has bench mounted gear, but he has never stopped using the Lee kit for the Triple Deuce. I once ran a test with the 223. I loaded 80 rounds of once fired brass -all from the same LOT and fired originally in the same rifle- using the Lee loader for 40, and my RCBS bench mounted gear for the other forty. I used a Lee Trimmer on all. Used the scoop on the Lee loaded ammo and a Hornady measure on the RCBS loaded ammo. At the range: no difference. Average groups size of 8 five shot groups of each, was within minute of heartbeat for each.

The only 303 I loaded for was my M4, MKII target rifle. I loaded 215 grain cast bullets at the range and shot as well as I could hold with the iron target sights. I did that for an entire summer before I got interested in something else.

Hell.
If they made one for 6.5 Creedmoor I'd own it and use it. ~Muir
 
Top