Lee loader

billm

Active Member
Trying to find a Lee kit to load my own 222 but can't find any in UK can you still get them. Iam new to home loading so would appreciate some help, like is there an other similar kit on the market. billm.
 

Haggis Hunter

Well-Known Member
They are not available new. I found a SH 222 Loader on eBay, eventually. Just keep looking or take up Takbot’s very kind offer.
hh
 

J.kerslake

Well-Known Member
I had one in .222, bought it on here...then also it on here! Didn’t rate it at all! Much better to just buy second hand kit and spend a bit more
 

Haggis Hunter

Well-Known Member
I've only ever reloaded Sako factory ammo cases fired in my own 222, with no issues. I like using the kit (for its simplicity) and the ammo I make is pretty accurate, but I am not someone who obsesses about squeezing the last bit accuracy out of a rifle. If you can find one and get going in reloading very cheaply then go for it. I also have a press and dies for my 6.5x47 rifle (no Lee Loader was ever made for this calibre, as I understand it otherwise I'd just use a Loader for that as well).
hh
 

LeftHandGuy

Well-Known Member
I have used a Lee Loader (308) and it made blisteringly accurate ammunition (it shot better than I could ever shoot it). But, it is an extremely limited system.

You can only reliably use unfired brass or brass fired in your own chamber and you either need to actuate it with a mallet, or you can interpose an arbor press (which I did). Using the hammer is noisy and annoying

If light weight and portability are important to you I would strongly suggest that you try instead the Lee hand press and normal dies. There is noting stopping you from using neck sizing dies if that's what you want to do anyway, and it's a much more versatile tool. Even if you get the reloading bug and decide to upgrade in the future, a press that can be used without a bench is something you will probably not want to be without once you have owned one.

You can even sit on the sleeper up to Scotland and assemble your stalking ammo on the way - the regs only state you can't board the train with loaded ammunition ;)

Anyway, just something to think about, Lee loaders are cool, but a bit of dead end and definitely not worth paying over the odds for rarity value of one in an OOP chambering.
 

billm

Active Member
Thanks everyone was realy helpfull I have just orderd
Modern reloading by Richard Lee and will read it a few times before making any decisions.
And thank you kalbot for your offer much appreciated. As I said I am new to reloading and have a lot to learn.
Thank you Martin for asking if I still want one but for the moment I will have to wait, but if i still do i will contact you. billm.
 

Sharpie

Well-Known Member
Trying to find a Lee kit to load my own 222 but can't find any in UK can you still get them. Iam new to home loading so would appreciate some help, like is there an other similar kit on the market. billm.
TBH the Lee Loader is an anachronism, only kept in production from sentimentality. It really isn't all that great. And might put you off the reloading experience.

A better entry level solution nowadays is a Lee hand press and a basic set of two RGB dies, plus a shellholder. And their ram prime. It will teach you how to use dies, rather than how to bash things noisily with a mallet on some sort of solid surface.

You might find that the hand press kit, including the ram prime and some other useful bits, and a tube of case lube makes economic sense over just the press.

Once you have one, other calibres cost only the price of some more dies.

So much faster to use. And better. No loading bench required.

It's how I started, and is still used. I can fit a complete, comprehensive reloading setup into a .50 cal ammo tin if necessary. Powder, primers, bullets, dippers, digital scales, callipers, some case cleaning stuff (scotchbrite), primer pocket scraper, case trimmer and deburrer included too, with room for more.

If you find that reloading is for you, then you have the dies, priming tool etc. to use in a bench press. You will still find a use for the hand press too.

Honestly, Lee Loaders are living in the past, over priced, although a darling of e.g. preppers living a fantasy of bugging out with minimal kit.
 

muddy42

Well-Known Member
I’ve reluctantly given up on my lee loader. About 5/10% of my reloaded one-fired cases (in my rifle) end up being impractically stiff to chamber. Due to neck sizing only.

Other rifles may not have this issue, but in a stalking situation, I need maximum reliable feeding.
 

Bavarianbrit

Well-Known Member
I have an old Lyman 310 tool in .38/.357 /9mm bought way back pre ban in 1982 but I have never yet used them as I also have these dies in 7/8 x 14 for my regular press. But nostalgia lets them stay on the shelf it reminds me of Colin Smith the ex Purdy stocker from Ash in Kent where I had bought them.
 

User00025

Well-Known Member
I’ve reluctantly given up on my lee loader. About 5/10% of my reloaded one-fired cases (in my rifle) end up being impractically stiff to chamber. Due to neck sizing only.

Other rifles may not have this issue, but in a stalking situation, I need maximum reliable feeding.
My .22 Hornet with very delicate cases is handling neck sized third loads perfectly. Never had a problem extracting or reloading/feeding. Sounds strange with some fireformed loading and others not. Could be operator error methinks.
 

muddy42

Well-Known Member
My .22 Hornet with very delicate cases is handling neck sized third loads perfectly. Never had a problem extracting or reloading/feeding. Sounds strange with some fireformed loading and others not. Could be operator error methinks.
User error not possible here. Let me explain. The cases are tight before I reload them.

in other words, this brass was factory ammo once fired in my rifle. If all I do is remove the primers and put the empty once fired case in the chamber some are stiff to close.

The initial chambering of factory ammo and then full length sized reloads is smooth and without issues.

yours may be different but my rifle does not like neck sized ammo. I also worried for the health of my bolt and chamber.

since Ive full length resized everything is well oiled and smooth.

just the way it is. Stalkers need 100% reliable feeding and I am not prepared to go back.
 

User00025

Well-Known Member
User error not possible here. Let me explain. The cases are tight before I reload them.

in other words, this brass was factory ammo once fired in my rifle. If all I do is remove the primers and put the empty once fired case in the chamber some are stiff to close.

The initial chambering of factory ammo and then full length sized reloads is smooth and without issues.

yours may be different but my rifle does not like neck sized ammo. I also worried for the health of my bolt and chamber.

since Ive full length resized everything is well oiled and smooth.

just the way it is. Stalkers need 100% reliable feeding and I am not prepared to go back.
Strange indeed.
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
TBH the Lee Loader is an anachronism, only kept in production from sentimentality. It really isn't all that great. And might put you off the reloading experience.

A better entry level solution nowadays is a Lee hand press and a basic set of two RGB dies, plus a shellholder. And their ram prime. It will teach you how to use dies, rather than how to bash things noisily with a mallet on some sort of solid surface.

You might find that the hand press kit, including the ram prime and some other useful bits, and a tube of case lube makes economic sense over just the press.

Once you have one, other calibres cost only the price of some more dies.

So much faster to use. And better. No loading bench required.

It's how I started, and is still used. I can fit a complete, comprehensive reloading setup into a .50 cal ammo tin if necessary. Powder, primers, bullets, dippers, digital scales, callipers, some case cleaning stuff (scotchbrite), primer pocket scraper, case trimmer and deburrer included too, with room for more.

If you find that reloading is for you, then you have the dies, priming tool etc. to use in a bench press. You will still find a use for the hand press too.

Honestly, Lee Loaders are living in the past, over priced, although a darling of e.g. preppers living a fantasy of bugging out with minimal kit.
I don't even know where to start to respond to this.
The Lee loaders have started millions of reloaders onto the path of reloading and are still in such demand that Lee has stated "don't ask" when people have requested a new or custom chambering. I own one in every chambering that I can get. That they make good ammunition is undeniable. Lee Loader produced ammunition once held the 1000 yard BR record in the US and that is not a surprise: They are not that much different than an in-line sizer. I won several cast bullet benchrest matches loading a single 30-06 case at the bench. The only extra gear being a Lee trimmer and the optional case mouth expander that that Lee would offer for the kits. It seriously rankled the parlor princess reloaders with their micrometer-festooned loading gear.

In this age of reloading techno-sophistry, I find myself more willing to strike up a reloading conversation with the guy shooting nice groups with ammo loaded by a Lee Loader than the one who boasts of his shiny reloading laboratory. The conversation will be much more interesting. ~Muir
 
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