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  1. #1
    Senior Member linung's Avatar
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    Question New Reloader - Lee 50th Anniversary Reloader Kit

    I'm a new shooter. Thinking about getting into reloading.

    So I was thinking about getting this Lee 50th Anniversary Reloader Kit I saw on Cabela's Canada.
    http://www.cabelas.ca/product/3534/l...y-reloader-kit

    Any one has experience with it?
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  2. #2
    Moderator kennymo's Avatar
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    Have it, along with a bunch of other stuff....

    It's functional, but as you progress you'll probably want to replace a fair number of the accessories. The scale works, but it's far more finicky to deal with than my Lyman, I gave it away eventually. The powder measure feels sorta cheap, but works decently. The Lyman reaming/chamfering tool was superior to the Lee one, I don't use it anymore. Priming system isn't too bad, you just need to develop a sort of rhythm and use the right amount of pressure and it works reliably. The press itself is about all 80% of shooters will ever really need. Don't abuse it and it'll give years of service.

    I found my kit on sale for 99 bucks a few years back and couldn't resist trying it out. I feel satisfied with it at that price. It might be worth pricing out the press, a better scale, a hand priming tool and a few of the other doodads you'll need to start and see how much you're really saving. But if you like, just add dies, components and a caliper and this will get you cranking that lever. (A caliper and a manual are really the biggest things missing from this kit)
    Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.

  3. #3
    Go Canucks Go! lone-wolf's Avatar
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    I started with it and hated that scale so much I ordered a rcbs chargemaster from brownells, which is why I still reload.
    If I was stuck with beam scales I wouldn't reload.

    I lost the handheld primer, but I just use the press instead.

    The primer arm has an annoying habit of falling out while resizing.
    It needs to stay in to direct spent primers.
    the wild still lingered in him and the wolf in him merely slept

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  4. #4
    Super Moderator Rory McCanuck's Avatar
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    Yep, great way to get started.
    The press is quite good, and it has the breechlock feature, if that appeals.
    Screwing in a die is no great hardship to me, but many like the quick-change ability.
    You can leave the one bushing in and just screw dies into it, like a normal press.
    The lock-ring eliminators are very nice. http://www.cabelas.ca/product/71725/...ing-eliminator

    The on-press Safety Prime is one of the nicer on-press priming systems.
    I prefer other methods, but it worked well enough.

    The powder measure is plastic, but the design doesn't require any steel, other than the stand.
    Of my measures, the Lee PPM is easily the best with the extruded powders I use for rifles.
    It doesn't like flake or ball powders, but I use other measures for them.

    The scale is accurate, but incredibly sensitive, and rather fiddly to set.
    I won't say much bad about it, but any one of the other 5 (6?) beam scales I have are much more user-friendly.

    The incidentals that come with it are serviceable, the chamfer tool and primer pocket cleaner work, but I find them small and hard on the hands. They're a bonus though, as most other kits don't come with them.
    The Lee case lube is one of the better options out there, works quite nicely.
    The funnel is a funnel; it works as well as any other, but you will need another option if you intend on reloading 17 or 20 cals.

    Once you get going reloading, you might find you want to change some of the tools to something that suits you better, but you can't form an opinion on what works or doesn't work for you until you get started. This kit provides everything you need to get started, and you could quite reasonably not ever feel a need to 'upgrade.'

    One more thing you will want, the case length gauge and shellholder for the trimmer that comes in the kit, for each calibre you reload for.
    They're ~$7 per calibre, but work well and pretty much foolproof.
    Certainly cheaper than $150 for a trimmer painted another colour until you get 20 or so gauges.
    That probably won't be for a while
    Don't blame me, I didn't vote for that clown. Oct 20, '15

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Rory McCanuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lone-wolf View Post
    The primer arm has an annoying habit of falling out while resizing.
    It needs to stay in to direct spent primers.
    Take a bit of emory cloth to the hole in the shellholder.
    If there's a burr or rough spot, it'll grab the primer thingy and pull it out and throw it on the floor for you.
    I'm disappointed at how long it took me to figure that one out
    Don't blame me, I didn't vote for that clown. Oct 20, '15

  6. The Following 2 Users Like This Post By Rory McCanuck

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  7. #6
    Senior Member shootist1873's Avatar
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    What everyone has said so far is true.

    Something else though.

    It's an aluminum frame press, but these have proven to be acceptably strong and durable.

    However, the block that the handle, ram, and links are fastened to is a non-ferrous alloy, although the color of it suggests that it is steel, like the swinging links. Probably a high-tensile zinc-aluminum alloy. Saw on You-Tube that this block can break under heavy pressure. So, magnum rifle brass resizing is probably not a good idea.

    You might be better to start with the Lee Classic cast iron single stage press which is very well priced, but very strong, and also buy a better scale as well.

    A cast iron single stage press will last a lifetime, as my 40+ years old first press will attest. I pulled it apart, cleaned it, and lubed it recently, and set up a secondary reloading station near my computer.
    It will probably be serving a new owner 40 years from now, if people still shoot in 2057.

    The Lee hand priming tool is durable, easier to use, and faster than the on-press auto-prime, and the plastic drum powder measure works quite well despite being made mostly out of plastic.
    Last edited by shootist1873; 06-18-2017 at 06:47 PM.

  8. #7
    Super Moderator Rory McCanuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shootist1873 View Post

    However, the block that the handle, ram, and links are fastened to is a non-ferrous alloy, although the color of it suggests that it is steel, like the swinging links. Probably a high-tensile zinc-aluminum alloy. Saw on You-Tube that this block can break under heavy pressure. So, magnum rifle brass resizing is probably not a good idea.

    You might be better to start with the Lee Classic cast iron single stage press which is very well priced, but very strong, and also buy a better scale as well.
    The one on mine was steel. The old ones were cast something-or-other and had a habit of breaking.
    Even the steel ones will break if the bolt is allowed to go loose.

    I agree that the Classic Cast is a much beefier press, but it is also the same price as the whole kit.
    Don't blame me, I didn't vote for that clown. Oct 20, '15

  9. #8
    Senior Member shootist1873's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rory McCanuck View Post
    The one on mine was steel. The old ones were cast something-or-other and had a habit of breaking.
    Even the steel ones will break if the bolt is allowed to go loose.

    I agree that the Classic Cast is a much beefier press, but it is also the same price as the whole kit.
    Could be about the new block. I'll check when I'm at Cabela's next.

    The Classic Cast, as you say, costs as much as the kit, but it is so much stronger. And, the scale in the kit needs replacing anyway. The powder measure and small tools are cheap to buy.

    So, for a not-too-unreasonable additional cost, the OP might be happier.

    Depends whether he wants to spend more, or just try out reloading first to see if he likes it.

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  11. #9
    Senior Member linung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shootist1873 View Post
    Could be about the new block. I'll check when I'm at Cabela's next.

    The Classic Cast, as you say, costs as much as the kit, but it is so much stronger. And, the scale in the kit needs replacing anyway. The powder measure and small tools are cheap to buy.

    So, for a not-too-unreasonable additional cost, the OP might be happier.

    Depends whether he wants to spend more, or just try out reloading first to see if he likes it.
    I'm a cheapskate. Shooting 30-30 is just too expensive, unless I get into reloading.

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  12. #10
    Moderator kennymo's Avatar
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    http://www.cabelas.com/product/Class...der/733635.uts

    Cheapskate, eh? Check this out. All you need to buy is a decent rubber mallet....
    Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.

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