Quick written review of the Lee Load -All

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Quick written review of the Lee Load -All

Post by hawcer on Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:00 pm

First off, this press is used and that can shed light on the longterm use of the press, not necessarily how a new press might be. I have loaded around 200 rounds now of 12 gauge shells using two types of powder, both types loaded up well when using the correct hull,wads and shot weight. Most shot extremely well, as I said MOST...but I'll get to that in a bit.

For the price of this press as new or used, you can not beat it. It does what it is supposed to do as long as you do your part. Yes, it is mostly plastic but I feel it will load many many rounds without concern and mine has already done so before I got my hands on it and still works as designed. It comes with everything you need to get to loading except the components....how can you beat that?

Now the downfalls....if you can call them that.

1. Powder will find it's way past the charge bar and on to the press and eventually your bench.
2. It is a must to keep the powder hopper at least 1/4 full or you risk "light loading" your shells (I told you I'd get to the "Most" part" )
3. Every so often the charge bar will hang up while trying to charge the shot into the hull(no biggie, just give it a little shake)
4. it is kind of a pain to switch out powder or shot....a real pain compared to other presses.

Other thoughts:

If you are on a limited budget and don't mind the cleanup of wasted powder, you will be happy with this press. If your bench is clean enough to eat off of and time is money....look elsewhere for a shotgun press, The Lee isn't for you.

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Re: Quick written review of the Lee Load -All

Post by Daywalker on Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:24 pm

Thanks for the review Hawcer. I do not own a Lee Load All and have thought about it. I just have not had much time to load shotshell at the moment tho...

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Re: Quick written review of the Lee Load -All

Post by RemMan700 on Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:42 pm

Good review! I bought one but have not tried it out yet. I got it because it seems like the most affordable option for someone who is not a high volume shotshell reloader.
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Re: Quick written review of the Lee Load -All

Post by hawcer on Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:58 pm

Thanks guys!

Like I said...these can be had very cheap and will load many, many shells before they wear out. Just think...the $$ saved handloading your own shotgun ammo will pay for the Lee Load-All in no time....and by the time you wear it out the money saved will buy you a very nice progressive shotshell press.....or keep buying the Lee and keep saving $$.

If I could add only one change to make the press better and not change the price too much....I would make the handle round instead of flat where you operate it from....it does start to wear on your palms after awhile.

Be sure to read the directions and use only as directed(the directions are kind of iffy) so rely on fellow reloading buddies that use them for the best directions Smile

Just a side note: Hodgdon does list all Lee powder bushing sizes/charges for their powder....and they are fairly close to being accurate. I'm not sure if Other powder manufactures have a bushing chart for their powders. Lee does include a data page with loads,bushing charts, etc. with the press.

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Re: Quick written review of the Lee Load -All

Post by Reload3006 on Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:09 pm

My alliant brochure lists Lee powder bushings. Great review. Your review is my exact opinion of the Lee Load-all it is a great machine for the low volume home loader. It has its limitations but over all is a very affordable loader. I wish it was available in .410 and 10 ga also in 3 1/2 12ga but for what it is its a great value and does a very good job. It would be nice if they offered more powder bushings too. But again for the money what do you expect it will load almost any shell you want. Great review.
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Re: Quick written review of the Lee Load -All

Post by hawcer on Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:25 pm

So far I only need one powder bushing....lucky I guess. 20gr of WST and 32gr of Longshot(give or take a small amount) both require the .155 bushing....so I don't have to change it out.

I wish they made a 410 version too....maybe they tried once and it didn't work very well for some reason and dropped the idea. I can't see any other reason not too...

Ohhh....and for those that don't shoot too much shotgun. You will if you start reloading them Smile

I've already gone through 4 boxes of reloads...2 boxes for testing... the next day, two more boxes (of the same shells reloaded again) for fun Wink

I even loaded up a handful of slugs I salvaged from some water damaged shells....they made really nice holes in a old microwave Twisted Evil

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Re: Quick written review of the Lee Load -All

Post by hawcer on Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:22 pm

Hey Reload...what is keeping the Load all from reloading 3-1/2" shells? is it the height of the wad guide or is the overall press head too low? I wonder if any mods could be made so one could reload longer shells.

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Re: Quick written review of the Lee Load -All

Post by Reload3006 on Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:31 pm

the press head is over all to low. Also the tubes for priming etc would be to short I am sure with enough tinkering you could make it load 3 1/2 but you again would need to come up with bigger bushings to handle the mag powder charges. I reckon you would need a bigger shot bushing too. but you could get around that by weighing each charge and each shot load.
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Re: Quick written review of the Lee Load -All

Post by eagle60 on Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:41 pm

Good job on the review hawcer. I don't currently load shot shell but if I get into it I will keep this in mind.
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Re: Quick written review of the Lee Load -All

Post by hawcer on Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:23 pm

Just a couple more things to keep in mind with the Lee Load all and possibly others....I found this out during trial and error...It could be well known steps that I could have overlooked.

When starting the crimp, face one of the outward points of the original factory crimp toward you to line up the crimp starter with the original crimp...count the number of fold too to be sure you are using the correct crimp starter(6 or 8 point)

Also...I have noticed the Lee press does not start a crimp very well on a shell that was not previously crimped...like a slug shell or a shell cut down from 3" to 2-3/4", for example. I have not figured this dilemma out yet.

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Re: Quick written review of the Lee Load -All

Post by XbonesX on Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:00 pm

hawcer wrote:Also...I have noticed the Lee press does not start a crimp very well on a shell that was not previously crimped...like a slug shell or a shell cut down from 3" to 2-3/4", for example. I have not figured this dilemma out yet.

I too have one and have yet to really start using it as I already own a Progressive 12ga loader. I bought mine for loading slugs and buckshot exclusively.

When I was testing it out I was having a problem at the crimp station too, but I didn't have the components I needed so I figured I'd get back to it at some point. Let me know what you figure out.

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Re: Quick written review of the Lee Load -All

Post by hawcer on Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:37 pm

Bones....I wonder if one of those brass crimp starters for the MEC presses could be retrofitted into the lee press....the brass starter does look like it has a threaded shaft and nut that holds it in place....mabe the factory Lee 8 point crimp starter could be drilled out and the MEC one installed up in the tube to replace it.

...or possible pre-heat the area of the hull that is to be crimped with a small heat gun or other non-flaming heat source.

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Re: Quick written review of the Lee Load -All

Post by Reload3006 on Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:14 pm

I have not had much luck trying to heat the plastic. but it may work for you. I know friction heat is how the roll crimpers work.
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Re: Quick written review of the Lee Load -All

Post by Reload3006 on Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:27 pm

you know Hawcer you got me thinking. Why not get a 7/8-14 bolt and drill and tap a hole in the end of it screw the crimp starter in it and use your metalic reloading press to start the crimp. It has to work.
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Re: Quick written review of the Lee Load -All

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