Review–Lee Loader

ZeglinThumbnailwith Fred Zeglin
AGI Instructor and Owner of 4D Reamer Rentals

Fred Zeglin knows everything there is to know about reloading–including the tool he would have in his emergency bug-out bag–the Lee Loader.

In this video Fred demonstrates how easy it is to use this portable reloading set. throw this tool plus some powder, primers and bullets for your camping firearm in your truck, and you won’t have to worry about being without ammo away from home.

Get more information from the manufacturer HERE.


12 Responses to Review–Lee Loader

  1. Hi Fred
    Thanks for the video.
    I started out reloading over forty years ago with the Lee Loader, (the old cardboard,black and red boxes) .38Spcl/.357 Magnum. Over the years I picked up a number of these kits, rifle mostly, in case there was ever an emergency and I didn’t have access to my press and reloading tools.
    The only downside I know of with the loaders for rifles is they neck size only, so if you have more than one long gun in the same caliber, you would have to keep the fired cases separate for each gun.
    Other than that, they are a great and useful tool.
    Thanks again!

  2. I have a couple, of Lee loaders and I believe, they are fantastic/invaluable, little tools! In my opinion, given constantly changing environments/circumstances, which would render hand-pressing, extremely inconvenient/difficult, you can’t ask, for a better system!

  3. Neck sizing only is exactly what you want for precision shooting. You might also want to add their handy dandy case trimmer. And if you get the the trimmer with the base on it for use in a drill (I frequently use mine in a drill press) you have a very slick inexpensive power trimme.

  4. By the way they used to sell a set that was designed for benchrest shooting. The advantage to the Lee loader for benchrest shooting is the ability to drob the bullet precisely onto the case mouth for seating. Some benchrest shooters used only a few cases properly selected for shooting and would reload at the bench. Some would use only one cartridge and would reload after firing which gave enough time for the barrel to cool between shots and helped improve consistency by eliminating the variable of the differences between individual casings.

    • Arbor press dies are the modern version of the tools you mentioned. There are still bench rest guys loading at the bench when the game allows the time. For those who do not know, neck sizing leaves the body of the case unchanged so it more closely matches the chamber of the rifle. Since the case is tighter to the chamber it tends to be a more accurate way of loading.

      Thanks for your comments.

  5. I can see how a Lee loader is great for neck-sizing only, if that is the desire. I love Lee products. However, the loader is about the same as carrying a regular set of dies, and it mainly uses a hammer instead of a press. Well, an aluminum Lee hand press is about as compact and often lighter than a hammer (although using a rock found locally would keep the bug-out bag lighter). In my thirty-odd years of reloading many thousands of rounds of several calibers, I have only used Lee hand presses. But whether one puts into the bag a choice of loader or normal die set, and hammer or hand press, you still need at least powder, bullets, and primers, omitting conveniences like case length trimmers, chamfer tool, priming tool, calipers, scale, powder dispenser, lead pot, dipper, molds, lead ingots, and stove. Very simply, I find it lighter and much more practical to carry plenty of already reloaded, precision ammunition than to carry around the very same unassembled components plus reloading equipment, just because of skimping on brass. Of course, if ammo is limited for the time that one is out, and there will be a way to acquire usable powder, primers, and bullets, then it makes sense to bring along reloading tools. At bug-out time, though, you won’t likely find powder and primers waiting for you on a store shelf.

    • Your point is well taken. I would bet that most prepers would say that the idea of the Lee Loader for a SHTF tool would be to stash it with other tools and resources you would have put away. Conveniences will be out the window if a SHTF situation came to pass.

      Many people have stashes in more than one location to protect their resources. Who knows where you will be when you might need them?

      All the best.

  6. As far as SHTF bag ready, I have a Ruger 10/22 and SR22 with magazines for both and spare ammo plus, all magazines are loaded. I use a Tactical Solutions scope mount and have a scope with QD rings along also. That lets me use either a scope or open sights. That said, I have my original Lee Loader that I bought 46 years ago for .357. Much time has been given as to keep my Marlin 94 and GP100, primers, powder and cast Bullets handy. I considered setting up for my .44 mag instead but eliminated it as the ammo takes up more space as do the spare Bullets. I have made several custom dippers out of empty cases cut down to my favorite load and soldered to a short piece of rod so that I can carry an accurate load with a heavier cast bullet that makes the .357 round really work well even on deer sized game. I sight both in for the round and use nickel cases as I’ve found they seem best in the Lee Loader tool. Straight Wall cases trimmed and properly prepped don’t really stretch so re-trimming and case mouth work isn’t needed. I also have a small primer pocket tool as it takes up no space to speak of.

  7. I can’t remember the last time I had a smile on my face the entire length of a video. But today I did. Thanks and keep up the good work.

  8. My first handgun reloading was done with the Lee 38/357 loader. I found a piece of hard elm to pound on and a bunch of bullets given to me by a friend. I think my first lb. of Green Dot (for 38 Spl) lasted years, and I still have a bit of W231 that I used for .357 loads.
    For measures, I splurged and bought a full set of 15 Lee dippers (I’m pretty sure they were under $5). An afternoon of borrowing a friend’s powder scale told me which dippers to throw into the box.

    Now, of course, I have all those fancy reloading tools for way too many calibers. I’m too sophisticated (!) for such simplicity as a Lee Loader. Or am I? Kinda think I need to go back…..

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