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Lee Challenger Breech Lock Press Kit


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#1 seebass

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 11:07 PM

I just bought the Lee Challenger breech lock press kit from Cabelas. They have it on sale for $99! Well it said $99 online and when I added it to the cart it changed to $117.99. I just called customer service and they gave it to me for the $99... I figured I couldn't go wrong. I bought a set of .223 dies and the Lee case trimmer with ball handle. With shipping it was $143 I got $5 shipping also so that didn't hurt either!I know I need a tumbler and medium, powder, brass, bullets and primers... What else should I get? What is a must have? Calipers?I've got another $100 or so to spend on other tools. Help me out please what am I going to need? Im going to start with Varget I think... what are your thoughts? something different to start with or is that good? I've been wanting to try my hand at reloading for a long while now and figured a great start id this single stage press. I'm already totally consumed with hunting coyotes and squirrels so wheres to loading 100's if not 1000's of future rounds! I know its a pretty inexpensive setup, but like I said, for the price I had to make the jump! If all goes well I'll end up upgrading in the future...http://www.cabelas.c...ing-kit-1.shtmlVery Excited!Carlos

#2 Bisley

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 03:01 AM

Just what you need, another addiction :rofl2:Calipers are definitely mandatory. Digital or dial is a personal preference. You will find a lot of reloading is how much you want to pay to be spoiled, such as calipers. Some swear by triple digit dial$, while I have used a pair of $30 digital for 20 years and are still DNO (Dead Nuts On). There was a post which included all of this some time back. But again, I always point out that I hunt, not bench rest 1,000 yard matches. Also, if you are not using polymer (plastic) tipped bullets, something like a Hornady Bullet Comporator Kit for measuring COAL should be a consideration. Lead tips can be distorted, and very hard to get an accurate, consistent COAL.I am cheap and creative by nature and was taught that I should always be reminded how much work, effort, and money goes into each shot, so I always have (and always will) use single stage type presses. Especially if you are trying to teach kids how much work goes into it by making them reload for themselves. I mention this since I know you have young ones. So don't feel handicapped at all with your new press.I too started off with (and still have) a manual case trimmer, only difference is that after a few years I got tired of the hand part in handle and removed it and welded a nut in its place so I can use the drill with a nut driver on it now. Like I said, chap and creative :roflmao3[1]: . Same goes for other case prep, (if you have it) you can spend good $ for a case prep unit. Nothing against them, but I can put the brushes (never used them myself), primer crimp remover, and primer pocket pocket cleaner in a drill and get by just fine (also a current topic being discussed at the moment). You will still have to chamfer and deburr by hand, but I myself think it would be worth it if you do that and use the saved money to buy a digital scale. I say that because it has been a long time thinking of mine that a digital scale is probably the single most important piece of equipment for a new reloader. I know many of us got by with beam scales for years, but I also know that many of us have misread that beam scale and were lucky enough to have caught it. It is very easy to do, and you will see why the first time you use one. Digital scales are almost foolproof. It is so much easier to process, and so much faster too. You can also get one with a powder thrower as a kit, it all depends on current finance situations (as stated earlier) but get a scale, please, for your own safety. Like I said, misread beam scales are my biggest fear for any reloader, especially new ones.Tumblers, like everything else, depend on what you want to spend. You can spend a handsome sum and get one with a grate that will allow the media to be shaken out, or, if you don't have a bunch of $ and don't mind the noise or shaking out media, you can find fairly inexpensive tumblers. I obviously went cheap and just put it out of the way so I don't hear it and use my 50lb bag of untreated walnut I got from a feed store for $15 years ago. My cheap tumbler is two decades used and still ticking.A powder thrower will be needed too, and you have several options here too. You will be loading rifle, so a powder trickler will also be a cheap help for you, you won't regret it. It is hard to beat the old RCBS standby for a thrower if you don't get a thrower/scale combo. And of course with the powder thrower, you will need reloading manuals to go with it. I will not even begin to recommend any as that is like lighting the fuse to a loaded question and a (useless) debate. You're on your own with that one :) .And while not really "mandatory", a hand held priming tool is close to it. The RCBS universal is not a bad choice, but the "feel" you get with the old Lee hand primer is extremely hard to beat. I do not know what it is, but the Lee just has a sensitivity to it you can not beat.This is just what comes to mind at the moment, I am sure there are things I forgot, and many who would do it entirely different so take it for what it is, just friendly free suggestions. Good luck, be safe, and hope you enjoy your new found hobby.

#3 KNOCKED UP

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 07:30 AM

Congratulations Carlos,I gotta warn you reloading is like owning a Harley Davidson, Once you get the bike, you will spend lots of $ putting all the accessories to put on it.Good luck, and read, read, read.Tom

#4 dangerranger

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 03:05 PM

SeeBass, I dont tumble at all. I wash my brass in IOSSO Brass cleaner and dry. Its that easy. But a hand primer is almost a must. Lee also makes an adapter to chuck your brass in a drill for easy case prep. the other thing I bought was reloading trays. they hold the primed cases up right while adding powder. none of these are expencive but make reloading much more enjoyable. My first reloader was a Lee Kit. I still load on it today. I currently have three presses that I use for differant operations but the Lee still works as well as it ever did. The only thing I wouldnt use the aluminum Lee for is swaging. I use an all steel press for that. Good luck DR

#5 Yateswell

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 07:07 PM

the list is endless, you will soon find out, but there is nothing wrong with what you have now, have fun.

#6 seebass

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:23 PM

Thanks guys! I'm definately excited!Going to buy a few more things now :)Bisley thanks for taking the time! That was an awesome post!I'll keep everyone posted as the process continues

#7 ratassassin

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:28 PM

One neat tip I picked up on this forum was to use 9mm trays from spent ammo boxes for holding .223 Remington or .204 Ruger (or other small rifle primer calibers) brass and .45 ACP trays to hold the brass for large rifle primer calibers like .22-250, .243 Win, .270 Win, .308 or .30-06. (I think Bisley may have posted it.) Then you don't have to buy ammo trays to hold your brass when you're charging them with powder.Next time you're at the range, you can pick up plenty of these spent ammo box trays that guys just throw away. They're great especially if you're working large lots of brass at a time.

#8 Bisley

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 02:17 AM

Any time partner. DR and RA are correct, I forgot about the reloading trays :fireworks3: . They are worth 100 times their $. Be sure and keep us posted on how it goes. Especially on that tremendous feeling the first time you get one of them doggies with your own loads :cheers: .

#9 MackMan

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 03:19 AM

I too have the Lee Challenger Breach Lock press kit. While it may not be a fancy it will get the job done. I have been using mine to reload 7.62x54r stuff. Already loaded over hundred rounds through it and no problems. Makes me laugh that my cheap little Lee Safety Scale can do the same thing as the more expensive ones, I mean have you seen the prices on those scales WOW. And check out these guys I've ordered dies and other Misc. stuff through them, they have some decent pricing. Oh and if you can get the 2nd edition Lee Modern Reloading Book, lots of information in it that will help a new reloader.https://fsreloading.com/Have Fun !!




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