Review: Lee Hand Loader


I have used all types of reloading equipment on up to the Dillon progressives with all of the bells and whistles. I have a Dillon 550 with a dozen drop in heads, a couple Lyman presses, a Lee Load All and MEC for 12 gauge, brass tumbler, dozens of dies and bullet casting factory at the retreat. The fact remains, as wonderful and efficient as they are, they are not very practical, if you are on the run, wanting something small and simple enough to stuff in your bug out bag or to stash with some components in a cache container.


I have always liked the simplicity of Lee reloading tools as well as their historically reasonable prices. Wanting something to drop in a cache box with a .308 HK91, Lee’s breech Lock hand press came to mind. They are cheap enough to buy a few and stash them throughout your gear and caches, ensuring that you will always be able to load up a few rounds no matter where you find yourself.


The Lee Breech Lock is a small but rugged hand squeeze operated press that will allow you to perform one operation at a time to reload any caliber that you have the shell plate and dies for. You can order a breech lock bushing for each of your dies. They accept standard thread dies and allows you to set up your dies once in the bushing and then attach them to the breech lock press with a half turn, ready to go.


Loading in this manner can be tedious, using a separate squeeze of the handle for each operation, but it will give you good ammo with a little time and patience.


The kit comes with the press, powder funnel, case lube and loading instruction sheet. Add a Lee hand case primer and a deluxe 3 die set with the powder scoop and shell holder and a few case prep tools (primer pocket cleaner and case chamfer tool) of your choosing, all for well under $100. Lee also guarantees accuracy with their dies or your money back!


This set up can be a very cheap entry into reloading if you would like to spend an hour or so loading a 100 rounds every night for your favorite battle rifle or pistol at one third the cost of factory ammo.


Lee does provide load data with their deluxe die equipment. It is still up to you to get a load data manual and determine your favorite loading in what ever bullet weight and style, and powder type. Then purchasing your bullets, primers and powder for that load.


A prepper who can reload a number of common calibers, at any speed, will have a valuable business in the event of a collapse. You can always trade your skill for components to load your ammunition store or load up ten rounds in trade for a chicken. The great ammo famine would not have affected you either.


Before undertaking any reloading be sure and buy a reloading and data manual and study it to insure you understand the mechanics and safety issues involved in loading firearms ammunition. Not doing so could result in damage to your weapon and loss of your life. Be careful!


Keep your powder dry, and load it up. Regards, D.

(see my previous article …On reloading)


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2 thoughts on “Review: Lee Hand Loader”

  1. Do they full length resize rifle calibers? If not, then your reloads may be limited to the rifle in which the brass casing was ejected. I’m unaware of a longer produced, simple and reliable, reloading tool.

  2. PR:
    Full length, or neck sizing only, depends on the dies,(not the loading machine)and if the case has a taper or not. Some rifle cartridge dies contain a carbide ‘ring’ that sizes only the neck.
    You are correct on neck sizing. The fire forming will expand the case to the chamber of the weapon used. If only neck sized there can sometimes be problems with chambering in a different weapon. More esoterica from the reloading cult.
    Thanks, D.


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