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Thread: Lee Hand press vs Lyman 310 Tong tool?

  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Watson View Post
    I started with the W.H. English Pak-Tool, kind of an intermediate between the Lyman and the Lee. I soon got over that and put a Rockchucker on a narrow stand.
    Here is the Lee press stand. Mine was homemade.
    I put a card table beside it for components. When not in use the stand with press was in the corner, the card table folded up.
    Neat, never heard of them before.

    Blog post about them, comment from nephew of the inventor of them

  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Dov View Post
    I've never handloaded much, have a single stage kit buried in closet but really don't have room to set it up here.

    Been thinking about smaller tool for fairly small volume loading of 38 special and 44 special mainly, possibly a bit of 30-30 as well. Maybe 32 S&W/32mag eventually if I get a LCR in 327 mag.

    Is the Lee hand press easier physically to use? Meaning easier on hands? Or is it a wash?

    Any real pros or cons vs them?
    I have a soft spot for true "handloading" tools. I have a fair number of Lyman 310 tools, Lee Loader (whack-a-mole) tools, and a Lee hand press (the old type without the bushing).

    I once did a test on how long it would take me to load 50 rounds of .38 special with both the Lyman 310 and Lee loader. I could load 50 rounds in 20 minutes with the 310 tool, and 30 minutes with the Lee Loader. I used a hammer with the Lee Loader. With both tools I worked diligently, but at a normal working pace. As mentioned by others, neither of these tools full length sizes the cases, but I've never found this to be a problem in revolvers.

    As-is, I would recommend the Lyman 310, except now they cost way too much. However, they are easy to use, and have better function for consistent priming and crimping. I never found the lack of leverage to be a problem. The Lee Loader is very inexpensive.

    That said, with some extras, like a powder measure and hand primer (I used by Lyman 310 priming tool, but there are others) and an arbor press to replace the hammer, the Lee Loader is quite good. You can load much quicker and and rifle rounds are a breeze. I also have a Harvey Deprimer, and with these the Lee Loader is like a budget LE Wilson die set. It can make very accurate ammo.

    My least favorite is the Lee Hand Press. It's awkward to resize brass, which for pistol means full length sizing. Plus is more awkward to seat bullets with the powder. Overall, it's a pain in the ass. If you're interested in trying it, I have one for sale, cheap.

    Basically, for low volume reloading you need more items than a Lee hand press. If you add these same items to a Lyman 310 or Lee Loader, you get even more functionality.

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