The best upgrades to a Lee Loadmaster

The bottom line: The Lee Precision Loadmaster is a good, value oriented progressive press with lots of features. It’s budget pricing forces Lee to take shortcuts in its design however which require a few additional upgrades to make work smoothly.

My very 1st press that I owned was a Lee Precision Loadmaster. It is still on my bench and I use still to this day. I bought it because it is affordable and on paper looked to have all the features of a Dillon 650 for a fraction of the cost. While it does have a case feeder, on press priming, auto-indexing, quick change 5 station turrets, etc. it definitely is the budget option. Any quick Google search will tell you it has a few shortcomings as I soon discovered. So if you find your self the new owner of a Loadmaster progressive press, consider these upgrades to make your life easier.

Number 1 – Lee Precision Case Collator
I seriously don’t know why it took me over a year to buy this. I don’t care what you are using the case feeder for, buy this thing right now. It will save you an unbelievable amount of time when filling up the tubes. Some reviews say that to feed 9mm cases correctly requires some modifications. They may be old reviews and Lee has fixed the design flaw or ?? but I have never had an issue with 9mm cases going in ass end first. I could however see 380’s being a problem.

Number 2 – Lee Precision Charge Bar
This is another can’t live without accessory. Designed for the Lee Precision Auto Disk Pro powder measure, it replaces the stupid disks that have pre-sized holes cut in them. The magic of this is if you need to adjust your powder drop by a 0.10″ you only need to twist a knob instead of tearing your powder measure apart. This will make changing calibers far easier, and again save you an exorbitant amount of time as you dial in your recipes.

Number 3 – Off Press Priming Tool
I have tried and could not find a way to get a better than 90% success rate with the Loadmaster’s on press priming system. To be blunt, it just sucks. Do yourself a favor and buy something to prime the cases off press. I use the RCBS hand held one, but there are many out there. You will pay yourself back within the 1st year with all the primers you will end up NOT wasting.

Number 4 – Lee Precision Universal Case Feeder
This one you can only get from Lee Precision directly, but it only costs a few $$. Older case feeders had a separate short and tall slider that required you to pull the case feeder assembly apart to swap out. This new improved version only requires you add or remove a stack on spacer depending on the case height. The guide arms are also a better design, doing a better job of corralling the case as it drops and gets moved into the shell plate.

There you have it. If you have a Loadmaster progressive press from Lee Precision you will thank your self, and hopefully me, for considering these upgrades. They will all save you time, headache, and increase your overall rounds-per-hour output from your setup.

My Collection of Free Reloading Data

I found myself the other day looking for some load recipes and was bouncing around a few different websites. It occurred to me that I have yet to find a single site that aggregated all the various free sources of load data out there so I started this list. This is obviously not a replacement for a good printed manual like the Lyman’s or Hornady load bible, but if you just need some manufacturer published data then this post should save you some time. Enjoy!

Notes:
* Sierra does not publish a complete set of load data for all cartridges online, you have to buy their book, but they do publish some articles for popular calibers in this blog that I have used to develop new loads.

Making the most of your time at the range

I was talking with a friend the other day and they were telling me how frustrating their recent shooting outing was. We’ve all had the not so successful day at the range where that latest build didn’t work as anticipated or that new load recipe wasn’t as accurate as we hoped. Those failures are productive though. My friend however had a different kind of bad range day (if there is such a thing) that is 100% avoidable every time. His problem is he went out with one agenda that didn’t match his shooting buddies’ or the location. Continue reading “Making the most of your time at the range”