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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All,

I just received my first Single Stage LEE Press. prior to this I was using a Lee Loader for 30-06 only. I had great results with it, but wanted something a little faster and that doesn't require the use of a hammer. I have the Lee breech Lock Challenger. My questions are as follows:

1 - Whats the best way to mount it to the bench? I built a nice level sturdy bench out of 2x4's and 3/4" plywood.

2 - Whats the best way to set the bullet depth using the die set. I bought 2 sets of Carbide Die kits. 1 for 45ACP and 1 for 30-06. These are the only 2 rounds I have all required components to reload for now.

3 - Do you prefer to prime on or off the press? I've grown partial to the Lee Auto-Prime hand primer. Are there any benefits to using the press to prime?

4 - Powder choice - for 45ACP I have Accurate # 5. I use IMR 4598 for all my 30-06 as I reload for the only 30-06 I have, an M1 Garand.

5 - Powder Measuring and Dispensing - This press came with the Lee Perfect Powder Measure. With the Lee Loader I used an accurate digital scale and a funnel to do this.


Thanks for any and all comments / suggestions.
 

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Bolt the press directly to the edge of your bench.

Seat bullets to the OAL dimensions dictated by your reloading manual.

Some folks like using the hand primer unless they have a good feel for seating in a powerful press without crushing the primer.

I think you mean 4895. Either IMR or Hodgdon's flavor of 4895 works well in the Garand. Some loads utilizing IMR's 3031 and 4064 work well also in various bullet weights.

I like Unique, WST, W231, Bullseye, and Int. Clays for various bullet weights in the .45ACP. Try these also.

A good link for suggested Garand loads: M1 load data (courtesy of NRA)
 

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1 - sturdy bench ATTACHED TO YOUR WALL STUDS... press bolted to the table. If it seems weak reinforce the table with a steel plate under the table.

2 - Best way to set depth is to use a set of calipers and trial-by-error. Part of setting up the seating/crimping die includes setting the bullet seating depth. Make your .45ACP to the books OAL specification. I make a custom length .204 Ruger rounds for my TC Encore, but they are longer than factory stuff and should be specifically marked and only shot in the gun your made them for. They place the bullet closer to the rifling, but would probably not even fit in a box magazine. I load them one at a time into the chamber on the Encore.

3 - I prime on my Hornady LnL AP. Always have. You can prime off the press if you want... its personal preference.

4 - I dont load those calibers... take your pick Handloads.Com Load Data - Handloads.Com I hear .45ACP will work well with about anything. Reference your reloading manual too and see what they recommend. Remember you want a powder and charge that will cycle your gun and CAN NOT be double charged!! If you double charge it you want the powder to spill out of the case. This is extremely important... especially when cranking off thousands of pistol rounds. 99.9% sure you dont have a double charge is not good enough.

5 - This depends completely on how much time you want to spend and how accurate you want to be. If you are cranking out pistol rounds I would just use a volumetric thrower. Throw 10 charges, weigh it, and divide by 10 to get your average charge. Dial that in so your average is exactly what you want and you can start reloading. There will be a little variance around that average as you reload, but it'll be ok for pistol shooting. If you want very precise powder charges like for your M1, get a trickle powder thrower. They are pricey, but they will throw exact charges for every shell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys. And yes I did mean 4895. I think I'll try the powder system that came with the press for handgun loads and continue my old way of digital scale and funnel for the 30-06. I'm kinda paranoid when it comes to my Garand. I like the op rod in the shape it's currently in. [rofl]
 

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Thanks guys. And yes I did mean 4895. I think I'll try the powder system that came with the press for handgun loads and continue my old way of digital scale and funnel for the 30-06. I'm kinda paranoid when it comes to my Garand. I like the op rod in the shape it's currently in. [rofl]
As you get into reloading for your Garand, get an adjustable gas port. You can tailor for heavier loads and lessen the hammering the op rod takes by metering the flow of gas. Something like this:

Schuster DCM Adjustable Gas Plug Wrench M1 Garand Steel Parkerized
 

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A good reloading book is worth the investment regardless of what bullet you decide to use. Worst case you'll get powder charge information for a specific weight bullet, and case/OAL measurements to check your brass or finished product.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks again guys. I've been reading the Hornady 9th. edition reloading guide. Seems very thorough and even has a section on the M1 Garand. As far as the adjustable Gas Plug for the Garand, I bought this one: Ported Gas Plug
 
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