In 1953, Richard Lee built the first Lee Loader for shotgun shells and has been creating high quality, innovative tools ever since. The advantages of the hand press are its compact size (11 inches long and under two pounds) and easy set-up (no mounting holes or C-clamps). Lee’s Breech Lock Quick-Change Die Feature allows die changes with just a 1/6 turn. Installing a bushing on each die saves time and improves the consistency of die adjustments. An additional pair of the quick change bushings costs about $11.
While many first-time reloaders have “cut their teeth” on a Lee hand press, the diminutive tool has found a niche as a field extension of the fully equipped, home-based reloading bench. As discussed in Glen Zediker’s article “Reloading at the Range,” reloaders can bring primed brass from home and use a field press to adjust powder loads and seating depths at the range, based on real-time chronograph data.
The maximum overall cartridge length supported by the Lee hand press is 3.650 inches. Lee offers a complete list of replacement parts for the hand press, including a replacement handle should you be tempted to use it as a pry bar.
You can download the well-illustrated owner’s manual at this link: leeprecision.com/cgi-data/instruct/90685.pdf
The hand press retails for $50 as a standalone tool, or can be purchased for $78 with funnel, quick change bushing, powder dipper, case lube and primer ram. You’ll need to order a separate die set. Visit the Lee Precision website at www.leeprecision.com