LEE PRECISION Anniversary Challenger Kit II
|Price:||$121.49 - $1,200.00|
- Includes the Lee Safety Scale which is very sensitive
- Has a power funnel to fill the case
- A chamfer tool camfers the insdie and outside of thecase mouth
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At the heart of the Lee Precision Anniversary Challenger II Kit is the Challenger Press, a strong O-frame press with a larger-than-average opening angled at 30° for maximum hand clearance. Compound leverage easily performs full-length sizing on even the largest magnum cases. There’s a built-in, easy-to-empty primer catcher. Complete powder-handling system, including the precise Perfect Powder Measure. Case preparation tools include a cutter and lock stud to trim cases, an inside/outside case mouth chamber tool, primer pocket cleaner, and a tube of premium sizing lube. You also get one Breech Lock Quick Change Bushing. This bushing makes changing dies a snap and accomplish the task in seconds. Once mounted on your die, you'll never have to adjust the die again unless you want to. It saves time, eliminates guesswork and ensures the consistency of your reloaded product. You spend less time fiddling and more time cranking out rounds. To use the case cutter and lock stud a specific shell holder and case length gauge is needed for each caliber to be trimmed.
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-The press is nice and does what it is supposed to do, if I was to buy a press again. I would go with a turret style press so I would not be changing dies in and out. If you do buy this press buy extra Breech Lock Quick Change Bushings so you do not have to resetup your dies every time you change them.
-The Perfect Powder Measure is not perfect. It is pretty accurate once dialed in but depending on what powder you are using there will be variance. Using IMR4060 which is a pretty thick powder It will be off by a 10th. Setting it to 42 grains I will get anywhere from 41.4 to 42.6. It is very important that you follow the directions and cycle a few hoppers of powder through it before you start using it. All and all its a pretty good starting point for your powder measure. If you are trying to load match grade ammo where everything is exactly the same you will be adding a few grains or removing a few grains.
-The powder scale will be the first thing you replace, it works and is pretty accurate but it takes forever to get a reading. This is not a step you want to rush through and since I can't trust the Perfect Powder Measurer to be consistent I find myself weighing every charge. This was promptly replaced with a digital scale.
-The case prep tools that come with it are time consuming. I found myself them with a Lyman Case Prep Multi Tool for $19 on amazon. The lube that comes with the case prep items is terrible. It dries and leaves a very thick film on the cases, I used it for one case prepping session and replaced it with Hornady One Shot Spray Case Lube for $9 on amazon
-The case trimmer requires shell holders, so you will need to buy those. Since I am trying to replicate match ammo I ended up ordering The World's Finest Case Trimmer for $70 on amazon. This is a huge upgrade. In most cases if you are just reloading ammo for shooting and are not trying to get sub 1MOA groups just order the bushings and run with what the kit comes with.
-The funnel for pouring the powder into the shell works well, no complaints there.
The Lee Safety Prime Small and Large Primer Feeder works better than I thought it would. This was the surprise of the kit. when I first saw it I was in doubt due to the flimsy plastic its made out of but it works remarkably well.
Now that we have talked about what you have and what you will be replacing (scale, case prep tools). You should be aware that you are missing some things.
-You will need a caliper to measure your cases and rounds to make sure they are in SAAMI specs
-You will need a reloading trey to hold your rounds as you are reloading them.
-You will need a neck brush
All in all this is a good starter kit for someone who wants to produce some blasting ammo, if you have higher aspirations don't buy this kit. Buy a good turret press, a good digital scale, an all in one case prep tool and a better powder dispenser.
I haven't had a chance to use the included chamfering and deburring tool as I haven't yet reloaded any rifle cartridges with this kit. They look 100% serviceable to me though.
If you're just getting into reloading, you should know that you'll need a set of dies for your specific caliber, as well as a shellholder (which usually come with the set of dies for that caliber). I ended up buying an RCBS shellholder for 9mm, which works identically to the Lee one. Note that you need to make sure you get a shellholder that has the smaller circle on the bottom which clips into the ram on the press. I made the mistake of buying a flat-bottomed shellholder intended for use with a hand priming tool by accident first. Oops.
I also recommend picking up enough Lee quick release bushings to just leave one on all of your dies, even when they're not in use. That way you can dial in each die to the correct height and setting one time and then never have to worry much about it again; just pop it in the press and go.
My one complaint is that mine didn't come with the little attachment to auto-feed primers into the holder that presses them into the casing on the downstroke after resizing. I just have to put a primer into the little pocket by hand on each shell. Not a huge deal but a little annoying that it's pictured as part of the kit and then didn't come with one.