app-press

Once I got started with shooting, I quickly found that ammo for my military surplus rifles is mostly quite expensive, especially hunting rounds. The .303 is scarce as a surplus round (the rifles are no longer in military use anywhere), so $2 per shot is the order of the day. To that end, I purchased a Lee Classic reloading set first for the .303, and eventually also for 7.62 x 54 Russian, for my Mosin (although one can still pick up mil-surp rounds for that callibre).

It was relatively easy to make rounds for the Lee Enfields using the Lee kit. Knocking out spent primers and resizing the neck is straightforward. Banging in the primer made me a little nervous - but I never had any go off. There is no crimping of the bullet in the seating die, and I have had some rounds get jammed so that the bullet has been pressed right down in the casing. I imagine that crimping would resist that a lot better (although the underlying problem is the miss-feed). My hand-rolled rounds shot very well, I was able to shoot sub 2” groups with my P-14 as I detailed in that post.

Then I got my Remington 783 for varmint shooting in 6.5 Creedmoor. By this time, having gained some confidence in the reloading process, I was willing to go up in the reloading world, and consider a press. Just then I noticed the brand new Lee Automated Processing Press - a new design that would allow a whole tube of cases to processed as fast as I could pull a lever. The speed wasn’t the selling point for me. I was interested in the low price, and the fact that it could be used as a single stage press for any kind of press work. The automatic part was a freebie as far as I was concerned. I ordered one, along with the Hornady Deluxe die set, which includes full- resizing, de-priming and a bullet seating die with factory crimp.

When it all arrived, I set the press up on a plank of 3/4” Delrin I found in the barn. I even found a plastic tray case catcher that looks exactly like the accessory on the Lee website, and I cut a groove for it on my plank. That setup, with a little case lube I proceeded to install the Hornady resizing die. It was a little tricky at first, and I got a case stuck on the de-priming projection until I figured out the system. Once I got the die correctly adjusted, things worked very smoothly, and I was able to re- size 34 rounds in a couple of minutes. Then I discovered I have no priming tool. I searched around, and ordered a Lee Ram Prime die, which should arrive this week. This will aloow me to prime using the same press - as the press has a die socket both in the top and bottom positions. I am a little nervous about this because nowhere does the Lee site say one can prime using the APP press. But then the say it can be used as a single stage reloading press…

I also ordered a Lyman neck neck size (only) die. This should extend the life of the brass, and is appropriate since I will only (forseeably) have the one 6.5 CM rifle, and I don’t plan to make bullets for others.

OK, so an update: I received the Ram Prime die, and I can state that the APP press does work with this die (although not as an automatic processor). Priming works with the prime die in the base, and the shell holder on top of the press with the cartridges inserted one at a time up there. It seats well, and is reasonably quick - as good as any single stage press.

However, bullet seating does NOT work well. The handle of the press interferes with the top of the bullet seating die.