It is said that the best things in life are the simplest. Simple is also the best methodology to start a project or finish a problem. There is nothing wrong with keeping it simple when it comes to how one goes about their hobbies. Hand loading is no different in that going out to buy the biggest, most complicated tools for the job may not be the best way to get started.
The heart of the reloading operation is the reloading press and most people seem to imagine this big apparatus that requires an engineering background to operate. It is true that a good press is worth its weight in gold, but lets walk before we run. The Lee Precision Inc. has been making great, simple and reliable reloading tools for many years. Their little Breech Lock Hand Press easily fits into the class of simple is good. It can fit into any small tool box and clocks in at 1.95 pounds. The craftsmanship is high and finish is quite good and all for under $50 retail.
When one first gazes upon it they believe the largest nutcracker has arrived, but looks are deceiving. The shape allows for one to easily grip it at various angles and has a long enough arm to get all power one could need to full length size long magnum cases. There are no unnecessary parts to this minimalist single stage press design. The movement of the arm is smooth and easy. The ram has a slot machined for the the Lee shell holders to go in order to hold any sized case short of 50 BMG.
When sizing brass the decapping rod will push the spent primers out the machined tube in the ram. There was no play or jiggle to the press during either stroke of the ram. Its construction is so rugged that one would likely need dynamite in order to break it. So your favorite easy chair and a dinner tray stand can become your reloading space. Even if become a master at reloading and upgrade your equipment it will always have a place in the workshop. Never sell your older presses!
After a couple of small batches of ammo were completed I decided to tackle the top of the press where there is a button that can be pushed. The button is part of a retention system that when depressed allows the breech assembly to be turned 60 degrees and the bushing removed. The treading on the bushing is industry standard so any companies dies can be used. Now with multiple bushings one could change dies in the set in no time at all. That alone can make your reloading process a lot less tedious. Now it will be worthwhile time to mention the Lock Ring Eliminator bushings. These bushings have a clamp like a lock ring machined into them. Using this particular design will prevent you from setting up your die and accidentally over tightening the standard lock ring. Thus becoming unable to separate the die from the bushing at a later time.
The Lee company has a lot to offer and the Breech Lock Hand Press would be and A-list component to any budding reloader. Its simple design and features will always be of use. Simple things will work and last forever. Coupled with the quick change bushings and one could still be quite productive in making new ammo without breaking the bank to set up. There is no need for a dedicated space to use it so its equally useful in an apartment or on the shooting range.