The Lee press is one of the most recognizable presses on the market. More than one generation has bent that page in the catalog and hoped they would one day reload their own ammo. The Lee Precision Breech Lock Challenger Kit resonates with single stage press users and brings all those dreams to fruition. If you are a beginner or a hands-on professional, this Lee single stage press can scratch that itch for a price right around $100.
Buying a kit gets you almost everything you need to get started. I mention the “almost” part because you will need accessories particular to the caliber you are reloading. One of the most significant expenses for a reloader is the correct die set. Almost any press will give you reasonably accurate bullet depth seating with the right tools and dies. Since brand names can affect price and availability, I tend to stick to presses with versatile, inexpensive, and high-quality dies readily available. Before I proceed, I say that Lee dies will work in an RCBS press. However, Lee dies are designed for a Lee press, and the same can be said for RCBS.
Breech Lock Challenger Kit Overview
There’s quite a bit to be said about the Challenger Kit so let’s get right down to the benefits, features, and what’s included in the packaging.
The O-ring die seating ensures ease when changing from one die set to another. Unlike some press kits, this combo will bring years of satisfaction from even the most finicky reloader. The Lee Breech Press kit is complete. Several tools are included for brass preparation. The chamfering tool ensures the correct angle on the mouth of the case.
Once the brass is prepared, Lee has incorporated everything needed to reload your ammo. The Value Case Trimmer means you can trim cases while on the press. A primer pocket cleaning tool for both large and small primers is included.
Use 11 auto-prime shell holders and 2 Auto-Prime XRs to prime the cases. The Lee Perfect Powder Measure throws a fairly accurate charge. The included safety powder scale is very accurate if you need to get more precise or check your measurements. The “O” style press is sturdy and reliable. The long throw on the press arm is helpful when seating bullets and increases leverage and smoothness when resizing cases. Lee recently replaced the “Safety Prime” with a redesigned handheld primer. Those who prefer to prime off the press will appreciate the new Auto-Prime XR. The quick change bushings are superior, but they get extras when needed.
This is not a reloading kit designed for newbies but a kit intended to reload ammo precisely on a budget. People associate this press with learning the art of reloading for several reasons. First, the price is right. You can spend over $1000 for a press that turns out to have the same ammo. Second, the literature included with the kit makes reloading results reliable and extremely simple. Third, there is little need for overpriced dies, as many manufacturers already produce dies for almost every caliber that will fit the Lee Challenger press. All in all, the Lee Challenger Breech Lock kit is sturdy, affordable, and versatile.
- The Challenger Breech Lock Press,
- 2 Auto-Prime primers,
- 1 set of the most popular sized steel shell holders,
- one Breech lock quick change bushing,
- chamfering tool
- press case prep tools,
- case trimmer,
- powder measure,
- Lee powder scale,
- primer pocket cleaning tool,
- powder funnel,
- and manuals.
There are upgrades available from Lee Precision to increase productivity. The Lee Precision Challenger Breech Lock kit is a solid buy. If you are loading precision target loads, you will need some additional tools, but that is to be expected from any reloading kit. A micrometer, throat measuring tool, and bullet depth measurement tool will have you punch clover leaves when you hit the bang switch.
Lee Precision Breech Lock Challenger Press Overview
Alternatively, to buy the kit, the Breech Lock Challenger Press can be purchased for about 40% less. Of all the creative styles used by press manufacturers, the “O” style is the strongest. Lee Precision includes this strength and simplicity in this single stage press.
One of the Challenger press’s most significant advantages is the quick change die system made easy with breech lock bushings. Once you set your dies to your preferred settings, you can easily swap one caliber for another by removing one die set and installing another without adjustment.
This beefy press includes an all steel linkage adjustable press handle length. This allows short, quick strokes for light work and a long throw when resizing tough cases. The large opening provides ease of access for the largest of magnums. Throw that many production dies are available for the Lee Precision press, a reloader’s friend. It’s a well-built press and highly affordable, meaning you don’t need to take a step up to the following price range to get a Lee reloader kit or reloader press that does exactly what you need it to.