Review: Lee Precision APP Press

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spara
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Review: Lee Precision APP Press

Post by spara »

The Lee APP press is for prepping cases and resizing bullets which can also be used as a single stage press.

I reload quite a bit on a Dillon 650XL a, e.g, +15K/year for just 9mm, and processing brass, especially range brass, leaves the case feeder and press dirty. In addition, the case feeder is also quite loud. I purchased the Deluxe Lee Precision APP Press for around $85 shipped from Vizards to process brass.

The Good

The press is inexpensive, but the frame is solidly built. It includes the Lee split-lock ring for quick die changes, shell holders for various types of brass casings, a large spent primer holder. Bolts on to Lee quick change base plate.

The Deluxe kit includes the Automation Kit which is the case/bullet feeder. The kit includes feed tubes for various sized casings/bullets, case feed and risers for bullets/casings and a feed spring.

Instructions for assembly are detailed and supplemented with many pictures. It does take some trial and error to find the correct riser for the case/bullet because the instructions do not specify which one works best with a specific case/bullet.

The case feeder tube holds ~22 9mm cases, this may seem small but I was able to decap and resize approximately 1000 cases using a Lee undersized die over the course of an evening while adjusting and generally fiddling with the press.

The Needs Work

The handle is short and not particularly comfortable. The handle needs at least 6 more inches of length to provide enough leverage to decap brass with less force. I have a bicycle post that use as a cheater bar that fits nicely over the handle when you remove the grip. The length and weight of the bicycle post provides leverage and weight, making decapping much easier.

The shell holder spins freely and over the course of reloading may spin so that the brass is not aligned with the die. It only takes a small correction but does interrupt the flow.

The up stroke which pushes out the processed shell and places a new shell in the holder must hit the stop point. Short stroking doesn't correctly position the brass.

The Bad

The main problem I've had with the press is with the case feeder. The risers which help feed the shell into feeder is made of soft plastic that wears quickly and is easily breaks. I learned this lesson the hard way when I put a case with the open side down was in the feeder tube. When a case is base side down, the feeder mechanism slides past the riser. If the open side is down, it snags the riser and the feed mechanism jams, breaking the riser if you apply to much force. This happened because I was trying to see how quickly I could process a tube of brass. A more moderate pace is recommended.

In addition, the riser plastic is soft and in the course of processing a 1000 cases it formed a rim where the shells would hit it. The rim was just enough to catch the rim of the shell to cause a jam,

Replacement risers are not available on the Lee website, though if you mail the part back, they will replace it.

Oops.

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Minor Annoyances

The Lee quick mount base plate uses flat head carriage bolts to secure a press. The bolts provided with the base plate are too long to use on the APP press. You can use 1.5" round head carriage bolts but they don't sit quite as flat.

The case feeder can take a maximum of ~25 9mm cases, any more and the case feeder jams from the weight of the shells causing it to feed incorrectly. I found this out when I loaded a 3' case feeder tube with around 75 cases.

The case feed support is just a long bolt with 3 nuts to adjust the height. It would be nice if Lee used a metal rod with a set screw to mount the case feed support, but I guess this keeps costs down.

Verdict

Aside from the short handle, the press itself works well. I was able process brass quickly when everything was set up perfectly. I will extend the handle with a piece of flat iron and attach a roller handle from In-Line Fabrication to make it more comfortable to use.

The case feeder was problematic, the plastic risers are weak and will need replacement if you process a lot of brass as I do. When a jam occurs, it is possible to break a riser. Lee should offer replacements or switch to a stronger plastic for the risers.

Filling the case feeder tube 22 cases at a time was not as inefficient as I thought it would be, but I'm adding a Lee Universal Case Feeder and Collator which will hold 100 cases at a time.

Overall, it does what I want it to do, which is process brass efficiently with less noise and mess that doing it on the Dillon. I have to go at a more moderate pace in case of a jam but at least I can process a couple of thousand cases while watching a movie. The final setup with the Universal Case Feeder, collator, roller handle and base plate is around $150.

Here's my setup:

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shinzen
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Re: Review: Lee Precision APP Press

Post by shinzen »

Nice. Did you get the primer pocket swager with it as well or no?

Couple of thoughts- The Hornady LNL Ammo plant has a similar weakness in the primer feeder mechanism. The plastic they use is garbage and breaks frequently- I found a site that makes a much more solid replacement on a higher end 3D printer- might want to ping them about fabbing up that piece for you. Since replacing that piece I haven't has a single issue with that part, after replacing the hornady OEM piece 3 times.



Here's that site:
https://reloadingmounts.com/
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senorgrand
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Re: Review: Lee Precision APP Press

Post by senorgrand »

wow. great review!
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eelj
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Re: Review: Lee Precision APP Press

Post by eelj »

Like the pic with the large tub full of brass and the primer collection full. Nice review.

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CDFingers
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Re: Review: Lee Precision APP Press

Post by CDFingers »

Excellent review from the tack room. I'm going to the LGS today to see if they have one I can look at.

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