Pros:Portable, powerful, and useful - get one!
Cons:Warranty is the only oddity for this great tool.
The Bottom Line: Get one. This tool is indispensible for reloaders.
Background - Lee Precision is one of the earliest ammo reloading companies that caters to the everyday person. Created in 1958, Lee Precision created the Lee Loader - a table kit reloader that requires just a small mallet and the components to create ammo.
Recommend this product?
Introduction - The Lee Hand Press is a aluminum and steel based single stage reloading press that is perfect for reloaders that want to load in limited space environments (apartments or condos), in the field (at a shooting bench), or for use as an extra press (depriming brass, for example).
Use - The Lee Hand Press is capable of using standard 7/8x14 thread pitch dies, which are the current universal standard for reloading dies. The loading ram is set up to use universal shell holders from Hornady, Lee, and RCBS. The ram is hollow to allow spent primers to fall in.
To use - simply screw a die (decap/size, seat, or crimp die) into the top of the threaded die location, add a shell holder to the ram, adjust the die, lock the die down, and begin loading.
The handheld ram is quite powerful. I was able to rip apart a .223 Remington brass case when attempting to size the case without any case lubricant. The leverage provided by the ram is enough to allow full length sizing of brass cases, remove military crimped primers from the primer pockets, and still be gentle enough to do precision seating of the bullet in the case.
The ram is steel, with the leverage points and pivot points made of steel as well. The handles and die location are made out of aluminum.
Mid term use while depriming 3000 military primed cases was not a chore. A minimal amount of grease is needed to ensure the ram operates smooth and easy.
Lee Precision also provides a good warranty. An unlimited 2 year warranty. Once beyond that, Lee will repair/replace the item for 1/2 of the cost of the item. It's not a great warranty (like Dillon Precision or RCBS with an unlimited lifetime warranty), but it's decent. I can't imagine the Hand Press wearing out as long as it's lubed and maintained.
Comparison with other single stage handheld presses - There are two other companies that provide a single stage, handheld press. The Mecham Anywhere Press, and the Huntington Compac press. Both cost way more than the Lee Hand Press, doesn't operate any better, and actually is simpler to operate and is less cumbersome.
Comparison with bench mounted single stage presses - The advantage to the Lee Hand Press is it's portability. You can prep rounds anywhere. And as long as the cases are lubricated properly, you're able to use the press without any issues with stuck cases.
Conclusion - Overall, this unit was a GREAT investment. You're able to find this unit for about 25 dollars street price. Add a 9 dollar universal decapping die and 17 dollars for the shell holders (which will work in any RCBS, Hornady, or Lee press), you've got a mobile decap/deprime unit that you can take and use anywhere.