Photos and Text from the Lee Loader Instruction sheet

The Lee Loader for shotgun shells was originally designed to load paper cases. Plastic cases with folded crimps required the use of a crimp starting tool which was sold separately. Instead of doing STEP 7 in the instruction sheet, the crimp starter tool would be placed over the open loaded shell and pushed down.

Another tip that I found in the July 1967 issue of the American Rifleman suggested using a 6 inch C clamp in STEP 8 to apply sufficient pressure to properly close the crimp.

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Late 1960's Lee Loader for 12 ga. 2 3/4 inch shotgun shells. The plastic cylinder on the instruction sheet is a crimp starter for folded crimp shells.

Diagram of parts for Lee Loader for Shotshells

1. Start by depriming all the cases. It is a good idea to check the shells in your gun to see if they fit, especially if they have been fired from another gun.

2. With the hole in the capper down, replace the primer. CAUTION: NEVER TRY TO SEAT THE PRIMER DEEPER AFTER THE POWDER HAS BEEN ADDED.

3. Add one level measure of powder. Select the proper powder from the charge table according to the amount of shot you wish to use.

4. Insert all the wads. (See wad column requirements.) Slip the cardboard wads in sideways past the crimp then turn it straight. Insert the filler wads with a twisting motion.

5. Seat the wads with the correct pressure ( see charge table). Pressure can be measured with a bathroom scale or can be estimated with very good results.

6. Add the shot. DO NOT add more shot than indicated on charge table as that will create dangerous pressures.

7. Push the loader all the way down to start the crimp.

8. Push down hard with the rammer to complete the crimp. USE HAND PRESSURE ONLY.

9. Eject the shell. If the shell does not eject easily, refer to resizing problems.

American Rifleman Jul. 1967 p. 81