So, I decided to give reloading a try. I bought the Lee Classic Handloader in .223, and the Hornady Hand Priming Tool. I am using Winchester small rifle primers, Hogdon H4895, and Hornady 55 grain V-Max. For my first batch, I wanted to start with new brass, so I bought 100 cases of un-primed Winchester brass. The Hornady Hand Priming Tool worked very well, once I figured out how to use it. I had a little trouble with it feeding two primers at a time sometimes, but not that bad. In less than 2 hours, I primed 97 rounds (two primers fed sideways, and I lost one). Instead of loading all the rounds at once, I only loaded 20 rounds. I did not take note of how long that took, but since I already had the shells primed, it is a surprisingly efficient process. I would guess that it took me less than 40 minutes, and I am a slow worker. I want to shoot those rounds and see if I like the results. If it goes well, then I will finish loading the rest of my shells.
The main area that I have not found explicit recommendations for the Lee loader is on bullet seating depth. I realize I can adjust the seating depth using the Lee tool, but I do not know what I am trying to adjust it to. Without buying a tool to measure total bullet length, I used my factory ammo to approximate. These rounds will be shot out of my Thompson Encore. Since it is single shot, I don't have to worry about feeding issues.
So, has anybody else used either the Lee Classic Handloader kit or the Hornady Hand Priming Tool? If so, how did it go for you? After doing some searching on the internet, it does sound like bullet seating depth is crucial. How do you handle it?