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Lee Pro 1000

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Benchrest, Jul 26, 2015.

  1. Benchrest

    Benchrest The Desert Planet Well-Known Member

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    My nearly-new, new-to-me $16 Lee Pro 1000



    Early observations mixed in with a fair amount of commentary.

    If you feel the need to bash I'm sure there are hundreds, if not thousands, of other threads you would be entirely more productive in.

    Coming from a single stage, and later turret press setups, a full progressive is a bit daunting, especially if it's made by LEE. Having read enough background on the Pro 1000 I knew that I'd need to blend the lines between setup/tuning and what seems to be the ever present frustration of WHY DOESN'T IT WORK OUT OF THE BOX! Having to acclimate to three simultaneous stages (vs. one on a single or turret) AND figure out what needed to be 'fixed' induced a fair amount excessive blood pressure.

    Timing and die setup were pretty straight forward, as was the case feeder. The priming assembly, oh bubblegum... Using recommended primers I'd get 10rnds in and it wouldn't feed, or it would turn the primer sideways. A fix-it thread suggested slightly chamfering the edges of the primer pin - 10 minutes later the feeding problem was solved 100%.

    I'm stubborn, am reasonably good with my hands, and have tools - I anticipated the 'doesn't quite work out of the box' challenge, and was victorious. That said, I can completely recommend that those new to hand loading NOT buy this press. There's simply too much happening for the uneducated to monitor, too many potential fixes for the uninclined - too much of a possibility that the new reloader will get discouraged and abandone this great hobby.

    Get a single stage, or better yet, get a turret. Trust me.

    On to the pictures.

    1st up: Primer explosion shield. Lee recommends against all but a couple of brands, and while I tuned the press with CCI, I intend to use S&B. Whether or not the S&B will feed/press reliably I have yet to find out, but I felt some type of shield prudent.

    explosionshield1_zps75vhreus.jpg

    Just galvanized sheet metal cut to fit - I do hope that I don't get to find out it's effectiveness.

    explosionshield3_zpssxgfjf40.jpg

    explosionshield2_zpsdwtdedvo.jpg

    Next up is the bullet feed actuation rod. It operates off friction - the little nub you see cutoff is the friction part that wears.

    bulletfeedmod1_zpslbtkuxme.jpg

    Sure, the part is $2 from Lee - but I, hopefully, rebuilt it for a lifetime's use.

    bulletfeedmod2_zpsupsk94gz.jpg

    Parts necessary (Parkrose, for all you Vantuckians :) )

    bulletfeedmod3_zpsmsdp36bs.jpg

    I purchased a grab bag of Pro 1000 parts off eBay for $10 shipped. Included was a case feed cylinder - Swapped out the bolt for a shorter one and installed it as multi-tube bullet feeder (Lee has a factory version of this).

    multibulletfeedmod3_zps84c8qf0b.jpg

    multibulletfeedmod2_zpsajcwueqs.jpg

    multibulletfeedmod1_zpshjpqwefl.jpg

    Closing:

    1: Make it work out of the box, LEE.
    2: Lube what needs to be lubed with graphite.
    3: The bullet feed works perfectly with Lee's 356-120 bullet.
    4: The case collator / case feeder work very well.
    5: Bullet feeder makes removing the turret to dump the powder cumbersome - The Pro Auto Disk's removable hopper remedies that.
    6: Don't see any point of the Auto Disk pull back chain - use the standard Auto Disk lever & spring (couple bucks from Lee).

    This press has hours into it - partially due to my initiation into the progressive world, the remaining due to bubblegum that needed fixing.

    I now own a very smooth running Pro 1000 :D
     
  2. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    Glad you got yours going.

    People say they operate well if you put the time into them.

    Kind of like an old Chevy pickup. Know the kinks and quirks and it will operate.

    :)
     
  3. Benchrest

    Benchrest The Desert Planet Well-Known Member

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    I don't think anyone should have the expectation that (any) progressive is a unbox and go, but setup / tuning should be it, not fixing bubblegum.

    That said, I knew what I was getting into, and for those who are mechanically inclined, are perhaps a bit budget conscious, and don't mind spending a couple $ on the inevitable worn plastic bits, then why not - I actually enjoyed most of the process.

    Again, I must stress for those than are new to this sport: Do not buy.

    I have a breach lock and two auto-indexing three-hole turrets - Bullet proof, love them.

    The four-hole - verdict is still out on that one...
     
  4. Benchrest

    Benchrest The Desert Planet Well-Known Member

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    Early on I spent too much time reading how Lee turret parts wear out, cheap junk that'll have to be replaced over and over again.

    I, now laughingly, headed those words - Picked up a few spare parts here and there.

    lol...

    spareparts_zpsd3tv6pgu.jpg

    Thousands of rounds through the turret and I haven't even replaced the little nylon ratchet.

    Someday I'll pass, and my kids will have to figure out what all this crap is for!
     
  5. Hook686

    Hook686 Northern California Active Member

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    I bought the Lee 1000 and took the time (a lot) to set it up and tweak it. It turned out .357 magnum rounds quite well and reasonably fast (250/hr). The pain came wheen changing calibers ... a long set up all over. It was a real PITA from my perspective. I totally agree with you advice to new comers to stay away from this press. I went to the Lee Cassic Turret and could not be happier. Only 125/hr, but so much easier to change calibers. Some day I might pull the Lee 1000 out of the garage and set it up dedicated to 9mm only. It is a thought, but I'm not in any hurry to do it.
     
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  6. Benchrest

    Benchrest The Desert Planet Well-Known Member

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    And that's its sole purpose for me - 9mm.

    Other pistol calibers are shot in lesser quantity and loaded on a turret.
     
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  7. WFO

    WFO Cottage Grove Active Member

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  8. blackadder

    blackadder Everett Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Nice, I'd have to get a couple of them though [emoji33] I have considered trying a Lee progressive setup even knowing the considerable work needed to get one running smoothly. Just to be able to crank out a few hundred 40 in an hr instead of 1-200 a night. Might start looking for one on the cheep in ebay as well.
     
  9. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    ^^^ Only 125 rounds per hour on the Classic Turret? Actually I think that's about right and good enough.

    After all, it's supposed to be fun, right? :)
     
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  10. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    BR, about your 4 hole (cast iron?), you'll love it and there'll be no problems forever regarding the thing.
    I was worried about busting the little indexer square (you can only break one by reversing at a certain small range ram height) so ordered a few more.. they wouldn't charge me for them even though I said they were for spares. My original one is still perfect after 15000 rounds.
    The thing about the 4 hole is it's essentially designed for a FCD.. hence the fourth station. Sometimes I'll be able to utilize the 4th with a universal expander or somesuch to actually utilize the space but often you just have to short rack it to bypass the space. It's kind of a wash to have it there.. I like it though as I do taper crimp most of my loads.
    Anyway, it's a beautiful and elegant beast.
     
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  11. blackadder

    blackadder Everett Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Love me my four hole! Gives me the option to use the factory crimp die if I want.
     
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  12. Benchrest

    Benchrest The Desert Planet Well-Known Member

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    My four hole is the standard cast, not the cast iron - if it ever does wear a new base is only $15.

    I only use the 4 hole for 10MM, as it's the only 'production' caliber that I FCD - 45 Colt & .357 I crimp with the seating die on the three hole.

    I'm confident I'll learn to like the 4 hole, it's just after 1,000s of rnds through the 3 hole presses I'm used to the way they feel - partial, if you will ;)
     
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  13. Benchrest

    Benchrest The Desert Planet Well-Known Member

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    I right at 180-200hr with mine (in 9mm).
     
  14. Hook686

    Hook686 Northern California Active Member

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    Benchrest I'm anal and every 10th round I pause and weigh the powder. Every round after the bullet seating I look at the crimp to see if there are any 'splits' while putting it in the cartridge box. I suspect I could load faster, but as Gunner 3456 said, this is suppose to be fun. :)
     
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  15. Benchrest

    Benchrest The Desert Planet Well-Known Member

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    And I respect that - to each his own :)

    The 180 per hour is my 9mm plinking load, and since every bullet is set by hand I know EXACTLY where the powder level should be in the case - visually inspected every round.

    I look for split cases when look for high primers, when the cartridges go in the box, at the end of the reloading session.

    As long as you use a powder that meters well in the Auto Disk, LEE's auto indexing turret is a near foolproof press that can move as fast (or slow) as you like :)
     
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  16. ma96782

    ma96782 Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    I use three Lee M1000s. Each set up for a different caliber (.38 special, 9mm and 45 ACP) and set to throw my favorite powder and weight. I found that it's quicker just to change the machine than to do a caliber change.

    Mount your machine on a sturdy bench. Keep a supply of those plastic cams and change all of them out when the time comes. Don't fret about doing only one at a time.....they're cheap enough.

    Aloha, Mark
     
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  17. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    I would never buy anything but a Dillon after having a Hornady that was not good and having 2 Dillons that were perfect
     
  18. Benchrest

    Benchrest The Desert Planet Well-Known Member

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    A XL 650 is in the near future, but right now I'm having too much fun tinkering :D
     
  19. ma96782

    ma96782 Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    The Dillion is a good machine and expensive. Yes, I have one. But, changing calibers is not exactly fast vs. just bolting on another Lee M 1000 on the bench.

    You could get three Lees for the price of one Dillion. But, you'll need storage space for the Lee's. Or, a bigger bench? LOL.

    Actually, I use my RCBS Rock Chucker for the rifle calibers, loading in batches if 100 or so. And, the Lees for general pistol ammo needs. My old Dillion doesn't get that much use any more.

    Aloha, Mark
     
  20. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    Bigger bench, always go with bigger bench. That's the solution to most of life's problems.

    I said bench not wench.
     
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