Observations on the Lee Pro 1000
Back in 2000 my dad bought me a Lee Pro 1000 progressive reloader with a .45 ACP die set. I didn't do anything with it for 10 years.
But I've been reloading with it for the last 3 years, and I think it's a great value for the money, but it has some troubling quirks I thought I would share.
If the primers bridge in the primer tray, which they are very prone to do, then they stop feeding into the primer feed slide. If you get less than 4 or so primers from a full slide, there is not enough pressure to push the first primer in line into the correct position for being pressed into place, and you will have primer misfeed problems where the press tries to press the primer in sideways. I've not had a kaboom from this but the potential is there. Normally you can feel it when this happens.
The press has a built in "rattler" that is supposed to shake the tray on every stroke, but it does not reliably shake the primers loose. I have taken to thumping the tray after each bullet seat.
When the case feed tubes get down to around 4 or less cases, there is not enough force pushing down on the next case in line. What happens then is when the next case drops down onto the aluminum deck, it bounces, and frequently jumps forward so that the lip of the case gets caught by the die holder plate on the up-stroke. You have to stick your finger in there and push it back before you can complete the upstroke.
The powder tube twists about 15 degrees from "on" to "off". I turn it to "off" when I use the die to deprime brass - I just let my cases run through each station as if I were reloading, but of course no powder drops in and no bullet is seated. This not only deprimes the brass but also smooths out the case mouth if any of the cases were slightly bent during ejection.
The problem is that the powder tube tends to turn on its own during the stroking operation of the press, due to vibrations. I notice this while depriming as I will start getting cases ejected with powder in them. I have taken to winding a small bungee cord around the neck of the powder tube to increase the tension and force required to turn it from "off" to "on". I just hope it hasn't been turning from "on" to "off"! I have never noticed any under-charges while spot checking so hopefully the vibrations have only been turning it one way.
Anyway, that's my observation after a few years of using the Lee Pro 1000.