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Old June 13, 2019, 06:00 PM   #1
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Join Date: October 31, 2009
Location: Ohio
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My current speed: Lee Loadmaster

I think I've finally got this Loadmaster running reliably. Which actually means I know what things to check.

I timed myself a few nights ago: how long to reload 25 rounds of 9mm?

With having to refill the primers halfway, I took: 5 minutes and 37 seconds! Ha!
It made me grin. That was me moving the press handle on the slow side. If i were to go for a whole 50, who knows. I could argue that there's more chance something could go wrong or I'd be "in the groove" longer making me faster.

What I have to do:
I've found I have to regularly check a few things that get loose (around every 50 pulls or so): the knob for the die holder plate, the knob for the shell plate, and I apply some clockwise rotational pressure to the carrier in case it rotated out. When I do that it goes well. I could tighten the bolt but I'm not sure how much torque is too much.

When I don't do these things: the tolerances loosen up because the turret plate moves or the shell plate is wiggly, the carrier rotates counter-clockwise which causes some casings jam/pop up out of the shell plate because the priming arm pushes against the casing most likely.

I saw a deal on a Hornady LNL AP, almost did it except to add case feeder would be something ridiculous. Someday I'll get a Dillon. Someday. It's a strange conflict between pride in ownership and sense of accomplishment: having something so quirky that you feel like you're the only one that can make it work.
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Old June 13, 2019, 07:35 PM   #2
Join Date: June 29, 2014
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I can get through about 100 rounds in 10 minutes on my Loadmaster. But only if I lube my cases (pistol cases). That makes it go a lot faster as the cases go into the sizing die easier. I put the sizing die in the second station and a universal decap in the first.

I looked at the Dillon 650, but would have been over $1500 for everything to load the four pistol calibers I load for. I have $500 into the Loadmaster for those 4 calibers. Don’t mind a little tinkering and adjusting now and then...saved myself $1000 and the loaded rounds shoot the same as they would made on a Dillon.
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Old June 13, 2019, 08:44 PM   #3
Aguila Blanca
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
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Have you discovered the Lee Loadmaster forum yet? It's not run by Lee, it's run by a guy who decided to start it up on his own dime, and he keeps it going out of his own pocket.

Get into the Loadmaster discussion area and there's a guy by the screen name of Magic Mike who offers some gadgets and gilhoolies to tweak the performance and reliability of the Loadmaster. One of his add-ons is, I believe, a retainer to keep the die holder turret firmly in place.
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Old June 13, 2019, 09:56 PM   #4
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dyl, nice to hear of people experiencing happiness. I am running the dreadful Pro1000 and there must be something wrong with it because it works and I just ran almost 3k S&B small pistol primers thru this press w/o a single fouling. I'm also now running a Lee ABLP press and am liking it so far.

Get them running smoothly and learn the quirks and the speed will come on it's own.
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Old June 14, 2019, 07:05 AM   #5
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Thanks all, I’ve had this press for 5-6 years or so. I loaded for a year, and that first year was frustrating. I’d tried some tricks from the loadmaster forum like a spacer behind the primer tray, filing here and there on the primer feeder, etc. I moved and put it away for 4 years or so and just recently found all the parts again. The biggest help I think was a trick I saw to drill out a casing and let that be the guide to visually set the position of the shell retainer on the priming system. I haven’t poked around in the forum lately, just YouTube. Will try it again.
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Old June 14, 2019, 08:11 AM   #6
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The designer for several of NOE and Lee molds, Ranch Dog, run this site It is devoted to all things Lee with a lot of helpful info for successfully running the loadmaster.
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Old June 14, 2019, 10:00 AM   #7
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I urge you to value safe consistent accuracy over speed of production. How many rounds you crank out quickly will be meaningless if you fire into a squib round or have a dud when you really need a fire-able round.

"I could argue that there's more chance something could go wrong or I'd be "in the groove" longer making me faster." - yup.....

I routinely put a drop of 3-1 oil at the edge of my Lee CT die turret and at the edge of the main shell piston. A good deep cleaning of all the gear and the dies on a regular basis keeps things going smoothly as well.

If you're using case lube or molly coat or wax, etc, dies bare more routine cleaning of build-up to remove the lube from the dies.

If you do cast lead rounds, you're also going to have scraped off lead to clean up from time to time.

And that doesn't even go into good brass prep before the reloading begins.

Take care.....
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Old June 14, 2019, 08:38 PM   #8
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Thanks for the support and the safety reminders. I hear them and have had a couple squibs in my day. The Loadmaster keeps me humble
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Old June 14, 2019, 09:33 PM   #9
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Dyl..if you are having to tighten things up every 50 pulls or so, why don't you get some lockwashers?
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Old June 15, 2019, 06:08 AM   #10
Old 454
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Aguila Blanca,

That looks like Magic Mike's forum
Mike is a loadmaster expert.. he has his own web site
Mike's reloading bench
Mike is a engineer and has made improvement to the design of diffrent parts to the Loadmaster especially the priming system.

Mike is really good guy that will answer any questions you have about a loadmaster

The key to using the Loadmaster is stability... you really have to make sure it is tightly secured to run with any kind of reliability.

I had a loadmaster... I now own two dillon 650's
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Old June 18, 2019, 04:05 PM   #11
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The best improvement I ever did to my LM was getting the roller handle from Inline Fabrication. It not only smoothed up the action but also increased the mechanical advantage by making the handle a little longer.
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Old June 27, 2019, 10:14 AM   #12
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.if you are having to tighten things up every 50 pulls or so, why don't you get some lockwashers?
- good idea. The nut that keeps the shell plate secured (which is me currently haha) has an O-ring. I realized that I had been keeping this rather loose because the action got really stiff when I tightened it down further. I have since hand- polished the top of the shellplate with Mothers Mag and lubed just a bit with grease. Now I can tighten it down all the way. I think I will try apply that idea to the screw that holds the die plate up top. There's a huge gap that needs to be filled before the head of the screw/knob contacts the side of the press, maybe your idea of a lock washer or a *really thick o-ring would do the trick. Or I could look for anything springy and cut a pad, drill a hole in it.

Thanks all, I've found that I need to cycle the action pretty "confidently" to say the least even if it's herky-jerky. This makes the brass cases pull away from the center of the press as it spins in the direction of the periphery of the shell plate - where the priming pin/arm is. If the cases are snugged in tight to the shell plate it doesn't work so well. I didn't know this even though it was written in an article online somewhere. I think it was either Titan Reloading or Lee's website themselves.... This helps most for the priming station.
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