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Old October 16, 2021, 10:51 PM   #1
kilotanker22
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Need Recommendations

So my Lee Pro 4000 press was neglected most of the summer (not used and super busy at work and with school).

Realized today that the dies and press had rusted fairly badly. Cleaned the dies and got most of the rust off the parts to the press. I will be damned if I can get through five rounds without stopping and adjusting. The problem is when trying to seat primers. No matter how I adjust the press, the priming tool will not line up right.

This press has always been super finnicky anyway. I am looking to buy a new progressive, maybe something more durable. I also do not want to spend $1K plus on a press. What have you all found works well for you?

The only cartridges that I use a progressive for are 9mm and 5.56.
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Old October 16, 2021, 11:46 PM   #2
NoSecondBest
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I’ve had three Dillon presses and have never found any fault with any of them. I’ve scaled back my shooting the last several years and have found that I can load more than enough just using a Redding T7 turret press. I guess it just depends on your needs and finances. When I was shooting thousands of rounds a year the Dillon made sense. Now that I’m shooting a couple of thousand rounds a year the Redding is quite adequate and loads quality ammo. It’s easier to use the Redding if you’re loading for more than one cartridge. You can buy different turret heads and have them all set up ready to go
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Old October 17, 2021, 07:04 AM   #3
hounddawg
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what I would do is get a Lee turret to get me by, save my pennies until next year and get one of these

https://www.frankfordarsenal.com/rel...r/1178469.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ow32KKqTHEk
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Old October 17, 2021, 07:35 AM   #4
burrhead
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It pretty much boils down to Dillon or Hornady. I wouldn't have one with less than 5 stations. Red or blue; pick your color.

I'll get flamed for this but friends don't let friends buy Lee.
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Old October 17, 2021, 08:48 AM   #5
Nathan
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My Hornady has met this need for 20 years….should work for you.

I’m sure Dillon is fine too, but I don’t like how the die plates are/or were loose in the presses I looked at.
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Old October 17, 2021, 08:54 AM   #6
zplinker
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I've run Dillons for over 30 years; good machines. Loose die plates? That is a minor adjustment.
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Old October 17, 2021, 11:00 AM   #7
hounddawg
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Quote:
I'll get flamed for this but friends don't let friends buy Lee.

not flaming but wondering what you base that statement on, experience or hearsay?

I currently shoot F Class, and both my wife and myself used to shoot IDPA. The wife came in 3rd statewide back in 2014.

The ammo shot on this target was loaded on a Lee Turret bought in 2007. Probably has 30K + of pistol and 10 K from .204 ruger to .308 Win of rifle loaded on it and it is still in use. I was just sizing some .308 and 6BR on it this morning, I have also used it to wildcat 6.5 Grendel to 30 Grendel and 6ARC. For 14 years that little press has done and continues to do everything I need it to do.

The target attached (197 6X @ 600) shows the accuracy level of the ammo it produces.

edit just for the record I also owned a Hornady AP for awhile. Excellent press but a steep learning curve. It took me a couple of phone calls to Hornady to get everything humming but once it was adjusted I had zero issues as long as I kept everything spotless. After the wife's back injury and my ankle injury we stopped running and gunning and I sold it but it worked fine for cranking out 9mmm and .45 ACP by the bucketfull
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Last edited by hounddawg; October 17, 2021 at 11:30 AM.
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Old October 17, 2021, 11:53 AM   #8
kilotanker22
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I have owned a bunch of Lee stuff. All of their tools seem to be really well thought out, but have not held up for me. I really love the Lee Bench prime tool and believe it to be one of the best priming tools on the market, but I have broken two of them.

I am sure though, if I take the press apart completely, I will find something that I missed that is causing the priming arm not to line up.

Hounddawg, That press you linked above looks pretty nice and right in line with my budget. Comes with the case feeder and powder measure. Ten stations though? I could find a use for all ten I am sure.

I have considered saving some cash or selling a gun or two and buying the Hornady ammo plant.
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Old October 17, 2021, 12:02 PM   #9
kilotanker22
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I will admit that the reason I am having trouble with this Lee Pro 4000 is not due to a fault of the equipment. I neglected the equipment, and now must suffer the consequences.
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Old October 17, 2021, 12:44 PM   #10
hounddawg
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Kilo I used the the Hornady for about three years and averaged 200 - 400 pistol rounds per week and some weeks even more when the wife was in her prime shooting days.

The Hornady's biggest issues are it has to be adjusted right and kept spotless. A single grain of powder in the wrong place like the primer slide and it grinds to a halt. Keep a air compressor and a vacume handy and clean up any powder spill immediately. Before use and every hundred rounds or so stop and make sure every nut and bolt is tight and you will never have a issue. When it is running right you can go through a couple of hundred rounds per hour even without the case and bullet feeders.

The first week I owned mine I cussed it, but the Hornady CS reps were always available and talked me through all the adjustments and even sent me a box of spare springs and other parts free of charge. Just be patient and not be afraid of calling CS and you would be fine.

That said if I suddenly rediscovered the joy of pistol I would hold off and get that Franklin. It has a much better design than either the Dillon or the Hornady just from what I have seen on videos
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Old October 19, 2021, 10:27 PM   #11
kilotanker22
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Apparently, at some point, I spilled some powder and the granules were causing my timing problem with the priming arm.

The case feed issue I was having was caused by a missing scree that allowed the plastic feed ramp to flex. It never occurred to me to look for a screw there. Although, I know for a fact that screw was not there when I got the press new. After being flexed for a year and then drawn back to the steel frame with a screw I made for it, the plastic was a bit deformed. I draw filed that surface with a mill file and used a sanding block to finish it. Put everything back together and she runs well now.

Honestly, this press is running better than it ever has now. It's a shame I did not take the time to go through the press and solve these issues a year ago.
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Old October 20, 2021, 11:01 AM   #12
hounddawg
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Glad it worked out for you. Now you do not need to sell rifles and can upgrade if you decide that is what you want to at leisure
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Old October 21, 2021, 12:06 PM   #13
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I use medium grade threadlocker on dang near every piece of equipment I own, because fasteners tend to loosen up and I forget to check them.
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Old October 21, 2021, 07:12 PM   #14
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I have been very happy with my hornady lock n load. Keep her clean and she will run.
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