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Old February 13, 2013, 03:22 PM   #1
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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.

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Old February 13, 2013, 06:22 PM   #2
5R milspec
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I feel ya on all points you talked about,but one,the one with the powder tube.So far I have had mine for 2 years and love it,just keep an eye on all things that go on.Every ounce in a while I'll have to tap the primer tray or tap the case tubes.Other than that I have been able to load some pretty good ammo for my 9mm,380,45,and 40.
life is great but its better when you can own as many guns you wish to own.for me I haven't bought enough yet.
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Old February 13, 2013, 09:59 PM   #3
Join Date: November 22, 2007
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I have one in 45 acp. Works well for what it is and am glad to have it.
Watch the primer tray and you will avoid 99% of the problems.
My powder hopper is fairly snug, so it self turning off has not been a problem, but I have only loaded 10K rounds so far.
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Old February 13, 2013, 11:13 PM   #4
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It also helps to keep a can of compressed air handy so that you can blow out the primer tube every now and then. I have had these for years and kind of gotten used to the, I use the 550B almost exclusively and enjoy the absence of quirks.
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Old February 14, 2013, 05:38 AM   #5
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I bought a Pro-1000 used and have since run over 40,000 through it...across 13 different chamberings. But I don't use it like most folks use it. For me, it's a brass prep machine. I use the Pro-1000 to size, prime and flare my brass.

I do this because I absolutely love to be able to see a tray of 50 pieces with powder charges in them before I place slugs over each cartridge. I also very much prefer to seat each bullet in my single stage press to get that tactile feedback that ensures the case mouth tension I demand.

Using the Pro-1000 has allowed me to greatly ramp up my rate of production and allows me to handle brass SO much less.

So I don't use the case feeder and I don't use any sort of a powder measuring or dispensing device on my Pro-1000. All my charges are metered from a Lyman 55 to awaiting cases in a load block.

Choosing the Pro-1000 allowed me the luxury of processing a LOT of brass in a very short time and it's also given me the low-cost flexibility in all the parts I need to work with 13 distinctly different chamberings all on the same machine. Not including the loading dies that I already had... I've literally got less money in my entire Pro-1000 setup (for all those calibers) than the expenditure it would require simply to add a case feeder or bullet feeder to a Dillon progressive.

20k a year is no feat for anyone running a progressive machine. And I've worked with a Dillon -- they are incredible tools. But if you attempted to outfit a Dillon 650 for the same 13 different handgun rounds that I load, I think you'd burn up the display on your calculator by the time you reached the bottom line.
Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
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