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Old August 12, 2010, 09:28 AM   #1
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Lee Pro 1000 info!

I am researching loading presses! I don't want to get into a brand war! I have seen a Dillion 650 in action, it is amazing! But it does not fit my need or budget! I have used a Lee classic turrent press & was looking at the Pro 1000. I saw the caliber kit offered by Midway. I was wondering if you could change the turrent in the Pro 1000 like you can in the Classic Turrent press? I currently only have a need for 2different calibers but still would like to just change the turrent to change caliber. I also would love to hear about your EXPERIENCE with a Pro 1000! Good or bad! Thanks for any help!
~ "JJ"
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Old August 12, 2010, 11:16 AM   #2
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I own a Pro1000 along with other presses, have some experience with it, and am plugged into the user community on other forums that specialize in Lee.

The Pro1000 does have removable turrets, except they are stationary. It is the shellplate that serves as an auto-indexing carousel under the dies.

The Pro1000 is available only as 3-hole, which means you will not be using an FCD or will be doing the FCD as a separate operation on another press. If you crimp with the bullet seating die, you will be subject to uniformity issues if hitting cases of different lengths.

Personally, I think the press is especially well suited to .45 ACP, which does not have all the case prep worries that 9 mm and .40 SW bring with them, pretty much demanding an FCD or case sorting, conditioning, and gauging processes, making you wish you could afford new brass. The .45 ACP does have sorting to eliminate NT brass with small primer pockets, but that is basically it.

The shellplate needs to be changed for some caliber swaps but not for 9mm and 40 SW, which use the same number. The cases ride on the shellplate, which has openings comparable to your shellholders, and little spring gizmos hold the cases in place.

You may need to change between small and large primer handling and small and large case feeding. If using a bullet feeder option, there will be size changes there too. Basically, if you switch often, regardless of how easy it might be or quick to do, you will ultimately want separate presses, if like many reloaders. I would suggest the second press be something else, either a Loadmaster, a Hornady LnL, or a Dillon XL650, capable of doing more operations and better suited to certain calibers.

For a complete resource for all things Pro1000, check the forum at and better yet, the all Lee forum at

Last edited by Real Gun; August 12, 2010 at 12:19 PM.
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Old August 12, 2010, 11:31 AM   #3
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In order to change calibers on a Pro 1000, depending on the calibers, you will need to change the shell plate as well. Certain shell plates will fit multiple calibers, but more often than not, you will have to change the shell plate. It takes about 5 minutes to do.

I've loaded a few thousand rounds of 9mm, and a few hundred rounds of .223 on a Pro 1000. The biggest amount of problems will undoubtedly stem from the primer feed system. You will need to keep it full, and keep it clean (REALLY clean!) in order to keep it functioning properly.

Since the Pro 1000 is only a 3-station press, if you want to use a factory crimp die, you may have to do that step (or one of the other steps, such as decapping/sizing) on (for example) a single stage press. The seating/taper crimp (for auto-pistol rounds) is done in a single step, and with jacketed bullets this usually isn't a problem, but you may encounter shaving with lead bullets (I did). Not sure about roll-crimping for revolver-type rounds, say for .38 Special wadcutters, though.

Also, if you want to load rifle rounds other than .223, the Pro 1000 is perhaps not the best choice, you may run into problems obtaining shell plates for larger rifle calibers, and the cases can be too long to allow the auto-advance to function properly (though you can remove the indexing rod and use it as a single-stage, or manually index it like a Dillon 550).

Every press has its quirks. The Pro 1000 is capable of creating some quality ammunition, and does fit a certain price point. The functionality (i.e. case feeder, auto-indexing, etc.) rivals more expensive presses.

Had I not stumbled across a good deal on a Dillon 550, I'd still be using the Pro 1000.

Hope that helps!

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Old August 12, 2010, 01:39 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info guys! This is exactly what I was hoping for! Some first hand knowledge! Thanks for the links also real gun, I will check them out.
~ "JJ"
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Old August 12, 2010, 02:39 PM   #5
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I run 4 of these, all bought from unhappy owners, and load for 6 calibers, 38/357, 9mm, 45ACP and 44mag/special. Best advice I can give you is here:

Forgive mechanical skills are much better than my computer skills. Hands too sore to type today.

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Old August 12, 2010, 09:10 PM   #6
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I have a Pro1000 I have owned since 1986. I load 45, 44, 357, and 223 on it. I really love mine. Once you work through the quirks, you will be able to set up the press in a few minutes and start loading a few hundred rounds per hour. Keep it clean and it will last a long time.
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