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Old December 24, 2005, 11:08 AM   #1
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LEE Progressive loader

Anyone use a lee progressive and if so how do you like it ?
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Old December 24, 2005, 12:52 PM   #2
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Mixed reviews probably. I'm a LEE fan, but will probably go for a dillon 550.
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Old December 24, 2005, 08:44 PM   #3
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I have no personal experience with them, but from what I've heard, if you deprime before tumbling, then reprime off press, they ain't too bad.

Otherwise, Hornady, RCBS, and of course Dillon offer better progressive presses, albeit at higher prices. Probably the best value among them is the Hornady LNL AP. An autoindexing progressive, without a casefeeder, it is less $ than the manual indexing dillon 550, and with the casefeeder, it is less than a dillon 650 without one.

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Old December 24, 2005, 10:10 PM   #4
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I've used a Lee Loadmaster since they came out (10-15 years ago) and before that a Lee Turret press, which is pseudo progressive. Lees can be a little fiddly to get set up initially if you don't follow the directions exactly, but if you read the forums long enough you'll see stories about problems with the other brands as well. Once set up, my Loadmaster has just been running smoothly, for tens of thousands of rounds. The biggest benefit of Lee over the other brands is cost, especially if you are loading for a lot of different calibers. If you're just doing a single pistol caliber, something like the Dillon Square Deal seems awfully hard to beat. But if you look at the bigger Dillons, for example, and price out a set of 4 or 5 turrets, shell plates and other caliber change items you may be surprised at how expensive it gets.
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Old December 24, 2005, 10:36 PM   #5
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I am new and have done some reading but I am confused as to the difference between progressive and turret presses?
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Old December 24, 2005, 11:41 PM   #6
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Lee progressive presses

I have owned both the Lee turret and the LoadMaster

I don't consider the turret a true progressive. The LoadMaster is.

I found the Loadmaster difficult to set up but once set up it delivers. I bought both the Multi tube case and bullet feeders. they work well when you follow the directions. The only thing I have noted is you need to watch for primers bridgeing in the primer feeder. when it does a flick with your finger gets thing flowing again. As with all progressive there is a need to watch component levels and not run out. For pistol use I use the Autodisk system with the adjustable charge bar. I'm not about to turn it in for a dillon any time soon. After using a friends Dillon 550B changing from .45ACP to .38 special was faster and easier. Especially after I bought an extra Autodisk measure I did find when using real light loads of bullseye for the .38 powder feed could get a bit erratic. I like W231 better anyway and it works well. This last year I bought a Lee Classic Cast for rifle load development I like it too.

I have no info on the Pro 1000. Some folks comments made me shy away from it.
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Old December 25, 2005, 06:18 AM   #7
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What I mean is

I thought a turret press and a progressive were the same...But I guess I am wrong...
What is a turret press?
What is a progressive press?
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Old December 25, 2005, 07:20 AM   #8
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I use a turret and a progressive, I use the turret for my less loaded round, such as 44mag , .38 and .45 acp
I use the progressive for 9mm and I love it, I have no problem with it and get load a gruch of rounds in no time, all very consistant and great just have to pay attention to what you are doing with both of them........
Rick in Kingman AZ
, Super Comanche 45LC/410 , ,Armscor .38 4, Marlin 60 & An UGLY 12ga , Savage Axis .223
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Old December 25, 2005, 12:44 PM   #9
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A turret press is essentially a single stage press with quick die changes. A progressive press performs operations on several cases each time you work the lever. A turret just does one operation on one case.

The Lee Pro 1000 is a modified version of their turret press. I hated mine so much that I modified it right back into a turret press which I like. Main problem is the really crappy priming system. Powder charging also gave some problems, but the upgraded AutoDisk resolved most of those.

I've never had a LoadMaster and, after my experiences with the Pro 1000, I have no intention of ever getting one. They have a foul reputation and satisfied users are few.
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Old December 25, 2005, 01:57 PM   #10
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Leftoverdj said WRT Lee products:
They have a foul reputation and satisfied users are few.

This is especially true for those who have a problem reading directions. Also somewhat true for those who feel that Lee doesn't give them the "Status" they feel they need. (You know what 'Status' is; Thats what you get when you buy something you don't need with money you don't have to impress someone you don't even like!)
Lee products have always worked exactly as claimed when I've taken the time to read the directions. Some of their products don't fit my needs (the "Safety Powder Scale, for instance,) but I can always find an RCBS 5-0-5 at a gunshow.
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Old December 25, 2005, 08:07 PM   #11
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I had a loadmaster. Sold it and used the proceeds to buy an RCBS Turret Press. I couldn't be happier.

The Loadmaster is a great progressive for the price. You do need to keep a constant eye on it when it's running. And yes, if you don't read the instructions, and keep them handy for reference, it makes it all that much harder. I decided to go with the Turret because a progressive doesn't really match my reloading style and I don't load enough volume to need a progressive. A friend of mine has been running his Loadmaster for about ... 7 years now, and he has loaded probably close to 20,000 rounds on it. He's a very good mechanical fix it yourself type of guy, and he does fiddle with his all the time.

So, all this said, I recommend going with a Turret press. All the detail and focus of a single stage, and some of the speed and convience of a progressive! Go with RCBS, Hornaday, or Lyman's. I think Dillon even has a turret...?
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Old December 25, 2005, 10:51 PM   #12
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A turret press only holds one cartridge at a time, but multiple dies that can be rotated into place, so that on successive pulls of the lever, you perform the sequential operations on the one cartridge until it is complete. If you have four dies to reload a cartridge, then it takes 4 pulls of the lever to create each finished cartridge.

A progressive is like a turret, except it holds multiple cartridges at a time. Each pull of the lever performs multiple operations (each cartridge goes into a separate die), and then the shell plate is advanced so that each cartridge advances to the next die for the next step in the process. Once the "pipeline" is full, each pull of the lever creates a finished cartridge.

A progressive can be used like a turret (with only one cartridge at a time), but a turret cannot be used like a progressive.

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Old December 26, 2005, 12:01 AM   #13
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Sorry, Old. I spoke specifically of the Lee Loadmaster and my experiences with a Pro 1000.

I like the simpler Lee products. Status and reading the instructions have nothing to do with it, except that following the instructions exactly will make matters even worse. The Pro 1000 priming system will not work with the maximum 10 primers per the instructions and a progressive that will only take 10 primers is near worthless.

I expect a progressive press to perform every operation it is supposed to every time I pull the handle. The Pro 1000 would not. It would fail to feed primers, feed primers partially, invert primers, and feed tipped primers. You cannot even visually check to see if a primer is in the correct position. The powder charging system took constant vigilance because it habitually stuck and sometimes dropped partial charges.
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Old December 26, 2005, 03:23 PM   #14
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Been Using The Pro 1000 And Progressive For Years. If You Follow The Destructions And Are Somewhat Mechanically Inclined You Won't Have Any Problems. Also Don't Get Too Ham Fisted With Them, If It Sticks That Means There Is A Problem, Don't Stand On The Handle To Make It Work. Investigate And See Whats Wrong.




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Old December 26, 2005, 08:04 PM   #15
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I like my loadmaster

Make sure they are mounted rock solid with zero wiggle. I can't emphasize this enough.

This eliminated a primer problem for me.

After it is set up correctly according to the directions, you will develop a feel for the right touch and rhythm the machine likes.

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Old December 27, 2005, 09:21 AM   #16
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I've received American Handgunner magazine since its beginning, and for many years they reported on the competitor equipment used to make the ammo used at IPSC and USPSA matches; now the USPSA magazine reports that info.

(Competitive shooters can fire in excess of 70,000 rds per year )

Without exception the number one progressive loader used comes from Dillon, with usually a very small (like under 10) using other-brand machines like the RCBS, Hornady, and LEE.
There are reasons for that.

If you want a progressive press buy a Dillon.

There are reports, verified , that some smaller ammo manufacturers use Dillon equipment - specifically the XL650 - for small special runs.
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
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Old December 30, 2005, 10:07 PM   #17
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Lee load disaster

Years ago had a RCBS Rock chucker very good single stage. Got out of reloading for a few year then got a Load Master. The first one cracked I will say Lee did replace it free under warrenty. However I had nothing but problems, primer problems, casefeeding problems. It was to the point I used it to resize & deprime then prime by hand , then threw powder by hand and then use the press to seat and crimp. Just wasn't happy. I can read direction and have mechanical ability. Anyway its for sale. I recently bought a Dillon 650. LOVE IT!!!!!!! Everything works perfect. You may spend more but you are getting top quality and you'll never have to replace it. I shoot IDPA and eveyone I shoot with uses some type of Dillon.
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