i am ordering on friday, experts input and suggestions


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FlyinBryan
April 22, 2008, 12:45 AM
been here bout a month or so now, mostly reading, with occasional comprehension taking place.

i have never reloaded anything but shotshells, and spent a few hours here and there with my buds as they reloaded (one of which has the most beautiful fn fal rifle ive ever seen) but back on subject here.

due to my occupation, as an electrical/mechanical technician on high speed web newspaper presses, and just an overall love of automation and similar gadgetry, ive decided to go with a progressive press, the lee loadmaster.

i have a few fairly simple questions, and would also like to hear suggestions on intitial support equipment like brass prep, and trimmers and such.

i have not found detailed info on the loadmaster regarding single stage operation. not that i intend to use it in this manner, just wondering.

1. can the loadmaster be used in a single stage manner, such as sizing and priming a batch to be loaded, without to much trouble?

2. will the powder drop system detect the absence of a case, and not charge the empty shell plate? (they claim the pro1000 does this)

3. i plan to start with 45acp, and can order the kit as such, does anyone know if this will include a factory crimp die? and do you guys use them on 45acp?

4. besides a case trimmer, and a decent tumbler, what would you suggest i get with my initial order?


my full intentions are to get the press and a few select support and prep items and become very familiar with the equipment before i ever load a single round. im talking weeks to months here. im in no real hurry to load rounds, but i am very excited in LEARNING HOW TO DO SO SAFELY.

thanks in advance for all you guys help.

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Texastbird
April 22, 2008, 01:07 AM
http://loadmastervideos.com/
This is a very informative site about the loadmaster.

evan price
April 22, 2008, 02:09 AM
1. can the loadmaster be used in a single stage manner, such as sizing and priming a batch to be loaded, without to much trouble?
If you don't put powder in the hopper, or don't install the dies you don't want to use, then it works very well as a deprime/resize/prime press- but since it's all the same motion to go ahead and finish out the ammo- why bother doing it any other way?

2. will the powder drop system detect the absence of a case, and not charge the empty shell plate? (they claim the pro1000 does this)
Yes, if you use the Lee powder-through-expander dies, the case pushes up into the expander die and actuates the powder drop. No case, no powder.

3. i plan to start with 45acp, and can order the kit as such, does anyone know if this will include a factory crimp die? and do you guys use them on 45acp?
iirc you have to specify a 4-die set with FCD. However- I have never needed an FCD on 45 acp. The three die set with taper crimp/seat works fine for me.

4. besides a case trimmer, and a decent tumbler, what would you suggest i get with my initial order?
You don't need to trim .45 acp cases to reload them.
A kinetic bullet puller. A powder weight check scale. These should be mandatory! a cheap caliper from Harbor Freight or somewhere just to doublecheck OALs or diameter is nice to have too- you don't need to buy a $100 job a $10 one works just fine.

For tumbling medium, Lizza crushed walnut at PetSmart for $10.99 for 11 pounds is a great bargain.

coyotehitman
April 22, 2008, 03:57 AM
Consider a better quality press before you spend your $$. Hornady LNL, RCBS Pro2000, Dillon 550/650 are much better alternatives IMO.

evan price
April 22, 2008, 05:02 AM
I've loaded thousands of .45's in my Pro1K with no problems. Cheap does not automatically mean junk. If I needed to load thousands at a sitting I'd invest in a Dillon. What I've got now works fine for me.

BAD_KARMA
April 22, 2008, 08:29 AM
1. yes - but why bother for pistol rounds

2. no case = no powder

3. 13 dollars extra order with press. If you are going to shoot lead I highly recommend this die. Make sure you get the carbide crimp die as it will post size your shells.

4. skip case trimmer. You need to get the following items.
a. reloading manual. More are always better. I like the Lee and Hornady ones.
b. Dial caliper.
c. Bullet puller.
d. scale to weigh charges.

FlyinBryan
April 22, 2008, 09:54 AM
i am speechless guys.

in other words i am amazed at how fast and how THOROUGH you guys come to help someone trying to get started.

even after weeks of research i was hesitant to post questions like these here.

i blame that on the immature responses ive come to expect on other internet message boards.

i should have known better here. many of you guys should be commended on the help you give others that dont know as much.

its nice not to be made to feel like an idiot during my learning.

so again, thanks.

gotta go to worky now but i am sure i will follow this up with a few questions here and there before i actually order.

strat81
April 22, 2008, 10:35 AM
+1 to everything above.

Don't forget safety glasses.

ATAShooter
April 22, 2008, 10:57 AM
I wanted a loadmaster pretty bad. Then I did some searches on here to get opinions. Some good, some bad, some REAL bad. The best thing I did was sit and watch the Loadmaster videos ( all of them ). It made me feel alot better about it and I ordered one last Wednesday. Watch the videos. It answered alot of questions I had.

SASS#23149
April 22, 2008, 11:53 AM
the real advantage..I believe..to crimping in a seperate operation is the ease of adjusting the length or crimp much...you are only changing the one dimension.With a seat/crimp die you must change 2 settings at once.
Of course if one caliber and one style bullet is about all you'll ever load,no biggee.

Welcome to the madness. !! :)

lordgroom
April 22, 2008, 12:12 PM
I agree with all of the advice so far. I liked the ABC's of reloading as a Primer and I have multiple Reloading manuals. Lee is a good place to start. Good luck and let us know how things work out.

Griz44
May 4, 2008, 11:11 PM
7 weeks ago I had never reloaded a single round in my entire life. I DID MY RESEARCH. That's important. I watched Uncle Don's videos (WONDERFUL- Thank you for that effort!) I watched Lee's videos. I decided to save the money that I was going to spend on an expensive press, and buy the Lee loadmaster. Out of the box, everything I expected, plus a few spare parts I did not expect. It took an hour to bolt it to the bench, another hour to set up the 5 dies and pro disk and case feeder (again, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE VIDEOS) In under three hours from the time I opened the box, I had produced my first 100 rounds of 45ACP. The pro-disk powder measure and an optional Lee perfect scale made sure I was getting it right. I used HP-38 powder and Rainier plated bullets picked up at the local Cabelas. I scurried down to the local range and shot all 100 of them. I was estatic. I shot the best group I had in years. The Lee is neither hard to set up or finicky. If you can change your own oil, you can set one of these up. I am now over 7,000 rounds with it, and it just keeps getting smoother and faster. I use 5 dies and crimp seperately, a big plus for accurate loads. I bought the bullet feeder as well, and use it in semi-hand mode, I took the rod off and use my left hand to feed a bullet when needed. It takes less than 10 minutes to produce 100 rounds. Go ahead and get one, save the money for powder primers and bullets. Anyone not mechanically inclined enough to use a Loadmaster has no business with a reloader or a gun in the first place. That's my .02C worth, I like my Lee, and is simple and inexpensive to set it up for additional calibers. I do .223, 30-06 and 45 ACP, it takes lkess that 2 minutes to change calibers.

:D

lgbloader
May 4, 2008, 11:35 PM
Flying Brian, Welcome to the madness of Handloads. On top of all the great advise the others have offered, I highly recommend the LYMAN 48th Edition book to study the process. In addition to this, read all you can and watch every video you can find on the subject. Ask all the questions you can from anyone you meet that has handloaded for any length of time. In a few weeks from now, you'll look back at this as life changing as far as your shooting is concerned.
The best thing about this is that most everyone I've spoken with that hand loads has said the same thing, and I qouteI scurried down to the local range and shot all 100 of them. I was estatic. I shot the best group I had in years.
I will never forget my first either.

Good luck and I offer this parting advise, Go slow. Know your limits. Double check yourself and Keep your wits about you, Mate.

krs
May 5, 2008, 01:33 PM
I agree 100% with the enthusiastic comments about loading in general.

However I can't share enthusiasm for the Lee Loadmaster. Yes, it can be made to work but the cost in time fiddling with it is too high. The silly indexing system is the victem of it's own tawdry pieces - the plastic that is expected to go up, turn out, slide down, swing out, jam in, and repeat does not hold up to it's work. The threads lose tension on the rod and suddenly it's out of whack and won't index. The tiny plastic arm that positions primers onto the ram will jam if even one flake of powder should get into it. And get in it will since when loading short straightwall cartridges such as .40 S&W or .45acp the powder charge will make a little jump each time the operating handle is swung up to advance the shellplate. Jumping powder can and does go anywhere it can, and Murphy's laws require it to go where it can do the most harm.

In all, Lee Loadmaster is a design only worthy of a nineteenth century inventor. Here now in the twenty first century Lee refuses to admit that any improvement is needed, seeming to see the machine as some crowning achievement. And it might be that, if Lee had set out to make an infernal machine rather than a reliable and consistant tool for everyday use.

The Yugo of loaders is what it is.

lgbloader
May 5, 2008, 03:16 PM
:):)

Griz44
May 5, 2008, 05:18 PM
OK, everybody has an opinion, and it seems you have a rather strong one. I have loaded over 7000 with mine in just a few weeks, and have not experienced any of the issues you have described. The plastic pieces you mentioned are all priced about a dollar or two each, and can be ordered and delivered in a couple of days if they were ever needed. Economy is something some must live with, and having a less expensive press than a Cadillac is better than no press at all. I have seen posts from other users who have 100,000 plus on a loadmaster, (one guy claims over a million) with no major issues. Maybe keeping it clean, following the instructions and having a little fun in the process is part of the success some have enjoyed with the loadmaster. Most do not have a need for a 1200 round per hour press, or the expense that goes with it. I set my Lee up with extra turrents and shell plates for 4 calibers for less than the big blue single stage. I have had no issues even close to the problems that seem to concern you. But then, I have never had any problems dealing with anything mechanical. If big blue or big green or brand X is your cup of tea, then I am glad for you and wish you all the best with it. I am happy that you are happy with YOUR choice. I would never think of attempting to belittle anyone for their choice because I do not know the background, situation or preference of that person. I am just happy that they enjoy what they are doing and what they are doing it with. I have a friend who reloads with a screw together tube and an 8 oz plastic hammer, and he is just as happy as I am with my setup. BTW, I liked my Yugo.

Enough, I am off to the range to kill some paper. Sorry for the rant.

lgbloader
May 5, 2008, 05:23 PM
Griz44, That was completely justified. I had a simular response but cancelled it with some smiley faces. Some people know how to suck the air out of a room, you know what I mean.

KRS, To Each, their own, Mate.

Drinks all around...

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