November 9, 2009, 03:49 PM
Hi- I just got a Lee Loadmaster (I'm preparing for a video shoot, I'm going to add a complete series to www.ultimatereloader.com ) and have a couple priming system questions for you experienced Loadmaster folk:
1. My press came setup for 45ACP. I just ordered the small primer feeder, and extra priming system parts (feeders, trough covers) for both large and small primers. Is that all I need to load small rifle and pistol primers? Do I need to order any other parts? (small punch, etc)
2. I'm taking the suggestion that some have made online, and that the instructions advise for in terms of having a sizing die above the priming station for better primer alignment. Currently I'm running a Lee universal decapping die in station #1, and a Lee sizing die in station #2 with the decapping pin/rod removed. I'm having a bit of trouble with reliable alignment of the decapper in station #1, so I thought about switching to two sizing dies (I have a Hornady 45ACP die set). Should I use two sizing dies? It seems this will amost double the ram force since two stations will be "working the brass" at the same time. Any other options?
November 9, 2009, 04:33 PM
1. The trough covers are needed for when a cocked primer chews up the trough assembly. This is fairly rare, but it does happen. Far more important are the sliders; note that there are two different ones, one large and one small. These can be chewed up when there is not enough pressure (primers in the trough, or vibration)--or when the wrong size is installed--to feed the primers reliably. And, of course, you will want the appropriate-sized anvil. (It's unclear to me how the Load-Master configurations are shipped these days; did you get both sized anvils?)
2. I would not run another sizing die in station one--that, with its tighter sizer circumference, would make decapper alignment even more problematic. A Lee universal decapper has a larger inside diameter, IOW--is that what you have installed?
If it is, then the case-decapper alignment problem is most likely a function of not having the case feeder tweaked satisfactorily. The loadmastervideos.com video on setting up the case feeder goes through this quite well; study it. The STP lube on the slider tongue is an excellent solution to promote smooth operation. Again, because my Load-Master setup is older, I am unsure of current configurations--so make sure that a) you have the proper-height case feeder installed, and that b) it has an angle cut or a rounded leading edge to clear the turret casting.
In addition to the general case feeder setup, the proper settings for drag on the feeder crank slider (on the up- or down-stroke) need to be sorted out. Again, study the video. IIRC--but I wouldn't swear to it--it is tightening the bottom screw that typically results in pushing a case in further--and thereby hopefully solving the alignment problem at the #1 / decapper-only station.
I have a second crank slider on hand--i.e., those tension screws can strip out of the phenolic resin--but I actually salvaged the original by simply installing a 6-32 MS with a locknut, then using a socket and nutdriver to adjust the tension.
Other parts to have on hand would be additional primer-anvil springs (they can get lost), and get a spare indexer flipper. (These seem to get damaged in the learning phase, and can wear over time as well.) Finally, get a couple of extra shell-plate nut O-rings.
November 9, 2009, 07:00 PM
Thanks JFH- that's very helpful. I'm actually not using the casefeeder yet. I figured I would take things one step at a time :)
So it sounds like the universal decapper should work OK in station #1? Anyone else using this setup with success? I hear in general that the small primer system does not have as many issues...
November 9, 2009, 11:34 PM
I use "decap in #1 and sizer in #2" setup for all calibers. I have no bent/tipped primers with the setup.
Primer seating depth screw on a press has to be readjusted if sizer is moved from station #1 to #2. Shell has a little top-to-bottom play in a shellplate. With no die in the #2 primer is seated when the shell in on the top of its play. With the die it primes at the opposite side of the play. The readjustment is not a big deal.
Problem may appear if sized and unsized shells are mixed in the loading batch. With sizer in #2 primers are seated to different depths for each kind of the shells.
November 10, 2009, 12:50 AM
I finally figured out that the small primer feeder kit does indeed come with the small primer punch. (had to search for picture of kit on GunBroker.com). It sure would be nice if product listings included the contents! This press does not come with large and small punches, just the one for the caliber that you ordered the press for.
November 10, 2009, 01:24 AM
It sure would be nice if product listings included the contents!
It is included. You can find all components of the kits with pictures, part numbers at Lee site. You can even order replacement parts there. Primer feeders are at this page:
Clicking 'serv parts' link under large and small feeders shows that the pusher pin is included into each kit. Part numbers for the pins in small and large kits are different, so are the pins.
Here is how small and large pins differ