Lee Pro-1000 - Die Sticking


Jumping Frog
June 10, 2010, 10:50 AM
I received an email question from someone I shoot with. Since I don't really know the Pro-1000 at all, I thought I'd post it here for help:

I am emailing you in an attempt to solve a problem. I wanted to graduate form single stage to progressive, Single stage loading I am fine with but just wondering if you could help me out here.

After getting a Glock 19 and Lone Wolf Barrel I purchased the Lee pro 1000 progressive press. I heard they can be a "pain in the ass to setup" but I have never experienced anything like this yet. I have everything together and the press cycles for what the naked eye looks right. I have adjusted the timing very little and still am having a major issue. When I resize and deprime (die number 1 in the front) the brass gets caught in the die and then I have to use a screw driver to get the shell plate assembly back down. If I just pull on the level the ram rod that goes into the shell plate just sticks and the operation goes no where. I am confident that die is setup properly I just do not know what could be causing this.
Got any suggestions I can pass along? (I already asked him via email to confirm he has a carbide sizing die.)

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June 10, 2010, 11:43 AM
Lube the cases ! I've had problems with carbide dies that require no lubing. It only takes a minute and it results in a much smoother operation. Also the dies that came with my Lee 1000 were NOT carbide. Lube one case and try again.

June 10, 2010, 12:35 PM
Have your friend verify the type of sizing die he has. Make sure it is 9mm Luger, not 380auto or 9x18 Makarov. Also, see if the die is plain steel, or carbide.

Make sure he has a Small Primer decapping pin in his sizing die. A Large Primer pin will get stuck in the flash hole.

Make sure he is trying to resize standard Boxer primed brass. Not Berdan. Not steel cases.

Verify that he cleans his cases. Tumbling in a good medium is common, but washing with water (and drying thoroughly) or wiping with a cloth are adequate.

Most carbide dies for straight-wall pistol cartridges run pretty smoothly without lubricant, but often benefit from lubricant anyway.

Most steel (non-carbide) dies require lubricant.

I know you said he changed the timing, have him verify that he has the timing right.

June 10, 2010, 03:08 PM
I would have him cycle a few cases with only the decapping die in place then add one die at a time to see where it's coming from. I second the notion that a large decapping pin is the culprit.
A full length sizing die (steel) without lube adds quite a bit of resistance. If he has a Lee factory crimp die in place that could be contributing to the problem.
I'm surprised he hasn't cracked the shell plate or pull the ram completely out of it.

Jumping Frog
June 10, 2010, 04:02 PM
I told him to first put the sizing/decapping die in his single stage press and verify it is working OK there. Try lubing a case.

June 10, 2010, 04:40 PM
If I am not mistaken which I am a lot :D 9mm cases have a slight taper. When I first started loading 9mm I had similar problems and ended up lubing. I would lube about every tenth case. After about 500 rounds the lube was no longer necessary. I reckon the 9mm die needed to be broke in.

June 10, 2010, 07:28 PM
9mm case can be a bit hard to full-length size on the Pro 1000 and I use a single stage press to separately deprime/size 9mm (40S&W is easier and 45 ACP is relatively easy to size on the Pro 1000). He can separate the deprime/sizing operation by removing flare/powder charge and bullet seat/taper crimp dies and only leaving the deprime/sizing die in station #1 (the front hole in the 3 hole turret). This way he can concentrate on depriming/sizing all the cases first, then put the dies back in station #2 and #3 with #1 die removed (deprime/sizing die) to finish loading (I recommend this for some new reloaders for 9mm case which is hard to size).

Have your friend check out these you tube videos (9 videos). The link is 1 of 9 and the guy does a good job of walking you through full disassembly and reassembly (he really takes the press completely apart! even more than I do). It should help.


Let us know if your friend has any more issues.

BTW, is he not able to bring the ram/shell plate carrier down once he pushes the ram lever down?

June 10, 2010, 08:27 PM
Heh, I just checked the video link, bds--I would've thought I'd died and gone to heaven if I had had access to support like that in 1990....

Jim H.

June 10, 2010, 08:50 PM
Well, the words "San Francisco Liberal with a gun" raised the hair in the back of this conservative's neck, but he did produce a very good video series for the Pro 1000.

I do not disassemble as much as he does. I leave the turret holder or top of the press bolted and remove the turret with dies/Auto Disk powder hopper to remove the shell plate carrier for cleaning/shell plate change for caliber change (I remove the case feeder/tubes, case slider, Z-bar first).

I hope the video helps other newbie Pro 1000 users enjoy reloading on their press. :D

Jumping Frog
June 30, 2010, 04:14 PM
Just thought I'd pass on that I received the following answer at http://forums.loadmastervideos.com

When the friend tried these steps, it fixed his problem:

This may mean that the shellplate assembly is at a slight angle relative to the ram, rather than being perfectly perpendicular.

Have him do this: first, raise the ram and lubricate it. Then raise it and lower it a number of times to ensure the lubricant is spread evenly on the ram. Now loosen the hex bolt that holds the shellplate carrier onto the ram while the ram is lowered. Place a case in station 1 of the shellplate and raise the ram, forcing the case into the decapping/sizing die. Then lower the ram very slightly, just enough to ensure that the shoulder is clear of the shellplate carrier. With the shoulder of the ram just touching the shellplate carrier, tighten the hex bolt. Then lower the ram. That should pull the case out of the die.

As long as there isn't a manufacturing defect in either the ram or the shellplate carrier, the above should ensure that the shellplate carrier is properly aligned with the ram so that the shellplate is perpendicular to the ram.

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