Lee pro 1000


October 20, 2011, 04:30 AM
How bad is it really? I've been trying to talk myself out of it for over a month now. please only people who have owned or used one.

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October 20, 2011, 06:14 AM
I just picked one up, followed the manufacturers directions and reloaded 185 shells with hardly any problems. The problems I did have were my own. Once I got into the swing of things, it worked fine. I am rather mechanically inclined but I don't see where anyone else would really have an issue. Just go slow, and work up your speed gradually.

primers got caught - reason- short stroked to check the powder instead of removing the round after the next cycle
shells got caught in press - reason - short stroked - see above

run one round all the way thru until you get each position set up the way you want it, then go to town!

Instead of loading a boolet, let it go to the end and check the powder (pull it off the press, don't let it drop - powder gets everywhere!)

Miata Mike
October 20, 2011, 06:28 AM
I have several and would buy another if the price was really right like my first one. I have been hand priming my .45acp press and things go very smooth. I have been making an effort to use my 9mm press the way it was designed and seem to only have troubles when checking powder weights.

October 20, 2011, 08:10 AM
You really need a rock solid bench and have to keep the primer tray half full or more. As mentioned above, no short stroking and be sure nothing gets below the carrier which can lead to high primers.
I have two. Wish I had one Dillon instead but if I'm really, really careful, I can turn out good loads at a measured pace. I don't use the case feeder nor do I have a bullet feeder. Mainly I load 9mm, 38 special/357, 44 mag/spec, 45 Colt/acp and use a seperate press for taper crimping the autos.

October 20, 2011, 09:18 AM
I used to have one, but sold it when i bought the loadmaster. I didn't have problems with it other than the fact that it was only three stations and since i load mostly cast bullets i wanted an (M) die station. I would buy another one without hesitation if i were to use it for loading jacketed bullets.

October 20, 2011, 09:54 AM
I have loaded thousands of rounds with mine and was on the verge of selling it many times until I figured it out. Lee's instructions are a bit cryptic & difficult to figure out, at least to me. When something flubbed up & I eventually figured it out I went back and reread the instructions and then had an illumination of, "oh THAT'S what they meant" kind of thing. A lot is happening all at once on a progressive press, but there are no issues of quality of the press itself. You will of course see responses on this thread of 'If it isn't Dillon it's junk"; "Go blue or go home,etc."

October 20, 2011, 10:01 AM
I use one. Since I swapped the AutoDisk Pro back to a spring return instead of the chain return, the only place I ever really get issues is with the primer feeder. Keep it full, clean, and with a little bit graphite and even that can work well. A solid workbench is important, as is keeping the primer station clean. There's a thread around here listing all of the problems people have with the Pro 1000 and how to fix them, I'll post a link when I get home if someone doesn't beat me to it.

October 20, 2011, 10:39 AM
How bad is it really?
Here are the "bad":

1. Only loads pistol cases and .223/7.62x39 rifle cases
2. Only 3 stations: 1. Resize/Deprime, 2. Flare/Powder charge 3. Seat/Crimp
3. Primer feed attachment is gravity based and won't feed into station if the feed ramp is not kept full of primers
4. Progressive press with auto index so you'll need to ensure that shell plate timing is set
5. Nylon ratchet gear that indexes (rotates) the shell plate requires lubrication to slide up/down on the center hex rod or will wear prematurely
6. Case feeder requires precise alignment/adjustment to feed properly
7. Unconditional two year guarantee (repaired/replaced at no charge if returned to the factory) and lifetime conditional guarantee of current manufacture (reconditioned to new, including a new guarantee if returned to the factory with payment equal to half the current retail price)
8. Base and ram lever are made out of aluminum
9. Must be willing to tolerate others posting "Pro 1000 requires frequent tinkering to keep it operating" on forums. :D

Here are the "good":

1. Due to low $150 cost for the kit (http://www.factorysales.com/html/xcart/catalog/lp1000.html), you can buy a single stage press (new/used) to load rifle cases - This is what I recommend to new reloaders and have them learn the basics of reloading on the single stage press before using the Pro 1000.
2. If you want to seat and crimp the bullet on separate operations, you can resize/deprime the cases first, then you'll have 3 more stations left to finish the rest of reloading operations.
3. Keep the primer feed ramp full and use a small tool/paper clip to help push primer into station 2.
4. Check shell plate timing at the start of each reloading session.
5. Lubricate the center hex rod at the start of each reloading session and whenever needed.
6. Practice properly aligning/adjusting case feeder before trying to load thousands of rounds.
7. If the Pro 1000 price/warranty is not acceptable, buy another progressive press with full lifetime warranty.
8. Most other progressive presses are made out of aluminum
9. Develop thick skin and be willing to point out how you are able to "tinker" and keep the Pro 1000 operating.

Here's the Pro 1000 support thread - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=507454

Hondo 60
October 20, 2011, 04:45 PM
For those of you who like them, I wish you continued good luck.

I got so frustrated with mine I packed it up & bought a turret press.
Ended up selling both of them & lucked into a brand new, unused, 2nd hand Dillon RL 550B.

I couldn't be happier... well, maybe if it were automated ... ;)

evan price
October 20, 2011, 07:20 PM
I've loaded thousands of rounds on mine. It will do any pistol caliber, plus 762x39, 30 Carbine, 223, and anything about the same length you can fit into a shellplate.
The gravity feed for the primers requires keeping an eye on, it is possible to wind up with a sideways or upside down primer if the primers fail to feed down the ramp. If you notice a gap starting, a couple taps on the side of the primer tray will get them moving.
I lube the hex rod with some silicone spray each time I load a session, and give a shot in the resize die too because it makes the cases feed nicer when resizing.
Case feeder can be finicky and tall cases might fall over.
Shellplate timing is critical and can cause all sorts of problems if not right on.
The chain-return powder measure is silly. The spring return works great but you have to be aware if you short stroked and maybe double charged.

If something don't feel right, stop and find out, don't force the press to finish the stroke.

For what it is- a budget progressive with all the features of presses that cost 4X as much- it works great, but be prepared to keep an allen-wrench pack, a small crescent wrench, a small phillips screwdriver, and some Q-tips near the press. Yes, it sometimes needs tinkering.

suffolk punch
October 20, 2011, 09:19 PM
Brand new here and to reloading. I'm one of those that will read as much as they can find on something - I'm a computer guy by trade and the internet is the worlds biggest library with great AND terrible info on something. Here's my two cents...

Ohh, and I'm a little cheap (frugal is what I prefer to call it)....

A few names I know, from knowing nothing about reloading; RCBS, Dillion, and Lee.

Web site visits... I found the Lee website the best for me... Saw some presses, and contrary to what the web site said, I thought the Pro 1000 looked the easiest to use. I ordered a refurb'ed one for 45 Colt.

While waiting for it to come in the mail, I read everything I could find on how to reload. Figured out the load data - found some great sites, but the best one was Hogdon, IMR, and Winchester, they must be in cooperation - they have a web site that gives all kinds of load data, all for free. Of course, they assume that you use thier powder. Figured the loading out - it's really kind of easy, once you get started.

The press came in the mail. Not a direction one, for the most part. Looked at it a bit, looked at the picture on their web site, put it together. Don't know if their presses normally come half assembled (dies preset and in the turret already) or not, but this did. Verified what I though I knew on youtube - videos out the butt on there for this press.

Went and bought an impact bullet puller. Made about 20 rounds with no powder, no primer. Worked just great!!

Went and bought some powder (Trail Boss), loaded about 20 rounds with no primers, checking each round to see how well, standardized, and accurate the powder measure is. Worked just great!!!

Now, for the real deal -- my only problem at all with this press.... I tiny little grain of powder on the primer ramp will mess up your entire day!!! Primers will be sideways, upside down, not at all, whatever can wrong, will go wrong right here, all from ONE LITTLE SPEC OF POWDER!!!

A can of compressed air fixes that. This past weekend, I bought the bullet feeder. What a gem!!!

I also bought the Handloading book from Lee this weekend. It is wrriten by an average Joe, for the average Joe. Sure, he tells how the Lee products work better, but he also tells you about other equipment from other makers that work well too. The book can be had for $12!! And it is full of load data too!

Absolute rookie and novice here - absolutely no problems with the press that attention to detail and a learning curve will not solve. There has got to be a curve with other presses too, right?

Speed? I shot up every piece of ammo I had this past weekend and reloaded it all on Tuesday night. Averaged about 150 rds an hour. Sure - that ain't blazing fast, or even close to it, but I'm new, going slow and steady, making sure I get it right. Sure hate to blow up that Henry I have. Even though, I bet it will take a full case of Trail Boss and not even note it....

Trail Boss is a good powder for a beginner, I think. For lack of a better expalnation, it's fat and puffy, takes up a lot of room in the case. Easy to tell if you got a double load. Bet it messes up the press easier too!

CCI primers work well, but I noticed that the Winchester primers went a little smoother.

October 20, 2011, 10:01 PM
Glad to hear your experience with the Pro 1000.

You will find that using the Pro 1000 is counter-mainstream among "some" reloaders, kinda like using open source OS Linux/BSD and Android. My notion is that as long as the finished rounds come out consistent, your pistol/target won't notice the difference. ;)

Welcome aboard to THR. :D

October 20, 2011, 10:26 PM
You will find that using the Pro 1000 is counter-mainstream among "some" reloaders

You never hear anyone speaking badly about the SDB, but i will say this...between a pk1 and a SDB i would choose the pk1 any day of the week. The pk1 is faster and a bit easier to use IMO, but another problem with either is bullet placement sucks on both.

suffolk punch
October 20, 2011, 11:11 PM
BDS - now how in the heck did you know that I am a Linux fan -- have been since Red Hat 4 -- the Mother's Day release.

Found your other thread with the problem/solution theme --- excellent stuff there, Great Job!! Tomorrow, I am going to apply some of those patches to my press.

Oh, and I love my Android as well.... ...with the Ubuntu theme on it ;)

October 20, 2011, 11:33 PM
Really? I just upgraded to Ubuntu 11.10 (running Windows7 on second drive) and thinking about going to hex-core AMD from current triple-core. My wife asked, "What for?" ... to be honest, I don't know ... maybe to open my load data pdf one picosecond faster? :D

Lost Sheep
October 21, 2011, 12:23 AM
I got rid of my two Pro-1000 presses not because of any major defect in their construction or design, but because I am not suited to work with a progressive press by my nature. Multiple things happening simultaneously make me nervous.

Every stroke, I felt the need to check the powder drop, primer movement, etc. This slowed me down quite a bit. Of course, my habit of stopping and checking was due to some of the quirks of the Pro-1000 (like primer feeding being sensitive to any little disruption).

But mainly, I am comfortable with processing one step at a time, but in continuous mode rather than batch. So I got a Lee Classic Turret. Lee makes the only two turrets made today with auto-indexing, and the Classic is superior to the Deluxe. And the auto-indexing can be be turned off at will.

The new Lee presses cure some of the other ills I found with the Pro-1000s. The tendency to spit spent primers all over my floor is cured by the Classic Turret's dropping spent primers down a tube. The placing of new primers is raised up higher than the exit of spent primers. None of the detritus of burnt powder and primers gets anywhere near the new primers. And, I can SEE the new primer and make sure it is sitting upright in the priming arm. Not easy with the Pro-1000.

None of my complaints about the Pro-1000 disqualifies it as a decent press. Just not the best choice for me.

I hope my observations are useful to any reader. Send me questions if you want more specifics.

Lost Sheep

October 21, 2011, 02:46 PM
It's not dummy proof. The only problems I've had where self created.

October 23, 2011, 12:36 AM
I bought one a few weeks ago. I've only had time to load with it twice, but it worked very well both times and I'm happy with it. I bought a reconditioned model from Lee, so the price can't be beat, and it looked brand new when I go it. I short stroked and jammed it once, but that was solved by disassembling and cleaning it. I would buy it again.

October 23, 2011, 12:54 AM
If you want to use a press like most people use a toaster, then this is not the press for you.

October 23, 2011, 12:59 AM
If you want to use a press like most people use a toaster, then this is not the press for you.
I second that opinion! :D

Lee really should put a disclaimer on the Pro 1000 like,

"CAUTION: Only for brave souls with tinkering in their genes and patience of a rock." :neener:

October 23, 2011, 08:42 AM
I am digesting all the replies here. So far I still use single stage or turret presses only. I am starting to THINK about getting one of these. I am a hands on kinda guy and cut my teeth on SCO Unix myself so the theme is most of us that are reloaders/geeks are for the simple/straight forward approach that this basic press will provide. I like that and I am always up for some custom adjusting/engineering to "make it mine".:D

October 23, 2011, 02:34 PM
FROGO207, if you cut your teeth on Unix, you'll appreciate this analogy.

I consider "some" progressive press models like Dillon and Hornady as server grade operating systems that are more robust and less prone to crashes. Somebody once told me the difference between Unix/BSD and Linux/Windows was Unix/BSD are "engineered" OSes and Linux/Windows are "evolved" OSes.

If you liken the Pro 1000 progressive press to Windows OS, everyone can appreciate that even though it will crash (blue screen of death), freeze, lockup and run slow while utilizing more system resources; people around the world somehow managed to use it for the most part, with a lot of cussing and yelling of course when they ran into issues to keep them from their intended work. :cuss:

While the server OSes hum along, Windows OSes will hiccup and be rebooted numerous times. So, why doesn't the world all switch to Unix/BSD/Linux/Mac OS instead of fussing with various versions of Windows? Well, some have accepted to learn to work with Windows issues to get the job done; some have utilized various fixes to address Windows issues and some won't give up the convenience of more flexible hardware compatibility that Windows provide such as printer/scanner support.

For me, using the Pro 1000 is like running Windows with the anticipation that I may run into issues. When I do, I stop and apply the necessary fixes to get it going again (ultimately, even if it requires a reboot or clearing the shell plate and starting with station #1). As to other progressive presses, like Unix/BSD/Linux/Mac OS, they also have their issues (although less advertised and talked about); but those issues are treated with much less disdain by their users (yes, Mac OS does crash and Linux does lock up contrary to popular beliefs :eek:).

Pro 1000 is not an IDEAL progressive press but a workable platform for "some" counter-mainstream reloaders, especially on a budget. Personally, I like to use the analogy of Ferrari vs Corvette or Cadillac vs Buick. ;)

October 23, 2011, 04:11 PM
I had one for a while. Bought it new. It jammed and hung up constantly. I sent it back to Lee and it was only slightly better after that. I sold it to a low volume shooting friend wiuth the understanding that I would buy it back if he didn't like it. He's either more patient or has lower standards than I do, as he loves it. I on the other hand did what I should have done in the first place, and bought a Dillon.

October 23, 2011, 04:32 PM
He's either more patient or has lower standards than I do, as he loves it. I on the other hand did what I should have done in the first place, and bought a Dillon.
Glad it worked out for everyone. :D

I am actually a fan of Dillon who loves the challenge of Pro 1000 and its intricacies (seriously, there's not that much). It's like my true love of match grade 1911s with all of their "precise" operations but I don't mind the "combat" looseness of Glocks. I admire both of them for their intended designs and purposes.

Even Lee would admit that Pro 1000 was never intended to function/operate at the level many hold Dillons to. However, many other shooters have admired the accurate match grade ammunition I have loaded on it (I do resize/hand prime the match grade cases separately). To me, it's simply another reloading tool at my disposal that fills a particular progressive reloading need quite nicely. Next stop for me, a Hornady LNL AP! :)

Hondo 60
October 23, 2011, 04:43 PM
Hmmm I didn't know that bunch of us are geeks as well as gun guys (and gals).

I like the windows/Pro1k analogy.
I think that really puts it in a manner than everyone can understand.
Yes, windows will crash, freeze & blue screen, just like a pro1k.

I'm still tickled to death over my year old Dillon (actually it's 18 y/o, it just sat in the box unused by the original owner for 17 years).
It's very much like Unix with a gui.
Turn it on, & run it for years w/o a reboot, but it looks almost exactly like windows so it's easy to operate, just blue instead of red.

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