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Just starting to reload

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Voland, Mar 9, 2008.

  1. Voland

    Voland Well-Known Member

    I ordered a Lee 100 and will primarily be reloading 9, 45, 223 and 308.

    I built this nice little bench and Ill have the press set up tomorrow but I have a few questions.

    1) the Lee 1000 sizes the cases as it load but I know that in some instances the case needs to be trimmed so that the neck is of proper size. Is there a die that I can use to properly trim the case as a pre-step to loading on the 1000 or is there a better approach?

    2) I was going to get a shell plate for each caliber I am planing to load and keep each set in its own plate. This way I don't have to re-tweak everything each time. Is that a decent option or is there a better way?

    3) any other general recommendations?

    Thanks a lot!


  2. PotatoJudge

    PotatoJudge Well-Known Member

    1) You may or may not need to trim the rifle brass. Measure it after every firing or two- after you resize it- and trim if needed. If the brass is too long it will engage the rifling, which in turn will crimp down on the bullet and raise pressures. There are trim dies, but they're only used to get the rough length correct (you probably won't need one of these dies). After that you use a trimming tool, of which there are a few popular types.
    This is all the trimmer you'll ever need:

    2) Get more turrets, that's the best way. Now how to store those turrets is another matter.

    3) The Lee powder measure that came with the press probably won't throw charges large enough for rifle cases. You'll need a second powder meter for rifle cases. Also, store heavy stuff on that bottom shelf. I keep a few thousand lead bullets and full ammo cans on mine. Adds stability.

    Otherwise have fun, take it slow, and be safe.

    The bench looks nice, by the way. I made something of a similar design for my bandsaw and it's very sturdy.
  3. jfh

    jfh Well-Known Member

    A couple of observations:

    1. Since you are starting on a progressive, I suggest that, after setup, you remove the indexing rod and try doing each operation individually, until you get a feel for each one.

    2. To make life easier, start with one of the straight-wall pistol calibers--I'd suggest the .45ACP package.

    3. The Pro 1000 will handle .223, but leave rifle out of the (learning loop) for the time being--the workflow for rifle cartridges is different enough that you really don't need to deal with that right now.

    4. Keep in mind that the Pro 1000 will NOT reload .308--not as a progressive, anyway. Personally, even if it will handle it, I would not do it--I think you need a stronger press.

    To make your life for caliber changes easier--

    1. Get a separate turret for each set of dies. Set up each die set, and store them back in the round box the dies come in--works fine.

    2. Get a second carrier assembly--set up one for Large Primers, and the second for small primers. Then you can change first the carrier for the primer size, and the shell plate carrier as needed for the caliber you are working on. This will save fiddling with primer anvil changeouts, etc., and getting tangled up with small primers on large anvils, or vice-versa.

    Keep the primer subsystem clean.

    I loaded many 1000s of rounds (mostly semiauto fodder in 9mm, .40S&W, 10mm, and .45ACP) on my Pro 1000 until I moved on to a loadmaster. If you have problems with it, just ask for help. And, if you use google on this site / forum for searches for "Pro 1000" or the like, probably most questions you may have for setup questions have already been answered.

    Have fun, and be safe.

    Jim H.
  4. Virginian

    Virginian Well-Known Member

    If your press uses an upstroke to seat primers like mine, be sure to put weight on that shelf as already suggested.
    Lee makes a very inexpensive case trimmer that works surprisingly easily.
    As noted, go slow and be real careful starting with a progressive. I like the idea of doing one stage at a time with one round to get the feel of it too.
  5. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Well-Known Member

    Your bench isn't big enough.:) Believe me, I know...Mine is 6 ft long and 3 1/2 ft deep and it isn't big enough...This hobby grows..:evil:..

    Nice job though. Definitely takes care of that otherwise wasted cubby hole...Make sure that bench is well weighted or pinned to the wall as when you resize/decap rifle cases the bench will come out to greet you...:D

    The round red plastic die container that the Lee dies come in can be used to store the turret and dies. All you need to do is use a hacksaw to cut the top off of the lower section that holds the dies. The turret with dies installed will fit inside and the cover will fit back on the lower section protecting the dies and turret from whatever. If this interests you in any way. Let me know by PM and I will send you photos of this...
  6. jfh

    jfh Well-Known Member

    "...Make sure that bench is well weighted or pinned to the wall...."

    Absolutely. Throw a horizontal cleat on the wall--say a 2x4--and than use rapidscrus to screw the top to it. That will be easily removable later, needing only some SR touchup.

    As for the size--c'mon, The Bushmaster, he's gotta figure out some things for himself.

    Other than length, I have ended up with a 30" d. top over standard 24" cabinets, and my presses all mount on the "outside" of the base.

    Jim H.
  7. Voland

    Voland Well-Known Member

    Thanks everyone!

    I think Ive already figured out that this is going to be a money/space pit but living in an apartment (you know, trying to save up for a house) this is the best I could do.

    I already "blocked" the table in with a couple of 2x4's. One at the top of the table and one at the bottom. Its rock solid now. Thanks for that piece of info! :)

    This press was purchased on a recommendation so I really did not do a lot of research on what calibers it can handle so thanks for pointing out to me that it will not do 308. I actually dont have a rifle that fires 308 yet but I am hoping to pick up an m14 one of these days. I guess it will come with a new press when I get it.

    Thanks again everyone! I'm sure that I will have some more questions once I get all the bits and start to load so I am sure I will get to know everyone really well!


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