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LEE Turret Press Leaking Powder

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by 1SOW, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. 1SOW

    1SOW Well-Known Member

    My LEE turret has loaded a LOT of 9mm with great success. It has the Pro Auto-Disc update.
    I tried the new-to-me AA#5 powder, and the powder system "leaks" almost as much powder as it loads. I'm not exagerating here. I'm talking a LOT of powder leakage. I'm talking the handle pull/turret rotation is "grating" and "sticking" after 20 powder drops.
    Okay, I ordered "3" new hopper seals thinking this may be the problem. NOT!
    I was going to contact LEE, but checked the "FAQs" section first. For any who haven't seen or experienced this, I found:

    I have the Pro-Disc update WITH a new seal, but will try the second suggestion that does make sense. It also sounds a little risky for taking off too much. I'll see.

    Has anyone else run into this or "tried this fix to reduce the clearance between the hopper and the disc"??
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
  2. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    I guess I'm lucky because I use W296/H110, AA#5 and W231/HP-38 without any leakage problems with the Pro Auto-Disk. I wish I could help you but I don't have that problem.
  3. kingmt

    kingmt Well-Known Member

    I'm in the don't have that problem. Call Lee & see about sending it back & letting them fix it. If they take to much off they can replace it.
  4. shootinxd

    shootinxd Well-Known Member

    Have you taken it apart and look to see if they have to much clearence?Never had a problem with using AA#5 in mine.Its all I load for my XD40.Do you have the adjustable charge bar?
  5. Mike 27

    Mike 27 Well-Known Member

    I would call them. I bet they address it. The regular perfect powder measure has what I would call seepage with the fine grain powders as well. I get some AA2 that works its way out of the side of the cylinder. They work well just not as tight as some of the others.
  6. squarles67

    squarles67 Well-Known Member

    I did have leakage with mine and I have the same set up, an Auto Disc with the Pro update. I used a sanding block in a similar fashion to what you show to reduce the slop and it made a big difference when using Win296. I've since used some AA#5 and while it still leaked some it wasn't near as bad.

    I just used the sanding block to take some metal off the top of the base to reduce the clearance between the hopper and the base where the disc sits. I didn't have any disc with scotch tape in there I just sanded some then checked clearance and sanded some more.......until I got it where I wanted it. Just make sure you're sanding it flat.
  7. jfh

    jfh Well-Known Member

    My experience with the Lee measures--updated with the Pro setup--is what the others have described. I use AA#5 religiously--and the leakage one gets with that powder is the spillage that makes its way down through the actuating lever slot. I don't think there is any way to avoid it.

    However, I have gotten the leakage minimized by careful tweaking of the hopper screws--between that tension, and new seals, it works OK now.

    Jim H.
  8. john16443

    john16443 Well-Known Member

    I think the permanent solution to 1SOW's issue is to buy an actual Pro Auto Disk and not use an older auto disk converted with some of the pro parts. I've had no problems with AA#2 and AA#5 through a true pro auto and charge bar. The difference is in the hopper seal or wiper that I don't think you can replicate with the pro conversion on an old auto set-up. Under $43 delivered to your door from fmreloading.com

    MADDOG Well-Known Member

    Are the "Pro Auto Disk" black instead of gray? I bought one and I noticed the disk's were black. Thanks
  10. greyling22

    greyling22 Well-Known Member

    I'd never read about sanding down the bottom of the hopper before. I just assumed the design leaked. I've got 2 pro's and a regular converted to pro and the all leak. worst with 110 and #5, but even red dot escapes.
  11. kingmt

    kingmt Well-Known Member

    If even Red Dot is getting out something is wrong. One of my powders has the smallest balls of any I have seen & it doesn't leak. Nether does the flake powder.
  12. res7s

    res7s Well-Known Member

    I upgraded mine. I never had problems(even with AA#7) with it leaking until I tried Bullseye in it. I ended up sanding the sides down a little bit to close the gap. That fixed it.
  13. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Well-Known Member

    I had the same issue with AA5 & Tite Group.

    First, I switched to a RCBS Uniflow & no more leaking.

    I then bought a Dillon & still no leaking.
    Not crowing or drinking blue Koolaid, just reporting my experience.
  14. 1SOW

    1SOW Well-Known Member

    Their warranty was good up to a couple of years and 30,000 rds ago.

    I've looked at the clearance and there IS a pretty big (light visible) gap between the disc and the hopper, a bigger gap than the seal can handle with those three powders listed by LEE.
    I used a flat 1/4" aluminum plate with 400 grit carborundum paper to level and polish the aluminum edges the plastic hopper sits on. It did remove a little of the gap and still runs smoothly. I put a disc in with a piece of Scotch tape across the the disc before I sanded. The sand paper never touched the tape.
    The plastic hopper bottom has two narrow 1/16" or less "ski-like" runners that rest on the aluminum. I'm going to do the same to these plastic "runners" to tighten it up a skosh more.

    For those who said leakage is normal: "You didn't read my post". With AA#5 it leaked as much as it dropped. The press was grinding and sticking after 20 test loads. Powder was all over my bench.
    I'm perfectly satisfied with the very slight leakage other powders like 231 and n320 have had. It's been insignificant until I tried A#5.
    LEE didn't recommend sanding the hopper, they recommended sanding the risers that hopper sits on.

    Hondo, even Dillon has a new drum (?) they will give you if it's 'cuz AA#5 leaks. Some 550Bs leak too. (referencing a friend)

    LEE lists "THE" smallest powders, see the initial post. AA#5 is waaay smaller than 231 or anything else I've seen.

    Will update.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
  15. kingmt

    kingmt Well-Known Member

    I have never seen AA#5 but my WC Blank is not much bigger then dust.
  16. 1SOW

    1SOW Well-Known Member

    I tried the A#5 again today and there was significant improvement after the sanding.
    I loaded 10 rds plus a lot of test drops and didn't have a lot of powder strewn everywhere.
    I did have a few specs of powder visible on the disc, but not bad. A#5 powder looks like indistinguishable specs of fly doo doo.
    Maybe a "tiny bit" more sanding would give even better results, but sanding too much isn't a good idea.

    Anyway, the LEE FAQ suggestion for fixing powder leakage in the disc system, seems to be fairly effective.

  17. res7s

    res7s Well-Known Member

    My Uniflow leaks Red Dot, and AA#7. It's not huge leaks, but I think any leak counts.

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