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Just ordered a 9mm Lee Pro 1000... what am I in for?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by 1KPerDay, Jul 14, 2017.

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  1. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    thanks for your patience in answering my silly questions. I've loaded roughly 300 rounds so far.

    For any future THRers starting out on a Pro1K I'll report my experiences and tips below.

    Starting out was pretty messy. LOL what a comedy of errors! Crushed primers, spilled powder, charging unprimed cases, leaking powder which causes primers to flip, Somehow I got the ram jammed with what I think must have been a spent primer between the orifice/exit and the press base, and mashed it good and stuck everything. I thought at first it was a primer stuck between the shell plate and the carrier, so I removed the tool head and the shell plate carrier but discovered the shell plate was rotating freely (after I dumped all the primers out of the chute and onto the floor, LOL :thumbup::D and that the naked ram was still binding in the press. Got that sorted, reinstalled the carrier and then had to do the index/zero adjustment procedure, which was straightforward. Then I had a run of about 100 cartridges with zero problems. bds' tip about placing a bullet on the charged case before it clicks into station 3 is key. However this also prevents or greatly hinders my ability to look into the charged case before placing the bullet, which I have always done and will always do. I need to figure out a good light and mirror system for that. And it's not particularly ergonomic to reach past the left frame boss to place the bullet, whereas the LCT has wide-open access.

    Priming definitely seems to be the weak link in this machine, which overall I think is remarkably efficient and ingenious. I like the way Lee solves problems. Like the rod in the primer chute running up a grooved frame boss to shake the primers down. That is just plain cool American ingenuity. And his 3 dollar solution to the case feeder problem is amazingly simple and effective (once I did the penny mod as described above). However I am still getting the occasional tipped primer, even though I keep the chute full and refill the priming tray immediately as it empties, and I also made a cover for the primer chute out of clear packing tape (which was easy), and polished the completed round chute with steel wool and waxed it a bit with a dryer sheet. I need to take the primer chute apart and remove any burrs and polish it. however I've only crushed maybe 4 or 5 primers out of 300 tries and that includes about 3 when I was barely starting out thought I could just sort of muscle them in (like you can with the LCT). Nope... if they don't go in nice and easy first try, STOP and figure out what's wrong. Last 3 times it was a tipped/partially crooked primer preventing proper insertion, which you can feel immediately as the ram nears the bottom of its travel. A dental pick helps here... and make sure it is clear and feeds a couple primers cleanly (remove them from the tip of the primer punch each time) before you put brass back into the shell plate.

    Mentally and visually there's a lot more to pay attention to with this compared to my trusty LCT, which you can pretty much run on automatic as long as there are primers in the tray, powder in the hopper, and you are paying attention to the powder charges. On this thing, you have to remember not to let the case feeder tube run dry (no big deal if it does but it throws off your rhythm), watch the primer chute, watch the powder level, make sure to place a bullet before it snaps, in my case I have to put my left pinkie at the bottom of the chute to prevent the loaded round from dropping on my table or floor while I place the bullet (I still haven't figured out a solution for this but I will)... and if you have to remove any brass it's kind of a pain. But once I got into a slow, steady rhythm and the primers were feeding well, I'd go 100 rounds or more relatively quickly. Definitely cool to have one completed round for each pull on the lever rather than every 4.

    I'm still learning obviously but hope to be a pro with the Pro soon. Thanks to everyone for all the help. I'm sure I'll have more dumb questions in the future.;)
     
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  2. bds

    bds Member

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    Welcome to the club Pro 1000 ... we are here to help you not pull your hair out. :D

    So that's where your focus should be. After you get your press cleaned up and properly lubed and index timing adjusted, try these:

    Check case sensor spring installation.

    With empty primer attachment, look at station 2 and priming rod should be sticking up. If rod is not sticking up, case sensor spring is not installed correctly and could be holding the rod down. Check the underside of the shellplate carrier and make sure the spring is installed correctly - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.p...lutions-no-bashing.507454/page-5#post-8699621

    [​IMG]

    Check for powder under the priming rod.

    Next, push up on the priming rod until it clicks in up position. Then activate the case sensor with your finger to drop the priming rod (which allows a primer to slide into station 2). Does the priming rod drop down freely with a "click"? If it does not, you may have powder under the priming rod. For primer to slide freely into station 2, top of priming rod must drop flush with the chute surface. Priming rod not dropping flush will cause tipped/flipped/sideways primers.

    You can try tapping on the bottom and rotating the priming rod but if the rod continues to not drop flush, you will need to remove the shellplate and priming attachment to clear the debri. Make note of how the rod and spring go (While you have the priming attachment off, closely inspect the slide surface for burrs or debri).

    Priming rod not dropping flat causing tilted/flipped/sideways primers

    [​IMG]

    Priming rod dropping flat allows primers to slide into station 2 fully and seat properly

    [​IMG]

    Check primer feed operation.

    After clearing primer attachment/priming rod hole and reinstalling attachment and shellplate, recheck shellplate index timing. Then check to see if the priming rod drops flush when case sensor is activated by finger.

    If priming rod drops flush with a "click", push up on the priming rod until it clicks, fill the attachment with primers and activate the case sensor with finger to see if a primer slides freely into station 2.

    If it does, clear all stations and you are ready to reload.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2017
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  3. maxxhavoc

    maxxhavoc Member

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  4. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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  5. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    I loaded another 300 rounds or so of last night. Slick as you please. I got two mashed/sideways primers but still not bad. I'm getting the hang of it. The triangular primer tray lets a few primers flip sideways near the end when it's mostly empty. I imagine there's a Bulge in the middle that allows them to turn. None have dropped into the chute upside down yet. I've seen the round tray in videos... where do I get one? Seems more robust than this white plastic mesh triangular one.
     
  6. bds

    bds Member

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    Could you bend the cover slightly and apply some heat with hair dryer to take out the bulge?

    If your folding tray is still flipping primers, Lee Precision should replace it under warranty.

    I am actually in the process of replacing the round trays with the folding trays as they are easier to load. If you still want the round primer tray, I can send you one.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
  7. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    has anyone tried cutting a coil or two from the detent ball spring under the shell plate? it's the only remaining issue i'm having. I have to cover the charged case with my finger or the bullet as it rotates into place and it's slowing me down.
     
  8. bds

    bds Member

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    No, never had to cut the detent spring.

    Instead, try adjusting the index timing so shellplate clicks into station slower as the shellplate carrier reaches the press base.
     
  9. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Well, 500 rounds or so of .40 went pretty quick, after I removed the silver insert from the case feeder base. I'm going to order a separate one for "larger" brass so I don't have to keep knocking that insert in and out. Couple hundred .38 specials so far also... and I can't really see using my LCT much anymore for bulk range loads... the Pro1K is quicker and less "frantic". I got to where I could load 250-300 rph on the LCT pretty consistently but it took 3-4 pulls of the lever and lots of work with the left hand per round, whereas the Pro1K when it's in the zone all I have to do is watch the brass and primer and powder levels and place the bullet. As long as I keep the primers topped off I get minimal trouble now. I got the .45 ACP shell carrier and the .380, .38/357 shell plates. I don't get powder spilling with the taller .38 brass.
     
  10. bds

    bds Member

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    Sounds good. Glad to hear the round primer tray is working for you.

    And if you resize and prime in separate step (quite fast with case feeder), using resized/primed brass in progressive mode will make progressive reloading silky smooth and allows you to seat and crimp in separate steps (Flare/powder charge in station 1, seat in station 2 and crimp in station 3).
     
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  11. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    I've been loading since 2014 on a pro1k, somewhere here I have a thread from unboxing to running.

    I now have 4 pro1ks. They are great presses.
     
  12. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Price a LNL with everything the pro 1k comes with: dies, case collator, case feeder, powder measure
     
  13. rskent

    rskent Member

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    Sorry I thought you asked: “How much does a lock and load cost after you add all the stuff you’re going to need to make it run?”

    My point was that you don’t need anything but dies.

    It seems like you are doing well with your new press, very cool.
     
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  14. Tilos

    Tilos Member

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    1KPerDay:
    Thanks for posting/bumping this thread today, that got me to reread/review all 4 pages.
    A couple mods I've done came to mind...
    Replacing the finished round "ejector" with a piece of coat hanger wire gets the round into the chute sooner in the index cycle:
    EjckWire.JPG
    No need to polish the ramp with this setup, and finished rounds never hang up.
    There are things sold online that mimic this wire, but being as reloaders are notorious for being cheap, most have wire coat hangers in a nearby closet.

    I found using the wrap around spring and spring arm for the powder measure to cause the powder measure to be jerky/snappy.
    I use the chain actuating powder measure arm and a spring in place of the chain, and get a very smooth motion:
    PmSpring.JPG
    With the spring, the disc is moved back sooner in the cycle as the expander/powder measure follows the just filled case as it moves down/out of the die, rather than at the bottom/end of the stroke via the chain.
    With that in mind, using a spring puts the disc cavity under the hopper sooner and for a longer duration, to allow the powder to "settle" into the disc cavity.
    I have thought about using the chain too, in this setup, as a fail safe, but have never had the disc hang-up when using just the spring as shown.
    I apologize if this has been covered in the mega pro1000 thread.
    :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2017
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