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Lee Pro 1000 - Priming Problems

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by clip, Sep 10, 2010.

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  1. clip

    clip Member

    Jan 28, 2010
    Just purchased the Lee Pro 1000 progressive press and have continuos problems with the primer feed system. Lee recommends using CCI primers which I do for loading 9mm.

    The problem is the primer feed tube continually jams up requiring me to disassemble the press to clear the jam. I can load only 4-5 rounds before it jams again.

    Spoke to Lee Precision about it and they gave me the generic response: Use CCi primers, keep the tube clean of powder, etc. I even replaced the original primer tube with a new tube. Other than this problem, the press works fine, but I loaded faster with my single stage press than this progressive press. Anybody else have this problem? Any ideas to make this work better?

  2. angus6

    angus6 Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Clip I don't have the bookmark to the site that'll help you out , someone should come by and post it. one of the things I've seen several times is the press isn't mounted to a strudy enough surface
  3. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Member

    Sep 6, 2009
    Born & Raised In Manitowoc, WI
    I have a Pro 1000 & found that you need to start with at least 40 primers. Any time the round tray gets empty, stop & add more.

    If you can see space in the black filler tube, there isn't enough pressure to push the bottom ones down the chute.

    By the way, I've used 1000s of Fed, Rem, Win & CCI primers. Nothing blew up, collapsed, started on fire etc. Because of the shortage, I was happy to get any primers at all.
  4. kestak

    kestak Member

    Jul 22, 2007

    Welcome to the club of the frustrated Lee 1000 users.
    It took me 3 months to clear out all the malfunctions with my Lee 1000. Now it is working fine, but not flawlessly like my Dillon.

    I got your primer problem. I solved my problem by listening to others advice. here is what I did:

    1 - Fill the tray with 100 primers. When the tray is empty (but the column still full, fill the tray again.

    2 - Use some graphite powder to lubricate the ramp.

    3 - Check inside the ramp. I t may have some burr. I polished it with love and a lot of patience with a Q-tip and some rouge.

    4 - You WILL have problems if there is some residual powder on the pin that pushes the primer into the primer hole. Keep it clean. Not a bad idea also to polish the top of it to make sure the primer slides on it.

    5 - Last but not least. Here bear with me: The ramp is two pices put together. I separated them about 1/32 of an inch. It made the ramp wider and it can take any brand of primer AND the primers slide more freely. Only little problem: When I do a non-consistent stroke with the lever, sometimes 2 primers try to go on the pin that pushes the primers in the primer pocket.

    My paternalist advice: If you do not have the patience to work all the problems on your Lee 1000, sell it and get a Dillon Square Deal. I had so many problems that I could have done a mechanical engineering paper for a class:
    - Feed ramp
    - Bullet feeder broke and then later was dropping bullets
    - 2 parts broke
    - powder dispenser was throwing powder everywhere
    - Timing was getting awry after 20-30 bullets
    - The pin going from the press frame to the case feeder black think was always poping out at EACH stroke.
    - Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand the retaining band who keep the case in the station on the side of the 3 station was too much bended toward the case and it was making the case "spring" and some powder was poping out of the case.

    I am Catholic. I can assure you that press bought me at least 10 years of purgatory. I think a little bit more and I could have applied for Sainthood.

    Thank you
  5. bds
    • Contributing Member

    bds Member

    Jan 10, 2010
    Northwest Coast
    Clip, let's get you going.

    - First, go through your brass and sort out military crimped cases and remove the crimp. I use the Lee chamfer tool and it takes out the crimp with a few twists. You should see a clean 45 degree cut at the mouth of the primer pocket where the crimp was. If you don't have a chamfer tool, just put the crimped cases into another container until you get the tool.

    - Some cases like S&B (Sellier & Bellot) have very tight primer pockets and while you are sorting out military crimped cases, you may want to sort these out also for now until you get your primer attachment issue addressed.

    - As to Lee recommending CCI primers, some primer cups have more rounded primer cup lips and feed better, especially the small pistol primers (I do not have feed issues with large pistol primers). CCI/Magtech SP primers feed the best and I am about 95%+ with Winchester, Wolf(same as TulAmmo) and PMC SP primers. I keep a paper clip/small precision screwdriver handy to help push the next primer into station #2 and turn any flipped primers.

    - Lee Pro 1000 priming system is gravity based and sensitive to the weight of primers pushing the next primer into station #2 and the proper timing of the shell plate. Make sure the feed ramp tube is dry and clear of debri (usually powder flakes), pin on the feed ramp tube is contacting the frame rod on the right with notches as the shell plate carrier moves up and down (this "shakes" the primer tray and keeps the feed ramp tube full of primers), and the shell plate timing is set so the shell plate clicks into station before the shell plate carrier reaches the bottom.

    - While you are reloading and notice the primers aren't filling the feed ramp tube from the tray, tap on the tray until the feed ramp tube is full of primers. As the shell plate is clicking into station #2, if you notice the primer didn't drop into station, use a paper clip/small precision screwdriver to push a primer into position.

    - If you are new to Pro 1000, this 9 part video covers detailed press disassembly, cleaning and reassembly (including primer feed attachment issue) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzaPXj4g8D0

    - This Pro 1000 dedicated thread has tips/mods to help you with the press including some tips to help with the primer feed issue - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=507454

    - If all of the above don't help you with your small pistol primer feed issue, you can consider hand priming separately using a hand priming tool.

    I hope this helps and keep us posted on your progress. Pro 1000 is a bit finiky but many of us resolved these issues and enjoy reloading with it.
  6. Dewey 68

    Dewey 68 Member

    Apr 6, 2010
    Corrupt Illinois
    As the previous poster mentioned, if your timing is not correct, the shellplate can still be turning while the primer is coming up on the primer ram. Make sure that you set the advancement per Lee's video on their website.

    You might run some brass through one at a time to get a feel for how seating a primer feels on a Pro 1000, if you haven't done that yet.

    Keep it clean, keep it full, and it can work as intended.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2010
  7. Rico567

    Rico567 Member

    Feb 10, 2004
    I used two Lee Pro1000s for the better part of 20 years to load my pistol ammo. Much that is relevant has been said in this thread.

    1. Keep every part of the primer feed clean, clean, clean.

    2. If Lee has a brand of primer they recommend, use it.

    3. As has been mentioned, keep the primer tray full of primers; when the primers get down to the black primer feed ramp, refill the tray.

    4.To be happy loading with the Pro 1000, you must have the shell plate timing adjusted correctly, as has been described elsewhere in this thread, and which is covered in the instructions.

    5. The simple mechanical agitaton pin ends up not agitating much, if at all. This is the 1.5 - 2" long pin that sticks out at right angles from the primer feed, and is supposed to agitate the primers and help feed them as the pin rides up & down several grooves machined into one of the upright posts. After some use, the pin hardly bears against the post, and there's little agitation of the primer tray. For me, the fix was simple, although YMMV. Each of my Pro 1000s was mounted to a 3/4" plywood base, and that base in turn was C-clamped to my bench when I used it. I mounted a C-clamp with the screw upward, and the shaft of he screw served as one end point for a rubber band.The other end of the rubber band was looped around the primer tray. This served to hold the steel agitation pin firmly against the upright so that there was plenty of shaking, and kept the primers flowing as long as the feed ramp was kept full.

    As long as I paid attention to these things, the Pro 1000s worked fine, and loaded many thousands of cartridges for me.

    NB: I refer to the Pro 1000s in the past tense, because I sold them 4-5 years ago. I now have a Dillon 650, and its roller handle and action is much easier on my arthritis.
  8. clip

    clip Member

    Jan 28, 2010
    Wow! This is great advice. Thanks to all who responded. I'll apply these techniques and keep at it. Thanks again!

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