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Which is better,Lee Loadmaster or 1000?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ChasMack, May 20, 2013.

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  1. ChasMack

    ChasMack Member

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    I am considering a Lee loader and was wondering about peoples experience with these machines. I have a friend who has a Lee Load Master that seems to work pretty good. I had been considering a Lee 1000, so I was wondering about the good and bad points are about both of these. I have read in some reviews that to use either of these, one needs to be mechanically inclined in order to get them to work right.
     
  2. NuJudge

    NuJudge Member

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    Loadmaster better

    The Loadmaster allows you to separate seating the bullet from crimping.

    The priming systems don't work all that well for me, so I size and prime before I put the case on the machine.

    There is a Loadmaster video site and forum, which is very helpful.
     
  3. bds

    bds Member

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    The Pro 1000 is primarily a pistol progressive press as it will only do short rifle cartridges like .223/7.62x39

    Also, Pro 1000 is a 3 station press vs the 5 station Load Master. So if you want to seat the bullet and crimp in separate steps on the Pro 1000, you'll need to resize/prime the cases first and then finish loading the cases progressively.

    As to being mechanically inclined to get them to work right, like with any other progressive press, they require the user to be familiar with the press operations in order to maintain reliable function.

    The Pro 1000 has frustrated many reloaders (including me) with its gravity based primer feed attachment but it was mostly due to my lack of understanding of how the attachment operated and my lack of patience to troubleshoot the cause to resolve the problem.

    The Pro 1000 is not for everyone but if you are willing to learn and troubleshoot with patience, it can work for you.

    If you decide to go with the Pro 1000, THR has a support thread where solutions to most common Pro 1000 problems are posted. Here's one that addresses the primer feed problem - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=7877744#post7877744
     
  4. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    As much as I like Lee (Classic Turret Press) and a whole lot of dies, I would not be inclined to get one of their Progressives. As you mentioned, read the reviews and they seem to be a lot of frustration.
    I do not have a progressive primarily because I do not need the volume. I do load a lot of calibers so the Classic turret lets me do that easily and not cost a fortune. If I had the need and the space for a progressive I would look hard at the Hornady even over the Dillon. JMO. If you need volume, than yes, a progressive is the way to go but not if you have to stop and fiddle with it all the time.
     
  5. StretchNM

    StretchNM Member

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    I have to agree with Rule 3. I have too much respect for Lee's Classic line and their dies, but I'm not sure about their progressives. A month or so ago, there was a similar discussion, and several guys weighed in and lauded the Lee progressives. I've used Dillons (but never owned one). Their cost is prohibitive for some, but if I were shooting in IPSC or other pistol competitions, I'd go for the Dillon (or maybe Hornady - I just no experience with them).

    If you're not shooting thousands of rounds a week, and can tinker and understand ok, the Lee progressives do come with some good reviews in opposition to the frustrated ones. Mostly, it's guys not wanting to spend enough time adjusting them until they're set just right, and the reloader is now experienced with the press.
     
  6. JohnsXDM

    JohnsXDM Member

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    I've got the Loadmaster. All I load is 9mm & .45acp. After I learned how it all works and got the bugs worked out, I can say that I have no problems at all. I'm running with a primer fail issue of 1 or 2 per 100 rounds, and I can live with that.
     
  7. kostyanj

    kostyanj Member

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    How is that remotely acceptable? I still have a 1000 that doesn't get used anymore since I've got other presses but when I was using it as my only progressive I would have primer issues maybe only 1 time per session and that was a flipped primer in the chute that I would catch 99% of the time before it got seated.
     
  8. stavman11

    stavman11 Member

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    I have 3 Lee Pro 1000's

    9mm
    .357
    .223

    They work great.... I have never had much Primer issues at all.. Besides a Case issue and thats not Lee's Fault that the Primer pocket was too tight:D

    Any new Loader takes time to figure out and get dialed in.... The Primer feed in the LNL and Loadmaster turned me away... and since I have such good luck with my Lee Pro's... I ordered third One..

    I dont really utilize the progressive aspect really.. though I did just order bullet feeders for 9mm and .357 to try... but will start out loading 1 case at a Time... Easier to keep an eye on the process that way... But in Pistol callibers I am planning on trying case and bullet feeders since i use so many 9mm rounds


    anyways my $.02
     
  9. BBQJOE

    BBQJOE Member

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    I've only ever loaded on a loadmaster. So what do I know?
    It does what it's supposed to do.
    Sometimes there's a glitch here and there, but they're mostly operator error.
    If there's ever any real issue, there are ton of videos and website tutorials.
     
  10. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    I have both. Both, considering the hype Lee puts out, are not great presses. If they had a good priming system....reliable, repeatable, stable, they would both be o.k. Way too many little adjustments required. Unfortunately, I grew up on a Star progressive (two of them) and expect things to work right for a long, long time. When dad passed away, we closed the commercial ammo business and sold those presses. Brother had a Dillon 550 and it was great. If I hadn't been "lucky" and got these Lees for a song, I'd be really upset.
    Now, I size in batches, prime by hand and then run the rest of the way through one or the other of the presses.
    The Turret press, basically one of the Pro1000s perfected, works great. I'd convert both of my 1000s to that but the parts cost as much as the press.
     
  11. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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    I don't have experience with either but have a friend that owns both. He like the P-1000 better. He said the priming system on the P-1000 has less problems.
     
  12. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Member

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    I agree as well. If you want a progressive, save up your money for another company's machine.
    Whether you go with Dillon, Hornady, RCBS or Lyman, you'll be better off.
    I tried to go cheap with a Pro1000 & ended up putting it back in the box & selling it.
    It was terrible.
    I was spending MUCH more time adjusting or fixing than I was reloading.

    I finally bought a 2nd hand Dillon & couldn't be happier.

    If you just have to buy a Lee, look at the CLASSIC turret press
     
  13. CatPuke

    CatPuke Member

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    I have two loadmasters & a breech lock single-stage. I tumble, then size & prime on the breech lock. Then i use the loadmasters to dump the powder, seat the bullets & crimp. There's too much going on when you try to size, prime, dump, seat bullets & crimp all at the same time. With the sizing & priming already done, its easier on your wrist & elbow & much less cussing. I tried letting the loadmaster do everything on 9mm, out of 80 rounds I had three sideways crushed primers & 1 flipped primer.. supposedly there is magic voodoo you can do to make the loadmaster prime properly, but i think the extra step isnt a bad thing - its one more chance to look over the brass for defects & the primers are 100% right, every time.
     
  14. pilotlight

    pilotlight Member

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    I load 10mm, 40 SW, .223 Rem and .308 Win. on the Loadmaster.
    I pretty much tossed the priming system because it is very hit and miss
    on reliablility. I hand prime with an RCBS priming tool.
     
  15. mikeglass1969

    mikeglass1969 Member

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    I hand prime before running through the loadmaster as well. I was seeing up to 10-15% of the primers flipped or crushed sideways. I use the lee ergo prime to hand prime.
     
  16. erikk8829

    erikk8829 Member

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    At one time I had 4 Lee 1000's bought one new and the others bought from frustrated owners at gun shows. If you are mechanical, understand reloading and have unlimited patience you can turn out quality reloads. That being said after years of tinkering I sold them all, bought 2 Dillon SDB's for my pistol ammo and never looked back
     
  17. CatPuke

    CatPuke Member

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  18. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    The Pro1000 case feeder tubes fit .45 and 9mm (.38). Feeding .40s is a problem with jams. I load .40s with more success on the Loadmaster, aside from the fact that I can keep a dedicated setup. So I have 9mm of the Pro1000, .40 on the Loadmaster, and the rest on the Hornady LnL. That includes .45 ACP, .45 Colt, and .357 Magnum.

    I don't think I could use either Lee press without the support of
    http://www.brianenos.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=109423 and
    http://forums.loadmastervideos.com/forums/
     
  19. Ken70

    Ken70 Member

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    You guys having priming problems; the bench has to be stable, no wobbling around, no jumping up and down as you cycle the press. I have a 3/4" black iron pipe with flanges threaded to both ends. I adjusted them so I have to lift the bench 1/8" to get it under the bench top. This is right under the press. The bench weighs 125# empty, I have about 300# of bullets, casting ingots, and tools helping to hold it down. It doesn't move. That's what you have to do, let it bounce around, you'll have problems.

    On a LM, load up the primer tray and then cycle the press. No brass installed. Look at how the primer is just balanced on the post. Nothing holding it in place. I would cycle the press thru a whole sleeve of primers and just watch what's happening. Pick the primer off the post before you do the next one... When you get to last 4 or 5 primers in the tray, you might see the primers not loading. You need the weight of most of a full chute to make them load. So look at the primer tray; don't just run it until you run out of primers and then blame the tool for your ineptitude.

    The only time I had priming issues was running crimped primer brass. The decapping pin was knocking the primer out, but the new primer was hanging up on the crimps and not install. So that one was lying there when the next primer came down the chute for the next cartridge. There's only room for ONE primer down there, so that one would get sideways or mashed together with the first one. Solution was to ream the primer cups on 100% of range brass. When I picked up my own brass, that wasn't crimped, didn't have a problem. Last thing is don't short stroke, it's all the way to the top stop and all the way to the bottom. Only take it 96% up or down, it won't work. Operator error.
     
  20. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Member

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    Sounds like an awfully touchy design to me. I'm not putting the press down, but I'm glad I spent a little more on a press that isn't as touchy. I'd have been frustrated and never bought another Lee tool.
     
  21. Ken70

    Ken70 Member

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    It's something you have to be aware of the limitations and develop a solution. I think a LOT of newbys buy a LM, it's a lot less money than a 650 or LNL, and mount it to a light weight table. So it bounces around and they have problems that are fixable. Somebody that's dropping $1000-1500 on a press and accessories, they'll have the heavy bench, know from previous experience how important that is.

    Lee should make a point of highlighting how important mount stability is for proper function. I'd bet Lee tests the presses on a heavy metal table and they don't have problems. They should try a Workmate, card table, or some of the other flunky ways I've seen. The tripod mount they sell, that you hang a weight on to keep it stable, that shows some appreciation on their part about not letting the press move.

    I'm happy with my LM, I've got maybe $500 into it, same would cost $1500 from Dillion and $1200 from Hornaday. And for me it works, I just don't have all the trouble I read about. $1000 more is a lot more money for me, if the 650 was $200 more, probably buy that. But it isn't...
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2013
  22. BBQJOE

    BBQJOE Member

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    Good advice from Ken70.
    The LM works just as designed, and does what it is designed to do.
    Pay attention, and FOLLOW DIRECTIONS!
    Just pull the thing out of the box, and start cranking bullets, you're going to have nothing but headaches.
    I read the manual a number of times before I even tried my first round.
    I have very little trouble with mine.
    The only time I get into trouble is when things are working so well, that I lose a little of the focus needed, such as a station runs out.
    The advice on mounting is spot on. You can't mount one of these on a card table and expect it to work. I'm willing to bet 99.9% of priming trouble has to do with a poor bench.
     
  23. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    If echo Ken. I have both the Load Master & Pro1000. I have no problems with the presses. I have tried to prime crimped cases tho. I now she all new to me brass.

    I like the Pro1000 better for most of my loading just because it is simpler.
     
  24. Springfield0612

    Springfield0612 Member

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    I have a Lee Pro 1000 and bought it used. I'm acctually the 3rd owner. Owner 1 got too old and sold it to owner 2. Owner 2 had money issues and sold it to me. I got it home, mounted it to my sturdy bench, read the instructions once, dialed it in and read the instructions a second time. Then........ BOOM!!!!!! No issues what so ever. I had to adjust the timing on the shell plate carrier once. The press runs, and runs reliably. Most people who buy a Lee progressive and end up no liking it or just chime in with no experience and call them junk seem to want a press that reloads the ammo for them. They want as little hands on and control with the reloading process as possible. Kind of like not wanting to buy a stick shift car because they would rather take the bus. They can just go along for the ride with no involvement at all. Now there is the exception for the people who shoot competition and need thousands and thousands or rounds per month, that I can understand going to a mostly automated press.

    +1 on a sturdy mount. The press will act like polycarbonate frame semi auto pistol. If you don't hold it tight enough you'll lose recoil and the gun jams, same principal with the mechanics of the Lee Pro 1000 press.

    Quick Fixes for Lee Pro 1000: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=507454

    So a comparrision for real life application for presses. I bought a Lee Pro 1000, my sister inlaws husband bought a brand new Hornady LNL. For his setup and all the extras to get it running how he wanted it he spent over $600 just for the press and associated items. I got the Lee pro 1000, 3 lee bullet molds, 3000 primers, a pound of powder, extra items for the press like the case feeding setup extra shell plate carrier for .45 ACP and didn't break $400.
     
  25. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    I've been up and running with a LM since January of this year.

    .45 acp and 9 mm luger

    I have had zero priming problems..... ZERO!!!

    I think a lot of the priming gripes and fixes were cured when Lee made changes to the priming chute tooling about 2 or 3 years ago. So you want to make sure you have the new chutes. If you get an older press, you can buy the new chutes for about $10

    That said, I think the wisdom about not learning to reload on a progressive press is very solid, and I'm glad I had ~ 5 years with a LCT under my belt b4 I made the leap.
     
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