Lee Pro 1000 Progressive, thoughts?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by M249SAW, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. M249SAW

    M249SAW Rescue Jockey

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    Midway has them on sale with the dies for $159. Says all you need to do is put the bullet on, has case feeder and auto disc.

    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=428284

    Otherwise Ive been looking at the Lee Classic turret after reading Colorado4wheel's sticky.

    I was thinking of getting into reloading and eventually on a larger scale as I am the resident gun guy for my 600 person fire department. Could even probably sell some reloads once I get them down.

    Thoughts are appreciated, and no need to sugar coat:whistling:
     
  2. Brad_G

    Brad_G

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    I started with the LCTP. It is an easy to use press, and can run about 100-130 rounds per hour. It served me well for about a year, until I started shooting USPSA. I realized that loading 600-800 rounds a month to shoot matches was taking too much time away from the family.

    I stepped up and bought a Dillon 550. I can't tell you how AWESOME this thing is. It is a little more expensive, but I can load almost 300 rounds in an hour!!!

    I would stay away from the lee progressives. I've just heard too many people having issue with the idiosycracies and their progressive presses. If you NEED a progressive, get a Dillon or a Hornady Lock and Load AP.

    There will be some people tell you to get the Lee and some people that will tell you not to get the Lee (progressive). But, I can guarantee there are way more people that will endorse the Dillon than not.

    Get the Classic Turret if you are only loading 100-200 rounds a month and really need to save the money. If you are going to load more, and have the cash, get a Dillon 550.

    Go to www.brianenos.com and read about the presses. He has some great write ups that will help out.

    Be careful selling your reloads. The ATF can be a little picky about who manufactures ammunition for resale. There are insurance issues, legal issues, and personal liability problems involved in selling reloaded ammunition. Everyone will mess up a reload, and it would suck for it to be one you sold a fellow firefighter.

    BG
     

  3. tjpet

    tjpet

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    Weak link is the priming system. Keep it clean, don't let the primers run all the way out and you won't have any problems.

    Remember, there's no mechanical advantage system to help with resizing so if you load a lot your arm will get a work out. Not bad with conventional pistol rounds but something to keep in mind.
     
  4. M249SAW

    M249SAW Rescue Jockey

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    Didnt think about the ATF issue. I guess I see every mom and pop gun range hawking reloads for range use.

    As a matter of fact the other tab open on my browser is Brian Enos' site.
     
  5. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

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    As most everyone on this forum will readily and enthusiastically tell you, I am not the brightest color in the crayon box so it's natural that I'm confused about something...

    When did they start putting out fires with bullets? :dunno:

    Jack
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2010
  6. schild

    schild

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    Many years ago I started reloading on Lee Pro, then I bought a second Lee, so I could use one for spare parts.
    About 17 years ago I bought a Dillon 650, then I threw the 2 Lee presses in the garbage.
    The Lee Pro isn't very Pro..............
     
  7. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    1-200rds a month? I knock out 175 or so rounds per hour, and probably shoot around 7-900rds a month. The LCT is perfect for that. Takes me about 5-7hrs a month to handle my monthly needs. Would the 500 be faster? Absolutely, but is it worth $300-$400 more?

    It all depends on how much you shoot. I feel I'm just on the outside of the LCT, and will probably skip the 550, and go straight to either a LNL or 650, but haven't really made a decision yet. Just from what I've read, I wouldn't touch the Lee Progressives, but the LCT is a good press. Very simple, easy to use, and just gets the job done.

    IGF
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2010
  8. M249SAW

    M249SAW Rescue Jockey

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    I keep trying to factor in cost, but when I read somewhere on here that cost shouldn't be main factor in something that should last a lifetime.

    Ill just start piecing a setup together. First Ill get me a tumbler and go from there.
     
  9. srd

    srd

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    Get the LCT and you will be quite happy with it as far as money spent and time required to reload.
     
  10. skankpile

    skankpile CLM

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    You mention 600 people, sound like you will be pumping out the brass and you are asking about a lee...

    Go with the Dillon 1050 or perhaps 550 if you want something cheaper. You will not be sorry. Check out some videos of the 1050. If you got 600 guys ask them to pitch in as you'll be running through 100 rounds in 10 min with the 1050.

    The only thing you will be using the lee for later is single load hunting rounds, but then you'll still want to upgrade to at least a rockchucker I bet.
     
  11. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    Why don't you start by stating what your budget is, and what your monthly needs are. That, or read C4W's sticky again, and pay attention to what you're reading. It seems you're just throwing darts hoping you land on something useful. A tumbler isn't 100% necessary if the budget is tight.

    IGF
     
  12. M249SAW

    M249SAW Rescue Jockey

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    The issue was brought up earlier about ammo issues that I hadn't thought of so I doubt I will be doing this on a larger scale. Of the 600 probably a good 50-60 of us are avid shooters where we go through alot of ammo.

    Right now Im torn between the 550 and the LCT. Looks like I have some reading ahead of me.
     
  13. Hydraulicman

    Hydraulicman

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    if you'll be loading for a lot of differet calibers i would go LCT

    if your loading for a couple calibers I'd go 550

    caliber conversions cost money. I can recommend the dillon 550

    It's a great press. Its not only loads in less time but less effort as well.
     
  14. Volksman

    Volksman

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    The original question here was about the Lee Pro 1000 Progressive Press Kit and then the OP asked about the Lee Classic Turret. Most every post after that was addressing the LCT and not the Pro 1000. So how does the Pro 1000 compare to the Dillon 550?
     
  15. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    Carrie Underwood to Rosie O Donnell.. :)

    I've had limited use on a 550, and its a good press. I've not used a Pro 1000, but for every good comment I read about it, there's 10 negative ones... So Buyer beware I guess...

    IGF
     
  16. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    I'm not sure I like reloading ammo for that many people. It's entirely up to you, but there is some liability issues here. You screw up and cause a gun to get wrecked, or worse, someone to get injured/killed.. You could have a serious problem on your hands. I reload for me, my brother, and one other person. Anyone else wants to reload on my press, they are welcome to buy dies, toolheads, etc.. and can use it anytime they want, but they're pulling the handle.

    IGF
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2010
  17. orgnova

    orgnova

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    Started off reloading 45acp with the Lee pro 1000. Trying to keep cost down. I shoot about 200 rounds a week. The Lee pro 1000 does it for me. Every press needs tinkering to get it just right. I ended up buying another complete Lee pro 1000 in 40s&w. For less than the price of one Dillon, I ended up with 2 presses. Remember to watch the primer level and you can crank out a good number of rounds.
     
  18. coachg

    coachg

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    I started with the Lee Classic Turret and was very happy with the results. I found a good deal on a used Pro1000 and since I already had the dies, I decided to give it a try. It was ok, but the only way I could really get it to work reliably was to run the cases through the sizing and primer operation separately from the powder drop. It seemed that i was always getting grains of powder in the primer slide which would cause problems and it drove me crazy. Once I made that switch, it worked out fine and using the case collator and case feeder i could prime hundreds of cases with no problems. Then I would come back and drop the powder and seat the bullets. Definately a work around so I couldn't say I would recommend the Pro 1000.

    Since then, I found another very good deal on a Lee LoadMaster. Despite all the negative feedback on the LM, I have really enjoyed it. I paid $150 including an extra shell plate and a scale. The primer system works really well and loading primers is super easy. I do have problems now and then with the plastic primer slider. They do seem to get caught and bent every so often. I have a good supply and just change them out. When i get a few together, I send them back to Lee and they replace them no charge.

    Caliber changes are inexpensive and take less than five minutes with no tools. I load 45, 9mm, 357, 357 Sig, 40, 380 and 223 with great success on the LM.

    The Dillon is an excellent piece of equipment, but I really like the case feeder and the auto indexing of the LM at a fraction of the cost.
     
  19. M249SAW

    M249SAW Rescue Jockey

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    Thanks all.

    May be a moot point since I cant seem to find any small pistol primers.
     
  20. sarge

    sarge Millennium Member

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    I'll address my issues with the presses, because I have a Pro 1000, LCT and 3 Dillons, a 550, 650 and 1050.

    I started USPSA shooting in the mid 80's and found out real quick that the Lee hand press I was using wasn't going to cut it. I ordered a Lee Pro 1000, and used it for many years and loaded a ton of ammo on it. The Lee press has it's quirks, mainly the priming system. It seemed that for every 100 rounds I loaded, 3 to 5 of them had primers that were either sideways or upside down. I'd pitch them in a box and at a later date I'd spend some time pulling bullets and recovering components. The Pro 1K was set up for 45ACP which is all I shot at the time. I later purchased a Lee Turret press to load my rifle loads. It worked like a champ, only slow, but I didn't need many 30/06 hunting loads, so 50 would last a long time.

    As I continued to shoot and compete, I continued to add caliber conversions to the Lee Pro1K, and continued to have problems, there again, mainly the primer feed. I also started to use the Lee Factory Crimp die, so I had to load the ammo on the Pro1K, then crimp on the Turret press (with the Turret mechanism deactivated).

    Along about 2001, I decided I was ready to step up. I ordered a fully loaded Dillon 650, and after I got it set up and adjusted, I could easily load 600 or more rounds per hour. I timed myself a while back and loaded 1100 40SW's in 90 minutes, and that was taking about a 10 minute break at the half way mark to hit the bathroom and get a drink. I load and shoot a lot of ammo every year and can't remember the last time I had a primer upside down with the Dillon.

    Since then, I have also picked up a 1050 dedicated to 223 and a 550 that I use for my low volume stuff.

    I wouldn't personally recommend a 1050 if you are going to do a lot of caliber changes. For a single caliber press, I can't think of a better press to own to really turn out high volumes of ammo. Complete caliber conversions run just a little short of $200 each. It's a great press when set up and running correctly, but there's also a lot of stuff going on at one time and if you are a new loader, it may be more than you want to deal with if there's a problem.

    The 650 is a great machine, and I feel the auto indexing is an added safety feature. The case feeder is a must to get the full benefit of the 650. The 650 also gives you a 5th position for a powder check if you want to use it. I stand while reloading and can see into my pistol cases, so I don't use the powder check on them, but I do use it when loading rifle cases on the 650. Caliber changes are more expensive than the 550, but considerably less than the 1050. They run around $75 each. You can change calibers in about 5 to 10 minutes on the 650.

    The 550 is the workhorse of the Dillon line. I use my 550 for my low volume stuff (44 Mag, 41 Mag, 480 Ruger, 30/30, etc) and it works like a charm. Caliber changes are just over $40 and take less than 5 minutes to do. You can easily load 300 to 400 rounds per hour on the 550, maybe more if you really get in the groove.

    My Lee Pro 1K has been sitting in the closet since 2001. The Lee Turret press is used once in a blue moon for sizing bullets that I have cast. The holes are in the loading bench and it just takes a couple of minutes to bolt it on.

    My personal opinion would be to save your pennies until you could afford the Dillon 550. If you are going to load multiple calibers and are tight with the $$, order the caliber conversion(s) that you most want and need, and pick the others up as you can afford them. Even if you decide later to get a 650, you'll always be able to use the 550, or you can sell it in a few years for probably what it will cost to purchase now. If that's just really outside your budget right now, you will still be also to load a lot of good quality ammo on Lee equipment. You'll just know that the limitations are slower speed and a few minor quirks.

    As for loading for friends, there's a lot of good advice in the posts above. My philosophy is that any of my friends are welcome to use my presses to load anything they want to load. I over see the operation, but they set the powder charge and pull the handle to load the ammo. I just make sure things are running smooth.