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Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Reagan40, Nov 12, 2009.
Aside from the beefy return spring, what mods have you made to your Pro 1000?
If you only want one press and have the cash, then I totally agree: get the Dillon.
But if you already have a Dillon and want a second progressive press, the Pro 1000 isn't a bad way to go at all. After all, if it's reliability you need, you already have it (since you already have a Dillon). And you already have experience with a progressive press, so you're past the beginner's learning curve.
I suspect that, unless you have a defective press, the Pro 1000 will crank out the ammo with decent reliability. I don't expect it to be as reliable as a Dillon, of course, but I don't expect to have a stoppage every 10 rounds or so, either, as long as I do my part and heed the operational requirements of the press.
Yeah, hex ratchet. The little white nylon thingy. I think I got a bunch of small parts from Lee.
Yes, finger pressure only. Over time powder and dust can get into the threads and make it hard to undo. When that happens, you need a really clean and strong set of fingers to get a good grip on it. the less tight you make it when you install it, the easier it is to take it appart.
Well, there are two nylon pieces, it seems. There's the hex ratchet (PN TA2368), and then there's the ratchet gear (PN TR2432).
I have plenty of spares of the hex ratchet, but none of the ratchet gear.
It sounds like it's the hex ratchet (PN TA2368) that is easily damaged, and the fact that Midway carries them and not the ratchet gear supports this, but I wanted to make sure that indeed is what you're referring to.
With the shellplate carrier out, they suggest using a hex wrench to remove the shellplate, but unless the threads are clogged it sounds like it shouldn't be necessary to use it.
Like I said, I tend to be a "minimal force" kinda guy. So with that in mind, how little tightening can I get away with when installing the shellplate? Can I install it such that I stop tightening it right when I feel an increase in resistance, or is that too little?
One of my other mods was to replace the straight pc. of piano wire that kicks out the loaded round & make one with more of an "S" bend to it.
Ejection of loaded rounds is a bit smoother, making the entire press run better.
Also, to insure against double charges, I always use a powder that fills more than 1/2 the case volume, in the case of my 9mm, the powder (Vhit N320) is only about 1/8" below the case mouth before seating the bullet.
No, this isn't the cheapest load I can use for USPSA minor, but it is IMPOSSIBLE to double charge a case. I feel the cost of the powder is totally insiginificant, as compared to a blown up pistol !
I also seat the bullet as far out as I can within the limits of the Glock magazines, as my load is slightly over (new) book, although it was under max 3 or 4 manuals ago. I've been using the same load in USPSA for 8 or 9 years.
Solo1000 will overflow with a double charge as well.
It's great seeing my old pro1000 is still used by some people. I found it to be very reliable and fun to use. However, I never used the case feed tubes, as I can drop a case with my left hand while I run the handle with my right hand.
This allows the shellplate to be changed by lifting the turret off and turning the index rod backward to remove the shellplate nut. I use this press to load several calibers, so changeing the shellplate is importand to me. Though I have only shot .22 rimfire for a couple of years.
One hint: I took a flashlight LED and put it in a hole I drilled in turret such that it shines into the case and lights the powder level.
Solo 1000 is an excellent 9mm powder for this reason. I don't use it, but I know several shooters that do & it's great.
KB's are just SOOOOOOO ugly !
I use 5.3 grains of Silhouette or, sometimes, 4.2 grains of Titegroup (with 124 or 125 grain bullets). Both fill the case approximately the same amount: just a bit under halfway.
A double charge would easily be visibly different. I always look into the case before seating the bullet, and won't do so if the powder level looks wrong. On my Dillon I have an RCBS lockout die, but I always peer into the case prior to seating the bullet anyway.
My experience with the Dillon is what gave me enough confidence to go with the Pro 1000, knowing that my reloading procedures are likely to be correct for it since they are very similar operationally. The Pro 1000 requires more attention but has fewer stations to watch and is smaller, so it's easier to keep an eye on everything.
Just in case, I reindexed the shellplate per the instructions. We'll see if the partial indexing issue resurfaces. I checked the casefeeder function after doing so and it still functions properly.
It's the auto indexing hex ratchet. I have an unopened blister pack of three, so I guess I never needed it and just thought it was good to have. I opened the box of small Lee parts I have and dropped a shell plate on my foot to check, so I hope you're happy.
I forgot about the allen wrench to remove the shell plate, that's a good way to do it. As for how tight to make it, really just snug is good enough. I hold tthe drive bolt as tight as I can with my finger tips and turn the shell plate to tighten it and I never had a problem doing that.
Hmm...I don't remember anything in the instructions that said you had to drop the shell plate on your foot as part of the disassembly process...
Anyway, many thanks for your courageous sacrifice! It shall be remembered with honor.
OK, this is very good to know. Thanks!
I'll probably load up another few hundred in the next couple of days or so. We'll see how well it does this time. All in all, it did pretty well the last time.
I loaded up another 200 rounds tonight with my Pro 1000.
The press functioned flawlessly. Not a single failure to properly index, not a single failure to feed a case, and not a single failure to properly prime a case. And this was with the z bar located in the proper hole, not the one I drilled.
It seems reindexing the press was the hot ticket for fixing the occasional half-index issue I had previously.
This time I sprayed a little Hornady One Shot case lube on the batch of cases I used, and that made the press considerably easier to use. That may have contributed to the reliability, though I doubt it since the press is mounted to an essentially immovable bench.
Anyway, time will tell but this seems to be a nice, reliable press, and the price was unbeatable. I think I'll keep it.
During some additional testing (more about that in a moment), the shellplate indexed halfway again.
So I decided to take the shellplate carrier off and pull it apart to inspect all the parts.
And guess what I found?
None of the parts were damaged. Everything looked good, everything fit together properly.
That's just as I expected. When I experience problems, they almost never have plainly visible causes.
There was a slight amount of dirty lubricant in the hex ratchet and the ratchet gear, but not nearly enough that it should have interfered with anything.
Even so, I decided to go ahead and replace the hex ratchet. Maybe I missed something subtle (don't think so, though).
Lee suggests in their troubleshooting section that if the shellplate indexes halfway, then the shellplate drive bolt may be damaged. It looked completely intact to me -- no visible damage at all.
I guess if it persists I may call Lee and ask if they have any idea what may be causing it to occasionally do that, but otherwise I'll just live with it. It does it only occasionally, and it's not terribly difficult to deal with it when it happens (the indexing works fine without adjustment after it happens).
So what was I experimenting with? Well, as it happens, it looked to me like the sizing die was a bit aggressive, and as I mentioned before, using some lube made it significantly easier to use the press. I had cleaned my cases with Nu Finish and mineral spirits and noticed that a thin film was being pushed down to the base of the cases as they were being sized, leaving a nice ring around the base. So I tried cleaning the cases with just mineral spirits to see how well the sizing die would work with them. It did roughly the same thing, actually, but not quite to the same degree. It was still harder to size a case than I was hoping. I actually have two Lee sizing dies in 9mm, and they both behaved the same way (with the newer of the two going slightly further down).
So I took my Dillon 9mm sizing die off my 650 and put it onto the Pro 1000. What a difference! Sizing the cases became considerably easier. The sized section was still visible enough to make it clear that while the Dillon die wasn't sizing quite as far down on the case as the Lee, it was very close. All the resized brass I tested passed the case gage.
So I'm going to try my next batch with the Dillon sizing die in place of the Lee. The press is back together and indexes properly. Cases feed reliably and properly.
What's not clear to me is exactly what should be lubricated and what it should be lubricated with. The instructions that came with the press say nothing about this, just that it should be kept well oiled. I suppose I might call Lee about that as well. I've greased the ram and lubricated the edges of the case feeder slide with silicone oil (being careful not to get any lubricant on the top of the slide). I've not applied any lubricant to the indexing rod, since the ratcheting system is nylon and I don't want to damage it or adversely affect its operation. I've applied no lubricant at all to the shellplate since I expect that doing so could adversely affect the priming system -- it's vitally important that no lubricant reach it at all.
If you've got lubrication tips for this press, I'm all ears.
Lube the indexing rod with a few drops of oil. It has metal to metal contact with the drive bolt. Ram is good to oil as you determined. Don't oil under the shell plate as this will atract mucho crud from primer dust etc. The beam that the case feeder slides on could be hit with a little silicone, no harm, but what I did was clean it up with scotch pad. This broke the burrs off the shapr edges and made the slider glide better.
I don't lube cases. I just push harder Lee says to lube about 1/3 of the cases with spray on furniture polish like pledge. You have to use the kind with wax in it. If you buy the one with "no wax build up" it does nothing. It's just a cleaner. I have done this and it really makes it easier. It makes your cases smell lemon fresh too, seriously, they smell great. Just grab a handful of the cases you are going to reaload and put them in a container. Ac ouple of quick shots with the Pledge and mix them back in with the unlubed ones. Don't worry about the foamy Pledge inside the cases, it doesn't effect the powder etc. I'll get back to doing it this way now that you reminded me of it.
Also, polishing cases increases the effort to resize them. I don't clean mine. The carbon acts as a case lube. My cases look like ***, but it saves a lot of time and trouble and I'm not going to polish anything that isn't connected to my body...
I took 25 cases out of a group of 100 I was going to reload (40SW). I put them in a box and hit them with two quick bursts of furniture polish, maybe one second total spraying. I threw the other 75 in the box and shook them around and ran them throught the 1000. The furniture polish really reduced the effort to pull the handle. I think it saves the pivot points in the linkage a lot of stress too. I'm going to continue to load like this from now on and can't figure out how I got away from it.
The problem with lubing the indexing rod is that it'll get lube on the hex ratchet where it makes contact with the indexing rod. And I would expect that to interfere with indexing -- it would make it easier for it to slip while turning the shellplate.
While there's metal to metal contact between the indexing rod and the drive bolt, the contact itself isn't under high pressure or anything. It's not clear that it needs lubrication. I guess if I lubricate any area of the indexing rod, it would be the area that the drive bolt passes over that the hex ratchet does not. But I'm concerned about the drive bolt spreading it over the rest of the indexing rod and the hex ratchet picking it up.
How and why this is supposed to be lubricated is one of the things I'll ask Lee when I call them.
I've got a Pro 1000. I played with it quite a bit trying to get the cases and primers to feed reliably. I consistently found that both were mutually exclusive. I finally resigned to -
Use my single stage press to decap / size.
Use hand primer to prime the shells.
Use the Pro 1000 with the stages -
stage 1 = flare / charge with the Auto Disk
stage 2 = bullet seating
stage 3 = Lee factory crimp
Obviously this is not ideal. But after many 1000s, I find that it works best for me. No frustrations. And my rounds have been consistent and reliable.
I just put a drop here and there when it gets dry every few months on the rod. Between gravity and the passing of the rod through the shellplate, I'm sure it gets down in where you don't want it. It has never caused a problem.
ETA: The rod doesn't bear any load through most of it's travel, but when the twisted part passes through the parts that index the shell plate, It is going to have a load on it.
I use Gun Butter on mine. Works well.