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Just got a free Lee Pro 1000!

1151 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  yblow
Wife's uncle gave me a Lee Pro 1000 + auto disk powder measure + case feeder + carbide .44SPL dies. Not a bad score and not a bad free upgrade from the single stage I was using.

Anybody got any tips for using this thing effectively, both for pistol and rifle?

Also, anybody know what shell plate would work for 6.8 for reference once I finally get my upper.
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I've loaded .38 Special, .45acp, .44 Special and .223 on a Lee 1000 and have to say that they are okay for handgun where you can use carbide dies but they don't do too well on rifle cartridges. Plus the double disk kit (required for rifle powder volumes) for the powder measure is not terribly accurate in my experience. I don't know if you can even get a shell plate to fit the 6.8. The biggest failing of the Lee 1000 is the priming system, most of it is plastic and is easily damaged if you keep cranking the handle after something screws up. The other quirk of the priming system is that it feeds the primers using gravity down a curved chute and once the primer level gets too low the primers stop feeding. Adding powder to a case without a primer results in powder falling into the rotating turret and priming system further screwing up the works. The bottom line is the machines work but they do require you to pay a lot of attention to it while loading.
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So is the thing even worth my time to set up or should I just wait and get something else?

As far as the double disk not working well, do you know if the Hornady unit with its auto drop would work?

I've been reloading for about 5 years now but have absolutely zero experience with progressive loading....

I guess I should add this I plan on using this for blasting ammo. If I wanna load for accuracy, I'm going to use my single stage...
What I did for .223 was prep my cases beforehand on a single stage press (decap, size, trim and reprime) and then run them through the progressive without the decapping pin. It worked okay for blasting ammo but I would not use this system for trying to make match quality ammo. The type of powder is also a factor. The Lee powder dispenser doesn't seem like ball powders as much as stick powders and the double disk kit compounds the inherent inaccuracy. The charts provided by Lee are based on powder volume and don't always match up with actual grain weight. The only way to adjust this is to open up the disk cavity or go to the next size up and hope it doesn't drop too much powder. This is not unique to the Lee powder dispenser, I have a Dillon 650 that doesn't play well with stick powders due to bridging in the drop tube. You have to find what your machine works best with and stick with it. As I said in my earlier reply the Lee 1000 works much better for handgun loading than rifle and does speed up the process over a single stage press. You just have to know the quirks of machine and watch it carefully while using it. Don't run it out of cases or primers and develop a consistent rhythm of pulling and pushing the handle and you will be happy with it. Especially for the price!

I have no experience at all with the Hornady powder dispenser and cannot tell you if it would be an improvement or not, sorry.
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