Quality of Lee Pro 1000

This is a discussion on Quality of Lee Pro 1000 within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I have set up 2 Lee Pro 1000 presses that haven't been used for about 13 years. My question concerns the quality and possible issues ...

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Thread: Quality of Lee Pro 1000

  1. #1
    Member Array KenMac's Avatar
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    Quality of Lee Pro 1000

    I have set up 2 Lee Pro 1000 presses that haven't been used for about 13 years. My question concerns the quality and possible issues with these presses. Any comments from experienced users will be appreciated.

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    Senior Member Array Dadsnugun's Avatar
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I had one that was a PITA to keep primers feeding right,not to mention the cheap chain setup to actuate the powder drop,if the chain happens to bind and break without you noticing it,you are now loadind rounds with no powder.
    I now use a Dillon 550 and ain't looked back since
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    Member Array Mograthi's Avatar
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    I am finding the Lee Pro 1000 to be a fickle beast. I bought a used one very cheap to do the small batch calibers that i do more of than my single stage can comfortable handle and that are not worth the time or money to do a caliber conversion on my Dillion.

    The one I have doesnt have the chain for the powder measure, thank goodness, it has the newer spring actuated return.

    So far my main issues are the priming system isn't that great and does fail to feed primers sometimes. I am going to try sanding out the primer trough to fix that, but I may end up taking out the priming assembly and decapping/resizing die and doing that part separate so I don't have to deal with the junk primer system.

    I also need to tune something, not sure what yet on the press to allow me to speed up right now if i had to guess I am getting 100 rounds an hour. While that is still faster than the single stage, it just doesn't fall into the range of where I feel a progressive should be. Some of this may be in the fact that I am taking it slow as i don't trust trust the machine yet and for good reasons.

    I can say that so far the charging system has worked flawlessly and provided consistent weighted charges.

    All in all I would say that if this had been my first press I would be very upset but since it isn't and I knew that going into this I am not. I see it as a challenge to get this little guy to produce an acceptable round. I am however going to keep my eyes open for a dillon square deal B or a RL 500 used to replace the Lee.

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    Senior Member Array zeppelin03's Avatar
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    I haven't had much luck with the lee auto disks either. Mine used the part where the brass actuates the auto disk inside the die. The auto disk just locked up. Then found myself a squib load later. The hard way.

    I like my anniversary kit, but not the fancier stuff. Their turret press and autodisk are both sitting in my closet

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    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    I must have gotten a factory second or something because mine runs flawlessly! I still have not found the box with my case feed stuff since I moved but hand feeding cases and bullets I am cranking out a couple hundred rounds an hour no problem.
    As far as primer feed issues I think the key to my success might be that I never let the primers get low. As soon as I don't have primers in the tray I open another box and fill it. Part of what feeds the primers down the trough is the weight of the primers above them. I upgraded my powder system to their adjustable charge bar. The only issue I have found with that is small measures of big flakes. If you try to go any lower than about 3.0 grains of Red Dot it wont always fill.

    My only real complaint is the the wooden knob on the end of the handle is press fit and tends to fall off.
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    Member Array Mograthi's Avatar
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    I have no doubt that once I figure out the little bugger it will do the job I intended it for. I will on the other hand suck it up and get the .40 conversion for the dillon. The Lee is going to get relegated to only doing the 44 mag, and 9 mm neither of which I should a lot of but more than I want to sit at a single stage for :)

    I have yet to even attempt to get the case feeder to work in anything more than me dropping one case in at a time. I seem to have a small timing issue with it, the bar that moves the case to the shell plate moves really slow, like it needs a cup of coffee or something. Just one more item that I have to work on tuning I guess. To be fair the one I got seems to be a pre 1992 model as the shell plate carrier doesn't have the mounting hole for the bullet feeder and I see I can send it in to Lee with a few bucks and get a new one back with the mount hole.

    I should really take it completely down and maybe look at lubing some parts, that is if there are any that need to be lubed.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Array rmilchman's Avatar
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    To fixer the primer feed problem, try putting some graphite powder on the plastic feed ramp. Do the same where the autodisks slide.

  10. #9
    Member Array lee n. field's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenMac View Post
    I have set up 2 Lee Pro 1000 presses that haven't been used for about 13 years. My question concerns the quality and possible issues with these presses. Any comments from experienced users will be appreciated.
    They can be made to work, but it requires mechanical aptitude and a willingness to fiddle.

    Priming is a problem. Primers get flipped sidewise in the track sometimes, and that hangs everything up until you disassemble everything and right it.

    3 stations, so no room for a powder lockout die or a separate crimping die.

    For taller cartridges like .38 Special there's no good way to inspect visually to verify that a powder charge has been dropped.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lee n. field View Post
    They can be made to work, but it requires mechanical aptitude and a willingness to fiddle.

    Priming is a problem. Primers get flipped sidewise in the track sometimes, and that hangs everything up until you disassemble everything and right it.

    3 stations, so no room for a powder lockout die or a separate crimping die.

    For taller cartridges like .38 Special there's no good way to inspect visually to verify that a powder charge has been dropped.
    Agreed but no reason not to use it.

  12. #11
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    Sell them in a garage sale and use the proceeds to buy a Dillon 550.

    Your headaches and QC issues will be over.
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  13. #12
    Member Array KenMac's Avatar
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    Thanks everybody for your replies. I'm finding that they are finicky and surely there are better presses, but for now I'm going to stay patient and keep trying. I spent all of my spare money on a Glock 29SF, and can't buy new equipment right now.

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