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Lee Pro 1000 progressive press
#1
What are your opinions of the Lee Pro 1000 progressive press?

Cabela's has it for less than $200.00. I know it isn't Dillon or RCBS, but it also isn't as expensive as they are either.

The major issues I have heard about this press seem to center around the primer feed. For those of you who have used it, is that your experience? Any other issues?

Any opinions are welcome, but I would prefer to hear from those with first hand experience rather than those who are just repeating something they have heard on the Internet.

Thanks.
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#2
(09-28-2014, 08:31 PM)TAC Wrote: What are your opinions of the Lee Pro 1000 progressive press?

Cabela's has it for less than $200.00. I know it isn't Dillon or RCBS, but it also isn't as expensive as they are either.

The major issues I have heard about this press seem to center around the primer feed. For those of you who have used it, is that your experience? Any other issues?

Any opinions are welcome, but I would prefer to hear from those with first hand experience rather than those who are just repeating something they have heard on the Internet.

Thanks.
Reply
#3
I have loaded over 10k rounds in my Pro 1000 over a 15 year period. As long as it's kept clean & you keep a close eye on powder & primers (always keep at least 30 primers in the pan) it works fine. I will load 500 of 1 caliber and then change out to another caliber as this takes a little time (great time to clean everything up). I've never used any other progressive so I have none to compare with but for $100 used, I have gotten my moneys worth out of it. I load 9mm, .40, .45, .357 mag, 44 mag, & .223. I've only had to replace a couple of parts and Lee was great getting those to me
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#4
Mine was so bad we called it a regressive press. It was prone to not feed primers properly and of course I wouldn't realize that until it was gummed up with powder.
Known as SteveInCO on national fora (changed it here because "in Colorado" is the default).

CZ-75, Glock 20, Mossberg 590, S&W M&P AR-15, PTR-91, DSA FAL, Springfield M1A... and lots of other goodies.
Biggun
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#5
Full disclosure here. I don't reload, yet, but am gathering equipment to start. I saw a Lee Pro 1000 for sale for $180 and posted a question on the Smith & Wesson Forum asking if that was a good deal. The overwhelming response was negative. They said it was very finicky and would not be a good press for a beginner. Got the impression it was not an easy press to use. Passed in it.
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#6
Your concern over the primer feed is well founded.

Many years ago I had a Lee Progressive 1000 (I think the "Pro" is an improvement over the machine I had, but the primer feed remains the same). I only had it for a short while, then went for a Dillon 550B. A friend's LP1000 blew up on him. When the primers get low they don't feed well, and a primer can half-feed on top of the ram and be sheared in half, in his case detonating and setting off other primers in the "pipe". I fortunately just mangled primers when I failed to notice the primers getting low.

If I remember correctly (again, this was back in the late 80s or early 90s), the primer feed didn't handle no case being present very gracefully either; when the primer ram descended with a primer on top of it (because there was no primer pocket to be seated in) it would encounter the edge of the next primer being fed, stay high and then be swept off onto the floor when the shellplate turned. The LP1000 also seats the primer with the all the following primers right next to it which caused my friend's "chain fire" (borrowing a black powder term) of the remaining primers when he set one off at the seating station.

The primer feed is one of the many places where the Dillon 550B shines. The primer feed is encased in a blast shield so in the unlikely event that they go the blast goes up into the ceiling, not blowing plastic primer feed bits all around the room, embedding some in the operator. The primers are shuttled from the primer feed tube to the seating position individually, meaning that there are no other primers near where the seating operation occurs. And if a primer is unused, the same primer is harmlessly and reliably shuttled back and forth until it's seated in a case. IMHO the Dillon 650's seating mechanism isn't nearly as nice as the 550B's. And the Super 1050's primer feed is similar to, but even better than the 550B's. But the Super 1050 is a very specialized [and expensive] machine that I don't recommend unless you're loading a minimum of tens of thousands of rounds per year of one caliber.

I highly recommend the Dillon 550B instead of the Lee product (or any other progressive reloading machine, for that matter :)). You get what you pay for. Save a little longer and pay for only one reloading machine instead of upgrading like I did from the Lee to the Dillon.

I own a Dillon 650 and RL1050 (predecessor to the Super 1050) and still miss my 550B for it's simplicity. The 550B is Dillon's "sweet spot" machine. As far as I know it can reload any pistol or rifle caliber except 50 BMG.

O2
When seconds count, the police are mere minutes away...
They'll never take your "hunting rifle", they'll call it a "sniper rifle" first.
Gun registration is gun confiscation in slow motion.
Zero failures comes at infinite cost.
You are the FIRST responder. Police, fire and medical are SECOND responders.
By eliminating fear of guns you'll put fear back in criminals.
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#7
I did not know that about the 550. I own a 650 as well. It has the blast shield but (if I recall correctly) it feeds the primers along the outer edge of a disc with cutouts for the primers. They're somewhat isolated from each other but I could imagine adjacent primers being set off nonetheless. And an unseated primer is simply dumped in a special little cup, it's still up to the operator to retrieve it and (eventually) put it back into the primer feed.
Known as SteveInCO on national fora (changed it here because "in Colorado" is the default).

CZ-75, Glock 20, Mossberg 590, S&W M&P AR-15, PTR-91, DSA FAL, Springfield M1A... and lots of other goodies.
Biggun
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#8
All the Dillons have the same exact same blast shield and primer tubes (one small, one large). My two main gripes about the 650 is that unlike the 550B and the RL1050, primers continue to be fed despite not being seated in a case (at least it collects them for you for re-pickup and loading again -- an operation not necessary with the 550B and the 1050s). My second gripe is that it's a PITA to change primer sizes on the 650 compared to the 550B.

Dillon had built the RL1050 (I corrected my above note, I meant to be saying RL1050, not 1000) and the 550B before they designed the 650 and I don't know why they went to a different primer feed mechanism. My dream machine would be a 650 with the RL1050 primer feed method -- it's even simpler, more reliable and easier to use than the 550B (which is simple, reliable and easy to use too).

O2
When seconds count, the police are mere minutes away...
They'll never take your "hunting rifle", they'll call it a "sniper rifle" first.
Gun registration is gun confiscation in slow motion.
Zero failures comes at infinite cost.
You are the FIRST responder. Police, fire and medical are SECOND responders.
By eliminating fear of guns you'll put fear back in criminals.
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#9
Not disagreeing.

When I bought my press it was extremely hard to figure out in advance how the press would work. (And until you told me, I had no idea about the differences in the primer feeding mechanism between the three models.) All I had to go on was the Blue Press. (A LOT of what's in there assumes you already have seen, studied, and worked with a press when you read it. Most of the accessory and spare parts descriptions had me scratching my head wondering WTF they were talking about.) Maybe by now they've done this but some sort of video showing the presses in operation, in detail, to give you an idea of what it's like to work with them, would make it easier for customers to decide what to buy.

Even the 650's mechanism is miles ahead of the LeeProo 1000 regressive press though.
Known as SteveInCO on national fora (changed it here because "in Colorado" is the default).

CZ-75, Glock 20, Mossberg 590, S&W M&P AR-15, PTR-91, DSA FAL, Springfield M1A... and lots of other goodies.
Biggun
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#10
(12-19-2014, 06:47 AM)308 Fan Wrote: Not disagreeing.

Didn't think you were, I was just supplying more info, AKA "rambling".

Yhea, it's hard to know what "toolheads" are for example until you have a machine sitting in front of you. :)

When I bought my first Dillon I just called them up and said "this is what I want to do" and I got everything I needed :)

O2
When seconds count, the police are mere minutes away...
They'll never take your "hunting rifle", they'll call it a "sniper rifle" first.
Gun registration is gun confiscation in slow motion.
Zero failures comes at infinite cost.
You are the FIRST responder. Police, fire and medical are SECOND responders.
By eliminating fear of guns you'll put fear back in criminals.
Reply
#11
(12-19-2014, 06:47 AM)308 Fan Wrote: Not disagreeing.

When I bought my press it was extremely hard to figure out in advance how the press would work. (And until you told me, I had no idea about the differences in the primer feeding mechanism between the three models.) All I had to go on was the Blue Press. (A LOT of what's in there assumes you already have seen, studied, and worked with a press when you read it. Most of the accessory and spare parts descriptions had me scratching my head wondering WTF they were talking about.) Maybe by now they've done this but some sort of video showing the presses in operation, in detail, to give you an idea of what it's like to work with them, would make it easier for customers to decide what to buy.

Even the 650's mechanism is miles ahead of the LeeProo 1000 regressive press though.
I own a Dillon 650 and love it, I don't have enough experience with other progressives to give any opinion on what is better or worse but.
The shop I bought mine in ( Elk Bomb) in Milliken Co. Has a large bench with 3 or 4 set up in working order so you can try them out before you buy.
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#12
I'm still using the 550B and still love it. Although I have not reloaded anything in the last year. I have even shot a match. Last summer I think I got some target practice in twice. <sigh>
Where can you carry? Check the editable COGO Carry Map
When in doubt. JFC.

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